Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ann Hill Sampler - Plodding Along

The stitching on Ann Hill continues!  Like I said in previous posts, because I elected to stitch the border in a manner that works for me, it's just a lot of extra steps and just takes more time.  It is, what it is!  Stitching is much like life!  It's a marathon and not a sprint, so you just have to resolve yourself, that you finish when you finish, and what happens between the start and finish, you have little control over.

By the way, I don't know what it is that I manage to locate errors in charts, but I found one in Ann Hill.  Area 7 on the chart says you are supposed to stitch this band in 822/5830/268, except the chart does not call for any of these colors!   By looking at the photo, I am doing it in color DMC 613, as it looks like the beige to me!

My mother left for Illinois today, to visit my sister for several months.  I got my sewing machine chair back, at least for the next several months.  My mom takes up residence in my "task chair/office chair" to watch TV.  I know it's so she can hear the TV better, am so hoping the purchase of hearing aids, which were obtained under duress by her, will help!  Because having the decibel level so high on the TV so that she can hear it, really results in the rest of the family having raging headaches by 10 p.m.

Because their is now an vacancy in my sewing machine chair, I was able to finish off 2 sides of a tent flap, that I have been sewing for my hubbie, on his own design, after the flap to our tent just up and disappeared.  I completed two sides this morning, and have a few other sewing machine tasks, I really need to finish!  But...I felt sort of mean asking my mom to vacate my chair, so I just put those tasks off until she was on her visit to my sister.  

Speaking of sewing, I bought a serger, or two.  Actually I bought a Kenmore Serger when we first moved here.  I was so intimidated, I never used it!  So it sat collecting dust.  I then went out on the internet and searched for a serger that could be operated by idiots!  Brother 1034/D, so I bought that too.  I must admit, I still have to use the aid of a YouTube video to thread it, but it has come in so very handy. Meanwhile I tried to sell the first serger, with no takers.  People just don't do that type of sewing these days, in addition, the ones that do, many are intimidated by using a serger too!  This week I was talking to one of my good friends in the area, and she was saying how she almost called me up to see if I could serge something for her.  I told her I would have gladly done that for her.  But, she used an overlock stitch from her sewing machine.  The next day, I remembered I still had the Kenmore serger, gathering dust.  I called her up and offered to it for free, no strings attached, just wanted it to go to someone who would use it.

My serger has been used in sewing slip covers, I serge all the edges of my needlework so it doesn't fray.  It even works on Aida!  I have managed to serge seams on T-shirts that came undone.  I used it to serge several layers of fabrics together, so that they won't slide, when I go to do the final sewing.  All in all, it's been a good investment, and now one, I don't regret. 

In my last post, I neglected to post pictures I the new charts, I purchased to add to my stash.  So much for my resolve to not add to my stash, until I made a huge dent in my stash.  Oh the temptation!

Well, that's all for the week. Got a busy week ahead, and hope that I will be able to get some house cleaning in as well.  My mom comes looking for me if I'm gone too long.  So, until the next post,
HAPPY Stitching!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Menagerie

Yes, I'm calling this post a menagerie, because it's appropriate.  It is a collection of things that I forgot to share in previous posts.  Mostly because I wasn't being very good at posting on a weekly basis, as I had done in the past.

When that happens, you forget to share the things that you would have included in the weekly post.  So bear with me, my readers, and enjoy, the things I have also been doing, when I fell off the blogger wagon!

First, I picked up 5 more samplers from Michaels.  Other than the two I have previously finished, I'm pretty caught up on my stash requiring framing.  Previous posts, show my work on these, but I always like to share the completed framed one.

Karoline Berlinger - Summer House Stitch Workes

Ann Pegg 1977- The Scarlett House
  

Isabella Gray - Samplers Revisited

Mexican Schoolgirl Sampler - Samplers Remembered

Antiques Sampler - BH & G cross Stitch And Country Crafts Magazine Mar/April 1992

Speaking of framing, I decided to make a go of another smaller project, and laced another souvenir piece, I found after rooting around in my supplies.  Finding frames for your own projects can be quite the challenge.  I was lucky enough to find a frame at Michael's but to say that it didn't have issue, would be so untrue.  First of all the rabbit which holds the glass and your art work, wasn't very deep, so I was unable to use the back provided with the frame, once I added my needlework.  Once again, I had to have my hubby add some sort of hanger, since the one on this pre-made frame, was attached to the back that was provided.


If possible, I try to pick up a little project, of places we visit.  This one obviously is from a vacation in Ocean City, Md. many years ago.  If you ever visit Ocean City, you must check out the needlework shop Salty Yarns on the boardwalk!  Each year, the introduce a new little souvenir cross stitch chart.
I have bought another one on another vacation, and it remains unfinished.  Need to throw it in my take along bag! 

