My first Hardanger!

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Ta da!

hardanger13

I am so excited to be done with my first ever Hardanger project, and that it came out so well. There are a few little “whiskers” I still need to clean up, but other than that I am very happy with it. I think I will add a hanger at the top to make it into a Christmas ornament.

Here is what it looked like when the stitching was finished, but it had not been cut out yet:

 hardanger11

The only downside to being done with this is that I have to get back to work on Adrienne’s stocking. Christmas is in 3 months plus a few days! YIKES!

XXX
Carrie


Jane Eyre, Finished

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I didn’t get any stitching in yesterday but I was lucky enough to finish this tonight. I played around with a couple of frames that I have (it’s a standard 5×7 size) but nothing looked right. I think I might do a flat-fold ornament finishing on this one.

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Unfortunately, my camera just can’t get an accurate picture of the colors in this one. Hopefully when it is finished I will be able to get a better photo.

XXX
Carrie



Mason Jar Tutorial

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I decided to turn the small elephant into a Mason jar to fill up with candy for one of Adrienne’s preschool teachers. Having never done this before, I had to kind of play it by ear. Here is how I did it, although there are probably many other ways it can be done.

First, assemble your supplies: the finished stitching, a Mason jar with lid and ring, scissors, fiberfill stuffing, a pencil, Elmer’s glue, and a hot glue gun.

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Center the ring over your stitching to make sure that it fits. As you can see from the photo, my elephant just barely fit inside. Using the pencil, lightly trace around the outside of the jar ring. Cut out your stitched piece, cutting on the pencil mark.

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Use the jar lid (not the ring) as a template to cut out several circles of fiberfill. Glue the fiberfill circles to the top of the lid. Elmer’s glue will probably work better for this than the glue gun. The more fiberfill, the puffier the end result. Of course, you can skip this step altogether if you want your stitching to be flat against the lid.

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Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of this next part. Put your cross stitched circle into the ring and make sure that it is centered. Put the fiberfill/lid inside the ring so that it rests on the stitching. Look at it from the right side – the design should be centered and the fiberfill should make it puff up. When you are happy with it, take the pieces out. If your circle of fabric is too large and and the edges are not laying flat in the ring, trim off the edges slightly. Spread hot glue all around the inside of the jar ring and press the stitched piece onto it. You will have to work quickly to make sure it doesn’t harden on you. Try not to use too much glue because the bumpier (thicker) it is, the harder it will be to get the lid to screw onto the jar. Then put hot glue on the edges of the lid with the fiberfill and press that onto the stitched piece.

After your lid has been glued, attach it to the jar. It will only screw on if you have pushed it down all the way and don’t have any excess fabric showing. If you do have excess fabric, you should be able to cut it off using an X-ACTO knife. I had little bits of fiberfill coming out that needed to be trimmed off. Let the lid sit on the jar for a while to make sure the glue is dry and hardened and the stitching is pressed into the lid tightly. Then, you can unscrew the lid and fill the jar with goodies – in this case, Hershey Kisses!

jar5   jar4

XXX
Carrie



Elephant

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elephant2Finished! This cutie only took a couple of hours and was fun to stitch. I think it is just the right size for a Mason jar lid, so I think I will finish it off that way and then put some M&Ms or other goodies in the jar for Adrienne’s teacher.

XXX
Carrie


Owl completed

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Here is the third and final day of stitching, Monday. The owl is complete! I think it turned out really cute. I used 14 count white Aida and three strands of DMC floss to make it really “pop”. Now I just have to figure out how I want to finish it. I am thinking of making it into a mini cushion with some vintage fabrics. An excuse to go shopping! I think I will check out Pinterest and Google images for inspiration.

owl3

XXX
Carrie



UFO #4

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whirligigsantaMy fourth UFO was this Whirligig Santa, designed by the Need’l Love Company. It is from leaflet #27, Jingle Bells. I found this project inside a bag of Aida and linen fabrics that I bought at Goodwill serveral years ago. Santa’s hat and most of his face were complete, as was the top tree and part of the top arm. I decided that since it was such an easy project, and a photocopied chart accompanied it, I would complete it. It only took a few days of stitching. I think there might be an error on the chart, because I happen to have this same leaflet in my store, and therefore could see what the design was supposed to look like on the cover. The photo appears to have more backstitch than what is shown on the actual chart, but I decided to just stitch it as indicated on the chart. I don’t know yet how I will finish this, but it will probably end up in a frame. I am a bit disappointed about the white floss, which took on a reddish hue. No matter how careful I was, the red DMC 815 kept making the white floss discolored. Another challenge I faced was that this stitcher worked the opposite way I do, and so I had to make all of my stitches backward in order to make all of the stitches face the same direction. I did end up with a neat appearance on the back, though. Whoever started this project was certainly advanced in technique and very careful about not having knots or loose tails on the back.


