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I design needlepoint AKA canvaswork or counted needlepoint - it's all done from charts and diagrams!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stitching & More Ornaments

I've been working on Sugilite and am almost done!! That means I can start on something new which is one of my favorite things to do. Here's a little bit of it - I changed the orientation and what I showed last time as the left side is now the top. There's one more square on the left side of this photo but it's not done yet. I like the way this is turning out even though it's not what I originally envisioned - it's fun when that happens!

 I thought I'd share a few more ornaments with you - most of these are from exchanges and I love them. Long ago (about 10 years) we had a stitching group called Friends Who Count and we had an ornament exchange every year. The first few are from that time period. I'm especially happy to have this first one as the person who stitched it passed away a couple of years ago - she designed it herself using various parts of Shepherd's Bush patterns. The picture doesn't show how great it is -

The photo above shows the back of the previous ornament - the person who stitched it NEVER did cross stitch (she was/is a master of canvaswork) and wondered what she was thinking when she picked this out to do. I asked her to sign it and I love having it signed and dated. I think it's a great idea - if you make ornaments as gifts, be sure to put the date on it! Sue: If you're reading this, 1997?? Where has the time gone?

I made this ornament for the shop - it's on opalescent linen and the sparkle it adds is perfect for ornaments (it doesn't show in the photograph.   

My mom stitched this Joan Thomasson angel - I'm not sure how it ended up in my ornament box but I'm happy to have it!

This ornament was one of the first things I "designed" as part of an Ornament of the Month club when I first opened the shop on my own. I drew a circle on a piece of canvas, picked a Watercolour and a metallic thread, picked a stitch, and made the ornament. When I started with these, I never dreamed I'd be designing full time some day!

Last but not least, here is another non-stitched ornament. It's a Santa made from an old quilt. Mom got it for me a few years agoo and it's really cute.

Back to work...peace!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mystery 2012...

colorways have been chosen and posted to my website. Here's a photo of part of my kitchen counter - a great workplace, I've discovered! Check them out at Mystery Colorways.

I'm off to stitch - I've been working on the website all afternoon...and need a break!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A whole lot of stitching...

is going on. Actually it has been going on but I've been working on my Mystery design which I can't show you because it's a Mystery... I'll be posting info and details about signing up soon (the kits and first pattern installment will go out in January).  I'm just about done with it and I'm at a place now where I can put it down for a bit and work on something new. I starting stitching last night on this fun purple design which I will call Sugilite (it's a gemstone). Here's a bit of a sneak peek...

I have my tree up and took some photos of some of the ornaments to share with you. Here's the tree decorated with a lot of stitched ornaments. I'm fortunate to be able to say that many of the ornaments are from exchanges over the years and it always is wonderful to think of the people who have stitched them. I feel like I have little bits of lots of people on my tree. I went to my EGA Guild Christmas Luncheon yesterday and here is the latest addition to my tree. As I don't do much hardanger, I was thrilled to get this beauty. I was most impressed that the back of the ornament was stitched too!
Here's my tree...
and a few ornaments...the pictures didn't really turn out well.

This is from the very first Tiny Tidings pattern Lizzie Kate published (I think she's up to 15 years now). The metal horn next to it is an old ornament from our family's tree.

This is a needlepoint ornament from Gay Ann Rogers - it is just the center of one of her mystery designs that I started and never finished. I made it into an ornament (well, my mom did!) and poof, it's done and beautiful! You don't always have to stitch the entire design and this is a great example.

An old Prairie Schooler santa from one of their leaflets - it combines santa & snowmen, favorites of mine for Christmas decorating.

A Princess & Me needlepoint ornament - this also combines two of my favorite things - stars and snowmen.

The temari ball on the left is the first one (but not the only!) I ever made - I did make a few more complicated ones but didn't really catch the fever to make a lot of them. I'm happy to have them on my tree. The "Twirlament" on the right is an original design I did as part of a series of Ornaments of the Month a few years ago. Here's another...there are 12 of them and maybe I should think about publishing them?
The left photo shows it on the tree and the photo on the right is much more accurate in coloring and clarity!

Ok, this isn't stitched but I loved these little elves when I was a young child and I rescued this one several years ago when my mom was "downsizing" her Christmas decoations!

This is another ornament from my childhood - it's felt & sequins that my grandmother made when I was a baby. My grandmother was a fine needlewoman and always used the best quality of materials which is probably why more than 40 years later, this little guy is still perfect! My brother and I have stockings that are felt and sequins my mother made when we were babies - we've had them all our lives and they are NOT tacky. My brother was horrified when my mom suggested, a number of years ago, that we replace them with needlepoint stockings so we still have them and probably always will. I'd show you but they live at my mothers, as do all the family's stockings! 

I hope you're enjoying the holiday season - if you're feeling stressed, just breathe and pick up a needle!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's beginning...

to feel a little like Christmas! I wasn't planning to put up my tree this year but this basket of ornaments got me in the mood this morning. These are the ornaments I brought home from the shop and I think I have to put up the tree so I can look at them all month long! This is one of my favorites - it's very simple but I just love it. It's a Homespun Elegance pattern.

I can't believe it's December already. November was a whirlwind month and it went by way too fast. I spent the first two weeks mailing out orders and figuring out how to work only from home. This will be an ongoing issue for me as I am still working on getting my space at home organized for my new way of working without the shop.

I went to a Dear Jane quilt retreat with my mom the week before Thanksgiving. This is an annual event for us and we go to Shipshewana, Indiana. It's in the northern part of the state and primarily an Amish town. We hit Lolly's, the local quilt shop, as soon as we drove into town, before we even checked into the hotel. We met our friend Mary who drove in from VA and before too long, we had destroyed a new display of Moda flannels - mom and Mary bought all of them while I looked on. They may not look like much in this photo but they are scrumptious and the softest flannel I've ever felt (and I have felt a LOT as it was the first type of fabric I collected when I started quilting).  I can't wait to see the quilts they make from them.

I don't have any other photos of the retreat to share - my camera never made it out of my purse again but I did take these photos when I got home of the quilts I finished there. First is an Auburn quilt I made for my niece for Christmas. It's a great quilt for a teenager who loves Auburn but it was very constricting to only use three colors in a quilt, especially with one of them being orange...
Here's the back...I used all the leftover fabric as I didn't want to add it to my stash!

And, here's a closeup of the quilting - the longarmer (I do not do my own quilting) put footballs on it...we did this on my nephew's FL Gators quilt last year and they loved it.

Here's the 2nd quilt I finished there...it's mostly Kaffe Fasset fabrics with a few batiks thrown in. I made this to order for someone who wanted "RED". It's very red but the turquoise inner border really set the whole thing off.

Here's a closeup of the border - I fussy cut it so the half circles would go all around the quilt. I was fortunate it worked out around the corners without them running into each other.

I had to cut down the red so put a teal fabric on the back - it's one of my favorites and I have it in every colorway I've ever seen. Wait...I could say the same about a lot of Kaffe patterns!

Here's a quilt top I put together at the retreat. I had the blocks all made and just had to do the sashing and put it together. I used Cherrywood fabrics I bought in Houston (at the Festival) many years ago and Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I bought nothing new except the sashing & cornerstone fabric. I've been trying to use fabric I've had on hand for a long time.

Here's the fabric I bought for the border - I love polka dots and this looked just perfect when I bought it.

I have more photos to share from Thanksgiving week but will save them for another post soon!

Happy Holidays!