Flosstube Episode 41: Gratitude

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share some finishes and some framed pieces, and some WIP progress.
SALs:
  • Join Emily (eclecticpossessions) and I on Instagram for #dark13stitching where we stitch on something dark and creepy on the 13th of every month
  • Melanie’s Soulful Stitching Facebook group also has monthly Darktober stitching SALs on the 13th of every month
  • Join the Hawk Run Hollow SAL hosted by Abi Bellastitch and I – on Instagram you can use the #hrhvillagesal if you’re stitching on Village and/or use the tag #letsallmovetohawkrunhollow for any Hawk Run pieces.  Abi set up a Facebook group called Let’s All Move to Hawk Run Hollow if you’d like to join!
  • Year of WIPs Challenge in Melanie’s Soulful Stitching Facebook group
  • Salem Notforgotten SAL – in honor and remembrance of the 325th anniversary of the Salem witch trials.  We are using the Instagram tags #salemnotforgotten and #salem325 For more information on the Salem witch trials, here is a brief article.
  • Dutch Beauty SAL on instagram #dutchbeautysal with Emily (eclecticposessions) and I
Show notes:
Finishes:
  1. Cuisine d’Ete by Echevette on 32ct Lemon Zest Silkweaver with DMC (Year of WIPs piece)

Framed:

  1. Margaret Pence 1781 by Goode Huswife on 36ct Meadow Rue with DMC (my finish here)
  2. Jenny Bean’s Halloween by Shakespeare’s Peddler on 40ct Lakeside Pearled Barley with the Limited Edition GAST threads (you can see my finish here)
  3. Their Song (Loose Feathers #24) by Blackbird Designs on 30ct R&R Apple Brown Bindy with Weeks (finish here)
  4. And They Sinned (shown in this episode)

WIPs:

  1. Egypt Garden by Chatelaine Designs on 32ct Days Gone By Silkweaver with silks, Petite Treasure Braid, DMC, delicas, Mill Hill bugle beads, and Swarovski crystals
  2. Mystery 9 (Le Potager du Roi) by Chatelaine Design on 32ct Lavender Mist Zweigart with silks, Petite Treasure Braid, delicas, bugle beads, and Swarovski Crystals (Year of WIPs piece)
  3. Green Santa by Birds of a Feather on 40ct Weeks Cocoa with Weeks – stitching for Santa Sundays SAL on Instagram (#santasundayxs)

Stash:

  1. Needleminders and frame for haunted dollhouse from Cindy
  2. Project bag and grime guards from Carissa
  3. Halloween fabric from Joann’s
  4. JCS – October and Ornament issue

Reading:

  1. Finished The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  2. Currently Reading Sour Grapes by Rachel Goodman

Gratitude:

  1. Coni at Spinster Stitcher blog
  2. Amy at Thread in Hand blog

Thanks so much for watching!

I am grateful for a change in perspective and attitude

Over Halfway

I had intended to do a check-in post at the end of June on my progress on my Year of WIPs challenge, but…well…ok so it’s August.  If you’ve been following along on Instagram or on Flosstube, you’ve seen the ongoing progress, but I thought it would be nice to do a little recap.

Above is the mosaic of each of my Year of WIPs pieces where they were at the beginning of the year.  Every one of these pieces got some attention during Stitch Maynia also.  And so here’s my current progress.

Mermaid Treasure Box by Chatelaine Designs – silks and Petite Treasure Braid on 32ct White Zweigart – started 9/26/2005.  I got some work in on that top left corner.

And a little more…

Mystery IX (Le Potager du Roi) by Chatelaine Designs – silks and Petite Treasure Braid on 32ct Lavender Mist Zweigart – started 1/1/2006.  I’ve been working on this one a good bit.  I started off by finishing the beading on the swirls in the corner.  After beading that whole corner, I decided that I would go ahead and start on the next section instead of continuing on with the beading.  I did outgrow my q-snap though, so M9 got moved to scroll rods.

A little closer look at the corner with more done on the next section.

The start of filling in the Algerian eyelets and the corner pool.

And I just recently finished that corner pool – all the Petite Treasure Braid and the beads are done. So sparkly!

My plan is to continue on with M9, to give it as much attention as I can over the next few months.

Bay Sampler by The Workbasket – SNC on 28ct Sterling PTP – started 6/18/2006.  My first order of business on Bay Sampler was to rip out that big sail and restitch it for the third (and final) time.

