OK, I shouldn't brag but it's been so LONG!
On to the other side --- this is where it is as of today:
I finished a little 2x2 square designed by Michael Powell. It's meant to be one side of a scissor keep but I think I'll make it into an ornament instead and stitch the other side as another ornament.
OK, I shouldn't brag but it's been so LONG!
Two strands of Anchor floss over one --- in an 18 ct (I think) canvas. A bear to frog so there is one mistake I simply fudged around. Luckily, Powell designs are wonky enough to make fudging invisible!
On to the other side --- this is where it is as of today:
It would have been further but after stitching three rows in white, I realized it was SUPPOSED to be a blended white/blue thread and that could NOT be fudged around! So... I carefully frogged for half an hour, trying to save as much of the flow as possible.! ARRGH! Here's hoping I can substitute DMC on the other two charts in the kit because I suspect I will run out of what was supplied VERY soon!
This month's topic for discussion is:
"Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO."
I had to go back into my files to find the longest running WIP... it is a round robin I participate in on Cross Stitch Crazy, a long gone forum on the now defunct iVillage. I started in January 2007. I stitched it on full yard of Silkweaver's 28-ct Jobelin, in the "Carol's Meadow" color. It is a 12" x 12" square stitched with a knot garden in "blackwork" from Stitchin'spirations ("Brandon", designer Sally Rudkin) . The outlines of each individual garden plot were stitched in two strands (over two) of WDW Juniper (2158) while the blackwork fill and the plants around the outside were stitched in one strand of Caron Waterlilies "Distant Hills" (153). The garden "fence" was stitched in two strands of DMC 310 (black); the four urns at the central "gates" on each side were stitched in one strand of DMC 356 (terra cotta) and the pineapples at the remaining gates were stitched in one strand of DMC 61 (a variegated yellow-brown) with leaves in the WDW Juniper.
I sent it out to on its rounds (five other participants) with patterns for 18 possible Victorian house designs, all Nancy Spruance Victorian miniatures from three brochures: 3 copies each of Victorian Side Streets, San Francisco Scenes and Cape May Victorians, to be placed in the squares defined by the running stitches. In addition, I included a copy of fences, gates, urns and lamp posts (from Spruance's Victorian Miniatures pamphlet) which could be substituted for the embellishments shown in the house charts.
When it came back to me in August 2007, it had five houses stitched:
And I have never gotten around to finishing it. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure "how" to finish it, other than adding at least one more house to the bottom right. I know I have the house patterns somewhere -- that is only a matter of digging them out. And I had thought to make four blackwork motifs for the four corners but that wouldn't work if I don't compete the six "lots" on the sides...
What to do?
So on to my progress in April - and yes, hard as it may be to believe, I did make progress this month! That would make it to months running of stitching and...
Well, sort of.. it still needs to be "finish"-finished (probably framed).
May I present "Palm Tree Elegance", a Dimensions needlepoint on mono-canvas, started in 2010, put into UFO mode in 2016 when I broke my wrist, and started up again this March:
I absolutely HATED the idea of backstitching this huge piece in hand (no frames here) and put it off for three days but, in the end, it only took an hour (not counting the untangling - the floss for the backstitching that came with the kit was NOT quality like DMC or Anchor, was too long and tangled terribly - and the juggling of the chart to see where the stitches were supposed to go...). The chart only called for one strand so I'm not even sure you can see it but it is backstithed on the leaves, trunk and some pot details.
The discussion topic for this WIPocalypse period is “Tell us a story about the journey you took through one of your completed pieces." Sadly, I can’t answer this as, for me at least, what I stitch doesn’t necessarily reflect a story about me or it’s stitching. It just is/was… It may have traveled with me (usually a needlepoint piece) but that is just in case I am left alone in a hotel room while husband is out on his conference duties and I need something to fill the time if I’ve run out of reading material. My traveling pieces may take years to complete (for example, the last completed traveling piece was “Butterfly Beauty”,
started in May, 2005, stitching completed in May 2006 and finally finished as a pillow in January 2012!) and may have been all over the country and even on a cruise or two. But it doesn’t reflect any specific “journey”.
In my last WIPocalypse report, I had proposed the following goal - to finish the birth sampler and send it off to my niece. Well, it is finished (except for blocking and pressing, that is):
Once framed, THEN it will be sent off to my niece… So I didn’t meet that goal… but I came close!
My next project is a belated wedding sampler for another niece. I need to kit it out, my plans for today.
The long-term WIP onboard is the “Save The Stitches” blackwork sampler, designed by Elizabeth Almond (in the works since February 2014). I MAY or may not get it out and work on it.
I have finished something! Woo Hoo! I couldn't wait until my usual check-in to celebrate!
Here is "Return", completed:
And here is the complete series, ready to frame (man will that cost a fortune --- the stitched portion of the fabric is a little more than a half yard!
