Wednesday, August 6, 2014

iStitch Exchange

Carol from iStitchaholic recently hosted an exchange featuring her designs, and stitchers all over the world signed up to exchange finished pieces.   Carol has been posting the exchange pieces to the iStitch Designs facebook page, and will be posting a gallery to her blog once the exchange wraps up completely.

My piece arrived from Elisa of Old Ragged Threads back in July.  She stitched Sew French Blue and finished it as a pinkeep.  So pretty and delicate - I love the lace on the edges and need to keep that in mind for future finishes of my own.  (Why yes I do have a collection of finishing ideas I'd like to try!)

Elisa also crocheted me this sweet colorful mat.  It is so soft and pretty, and my 4 year old was eyeing it up as soon as I took it out of the package.  Once he felt how soft it was, it was a task to get it back from him!


My exchange partner was also located in the UK.  I stitched Sew Peacock for Michelle (Michelle's Stitchcraft Place).  Sew Peacock has long been one of my favorite designs and I chose a gorgeous turquoise blue silk (Belle Soie Aqua Velvet) to stitch over 1.  The fabric you see in the background is the taffeta I used for the back of the pinkeep.  In fact, I chose that fabric first, then went to my LNS in search of the thread.  I had at least half a dozen choices, and ended up going with my first choice silk.  Do you do that too?  I go through several different colors for something like this, and inevitably go back to my first choice.

I also finished mine as a pinkeep.  Since I used the little acrylic stand I bought for Elisa's pinkeep to stand the piece up for photographing, I decided to include it in the package to Michelle.  (I'll pick up a new stand for myself so I can put Sew French Blue back on display)

And you can see the Swarovski crystal pin I put together from my jewelry bits.  I believe that's the Blue Zircon color, which happens to be my birthstone as well.  I wanted to jazz up the lace trim I used around the edges, so I added soome blue satin ribbon.  I bought a spool without realizing I had used the exact same ribbon for another project, oddly enough another iStitch design!  So I used what I had and sent the new roll off to Michelle.

As I was looping the ribbon for the top, I realized that it looked a little bit like a peacock too!

 

So my piece arrived safely in the UK and I'm just thrilled with the piece from Elisa.  Thank you, Carol, for hosting such a great exchange!

Fair & Square Sign ups!!!

If you're interested in signing up for the next round of the Fair & Square exchange,

HURRY UP!!!

Sign ups close Friday, August 8th!!!
Monday, July 28, 2014

SBQ for June...2012???

WOW has this post been sitting around for a while!!  Over two years.  Yikes!  (Yeah, so now I am just randomly pulling up drafts of posts and finishing them up.)  Still a good one though, and showcases some of my favorite pieces.

Also, since there seems to be some interest in SBQs, not to mention they're a great "blog prompt" when you don't know what to write about, I think I'm going to start something up in the fall with monthly questions.  More on that later.  For now, back to um.... 2012.

June 2012:  Do you stitch patriotic/national pieces (or maybe just pieces that represent a specific place)? What's your favorite? (submitted by CinDC)

While there are some very lovely "American" and "USA" pieces out there, they generally don't attract my attention for stitching.  I do, however, have more than a few pieces that represent specific places in the US, mainly lighthouses, such as this one from The Design Connection (though I must confess it was stitched by Mr. Sweet Pea).


NOTE: I believe this design is now OOP.  I can't find it in any of the stitching shops, only on eBay.

Or this piece, Maine Fishing Village by Seguin Designs, that we modified as a birth sampler for our son.  Without a doubt, if we were to chose our favorite places in the world, New England in general, and Maine in particular would be high atop that list, so we have several lighthouse pieces in our collection.

I was also gifted with Blue Ribbon Designs Americana Panorama, which is waiting to be stitched.  So yes, in that respect, we do purchase and stitch what could be considered national pieces for the US

I also tend to find myself attracted to those pieces that reflect my Irish heritage, such as this one from The Sweetheart Tree, Tangled Shamrocks, and my husband has honored his German heritage with a few pieces as well.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fly away, butterfly

Back to sharing some of the finished pieces I haven't blogged about yet (or framed). These two are both by Mr. SweetPea, and they're both from Dimensions kits from our early stitching years.

Exotic Butterflies by Dimensions

Obviously it's not the best photo, and the silvery frame on the piece itself is a bit off, but it's still a pretty piece. I'm thinking this might look nice in our living room since we have some stained glass pieces we inherited from Mr. Sweet Pea's grandparents already hanging there.  One in particular is a pretty blue and pink bird piece that echoes some of the colors of this one.




