Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sweet little Thread Catcher

Hiya!  I've been seeing these little quick stitch bags on several blogs and decided to make a few.  Here's mine.




Of course, mine is the version for those of us with the least patience,

too lazy to thread the machine with matching thread,
 and carrying a bottle of Liquid Stitch.

That's right. I glued it. 
And of course I had to use a lightweight fusible interfacing.  I'm really hooked on it.

 The tutorial can be found here and here
When I got to the part of topstitching the edges and sewing the sides, I realized my sage green thread was somewhere it shouldn't be. 
So I glued the area left open for turning with a tiny line of Liquid Stitch directly on the edge, and proceeded to glue the sides to form the shape.  The lazy lady's ort bag. 

On the green one, I used a tiny dab of glue at the base of the flaps so I could stick my seam ripper and tweezers in the roll.  I may add another drop of glue to make the flap's opening a little tighter for the tweezers.  I can never find them when I need them so this will work well for me. 
On the other, I used safety pins and would like to hang a few charms from them, when and if I find the tiny box they chose to hide in. These flaps aren't glued and the more I look at it, I think buttons would be nicer on them.

Quick and cute little project.

 If anyone is interested in Prairie Schooler Santa or Christmas charts, there is a nice lot coming up on Ebay here.
That's it.  Just wanted to show this project in case you haven't seen it.
Hope you're all having a good week - talk to you soon - thank you for reading!!!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Surprisingly easy finish

Hello people.  Thanks for all the great comments on Overshot Heart.   It sure didn't look this small when I was stitching so I'm glad I used the 28 count for that reason also.  The linen shows through the floss just enough to resemble a woven fabric and I'd like to do another in black and a lighter mustard.  I can't believe I didn't have more trouble with finishing since heart shapes usually make my hair curl.    Here's what I did - which is probably the same that you do!
First of all, I had to extend the design to make a rounded top.  You can see this on the left side compared to the right.
I decided on Craft Fuse and I gotta tell ya, I am so glad I'm storing the interfacings in these folders.  They were always mixed up along with the wrong directions.  The last one I used was dry iron - no movement, and this one was circular motion and steam.  Go figure.  The craft fuse really gives a stiff look and feel and is quite heavy.  After fusing the linen and the backing, I ran my finger nail along the stitched edge and it created a line for my machine to follow since I wanted no linen showing.

I stitched around the entire heart and made the point square by one stitch instead of a sharp angle.  Then I slit the back open!   I couldn't use the envelope method with this shape and for more primitive pieces I some times would slit the back and use a muslin patch.  The heavy fused facing prevented the fabric from tearing open even more when trying to turn it right side out.  Before doing that, I pinked the seams instead of clipping/notching, and I cut a piece of quilt batting to fit inside the stitches, and then cut the edges on an angle to bevel the bulk.














Once turned right side out, I inserted the batting and used a few more pieces where needed, made a patch, and used the double fusible (Trans-Web) to glue it.   
You can see that it's not very puffy, but enough, and I steamed it when completed.  So where do I put it now?  I still may attach a hemp cord and hang it but started playing around to see where I'd like it. 
Why I did this, I don't know.  But if you have some beautiful smalls you want displayed, this may not be a bad idea.  Fill a glass cylinder with the pieces and something pretty in the center to hold them.  Those large glass beads used in floral arrangements?  Wood somethings for rustic?  Honeysuckle vines and pussy willows?    Too bad I like beat up dirty looking primitives cause I'm picturing some beautiful displays!

I'm working on Santa now, stuck on Lucy, and will pick another sampler.  I saw a few must haves that just came out and Threadwork Primitive's Chelsea's Pinkeep is certainly one.

I'll leave you with the two little devils sticking their heads out of their cat condo.   The baby has a white spot on his mouth that I always thought was a piece of the styrofoam box they live in.  It's not.  He's an odd little guy.  I never saw round eyes on a cat before.  One more thing - Bath&Body Works' candle sale is today.  I got my Aromatherapy Orange Ginger - amazing fragrance. 
 Have a great week - a big thank you to all who participated in the drawings - and for taking the time to visit with me.  I will have a few of the small oval sets for sale probably the end of week and will let you know.  Thank you again! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The last winner - for a while!

Hi everyone.  Just a quick post - my internet is going in and out.  It started right after I used the Random generator and before I could print the results, I lost the service.  Sooooo.  The winner was #39 and the generated random list gave that number to Rugs and Pugs.  To Rugs and Pugs - I will try to email but if it doesn't go through, please email me with your address. Thanks to everyone once again for participating!

