Bellpullooza

Barnabee's Quest Pullware

Do you remember my Barnabee’s Quest? I stitched him as a SAL with some other lovely stitchers, and although I was one of the founding members of the SAL, I was the last to finish. I finished him July of 2008. And there he waited, hanging in my closet. It seemed such a shame to let this piece languish, so I sent him off to Deb to be finished. I cannot tell you how utterly gorgeous Barnabee has become under Deb’s amazing finishing skills. I am so glad that I purchased the pullware for this piece. Look how beautifully it goes with the stitching. Notice the triple cording that Deb added.

Barnabee's Quest

I am thrilled with how the piece turned out. Deb is a marvel!

Barnabee's Quest Tassle

I stitched this piece long after it was first introduced, so finding the pullware for it was a lucky break. I was not able to locate the accompanying beeskep tassel. But, look at the wondrous tassel that Deb created for me. I love that it has not only the colors of the cording, but it also incorporates the purples in the piece and in the pullware. Lovely! I cannot imagine trying to attempt this finishing myself. So thank goodness, I have Deb!

Primitive Tree

But, that’s not all. You may remember that I finished this piece myself a while back. Well, although I tried to artfully photograph the piece in order to camouflage the problems with it…I was so unhappy with my finishing. The main problem with the piece was that the stitching needed to be blocked. The border lines were wavy and crooked, just due to not having been blocked. Try building a fabric border around wavy lines. Well, after pulling the piece apart twice and attempting to correct it, I finally gave up and sent it to Deb. She managed to block the piece and also straighten everything else up. You’d think I’d been sewing drunk. Thanks to Deb, I can now look at this piece without cringing. I am so pleased with it. And what I thought was a simple bit of finishing, frustrated me to no end.

Primitive Tree Wall-hanging

All better! Who knows what Deb thought of me when I emailed her asking if she performed rescue operations. And guess what…she does! Thank you, Deb for your beautiful artistry!!

So, you can see what a happy mail day I had last week, when these arrived carefully wrapped up.

I also did a little bit of stitching over my four-day weekend, although a lot more than you see here. First, let me say that this piece is impossible to photograph. The best photos I’ve gotten of it are with no flash, but those are also blurry…so this is the best I can do. Please ignore a) cat hair b) thread behind piece c) inaccurate color representation…as the colors are not nearly this “neon”. Anyway, I did stitch a lot more than it looks like. I just stitched the same thing three times. I filled in Adam’s face, then proceeded to outline his torso. Then, my lines didn’t match up. I ripped it out and tried it again…still not matching up, but the problem was in a different place. Ripped it out and restitched a third time. Worked. Then I started filling in his torso, and got tired of stitching on it after giving him a cummerbund. I had hoped to see way more progress on him this weekend. Of course, we were catching up on episodes of 24, and so possibly trying to watch the last four hours may have contributed to my inability to count.

Adam & Eve 052409

So, after throwing in the towel on Adam…I decided to pick up something new that I already had in my stash (fabric, thread, chart – how often does that happen?). This is Earth Sampler by Primitive Needle. I love this chart. And I think this may be my first time to stitch on 40ct. I love it. It is not nearly as hard as I was thinking it would be. And I am feeling good about the coverage of one thread over two. I love love love this fabric too…it is Picture This Plus Ale, which is the recommended fabric. It is gorgeous! I wish my threads were showing up a bit better against the fabric color, but perhaps it will look better as I move along. The greens are just a bit light. And, with Eric and I having finished up 24, we moved on to watching more episodes of Season 1 of Earth:Final Conflict, which I am really enjoying.

Earth Sampler 052509

Anyway, I hope to have some more done on Earth Sampler in the next few nights. Thanks for all of your congratulations on my Access test. I hope to have another unit test under my belt early next week. After Access, I’ll be starting on my Project Management classes. Here’s hoping those go quickly! Hope you all had a great weekend and enjoyed your stitching!

I am grateful for time with Eric.

