Episode 9: Clearing the WIPs

Episode 9: Clearing the WIPs

Show notes:

Finishes:

  1. Hand-quilting with perle cotton on my Indulgence table topper quilt – finished 9/11/15
  2. Stealth quilt top pattern by Janet Kime from her book The Cat’s Meow – fabrics purchased and cutting done wayyyyy back in 2001/2002.  Began sewing 4/12/14 and top finished 9/26/15

WIPs:

  1. Ornament and guild nametag finishing.  The twisted cording tutorial I used is from Pinwheel Ponders
  2. Yowza Weigh It Shawl by Susan B. Anderson – using Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway and size 8 Signature circulars
  3. Pansy Park BOM by Thimbleberries quilt
  4. New start: Black’d Skie by The Primitive Needle – stitching on 40ct Vintage Pear linen by Lakeside Linens with Pure Palette and Silk n Colors silks begun on 9/19/15

Find me on Ravelry: cozyegg

Stash Enhancement:

  1. None

Reading:

  1. Currently reading Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
  2. Book study continues on Sarah Robbins’ Rock Your Network Marketing Business

Plans for the rest of the year:

  1. MAGIC list: remaining items on my list to finish this year are His Eye is on the Sparrow and six Christmas ornaments
  2. Books: Goodreads Challenge for 2015 – 19 books to go to meet my goal of 25 books
  3. Quilting: finish Pansy Park quilt top, and possibly start hand quilting my blue &  white quilt, possibly start sewing on my leaders/enders quilt top

I am grateful for the comfort of my creative and crafty pursuits.

John Reed

IMG_3967
I barely know where to begin.  I’m so happy to finally be posting photos of this finish, but at the same time it’s a little bittersweet.  You may remember that I lost my dad last year, February of 2012.  And there have been a couple of pieces stitched in his honor, one by my sweet friends and one by me.  In fact I haven’t touched my Anniversaries of the Heart since completing his block.  But this piece, this sampler, is his memorial. 
IMG_3972
A while back I stumbled across the chart for the John Reed 1844 sampler by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches.  And when I saw it I knew that one day I would have to stitch this sampler, because my dad was John Reed as well, but born in 1944.  It took me awhile to get my hands on the chart but I finally found a shop that could order it for me.  At the time I figured this would be one of those things I’d stitch and then show my dad and he’d launch into one of his genealogy stories, but be secretly thrilled that I’d stitched something for him.  Unfortunately, I never got the chance. 
IMG_3974

Last year on his birthday, even though I was sitting in a hotel room in Wichita, Kansas after a long day of meetings, I started his sampler.  I’d ordered the Au Ver A Soie silks that the chart called for and had tried a dozen different fabrics before finally deciding on 40 count Confederate Grey.  It seemed fitting.  And there was no way I was going to stitch this on the ivory or cream fabric that the chart called for.  It needed something richer, something to make the colors pop, something unique. 
IMG_3975

The house itself did bring about its own set of challenges.  The chart called for GAST Adobe for the house, but since it was the only variegated thread in the piece, I did want to go with silk if possible.  My friend Laurie graciously offered to take my skein of Adobe with her and choose a couple of options for a similar silk thread.  Out of the two she brought me I ended up using Gloriana Pecan.  And it really is almost identical to the Adobe.  
The other issue I ran into on the house was the color for the roof.  The chart called for an AVAS that is essentially “seafoam green”.  Not at all what I wanted as a roof.  Of course I scoured the internet hoping for a better photo of this sampler than what is on the chart, but try as I might the only photos that come up of this sampler that aren’t the chart cover are mine.  And that wasn’t going to help me.  I tried skein after skein of different silks but nothing worked.  Finally I pulled the DMC conversion listed in the chart and tried that.  (the DMC called for was not at all seafoam green but more of a greenish grey).  Unfortunately, with the color fabric I chose, that color wasn’t going to work.  So, I went about three shades darker.  And suddenly, I had a roof!
The final fork in the road I ran into was for the windows of the house.  When I looked at the blue chosen for the windows my only thought was no way.  I tried a lighter blue, I tried a pale yellow, I thought about leaving them empty.  But, when I finally got the motifs stitched on either side of the house I realized that there was no blue anywhere in the bottom of the sampler.  John must have known what he was doing, because it really did need that blue to balance everything out.  But, I stitched the windows in tent stitch to lighten it up a tad.  I’m really happy how it turned out. 
IMG_3979

