Well – I guess it could have been worse but I was pretty much thinking I’d seen enough snow and cold temps for one winter.
March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb – well you couldn’t see a lamb even if it was there among the snow – it would just blend in. There are still a few flakes falling but these photos were taken this morning and most of the snow has melted at least off the trees – though on the sidewalks it hasn’t melted.
Hopefully this will be the last snowfall but then we can get snow in April so who knows with all the up and down temps of the last week or two.
I did get the stitching finished on the Quaker Crow. Just look at me cruising along and finishing up those WIPS! 🙂 As I had said I want to add a stitched border of some kind around the bird, sort of utilizing some of the stitched (or unstitched) angles in the design so I’m just sort of winging it as I go to see if I like it. I stitched and restitched the right corner to get the angle I wanted.
I figured out where the center bottom is and started there and I’ll work up to the upper right corner and then just mirror it to do the other sides. So it’s a bit slower going because I’m not charting it out but so far so good. I’m thinking I may make the border a bit asymmetrical – with that lower right corner angle being the only corner like that – and just do regular 90 degree corners on the other three but will have to think about that as I get further along.
This was a very quick stitch indeed. I started it sometime Saturday and finished it Sunday – or at least finished for now.
The reins are made with pearl cotton and there’s supposed to be a gold (metallic floss) stitch at the top of the reindeer harness but I think I want to add a little gold bead at that spot instead so it looks like a jingle bell and then loop the reins thru that. They will be free hanging, not stitched in place. I likely have beads that will work, and I know I have black pearl cotton but just haven’t gone looking for them yet. Now I just have to figure out what fabric I want to use for the other one, of course after I make sure that this will truly fit on the snowflake.
So once that was done I picked up my red Quaker Crow and would be done with his tail by now except I kept messing up last night. I ended my thread after three of the four rows that make up each chevron section in the lower tail and when I started my thread, I started a new chevron instead of finishing that last row and then did several chevrons of only three rows. Oops. Ripped back and redid and at some point later did the same thing but didn’t get as far before I noticed it. Hopefully I can count correctly on the last few chevrons I need to add.
I’m contemplating my border for this one. He is charted as a stand up but I don’t want to make him one – it looks off kilter in the chart because of his tail sticking out so I’d rather frame him but want to add a bit of border around him and some little doodads to fill in some of the space around him. I’m thinking a simple zig zag border may be but haven’t made up my mind yet.
Updated 3-28-22 – FCA is now concluded and CMDorsey will be adopting the Strawberry Hill chart. I have emailed privately to get mailing address. Congratulations!
This is going to be a very quick stitch.
Mrs. Claus must have made Santa a quilt for his lap. I wish I had changed the green in the quilt and his sack of toys to something a bit more green and may on the next one if I use this chart again for some other snowflakes. I think that shade of green looked better (more prim) on the lighter fabric used in the chart rather than this one but it will be fine.
The thing I have decided is I don’t really like stitching on opalescent fabric. Not all opalescent fabric is the same. I’ve got two or three pieces of non-opalescent aida from this same dyer and all I have gotten from them is a bit more stiff than other hand dyed aidas I’ve gotten on the same base fabric from others. It could also be that the nature of opalescent fabric is to be more stiff. This one is a bit more stiff than what my other Sunday stitch is on if I remember correctly, but could be that the fabric is why I’m not excited to work on that other Sunday stitch project so I will have to re-evaluate that one. But the main reason I don’t like stitching on it is all those sparkly bits glinting at you under a bright stitching light. I think its more difficult to see the holes having those glinty bits shining at you. I may have to go thru the fabric stash and pull out the couple pieces I have of opalescent to see if they are the same. Not all opalescent is as sparkly as other pieces too but I may end up re-homing them since I don’t care for stitching on it. Have you ever stitched on opalescent and did you find it more difficult than other cloth to stitch on?
Speaking of re-homing, first, I haven’t gotten the last two flash challenge adoption charts in the mail yet. They will be mailed soon. And second – up for FCA today is this chart. Remember to follow the FCA rules which you can find in link at the top of the blog. Every time I do a FCA, there are several comments I delete due to ineligibility for not following the rules, like using the words in your comment that I specifically request you NOT to use. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the amount of spam comments I have to reject increases greatly on days FCAs are offered and people don’t follow the rules in their comments so please help me out here and reread the rules if necessary.
So far it’s been a very lazy day and I haven’t accomplished anything. I haven’t even had any coffee yet so I think I need to rectify that and get a few things done around here.
