An even dozen

The framing frenzy is over and here are the last three pieces I framed last night.  The first is from a past issue of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher magazine.

cardinal

The next is Home for the Holidays by Shepherds Bush.  I think the loopy border was a great addition and it fills up the frame nicely.

HFH

And lastly, A Changed World, that Jo, Judy and I did as a start along project.  Such a beautiful stitch.

AChangedWorld

So here is a collage of everything I’ve finished the framing on in the last week.

And #9 framing of the week….

I was going to frame Home for the Holidays and A Changed World this afternoon but the final frame I was waiting on, for Winter Rose Manor, was delivered this afternoon so after baking the cookies, I had to get that one framed right away.  This is the frame I loved the most when I picked it and I do really like it, just not my most favorite one.  But I love how this turned out – especially that big mustard-colored house so much better than the usual pink houses as charted (says the person who does not really like pink) and the teal color I added in.

Winter at Rose Manor

Now as for those cutout cookies — one should always make sure they have all the ingredients on hand before starting to bake.     I was making cutout butter cookies which have powdered sugar in them as well as needing powdered sugar for frosting.  As I had the butter creaming in the bowl, I grabbed the cannister for powdered sugar.  Hmm definitely not much in there.  I was sure I had a bag or two in the cupboards.  Checked them all and found just a little bit in a bag.   It was just enough all together to make the cookie recipe but none for frosting.  So finished mixing the cookie dough when needed to chill a bit and then placed a grocery order to be delivered tomorrow norming so I can get them frosted tomorrow.  Just before that I had noticed when doing a load of laundry that the laundry detergent was nearly out so I checked all the other staples I don’t use often like cooking oil,  wax paper, aluminum foil — all those things you don’t realize you are out of until you need them — so a restock of some basics will be arriving tomorrow along with that powdered sugar so I can get those cookies frosted and packed to take into work on Monday.

I also just noticed, when looking to see if there was rain predicted for tomorrow morning, that there’s currently a tornado watch.  It did start raining a bit ago but just a nice shower although there may be a rainbow somewhere because the sun is actually shining after a mostly dark day.  And, as I opened the door to see if had gotten really humid or anything (nope) I noticed the trees and scrubby shrubs on the hill have FINALLY started to get green buds on them.  I can’t really call them leaves but they are the promise of leaves so I guess spring has finally arrived.

I’m planning to get the last two stitching projects framed that I had pulled out to do this week and then I can get the framing supplies put away for awhile.

Eighth framed piece of the week!

Yep I’m on a roll; this is framing finish number eight of the week. This is the Silent Night Sampler. This was the one I had the hardest time picking a frame for. Black would have been to stark against it and I just didn’t think brown would look particularly well either. These pastel colors in the stitch aren’t my usual colors but finally found this pewter/burnished silver looking frame and I’m very happy with the combination.

silentnightsampler

ETA – I had to go back and look at this piece after I uploaded the photo.  It is the angle the photo is taken from which makes it look a bit crooked.  I’ll have to get a better final photo.

Last night I finished adding the loopy border around Home for the Holidays so that one is ready to frame now also. 

homefortheholidays

Once it’s framed I need to add a dot of Aleene’s Glue to the back of that big snowman button because he lights to tip sideways as does the wreath above the door.  Those were not fun to sew on – you need the skinniest beading needles to get thru those holes.

In my looking thru finished things I also came across this little paddle that once the stitch is finished into a flat, it should fit perfectly.   The stitch is from the same book as Mighty Acorn that I’m working on, Winds of Autumn – Blackbird Designs, and it is called Spell of the Moon.

spell of gthe moom

This was also in the box of finishes but it was from a piece from a prior cross-stitching life (’90s/early 2000) and the frame had broken so I took it out but kept it.  Can’t remember if I showed it previously or not.

school

When I get around to doing all the soft finishes (non-framing like pin pillows, etc) , I think I may turn this into a drum.  All that backstitching and all those half stitches that make up the ground and sky ! but that was the style of the day.  I love the first boy in line in his mustard colored shirt and knickers.

kids

Today’s plans – well I’m waiting for the bathroom floor to dry – I steam cleaned it this morning.  The kitchen floor needs that too but I promised a friend I’d make some cutout cookies and found a recipe that is supposed to taste like Starbuck’s snowman cookies (yum) – it’s just a butter cookie recipe and I love that type of shortbread cookie.  Alas my cookies will only have regular frosting and not the yummy chocolate layer Starbuck’s uses but I love a good frosted cookie.  But I’m a messy cookie maker so the floor will wait until I’m done.