Then I was able to move to some of the other fun little motifs. Little fish…

Whales…

And the start of a purple mermaid’s tail…

Mystery Sampler by Papillon Creations from The Gift of Stitching magazine – Vikki Clayton HDF on 32ct Sandcastle by Silkweaver – started 3/23/07.  This one is FINISHED!  I will do a separate post on it soon, but here is a final shot!

Mermaids of the Deep Blue by Mirabilia – DMC on 32ct Ocean Waves by Stitches and Spice – started 1/1/2008.  I was able to get a good start on the second mermaid in the two days I worked on this during Maynia.

Le Cuisine d’Ete by Echevette – DMC on 32ct Lemon Zest by Silkweaver – started 2/19/2008.  This one got a lot of love too.

Worked on getting the center section stitched…

And I loved this little lacy part on the side.  And I finished the bottom right hand block too.  I think I could finish this one up quickly, if I stuck with it.

Le Marquoir de Justine by Anne Pelletier Pauleau – my own conversion to Gloriana, Soie Crystal, and AVAS on 40ct HDF light coffee antiqued with walnut spray – started 2/4/14.  I was happy to visit this one again.

Primitive Wizard of Oz by Midsummer Night Designs – DMC, Classic Colorworks, and Petite Treasure Braid on 40ct Tissage Gander – started 11/19/2004.  I think I could finish this one pretty quickly too.

Colonial Garden by Plum Street Samplers – NPI on 40ct Black Forest by Lakeside – started 1/9/15.  I am having a really hard time with this one, and because it’s difficult, I’m really not wanting to work on it much.  Or at all.

Six Wives of Henry VIII by Primitive Hare – DMC on 40ct Gander linen coffee-dyed – started 7/25/16.  I made some more progress on Anne Boleyn.

Village of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings – DMC on 36ct Lakeside Light Examplar – started 9/1/16 – one of twelve blocks done.  Worked some more on block 12.

Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – Classic Colorworks and GAST on 40ct Vintage Examplar – started 6/13/10 – eight of fourteen blocks done.  I did manage to get some stitches in on it.  Unfortunately, I think a good portion of those stitches are coming back out.  I am so disappointed in some of the threads for this block – they are just so light they blend into the fabric.  All that work, for nothing.  So, I will rip out and restitch with a shade darker thread.  Eventually.

So, that’s my (close to) half-year check in on my YOW pieces.  I hope to focus on those two that I think are close to a finish and then continue to focus on M9 until it’s done.

Above all though, I’m really glad that all of these pieces have gotten some attention.  And even if they don’t all get done this year, they are at least a little closer.

I am grateful for great progress and falling back in love with my pieces.  

Five Fathoms Down

Mermaid Fraktur Close Up
 

At the end of 2016 I was asked if I would be interested in doing some model stitching for my newly reopened LNS, The Stitch Niche.  The new owners are working hard to get some new models up in the shop, which I thought was a wonderful idea.  They asked me to stitch on of Paulette’s (Plum Street Samplers) new designs, Mermaid Fraktur.  They had chosen 36 count Earthen by Picture This Plus, which I think was a brilliant choice, and the called for threads.

One note on the threads, and I mentioned this on my latest video, there are two threads Classic Colorworks Sunset and Weeks Parchment that are only used for a couple of stitches.  You can easily substitute those threads with DMC or something you have on hand.  The Sunset is used for their lips and bellybuttons and the Parchment is used for their eyes.

Mermaid Fraktur Finished
 

Even though both sides are essentially mirror images, I had no issue with getting bogged down in doing the same thing twice.  I started om the center because I wanted to make sure I was centered in my fabric since I wasn’t sure how much of a margin they’d allowed.  I worked my way down that middle flower and then stitched the left side and then moved back over to stitch the right side.  My favorite part of this piece is the mermaids’ tails for sure.  I love the Paulette used three different colors to create the scales as well as the fact they are red.  And their hair!  Mine looks like that most days!!

Mermaid Fraktur Close Anchor
 

This really was such a joy to stitch and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to stitch it.  Paulette designs such fun pieces and this one is no exception.

 

Mermaid Fraktur Instagram
I am grateful for spending January with these lovely ladies.

