Ripping is not fun

Well, that “cup” was a large motif but who would have thought it would have taken me until about 11PM or a bit later to finally get all those stitches ripped out.  I have thread “fluff” all over around my chair and on my quilt.  Definitely need to get that vacuum out to capture all that fluff.   But I did finally manage to start putting in stitches late last night instead of wielding the seam ripper.   I did nick a thread or two of the actual aida threads but luckily (unlike linen) there are several interwoven threads that make up a square in aida fabric so all is well and the area where it happened will be covered with stitches and not visible.

And the other think not fun – I completed the whole blog post below and accidently hit some combination of keystroke that made it disappear.  Sheesh! So here it goes again.

Now for some fun stuff I got in the mail last night.   The Bluebird chart – exclusive to Keepsakes for their 25th anniversary in business (they have all kinds of stuff planned to celebrate the anniversary and this was the first exclusive chart – they do have a second exclusive now that I saw on someone’s flosstube)   Anyway, I got this to stitch and give as a gift and it arrived, along with some fabric choices to go with it.


They had suggested fabrics and I couldn’t tell from the photos which I really wanted.  Since they were only fat eighths, I just ordered three of them to choose from which are shown with the project bag below.  The project bag is from the Hometown Needleworks bag club.   I love how  fast I receive things from them since they are only a state away and ship the same or next day and only sell things that are in stock at the time you order  (as opposed to how slow I have gotten things from other shops, which have things for sale on their websites which they do NOT necessarily have in stock –  which you will see at the end of the blog post).

This is the February bag (she doesn’t do monthly themes like hearts for Valentine’s Day – but more generalized like a red bag for February).  I love these bags as I’ve said before when showing you other ones I’ve received because they are large and have a waterproof lining, for those of us who are spill prone. 🙂  And I like the double zipper pulls.  This one came with an extra bonus, the small notions pouch.


The fabrics for the Bluebird chart – the bottom one is the one Keepsakes stitched their own shop model on (but not the called for in the chart).  All fabrics are Atomic Ranch fabrics – hand dyed, Zwiegart-based, 18ct.  Bottom color is called Frieze and has light blue and pinkish colors in it.  I wasn’t sure if I would like that or not because in hand dyed fabrics the individual pieces may vary with coloring from the one piece that is shown on the website so I ordered the other two colors that were also suggested.  The lighter color is Vanilla Creme and other is Weathered Stone.  All are very nice.

Now as for the fabrics below, two of them I ordered in November and when I got the other part of my order it indicated they were backordered.  I just received them – three months!  The shop I got them from did apologize for their inventory error and did let me know that they didn’t expect them back in stock until Feb or March and gave me the option to cancel them.  I wasn’t happy they weren’t in stock but at least they communicated with me.    The other two I ordered in September!! and they just arrived today.  But, unlike the first shop, my only notice that the fabrics were not really in stock was when the rest of my ordered arrived and the fabrics were listed as backordered.  No indication of when they might be back in stock, no response to my email about 2 months ago asking about them, nothing.  I figured I’d never see them but since I hadn’t been charged for them yet it was okay (except I really really wanted these two colors).   So that shop has been struck from where I will purchase from since customer service seems nonexistent and even when I have ordered only charts, it has taken a month to get them.   But the fabrics finally also arrived this week, a mere five months after ordering 😦

Left to right -Fiber on A Whim 20 ct in Spicy Mustard and 20ct Muted Sedona (are those colors gorgeous – I also especially wanted them because they were 20 count which is hard to find).   The other two are PTP 18 ct Vellum (for a sampler I’ve been waiting to start on that required a bit larger piece than the sizes I normally buy) and the other is 16 ct Mirage (for some piece – which I can’t remember what chart I wanted it for right now that is charted on black but I don’t like stitching on black so this was what I planned to stitch it on).


Okay – I never made my popcorn for dinner last night and have been thinking about it ever since so popcorn, stitching and tv this afternoon is on the agenda.    The Firestick I use for my tv has various free week trials you  for all kinds of tv subscription services, so last night I turned one on so I can watch the newer Dr. Who’s that I haven’t seen yet or maybe just rewatch some of my favorite Doctors and some of those episodes I missed.

