Thursday, December 31, 2015

HAP SAL 2015 Update

Hi Everyone!

I hope this SAL helped motivate you to make progress on your big project(s).  I know that I've made strides on mine.

Here are my projects from this SAL with before and after pictures.  You can click on any of the photos to see larger versions.

God Speed from HAED:

This one only had 1 extra page but it went from 23.07% to 26.87% done.

Next up is Rapunzel (Dawe) from HAED:

She got 2 whole pages added.  That took her from 30.3% to 39.78% done.

The Sistine Chapel from HAED:

This one only got a partial page finish.  It went from 8.73% to 9.83%.  Every little bit helps.

Floral Finesse from The Heart's Content:

This went from not even started to 11.75% done.

Last, but definitely most, La Belle Dame Sans Merci from HAED:

The first photo is pages 1-13 done, the second photo is pages 1-19!  Yes!  I got 5 full pages and 1 partial page done this year.  I went from 41.67% to 59.55% on this one.

Now I'm not hosting this particular SAL again in 2016 but I am hosting 2 events.  You can read about them in this post.

Happy Stitching!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Finish It Up Challenge - My List

This challenge is not specifically cross stitch but it should have some crafting aspect.

If you are participating in this challenge, please post your blog address in the comments.  I'd love to see how you do!

I'm a few days early posting my list but I thought it might help others come up with ideas for their own lists.  I will finalize my list and post the complete one on January 1st.  I know there are more things I want to finish, but my brain is not co-operating at the moment.

  1. Bind my 4-patch quilt (poor thing's been waiting for over 2years)
  2. Remove last of carpet in sewing room (it's really in the way and is hampering my crafts)
  3. Finish my "Merry Christmas" framed set
  4. Tidy up all my quilting scraps
  5. Frame my Mother's Tree.
  6. Clean off my scrapbooking desk so I can actually scrapbook!  clean enough to work on 1-15-2016
  7. Finish the Disneyland scrapbook for my sister
  8.  List the rest of the items I have set aside to sell on Etsy.  finished on 1-7-2016
  9. Re-starch/shape the rest of my crocheted snowflakes.

Happy stitching!


Monday, December 14, 2015

2016 Events x 2

I thought I'd host 2 events during the upcoming year.  One will be a Stitch Along (SAL), the other will be more of a finishing challenge.

The first will be a Christmas SAL.  If you haven't guessed yet, I LOVE Christmas!  I really want to do some more Christmas stitching this next year so I thought I'd host a SAL to help motivate myself.

I'm hoping to do at least one ornament a month from January until December.  The finish date for this will be December 1 because by that time, I've already got all my decorations up.  If you want to do something other than ornament(s), that's fine.  The only stipulation will be that it has to be Christmas-themed, cross stitch.  We will each blog with our updates on the 15th of each month.  Feel free to use the above image in your blog.

The other event will be a Finish It Up (FIU) challenge.  On January 1, you'll post your list of things you want to finish in 2016.  It can be stitching a project, getting something framed, finishing up some sewing, sorting your stash, etc.   Please keep it somehow craft related.  If you want to participate, just blog your finishing list on January 1.  Future blog posts should be posted on the 1st of each month.  The artwork above is free for you to use on your own blog.

Happy Stitching!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Update on Rapunzel - Christmas!

Woo hoo!

I have a page finish on Rapunzel!  She still has that haunted look but at least her face is complete now.

Next up will be La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Here are a few photos of the decorations I've put up for this year:

The Santa tree in my office:

(l. to r.:)  Santaberry Pudding, Santa's Magic, Christmas Elegance

The tree in my living/dining room:

 The tree in our trophy shop:

The tree in my sewing room:

Tannenbaum, O Holy Night (stocking), Victorian Patchwork (stocking):

Heirloom Christmas Sampler:

Checkered Santas from Leisure Arts and 12 Days of Christmas from Teresa Wentzler:

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New design finished!

The reason that I was able to work on one of my HAPs this past month - I finished the design I'd been working on!!!  I'd be doing a happy dance, but I'd just probably end up hurting myself.

Genealogy has always been one of my obsessions hobbies.  Don't worry, this is relevant.  Years ago, I saw MLI's version of a Mother's Tree.  I loved the idea but not the actual design.  That was the only design she did that I wasn't impressed with.  I felt it was too dark and the font was very masculine (I deal with fonts for my "real" job).

I finally made the effort to create my own Mother's Tree pattern!  In the next few weeks, I will have it available in my Etsy shop, XedStitches.  I want to get it framed before I offer it for sale, hence the delay.  I will be offering it where I do the hard part: the charting of the names.  It will include an alphabet so future generations can be added.

Here is what it looks like for my maternal line:

I figured if I was going to stitch a model of it, best to start with me (no kids) and go back.

Here are some details about it:
  • Fabric is 32count white evenweave that I tea-dyed. 
  • Tree is stitched over 2 (so 16count) using Gentle Arts Sampler Threads (GAST) in Acorn and Forest Glade.
  • Text is stitched over 1 using GAST Weathered Barn.
  • Overall size of stitched area is:  16½" (41.91cm) tall x 22" (55.88cm) wide.  This will, of course, vary.
Not everyone is going to have a name as long as mine (33 letters!), so the width will most likely be smaller for most people.  The height will depend on the number of generations known for the family.  My Eva was born in 1804 in Poland so I don't know how successful I would be in going further back.  Both of my sisters do have daughters so another generation would add about 1½-2 inches.

