Finally Feeling Like a Real Stitcher

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Up until now I’ve only had two pieces professionally framed. Since one is a Halloween piece, I really only have one out for anyone to see. And there are days that I see other stitcher’s homes and feel like such a phoney. I’m not sure you would even know a stitcher lived in my house. But, all that is changing.

On Saturday I went and picked up two framed pieces (so I’ve now doubled the amount of framed pieces I have!). I used a little bit of the bonus I got earlier in the year and decided to have one piece framed. Well, then I remembered my little A&E, so I thought “why not bring it along”. And look how well it turned out! I happened upon that little pre-made frame and thought it was perfect. The stitched area is only 2 inches square. (Sorry for the glare in the photo).

But the piece I mainly wanted framed was my Where My Heart Blooms. I was thrilled when I saw how this turned out! And this piece, you may remember, was actually my Valentine’s gift to Eric this year, so I was glad to finally be able to get it framed.

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Here is a close up of the frame. It has a little bit of red in it, that looks great with the piece. And the shop owner had this hanging on the wall at the shop and she said a bunch of people were asking about it. Of course, it’s an old Loose Feathers design, so it’s out of print.

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We ended up hanging the piece in our bedroom, which is where I envisioned it going. But it’s one lonely piece on a big wall, so it looks a little sad there. I’ll have to get stitching on something else with red in it to add to that wall. I’m thinking a nice sampler would be good. Any suggestions?

And I’m so happy that my A&E wall has begun. It’s a small start, but it’s still a start. I’m hoping to get Margaret Pence framed in January when they have another framing sale. She will look good with these two!

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So, it’s not much, but I am thrilled. I’m feeling a little bit more like a real stitcher. Now I just need to finish a big repro sampler and have that framed!

But of course, in the meantime, it’s all Hare Pyns all the time.

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I think I made a lot of progress in a week. I finished my leaves, filled in the two side flowers, stitched the bunny (he is so stinkin’ cute!) and added my initials. I’ve started filling in the background, which you can probably see. Once that background is filled in, I’ll be moving onto the back panel. I’m way off my schedule of having a panel done a month, since I’m now into July on that front panel. But, hopefully I can get back on track.

Yesterday, I stitched on ATS as usual, and that is coming along slowly. I think I may be the slowest stitcher ever. Or possibly everyone just has way more time to stitch than I do. Either way, I need to step it up a notch if I’m going to ever get anything finished.

Oh, if you’re interested in seeing my firework photos from the 4th, head over here.

I am grateful for watching the space shuttle launch.

A Flock of Final Finishes

Christmas Bird of Joy

Welcome to 2011! I hope you’re all having a fantastic start to the new year. When I did my final wrap up post of 2010 finishes, you may remember that I mentioned there were a couple more I couldn’t share quite yet. Well, here they are!

You may remember that I bought some of Kate Spain’s 12 Days of Christmas fabric? Well, combine that cute fabric with this pattern from Spool, and you’ve got a flock of the happiest birds around. The one above just made it’s way to Germany. I added a ribbon for hanging, because I thought they would be cute as ornaments or just to hang on a drawer pull even.

And the “Joy” bird has some friends…

Christmas Birds

His friends made their way into the hands of some of my friends. And I have a few cut out and ready to stuff so that I can have Christmas birds to keep me company at my house too!

The other finish that flew over to Germany was a very late birthday gift for Sylvia. Unfortunately her birthday fell right around the time I was hunkered down studying for my certification exam. Sylvia graciously told me not to worry about it and to just focus on my test. So, her birthday and Christmas gifts went across the ocean together.

I do hope she likes her birthday gift. Her favorite colors are pink and green, so I knew I had to stitch this one for her. It’s the Pink Flower freebie from Workbasket stitched in Belle Soie on 40ct Lambswool. I filled it with crushed walnut shells and backed it with a pretty pink fabric. I love the way it turned out. Happy (much belated) birthday, my sweet friend!

Pink Flower for Sylvia

You can see Alma’s version of this freebie on her blog too. Such a fun stitch!

I have some gifts I received to show you as well, but it will have to wait until next time. I’ve also been stitching up a storm since the beginning of the year, so I’ll have to show you that as well.

I am grateful for a new beginning.

Looking Back

2010 Finishes Final

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of 2010. Where did the time go?? I thought I’d look back at the year though and see what I accomplished. Above are my finishes for the year. Most were small things, and many were gifts. In fact seven of the twelve were for other people. And speaking of gifts, there are a couple more finishes that I can’t show you yet.

I did also manage to start and finish two larger pieces for myself, well ok one of these is a gift for Eric (Where My Heart Blooms). So, one piece for me.

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I did manage two A&E finishes this year, which is a good start on my A&E wall. So, I am quite pleased with that. I hope to have more A&Es for my wall next year.