UFO #3

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This is another project that I started about 12-15 years ago and almost finished, but then put away. Itis called “Sewing Machine Curly Q’s” by NeedleMagic, Inc. It is stitched on perforated plastic and the floss they give you is not typical DMC. Instead, it is a non-divisible, cheaply made yarn. I did all of the stitching, and then some of the backstitch, and then quit. When I got this project out again a few days ago, it was really hard work to stitch. The yarn is so thick, it makes threading a needle nearly impossible. And because all that was left was backstitch, all of the holes had already been used up with other yarn. So my fingers really took a beating on this one. In the end, I tossed the black yarn that came with it and used 3 strands of DMC to finish. It saved my fingers, and I don’t think you can really tell which part of the project is stitched with which thread. The package came with a magnet, plant poke dowel, and wire for hanging; you choose which you want to use.

curlyq1

I am so glad to have another UFO done and out of the way. Now I have to decide – tackle a large unfinished project (deer in the woods, Adrienne’s Christmas stocking, or the Peacock Tapestry), or start stitching small designs as gifts for the kids’ teachers. Decisions, decisions…

XXX
Carrie


UFO#2 is finished!

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busyhands5

I am so happy to be done with this UFO! And I am glad I had a frame laying around, otherwise it would have ended up with all of the other projects I stitch – in a drawer! I really hate finishing projects after I stitch them.

My next project is somewhat similar; a sewing machine made out of plastic canvas. It will be finished off with a wire hanger. I must have been going through a “need to decorate my craft room” phase or something. Unfortunately, my craft room is now my son’s bedroom. Maybe some day we will move into a bigger house and I can have my own space again… maybe. 

XXX
Carrie


Friends Forever – UFO #1

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I have decided that I have way too many unfinished projects, and I am going to be strict and not allow myself to start anything new until most of these are completed. So I went through my stash and picked out a couple things to work on. This Santa and snowman banner is not actually one of my cross stitch pieces; I believe it was in with the inventory of a shop that I purchased. The chart was with it, and the only thing left to be done was the black beads on the snowman’s face, the snowflakes (made from seed and bugle beads) and the finishing. So I worked on this over the weekend and am pleased with how it turned out.

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Sorry for the bad photo, I took it with my iPod and the quality is pretty low. I will take a better photo once I get it hung up, closer to Christmas. I am so glad I didn’t have to do the actual stitching on this; the blue fabric was really hard to work with. I had to keep holding it up to the lamp to see where the holes were to attach the beads.

And here is the “before” photo, which I had shown you several months ago on another post. You’ll notice that the jingle bell I used on Santa’s cap is bigger than in the photo that came with the chart – it was all I had on hand. And there were no charms for either side of the word “friends”, so I just left them off.

friendsforever

XXX
Carrie


Halloween Hedgehog – Finished!

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hedgehog4The whole family has been sick lately, and my daughter was home sick from school today. I wasn’t feeling well either, so I managed to get this hedgehog done while on the couch with her, watching episode after episode of  The Magic Schoolbus and Curious George.

The backstitch on the web and hedgehog were hard to follow, because they didn’t follow any kind of path. But I’m happy with the finished result. Happy Halloween!

*Cough*Sneeze*
Carrie



First Halloween Finish

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Here is the first project I have completed from the new Just Cross Stitch Halloween special. It is still wrinkled… I will have to iron and finish it when I have the time.

I like the color variation in the Weeks Dye Works floss but I will not use pearl cotton on linen again. The cotton was just too thick for this fine of a fabric. If only I had the entire line of WDW embroidery floss… Oh well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

XXX
Carrie



The Colour Of Love

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When issue 201 of The World Of Cross Stitch (British magazine) arrived in the mail, I knew I wanted to stitch The Colour of Love by Marjorie Massey. They had finished it as a pillow, but I will probably frame this piece instead. It was a quick stitch, taking just four days to complete, and was a lot of fun. It consisted of whole stitches only, in just one color. I used one skein of red floss from Rosace, which is a company I had never heard of but they had sent me a few sample skeins in the mail a while back. Here are the progress photos, 1 for each day of stitching.

