More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Obsesson Satisfied

This post is probably about a week overdue.  Last weekend I finally satisfied my obsession with Spring Quakers!  I finished it!  This was just one of those pieces I couldn't put down.  I started it on January 1st, 2016 and finished it 37 days later.  Also starting this project with me was Bonnie, who finished hers 5 hours later than me (amazing that we managed to finish our pieces on the same day), Christin who has barely touched hers but she's got another project she's trying to wrap up.  Also our friend Janice (no blog) started Winter Quakers because she had already done Spring and she finished her just a few days ago!

Spring Quakers
Rosewood Manor
Stitched on 28ct Lilac Grove Jubilee from Sugar Maple Fabrics
Stitched with Valdani Cotton Floss


Sorry I had a hard time getting a good clear picture but hopefully some of of the following closeups will help give you a better idea of just how lovely the colours are.


As previously mentioned I had planned to stitch mine on Queen Ann's Lace Joblean by Whichelt.  However the piece I got was rather "muddy" that it just wouldn't work with the floss colours.  I find though I love Queen Ann's Lace as a staple in my stash I hate the fact that there are wide variations in the dye lot sometimes, and this was one of them.  After a stash dive I settled on my last piece from the long out of business Sugar Maple Fabrics and though I was reluctant to use my piece of Lilac Grove I'm so happy with how it turned out.


As I've been working on this piece and sharing progress pictures, I got a lot of questions about what thread I was using to stitch this piece both from my Facebook and Instagram followers.  I went ahead and used the Valdani threads as  the design was charted.  Since I stitched it on 28ct I used all three strands as they came off of the ball (and a bigger needle I usually stitch with a 28).  I was a little worried about the Valdani threads as I heard a lot of talk about how awful they were to work with.  Over the years I heard complaints about how it tangled and frayed.  I had none of these problems I found it quite nice to stitch with.  I just had to use the recommended threads because of how vibrant they were!  I will certainly be doing the other seasons in Valdani threads in the future!


Next time I buy some stash I'll have to start sourcing out the Valdani threads for the rest of the seasons!!!!

Cranberry Christmas
Prarie Schooler
Stitched on 40ct New Castle Linen, Mellow from Picture This Plus
Stitched with DMC Cotton Floss

After I finished Spring Quakers I needed to stitch up my February Ornament.  I have continued with Cranberry Christmas by Prarie Schooler.  I'm stitching these on 40ct and I'm as usual just loving it!


Next up for finishing is my friend Julie's Joan Elliot Oriental Ladies Round Robin.  Julie had one spot left on her Round Robin after it came back a few years ago and I offered to stitch the last spot for her, she has a silver Buddha planned for this spot and as you can see I've got a fair start on it.  We've got a long weekend and its far too told to go anywhere unless you have to, so I'm sure this will get finished this weekend.

I have a new start to get kitted up soon.  I leave in a few weeks for my annual Dominican Experience trip and over the last few years I've stitched Cirque des Cirque, Cirque des Coeurs and Cirque des Carreaux all from Ink Circles.  This just leaves me Cirque des Triangles left to stitch!  One of my "to do" things this weekend is to get this kitted up and and during the upcoming week get a working copy made.  These pieces have been great to stitch on the plane and while I travel.

Finally Zeus was being rather pretty this morning so I just had to take a few pictures of her.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Slightly Obsessed

First of all Happy New Year dear readers!  I hope your New Year is off to a good start.  Mine is going well.

I have a couple of stitching New Year's Day rituals that I just look forward to every year.  Do you have any stitching related New Year's rituals?

My first one is always planned months in advance, its my New Year's new start/stitch along.  For many years now my best friend Christin and I start a stitch along, some years a few of our stitching friends join us and some years its just the two of us.  I start at midnight and Christin starts in the morning, I am always just too excited to wait until the morning after months of anticipation!  This year our stitching friends Bonnie joined us as well in starting Spring Quakers by Rosewood Manor, our friend Janice also joined us but she had already stitched Spring Quakers so she started Winter Quakers.


