15 June 2021

Spring is Coming Mini Quaker


Finished Spring is Coming Mini Quaker! Stitched with the recommended threads on 32 ct. Flax linen.

The series so far. Top to bottom: Autumn, Winter, Spring. These are available from Stitches Through the Years

I was thinking that when I get them framed (eventually), I would display them individually in season. But now that I've seen them together, I think I'll have to display them as a group. I'm just so happy with how these are turning out and I think they look gorgeous all together. I'm not generally a big fan of the Quaker style, but Autumn, the first in the series, just grabbed me, and then I loved Winter, and so here I am, desperately waiting for Summer is Coming to finish the series.

If you're thinking of stitching these, here are my comments on:

Autumn is Coming

Winter is Coming

And now...


12 June 2021

Saturday Sampler: Stash Update Edition

Been a while since we've had a Saturday Sampler. Settle in with a cup of tea and prepare to be enabled! I've been shopping!

So if you're here a lot, you know that over the last few years much of what I've been stitching has been purchased from Etsy. I love the easy access to a variety of styles from designers all over the world, and I particularly like being able to purchase from brand new American designers who I otherwise wouldn't know about because of the challenges of breaking into the American market. For me, there is a "sameness" in a lot of what comes out of the American market, and I really enjoy having a place to go where I can stumble across something beautiful designed by someone in Siberia (yes, there's a Siberian designer on Etsy).

Having said all that, I do still buy and stitch the kind of stuff that arrives in the local LNS, just much less than I used to. So when I buy 3 or 4 new charts (that I didn't download and print myself!), that's exciting and counts as a spree! Here is my recent, rare, non-Etsy chart spree! (Four whole charts and a wee kit; prepare to be amazed at my recklessness.)

First up, a pretty summer design from With Thy Needle & Thread. She's one of the designers I have stitched several designs from, and keep an eye on for new stuff. I don't really have many patriotic designs or finishes. I'm not sure why, but perhaps it's because we're military and our whole life is kinda redwhiteandblue, so I don't really feel a need to stitch it? I don't know. But I liked this little bird, and I liked the colors, and here she is. This chart is a bit pricey as it comes with the strip of alphabet linen shown, for finishing. When I stitch this, I won't finish it this way, but I will figure out a way to use that linen. It's neat.

I do have a nice collection of LHN charts, including the entire Hometown Holiday series, of which I have stitched... one. (hangs head in shame) I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan that buys everything she designs, but every now and then there's something that just grabs me. I love the Sleepy Hollow legend for its place in American folklore and I was delighted to see this latest release. I do think when I stitch this that I'll intensify a few of the colors. It might just be the photography, but it looks a bit washed out in places.  I love it anyway.

Oh, Redbird Designs. These hold a special place in my heart. This is a Texas designer who keeps the lowest of low profiles, no social media whatsoever as far as I know. Her designs are not widely available. In fact, the only place I know of to find them is this shop in Texas. (If any of y'all know of other sources, let me know in the comments, please!) Years ago, with the help of fellow stitchers around the country, I created a Redbird Designs Catalog for fellow fans to keep track of her designs, and what was in print/out of print. Anyway, here are a couple of new-to-me designs I had to have. I don't know how long they've been out and just happened upon them while looking for something else. There can never be enough Texas wildflowers! (Check out my Texas stitches!) These are testing my commitment to only stitch WIPs this summer!

And finally, a wee fox kit! I haven't done many of these little Mill Hill kits, but I always enjoy them when I do. The last ones I did were these Halloween lanterns from last summer. They're fun and they always turn out so cute. I will be doing a bit of a re-design on the face, though, as I'd like him to look a little more like a real fox.

I also treated myself to a new pair of scissors to celebrate my Summer of the WIP. I did the same last year for Summer of Halloween, so maybe I've created a new tradition. This beautiful tartan pair is from this Etsy shop, but I think they can be found elsewhere by searching the brand Premax (Italy). These are nice scissors that snip very well at the tips, and they also come in blue and green.

My goodness, I'm rambling today. You can take a break if you need to. I'll still be going when you get back.

And here's a $6 impulse buy from Hobby Lobby. I think these are so pretty and warm weathery. They cut alright, not amazing at the tips, but for $6 they're fine. And pretty.

