Jan 23, 2017

It was bound to happen

Chocolate.  On my linen.  For years I have been eating, drinking, snacking while stitching, without incident.  Today, it all came to an end.  Hard to believe that a tiny piece of Dove dark would be overlooked.  I examine the red foil to make sure there aren't any loose tiny flakes, lick the outside edges that hold that delicate chocolate dust, so for a tiny crumb to get by me was more surprising than it showing up on the linen.  Wasn't even in an area that my fingers would have been.  Nevertheless, there it was.  I used warm water to drip through the linen, hoping it would take the chocolate with it.  It didn't completely and like a dodo, I rubbed it a little.  So there is a small lighter area now, and I believe the leaves from the tree will hide it.  I'll work that side and see what happens, before flipping the linen over (the back side is not nearly as bad).  A lighter spot on a solid like Belfast's Charcoal would be very noticeable, but the very slight variations in this overdyed helps hide it.  I guess I'm so used to using my almost indestructible unbleached rough stuff, that I am too lax in the care of my projects.  Well....  too bad.  I'm not changing.

Jan 22, 2017

Heart drawing

Hello people.  I didn't think I would get this many entries!  In addition, 17 email entries, one of which was chosen.  Amy Komack.  I will contact you for your address as soon as I'm finished boring everyone with this post.
Next project.  One of two and I hope to decide this evening.  My husband is in the other room screaming at the Steelers, a little distracting, but I think I can handle it.
As the slump continues, I thought one color of thread would be easier on me.  I am continually making changes and that is not the thing I need to be doing right now. 
So this design popped into my head.  Harry Tyler's Lion.  I have the GAST threads, pulled a 32 count natural linen, and this piece fell out of the pile.  Hmm.  That Gunmetal that I worked with to tone down that unusual blue.  Reverse the design and use 644 on the dark ground.
The other option (leaning to) is R&R Reproductions 1739.  It is really primitive and that means LOTS of room for errors.  I would change the thread colors for a little more definition, and not be too concerned about messing up.  Either one, a good choice.
That's it folks! 
 Thanks for visiting.

Jan 21, 2017

Heart to heart

Who wants Kathy Barrick's Black Heart?
Leave your name/initials in a comment or email me (click on the postcard).

A quick offer to be mailed out Monday, so Sunday at 8pm I will draw a name if more than one.  You can also order this chart on her Etsy site https://www.etsy.com/shop/kathybarrick.


Jan 20, 2017


Some times, finishing goes smoothly.  Other times, it burns more than a flash.  I had no problems tracing a heart, centering, sewing the backing. 
But that damn cleavage always is an issue with me.   It's fine until the stuffing enters.  All worked out in the end but it was a real test.  I passed.
Finished the heart using my usual method of just folding paper and cutting a heart shape until it fits.  Real technical.  I hate measuring.  
Once it's close, I hold it up to the light and pin
into place, trace on the backside with a Frixion pen.  I always leave a decent allowance since I can sew it closer if need be. 

 Instead of leaving a side opening, I sewed around the entire heart and used my envelope method for the back.  Because of the fricking cleavage, I seamed a short section at the top and the very bottom instead of having two halves.  Pressed the seam allowance in and clipped the excess.

I used the 1" thick quilt batting cut to shape, decided to add another layer of it, then steamed. Carol of http://stitchingdream.blogspot.com/ wrote about her favorite bagged fill and once I bought it, there was no going back.  She recommended Touch of Silk and I love it.  Never thought there would be a difference but there is.  I steam and smash the fill until I get the density I want which would always flatten, almost melt, the batting.  This brand will condense the fill and give a nice feel, but doesn't harden like the other.  In fact, you could actually remove it and pull it apart to re-fluff it, even after steaming.  The quilt batting (yardage type) worked well so I didn't use this product for the heart, but do for a lot of finishes.
So what's next?  Another small sampler?  Or heart?  Not sure, but I am certainly loving my new bench.  Magnifiers, tools, and baskets with projects, all hidden but handy. 
Have a good weekend!
Thanks for visiting.

Jan 19, 2017

That heart of mine

Changes as usual!  Went with the peacock instead of the angel, gave the bee wider wings to take up the space (sorry for the bad photo).  All in all, will work out to a nice shape.  Hot flashes have been brutal for the last few days so I will not attempt sewing the finish until patience returns.  I've been waiting for years and it hasn't shown up yet so why would I even say that!
 Carol, the stitcher of the inspiration for this project, emailed me with the information on her heart.  This looks very blue to me on my screen but it is not.  Her linen choice was 40 count R&R Ink Spot Black.  She said the actual color is a washed out black, and shows lighter in the photo.  Fabulous work Carol!
Have a great day.
Thanks for visiting.
p.s.  Cathleen is fine - linen is hers.

Jan 18, 2017

The bench!

For a few years now, I've wanted something in front of the sofa that I can store stitching in.  I have the typical shaker looking bench which is narrow enough for a small room, and tried baskets and boxes on top of it.  Wasn't working out too well because I needed two hands to open the lid and retrieve an item.  I tried the bench with the hinged lid but I had to remove all items from the top before opening it.  I had a solution but never got around to following through. 
Because the last several projects involved changing not only colors, but design, I had way too much of a mess around me.  My DMC guides were referred to constantly for thread colors, and pads and pencils for sketching, and bags of floss that didn't work.  That forced me to try my solution.
 (Notice how many little red foils are mixed in.)
And here it is.  This is the typical style of bench that most of the shops had around here (and several that we made).
And here it is now.  We just cut out the front apron, touched up with some stain, added a board inside for a shelf!  This will go back in front of the sofa, open shelf facing me, and I can have easy access to my DMC guide, current project, tablets, and these black baskets from Michael's fit perfectly.  It will be nice to have a concealed spot to put all the accessories and keep the area much neater.  There's even room for a few books and it may not be a lot of storage but certainly enough for now. 

I haven't heard from Cathleen Nelson yet about the fabric.  I did reply to her email and listed her name in a post, but maybe other events have delayed her response.  If I don't hear from her soon, I will draw another name.  Hope all is well.
Thanks for visiting.
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