Monday, September 15, 2014

Honoring a friend, a finish and a giveaway!

Hello friends! Temps have been in the 100's crazy...too hot and I'm so ready for Fall's cooler weather. Just isn't happening yet here in Northern Calif!
Hard to believe it's already the middle of September. Only one day it was cool and I actually got a little bit of Autumn decor done.

But first there's no way that I cannot comment or reflect with a heavy heart, about a precious sweet friend of our blogging community who is greatly missed - Debbie Bryant of Debbie's Cross Stitch blog.
I know that you have already learned of her passing. Honestly I think I put off this post just because her passing is so darn unreal to me. Debbie had encouraged & inspired me with my stitching and that you can never have enough wips. I joined her Bothy Threads Cut Thru SAL Monday. I only knew Debbie thru our blogging/commenting. Back in spring of this year she had asked me if I would make a zipper pouch as a bridal gift for one of her daughters friends. That led to lots of texting back and forth between us. I even sent her photos of fabrics while I was at our quilt shop downtown. Oh that was a fun day. It was like she was shopping with me but thru texting. All had worked out and she was so pleased with the pouches. She is already being greatly missed!
My heart and prayers are for Debbie, her family and her friends which includes all of you too.

Linda (Stitchin with my Furbabies blog) had a Saturday SAL since 2012 with Debbie. And Linda asked if we would like to join her. As soon as I had read about that - I decided to join Linda and stitch on a project every Saturday in Debbie's memory. For my project I decided on this beautiful chart Linda had gifted me last year....

 Good Morning by Joan A. Elliot - Imaginating, Inc.
16ct Adia Fiddler lite, Threads - DMC 
Started project - Saturday August 30th, & stitched on Saturday Sept 6th 2014

 Progress from this weekend - Sept 13th
I just love stitching with all these fall colors for this project. And it warms my heart to be honoring Debbie's memory in Saturday's SAL with Linda.
Thank you to Linda for this lovely SAL.  You can join in on this SAL too. The information can be found on Linda's blog HERE. I too will join with Linda for January's Crazy Starts 2015 in Debbie's memory also,

 Gingerbread Tree Etui by Victoria Sampler Designs
Tree #2  progress

 Keep Me Sampler by Moira Blackburn

Vickie had sent me this beautiful chart which my name had been drawn in honor of her reaching 300 followers. I LOVE the charting for this design. The charting is very large and makes it so easy to read. I love the beautiful willow tree, the pretty border and the darling house. I am so looking forward to stitching this.
Thank you sweet Vickie!!!

 And the week before I received  Uncle Sam by Bent Creek from Vickie.
Yes my name had been drawn for each drawing she had!!! I started stitching Uncle Sam on Sept 11th and finished/completed Sept 12th. I stitched him on 32ct flax linen, 2 over 2 and All DMC threads were used except WDW Pea Coat for the dark navy. For the background I used DMC variegated #4145. I made the cord with DMC #221 & 3865.
I love how this turned out. I forgot to stitch a red star like Vickie had. The tag finishing idea I was inspired by Vonna's Santa's ornaments. The mini flag fabric is a civil war reproduction (I think) and the backing a red mini stars fabric.
 
Now that I have stitched this I would like to give it to you! If you are interested please just leave a comment telling me you would like this chart! I will draw a name if more than one person is interested on Sept 19th.

One day last week it was cool. I actually got a little bit of Autumn decor done. 
The large elf doll is "Jack Frost"!

 Last Friday night I needed to pick up another DMC #221 to make the cording for Uncle Sam. So I hurried off to Joann's before they closed. I grabbed my 3 DMC threads and I was leaving the thread aisle when a lady who walked by me stopped and said "OH you do embroidery?" She had seen the threads in my hand.  I said "I do but I mostly do cross stitching". She then told me " Oh you need to go over right there against to the wall they have lots of stitching stuff on clearance"! OH OH!!!   Here's what came home with me.....

A lap stand for $1.97 and 2 sets of  scrolls .97 cents each!!!!

 Pink 14ct Adia for .50 cents, 16ct adia cream for .50 cents, 2 Punch needle sets .97 cents each,
8" hoop for .50 cents, and a package of 2 lace sachets for .50 cents. Okay I go to counter to pay and the sales lady asks me if I would like to sign up for text messages from Joann's and I would get another 20% off my entire purchase only for this evening - I SAID "YES". I needed to purchase a bag for .10 cents so My total was $7.95. Wasn't that great? I've been wanting a lap stand and I couldn't pass up one for a total of under $4.00. I haven't put it together yet but I will let you know how it works out!

2014 JCS Christmas Ornament Magazine finally arrived in the mail. I selected my top 3 ornaments:

 Little House Needleworks - Snowy Days!  This is one of Vonna's model's stitching & finishing's - how cool is that? LOVE IT VONNA! I actually saw your finish in this magazine after I completed my Uncle Sam.

 Shepherd's Bush Printworks - Hark

The Victoria Sampler - One More Stitch!

