Sunday, July 23, 2017

Finishing up a few things propelled by guilt on a Slow Sunday Stitching...

Hello - hope you had a nice weekend so far... last week was a busy one and some things were actually finished... hallelujah!!!  Finishing something is a good thing in many many ways but particularly as it pertains to the guilt I feel for not having stuff finished... it surfaces now and again... and I totally blame this on my 12 years of Catholic education which taught me that if something isn't done or done correctly it is no one's fault but mine. That whole thing about free will and choices...boy the nuns really drove that home... but while guilt sometimes plagues me I also believe that guilt it good... it makes us do things we should do but don't want to do... sometimes I think the world could use a bit more guilt and a bit more shame...perhaps it would keep people behaving better... but that's just me.

So lets see what got finished this week in my crazy cross stitch world....

First, I finished the Lizzie Kate Jingles  series and it is ready (after a quick press) to go to the framer...I've got 3 pics as it looks better than the 1 long skinny pic from my phone.







I had those two bottom border rows to stitch and then add the little buttons. There were also beads that could have been used but instead I just did a white cross stitch... I didn't like the fiddlyness of the beads.

Second... a small pillow that was started over a year ago...



I charted the alphabet off of a BBD piece that was given away by Moda some years ago... the little pillow was machined stitched with a row of numbers where I have the woven ribbon and it was edged with rickrack... well I stitched up the alphabet pretty quickly and then dithered for quite a while about whether to do the numbers and then just let the whole thing sit and simmer ... for a long long time.

I recently rediscovered the piece and decided it was fine the way it was...just get it finish...here's the back... fabric from my stash...


and here is how I displayed it...tucked in with my Summer decor...



I added the buttons to the corners to hide an unfortunate incident where I blew out a corner trying to get it square... just another opportunity to be crafty...LOL

Third, back from the Joanns framing department, BBD Garden Borders which I've dedicated to my Grandma Damon...


this frame is nothing special...and I think I'd like it a bit darker... I can do something about that. Joanns has less and less selection anymore...glad I found another framer.

And if things have been finished new things must be played with... and they were...


this is Jeanette Douglas Designs Vintage Birds and I am LOVING it!!!  I was able to get another skein of Portabella and while it wasn't an exact match for what I had it is close enough to mix it in...
here's a close up of the peacock... ain't he a pretty fellow?


now I still have to fill in all those squares but I'll wait till the end to do that as I plan to stitch a Smyrna cross or a a Rhodes mound and I don't want to wear the sheen off of the floss  which could happen as I'm not using a hoop for this one.  I'm using 2 ply of floss over 32 count and I really like the full coverage I'm getting.

So on the cross stitch front things are progressing nicely... my quilting is lagging a bit and my knitting is in a total slump...still working a shawl I started eons ago that just refuses to be finished. When I'm working on one project I'm feeling guilty about what I'm not working on... it is a constant battle... LOL...and I'm feeling a bit guilty about this blog. I am not updating the way I use to and I don't see that changing... so many things going on all the time and honestly Instagram is easier to deal with. Now I know lots of you are going to tell me that you don't do Instagram and if  I don't blog you won't see what I'm doing but you don't have to have an Instagram account to see me ...or anyone else...on Instagram... you can access it from your computer or phone at  Instagram.com... or if you are just looking for me go here to https://www.instagram.com/carolfun53/

Part of my guilt about the blog is not responding to the comments that are left... I use to be good at writing a personal response to each one but it takes a lot of time... I'm considering responding to the comments in the comment section of the blog which means you would have to come back to see if I left you a message...how do you feel about that?  Personally when I leave a comment on someone else's blog I'm ok  either way... if they respond that's ok ... if they don't that's ok too. I'd really like to know your feeling about this.

So many blogs have gone away and I've found their owners on Instagram...and I understand why they left their blog behind... I assume they don't feel guilty about it... but I do... I like reading blogs... I'm just not sure how often I can update... perhaps I should just do once or twice a week...which is what I'm doing now instead of the 3 to 4 times I use to do it and feeling guilty about... mulling it over.

