More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Little Stash and a Little Surprise

Well, I've got a little stash to share with you today. First is a chart I've always wanted but was leery to buy. I've always been overly cautious when it comes to art to cross stitch conversions. But I have seen this one stitched up and its fantastic! My very good friend Beth gave this to me as a present when we met up on Saturday for lunch. Thank you Beth! What a lovely pressie! I definately have to stitch this piece in the near future. I plan to stitch it over on on 25count.

Next... two of my Silkweaver hand dyed arrived today. The one on the left is Precious Metals 32ct Jazlyn. One of two colours I ordered as a possible for Mirabilia's Christmas Elf Fairy. The second piece for CEF hasn't arrived and its Wandering Ivy on 32ct Lugana. The funky green piece on the right is Jungle Boogie, which I ordered "just because". I thought there was a little more yellow in it, but its still a fun piece of fabric. I have no clue what I'm going to stitch on it!!!

I also received in the mail the last installment of the Just Cross Stitch Retro Ornament Round Robin. I look forward to stitching it as soon as I get some other stuff done! My final parcel tonight, yes I was quite shocked to get three! Was two more small models for Great Bear Canada. These ones are a total surprise! I had no idea they were on their way, I just hope they aren't needed for Nashville in February. There is just no way I can get that done, maybe if I didn't work full time it would be possible, but I do. I'm waiting to find out what sort of deadline there is on these pieces.

Now I did have a new start tonight, the first of two treat bags for the February Blahs exchange over at Needle and Thread BB. I'm having fun with hand dyed fabric and overdyed silks! Hopefully when I'm done the stitching I'll be able to turn them into the treat bags I picture in my mind. I'll of course put together a tutorial over at my webpage.

Speaking of my webpage, if you've tried to visit it lately... you'll have noticed I exceeded my bandwith for the month. Well thank you to my Webmistress I've got some more bandwidth and we're up and running again! I'm also going to make an effort to use Blogger to share photos with you instead of putting all my progress pictures up at my webspace.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Model HD! And a Little TW

Well I finally finished the second of two models for Great Bear Canada. That's why its been so quiet for the last week. I've been stitching like mad to get the piece finished since its for February's Nashville Market! But its done, the pressure if off and the piece is in the mail, expresspost.

Sooooo... tonight I indulged myself by joining the Teresa Wentzler SAL at the TWBB! More than three years ago I started Celestial Dragon on the drive back home from Knoxville, Tennessee on New Year's day. I got the top left hand corner outlined but that was it. I put CD away after getting home from that trip, and its been tucked away... until today. I'm hoping to take part in this TW SAL every Monday. That is until something else takes my fancy... or a new model stitching job shows up in my P.O. Box!

tomorrow I start stitching on two treat bags for an exchange over at Needle and Thread BB.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Model Stitching Away

Well I've been model stitching away here! I really need to catch up since I barely stitched last week. My migraine seems to be behaving today, it threatened to come back after lunch but it didn't "come forward".

While I've been sitting here stitching I've been mentally going through all those projects from my craft room screaming to be stitched. Oh to be a lady of leisure! Sigh, maybe we'll win the 6/49 or Super7 this week...

Last night, I had a great night... I barely stitched all day, we were quite busy doing domestic and family stuff. The reason last night was great... I scored my first goal during our playoff game at soccer!

I totally skipped out on the Celtic Banner SAL yesterday. I had so little stitching time that it wasn't even worth pulling out of the ole' stitching basket.

I hope all you Canadians who qualified went and did your civic duty tonight and voted!

Gosh this is so scattered tonight, I know there was something else I wanted to blog about but I can't remember.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ways To Avoid Stitching

Well I don't know what was wrong with me today! But it felt like I was doing everything to avoid stitching... Model stitching today.

This morning I finished the beading for my beaded brooch for Guild in February. I'm quite thrilled with the results of this project, as its a first for me. I'm hoping that its obvious, that its a wave??? This could be quite an addictive activity.

After I finished this brooch I was a good girl and stitched for awhile. But then, it was nap time... I pretty much napped all afternoon. I felt a wee bit of a headache coming on, so I thought it would be best to sleep before it hit. It never hit, perhaps a 2 hour nap helped.

