Progress on the Unfinished Project – A Saturday Stitching Post

imageMany craft people who I know have old projects that were started a long time ago but got pushed to the side in favor of other projects. My oldest such project is from 2002. In March of this year as the weather turned warm and I was thinking of spring, I remembered this design of two rabbits with a flower pot.  I brought my project out of hiding. On March 28, I published a post about the project named Hide and Seek – An Unfinished Object.

2015-04-04 13.29.53The project when I picked it up in April.

Back in 2002 I had messed up in counting stitches in the left hand center area of the design beneath the back of the bunny and above the edge of the flower pot. It was a complicated part of the design and I was having trouble finding my way to correcting the design. I needed a break from it so I set it aside in favor of other projects.

This spring I decided to resume my work on it and last updated my progress on April 18 in Saturday Spring Snow and A Stitching Post.I made up my mind that I would not start another project until I had finished this one. Progress has been slow. Because of the level of detail it required intense concentration. At times when I otherwise might be stitching that I just couldn’t face up to the level of detail involved. I ended up not stitching as often as I normally would have.

2015-04-18 09.05.45Progress as of April 18, 2015.

imageProgress as of June 26.

imageProgress as of July 4

With my stitching on July 4, the top half of the design was completed. That felt like a bit of a milestone.

image I adjusted the fabric on the scroll bars to allow work on the bottom portion of the design and continued my stitching .

image

A Close-up of Progress on July 10, 2015

Part of the thrill for a stitcher is watching the design evolve. The second bunny in the design is taking shape. After all the cross stitches are completed, top stitching will be added to define features of the design.

This weekend I hope to find much stitching time so that I can make significant progress. The next project is waiting in the wings but I have to stick to my resolution to finish this one before I start another one.

[Project Details: Hide and Seek from  For the Love of Cross Stitch, May 2001.  Design worked on 32 count antique white linen using 2 strands of DMC floss over 2 fabric threads.]

The Sewing Corner — A Saturday Stitching Post

image

There was a time in my life when I had my own sewing room. It was before marriage and before motherhood, when I could afford to be more narcissistic. Now that I no longer have a child living at home, I have thought about converting the spare bedroom into a craft/sewing room which might be a smart move for when I retire.

I had worked a small cross stitch piece which hung on the wall near my sewing machine. It is one of the earliest pieces that I did and was from the early 1980’s.l

Project Details: “Sewing Machine and Rocker” from Charted Nostalgic Designs, Leisure Arts Leaflet 183, by Barbara Weiford. Copyright 1980. It was worked on 14 count Aida with 2 strands of floss for cross stitch and 1 strand of floss for back stitch.

The Button Box – Throwback Thursday

imageOne of my favorite things around the house when I was a child was mom’s button box. A lifetime of buttons was saved in that box. Mom’s collection likely started before she met and married my dad, although I can’t say that for sure because we never discussed it.

What I do know is that when our clothes were worn out, we would cut off all the buttons before the garment was thrown in the rag-bag.  My parents were children of the Great Depression and nothing was wasted. Since there were eight kids in the family, clothes were handed down from one of us to another. Nothing was ever disposed of until it was threadbare and there was no chance of patching it yet again. And at that point the buttons were cut off. Some of the old clothes would be used for cleaning rags or shop rags but many of them went into the rag-bag.

Continue reading

Unicorns – A Saturday Stitching Post

The unicorn”, she said, “was a marvelous beast, shining with honor, wisdom and strength. Just to see him strengthened the soul.”
–Megan Lindholm; The Unicorn in the Maze

There is something universally appealing about the mystical, magical, legendary unicorn.  I personally have been fascinated by the lore of the unicorns for a very long time.  In this week when we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, I was reminded of a song from my teenage years by the Irish Rovers, a Canadian Irish folk group, called The Unicorn.

The Irish Rovers is a group that was thought to be largely responsible for the interest in Irish music in North America and has been performing for more than 50 years.  The song was from 1968 and was the song that the Irish Rovers were best known for in the U.S.  It reached number 2 in the U.S. Adult Contemporary Charts and number 7 in Billboard’s Hot 100. The song was written by Shel Silverstein.

imageRecalling this song reminded me of a a cross stitch piece I had done in the mid 80’s. It is another piece that I stitched but never framed.  It was worked at a time when I did not think of my craft as being something long lasting so I did not record the actual date. I am relying on my rather foggy memory as to when I probably stitched it. I am sure that it is a relatively early example of my craft as it is a relatively easy design. My stitched piece The Unicorn is the feature of this week’s Saturday Stitching Post.