Is it coincidence that we had fresh snow outside this morning and I had been thinking about maybe starting some of the projects I want to use as Christmas gifts this year? Yes there is snow outside but not much. Actually I had been thinking about it the past several days because at this time last year I was stitching on all the sleds I gifted last Christmas. Better to get things started early since you never know what I might get distracted with. And, since I’m not feeling the Sunday Stitch project WIP I currently have, a change of pace for my Sunday Stitch will be good. I knew the chart I wanted to start with, I just wasn’t sure if it would finish the correct size.
So the gift I want to start with will use these wooden snowflakes. When I bought them last fall I said I got them to see if I could mount a stitched piece in the center.
After I got them, I saw this chart and wondered if it was small enough to mount on the wooden ornament but I couldn’t tell from the stitch count. But since I loved the chart anyway I had ordered it because I could always order larger wooden ornaments if needed since they came in a wide range of sizes.
It says on the chart that it was originally published in Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher Magazine 2019 Winter issue. Today I finally pulled out the chart and measured the center of an ornament. I had planned to only stitch the sleigh and reindeer, and on 18 count that will finish about 2″ x 8.5″. It will be a perfect fit! I may or may not stitch something to put on the reverse side. When I originally bought these I thought to hang on a door or window or outside a door against a house so only one-sided but they could also be hung where both sides could be seen. But I think I will make them one-sided and maybe write the year in with a marker on the back and my name, etc.
Anyway – I pulled the called-for threads. I only changed once since I wanted a blacker black than the sort of grayish black called for and found some fabric that will be perfect. The fabric is called Winter’s Dusk (even the name of the fabric is perfect) and it is an 18 count opalescent from Dames of the Needle. Hard to get a good photo of opalescent fabric but it’s got some sparklies in it.
So all kitted up and ready to start.
Now that I finished off the stitching on this last night I realized I had done something goofy. 🙂
The chart is for the Strawberry House Pin Keep and Scissor Weight by The Scarlett House. The Scissor Weight (or scissor fob) is just the little vase with the strawberry growing out of it at the right side of the house in my picture below. But in the chart the scissor weight motif is charted right next to the main motif without any indication it is for a separate finish and of course when I started stitching on this I jus stitched the whole chart. It wasn’t until I finished that I realized it shouldn’t be there.
So I stitched that poor little urn and berry and it would just end up in the trash, cut away when I finish this into a little pillow if I did it as the chart shows. I think I may just add something above it to make it look a bit more planned or I may just leave it as is when I decide to fully finish it.
This one was stitched on 14 count Aida, something from Picture This Plus but it was a leftover from another project so I don’t remember the color. This was my experiment to see how one thread looked over 14 count. The strawberries, vines, leaves and little dog are all stitched with one thread. You can see a bit of background thru those stitches (which is not as obvious in my photo as in person) but they still look good to me. The rest of the areas I used two strands on because I wanted those colors to really pop and the white to show good coverage on the house.
So when I finished that one off last night I needed something else to stitch on for the rest of the night and pulled out another WIP that had been set aside – my Quaker Crow which I’m doing in red. Here’s what the chart looks like. Last night I started stitching that design up the tail feather – looks like arrow feathers to me and it’s very easy to memorize so you don’t need to refer to the pattern as you stitch it. I just need to remember to not get carried away and stop when I get to that larger wing motif. After I finish the current thread I’m using I may go up put in that larger motif so I don’t run amuck.
Here’s where I’m at on this stitch. After I finish that feather area, the rest I have left to stitch is all jfill-in stitching.
And lastly, the frames I had ordered for some smaller projects came in . I often get asked where I get frames – 99.9% I order from CustomFramesSolutions.com since I need a custom frame size. The frames that came I ordered from Amazon because they were just standard 5×7 frames to use for some smalls. I got a pack of four frames, all similar in style but the wood and edging colors are different in each frame. Handy to have on hand. There was one blue one in the pack that I hoped would be the same color as the thread in the word HOME but it wasn’t so I think this grayish one is what I will use when I frame this piece but I need to unwrap the blackish one to see if that looks better.
The stitching is done! It certainly doesn’t look like all those pale pink house finishes I’ve seen of this design but I love my big golden house and the teal accents I added and the other little changes I made here and there.
This was my New Year’s Eve start. I thought I might have a frame for this one but alas, the one I was thinking of is too small. So I need to get this one and a couple other smaller ones ironed and measured up so I can place an order for several frames.
So at lunch time today (since I was working from home) I needed to find something to stitch on and pulled out a small project I had set aside. This was a photo I took back in August when I set it aside.