The second piece is Butterfly Triplex, also by Dimensions.  This piece coordinates with two others Mr. SweetPea stitched.  One was gifted to his mom but is currently awaiting re-framing since our original framing job wasn't a good one (we had NO idea what we were doing).  As soon as that one's finished (it's a Dimensions Rose piece), it will appear on the blog.
Monday, July 21, 2014

To the Queen

To the Queen by JBW Designs
Stitched 2 over 2 on 32 ct. Antique White with Recommended threads

 I've had this chart in my stash for a while.  I picked it up on sale at my LNS becasue the moment I saw it, I knew it was destined to be for my friend Kim.  I met Kim YEARS ago at work, and we ended up in facing cubes.  Since Kim has a long standing fondness for the color pink and queens, this is utterly perfect for her.

The original chart calls for a tiny crown charm, but I substituted a K for Kim instead.  I debated whether or not to use the glass (normally I'd frame it without since I wasn't using a mat) but I didn't want the charm to tarnish, so I went ahead and put the glass back in.  I gave it to her last weekend, and she LOVED it.  She's a bit of a stitcher herself, though she hasn't done it in years (she crochets more now), so she knew the work that went into it and appreciated it all the more.

And no, my framing isn't quite as wonky as it appears in the photo.  I swear I do this all the time - I never notice how weird my framing looks in the photo for an item I've already gifted until I go and write the blog post about it!
Friday, July 18, 2014

The Return of the Fair & Square Exchange

After an extended hiatus, the Fair and Square exchange is back, and the latest round was a Patriotic theme. I was paired up with Rebecca (no blog... yet!) who is new to the exchange, and these are the lovely squares she stitched for me.

 Land that I Love by Lizzie*Kate

This is a "Now and Then" version of the chart.  The one Rebecca stitched is the updated version, so she included the chart so I could stitch the older version of it as well.  Thank you so much, Rebecca!


This is what I stitched for Rebecca... 

(city blanked out intentionally)

I took a slightly more colorful approach than the original, and use some metallic threads for the fireworks.  I also added in an extra star where the snap was charted in.

Rebecca mentioned she's been following my blog and was excited to be paired up with me.  I can totally relate - I've been paired up with fellow stitchers I've followed and it's so nice to "meet" and get to know them.  Hopefully Rebecca will start a blog soon, too!
Sunday, July 13, 2014

Need some help

Okay stitchers, I need some help tracking down a freebie pattern that I saw a few days ago and can't seem to find again.

It's a bee, possibly a queen bee (with a crown) stitched on a coffee or tea stained fabric.  It was offered as a freebie, I think as part of a monthly series but I cannot for the life of me recall the name of the designer or any of the other charts in the series.

Does this sound the least bit familiar to anyone???

UPDATED:  Found it!  It's Litha: Summer Solstice by The Primitive Hare
Thursday, June 19, 2014

A joint project from the early years

Things have been MUCH busier around here than I anticipated. Little Dude is done with preschool for the summer, so most of my time has been consumed by entertaining a 4 year old. Trips to the library and the park, fun activities, playing trains - the days are just loaded. I'm still stitching most evenings, but I know I haven't been posting as frequently as I was for a while there.  My ultimate goal is to post at least once a week.  We'll see how that goes. 

I did go through our stitching drawer a while back and found some pieces I haven't shared on the blog.  There's a couple more of these posts in my draft pile, but here's something from way back.

The Sorcerer and The Sorceress by Dimensions
Stitched from a kit

These two pieces are from our early years of stitching.  Mr. Sweet Pea did the sorcerer, and I did the sorceress (why yes I did change her hair color to a slightly redder shade).  I don't even know if these kits are still available, but we bought these in the craft store.

Our tastes have changed since then, but these have sentimental value.  They were among our very first stitching pieces and there was a time when we both enjoyed fantasy literature on a regular basis.  They're still in the finished unfinished drawer, but perhaps some day they will be able to cast a spell and free themselves.
Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Return of the F&S Exchange

Fellow Stitchers....  It's BAAAACK!!!!

Head over to the Fair & Square Exchange Blog and get signed up for the next round, a Patriotic theme.  International members should sign up too - we can all be patriotic about whatever country we call home.

If you're not already a member, you can read the rules and make a letter of application to Jill.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

French Country Bunny Ornament

So it may have taken me a few years, but I did get another F&S piece finished up!  This one probably shouldn't have taken me so long since the cardboard for the inside has been cut to shape and covered with the batting for ages now.  But I struggled with getting the shape of the bunny done neatly, so it ended up in a drawer for quite a while out of frustration.  I don't know that I would do a shaped finish like this again - I might go with an easier to manage oval instead.

It actually made it to our tree this past Christmas, and I forgot to put it on the blog, though I did share the finished picture with the original stitcher!

This was my very first F&S Exchange with Michele.  (It's JBW Designs French Country Bunny)