This started out as an online SAL, organized and moderated by Tracey Horner of InkCircles There are 9 Roll Your Own mandalas. I decided I would do them all on one piece of fabric ("Iris Garden" by Silkweaver, 32 ct Jobelin) in the "Tropical Ocean" colorway.
There were a number of preset colorways available or one could design one's own (hence the name, "Roll Your Own"). Since I'm not that comfortable with designing color schemes, I opted for one already posted. "Tropical Ocean" consists of 12 DMC threads in four color groupings: Bright Green - 3850, 3851 and 959; Teal Green - 3847, 3848 and 3849; Delft Blue - 798, 809 and 747; and Navy Blue - 823, 311 and 312, all outlined in black - DMC 310.
I started it the week of January 21, 2014 and finished on August 8, 2016! Talk about a BAP!
This week was pretty much dominated by gatherings (meet the new coach, quilt guild holiday brunch, University President's holiday reception, lunch with my two best friends) and decorating the tree. No pictures for the gatherings but here is the tree, before and after ornaments:
Our first ever purpose-build artificial tree (we've made do the past decade with a tree meant for outside decor).
The only stitching I did was on my Crazy Quilt/Bead Journal block. I finally finished it last night. A little Christmas greenery (is it a branch of a tree with leaves or flowers? Maybe a blooming Christmas cactus? Or maybe a deconstructed holly branch? Who knows --- it evolved) and some snow (which we haven't gotten yet in this unseasonably warm December)
That completes both challenges for 2015, and all I need do now is assemble the quilt/wall hanging... Right --- ALL! Considering that I have two previous years' wall hangings in various stages of assembly, finishing is easier said than done! LOL
I hope you all have a happy holiday, whichever one you celebrate, and that all your days will be merry and bright!
I can't believe it but I actually stitched this week and I'm making some progress on "Revenge"! I am on color three of twelve:
I also have a completion to report: my Crazy Quilt /Bead Journal Project block for November. LOts of leaves, falling and otherwise, seem to be what is characterizing this warmer-than-usual, but windy, November. Also, it seems to be darker this month, mainly due to longer nights, but also to overcast skies. So my block is darker than the rest of the quilt blocks have been, and has swirly winds and lots of blowing leaves...
Quilt guild meets tonight but I hope to get back into my stitching routine Friday. There is a night football game (with our big rivals) next Tuesday night and there will probably be Thanksgiving planning going on as well, but I still hope to see a lot more color in "Revenge" by next Thursday!
That pesky cold is back again, along with a sprained lower back… Yesterday morning was husband’s high school class monthly breakfast so we had to get up early to get there.
And then there was last night — a night football game, kick-off at 8PM. It was televised so each 15 minute quarter lasted an hour (we finally gave up and left at 11 PM, end of the third quarter, when our team was leading 48 - 17). It was warm for November (70 at kickoff) and the President’s Suite was crowded with people (there are 35 seats, give or take a few, but there were a LOT of people standing as well) and since it’s a close space, it was HOT in there. With this cold starting up again, I wasn’t too keen on staying for the whole game, however much I love my Falcons, and I surely wasn’t going to take up my needlework when we arrived home around Midnight!
So I wasn’t very good for stitchery this week.
I did get some work done, however. I quilted (!!!). Those three place mats are finished and ready to take to guild next Thursday night. I know that the Meals on Wheels gifting is currently oversubscribed but some others have stepped up with nursing, assisted living and retirement homes as possible recipients so I will take my poor first attempts at serious quilting in and hope they get good homes…
Here they are, front and back…
I also started the color fill on the Roll Your Own Mandala “Revenge; color # 1 is roughly 1/4 complete:
Cold permitting this next week looks pretty much unencumbered by events. Also, I’m hoping I can stitch all day long Friday night/Saturday when husband will be off daylily conferencing.
Well, I managed to “force” myself to try to live up to the goals I posted in the latest WIPocalypse: I stitched! Every night! Not sure it was really enjoyable, but I did get a good bit accomplished, despite a lot of competition from various events in out lives.
First of all, over the weekend, I planned out, gridded, and assembled the blocks for October, November and December in the Crazy Quilt/Bead Journal Project for 2015:
That took the whole weekend working on my sewing machine (which still hates me!). Heck, I even managed to load a bobbin in the right color for quilting placemats!
Then, I alternated stitching on the October block and “Roll Your Own” (“Revenge”). What resulted was a completed October block:
and one corner of the outline for “Revenge” nearly complete:
Tonight is quilt guild and this weekend a Dyan Reavley Art Journaling class, so I won’t get a lot more done until next week (I may take my traveling needlepoint along to the class to work on evenings)… And next week is further complicated by a dentist appointment (always puts me off anything for the entire day — purely psychological, but…). And the following weekend starts off with two early (VERY early) morning volunteer sessions on the phone banks for the local public radio station ( have to get up at 4 AM in order to be there at 6 AM, and that ruins the day for this night owl). Maybe my stitching mojo will get a rest and come back in November, refreshed and eager to go. Maybe…
An ornament completion… Designer - Charlette’s Collections; from the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Issue, 2015, On plastic canvas, using DMC floss, Mill Hill Beads, Beading Wire and one 1/4” butterfly paperclip.