After I got up I proceeded to start putting together a fleece rag quilt. It was a kit I picked up at Joanne's Fabrics the last time I was in Tennessee. It was a real steal, you can't even buy this much fabric for $9.99! This picture isn't the best, but its a real funky rag quilt in fun colours!

I got part of the way through my quilt when Todd got home, I made us dinner. I sat down to stitch some more, but then decided to make Chocolate Chip cookies! While batches baked I started to finish off my rag quilt.

Finally now, after midnight I'm sitting down and stitching. I probably won't get a lot of stitching done on Sunday, we've got a busy day ahead of us! Sunday evening I have a play-off soccer game! Stitching wise, tomorrow is Celtic Banner SAL day... I might just skip it for this week and work on my model. I'd like to get that finished up so I can focus on my own stuff, and I have an exchange coming up, and need to stitch two treat bags.

Slow Stitching Week, SBQ, A Ornament HD

Well this past stitching week has been the pits I have to say. I've been plagued with an on and off migraine since last Saturday. The end result? Not a lot of time online, and not a lot of stitching got done.

At this point I should be at least half way done on that last model for Great Bear Canada... I've barely got a start on it. Which means I'll really need to boogie on it next week!

On Tuesday night at Guild I started a really cool project which I'll try to finish this weekend and share with you here. Its a lovely beaded brooch that will go in the goodie bags we'll be giving at the Regional EAC meeting we'll be holding later this year. I think I managed to get quite creative with mine. I think I could of sat there and finished it that night, but we had freezing rain, so I had to leave early.

I also got a lovely little bonus that night. Before guild I hung out at Christin's since we go to the meeting together. I brought all my recent stash acquisitions to show off. She surprised me with Judy O'Dell's Box Finishing Book! So I now have three Judy O'Dell books for my collection! But at the rate life is going lately I probably won't have the time for a finishing spree until March Break.

This weekend on the Needle and Thread BB it is the Freebie SAL. Between manageable moments with my migraine on Friday (stayed home sick from work, I was in no state to drive after a horrible night's sleep and a bad migraine) I started a small prairie Schooler Freebie I got from Knowledge and Needle. So I've killed two birds with one stone, I stitched a freebie and an ornament. Its stitched on 32ct Platinum Lugana, the design called for DMC but I swapped them all out for various overdyed threads I had. All the colours except the blues are from a Loose Threads GAST pack my friend Christin gave me. I'm happy to send this freebie chart along to the first person that sends me an e-mail at . Jenna was the first to e-mail me so the chart is hers!

Now for this week's SBQ...

Q: Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?

A: Yes, I finished that Dinky-Dyes Freebie! Its all in a past blog entry.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Celtic Banner SAL and All The Stash is Here!

Sorry you didn't get your promised progress report last night! I was just soo tired, I couldn't be bothered to get the camera out. Honestly, I didn't get too much done, a short length of the border that's it. I'm starting to worry that perhaps I left too much fabric at the top? I hope not!!!

And here is the results of my Christmas Holiday madness shopping!

I bought : Mirabilia's Christmas Elf Fairy, M Designs Letters E&F, How to Cube It (by Elegant stitch), Christmas Ornaments and The Flat Fold (by Judy O'Dell). My last stash purchase won't be here for a couple of weeks, and that's my Christmas Elf Fairy Fabric!!

My first model is off in the mail today! I've got a very slow start on the second, I think this one may actually stitch up faster??? Though it is the same over-all size. I can't wait to get this finished. I need to get an ornament for January stitched and I have my partners for the February Blahs Exchange over at Needle and Thread BB so I have two treat bags to get stitched up!

Tonight I had a good chat on the phone with one of the designers I stitch for, she's asked me how my stitching schedule looks like for February/March. I've told her its all clear (it always is for her!!!) and I even got my choice of assignment! It sounds pretty darned cool too, right up my alley. I can't wait to see what she's come up with this time!

Tomorrow night, I won't get much stitching done, its Guild night. For a change I'm actually taking part in one of the program classes, a beaded brooch.