XXX
Carrie


The Finished Heart!

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Variegated Heart, Finished

This stitched up so quickly after I got the chart figured out. I am going to frame it in a square white frame and put it in Adrienne’s room – she is crazy about anything pink and purple, and loves hearts. I think it turned out great. The fabric was 32 count Carnation Pink Belfast Linen. I loooooove Zweigart fabrics! There’s just something about that orange line in the selvedge. I can actually feel the difference when I have an inferior piece of fabric in my hands. I think I will stay away from 32 count fabric for a while, though. I need to get my eyes rested a bit.

Now I need a new project. I think the Peacock Tapestry needs to come out of hiding…

XXX
Carrie


Done at Last!

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Whew! Here is the finished Autumn Leaves.

Being sick made this one take longer than it should have, but the last few days have really seen some serious stitching time. I am not sure if I will frame this right away or wait until next fall. I don’t have a suitable frame picked out at the moment.

Up Next: It’s time to finish Janis Lockhearts’s Variegated Heart (or, as the designer called it, Hearts & Diamonds). Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine.

XXX
Carrie


Finally Finished!

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I thought this Margaret Sherry hedgehog design would be a quick stitch. WRONG! In 30 years of stitching I have never come across such bizarre stitch combinations. Instead of half cross stitches that take up half of the Aida square in a diagonal fashion, these take up half of the square in either a sideways or vertical way. That in itself would not have been a huge inconvenience, but in some areas there would be a half stitch and then a whole stitch, then another half stitch. This means that the whole stitch would be in half of one Aida block and half in the other. Crazy, right? Counting was really difficult for this chart and the backstitch was a pain as well. But I persevered and in the end I think this little guy turned out pretty well. I used Kreinik blending filament in 032 pearl for the bumblebee’s wings, instead of plain white DMC. I think it adds a nice sparkle.

Next up: Autumn Leaves by Janis Lockhart of Cross-Point Designs (Sep/Oct issue of Just Cross Stitch).

Happy Stitching!
Carrie


October’s Harvest

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This project was so much fun to stitch, and worked up quite quickly. The design is from Blackbird Designs and I chose to stitch it on 28 count Apple Brown Bindy.  Only one color of floss is used, DMC color variations 4126. The colors are so much better in real life than in the photo. The original design called for a fabric and floss that I didn’t have on hand, so I improvised. My initials (CP) are in the lower right corner and the year (2012) in the lower left. The chart was dated 2001, and no other numbers were given, but luckily I was able to change it easily. I am glad I didn’t attempt this one in 2013, as that would have required charting the number 3 myself! Unfortunately this didn’t get framed in time for display this year.

Carrie


Variegated Band Sampler

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I stitched this Variegated Sampler from the Basic Guide to Band Samplers by Deanna Hall West while on vacation. Stitched on linen entirely with DMC Color Variations #4210. This was a quick stitch and fun to do. Not sure what I will do with it yet, though. Like most of my projects, it is now stuck away in a box.

Carrie


Majestic Peacock

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This peacock was designed by Marie Barber, from the October 2001 issue of Just Cross Stitch. I LOVE peacocks, and try to find cross stitch charts of them. But usually they are either way too easy or way too complex. This one was just right.

Carrie


First Variegated Project

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This small chart came from an issue of Mary Hickmott’s New Stitches, a British cross stitch magazine. It was the first time I had used variegated floss, and is also my biggest stitching disaster to date. I chose a skein of Ozark Sampler floss and started stitching away. Halfway through, I realized I would not have enough floss to complete the design. I searched online frantically but could not find floss by this company anywhere; apparently they are no longer are in business. I needed a plan… In my stash I found another skein of floss by the same company, in a similar shade. I took one strand of the new and mixed it with two strands of the old, and stitched different areas this way. Then I used three strands of the regular floss and stitched other, random spots until I ran out. In the end I think it turned out OK. There is no one area with the mixed thread that is very large or very far from an area using only the original color.

Carrie