Okay...linking up today with Kathy's Quilts and tomorrow with Super Mom - No Cape...

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wreath -a- holic...is that a word???

I love decorating with wreaths and I'm always coming across interesting ones on Instagram and Pinterest and other people's blogs... and since I like crafty projects I always to make another wreath...and this last week I made 2 new wreaths. Now it all started when I saw this wreath on Instagram...click here for a look. The creator of this wreath used paper to make all the gorgeous flowers...which I LOVED but I didn't want to make them... so I recreated the wreath using silk flowers...lots of silk flowers...




here is my version... I am over the moon about this wreath and my plan was for it to hang on the storm door on my covered front porch but I decided it is too pretty for that.. yes I am quite taken with myself...LOL... so it now resides on the back of the front door where I can see it from my comfy stitching/knitting chair...

so now I had a new wreath inside but I was still needing a new wreath for outside... so I made this smaller wreath...



My opinion is this wreath is okay... not great but okay... at least it looks summery and I do like the different colors and sizes of the hydrangeas...and if this one gets blown off the front door in a windstorm.... which is what happened to the last front door wreath... I won't be upset... if the ombre flower one got blown off I'd be sad...very very sad....

And along with these two wreaths I found another spot in my house to display a wreath...



this is in the hallway by the back door... I made those washi tape covered clothespins a couple of years ago and it brightens up this spot. And now that I have several places to display wreaths I can make even more....yeah... more crafty projects...just what I need...LOL


And just because I can, I'm including some pictures of the flowers in my yard... this little corner garden is turning out really nice.... if I say so myself...and I do...






it is a wild and crazy mess of different flowers and colors... I know it drives my neighbor nuts as all her flowers are color coordinated...only one certain shade of red and white..they look very nice but I like all the colors in the crayon box!

And you may remember I planted a few marigold...they are doing great!!!




I'm glad the rose bushes are holding their own against the onslaught...LOL... and a close up of some of my English roses...




I LOVE them because they look like peonies...


and an overview of  the side yard...



The petunias in the window boxes are getting a little leggy with the heat... mid 90's all this week with the heat index in the 100's...I'm out watering every day... I will say the yard is a bit overwhelming in colors and vegetation... I have had several nice compliments on it this week... I was out watering the other morning a woman was driving her car around the corner  and stopped and rolled down her window to say the flowers took her breath away... she repeated it twice... made my day...heck it has made my whole week!! LOL

Well I hope you are staying cool where ever you are... I am not looking forward to seeing my electric bill ... the AC and fans are getting quite a workout.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When it rains....

When it rains... I sew... and it rained almost all day yesterday. Now I had watched the weather report the night before and I swear the weather guy said it would all be gone by the morning rush... obviously I missed where it stated it would be the morning rush hour in Honolulu... sheesh...

Since I "planned" ahead to sew I made a mental list of what I should work on... I have several tops that just need a bit of time to get them to the finish line and I thought I would work on them... but I didn't WANT to work on them...insert stompy foot... so I didn't ... instead I played with my Lori Holt/American Jane flower blocks and here is how far I got...


The plan is for a quilt big enough for my double bed... 3 rows of 5 flowers each arranged in a zig zaggy fashion. I've picked 5 different patterns from Lori Holt's books and her pattern called Farm Girl Vintage Flower Quilt & Pillow...you can see it here ... to sew up this pattern you also need her Farm Girl Vintage Book as it has the pattern for the leaves and some of the flower heads. I'm using lots of American Jane fabric collections as I love the colorful look of the vintage prints.

These blocks use lots of squares so I'm able to use pre-cuts for a lot of the pieces and I've been able to squeeze in a few little novelty prints...



I love the cat ... I think this was from the Storybook Friends collection and that little chick print makes me happy happy happy!


Vintage toys...


Paper dolls...

