Thursday, July 31, 2008

It is an Honor to be Nominated!

Kim was so very kind and nominated me for the Brillante Weblog award the other day. I am very honored that she thought of me for this award. I enjoy sharing my stitching with all of you. I hope everyone that visits my blog enjoys the time they spend here and will come back and visit again sometime.
These are the rules for the award. If you have already received this award or choose not to participate I understand, not everyone likes to do these kind of things but please know that you inspire me and enable me a lot more than you know....

1) Put the logo on your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on yours
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs
These are the blogs I nominate in no particular order....
There are so many others I could have nominated, but they already have been nominated, so I wanted to list those that hadn't had the honor yet.
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What is a fob?

This blog entry is for Viki, who asked what a fob was, and anyone else who wants to know!

fob noun
1. a vest pocket to hold a pocket watch
2. an adornment that hangs from a watch chain
3. short chain or ribbon attaching a pocket watch to a man's vest

A scissors fob is something similar. It is attached to your embroidery scissors, and is usually weighted, so that if the scissors should drop, the fob hits the ground first thereby protecting the point of the scissors from damage. The star fob that I made a while ago is filled with batting and some quarters for weight, because of the star shape, the usual rice filling would have been hard too work with.

Scissors fobs can also be beaded, and in this case are more like 'jewelry' for you scissors. The one pictured was a gift from my friend Lesley, who lives in Australia, thus the koala bear at the end.

Any fob also identifies your scissors. When there is a group of stitchers together, there are bound to be at least two that have the exact same pair of scissors. By having a fob on your scissors, you will instantly know which one belongs to you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stitching Gifts Received

I showed you the fob I finished recently for Viv Bales. It is in the mail and should reach her in the Yukon any day now. I forgot to show you what I received as part of this exchange. These pieces are from Sara Sowers, who lives in North Carolina. The first piece is a pin keep that she stitched with the chart from the Sue Hillis Memorial Day weekend. Sara stitched it over 1 though, so the stitches are very, very tiny. It is just beautiful! I will not be sticking pins in it though, it is much too pretty to do that, I will just display it and look at it and show it off.

Sara also sent a scissors fob that she stitched, again over 1. (really tiny stitches!) She is much younger than I am so she can see better to do that! I will explain fobs for Viki in another post.

Thank you Sara, for such lovely gifts!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I started an afghan!

Sorry it's not a very straight picture.

I started the Northwoods Afghan a few days ago, and here is the first finished square. The fabric is a beige Proud Pine afghan in 18 count, and the chart is called Northwoods Afghan, and both are by Wichelt.

There are six animal squares and six pine tree squares. My plans are to stitch one animal square a month and once those are done, perhaps 2 or three pine tree squares per month.

The finished afghan will be a gift for my other favorite son-in-law Jonathan, the arborist and woodsman. Shhhhhh.... don't tell him, though. I want him to be surprised.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Challenging Fob Finish

I finished this fob for and exchange last week, and it is now off on it's way to the Yukon Territory. I hope Viv will like it. The chart is a free chart by Drawn thread, and I used 36 count ivory linen, with DMC threads. There are a few specialty stitches in it.
The stitching wasn't hard and the finishing wasn't too bad either, but the part that I am most proud of is the cording. I made it all by myself. In the past I have gone to the store to buy ready cording but I was never really happy with the choices. The color choices in the thinner cording leaves a great deal to be desired. Plus it was too late a night to go shopping and I wanted to get the fob in the mail. I have seen people make cording, but never had the patience to try it myself. Well, I but the bullet, and as you can see, it turned out fairly well.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tony's Travels

Tony is off traveling again this week. He is in Northern Ireland with one of the US National men's teams, U19 I think. He has been looking forward to this trip for a long time. What do you think of when you think of Ireland? Beer? Guiness? Yep, that's what Tony has been looking forward to. Can you imagine his face when he landed in Belfast, and he was greeted with this:

That's not beer they are holding! It's Milk! Yes Milk! Why? The team is there for the Northern Ireland Milk Cup Tournament and is sponsored by the NI Dairy Council. Poor Tony! He is resourceful though, so I am sure he will find a beverage more to his liking.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ornament finish

I recently finished stitching this ornament. It was designed by Sue Hillis and the chart is in the Just Cross Stitch ornament preview issue, August 2008. I stitched it for Sue, that's why her initials are on it instead of mine. It is stitched on 28 count white Lugana, with WDW garnet, 1 strand over 1 thread of fabric. It is tiny!
There will be companion piece in the JCS Ornament issue that come out in September. That piece is stitched on red with white floss. Sue needs one of those too, so I have started stitching it. Thank God for magnifiers!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Breast Cancer Square

I stitched this quilt square the other evening, for a breast cancer quilt. The design was taken from a number of different free charts, that I combined to come up with this design. It is stitched on 28 count Ivory Jobelan, with DMC floss.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's a Mystery!

