Category Archives: 2007 Finishes

A Final Finish for 2007

Well, finally a stitching post. I have so much I want to do here, including adding the rest of my library to its dedicated page, updating both my Wish List and the WtR areas, but what I really love is sharing my needlework. I just wish there’d been more to report this year.

First I want to share a fairly new WIP…a canvas piece I was working on from the end of October to the middle of November. The technique is stitching over a painted ground and the canvas is the Minneapolis-St. Paul Santa by Shelly Tribbeys. The stitch and fiber guide are credited to Gwendolyn Lander. Both are wonderful.

I don’t often work painted canvases, simply because I love counted thread work, but this project is a joy to stitch. It’s hard to see, but I have the riverboat, the cathedral, part of Santa’s face and most of the waterfall done. The fibers include some fun metallics, wool, and cotton floss.

Shelly Tribbeys Minneapolis-St. Paul Santa

I love this canvas because it portrays a lot of the wonderful landmarks of this city I’ve called home for many years, including the IDS tower (tallest structure between Chicago and San Francisco-Phillip Johnson 1973, and famous for its use as a backdrop in the opening scenes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show), the Spoon and Cherry sculpture, Minnehaha Falls and of course the trolley car.

So far the stitches haven’t been terribly challenging…a lot of tent stitch and basketweave, with some satin and cashmere thrown in for good measure. I had fun working on this…and plan to have it done for next Christmas.

Now onto my finish. I started this Prairie Schooler Santa a couple of years ago. I plan to do several and turn them into pillows. Or…have someone turn them into pillows for me if my sewing machine and I aren’t on speaking terms. 🙂 This is the 2002 Santa:

Prairie Schooler Santa 2002

Isn’t he cute? 🙂 He’s done on 7 count Klostern with Pearl Cotton #3. I did change a few colors, because I wanted a more burgundy red for his coat.

For those of you who are curious, I most often work with my fabic stretched on q-snaps or a scroll frame. I use my Lowry floor stand so I can stitch two handed. (my left hand beneath the fabric and my right on top.) To start a thread, I most often use an in-line waste knot and to end, I simply weave the thread through the stitches on the back and clip close to the fabric.

I am feeling good about getting one more piece finished in a year that hasn’t been a good one for productive stitching.

Apart from needlework, tomorrow we are having a BIG party here. It is DH’s 50th birthday party and I am looking forward to a wonderful gathering of the friends and family that have so blessed our lives. Monday is his birthday, but we are staying in to watch the Vikings play the Bears (um…go VIKES!). I plan to make one of his favorite dinners and just enjoy some down time with him.

It is getting on to bedtime for me. So in closing, I hope each of you is having a wonderful weekend filled the all the best blessings of this Holy and peaceful season.

Goodnight,

Julie

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Where did summer go?

To surgery, to celebrations and to a funeral. To say it’s been up and down is an understatement. But I can still say, without equivocation, that I am blessed. I miss my dad and always will, but I will take him with me through the rest of my life and trust that there will be a sweet reunion one future day. I hope I will hear a ‘well-done, Joybells’. 🙂

Obviously, it has not been a good summer for stitching. I thought I might get a lot done while recuperating. Not so. I was either too sore or too tired or too busy or needed to focus elsewhere (like exercising and getting back to work). So perhaps winter, with it’s slower pace, will be a time to reintroduce my fingers to needle and thread.

The only exception to the summer stitching desert: The Needlework Guild of Minnesota retreat 2008. I took a wonderful class from Jane Nicholas. Yes, that’s THE Jane Nicholas from Australia…the stumpwork queen from down under. She was fabulous, the class was fabulous, and even though I feel like I’m all thumbs, I’m going to give finishing my project a shot. It’s a lovely Turkish Tile…and once I get a bit further along, I’ll share a photo.

Come to think of it, I was planning to share photos of a couple of small finishes. Better late than never, right?

Pine Mountain-August

and:

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and finally, my nametag for Retreat 2008 (theme: butterflies):

dscf0936.jpg

I have to say that stitching on the Tokens and Trifles (copyright) card was a WONDERFUL experience. I highly recommend their product if you want a quick, neat finish.

What else? Well, you have probably guessed by now that I am going through my stash and divesting myself of some projects. Don’t worry…no incurable diseases here that I know of…it’s just that at almost 50 years young, I need to accept there is a small chance I will not live the 500 years I need to finish stitching my stash. Sigh. This problem is exacerbated by the small fact I keep buying more. Yes, I’m better, but I’m still not cured. :-))))

I am also enjoying learning to quilt, knitting, crocheting and my new passion…weaving, both bead and tapestry. (well, to be perfectly frank, I haven’t tried the Tapestry weaving yet…but my loom, my beautiful loom (the Big Sister) will do it. I’m just waiting for the right class to come my way.

Who’s bouncing down a bunny trail? Moi? Nah…..