When I started this piece I, of course, knew that I wanted to personalize it for my dad.  The designer had done her own personalization on her reproduction of the antique, but in the chart mentions that the original said “John Reed, Brendan, Aged 14, 1844.”  So, my own personalization has my dad’s name, the year he was born, and the city he was born in.  
I look forward to framing it, and showing it to my mom.  She hasn’t seen it in all the time I’ve been stitching on it.  As I mentioned, I started it in June of last year on his birthday and it’s been pretty much the only thing I’ve stitched on this year.  I put the last stitches in on September 26.  I will miss stitching on this piece, it has been a good way to work through my grief and to remember him with every stitch.  I hope that more people will stitch this sampler, I think it would be nice to know there are more John Reeds out in the world. 
I am grateful for a legacy. 

A Rainy Monday in September

IMG_3935
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for Fall.  While I hate the fact that this year seems to be going by so quickly, yesterday’s 105 degree temps had me yearning for some cooler days.  I know it’s been awhile since I shared any stitching progress with you, and lest you think I am only sewing I thought I’d show you my progress on John Reed.  I am really pleased with how it’s turning out despite a few challenges along the way.  The chart is handwritten, and at times makes it difficult to discern what the designer intended.  I also had a few issues with the roof color for the house.  The called for AVAS was really more of a seafoam green.  And I was for sure not putting a seafoam green roof on my house.  I ended up going with the DMC equivalent she’d listed on the chart (was definitely not seafoam green, so not sure what was going on there) but had to go a couple of shades darker due to the fabric I’m using.  It’s kind of a grey green. 
IMG_3937
But, I’m getting closer to finishing this sampler up.  I’d intended to finish up the grass last night, but I ran out of thread!  So frustrating!!!! So, I’ll be out picking up another skein of AVAS as soon as possible.  And since I need that green for the grass, the border, the trees…I was a bit frustrated last night.  
So, I started something new. 
IMG_3940
I have spent all year working on just John Reed for the most part, granted some months my stitching was almost zilch.  So I decided at the spur of the moment to start my second start for the year – and I wanted something appropriately fall-like since it was September 1st after all )and I’d been looking at eleventy-billion Instagram photos of Pumpkin Spice Lattes).  I just happened to have this little beauty in my stitching bag, and it was already kitted with threads, fabric and even a needle included.  It’s like the universe was enabling me to start something new. 
This is a sweet little sampler a friend of mine designed and gifted me with last fall.  I’m excited to finally be starting it.  And today’s rainy overcast day seems like the perfect day to snuggle under a quilt (with the A/C on – because it’s still 98 degrees outside and I’m not stupid) and stitch on this. 
My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and it has been so fun finally getting some time away from work and spending time with some friends.  Speaking of my talented friend who designs lovely things, I got to spend an afternoon stitching with her the other day after we had a fabulous lunch together.  I also had the chance to meet up with another friend for dinner one night and then we went to see the City of Bones/Mortal Instruments movie – so good!!!  And I have to share a couple of beautiful gifts I received for my birthday too.  
This little pincushion is a design by Little House Needleworks called Heart and Home Sampler.  It was stitched over one and finished into this adorable pincushion.  And she finished it with these beautiful ribbons and trims that she brought home from her trip to Paris.  I love it!  She and I had a lovely day out together last weekend and went to lunch and hit a couple of quilt shops.  So much fun. 
IMG_3953
And a package also arrived from Sylvia.  She made me another stitch wallet and look at the fabulous sugar skull fabric she used!  Reminds me a bit of the birthday gift my friend Lori gave me last year.  Sylvia also knitted this beautiful Honey Cowl for me.  When she was here in December last year, we went over to Madtosh Crafts and I showed her this cowl I’d been coveting made out of Madeline Tosh Tannenbaum yarn.  And she made me one!!!  She used a different, lighter weight yarn (since I do live in Texas), but in the same beautiful green I fell in love with.  I cannot wait to wear it!
IMG_3942
If you look closely at my John Reed sampler, you will see some unfortunate holes in the linen.  Luckily the house covered up the worst of the areas.  Months ago, my scissors got loose from their sheath in my stitching wallet and poked some holes in my linen.  None of the threads were cut, but the holes of the fabric were horribly pulled out of shape.  I’ve been joking with Sylvia that my scissors need to have their own “scissor jail” to keep them from causing more trouble with my sampler.  And guess what!  My new stitching wallet comes complete with an attached scissor jail!!!  Perfect for my scissors and threads.  How cute is that?!
IMG_3944
Sylvia also kitted up this chart for me.  Don’t you just love her thread drops?!  We’d gotten to talking not too long ago about Americana samplers when we saw this post on Laura’s blog.  And look what she sent me.  Love it so much!!
IMG_3945
Thanks as always for continuing to stop by to check in on my blog, especially since I’ve been so awol this entire year.  It’s been kind of a rough one so far.  But, I’m feeling like I’m finally getting some time for myself back and boy it’s a wonder what a difference sleep makes!!  
I am grateful for a wonderful birthday and some wonderful friends who helped me celebrate it!

