Friday, October 20, 2017

Waxing Moon Designs - Fabric Choices

I saw this design modeled in a LNS.  Liked it and bought it.

Cannot remember if the buttons came with it.  Got those too.   Plan to change out the small white buttons with small shiny pearl ones.  Two holed style.

Wanted to use the suggested threads so I purchased those.  Weeks Dye Works - Union Blue, Snowflake, Romance and Icicle.

Beings it was stitched on a pretty blue with white swirls type of fabric, I wanted to use the same thing.  It complimented the quote and was wintry.  Couldn't find it.  Shopped online.  Couldn't find it.  Suggested fabric was 32ct Crystal Meditation Belfast. 

Was gifted a piece of fabric with the same name and would have used it as it had pretty sparklies and pretty hues of violet and purple BUT the white threads were swallowed up in the white of the fabric.  I shared this with the person that gifted it to me, she understood.  Was okay with it.  Will use the fabric for something Christmas themed, probably smalls.  

Went shopping again.  Found 28ct Mixed Berry Jobelan.  Blue with swirls of light mauve almost violet or purple.

28ct Cornflower Blue Jobelan.  Blue with swirls of deeper blue and almost a violet like hue.

28ct Blue Ice Lugana.  It's a periwinkle blue with white swirls.  Pretty fabric.  Am leaning towards using this piece.

I have three that would work and I don't know which one to use!  I just want my snowman button to pop on the piece.  If the truth be told, I bought the design for the snowman.  Crazy?  Maybe, but that's what I did.  He's so cute and brought a smile when I first saw him.  

I so want to start this one!  

Should be an easy decision but during this past year I've stitched a few pieces, got them framed and hung on my wall and thought, "Abbie, you missed it with the fabric choice.  Frame is good, stitching is good, threads used worked...fabric choice was not so good."  Kind of disheartening to say the least. Now I'm second guessing myself. 

Come time to frame this one, do hope I can find a frame like the one shown in the picture.  If not exactly the same, close to it.  Like it.  Would be displayed year around. 

Diane Graebner WIP

Almost done with this one. 

I started a couple of other designs at the same time with the intention of working a bit on each of them.  Hasn't happened. Would stitch an area and think, "just one more area and then I will put this up and pull another project."  Didn't work. 

Am thinking I might be able to finish this one by the end of the weekend.  Just have to finish up with the two different greens in the dress and bonnet and outline on the cross stitching frames. Plan to frame this one.  I had the bonnet stitched once, realized I was off by one stitch when I went to do one of the sleeves.  Took it all out and restitched. 

Diane Graebner is my favorite designer and I have all of her patterns but two.  Still looking for them.  Thought I had them but the shop I was working with was out of the charts.

Oh, a shout out for the designer of the needleminder.  Gina's Unique Boutique.  A etsy artisan.  I like sheep, cardinals, birds and birdhouses, teaching themed items (pencils, crayons, books, apples), cats, and the word joy.  I have some pretties on the way from Australia and Ireland.

Cross Stitchin' Friends
Diane Graebner Designs
32ct White Jobelan, DMC Threads
Stitching 2 over 2
Started 10/06/17
Progress as of 10/19/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This so Far -  13

Thursday, October 19, 2017

How I Do It - Stitching Journals

I developed a system of keeping track of what I've worked on and finished.  I can reference back to a certain project, can see how long it took me to stitch a design and have an available list should I need to order or shop for supplies such as thread or fabric.

I didn't always do this but the past couple of years I've used pocket sized calendars for recording my stitching.  When I first started making doll clothes, I used a book sized 12-month calendar and recorded my machine sewn projects.  I no longer do that.  I just record or keep track of my hand sewn work.

I don't keep track of the hours, just the days I worked on a project.  When I stitch, I record the project and number of day on the day of the month that I stitch.

For example, during the month of April I started and finished PM Happiness in the Heart, framed Rainy Day Cardinal, finished PM Happiness in the Heart and started and finished the first block in a new Stoney Creek POM series.

On April 3rd, I recorded PM Happiness in Heart and 1, circling the 1 as it was the first day I started this project.  April 4th, I recorded PM Happiness in Heart and 2, circling the 2 and so forth for the rest of the month.  On April 18th, I framed Rainy Day Cardinal.  April 23rd, I recorded that I finished PM Happiness in the Heart and put a smiley face.  April 24th I notated that I started block one of the SC POM series. April 29th I recorded SC POM block one finish, 6 and circled it and put a smiley face.