Okay, so maybe I did digress just a bit. So back to the point of this ramble. You remember, right? My stash sale. To make things easier to update and so it doesn’t take space reserved for needlework ramblings, I’ve created a new page (see left hand column, top…then click :-)). Feel free to e-mail me if you have an interest in anything…or leave a comment. This list is also posted on the Legacy Board. I accept checks, Paypal, well concealed cash…and I’ve been known to operate on the barter system. :-))))

What am I working on right now? Well, the Mary Beale Advent Sampler…square one. I’d say I’m about 20-30 percent done and will get a photo next time I take it out. This is a wonderful piece. I also have about 3 stitches in the Ancestral Wedding Sampler by Kingsland…destined to be a gift for two very special people who shall remain nameless at present. :-)))))

Gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve written anything here, I can’t possibly fit everything into one posting. There’s a bit of new stash to share, a couple of new books and of course the WIP’s that you haven’t seen. I hope there will be no more big waves for a few months, so I can get back into the rhythms of stitching and sharing with friends.

As you can well imagine, I’m behind on blog reading and commentary, but I hope this post finds all of you happy, healthy and stitching.

Blessings,

Julie

christmas-dad.jpg

When the music fades into the past,when my days of life are through, what will be remembered of where I’ve come? When all is said and done.

Will they say I loved my family? That I was a faithful friend? That I lived to tell of God’s own Son? When all is said and done.

Of how I longed to see the hour, when I would hear that trumpet sound, and rise to see my Saviour’s face, see Him smile and say ‘well done’.

You can forget my name and the songs I’ve sung. Every rhyme and every tune. But remember the truth of Jesus’ love. When all is said and done. (–Geoff Moore)

Enjoy your homecoming, Daddy and leave a light burning in the window. I love you.

Dancin’

-There is always a lot to be thankful for if you take the time to look for it. Right now, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt!-Barbara Johnson-

What an appropriate quote for today. I really am glad wrinkles don’t hurt because the rest of me is having one of those mornings: The kind of morning where I feel twice my age. I did too much of an upper body workout yesterday and I have the ‘ouchies’, particularly where my breastbone is wired back together. Thankfully the ‘ouchies’ aren’t terminal, naproxin is my friend and it’s still a beautiful, sunny day. 🙂

I am also blessed because I’m sitting in my sewing room, surrounded by silks, linens and patterns, tools of an avocation which means a great deal to me. I have the eyesight, leisure and ability to work with these gorgeous materials, good friends who share this passion and today I have the special emotional rush that comes with having another happy dance to report.

Yes, Western Skies is done, done, done. I finished at about 11 p.m. last night. I LOVED working on it and will definitely do another Laura Perin. Terrific instructions and it worked up very fast. In fact, someone probably needs to (PLEASE!!!!) talk me out of buying her entire American Quilt Series this morning.

Whew…after a few touch and go moments, I got my bad clickie finger under control without buying a thing. So…moving right along; here it is…Western Skies by Laura Perin. Stitched on 18 ct canvas with Mulberry Watercolours and #5 DMC Pearl Cotton (Ecru, #3041 and #224).

Western Skies finished. Laura Perin Designs

I was going to finish this as a pillow, but right now I’m leaning toward framing it. That way I can do more of this series, have them framed the same way and…delusions of grandeur here…have a whole wall of quilts. 🙂

As always when I finish something there’s a little restlessness built into the elation. The biggest challenge now is to figure out what I want to work on next. I’m really tempted to stay with canvas for a while. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it and how fast it works up, even with more complicated stitches. But I have so many counted thread pieces screaming…loudly! (Can you hear the voices in my head? :-)))

So, to appease those voices and stop the shouting, I’m leaning toward picking up my Papillion Creations Mystery Sampler. With a couple weeks of concentrated work, I could be dancin’ again (I would love for that to become a habit!!!).

Reminder to self: YOU ALSO NEED TO STITCH A NAMETAG FOR RETREAT NEXT WEEK!!!!

And, speaking of next week, (did y’all like that smooth connection?) it promises to be a little bit of stitchy heaven on earth. To start things off, I’m hosting a GTG of the ‘sisterhood’ at my house this Saturday. Then next Thursday through Sunday (9-12) is Guild Retreat. I’m taking classes with Jane Nicholas and also with Cayla Conn Tyler (stumpwork and canvas).

To make the week complete, a good friend from about 5 hours away is coming for retreat a little early and will be staying with Dan and I for a few nights before we head out to the retreat center…and will also be my roommate at retreat. I am so excited, I just hope she doesn’t get tired of me. :-)))))))

So…who cares about an achy chest when I can dance the day away? 🙂 (there’s a picture!)

Happy birthday to dear Carol, and to the rest of you, peaceful stitches and frogless hours.

Blessings,

Julie

Good morning!

