2018 – Let’s Do This

This will be my third year of working on whittling down my WIPs.  In 2016 I drew names of projects and then worked on each until finished (completed WIPs = 1) and in 2017 I joined the Year of WIPs Challenge and chose 12 WIPs to focus on over the year (completed WIPs = 3).  This year I thought I would join the WIPocalypse.  I actually participated in WIPocalypse years ago and was pleasantly surprised when I heard it was still going strong.  So, I spent some time at the end of December deciding which WIPs I wanted to focus on for 2018 (I talked about them in my last Flosstube video of the year).  So, here they are!

Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs

This is the whole piece currently.  I am working on the 9th (September) block, Clara Ellen.  I set this aside because some of the thread colors on this block are way too light and need to be ripped out and restitched in a darker shade.

Halloween Neighborhood

This piece was a round robin originally, but last year I pulled it out and started adding some additional blocks to it.  My plan for 2018 is to work on this for #dark13stitching every month on the 13th and to start filling in some of the gaps.  I started charting the whole thing out so I can do some planning.  Here are the blocks I added last year.  The first one was By the Light of the Moon – a freebie from The Primitive Needle with a few alterations.

Halloween Rules by Milady’s Needle.  I changed up the configuration on this one too.  The tombstone on the left says 2007, the year I started this RR.  I’ll put the year it’s finished on the other tombstone.  The one at the bottom says E.A. Poe 1849.

This is a portion of a class piece from Brightneedle called Ghoulies and Ghosties.  I just can’t get over that witch hat roof.

And finally, I’m in the process of working on what was originally my block at the start of the RR (having to restitch because my first RR was lost).  This is the cemetery from Village of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings.  I flipped the design so that the tree is on the right hand side and I’ll be eliminating the black background that is on the original piece.

Green Santa by Birds of a Feather

This poor Santa has been a WIP for a ridiculous amount of time.  I picked him back up in November to work on for Santa Sundays #santasundayxs on Instagram.  I decided to keep him as a focus piece so that I can hopefully complete him and then move onto one of the other BOAF Santas.

Vierlande Winders’ Keeper by Amy Mitten

This piece is one of my challenge pieces.  While the stitching itself shouldn’t be challenging, the finishing will for sure.  I started this the year my dad died and haven’t had the heart to pick it back up since then.

His Eye is on the Sparrow by Heartstring Samplery

Sparrow wasn’t on my radar at all until two things happened – I saw that Tracy P had just purchased this and was planning to make it a 2018 piece.  I got it out to share a photo of mine and remembered how much I love it.  And the second thing was that I’ve been binge-watching Nicole’s videos and am missing my sampler stitching dreadfully.  I’m stitching this on 48 count Gander linen with the called for threads.

Mystery 9 (Le Potager du Roi/The King’s Vegetable Garden) – Chatelaine Designs

I had hoped to have M9 done in 2017, but alas that didn’t happen.  I have LOTS more to say about this piece, but for the purposes of this post I have completely finished (minus crystals and bugle beads) the top left corner including the beading.  Next I’m moving over to the top right corner.

Here’s how the whole thing looks currently.

Model for Cozyegg Designs

In 2018 I hope to finish the model and release my first design – with more to come!

Dutch Beauty by Permin of Copenhagen

Emily and I decided to start Dutch Beauty together in June of 2017 as kind of a last Maynia start.  I’m doing my own color conversion with a mix of silks, overdyed cotton, and DMC.  Started at the right bottom corner a la Nicole.

I’m so in love with this piece and can’t wait to spend more time with it in 2018.  I’m currently working on that big vase of lilies.

And finally, my New Year’s Day re-start.

Ten by Amy Mitten

This was a class I took back in 2010 at the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild.  Amy designed this piece for our 10th anniversary.  It has been sitting since then with a very small amount stitched because I wanted to tea dye it after seeing Amy’s model.  So, the last week of December I ripped out that stitching and tea dyed my fabric and then started it again on New Year’s Day.  The reason I chose to make this a focus piece this year is because of all the specialty stitches and because it intimidates me A LOT.  So, this is my second challenge piece for 2018.

This is where I’m at after working on it almost a week.  And below are the detached buttonhole petals that will get attached to the flower to give it dimension.

So there you have it, my focus WIPs for 2018.  As I finish these off (because I’m being optimistic), I may rotate other WIPs into my rotation.

I am grateful for a brand new year.

Little White Pumpkins

I think this was the last design of Lisa’s I bought before she died.  It was a limited edition release at St. Charles market in September 2010.  Even now, a couple months shy of her being gone seven years, it is still bittersweet to stitch her designs and watch them come to life.