In addition, I have started working a Christmas gift for a relative.  Nowhere near completion, but I have made a decent stab at putting the items together, and am fairly confident, they will be done, in time for Christmas!  I just wanted to share a picture of the lovely fabrics.

In addition to all that, I still continue to perfect my answer for the Ann Hill Sampler border.  I have discovered using hand quilting thread works better for outlining. Doesn't fray, and pulls out easier.  It's a process!

I also managed to squeeze in a bath, brush, and nail cutting for Holly!  Pretty ding dang proud of myself! 

With that, I'm quite certain I am all caught up, with all the news fit to print.  Happy Stitching!


Monday, May 15, 2017

Ann Hill Sampler


My final dirty little secret.  Yes, that's correct, a sampler I started back and 2013 and has been languishing in my stash.  Why you might wonder?  Because the freehand border just totally intimidated me!  I can read a chart like no one's business, but ask me to just freehand stitch a design on linen, and I become the village idiot! 

Especially when the chart graph lines are huge in relation to the 36 ct. dirty linen, I'm supposed to be stitching on.  I thought and I thought and I thought, just how I might make this happen.  Obviously it took me 4 years of thinking.  That,  and it's one of the two samplers charts I have left from the 90's that I just want to get finished, and move on to a new decade of sampler charts.

After much thought, I admit it, there was no way I could do the freehand.  There was no way I was going to try free hand drawing on my fabric.  I can barely draw stick figures.  Plus I have seen way to many stitch projects posted on FB, where the stitcher used one of those pens that is supposed to wash out or fade away, and didn't!  So....my solution involved the use of my personal copy machine. Best Christmas present ever!  Well except for the year when my oldest was working at Home Depot and he bought me a new dishwasher. 

After much, fooling around with the settings, I finally came up with - if I could reduce the original chart by 63% than it ended up being almost the exact count per square inch as 36 Ct. dirty linen.
I then placed the copy over my linen, by lining it up with the inside and outside border, plus I had run a graph line horizontally between the borders, that would line up with the graph line on my copy.

I then used a very sharp needle, one strand of regular sewing thread, and ran a running stitch along all the lines for the flowers, vines and leaves.  Stitching through the paper and linen.  After that, I used a cuticle scissors and cut out all the paper, so that all that was left was the stitching lines.  Be especially careful, a cuticle scissors have points and could easily put a hole in your linen.



Once those steps were taken, I could fill in the out lines of the flowers and petals with the satin stitch and use the outline stitch for the vines.  I would then snip out and pull out any random threads of my outline.  Tweezers come in handy for this step!

Okay, it's slow going, and a lot of extra steps!  But....I am happy with the result and although it is taking me longer to do all the additional steps, at the end I will have a finished sampler! Maybe it's cheating a bit, but sometimes you have to do whatever works for you!

And with that, I'll end my post for the day!  Happy Stitching!




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dunvegan Sampler - Sampler Workes

I take pride in the fact, that once I start a project, that I finish it whatever may come.  Well, that's not entirely true!  I had two samplers, that I had started, and just never finished.  The Dunvegan Sampler was one of the two. 

I had it completely finished, except for the head of the thistle stitched in Queen Stitches.  For someone reason, I totally had a meltdown, when it came to this one part of the sampler.  I looked through stitching books, I went on YouTube and watched videos.  I even went to a stitching group and asked for help.

Oh, I knew the basics of the stitch.  Knew where to come up, and go down, knew where I should tack the stitch and what direction.  I could do this stitch in theory, but putting it in practice was a completely different matter.  Every time, I tried to stitch the thistle, it looked like a tangled, hot mess.

I practiced on the edges of my fabric, the stitches looked good, but put them on top of each other and next to each other and it looked liked chaos!  I ripped them out so many times I felt, I was gonna leave a hole in my linen.  Then I'd be really up a creek without a paddle!

So after the completion of the Needle's Work Sampler, I pulled out my dirty little secret and just was gonna finish my lowly thistle!  Bite the bullet, put my head down, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other! 

Picture prior to the completion!


Close up of the thistle head.    The trick was to use one thread of DMC rather than two!


Picture of completion


So I have another completion for my framing pile!  Yea! 


Needle's Work Sampler - Needle's Work - Dawn Lewis - Finish

Yes, another finish! I ended up finishing this several weeks ago, and it now has gone into my framing stash!   Probably will be quite awhile, before I have 11 samplers that need to be framed.  I'm sure my husband will be forever grateful!