Papillon Creations ( began a mystery sampler this past January. On the 15th of every month, they release a chart, and you just keep stitching it all together, and after 12 (0r maybe 13, I'm not clear on how many) you have a finished piece. But we don't know what it will look like, that's why it's a Mystery! It is called How Does Your Garden Grow, and looked like it would have flowers in it, so I just collected the charts for awhile but liked what I saw so I decided to go for it!

The sampler comes in three versions: two colors, six colors, or six color specialty stitches. I decided to do the six color specialty stitches as it was a good chance to learn some new stitches. Their instructions for the new stitches are excellent and easy to follow. The biggest dilemma was choosing colors. They tell you to pick four colors for the florals, and two greens. That was a big help! I agonized over the colors for a few months, and then while I was traveling, found that very few shops carried Glorianna silks so I could get my final color of green.

Once I had all the fibres, I needed to pick a fabric. I finally decided to use a wide linen stitch banding by Zweigart. This will be especially handy when the stitching is done. I won't have to pay to have it framed. I will pick some pretty bell pull hardware and sew up the top and bottom and I will be done!

I have just finished part 1, and will be stitching part 2 shortly. I am a bit behind as part 7 and 8 (the August part) have already been released. But it stitches up very quickly, so I should be able to catch up.

On the Papillon site, they have a gallery where stitchers can show their work. There are stitchers from all over the world that are stitching along with this mystery sampler, and it is really interesting to see all the different color, fabric and fibre combinations that are being used. Here is Anni's from Ireland. She has finished part 8 already, and is using most of the same colors that I am.

If anyone is interested in doing this piece, go to the Papillon website and sign up for the newsletter.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hungarian Sampler Part 2

I recently was able to stitch part 2 of the Hungarian Sampler. There are 7 parts to this piece and part 6 was just released, so I have some catching up to do.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July Teapot finished

I stitched this teapot while I was in Tahoe recently, and finished it up on the plane ride home. I sewed on the buttons once I was home.
All the while I was stitching it, I kept craving watermelon!
It is stitched on 30 count WDW linen, and stitched with WDW and GAST threads.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rose Sampler - Part 7 finished

While I was in Tahoe, I finished part 7 of this 12 part sampler. Part 7 is the bottom left portion, it has a cabbage rose and stem and leaves. I love these cabbage roses. This sampler is very relaxing to stitch, as is it all one color. I always hate putting it down each month, but I have to wait for the next installment.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

July Flip It added

The July Flip-It block has been added. This is a happy piece to work on each month, and I find myself looking forward to it.
I bought a yard of this fabric at Hobby Lobby on sale for $4 or $5 dollars a yard off the bolt. They no longer carry it, and I can't find it anywhere! This was my last piece from that yard, and of course I am now sorry I didn't buy the entire bolt.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Schoolgirl Lessons

I recently finished Schoolgirl Lessons by Little House Needleworks. It is stitched on 28 count antique white jubilee with Cresent Colors Ruby Slippers floss, two strands of floss over two threads. It was an easy stitch, and finished up rather quickly.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July update - Rocky Mountain Christmas

I managed 10 more hours on RMC in the month of July, and have now finished 180 hours on the piece. Stitching is going a little faster now, as there are larger blocks of one color in the clouds and snow, so I managed to get 1286 stitches in, bringing the total stitches on the piece to 21,569.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hungarian Sampler

Recently, I came across a historical Hungarian Sampler in a blog . The charts for parts of the sampler were being released once a month, and there were some different color variations that you could choose from, either two colors, three colors or four colors. The blog owner is from Solymar in Hungary, a town that I visited last summer. During further correspondce with Eva, we discovered that her son attends the school that I visited, and that one of the instructors of the workshop I attended was one of her son's teachers. What a small world!