So, the fabric. I can just hear people who are looking at these pictures saying, "What is that fabric that chart is lying on? What is that fabric the scissors are on?" I can hear this, because I do it, too. Fabric is so important to our happiness. Which, by the way, have y'all noticed that hand-dyed fabric is still really hit or miss, supply wise? A lot of the dyers are weeks or even months behind and have messages on their websites explaining the challenges of getting certain fabrics and dyes. I'm reiterating my pandemic advice about fabrics and threads: if you need it, and you see it available (dyed and ready to ship), snap it up. It may disappear and not be available again for months. Taking my own advice, I stocked up on some of my favorite neutrals and tossed in a wild card as well. That's the flowery 32 count even weave here. This was also a Hobby Lobby impulse buy (it was that kind of day). This is their Artiste brand, but it's made in Germany by Zweigart so I figured the quality would be good. I haven't stitched on it, but I did count threads-per-inch both ways and it's correct. I think it will be pretty for a spring design. The other fabrics here are, left to right, PTP Legacy, PTP Wren, and Flax (Zweigart, I think).

Top to bottom: Legacy, Wren, Flax

Sneak peek! This is the first WIP I'll be tackling for Summer of the WIP when I finish my spring Quaker. Isn't she lovely? More on her soon.

Bonus Tiger Lily! Sitting on her side of the bathroom sink (yes, she has her own sink), admiring her floof. 

If anyone is still with me after all that, I hope you enjoyed browsing the new stash and maybe even finding something you need. Stitching is such a comfort and even something so small as a new chart, or a new tool, or a new piece of fabric can really lift our spirits. I highly recommend treating yourself to a little something soon.

Happy Stitching!

08 June 2021

Now it's summer!


The farm stands are back! This is my favorite part of summer where we now live and it doesn't seem like summer has arrived until they appear. 

Closing in on a finish! Only a few more motifs to stitch on Spring is Coming Mini Quaker and then Summer of the WIP begins! 

Also, stash update coming soon! I've been stimulating the economy and have stuff to share.

Happy Stitching!

01 June 2021

New Season, New Start


Summer has arrived and I've made a start on Spring is Coming Mini Quaker. The colors are so quiet compared to Mandala Fox, and of course it's a totally different style, but it's a nice change. Been pondering my Summer of the WIP and the more I think about it, the more I like it. It's always so much fun to start a new project, but I'm not sure it's more fun than finishing one you've put aside for a long while. That always feels like such a triumph. So in keeping with my intention to finish WIPs this summer, I promptly ordered a few new charts. Yes, I sure did. Wouldn't want to run out of stuff to stitch.

Happy Stitching!

28 May 2021

Mandala Fox is finished!


Well, that was fun! Mandala Fox (available in this Etsy shop, along with lots of other mandala critters) is stitched with DMC on a pale, rosy pink mystery linen. I highly recommend choosing your favorite critter friend and stitching one of these, if you need something a little different. Just a really fun stitch. 

Hope to get Spring is Coming Mini Quaker started tomorrow. And I've actually been able to think a little bit about what I'd like to work on this summer. Last summer I had a Summer of Halloween and thoroughly enjoyed stitching Halloween all summer (check out the Halloween label to see last summer's finishes). I usually have projects planned a couple seasons in advance, but this year has been... not the year that was going to happen. Y'all know what I mean. Things went sideways in early March and they're still a bit wonky. So I didn't have a summer project list. 

Last night I was perusing the little notebook I keep all my stitchy lists and thoughts in, and was looking at my WIPs list, and thought, "Hm. I should knock out some of these WIPs." Early in my stitching life, I was a very staunch one-project-at-a-time stitcher. Over the years, I've loosened up on that--and I still don't have nearly as many WIPs as a lot of other stitchers I observe--but it's more than I'd like and I've started feeling a bit guilty about starting a new project without finishing a WIP first. Easy fix: Summer of the WIP! As soon as I thought of it, I was excited... a sure sign I'd hit upon just the right thing. 

So as soon as I finish Spring Quaker, I plan to pick up a long-neglected WIP and finish it. I've chosen three projects; we'll see how far I get. 

Hope your Memorial Day weekend is quiet and safe and full of relaxing stitching.

25 May 2021

Fox Update and Next Project

Almost done! Scroll down to my previous post for info on this gorgeous design (and others!) if you missed it.

Guess what! Third in the series, Spring is Coming Mini Quaker is here! I've already stitched  Autumn is Coming and Winter is Coming Mini Quakers and have been not-that-patiently waiting for Spring. It just came out and I'm ready to get to work on it as soon as I finish Mandala Fox.

