Out of My Comfort Zone

I always like to have a New Year’s Day start and this year was no exception.  I wanted 2018 to be a year where I not only focused on whittling down the enormous pile of WIPs, but I also wanted to work on something that would stretch my skills a bit.  Last year I started the year off with Williamsburg Remembered that so intimidated me that I quickly lost interest in working on it (much to the chagrin of the ladies I was supposed to be SAL-ing with).  But after spending so much time in 2017 catching back up on one of my absolute favorite blogs (who sadly has since quit blogging), I kept being so inspired by her projects and the level of skill that she demonstrated that I thought I needed to step up my game a little bit.

Back in 2010 Amy Mitten designed a piece for our guild‘s tenth anniversary.  It was a mystery sampler that turned out to be an amazing Adam & Eve piece with a large Tudor Rose at the top (for the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild).  Be still my heart.  We started off stitching in the rose in class, but when Amy passed around her model we quickly saw how beautifully aged and mottled her piece was.  Not at all like the (I think it’s) Lambswool that we had in our kit.  Amy explained that she had tea-dyed her fabric to give it that look.  The photo above is of the top half of the sampler.  Gorgeous, right? And I love those splotches of color she said were from Orange Pekoe tea.

If you’ve been reading my blog here or watching my videos for any length of time, you know that getting stuck or frustrated with a piece is usually the last time it sees the light of day.  I wanted to tea-dye my fabric but I’d just stitched that  big red flower with hand-dyed silk.  Dilemma!!!

When I decided at the end of last year that I really wanted to pick this piece up again and that I wanted it to be my New Year’s (re) start, the first order of business was to rip out all my stitching.  I was able to salvage most of the silk, but unfortunately not all of it.  Once I had all my stitching out, I did some tea dyeing on my fabric.  I dunked it in tea for a bit and then let some tea bags sit on the fabric for a bit as well.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

It has a lot more life to it now than just the basic lambswool linen.  I love it.  So, that done, I was ready to go on January 1.

I started by restitching the foundation for the Tudor rose.  The petals will be 3-dimensional and eventually added.

Managed to get all those little leaves done.

Double running stitch for the trunk and branches (the trunk and branches become the tree Adam and Eve are beneath).

And I finally got to add the first of the leaves in the color Venom.  Absolutely love how it’s looking and while challenging, I just took it one step at a time.  This is what I got done in basically a week of stitching before I moved on to something else.  I’m anxious now to pick this back up and work on it some more.

Here is what the whole thing will look like when finished.

Pretty fabulous, no?

I am grateful for inspiration to practice new skills.

Episode 52: 100 Days

 

I am behind on posting show notes!!

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share share two finishes and the beginning of #100daychatelainechallenge.
Show notes:
Finishes:
  1. Yule: Winter Solstice freebie by The Primitive Hare – stitched on 28ct Cashel Linen FOTM Exclusive Silkweaver with my own conversion to overdyed threads.
  2. Spring Celebration: Ostara freebie by The Primitive Hare – stitched on 32ct Silkweaver Golden Harvest with my own conversion to overdyed threads.
WIPs:
  1. Colonial Garden by Plum Street Samplers
  2. The King’s Vegetable Garden (Le Potager du Roi) by Chatelaine Designs
Kitted Up:
  1. From the Deep by Plum Street Samplers
  2. A is for Apple by With Thy Needle (Ellen Chester)
  3. Thread by Carriage House Samplings
  4. Jinx by Raise the Roof Designs
Join me on Instagram for #selfcaresunday and share what you’re doing to be good to yourself.  
 Currently reading: High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning (sooo good!!)

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

Flosstube Episode 30: Plot Twist

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share my Stitch Maynia week 3 vlog.

Week 3 of Stitch Maynia vlog:

  • Days 16 & 17: Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – Classic Colorworks & GAST on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside
  • Days 18 & 19: Primitive Wizard of Oz by Midsummer Night Designs – Classic Colorworks, DMC, and RG Petite Treasure Braid on 40ct Tissage Gander
  • Day 20 & 21: new start Frances Eden by Handwork Samplers – Vikki Clayton HDF silk and DMC on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside

Thanks so much for watching!

I am grateful for the generosity of friends.

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.