April 24, 2013

Free DMC Thread until April 30th Contest

The winners have been chosen! Thanks to all three ladies who participated.

If you go to www.facebook.com/stitchbyrachel and "Like" it, I will send you up to 20 free skeins of DMC thread the available market colors of your choice. Contest closes April 30th. The first "like" will receive 20, the second "like" will receive 10, and the third "like" will receive 8. I will mail postage paid to anywhere in Canada or the USA. I will announce the winners on my next blog post.

Good Luck!!

April 23, 2013

Paris Market Progress - and other UFO status

Working diligently on my stitching virtually everyday. This is because I am trying to have a sense of accomplishment because it doesn't feel like I'm getting anywhere in other realms of my life. If I just keep pushing forward I will get through this bottleneck in my life, and things will be much much smoother. I was feeling like going into Hermit Mode and stitching, but last weekend and next weekend are booked solid. We are going to a local Comic Expo as a family on Friday the 26th through to the 28th, and I will have some fun pictures of DD to show off on Monday.

Here is my upside down progress as of April 22:

You can follow my long term progress on The Stitchers Village UFO group, or on my Facebook page, facebook.com/stitchbyrachel

This is what the finished piece will look like:

Have done some template work on the Panda Pals that was holding me up last month (adding a second adult panda), and I have sourced all but two thread colors for the 90 required for Flower Pot, and I am going to work on angelic Harmony tonight I think...

April 17, 2013

The Flower Pot - who really did it?


I feel like telling a story.

Six years ago, I was visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. For those of you unaware, this museum has a tremendous textile and costume collection. I often visit this museum when I am in London, mostly to take a gander at the collection of samplers. They have the oldest ones on record in a museum, don't quote me on this, but I think 1644 is the earliest date on record. 

The visits often culminate in a trip through the gift shop and from time to time I acquire the odd present for myself. On this trip in 2007, I was admiring the William Morris postcards, memorabilia, texts and some of the patterns on scarves. I decided to work on a pattern called "Roses" but came to a standstill due to a technical error. Here is that pattern:

I enjoyed William Morris' works and ideas so much. He was one of the first companies to hire a female designer. Simplicity and beauty. I would be at work thinking about them, think about designing my own, chug through these thoughts and finally about 3 years later, I came home and Googled William Morris and the above "The Flower Pot" pattern came up. Exciting. Another pattern I could try. It looked like the style that came out of the Red House period. I thought I was on to something. I know. Wait, there's more.

After I bought this above chart from my ONS for less than $20, I thought this would be an interesting pattern. I enjoy symmetry in general and I like the diagram. When I received the package in the mail, I put it in my stash because I was otherwise preoccupied with my UFOs and I tend to be the kind of person to do several at once. (I usually have 5 or more books on my nightstand also, perhaps this is a problem)

It had been in my stash for the better part of a year before I decided to pull it out and look at it. Lo and behold, I look on the back, it happens to be HAED. I typically avoid HAED because of the sheer amount of needle changes/parked needles. They have huge thread counts and complexities that I hadn't dared to that point in my stitching career. I was in awe but thought this was the gods telling me to challenge myself. Then I looked at the front. This particular pattern requires 90 colors o floss. 90. Nine Zero.

Also, I had noticed when I received the package. It was designed by "William Morris Hunt".

This made no sense to me. William Morris was English, had the repetitive patterns and created textiles, ceramics and was associated with the "Arts and Crafts Era". William Morris Hunt was American, was a portrait painter and studied in France. this is a typical portrait of William Morris Hunt's work:

I am not sure as to why the design credit was given to Morris Hunt at all, as the designer is actually listed as Michele Sayetta.

Is this a common thing? I imagine Michelle Sayetta did it. What is your impression?

April 12, 2013

April (I can't believe it) Turtle Trot Progress...

I gave into indecision.  