I lead such an exciting life, don’t I.   🙂

A ripping good Friday night

On my agenda for tonight – rip, rip, rip those cross stitches out.  I should have gone with my first instinct which was to leave the large berry bowl off the lower part of this chart.  I don’t particularly care for berry bowls, large or gigantic, but after stitching in the “bowl” for this one, I decided I just don’t want to keep it.  So that’s what I’ll be ripping on.   I showed a photo when it looked like the woman was holding a gigantic teacup.   Here it is after last night’s stitching (and before I start the ripping).


Now it looks like the people are taking their giant sugar bowl over to the neighbor’s house to ask for a cup of sugar. 🙂   But the entire bowl will be ripped out and replaced with something else (I’m not telling what at this point – Judy and I are both making changes to that area so she wants me to surprise her with what changes I make in that area).  But I will say that those two people will be staying where they are.  The rectangles on the far left are the start of the outline of the house in that corner which will also stay as charted.

So I’ve gathered my ripping tools, will get comfy in my pjs and get started.  I’d like to have that whole bottom area stitched by the end of this weekend but not so sure I’ll get it all done.    I think dinner might be a big bowl of popcorn later since I’m not really hungry now and I haven’t had popcorn in ages.

In HIS Image – progress as of 2-22-23

inshisminage I’ve made some good progress on this chart since I picked it up 3 or 4 days ago (and there was that one ripping back incident that slowed me down due to a color I didn’t like and needed to change).   I pulled all the flosses (since I had only pulled the 2 or 3 I had been previously using for the border) and pulled some additional colors because I want to change up some of the colors and not have so much red.  It will be an experiment and we will see if I love the overall look once I’ve changed things around.

I’m also going to change/leave out some of the motifs.  I’m not fond of those red butterflies/moths so will be deleting those.  Here’s what I’ve changed and what I’ve stitched so far.

close up house

This is the house in the lower right corner of the chart. I changed it to two shades of teal (I had done one of the side sections in a 3rd darker teal but after stitching it decided I didn’t like it and it was too dark so that was where the ripping came in).  There is an inconsistency (or at least I see it as one) in the chart that bugged me so if you are stitching this you may want to check it out to see if it will bug you too 🙂   In the chart there is an extra vertical row of stitching between the centermost two windows above the door and the windows immediately to the right of them.  Instead of the 4 stitches between windows as all the others are, that area has 5 stiches.  Which also makes the door off center with the two windows above it (the windows are charted one stitch to the left of center of the door as charted).  To resolve that I put 4 stitches between each of the windows and made my door one stitch narrower and so it’s all centered in my photo above. Those changes make my center house section one stitch less in width overall than the chart but not a big deal.

Other changes – check the border sections carefully; the top and bottom border do not have the same number of stitches in the flat area, that the flower or berry or whatever you want to call it attaches to, as the side borders do.  Not an error in the chart – just a heads up that it is not easily spotted if you are zooming right along on the border and don’t check the chart carefully enough.  (Luckily I figured that out quickly and didn’t have to rip much – top and bottom border have 11 stitches/sides have 12).  There’s a leaf on the left border that is not in the correct position on the vine, and a couple leaves missing from the chart that show up in the cover image border.

Here’s the section I’m working on now (I’ll go back and fill in that house later).  This photo makes me laugh – it looks like that woman is holding a really large cup of coffee but if you look at the chart it is going to be a berry bowl.  I’m going to incorporate some of the colors from that teal house in other places so changed the color of the rim of the bowl.


The top center of that tree was also where one of those big butterflies or moths was so I just winged it (no pun intended) and filled in the area where the butterfly would have been to bring down the branches of the tree to connect.  I think that turned out rather well if I do say so myself.  After stitching in the woman’s eye (which is one stitch) it looked too big and like she was from one of those horror movies where the people have big black eyes.  Ripped that out.  I’m going to put a skin tone stitch in place of it and then put a very small french knot in for the eye.

That’s my progress as of last night.

Village and In HIS Image – 2-18-22

The construction crew is going gangbusters putting up buildings in my Hometown Holidays village. I think I mentioned before that I am going to sort of personalize several buildings with the names of the owners/stores from the Village of Montfort where I grew up.   For instance, not that the building looks anything like the one from our village, but the firehouse chart had a number “22” stitched at the peak of the roof to denote the number of the firehouse.  We had (and it still has) a volunteer fire department.  So instead of the “22”, I added the letters MVFD for Montfort Volunteer Fire Department.  


