Friday, January 19, 2007

Finish work and a weekend project

I'm more a stitcher than a finisher most days, but there is the occasional moment that I enjoy doing some fine hand work, stretching and lacing my own needlework or doing the framing on one of my pieces. It's fairly labor intensive given the time I don't have to spend on it, but to me it seems just a part of the overall stitching process and I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. So here's the latest little accomplishment.

This cute little design (Three Friends) was from an exclusive kit bought at a Bent Creek class in 2001 and has been laying around for ages waiting to become something special. In looking at it again this week I realized it was too large for a fob but wondered if it might fit into this clock. The clock that was bought on a trip to Tennessee in 2001 at Village Mountain Stitch and has been waiting to tell me what time it is. Well, sure enough it was a perfect fit and a snap to put together and a pleasure to use. This could be addictive if I had more clocks.

This is the Treasure Chest that serves as a coffee table in my livingroom. Nice hu? Problem is it always has magazines on it (unless Bryce is over and demanding that I move things off it so he can play with his toys on it) so what's inside is out of sight and out of mind. Should we open it up and see what it holds.....

Here it is.......scads of UFOs, WIPs, and things that have been long ago kitted and are waiting to be started. Well this is by no means ALL of my UFO/WIP collection, simply a stash that is in one place that I don't paw thru very often. Peering into this last night I realized there were things I've completely forgotten about even having. I need desperately to empty it on the floor and index it so I can add to my list of things to focus on in 2007. I'm sure there are some that will move up the list, while others will no doubt be launched. Sounds like a good weekend project since it's going to continue to be cold in the midwest.
And just so you know......where I keep my finished pieces is even nicer than this!!! But that's for another time.
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

At my house 2007 is "The Year of the Red Bitch"

She's a major UFO (Unfinished Obsession) but I refer to her as THE EVIL DEVIL WOMAN IN RED FROM HELL. To Marilyn Levitt-Imblum who designed her, she's Celtic Christmas (Lavendar & Lace for Told in a Garden).

When she was released back in 1995 I fell dead in love with her. I quickly kitted this up and realized that being in school I shouldn't really start something like this. After mentioning to a friend in Finland that I had kitted this up, she said she wanted to stitch it as well, so I boxed up chart, fabric, fibers and beads and shipped them off to her. I'm happy to report that my friend Marja-Liisa stitched and framed her Celtic Christmas in no time and she's just beautiful.

The story goes something was a cold gray March day in 1998. I was taking a class in Philosophy studying Plato, Socrates and Aristotle. I had recently re-kitted Celtic Christmas to stitch "someday" and would get the materials out from time to time just to dream. But on this day I needed more in my life than the words of those three wise men, but in digging thru stash to find some small thing to work on, I could resist no longer and started stitching. To this day I remember sitting in front of the window savoring every stitch of red fiber on green fabric. For a few weeks I could not put her down (I also couldn't find much time to study, which might explain a lot today).

The red quickly got to me, the metallic really got to me, the beading got to me to, but not before I finished the borders. I made a BOO BOO in her dress where I only crossed one thread and have been trying to fix that for what seems like ages. For a while I decided to refer to her as Fiona of Skye, thinking that may help her cause and enable me to actually finish her and not hate her so much. That didn't work either.

Now I'm just tired of this huge chart, the big hunk of fabric and the box of fiber that I have to move everytime I dig thru the UFOs and have decided that since the date near her foot says '1999' that it may just be time to bite the bullet and finish her. Once finished I'm not sure I'd be willing to look at her, but perhaps my mother would like to have her come stay at her house.

A Finish and a Fob

Flea Market Souvenir/Blackbird Designs

This was a quick stitch but joining the three pieces of fabric once they were stitched was much like putting a puzzle together. For me the appeal of this piece was the challenge of that very puzzle until I saw the fabrics for this piece in Utah at the Shepherd's Bush retreat last fall. They were all wrapped up with ribbon, which made it just too easy to start this beautiful piece. I can't wait to get this one framed and hanging in my entryway which is just screaming for a piece like this. (Sorry about the wrinkles, I need to iron it yet).