For the month of January 2017 at the beginning of the month, I carried over any information from ongoing projects.  I only had two for 2017.  My Silver Lining Designs piece - Ramblin' Rose and Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed The Star.  I notated the designer, the design and the last day I worked on it along with the number of days I had worked on the piece.  For the Silver Lining Design I notated 12-05-16 and circled the number 8.  With the Dutch Treat Designs I recorded 10-22-16 and circled the number 2. Putting it somewhere (at the top of the month) on January's page saved me having to go back through the calendars to find the info.  I had it at the start of the new year.  Easy to access.

That's my stitching journal that I keep nearby in the top bin of my stitching three bin cart that is next to my stitching chair.

Another journal that I use is my kitted projects journal or shopping list journal. By kitted projects, I mean projects that I've pulled the chart, fabric, threads and embellishments so come time I want to stitch them, I have everything ready.

Will say this.  If I know I'm going to stitch the chart within the year, I kit it up.  I select the fabric and serge the edges, pull the suggested threads and purchase the ones I don't have and need and purchase the suggested embellishments.  I've started to order the embellishments at the time I pull or get the chart because in the past I've liked a design, bought it, tucked the chart away for when I can stitch or want to stitch it and come time I do want to stitch the design, the button, bead, whatever is no longer available.  When I get the embellishment, I put it in a small ziplock bag and use painter's tape to attach it to the chart.

For each project I list if I have the fabric or not.  If not, I record design area (stitches in design) and color of fabric I would like to use.  I then list all the threads, buttons, beads and whatever else that has been suggested for the design.

Once I have that written down, I go pull everything for the project and put it in a zippered project bag.  Each project has its own bag.  If I don't have an item,  I circle it and notate NEED.  Then I make out a shopping list.

Then I go shopping and once I have the item, I file it away in the right project bag and notate that I have the item.

Items that were needed for a couple projects.  I checked my lists and found out what designs they were for and filed them away in their respective project bag.

The neat thing about this is (1) I can just grab the small journal, tuck it in my purse and shop at the LNS.  (2) When I buy or receive the needed item all I have to do is flip through the pages and find what goes where.  (3) If I'm working on a project and run out of a certain thread color or item (bead or charm or button), I can borrow from a kitted project (notating what project I'm using it with) and replace later.  (4) I can flip through the pages and see what I have waiting to be worked on.

Once a project has been finished as in all stitched and framed I tear out the page.  Don't need the information any more.

Those are my booklet sized journals.  Small journals I keep near my stitching chair.

I also keep track of what I stitch in a MS Word file.  I record my finishes and then use the information and make a label and put the label on the back of my framed piece.  I like being able to provide the name of the design, the designer, what I used to stitch it, when I completed it, number of days to stitch it and how and who framed it.

With this MS Word file, I keep track of what needs to be finished, what I'm working on, and what I've accomplished in a year month by month.  This also makes it easy come time I want to reference something I've stitched or when asked about a project.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

How I Do It - Thread Storage

I use cotton threads.  Gave all my metallics, rayon and silks away.  I use mostly CC, DMC, GAST, SSS and WDW threads,

I have all the DMC thread colors and am building my overdyed thread inventory one skein, one project at a time.

When I first started doing cross stitch, I stored my DMC thread in decorative boxes.  Then I discovered floss bobbins and Darice thread boxes.  I wound all my thread on the bobbins and stored them all in three or four Darice thread boxes.  That worked for me and I used it.

Then I found out about floss away bags and set up a system for each project I was working on.  That worked for a time but I have to say I grew tired of changing out the bags, refiling the thread and time involved.  I wanted something simpler, easy, quicker especially when I was working on more than one project at a time.  I wanted a way to pull and store my threads and then refile without too much of a hassle.

I had my next door neighbor where I was living at the time, who was a master carpenter, make me a cabinet for my DMC threads.  I had been using utility (nuts and bolts) cabinets and liked it.  I hung them up on the wall in my sewing area.  I wanted something I could permanently store these cabinets in (as in one unit, all six cabinets together), that was mobile as in could be rolled and rotated and easy to access.  I drew a picture of what I had in mind and left the end result to my neighbor.  I was not disappointed when told it was ready and could be picked up.  He used oak and had sanded it for me.  I put oak stain on it and did two coats of polyurethane.

The top comes off, the cabinets slide down and lock into place.  Three cabinets on one side, three cabinets on the other side.  Once I had the cabinet loaded with all six utility cabinets, I loaded the drawers with my DMC thread.  I set it up in numerical order, two threads per drawer.

I love being able to go to this cabinet, pull the needed threads for a project and when done with my project, I refile the skeins of thread.  I do a thread inventory once a year and restock colors I am low on or out of off.

