Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Unfinished Finishing

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I have a confession.  I have a very bad habit of taking classes/workshops and then the project never sees the light of day again.  Maybe.  Ok, yes, seriously I do.  It may be a problem.  There is more than one instance where the only stitches I have in some pieces are the basting stitches.  Anyone else?  No?  Just me?  

So, in order to try to break this horrible habit of mine, I've been working on finishing my Hare Pyns piece.  Some friends and I have occasionally gotten together to work on our finishing together, which is very helpful.  I admit that I am a complete amateur when it comes to finishing, I'm actually a little afraid of it.  Which is why it requires moral support.  

So, when last you saw this piece it was newly stitched and I'd attended the class.  I had the main sewing pocket stitched, and then the pinkeep and needlebook.  That was November 2011 and I believe my statement in that post was "I hope to have this finished by the end of the year."  Oh the shame.  

Moving on.  

I have the pinkeep attached to the main piece, as you can see in the photo above.  I have the inner lining attached and the angled pockets attached. 

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I have the gussets made, the divider with the ribbon made, and the little pocket made.  Oh, and I have the pretty glass button sewn on. 

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I have sewn the little pocket onto the reverse side of the ribbon divider, and then attached the gussets to both sides of the divider. 

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It is coming along very slowly.  But it is coming along.   I'm in fact almost to the point where I need to actually get my scissor sheath and fob stitched.  Yes, I know...sad that I still don't have those stitched even.  I do actually have that divider and the gussets sewn in and it's starting to actually look like a pocket now, which is kind of exciting.  

Lately, I've really been in the mood to finish up some of these longstanding pieces that have been sorely neglected and hanging around unfinished for-evah it seems.  This piece definitely falls in the realm of things that are on my Dude, Get On That Already list. 

So, more to come on things of the finished variety, and definitely more to come on the Hare's grand adventure. 

I am grateful for podcasts keeping me sane.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rolling Along

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Thanks for all the comments on my last post.  It's been fun working on some summery projects while the mood strikes.  Although I haven't worked on it in awhile, I thought I would share my latest progress on And They Sinned.  The photo above is basically the middle (the fold) on page two.  I've been tracking my progress by when I need to roll my fabric on the scroll rods.  The layout of the chart is on basically legal size paper, so I roll my fabric when I get to the fold on the page and when I get to the bottom of the page.  I thought for sure page two would go so quickly because of the alphabets.  Not so much.  I got bogged down in it and it sat for quite awhile.

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I picked it back up around March of this year and got the alphabets finished up and that strawberry band.  Then it was on to the fun stuff.  I've been wanting to stitch those crazy birds on the flowers for so long!

This section was actually my favorite so far.  I loved the birds and the funky flowers, the grapes, and the bright colors.  It just made me super happy and excited to stitch on it.  And this section actually went really fast for me compared to how the rest has gone so far.

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And as you can see, I hit the bottom of page two and went a little past it.  Time to roll my fabric again (and give those guys pants!).

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This is where I currently am on page 3 (my color is really off in these two photos).  I'm excited to get down to the lion.  Sylvia (who I was stitching this with as a SAL - but she has finished hers) said the lady and the lion were her favorite part of the piece, so I'm looking forward to it.  

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As you can see, I'm down at the halfway mark on page three and ready to roll my fabric again.  Plus, the guys have pants now, thank goodness.  But the best part?  I'm at the end of the vines on the sides.  They morph into trees on either side from here.  One issue I ran into, I ran out of Cherry Bark.  I'm stitching this on 40ct Elegant Bean, with the called for GAST threads.  I bought brand new skeins of everything for this project specifically, so I was a little surprised that I ran out of thread.  It wasn't one of the threads that was identified as needing more than one skein.  But, luckily I had some on hand. 

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I've had some other things taking my attention away from ATS over the past couple of months, but now I'm excited to get back to working on it.  Maybe a 2014 finish?

I am grateful for Crow's Toes nail polish.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Stitches


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Hi, everyone!  I hope you're all having a wonderful summer.  I've been working on a couple of projects that just seemed like the perfect thing for summertime.  You may remember a while back I started the Tula Pink Hex on the Beach quilt.  It was an English Paper Piecing (EPP) kit that was offered at the time her Saltwater line was released in very limited quantities.  I pre-ordered the kit when I went to meet Tula a couple of years ago.  The kit comes with the pattern, the paper templates and all the fabrics precut.  Add needle and thread and you are ready to go.  So, last summer I started mine. 

