Thursday, January 31, 2008

Goals Progress

No pictures this post, just an update on my goals. I posted them here in December. This month I finished six projects, including one UFO. One was an ornament, which means I'm on track for that goal. I did a project for the Take It Further challenge too, so I'm still on track with that goal. Crewel Choices is -almost- done and will be finished tonight or tomorrow, which means within a day of its deadline. Go me! Medieval Town Mandala is showing good progress, as is the Midi 2. I -should- be able to get them done on time. I still have yet to start my husband's stocking or his Bibendum. Soon. I'm happy with the progress I've made so far, even if January is a long month and I have more time to complete things during it.

Greener and Golder

Just as the title says - I added more gold and more green this week. I hope to finish this part by the end of February, and I look to be on track to do it. For some reason I find this piece somewhat tedious to do, but I'm happy that the progress being made is so good.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

UFO Be Gone

I started this a couple of years ago. Piecing's always easy for me; it's the quilting part that bogs me down. Two of the rows of triangles were already quilted when I picked this up last week. At the time of this picture, the third row is halfway done. Since this picture on Friday, I've finished it! Not only is the quilting done, but it's bound up and completely finished. Now to figure out what to do with it. It's about the size of a placemat...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Halfway There

I've reached the halfway mark on this corner. Yay! The upright is done and I have the lower part started. Lots of added gold this week; that and one color of blue. I hope to have this part totally completed by the end of March. It's still thrilling to work on, and that's what's really important when you stitch - to enjoy it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Light Stuff

This week, I added a lot of the lighter colors to the right side of the Lady's skirt. Because it's so close in color to the fabric, it's somewhat hard to see. She's armed now and I'll be working a bit more on the flag in the week to come. For some reason, it's easier for me to see progress when I work on that. Anyway... back to stitching.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tulips Done

This is coming along pretty quickly. The two tulips on the left are done, and the largest flower is started. I've so changed the colors around on this. I think it looks good, though. My hope is to finish this before my husband gets home from his business trip on Friday. I've been learning a lot. I think my shading on the long and short stitch on the partially completed flower is better than my previous attempts at it.

A Different Kind of Round Robin

It's not cross stitch! This is a crazy quilting round robin. My block was an entry earlier this month; this is someone else's. She lives in Colorado and used all whites. I decided it needed some color, so I put a goldwork rose on it. I'm going to do a goldwork seam treatment too and, I think, put an embroidered fan on it. It's started, though.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tying it Up in Knots

The knotwork is really beginning to be seen on this. It got a bit extra in the way of work this week as I had it as my take-along project. The top knotwork is over halfway done now, so I'm really making progress. I'm glad I did it on the evenweave I had instead of the aida provided - because I'd've gone crazy working with aida for this big a project.

Ornament Done

As part of the fulfillment of one of my goals, and as part of ELF day, I spent yesterday making a Christmas ornament. Started stitching yesterday and finished, too. The design is called Wishing Ewe and it's a freebie from Shepherd's Bush. I think it came out cute, even if my family is continuously groaning about the pun. Now all I have to do is make it into an ornament and I'll have one of twelve minimum done. It feels good to accomplish a goal. Oh, and it even counts against my project challenge!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Golden Lines, Dark Scaffolding

This week's progress is a bit subtle. I added the second gold line and more of the dark blue edging areas inside the garden. The fabric is really making the pattern pop, but I find this area has a -lot- of partial stitches. It gets kind of hard keeping track of them all the time. On the other hand, I'm getting toward halfway done with this side, so I'm making progress.

A Touch of Spring

I got the top row of tulips on this band done this week and started the torches. It's going pretty well, I think, and more quickly than it had been when I put it away before Christmas. There are still seven or eight bands to go on this, though, so I won't be finishing it soon.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Take it Further - Stand Your Ground

This is my response to Sharon B's Take It Further Challenge for this month. It was to express something about a person you admire. I chose my husband. I admire him greatly, and the tree symbolizes one of his central traits. He hews to his principles and doesn't waver, ergo he stands his ground. The tree's roots are deep. At the same time, when the wind blows hard and change is being forced, he doesn't lose those principles, but bends to fit the circumstances at the edges, just as a tree's branches sway and bend in the wind. In the end, the tree doesn't change what or where it is, just like my husband doesn't. He's seen the tree and loves it. Now he's trying to figure out how to frame it. I think he's putting it in his office.
This is the very first design I've ever taken from my mind to completion in embroidery. I'd done it in crochet before, but never in this. I like it. The goldwork with the brown floss worked well. The lazy daisy stitches aren't very uniform, but I think they shouldn't be. The design's only about four inches square, but the way it looks gives me confidence to try something else. On top of that, it applies to my project challenge because it was completely stitched from stash. I wonder what next month's will be.

