Frame for The Quilting Bee

The frame I ordered for this finished stitchery arrived yesterday – just a standard size frame from Amazon. Since the colors in the piece are pretty dark I thought I might like a lighter colored frame – I liked the whitewashed white against the natural wood colored edging of this one. I also remembered this morning that I had a left over frame from some Christmas trees with ornaments I had stitched as gifts last year somewhere – after a bit of searching I found it. Below is that frame.

I do like the darker one as well – possibly better since the white in the above frame may not be the best choice for the ecru colored fabric it’s stitched on. The darker frame is also a bit bigger than the top one so I think I like the amount of unstitched space around the project better in the darker frame. Oh and I had someone ask why some of the quilters are stitched differently (did I still need to stitch the faces on some of them. No, some are sitting on a bench with their backs to us. See the little girl on the right side sitting on the bench with her feet hanging down? Every other quilter is sitting on that same bench at the quilting frame so you see the back of their head, dress and apron. The other ladies facing us are on the other side of the quilting frame. If I remember right, I think this was the first piece of this series that I stitched.

And as I was searching for the darker frame above, I found two other frames I had kept (I think they had pictures in them at some point in the past but I hang onto frames because you never know when you might want one to frame a quilting project or when you decided to start cross stitching again!). And I came across these which I forgot I had!!

These are Home Elements Photo Glass Coasters with a little tray to hold them upright for storage. I bought two sets of these probably at least 5 or 6 years ago at Walgreens on clearance after Christmas one year – the box I have is marked $2.00! They are thick glass (I turned one sideways on the left so you can see) with stoppers on the bottom so they don’t slide or scratch a surface. You can slide a photo into the pocket attached to the back. I used one set and slid in just pretty little holiday quilt fabrics as a gift for a quilting friend one year. I think I definitely need to put cross stitch in these – stitching on perforated paper (rather than fabric) will make the little piece so easy to slide in. These are still available from various places – although probably not at the $2.00 I paid for mine. ๐Ÿ™‚ The design/photo area is only about 1-3/4 x 2-5/8″ so not huge but I’m sure I can come up with something to stitch for them.

Goodness! I’ve puttered away the morning and not accomplished much – I’d better get busy around here after I find some lunch.

The missing yarn and the missing groceries…..

I just spent about an hour searching for two balls of leftover yarn for the sweater I’m making. I have two full hanks left of the Wollmeise but I know I may be cutting it a little close on yardage so wanted to use up the leftover balls from the two fronts of my sweater on my back piece and just maybe they will be enough to finish that piece. And after all that time I was sitting here thinking where the heck did I put them – ah! I spied some pink under the cross stitch stuff I had been working with earlier this week. At least I have discovered where they are even if I wasted all that time looking for them. Now I can continue on – I’m about 2 or 3 rows from starting the armholes and just about out of the yarn hank I was using.

And and interesting story (but I was quite mad about it at the time) – I have been ordering from Hy-Vee grocery delivery since long before the pandemic. I have been lucky to have some very good shoppers and only one or twice wondered what they were thinking when they made a specific substitution – not that it wasn’t something I would have used. Since the pandemic, they now use Door Dash for deliveries. There were some growing pains in the beginning of the pandemic when the number of people using delivery skyrocketed. But they got those under control. Today I had a small order to be delivered. I knew there was some ice on the sidewalk from the snow we got earlier this week so I went out and put some ice melt on it to help break it up before the delivery person came this afternoon..

About 10 or 15 minutes after the hour timeframe in which my groceries should have been delivered, I got a phone call asking if I had gotten my delivery. Uh, no. The woman then explained that the delivery driver could not find my apartment number so left the groceries “near a pole at the front of the building.” WHAT!!!??? Could I go look for them…. again, WHAT!!!??? .I let her know how unhappy I was about that – she was not to blame but I asked her exactly why I had to put a phone number on the order if the driver was not going to call me if he couldn’t find the address. She said well didn’t you get the text he sent. Uh no – I find it really irritating that everyone believes everyone in this world uses a cell phone – my phone number is land line so no I didn’t get any text. I put on my boots and coat and mittens and went around to the front of the building and there were my groceries sitting on the neighbor’s steps (incidentally – no “pole at the front of the building” in sight). If there were a way to retract that delivery tip I added I would. It was one of those “what the heck was that delivery person thinking moments. At least no one wandered off with them.

Main Street Station Stitched

The stitching is complete for this block. I changed up a couple of colors from those called for in the pattern. I changed the gable end of the train station from Ecru to the same color as the trim of the door and window and I outlined the ecru part of the house so it would stand out a bit more against the background.