I will definitely take a better photo once it's been framed.

Happy Stitching!


HAP SAL update for December

Now don't faint, not only am I posting on the correct day, I have made progress on one of my HAPs this month!

Rapunzel (Dawe) has gotten bigger!  I don't know the exact amount but I'd say that I'm close to 1/2 way done on this page (9/30).

Here is what she looked like before:

and here's what she looks like now:

Now that she has most of her face, she really has a haunted expression.  Makes me feel sorry for her predicament.

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

HAP SAL update - November

Well, at least I'm consistent:  I'm late again and have made no progress on my "official" HAP projects.

I have completed the top 413 rows of stitches on my own design.  I will say this:  there is a box of "stuff" at the top, then 7 bands/lines, etc. below.  The "box" and first 4 bands are done, just 3 bands to go.

It would go more quickly if I'd stop messing up.  Seriously!  I had to re-stitch one 15 x 27 (stitches) area twice!  After the first few stitches went in, I didn't like it and had to redesign it.  Then I had to frog most of the new stitches out 'cause I'd miscounted.

Oh, well!

Happy Stitching!


Friday, October 9, 2015

Answer #10 - Half Stitch vs. Tent Stitch

Diane asked:

The only difference I see is where you came up and down with the needle, therefore I don't see why there is a difference between half stitch and tent stitch?

You are correct that the only difference between half and tent stitch is where you come up and down.  The differences are noticeable though.

Tent stitch is used primarily in needlepoint.  Since needlepoint is usually done on canvas, adequate coverage is important.  Also for something that may be used to be handled, say a pillow or chair cover, the more thread used the better it will last.

In cross stitch, the material is a closer weave and good coverage is not as difficult to achieve.  If it's something that is going to be framed (or otherwise not handled), there is no need for the extra thread for durability.

Here's an example showing both stitches from the front and the back.  The amount of thread used doing tent stitch is over double what you would use in half stitch.

I hope this helps!

Happy Stitching!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

HAP SAL update

[hanging head in shame]  Not only am I late in writing this, I don't have any progress to report. 

I've been working on a project but it's still the one I designed and doesn't belong in the HAP SAL - only 'cause I hadn't started it at the beginning of the year.  It definitely fits the criteria, it's 719 x 577.  No, it's not solid stitching - thank goodness!

I will tell you that I have finished 305 rows of stitches from the top, down.  I'd say that I'm about half way done with the stitching because the pattern is sort of "top heavy".  ;-)

Sorry, no photos to share...soon hopefully!

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Etsy Shop Updates & Coupon!

Whew!  I think I've got everything the way I want it.  My Etsy shop, XedStitches is updated!

I finally listed the stack of books/magazines/leaflets that's been sitting in my office.  The recent additions are crochet, knitting, cross stitch, and quilting leaflets and books.  They are also organized better so that I can find and ship them quickly.

Shipping is now offered to most countries!  I've also switched the shipping to calculated which hopefully will give more accurate, and less expensive, shipping charges.  Yeah!

In honor of my completing the updates, I'm offering a coupon until the end of September.  Just enter the coupon code:  FALL 2015 to get 10% off your order of $10 or more (does not apply to or include shipping charges).  This coupon expires on Sept. 30, 2015.  After that date, you can still save 5% off any order of $10 or more by using the code:  BLOGREADER.

Happy Stitching (and shopping)!


Sewing Room - New Addition!

I've been at it again.  DH* has been a great enabler!  He bought this for me at a local auction for $8.50:

It actually looks better in the photo than it did when he brought it home.  At this stage, I had sanded it down as preparation for painting.  Oh, and I'd removed the hideous bronze-colored drawer pulls.  Yes, the drawers aren't in correctly in this photo but I didn't notice until later.

Like all of the other pieces in my sewing room, this one got a base coat of Starless Night (dark blue).  It's a paint & primer in one from Behr which is great 'cause it saves a step!

Here is one of the drawers with the base coat done and taped off for the "special treatment" I chose for this piece.

The tape was 1.41" wide which is close enough to 1.5" so I cut the tape pieces 3" long for balance.  I did attempt to use a ruler for the spacing but it still turned out a bit wonky.  The gaps between the tape are approximately .25".

It took longer than I'd expected to do the taping; about 2½ hours for the 4 drawers.  At that point, I just wanted to be done so I took the drawers out to the carport and spray painted them with Rustoleum Flat White, also a paint/primer combo.

Because the weather is cool and damp, I brought them back inside to dry for about 20 minutes before I removed the tape.  The pieces along the edge were easy because they were wrapped around the side.  For the pieces in the middle, I used an X-acto knife to peel up a corner on each piece.

Here's the finished piece including the new hardware.  I went with silver so that all the pieces I've done share the same color palette:  Starless Night, Flat White and/or Silver.  The handles cost almost as much as the desk - they were just under $2 each.