There are lots of really cute & beautiful ornaments I like in this issue. Just to inform you too my Nannie (101 yrs old) is not doing well. Too much to share but one of the most crazy things is that at 101 yrs old she has been diagnosed with cancer (only 3 weeks ago, or just a two days before I learned of Debbie's passing). I mean really??? Who gets cancer at 101yrs old???? Anyways she is one tough, strong lady and such a great role model of strength of mind. 
With my love and Appreciation - Annette

Friday, August 29, 2014

Earthquake & Stitching News!

Hello friends! First I have a story to share with you.
Sunday night or early Monday morning at 3:20am I was reading Laura Child's book "Sweet Tea Revenge" and had just read a part where a character got spooked and said "Aieee" (talk about timing). I stopped reading and had placed the book on my lap. I noticed I was feeling kind of dizzy. A second later I felt the room sway (only way I can explain it) and then the bed started to shake ever so slightly. I knew we were having a earthquake. And it the shaking got stronger and stronger, my bed now was actually shaking hard (like the beds you could put a quarter in), the doors on our armoire started shaking hard & banging, our hanging light was swinging back and forth. The whole house shook. It lasted what felt like forever but only for about 2 minutes from start to finish.
I got so dang dizzy and the shaking kept up and got even stronger. It was a 6.1 earthquake. Lets just say I have experienced a haunted house for Halloween early. We had no damage. Only a few boxes in the garage were tossed off some shelves and they were empty. Right away I looked up on Google and sure enough that's were I read it was 6.1 and centered in American Canyon, California. I thought oh oh that's not all that far away from us no wonder we felt it so strong. Yes we live in Northern California and American Canyon is only 38 mins away. I can't imagine what the people in Napa, Vallejo  and American Canyon felt were the earthquake had centered & hit -they felt the earthquake the hardest. That was the strongest earthquake we've experienced yet.  I had looked at my clock when I started feeling dizzy and when the earthquake was done shaking my clock said 3:22am.
My only problem was I felt dizzy on and off for the next few days. Feeling much better now. And it was also brought to my attention there have been so many after shocks (over 70 of them). That is probably why I felt the way I did. Not enough for us to really see shaking but when the earthquakes or aftershocks are slight you think your not feeling well. Everyone who I have talked to had awaken and felt this earthquake. Even my 101yr old Nannie. SHE WOKE UP and felt it!!!
Our prayers go out for all the people who were effected by the earthquake.

Okay back to stitching news:

Amy finished her Elizabeth half doll. WOOHOO! Congratulations Amy!!! 
Amy's finish is Gorgeous!!! You can see it HERE.

I received the a sweet RAC from Miek from the Netherlands. I had sent Hetti a RAC and included a package for her sister Miek. And I was so surprised to get a parcel in the mail let alone from sweet Miek!!! WOW!!!

 Miek sent me some beautiful silks that she hand over dyed herself. YES all these skeins you see are all silk!
She learned that I love Christmas colors and pretty blues. I am so looking forward to stitching some Christmas ornaments and certainly will be using these gorgeous threads from Miek:)

 This beautiful biscornu was stitched by Miek and its French flower petals with her own hand dyed silk thread. LOVELY!!! Thank you Miek!!!

 I was so lucky to win Vickie's darling Uncle Sam chart by Bent Creek from her drawing. Vickie also made for me some of her beautiful PINK pins (that I love). Thank you Vickie!!!

 Santa had brought me this chart and linen for Christmas last year and this is my new start!

 Gingerbread Tree Etui by Victoria Sampler Designs
28ct Almond Jazlyn 
(I didn't know what Jazlyn was. It's similar to Lugana)

Started and finished tree #1. There are 4 sides of the tree to be stitched. each side has a different scene. this one is Santa and his reindeer flying over a seaside village with a light house in the background. I need to stitch: backstitch outline, daisy stitches, attach beads and buttons. I am stitching 2 trees on 1 fabric cut. So I will go back and complete after I get tree #2 done:)

Progress on tree #2 of 4. 
I had joined a Harvest Exchange through Terri of Dixie Sampler and have been working on some projects for that exchange. Can't share what I'm making but sure will do so later (after when my exchange person has received her gifts). Our weather has been warm, hot, humid, still and hot again. Oddly enough some people last week had said we had been having earthquake weather. And an earthquake we did have.
Hope your enjoying the last of summer.
Always with my love and Appreciation - Annette

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Elizabeth Half Doll Pincushion - Completed!

Hello stitching friends. Thank you for all your encouragement and for cheering me to get this project done.
I am so thrilled that Elizabeth is finished & completed!!
 WOO HOO!!!
Many many photos I took while completing Elizabeth pincushion that I would like to share with you. When those of you, who are stitching this doll project, reach the point of finishing I would love to know or see if you used some different techniques while sewing her. First......

When you get a chance I hope you visit -
Hazel of Quietly Stitching who is hosting a giveaway HERE and
Chris of Always Smiling is hosting her 6th year Blogaversary HERE.