I want to quickly show you my finished heart - I just love it.  The rest I will post tomorrow - right now I have company but wanted to get the winner posted between the service interruptions.  
Thanks for visiting - be back tomorrow!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

El Cheapo went shopping

Hi everyone.  I haven't decided if I want to use one of Vonna's finishing methods or to just sew the Overshot Heart into a flat pillow.  I did find the fabric for the back but will I use it?  Or linen?  When I was in JoAnn's complaining that I can't find nice fabrics, she suggested a quilt shop.  ????  Are you kidding me?  I can't believe how brain dead I am sometimes.  Just because I don't quilt is no reason to not realize they have great fabrics that I could use.   While I was looking for fabric in New Wilmington, I decided to continue into Volant to James Creek.  My husband was driving and I am white knuckled whether behind the wheel or a passenger because of neck concerns.  This time, someone pulled out and we had to slam the brakes.  Not really that hard, but enough for the head to whip and my arms immediately went numb for a few minutes.  Scares this old lady.  I recouped!  Here's my purchases. 

This darling little wall box (I have a thing for wall boxes and cupboards), which holds 3 x 5 cards perfectly and will probably end up hanging over a desk.  The sconce (I also have a thing for sconces) can hold dried berries and such in the bottom, and I bought the grungy candle to go with it.  I have them, can't find them, bought another to avoid a scene.












And here are my fabrics.  Love them all.  I'm starting to make pincushions for the top of my boxes.  I found a few more quilt shops that I want to visit and my husband just rolled his eyes.  Am I the only one that doesn't quilt but has a thing for fabrics?
Today we went to Jimmy's Italian Store in Ohio for our weekly visit and stopped at the Apple Basket.  I had a coupon!!!   My purchases there included a lamp (25% off) and another sconce that will hold dried berries.

















Those "rags" you see are the Bliss and Hinckley samplers I finished not long ago and haven't framed yet.
And finally, this basket which is a Linda Searcy design and copyrighted.  The basket's material is the type I find in shops, sprayed with something that makes it very stiff and obviously mass produced.    
A battery operated candle looks great inside  which I will eventually purchase.    Everything still has its tags - part of my Queen of Returns habit.


I'm sure everyone is drooling over some of the new needlework designs and I found several I will be stitching.

That's it.  I'll be drawing a name tomorrow night and will post then.   Have a great Sunday.  Thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Winner and final offer!

Hello all.   I want to thank everyone for participating in this anniversary offer.  The Santa charts offer is finished, and the second part ended last night.  The winner of the gift certificate is Penny from Larkspur Lane.  The last and current offer is for the set of three little boxes, celebrating new followers and reaching 250.  Seems like I've been doing offers for quite a while!  This will be the last one for now.  Some of you have already left an entry in the prior post and I moved those to the offer folder.  Any one wanting a chance for the boxes, please leave a comment on this post, stating you want to be included.  Please make sure all anonymous messages have a first name.  I think this one will end on Sunday, Feb.26 at 8 p.m. EST.  I will post the box photo at the bottom of this post.  Good luck!  And again, thanks to all for participating.
I've been spending a lot of time at the computer resizing all the labels and creating a few new ones for this small size so I didn't get the heart finished.    And as I post this photo, I see an error.  I plan on using a stiff facing and quilt batting for an even low loft.  The heart peak and bottom point will be too distorted with pouf.







Look at this darling old wood ironing board I found at the mall.  I plan on turning it into a little shelf, or maybe a sconce.  I never saw one this small in wood and the ironing side isn't in bad shape. 

This really beat up large one will be cut into a horizontal whale or goose silhouette, or maybe paint it to look like a large old sign.
The nightly news had a lead story of another dog found.  I turned it off right away before I heard details.  In other news, I got a haircut.  I told her to cut it a little shorter this time.  I need weight to hold down the wildness and this cut is way too short on top and thin on the bottom.  I look like a poisonous mushroom.
Here's the winner and the boxes.



Sunday, February 26, 8 p.m. EST

Penny, let me know which shop you prefer.
Thank you all again, so much, for welcoming me into the stitching blog world.  I am finding so many more to read through the offers and my gaming score is pretty good.  You know, the new verification game.  I've got 20 in a row right!  There better be a prize.
Have a wonderful day - thank you for taking the time to visit!
If you hear a small child say "mommy that lady's head looks like a mushroom",  stop and say hello.
Please make sure to specify you are entering the giveaway!

Monday, February 20, 2012

There's a fabric sale - and another offer!