It’s a dark, gray and dreary day here and looks like it could rain any moment (and did rain last night)  but it’s low 50’s so I’ve got the door cracked open and a bit of fresh air coming in which is nice.   On to the cookie making and I think I have two other pieces I want to get framed today!

 

And another two framed

Nearly all of the frames I had ordered in my last order arrived today.    I had previously posted a photo of what the frame looked like and what stitch was going to go in it.  Friend Judy had said she had done that and it was an excellent idea because several of them were similar in size and I could pick out which one went with which stitch just by looking at those photos.

There is still one frame to be delivered (not all frames are shipped from the same location) but Fed Ex says it should be delivered tomorrow.  The only disappointing thing, which will be rectified, is some frames do not come preassembled.  They say on the website that not all may be preassembled depending on size, shape, etc.  to guard against damage in shipment.   The only other frame I had to assemble myself (simply lining up the pieces and tapping a bracket into precut grooves) was a square one and the three small frames that were not assembled were all square. The problem arose when I found  they forgot to include the brackets in the package, so I have emailed them about that.

All the frames are absolutely gorgeous as usual and I’m very happy with my choices.  And here are the two that I framed this afternoon.  I need to order more floss cards so have been trying to figure out what photo to use for them – hence the fancying up of this photo because I think it would make great floss drops.

counting is hard

The quilt is one I made and I pulled out some of my favorite vintage sewing trinkets.  The old canning jar I keep buttons in – it has a zinc ring and a glass insert for the lid; the scissors belonged to my Grandmother and I still use them.  The black paint has worn off the handle but they are still nice and sharp.  The apple is a thimble holder – it’s made of wood and pulls apart in the center, and the wooden key is a needle holder – the handle screws off and it’s hollow inside.

And then Christmas Sampler In Red also got framed.  That was stitched in one DMC floss with all those shades in it. Love the way it turned out.

peaceonearth

I may yet try to get the Silent Night Sampler framed tonight – I love the frame I ordered for that one.  So need to turn the iron back on and find a larger leftover piece of batting so I can get to work on that one.

A Trifecta of Finishes…

More framed finishes – can you believe it!  Why about 9PM I decided to heat up the iron and get three more pieces pressed and ready to frame is beyond me since that’s usually prime stitching time, but I did and these three pieces actually went very quickly to get framed (once I found where I had hidden the point gun).     Home is a recent finish from this year but the other two were stitched last year.   I wanted to get a few more framing finishes done before my new frame shipment arrived.  Whew … just in time since part of my frame order was delivered today.  I haven’t even opened it up yet – it’s a long process to get them all unwrapped since they are so carefully packaged for shipment with bubble wrap and shrink wrapped to cardboard pieces to make sure they arrive safely.

But here are the three projects I got framed last night.

framed1

October Sampler – Threadwork Primitives 2021

This is one of my most favorite I’ve stitched – the fabric, the colors I used (I think they were all Victorian Motto floss) and the lovely chart with that fantastic border and the frame I picked out is perfect (if I do say so myself). 🙂

FRAME 3

Let It Snow 2007 Prairie Schooler ’21

I love this deeply carved frame, and it’s a frame with a deep profile too.

FRAME2

Home – Bent Creek ’22

This one is not a custom frame – it fit in a standard size 5×7 frame and the blueish-gray wood color sets the stitch off nicely.

I also stitched a bit more on Mighty Acorn – and changed yet another color from the called-for.  Since I changed mine to a purple house, the called-for color for the window sashing was a brownish color that I didn’t think would look good with the purple so I changed it to Pamlico which is grayish.  I’m either going to use that color for the roof as well or a darker gray.  Now I just have to figure out what color to use for the window panes.  The called-for is a darker brown but not sure how that would look so may need to find some other color.

sashing

The Purple House

I was able to start adding the purple house into Mighty Acorn.  I think it will look good.