My Sunday Sampler with Sylvia

ATS Bottom Close up

Once upon a time I decided it was finally time to stitch one of my “bucket list” samplers – And They Sinned by Examplar Dames.  I first saw this chart way back when it was first released in a Shepherd’s Bush newsletter and had to have it.  Then on New Year’s Day 2010, I began.  I had ordered 40 count Elegant Bean linen from Elegant Stitch and the called for GAST threads with one DMC for the people.  In March, my friend Sylvia decided to join me and we started our Sunday SAL.  Each Sunday we stitched on ATS and it steadily grew.  The chart is divided into four legal size pages, so I celebrated big milestones when I would get to “the fold” and when I would get to a new page.  I’ve posted a lot of progress photos in the time it took me to stitch my way to the bottom and you can take a walk down memory lane here, if you’re interested.

ATS Top

I remember when we were stitching on that cloud at the top.  I had seen so many people stall out at this part that I was determined to really push through it.  Sylvia was also gnashing her teeth and we bemoaned the neverending cloud.  I recall saying to her, “it could be worse, wait until we get to all that grass!”  Oh, truer words were never spoken.  LOL  I did have a lot of fun with this section though, even naming those two snakes at the top Fred & George and that blue snake between Adam and Eve, Nagini.  I worked that vine border as I went so that I wasn’t stuck doing it all at the end.  I also put this on scroll bars, and as luck would have it I had to roll my fabric approximately when I reached “the fold” or the next page in my chart.  The photo above is essentially page 1 of the chart.

ATS Angel

At the time I was stitching this section I saw someone outline the angel’s wings in gold rather than in the grey it called for and absolutely loved it.  So, I did mine the same.  I even briefly considered ripping out the backstitching on the angel’s wings above the cloud but decided that I liked them in grey.

ATS Center with Alphabet

I thought for sure that once I got to the alphabet section I would knock it out super quick.  Not.  The.  Case.  Somehow I lost all momentum when I got to this section.  And I will tell you that I somehow went through two and a half skeins of Cherry Bark (the color of the alphabet), which seems ridiculous since the chart only called for one and it was stitched on 35 count.  I am super frugal with my thread too, so I can’t begin to imagine how I went through so much of that color.  I had purchased all new threads for this piece so I was starting with full skeins.

ATS Middle

Once I got past the alphabet I picked up speed again on the section with the spies of Canaan.  The photo above basically shows page 2 of the chart.  I really loved this section.  It was possibly my favorite just because of all the colors – the pinks, purples, and those crazy birds with their topknots.  And I really loved what look like quilt stars throughout this piece.

ATS Spies of Canaan Close Up

And page three made me feel like I was in the home stretch.  The section with the lady and the lion was Sylvia’s favorite part of this piece.  I have to admit, I really love this section too.  And it felt like a HUGE milestone to get to the end of the vine.

ATS The Lady and the Lion

And that brings us to the last section, otherwise affectionately known as “the neverending grass”.  Sylvia and I looked and looked at as many stitchers’ And They Sinned as possible trying to determine how we wanted to stitch the grass.  There are people who left the grass off completely, just stitching the animals on a bare background.  While I can understand why they opted not to stitch 8 million green stitches, when you look at the piece as a whole it really needs (in my opinion) the grass at the bottom to anchor it.  It needs that visual weight at the bottom.  We also saw one person who left that whole section off completely.  The chart is written for you to alternate two colors of green on the diagonal.  I didn’t love that look.  I think finally Sylvia saw on the Hand-Dyed Fiber board that someone had alternated the greens every two stitches and stitched everything in half stitches.  One row was stitched ///// and then the next row stitched like this \\\\\.  Loved the effect.  Doing half stitches makes it a bit airier so that your animals really stand out, and by alternating the angle of the stitches and the two colors it gives it a nice visual texture.  So so so glad we discovered this option!

ATS Bottom Section

I made several changes in this section.  The first change you’ll notice is that the big peacock at the top left of the grass ended up a different color.  He was charted to be red and I stitched him that way.  But then when I stitched the big flowering bush to the right I didn’t like having so much red right in the same section.  So I ripped it out and restitched him in teal and blue.

I also added my two boys in amongst the other animals.  Here is Thutmose with his gold eyes and little white spot under his chin.

ATS Grass Section with Thutmose

Here is Ramses with his green eyes being a cat “loaf” as he often does.

ATS Grass Section with Ramses

And I spent a very long time working on the pond.  I used the variegation of the thread to maximum effect and stitched in swirls rather than straight across in horizontal stripes.  I love how it turned out, even if it did take a long time to do.

