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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Unfinished Cross Stitch and Hand Embroidery Projects

Much like my last post about unfinished quilts, this one is about cross stitch and embroidery projects that are either in the works or still in the plastic bag they came in.

I keep several projects in a vinyl bag next to my TV-watching recliner. Most of these are Christmas-themed, because buying Christmas needlework is one of my weaknesses. Those in particular I would love to finish before next Christmas - so I can buy more!

Here is a list of my current needlework projects, and these are also on my 2021 goals list. (Don't even think about the crochet projects waiting patiently in my closet!) You may click on the links to see how they will eventually look:

Village in the Snowfall by Herrschners - cross stitch table topper purchased 2020. This is my current project, and I am really enjoying it. Instead of the white floss provided with the kit, I am using DMC's Etoile Mouline in Blanc to provide a little sparkle. I have made some progress on this and have about 1/3 of it completed.

Snowflakes: 12 Winter Designs for Hand Embroidery by Mary Corbet - I first saw this on Barbara's Cat Patches blog. I was enamored with her work on it and purchased the pattern at the end of 2019 to make as ornaments for our 2020 Christmas tree. I enjoyed choosing beads and threads so those are ready to stitch!

Farmhouse Christmas Cross Stitch by Little House Needleworks - purchased November 2019 to make ornaments for our 2020 Christmas tree, so maybe next year!

The Drawn Thread Cross Stitch Panels - purchased 2018. Here are the links to the ones I have: The Garden Gate, Welcome Autumn and Welcome Winter,  and Welcome Christmas. I guess I need one that says Welcome 2021!

Quilter's Cottage Cross Stitch Pattern by Lori Holt - purchased 2019. I have already made her Farm Girl Fall and Vintage Christmas cross stitch patterns. I really enjoy her patterns - they are easy to stitch and cute.

Holiday Main Street Cross Stitch Pattern by Imaginating - purchased 2018. I still intend to make this for my son, to go with the Christmas village collection he displays every year.

I have a few other little patterns that I have had for years and will get around to "someday", but these are the main ones I want to work on in 2021.

A health update: my last day of quarantine was Monday, and we went to several stores yesterday. Although I tire easily, I am feeling much better. The only lingering effect is no taste and very little sense of smell. Thank you for reading my crazy posts and for encouraging me with your comments. Wishing you a very happy 2021!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Crock Pot Quilts and 2021 Goals


We all have them - quilts that start off as projects and become one of the following: UFOs (Unfinished Objects), PHDs (Projects Half Done), PIGS, (Projects in Grocery Sacks), WIPs (Works in Progress), WISP (Works in Slow Progress), or the worst of fates: WOMBAT (Waste of Money, Batting, and Time). All these terms give me a chuckle when I read about them.

My storage area has a few, and I've decided to coin my own term for them: CPQs or Crock Pot Quilts. These are quilts that are on "slow-cook" and will be "done" at some point in time. Working on these projects will be my goal for 2021. I'm sure I will succumb to the siren call of a rogue quilt-along, but I really want to finish at least a quilt or two from this group of UFOs.

Bear with me as I document them on this post to serve as my reference point. Feel free to click on the links I've included, which are either previous posts about them or links to the patterns. They are in random order, and my oldest Crock Pot Quilt is from 2014!

Crochet Quilt - started in 2019, pattern by Joanna Figueroa; all pieces cut, four blocks completed

Lost Stars Quilt - started in 2020 as a quilt my husband quickly claimed, inspired by blocks made by @pamalamajodesigns on Instagram; 25 6-inch blocks completed; final size TBD

Butterfly Garden Quilt - started in 2019 as my entry in the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year Quilt Challenge; pattern Home Awaits by Busy Hands Quilts; flimsy completed.

Guns and Roses -  started in 2019 in an Instagram QAL; pattern Meadowland by Then Came June; flimsy completed. Intended as a quilt for our living room.

Math Class Quilt - started in 2014 (!) intended as a Christmas gift for my daughter; pattern Math Class by Sweetwater; pieces cut, a few blocks completed

Elizabeth's Dowry Quilt - started in 2018, originally intended as a quilt for our bed; pattern Elizabeth's Dowry by Marcus Fabrics; fabrics are vintage-y and not in line with our current bedroom style, but I still might use it on the bed.

Quilty Stars - started in 2019, pattern Quilty Stars by Emily Dennis; HSTs cut and waiting to be trimmed.

Antique Quilt Revival - purchased an older quilt in antique store for $25.00 in 2018; plan to restore it.