Summertime Flyby

IMG_3929
I hardly know what to make of the fact that it’s almost the end of August and of summer.  The past few months have been a blur of late late nights and 60-70 hour workweeks.  I have been stitching, although very slowly, and hope to have some progress to share soon.  I’ve been spending a little bit of time on quilting when I have a free Saturday afternoon.  You saw in my last post, the little mini Swoon quilt I made as a gift.  Well, I also made another mini quilt as a gift and since it’s reached its destination I can finally share.  
Many years ago I made this pinwheel quilt for my soon-to-be Goddaughter.  I wanted it to be bright and cheery and gender neutral, since we’d yet to find out whether the baby was a boy or girl.  So, I gathered up a variety of yellow fabrics and combined them with muslin to make the alternating blocks. I pieced and quilted it on my machine and it was one of the first quilts I ever made.
Pinwheels
I recently found out that the quilt, along with her other special things, had been lost during a recent move and she was heartbroken about it.  I decided that a new quilt was definitely in order, but I would make it larger so that she had something she could actually use as she grew older and I would make it in a variety of more modern fabrics.  But, seeing as my time lately has been very limited, I wanted to make her a mini quilt that would serve as a reminder of her baby quilt. 
IMG_3928
 I still actually had the same yellow fabrics I used in the original quilt, so I pulled those out of my stash along with some muslin and went to work.  I’m very happy with how it turned out and hopefully it will make the loss of the original quilt a little easier to bear.  
I was also determined to use the embroidery function on my sewing machine for what it was intended, and after reteaching myself how to use it I made this little quilt label for the back.  
IMG_3932-Edit
I hope she loves it, and until I can get her new quilt made, I hope it mends her heart a bit.  It was fun to make and a fun reminder of where I started with my quilting.  
IMG_3926
And in case you’re wondering what I’m up to now with my quilting, I made a little start on my Hex on the Beach quilt.  I’ve got one row sewn together completely and I’m almost done basting row 2.
IMG_1205

I even got my kit organized so that everything’s together by color.  I’m really enjoying working on this when I have a few spare minutes. 

IMG_1208

Anyway, that’s all for me today. Like I said, I’ve been stitching along on my John Reed sampler and hope to have a good progress photo (or maybe even a finish to share) soon. Thanks for checking in even with my sporadic posting over the past few months. I intend to be more on top of posting going forward. Of course, you can always check in on my other blog, or follow me on Instagram – links for both are on my new homepage Cozyegg Designs.