Pictures taken in former rental.  Currently, the cabinet is in my new rental and I have it in my sewing room with all my counted cross stitch inventory.

For my overdyed threads such as CC, GAST, SSS and WDW I had stored them in their respective photo box.  Then I happened on a blog post by Vonna from the The Twisted Stitcher showing how she set up her system of storing all her overdyed threads.  I liked it.  I bought what was needed and set up a system of my own.

I like how I can go to the box, pull the letter of the thread color, see if I have the thread and if I do, open the ring, take off the thread and refile the letter back into the box.  So easy.  So organized!  So simple and quick.

Setting the system up.  I have different colored letters for each brand of thread.  Because my overdyed thread inventory is small, as I don't have all the colors, I am able to fit two in one file box.  As my inventory grows, I will put each one (GAST, WDW, etc) in their own file box.

I labeled the file boxes on the front so I would know which threads are inside.  The boxes  sit on the magazine bookcase in my cross stitch inventory area of my sewing room.

When I kit up for a project, I pull the suggested threads.

If the threads are DMC, I will group the threads by 100's, take a quart sized ziplock baggie and mark 100, 200, 300, etc. on each bag.  All the 100's will go in the baggie marked 100. All the 200's will go in the baggie marked 200 and so forth.  Then I will cut a little slit or small hole in the upper left hand corner, under the ziplock and thread the baggies on a 2" or 3" book ring.

If the threads are overdyed, I punch a hole (if needed) in the upper left hand corner and thread the colors in alphabetical order (thread color) on a 2" or 3" book ring.

When working on my project, I hang the baggies or the overdyed threads or both, depending on what the design calls for, on the cart I have near my stitching chair.

When I am done with the project, I take everything off the rings, rehang the overdyed threads in their respective file boxes, refile the DMC threads in their respective box on the thread cabinet and if the baggie is still good, I keep it for the next project.

I have found this system works for me.  It's quick.  It's easy.  It's cheap and efficient.  Organized too.

Regarding loose threads while stitching, I fold it in half a couple of times, loop it around the skein and it goes back into the baggie.  If it's an overdyed thread, I fold it in half and loop it on the punched hole.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

New Starts

Started a couple of small designs.

My fabric for one project arrived in the mail.  Received all the suggested threads.  Measured, cut and serged the fabric edges and kitted everything up in their respective project bag.

Was gifted the fabric for this one.  It's sparkly and has hues of blue and purple swirled around on it. Very pretty. 

Let it Snow...Somewhere Else!
Waxing Moon Designs
28ct Crystal Meditation Lugana, WDW Threads, Embellishment
Stitching 2 over 2
Started 10/12/17
Progress as of 10/12/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This so Far - 1 

Next new start is one I saw modeled in a LNS.  Liked the quote and the colors used in the design.  It's another Waxing Moon Design.

Stitching Mends the Soul
Waxing Moon Designs
32ct Light Mocha Quaker, GAST and DMC Threads
Stitching 2 over 2
Started 10/10/17
Progress as of 10/12/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on Design so Far - 1

Third Waxing Moon Designs new start.  Saw this modeled in a LNS.  Liked the quote and the colors used in the design.  Plan to display this in my living room.

The Best Things
Waxing Moon Designs
28ct Antique White Monaco (really like this fabric!!) Evenweave,
GAST and WDW Threads With Embellishments
Stitching 2 over 2
Started 10/10/17
Progress as of 10/12/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on Design so Far - 1

Close up of this fabric.  It has tiny flecks of brown in it and I feel it will really enhance the thread colors used in this design.  Received the fabric in a secret sister exchange this past year.

Last but not least a Diane Graebner design.  I have all but two of her designs.  I started this one and with each stitch I take my thoughts are on those I've met online who enjoy working with needle and thread.  Plan to frame this one.

Cross Stitchin' Friends
Diane Graebner Designs
32ct White Jobelan, DMC Threads
Stitching 2 over 2
Started 10/06/17
Progress as of 10/11/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This so Far - 5 

For a smile...

Received my ornament from my partner in the autumn/fall ornament exchange.  Her note shared that this was a first for her - finishing it like this.  I love it and it rests on the cabinet here in my living room where I can see it.  The design is Autumn Whimsies by Scissor Tail Designs.  I really like how Angela used this unique clipboard to finish.  Gives me ideas. Great finish, pretty colors.  Also received (not necessary, not expected) a pretty fall themed towel, socks and GAST thread.  Thank you, Angela.  You done good.  

