Holiday prep and a persistent headache sort of got in my way of stitching this week. To be honest, so did two or three football games! My alma mater, Bowling Green State University, won it's league by upsetting a ranked team and Ohio State LOST YAY! Adrenalin for two straight days, enhanced by a UPS delivery snafu before the first game which had me going as well (I HATE to deal with customer service with all their computerized messages and hang-ups and... it caused us to miss the HOA Christmas party - for which we had already paid). But I did get a crazy quilt journal block done earlier in the week and I got started on my December butterfly:
In addition, on Wednesday, after husband's high school class month breakfast, I took three pieces into the framers: Laura Perrin's "Purple Daisy":
Elizabeth Almond's "Midnight Garden" (the photo doesn't show it but that frame is a deep blue-black and matches the darkest blue thread in the piece exactly!):
and the Ajisai "Puppy Dog":
I'm really happy with how all three came out - the first two as fair candidates for next summer and the third as a Christmas gift for our West Highland Terrier-owned neighbor!
Quilt guild Christmas Brunch is Saturday so that will put a crimp in my weekend... and although we
dodged one winter storm bullet, last night we got hit with freezing rain. The streets are icy and it's COLD! Good week to stay in, decorate two trees, wrap gifts for mailing and stitch (IF I can beat this headache, that is).
Here is my December monochromatic yellow block, complete with snowflakes to commemorate the first winter snow flurries, even while roses still were blooming in the garden.
OK, a little time shifted there because it was in late November that snow flurries and still-blooming KnockOut roses coincided. But, hey, artistic license!...
Now --- to assemble the blocks!
This past week, in addition to three TAST stitches and a biscornu, I worked a bit (mainly I cut fabric) for the guild January challenge, stitched on the Ajisai "Ladybug & Daisy" (three more shades of "pink" needed on that ladybug and then she'll be done except for the backstitching.):
and started my December crazy quilt journal block:
Not a lot to show for the week, but the holiday put a crimp in my stitching time, what with cooking, time at the nephew's house and recovery from overeating!
These items always scared me a little but I needed an "under $10" Secret Santa gift (don't you just HATE those) for the quilt guild Christmas brunch on the 14th and decided I'd try to make a biscornu pincushion as my "gift". After all, if it didn't work, it was only a days' time and two 6.5" squares of fabric form my stash (OK I did buy some thread to match and three sets of buttons to finish it off.). Besides, if it did work out, then I'd be willing to risk embroidered pieces on one.
It probably needed to be stuffed a little more as it's a little "squishy", and putting those buttons on was the hardest part so they are not quite centered (Note to self: mark center of each square next time!), but, in all, I think it came out OK enough to be a gift:
These three stitches are the Straight Feather (#91) and two variations (## 92 and 93).
Here is the Straight Feather Stitch:
variation #1, the Crossed Feather Stitch:
and variation #2, the Plaited Feather Stitch:
I stitched them side by side on my stitch sampler page and you can see how they compare here:
I also caved and went stitchery surfing on Black Friday and bought a few things. Four new charts on sale for 20% off, for example:
Counterclockwise, starting at the top, the Chatelaine "Celtic Garden Mandala", the Vickery Collection "Celtic September", the Vickery Collection "Celtic December" and the VIckery Collection "Celtic Garden Cross" .
I've been wanting one of these Vickery Collection Celtic crosses (I bought the Celtic Garden Cross as well as the Celtic September and Celtic December) for some time, so this seemed a good idea. And I couldn't resist Chatelaine's. Celtic Garden Mandala. I have no idea when I'll stitch ANY of these!
There were also some beads in this shipment for my final BJP of 2013 (Some may also show up on my December Crazy Quilt Journal block as well!) I bought some 12/0 magnificas to add some dimension to my seed bead collection (Christmas Green, Cherry Red, White Opal, Silver Fox, Opal Honey and Opalescent Periwinkle ) ... also 20% off!
What can I say? 'Tis the Season!
No TAST this week so all I had to stitch on was my November bead journal butterfly. Well, not all, but all that had a true deadline assigned to it. And here is is: "Fallen Leaves"!
When I finished this up Sunday night, I didn't want to start on my BAP of "nine Roll Your Own Mandalas so I pulled out the first chart in my project bag and it turned out to be another blackwork designed by Valentina Sardu for Ajisai Designs: ""Ladybug & Butterfly". Here you can see the start of the ladybug's head and three legs:
Once the cross-stitched ladybug is finished, it will all be blackwork fill patterns and backstitching. I need to get some more DMC 310! LOL
Thanksgiving is at husband's nephew's in Toledo. I'm to bring my "rice dish", a brown and wild rice stuffing with apricots and dried cherries that I found in "Bon Apetit" about five years ago. Total surprise to me that a) it worked and b) it became an instant favorite with my husband's family! SO now I need to find the recipe/magazine and create a shopping list so I can assemble it on Thursday morning.
