Friday, February 4, 2011

Sally was a Quaker?

I am making some progress on Sally Starbuck. It's about as interesting as a tax lecture. Blah.Boring. Blah. I love stitching me an alphabet, I love stitching on linen, I love stitching with silk. This sampler has all of those things and it's going to bore me to tears. Sigh.

After mentioning this to several friends from my stitching group they all suggested just putting it aside and starting something that makes me heart sing. I wont be doing that. This is why I don't have any UFOs. I keep plugging away until everything is done.When I hit the halfway mark, I am sure I will develop a fire for this sampler and the last half will fly by and I will love watching it all come together.

  I finally read the historical notes included with the chart. Sally was a Quaker.The one thing I find really interesting about the sampler isn't really about just this one sampler. Why are American Quaker samplers so different from British Quaker samplers?Sally was a Quaker, her sampler was stitched while at a Friends school in Nantucket. So why isn't it anything like a Quaker sampler from Britain? Something to find out about. Maybe there's a great book about it at the Scarlett Letter and while I am buying that I can toss a few more charts and kits into my cart.

   Primitive Cat from The Prairie Schooler is all finished. Washed and pressed as well. The wall paper pattern took me forever to stitch. A zillion starts and stops. Then as soon as I thought I was finished I realized the wall paper pattern was not charted for under the cat's stomach. So I had to extend it, it looked really naked and off kilter with out it. One down and two more to go from that leaflet.

I borrowed the Barn Cats leaflet from my friend Lisa, we belong to the same stitching group. No joke, she has pretty much every Prairie Schooler chart ever published. She even has most of the freebie cards. She is also very generous about lending her charts. Under normal circumstances I would have had all three of these stitched and the chart returned to her by now. I am feeling a bit like a slacker that I haven't been able to return the leaflet yet. The crazy 15 challenge has put me off my schedule a bit but I am getting back to normal.

Cat with Fish from this leaflet will be my next project. It will work up pretty quickly. This is what it looks like at the moment. Just barely more than my January 3 start. The limited colors will help make this one go quickly.Sorry for the hot, wrinkled mess but I wont press this one until it's finished.

Dry Turkey from Raise the Roof was my first finish from the Crazy Challenge. I was just waiting on the button to finally post it. I barely remember starting this because of the mix of drugs I was on for my back. The other thing that happened was I didn't know what day it was. I started this, fell asleep and when I woke up instead of starting my new project for the day I kept stitching on this one. I knew it was small but I really had no idea how quickly it would work up.I bought the chart as soon as it came out and it languished in the stash mash for no good reason. I might hit the nearest Homegoods this weekend to find a fancy frame for it. It should fit nicely in a standard size frame.

All stitched, buttoned, washed and pressed. Here is Dry Turkey.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No mad dash today, baby

LALALALALA! My TUSAL post on the right day. NOT LATE! No mad dash across the finish line today, baby!

I am really getting a hoot out of this SAL. I explained it to my friends Cam and George last night. The response was: '"So, you are saving trash for a whole year? Saving it in a jar, taking pictures of it and then looking at pictures of other people's trash that they have saved in a jar and taken pictures of?"  I love George, he's really good at summing up.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January is over already?

Last month just flew right by. It must have been because of the pain killers and muscle relaxants that I feel like I missed two weeks of January somehow. I am feeling much better and have had no spasms for a week now. One more week spasm free and I can drive again.

I did get a fair bit of stitching done. I did finish RTR Dry Turkey and I am just waiting for the button to arrive. I also finished Pac Man. Cam will be making that one into a pillow for the movie/game room at his house. I really should have washed and pressed this before taking a photo. Lesson learned.

I do belong to a stitching group that tries to meet once a week. When I go to the get together I usually bring one of my larger projects for a show and tell but I only work on really small designs. I am so easily distracted that bringing anything complicated just assures I will need to frog everything I stitched that day.So for the last two meetings I was able to get to I finished up these:

The Edward and Jacob are freebies from Paulette of Plum Street Samplers. You can find them here on her super fun and amazingly well photographed blog.

Find her blog here.

The coffee, tea and milk minis are from a vintage copy of Simply Cross Stitch. I hate calling it vintage because I know for a fact I bought this on a newstand the week it came out. These are a really surprising little treasure. Why you ask? Because they are designed by Janelle Giese. Yup, that Janelle Giese. The designer of uber detailed and beautiful charts you see in pretty much every issue of Just Cross Stitch and Cross Stitch and Needlework magazines. I love finding an older design from a great designer buried in a magazine you would roll your eyes at if you saw it in an ebay lot.

I am really glad I resisted the urge to rip out charts from magazines in an effort to save space. Had I done that I know I would have thrown out the great finishing instructions for turning these little monochromatic charmers into magnets and chances are I would have thrown out the chart as well. Dollar for dollar my magazine subscriptions have paid of themselves many times over and the space needed to store the entire issue is well worth it to me. If I had trimmed some issues down I would have thrown out things that didn't appeal to me then but are my favorites now.

The largest project from my Crazy 15 is the Sally Starbuck Sampler from R&R reproductions. I have learned this is out of print. When I am done stitching I will host a give away for the chart. Hopefully it will go to a good home. Keep an eye out  for the give away. I am loving this sampler. It's not at all challenging but it's size will make it a question of endurance. To make sure it gets finished I plan on working on it at least two days a week.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Crazy Challenge...the rest of them.

Things have been really wonky lately. I have a recurring back injury that decided to kick in the day after Twelfth Night ( Little Christmas or Epiphany , whatever you call it). I spent twenty hours in the ER in severe spasms. I had a party for Twelfth Night, I habit I picked up after Living in New Orleans for a year. After cleaning up and getting ready for bed I felt great. Two hours later I woke up in agony and after calling my Drs office they told me to call 911 and get to the hospital.