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I'm thread basting my pieces, although I know some folks swear by glue basting.  Basting actually goes pretty darn quick and you kind of get into a rhythm with it.  Once you start sewing the hexies together in rows, you do have to keep track of your pattern, but it goes pretty fast too.  Where I got kind of stuck was in sewing the rows together.  It's a little fiddly and you definitely don't get that instant gratification of seeing a row come together.  So, that's kind of where I left off with mine - sewing rows 1 and 2 together.  

Well, summer rolled around again and I decided to pull this back out to work on.  It's been really nice, and is very portable, so that is a huge perk. 

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And my new obsession - binge watching Suburban Stitcher podcasts.  Y'all, I can't even tell you how much fun I've been having watching Dianne's podcasts, and I don't even knit.  I own yarn, I've attempted knitting twice, it didn't work out.  But now I'm obsessed.  Again. 

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I now have rows three and four assembled and sewn on.  It's fun because now you can see the beginnings of the pattern.

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There's 40 rows total, so I'm 1/10 of the way there!  It will be exciting when I move out of the corals and into the seaweed colorway. 

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And my other summer project, something else that was resurrected from the closet of lost WIPs...my Shores of Hawk Run Hollow.  Sylvia is stitching this over one.  Let's take a moment for that to sink in.  OVER ONE.  So, seeing hers made me want to get mine out and work on it.  Here's a couple of photos of how it looked when last we saw it.  Block 1 in progress.

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And block 1 completed.

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So here's why this was banished to the closet.  It's on 36ct.  I have since learned that I hate, like hate with a passion, 36ct.  I love 40ct.  I like 32ct.  36ct is that weird limbo halfway count that the coverage with one thread isn't enough, but two threads is too much.  So, when I started this I was having such an issue with the coverage using one thread over two that I couldn't stand it.  So, I started block two (you can see the little bit of it above) with two over two.  Coverage was better, but it was really too thick.  So.  Into the closet in disgust.  

When I pulled this back out, the thought of starting over wasn't really an option for me.  The piece of fabric I have (which these photos are not anywhere close to showing the actual color) is so so gorgeous that I couldn't bear to ditch it.  And after looking at my stitching again I decided that moving forward with one over two was what I wanted to do.  But first....block 2 had to be ripped out.  So, it took several nights to get the black border and the inner blue border ripped back out.  Sigh.  painful.  But, I got that all ripped out and then stitched it back in and look!  Now there's coral, and a crab, and fish, and seaweed!  So fun! 

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Here's both blocks together.  I am really happy on the decision I made and that I'm now moving forward again.  And it really is the perfect summer stitch.   

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Summer is such a great time to hibernate in the A/C and work on some fun projects.  I hope you all are enjoying your summer stitches too!

I am grateful for watermelon, lemonade, and outdoor jazz concerts. 








Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Snooty Turtle SAL


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I'm so bad at keeping up with SALs, I really am.  And yet, each and every time I'm presented with one I leap right in with both feet.  Hope springs eternal.  So, at the beginning of the year, a SAL began in one of the Facebook groups to stitch the Snooty Parrots Sampler by Barbara Ana Designs.  It's an original design created to look like a repro, with intentional "mistakes" and all.  Super cute sampler, love the crowned parrots especially, and of course the A&E.  But, I was ending a year with so few finishes under my belt, and beginning a new year holding firm to my resolution that I would focus on And They Sinned, my Anniversaries of the Heart, and on a new start that I was planning on starting in Paris.  So, I decided no Snooty for me.  I am working on other things!  You see where this is going, don't you?