Hiya.  Just a quick post to let you know about a linen sale I just discovered on Wyndham's site.    Check it out HERE, and see if there is something you could use at the sale price.  There are several pages so make sure you click "next" at the page bottom.  Click on Specials in the left column to see charts on sale also.

I've been having fun with the little boxes. 
I made another set.

You know what's next don't you?  Giveaway!!!  Yes, I know I had one recently for the 200th  follower, and tomorrow is the drawing for my 1st anniversary, but I reached 250 followers!  Well.  I can't thank you enough.  Really.  I'm surprised, thrilled, and honored.  So as soon as the winner of the gift certificate is announced on Wednesday, I will create a post for the small box set offer.  I was considering drawing two names tomorrow night, but then realized some readers aren't stitchers so they may not participate in a needlework offer.   I think it's more fair to separate the offers. 
I know it's not much - they are little!!!  But I think they are so sweet and I hope you do too.  I was at the craft shop today and came home with a bunch.  They sell out really fast so I grabbed them.  I can always return them.
So could I have your opinions please?  Which box sizes do you prefer?  The small ovals in a set, the small rounds, or the larger sizes in singles or a set?
I need to get the brat pack cats fed and I hope to finish the heart tonight.  Remember, tomorrow is the last day for entering the gift certificate offer.   Good luck.  Will be back Wednesday with the winner and the new offer.   Be safe!!  Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

El Cheapo

Good Sunday to you all.   I bought a new laptop!  Of course it was the cheapest one that has been collecting dust, probably fell off the shelf a few times, has seen newer versions come by twice, and all its siblings are retired or traded in, but I got it!  I would love a Mac but will not spend that kind of money when a cheaper item gives the same results.  I'm sure there are advantages, but still not worth the extra moolah.  Yes, I am cheap.  For years I've been paying off my sister's maxed cards and helping her son and grandson with cars and such, but when it comes to me - El Cheapo.  Don't misunderstand - I am no where near "well-off" as they say.  Difference is, she needs the help, it's neccessities - not pleasure spending.  She is 73, my brother is 70, and I am 60.   The age difference is because my mother saw her younger sister Helen's new baby and had to have another.  Moi.  Anyway, since I am the Queen of Returns, it's staying in the box for a few days.  It's never buyer's remorse, it's DOLLARS remorse!!   Unless my husband once again says "I think we should start looking for a used car for your sister", then the box will fly open (when it hits him).  On to other topics.
Aren't these sweet?   I didn't think I would like the small version but I love them!  
Maybe this is what stitching on 40 count and up would look like.  The boxes are 4", 5", and 6", standing only 8" tall when stacked.   The second picture gives you a better idea of scale next to the sliding box that measures 7" x 9" tall.

Hmmmm.   What should I do with them?   While I'm thinking, here's a look at the Overshot Heart.




Many of you wouldn't consider using a smaller count linen and I am now understanding the appeal of the higher count with those tight stitches.  But for this design, I like the way the stitches allow the linen to show through the threads and make it appear closer to a woven piece.  Did I just hear someone say yuck?  I'll bet I know who!
While I was thinking, look what showed up.  Another set! 
Hmmmmm.
What to do, what to do.
I'm getting an idea.......



And finally, El Cheapo got a bargain at Hobby Lobby.  We have one about a half hour from here and I don't visit often, but received a 40% off coupon.   Can't pass up a coupon.  Look what I found.  Lambswool 32 count in a half yard - $32.99 less 40%!  The red felt was Michael's with a 50% coupon at the same plaza.  The little felt heart was 50% off at Apple Basket Primitives in Vienna Ohio.  Bargains! 
I have a mess to clean up, coffee to drink, and a heart to stitch, so I will close and in a day or two, let you know what I decided about those little boxes.  Hmmmm.  There's a winner to be drawn on Wednesday.  Entry time will close on Tuesday at midnight, Eastern time.  I'll announce the winner Wednesday morning.  Hmmmm.  I'll be back before then, and until then, be safe, thank you for visiting, and enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A finish, a start, a list, and the cats

Hi everyone.  Let's see if this one shows up on Blogger!  What happened to the last one, I don't know.  Here's Virginie Cochepin.. 
I just folded, pressed, and did the same to a piece of muslin, basted the two together, and she will stay this way until I decide about framing.  I painted a scene years ago on a shaker box and thought they would look good together, but changed my mind.
I started the Overshot Heart and would have been finished except for the fact that I ripped out the 300 I chose instead of 221.  My girlfriend Patti came over and presented me with this, stitched with 221.