Well I think its time to pack it in for the night.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Model HD, a Bad Clickie Finger, and SAL day

As you all know I've been searching for the perfect sparklie fabric for Mirabilia's Christmas Elf Fairy. Well the kit arrived in the mail on Friday. Boy now that I see those vibrant hand dyed fibers and beads I really want to stitch her! I've been fighting the new start urge, especially with model stitching to be done for February's Nashville Market.

What really saved me from starting CEF was the fact that she HAS TO BE stitched on sparklie hand dyed fabric. So after looking at various fabric dying companies websites I settled on purchasing 3 small cuts of 32 ct fabric from Silkweaver's Reflections line. I'm torn between either Wandering Ivy or Precious Metals, so I ordered both. I also added in a third piece in Jungle Boogie just because I've always wanted that colour! So when they get here I'll do some floss tosses to share with you. That's when I'll have to fight the true temptation to start CEF.

I should of started working on Celtic Banner this morning when I sat down to start my stitching for the day. But I only had a couple of more rows to stitch on one of the two models for Great Bear Canada. So I sat down and finished the first model by 1:30 today! So that's a second 2006 happy dance for me! As usual I can't share until the design is released which should be in February at the Nashville Market. At this year's market there will be three new models there stitched by me. One for Dragon Dreams, and if you read Jennifer's newsletter you might be able to guess which one it was... There will be two models there for Great Bear Canada.

Model stitching is a nice way to keep stitching but not have to buy stash. Also you don't have to figure out how to finish it or if you ever will! My bag of finished, unfinished projects is starting to get out of control!!!

So for the rest of the evening (except when I go play indoor soccer) will be spent working on that Celtic Banner border! As usual there will be an updated picture here before I go to bed tonight.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Blech... Hump Day

For the second day this week it was a shitty drive into work. Monday, my first day back to work in two weeks we had quite a bit of snow over night. It was slow going into work, not any faster than 60 klicks. This morning, it was freezing rain! The slippery conditions were confirmed when I pulled out of my driveway and not meters from my drive there was a car in the ditch. So it was another day where my 20 minute drive becomes a 50 minute drive! Such fun and games in the Great White North!

I had a good time tonight teaching my kiddies at Taekwon-Do. My dojang is now online ... there are pictures of me in a couple of spots on there.

I've spent a couple of more hours on my model tonight I'm almost 3/4 done on the first one.

Thank you all of you who have left me links and suggestions. My fabric hunt will begin in earnest on the weekend when I have the time this weekend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Help Wanted

Okay all you fabric junkies out there I'm looking for your suggestions! If you're a faithful reader (thank you by the way) you'll know that a little while ago I ordered Mirabilia's Christmas Elf Fairy. I've seen so many fantastic HD's of this and I KNOW it has to be stitched on a sparkly hand dyed fabric.

The problem is what fabric???? I've spent the last hour surfing the net and I can't settle on anything. So if you have a great idea or a favorite hand dyed fabric I'd love for you to share. Or if you've stitched CEF could you share a link to your finished piece or WIP and what fabric you've stitched it on.

I have a feeling I'm going to want to stitch this as soon as it shows up... of course I have to finish those models first!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sigh, Back To Work

Today was the day, D-Day, back to work day. The weather couldn't of been better this morning, a nice little snow storm. So it took awhile. By the end of the day I was pooped and had to take a nap!

I had a descent mail day today, I got a new finishing booklet in the mail that I ordered during the Christmas Holidays (yes we had a bad case of the clickie finger a couple of times). Today I received Elegant Stitch's Cube-It Booklet. I'll have to try making up my first one this weekend... I think I have enough supplies on hand without having to go shopping. Due to this technique being copyrighted I can't share the instructions with you on my webpage. However the instructions look great and fairly easy to follow. I can tell you for sure after I build my first Cube-It if the booklet is truly worth it.

This evening I've done a little more work on my model for Great Bear Canada, but my eyes are bothering me, so its slow going.

Danielle asked me if I had done anohter Celtic design last year, and the answer is yes last year I stitched Celtic Band Sampler. I have to say I LOOOVE Celtic designs, it must have something to do with my British/Scottish background.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Celtic Banner SAL Day

Today is Celtic Banner SAL day, and despite my Model Stitching I won't skip out on this. I do need to work on my own stuff from time to time, right? I'll edit this post with a progress picture later tonight.