So I'm making progress on this quilt... I have all of the leaf units made and all the background cut for those blocks so anytime I get a minute I try to sew one up... only 6 more to go!

And I need 6 more flower heads...it is good to see them all together as I can get a better handle on what colors to make the rest of them...  I will say I do like sewing the plainer, easier ones... but the ones that sparkle are the ones with lots of different prints.  I want to get this one wrapped up so I can move back to the big checkboard quilt I want to make using these American Jane prints... the checkboard quilt takes lots of 2.5" squares and most of the blocks in this quilt take 3.5" squares and I don't want to cut out a 2.5" square and then wish I'd saved it to cut bigger for this quilt... I know ...I'm nuts... I know there will be more American Jane collections (there is a new one coming in September) but I just love love love a lot of these older prints...and it has been getting me into trouble on Instagram.

Did you know that people sell "older" fabrics on IG?  They are calling is "de-stashing" and I've been able to snag several pre-cuts from collections that are out of print that somehow I missed getting the first time around. I was able to buy a layer cake of American Jane's Potluck collection... sweet!  And some Basic Grey Curio... and there were a couple of others but I controlled myself...just barely... I saw this meme the other day and laughed out loud...


Lately almost all my shopping is online... fabric, floss, yarn...and then other odds and ends for the house... I'm in love with Amazon Prime and there is a package on my front porch every couple of days with their smile-y logo... and now I discovered I can watch a bunch of my favorite British dramas on Prime... I even found one I loved from waaaaay back... The Duchess of Duke Street... it was the first one I ever saw... it aired back in 1976!!!  and it definitely hooked me on these British period pieces... another distraction for an already chaotic life...LOL

Soooo.... I just re-read what I wrote and I'm not sure how I got from fabric to 1976 British dramas...but I did...LOL...

Well today is making up for the cool rainy yesterday by giving us a 90 degree HAZY HOT and HUMID day... a good day to hunker down with the AC and sew but there are errands that were put
off and an eye exam appointment for my son, so off I go...

Hope your week is progressing nicely and there is some time for you to sew too!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

My quilting squirrels invited their cross stitch squirrel friends for a visit and the raving has continued on this Slow Stitching Sunday...

Where did the week go???  I think of myself as a retired fuddy duddy who should be sitting at home knitting and stitching and sewing but somehow I end up running here and there and don't get nearly as much crafty time as I would like...but then I would like a 36 hour crafty day so it probably isn't ever gonna happen...sigh...

Anyway this week saw several new cross stitch squirrels enter my home via the mail box and I have to say I'm really liking all of them! First was this little project and I do mean little...as in itty bitty...teeny tiny...what was I thinking???


This is Little House Needleworks "Birdhouse Alphabet" done over ONE thread of 28 count Crystal Chime Lugana... the fabric has a sparkly thread in it ...very pretty. This piece right now measures 2" wide and 3" tall... when complete it will be almost 4" tall... I wanted it to be  small and it is going to be small.  I'm using one strand of  Belle Soie silk in the Beanstalk color.  I'm using my small q-snap frame which I found helps a lot for stitching over one thread. Also excellent lighting and Mr. Magoo magnifying eyeglasses in a +4.50 power are essential for me...then I can see the threads and holes... here is a really up close picture of this latest adventure.




Now this is a warm up for the Brenda Gervais Summer Schoolhouse Lessons in Abecdarian ... you can see the story behind this project here. I do love Brenda's style and the little sneak peeks of this project just sucked me in so I ordered the chart and the fibers and the linen and they arrived yesterday.




The flosses are very pretty and the 28 count Lugana linen looks like it will be easy to stitch on over one as the weave is nice and even and the holes are easy to see. I'm not normally a hoop/q-snap user but I think it is a must for these over 1 projects...and knowing that I can stitch nicely over one and it doesn't take as long as I thought it would I might attempt another project that has been simmering for years... doing the entire Prairie Schooler ABC's on one piece of linen...like this one...