Lisa offered this design as a kit with the Weeks Putty fabric – either 30ct or 35ct.  This was actually the only market piece I bought that year – it was just too cute to pass up.  And I loved the presentation with the fabric and chart in a little bag.

This piece was officially started during the first official Dark October Stitching back in 2016 and I finished it in 2017 during Dark October, on October 9th.

Mine is stitched on the 35ct Weeks Putty and I used the called for Weeks threads.  I did rearrange the letter colors at the top to have the orange letters not line up.  But that’s the only change I made.

I loved each stitch of this piece, and each little motif.

And how can you not love those two little white pumpkins?

I am glad that Lisa has left a legacy of her creativity and talent and this past year I was truly lucky to be able to stitch and finish two of her designs.  That makes 2017 pretty special.

I am grateful for still having a little piece of her with me in each of her designs.

Salem Notforgotten

Late in 2016, a lovely fellow stitcher posted on Facebook in one of the stitching groups a suggestion to do a SAL beginning in June to honor the 325th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials.  She had suggested we all stitch this beautiful piece by Notforgotten Farm called Salem Village.

While I love that piece (really anything by Notforgotten Farm) I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to stitch a piece that has been in my stash since 2008 when Karen V (sadly no longer blogging) gifted it to me – Salem Remembered by The Primitive Needle.

Part of the reason I have been wanting to stitch this piece was to honor my ancestor, Susannah Martin, one of those accused and put to death during the trials.

In doing some research on Susannah I found this: Lone Tree Hill, a famous historical site, bore a tablet on its westerly side marking the site of George and Susannah’s home. The boulder which marked their homestead has been moved to make room for a highway, and it can be found on the map where the highway crosses Martin Road in Amesbury. The marker lies nearby. George was one of the largest landowners in Amesbury. The inscription on the marker reads: “Here stood the house of Susannah Martin. An honest, hardworking Christian woman accused of being a witch and executed at Salem, July 19, 1692. She will be missed! A Martyr of Superstition. T.I.A. 1894.”

“A martyr of superstition” really says it all about this horrible time in our history.

It was important to me that in undertaking this piece I wanted to really delve into each of the names I was stitching and to reflect on what they endured.  We started the SAL on June 10th and I proceeded to complete each of the names by the date that they were put to death, beginning with Bridget Bishop the first to be executed.

I stitched this piece on a 40ct Lakeside Linen of unknown color with my own conversion (using what I had on hand).  I used Belle Soie Moss for the motifs and border, Silk N Colors Chestnut for the names, Gloriana Antique Gold Dark for the centers of the stars, and Silk N Colors Tuscan Olive (called for) for the background around the stars.  I wanted Susannah’s name to be prominent so I chose to use Belle Soie Red Fox for her name as well as for the stars.

Further information from my research: On Aug 29, 1957 the State of Massachusetts voted to wipe from the books the convictions of six women that had been unjustly accused of being witches 265 years earlier. Then Gov. Foster Furcolo signed the legislative intended to clear Susannah Martin, as well as: Ann Pudeator, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott and Wilmot Redd.

However, while taking a graduate course on Salem witchcraft during the late 1990s, Paula Keene discovered that, although the legislators intended to pardon all six of the women in 1957, only Ann Pudeater’s name was listed on the official documents. Susannah Martin, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott and Wilmot Redd were simply listed as “five others convicted of witchcraft.” Keene and state representative Michael Ruane worked together to redress the issue.[6]

On Halloween 2001, due to Keene and Ruane’s efforts, as well as the efforts of many of the descendants of the accused witches, Susannah Martin, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott and Wilmot Redd were finally, and truly exonerated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

On September 22, 1692 Martha Corey, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott, Ann Pudeator, Mary Easty, Samuel Wardwell, Wilmott Redd and Mary Parker were hanged at Gallows hill. These were the last hangings to take place during the Salem Witch Trials. I didn’t quite make my goal of finishing the last set of of names by the date of their death, but I had them finished by the end of the month.  And frankly, it’s quite chilling to realize that eight were hanged on the same day.

I started this piece on June 10, 2017 and finished it on October 3, 2017.  In the dedication of a new memorial at Proctor’s Ledge on the 325th anniversary the following was said.   “We would like to think that we’ve learned from the evil and traumatic choices made 325 years ago. We would like to think we’ve become better people,” Barz-Snell said. “The truth is the lessons of Salem are not just learned once, but must be learned and relearned by each generation.”

“From this time forward I hope that residents and visitors to Salem will treat the tragic events of 1692 with more of the respect they are due,” he said. “We need less celebration in October and more commemoration and sober reflection throughout the year.”

