Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 done, 2009 goals and plans

And another year of stitching ends.
Seems like it's been a productive year.

It ends with one quilt at the quilters, and the binding ready and waiting.
I've already forgotten what it looks like. Out of sight, out of mind.
The binding is black, so that doesn't help me much. I'll post a finished photo.
Ah, it's a stacked fabric pattern, and has really wide black borders to float the design.

The next quilt is already started. I am still ironing material, and cutting pieces, and I might have a third of the blocks for the center completed. I need 192 for the center, and another 100 for the borders.

I have several cross stitch designs waiting to be put into frames. I have the frames, just haven't gotten around to getting it done.

I still haven't gotten the back stitching done on the flowers from Silver Lining. I have other projects that I would rather start. They have fallen to the bottom of the list for another year.

I'm looking forward to starting the new Ink Circles design. I have the frame, just still waiting for the mailman to fill the mailbox. I'm sure it won't get started the day it comes, but I'll bet it gets started before the next day is over. My goal is to get it stitched and framed, and a photo of it up on the web. I'm very glad that I have completed the first two in the series, and enjoy them on the wall everyday.

I've enjoyed stitching this year again. I had let it go for a few years. The last time I was buying fabric to stitch on, they didn't have hand dyes. And the thread choices were DMC and Anchor.
It was nice to pick it back up again, find lots of new fabrics, threads and patterns.

I'm pretty happy with the patterns and fabrics that I've gotten this year, and I plan to just try to complete what I purchased this year. Most of the patterns that I have will all take more than a month to complete. I have 5 Long Dog designs to do or complete, and a couple of Mariska designs, and the Heaven and Earth design I have started, and another Heaven and Earth to do.
I have a couple of smaller thing, to break it up, but not much. I also have two of the Lavender and Lace angels of Winter and Autumn that I'd like to do. I did the Spring angel years ago.

And I also think that it would be nice to draw out a quaker pattern of my own. When I've tried to just draw something to fill in a space on a design, it doesn't seem to come naturally, so I'm sure that I'm no threat to the pattern makers of the world.

I'm looking forward to stitching this year, and I know already that I won't get it all done.

Quilt Test Blocks Illusion

Here's a quilt progress photo.
I made 2 sample blocks of each color to lay out as a color test, and in this photo, the color squares seem to float off of the floor.
It's a Judy Martin pattern, and it will be a twin size when completed.
I just thought that the floating blocks are a nice optical illusion.

Matter's Choice Progress

This will be my first finish for 2009, and is so dated.
I added the numbers and added the year date. It would have been nice to match the lettering style with the numbers, but I didn't want to add that much more time to this project.
I added the 'U', and would have matched it better, but the extra stitches would have landed in the same place as the 'T' next to it, so I decided to keep it simple. I omitted the two 'half hearts' on the bottom border. Added the little top flower to the plant to the left of the house.
I did make an effort to keep the fencing color changes the same. It sort of worked out.
I still think I prefer the variegated thread on more abstract designs.
I'm hoping that by the time it's framed it will look fine, but not be a favorite piece.
I think that I would have preferred it in dmc 902 or a dark blue, and all one color.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Matter's Choice Start

This is one day of working on Matter's Choice from Carriage House Samplings.
It's on 25 count black lugana, and stitched with DMC 111, one over one.
It was one of the new patterns that I got a few days ago.
I've wanted to try the dmc 111, but this is my first attempt with it. I think that it might not have been a good choice. I think that variegated color may work better with more abstract designs than letters or building and birds. Some of the other photos may look like dmc 111, but they are Weeks Dye Works - whiskey color. I think that I prefer the Weeks product, as the color changes are softer.
And I'm also trying to remember that I have to add the 'U' to the pattern.
I understand that actual old patterns left off letters occasionally, but it drives me crazy if I can easily fix it. There patterns that I love that I don't buy because the missing letters bother me, and I would have to redraw out the pattern and that would just take up more time than I'm willing to give to some patterns.
I thought Matter's Choice was just the same pattern twice, once with the alphabet, and once without, but I was pleasantly surprised to notice that there are two different patterns.
If nothing else I can look at this at a bit of a sample try of the dmc thread, and practice on stitching on black lugana again. I've got my order in for the new Ink Circles pattern. I'm just waiting for it to show up in my mailbox. When it does, everything else is going to fall to the side so that I can work on the new diamond design.

Paradigm Lost Progress

Here's a progress photo of Paradigm Lost from Long Dog.
I wanted to show that I'm using the alternative alphabet. I want to be sure that I can get all the letters in place before adding the rest of the smaller designs.
It's dated 2007, and still won't be completed till 2009 at the rate I'm going.
I'm sure that this is the pattern that I should have worked on instead of starting anything new, but it just wasn't the project that I wanted to work on.