  So the Church and Fire Department are done and I started on the Sweet Shop.  Here’s what that will look like.


Friend Judy and some of her other stitchy friends have started In HIS Image earlier this week.  I started this chart as my birthday start last July but didn’t get a lot done because I think I was busy with Summer Crossstich Camp stitching.


I picked it up and added just a few stitches on New Year’s Even when I was doing the 12 x 12 thing but only an hour of stitching so not huge progress.  Here’s where I left off on NYE.


When I started it, I only pulled the colors as I was using them so this afternoon I’m going to pull all the rest of the colors for the chart so I can stitch along.  I think I’ll probably alternate between this one, Hometown Holidays and I want to get back to Three Things so will switch it up between them as I get itchy to work on something different.

Building a Village


Construction is booming in my little village.  The church is finished along with its creche.   The dog from the fire station is keeping an eye on things as the fire station gets built  (the builders are simultaneously putting up Christmas decorations as they build).  Although it doesn’t look real dog-like in this photo as his color is a bit washed out – hmmm someone should have made sure the light was over both halves of the photo but you just always know that my photos are hit or miss as to quality and it’s a dark raining evening. 🙂  But it looks like a dog in person – with a little french knot nose even.   I do love all the different trees.  Totally enjoying stitching on this – I should have started it sooner!  The hard part is deciding what building should go next to what.

Just an update on the FCAs.  All of them are in the mail as of yesterday – both the sort of “kit” items and the more recent charts that were adopted.   Going forward, I think I will save up future charts I finish and do them all in a batch several times a year rather than doing FCAs more often for one chart.   They still will be adopted out one chart per person (not the whole batch to one person) but do them all in one blog post so I can get the mailing all done with at the same time as well.   Also,I’ve gotten a good number of emails from blog readers offering to send me their charts they have finished with so I can put them up for FCA on my blog.  That’s very kind; I thank them for the offer but I really don’t enjoy doing the FCAs enough that I want to do more of them.  I started the FCAs so I can pass on the charts I finish with or decide I won’t stitch (after first dibs by a stitchy friend on them) because the alternative is to throw them away and I just can’t do that. Also, I won’t be “re-offering” any future FCAs for charts that originally were adopted by someone and they finished with.  I was happy to do it up to this point but have now decided that I adopt them out once and I’m done with them.

But watch those mailboxes FCA recipients because your mailings should be arriving in the next few days.

Sunday Stitchin – 2-12-23

I made some good progress on the Church from Hometown Holidays yesterday.   I forgot to post the photo of the bag I am housing all those charts in since there’s 20+ of them.   When I saw this one I new it was perfect – it’s a bit larger than the other vinyl from ones I have and the fabric coordinated with the theme of the stitches so I know at a glance what is in that bag.


So that photo was taken yesterday morning and here’s what I got stitched thru last night. The photo is a little bit dark but my camera battery died right after taking this photo and I was too lazy to go get batteries to take another one at the moment. 🙂


I don’t plan to stitch any of the snowflakes in the sky at this point.  I may add some when the entire piece is all done but will wait and see.   I really like the church design but decided to stitch it first because it will probably be the most boring one to stitch with all that white – or actually three shades of whiteish colors – which I have to try to keep track of to make sure I don’t get one of them in the wrong area. The snow is one color, the main front of the church another shade and the two side wings a third shade.  I’ll be glad to get this one finished and move on to some other more colorful buildings.

February 11, 2023 Stuff

First – announcement of the last FCA chart adopters.  I have emailed you all privately  – some I have your address already from prior adoptions and some I asked for it – please reply to that email if you need to give me your address.  Never reply in the comments section with your address – I don’t want your personal information on my blog for all the world to see. 🙂  My email is always listed at the bottom of the text under my photo on the blog.

  • August cottage chart goes to ACityQuilter
  • Home chart goes to D. Wahlers
  • June chart goes to R. Chow
  • Good Tidings goes to T. Davis

Congratulations.  Again a crazy week this past week at work so my mission is to get the prior “kits”, All Bundled Up  along with these charts into the mail this coming week.  I actually remembered to get the kits and prior chart to the office so that’s half the battle.