Also new updates on our SAL Elizabeth half doll Pincushion:
Amy of Thread in Hand,                 Grace of Needle Pins and Dragonflies, 
Clare of Craftlady in Kiwiland        Teresa of At Willow Tree Pond

Photos of completing Elizabeth .......
 Oh boy I ended up cutting the top and left a nice 3/4" to turn under for each the top piece and lining.
Then I studied the very small photo in the magazine and learned that they folded all the way down leaving about 4 to 6 threads from the top of the side borders.

 I pinned and ironed. I did push my pins up so I would not melt the tops ( I have done this before).

NOTE: I stitched a gathering stitch (starting on the lining side) as close as I was able to near the top and used Pearl #12 Ecru thread for this. I did not sew the top and then run the heavy duty thread like the magazine suggests.

 Hope you can see my running stitches. I figured it was okay to show the thread on the good side as it would be gathered and covered with ribbon later.

 Perfect! Just like the photo of the doll in the magazine.

 I used regular sewing thread that I needed to stitch the sides up a bit where I left open. Wasn't sure if I would need to adjust and turns out I didn't need to.

Views of when I placed the skirt on the doll and adjusted it.

 Back view. 
 NOTE: It does not mention this next step but after again studying the photos in the magazine I noticed that they had slipped stitched close where the skirt meets together in the front. I used regular sewing thread for partly stitching close the upper skirt where the 2 sides meet. I left the Pearl #12 thread that I used for gathering separate. This way I could again pull the skirt and adjust it after I slipped stitch the fronts together.

 Making the scissor pocket. I did not glue the ecru felt for the inside of the pocket I stitched it.







 Elizabeth Half Doll Pincushion - GPA
32ct cream Belfast linen - Zweigart
Threads - silks and DMC 

  I had to take Elizabeth outside for a photo shoot. 




 Thank you again for all your support and encouragement. What's next for me? So far I pulled Ann Dale out and have been working on her. Happy stitching!! With my love and appreciation - Annette


Friday, August 1, 2014

Elizabeth half doll pincushion Update!

Hello stitching friends! We are melting right now - 106 to 108 today. ooooh yes the AC is on!
I finished stitching the skirt of Elizabeth Half Doll Pincushion. Also I started the assembling for it.
I worked on this last evening and was surprised how much I was able to get done. Mostly I spent more time on reading and re-reading the instructions and sooo happy to say I didn't need to rush to Joann's for any additional supplies like I thought I would.  Very heavy with photos so grab a cup of your favorite beverage and here we go......

 Finished the 2 upper bands of the skirt.

 All done with cross stitching. 

 Now for the assembling. Made the 4" circle of cardboard and glued it to the felt. Then I just did some long stitches to keep the felt down rather than more cutting and gluing. Next was the making of the underskirt what I call the cylinder. OH BOY! I just was concerned to cut my green duponi silk and make errors. So I cut a trial piece of fabric to experiment. Worked for me!!! Really I just folded the trial fabric and pretended it was sewn and actually pinned it around the felt circle bottom to see if indeed there was enough fabric to fit around. YES there was. So then I felt confident to cut my silk. Done.

Folded in the silk to make a hem (but didn't stitch down left only folded). Whip stitched the silk to the felt bottom.

 A view of the inside.

 I measured my fabric making sure to follow the instructions and have a height of 7". Great!

 Here's where I made a change. I didn't stitch the seam on the side first. I pinned it closed and stitched it afterwards. This photo shows the gathering stitch all along the top of the cylinder.

After the top was gathered stitched I slip stitched the side seam closed.
And by the way I did have a nice overlap so there was plenty of fabric according to the instructions.

Had a set of chopsticks that so far is the correct height for the doll. I had a dowel stick for back up just in case. I was very surprised that the chop sticks are perfect! 

Just a test after gathering the green silk at the waist. Not stuffed yet! So far so good!

Photo of wrong side out!!!
The right sides are facing are each other.
Now for the attaching of the skirt to the lining. I used a  lt blue Duponi silk.

 Wrong side of silk pinned to the stitched linen for the lining of the skirt.


NOTE: I stitched 4 threads down from the design and NOT 2 as the instructions suggested. I knew when it came time to turn right side out & iron the seam would take up some of the linen. And I was right.
I hand sewed all around attaching the linen & silk. NO WAY was I going to sew this with my machine..... SO HAPPY I DIDN'T. I was able to keep control of the 2 fabrics and did not have a chance of stitching too close to the design.

 Full view of stitching 4 threads down to make the skirt.
Finished stitching by hand all around the design early this morning (Friday).

 This is the right side showing after turning inside out and pinned for ironing.

I took my time and carefully rolled the seam to show some edging of the linen, then pinned it down.

Getting ready to iron in between the pins to make sure everything was lined up correctly.

Left lots of fabric on the top will trim after I measure according to the instructions.

TA DA!!! All ironed and ready to continue the assembling. Hopefully over this weekend I can get it done.
Going to check to see of others who are stitching this SAL have any updates.

While writing this post my computer went blank. Now its behaving.....And Thanks to Beth I did back up all my files before finishing this post. While trying to get this laptop working I have been stitching on Ann Dale sampler again.
Thank you for your visit. With love and my appreciation - Annette