[Project Details: The source was The Unicorn Book by Betty Ashley (1980).  14 count white Aida was used with 2 strands of DMC floss; primarily cross stitch with french knots and lazy daisy embroidery stitch. Finished size 5 1/2″ x 4″}

Hearts A Plenty – A Cross Stitch Project

imageToday I share a heart themed cross stitch that I made in 2011.  It is one of many pieces that I completed stitching, but never made into a project.  This one I intend to finish as a pillow. I love stitching and seeing a design emerge as it is translated on fabric.  When I put the last stitch in one project I always have a million ideas in my head for the next project I will do.  I also have several WIP’s (Works in Progress) that I could pick up.   I have a drawer full of projects that are completely stitched but that I have not framed or otherwise finished.  At one time I felt guilty about that, but then I think of all the people who write and never publish, or who paint and never display their paintings, or undertake some other creative process and enjoy the act of creating but don’t ever share their hard work with the masses.  The benefits of the actual creative process can be greater than the finished product.  I have plans for every piece that is finished.  And someday the plans will be implemented.image

In the Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine that published this design, the finished chart had been framed in a wooden tray with glass over it.  It was referred to as a tic-tac-toe board. Individual heart designs were also featured in a greeting card and on the top of a wooden box. Some individual hearts were stuffed and framed in lace and ribbon for decor pieces. Another option used a four heart section of the design to make a smaller pillow.

I have stitched for 30 years and have subscribed to many different cross stitch magazines during this time. I generally find my next project by searching through the magazines and charts that I have accumulated. Although I wish I could purchase more to support the struggling designers out there, I cannot justify it when I know that I already have just the designs I need.  The one chart that was a recent purchase was Dawn’s Break by Mystic Stitch featured in my post 93,100 Stitches of Love.

Project Details:  Medley of Hearts from Cross Stitch & Country Crafts, Jan/Feb 1991.  Stitched on rose 28 count even weave  over 2 with 2 strands of DMC floss.  Finished size 9 1/2 ” by 9″.  Design by Linda Gillum.

imageimageimage

Valentine Hand-made Craft Ideas – A Top Ten Tuesday List

Tuesday's Top Ten
Tuesday’s Top Ten

For today’s Top Ten List I honor Valentine’s day by sharing some home-made craft and food ideas dedicated to the day of love.  I am a pushover for hand-crafted, made with love, home-made gifts and decorations, the kind that takes time and thought.  There are many other ideas available and I am not implying that these are automatically the best.  These are 10 that caught my eye but there are many others deserving of mention.  I would love to see this list be increased by having additional sites and ideas added in Comments.

  1.  A Valentine’s Tea Party.   A mom and her daughter have a valentine’s tea party including crafting.  Check out Eileen B. Jennings website.
  2. Handmade Valentines.  Who does not love getting home- made valentine cards specially created by a much loved child? Bean & Bantam offers great cards using the outline of the child’s hand.  And Off the Waller shares another idea.
  3. A Valentine’s Wreath.  In the blog A Wandaful Thing, a crafty idea for a Valentine’s Wreath is presented.
  4. Bay Rose Sugar Scrub.  Having been a recipient of some home made sugar scrub this past Christmas, and absolutely loving it, this crafty idea from My Glamour Temptation seems so neat.  Of course, maybe it can’t be made until after the Valentine rose bouquet has run its course, but it is still a great Valentine’s DYI idea.
  5. Knitted Hearts.  If your special talent is knitting, a cute idea for knitting little hearts is presented in Knits by Sachi.
  6. Crocheted Hearts.  If I include a knitted heart, I must also include a crocheted heart.  The Agrarian Artisan shares a valentine heart.
  7. Valentine Garlands.  Aixie’s Space presents a heart garland as valentine decor.
  8. Cross stitched hearts.  Because I am a stitcher, I have to include at least one link to a cross-stitched design.  Stitcheroo My Darling provides a link to a pretty freebie.
  9. Love Posts.  Callie & Chef presents a ribbon of daily post-its for the month of February.
  10. Homemade Valentines Food/Gifts.   There are great food ideas among the blogs so I am going to list some of the great ideas I found which are all links to the site and recipe.

Once I started to compile my list of 10 sites I realized how impossible it is to say these are the greatest. There are a lot of great ideas to choose from.  I would love to see other ideas or sites added in comments.

Celtic Angel – A Stitched Project

[ A regular Saturday feature on my blog will be sharing projects that I have completed or are in progress. Today I share a counted cross stitch angel that I completed in 2005.] image

The Celtic Angel was a design selected by my daughter.  She found it on one of the shopping trips that she was forced to endure early in her teenage years.  She admired it greatly and viewed it as a celebration of her Irish roots.  I later went back to the store and purchased it in order to make it for her as a gift.

I had to stitch the project on the sly so she would be surprised. Whenever she was at dance class or at church functions I would furiously work on the project. When she went somewhere with her dad, he would always call me when they were on the way home so I had time to hide evidence of my work.  It was probably the only time in my daughter’s life that it was I encouraging her to go out with her friends so I could have the stitching time.  I was traveling occasionally for my job at that time and during the nights in the hotel you would find me stitching on this project.  She was absolutely delighted when she received it as a gift for her 16th birthday.

A Celtic angel, just another thread of my life.

Celtic Angel designed by Barbara Baatz for The American School of Needlework, part of  the Cross Stitch Masterpiece Collection.  Out of Print.
imageimage  image