Now on to some stitching progress.  Here’s where I left off on Thursday night on Cardinal Points.  I’m not so sure I like the color of the two petals of that flower bud the cardinal is standing on but I’m going to leave it until after everything else is stitched and decide if I need to change it or not.


I changed the colors of the pot to the black-ish (not a true black) floss and then three shades of green rather than orange and yellow  as charted. Love the little dog!  But I wanted to put this away for a while again and start something different.

One of my goals for this year is to start the Hometown Holidays series by Little House Needleworks.  So I knew that the long cuts of fabric I had found and intended to use for this project where not totally serged (they were sold as leftover “odd cuts”  from cutting other size pieces by the dyer and are 10″ x 34″ so I could make a long street scene.    You know your sewing room is in total disarray when you can’t find the sewing machine that zig zags – I could find the other ones that only straight stitch, but I wanted to finish the edges of the aida.   After more than an hour of searching places multiple times – I found it tucked in the dark order of the closet in a space that I didn’t think was even big enough for it to fit it.   So I finished the edges, pulled some floss for the first block (the Church) I wanted to stitch and started stitching.  I had gotten this fabric because (1) I liked the long cut and (2) it was dark enough I knew whatever color I used for snow would snow up.


And all that is true – the snow shows up well – BUT that fabric color is just boring (and a little darker than in the photo).  Now I know I’m not stitching with the most exciting colors in the world so far but  I decided it was just not what I was envisioning for my happy little Village.  So, change of plans and fabric.  I will be working with shorter streets and likely putting multiple streets in rows across my 18 x 21″ fabric.  So the long strips of C&C Oatmeal will be used for something else but I pulled out this Fiber on a Whim 18ct Slate.   Slate is the same color I’m stitching the Winter Birds (Robins) on and it’s just a pale grayish, greenish, bluish — all depends on what light you look at it in – color that looks to me like a cold winter day (and trust me, I know what cold winter day skies look like!).

So I restarted last night and got part of a fence, snowbank and tree and I like this color fabric much better.   It has slight mottling in it and I think will look really good.


Now before I go hide that sewing machine back in a corner, I need to zig zag one edge of the fabric on Cardinal Points – all the others were served or selvedge – and check a few other projects to see if any of those fabrics need the edges finished.


A few days ago it was below zero for several days and frigid.  Now it’s just that damp cold because it has been raining most of the day. Such crazy weather.

Here’s the Cardinal Points progress so far.


updated 2-11-23 1:15 PM — FCA is closed.

FCA bonanza going on- four separate charts to be FCA’d.  Read the FCA rules at the top of the blog if you don’t know how this works and are interested.  First this Home chart just keeps boomeranging from stitcher to stitcher.  I stitched it, FCA’d it to Carol who stitched it and then Carol contacted me to see if I wanted to FCA it again so she could send it on.. Sherry, was the next lucky recipient who started it and finished it in just a few days.  Here is Sherry’s lovely stitch. She said she stitched it on 16 ct. and changed up a few of the colors.  So pretty. So now, she wants to pass it on so its up for FCA again and could be winging it’s way to your house next.


These three charts are also up for FCA.   So follow the rules for whichever or all you are interested in.  I will use the RNG for each of the four charts and each chart will go to a different adopter.


A start and a finish all in one day!

This will likely never be repeated again but my Sunday stitch was started on 2-5-23 (just after midnight so minutes into Sunday) and I stitched for a couple hours and then I was able to pick it back up later in the day and get it all done.  So here is Good Tidings which will be headed to the finishing box.   The middle of the star above the shepherd was charted for gold colored floss but I had some leftover gold  beads from the stockings I had stitched so added gold beads in the middle.



Good Tidings – S and F on 2-5-23

Now I’m going to have to find another new Sunday Stitch for this coming weekend.

After I finished this, I picked back up on Cardinal Points.  I have 1/4 of the border finished and have started on a cardinal but I’ll wait to show that progress when I have a bit more done.

Sunday Stitching – 2-5-23 – Good Tidings

good tidings

I started my Sunday Stitch after midnight and got some great progress.  I like the variation in shading of the shepherd’s robe.  I didn’t have the called for color so this was a substitute I picked and it worked well.  Since I’m stitching this on 14 count I’m using two strands of floss to stitch it.  Depending on what else I do this afternoon, I should be close to finishing it today….maybe.