 

I am grateful for honoring my history.

Summer Vibes

I’m back to share another Year of WIPs finish for 2017.  This is Cuisine d’ete by Echevette, a French designer.  I bought this pattern and started it back in February of 2008.  And before I put it on my YOW challenge list, it had probably been years since I stitched on it?  The last blog post I have is from September of 2009.

The original design was stitched on raw or natural linen.  I always knew I wanted this piece to go in my kitchen so when I came across a piece of 32ct Lemon Zest from Silkweaver in my stash, I knew I had to use it.  The chart only calls for three colors of DMC and I used the called for red and green, but the ecru it called for I changed to B5200 for more contrast against the yellow.

I had a lot of fun stitching on this piece each time I picked it up and I was so determined I would finish it this year I also put it on my MAGIC list.

So I started this in February 2008 and finished on September 3, 2017.  I really don’t know why it took me so long to finish it and why it languished for so long because it truly makes me happy every time I look at it.

And it will reside in our kitchen along with this piece – my Lemon Meringue Sampler by Casey Buonaugurio.

Lemon meringue pie is pretty much my favorite thing in the world.  But, as you can see, Cuisine d’ete will fit right in.  Now all it needs is a frame!

I am grateful for happy thoughts of summer during the cold winter.

First I Drink the Coffee

At spring Market, Beth from Heartstring Samplery introduced the second design in her Magical Elixer series, Coffee Quaker.  When I first saw it and saw that my Instagram friend Natasha was organizing a SAL, I knew I needed to stitch it.  It’s been a long time since I jumped right on a bandwagon, but I thought this was such a fun piece that it just had to be stitched.

I ordered the called for fabric 40ct Stars Hollow from R&R.  Although I’m not a huge fan of R&R, I made an exception because of the color name.  I mean, who can resist a Gilmore Girls reference?  I also ordered the three or four threads I didn’t already have in my stash.  I had decided early on that I didn’t love the bright green and bright red that were included but went ahead and ordered those two colors so I could make a decision once I had them in front of me with my fabric.  I still didn’t love them.

Once I started stitching I realized that one of the threads called for was way too close to my fabric color, so I switched it out.  In fact, I went through my thread inventory and pulled any colors I thought were “coffee-inspired”.  I did use the called for Weeks Palomino, GAST Apple Cider, GAST Picnic Basket, GAST Dark Chocolate, and Classic Colorworks Hazelnut.  I decided to add a green, but a much more muted green.  I chose GAST Chamomile after auditioning several greens with some test stitches.  I really wanted to use my GAST Zombieflesh, because it seemed appropriate, but alas Chamomile won out.

The threads I added were: GAST Cinnamon, Weeks Mocha, GAST Roasted Chestnut, GAST Chamomile, GAST Espresso Bean, Weeks Swiss Chocolate.  That Swiss Chocolate is my absolute favorite.  I most definitely need to get another skein of it to have on hand.  Since I switched out some colors, I had to do a little bit of rearranging in order to keep the arrangement of lights and darks.

Here’s a map of which colors I used where.

One of the other changes I made was with the infamous basket.  A lot of people in the Facebook group had no idea what this was supposed to be.  In sampler stitching, this is most often a fruit basket/bowl.  When I got to looking at it closely in the chart I noticed that Beth had put in some lighter colored “lines” in each of the “fruits”.  So I decided that these must be coffee beans!  In order to highlight the individual beans I did alternate colors of them so you could see they were actual individual beans.  It took a while to get my colors all sorted out, but I love love love how it turned out.  It may be my favorite thing on the sampler.

I do also love that bird on the right hand side with the coffee bean in his beak though.  The only other change I made was to follow Emily‘s lead and add an extra stitch to the bird under the 17 so his beak was a tad longer and looked like a beak.

I’m so happy with how this whole piece came out and it was an absolute joy to stitch.  I started it on April 1st and finished it on July 2nd.  Such a super fun piece.  I definitely want to stitch her other pieces in the series:

Coffee Saves Lives …

And her newest one…

If you’ve been on the fence about joining in on the Coffee Quaker fun, or you just love coffee, these are definite recommendations for your stash!

I am grateful for coffee, coffee, coffee.

Ten Years in the Making

As promised, I thought I’d share my 2017 finishes on the blog.  I already shared Mermaid Fraktur here, which was my first big finish of the year.  The next thing I decided to focus on was the Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler that was published in five parts in The Gift of Stitching magazine.  I started this piece when it first came out and copied Carol’s choice of 32ct Sandcastle by Silkweaver with the called for Vikki Clayton HDF silks.

