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Showing posts from 2011

Erica's Birds

Christmas Ornament Round 3 is done and I'm done with ornaments until next season!  I didn't get them all finished before Christmas but they were done a few days afterwards.
I found the kit at Goodwill last year and started it last year.  But, I lost interest and working with the metallic threads annoyed me.  This year I was determined to finish them.
It is a kit from 1979/1980 by Erica Wilson.

The birds are stitched on both sides and look so much better in real life than they did in the picture.  It's amazing how simple felt can be elevated to stylish with the right trimmings.

I really liked the way these birds turned out.  They are not being put away with the rest of the Christmas decorations.  I'm going to enjoy looking at them all year long.
I'm also ready to do more felt embroidery.  But, I think I'll use normal floss instead the metallic floss. The kit was generous and I still have about half the spool left.  I also kept all of the felt scraps.  It's really…

Finishing Up

I have too many projects going on.  So, I've taken some time off to get some of them done.
So far this week I've beaded.

And felted.  Now, those two projects are done.  I feel lighter.  The supplies are put away and my work area is clear.

So now I'm beading some more.

And braiding ...

And stitching ...

I'll be alternating between these three until they are done.  Then I'll finish some of the other things I've started.
My goal is to make it the end of the year or until I run out of projects to finish.  There are other projects calling out to me but I'm going to ignore them for now.

Gingerbread Cookies

One of the best Christmas smells is gingerbread cookies baking.
I used to make a full batch every year.  Then a half batch.  Now I make them every few years.

Definitely worth the wait!

To Bead or Not To Bead?

I know, that's usually a easy question.  The answer is to bead.  But, in this case, I've been mulling it over since April or May when I started this project.  Now it's time for the moment of truth.
I also realize you probably thought I gave up on this project because it hadn't been blogged in a while.  I've been slowly plugging away at it.  I'll admit that it has gone excruciatingly slowly.
As a reminder, the project is called "Colorado Collage" designed by Caela Conn Tyler.  The border colors and lettering are mine but the rest of the magnificent design is hers.
Here it is with the beads laid out over the forested areas of the state.

I was afraid they would hide the intricate stitching.  But, comparing the two, not really.  The beads do add a nice sparkle.  The unbeaded Colorado looks plainer.
I'm still undecided.  I'm going to think about it over the week and decide next week.
Any thoughts?

Candy Canes and Snowflakes

It's time for Christmas crafts. 
This year I've been painting watercolor candy canes as card inserts.

I've also been stamping snowflakes on envelopes and cardstock. 

X Ornaments

I finished round 2 of Christmas Ornaments getting to use a lot of different threads.
They are simple squares - scraps of leftover linen - backed with felt.

I enjoy playing with different color combinations.  Some are subtle.

And others are bolder.  All with the same pattern.

Don't ask me which ones I like best.
Next, I'm going to give most of them away.  And then start round 3.  Finish up some ornaments that I didn't finish last year.
Like the pattern?  It's for sale at

Last Minute Quilting

It turns out to be a good thing that I had an unquilted quilt top laying around.
I decided it would make a good early Christmas gift to be delivered at Thanksgiving.  Otherwise a quilt would have been impossible.
So, I put everything else aside and quilted like crazy and I've got it done with half of the weekend left.

Now, on to other projects.

ornaments - 3 small and 1 big

I've finished the first batch of ornaments for the year.  They are all from this year's Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.  Usually I pick one or two to stitch.  This year I went overboard and did four.

This one turned out too big to be an ornament.  At 35 count it was an ornament.  At 28 count it isn't.  I wasn't paying attention to the instructions, just using materials I have on hand and it got bigger and bigger. 
I was thinking of leaving the border off but then I looked in my frame collection and found the perfect frame.  I actually increased the border size to make the stitching fit into the frame better.  The border as designed isn't even so I figured no one would notice if I made it even less even. 
One of the snowflakes is supposed to be asymmetrical but I didn't notice in time and I made it symmetrical.  Oops.

Then I ran out of the brown floss. Double oops.  I could have found a close DMC and finished the last two stitches but I left it as is.  Another r…


It's done.  The nine-patches have been squared up.

I have a huge pile of scraps and I'm getting ready to assemble the blocks.

Polka Dot Nine Patches

I have 20 old nine patch blocks.

The dots are red blue and black.