Flowers Done

I got the flowers done on the right side this week and even managed, barely, to start some of the stitching on part four - directly below part three. At this rate I'm certain I'll get this done this year. It's going along more quickly than it was last year. I think part two was just soooo big it was hard to get past. There are still a lot of specialty stitches to add to this part once the cross stitches are done, though.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Edging Around

I got more than usual done on this last week. The outer edge on the inside, some gold, and some blue. I doubt I'll finish this corner before the end of the month, but I'll definitely finish it in February. My goal is still to finish this whole piece by the end of the year. I was looking through the thread kit the other day and there are several colors I have yet to use at all so far. Maybe they'll be in the houses around the edges.

An Unexpected Finish

I ended up finishing this today because I couldn't really work on anything else for several reasons. I needed something easy and mindless and this was it. Sagittarius is done and the piece will be mailed out tomorrow. Now I'm down to one cross stitch round robin piece and one crazy quilt round robin block in my possession. It doesn't count for a finish because all the supplies were included. So I'm still stuck on 22 of 25 projects done for my challenge.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Light Gold Skirt

This week was filling in more skirt, the lighter area almost ad the edge. This piece is just big and it's hard to see progress sometimes because the piece I've done in the past week is so much smaller than the overall bit. This one is in my daily queue after the Celtic Knot. Then I'll show a lot more progress every week! For now, it's getting worked on and it is getting bigger, at least. The blocks of color make it much easier to work on.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Flowers and Leaves

I've made a lot of progress on this this week. I even learned how to make bullion roses. For a novice, I think they came out pretty well. Now I'm down to the big flowers and leaves. Since I'm working on this every day now, I hope to finish them by the end of the week, so I can send it to evaluation at the beginning of the month.
I think some of it would translate better to silk, especially the smaller flowers. Maybe next project I'll mix fibers.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Taking Shape

The lower edge of the current stitching is the lower edge of the top half. It's coming along pretty well. At the rate I'm going with the crewel, this will be my daily project by next week. Only three colors on this so far, and whole stitches only. Worst thing to watch out for is miscounting. The yellow braid is looking good on the green.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Started, Frogged, Started Again

I'd worked on this earlier in the week and picked it up again yesterday. When I worked a little bit farther, I found out I was off center by one square, so I had to frog the whooooole thing. I'm back now, after the frogging, to just a bit more stitching on it than when I started yesterday. At least it's right now, and I've learned never to trust the square on top of the one I'm stitching for centering. The stitching, as you can see from the mini-saga, goes quickly on this. There are very few color changes. I'll have it done by the end of the month, even just in regular rotation. At least, close to done.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Touch of Pink

Progress is still very visible on this, and I added a bunch of small pink flower petals into the garden. The light blue background is beginning to fill in the area. Barring the specialty stitches, the top arm of the second garden is almost done.

Two New in the Rotation

I added two more things to my rotation this week. One is something that was in before the Christmas blitz - Tiramisu. The other is yet another calendar round robin. Both of these pictures were taken before I did any new work on them. The calendar round robin should go more quickly than the last couple of them, and Tiramisu is going to take quite a while longer, but I think it'll be worth the effort. Since these pictures last Friday, both have been worked on. A good start, I think.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Striping in Blue

I added more blue this week and finished the upward edge of the darkest blue of that side. The next darkest blue made some progress, too. This is probably the most enjoyable piece, to me, that I'm currently working on. It makes me smile every time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Arching Up

I finished the inner arch of the right side now. All I have to do is fill in the flowers and the pots with the gold scrollwork and the third part's cross stitching will be done. It's coming along pretty quickly and I hope to have that done in a couple more weeks. Wishful thinking, probably.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dazzle Done

I finished it yesterday and my husban took a picture last night. We're planning on making a box for it, one of poplar, possibly with a whitewash, and setting it in the top. Overall, I like how this came out. The Flair gave me some issues coming out of the holes and squeezing itself into a tube in a few places. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get it to lay flat right out of those holes. I can tell where I didn't use the laying tool - which means I need to always use it on projects like this. I learned a lot about working with one. The project is designed by Margaret Bendig for the San Diego chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild. It counts as part of my project challenge because I bought it as a kit, and ergo was completely from the kit stash. This brings me to 22 of 25 done toward my challenge.

