Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkins for Cathey

I've been very bad about updating my blog - it's ended up taking a back seat to some other priorities.  I keep meaning to get back into it, and somehow it gets lost in the shuffle.

Something came up today, though, that pushed this blog post to the front of the line.  As many stitchers know, there's a great deal of friendship and caring in this community, many of whom have never met each other in person.  But that doesn't stop people from reaching out, from showing their support and from doing things both big and small to bring a little sunshine to a fellow stitcher.

Today is Cathey over at Pumpkin Patch & Co.'s blogoversary.  To be blunt, Cathey has cancer and it sucks.  It sucks because cancer in general sucks.  It sucks because Cathey is a sweet, wonderful, generous, talented, kind, considerate and compassionate woman.  And it really sucks because Cathey is a mother to a young son, which hits me a little harder because her son isn't much younger than mine.  I think about being in her position, and it breaks my heart.

But thanks to Sharon (Daffycat), Pumpkins for Cathey has been organized so we can all show our support for Cathey in her fight.  And she is a fighter. 

I haven't posted in forever, but I thought this was enormously important.  I don't have any needlework pumpkins to share, but I do have quite a collection of pumpkin recipes.  Since one of the things that has been limiting my blogging time has been meal planning and cooking, I think it's appropriate to share some delicious pumpkin treats in Cathey's honor.  Enjoy.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel Bars by My Baking Addiction

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tantes Zolder Patterns

The other day, I received an email from Karen at Ambitatterous.  She was looking for the Tantes Zolder butterfly chart I stitched a while back but the link in my blog post was dead and the page refused to load.  It wouldn't load for me either, and  it appears that the Tantes Zolder / My Aunt's Attic blog is offline.  From what I can make out from the translation, it appears the  that hosted the Tantes Zolder blog has been moved to wordpress, but I cannot find the blog itself.

I did, however, find another site that's hosting the patterns.  You can now get the Tantes Zolder patterns here, so you may want to update your links (I did in my previous post).

And if you're not familiar with Tantes Zolder, you should definitely check them out.  There are some very beautiful patterns.  They're from a collection of handwritten charts that were digitized and published on the blog.  Lilian Kok found the charts in her aunt's attic (hence the name) and with the help of some volunteers, generated almost 300 images that she made available for free.

If anyone knows where the original blog may have gone, please let me know.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A wedding gift for a happy couple

Sew Blue by iStitchaholic 
1 over 1 on 28 ct. evenweave
with Belle Soie Peacock
Personalized as a gift

This was a freebie pattern offered by Carol of iStitchaholic.  The original pattern has an alphabet across the top of the design, but I wanted to personalize it for a wedding gift, so I used the alphabet for  their names and wedding date, and charted out my own ampersand.

Gina is a dear friend of my husband's from college, and we wanted to send her and her new husband something personal since we could not make it to their wedding.  This is actually the first of two pieces I stitched - the other is a framed piece for their walls that has yet to be framed.  At least this one got out in time to hang on their Christmas tree this year! (And you'll see the framed piece later, once it's finished up)

So I changed the pattern to personalize the piece, and I took the ribbon from their invitations to my LNS and found a perfect match in the Belle Soie Peacock silk.  Gina also had a bit of a lace motif throughout her wedding plans, so I picked up on that with the trim around the edges, and found some teal blue fabric (what you see in the background) for the back of the piece.  The lace is actually much nicer in person.  I didn't realize it looked off in the picture until after I had mailed it out.  But rest assured I didn't send out a wonky ornament.

I've been on a bit of an over 1 stitching kick, and I never fail to be thrilled with how the tiny little stitches come out, especially with silks.
Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Safari

I keep meaning to check if these gifts have made it to their intended recipient, and it keeps slipping my mind. That happens sometimes.

So these are two pieces I stitched up for my friend's son.  We meant to get together over Christmas so I could give them to her, but between family obligations and illnesses, it just didn't happen. I left the pieces with my mother-in-law, since she is good friends with little Mitchell's grandma.
Animal Alphabet Birth Sampler
by The Historical Sampler Company Limited
Stitched 2 over 2 on 36 ct Edinburgh Linen
Personalized as a gift
This is a piece I modified from the original.  Whenever I stitch a birth sampler, I like to include as much of the information as possible.  The original didn't leave room for the weight, length or time, so I added in a box under the last row of letters and extended the border.  Luckily, this worked out perfectly.

