Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tiny Mitten

I am working on a couple of large projects, so I needed a small one that I could finish quickly for a bit of instant gratification. Last year, when Linda & I and our daughters went to Fireside Stitchery, my daughter & I signed up for their Tiny Mittens & Socks club. So far, we've received 10, and my daughter did one; I've finished seven. There are two still to come and two in the stash. These have been fun to do, as each comes with threads, a very well written stitch guide and a couple of photos of the completed project for reference. I've actually finished all of them myself, having learned how to do this at an excellent class I took in Syracuse with Pat Mazu (big wave to my friends from the ANG Lake Effect Chapter!)
As I hope you can see, there are well chosen stitches on the mitten. There was some diagonal cashmere, diagonal mosaic, backstitch, cross stitches. van dyke, & a little beading. I've acually learned a lot doing this club, particularly about stitch selection. These canvases have very small areas to cover; despite that, there is little compensation. Stitches were carefully selected to fit into the counted areas. Impressive!
Tonight--if I can fight off this cold--back to the mantle.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Completed Purse

Here is a picture of my completed purse. Tomorrow I will take to my LNS to be sent out for finishing. It was a very long six weeks. After the second week, I was going crazy doing straight basketweave.
I am now going to start my January Sophisticated Sock. Am looking forward to doing decorative stitches.
Will post pictures of my progress.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Limoge Box

I was working on this limoge box a few months ago, but couldn't post the finished product as it was a gift and didn't want to ruin the surprise just in case the recipient wandered over to this blog! So here it is.....

The inside is finished in pretty lavender raw silk. There are tons of french knots, some Parisian stitch...scotch stitch too. And, tent stitch to rest the eyes!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

STITCH Designed by Ruth Schmuff

Here is my completed canvas. Stitch was not only designed by Ruth but she also wrote the stitch guide. I just love working from Ruth's stitch guides. They are just a pleasure to stitch.

Ruth and I have put our heads together and came up with an absolutely fabulous idea for the finishing of Stitch. I will give you one hint. The feet for the finishing will be antique spools of thread. My friend, Kathy, offered them to me and I just could not turn her down. I have such wonderful friends. Now you will just have to sit back and wait just like me to see the finished product.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My "Stitch" Box

Linda asked me to post a photo of my completed Raymond Crawford "Stitch" canvas, which I had inserted into a beautiful HP Designs black lacquer box. The stitch guide was one of the best I've worked with, by Ruth Schmuff. The guide was very precise with diagrams of stitches and hints about where to be extra careful in counting. I keep this box in my family room, although I don't actually keep any stitching items inside it.....I use it to hold scented tea candles for my many candle holders (I mostly use tea candles around the house because of the kittens; I get the lovely scents with a small flame that stays inside the candle holder).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Present Project

I am presently working on a Clara Wells' handbag. The bag comes with two canvases. The front and back are identical to each other. Denise and I decided that we did not want to stitch two of the same canvases - so we decided to split the bag. We also felt that the bag will wear better having one side in leather rather than needlepoint.

I am stitching mine with three ply of impressions. The bag is stitched in basketweave and is taking what seems forever to finish. I have been working it for about two weeks and figure I have another week or two before it is finished.

It will be finished in navy leather with a detachable shoulder strap. I want the bag lined in hot pink. The same color as the bottom of the bag.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Raymond Crawford Stitching Canvas

Attached is a photo of my completed Stitch Canvas. The stitch guide for this canvas was done by Ruth Schmuff. Ruth's stitch guide and thread selection for this canvas was just a pleasure to stitch.

I am going to have my canvas mounted in a large box that my carpenter is making me so that I can store all my current projects. This should help me keep my sewing room better organized. I will post a picture of the completed canvas and box once it is back from the framer.

Denise also stitched this canvas and has it also in a box. Her box is a table top box. I will ask her to post a picture of it for you to see.


Photos of the mantle

Here's a quick post on my mantle canvas. The background, which I completely changed, is a Christmas tree darning pattern. The two parts of the rug are partly from the stitch guide, and partly re-done. The purple section of the rug is from the stitch guide. The green section is all new stitches selected by me. The green border is a cashmere stitch, then the inside is an alternating cashmere with a cross in the center......I did use the threads that came with the kit, mostly they were Impressions with a ribbon floss for the purple dots. I think the purple rug looks very "berber-like." Not sure I've ever seen a berber rug in these colors though.....


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Now that I'm over it

Now that I've recovered from what I am calling the pillow finishing fiasco, I can talk about what I've been stitching. Honestly, there wasn't much stitching done in the past few weeks, a few hours here or there, what with getting ready for the holidays, having the holidays, having a house full of people over the holidays.....but it's all been fun.