As I mentioned, I started this piece when it was first released in March of 2007.  I completely fell in love with that beautiful red silk A.  The colors were just so pretty and the specialty stitches gave it a fun texture.  This piece has long been languishing though and the reason for that is  because I could already tell I was going to run out of one of the silks.  There is no worse feeling than knowing you’re going to run out of a thread that is no longer available.  Vikki had long since closed down her thread dyeing business.  But, I decided this piece had sat too long untouched and so I put it on my Year of WIPs list.  And in March of this year I pulled it out of the closet to stitch on.  I’d basically finished parts one and two and was mostly finished with part 3.  This is what it looked like when I took “before” photos for my Year of WIPs album.

When I picked it up though, I just really wasn’t feeling the love.  I was having a hard time actually wanting to stitch on it.  In fact there were nights I just didn’t stitch because I didn’t want to stitch on this.  But then I went to a stitchy meetup at my LNS and brought this with me, since it was already on the q-snaps and strangely enough dedicated time on this piece got me in the groove with it.  So, I just kept going.  And then the inevitable happened.  I did, indeed, run out of one of the colors of silk.  I posted my saga on Instagram and before I could even blink the sweetest stitcher offered to send me her spool of that color so that I could finish my piece!  So, I worked around that color and kept going.  And when it arrived a few days later, I was back in business.  Sort of.

The silk I’d run out of is that blue/green/teal variegated of the peacock.  And her skein was close but was more blue/teal with no green.  But, at this point I was going to make lemonade out of lemons regardless and get this done.  And of course the biggest motif in the whole piece was down in that bottom right corner (part 4) in Deep Sea.  So, I fudged it.  I pulled a green that was as close as I could get to the original and I interspersed that green with the teal/blue of the borrowed Deep Sea.  And I think it looks fine.  With everything going on in this piece, it doesn’t really catch your eye.  So I’m pleased with that.

Part 5 of the pattern was the center, and the designer actually gave three different options for the center.  One was for a marriage or anniversary, one for a birth announcement, and one was an alphabet with a big peacock in Deep Sea.  When I started this piece I’d intended to stitch the peacock.  But, by the time I was actively working on this in March I decided that it would be a great piece to commemorate our tenth wedding anniversary.  I hadn’t stitched anything for the occasion, so this would be perfect.  And, if I pushed hard, I could finish it in time to give to Eric on our eleventh anniversary in April.  So, I decided to go for the anniversary choice for the center.  And it’s kind of Adam & Eve-ish too, so that’s a bonus.

I did the personalizations – the years, the 10, our initials.  And there were two cartouches on this piece that were charted with nothing in them.  I decided to put an L in the top one (right above the peacock) and then at the bottom I had just enough room to put Texas – where we met and were married.

I finished it literally the day before our anniversary and then was in a panic about how to frame it.  Square frames aren’t easy to come by and usually the biggest you can find them is album size (12 x 12″).  I needed 15 x 15″ at least.  But that evening when we were out shopping I spied a piece of pre-framed “art” at Garden Ridge that appeared to be the perfect size.  So, the next morning while Eric was sleeping I slipped out of the house and went to purchase it.  I popped out that “art” and had already laced and pinned my piece so I could pop it right in.

And I’m thrilled with how it looks.  And I’m saddened by the fact that this piece literally took me ten years to finally finish it for what turned out to be a sum total of twenty stitching days once I picked it back up again.  That’s right, twenty!!!  UGH!  So March 2007 to April 2017 and commemorating our ten year anniversary back in 2016.  Which I wouldn’t have done if it hadn’t been sitting here unfinished.  So, maybe it’s perfect timing.  And thank goodness through the kindness of stitchers who are willing to bail a girl out when she runs out of silk!!

I’m so happy with how it looks and I’m happy to have it done finally.  Happy ten years, my love.  Here’s to another ten.

I’m grateful for ten years and the kindness of stitchers.