I have all of these charts and I started it once on a humongous piece of linen but didn't get past the first chart... I think that done over 1 thread it would be a more manageable project... or I could just be deluding myself... LOL...it definitely needs to simmer longer.

But before I could jump into the Summer Schoolhouse another squirrel squeezed it's way through the mail slot and well I just had to stitch a couple  of letters...


this is Vintage Birds by Jeanette Douglas Designs...


Now I'm doing it over 2 threads on 32 count and my linen is  Water Lily by Wichelt... as lovely pale green which looks great with all those peacock flosses.  I started with the ABC's and after stitching 4 letters I know I will run out of the floss for the letters. I stitched LMNO and used one one yard strand of the called for GA Portabella floss... so that means most probably I can only stitch 20 letter with one skein and last I checked there are 26 letters in the alphabet. Now this is my mistake as she stitched the sample over 36 ct using only one ply so she used less floss... I went rooting around in my stash and came up with another unopened skein of Portabella...but there is a problem...



these two skeins of floss have little in common except for the attached tags... I started with the one on the right...there is a faintest bits of the color in the right skein at the tips of some of the strands in the left skein. Now I know the left skein is older but really... that much difference??  I would call the one on the right a brown but the one on the left is a taupe... arghhh... I'll order another skein of floss from the same place and hope it matches better than what I have. In the meantime I think I'll move onto some of the other motifs... or perhaps finish the Birdhouse Alphabet or those last two border rows on my Lizzie Kate Jingles which has languished all week. 

I'm hoping the upcoming week has less running around in it... plan to stay home on the 4th which is fine with me. I've got my Sunday dinner prepped... made some cold salads yesterday... tri-color rotini pasta salad and tabbouleh and marinated tomatoes... picked up some rotisserie chicken from Costco...best $5 chicken you can buy...and I made some prosciutto wrapped asparagus bundles that I'll pop into the oven just before my son and his wife arrive... should be tasty.

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape on Monday....hope you have a wonderful 4th of July !!!

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Raving squirrels...

I saw this one someone else's blog and it totally sums up my quilting at the moment...



I've been working on at least 4 different projects and only one is done and the other 3 aren't anywhere near a finish...and there is another quilt or two I'd love to play with too...raving squirrels...

Let's see if I can pinpoint where it all started...oh yeah...  this is my almost complete Arcade quilt top...the fabric is Saturday Morning by Basic Grey...


things were going well till I sewed the top half to the bottom half... I spent an hour making sure all my intersection where the quarter square triangles met the sashing were as perfect as I could get them... but I totally forgot to check if the sashing top and bottom lined up.... spoiler...they don't...grrrr!!!!



It starts out fine in the middle but the further you get to either end it gets more and more off... I need to take this seam apart and either mark the sashing to get it to line up or maybe insert cornerstones...and then I'll spend another hour getting those quarter square triangle corners perfect... and well I didn't want to do that...so I didn't... instead I started something new...well I actually started two new projects...



Now both of these quilts are using American Jane fabrics from my stash, but they have different backgrounds... the checkerboards on the right side have a yellow polka dot background and the flowers on the right have a blue polka dot background. As for the checkerboard blocks which are 49 squares each, I need 16 of those.... and the flower blocks I need 15 flower heads ...I'm making 5 different ones and then 3 of each of  those and 15 sets of leaves. I LOVE these happy American Jane fabrics!

But then another squirrel darted into the house... I'd seen a picture of a quilt on IG that I liked...you can see it here... it is the Double Slice pattern that was on Missouri Star a while ago...here's a link to that video. I'd liked this pattern when I first saw it but I REALLY like it with the sashing and well... I HAD to try it RIGHT NOW!!

I have plenty of layer cakes but this one was on top of the table and yes, I did just get done making another top with this fabric... it is an old Momo called Just Wing It... it has a 70's vibe as I think all of Momo's stuff does, and reminds me of vintage sheets when the world, and my Mom, cleaned out their linen closets of plain white sheets and bought new colorful printed ones.

