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Sunday, December 10, 2017

A little stitching

It has been a crazy busy week that this little ditty sums up just about how I feel right about now.
The temps here in north central Florida dropped to 29 degrees last night this morning I woke about 4:45 with now power brrrr was it cold, I think because we had two days of rain and cloudy skies it felt even colder.  So half asleep I called the electric company to report the outage, luckily someone reported it 45 minutes before I. 
This is just about what I felt when my bare feet hit the cold ceramic floors, I'm still chilled to my bones.  After making the report I went back to bed hoping to get at least another hour of sleep, at least it was warm under my bed quilts, around 6:20 the furnace kicked on I knew power was restored.  Since sleep was eluding me I put on some hot water for cocoa and began to print shipping labels.

I did manage to finally have time last night to put in a few stitches in the greenman project, and I mean just a few.
I also managed to get a haircut yesterday, I had to reschedule my appointment in November during my bout with the flu and then I had an appointment on the 6th but had to cancel due to check up at doctor's running over, I was so relieved yesterday cause I was just about ready to shave my head, it drives me crazy when my hair gets in my eyes to the point of irritation.

On the way back I stopped a local thrift shop and found another great bargain a whole package of Sulky 20 spools of cotton thread still sealed in the package for $2.00.
I'm sure I will put them to good use I love the pastel colors.  This week will be another busy week so I don't think I will get much stitching done but I'll make time where I can.  For today I am posting over at Kathy's Quilt https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2017/12/slow-sunday-stitching_10.html .

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December's First Slow Stitching Sunday

December seems to have arrived while I wasn't looking, after being ill with the flu and viral infection for a few weeks the days tend to run together and before I knew it I was turning the page on my calendar.  I am happy to say I am feeling much better not quite 100% but very close and I'm back to my hand embroidery with a clear head. 

I finished the 3rd house block for the I Love Home series by Jacqueline Steves, so now I need to print off and trace block 4 which is the last block for the project. https://jacquelynnesteves.com/

I have two new embroidery projects  in the works. One project has been printed onto the Pellon Stitch N Washway stabilizer and affixed to the fabric and await stitching. I love using this when I have a piece with a lot of detail like the greenman pattern below, it's much easier to print the pattern onto the product that way I don't miss any of the details, which I have done in the past.

The first project is another Greenman piece, he is being worked on unbleached cotton muslin which I am also using for backing the piece for more stability. I think this is the 6th Greenman I'm doing.
Greenman from Urban Threads
This Greenman pattern is another from Urban Threads, I have quite of few of their patterns this one can be found here: http://www.urbanthreads.com/products.aspx?productid=UTH1590 

I was out and about a few days ago dropping off a bag of donations at one of my favorite thrift shops and decided to browse for a few minutes, I'm so glad I did I stumbled upon a great find I nearly missed 50 packages of Mill Hill beads and 6 charms, all sealed packets for $5.00.
I thought how serendipitous since I signed up to take part in the 2018 Crazy Quilt Journal Project, I'm sure some of my embellishing will include some beads.  Registration is open until December 31 here is the link if you are interested in taking part and signing up:   https://crazyquiltjournalproject2018.blogspot.com/p/crazy-quilt-journal-project-2018.html

The thrift shop where I found the beads is the same shop I found spools and spools of velvet ribbons and all kinds of lace trim a year or so ago.  I wonder if there is a crazy quilter in the vicinity.  I am linking my post today over at Kathy's Quilts come over and have a look at what other bloggers are slow stitching today https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2017/12/slow-sunday-stitching.html

A future project coming up will involve embroidering these blocks by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman's Windowsill Garden collection, there are eight blocks and I decided to do both the colors and the redwork blocks.
in colors

all red
I like to have something at hand for when I get tired of working the same project or the tedious use of one color which will happen when I begin stitching the Greenman. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Slow Stitching Again

It's been a while since I was able to get in some real stitching time but finally this week I was feeling well enough to sit up for more than a few minutes and stitch.  This bug I have is still lingering but for the most part I am functioning at near normal again. On the up side I lost 12 pounds the first week I was sick, not the best way to lose weight but heck I'll take it.