So, after seeing a few January 1 starts on Snooty, and everyone I know seemingly joining in on the fun, I start to waiver in my conviction.  But, I somehow got it into my head that if I was going to stitch it, I wanted to stitch it my way.  My way equated out to wanting to stitch it on 45ct.  I've never stitched on higher than 40ct, and I'd really been wanting to give 45 a try.  So, I decide that with that personal challenge I will join the SAL.  Then began the task of getting 45ct fabric.  Well, no one local carries the 45ct (or had any at the time), so then I had to start looking for a place to order from.  I ended up contacting The Attic, and talked with Jean about what I wanted to do.  She didn't have any of the called for fabric in 45ct currently, but suggested that I might give the 50ct a try.  In for a penny, in for a pound, right?  I mean, come on.  How big a difference could there be between 45 and 50?  So, I eagerly agree and say yes, I'd like to use the Tudor silks you recommend with it too.  And then Jean the enabler tells me, that by 50ct she really means the unevenweave that is 52 in one direction and 60 in the other.  Okaaaaayyyyyy.  I'd seen my good friend Robert's completed Crown Sampler on the 52/60 and it was gorgeous.  So, that's what I ended up with.  I only got the three silks I needed to complete January's part, because I figured I'd know at that point if this was going to kill me or not.  

My silks and fabric arrived, and boy that 52/60 count is teeny tiny.  But, everything was beautiful, so I got started.  What I will say about the high count linen is that you do need good light, it does help to use a hoop or q-snap to open those holes up a bit, and it takes a little while to adjust to it.  But, even though my first few nights of stitching were a little bit of a struggle for the first ten minutes or so, when I saw how it stitched up I was hooked.  Look how tiny and sweet!!!!!

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Why are things always way cuter tiny?  Seriously though.  And when Robert compared his 40ct start to my 52/60ct start, he started over on the 52/60ct.  It seriously makes the 40ct look huge!  Of course Robert's already stitched 90% of his piece now after restarting, but we won't discuss it.   

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I absolutely love this fabric, and the more I stitch on it, the more I love it and the easier it gets.  It used to take me, like I said, 10-15 minutes to get adjusted to it.  Now though, the only place I seem to have a bit of an issue is starting a new thread.  For some reason that just seems to take a bit of patience to make sure I'm in the right spot.

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It took me a little while but I did get my January part done and am working on February still (see why I titled this post Snooty Turtle SAL?).  And, the kind of fun thing is that I've stitched on Snooty here in Texas, in Paris, and in Kelkheim and Bavaria, Germany.  It's been kind of fun to bring it along with me on my adventures this year.  

I'm getting close to the point on my Snooty that I need the rest of my silks in order to continue.  I'm excited to put some blues and browns in.  And I've seen some beautiful examples of Snootys with color changes - using blue for the alphabet instead of pink, using red rather than pink, etc.  It's really fun to see what other people do with it.  That's really the fun part of a SAL, isn't it?

I'm hoping to get February's portion finished up, minus the numbers that are in another color, soon and I'll be sure to post my progress.  And seriously, the more I stitch on this tiny thing the cuter it gets.  I'm so glad I decided to challenge myself and try something new.  

Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments.  I always appreciate them.  My life kind of imploded between Thanksgiving and the end of January, so I know I was super absent from the blog, but I've got several new posts in the works and I intend to get back to my regular posting schedule.  

I am grateful for being inspired by other bloggers to get back into the swing of things.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Adventures in Color


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Look!  She lives!  Not only does she live but she has stuff to share!!!  So, yes...I have been sorely neglecting the old blog for the quick and ease of Instagram (ie I'm lazy).  Well, not entirely lazy, but it is certainly easier to shoot a photo on my phone, upload it to IG and then boom, done.  As Max said on Two Broke Girls, "Twitter is stupid and Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read."  (FYI you can follow me on both Twitter and Instagram - ha).  Anywho...back to the pretty pictures.  So, I have tons of stuff to share - some of it is stuff you may have seen on IG and some of it I actually got out my camera and edited in Lightroom and all that fancy stuff.  For today, well...the square format is a dead giveaway, no?

So, back in October or so I decided that I wanted to jump on the Marcelle Medallion bandwagon.  Alexia Abegg's book Liberty Love includes the pattern for the quilt.  I spent a ton of time surfing around the internet looking at other people's Marcelle's and trying to decide what fabrics I wanted to use on mine.  In the end, what it came down to was that I wanted it to be a collection of some of my favorite fabrics and designers, and I was going to basically wing it and hope it all comes together in the end.  I knew right from the start I wanted to include some of that Kaffe Fassett Jupiter fabric.  I played around with a number of things to pair it with, but in the end another Kaffe print won out - the red Aboriginal Dot.  

You can probably tell from my photo too that I decided to do the center block by English Paper Piecing it.  I was scared stiff of trying to match up those sharp points and y-seams.  So, I made my own EPP templates and got started. 

