Thursday, March 31, 2011

Now that's better!

I feel like I didn't accomplish much this past week with my stitching but I actually put in 8 1/2 hours and that's not as much as I would like.  One of those hours was spent unstitching the beginning of the middle cloud which took me two hours to stitch.  Ripping out is not something any stitcher likes to do but I managed to find a quicker method than I had been using in the past.  I used to clip the top of a stitch and then take my needle and pull out one stitch at a time, never cutting another thread.  This week I cut the top of each stitch in a row that I wanted out and then slid my needle under as many threads as I could and pulled up on them and they came out all together.  My dream from my previous post gave me that idea. "Are you sure you want to unstitch the selected stitches?"  I was able to pull out two hours worth of work in one hour.  Not bad!

I am much happier with the new color the middle cloud is going to be.  It looks a little stormy and mysterious and at the bottom of it, the sun will peak out.  Spectacular!
Yesterday the credit card bill came in the mail for all of my Nashville market purchases, the framing of Grape Season Sampler, the second piece of linen for ATS, and my 1819 Ann Skey eBay find.  Thank heavens there isn't another market for a while and since I will be stitching And They Sinned for the rest of my life, I won't be needing any supplies.  Now I just need to find a hiding spot for the credit card bill!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I woke up this morning at 5 am and started thinking about a fellow stitchers blog, The Stitching Post, that I had read yesterday.  She is stitching Shores of Hawk Run Hollow (dream piece!) and had left out the space between her blocks.  She had already stitched 3 (I think) and wanted everyone's opinion about whether or not to rip everything out and put the spaces in.  What!  No way would I ever do that.  I might finish the three blocks, make it a needle case, and then start over but never rip out that much.  Well, guess what I am doing to ATS today?  Ripping out!

I started to stitch the large middle cloud and began around the bird on the right.  I didn't like the difference the color slate was looking like against the pebble so I stopped.  It's just too light and the picture shows the middle cloud much darker and brighter then the outer ones.  Then I remembered a little shop about 15 minutes from me called The Covered Wagon who has GA Sampler Threads.  It is not a cross stitch shop but she has a little bit of everything and I don't think her inventory moves very quickly.  So I called and sure enough she had some Slate for me.  Just look at the difference in the dye lots!  Both of these colors are slate but obviously NOT the same.  Her inventory is old and my color came from a more recent dye lot.  I am going to rip out the little bit around the bird and use the darker one. What is one hour of unstitching when I am going to look at this sampler for the rest of my life?  I have to like it--no, I have to love it.
So I decided all of this while lying awake at 5 am.  Then I fell back asleep and had a dream that I had the coolest cross stitch tool in the world.  It was a magic button that you attached to your linen and when you pushed it, it unstitched the top row.  I pushed the button and it said, "Are you sure you want to unstitch the selected stitches?"  Yep, I was sure.  And then they were gone!  No extra fibers laying on the linen, no big holes that the needle had left, nothing!  And then I woke up.  Dang it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two posts in one day!

Yesterday this came to me by FedEx.  I found it on eBay and watched it for a few days and after getting some liquid courage, I bid on it and won!  I thought she was dated 1812 but after close examination realized she is dated 1819, stitched by Ann Skey at 14 years old.  I guess I just wanted her to be 200 years old so bad!  Yes, it did take a couple beers for me to lose my mind and buy it but I am so excited!  It truly is a wonderful piece of work.  Ann was a very good stitcher and so far I have found crewel, satin, and cross stitch.  All of the verses are done over one and the linen is very tiny, I'm thinking 40 or 45 count.  Check out that house!  It reminds me of a Chinese plantation.  Wouldn't this make a wonderful reproduction?  I wouldn't know where to start with that though.  The framing is atrocious but I am afraid to take it apart and redo it.  It would be so much more beautiful if it were properly stretched and mounted.  It looks like it's been sewn in increments along the perimeter, but sewn to what?  I don't know.  For now I will just enjoy having a beautiful work of art and investigate how to give her a final resting place!  If any of my followers have any suggestions about how to reframe this, please let me know.

Math, stitching, and hot flashes!

This is the second week for And They Sinned and I feel like I have made a lot of progress.  At least I did until I took the top Q-Snap off to take a picture.  Yikes!  Last week I only got the middle angel done and wondered why that took so long.  She is nearly 1,000 stitches!  That is why she took so long.  I also found out I am a stabber stitcher and wickedly slow.  Some of my stitching friends told me about the sewing method of stitching, which is quicker.  I tried it but my stitches were laying different so I ripped it out.  The sewing method will have to wait until I get this sky done, or maybe another project.  So here are a few statistics for anyone wondering about my timeline.  This week I stitched for 12 1/4 hours and last week I stitched for 10.  So I have a total of 22 1/4 hours invested in this piece so far and I would guess at about 3,000 stitches.  I had my son time me at how many stitches a minute I could complete and it was 4.  But that was with a new full length of floss and I was stitching under pressure!  So there are 1,335 minutes in 22 1/4 hours and I have stitched about 3,000 stitches which comes out to 2.25 stitches per minute.  Obviously I am doing other things while I stitch, like sweating my butt off under 5 feet of linen!  I have tried to get this out of my way by rolling it up but I get tired of holding it.  I bought chip clips, rolled up the linen and attached the clips but they were too heavy.  What is going to happen when I am half way through and have linen on the top and bottom to deal with?  It will be in the middle of the summer, I will be having massive hot flashes, and may be stitching naked!  Eww!  Thank you everyone for your nice comments and I am so excited to have 15 followers!  I wish this was more like Facebook in a way so I could comment on your nice comments.  Maybe there is a way but I haven't researched it enough.  Cheers and happy stitching to you all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

