Thursday, September 14, 2017

Autumn Ornament Exchange

Recipient has received it and I can now share.

Stitched a design from a new to me designer - Chessie and Me.  Love how it turned out.  Stitched it using the suggested thread colors and fabric count.  I used a piece of fabric from my stash.

I chose this design after looking for "the one."  I liked it because it shares everything that autumn is...the harvest, the barn (am from Iowa), the pumpkins, the oak tree, the black crow, the acorns...the colors.  Beautiful design and I was challenged in that I had to stitch 1 over 1 in some places, satin stitch in others and do some smyrna stitches.  Kept thinking as I was working on this..."I gotta do this one for myself!"  I liked how it turned out.  It a wee bit large for an ornament, but it's pretty.

Harvest Time
Chessie and Me
32ct ? color Jobelan, GAST and WDW Threads
Stitched 2 over 2, 1 over 1 
Started 08/29/17
Completed Stitching 09/08/17, Completed Finish as Ornament 09/10/17
Number of Days Spent on Piece - 12

Ornament Finish - Foam Core Board, Glue, Sewing Thread, Cotton Quilt Batting,
Cotton Fabric, Twisted Cording, Metallic Thread, Ribbon, Button

Included (not required but wanted to) needlebook, Q-snap grime guard for 11" frame, DMC threads.

Also sent tatted bookmark from one of my favorite etsy (love that site - use it alot) artisans and charts that were included with purchased items I got in the mail - I knew I would not be stitching the designs so passed them along.  They were autumn or halloween themed.

In other news.

Working on ornament for the Christmas ornament exchange.  My goal is to have that one done by the end of the month. Not sure I will make it, but I will give it a good go.

Did pick up my frame, glass, foam core and spacers for my Stoney Creek POM finish.  Can now work on putting together a How I Do It Framing post.

It's autumn here.  Lovin' the weather and the temps. Have been able to turn off the a/c unit and open the windows.  Leah lays in the front window and watches what's what in the neighborhood.  Am not ready for winter this year.  Not looking forward to the snow and ice.

Thoughts and prayers have been with those dealing with the aftermath of the horrific storms in the south.

For a smile...

Leah staying close as I worked at the kitchen table.  I was putting the ornament together and she kept me company.

Leah waiting for me to turn my machines off and come upstairs.  I was sewing the above items.  She would rest for a time near my feet and then watch from the top of the stairs. I live alone.  She's alot of company.  I love her.  

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed the Star WIP

My thoughts and prayers have been with those in the gulf region dealing with the recent storms and flooding.

I didn't get my goal met for having this done by the end of the month.  I committed to doing two ornament exchanges and have started those. One is for autumn and the other one is for Christmas.  I have the charts, thread and fabric for both.  I had cut out the fabric and serged the edges but realized I had calculated wrong and the pieces were too small.  They would have worked for the stitching area alone but they were just a wee bit short for making into an ornament.  So, I recut fabric for the autumn one and am getting more fabric for the Christmas one.  The autumn ornament is in the hoop and I've been working on it a little each night. Once I get the fabric for the Christmas one, will start that one.  Rotating between the two of them while working on the Dutch Treat Designs one.  Will share each one after the person has received theirs.

I grew tired of holding my Q-snap frame in my hands while stitching.  The bulk of the fabric was making it too cumbersome and heavy..  I extended the Q-snap frame, put it all in my buddy frame and sit here at my kitchen table and stitch using two hands.  Is going faster.  Perhaps by the end of September I'll have this one done.  Definitely would like to have it done by Christmas.

Was so happy I had only the second shepherd to finish so I could start on the last tree and realized I have to stitch an angel under the star!! Oops.  

They Followed the Star Tabletopper
Dutch Treat Designs
18ct Ivory Anne Cloth, DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Threads
Stitching 1 over 2
Started 10/21/16
Progress as of 08/31/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece So Far - 20

What the topper looked like before starting the shepherd's block.  Will be two blocks left after the current one is finished.. Another tree and the wisemen.  Will be offering chart up for a giveaway when I'm done with it.  Chart is in booklet form, black and white charts.  

For a smile...

Leah just being her inquisitive self.  Brought a smile and a giggle.  

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Update of Framing How I Do It post

I've been asked by several of my readers how I mount, lace and frame my pieces.

I shared with them that I was working on a new post that would show how I do it.

I have the piece stitched - Stoney Creek's POM series, my recent finish.

I was going to order a frame from a LNS but when I contacted her shop I was told she waits until she has four frame orders and then places her order.  Well, I didn't want to wait as I didn't know how long that would take as in weeks or months.  

