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.

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!

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!

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!

Epiphany

2012 Finishes
Happy New Year!  I can hardly believe it’s already the 10th of January!  I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and spent some quality time with friends and family.  Before the new year gets away from me, I thought I’d do a little 2012 recap of some of the things I accomplished last year.  
2012 was not a banner year with regard to finishes.  But, I enjoyed what I did find time to stitch on, and a lot of it was little things that caught my fancy, rather than working on existing WIPs.  You may remember that after starting Margaret Cottam in November of 2011, I was enjoying her so much and was so close to a finish that I decided to stick with her rather than having a New Year’s Day start like I normally do.  And sure enough, I finished Margaret only a few days into 2012.  
Isabella Johnstone was the big star of my finishes this year.  I started her for my birthday in August of 2011, and when I picked her back up in April I continued to work on her steadily until she was finished at the beginning of August.  I really enjoyed stitching her and she’s a beauty!
I did work a little bit on quilting in 2012, I pulled my Kate Spain quilt back out at the end of the year and made some progress on it.  I also started my Kiss Kiss quilt for my birthday.  I also spent the first part of the year working on the Prince Charming hexie pincushions that were gifts for friends.  I made six of them, and still haven’t made one for myself.  I need to rectify that situation!  And in the fall I made some stitching wallets that I shared with you a couple of posts back.  
I also made one other little piece that I haven’t shared yet.  I made a knitting needle case for a friend’s birthday.  I love the way it turned out. 

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Here’s the inside.  I bought the fabric back at the beginning of the year knowing I wanted to use it for her gift. 
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I think she was happy with it, and I am head over heels about that fabric.  So fun!
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So, while I didn’t get a lot done this year, I did enjoy what I was working on.  
And my 2012 finishes were:
  • Margaret Cottam
  • Hexie Pincushions (6)
  • Bonus Block #1 (AOTH)
  • Happy Birthday (AOTH)
  • Rabbit Box
  • Isabella Johnstone 1854
  • Quaker Pincushion
  • Glory House
  • Stitching wallets (5)
  • Sugar Skull 5
  • Five Star Pinkeep
  • Knitting Needle Roll
  • Candy Cane Stocking

For 2013, I have three main stitching pieces I was to focus on – John Reed, Anniversaries of the Heart and And They Sinned.  All three of those are pretty big undertakings, but certainly not an unreasonable feat to finish them all this year.  I did also have a new start on New Year’s Day, but I chose a piece that’s a bit smaller.  In fact, I’m already half way finished with it.

Also this year I want to focus on my quilting.  I did so little sewing last year that I want to rectify that situation.  I bought a lot of fabric, but now I need to do something with it!  I definitely want to work on finishing some of the quilt WIPs I have in progress.  So these will be my focus this year:

Kate Spain
Kiss Kiss
Blue & White
Partridge
Log Cabin
Pansy Park

Plus I intend to get back on track with my niece and helping her with her first quilt.

I definitely think these are all reachable goals, and it will be nice to focus on some of the pieces I’d really like to finish.

What’s your plan for 2013?

I am grateful for refocusing.