All that’s left is a few vines and leaves to connect those strawberries across the top and fill in the house and roof so I worked on the house fill in during lunch. I didn’t have any of the called for colors but picked from the stash similar shades. I particularly love that section below the house.
You may remember that I broke my arm in February 2020 and had finally convinced my doctor to let me go back to work a few days a week because I was going crazy staying home. My good friend started chauffeuring my to and from work. After only working a week or so for a couple days in the office, then we were sent home to work for a while due to COVID and when we finally were allowed back in the office on alternating schedules to keep the number of people in the office at the same time to at least half staff, she continued to chauffeur me to and from. She’s off enjoying herself this week on a camping trip and while I normally work 3 days a week in the office and 2 at home, since I was left to my own devices this week I decided to actually catch the bus for the first time since I broke my arm!! Since COVID they have stopped running the express bus I used to take to and from work during rush hour times. So the alternate bus is a bit longer ride and today was the earliest I have had to get out of bed in over 2 years! LOL But I was out at the bus stop, masked up, at 6 :35 this morning and it was still dark. I even remembered to catch the bus home (I was afraid I would forget and if I missed the first bus it’s an hour to wait for the next one). It was just a strange thing to be on a bus again. But, I’m working from home the next two days so none of that getting up early for the rest of the week. 😉
As for last night and today’s stitching adventures – I am so close to being finished with Winter Rose Manor. I’m finishing off the last berry in one border and then have parts of the flower border on the right to finish. Of course then I have to check and see if I missed anything that I want to include. There might be a few doodads here or there to add. I can’t wait to get this one finished.
There are two different flosses used for the berries and rather than following the chart closely I just changed colors wherever I felt like it. Same thing with the diamond border. The inner color was supposed to be the more tan one but when I started it I grabbed the lighter color and did a few, so I decided to just randomly put in more of the lighter color. I think the flowers are the same way – several colors so each flower does not have exactly the same color for the outer section so I may follow the chart or just switch them up when I feel like it.
This project seemed to really stitch up fast. Here’s the photo I posted on March 12 when I pulled everything to get started on this.
Faith of the Heart by Brenda Gervais
And I finished off the stitching last night so I worked on it for about ten days. I love this one – well I probably say that about every one I finish but if I didn’t love it what would be the point of stitching it. I made a few changes to it – some planned and some not planned.
Faith of the Heart 3-21-22
I used all but two called for colors; one I didn’t have and one would not have shown up on my fabric. And I intentionally left off two border lines because I like it the way it is right now. A very fun project indeed.
In the last week we have gone from 30 degrees, to 65 degrees, to 11 degrees the next day. There has been rain, it actually rained most of yesterday so finally nearly all snow, except for stubborn ice piles in some areas around parking lots/driveways where snow plows had left their mountains of snow, is gone and those ice piles are small. This morning I looked out – it’s still raining but the sidewalk was covered with a light layer of snow. Tomorrow and Monday – allegedly back to the 60s. Craziness – but that is March and April in Wisconsin.
So since it’s raining, I was forced to take this phot inside and you know my inside photos are never really good.
This is what I started on last weekend. Now why didn’t you tell me I had a mistake in the stitching when I posted by prior photo! LOL Yes – not counting correctly struck again and since I based the rest of the placement off that first motif section, placement for the rest of the stuff is a stitch off. So rather than counting the stitches between the chimneys, I looked at where they were in relation to the motifs above them and didn’t know anything was amiss until putting in that whole wall of windows and as I was trying to frame the windows first, there were not enough stitches but I was able to adjust something else within that section because I was not ripping back. It’s all good.
So last night I added the urn, the stitched border that runs across below it, the first line of text and am working on the leaves in the urn. I do need to search for a different floss for some flowers. They are supposed to be stitched in the window pane color, Fawn, which only shows up because there is darker stitching around it in the windows. Against the aida color it is going to disappear in the flowers but I haven’t decided what color I want to make the flowers so will likely leave those to last to stitch.
I decided to start Faith of the Heart by Brenda Gervais since I had all but one of the called for flosses. The darker blue in the birds I was missing but I found one that works well and is one of my favorite colors, Tartan Plaid. The floss is a mix of Weeks, Gentle Arts, Classic Colorworks and Valdani.
I also decided to change fabric – it was kitted before the end of the year order came from To Dye For Fabrics and there was the perfect color in that batch. It’s 18 count Antique Buff and it’s gorgeous. Here’s a close up of what I got stitched last night.