Flosstube Episode 46.5: Holiday Home Tour

 

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share a quick tour of my home decorated for the holidays.
I hope you enjoy a little peek into our home.
The stitched pieces shown are:
  • Walking in a Winter Snapperland by Bent Creek
  • Peace by Country Cottage Needleworks (from JCS 2007 ornament issue)
  • Christmas Treat Bag by Shepherd’s Bush
  • Mary’s Sampler by Plum Street Samplers (freebie here)
  • Midi Mystery I by Chatelaine Designs framed by Jill Rensel
  • 2000 Years Ago by Shepherd’s Bush (from JCS Ornament issue starting with year 2000 through 2008)
  • Snow Bunnies by Little House Needleworks (from JCS 2007 ornament issue)
  • Good Tidings with Jane Austen by the Sampler Girl
  • Isabella Johnstone by Needlework Press
  • Barnabee’s Quest by Just Nan
  • Miniature Adam & Eve by Beyond Just Cross-Stitch
  • First Snow by The Drawn Thread (freebie)
  • Jenny Bean’s Halloween Sampler by Shakespeare’s Peddler
  • Garden of Eerie by Plum Street Samplers
  • Their Song by Blackbird Designs
  • Primitive Tree by Ewe & Eye & Friends
  • Friendship piece by Needlework Press
  • Rampant Cats Sampler by Barbara Ana
  • A Little Bitty Ark by Homespun Elegance
  • Quaker Garden by Blackbird Designs
  • Margaret Pence by The Goode Huswife
  • Just Nan Round Robin

Thanks so much for watching!

I am grateful for my cozy home.

Flosstube Episode 46: Jazz Hands

 

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share a recap of my 2017 finishes and 2018 plans along with joining Flosstube Fit Club.
Check out itiskismet stitches video for more info on Flosstube Fit Club and then come join the Facebook group.
Wrap up of my 2017 stitching (more to come with photos in a blog post):
  • 12 Stitching finishes
  • 2 of 4 MAGIC pieces completed
  • 3 of 12 Year of WIPs pieces completed
  • 16 new starts

My 2018 Focus WIPs:

  • Mystery 9 (Le Potager du Roi) – Chatelaine Designs
  • Halloween Neighborhood Round Robin
  • Ten by Amy Mitten
  • Vierlande Winders’ Keeper by Amy Mitten
  • Dutch Beauty (my Dark Beauty) by Permin of Copenhagen
  • Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs
  • Green Santa by Birds of a Feather
  • His Eye is On the Sparrow by Heartstring Samplery
  • My first design model stitch

Once I finish one of my focus WIPs, I’ll rotate a new one in.

I hope this finds you enjoying the holidays and stitching up a storm!

I’m grateful for vacation days, holidays, and lots of stitching time!

Flosstube Episode 45: Party Girl

 

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share another Year of WIPs finish, seasonal stitching, and my Chatelaine.
Finishes:
  • Primitive Wizard of Oz by Midsummer Night Designs – Classic Colorworks, Weeks, PTB, and DMC on 40ct Natural Gander linen
WIPs:
  • Village of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings – stitching with DMC on 36ct Lakeside Vintage Light Examplar
  • Noel ornament by Catherine Theron (Theron Traditions) – stitching with GAST & Weeks on 40ct Weeks Confederate Grey
  • Jenny Bean’s Christmas Sampler by Shakespeare’s Peddler – GAST on 40ct Navy Bean by Lakeside
  • Mystery 9 (Le Potager du Roi) by Chatelaine Designs – silks and PTB on 32ct Lavender Mist Zweigart

Thanks so much for watching!

I am grateful for the vision and talent of Martina – she brought an enormous amount of beauty to this world and to our stitching.  She will be truly missed.  

 

Flosstube Episode 44: Best Laid Plans

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share some the end of #darkoctoberstitching and what I’ve been working on since then.

And here’s part 2 of Episode 44:

 

Shownotes:

At the beginning I showed some older Halloween pieces I’ve stitched or been gifted. The framed piece is House on Booberry Lane by Brightneedle. The pincushion is by Jeanette Douglas. And the other piece is Blackbird Designs and is called Waiting for the Harvest.

Finishes:

1. None

WIPs:

  1. The Talking Board by The Primitive Needle on 32ct Zweigart Dirty Belfast with the called for Weeks (new Dark October start)
  2. Halloween Fairy by Mirabilia on 32ct Poltergeist by Silkweaver (overdyed by me) with Classic Colorworks (new Dark October start)
  3. Autumn on Lazy Bear Mountain by Kathy Barrick on 35ct Irish linen (overdyed by me) and using Weeks Onyx for the border (new Dark October start)
  4. Black’d Skie by The Primitive Needle on 40ct Vintage Pear Lakeside Linens with the called for Pure Palette baroque silks and SNC
  5. Dracula Book Cover by Dam Good Crafts on 40ct red Gander linen with DMC (Halloween start)
  6. Mystery 9 (Le Potager du Roi) by Chatelaine Designs on 32ct Zweigart Lavender Mist with called for silks, metallics, beads, and crystals

 

 

Reading:

1. Started Stephen King’s Drawing of the Three

Thanks so much for watching!

Grateful to be home.