Pain killers and muscle relaxants are not the best friend of a stitcher. I did manage to stitch a bit on all of my starts and even finished four projects.  I am finally feeling better but can't drive until I have been two weeks without a spasm. As bad as it was that first night I am glad it happened when I was at home and not driving. Another few days and I will be able to walk without the cane and get back to my life. Right now I am camped out in my den, my recliner being the only place I can sleep. No more pain killers and very limited use of the relaxants will mean some great stitching time.

This is a repro sampler from Liberty Hill Needleworks. It is not the Liberty Hill you are thinking of. Liberty Hill was a great needle work shop in Falmouth, Ma. She was only there for a year or two. I visited a few times when I was at my parent's summer place. I went to go shopping one day and she was gone(sigh). Turns out she has given up designing needlework and is designing and making jewelery.

I dug this Designer stitches kit out. I am a huge fan of Scooby. I even tivo scooby. I know, 43 and still watching cartoons.

I am usually a pretty serious stitcher, but I am all about the goofy and campy in my choices for this challenge. Part of it was because the pain killers make me stupid and I didn't trust myself to be able to count. The other part is I was really starting to dislike what a pretentious ass I was becoming. " Oh, I only stitch on 40 count hand dyed linen with fibers hand dyed by fairies and elves." I was growing into a jerk I didn't want to be. I don't want to be the stitcher who makes other stitchers feel like they aren't doing it right. I want to be the person at the EGA meeting who says. "Aida, I love it too.Oh, you only stitch disney designs. Good for you Sister!"  My friend Cam has already claimed this one as his very own. Since he has been baby sitting me since my back went out, he can have anything he wants.

Yes, Dungeons and Dragons had cross stitch kits. Three to be exact. Cam found these on ebay. The dragon power took a few nights of drugged up stitching and has more than my usual amount of mistakes. Cam didn't care about the mistakes and has already taken this one to his house to make into a pillow. I did save the left over threads because Cam has already told me this may need to be stitched again for a friend of his and the chart only lists color names and not numbers.

I have two cross stitch super powers. I can match any thread from a kit to anchor or dmc threads. I finish everything I start. I do not have any UFOs. I know that is hard to believe. I am the mad dash to the finish line person, but for some reason when I start stitching something I finish it in a reasonable amount of time. These 15 starts are the most WIPs I have ever had in 25 years of stitching. The most I can recall stitching at one time was 6 projects.

I adore Newton and I have dozens of Newton  kits in my stash. I must really hate stitching kits because this will be my first Newton project form a kit. I have stitched eight or nine from charts published in U.K magazines.

 My heart is in Alaska was purchased on a trip to Alaska over ten years ago. This will go into the box of Log Cabin Projects. I have a plan to own a log cabin and I have been stitching for it for a few years now. At least two or three projects every year go into the box so when I do buy my cabin I will just need to frame them up and have a needlework filled cabin.

Sally Starbuck has been in my stash for at least 12 years. This one if on a 28 count hand dyed fabric from R&R with back silk.

I need to get some pics of my finishes and I will post those later.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Crazy Challenge days 5&6 and Huge THANKS !

I wanted to say thanks to everyone who have left comments so far. I didn't have any idea just how much it would mean to me, reading them just made my day! So big smooches to you all.

These two projects for my crazy challenge are going to be my favorites. They were Christmas gifts from my friends Cam and George. Cam and I share a birthday and we met while sitting at the bar of our favorite restaurant while waiting for our tables and have been attached at the hip since we met almost twenty years ago.
In addition to our birthday Cam and I share a passion for used, old, funky junky stuff. For Christmas and our birthdays the gifts we exchange must come from a yard sale, thrift shop or flea market. Ebay is cheating.Antique stores are pretentious. The hunt is half the fun. This year the boys out did themselves. They found these two kits and about a dozen others at a yard sale for $4.

This gift made me realize two things. 1. My friends freaking rock. 2. I needed to update my will and listed several stitching friends to get my stash. Anything they don't want will go to the EGA for auction.

The thought of my stash dumped out on the front yard for strangers to paw through made my heart flutter in a bad way.

Isn't Kermit a hoot? Now I'll just need to track down the other kits in the series.

Maxine in cross stitch? For Really? For ME? I know just where this one will be hung. How I ever missed this when it came out surprises me.

I am getting the itch to stitch an alphabet so I think my next challenge project will be an excuse to get my sampler-geek on.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 Crazy Challenge days 1-4

The start of the New Year is always wonky for me. There are three birthdays in the family to be celebrated and Christmas to take down and baking all the cookies I failed to plan accordingly for over the holidays. So between cleaning, packing away Christmas and gorging on cookies I am amazed I actually managed to stitch every day so far this year. I am still unsure what other projects I am going to add to the fifteen but I am enjoying finding buried treasures in my stash.

Blessed are the piecemakers by hand blessings on 28 ct even weave with thread worx and wdw.

Country Cat by Prairie Schooler from the Barn cats leaflet. Stitched on 28 ct toasted almond linen by zweigart with called for DMC threads. 

Primitive Cat by Prairie Schooler scrap of 14 ct Aida with DMC threads

Cat with Fish by Prairie Schooler from the Barn cats leaflet. Stitched on 28 ct toasted almond linen by zweigart with called for DMC threads.

Playing Catch Up

The story of my life, always playing catch up. It always comes out just fine in the end, I just have to race towards the finish line.

First my TUSAL. This is just too much fun.My first ever SAL and one I wont have to toss myself across the finish line or make excuses for. I adore it already.