purple house

I stitched in some partial areas in order to help me count over to where the house placement started.  I did just the inner zig zag border on the right side.  and that’s a large sunflower growing next to the house that I have partially stitched.  I’ve made several color changes so far; all the called-for flosses are Weeks Dye Works.  The purple house, of course, is a change from the goldish brown (Schneckley) called for in the chart. My Schneckley was a very drab more brown color.  The purple I used is WDW Taffeta.  The zig zag border was supposed to be Dirt Road; again, as the name implies, a very similar brownish color to the outside color.  I changed that to Whiskey.  I’m also going to change the zig zag border a bit.  In places there are only parts of the zig zag stitched, leaving out stitches here and there, and switching to only a 2 stitch high zig rather than three. Those missing stitches don’t really interfere with the rest of the design if they would be stitched, so I’m just going to stitch a continuous 3 stitch  zig zag.  I also changed the color of the sunflower vine from Oil Cloth to Oscar.  Again, Oil Cloth was more dead flower vine color than living.  Oscar can sometimes look more brownish than green to me but I think once I get the sunflower on top of that vine (I will be stitching most of the flower in Whiskey rather than the same original house color so it pops a bit more).

Mighty Acorn Start

Well as I said yesterday after pulling flosses and fabric for Mighty Acorn, since I wasn’t doing the official SAL anyway I’d likely put in a few stitches yesterday while waiting for dinner to cook.  Well I definitely made a “few” stitches and nearly finished the outer border.   I did stitch to the wee hours of the morning but finally had to go to bed.

border

It was a fun border to stitch.  There are a few acorns attached to it and I need to go  back and add those once I get all the way around.  The caps of the border are a different color but the nut part is supposed to be the same color as the border floss.   The border floss is a bit more brownish/grayish I guess I’d call it – not the color of the acorns that grow around here so I may change the color of the nut.  Here’s a close up of part of the corner and the fabric is showing up pretty true to color in this photo.

closeup

Hide and seek

Today I got to play Hide and Seek with the Amazon delivery person but I won the game.  They just got the wrong apartment door but got to the backside of the building.  I was at the computer when I saw the delivery email and hmmm… that’s not a photo of packages outside my door but it looked familiar.  I opened the door and yes, they were at my neighbor’s door so packages retrieved even tho I always feel like a criminal when I go retrieve MY packages from someone else’s door.

Now as you knew I would, I pulled the flosses for The Mighty Acorn chart.   And it was very quick to do since I had just put all the hand dyed flosses back in order on their rings.  There’s lots of shades of browns in this.  Like I thought, my floss for the house was too brownish compare to the golden look in the photo which is not uncommon when using hand dyed flosses and dye lots changing over time)  but I decided to change it to a totally different color rather than just a brighter gold/mustardy color.  Part of the reason for that decision was I have the bright yellowy/gold house I did in Winter Rose Manor, and I have a Notforgotten Farm book that has a chart for a great mustardy colored house and I think one other chart with a similar color.  So for this one I decided to make my house a dark purple.  It’s a  bit darker than it shows up in the photo but it has nice shading in it so I will be interested to see how it stitches up in a bigger area since I’ve only used it in smaller sections. I also didn’t have two of the other reddish orange colors so found two to substitute for those that are a bit brighter and also did pull a favorite gold color – WDW Whiskey – that I may add in here or there.  I like bolder fall colors.

mighty

I originally pulled the light tan fabric on the right but then spotted the Dried Sage on left – it has more greenish tone than it is showing in the photo.  I’ve been wanting to use that fabric for a while since it’s such a pretty shade and of course it’s my favorite aida to stitch on – To Dye For Fabrics hand-dyed 18 count.   Since I’m not doing the official SAL, I may just need to put a few stitches in this later today.

A few questions answered

I previously posted photos of my start on Miss Bingley’s Library and said I was going to be making some changes and would tell you about them later.  A reader emailed me she was starting the same chart soon and was curious as to what changes I was making. So here they are – and the changes are all due just to my personal preferences.

But first, a couple people had emailed me that when photos show up in this sort of collage format they have a hard time seeing some of them.  All you have to do is click on a photo in the collage and it will open up in a larger format (unless WordPress is not being cooperative at that particular moment).  Likewise if you go to the 2022 Cross Stitchy Stuff button at the top of the blog where I show the finished stitches for this year in a collage format, you can click on any of those as well to open into a larger format and also put your cursor over a particular image and it will give you the name of the chart.  So if you click on the photo of the chart above it should open a larger image  of it.