St Reatham progress 48 hours

Here's another progress photo 48 hours after the last photo.
I've gotten to the point that I'm really just sick of this pattern or color at the moment, so I decided to take a slight break from it and start another small project.
I was pleased that the edges met, and I wasn't off a row or more. I still just seem to have so much to do on this to complete it, and although I'm happy with it, I'm just sick of looking at it.
At the very least I need to go back to do a different area of the design.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

St Reatham progress photo

Latest progress photo of St Reatham from Long Dog Samplers that was started Dec 4.
The photo has a bit of a shadow that's not really there. I've added a bit to the claw of the lower left griffin, and adjusted the side rabbit's foot, added a few stitches to correct a design above the key.
Mostly I'm praying that when I get to the top, that I'm on the correct pattern line. I know better than to do this, but I also know that my goal is to fix the large designs and fit them into the remaining spaces. I'm already really sick of this red, and would love to do a different project,
especially after getting some new patterns and fabric in the mail yesterday. I ordered the new Ink Circles pattern, fabric, and floss, and don't expect to see it till after January 1, but that will be the next project, and I know that I won't have this one done yet, no matter how many more hours I try to stitch between now and then.

Monday, December 15, 2008

St Reatham from Long Dog Samplers

Here is my progress on St Reatham from Long Dog Samplers.
This is my progress after one week of stitching.
It's done on 28 count Jobelan in a Lambswool color with 815 dmc thread.
Why 815? Because I had leftovers from doing the Quaker Christmas project. I'm still trying to use it up, and wear it out. This is what I had in the stash that seemed to work.
I wanted something masculine, and the red on white wasn't going to be masculine, but this wasn't too bad. I still have leftover red suede mat that I'm hoping to use, so again this color made sense to me. Rough numbers showed that matting it might make it a bit too big, but it's still an option.
Of course, deciding to start a new project at midnight on a Sunday night and trying to decide on fabric and colors at the time probably was my first bad idea, but I'm happy with the color and fabric.
So far, I've adjusted the reindeer bodies, and I know that I'm going to even out the spacing of the numbers that are missing. I'm not wild about the eyes on the griffins, they show less on the actual fabric.
I'm now working on the bottom row, and end of the alphabet. I try to start a pattern at the bottom right because I'm left handed. I enjoy Long Dog Patterns very much, and I'm always looking forward to seeing the next designs. This is my third design after Moulin Rouge, and Paridigm Lost. I'm still adding an alternative lower case alphabet to Paradigm Lost, but not steady enough to finish it at the moment.

Miss Mary Mack from La-D-Da

Miss Mary Mack from La-D-Da.
Done on 28 count African Daisy Jobelan, one over one, with black dmc thread.
I started it on 32 count, and messed up, and miscounted between the hair and the top border.
Removing black thread stained that lighter fabric so just starting over seemed like a nice option, so I went to the 28 count fabric.
I have always just liked this pattern, and so it was an easy project.
It always proves to me that when I'm sure that I've stitched enough years that I shouldn't still be making simple counting mistakes, that will be when I begin to make several counting mistakes.
I was happy with the end result, and still enjoyed the pattern.

Anything Is Possible from Blue Ribbon Designs

Anything Is Possible from Blue Ribbon Designs.
Done on 28 count jobelan in the African Daisy color with black dmc thread.
I altered the edge borders and mirrored the flower leaves.
Also seems like I adjusted the one flower on each side that wasn't symmetrical to the rest of the flowers, or maybe I adjusted the rest of the flowers to match the one that was symmetrical.
The photo washed it out, and it's a bit nicer in real life.

Needle Station by A Stitchers Hands

Needle Station from A Stitcher's Hands. Done on 28 count evenweave, one over one, with the DMC colors. Replaced the main color that is the dark "Needles" and center with something else.
I adjusted the "N" so that it appeared more like the other letters, as it was not a double row of stitches on the uprights of the letter. I moved the year date to the top, and put a simple heart at the bottom. I omitted the crowns at the sides of the design. Considered adding hearts there, but I have settled on just the blank area at the moment. I also decided against all the colors in the vees at the ends of the frames, again feeling that simpler was better, and just used the darkest of the flower colors. I was never too happy about the light green, but I didn't think that I could find anything else that I would like that would still provide the proper contrast between the greens that was needed, so I just followed that pattern choices.

Hat and Mittens

This was a quick project for the winter season.
It is framed in a 3 X 3, $1.50 Plexiglas holder that has a magnet on the back from the local craft supply store. Found that pattern on the internet, but I don't remember exactly where.