Friday, February 26, 2016

Most Popular Posts

Hey Everyone!

I thought I'd do a Top Ten Countdown showcasing my most popular posts.  A couple of these really surprised me.

With views in the 200's:

#10:  2016 x 2 - blog events I'm hosting for 2016

 #9:  Framing Tutorial, part 2 - washing and ironing finished needlework

 #8:  Figuring Fabric Sizes - how to do the arithmetic to fit pattern, fabric, or frame sizes

 #7:  2013 HAED Raffle - the charts I received when I won the HAED Christmas Raffle

...with views of 300+:

 #6:  Latch Hook Finish - a finish project with a tutorial on how I made it into a wall hanging

 #5:  My Rotation  - a detailed look at how I rotate between cross stitch projects

 #4:  County Fair Results - how my entries did at my county fair in 2014

...views of 500+:

 #3:  New Year SAL - a Stitch A Long that I hosted in 2015

 #2:  Floss Coverage - showing comparisons between using 1 or 2 strands on 25ct. fabric

... and  drum roll please, with over 1000 views!:

#1:  Stitching a HAED - the longest post I've ever written, covering the challenge of stitching a HAED

Happy Stitching!


Friday, February 19, 2016

Hummingbird and Dragonflies

Carla requested a post with QS Hummingbird and QS Dragonflies side-by-side.

Here you go!

For both of these, I used hand-dyed fabrics.  Both are also 28ct.  The hummingbird is on a Silkweaver fabric called Spring something-or-other.  I really don't remember the name.  The dragonflies are on Picture This Plus's Monet which I purchased from 123stitch.

Happy Stitching!


Sistine Chapel Update

Woo hoo!

I finished another page on my Sistine Chapel!  I've finished the first 6 of 55 pages now.  This is being stitched 1x1 full cross stitches (one strand of floss over one fabric thread) on 34ct. linen.

Next up in my rotation:  my focus piece, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Christmas Stitching Challenge

I know, I know.  I'm a day late in posting on a challenge that I'm hosting!

I did get a few stitches done on another ornament...last night.  I hadn't worked on any Christmas stitching since my ornament finish last month.

This is the hat for one of Mill Hill's Charmed Santas.  This one is called Santa Jingles.

I did free up a set of scroll frames last night, so I am going to be starting a larger Christmas project soon.  I usually have at least one Christmas project going at all times except for the last few months.  I decided that wasn't going to happen again.  There will always be a Christmas project in my rotation from now on.

Happy Stitching!


WIP Photo and Finish!

I have a WIP photo of my QS Dragonflies.  I don't know why, but every time that I type that, I start out typing it as Hummingbird instead of Dragonflies.  I did the Hummingbird a couple of years ago and apparently, it's still branded on my brain!

Anyway, here was my progess on the Dragonflies as of 12 Feb 2016:

This is through page 7 of 9.  Well, I decided to really concentrate on it and I finished it last night!

Whew!  That makes my 4th HAED finish.  Two of them are Quick Stitches (QS), one was an SAL piece from the HAED BB and the other was Twilight Repose.

Oh, now I have a set of scroll frames that are empty.  Guess that means a new start is coming!

Happy Stitching!


Cross Country and Parking

No, this post has nothing to do with a road trip.  Darn it!

"Cross Country" and "Parking" are fairly new terms in cross stitching.  I first encountered both these phrases after 2010.

Cross Country

While I personally hate the term "cross country", it is how I stitch.  When I learned to stitch though, all the kit and pattern directions indicated this was how to do it.  There wasn't another published option.

Basically, you take a length of floss in however many strands you need, and stitch until you run out of thread or stitches in that color - whichever comes first.   If you have more stitches to do in that color, you can stick with it and grab another length of floss or you can switch to another color entirely.

Unless I have a pattern with a ton of a single color, I tend to switch colors after one length of floss.  If there is a lot of a color, I may stitch 2 or more lengths before switching to a lesser used color.  For instance, my La Belle Dame Sans Merci uses a lot of black (DMC 310) and I'm stitching it with one strand of floss.  When I'm on a page that is primarily black, I'll cut a length of floss anywhere from 18" - 24".  I'll then separate all the strands and thread 6 needles with black.  I'll stitch at least 2-3 of the prethreaded needles before stitching one of the other colors.  Sometimes, I stitch all 6 before switching - it depends on how much black there is on the page.

I don't have a photo of a page in progress for La Belle Dame but I do have progress pictures of my Mystic Garden:

You can see how I swapped between colors and how the stitches are all over the fabric.  Here's another photo with a few more colors added in:

This is always my preferred method for stitching.  It just seems to suit my brain the best.


I really thought I'd like this method...I was wrong.  In a way, it's so orderly and I thought I'd really like that.  The down side is that it's not as tidy as I'd like.  I wish that meant I was a neat freak, but my house would definitely convince you otherwise!

I'm not going to describe this well enough for this to be a tutorial.  For those, check out Youtube - there's a bunch of videos available for "cross stitch parking".

Basically, you work in small sections.  It can be a 10x10 block, a single row, a single column, etc.  When I've done it, I've concentrated on 10x10 blocks.  I started with the color in the upper left corner and stitched all of the appropriate symbols in the 10x10 block.  Then I "parked" the floss at the nearest point outside my block where it was next used.  Since my bottom stitches face this way:  /  I brought my needle up at the lower left corner where the next stitch in this color would be.

Then I found the next color in my block and stitched all of it in the 10x10 and again "parked" it in the next place.  My problem was all of the parked threads.  Even though I knew they were all where they needed to be for their next stitch, I hated the look of all those threads on the front!  Oh, I did have some slight issues with them getting tangled together too.

On the HAED FB page, there was a recent, voluntary challenge (Jan 15 - Mar 15, 2016) where we were supposed to stitch in diagonal blocks of 10 for a total of 1000 stitches.  I thought I'd give parking another try.  Here's my result:

As you can see, I did the 1000 stitches.  Unfortunately, there were all these threads just waiting to be finished off.  It turns out, I had a couple of duplicate threads in there too.  Oh, well.  Thankfully, this is all tidied up now.  I'm close to a page finish on this so there will be a neater progress photo in the near future.

I do have to say that most projects that I've seen from people who park on a regular basis are a lot more organized than mine!  Becky Bland was kind enough to give me permission to use her photo showing how she parks.  She obviously does it better than I do!

Happy Stitching!


Monday, February 1, 2016

FIU Challenge Update and Scrapbooking

Well, here is my list with the ones I have gotten crossed off.
  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.
#6 has created its own side effect.  My desk is for traditional scrapbooking.  I enjoy doing it and it is a necessity do to the enormous number of photographs I've inherited (1,001 from one side alone).  However, I do have a bunch of digital photos that I need to take care of.  Now I'm getting into digital scrapbooking!

I started doing digital scrapbooking this past week.  Thankfully, I've always been a bit of a computer nerd so the software, My Memories, was easy enough to learn.  I'm currently working on the 9th page of the album I'm doing for me and my sisters.  There was only one copy of each photo from my youth.  Most of them were Polaroids (the kind where you pulled the paper off after a couple of minutes).   Before my Dad passed, my middle sister helped him take digitals of all our family albums.  She has the originals and she and I both have digitals.  That currently leaves my youngest sister without any photos from her youth.

Here's the cover of the album:

I've already figured out that the digital scrapbook, fully printed and bound, is going to cost me a lot less than the supplies would for a traditional scrapbook!  Making copies is also going to be sooooo easy!  I'd be jumping for joy, but I'd probably fall and hurt myself.  ;-)

I may get #7 off the list by going digital for it...we'll see.

Happy Stitching!