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Showing posts from 2012

Orphan Block Potholders

Every so often I end up with an extra quilt block and they have been piling up.  So, I turned them into potholders.
I experimented with different binding techniques and loops. 
The grandmothers flower garden is from years ago.  Once I realized I wasn't going to piece enough for a quilt, I made them into some blocks and then did nothing with it (the other block I made was much bigger and is going to become a table topper).

These are from semi-recent quilts.  One block is from this quilt.  And two are from this quilt.  I guess that means that they aren't orphans.  Since they were small, I just added a border big enough to make them potholder sized.

My favorite potholder came from my least favorite (and oldest) block.  This was from a quilt done long ago that I learned many lessons from.  The first was about contrast:  the white and yellow looked great together at the quilt store but they didn't have enough contrast and the block didn't look right.  That was the only bl…

Doodling and Planning

I haven't done much of anything stitch related all week.  I've been overwhelmingly tired every evening.  My head and hands hurt and I'm afraid of making mistakes and having to undo everything I tried to do.
I'm incapable of doing nothing so instead of present projects, I'm looking towards future projects.  I doodled on graph paper.  If I make a mistake with magic markers it's easy to start again (and I made lots of mistakes which justified my decision). 
I also looked for a new stitching project and found a hand-painted canvas that I had forgotten about.  One evening was spent going through all my threads.

I've gotten the canvas mounted on stretcher bars and 5 different baggies of threads (one bag for each different area of the the canvas).
I'm hoping for quiet time in the next few weeks to get rested and finish up the projects that I have going.  I have to finish them because I'm getting excited about stitching on this canvas.  I haven't done…

Making a Mess

I started out so organized.  I sorted the thread and attached it to the card in the kit.  For the first part of the kit I carefully removed some floss, split it and put the unused portion back on the card.
Then I got lazy.  I was too much work to keep the thread neat.

Now my unused floss is mixed in with the ends.  I'm almost done, so I'll clean up the mess when I'm totally finished.

Pine Trees and no Acorns

I've got lots of pine trees ...

and the squirrels took all the acorns from the scrub oak.  But ...

I finished stitching the Pine Tree and Acorns mini-sampler.
This seemed like it took a long time to start but it's only been since before Thanksgiving.  I had trouble finding time to work on it and I think I spent more time ripping then stitching.
I still need to decide how to finish it.  If I could find a 6 inch frame easily I would be done.  Instead I'm trying to decide between a pillow or a wall hanging.

The Chart Files

I keep all my cross-stitch charts in a file cabinet.  I haven't been in there too much recently so I pulled out my favorite folder:  Minis
It's filled with free charts and smaller chart cards.

I picked the Acorns and Pines Sampler from Little House Needleworks.

I've been doing too much crafty sewing and not enough cross-stitching.  So, I'll probably work on a few of these for a while.  I saw some Christmas patterns in there that look like fun.

Peace House Ornament

Here's my Christmas ornament for this year.
I wanted it to have a house so I started with my house.  The front of the house is rather boring, so I used the side view.  And I changed the proportions.   And changed the color (a green house with a green tree in front of it just won't work).  Speaking of a tree, I had to add a better looking one. 

I wanted snowflakes around the house, but nothing I tried looked right.  So, I added a simple border and then extended it.  All the sudden I had circles where I could add eyelets and I had snowflakes.  I originally planned on eyelets along the top.  But, once I started stitching I squeezed in an eyelet anywhere I could.

That means that there are partial eyelets along the edge of the house that required some compensating.
I also had some negative space around the circles with room for 5 letters. I used P-E-A-C-E and squeezed the year into another negative space.
When I look at this ornament I think of a perfectly quiet and still night wi…

Felt Trees

More ornaments are done.
These were inspired by the green beads that came off a T-shirt.  The T-shirt was just too sparkly so I took all of them off one day. 
They've been sitting in a bowl on my desk since.  Determined to get rid of the bowl I turned them into ornaments where the sparkles are more appropriate.

Next, I need to get to some cross-stitched ornaments.

A Change of Seasons

After I finished my Harvest Biscornu I wasn't quite happy with the fall colors and was thinking spring.
So, I actually stitched another one - this time with spring colors.
Now the biscornu is brighter and more colorful - just what I was looking for. 

It's also slightly bigger.   Hmmm, and I thought both fabrics were 28 count.  I must start labelling them better and test the count before stitching.

Luckily the spring biscornu doesn't have to fit in a specific basket.
I always seem to end a post with something else I'd like to do.  But this time I think I've had enough of this pattern and I'm no ready to run off and try it again.


I've been making stuffed animals using up scraps.  The backs are old sweatshirts.  The stuffing is cut up scraps of quilt batting.  The felt, however, is new.   All my felt was boring so I got a pack of bright colors.

It's been hard to keep everything together.  I found a missing eye on a stack of papers.  But, only after I had made a new one.  Several beaks were lost, never to be heard from again.

It's been playing with the facial expressions.  The more cross-eyed you make an owl the more irritated it looks.
These are for the craft show at the beginning of November.

Gift Boxes

I needed to make small gifts for a group.  Not wanting to stitch the same pattern again and again right now I turned to origami.
It's been years since I've made any boxes and it turned out to be fun, not a chore.
These boxes are from Tomoko Fuse's book Joyful Origami and I used 3 inch squares so each box is under 2 inches across.
I used up some fancy old origami paper that I may have had for over 20 years.  When finished the boxes looked so colorful all lined up.