ATS Pond

And then finally, I was at the end.  I personalized it just as Sylvia did hers, to commemorate our Sunday stitching.  Sylvia actually finished hers well before I did, but continued to cheer me on until I reached the finish line.  My ATS was started on January 1, 2010 and finished it during the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild meeting on August 4, 2015.
ATS Full

Stitching And They Sinned was definitely a labor of love.  And there were long periods where I didn’t work on it at all.  But, I am so pleased to have it finished and so thrilled to have finally gotten around to taking photos so that I could share it with you here on the blog, although I did share it in episode 8 of the podcast/flosstube and you can watch it here.

I am grateful for Sampler Sundays. 

Have You Any Wool?

Wee Woolly WIP

I mentioned in my last podcast episode that I recently stitched a little gift for Dianne for her birthday.  I spotted this chart in my stash and immediately knew it would be perfect to stitch for her.  And since I was going to be seeing her at DFW Fiber Fest on her birthday, what better time to present her with it?  Unfortunately, it took me a little longer to get it stitched and finished so I ended up having to package it up and mail to her.

Wee Woolly Finished

Project details: Wee Wooly by Heart in Hand stitched on 32ct Vintage Pearled Barley from Lakeside Linens with my own conversion to the color palette I wanted using GAST, Weeks, Crescent Colors, and Gentle Arts Simply Wool for the sheep himself.  I filled him with crushed walnut shells and used one of my favorite Anna Maria Horner Field Study fabrics for the back.

Wee Woolly AMH Backing

This was an absolute joy to stitch and I think I’m going to have to stitch one for myself at some point too!  Dianne shared this little gift on Episode 94 of her podcast which brought a little smile to my face.  If you haven’t watched her podcast, I highly recommend it.  She is such a lovely person and an amazing knitter, stitcher, and quilter.

Wee Woolly Finished

I’m so glad Dianne liked this little sheep and the colors are so her.  And really, how can you resist that little sheep?!

Wee Woolly Closeup

 

I am grateful for fuzzy sheep and lovely friends.

The Coffee Debacle of 2016

WIP Box AOTH

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th, if you celebrated!  It was definitely nice to have a long weekend.  I thought I’d share where I’m at on my Project Roulette WIP-down.  On January 1st, you may remember, I pulled the first project out of the box and it was Hare Pyns.  I got to work and finished that one up by the middle of January.  Then I dove back into the box and pulled out the next focus project.  I have to say I was surprised but happy to see this one come up next.  My Anniversaries of the Heart has been a long-standing WIP and I’d really like to see it finished this year.  The last block I finished was actually the June block.  I skipped March, April, and May because I wanted my dad to see the June block I was personalizing for him and his mother before he died.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get it finished in time.  And I think after that, I just sat this piece aside.

I did eventually pick it back up and I started the March block on the plane to Germany in 2014.  I’d worked on it a little bit here and there, but nothing substantial.  So, this is what it looked like when I picked it up in January of this year.  The before photo, if you will.

AOTH A Wish For You - Before Photo

I worked steadily on it and was able to get it finished before the end of February.  I had to make a couple of thread changes.  At the bottom of the house, the “foundation” of the house is charted to be the two brick colors, one thread of each.  I am stitching mine on 40ct and only using one thread, so blending two wasn’t going to work.  My friend Mary suggested using the same color used for the window outlines.  And it worked beautifully!  Also, the called for color for the window fill in was so close to the outline color that I had to look for something else.  After some trial and error, I found something that worked well but wasn’t too stark or bright.  Mary helped by being a second set of eyes on that decision as well.  So, this one is all thanks to her!

Here is the finished block.  I love the way it turned out.  It is personalized for Eric’s grandparents and the year they were married along with their birthdates (both in March).

AOTH A Wish For You Finished

And here’s a little look at how the whole thing was coming together with that March block finished.  I love how it’s coming together!

AOTH through March block

And of course, once I finished March it was on to the April block – Pink Hill Manor.

AOTH Beginning April Block

Here’s my little bitty start on it.

Starting April Block on AOTH

 

AOTH April block WIP

And here it is finished!  I stitched this one for Eric and I.  We were married in April of 2006 and this year we celebrated our ten year anniversary!  This was a fun one to stitch and went relatively quickly.  I finished it up on March 30th.

AOTH April Block Finished

And here we come to my tale of woe.  I took a little break from my AOTH stitching to stitch a little gift for a friend’s birthday and then got started on the May block about April 5th or so.  I worked on it but I was seriously slow-mo-joe-ing it on this block.  Not sure if I was just getting burned out on working on this piece or what the deal was.  But, I’d made some pretty good progress on it and I had it with me at my EGA meeting at the end of the month and then when I got home and was getting my things out of the car, disaster struck.  I spilled coffee on my project bag.  My mesh project bag.  Here’s the damage.