These are the threads for it. I'm stitching all of my mini quakers on 32 ct. Flax linen using (mostly) the recommended colors. I like these. They're subtle and earthy. Quite a change from my current project!

The seasonal mini quakers are available in this shop.

19 May 2021

You May Need to Stitch One of These


Although I enjoy everything I stitch, sometimes a project just hits me differently and beyond the enjoyment of stitching it, it becomes a joy in and of itself. That probably only makes sense to me, but that's okay. What we get out of stitching is as unique to each of us as what we put into it. And sometimes, what starts out as just another project transforms into something different. Perhaps more meaningful. Perhaps more helpful. Perhaps something else.

I started this gorgeous fox during the winter, but didn't get very far before laying it aside for other things. My well-planned project to-do list went sideways in March with the strain of my dad's health situation. I fell way behind on everything stitching-related. As I was slowly getting back to my stitching, I thought about picking up on my list of projects, but for whatever reason, I decided instead to work on some WIPs and this was the first I picked up. And I'm so glad I did.

This beautiful design is Mandala Fox from this Etsy shop and it is literally a day brightener for me every day that I work on it. I mean, just look at these eye-popping colors! Bright, cheerful, unexpected... it's hard to be gloomy when you're stitching with colors like this. And it's an easy stitch, as well. The regular patterns and blocks of color make counting and stitching a breeze. This fox is just the right project at just the right time, and it is a joy.

If you're in need of a "pick-me-up project" and are open to something a little different, have a look at the shop I linked. They have just about every critter you can imagine, some more elaborate than others, some striking and some whimsical (mandala hedgehog, anyone?), but all colorful and fun. And if you'd like to explore this "mandala" style a bit more, just type something like "cross stitch mandala animals" in Etsy's search box and you'll see a wide array of interpretations. I happen to think this shop does it best, but you may prefer someone else's work.  You may even surprise yourself (Me: "Why do I want to stitch that turkey? I don't even like turkeys." Also Me: "You need that turkey.") By the way, this is DMC on a soft, rosy pink 28 ct. linen. 

So... that second vaccine shot... woah. This picture of Tiger Lily is pretty much how I spent the last couple of days (lol!). But I'm so thankful for these vaccines and I'd do it again tomorrow if I had to. Okay, maybe not tomorrow. Maybe like next week. 

17 May 2021

Big Day #2!


Fully vaxxed! 

10 May 2021

Tea & Coffee Series: May


This series is available in this Etsy shop. To see my other finishes so far, click on the "tea" label at the end of this post.

03 May 2021

Rabbits in the Round: Ombre Bunnies Color Conversion


I've had this color conversion in my head since I first saw Rabbits in the Round last spring and I finally got it done! I stitched my version on 28 ct. green linen (I think it's called Rosemary, but I don't think it's available anymore), which made it quite a bit larger than the petite, over-one model. Here are my other changes:

Bunnies (light to dark): Cosmo 713, 714 715, 716; vines: CC Weeping Willow; flowers: GAST Buttercrunch; berries: CC Smoke

If you like color conversions, click on the tab at the top of the page (or on the label below this post) to see all of mine. They're one of my favorite things about stitching.

I am behind on projects I wanted to stitch, behind on blog reading, behind on finishing... just generally behind on anything stitching-related. But I'm trying not to put pressure on myself about any of that, because stitching and all its associated pursuits should be a respite and not a source of worry. Right? Right.

So I'm off to prep a couple of new projects. Hope you're all well and contentedly stitching away. Thanks for the well-wishes for my first shot. I'm happy to report no side effects. Second shot is in two weeks.

Happy Stitching, y'all.

27 April 2021

21 April 2021

My Tiny Library

When I took my rest break last month, I spent some time creating a tiny library at the back of my walk-in closet. It started out as just deciding to move some of my books from one closet to another so they would be more accessible. But as is often the case, my simple idea turned into a project. I already had the bookshelves I needed, but if you're going to put books in a walk-in closet, why not go for it and create a library! So, a lamp, a print, a cushy pillow, and a little rug later... TA-DA! An itty bitty library! 

My closet has long been Tiger Lily's place--her favorite basket is in there--and it's where she naps almost every afternoon. I stitched a special piece just for this little library (available in this Etsy shop) but gave the kitty Tiger Lily's calico tabby markings (though I didn't attempt her floof). I'm looking forward to lots of drowsing over a book in there, with her snoozing in her basket. Bliss.