I haven’t decided what I want to start on next so I’ll knit a while later today and debate that. I am excited that one of the frames I ordered, along with some foam core, tape for finishing my sleds, etc. So I may be able to get another one of the Amish stitcheries framed and fix the frame that came apart.

But first things first as there’s cleaning to be done, some cooking to be done, and my coffee cup to refill. And I need to get the cross stitching stuff organized later today – I’ve got it scattered about everywhere and I need to wind a new hank of yarn for my sweater.

Main Street Station

Main Street Station is coming along nicely. I have just a few other stitches to add but the main part I need to finish is all ecru – the house, a snowbank and some snowflakes and train steam in the sky. The house is all outlined so it’s sort of like “tv knitting” where you don’t have to pay alot of attention to a pattern. It will be good “tv stitching” since I just have to fill in all the stitches within the house and room outlines.

The ecru that I’ve done doesn’t show up real well in my nighttime photo. I had thought about doing this series all on the same color background but I think will change it up a bit depending on the pattern and threads in a particular pattern. This probably would have looked better on slightly darker fabric but in the light of day it is fine. But I’ve got lots of leftover smaller pieces from my past cross stitch projects so I may be able to use some of those colors – I just want to keep the stitch count the same for all of them so they are all the same size.

More snow outside this morning when I looked out – don’t know how much we got but maybe 2-3″ of really fluffy stuff.

Sunday 12-27-20

I’m so messed up with what day it is after the holidays and with having a few days off I can to check to see what day today really was. Sunday – a very overcast, gray, and a good chance of some snow at some point. I’ve been up and busy for a couple hours cleaning the kitchen, a 8AM grocery delivery of a few things I needed. I plan to make cornish hens today (my belated Christmas dinner) and decided I really need to make homemade dressing but was missing a key ingredient – a loaf of plain old white bread – and since I was placing a grocery order I got some more ground beef for the dressing so I didn’t have to dig thru the freezer to find some to thaw. So coffee break and then I’ll start on the dressing.

Isn’t this such a pretty package – a friend from work always makes her gifts so pretty I almost didn’t want to open it. Inside was the cutest little gnome who was wrapped in coordinating plaid tissue paper. So color coordinated. So cute.

Last night I was really hoping to get to the armhole bind off of the back of my sweater but didn’t quite make it. About 10 rows or so to go before I hit that point so should get there later today. I always love getting to the armhole shaping point because the rest of the sweater piece seems to fly off the needles once you start all those armhole decreases. Especially on this one since it’s an A-Line sweater so I started at the bottom with the most stitches and have been decreasing them all along.

I decided to put the sled ornaments aside I had been working on (for a little while anyway) and start on a different project that will be made into ornaments as well. I want to make some ornaments from the patterns from the Hometown Holiday Series – all kinds of shops and houses and so cute. I was going to make them for a smaller Christmas tree I have but I think on the fabric I want to use they may be too large for that tree. Time will tell but I’ve come up with a different idea for displaying them that may work better – at least in my mind’s eye it looks fantastic! LOL.

One of my favorites from the series (okay I may have many favorites from this series) is the Main Street Station – the train station. And apparently I loved it so much I bought two of the same pattern and didn’t notice it. Anyway, I pulled the threads I needed and started getting them ready and found one of my smaller hoops so I’m all set to start on this later today once I pull the last two colors. After taking this photo I decided to switch out the fabric for a slightly darker color since I thought the lighter shades of the house and snow may not stand out as much on my choice in the photo. I’m going to be using some Aida 14 count in color Platinum .

Now to get my dressing mixed up and ready for later so I can stitch for a while.

Ornament #3 stitched

I’ve been alternating between cross stitching and knitting today (and tossing in laundry loads, emptying dishwasher so I could fill it again, and a walk in the very crisp cold air to the garbage and recycling dumpsters). So a bit of crafting, a bit of chores and all while binge watching Dr. Who on BBC America. I’ve always been a fan of the show but our local station didn’t always carry it so I’ve seen some episodes I haven’t seen before. So yes, pretty much a lazy day here. ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t make any holiday treats so I’m thinking I might just go make some Seven Layer Bars and pop them in the oven since they will be quick and easy to toss together.

Sweater back is progressing nicely – it’s a very easy knit – and I love knitting with Wollmeise yarn.

And here is the third ornament stitched (but not yet attached to the sled). This is the second of four cardinals. I decided to change the background color a bit and made the mistake of picking one that didn’t let the darker holly leaves show up well – so I just restitched over top of some of the holly with a lighter shade of green.