And I did get one quilt done this year too (see that first finish at the top left) – also a gift. So, at least I managed to sit at my sewing machine a little bit. I hope to have more of that next year too.

And I read a few books over the year as well:

Lover Unbound
The Ultimate Trophy*
No Tomorrow*
Catching Fire
The Lost Chalice*
Lover Enshrined
Eclipse (re-read)
Water for Elephants
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Mockingjay
Lover Avenged
The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider’s Guide
The Lacuna*

Not nearly as much reading as I would liked to have done (*and four of the thirteen were for book club). Hopefully next year, since I am done with school, I can get more reading done.

And speaking of being done with school…what else happened this year?

I completed my 365 photo challenge that I had started in March 2009
I participated in the Worldwide Photo Walk for the first time
I completed my coursework at school
I passed my certification test for Microsoft Project 2007
I started a new job
I passed my certification test for my CAPM and joined PMI
I relearned how to knit
I participated in several 5Ks as well as the 10K of death
I attended my first seminar (the EGA South Central Seminar)
We lost sweet Romeo
I participated in the Secret Stitcher program at Guild
I took a needleturn applique class
I took a class from Amy Mitten
I went to Nashville Market

Not a bad way to spend the year, I suppose. I’m excited to see what next year holds. Thanks for sticking with me throughout 2010. I truly treasure the friendships I have made through this blog.

I am grateful for another year and the hope of good things to come!

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Fabric

Miss me? I hope you all are having a lovely holiday season and that you’re getting some time to put a few stitches in before the end of the year. Since passing my certification exam, it’s been busy busy here trying to decorate, send out cards, get ready for our annual entertaining, etc. I have managed to get in a small amount of stitching around all of that, but a good portion of the past couple of weeks has been spent at my sewing machine.

I ventured out to the quilt store the day after my exam with the intent to find some pretty Christmas fabric. Even as late as it was in the season, my local quilt shop actually had some of the fabric I’ve been coveting for months – Kate Spain’s 12 Days of Christmas. I could hardly believe my luck! I bought four different prints from that collection and then a pretty white on white snowflake print to mix in. Aren’t they pretty all stacked up?

I had to wait a few days before I was able to cut into the pretty, but cut into it I did.

Fabric Scraps

Every year Eric and I host an Eggnog & Dessert party for our families, and every year I wish I had some pretty holiday dessert napkins. So guess what? The first thing I did with that fabric was make some dessert napkins with it! I made twelve, so that I’d have plenty in case our party number grew. They turned out the perfect size I was looking for and brought a smile to my face every time I looked at them.

Holiday Napkins

Aren’t they fun? I also had other plans for my pretty 12 Days fabric, but I can’t show you that quite yet. You’ll have to wait a bit. But, I enjoyed my time with my sewing machine and I was thrilled to finally have some pretty napkins for our party. I have yet to post about the party itself, but I will. And the napkins made an encore appearance on Christmas Eve when we had Eric’s family over for dinner. The napkins worked perfectly for our antipasto course.

I’ll be back soon with more updates and photos from the holiday, plus a stitching update or two. But until then, I’ll leave you with this yummy thing – a chocolate cake ball covered in Ghirardelli chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt…on a pretty napkin.

Salted Chocolate Cake Ball

I am grateful for time with my friends and family and pretty twinkle lights on the tree.

Christmas Stitching

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After a complete mental breakdown caused by looking at all of many WIPs, I decided a new start was in order. Ha! See how I am?!? But really, I just wanted to stitch on something Christmasy for the last few weeks of December. So, I pulled out BBD’s Peace on Earth (Loose Feathers No. 28). I already had the fabric and the thread on hand, so it was easy to get started. I am loving it so far. Here’s a photo if you’re not familiar with the pattern. Cute, huh?

And I know I haven’t been able to show you what I’ve been working on until now. I stitched and finished Shepherd’s Bush Joyful Night from the JCS 10th Anniversary book. It was a quick little stitch, and I was also able to accomplish this one with thread and fabric on hand (even the finishing supplies were already in my closet!).

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I backed it with a pretty deep purple fabric that has little stars on it. I loved how it brought out the purple in his shoes. This is for the guild’s annual ornament exchange that is taking place tonight. I’m anxious to see what everyone else stitched!

So that’s part of what I’ve been working on lately. I did also pull out ATS and work on it on Sunday. I’ve got my cloud all outlined and I’m starting the fill in. I want that cloud done! And thanks for all the suggestions for 2011 – I did go and check out the challenge for working on 15 WIPs in the new year, which looks promising. I’m still deciding though. Hopefully I will find something that works for me – because above all, I want to relax and enjoy my stitching.

I am grateful for working out of my stash. It’s such a good feeling!