At Thanksgiving I had finished up the next round on the center block using Tula Pink Parisville French Lace and Lizzie House Pearl Bracelet.  Yellow is probably my absolute favorite color, and I really wanted to use this lemony shade in my Marcelle. 

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At this point, I ran into issues.  I don't know if my templates were off just enough and compounded they were making my measurements way off, but by the time I went to add on the next round of pieces I could not get my pieces to fit together correctly and match up.  After getting most of them sewn together by hand, I knew that it was going to have to come out.  So, I ripped out everything back to the yellow and ended up sewing it on my machine.  I still had some issues, as you can see (although the poor quality of this photo may hide some of that).  But, I was ok with leaving it as is.  The important thing to me was that the center points were matched, so I could live with the rest.  

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And for finishing out the center block, my center was so bright and bold I wanted to tone it down a little bit with some cooler colors.  I went with Lush Uptown with the fabulous paint by number print that picked up my yellow and red a bit.  Then I complimented that with one of the low volume prints from the Architextures line.  Finally, for the outer corners I needed something to ground my block - so I went with a navy print from Anna Maria Horner's Hand Drawn Garden line.  It also picked up my reds and yellows, adding in some bright greens and turquoises too.  I am pretty much just auditioning fabrics as I go and choosing things I really like, which is kind of fun.  May be a hot mess later, but so far I'm loving it.  

After struggling to get that center block sewn, I was faced with my first border.  After trying several different things I knew that I had so many prints going on that I really wanted some kind of tone on tone print for the main fabric in the border.  I saw someone's Marcelle that used one of the Tula Pink Acacia prints in a bright chartreuse that looked fabulous, so I ordered some of that, thinking that it would tie in that bright green in the AMH corner fabrics.  I also ordered the same print in the purple color.  Once my fabrics came in I got to work auditioning.  I actually ended up bringing my sewing machine into the living room and sewing on the coffee table while I watched the movie Juno (which I really enjoyed). 

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 After much deliberation, I ended up not using the chartreuse Acacia print.  It worked, but the purple actually was better.  So, purple it was.  And after trying a TON of different things for the cornerstones, I ended up with this bright turquoise Lily Ashbury fabric from Gypsy Wife. 

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It is crazy bright and super colorful, but I really love it.  The purple just worked.  It picked up the centers of those flowers in the AMH fabric, and played off the purple in the Jupiter print in the star.  The cornerstones also worked with the AMH fabric, so it seemed a match made in heaven.  

Now...what the heck to use for my next border.  It's a border of 60 degree triangles and I'm completely stumped.  I'm going to have to spend some time auditioning things to see what works.  I've been collecting some fabrics here and there that I love, so I have some good options.  Where I find I'm seriously lacking is in the low volume fabrics.  I picked some more up a month ago though, so I have a few more choices now.  

I'm enjoying the journey of just kind of seeing where this takes me and what works and what doesn't. 

I'm grateful for summertime projects. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Good Tidings

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Every year for the past several years I have started a new stitching project on New Year's Day.  And somehow giving a piece that distinction makes it special to me.  I suppose for me it's a way of celebrating and honoring the new year.  Some of my past New Year's starts have been Mystery IX Jardin du Roi (2006), Mermaids of the Deep Blue (2008), At Home with Jane Austen (2009), And They Sinned (2010), Paradise Lost (2011), and A Return to the Sea with Jane Austen (2013).  I've had a couple of years where I chose to keep going on a WIP rather than start something new (most notably on Margaret Cottam, which allowed me to finish her on January 7 of 2012), but for the most part it's a new start.

You may notice that two of those NYD starts were companion pieces from The Sampler Girl, At Home with Jane Austen and A Return to the Sea with Jane Austen.  Both were very enjoyable stitches and I finished them within a month or so of starting them.  Which brings us to my NYD start for 2014.  Tanya was having a sale on many of her patterns last year and I took the opportunity to get the third companion piece for the Jane Austen series that At Home and Return to the Sea are part of, Good Tidings with Jane Austen. 

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This piece really was a joy to stitch, as were the other two.  It made me happy to turn to this piece each evening and see it come to life.  I loved the little reindeer and the tree.  I had to set it aside for a short while to pick up a few colors of thread I was missing, but once they arrived it was a quick finish.  I finished it on January 28th, just a few short days before I got on a plane for Europe.   