Leah being Leah.  I sometimes use my laptop on my laptop table by my stitching chair and sometimes I use it while sitting at my kitchen table.  Leah found a comfy spot and stayed long enough that I could get a good picture of her.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Waxing Moon Designs Finish

Worked on a happy design this week by Waxing Moon Designs.  This is the second time I've stitched it.  First time I did it, I gifted it to a neighbor in the apartment complex I was living in at the time.

Will frame it.  Not sure what color frame I will use.  Suggested frame was a yellow and white one.  Am thinking I will frame without glass with this one due to height of yellow button.

Fabric, SSS thread and the buttons were supplied with the chart.  Did make a few changes.  Used WDW Moss for the flower stem and leaves.  Used SSS Berry Medley for the word My.  Also stitched using two not three strands of thread as suggested on the chart.

You're My Sunshine
Waxing Moon Designs
32ct Twilight Opalescent Lugana, GAST, WDW and SSS Threads
Stitched 2 over 2
Started 10/02/17
Completed 10/04/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching This Piece - 3
Will Mount, Lace and Frame Myself

Have pulled the following charts and will be pulling the threads and preparing the fabric.  Would like to work on these.

Frosty Night by New York Dreamer/Ezia Gladstone

Waxing Moon Designs - Winter Wonder, Let it Snow...Somewhere Else!, Stitching Mends the Soul and The Best Things

Also want to pull a Diane Graebner chart (not sure which one) and kit it up.

In other news...

It's a fall day here.  Awoke to rain and gray skies.  Leah is napping by the front window.

After working a bit in my sewing room, will stitch for awhile.  Joined a book club.  Never been involved in one before.  Will see how it goes.  Have been assigned an interesting book written by an Iowa author.  The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson

For a smile...

Leah being Leah.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Missing In Action

I have had an interesting day today. 

Started out with it being a typical fall day.  Sunny one minute.  Overcast and raining the next.  Leah was curled up nearby. 

Finished up a small design. 

Went to take some pictures with my new Canon camera.  Lighting was not cooperating.  Will try again tomorrow.

Put everything away, got sidetracked working on a small stack of papers.  Got everything sorted out and in one of two piles - one to file away, one to shred. 

Turned on my laptop and downloaded pictures I had taken earlier in the month.  In the process of filing them in the their respective folders, I came across this picture. Don't remember taking it but I know it's mine as that's my scissors, my tablecloth, a former project I was working on.  Item is pretty.  Wondered what I did with it.  Where I got it.  Was it sent to me?  Did I buy it?  Did I send it to someone? 

Got all the pictures sorted out and had to find that pretty.

Looked in my plastic tote where I keep all my pretty cards and letters I've received through the mail.  Not there. 

Looked in all three bins on my mobile cart next to my stitching chair.  Not there.  BUT all three bins have been gone through, sorted, tidied up and organized.  Looks nice.

Went down into the basement and went through ALL my drawers of items in my machine sewing area.  Not there.

Went through the tubs in my cross stitch sewing area.  Fabric - not there.  But that tote is now organized. Went through my kitted projects tote.  Not there but that tote is shored up a wee bit better now.  Went through my counted cross stitching supplies tote.  Not there but everything in that tote is organized better.  Found a few things I forgot I had.  Found a journal I had been looking for.

It's evening, the sun has set and I have no clue where that pretty is or what happened to it or where or who I got it from. 

Wish I could be like Leah.  She sleeps, eats, plays and does her business in her box in the bathroom or in the basement.  She's good.  She's happy.  She's not like me who feels the need to organize (probably OCD here) and wonder about things.  Speaking of which, she's gotten quite vocal here recently.  I think she's turned a corner.  She's more trusting, more affectionate.  Wants to stay close and spend more time on my lap.  I love that.  In the evenings when I stitch and my feet are up on the ottoman I have a lap robe over my legs.  She will jump up, talk to me for a bit and then settle in, purring until she nods off to sleep.  The other day as I pulled into my driveway, I happened to see her watching out the front window waiting for me to come home.  Brought a smile.  I had been missed.  When I got out of the car and was at the front door she jumped down from her perch and was waiting for me as I came into the house.  I love her.  She's a good kitty.

Do hope I remember where I got that pretty and where it is.  Who knows maybe I sent it with something to someone.  If so, wonderful.  I don't want it back.  Maybe I got it in a package when I ordered something from etsy.  Maybe I got it off an end cap at Hobby Lobby. 

Just wish I could remember.

For a smile...

Have gotten some good pictures of Leah.  She so doesn't like the camera and it's been hard to get good ones of her.  Next month will be one year since adopting her.  Adopted her right before Thanksgiving last year.