I also changed out the original panda bear for an elephant.  The panda bear was very cute, but the elephant was better suited to the "vintage safari" theme used for the nursery.  Once again, my husband did the framing (with a frame from American Frame).  I'm not sure if I've shared this tip before, but I always give him the chart I've stitched from with the rest of the framing materials.  He uses the chart to find the center of the stitched piece, and pins through the center gently into the backer board, then works out from the center to stretch the fabric over the edges.  He finds this especially helpful when framing something with a stitched border such as this.  Once he's done, or has enough of the piece pinned to hold it in place, he removes the center pin.

In addition to the framed piece, I also stitched up an ornament for Mitchell, keeping with the vintage safari theme.  As soon as I spotted this piece at my LNS, I knew it would be the one I did.  This one was done as charted, except I left out the bird charm (the original has a tiny bird perched on the back of the giraffe) and stitched in the birth year instead.

Zoo Line Up by The Trilogy
Stitched 1 over 1 on 32 ct. fabric
I'm super happy with how both pieces came out.  They're very different, yet have a similar feel to the pieces I stitched for Mitchell's older brother, Mason.  You can see them here.
Monday, February 25, 2013

Gift for a baby girl

Gabrielle Rose by La D Da
Stitched 2 over 2 on 32 ct. Antique White
Name intentionally blurred for privacy

Here's another piece that I finally finished up and framed, and delivered.

Kelly is the daughter of a childhood friend of mine and I wanted to make something special for her nursery. Since the parents didn't go with a specific theme for her room, I chose this piece from my stash.  It's pretty and feminine without being overly girly and I think it will be something pretty for her room for a long time to come.

I used the recommended colors for the piece, but left out the initials in the corners, and changed the wording on the banner to Kelly's last name.  In hindsight, I might have used a lighter color thread for her name, since the grey does seem to blend in, but I like the subtleness of the grey.

You may remember the piece I stitched up for Kelly's brother Ryan.  They went with a jungle theme, so I stitched Safari Birth Sampler by Mary Stickley for The Coleshill Collection.  Since the furniture in the nursery remained the same, I ordered a similar frame for both pieces.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Back at it: Valentine's Day Fair & Square

So it seems I'm back at my blog after yet another extended break. Sometimes life gets in the way, and sometimes I get frustrated that I can't do things as quickly and easily with this updated version of Blogger that I was able to do before. I have a whole backlog of posts I've set up, most of them partially written, and I'll try to be more consistent with posting. (I say this every single time, don't I?)

Let's start with an easy one - the latest Fair and Square exchange. Before I show the photos though, let me make another pitch for people to sign up. The Exchange IS taking new members. Participation has been down in recent rounds, and perhaps a few new members will re-energize the group. Jill has been a really wonderful administrator for the group and I have had a fantastic time getting to know my exchange partners, some with whom I've developed real friendships. If you're part of the group and haven't participated in a while, please consider signing up when the next round opens up. If you're not part of the group, submit your application to Jill - you won't be sorry.

Back to the pictures.  Peg and I were paired up again.  I enjoyed our last exchange, and was pleased to be her partner again.  These are the pretty squares Peg stitched for me.  The pattern is called Random Hearts by Erica Michaels, stitched on Vintage Strawflower with WDW Romance thread.  I'm thinking these would be lovely done up as an ornament or doorhanger with some lace trim, or maybe as a no sew cube with a Valentine themed ribbon around the edge.

And these are the squares I stitched for Peg, Valentine Heart 2008 by Dragonfly Stitches, on Antique White with WDW Begonia.
The pattern was a freebie I've had in my collection for quite some time.  Whenever I post a freebie I've stitched, I like to provide a link to the original so others can stitch it as well, but try as I might, I can't track this one down.  If you know where to find this chart, please let me know and I'd be happy to update the post with the link.