A Trip to the Quilt Store

This morning I made a little trip to the quilt store for some fabric. Aren’t those colors pretty? This year one of the things I’d like to do is learn needleturn applique. So, before starting my big Halloween Baltimore Album quilt (the same one Missy is doing), I thought I’d practice on something smaller. Lucky for me, Bunny Hill Designs is doing a free Block of the Month project. I love the first block. My understanding is that it will be twelve months of baskets, but each basket will be filled with something different. So, this morning I purchased some fabrics for the stars, leaves and the basket. I also purchased my background fabric all at once, because all my backgrounds will be the same. I still need to get some wool for my little snowman. The blocks finish 8 x 8 inches, which is a totally do-able size. My background fabric is little white stars on white (so difficult to photograph).

I also bought fabric to back Barnabee’s Quest with. I believe this is a Thimbleberries fabric. I think it will work well with the piece. As you can see, I already have the hardware to hang the bellpull with, but no tassle. So, off to the finisher this is going. I am so excited!!
I also promised some progress photos on what I’ve been stitching on this week.
At Home with Jane Austen is coming along, I’m filling the house in.
I’ve also made a bit of progress on my Mele Kalikimaka piece. This is over one on 32ct with silk. I’ve finished up the gifts and moved on to the sand. Moving right along!
I have the house to myself this afternoon while Eric is at a photography workshop, so I think I’ll pop in a movie and work on a little gift I hope to get stitched up.
Have a great weekend!
I am grateful for the cat on my lap.

Finished!

BQ 073008
Barnabee’s Quest
Just Nan
DMC on 28ct White Cashel Zweigart
Blue Iris Beads, Ant. Gold Barnabee Bead, Hand-Painted Gold Rooster Charm, and Painted Gold Dragonfly
Begun 2/1/07 and Finished 7/29/08

Well, I finally finished it!!! I am so pleased! I can’t believe it took me as long as it did (shameful, really). As you can see, I began in on February 1, 2007 and finished it last night. This piece began as a SAL with Carol, Jenna, Michelle, Nikki and Andrea. Although I was the person who organized the SAL, I was (sadly) the last to finish. Too many other things going on, I suppose. I really did love stitching on this piece, even though I seemed to put it down for months at a time. I tended to put it down when I hit one of those over one bands. Even though, when it is all said and done, those bands were my favorites when they were all finished.

I have to give a big thank you to Chris for inspiring me to pick this back up and start working on it for Just Nan Sundays. What a huge help that was!
BQ Part 1 073008
Part I
BQ Part 2 073008
Part II

BQ Part 3 073008
Part III
Over the weekend I did finish up the stitching on Part III, and then I started on the beading. I finished putting on all the beads in the border Sunday night, and then last night I added the beads in parts 2 and 3 as well as the bee, rooster and dragonfly charms. The beading really adds a lot to the border though, I loved doing that. I had so many extra beads though!! They packaged up the blue iris beads with the charm needed for each section. I only used one little package of the beads. So the other two are just a bonus! I just love the finished piece!
I will be finishing this as a bellpull whenever I get around to it. I did order the hanger for the piece, but never did find the beeskep tassel topper. So, my piece will just have a plain tassel at the bottom. But, the hanger was the more important of the two pieces in my opinion. Here’s what it looks like.

I also had another finish yesterday…I finally finished the book I was reading for book club. We read Emile Zola’s The Masterpiece. It broke me of my book a week record. It took me approximately three weeks to finish this one. His descriptions of Paris and of the Salon de Refuses were really amazing, but overall I could have done without about 200 pages of this. It just ambled along. Anyway…I am looking forward to my next read, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. I can’t wait.

Even though I didn’t officially annouce my July goals, I thought I’d review anyway…

Stitch and mail Cathy’s RR by the 15th done!

Stitch Red Thread block for SAL finished Maypole, need to stitch June, July & August

Continue with Barnabee’s Quest for Just Nan Sundays made my focus project and finished!

Binding on $5 Quilt nope

Mystery Sampler 120207
I am dreadfully behind on my Red Thread SAL, so that is going to be the next thing I focus on. I need to stitch June, July and now August. Once I get caught back up on it I am going to pull out my Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler to work on. I unfortunately found an error in this piece the last time I worked on it, and it is going to require ripping out three or four motifs to correct it. So, needless to say, I put it away and attempted to ignore it. So, I want to get it back out and fix the problem so that I can continue on with it. It’s such a lovely piece, I’d love to have some progress on it.