Thanksgiving is over and we are now facing the holiday rush and crush and all I want to do is lie down to make the room stop moving,  I was well enough last week driving to the post office each day to drop off packages, no matter how sick I am the customers are very important tom me so I printed labels and packed bubble mailers in spurts it took nearly half a day but it's what you do, the first days I was sick my son made the daily post office run, I didn't trust myself to drive.

As I mentioned I did get some stitching done and oh goodness some online shopping too because really when you are too sick to read, or stitch what else is there to do when you start to get restless for some contact with fabric or thread, yarn or a book.

I finished two of the four house blocks I was working on and the third block is nearly completed I have to trace the 4th house which was released on Nov. 6th.
two houses done
nearly finished
I completed the few little Winter embroidery pieces and I'm pleased with the results though they are far from perfect.
snowflakes
snowman
I just love the little snowman, I don't know if I ever mentioned this before when I lived in New Jersey I started to collect snowmen then I moved to Florida I continued to collect them, more so I think because I missed the snow and winter so much.  I was very particular about the snowmen I collected they had to have a look about them that could melt my heart, like the little one I just stitched.  I still have my snowman collection packed away in the garage.

I have to mention I won a Give A Way a few weeks ago you can read about the give away and all about the quilt here https://www.teadoddles.com/sewing-merry-moosemas-quilt-kit-giveaway/
Moosemas panel
coordinating fabrics

This is what the quilt will look like once it is done I borrowed the photo from the website it's such a sweet little quilt.  The kit is available here:
https://fourpeachesfabric.com/shop?olsFocus=false&olsPage=products%2Fa-moose-for-christmas-kit-merry-moosemas
https://www.teadoddles.com/sewing-merry-moosemas-quilt-kit-giveaway/ 
Before I won the give away I purchased some adorable fabric from Four Peaches Fabric which is fast becoming one of my favorite online fabric shops.
Some Bunny Love You Collection
I saw these and just thought Spring, I have no idea what I'll make just yet but you can bet I will include some kind of hand embroidery with it.

Right before I got sick I finally joined the Embroidery Guild of America  (EGA) we don't have a local chapter where I live so I am a member at large.  Below is the first issue of NeedleArts the guild magazine along with the course catalog.  I just love the logo and have downloaded a pattern form the site to embroider it. There is a Chapter on the East coast and I believe one Northwest so I will eventually inquire about a meeting and perhaps join a chapter, in the meantime there are online courses, seminars etc.
Needle Arts EGA
I found this cute little pin online while taking part in a stitch a long and thought it would be a cute needle minder, I plan to remove the pin and add magnets.  
Well that's all I have time for today I am beginning to feel tired so I'm going to sign off and try to finish the house block stitching.  I am linking up today with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Still Battling the Flu

I'm still battling this bug, whether a virus or the flu it's one miserable illness, I'm struggling with daily task so mostly I just lie down and sleep, I haven't had the energy to read or stitch, I don't think I could hold a needle long enough to put in more then 2 or 3 stitches which really makes waiting out this bug seem so long.  My eyes can't focus well right now, and just when I start to feel better I am hit with another bout of fever, chills and coughing, I have had moments of black outs when I cough that leave me feeling confused like my brain is wrapped in fuzz.

Right before I got sick I was working on a few projects and I did managed to snap a few photos of my progress before this bug hit me so hard.
the blue snowflake is stitched and the green snowflake was started and I'd like to add a few stitches to it today while my head is feeling less fuzzy.
I started another one of the Jacquelynne Steves house blocks but as you can see haven't made much
progress.  On a positive note over the past two days I have managed to sit up and page through a few magazines and even managed to read a few articles. Some time today I would like to at least try to get a letter written. I'm going to link up with Kathy's Quilts today
 https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2017/11/slow-sunday-stitching-medicine.html


I wish you all a great day and hope to be back in full creative mode soon. For those of you in Florida here is the flyer for the 2018 State Fair I would love to enter something  here is the link click on State Fair and go to the Family Living Section for rules etc.   http://www.floridastatefair.com/