So, again, what's stitching? Well, there's a piece I purchased last year that is a Christmas Mantle. You can see it here....

It came with a detailed stitch guide & I received it with all the threads kitted up. As soon as I started it I could not master the background so I put it away. After much studying, I came up with a new background stitch, with some help from Ruth Schmuff's Stitches DVD's. Once I got a background stitch, I committed to working that all up. So the background is complete. I have now stitched most of the rug, using one of the stitches from the stitch guide for one rug section, and two different stitches for the other parts of the rug. And I am going to do the mantle itself in a different way than as described in the guide. And I am ordering some "dollhouse pieces" as decorations for the mantle. Other than that I am doing it exactly as shown ;)

It's funny that I loved this canvas when I saw the picture above, and yet when I started stitching it up following the guide I felt it needed revision, at least to make it mine. That, I guess, is what makes this a fundamentally unique craft, and the ability to see a different picture in the painted canvas is what makes it an art form, a little bit more than just following directions.


Clubs Will Be Starting

I will be receiving my first club canvas by the end of this month. All That Glitters from Needle House is schedlued to be shipped by the end of January. I already have two of the Sophisticated Socks from Needle Nook of La Jolla. The first arrived in November and the second in December. I have not started them yet but the frist one is on stretcher bars and ready to go.

I am presently working on a bag designed by Clara Wells and want to finish it before starting working on the clubs. The bag should be completed within the next week. I will post a picture of it before it is send off to the finisher.

In addition to the clubs, I will be taking four classes. The first class is a ribbon inital at my LNS scheduled for February. In April, I will be taking a canvas embellishment class with David McCaskill at Ridgewood Needlepoint. I will be taking this class with my stitching sister Denise. In May, my daughter, Jennifer, and I will be going to Memphis to take Amy Bunger's Cooking Up a Canvas with Amy. We will be there for three days. I am really looking forward to that trip. The last class will be in June at my LNS. It is another canvas embellishment class and this time it is with Tony Minieri. I have never taken a class from Tony before and am really excited about it.

As you can see I am going to be very busy. I hope I can keep up with everything.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kelly Clark's Old World Stitching Santa

Now that I finally got the hang of how to download pictures I am going crazy.

I am attaching a picture of my finished Old World Stitching Santa. This canvas is one that has some three dimensional work on it. The basket is open so that you can put in the canvas and threads. I found the basket difficult since it was such a small area and my fingers just would not cooperate but the scarf was a joy to do. I did not have a difficult time with the scarf at all. It is only attached at the very top and the rest of the scarf is just free flowing. It is such a great technique.


Reading Witch Pillow

I know that it is past the season for Halloween but I just had to post a picture of my pillow of a Witch reading under a tree. This is a Tapestry Tent canvas and the finishing was done my Ruth Schmuff of Bedecked and Beadazzled. I just love the way the pillow came out. At first I was taken aback by the all black until I realized that the black makes the canvas really pop. I hope you love the pillow as much as I do.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

What I did not accomplish over my Christmas vacation

New Year's Day. Excellent day for resolutions, best made plans & all that.

January 3. Better day for more well thought out resolutions.

So, I thought, I have this nice 4 day weekend. I am just going to sit down & finish some of those completed projects in my stash. I have quite a few Mittens & Socks from Fireside Stitchery's club. And then there were the three 5" x 5" canvases to make into pillows. I had all the materials, the trims, the time, the patience. My darling daughter helped me make the cording for the ornaments. So exciting. Linda & I anticipated my posts of all those lovely completed items.

I did all my cutting on New Year's Eve afternoon. Took a few hours, but my grandmother taught me to cut everything at the same time if you can. Cutting makes such a mess, may as well clean that up just the one time. Then I sat down & sewed together an ornament. I was reminded what a pain it is to turn that tiny ornament, so carefully stitched, right side out, but I got it done. Put on the cording, and hung the ornament on my tree. Wow! Ok, this will be fun. New Year's Day I sewed together the rest of the ornaments. Haven't done the detail work on those yet, so they are halfway done. There are 11 more to trim.

The plan was to sew all day Friday, & do all three pillows. Did not happen. So last night I sewed together maybe 20% of the first pillow. I decided that starting to miter corners at 10 pm wasn't a good idea. I got up today with the best of intentions. At 3:30 the revised resolution was put into effect.

The revised resolution is: I will not be finishing pillows anywhere in my future. I can envision more ornaments...but no more pillows. My pillow, which was at the 90% point when I took it apart, looked....homemade. I was not happy. My stitching looked so good. My pillow looked so amateurish that I was embarrassed. That is the end of that.

In retrospect, what I accomplished over my vacation was to figure out that I don't like sewing pillows so much. I did accomplish thing off of my "to do" list. Now those pillows are being moved to the "bring in for finishing" list.