AOTH Coffee Spill

So, it was coffee with cream and sugar in it so I knew I had to get it out.  I attempted to blot it with a damp cloth, which did help with the coffee stain but left a dark line all around the edge of where I got the fabric damp.

AOTH stain

 

I took my case to the Sampler World Facebook group and asked for suggestions. I have to say my friend Kim had the best suggestion (and she knows my sense of humor well):

I recommend voodoo. Bury the linen in a burlap sack in a graveyard at midnight of the next full moon. Sprinkle the earth with a mixture of rat toenails (clipped with your best embroidery scissors), Cheetos dust, and the ashes of a Krispy Kreme donut. Each night for the next seven nights, walk backward around the hole three times. On the seventh night, dig up the burlap sack and swing it over your head five times, facing east. If that doesn’t work, do what these other ladies said to do.

LOL!  It gave me a good laugh.

Ultimately what it came down to for me was that the piece was basically ruined as is, so I took a deep breath and dunked that corner in cold water.  Then I let it start to dry.  Same situation – dark ring around where it got wet.  So, I rinsed the whole thing in cold water.  I let it dry and ended up rinsing it one more time.  Once it finally dried, all traces of the coffee were completely gone.  I had been most concerned about all the overdyed threads used in this piece.  And one stitcher in the group asked specifically about my threads.  She said that the Weeks and Gentle Arts (GAST) threads are for the most part colorfast now, but she said with the Crescent Colors threads (now Classic Colorworks), all bets were off.  So, I knew I was running a risk that my threads might run, and I actually had some that did.  The ones that bled were a charcoal grey and a burgundy.  Everything else looked fine.  And the bleeding wasn’t bad.  I may still try to work on those later, but ultimately I decided that I had too much work in this to ditch it and I think I can live with the minor bleeding.  So here’s what it looked like after its bath.

AOTH After Rinsing

And I picked it back up and got right back to my May block, working on it at the Tudor Rose guild meeting.

AOTH May Block WIP

And then finally, in a late night photo you can see the final finish of this block on June 20th.  So, it took me basically two months to stitch this one.  This block is in honor of Eric’s parents and their wedding year of 1972.

The Coffee Debacle of 2016

I am already hard at work on the July block and hope to really pick up the pace now that I’m over the hump.  Needless to say, I leave the coffee well away from my stitching now!  Anyway, I’ll be sharing better photos of the whole piece soon as well as how my July block is coming along.  And of course, you can always follow me on Instagram if you want to watch my progress.

I am grateful for the help of fellow stitchers!

2016 WIPdown

WIP Box

 

In 2015, I focused a lot on my quilt WIPs and working my way through them.  I was very pleased at the end of the year to have made great strides in that arena.  I started with my oldest WIP and with each I finished, I moved on to the next in line (oldest to newest).  So, when the new year got close I started thinking about how to approach my stitching WIPs.  I knew that if I started with my oldest WIP, I’d never get anywhere (there’s a reason that one still isn’t done).  I also know that I do best focusing on one project until it’s finished, rather than bouncing from project to project.  So, I decided that I would choose ten WIPs, projects that I want to work on, and put them in a box.  Instead of having my usual New Year’s Day start, I would pull my first project out of the box and work on whatever it is until it is done.  Instead of a tenth project, I put in a “seasonal wildcard” so that I could stitch on something seasonal – new start or WIP – if I draw this one.  I’ve also allowed myself any smalls or ornaments that I want to work on, so that I have a travel project and also something small to work on if I’m focusing on a large WIP.  So, on New Year’s Day I was super excited to pull my first project out of the box and see what I was going to work on!

…and I drew Hare Pyns!  So here’s the funny backstory on this.  The weekend before I got together with a friend to work on Hare Pyns and we made some good progress.  We got the needlebook made and sewn on and we got the pincushion made.  I was really excited when I realized how close I was actually getting to having HP done.  But, my excitement over picking something to stitch out of the box overshadowed how I was feeling about HP.  When I pulled the rabbit hare out of the box, I was shocked!  Of course it was the one WIP I’d put into the box that wasn’t actual stitching, just finishing.  I just laughed and said, “ok, I guess I’m supposed to finish this sooner rather than later!”

I’ve posted my previous progress here and here. So, here’s where I started out on the first of January with HP.