I am grateful for a much-needed vacation from work.

Remember October?

IMG_3529
October is always a super busy month for Eric and I and last October seemed to be even more jam-packed than normal.  In fact it was so full that I’m only just now getting around to editing and sharing some of the photos.  We always go to the State Fair in October, and one of my favorite things to do is visit the Creative Arts building to see all the quilts and rugs and stitching.  I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the things I saw.  
Don’t you just love that sheep?  I have the pattern for this rug that I bought several years ago.  It’s sitting with another hooked rug kit waiting for me to learn how to hook rugs.  Raise your hand if you have kits for things you don’t know how to do.  
And look at this Plum Street Samplers design.  Isn’t it fabulous in blue?
IMG_3532
Itty bitty tiny postage stamp squares.  These looked like they were one inch squares.  Seriously.
IMG_3533
CHS Spot the Horse.  I love the frame on this one.  Reminds me of an old weathered barn.
IMG_3534
 Love this quilt – it reminds me a little bit of Deb’s Cotton Club quilt that I love so much. 
IMG_3535
And another pretty hooked rug.  I love how much pattern there is in the background.  it’s not just “black” – it’s varying shades of color and hooked in a design that draws your eye around the piece. 
IMG_3538
This little BBD ornament reminded me I still need to stitch one for myself.  I have it all kitted up since I stitched one for the guild’s ornament exchange a couple of years ago. 
IMG_3539
This Catherine Theron piece (Morning Has Broken) was stitched by a fellow guild member.  It really is so stunning in person.  And the ribbons she won for this piece were very much deserved.  I’ve still got all my Catherine Theron class pieces stuffed in a closet and they haven’t seen the light of day since class.  But, at least they are keeping the rug hooking kits company.  
IMG_3543
Extraordinary  beading on this piece.  All of the scarabs and then that fringe.  This must have been a ton of work!
IMG_3542
This is such a fun piece.  Missy (Deep Inside Missy) started this one several years ago.  I love all the embroidery.  It’s a Crabapple Hill pattern.  
IMG_3545
And oh, would you look at this gorgeous beaded mermaid shadowbox.  I love this so so much.  I think I need to make one. 
IMG_3550
I love this little Halloween whirligig quilt.  I bought the pattern for making one of these last summer…it’s probably in the closet too.  Are you sensing a theme?
IMG_3554
Cathedral windows quilt.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one done in lime green before.  Usually you see them in white. 
IMG_3557
I just adore miniatures.  One of these days I’ll have to show you the dollhouse my grandmother made for me. But these two little pieces were so fun to look at.  All the detail that went into them – just amazing. 
IMG_3558
They remind me a little bit of the holiday windows in NYC, just on a much much smaller scale. 
IMG_3559
And here’s the other one – a quilt shop.  So cute.  
IMG_3565

Look at those bolts of fabric and the little Featherweight machine!
IMG_3566

I love this hooked rug so much!  What a lovely addition to some summer decorating this would be. 

IMG_3560

And here’s another cute finish.  I’m not really a ruffle kind of gal, but I thought this was appropriate.
IMG_3562

And another one of Paulette’s designs.  I have this one ready to stitch.  It will look perfect with my other framed pieces in our bedroom
IMG_3564

And finally this tiny little thing.  It’s got to be on silk gauze.  
IMG_3568

So that’s it from me today.  I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the pieces from the State Fair, even though it’s eight months later.  It always inspires me to get to working on my own pieces, so I’m sure that in the very near future I’ll be going stash diving in that closet of mine to pull out some of the things I’ve been nudged to work on after looking at these photos again.  Oh, and if you’d like to take a look at the other photos I took at the Fair, including photos from the Chinese Lantern Festival – go on over to my cozystyle blog
Here’s wishing you a great week!

I am grateful for a weekend spent doing whatever I wanted to do.