Wednesday, January 26, 2011

With a little help from my friends...

is the perfect title for this post. I made this penny rug mat with the help of two special friends. Katrina bought the kit to make it, but had a case of buyer's remorse. I bought it from her because I've always wanted to work with wool. Since it came as a kit with everything included, it was a great first piece for me to start with. I did stray from the original design and omitted a couple of things. My friend, Sandy (no blog ) who I call the "wool master" was a patient teacher and is my personal wool guru. She visited the Phoenix area over the holidays and spent a day with me. She got me started and taught me a few of her tricks. Now I blame her for my newly acquired addiction to wool. I've been searching the local Goodwill stores in search of blazers to cut up, and they are starting to recognize me there. Who buys wool blazers in Phoenix? So, it's not really surprising. It's a great way to build a stash of wool, but it does take a bit of work, especially the felting process. I'm very happy with my first attempt even though I made a few mistakes. It was definitely a learning process.

On the stitching front, it's still Country Life for me. I keep thinking that I'll finish it soon and then another week goes by and another and another...My overall photo doesn't do it justice so I've taken pictures of it in sections.

I love the little dog and bunnies. I'm not so crazy about where that gun is pointed though. Let's just ignore that part of the sampler. The doves on the feeder and the bunnies are stitched over one.

I need to mention that there is an extra skein of AVAS 3734 needed for Jane Tindall's grass. Thank you to Margaret for pointing that out. It was a crazy time when I was finishing up Jane before the St. Charles market, and it didn't get mentioned on the chart. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Happy stitching everyone.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Maria Tilley 1835

I'm excited to show you Maria in her beautiful frame. She was an absolute joy for me to stitch. I have to admit there were times when I questioned my sanity at choosing 45 ct. fabric, but I couldn't be more pleased with her. The chart is now available from NeedleWorkPress. Many, many thanks to Vickie for once again entrusting me with bringing another one of her girls to life. Maria is on display at The Attic, if you are in the Phoenix area and would like to see her.
I'm still stitching away on Country Life, but I'm getting closer to finishing it. I can't remember a sampler ever being so labor intensive as that one, but it is a beauty. I'll post a photo soon.

I saw a spool cabinet like this one on The Twisted Stitcher's blog awhile back. After a few emails with Vonna, I decided it would be perfect for holding my DMC thread. I thought it was time to replace the plastic storage boxes that have held those fibers for more than thirty years. The plastic trays fit perfectly in the drawers. This is a reproduction that I found on eBay, but it really looks old. I have looked forever for a real antique one, but they were either way too expensive, missing knobs, or the drawers were wonky and warped. The height makes it perfect for sitting next to my stitching chair. Thanks for convincing me, Vonna. I love it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Thinking ahead...

Happy 2011 everyone! As I said last post, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I hope to accomplish this year. I sat down today with my binders which are overflowing with charts. I limited myself to the 15 that spoke to me the loudest and made my list. Before I get to the list though, these are the samplers that will see action also. Country Life (above) will be first. I love, love, love this sampler. Next will be the Prairie Schooler Alphabet that I am doing over one on 30ct linen . I think I started it last January and it is such fun. I can't remember what sidetracked me away from it.

Lastly, poor Harriet Burry has been languishing away in my wip basket. It's been so long since she's seen a needle that I'm sure she has a complex by now.

I'm not the type of stitcher that can handle a bunch of unfinished projects, so I need to wrap these up. I can't be too hard on myself because I did finish eight beautiful samplers, two of which I had to chart first.
Here's what I hope to work on this year:
Goode Huswife's Peaceable Kingdom
Carriage House Sampling's My Home Town and Pear Orchard Farm
Scarlet Letter's Sophia's Sampler, Sally Hunt 1795, and Jenny Bean (A Massachusetts Sampler)
Cantebury's Jane Woodward Sampler
The City Stitcher's Strawberry Sampler, Two Fine Ewes, and Prize Shorthorn
Homespun Sampler's Ann Sims Sampler
Polly Bartlett Sessions by Hope's Dwelling Place
Heaven Doth Ask by The Sampler Co.
The Heart That Gives by Ewe & Eye & Friends
Hannah Pepper
Some of these have been in my stash for a long, long time and I'm looking forward to them. Of course, I may change my mind a million times, and I know I'll have to squeeze Ann Grant in there somewhere. Wish me luck.