I had a bit of a panic moment with this piece, I had every intention to stitch this piece on 32 ct Queen Ann's Lace Joblean by Wichelt.  I had bought a 1/2 yard of it back in the fall.  In December I pulled out my fabric, cut a piece just the right size then I pulled out my little box of Valdani Threads.  That's when I totally panicked! This piece of Queen Ann's Lace was quite brown and muddy, several of my Spring Quaker colours just disappeared into it.  Total panic attack!  I knew I didn't have enough time to order a new piece of fabric.  Stash to the rescue!  I spent a good hour pulling out fabrics out of their bins to find a suitable replacement.  I started with my 32ct and had no success, oh no!  Next I was digging through my 28ct fabrics, I had really wanted to stitch this piece on 32ct ... oh well.  After a bit of digging I came across one of my last precious pieces of dyed fabric I got ages ago from Sugar Maple Fabrics which is no longer in business!  They had some of the best dyed fabrics I ever came across.  I mourned while I settled on this fabric, but its PERFECT for Spring Quakers and just the right size.


As you can see I was immediately obsessed by this piece!  Despite being obsessed I didn't have all the time I wanted to stitch it and I've had a hard time to settle lately getting easily distracted by things like Instagram (sigh, addict for sure).  When I have been able to sink my teeth into this it just goes!!!!  I'm now well into page 4 and hope to be into page 5 by the end of this weekend.



My second stitching New Year's ritual is the annual emptying of the ort jar!  I love seeing the wonderful layering of colours from projects throughout the year.  Its also a great measure of just how much or how little stitching I've done that year.



My final stitching New Year's ritual is turning a page on my stitching journal.  Well its not really a journal but a list of all the projects I finish that year.  I also keep a sticky note in there of projects that get carried over from one year to the next and cross them off as they become Happy Dances.  My ultimate goal would be to cross everything off and throw that note away but that hasn't happened yet.  In 2015 I had 54 Happy Dances!  A very productive year and some awesome big finishes in there too!

Cranberry Christmas
Prarie Schooler
Stitched on 40ct New Castle Linen, Mellow from Picture This Plus
Stitched with DMC

I did take a one day break last weekend from Spring Quakers to stitch up my January ornament, I am still sticking with this little goal of mine to stitch one ornament each month.  I've picked Pararie Schooler's Cranberry Christmas as this year's set to stitch up and I'm sure I'll stitch some random pieces through the year as well... when I'm finished with my current obsession.



One thing that has gotten put off to the side is my friend Julie's Round Robin.  In early December we had a stitching day at her place and we were going through her finished projects.  She showed us her Joan Elliott Round Robin, but there was one blank spot left.  I immediately offered to stitch it for her.  I did start stitching the silver Buddha she wanted in the last spot... but like I said I'm obsessed right now.  Once I get to it, I'm sure it'll whip up quickly!

In my last post I promised I'd share with you pictures of a few other items I had stitched last year.  Well I forgot, but I've made a copy of the list and hopefully I'll be back soon with those.  I also put some stitches into an old project, The Big Red by The Silver Lining  I hope to share that with you too.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Months Of Silence

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I've recently received a few comments lately on my last post which was the end of July asking if I was alright, and a few e-mail as well.  I wonder if at this point after so many months if I have any followers left.  I haven't planned on abandoning this blog, it would be such a shame as I was one of the early bloggers in the stitching community.  I also think of all the time, effort and heart that has gone into creating and sharing this blog.  I just lost the desire to blog for awhile, however my stitchy-bug was not affected at all I've got quite a bit of stitching to share with you from the last months.

In my last post from July I was working on Lizzie Kate's Be Naughty

Be Naughty
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on mystery 28ct linen using recommended threads

In order of completion I've stitched the following pieces:

Ho Ho Ho Holiday - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

I've realized I've not photographed the following pieces and will do for my next post (I promise!).  Again this all in order of completion, I keep a little book listing all of my finishes since 2007!
  • Just Nan - Gingerbread Angel Mouse
  • Just Nan - Gingerbread Jingle Mouse
  • Just Nan - Little Princess Snow
  • Just Nan - Loreli Lamb
  • Just Nan - Oakley Owl
  • Hands On Designs - Year In Chalk : July
Here's a finish I'm sure you've been wondering about (unless you follow me on Instagram)....