So, for August I thought I would post some goals.

Caught up on Red Thread (June, July, August blocks finished)

Correct error on Mystery Sampler

Binding on $5 Block

I think that’s enough. I don’t want to overwhelm myself, especially when I’m feeling so much accomplishment. But, finishing Barnabee now brings me down to 17 WIPs (including the Neighborhood RR and my 12 Days of Christmas ornaments that are one a year). I would really love to whittle this down to under 10 by the end of the year. That would be a huge accomplishment. Of course, that is going to mean no new starts! We’ll see how it goes. I’ve modified my sidebar to only show my focus pieces. It was getting pretty cluttered over there.

So that’s what’s up in our neck of the woods. It’s 105 degrees here, so you can imagine we are trying to mostly just stay inside, in the dark, and think cool thoughts. I’m scheduled to take my vendor certification exam for Excel tonight, so then I will be done with that too. I am moving on to PowerPoint.
See you all soon, and thanks again for always stopping by and leaving sweet comments!
I am grateful for a finish!

A Gazing Ball

Hi, everyone! It was another busy weekend. Eric’s graduation was yesterday, he received his second Master’s degree. We had a lovely dinner afterwards with both our families. I did get a little stitching in on Barnabee’s Quest over the weekend. I am so anxious to get this finished (frankly, I’d like to just finish ANYTHING!). I am getting very close on this one though. The last time I left off at the specialty stitches surrounding the knot garden. My last update was on June 1st.

I think I made quite a bit of progress on this.


After I took this photo yesterday morning, I did get back to work on it last night. I ripped out and restitched the gazing ball. I think Jenna had this same issue, stitching it the way it is charted left me with a rather squarish-looking ball. So, I ripped out that Kreinik and made the ball a little more, well, round. I finished up the knot garden flowers and then began stitching in the roses below it. I found a mistake in my greenery for the roses, so I had to do a little more ripping out and restitching. But, I was a good girl and immediately ripped out and restitched. I don’t want to get discouraged or frustrated with this so close to the end.

Once I finish the roses, I have the verse and the honeycomb to stitch – then beads! Woohoo!! I am so close to finishing I can feel it. My last big finish was Baby Garden…in NOVEMBER!! I am definitely due for another good-size finish. So, keep cheering me on and I hope that next time I update I will have a finish to show you!!

I am grateful for Eric’s new degree…I am so proud of him!

First Week at Work


Whew!!! It has been one crazy week. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and well wishes on my first week at work. It was a good week and everyone seems really nice and friendly. The building I work in is huge, and its like a gigantic maze…so I spent most of the week lost and wishing I had a GPS to carry around with me. I currently have an office to myself, which is nice, but they may be moving someone else in there soon. I love my new boss, and I think this position is going to be fabulous. I am just exhausted after working, then going to the gym, then going to school everyday. I didn’t even get a chance to check my email until yesterday really. I am hoping this next week will be a little calmer, although I will still be going from work to the gym to school (and thus having 14 and a half hour days basicall all week). I hope everyone can bear with me though that my posting and emailing may be few and far between for a little while. I haven’t even stitched all week! Yikes!!! But, on Monday (Memorial Day) I did do a little stitching on Barnabee’s Quest, as you can see. I got started on the specialty stitches that surround the gazing ball in the middle. I hope to make a little more progress on it soon.


I’ve also had the day today to relax a little and do some stitching. I chose to stitch a little on my May block for Red Thread, since I am behind. I had hoped to get this done before the end of the month, but that didn’t really happen. I am close to being finished with it though.

Eric went to a photography workshop for the day today, so I’ve just been stitching and watching Style Network and doing a bit of laundry today. It has been lovely! He should be home in a little while and he’ll be making our Sunday Night Burgers – no idea what sort of twist he’ll put on them tonight! And, yes, to answer the question, he does grill them.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend, and you’re ready to start a new month and a new week!

I am grateful for a day of rest.