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sharing a little smile

While on the road to recovery I thought I would share something a friend sent via email yesterday it sure gave me a giggle or two.
Dear Family,
I'm not dead yet. Thanksgiving is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday. Dinner is at 12:00 in Nov. 22, Not 2:15, Not 2:05, Noon 12:00! Arrive late and you get what's left over.
Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house. This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.
Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot. You don't arrive at someone's house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove. Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives - date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.
Now, the house rules are slightly different This year because I have decided that 47% of you don't know how to take care of nice things. Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I'll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.
House Rules:
1. The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M. The television stays off during the meal.
2. The "no cans for kids" rule still exists. We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two. Parents can fill a child's cup when it is empty. All of the cups have names on them and I'll be paying close attention to refills.
3. Chloe, last year we were at Trudy's house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up. This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage. Save yourself some time, honey. You've never been a good cook and you shouldn't bring something that wiggles more than you. Buy something from the bakery.
4. Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy. That is a fact of life. Your children can eat healthy at your home. At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.
5. I cook with bacon and bacon grease. That's nothing new. Your being a vegetarian doesn't change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs. Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it. That's why it tastes so good. Not eating bacon is just not natural. And as far as being healthy... look at me. I've outlived almost everyone I know.
6. Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.
7. I do not like cell phones. Leave them in the car.
8. I do not like video cameras. There will be 32 people here. I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.
9. Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids. I have nice things and I don't put them away just because company is coming over. Mary, watch your kids and I'll watch my things.
10. Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives. I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too. I can live with that. Can you?
11. Words mean things. I say what I mean. Let me repeat: You don't need to bring anything means you don't need to bring anything. And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said. Really, this doesn't have to be difficult.
12. Domino's and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch. That was true when you were kids and it's true now that you have kids.
13. Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas. Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.
In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer. Drink until it is gone. I prefer wine anyway. But one from each family needs to be the designated driver.
I really mean all of the above.

Love You, Grandma


Monday, October 30, 2017

Hey It's Cold Outside

Brrrr!  Woke up this morning to very cold floors as predicted the temps dropped into the 30's last night, as I type this it is currently 38 degrees.  Mind you I am not complaining, I am thrilled!  It's the time of year I wait for, that brief period of respite from the heat and humidity.  While this cool weather passes in a few hours or days its wonderful, it's also the time of year I don't mind working on a large quilting or crochet project but for now I am content with the little stitchery I have been working on.

I finished the hand embroidered Gail Pan design I mentioned in my post yesterday, it's of of 3 small pieces I want to make to get a little Christmas making out of the way.
The finished project is supposed to look like this cute little ornament but I was thinking of doing something a little different.
Speaking of Gail Pan, yesterday I pre-ordered her newest book set for release May of 2018
I pre-ordered the book from https://www.amazon.com/ 

I just love her designs from the first project I made a few years ago while taking a hand embroidery class at a local quilt shop.
This is one of my favorite pieces and I have come a long way with those french knots, back then they resemble tiny cauliflower heads, today they are much neater.

The finished project is a cute pincushion. The other project I made is the needle book which I take with me when I carry along a project.
That is mine next to the book's cover, I chose not to use rickrack and opted not to do the big stitch embroidery as you can see my corner pieces are a bit smaller than they were supposed to be.

I am looking forward to the new Gail Pan book just looking at the cover I already have plans for the projects with the butterfly and the bunny.
I am linking up to Super Mom No Cape today https://www.supermomnocape.com/vintage-embroidery-monday-stitchery-link-party-134/

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Last Slow Stitching Sunday for October

We are once again at the end of another month and the last Sunday in the month means it's time to post a slow stitching update.  I love to hand stitch whether I am doing an embroidery, piecing a quilt or just sewing a button or a hem, I just love passing a needle and thread through fabric.  I was taught at a young age to sew by my grandmother and it's been a lifelong passion ever since. 

As I grew older I wanted to learn  more about sewing so once I entered junior high school (middle school today) I enrolled in Home Economics and learned how to sew on a sewing machine it was love at first seam which would carry over into High School for all four years.