If I don't see you again before the holiday, don't eat too much and be thankful for all the blessings we have in this increasingly dysfunctional world.
The topics in WIPocalypse for this month include : Themes: Designer – Allessandra Adelaide, Style – Ornaments, Colors – White and Purple.
I have never done a Allessandra Adelaide chart, nor do I have any in my stash. There are no ornaments in progress (although I have some possibilities in a stack of printouts on my work table that I MIGHT get around to someday soon). And I have no white and/or purple stitchery in progress or even planned.
Last month, the unfinished projects in my project bag were gradually reducing so that, when I reported in, I only had the following:
- the blackwork "Puppy Dog" from Ajisai
- a cover for a fabric book (which will be made from my 2010 Bead Journal Project squares)
- a Chinese Coins quilted throw - top in progress
What I completed since the last check in are:
In progress is the November BJP butterfly and the Chinese Coins quilt top (top completed, now I have to tackle quilting it! AAARGH!)
Not touched were the BJP 2010 "book", the January challenge for quilt guild, the 9 "Roll Your Own" mandalas, and the online classes from Janet Perry on background stitches and on stitch guides. So while I may have actually freed up some stitching time, the backlog is still pretty immense.
So what do I want to tackle for the final report of 2013?
- I want to be caught up with TAST2013
- I want to be finished with BJP November *and* December butterflies
- I want to be finished with the Crazy Quilt Journal Project December block
- I want to have made progress in the "Roll Your Own" mandalas (I want to do all 9 on the same large piece of fabric so I need to grid them out so they balance)
- I want to finish the Chinese Coins quilt
- I want to get a start on the 2010 BJP "book" (it requires a LOT of planning and a LOT of hand stitching)
- and I want to start a new cross stitch piece (but not sure which one yet!).
This week, I managed two more completions --- my November monochromatic orange crazy quilt block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project and the two TAST stitches that were assigned. Otherwise, I tried calculatiing how to place the nine Roll Your Own Mandalas and think I have come up with a plan, using Iris Garden overdyed 32ct linen (even though my husband is no fan of the fabric) and the Tropical Ocean color scheme. The I forced myself to work on two neglected pieces because it was, after all, November's International Hermit and Stitch Weekend--- the Chinese Coins quilt and the November BJP butterfly. The Chinese Coins top is finished, even though the top and bottom borders had to be sewn on twice because I forgot to put right sides together when pinning! 37 inches x 2 (because I didn't catch my mistake until I had done both borders) of ripping! AAARGH! Here it is laid out on my craft space floor:
and as you can see, I am at the limits of my "design floor" so basting it will be an issue... You can get a better idea of how it looks, hung from the two Chinese armoires in my craft space:
At present it is roughly 37 inches wide and 41 inches long so will probably finish nicely at 36 x 40...
I also started the November butterfly, which will be in shades of brown and yellow - probably turn out to be anoher "camoflage" butterfly!. The body of the butterfly is done and the wings are (barely) started:
Spent a good portion of Sunday (roughly 4 PM through 7 PM) watching live coverage of the storm that passed through here, getting ready to bail to the basement when our tornado warning sirens went off (and they did).. Needless to say --- NOT conducive to stitching!
Luckily, all we "lost" was a decorative flag that blew UP from the lake onto a sidewalk, but there was significant damage to the east and south of us, much of which has yet to be assessed. Lots of people without power, many buildings with roofs blown off and windows blown out (there were reported hurricane-strength wind gusts in nearby Bowling Green from straight line winds... and one house collapsed onto four inhabitants who were watching a football game and were slightly injured), and many road closures due to downed power lines, lack of traffic signals, cars blown into median strips and other debris not only in the roadway but also still blowing around in 35 - 30 mph gusts (sustained winds around 20mph).
The weather around here is curiouser and curiouser!
These two stitches are variants of the Twisted Satin Stitch --- the Twisted Satin Stitch makes up the cross and the vertical row of stitches in the picture below while the Twisted Satin Stitch with Bead is the four stitches in the row at the bottom:
The beads are a cloudy clear color so they don't show up well in this photo...
The last monochromatic orange:
Heavy on the buttons, low on the stitchery. Hope it fits with the others but I suppose I can always embellish it more later if it doesn't...
Snowed last night. Not a lot but enough to cover the grass and cars and roof... Guess winter is well and truly here!