All the stitching was done, of course.  I’d made the pin keep and attached it, assembled the sewing case itself and the ribbon edging was partially attached.  The needlebook was finished as was the pincushion.  So, all I had left was finishing up attaching the ribbon edging, add the ribbon accents, assemble the scissor sheath and the scissor fob.  That’s it!  It really only took a few nights to finish off that ribbon edging, and then a few more to finish the other pieces.  And as of last night, it’s finished!

I can hardly believe it is actually done.  Our kit came with the wooden hare threadkeep and a hare ruler.  I’ve been so afraid I would break mine before I got this piece done, so they were in a safe place.  A safe place I had to find.  Sherri Jones provided the antique button for the piece as well.  And in case you were wondering, all that background is actually stitched.

Inside you can see the needlebook, the pin keep (I don’t actually have pins around the edge of it since I’d like to find some matching glass head pins), and the truth about how long it’s been since I took this workshop.

A closer look at the needlebook.  I love that tiny little hare coming out of the tulip.  The inside of the needlebook is wool felt.  And below is a closer look at the pinkeep.  All that background on the pinkeep and on the sewing case itself is also all stitched.  Love the over one hare inside the zero.

And here’s the inside pockets.  There’s the wooden hare ruler.  There is a center divider and on one side it has a little pocket and on the other side (the side you can see here), there are ribbon “slots” for holding needlework tools.  There’s also two bigger pockets at the back where the ruler is.

And here are the other accessories – the scissor sheath, the scissor fob, and the pincushion.

Back of the fob has my initial on it.  And the sweet hare scissors are from a friend that also took this workshop.  (I had to find these too…they were in use already in another project bag.)

And here’s a look at the back of the sewing case.  The bargello, of course, matches the scissor sheath and vice versa.

I really am so beyond excited to finally have this piece finished, and looking at it I can hardly believe that I actually did all this finishing myself.  It was super frustrating at times, but none of it was really hard.  It did take a lot of patience, and a lot of reading and re-reading the instructions, and a lot of time with my friend working on our pieces together.  Finishing this also makes me feel a tad more confident about tackling some of my other workshop pieces.  Of course, they have to actually be stitched first!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my first finish of 2016 and that you’ll check back to see what the next project is that comes out of the box!

I am grateful for my finishing buddy. 

Cliff Notes from 2015

Stitching Bags

Hello, friends!  Thanks so much for your comments on my last post!  For those of you who saw that post pop up on your blog feed and noted how glad you were I was back to blogging, I wanted to fill you in on what happened.  Last December I migrated my blog from Blogspot over to my own domain.  If you go to the old blog address you will automatically be redirected to the new location.  So, I’ve been blogging at my new location throughout 2015 but unfortunately it didn’t occur to me that my feed over at Bloglovin’ or similar blog readers never got updated to the new address.  So, if you were looking for updates via a blog reader, rather than heading to the blog directly, it appeared that I haven’t updated my blog in a year!  The feed should be fixed now, so you will get regular updates as I post.  So…please take a look back at my older posts if you’d like and see what I’ve been up to.  Also, you can subscribe to my blog by hovering over the Contact tab at the top and clicking on Subscribe to our mailing list, which will send you new posts by email.

So, since it’s January and since you may have missed several of my posts from 2015, I thought I’d do a little recap of what I’ve been up to.

Episode 5

The biggest thing I did last year in the Cozyegg universe was to start a video podcast!  So far I’ve recorded ten episodes and I am absolutely loving this new venture.  You can tune in via YouTube or right here on the blog.  I am working on getting my feed over to iTunes as well.  If you’re not familiar with podcasts (they are more prevalent in the knitting community than in the stitching or quilting community, I think), it’s basically a video blog post where I talk about what I’ve finished, what I’m working on, what I’m reading, any new stash enhancements, etc.  I talk about stitching, quilting, and knitting. You can watch the first episode here.

In stitching, I finished several things.  Early in the year, I stitched two of these little Faith ornaments that I turned into book weights.  One was for me, and one for a friend.  I made some color changes and used threads that I had on hand.

Eric and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary in April, which is the willow anniversary.  I wanted to stitch something for him and decided to stitch a block from Village of Hawk Run Hollow that had willow trees in it.  I personalized it with our wedding date.  Unfortunately, I haven’t taken proper photos of this one yet, so you get a screen capture from Episode 4.  I love how it turned out.

The biggest finish, though, was five years in the making.  I can still hardly believe it’s done.  This piece will definitely be getting its own blog post, but here’s a sneak peek… And They Sinned.  So, more to come on this one for sure, with details of the changes I made and the personalizations I did.