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I absolutely love how this turned out and someday I'll get these three framed.  This one was stitched on 32ct Creme Brulee instead of the 28ct Light Mocha the other two are stitched on.  Since I will likely display this one seasonally, it didn't bother me to stitch it on a slightly higher count linen.  I used the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads.  And here they all are together. 

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I really had the most wonderful NYD too.  I shared this photo on Instagram - I had my two boys on my lap, I was stitching on a new start, and finally getting to watch Season 3 of Downton Abbey.  An absolutely perfect day. 

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And speaking of Downton Abbey, I was a little late for the party on this mystery quilt that was offered in a Facebook group at the end of last year, but I still managed to get enabled!  I ordered the book with the pattern from the designer (Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios) and all the fabrics I needed for it (minus what I need for borders and backing).  I can't wait to get started on this one.  I chose the Lady Mary version of the quilt and her fabrics from the Downton Abbey line. 

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I am glad to finally be sharing my NYD start and first finish of the year.  I've been working along on a few pieces, including two new starts, that I can't wait to post about.

I am grateful for cookie butter.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Closing Out the Year

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I appreciate you all being patient while I play post catch up here.  This post though, as you can tell from the title, is the last of things I wanted to share with you from the end of 2013.  

I was very excited when Paulette announced she would be doing a Sunday Mystery SAL back in September.  She released a part each Sunday for nine Sundays, with the promise that we'd have a finished piece before Thanksgiving.  I stitched Mary's Sampler II, which was the more densely stitched of the two pieces.  Each week I took the opportunity to stitch the new part, while reflecting on the season ahead and what it means to me.  I chose to stitch mine on 40ct Vintage Light Examplar by Lakeside with mostly the called for GAST threads.  I had to change out the white to a brighter white so that it didn't blend into my linen.  I also opted not to use the called for Espresso Bean, instead choosing a warmer, lighter brown.  Mary I dressed in blue, using a Limited Edition GAST called Aquamarine.  I love how my little sampler turned out and I'm looking forward to having it framed for this Christmas. 

One of the things I wanted to accomplish over the holidays was to finally do the finishing on all of my ornaments and my two guild nametags.  I figured since I had three ornaments for exchanges to finish, I might as well finish my others too. 

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I've already shared the finished product of the ornament I stitched for the EGA exchange and the ornament for the Tudor Rose exchange.  I also managed to finish these two. 

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I'm not over the moon about how my Penny Angel turned out, but I think the pompom trim for the Dash Away All was a perfect choice.  

And since I had them out, I took a pic of all my stitched ornaments together.  You can see my Tulip Angel and Shepherd's Bush ornaments are still lacking their trim.  I realized later that there was one missing from this photo.  Isn't that always the case with family reunions?  ; )

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I had one final finish for the year I wanted to share.  The year before at the Tudor Rose party, Sylvia and I decided to do an ornament exchange between the two of us in 2013.  So, it was with great anticipation that I opened up the package from and saw this beauty. 

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She stitched this Monsterbubbles ornament changing the colors and the linen.  She uses some metallic silver thread as well as adding the gorgeous beaded edge so that the whole thing sparkles in the Christmas tree lights.  And I absolutely love it on the dark blue linen.  Such a stunner in person, my photo does it no justice.  

But, here comes the funny part.  Sylvia and I didn't discuss with each other what we were stitching and kept it a surprise until the packages were opened.  Here's what I stitched for her.

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The little Blackbird Designs' Souvenir stocking seemed like the perfect choice since we'd be seeing each other in Paris in the spring.  I stitched this on 40ct Vintage Light Examplar (the same fabric I used for Mary's Sampler) with the called for threads.  I backed it with this pretty pink fabric and used Swarovski bicones for the hanger.  I think we both had fun with the exchange and will definitely be doing it again this year.  

I also had a couple of gifts I wanted to share.  Back in 2010, Gloria of Milady's Needle was designing this piece and asked if she could use Romeo's information to personalize it.  I had completely forgotten she'd promised the model to me in return until she sent it along.  I've hung it in the hallway with the memorial sampler for my dad (John Reed will also hang here once it's framed, I'm sure).  It is a sweet reminder of my boy, and a very generous and heartfelt gift. 