Here we go, today's progress. It doesn't really look like a lot but I filled in all the Wildflowers Cedar stitches inside the Blackforest of the border. That took most of the day to complete, and I started on another stretch of the border. I've passed the half way point on the left hand side now. Celtic Banner has now been safely tucked away until next Sunday.

Don't forget to check out Christin's and Abi's progress on their Blogs.

Noah's Sub, Ornament Finishing, & Tutorials

Hmmm so much to Blog about this evening, I hope I remember it all!

Friday night I started working on one of two models for Great Bear Canada. I think they'll stitch up quickly its just filling in "background" that will be a bit of a bore. So until these models are done Noah's Sub will be tucked away but I did take a progress picture for you. If you'd like to see my last progress picture from September 30, 2005
Clickie to see. Here's my current progress picture :

In my last Blog I shared with you a picture of the RAK I received from Karin. Well I tried the lampwork beads on my scanner and got a much better picture of them for you. Aren't they stunning?

Finally I finished some ornaments tonight! I'm trying to do them in smaller batches in 2006 instead of trying to finish all of them in November like I usually do!

Merry Tree For Thee



As promised I have done an ornament finishing tutorial. Instead of putting this tutorial in my Blog where it will easily get lost in time I've put it on my webpage, along with my pillow tutorial. I hope to add to my tutorials as I do some more finishing in the future.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Nearing The End... and a RAK!

Well this is depressing, I'm near the end of my holidays and I have to go back to work on Monday. I can assure you I'm not ready to go back to work. I think I could handle being a lady of leisure nicely!

Yesterday we did go to the wedding, but decided to skip out on the reception since there was over three hours between the end of the wedding ceremony and the reception. We were both pretty tired anyhow. Todd had worked all day and I had spent most of the day out doing groceries and such with my parents.

I did have one thing that really brightened up my day! An unexpected package in the mail I got RAKed by Karin (Random Act of Kindnedss) She sent me a Dragon Dreams chart to add to my collection some Mardi Gras beads to put on my rear view mirror (I don't think I need any more!) and some stunning lampwork beads. They're so beautiful I don't want to do anything with them. And Karin has them arranged so nicely on some wire anyhow I want to leave them as is. I think Karin might of made these beads. Unfortunately I tried to get a close-up piccy of them but I just couldn't get them to photograph. Anyhow trust me they're stunning!

I received a reply last night on the question I had for my current model so I was able to get a start on that last night. I think its going to work up quickly! But I was too tired to stitch for long. So that's what I'm going to do today, work on my model. Tonight I'll post a progress picture of Noah's Sub for you.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Small Happy Dance

Here's another small Happy Dance/Finish for you. At the moment I don't feel like leaving the house but if I feel up to it I may go to a co-worker's wedding tomorrow evening.

Soooo, I stitched up this little design by Lynne Nicoletti, its titled A Toast. I've stitched it over one on 25ct Gold/Sand Lugana using DMC floss. I stitched it over one so that the design would fit in a card.

I was going to start one of the two models I have for Great Bear Canada, but I've got a question for the designer first before I can start. Sooo I guess I'll work on Noah' Sub until I have a reply.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Yay, its SBQ time!

Q : Do you do your stash shopping at your LNS, ONS, or both? Which do you like better? Why?

A : Most of my stash shopping is done at several ONS's. I have to say the two I frequent the most are Traditional Stitches and Stitching Bits and Bobs. I do have an LNS in my area but I don't like to make a 40 minute drive for a thing or two. I will go there when I'm desperate and I can't wait for something to show up in the mail... if they have it in stock (I always call first before I drive out). Also they're expensive. I tend to do most of my shopping when there's online sales... like I had a slip of the Clickie Finger last night and bought Mirabilia's Christmas Elf Fairy late last night. I kept getting tempted by other stitchers happy dancing her that I broke down. I'm trying not to buy things unless its supplies for a project.

I got the first of a number of parcels I am expecting. Today's parcel I can't really share much about the contents with you. I can tell you its two small models for Great Bear Canada. I get a start on those tomorrow or Friday at the latest. Last night I started a small Lynne Nicoletti piece called A Toast. I'm stitching it over one to fit in a card for a wedding I'm probably going to attend on Friday (I'm not 100% decided).