In fact, wouldn't they make a great quilt? I'm tempted to go out and buy fabric that mimics the paper and start stitching.  I have so many other projects going on that that will have to wait.

Using up Bugle Beads

To use up some bugle beads I searched for bracelet patterns and found this one.
The top bracelet mostly follows the pattern.  I noticed that I had some seed beads that matched the bugle beads.  So, for something different, I replaced every 4th bulge bead with 5 seed beads.
I love the result and as I beaded I thought of the possibilities.
When I finished I immediately started on bracelet #2 (the bottom one).

This time the bugle was shorter so I only needed 4 seed beads to replace one.  And, instead of a matching seed bead I picked random seed beads out of my bead soup.  (See the top picture on this posting).  I also left off the drops.
Like the toggle bead on the bracelet #1?  It came from a trunk show of Humming Line Beads.

This was a quick and easy bracelet pattern and I recommend it if you are using up beads.

Gingerbread Men

I've been working on felt gingerbread men on and off for a month now and they are beginning to pile up.
Only 3 more to finish and then I'm done.

I ran out of brown felt, otherwise I'd probably making more.
I'll just have to move on to something else next, like trees.


I've been making bags.
This is the Vintage Modern Bag from Moda Bakeshop. It's the most complicated bag I've attempted and the directions made it easy.

And this is the Sock Sack from Atkinson Designs.
I have a few more bag patterns that I'd like to try.  Since I seem to be on a bag roll maybe I'll do them next.

Harvest Biscornu

Just as fall as arriving I've finished my harvest biscornu.  I didn't mean to be seasonal but this was the next project in my queue.
I've been wanting to fill my sewing basket for a while and these were the colors it needed.

These were the colors I decided upon originally and they go perfectly in my basket.  But, while I was stitching, the colors didn't feel right to me even though they are all over right now.

As soon as I finished I pulled out some white fabric and lighter brighter colors and have started another one.  I guess I'm not ready for fall and winter and am looking forward to spring already.
This pattern is for sale at Patternsonline.

The Last Temari

See the blank temari?  It's been one of my oldest UFO's for almost 10 years.  Not any more.
I recently saw a picture of a temari with free-form flowers which renewed my interest.  I pushed aside some other projects to finish the temari.
I started out traditionally with a star on top and on the bottom.

Then I put my free-form flowers around the middle. 
I had fun remembering how to stitch on a temari (using only another temari as a guide).  The flowers were more of a challenge, but it's similar to stitching on felt and I got them stitched on.

Now all the temari in my basket are finished.  Time for something new.


Yes, I made a basket.
I got the kit a while ago at a thrift store and finally was brave enough to assemble it.
I made mistakes and it's not perfect.
It was a horrible feeling when I got to the last step and discovered I'd already used the piece I was supposed to lace with.  Luckily, I had just enough scraps to make up for it.

It actually looks just like a basket.  Just, don't look too closely at the left corner.  The next one I do will have better corners.  If I ever see another kit out there.
The basket is the perfect size for projects.  I've started with some yarn for my next knitting project.  But after that, it will probably hold some other stitching.

Deciding on Colors

I'm going to make a biscornu to go inside my sewing basket.  That's the lid of the basket on top.
I'm using the red and green in the basket as a starting point for the colors.
The darker linen makes it difficult.  Mediums tend to blend right into the background.  The picture makes it easier to see how the colors work together.
There are actually four reds and I only need three.  The lightest and the darkest I'll definitely use.  Right now I'm leaning towards the lightest medium.
I've decided I like the rest of the colors so I'm ready to start stitching.

Done, done and done

The following are done:
The 1975 Azalea.  The frame is made of plastic but doesn't quite look it.  I thought it perfect for completing the 1970's look.

The Magic Needlecase Challenge - outside

and in.
The Aida cloth made for extremely ugly bulky corners that I hid with the twisted cord.  It turned out nice, but the needlecase doesn't lie flat.  Oh well.
And finally ... with some Alpaca samples I received 2 weeks ago a sampler:

The teal one isn't Alpaca - I had to practice first.  The Alpaca is so soft and I enjoyed trying the different textures of each sample. 
Now I have room for more new projects!


I've spent all my spare time this last week (OK, not all, it just seems like it.  I have watched a little of the Olympics) digging up iris.

This is about half of them.  Today I started planting.  This is faster then digging them up.
Then comes finding people to take the rest of them.
This is beginning to be too much work.  This is the last time I'm going to dig them all up in the same year.  After this it will be a few every year.
Hopefully next spring it will seem worth it.  Right now, it doesn't seem like I'll ever be done.

Subtle Embellishments

I'm working on a mystery needle case (that isn't really that much of a mystery - I recognized all the clues).  It's with the Stitchmap group.
The front and back are embellished fabric - whatever you want to use.  I picked this piece of dyed Aida cloth.  It was from a dyeing class years ago (the dye job wasn't to even).  I think it was an onion dye.  I cross-stitched the applique style flower on it years ago.
For embellishments I attached shell beads with seed beads.
For the back, I found some white cloth dyed during the same class.

This fabric was tie-dyed.  I added some old white rayon rick-rack and seed beads.  I wanted some embroidery so I borrowed a flower from a vintage doily.

It was quick and easy and worked well with the other colors.
I wanted to be done by now but I'm falling behind on the assembly part.  So, more on that later.