Here in Minnesota it’s a lovely summer day. For a wonder the humidity is low, it’s cool (relatively) and sunny. I love days like this, they make me feel alive, energetic and ready to do a Snoopy dance (think hands wavin’ in the air, feet a-tappin’). Okay, maybe that’s not such a great mental picture…

So hey, think of me stitching instead. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? And yes, I have been stitching. Stitching on those multitudes of WIP’s you may presume. Uh…no. Since I’m just getting back into it, I wanted something simple…easy…monochrome. So I started something new. Um…three something news.

The good news is, I finished one: A small needlepoint initial ‘J’. I show it photographed in the box purchased for it. (But it is not yet mounted…so this was just temporary…hence the crooked placement. I’m waiting for my order of AF foam core).

Initial ‘J’

This was a quick project, done entirely in tent (continental) stitch with DMC floss on canvas and finished on our trip to Michigan last weekend.

I also began work on a long-overdue birth announcement. Bienvenue by Long Dog Samplers. I’m working this on Belfast (32 ct.) Rue Green with a WONDERFUL Glorianna Silk called Highland Garden-dark. This is for a little boy, so the colors (deep blues-purples-shading to lighter tones of green and amber) are perfect.

Bienvenue

The color of the fabric is much deeper in person.

And, finally, I just HAD to start a mermaid. I mean…I don’t have a mermaid in my rotation. What self-respecting mermaid collector doesn’t have a mermaid pattern amongst their WIP’s? So…what else could I do? I started a mermaid.

This is ‘Ocean’s Daughter’ by ‘!?Who Knew?!. It is being stitched on Crystal Lagoon Belfast (from Picture this Plus) with a cotton floss called ‘Bejeweled’ by Crescent Colors.

Ocean’s Daughter

Once again, my photographic skills are lacking. This is wonderful, bright and sparkely overdyed fabric. The floss shows up beautifully and so far, it’s a totally fun stitch.

So…that’s been my week in stitching. And, while I really didn’t need two more WIP’s, it’s been great to stitch a bit. Beyond that, I am going to cardiac rehab three times a week and plan to get my toes wet at work this week, too. That puts be a couple weeks ahead of schedule. 🙂 I think it’s the stitching therapy.

Thank you to everyone who has left such wonderful and encouraging comments and e-mails. You are all a blessing.

Have a wonderful day,

Julie

A Mini-Finish

The last few days I’ve been working on my Chatelaine Mystery X-A Victorian Garden. The more I work on it, the more addictive this piece becomes. Martina’s use of color and texture is extraordinary. I have also discovered a love for the Dinky Dyes silks. They have a soft hand (as opposed to ‘crunchy’) and are a pleasure to use.

And today:  Ta-DA!!!!! I finished part one:Chatelaine Mystery X-Part one complete

And even started on a little bit of part two:

Chatelaine Mystery X-Beginning of Part 2

I will wait to do all the beading (and there’s a lot of it) until the end, because I don’t want to stress the fabric or the beads while I stitch.

Tomorrow: Bordeaux Sampler

I’m off to sleep.

Many blessings,

Julie

What happened to the week?

That’s the question I’m asking myself. Last weekend was grand fun and I didn’t get my camera out once. Shame on me! But we had the gathering of the ‘stitching sisters’ as planned.

Theresa was working on Jeanette Douglas’s “My Stitching Treasures” It is coming along beautifully.

Susan was working on one of the Peacock series by the Workbasket. The colors are much more wonderful and vibrant in person…as always it seems the pictures don’t do the pattern justice.

Janet was working on a mini stocking done in bright colored fibers (red was the base color, I think it was Watercolors Flame). It was done on canvas and had lots of wonderful stitches. She finished. I was impressed.

Paula spent her weekend scrapping. My in-laws 50th wedding anniversary is today and she is putting together two wonderful albums for them. Paula has a fantastic talent for this sort of thing and I know this gift will be forever treasured.

I worked on and pretty much finished this segment of my Neighborhood Round Robin. It’s been mailed off and I’m ready to start on Judy’s ‘Small Town Minnesota’ neighborhood. The artistry and imagination from this group of ladies is amazing!

Here are the results of my efforts. dscf0694.JPG

Please excuse the poor photo, I am still struggling with how to get digital photos to show correctly in the blog. Hopefully you get the idea.

Last weekend, in addition to stitching, we did some shopping (read that MAJOR damage at the half price book store-new shipment of stitching books!), a lot of eating and even watched “The Princess Bride”…a chick flick extraordinaire.

The weekend was the high point of my entire week. I got news on Monday that my dad had been hospitalized with internal bleeding. By the time he went in, his blood counts were scary. However, they gave him whole blood, did every test under the sun and he came home yesterday. We’re still waiting for the results of the test where he swallowed a tiny camera in a capsule. He is feeling much better and his blood count had been steady for 48 hours…so that’s all I know. It’s just a tad frustrating…especially from 1000 miles away.

I hope to get back on some kind of a stitching schedule next week. I miss my other projects.

I hope everyone has a great weekend that includes many hours of stitching.

Blessings to all,

Julie