Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hello Autumn...I {heart} you!

So happy FALL is here. More walks with Little Miss this weekend. Our jaunts to the creek include searching for the same landmarks over and over. "That boy's red hat" (a plastic construction hat) "the big leaf" (no idea where its mates are!) "the old bike" (which has nearly rusted away since last year) and "the doggie's tree" (a hollowed out tree that Little Miss used to be able to stand in and she and her daddy decided was where a doggie lived). At this time of year some of these things are harder to spot - everything is still so overgrown and green....but little by little, Fall is arriving and soon the view along the path will change again. For now, these are some of my favorite sights.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

September is the perfect time for heading back to Stitch School!

A Sunday walk with Little Miss and her babies.
(Blurry, I know...but she moves too fast for me these days.
She's not a fan of the camera anymore. Had to sneak this in with the cell phone!)

How cool is this blog? And this? And this one? I am sure there are many others out there...but these are the ones I found when I searched for "embroidery stitches" when I wanted to add a few more stitches to my repertoire.

Stitches I can now execute on a fairly consistent basis:
  1. Straight Stitch

  2. Satin Stitch (but never as perfectly as my sister Kristin)

  3. Stem stitch (but never as well as my Mom or sister)

  4. Cross stitch (and half- and quarter-cross)

  5. Chain stitch

  6. Lazy Daisy (always my fav)

  7. French Knot

  8. Split stitch

  9. Bullion stitch (sort of)

  10. Spider's Web (I think I have it right?)

  11. Seed stitch

  12. Fern stitch

  13. Couching stitch

  14. Algerian Eye

That's not many, is it? There are a drillion out there! who knew?

I can't really remember when I first learned how to do embroidery....I think my Mom must have taught me the basics (or maybe Gram?) My mother's work always amazed me. Her "back" was as perfect as her "front" (mine never was/is)...and even when I learned counted cross stitch and then got my mom and sisters hooked....I still never had "pretty backs" like Mom.

I had thought my great-grandmother taught my mom. But she tells me it was her own mom who taught her - (Gram's Raggedy Ann doll faces were examples of her precision work. Absolute perfection.) And for all these years I only knew the most basic stitches - French Knots, chain stitch, split stitch, lazy daisy, satin stitch. But I so admire the more elaborate stitches like I have seen in crazy quilts and other needlework projects (like everything Rebecca Sower and Pam Garrison do!)

And so I am determined to learn a few new tricks this month. I think I will start a little sampler to track my progress.....seriously in love with this and this and this...

Off to it I go...will share pics as I make progress!

**PS The photo has nothing to do with my stitching, obviously....but I couldn't post with a PHOTO. It's one of the THREE walks we took this weekend "to the creek." How stinkin cute is she with her baby in the backpack (there is another in the stroller, along with a pack of gum and some rocks.) Love her to the moon, I do, I do, I do.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A bit of stitchin'...

As always...inspired by Rebecca Sower's needlework.....there is nothing about this little tutorial that I didn't instantly fall in love with. (But I restrained myself from heading to the needlepoint shop for some fancy wool threads....instead...allowed myself 2 new skeins of teal DMC floss and a strand of pearls at AC Moore using my 40% off coupon, bien sur que oui!....the rest came from my stash.)

Needing some lovely words or a saying to complete this piece...then I want to frame it for the wall in our family room. Want to find a nice fabric "3" to add as well. We shall see how it evolves....

So this is what I did late into the evening on Friday while catching up on some DVRd tv shows. A pretty perfect pairing, I'd say!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Because "3" Is No Longer a BABY!

I need to come up with a name for this one....

In the mood to revamp every room of the house.
Started small last week, with a new quilt for Little Miss's toddler bed....since the IKEA duvet cover on her wee comforter looks so babyish to me. (And um, yeah. For those of you playing along at home, YES, the ORB quilt-along quilt top is STILL unfinished. Your point?)
Based loosely on the Amy Butler Ginger Bliss pattern, using fabrics from my stash (mostly Kaffe Fassett and Anna Maria Horner's "Garden Party")...planning a RED backing...need to get more Kaffe fabric (I used up quite a bit of fabric! Aren't you proud of me for CUTTING INTO IT, STELLA?)
Mac was not budging from his spot....
What I learned:
  1. I should have had a better PLAN! All those polka dots really JUMP OUT at you - I should have spaced it all out better.

  2. Next time - chose MORE fabrics. It got harder and harder to piece the rows as my stash dwindled. I ended up adding some rogue pieces that weren't originally intended...and I think it shows. (Don't let the Quilt Police Ladies see this!)
    I really like "just winging it" as opposed to following a pattern or (horrors!) using a cutting template. I think that makes me a "modern quilter" according to the June/July issue of Quilter's Home. I'll take it!

  3. The best part was the extra set of helping hands laying out the blocks as I finished them....on Thursday night she gathered them all up in her fists and took them TO BED with her. I couldn't figure out where she put them...and sure enough, she had them clutched in her hand while her Daddy read to her. (And fell asleep that way. Luckily for me, I LIKE ironing so I didn't mind starting over with that step on Friday night. hee. Love her to the moon!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

Thanks to a recommendation by Stella, I participated in The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap, hosted by Beth Nichols.
Here is the postcard I received from Lana in Australia:
(Bonus: Yummy Vera Bradley fabric on the back.)

Lana wrote: "The theme being 'time,' I have shown seed to seedling to tree." The photo doesn't do it justice - I love it! Thanks, Lana!

I was most delinquent in sending mine off to Carol in the UK (apologies, Carol!) so I will wait until she receives it to post the photos of the postcard I made. In the meantime, check out the Flickr group for more:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I Caved...

...I said I wasn't going to do it.

I don't NEED another notebook/journal.
I am sure a regular dollar store composition notebook would have worked JUST FINE.


I really, really, really wanted to try the Moleskine notebook like all the cool girls have for their art journals! (Surely that is the secret to fabulous spreads, no?)


And so far, I am in love.

Behold my new journal for my Lovely Notions class.

Kraft cover, decoupaged with papers from the Lovely Notions class, plus a paper doily and some K&Company bling and paper ribbon tape in Wild Saffron. The fabric insert on the lovely lady's dress is fabric from my wedding dress (swatches I have been saving for TEN YEARS. Oy.)

First exercise was to use a favorite quote.

Turned out quite lovely indeed, if I do say so!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Rainbow Around the Block Project

I am participating in this project to support victims of the floods in Tennessee, as sponsored by Anna Maria Horner. Read more about it here and see entries on the flickr pool here. I can't seem to get another quilt FINISHED (I tend to stall at the "sandwiching" stage) but I can certainly zip through a few 12" squares! Who is in with me?