Rose of Hope/Indigo Rose

This darling ESSY project I stitched a while back was made into a fob over the weekend. I stitched two of them side by side but so close together I couldn't put one in the tin pin that came with the project so this is a double sided fob. I'll finish up the one I started on Sunday to put in the tin pin.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Blackbird Designs Update/Goals for 2007

After 2 hours of early morning stitching, at 6am I finished the last two of the three samplers of Flea Market. I hope this weekend to put the pieces together so I can then move on to stitching the border and the seams. Not bad for a January 1 start with minimal thread availability. Once I'm finished with this piece I'm going to start Quaker Garden. I bought it when it first came out and then saw the conversion that Shepherd's Bush had done on it while I was in Utah and bought the fabric for it at the retreat and have since bought the fibers. It's all kitted and ready to go.
But today, it's back to the gameboard and my two squares of the week.

Flea Market/BBD (started 1/1/07-Finished 01/15/07)
Sampler Gameboard/DT (started 7/06-Finished 03/31/07)
Cherish Sampler/SB (finished 2007)
'Tis Halloween/BBD (finished 2007)

Jan: Spruce Fob/Hearts Content
Feb: Winter's Eve/Country Cottage Needleworks
March: Christmas Basket/Theron Traditions
April: With My Needle ornament projects/JCSorn 2003-2006

Stitch and finish ESSY projects
1. Indigo Rose/Rose of Hope
Quaker Garden/BBD
Mermaid and the Sea/EFTH (started 2001)
Haunting Halloween/SB retreat piece (started Sept 07)
Tanner’s Birth Sampler/City Stitcher (started 6/06)
Shaine’s SB stocking (for 2007)
Emily’s SB stocking (for 2007)
Tanner’s SB Stocking (for 2007)
Life’s a Stitch/LK
The Announcement/EFTH
Plimouth Sweete Bag/Exemplary (started 2002?)
Home of a Needleworker/LHN
Celtic Christmas/L&L (started 1998)
Punch & Judy/PSA
A Mary Garry Design
A Brightneedle Design
Baby Bug Ball/SB (finish)
Charm Garden/JN (finish)
Start ATS when gameboard is done
Holly’s 9/11 freebie design
Happy Hearts Sampler/BOAF
Come Tarry/SB
Millennium Sampler/E&E&F
Valentine Holiday/BOAF
I also want to make a block roll and a bourse

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Stitches in lots of places

Progress pictures as of today.
Flea Market Souvenir/Blackbird Designs
Building this house is killing me, otherwise this is such an enjoyable project.

Sampler Gameboard/Drawn Thread
17 Houses-18 Motifs

Mermaid and the Sea/Examplars from the Heart
Very little new progress was made.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Flea Market Report

Flea Market Souvenir by Blackbird Designs.

This piece is so much fun to work on. It's like doing three samplers at once, but since they all come together in the end I'm trying to keep some balance in stitching the last two pieces. I did make one change, and that was because my satin stitches look like crap, so I subbed smyrna stitch on my pink urn. This is the most current picture from last night but there's more progress since I worked on it before work this morning.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Another year, another new project

I've done it. I've started yet another project. The good news is, this will be done in no time.

I bought the fabric and chart for this at the Shepherd's Bush Retreat in Utah last September and I've been itching to start it, but didn't have all the fibers until yesterday. So far I have elements in all three sections finished. The first little section is complete. I have the roof on the house and the windows in it and am outlining it now and dread the fill in. I only have the bird and top of the flower done on the third section. This is such an enjoyable piece and it's moving along really fast. I'm rather anxious to get the three pieces of fabric put together and see how that border works out.

Anyone care to join me in stitching this one???