I went into the local Hobby Lobby this past week, picked out a frame that will work, ordered the glass, foam core and spacers and once I have everything, I will do my post on How I Do It when it comes to framing a finished cross stitch piece.

I could have shown how I mount and lace before getting the frame, but I want to show what I do to the fabric before selecting a frame molding, how I determine what frame molding to use and what I do when it comes to making sure the glass, the foam core and the stitched piece will all three work together.  

I do apologize for it taking this long.

Regarding stitching or machine sewing, I'm participating in two exchanges, both cross stitch.  One is for Autumn or Thanksgiving (my favorite of all holidays) and the other is for Christmas.  Both to be ornaments.  So, I am focusing on that right now.  Don't want to share what I am working on as I would like it to be a surprise for the one that gets it.

In other news, am enjoying the change of seasons.  Autumn is here, maybe not officially by a date on the calendar, but by other indications or outward signs, it's here.  Am liking the cooler temperatures and change of color with the foliage.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed the Star - WIP

Making progress.

Have a star, all the green and the brown done on the border for the shepherd's block.  Also have some black done on one of the sheep.

They Followed the Star Tabletopper
Dutch Treat Designs
18ct Ivory Anne Cloth, DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Threads
Stitching 1 over 2
Started 10/21/16
Progress as of 08/14/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece So Far - 18

What topper looks like so far.  Only three blocks left, well more like 2-1/2 as I'm currently working on one of the three.  Will be offering chart up for a giveaway when I'm done with it.  Chart is in booklet form, black and white charts.  

Enjoying the change of seasons.  Fall is here.  Cooler temps, gentle rains, soon to be color changes in the foliage and harvest time in the fields.  One of my favorite times of the year.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed the Star - WIP

Third corner is finished.

Sat out on the porch yesterday with Leah and finished the third palm tree.  Only three squares left.

They Followed the Star Tabletopper
Dutch Treat Designs
18ct Ivory Anne Cloth, DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Threads
Stitching 1 over 2
Started 10/21/16
Progress as of 08/12/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece So Far - 16

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed the Star WIP

Plans were changed regarding doing a large machine sewing project.

The weather has been nice as in cooler temperatures and sunny skies, gentle breezes.  I've been taking Leah outside with her halter and leash.  Been stitching on the front porch.

Picked up the Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed the Star and am working on the third corner, third palm tree.  Have past the half way point.  Only have this palm tree, shepherds, the last palm tree in the fourth corner and wisemen to do.  Would really like to have this done by the end of August.  Plan to host a giveaway for the chart once I'm done with it.

They Followed the Star Tabletopper
Dutch Treat Designs
18ct Ivory Anne Cloth, DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Threads
Stitching 1 over 2
Started 10/21/16
Progress as of 08/10/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece So Far - 15

Sewed some chemo hats.

Chemo Caps
Fleece Fabric
Machine Sewn, Serged Where Able To
Completed July 2017
Gifted to Woman Undergoing Chemo Treatments

For a smile...

Leah enjoying the outdoors.  Thought she disappeared to around the corner.  Discovered she had nestled under the hosta plant.  She knows that when the front door is open, she might be able to go outside.  She jumps on the arm of the couch and waits.  If I am taking her outside, she sits very patiently while I put on her halter.   I open the door, holding the leash and out she goes.  If I am not taking her out, I say, "No, Leah" and she jumps down off the couch and moves away from the door.  I do wonder who is training who.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Using a Needle Trolley Thread Controller

I explained how to use a laying tool in my Using a Laying Tool post.

In this post, I will explain how I use a needle trolley thread controller.

I'm left handed so I take my threaded needle in my left hand, needle trolley is on my third finger - works best for me. I make the first leg of the stitch.

I release the needle to the underside of my fabric, right hand takes and holds the needle.  I insert the trolley into the thread before the stitch is completed.  I rock the thread up...

then down at the same time pulling on my needle from the back of the fabric.  I want the threads to lay nice and even.

Once the threads are pulled from the back and the stitch looks good, is even and complete...

I remove the needle trolley from underneath the threads.

I repeat the process for the second leg of the stitch.

Completed stitch.

Using a Laying Tool

My laying tools.  I like using them and usually use them when I have both hands free to stitch as in having my hoop or Q-Snap in some type of frame.  I don't use them with every piece I stitch but when I do use them, I like what they do to my threads.

Example of my set up using a floor frame.  The stitching has been completed, framed and hangs on my living room wall.  The floor frame was gifted to another stitcher.

I like how the laying tool smooths out the threads and plumps up (for lack of better way to describe it) the threads when doing cross stitch.

Can take a while to work out a system of holding both the tool and your needle, but once you figure it out it becomes second nature.

I am left handed so I hold the tool in my left hand, with my right hand under the fabric.