And never again! Never again will I try a finish like this one. Agreed, it’s unusual, and interesting and all but trying to ship stitch such small pieces together around the arms of a butterfly clip, with the thread catching on everything from the edges of the plastic canvas to the beads on the wings, is not something for my klutzy fingers to attempt. If all the swearing done when working on this little insect attaches itself to the insect itself, then there is some very bad karma associated with this soon-to-be- gifted ornament.
Oh well, perhaps the end result is worth the effort to the recipient, assuming it survives the mailing….
Here is a step by step of it’s assembly and how it looks in various views.
Wings on the clip, top view,side view and with clip arms straight out:
Body and antennae made of beading wire (finally got an in-focus photo that my computer would accept!):
Body and antenna after wire stitched to bottom of body:
Completed butterfly from top, from bottom and with clip arms straight out after body is attached (supposed to be glued but none of my glues held so I sewed it on!):
Maybe the substitution of DMC for braid wasn't the best idea for coverage, especially for the whip stitching around the edges but I didn't have any braid of the colors I wanted and, besides, I hate stitching with it so it would have been an even more unpleasant stitching experience!
This ornament/"small flat gift" took six nights of stitching, from start to finish. The card, which is the main focus of the swap, will likely take me only half a day if it goes teh way I have in my head! Somehow, I think I overthought this whole swap thing!
I changed my stitching plans this past weekend after finishing my September 2015 Crazy Quilt/Bead Journal block:
It was meant to be autumnal, with all those purple flowers but then it occurred to me that Wisteria aren't autumn flowers so I added a few curlicues and turned them into grapes!
I then changed course, abandoning "Roll Your Own" temporarily (I hope), and started work on a swap for Christmas.
In my card swap group on Facebook, we are supposed to include a "small handmade flat gift" in addition to the card. I was at a loss for an idea until the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Issue for 2015 arrived. In it was a small sparkly beaded butterfly that look like it would be just the ticket. But (and it's a big but) it was stitched in metallic braid, not my favorite thing, on plastic canvas and mounted on a butterfly binder clip! Well, I had the plastic canvas (in scraps at last but that should work) and the butterfly clip but switched out the colors to DMS floss in a totally different scheme (reds and greens instead of copper and peach). I have spent two nights on this little thing and have it only half stitched:
It needs two more wings and then it needs finishing. It will take me as much as five times the time it will take to make the card! And because of the structure, it isn't quite flat so it will need a small box so it can be mailed. Oh dear, did I go wrong here or what?
Another busy weekend here at Chez Harper! Tomorrow (Friday Night) there is a reception (business attire - AAACK!) at the University, recognizing members of the "President's Club" of donors (of which we are an accidental member, having given a small amount annually since we graduated over 50 years ago!).
Saturday, there is another reception, this one casual, for members of the 1910 Society, the Carillon Society and The Leadership Circle (we are part of the first two: 1910 and Carillon), followed by the University football game v Memphis (tickets in the President's Box, so if it rains, which it is likely to, we will at least be warm and dry!).
Real philanthropists, aren't we? And all because we started donating $100 a year to a scholarship fund back in 1966!
On Wednesday, the 23rd, we have more houseguests --- passing through on their way to Detroit.
There is also an invitation to the preview of "Indian Summers" at the local public television station on Thursday, the 24th, but that kind of program isn't really husband's cuppa so I think we are passing on that.
Anyway, with all that happening, I suspect I will be lucky if I get that butterfly done! And then it's on to assembling the last three base blocks for the Crazy Quilt/Bead Journal Project, quilting the three placemats for the guild holiday project, and pulling "Roll Your Own" back out of the WIP pile and finishing those outlines...
Born in New Jersey, I grew up in Southeastern Ohio. Attended university at Bowling Green State University (B.Sci in biological science, 1964), University of Southern California (M. Sci in biological science, 1967) and University of Florida (Ph. D in zoology, 1971).
Follow Me to...
* 2012 Color Palette Challenge
* 2012 WIPocaplypse
* 2012 Bead Journal Project
* Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012
* Crazy Quilt Journal Project Challenge 2013
* Crazy Quilt Journal Project Challenge
* Cross Stitch Crazy
* Cross Stitch Crazy forum
* On Beads and Needles
* Black Swamp Quilter's Guild
* Craft Kingdom Quilting
* The Crime Readers Association
* Blog #3 BJP 2010
* Blog #1 BJP 2011