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.

Episode 11: Project Roulette

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg podcast!  In this episode I share my first finished shawl, my 2016 stitching plan, and some wonderful gifts I received.

Show notes:

Finishes:

  1. Yowza Weigh It Shawl by Susan B. Anderson – using Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway and size 8 Signature circulars.  Finished on 12/31/15
  2. Hare Pyns (not shown – you can see the finish here) by Patrick’s Woods
  3. EGA Nametag and Tudor Rose Sampler Guild Nametag

WIPs:

  1. Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – I’m currently on the March block called A Wish for You; stitched on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens with (mostly) the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads
  2. Mistake Rib Scarf by Purl Soho – yarn is Lion Brand Homespun in color 338 Nouveau and I’m knitting with Size 10 Addi Turbos

Stash Enhancement:

  1. Erin Condren Good to Go Life Planner

Reading:

  1. Finished A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness in December
  2. You can see the complete list and reviews of my 2015 reads over on the Cozystyle blog here
  3. Currently reading Lara Casey’s Make it Happen and R.K. Ryal’s The Story of Awkward

Essential Oil of the Week: Valor

Valor

For more info on Young Living Essential Oils, visit my site here.

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Find me on Ravelry: cozyegg

I am grateful for being a knitter!

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

IMG_7338

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!