Did the following with my left hand holding the laying tool and my right hand working the camera.

Positioning the laying tool and holding the needle.

Taking the first leg of the x.  Needle goes through fabric and is retrieved by hand underneath the frame.

Better picture of how fingers work needle and other fingers hold laying tool.

Bottom hand has needle.  Top hand works the laying tool.

Shifting laying tool in hand...

to get ready to pull needle from underside of fabric.

 Needle is pulled from the underside and the process starts all over again.

Another tool I use when cross stitching is a Needle Trolley Thread Controller.


I learned this technique around 2012 and use it when I cross stitch.  I think that it makes my stitches look so much nicer and neater.  I also run my threads through Thread Heaven before I thread my needle.  Since using Thread Heaven, I've found that I have less kinking or tangles and fewer knots with my threads.  Nice product.

I am left handed and do my cross stitching with the first leg of the stitch going //// and then complete the stitch by going \\\\.

With railroading I am using the point of my needle to separate the threads so that they lay parallel with each other, not twisting, not bunched up.  Smooth, even.

With the first leg, I begin the stitch going from the bottom left corner and as I am about to put the needle down in the upper right corner, I open up the threads and separate.  I keep the threads apart as I pull my needle down through the hole of the fabric.

I repeat the process with the second leg of the stitch.  Sometimes the thread can still be twisted or just don't lay smooth for whatever reason.  When that happens, I use my needle and lift the threads and work my needle like a laying tool, smoothing them out.  Sometimes I have to redo the stitch. Sometimes I have to pull the needle off of the threads and work with my thread, untwisting it.  Then I rethread the needle and start again.

This shows the completed stitch.  I do railroad both legs of the stitch. Doing just the second or top stitch is okay, but I find if I only do the top, and not the bottom, I can tell the difference.

Finished design...

Pattern of the Month Series 04/2013 - 10/2013
Stoney Creek
28ct Lambswool Jobelan with DMC and WDW threads
and embellishments
Stitched 2 over 2
Started 05/28/13
Completed 09/26/15
Number of Days Spent Stitching This - 53
2016 - Mounted, Laced and Framed By - LNS - Osage, Iowa
Hangs in my Living Room

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed the Star - Half Way Point

Completed the fourth block.

Will reposition the Q-snap frame and start on the third corner - a palm tree. 

Would like to have this design done by end of August.  That's my goal anyways.  Whether or not it happens, we'll see.  But it's my goal.  

They Followed the Star Tabletopper
Dutch Treat Designs
18ct Ivory Anne Cloth, DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Threads
Stitching 1 over 2
Started 10/21/16
Progress as of 07/30/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece So Far - 13

Also spent time cutting out the needed quilt pieces for my Diamond Stars wall hanging.  Machine sewed a couple of them together.  Had a few things happen this past week and haven't had time to return to work on it.  Getting the diamonds and triangles cut out is half of the project.  The rest is "easy" as in sewing it together and quilting the finished top.

This was a kit from Keepsake Quilting.  In laying everything out to cut the diamonds and triangles realized the kit was short with some of the needed strips.  Not good.  Kit was expensive.  If needed, I will sub with material I have in my fabric stash.  Need one 2-1/2" strip of light blue, one 2-1/2" strip of dark blue and one 2-1/2" strip of purple.  Depression era themed fabric.  I was going to substitute out the black fabric for a piece of blue I have, decided not to.  Pattern needs the black to accent the other colors.  

I plan to get the middle area and four patch squares sewn that go on the border first, then cut out the thin strips for the inner borders and the binding. 

Diamond Stars
Morning Glory Design by Reeze L. Hanson
Top - Cotton, Machine Sewn Together, Batting - Cotton, Backing - Cotton, Fabric To Be Decided
Will Be Long Arm Quilted, I Will Do the Binding and Hand Hem
Started 05/16/16
Number of Days Worked on Top So Far - 4 

In other news...

Brakes went out in my car again.  Took it to another repair shop.  While car was up on hoist, saw with my own eyes brake fluid leaking from first repair job.  Contacted shop where I had the first repair done.  Will be getting a full refund of my money I paid for that repair.  Second repair job will be a major expense - first of its kind for my car since owning it.  Bought it brand new in 2001.  Will have all new lines to both back brakes, new pads, rotors, and other components relating to brake system in the back.  Had the emergency brake cables/system changed out and repaired.  Also purchased two new tires as the one tire on the back was bald and the rubber was starting to split.  Been without my car since last Tuesday.  Am thankful God supplied the money and made it possible so this major repair could be done.  I use my car.  I also live in an area where the change of seasons can be harsh on a vehicle.  I am thankful that nothing serious as in having an accident happened while driving the car.