As a remembrance of my trips to Hungary, and because of all the times my grandparents spoke Hungarian so that we wouldn't know what they were talking about, I decided that I needed to stitch this sampler. Although the sample was shown in red and black, I found that reminded me too much of Romanian needlework, so after long consideration and discussions with other stitchers, some that are actually Hungarian, I decided on the blue and red combination, which is thought to be a more traditional rural Hungarian combination.

Here is part 1 all stitched up. (No, the Z is not in the wrong place, it is part of the letter S in Hungarian) I am stitching this on 32 count Antique White Lugana with Vikki Clayton Premium silks in Dragon Blook and Zeffre Cobalt, one strand over 2 threads.

This is what the sampler will look like when it is finished. All of the motifs used are traditional Hungarian symbols, and it is rather fun learning about them as I stitch.

My trip to California and Nevada

Just returned from a trip. I started out by flying into Sacramento, where I was picked up by Karen Jackson. I stayed at her lovely home in Fulsom on Thursday evening, and we were joined by Sue. Friday morning we drove to Lake Tahoe, to meet up with some other stitchers from the Threads of Life board. We stayed in a lovely home that belongs to Susie's family. The view from the top floor was incredible! The photo looks a bit hazey due to the smoke from all the fires in California.

We had a great time, stitching and eating and laughing. I got to cook my famous vodka sauce one evening, and it was a hit!

Sunday morning we had brunch at Harah's and tried our luck in the casino. I didn't do so well, but we didn't stay very long. After cleaning up the house, we took a drive around Lake Tahoe before heading back to Karen's house in Fulsom and then having dinner with her family at the Old Spaghetti Factory, a restaurant that I remember from fencing trips with Kristin. Monday morning we did some antiquing in Old Town Fulsom before Sue headed off to visit family in the bay area, and I headed back home to Des Plaines.

I got to have dinner twice with the best looking fellow in all of California. Wade (Karen's grandson) is almost 2, and we had a great time with him. He is going to be a real heartbreaker when he grows up. He is already such a flirt!

Special note for Trey: Karen's kitchen has a shelf with lots of egg guys! She has almost as many as you do!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Celebrating Cinco de Julio

The 5th of July has always been a rather bittersweet day for me. I have wonderful memories of celebrating my husband's birthday with family and friends. Peter was convinced that fireworks on the 4th, the eve of his birthday, were being set off just for him. Recent years have brought some rather sad days, so I have decided this day needs a new name and new memories.

When I was asked to go to Ravinia ( to see Garrison Keillor do A Prairie Home Companion radio broadcast, I jumped at the chance. We packed up a cooler with
wine and cheese, some champagne, croissants and chicken salad, candles, plates, napkins, etc. I even went out and bought a Ravina table.

We arrived at the park an hour before the concert, and set up our table and chairs to the left of the pavilion. We had seats in the pavilion for the show, and wandered in their shortly before it began. For a little over two hours we laughed and enjoyed the show. Then we went back out to "our" spot and opened the bottle of bubbly. As we were chatting and enjoying our snacks, we noticed a line beginning to form between our spot and the pavilion. Then we saw the sign that stated it was the performers entrance. A few moments later, the star himself came out to greet the fans and sign autographs. He stayed there for over 2 hours, entertaining all of his with his quick whit and gentle humor. In the background, the Harvard Glee Club performance was broadcast from the Martin Theatre out into the park. 2 concerts for the price of one!

Upon our arrival back at my house, fireworks were going off beyond the trees and we sat on the deck and enjoyed them. Fireworks on the 5th of July? I firmly believe it was Peter telling me it was a good day!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!

I stitched this one a few years ago (in June of 2005), and since I didn't get around to doing a patriotic piece this year, I thought I would post it today. The piece is called Life and Liberty, designed by Sue Hillis. I stitched it on a neutral, dark beige colored 28 count evenweave fabric, don't remember the name of the color or fabric. It was stitched with DMC floss.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

RMC June update

Here is Rocky Mountain Christmas with the stitching for June complete. At this point I have completed 170 hours of stitching. During the 10 hours of stitching in June I completed 854 stitches (less than usual, but there was a lot of confeti stitching....just one or two stitches in a color before changing floss color). 20,283 total stitches completed to date.

I am just a few stitches short of completing page 4 of this chart, which will make it 4 out of 6 pages completed. I think I am right on track to finish around February or March of 2009.