The blocks are nearly see-through and they are not very square.
I purchased them at an antique store years ago.  Instead of them living in a drawer I want them to be used.  There is just the right number of blocks to make a lively border for my 30's quilt.
I'm going to have to some work to make the usable but I think the result will be pretty.


I've been lucky enough to get out into the mountains some during the past few weeks just as the aspens reached the height of color.

I was able to walk along the Colorado River kicking up dead cottonwood leaves.

And hike in a rain of golden aspen leaves.  Living in a pine forest I don't get to rake and play in the leaves like I did growing up.  So, in a way, I was a kid again.
I've been enjoying it because it will not last long.  Sure enough, I woke up this morning to snow.  Sigh.


I started buttonhole stitching in July and lamented that it would take me months to finish.  We'll it has.  I always have a thread ready to go so I can pick it up and stitch at a moments notice.  The moments just didn't come that frequently.
I've finished all the dresden plate fans and saved the butterflies till last.  Two are now done.

The best part is the antennae - they allow a little creativity.  All four will be different so I have two more styles to come up with.
Once the button stitching is complete I can move on to the next part of this 30's style quilt.  The borders will use some more vintage blocks that are really wild.
I'll show them once I start working on them.

Red and Green Threads

It's that time of the year again.
As night comes earlier and earlier and it gets colder and colder I start thinking about making Christmas ornaments.
I have no plans yet.  But I've started collecting supplies.  I've found a surprising amount of red and green threads.

Deciding what to stitch is part of the fun. 

Going Slowly

I'm back to stitching on Colorado.  I'm filling in the edges.  I finished Arizona and started Utah and New Mexico.  It's going extremely slow.  One length of thread doesn't seem to fill much canvas.

There are 7 states surrounding Colorado and they will each be a different color.

I still haven't come up with a good lettering to spell out "Colorful Colorado".  But, at the rate I'm going it will take months to get that far.

Using up Charm Squares

I have used up every charm square in the house on my latest quilt top!  At least I hope there aren't any stragglers that I missed.
That includes 2 different charm packs and half a dozen leftovers including a flannel square (in one of the corners), a 30's style square and one square that just doesn't quite belong with the rest.
Both charm packs were traditional prints.  One was in darker colors and a formal style.  I never found the right project to use them in and never came up with any good ideas.  The second was lighter pastels and a whimsical style.  Every time I looked at it I was able to come up with a different plan that I wanted to start right away.
Instead I combined them both.  I think the two styles go together in an uncoordinated way.  Or at least they don't clash too badly.

My usual tactic is to come up with a design and use all the squares I can.  Which always leaves a few orphans.  This time I tried a new plan.  A crib batting is about 45 x 60.  So, I figured…

More Bags

You can never have too many bags, right?  I hope so because my bag collection keeps getting bigger.
In my quest to use yarn up stash yarn, my felting wool is almost gone and I have a new yarn bag.

I'll use this to hold knitting projects and use the last of the felting yarn to make pot holders or coasters.

Meanwhile, I've been fusing plastic.  It turns out my first experiments with this were a year ago.  I'm surprised it took me this long to get back to it. 
The bag at the top is my new lunch bag modelled after a brown paper bag.  Hopefully it will last longer and be more durable.

This fused collection of bags from many stores is one side of a tote bag.

The other side is my attempt at weaving and fusing. 

Ok, ok, enough bags for now.  I'll get back to some serious stitching soon.


After a slow start, the harebells have been giving a spectacular show this year.
They have inspired me.  I've been photographing and drawing them.
I've also been working on an appliqued harebell quilt.

So far I've stitched four small samplers playing with different fabrics and stitching styles. 

So far I'm happy with the results.  Even the backs are turning out nice.

Now I'm working on some other flowers to applique.  And trying to decide how to put them all together.


Connecting Threads is having a fabric design contest so I decided to try designing fabric.
It's easy to come up with ideas but hard for me to get them into the computer.
The first design I used PCStitch, cross-stitch design software to come up with the jpeg.  It has a tiled appearance because of that but it is an interesting effect.  I can easily imagine a whole line of fabrics with this look.  This design is on page one of the Geometric/Decorative category.

For my next design I experimented with Photoshop.   It is on page 3 of the Flowers category.
It's been fun dreaming about being a fabric designer but there were so many beautiful designs submitted and they are all getting more votes then mine.
I have more ideas and wish I could submit again knowing more about what to expect and how to generate the designs.  So, go out there and vote for your favorites so they will run the competition again.