Craftsman - started in 2018 as a quilt for my DIY husband; fabrics feature tools; I would very much like to finish this one and present it to him!

Farm Girl Vintage - started in 2015 as a QAL; blocks are from Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt; blocks are complete and need sashing. My daughter wants this one.

Lone Star Flag Quilt - started in 2017 as a surprise for my husband; pattern Lone Star Flag purchased from Lisa at Aspen Tree Shop, which is no longer online but I found her on Instagram as @thingsherelately; all pieces cut, and I had them all laid out to begin piecing and have no idea why I put them away.

This list is by no means complete, but it is a good start for me! What are your goals for 2021?

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Gift!

My husband and I enjoyed a quiet Christmas, our 58th together since we started dating on December 17, 1962.

Christmas was a bit different for us this year, as it was for most folks. Our son and family were supposed to come Monday and stay until Wednesday, and our daughter and family were to come on Tuesday for us all to celebrate early this year. Last Friday I started having a dry cough and by Saturday was having more symptoms of coronavirus. I had an oral swab on Monday and by Wednesday evening had my test result, which was positive. In the meantime we informed the kids, and we decided to celebrate on a 3-day weekend in January or February. This was pretty depressing to me for a couple days, but now I am at peace with it. I always believe that God is in my life and that things turn out for the best in His perfect plans.

I did finish all the stockings! Each fabric was chosen specially for the recipient from my Christmas stash, and the names were cross-stitched. We bought stocking stuffers on the Friday I started coughing. Hopefully all the candy inside will stay fresh until we celebrate!

In spite of the circumstances, I am so grateful to be in our new home with the promise of a new year just around the corner. I hope all of you are finding peace and happiness this Christmas season!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Christmas Prep and Stockings

Right after I posted about my Peppermint Twist blocks, my husband asked me if I was going to make Christmas stockings for everyone. When I responded with a pretty emphatic "NO", he said, "why not, isn't that what you do?" Well I guess it is, but I had not planned to make stockings when all I really want to do is selfish quilt-making! But after thinking about it, I decided sure, I can make a few stockings fairly fast. Except it was not a speedy process. What started as a couple days of sewing has turned into more than a week!

It was fun to pick out fabrics from my Christmas stash for each person, and cutting and sewing the basic stockings went together quickly. I found some "cross stich font", transferred names on to pieces of flannel, and have spent evenings using 6-ply floss to stitch the letters. I am hand-stitching these labels to the stockings to look like a cuff. We have had a few interruptions (master bath renovation, babysitting with the littles, shopping) but I am beginning to see the finish line and hope to hang these on the mantel this week.

I got another block done on Peppermint Twist, but I need to correct the error you can see above! I do have all the pieces cut and ready to sew. I'm excited about this one and can't wait to devote more time to it.

I'm also working on a project bag for my oldest granddaughter, who told me she would like embroidery supplies for her Christmas gift. She wants to learn embroidery in order to possibly embellish clothing to sell on Etsy! I found the perfect fabric called "No Place Like OM" by Dear Stella. I'm going to make the bag like this one I made for myself last year. I will fill it with floss, embroidery scissors, needles, and information about stitches. She will be here for Christmas, so I hope we will have some time for a basic lesson. 

I know that most of you have snow regularly in the winter, but it has been a long time since I've seen any, and our first brief snowfall last night made me very happy. (Those white streaks are snow.) We have another slight chance for snow Tuesday night - yay!

How is your Christmas prep going this week?

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Vintage Christmas Pillow and Peppermint Twist Blocks

This Christmas pillow features Lori Holt's Vintage Christmas cross stitch. I believe I started this after Christmas last year and finished during the summer. This morning I put a backing of plaid Christmas flannel to make it cozy.

In my last post I mentioned the Peppermint Twist pattern by Margot Languedoc and how I wanted to use the blocks to surround the Lynx Star block that I had just finished. I started the blocks, and I really like them! Margot has a clever way of making the smaller twists as cornerstones with the sashing, and I love the effect. Instead of incorporating these blocks with the Lynx Star block, I may put Lynx Star on the back of this quilt so that each side can be a "star"!

There are a LOT of HSTs to square up (one of my least favorite tasks!), but when the block goes together it is worth the tedium.

I'm using mainly Aurora fabric from Moda, the same as I used for Lynx Star, as well as some gingham from my stash.

At night I'm working on a stamped cross stitch table topper called "Village in the Snowfall" that I purchased from Herrschners. The kit came with plenty of white floss, but I decided to try one of DMC's twinkly threads - Mouline Etoile in Blanc - and I like the hint of sparkle (hard to see in the photo!)