 Fortunate Traveller
Teresa Wentzler
Stitched on 28ct Cream Lugana
Stitched with: DMC and Mill Hill Beads







Since finishing Fortunate Traveller I've worked on a lot of smaller pieces.


Wait 'Till Dec 25 - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

1st Christmas
Lizzie*Kate
32ct White Lugana
Stitched with DMC & Mill Hill Beads

Jeffrey's Christmas Ornament
Earth Threds
Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue 2001
Stitched on 32ct Iris Garden Opalescent Belfast Linen
Stitched with DMC, Kreinik & Mill Hill Beads

Merry - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

FaLaLaLaLa - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Joy To The World - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Silent Night - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Love - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Joy - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Let It Snow - Jingles
Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

 Red Threads
Rosewood Manor
Stitched on 32ct Raging Storm Belfast
Stitched with Threadwork

Red Threads
Rosewood Manor
Stitched on 32ct Silkweaver Solo Wexford Linen
Stitched with Six Strand Sweets Blueberry Grunt

Reflections of Canada
Ink Circles
Stitched on 28ct White Lugana
Stitched with DMC 498




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday, Summer Holiday Edition

Thank you everyone for the comments wishing me a speedy recovery from my dreaded summer cold.  I'm almost over it which is a relief I was feeling pretty awful for awhile!  While battling this cold we've been dealing with quite the heat wave.  I'm so grateful we have central air conditioning!  I could just imagine how awful I'd feel not only battling a cold, but the extreme heat as well.

Stitching-wise I feel like I've had a pretty productive week, when I wasn't sleeping!

Bluebird Tweet
Just Nan
Stitched on: 32ct Linen from Silkweavers
Stitched with: DMC & Mill Hill Beads

I started and finished another Just Nan critter.  I now have two stitched up for the JN Critter finishing day Kathy and I are going to have in the fall.  This time at the top of the pile was Bluebird Tweet which I picked up at The Attic back in March.  I have pulled out and kitted up a third Critter but I've not started it yet.

Instead I started this Lizzie*Kate, Be Naughty.  I kitted this one up in early June and its been in my basket waiting to be started.  I've been stitching up one or two letters each day before I pick up Fortunate Traveler.  Except for yesterday, I didn't touch it at all.  When I first posted my start on this on Instagram, I thought it would be best not to hashtag the name of the chart like I usually do.  Imagine the traffic I'd get with the hashtag "benaughty"!!??  Though I do have some fun coming up with some creative hastags!!! (don't forget you can follow me @tkd_chick and see stitching almost daily!)

I finally hit a milestone with The Fortunate Traveler by Teresa Wentzler!  Last night I finally finished the cross stitching on the border!  Of course as you can see there are miles of backstitching to be done now.  I like to get areas completely done on TW's before I move onto the next.  There's always a lot of BS on her pieces, and leaving it to the end could be overwhelming!

As you can see from this close up of the corner I've got a start on the BS, there will be a lot of work putting in the netting you can see started here as well.  It took quite a few hours last night and today to get the outermost line of stitching on the borer and the inner most line backstitched.  I'm not sure what section I'll tackle next, probably all the writing both the "Fortunate Traveller" which I will spell correctly with the Queen's English and the story before I get to the fun part... the dragon!!!

Calabogie Lake

 Water's Edge at Calabogie

Drgonfly On The Rocks

I managed to get out for a bit on Monday with my brother and Dad, I have to admit half a day out left me pretty drained by the time I got home.  My brother and I went in his sports car and my Dad followed on his motorcycle.  We drove out to Calabogie, through White Lake, a stop for lunch in Arnprior, and a final stop in Packenham before heading home.  It was SO nice to get out!

 5 Span Stone Bridge over the Mississippi River in Packenham