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Showing posts from February, 2010

What am I doing?

Here are some of the ingredients for my next project ...
I painted the aida cloth over 10 years ago, I think.  This is the back of the fabric. The front is a little too much for this project. The back is more faded and watercolor-like.
The stripes are some Kool-Aid Dyed wool - grape and watermelon/cherry.
The thread came from the yarn shop (after yesterday's post you will question why I was in a yarn shop, but it happens)  They have a basket of yarn samples that I like to rummage through.  I'm not sure of the fiber content (most likely cotton or silk) but there are 5 threads twisted together and you can easily strip out one thread at a time and the colors are great.  I think it's going to be wonderful to stitch with.
I may have to do some sleuthing to find out what it is because I think I want some more of it.
Stay tuned to find out what I make with these ingredients ...


While cleaning a while ago I opened a box and found yarn.  I've knitted on and off (mostly off) all my life but never imagined I'd accumulated so much yarn

This bunch of yarn was for a sweater and the receipt is clearly dated 4-23-88 (remember when they embossed credit cards).  The contest entry to win a Pearl Necklace was due on July 12, 1987 and the store where I purchased it no longer exists.  I knitted more than one half of the front of the sweater and lost interest.  I think I'll try to turn it into a bag.

I have lots of remnants of yarn left over from knitting a Kaffe Fassett sweater.  There were so many color changes it kept my interest going and I finished it and it fit.  I still wear it somethimes.  The only other sweater I finished ended up being too small and I have a few others I started and didn't finish.  But, I have finished lots of hats and scarves.

I also have many single skeins of yarn.  They where either on sale or caught my interest.  I have no memory …

Snowflake Biscornu

Biscornu's have been popular for a few years now.  I've always admired them but haven't tried making one until recently.  Last weekend, my Embroiderers' Guild of America chapter had a program on biscornu finishing.  Several beautiful designs where provided but I wanted to do my own thing.
A biscornu, a many sided object, is made with one or two stitched squares so any square design will work.  Since the design comes together at the corners and the center is indented I sensed interesting possibilities.  I wanted my design to take advantage of these features.
In December I made tons of paper snowflakes and decided a paper snowflake would be a great inspiration.  So, I designed a cross-stitch snowflake just as I would cut one out of paper.  I only worked with one quadrant adding cutouts and other shapes and then "unfolded" it to get the finished snowflake.

For fun I stitched it in two colorways, light green on purple and dark teal on gray.  After that experience I …

Not Stitching

I was away for a few days!   As usual, part of packing includes a stitching project.  Something small that I can work on at the airport and during the evenings.  I carefully prepared small plastic baggies with floss, extra needles, cut up perforated paper and cheap cutting devices that can be confiscated by security and not cause me any grief.
After all that preparation I did no stitching whatsoever.  I almost always manage to find time to stitch but on this trip I didn't.  Things where so hectic that whenever I got a spare minute I didn't have the energy to even look for my stitching.
Where did I go?  Someplace exotic.

Here's some bamboo I found growing along a wall.  There's nothing like this growing in Colorado, especially in February.  What great texture and patterns.
Need another clue?

Nope, not Egypt, although it would be wonderful to visit.  And there's more vegetation that doesn't grow in Colorado.

I visited simulations of Egypt, New York and Paris all in Las…

Thursday Craft Afternoon

The Art Journal class at the local quilt store did not continue into the year.  It was great to get away for an hour or two and work on a fun project with all the supplies provided. 
So, a friend and I from class have decided to do our own thing.  Thursday after work I showed up at her house for a relaxing few hours.  In honor of Valentines Day we made paper cards for our families.

We started with randomly watercolored paper and cut and punched shapes and glued them down somewhat randomly.

The challenge will be to come up with ideas to keep us going the whole year long.  The projects need to be simple and something we can complete (or mostly complete) in a few hours. 
We definitely want to make quilted people pins again.  And I have a few projects I've been meaning to do which we will probably attempt.  I'll keep you posted on what we do.

Santa Fe Garden

Last August I got to spend a few beautiful days in Santa Fe eating great Northern New Mexican food and wandering through the Plaza and up Canyon Blvd.  I brought my camera and I filled the memory card with pictures of adobe buildings, doors, windows, trees and flowers.  I was sure I would be able to get a design or two out of the trip.
My first attempt was a thread painting I did during a class at the local needlework store.

It was done quickly without much planning but it has the basic elements of what would become the cross-stitch design.
I went back to my photos to find the design elements I wanted to include.
Hollyhock ...

And more hollyhock ...

and yarrow ...

 and faded wood doors ...

And flowerpots.  Somehow I didn't get any pictures of the flowerpots but they where just glorious so I had to include one.
So there they are the elements of my Santa Fe Garden Sampler.  I wanted the adobe to be the linen showing through the stitching.  At the needlework store I rooted through the bins of…

Tracing Eggs

Yes, I've finally gone crazy and am trying to trace eggs!  I want to cross-stitch some Easter eggs and need to get a good egg outline.
I started in the refrigerator with real eggs.  They were cold and I was afraid they would roll off table and land on the floor and make a mess.  Then I remembered plastic eggs and found them in a box in the closet. 
The plastic eggs roll around too, but they do a lot less damage when they hit the floor.  It would be nice if the eggs came apart along the long half.  Then tracing would be easy.
There is an art to tracing around the egg.  The angle of the pencil is key.  If you hold the pencil perfectly straight, the egg is huge and doesn't seem like the right shape.  For me, it worked best to have the tip of the pencil tipping in towards the egg.  Then you have to keep that angle consistent all the way around.  But, it's still hard to make the tracing symmetrical.  After several pages of tracings I got enough "good eggs" to start tran…

Stripes on Quilts

I'm been working slowly and steadily on my charm quilt.  I now have 72 of 90 blocked completed.
The A blocks all have the same medium color.  The B blocks are different - I've never used the same medium for more than 10 blocks.  I needed a new fabric so I went hunting through the stash for something suitable.  I found this striped fabric I had forgotten about.  Not only are there stripes, but the background fades in and out subtly to form more stripes.
I like using stripes in quilts.  Many times I just use the fabric like any other and let the stripes fall where they may.  This time I actually paid attention so that the blocks are all consistent and the stripes frame the charm centers.  The more I worry about getting stripes straight, the more crooked they end up.  So, I don't worry about it and they are usually straight.  Even if they aren't pefectly straight, I still like the way they turn out.

Here's an old block I rescued from an antique store and the stripes don&…

Striped Snowman

I live in the woods which makes winter fun.  It snows and then some of it melts.  It snows again and some more of it melts.  It gets warm and the snow gets slushy.  It gets colder and turns to ice.  The snow gets dirty.  Then another layer of snow falls.  Scientists could drill core samples of this snow and extract all kinds of scientific data about what is going on in the world. 
The snow never really goes away till spring.  There are large areas with no snow at all, but in the shady northern areas there is always some snow.  And it will probably stick around until April or May.

However, there is rarely snowman snow.  A dusting of powder is more likely.  If we get the wet snow it usually falls in large quantities so I'm too busy knocking it off the trees before the branches break or the tree snaps.
So, I decided to stitch a snowman instead.  I've done small striped designs before with my Striped Mountain Scene.  I decided to make the snowman in the same style.  I started with a …