ATS

And then towards the end of the year I stitched a couple of gifts (photos to come in a later post) and some exchange ornaments for both guild holiday parties (you can see my ornaments here and here).

On the quilting front, my big finish was way back at the beginning of the year.  I decided to get moving on finishing off some of these old quilt WIPs that had been lingering around forever.  So, I started with the oldest one – my very first quilt from 2002.

If you’d like to see more of the quilt or read more about it, you can find that blog post here.  It was hugely satisfying to finally have this one quilted and bound.

I made several bags in 2015 too, starting off with a tote for a gift that featured the Hazel the Hedgehog pattern on both sides.

And it was so stinking cute I decided I needed a hedgehog too.  So, I made a mini quilt to keep.  Of course I mixed it up a little bit by giving my hedgehog a little bit of a punk look.  (Neither of these photos is really great, unfortunately but you can get a better look in Episode 2.)

I attended a few “in town retreats” over the year that were very helpful in getting a good bit of sewing done.  I started and finished this Tula Pink quilt top that I’d been drooling over since seeing a model made up at the Dallas quilt show a couple of years ago.  Please pardon those two black spots in the middle of it.  Seriously, you lay a quilt top down in my house and this is what happens.  I’m going to send this one out for custom quilting.

Tula Squirrels

Next up, I finished another old quilt top that is made entirely of novelty cat fabric.  I know, it’s so bad it’s good.  It felt good to check another one off my list.  I want to back this with some Lizzy House Catnap fabric or perhaps some Sarah Watts Cat Lady fabric, just to attempt to make it a little more awesome and a little less awesomely horrible.  Photos to come on this one (maybe).

Cat quilt

In November, I attended Glamp Stitchalot hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics and got to learn techniques from Katy Jones, Tula Pink, Violet Craft, Jeni Baker, Alison Glass, and Sarah Fielke.  I talked about my experience in Episode 10, but will also be doing a blog post soon.     Glamp Stitchalot

And finally, I finished yet another quilt top over Thanksgiving.  This was a BOM from like 2004ish called Pansy Park by Thimbleberries.  I worked on this over two weekends at the in town sewing retreat and when I took the photo below in November, all it was lacking was one side of the burgundy inner border and then the big leaf print borders on all four sides.  And then voila, it was done!  And it is huge, so I’ll have to find somewhere to take a photo of this beast so I can share.

Pansy Park WIP

And finally, I took up knitting last year.  I went to DFW Fiber Fest in the spring and I had set myself a goal of relearning to knit before I went, which I accomplished.  I posted about my knitting journey here.  And after knitting a few dishcloths and a garter stitch scarf, I jumped into the deep end of the pool and decided to knit my first shawl, the Weigh It Shawl #1 by Susan B. Anderson.  I will most definitely be doing a whole post on this project, but I couldn’t resist sharing it here.  It’s knit with Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway and I love it.  I was determined to get it done in 2015 and I finished it on December 31st – whew!

Shawl

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little recap of my 2015 creating and explained what craziness happened with my blog feed so that you can get all caught up on those posts you may have missed.  I will be posting on a more regular basis in 2016 and will definitely be continuing the podcast too.  I hope that 2016 is treating you right so far and that you are enjoying your projects.  I’ll be back soon to share my plans for the new year and what I’m working on.  Have a great week!

I am grateful for my first shawl!

Boughs of Holly

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Hi, all!  I hope you had a very merry Christmas.  Today I want to share the EGA holiday party from earlier in the month.  For this ornament exchange I decided to stitch a portion of the pattern Blessings Be Thine by Blackbird Designs.  I loved the little sprig of holly and the stars.  I stitched this on the same fabric I used for the Gold Crown ornament in my last post, 32 count Buttercream by Silkweaver.  The design called for a combination of GAST and Weeks threads.  I ended up using a DMC goldish yellow for the stars because the oatmeal thread it called for matched too closely to my fabric.  I love how it looks though.  Here’s the back.

The red and white trim I used actually came off some packaging (maybe from Christmas cards?) forever ago that I saved.  When I saw it in my finishing box I thought it would be perfect to use for cording around this ornament.  It’s funny that I chose to stitch a holly design for this exchange because there was another holly ornament in the exchange this year too!

We were again at a member’s home and I was again amazed at all the beautiful holiday stitching she’s done.  Let me take you on a little tour.

This is teeny tiny over one.

Also over one.

Super cute Santas.