This sews up in a flash and no two blocks are identical...here are 36 of the 42 I made.


I'd like to sash this with a Moda Grunge and use some of the still leftover fabric I have from this line for cornerstones... just need yardage of the Grunge. This isn't a final arrangement of the blocks, I just slapped them up there and looking at a photo makes it easier to rearrange.

And speaking of Grunge and this collection of Momo... well... the other squirrel I've been playing with it this table runner...


This is the third time I've made this pattern for a  table runner and the third time I've used Moda Grunge as a background...this time it is soft olive-y sage-y green with  mini charm squares from the Momo Just Wing it...hey when I like a collection of fabric I REALLY REALLY REALLY like it!!  LOL

I quilted it with a big wavy line and some variegated Sulky I had in my stash...here's a close up...



I think it goes well with the rug and is a nice background for my little pots of lavender... real lavender... smells so good!



So that's what my squirrels have been doing...and I have a feeling they will continue to rave on for a while... darn squirrels...LOL!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Long and skinny on a Slow Stitching Sunday... (LOL the stitching ...not me)

First off as I sporadically sometimes occasionally ... okay almost ALWAYS complain about the weather I would like to say that today the weather in my little corner of the world is PERFECT!!!!   It is high noon, the sun is shining, there is a lovely breeze and it is only 76 degrees... I have all the windows open in the house and I am loving it!

I started my morning by sitting in my happy chair in my pjs finishing off the last chart of the Lizzie Kate Jingles....ta dah!!!


I will add the two border rows to the bottom of this tonight while I watch my PBS British shows and then all I need to do is add the buttons and embellishments.  Here's a more close up view of the piece...

Jingles top...


Jingles bottom...



Even though I can't do all 12 charts I'm still very happy  with this piece. It will fit nicely  in the narrow space next to my front door when Christmas arrives.

And speaking of the narrow space next to my front door this is what is adorning that spot right now...

My Little House Needlework ABC's  Sampler in all its glory...


Now this is the 2nd time I've had this pieced framed... I had a disastrous  experience at a local big box craft retailer who's name I won't mention but it starts with the letter that comes between Linen and Needles. I ended up taking it out of that  frame and trying a new to me place that is much closer to my house. I think they did a great job and I was pleasantly surprised that price wise they really aren't any more expensive than the big box store.  The first yuccky framing ran about $50 ... the second lovely framing was $60... I'm willing to pay that difference for a quality job. And I noticed that a the big box store the price started out waaaay higher and then is reduced by the coupon... at the new frame place they just gave me the price...and no pressure to add mats or glass like at the big box place.

I'm very happy with all my color changes... those pops of yellow make me soooooo happy... oh the floss I used was Crescent Colors Queen Bee... my favorite yellow!

Here's a couple of close ups...








The frame I picked is a slightly weathered creamy white wood...very simple...not too wide... I really like it ...and when I went to pick this one up I saw that they had several good candidates for my Jingles piece... great motivation to get it finished and framed before the holidays... yeah for me!

Well, I see a lot  more cross stitching in my future as this last week saw me clicking away on the internet purchasing charts and floss and linen... I just got on a roll and was carried away like a leaf on the breeze (OMG... it would have to be a gale force hurricane wind to carry me off...LOL) but anyway I did choose some pretty things.  I even signed up for Brenda Gervais With Thy Needle and Thread Summer Schoolhouse - Lessons in Abcedarian which you can see here.

I love the design that I've seen so far and she says that learning how to stitch over one on 28 count won't be  a problem...we shall see... I think I'm going to have to get a hoop... I have a q-snap frame somewhere, but  I saw she works in a small 5" hoop ... I figure I'll give it a try.

Well I hope the weather where you are is as nice  as it is here... I've got a lasagna prepped for dinner tonight prepared by the requests of my sons... life is good!!

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow...

happy stitching-
carol fun