Possible Farmhouse Christmas Fabrics

There was a box outside my door this morning when I looked out – someone was out and about delivering packages early. It contained a picture frame that I fell in love with and had to have for a future cross stitch project. It also contained two of the fabrics I had ordered to possibly use for Farmhouse Christmas. Choosing colors on a computer monitor can be tricky – especially since I have never seen these colors in person having been away from cross stitch for so long.

I have two other color choices coming from a different location so will wait to make my choice when that arrives. Whatever doesn’t get chosen for this project will be used for the Amish Told in A Garden series I had started many moons ago. My plan is to use 16 count Aida cloth for the Farmhouse Christmas SAL. I love the look of all the linen fabrics but I know with my eye issues that I cannot stitch on linen. 16 count Aida is about as small as I personally will go for my circumstances.

I got several emails and also comments left on the Farmhouse Christmas SAL announcement regarding whether you can stitch it on different cloth than called for in the pattern and how to figure out how much fabric you will use. Well of course you can stitch it on whatever you like – your project, your rules. If you go to the link provided in the announcement that shows the whole project, it tells you how many stitches each block design is, how many stitches the design is if you stitch it all as one project including the number of stitches between blocks, and how many stitches the design is if you stitch it all as one design and add the free border available on that same page.

There are many cross stitch calculators available to use on line – this is just one I came across and I like all the information it provides. Since I will be using 16 count Aida, I filled in the form for that and here’s what it tells me based on my own personal preferences and how I will finish (frame) my project when done.

You fill n the top part of the form, click “calculate size” and it gives you all the bottom info. For a design 209 stitches square on 16 count fabric stitched over 1 thread, with two inches of extra fabric outside my stitched design on all sides (I didn’t add extra fabric for finishing because I know I won’t need it but depending on your preferences you may add more there. So it tells me with those parameter my fabric should be at least 17″ x 17″. It also suggested number of threads to use, size needle, etc.

Once I get all the fabrics, I’ll lay them out in natural light and lay the floss colors across them to see what I think will look best. So looking forward to working on this project.

Two Ornaments Completed

I finished these two ornaments yesterday. The stitching is not attached to the sleds yet since I’m waiting on some acid free double-sided tape to come with some other framing supplies but I am so in love with these. They are going to make fantastic Christmas gifts for next year. The smaller ones are really quick to do. The pattern for the cardinal is Snowy Visitors by Foxwood Crossings – Foxwood is also who makes the sleds. Snowy Visitors pattern has four different cardinal designs. I started the 2nd bird about 2AM – yep a bit of insomnia.

Supplies for cross stitch have changed a lot since I last did a lot of it 15 to 20 years or more ago. (The two finished pieces I pulled out last week and ordered frames for were both dated 1997 so it’s been a while.) Much like quilting that has progressed from scissors and tracing templates to rotary cutting and acrylic templates, I have found so many different things that weren’t available (or I didn’t have access to) in the past for cross stitch supplies.

One of the fun, and very useful things is a needle minder. Such a simple concept and of course so many cute designs available. It’s a little item with a strong magnet attached to it and a separate little magnet. It’s the little pickup truck filled with pumpkins below.

You put it on your project with the little separate magnet below your project and it holds it in place so when you are putting your project aside you just set your needle on it and it holds it in place – without putting additional holes in your project or losing it or, yes I might have had a needle in an old project so long that it sort of rusted the fabric! Is it a crucial stitching supply – heck no – but it serves a very useful purpose and I love it. I got this one at Happy Little Stitch Shop (HLSS). That’s also where I got my Farmhouse Christmas patterns. I came across that shop on a Flosstube video and discovered it is a small family run business within about 50 miles of me. Super fast shipping even with Christmas/Covid mail issues. I placed a second order on December 22, got confirmation of tracking later than day, and it arrived THE VERY NEXT DAY! So nice to have found a “local” place to order from. It is also a quilt shop. I have not succumbed to the call of any of their quilt patterns/fabrics yet – I have neglected my quilting and you know I have an ample (about 10 times over) supply of fabrics and quilts in the works I need to get back to.

Speaking of Flosstube — that is definitely something new not available when I last did any cross-stitching. I don’t spend time watching YouTube, but Flosstube is for stitchers. Sheri – owner of The Loopy Ewe (a favorite yarn shop) also cross stitches and has a Flosstube channel called ColoradoCrossStitcher and I love seeing the projects she is working on. and then Happy Little Livestream is the one for HLSS, which shows new arrivals at the shop, SAL projects. etc.