And this idea I may have to recreate myself.  She stitched several needlepoint designs and then mounted them on boxes she covered with ultrasuede or something of the sort.  She had them stacked on a little table in her entryway and they were absolutely darling, as you can see.  What an ingenious way to showcase beautiful pieces with a fun finishing technique.

See what I mean?  Darling!  They look like beautiful Christmas packages!

Adore the little sheep stocking.

And then we were onto our ornament exchange.  This tiny little bell ornament was the first one I had in my possession.

This is the ornament I went home with.  The woman that stitched him bought the kit when she was traveling recently from a shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Since I was just in Ann Arbor, I thought this was meant to be!  And I don’t have anything like him on my tree, so I am so happy to add him to my collection.

Here are all the ornaments together.

 

A couple of close-ups.  See the other holly ornament?

Look at that beaded ruffly Christmas tree!

And here’s a closer view of that darling stitched and beaded elf!

A sweet scissor fob that can easily be repurposed as an ornament.

This one was made by our hostess and I believe may be the same designer as the pieces on her boxes.

My friend, Karen, was wearing this sweet little necklace that we all had to get a closer look at.  Two-sided and over one, how cute is that?

This is the piece that several members stitched on and finished as a gift to our guild president who was ending her two-year post. Isn’t it beautiful?

Inside…

And the little needlebook and beaded fob.

I hope you enjoyed seeing all the beautiful ornaments from this year’s party.  Now, I’d better get started thinking about next year!

I am grateful to be surrounded by such inspiring stitchers!

All the Beads

Thanks so much for the comments on my last couple of posts.  I still can’t believe that I never posted about the guild holiday parties from last year!  And I definitely appreciate you all stopping in to visit my blog.  I know it’s been sorely neglected this year.  I’ve enjoyed doing the video podcasts and will definitely continue to do them, but I am also going to get back to doing written posts with the 8 billion photos you’re accustomed to more regularly this coming year.  And in case you are following my blog through a reader like Bloglovin’, I’m not sure how the videos show up there so you may need to click through to the blog in order to see it.  Here’s the latest one, in case you missed it.

Anyway, back to the stitching!  So, the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild had their annual holiday party on the 1st and it was a lot of fun, as usual.  There was a lot of great food and I enjoyed visiting with my fellow stitchers and friends.  The best part though is seeing what everyone stitched for the annual ornament exchange.  I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I was going to stitch when I came across a post by Sharon on Instagram of her finished Gold Crown ornament by Rosewood Manor in this year’s JCS Ornament issue.  I instantly fell in love with it and decided it would be a perfect choice for the Tudor Rose crowd.  I used Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid that I had in my stash from one of my Chatelaine Designs pieces and some red Mill Hill beads.  The design actually calls for several different colored beads – red, green, blue, purple.  But, I liked it with just the red.  So, the ornament stitched up super fast on some 32ct Buttercream linen by Silkweaver and then I just had to figure out how to finish it.  You may know that cording is not my favorite thing in the world, so I had the brilliant idea that doing a beaded edging would be pretty and relatively quick to do.  You see where this is going, right?  So the afternoon of the party I sat down to do this beaded edging and hours later I was still trying to finish it.  I love the way it turned out but OMG it took forever!  The beaded edge took way longer to do than the stitching even!  But, I was happy with it.  I will definitely be stitching another one to keep.  I might cut back on the bead overload though, LOL.

So, off I went to the party and here are some of the beauties others stitched that came past me as we were passing ornaments around the table.  I thought this one was very sweet.  Love the jingle bells at the top.

And here’s the back using coverlet fabric – love it!

Loved this big strawberry bunch!

This one was stitched by my friend, Kim, and was probably my favorite.  It’s stitched on 52/60 count linen and it’s a portion of a Long Dog sampler.  Isn’t it the most darling thing?  And it’s tiny!  Excuse my shadow on it.  I seriously need one of these in my life.

This one is so sweet too.  I am in love with the embroidered branch and flowers at the bottom.  So creative!

And here is the ornament I came home with…a beautifully stitched needlepoint angel.

Loved this finishing technique – way simpler than a billion beads!

And another cute one – finished like a gift tag!  That green bauble trim is killing me, it’s so cute!

And here are all of them together.  You can see how tiny those little reindeer are in comparison.  So many talented stitchers!

I hope you enjoyed this little peek at our exchange.  I’ll be sharing the EGA holiday party and exchange soon!

I am grateful for inspiration from talented stitchers!