 So of course I changed my mind and want to do the 221 as recommended with the chart.  Menopause.....can't trust it.

  I was surprised that this turned out to be a quick stitch.  The fabric is 25 count, because when I see woven pieces, the lighter threads used in the weave are visible behind the darker colors.  I don't know how to explain what I mean, but it's why I chose this fabric, since this design is taken from a woven coverlet.  The linen's golden tone will be seen through the stitches instead of a solid look.  You know what I'm saying?

While I was searching for gift certificate choices, I came across a few online shops that were not familiar to me.  I thought you might be interested in browsing a few if you've not seen them before.  They offer other items along with the basics that I thought were pretty neat, things those of you that have shops to visit are familiar with.  Some offer wool and wool felt, darling fabrics, lots of accessories, and I found a source for Matka.  So here they are...

Video tutorials of hand embroidery stitches Needle n Thread
An interesting site with tons of old booklets on a variety of old needle crafts, free viewing and downloads - Antique Pattern Library
Large linen selection Needleworker Delight
Lovely selection of gifts for stitchers - In the Company of Friends
Nice selection of silk Matka - Hannah's Pinkeep

There are many more to discover and I'm trying to create a file that will help sort them as to the types of threads, linens, accessories, and extras so I don't have to click on every bookmark when trying to locate a particular item.
And here's the recovered mama  - the one that draws blood every time I touch her!

She's healed, playing, and happy.  As for the two males, neutered Junior the clone and soon to be neutered Dad, they won't keep those dirty paws off of my door.  Dad will eat anything, anytime, and Junior is a fuss-pot.
And here's someone that all three would love to play with, as he sits on his throne and eats his breakfast...
Well, that's about it.  I'm working on a little something extra for the anniversary offer and will show you that tomorrow.   It's been gorgeous weather here for a few days, sunny, not too cold, and NO snow! 
Have a great weekend, and I'll be back tomorrow.  Thank you for visiting!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Anniversary to me

and Happy Valentine's Day to you all!  I want to thank everyone for participating in the Prairie Schooler offer and Shar seems happy to be the winner.  She doesn't have any Schooler Santas so I hope she enjoys stitching these designs.
You know those lovely sweet women that call you honey and hug frequently, laughing and joyous, warm and open, caring to all, a joy to be around?   That's not me.   I wish it were, but it's not.   I admire and envy them.  So if I don't say it enough, please forgive me.  But when I say that I am touched by all of you, taking your time to visit here, to offer help, or just a hello, I mean it sincerely.  This last year, as I mentioned before, has tremendously helped me to move on, has motivated me, and continues to do so.  I'm amazed and very appreciative as followers continue to join.  I mentioned before about disturbing happenings, and my mind isn't focused right now.  There have been many dogs stolen (bait for dog fights), some horrific dog abuse in a neighboring area, and an unexpected botched surgery that is taking my sister's dear friend very quickly.   So you will be making the decision for me, by choosing the shop for the offer.   I will purchase a $30 gift certificate at one of the following online shops in your name if you win.  I chose these because of the accessories offered, linens, thread variety, and dookies (little goodies).  You can browse and decide which shop has what you would like, offers the best discount, and let me know your choice.   Just in case my fogged mind is not stating this clearly enough - the winner will receive a $30 gift from ONE shop of their choice.   I plan on adding a few other items also, and will hopefully have them ready soon.    Here are the options.....
The Silver Needle
Down Sunshine Lane
Anita's Little Stitches
ABC Stitch Therapy
Elegant Stitch
The Cottage Lane
123 Stitch
Blogger is not allowing me to preview this post, and all my pages are blank, including your blogs.  So hopefully it will appear at some point.  This is the post where you need to leave a comment to be included in the anniversary offer.  If there is a problem with it,  I will redo tomorrow or whenever Google cooperates.  The drawing will be held next Wednesday the 22nd, and I will post before then with a reminder and anything else that I add.  Do not leave your shop choice in the comments - if you win, you can make the decision then.
Have a great week - thank you so much for visiting - and good luck!

PS Santa Winner

Hello stitchers!  Here are the results from Random - love that word.  So appropriate for menomoods.



Sharlene from Sharlene's Stitching Site is the winner. Send me your address Shar-these guys are coming your way!