As you can see, I did remove a couple of pieces of tape before I spray painted it.  No real reason, I just liked the idea.

Here are the other pieces that I've redone and are in my sewing room as well:

Happy Stitching!


*DH = Dear Husband

Friday, September 11, 2015

Stash Shopping Coupon!

Okay, it's not huge but I thought I'd offer my readers a discount if they want to purchase something from my shop, XedStitches.

Use the coupon code BLOGREADER to get 5% off any order over $10 (all my Scottish tartan patterns are included).  The coupon does NOT apply to the shipping charges.  The tartan patterns are emailed so they ship for free!

I've just added a lot of new items to the shop!  I've also reorganized the different sections of the shop.  Quite a few items have had price reductions.

Here's a list of the new additions:

Cross Stitch Books section:
  •  A Cross Stitch Christmas hardcover book
Cross Stitch Leaflets section:
  • Looney Tunes:  More Waste Canvas
  • Precious Moments:  Sew in Love PM-2
  • Precious Moments:  Wedding Book PM-9
  • Precious Moments:  Winter's Song PM-11
  • Precious Moments:  The Voice of Spring PM-12
  • Precious Moments:  Summer's Joy PM-13
  • Precious Moments:  Autumn's Praise PM-13
  • Precious Moments:  Uncle Same PM-14
  • Precious Moments:  A Parade of Birthday Wishes PM-21
  • Precious Moments in Miniature PM-22
  • Precious Moments in Miniature PM-23
  • Precious Moments:  Good Friends Are Forever PM-31
  • Precious Moments:  Noah's Ark PM-34

Knit or Crochet section:
  • 101 Stitches for Afghans (crochet) softcover book

Quilt Books section:
  • American Patchwork & Quilting hardcover book
  • ScrapMania:  More Quick-Pieced Scrap Quilts
Miscellaneous section:
  • Complete Guide to Needlework (Reader's Digest) hardcover book
  • House & Garden Samplers hardcover book (how to make your own sampler)
  • The Spirit of Christmas, Book 11 hardcover

Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

HAP SAL September report + County Fair Results

I made progress on my La Belle Dame Sans Merci this past month.

Here are the before and afters:

I went from 51.61% to 54.88% complete!

I've also made a bit of progress on my Rapunzel but no picture yet.

I've taken a break from my rotation [insert stunned gasp here] to work on some model stitching.  This is for a pattern of my own creation which I am keeping under wraps until I'm ready to offer it in my Etsy shop.  The only hints you will get are that I tea-dyed some fabric and I bought GAST threads in Forest Glade, Acorn, and Weathered Barn.  No, an actual barn is not even remotely related to the pattern.  ;-)

Now to the county fair results!  I showed at the Pacific County Fair this year after the Grays Harbor County Fair (Washington state, USA).

I entered my French Santas as a pair, my Sisters Three by Paula Vaughan, the Heirloom Christmas Sampler, and my crocheted table topper.

Sisters Three and the crocheted table topper:

Won these ribbons (one each, of course):

The French Santas, as a pair:

Won these ribbons:

The Heirloom Christmas Sampler:

Won these:

Yes, I'm happy with the results!  On the way to pick these up at the end of the fair, DH asked me how I thought I'd done.  I told him I "expected" four blue ribbons.  He said I was going to get 2 rosettes as well.  I'm glad I didn't bet him on it.  I would have lost the bet for winning!  lol

Happy Stitching!


Friday, August 28, 2015

New patterns in my Etsy shop!

I've just added 3 new patterns to my Etsy shop, XedStitches.  They are a Unicorn, a Scottish Terrier, or a Christmas stocking done in Scottish tartans!

As with all of my Scottish tartan cross stitch patterns, the cost is $10US per chart.  Since I email them, there are no shipping charges!

The unicorn pattern is 233w x 298h.  Here are examples shown in the Sinclair (red) and Watson (blue) tartans:

The Scottish Terrier pattern is 245w x 186h.  These examples are using the Borthwick (gray/red) and Buchanan (yellow) tartans.

The Christmas stocking pattern is 193w x 280h.  You have your choice of toe to the right (shown in Akins) or toe to the left (shown in Thain).

Here are the other styles of Scottish tartan charts I offer:

A map of Scotland, 247w x 318h (shown in the Dalrymple tartan):

A Celtic knot, 349w x 170h (shown in the Campbell tartan):

A heart, 214w x 197h (shown in the Armstrong tartan):

A rampant lion, 219w x 248h (shown in the Stewart mourning tartan):

A Celtic cross, 137w x 250h (shown in the Menzies black & red):

A thistle, 264w x 297h (shown in the Ogilvie tartan):

I also have Old English style individual letters available.  They range in width from 108 - 180 but are each 150 stitches high.  I refer to them as my Monogram patterns.  If you wanted the Campbell tartan, you would get the "C", MacDonald would get the "M", etc.

Of course, I also offer "full" tartan patterns.  These are all square but cover one repeat of the requested tartan (with a small handful of exceptions).  They range in size from about 80 stitches square to over 600 with most falling in the 160-300 range.

Happy Stitching!