More Finishing With Photo Steps!!!

Before I started my Christmas holidays I decided I was going to do a little finishing. Here's my next finished item. This is a lovely little design given to me as a gift a couple of years ago by a stitcher named Edith. I had decided ages ago to finish it into a cushion, today I finally did it!

Here's the finished product :

Now here's the step-by-step instructions...

Step 1 : Wash and prepare your stitched piece (final size plus seam allowances), I also zig zag to help prevent fraying. Cut strips of fabric to be sewn on each side.

Step 2: Pin strips of fabric to top and bottom, leaving excess so that strips are longer on both sides than stitched piece. Make sure you pin them right sides together.

Step 3: Sew strips to stitched piece.

Step 4: Do not fold open strips at this point, cut away excess fabric from strips so that it is flush with stitched piece.

Step 5: Press open strips, use lots of steam! (tip from Mum)

Step 6: Press both top and bottom open.

Step 7: Now pin strips to the right and left sides. Again make sure they are longer than your stitched piece plus the strips you've just sewn on.

Step 8: Sew on both strips.

Step 9: Again trim away excess fabric from strips making it flush with your stitched piece plus the strips you sewed on earlier.

Step 10 : Press open, again lots of steam!

Step 11: press open all sides.

At this point Hunger got bored of helping, it was time for a nap!

Step 12 : Now cut strips of your second fabric.

Repeat : above steps to add a secondary fabric to your cushion.

Step 13 : You now have a finished pillow top

Step 14 : Cut a piece of fabric to be the back of your pillow to the same size or slightly bigger than your pillow top. Slightly bigger is always safer.

Step 15: Pin right sides of pillow top and back together.

Step 16 : Sew all sides togehter, but leave an opening so that you can put in polyester batting or a pillow form.

Step 17 : "Birth" your cushion turn it right side out through the opening you just left.

Step 18 : Stuff to your liking.

Step 19 : Stitch opening closed. You're done!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Comment on Bias Binding

I've already had a couple of questions about the binding done on my little wall hanging. Its actually not hard if you don't have a brain fart like I did when doing the binding on this little quilted wall hanging. However, one phone call to Mum sorted out my stupid mistake! Its my Mum who teaches me all I need to know about sewing things!

Let's see if I can talk you through the process of putting this wall hanging together. Next time I make one I'll try to take step-by-step pictures.

1. I cut strips of the dark blue fabric and sewed them on top and bottom first, trimming the excess before pressing them open. I then did the same for the sides. I also followed this process with the dragonfly fabric.

2. Cut a piece of backing fabric larger than the top piece you just put together, sandwitch a piece of batting in between (I like Warm And Natural its much nicer to work with than white polyester batting) again bigger than your top piece.

3. Quilt as desired. I "stitched in the ditch" using a silver metallic thread. Any unquilted area shouldn't be bigger than your hand spread out.

4. Trim down excess fabric using a rotary cutter (actually that's all I use, its a great investment even for cutting stitching fabric!) to match the size of your top piece.

5. To create bias binding cut strips of desired fabric, I cut mine to a width of 1.5 inches. I wouldn't go much smaller than that as I found this width a challenge to work with. If your strip of fabric you cut isn't long enough to go all the way around your piece with extra left over (I usually eyeball it at this point) cut the necessary amount of strips and sew them together into one long piece. Using the iron you need to press the long strip so its now half its width (wrong sides together).

6. You're first going to sew this bias to the back of your quilted piece. You are going to match your raw edges (does this make sense) you're going to line up the cut edge (not pressed) of your bias with the cut edge on the back of your quilted piece. You're now going to sew these pieces together. When you get to you first corner, stop 1/4 of an inch before the corner. You're going to fold your bias up first then fold over (hard to describe) this will create a mitered look on the front. Now cutting your thread you're going to start sewing the next side starting at the very corner. Keep repeating this process at each corner. When you get within 2" of where you started stop sewing and cut your thread. Here's where you're going to sew together the two ends so that the seam ends up on the "inside" of your binding. Sew these together so there's no excess fabric to avoid a bulge in your binding. Now go back and continue sewing on the binding until you overlap where you started.