Browning Out

This week I aded brows to the right side, expanding the area of stitching. Nothing spectacular, but good solid progress. This becomes is third in line to become my daily project at the moment - behind Crewel Confidence, which just became daily, and Celtic Knot.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Filled with Stars

All the stars on this are done, and I should have a picture of this all complete by the end of the week. All that's left is satin stitch to fill in the areas between the stars and a border. Since this picture, I've done everything but finish the edge on it. Laying the threads really makes a difference in the look of the finished project. It looks so much more sleek. When I've worked on it, the stitching's been very quick.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Balancing Leaves

I got the second leaf done this week. For some reason, this one took a bit longer than the first Both of them look a bit more ragged than I hoped. I'm not sure if it's because of the stitch she had us use as outline to make it look ragged-edged, or if it's just overall me not doing a good job. Ah, well. It's only my second or third crewel project in years and I've been doing this part in hand as she says to.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I had to do some pretty extensive frogging on the left hand side this week. I was off by one stitch on one part and two on another. So, I ripped and redid. I still managed to have more stitches done at the end of the week than the beginning.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Midnight Blue

I've been filling in the middle some, this part with the dark blue scaffolding. There are, I think, a total of five different colors of blue in each of these. It feels like this one is going faster, but it's probably just because there's not that much regular cross stitching in the edge parts, since those are reserved for specialty stitches. Or maybe I'm speeding up, but I really doubt that one!

Ares Done

Last night I finished my backwards stitching. The ram is done and I'll be sending it out today. I found I was getting almost as fast stitching backwards (I was doing rows starting stitches from the bottom right corner and going across instead of the bottom left corner when working downwards) as I am stitching fowards. Besides learning this trick, I found out I absolutely hate working with DMC metallic thread. It splits horribly, unwinding at every opportunity. Much better to use Kreinik or Treasure Braid. This doesn't count toward my project challenge because none of the materials were mine. On the other hand, it's my first finish of 2008.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Getting Golder

The line keeps moving downward of done stitches. This week I added gold and one of the blues. In fact, the upper arm of that blue is now done. There is a lot of gold in each arm and I don't like cutting the treasure braid too long, so it's only halfway down the arm.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back in the Rotation Again

The Midi is back in the rotation again, and more than halfway done with part three. The left side arch is done with cross stitches and the right is on its way. Finishing this is one of my goals for 2008, so I need to get working on it!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More Red, More Gray

This week I added more red and more gray to the flag side of the piece. Still pretty easy to stitch and without problems. This week is a low stitching time week because I have a -lot- to do. Eventually this will get to my highest priority, but not yet.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Dazzling Edge

I got the edge conpletely done this week, and unfortunately not anything else. I need to set aside time and just get this -done-. It's my plan to once I'm done on the zodiac round robin I'm stitching on daily. This will be my daily item until it's done afterward.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Leafing Out

I'm getting to the real stuff now - all the big things that need to be filled in. One leaf is done, all in chain stitch, and the other will be (plus something else, I hope) this week. The zodiac thing is taking up significant amounts of stitching time so I can get it done, and then last night I went off the reservation with the crazy quilt block.

I think I shaded the leaf fairly well. For some reason, I've come to like doing crewel more and more despite my "color in the lines" personality and liking of all things counted.

Cream on Cream Round Robin

Yes, I know. I need another project like I need a hole in the head ... but this one's different! I'm doing a cream on cream crazy quilt block round robin. This is the block I pieced. There are five of us in the round robin, and I'll work on everyone else's as they work on mine. The reason I started this so precipitately was because the others in the group were getting really itchy to start -despite an official start date of January 30th. It's ready to go now, so I don't have to worry about not starting on time.
As I was making this block, the name came to me - Slivers of Sunshine for the litte yellow silk pieces in it.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Knot Right Now

The knots are really beginning to form. This goes quickly when I do it, but I'm waiting to finish my Crewel Confidence before putting this front and center. It's easy and there's only counting to do, so it's not giving me any trouble.

Friday, January 04, 2008

More Borders

Despite having just done this same shape upright, it feels very different from the other. Amazing what happens when you put something on its side. The order of colors and stitches and shapes is all skewed and the stitches seem to line up differently. It adds variety, at least.

Backwards Progress

I've made quite a bit of progress on Ares this week despite the backwards stitching. I don't know if it's a good or bad thing that I'm getting comfortable doing it this way. I really want to have this piece done before the end of next week, so I'll be working diligently on it some more. I do wish she had picked three strands instead of two, though. All that black and dark colors on the white are showing how skimpy the coverage is. Not my problem, though.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Skirting the Edge

I started in on the outer edges of this quarter this week. I'm beginning to feel excited that I'll have part five done soon. It seems to be going faster these days. So, the dark blue and green are done on the outer upright edge and the lighter gold traces the inner edge. Every time I work on this piece and Tuscany, I just love the feel of them. Silk is so soft and buttery and a joy to work with.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Looks Almost the Same

The progress this week is kind of hard to see because it was mainly filling in color in areas already outlined. On top of that, the colors were gray and brown - ones that don't even stand out.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Bordering on a Finish

The last band before the outer border is almost complete - I just need to finish putting the Fyreworks on it. There's brick stitch and another star in the blank areas of the square. I like this piece a lot. It's given me a lot of practice with my laying tool. Considering this is the first year I've used a laying tool, I needed it! My husband will be making a box to put this on the top of. I think it'll look sharp, especially in something like a light poplar.