Okay – as for Miss Bingley, the changes I’m making so far are:  a color change to the pot on top of the house.  The color of the pot is too similar to the roof color for my tastes.   And after I fill in all that roof area I have outlined, I don’t really want to be stitching a color that looks really similar to the roof on top of that.  So I changed that to a dark blue that would play nicely with the other blue in the chart.  I’m also going to change the way the words are aligned.  Would anyone who appreciates an “excellent library” split the word excellent between two lines of text the way it is charted?  I don’t think so.  🙂  I’m going to enter the  middle line of text and move “excellent” to the bottom line and leave off the date. Also changing the British flag to US (tho it’s a small flag so it will only give the impression of being a US flag since I won’t be able to add all the stripes or stars, etc.)   I also think I will be able to use a standard size frame with this based on the fabric I used and the stitch count but would need to fill in a little extra space so the unstitched area wouldn’t be so wide between stitch and frame edge so I plan to use the idea of the books that are stacked up on the roof and that Miss Bingley is standing on and make a row of books across the bottom  below the words of all different size/color books.    So those are my planned changes – at least as of this moment.

I also got a question after I posted the floss photo for this project as to what the card on my floss ring is since it doesn’t have floss attached to it.  Many shops/designers will include a card similar to that with one of their designs on it when you order from them.  That’s where that card came from and it can be used as a floss drop but I use those individual ones to write the name of the chart the floss ring belongs with on the back in pencil.  I sometimes have a couple floss rings sitting on my table or basket that  “someone” didn’t put back in the project bag and that way I can easily identify what project it belongs to.

And yet another question I got was how I decide what to add to a design if I need to add a border to make it fit better in a certain frame and how I make it fit (figure out spacing/corners).  Mostly I just wing it.  It’s only stitches and they can be taken back out if it doesn’t work (I’m very practiced at taking stitches out).   So far I haven’t actually charted on graph paper the borders I add; I just start stitching them and if I can get a quarter section to work out the way I like then just repeat that in each quarter section.  On the Hollyhocks project I showed a few days ago I just went back to the book  that chart came from and looked at the other companion designs in it and picked part of a border from other design to add just along the bottom so didn’t have to worry about corners.  (before additional and after photo below)

For my Quaker Redbird (Quaker Crow Chart), I just wanted somewhat simple lines in red and black which will go with the frame I picked which is black with red lines in it, but I wanted to mimic some of the angles used in the bird design so what’s where my idea came for that one. I started in the center bottom and worked towards lower right corner with the red triangles, then started in right middle and worked down to lower right corner stitching those same triangles, and then figured out if the corner would fit in at an angle, etc.  I just sort of stitched it (and ripped a bit) to get the corner angle right.  After getting the right bottom and lower right side to look the way I wanted, I just repeated that in mirror images where necessary for the other three corners.

DSCN1543

Quaker Crow -4-2-22

For Home for the Holidays, I  pulled out the Brenda Keyes Ultimate Sampler Motif Source Book and looked thru the border designs in that and pulled just part of the design from a border in there.  The original design, the loops were spaced a bit more apart (it had 5 stitches in the lower middle straight section between loops and I used 4 stitches there because it was easier to use an even number there to get it centered) and it had a little flower in the space between each loop that I left out.   The loops looked like ribbon to me so I thought it would go well.

holidays borderYou can see the red basting lines – I measured against the frame and then measured on my project to get the outside edge of where I would want the stitching to end – not to go beyond that point – which still leaves a small area of unstitched space between where my stitching ends and where the frame edge begins.  I also marked the center points top, bottom and sides.  Since the middle of the lower arc is now 4 stitches, I started with 2 of those 4 stitches on the lower right side of my center line and stitched the loops towards the right corner.  When there wasn’t enough space to add another loop, I then started the same process at the center right line stitching the border repeat three times and then just figured out what would make a corner look nice.   This is not a square design -it is a little longer top to bottom than across width – so there are a few more stitches in the side edges before starting the straight corner edge but because all four corners will look exactly the same it all works.

And speaking of frames, I got notice this morning that 3 of my 8 frames are finished (lickety-split) and should arrive Thursday.  One of those is for the Quaker Redbird so I can’t wait to see how it looks together.