7. Now for the front. You're going to start folding over the bias to the front your pressed edge will be folding over and when you sew down the bias it will give you a nice finished look. Sew along the pressed edge (pretty darned close to the edge) of the pressed bias. As you reach each corner when you pull the bias around to the front it should easily fold into a mitered corner.

8. If you're either attaching a sleeve or loops for hanging pin those to the back before you sew the binding onto the front, this way as you sew down the binding you'll end up sewing down the sleeve or loops.

This is probably clear as mud. Next time I do a quilted wall hanging I'll photograph the steps.

A Finishing HD!

Besides stitching while I'm on holiday I was hoping to get some finishing done. After spending the afternoon visiting a friend of mine and her two daughters I was in the mood to finish! One piece I was going to finish into a cushion, but I noticed it needed a wash. So its in a bath of Ovrus at the moment. I'll try and finish it tomorrow.

So I decided to finish my recent HD, the Dinky-Dyes freebie. I went through my stash of fabrics, it was a hard choice but I found the right combination. I had a little bit of trouble with the binding, but I got it in the end. Its now hanging in the bathroom where it works with the colour scheme in there.

Last night I got in a good stretch on Noah's Submarine, it took me awhile to find my groove... and find my way in that sky of 1/2 stitches! Once I'm done here, online I'll be pulling it back out... I haven't stitched yet today.

Oh yes! We have another victim to add to the Celtic Banner SAL list! There's me,
Christin, Carmen, Colleen, and now Abi. I'm looking forward to Sunday!

Monday, January 02, 2006

First 2006 Happy Dance

Well once again its taken me most of the day to finish something I thought would be mere hours. I finished up the Dinky-Dyes freebie I started back during the third week of December. I got the freebie, fabric and one skein of Dinky-Dyes Silk from the Cross Stitch Cupboard's retreat back in October.

It turned out quite lovely, however I can't find a title for the piece for you however on the
Dinky-Dyes website it is listed as their Nashville 2005 Freebie c2005. Its stitched on 28ct White Lugana using Dinky-Dyes Jacobs Ladder in Silk. I had JUST enough silk to complete this piece... four strands were left from my very last length of silk. So there is very little room for error when stitching this.

If you're interested in this chart I'd be happy to send my copy to some lucky stitcher out there, as I don't intend to stitch it again. I'd rather send it to someone else who will enjoy stitching it like I did. So drop me a line at this e-mail address with freebie in the subject line. I'll pick a name out of a hat at the end of the week if I get more than one interested stitcher and e-mail you back for you snail mail addy. Simple as that I'm not asking for anything in return.

Now I'll be picking Noah's Submarine back up... I haven't touched it in months!

Celtic Banner SAL

Well its Sunday (well its technically Monday now) I've just packed Celtic Banner away for another week... at least its not another year. I started Celtic Banner on January 1st 2004, worked on it again January 1st, 2005 and to continue with the tradition I worked on it again today, January 1st, 2006.

However this year I intend to actually finish Celtic Banner SAL I'm participating in with
Christin, Carmen and Colleen this year and we'll be working on it each Sunday. Tomorrow (Today) I'll be picking my Dinky-Dyes Freebie and finishing that.

Here's my progress on Celtic Banner so far :

Christin has posted her progress on her blog too!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Well as promised I stitched in the New Year once again! I spent all day New Year's Eve working on a freebie from Dinky-Dyes, using one colour of Dinky-Dyes silk, I made really good progress on that, I'll probably continue working on it tomorrow.

As midnight got a little closer some anticipation started to build up for me. Yes, it was that time of the year... time to pull out Celtic Banner by Butternut Road and stitch in the New Year with it! This is now the third New Year's Day in a row I've worked on it! I can assure you I'm not very far into the border of this piece. At the end of the day today I'll post a progress picture for you. I do intend to finish Celtic Banner this year so will be working on it every Sunday as part of a SAL with a couple of other Ontario Stitchers. If I do actually finish this piece, I'll miss it when New Years rolls around again!

Happy New Year!