A great little sampler, for someone who wants to advance their stitching skills and learn some new stitches.  Even though it's a band sampler, it is a BIG piece!



Sorry for the short posts, but have a lot to catch up on!

Back from Framing

I sincerely apologize to my few but faithful followers for my lack of posting to my blog, in the last month!  No particular reason why, other than procrastination.  I kept saying to myself ....."tomorrow!"  Unfortunately it's been over a month worth of tomorrows, and for that I truly apologize. 

At some point, I'm sure I mentioned, I dropped off 6 samplers for framing at Michaels.  I finally picked those up, and wanted to share the framed samplers.

Ann Rayner 1839 - Threads Thru Time

Ann Wellington 1809 - T & N Designs

Hannah Lancaster - Porcupine Collection

Lucy Redd - Homespun Elegance

Jane Woodward - Canterbury Designs

Loara Standish - Examplarery


Since then, I have taken in 5 more samplers for framing, and those are finished and ready to be shared.  Pictures of those to follow!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Needle's Work Sampler - Weeks 5 & 6

Once again, I have been particularly lax about updating my blog.  I think as the weather has gotten nicer, I have been stricken with Spring Disease, and have had so many things that I still need to get done.


I will admit, that week 5 of this sampler, I didn't work on it at all.  I sort of lost my stitching "mojo!" I actually made a comment to my 95 year old mother about my lack of "mojo" and her response was hysterical.  Evidently, she is not familiar with the term "mojo" and her response was "well maybe it fell off, and it's under your chair!"  If it was only so easy to lose and find again!  If any of my readers are interested in getting your own copy of the Needle's Work Sampler chart of your own, please leave your email address in the comments section, and I will send you the information.  This chart is no longer available in stores, and can only be obtained directly through the designer.

I finally got my samplers back from Michael's and will post the pictures.  Left Loara Standish there for them to redo, as I didn't care for the buckling along the edges of the sampler.  I have already figured out where to put them.  Ann Rayner will go directly above my grandfather clock in the front hallway and the rest will be grouped together on a wall between my son's room and the guest bedroom.

I also tried framing one of my smaller projects myself.  After wondering for a long time, I finally found a frame, I thought was about the right size.  I had my hubbie remove the wall hanger from the short side of the frame, and put it on the long side.  I then, watched several You Tube videos on framing needlework, including lacing the back.  I also received some hints from a FB friend in Oregon, who frames a lot of her own needlework, that was very useful in keeping the fabric lined up and even on the foam board.  I may try to do some other projects myself, as far as the lacing, and perhaps save some amount of the mounting costs.  Especially since the framing costs, with coupons is still outrageous.  There are a few things I did learn from this project, that I need to make a mental note, if I decide to do my own in the future.


Interesting topic on one of the FB stitching groups this weekend.  It was a show and tell weekend of stitcher's  WIP (works in progress) or UFO's (unfinished objects.)  OMG!  I have to tell you, I'm a one at a time sampler stitcher.  I used to have at least 3 projects going, one a take along, one lap stand up on the first floor, and one in the basement on my floor stand.  Since I rarely go anyways, no need to have a take along project.  Once the hubbie started working out of the house, I no longer spent so much time on the first floor, and therefore, stopped putting one on my lap stand.  Now - it's floor stand only.  I'm not saying that towards the end of any project, I'm not sick of it, or I can't wait till it's finished.  But.....finished is the end result.  Stitching should be something you do because you love it and enjoy it, but having all these just started, half finished projects, sitting around would drive me crazy.  I have found that many of the multiple project stitchers, have some sort of rotation of their various projects.  I can tell you I'm a voracious stitcher!  Stitching usually many a hours a day, because I don't work outside the house.  Even then, some of my samplers have taken anywhere from
5-6 weeks if not months to finish.  That's working on it, every single day.  I guess I don't understand the math, if you have 10-15 projects in some stage, and work on it a day, a week, when can one anticipate a finish?

To be quite honest, I guess it also boils down to that I'm lazy and cheap!  I don't want to break my floor stand down every single time to switch out one project to the next.  I have a multitude of scroll rods, but I don't want to have a bunch of extra scroll rods that I don't need, and threads.  I pull threads for the project I am working on, then once completed, file them back, and pull threads for the next project.  Works for me.

I am happy to share, that I did manage to finish the two Christmas ornaments I volunteered to donate to a family that their stitcher passed away.  Took me for ever to find an appropriate chart, since I didn't know the lady personally, other than through FB.  I thought the sampler style ornaments were the answer.


With that, I will end my rambling and wish you all a wonderful week and Happy Stitching!