Now my decision is do I start another project or not.  I do like having projects to hop back and forth in but how many is too many.  I haven’t decided that yet.  Friend Judy will be starting Mighty Acorn from the Winds of Autumn Blackbird Designs book with some others as a SAL in May.  While I wouldn’t be doing the official SAL (it’s an Instagram thing and I don’t do Instagram), I have wanted to start that one ever since I got the book and I can follow along on Judy’s progress and watch the progress of at least one of the SAL organizers on Flosstube.  So I may pull the book out and see what I have in the called-for flosses.  If I would do it on 18 count, the stitched area would measure 6-5/8″ x 10-1/4″ so not huge but it’s rather stitch intensive so I don’t think it will be a quick stitch but it will be a fun one.  Fall is my favorite season, favorite colors, I love anything with acorns on it plus  fun little squirrels – yes it ticks all the boxes for me.  And it has a great house although I don’t think the called-for color for the house in my stash is as gold/mustard as it appears in the chart (more brown)  so I may need to swap that color out – so yes, by the time I finished typing this paragraph I clearly have convinced myself that I need to start working on this chart. 🙂

It was a test…..

Thanks to all who left a comment yesterday in answer to my question; they were very interesting to read and to read about your stitchy journeys.  The question was:

What is your MOST favorite (if you could ONLY pick ONE) type of aida to stitch on? So for instance do you prefer a stiffer aida, more solid colors or more of a mottled look, and your favorite fabric count if you could only choose stitch count of aida to stitch on?

Several of you passed the “test” but others, well, not so much because you never narrowed it down to the “only one” part of the test.  When I was reorganizing the aida I had accidently dumped all over the floor yesterday, I pulled out the ones I knew I’d never stitch on either because of the stitch count (14 and 16) but mostly because it is too stiff for my liking.  Not that I won’t ever stitch on 14 and 16 county but I have a nice supply of hand-dyed, soft aida to use so the 14/16 lambswool, rustico and various solid aidas that are too stiff were just taking up space.  So I came up with the plan that  if commentors  narrowed down their choice on that blog post to  “only one” choice,  and if I had something in their one preferred stitching arena, I would contact them to see if they wanted the item I had that matched their choice.    Alas, for those who passed the test, nothing in what I’m getting rid of matched up with their preference.   😦

So those aidas will go in the bag I started for Good Will which also includes some old hard cover crafting books which I haven’t looked at in more years than I can remember, a bag of yarn of a type I dislike, along with a few items I cleaned out of the closet.   (The closet still needs more cleaning out but I lost interest in that quickly!). 

As I was tidying the pile of stitching stuff I need to fully finish into pin pillows, etc., I found another stitch I had forgotten about.   It got set aside because it’s another project that I want to go back and add a bit of a border around to get it to fit nicer into the frame I have for it.  

I finished stitching this in February 2021 and had ordered the frame on the left before I finished stitching it.  And, if I hadn’t messed up placement it would have fit perfectly in that frame but alas, counting was hard and I screwed up placement and was not going to rip out that house so I had to rearrange where the words went to get it to look centered and the original frame on the left cuts off stitches at the top and bottom of the chart.  So I had the frame on the right in the stash, which will work for this  but need to add a border around it to fill in some of that blank space.  These were pre-made standard size frames and since this is a holiday stitch that I wouldn’t leave up year round, I don’t want to buy a custom frame for it.  It had gotten put away because I had used up all of the variegated floss that makes up the lettering  and thats what I wanted to use for the border.  Of course that was during the time when shops were out of nearly everything so it took a while before it came back in stock and I know I ordered several hanks of it because I love it so much.  So tonight I think I’ll search for a border to add to it so I can get frame it.  And I will definitely need to watch my hoop placement since I had already sewn the buttons on this onto make sure I don’t break the buttons.

And as for my Sunday Stitching plans (working on First Thanksgiving for the next month or two), that got totally sidetracked because I picked out one of the items I want to make as a Christmas gift so of course pulled flosses and got a few stitches in yesterday.  It’s Miss Bingley’s Library and here’s my small start.  I’m going to make some changes to the chart which I’ll tell you about in a future post….. my meatloaf is smelling good and I think it must be time to get my dinner dished up.

miss bingley's librarybingley start 4-24-22