Now a few notes about the Needle Keep.  First off, you can attach the magnetic strip directly to the interior's fabric and lay the ribbon over the top if you prefer.  This gives a little more grab, but you can't slip the needles under the ribbon easily.  I've made them with the sticky side to fabric running the width, and used the ribbon running the opposite way (like a wide "H") to hide the strips's ends.  Best grab of all since there is no ribbon between needle and magnet.  Don't use the strip on both top and bottom if it's not covered with ribbon, or matching fabric (my favorite).  I also use simple fabrics since prints and light colors make the needles more difficult for me to see.
This is my favorite pin cushion that Carol gifted me. I just love this fabric so much!  And the crushed shells inside.  To make sure the stitched side (Christmas) is protected, I made a little cover for it and used the ribbon to secure.  I didn't want to tack it on with stitches and mess up those perfect x's on the seams.  If this were a plain fabric cushion, the magnetic strip could be placed between the ribbons.
Now for the anniversary offer.
One year today!!   I realize that many of you are very accomplished stitchers with preferences for supplies, others want to try something new, and then there are the wimps like me.
So how better to please everyone than with a gift certificate?
You can chose fabric, chart, thread, accessories, buttons, pins, you name it!
I can't decide which online shop to choose, so I will be back later today with several choices - you pick your favorite!
  And a kitty update - I kept the little devils in my large dog crate with a litter box and padded bedding for 3 days.  Yesterday they were released and you should have seen them play!  They were so happy, even in that white crap.  Junior turned out to be a male and mama has been sitting and watching for him all night.  He hasn't returned.  This was a costly visit, but well worth it.  And yes, I am scratched up again, but it will heal.
Be back this evening...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Needle Keep Free Project

Hi all.  Just a quick post during a raging flash.  I posted a project on the page titled Needle Keep (under the header).  I'm soaked and want to get outside in the cold for a few minutes so this is really quick.  Here's the finished piece...
 This is the inside.  The chart and the instructions are on the page, so if you're interested, check it out.  I would like to post more but I really need to get outside.   I really appreciate the support, friendship, information, and needed help over the last year and I hope you like this project as my way of saying THANK YOU!!!   I gotta get outside!!!!
LATER!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The border patrol

Hiya.   I've been finished with the body of the boat people sampler, but can't seem to cross the border. 

Elaborate borders such as those seen on many a sampler blog are very appealing, but I have trouble with them.  I prefer doing an alphabet and very simple border working from side to side, not top to bottom.  I hate that.  And this is how clueless I am - why didn't I remember from 20 years ago to turn the piece upside down, rather than have a bunch of fabric in my way to the right?  It's easier for me to stitch and scoop with bulk on the left.

Lots of heart designs floating around for Valentine's Day which reminded me of a box I have stashed.  It was purchased 20 years ago or more and I'm not sure if it is from Sudberry.  Thickly padded mount for the needlework and a heavy beautifully constructed box.
 
Along with this box, I found two Sudberry pieces, both still wrapped in packaging.  I may sell the tray.  And the heart.
  














I wanted to start the needlepunch Tulip Heart.  JoAnn's had an Senior Discount day so I decided to get all the floss I needed before I order a punchneedle.  Well, with my patience, this project is not going to happen.  First off, the floss list calls for #3021 which isn't in the pattern instructions, and 2 skeins of #3033, also not mentioned.  For a first time puncher, having doubts deters me.  I read and re-read, and it's probably just a misprint and won't affect the design, but these days I just give up rather than investigate.  No patience. 
The discovery of this huge difference in DMC dye lots, 640 was for the Tulip Heart, discouraged me also.  I understand there is always a slight difference, but DMC's usually isn't even noticeable, let alone completely different.  You can see the labels and yes one is older, but some days, I just don't have the wear-with-all to deal with any issue that doesn't go smoothly.  Hence, the bonfires. So the Overshot Heart will be the small project, along with finishing Black Santa, and working on Lucy.  I'm having trouble doing more than one project at a time, and didn't stitch on Santa after starting Woodlawn.   I'm preoccupied with a few very distressing situations, which could account for being unsettled.  Now here's the good news. 
Are you ready??
Right now, this evening, in my garage, in a carrier, are two female cats!!!!  I got 'em!!!  I feel terrible.  They are so afraid but I covered the carrier and hopefully they will stay warm enough and tomorrow at this time, be done with surgery and back here.  It has to be done and I dread the thought of what will happen at the vet's with feral cats.  
I'm done.  I should be back with the finish before the drawing.  I made a decision about the 14th's offer, and it's basically letting YOU make the decision since I can't make a decision, except to make the decision that it would be best for you to do that.   Yep. 
Thank you for visiting and to new followers - a big personal thank you.
Be kind to critters, keep strays out of evil hands and take them to shelters, use locked pens instead of tie outs.  Kiss your furbabies for me!