Embroidery and quilting weren't taught in school so I taught myself how to hand embroider and quilt with books, I must have checked out every craft book both the school and public library had and believe me there weren't that many.

Over the years when I move  one of the first things I do is get a library card. As the years pass my needlework skills have improved, most libraries have a great selection of books and videos for all kinds of crafts and there are classes offered at most local quilt and needlework shops.  But in my heart I still prefer the slowness of hand stitching.

This week I have projects in process and several traced a ready for stitching, I will be linking my post at Kathy's Quilts https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2017/10/slow-sunday-stitching_29.html
And on Monday to Super Mom No Cape https://www.supermomnocape.com/
The first in progress piece is my Lady of the Forest design the tree branches came out just as I had hoped.
Lady of the Forest
I also have the start on block one of the I Love Home project hosted by Jacquelynne Steves you can check out her site here https://jacquelynnesteves.com/
block 1
I was going to start block two after I finished block 3 but decided to do the first block, the fourth block will be posted in November.  Here is a look at some upcoming projects I want to get stitching for Christmas
This cute snowman pattern was sent to me by a friend a few years ago I had some dotted fabric leftover from a project and thought it looked like falling snow so I thought give it a try.
I used the same fabric scraps for the star snowflakes which were templates for paper crafts again from several years ago.  The last pattern is a Gail Pan pattern which from 2012 and is still a free download which you can get here:http://gailpandesigns.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/11/aurifil-blog-hop.html

The finished ornament should look like this the photo below is from the website listed above.
I love Gail Pan's designs and that little bird is such a familiar motif in many of her designs. I know I have made several of them from her books  Patchwork Loves Embroidery and Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery so I am looking forward to making this one too.

I came across some new marking pens for tracing patterns for embroidery, I have always used the Micro Pen .05 but I have had trouble using them on fabric with a print (like the dots I used above) chewing up the points.  I'm trying both of the Pilot Frixion pens with a .05 point.
ball and point style

pen tips
The pen tip on the left is the Frixion ball style the one on the right is the Frixion point style which is similar to the Micron pen.  I have used both on the patterns above, both flow smoothly and didn't run or spread and according to the Ads I've seen and read the Frixion point ink lines are suppose to disappear when ironed with a warm iron which is one of the reasons I wanted to try them, I'll test both pens and let you know. I purchased the Ball style from Amazon and the Point style for Nancy's Notions.

Another change I made is to the iron on transfer pencils I've used in the past this red transfer pencil from Aunt Martha came in handy before Micron Pens and other similar products were available.
I still have several packs of these pencils but I haven't used them for quite sometime, they work well but the lines tend to spread once ironed.  I came across this new pen from Sublime Stitching it has a .5mm tip so I am hoping once the design is ironed onto the fabric it doesn't spread which is what happens with the red pencil.
I purchased this pen along with my order from Forth Worth Fabric Studio.

Autumn weather has arrived to Ocala this week with dry cool sunny mornings, pleasant afternoons and cool evenings. We had some rain last night and today it's a little rainy and breezy, I have heard the tinkling of my wind chimes non-stop all morning long. It's the perfect time for a nice cup of tea and some slow stitching.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cool Temps and a Collection of New Floss




Fair
46°F
8°C

Fall has finally arrived to Ocala as you can see by the temperature the morning is quite cool. This is the weather I wait for through the long hot summer, I know it's coming and when it finally arrives I welcome it with open arms and heavier socks on my feet, the one draw back to having ceramic tile throughout the house.

We may not get all those lovely colors of autumn like in the photo above we at least get some cooler weather and I can always add color to my home.  Last night the newest collection from DMC arrived at my door in a collectible tin, a true artist palette of colorful floss.
The new colors are numbered from 1 to 35 which I think is great, the collection of colors are lovely and just ready and waiting for the next project.
The collectible tin is slim enough to slip in your carry all bag for projects on the go and comes with a free cross stitch pattern.
I am in no way affiliated with DMC I just love the products

The Collectible Tin is $24.99 and the shipping was free. The new color collections can be found on the DMC site: https://www.dmc.com/us/collectors-tin-with-35-new-colors-9004429.html