My other find that I’m really happy with is new needles. I didn’t really think there was much difference among cross stitch needles but I tried these and just love them (and got them at HLSS).

Ball-tip needles. They have the very tiniest ball at the end (rather than a point) which makes it easier to glide into the spaces in the fabric (rather than thru a thread of the fabric). Who knew! LOL I had never heard of them but I’m glad I found them. I have not actually tried them on fabric yet but for the perforated paper ornaments they are just the best thing and I think they will work just as well on my Aida cloth. A bit pricier than some other regular needles but I’m worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay I think it’s about time I find some lunch. I did get a bit of knitting on my pink sweater done this morning. I’m about a third done with the back of it.

FARMHOUSE CHRISTMAS SAL

What’s a SAL you ask? Well there are KAL (knit alongs), QAL (quilt alongs), etc and this is a Stitch Along.

I first saw Farmhouse Christmas in a Flosstube video for Happy Little Stitch Shop . I liked it as individually little patterns but when I saw it stitched all as one project, I fell in love. I love barns – in quilts, in photos, in artwork, in anything – and this combined barns and a quilt design in one, along with the other other cute images. I didn’t hesitate and ordered it. I’m sharing images of my three favorite patterns from the series here but you should check out the link above to the design stitched all as one project. So very pretty! Oh and the free border pattern for the design stitched all as one is available at that link also to download.

I told friend Judy at Patchwork Times about the patterns I had ordered (since she is the one who recently led me back to cross stitch after not having done any in oh 15-20 years). Plus I knew she most likely NEEDED these patterns as well – being the kind of friend who is always looking out for what she might need to buy.) I knew even before sending her the link that she would love it and the next email from her would be that she bought it. I was thinking to myself – well we can stitch it together and keep each other motivated. We also think very much alike on many things, and yes, the next email I got said she had indeed ordered the patterns and she said, “You know . . we could do a stitch along…..” ๐Ÿ™‚

So here we are – announcing a SAL. If you want to join us, the more the merrier. It’s always fun to knit/quilt/stitch with others and see the progress, the different materials you might use, etc. And both Judy and I know that if we do a SAL, we are much more likely to stay on track and get the project done. See the information below. I can’t wait to get started. My patterns and floss arrived this past week. I just have to make a decision on what fabric I want to use since I’m not using the one indicated in the pattern, and I still have a choice or two I’m waiting to have delivered before deciding.

  • Judy and I will be doing this SAL together but yet independently through my blog andย Judy’s blog. We will both write about it on our blogs but it will be separate conversations (Like . . she and I won’t be posting the same thing — we’ll do our posts independently).
  • There’s no deadline for anything. Work at your own pace.
  • The pattern we will use is Farmhouse Christmas, a nine part pattern, by Little House Needleworks.ย We do respect copyright so no pattern sharing please!
  • Patterns do not have to be finished in any particular order. You may do #1, then #6, etc. Do whatever makes you happy. If there’s one block you want to make . . make one block.
  • The patterns may be hard to find so if you’re interested in participating, start looking now and order them when you find them.
  • Even though you can buy each of the nine patterns individually, if you’re wanting to do the entire set, you may want to buy them all in advance. It may be even harder to find certain ones later.
  • Fabric and floss may also be hard to find.
  • Shipping is crazy and hopefully will be better after the holidays.
  • Start date is February 1

If you are looking for a new project to stitch, I hope you’ll consider joining Judy and I in stitching some or all of Farmhouse Christmas!

I have another post shortly to show the two cute sled ornaments I just finished and a fun little stitching accessory I got, but my cinnamon rolls are now cool enough to eat and I haven’t had any coffee yet – must get coffee infusion for the day!

Merry Christmas Eve

All I can say is BRRRRR. I opened the door to see what it was like outside and the wind is still incredibly…. well…. windy! There’s also a new dusting of snow but very light. The temp is 13 and I can’t even imagine what the wind chill is and am glad I don’t have to venture out. I’ll be staying snug and warm inside.

I’ve made more progress on my stitchery but still have more to do. But should get this finished today. I just remembered I need to go take out those two Cornish Hens in the freezer (which are hoarding a lot of space) and stick them in the fridge to start thawing for my Christmas dinner tomorrow. I was up late last night stitching and watching movies so have been slow moving this morning (didn’t want to get out from under that cozy warm quilt) but coffee is made and now to decide what I want to accomplish today. I had thought about making cookies but I think I’ll just save that for later next week – I haven’t had a single Christmas cookie yet so may need to make a batch of my favorites.