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My sweet friend, Kim, also gifted me with this lovely Mary's Best floss keep from Country Stitches (WTN&T).  Isn't it pretty?  I've been lusting after one of these for a long while and now I have my very own! 

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I had really hoped to have my Kate Spain Christmas quilt finished in time for the holidays, but it didn't quite happen.  I ordered the backing fabric for it, that you can see in my Instagram photo here.  I could not pass up those cups of hot cocoa on that Icicle grey background.  Too too perfect.  I definitely want to get this one done this year finally so that I can snuggle underneath it while sipping Mexican hot chocolate (my favorite) and watching Serendipity (one of our favorite Christmas movies). 

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My finishes for the year were not as numerous as previous years, but I did get some more sewing in and I finished my dad's memorial sampler, which was the most important thing for me.

2013 Finishes

2013 Finishes
Return to the Sea with Jane Austen
Kate Spain Christmas quilt top
 Hexy pincushion
Swoon mini quilt
Pinwheels mini quilt
John Reed 1844
Nightshade pillowcase
Sally Halloween costume
Kiss Kiss mini quilt
December ornament 
View From Above ornament
Souvenir of Paris ornament
Mary's Sampler II

It's nice to finally feel like I have some closure on 2013, although much delayed.  I can't wait to share what I've been up to in 2014 so far and my brain is zinging with new ideas all the time.  

I am grateful for weekends spent marathon-watching Game of Thrones.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snow Day


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Thanks for all the compliments on my ornament in the last post.  I agree with you - the guild members are a talented group of stitchers!  As you know, I have been attending the Tudor Rose guild's annual holiday party since I became a member.  I decided this time that I would also attend the Greater Dallas EGA holiday party as well.  Having never been before, I thought it would be fun to attend.  Unfortunately, the holiday party had to be postponed a week due to the crazy ice storm we had in Dallas.  We did get snow as well, but underneath that snow was a solid sheet of ice.  Needless to say - we all opted to hibernate in our houses!!

But the city thawed and we were finally able to get together for our party.  You've seen the ornament I stitched for the Tudor Rose exchange, so here is the ornament I stitched for EGA. 

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If I'd been thinking clearly, I would have photographed my little Santa ornament in the snow!  Alas, I wasn't.  I've been mulling over stitching this ornament for a few years now.  It was actually one of the monthly sheep blankets for the Woolly Tyme club done by Homespun Elegance back in 2006.  I just always thought this was a sweet design and would be something that probably few have seen.  I just love his little Wisper beard that's all fuzzy.  I found this great pompom trim at JoAnn's that was a perfect choice for finishing him.  

One of the things I love about EGA is that  you have needleworkers of all kinds - cross-stitchers, needlepointers, beaders, etc.  One of the ladies brought her beaded Christmas trees to share.  You can see two of them in this photo - but she's actually finished like six of these things!  Aren't they awesome???

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The board members presented the outgoing President with this amazing gift.  They took a kit out of her stash (without her knowing) and they each stitched on it and then finished it.  Not only was she completely blown away by the beautiful piece - but the fact that it had come from her own stash - what a gift that is!  (Side note: if anyone would like to stitch something for me from my stash, shoot me an email.  LOL)  She had even bought these gorgeous Sajou Mother of Pearl scissors to go in the piece and quickly wen to retrieve them so that they could take their proper place!  I wish I'd gotten a photo of the outside of the piece, but it was just stunning!

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Now, on to the ornament exchange!  Here are closeups of a few I thought were eye-catching.  Loved the beaded edge and hanger on this sweet one. 

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A beaded ball with fringe.  My photo of this does it no justice. 

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This one had a lot of people's interest - it's a completely beaded three-dimensional star with a beautiful crystal in the center.  Loved this one so much!

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And here are some closeups of some of the fantastic ornaments together.  

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Look at the beaded cardinal - wowza!  So pretty!  I love the blackwork piece next to it as well. 

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And here they are all together.  I meant to get a closeup of the two wool ornaments - they were darling.  Again - I love how different they all are. 

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And this is the beautiful ornament I went home with.  Made by my sweet friend, Adrienne, I was thrilled I managed to hang on to it through the swapping! It's two-sided and entirely beaded.  She is such an amazing beader. 

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So there you have it - another fun holiday party and exchange.  I will definitely be attending the EGA party again.  

I am grateful for stepping outside my comfort zone.