Finally, I took the plunge and decided to change up my Turtle Trot SAL (from BAP Attack Blog) list for this post. I updated it because I had committed to myself I was going to work on all of my remaining 11 projects when March 13th came around until April 13th.  Taking out each one and work at least for one line of stitching, one hour, one color, whatever I could accomplish.

SO I stitched a line in just about every one of them until I got to the last three. I just hate the patterns. HATE them. Not sure what possessed me to buy them years ago.  I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn't purchase (read: doesn't include free downloads) any more patterns until I finished the 11 SALs and 51 Bonus = 62 (yikes! I didn't know there were that many left) patterns I have in my stash.  This is in part to the unraveling economy, and due to the part that my daughter's monthly daycare fee is one of the most expensive regionally in my nation. 

My husband pointed out that this is an enjoyable hobby, and why should I torture myself with stuff that I don't like to look at? I am going to go through my stash and give some away. I think someone out there will love what I don't want to do. I have so many patterns that haven't been cracked that I love, I won't waste my time.

In the last 30 days, there has been documented progress on 
"Paris market" 
William Morris "Roses" 
"Madre Terra" 
"Angelic Melody" 
Teddy Bears Tree Skirt 
"Alphabet Pumpkin"
"China Blue"
"The Flower Pot"

And a finish on "Flowers and Berries"

Because I was re-evaluating, spent much time debating these changes, I didn't accomplish the one hour one color on all of the remaining 12. I need to set up a pattern change on Panda Pals to include a second adult Panda in the pattern, alas won't be done in time for the deadline. I will have touched 11/12 though at the end of the day. 

The story behind adding the 14th project:

The original challenge from the BAP Attack website is 13 projects in 2013. While plucking out some color on "Roses", I came across another UFO in "The Flower Pot" in my stash. I added it to my 13. I thought that my first two were quite small, and then I could justify the change because I liked it more than the other three I kicked out combined. It will probably bite me back later but I have 8 months to finish the remaining 11 patterns! We will see if I took too much on because all my others are quite complex now. 

Happily Stitching Away, loving my rearranged choices and you can see on Turtle Trot Page and the UFO page the designs I hope to finish. Eventually.

Have a great weekend!


April 4, 2013

One of my favorite all time patterns

I finished this pattern in 2009 for my mom#2. Suzanne is a wonderful Mom, Nana & Doctor. I finished this pattern in robin's egg blue, and I am so happy with the finish. I took a class with this woman Tanja Berlin, and she is a tremendously talented, classically trained needle worker. Visit her website : http://www.berlinembroidery.com/crossstitch.htm

April 2, 2013

I have been so diligent

I have been so diligent~ 

I can tell that all I have been doing in my free time is stitching and tracking my stitching. It is apparent to me lately because there are so few pictures of my DD on my phone, and I usually average one a day on her and one/day on the projects... there were 4 or 5 in a row of projects twice in the last 10 days... don't you worry, she is getting her fair share of the attention!

I worked on 3 of my remaining 11 SAL for the Turtle Trot. I have looked at very little else as far as patterns go, and I am just thrilled to see the progress. There are 11 days left until check in on BAP Attack and I am glad to report that I am tackling the true WIPs. 

I had to go to the non-local NS 2x this week because I ran out of thread and forgot to check my list respectively. Of course instead of spending a few dollars on DMC, I ended up spending $40 all in and so I think just hunkering down will get me through this one. This picture is as of April 1.

I know I must show evidence of my other WIPs as I have committed to working on all remaining 11 of my projects. Here is the only other picture I have taken as of April 1st of my alphabet pumpkin JBW Designs

Even though I am working on the Madre Terra "mother earth" which will be interpreted predominantly in my favorite DMC #550, 

Did a bunch of bits and bites on this one, and there is a LARGE amount of blended gold filament. It took me an hour and a half to do this gold. Apparently I need to invest in some thread Heaven...

I decided while watching an hour and half long marathon on Mad Men I would work on this crazy confetti piece that I bought before I was pregnant and had two weeks out at my in-laws place in the summer one year. Shoulda Coulda Woulda finished it then....