First bite of the elephant!

Progress is slow on ATS.  I am actually counting the hours I stitch and I managed to get in 10 hours this week, making me 4 hours behind.  My goal is to get 2 hours a day in but my 12-year-old is fighting a pesky bug.  As a matter of fact yesterday the doctor thought he was having the beginning of an appendix problem.  Thank heavens that today he is feeling much better.
Tuesday was SOOO exciting!  I was having a hard time reading the chart for ATS.  I couldn't tell the difference between 2 arrow shaped symbols and the colors for both are orangey/browns so that didn't help either.  There is a phone number on the chart and just out of curiosity I called it to see if anyone could help me with the symbols.  Guess who answered her phone?  Vilma Becklin of Examplar Dames!  Can you believe it!  I felt like a high school student council member talking to the President!  Vilma was so nice and helpful and answered all my questions and a bit more.  We had a long conversation about the wonderful world of stitching and a bit about how she designs. 
Thank you for all the nice comments and encouragement on this project.  Last week I had 2 followers and this week I have 10.  Wow!  Cyberland can be fun.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot to say that my husband made a bet with me that I wouldn't have ATS finished by Christmas.  Ha!  He said if I had it finished that he would pay to have it framed.  I don't think he realizes what he has gotten himself into!  He also said I still had to cook, clean, and do laundry so that made me sad :(  Can't I just stitch for 8 hours a day?  Well, till next Thursday...happy stitching and healthy days!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In the beginning....

Finally the day has arrived and I am starting And They Sinned.  The linen is 35 count Elegant Bean and I am using Gentle Art Sampler Threads, one strand over two threads.  What a fiasco it has been trying to find the right linen.  A big thank you goes out to Lois at Elegant Stitch in California for "cooking" this and getting it to me so quickly.  The first linen I chose (sight unseen)  felt like I was stitching through paper.  Yesterday I had to buy a new stitching bag because all 52 inches of linen wouldn't fit in my smaller one.  Yup, this broke my heart.  Not!  Vera Bradley bags are great for stitching bags.  I have one for the four projects I am in the middle of and one for the current project, and now this big beast.  This one (seen in the background) has six large pockets on the inside and a large one on the outside. 
I really hope I can get a couple hours of stitching in today but my son has been fighting a sore throat for weeks and the first round of antibiotics didn't work so we are off the the doctor again.  It breaks my heart to see him suffer.  Poor little guy. 

Halloween Garden is finished!

As promised, I stitched up Halloween Garden for the SAL (stitch along) on FB.  It was a quick stitch and I had fun doing all the little spot motifs.  I thought of Lisa while I was stitching it and now I am ready to move on to happier stitching.  Jill Rensel will do a fine job framing this for me.  I can see a set of 3 or 4 mats, curved at the top with some carving in the corner perhaps, and of course, hand painting!  She really needs a fan page on FB.  Maybe I will ask her if she would mind if I did that for her.
And They Sinned is next.  I am so excited about this that I have to put it in another post when I have more time.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Stitching Projects

My Stitching Projects

This is sort of neat.  I clicked on one of my pictures on Facebook and selected the Blogger button and it put all of my pictures in that album on my blog.  All you have to do is click on the link!  It's not exactly what I wanted to do but hey, I'm still learning!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spooky SAL for Lisa Roswell

I joined the Spooky SAL for Lisa Roswell on Facebook.  I really like her designs and purchased Halloween Garden recently.  I had to convert some of the Weeks fibers for Sampler Threads and I am afraid I didn't do Lisa's design justice.  I also used 32 count French Vanilla linen for this so I could use 1 strand of floss. This is a quick, cute project and I should be able to get her finished by the time my new fabric comes for And They Sinned. 

Lois from The Elegant Stitch in California is "cooking" some 35 count linen called Elegant Bean for me.  Every day I look at my And They Sinned picture and I am just ITCHING to get this started.  I've thought about tracking my hours stitching this project but I think that would drive me crazy.  Also I read somewhere on line that it took someone nearly 500 hours.  I am a slow stitcher so it will probably be closer to 1000.  I'm going back to working on Halloween Garden and thinking of Lisa and her family.