If I waited until I actually had time to sit and write a post, well you would miss that Spring has finally sprung here in Iowa. We've actually had our first few days in a row with temps above 70 degrees which has done wonders to bring the Spring bulb plants alive with color. Unfortunately, a cold front moved through last night and we've had thunderstorms and rain non-stop with cooler temps (only in the 40's today) and some parts of the state will even have the rain turn to snow later tonight. Yikes! The rain has been great for the lawn, however, as it has turned from brown to a beautiful green. Now if only we could get some leaves on the trees.
Isabella (Primitive Hare) decided to do a 2014 Contest and I decided to take advantage of the purchase of this lovely little design at a very reasonable cost. You must stitch it up, finish in some fashion and send her a picture of your completed piece to be entered in the Contest. It is worth the effort as she is offering quite nice prizes to the winner. Good Luck to all!
I decided to change one color (changed the blue to a red) and stitched it up on a piece of OOPS 25 count overydyed fabric I had in my stash. I had originally planned on making a pillow of this piece but when I changed fabric and thread colors from Isabella's design something completely different came to mind. I pictured a needle book that had a place for pins and needles as well as a pocket with a flap for my scissors. I took my finished cross stitch piece with me to the quilt store and found fabrics that matched perfectly. It took me a few days to actually get up the nerve to start cutting fabrics and constructing my needle book.
I will be the first to admit it is not perfect and I had a couple of hiccups along the way - like sewing my flaps into the side seams. Overall I am pleased with the results. I ended up being able to make the pocket actually 2 pockets. I put scissors in the smaller one and the larger one is the perfect size my my 3" stitch starter. I did get to use the piece of overdyed lace in my stash as the overdyed ric rac I had intended on using was not a match. The coolest thing about this piece - I ran out of brown thread when I was 2/3 of the way completed and did not have another spool - or so I thought. I spotted my Great Aunt Martha's sewing machine which I inherited and decided to go and check the drawers. I was so delighted to find a spool of brown thread and I think it is pretty cool to have used the thread that my Great Aunt Martha used in my piece.
I think I will stitch this piece a second time using the called for colors and construct another needle book. I know what I would do different next time and know it will look much more polished. I will take pictures and post a tutorial on how to construct when I do my second one.
This is the fabric box that my Aunt Nanc gifted me with the kit. I've had the fabric cut out since mid-March but again finding the nerve to actually start constructing took a bit of time for me. Luckily when she gifted me the kit she also wanted to set up a Skype chat to show me little "tips" to make it easier. I can't tell you how helpful it was as she had the box in various stages of construction and was able to really show me how it all went together. I plucked up my courage this past Monday and got started. It really was very easy to put together and am already thinking about how I can apply the principle of construction to make in a square to finish some of my cross stitch pieces.
I've also started putting together the pillow for my friend, Allison, who had a few t-shirt logos and fabric leftover from a t-shirt quilt that she had made. There is another t-shirt logo large enough in navy blue that will become the back of the pillow.
I also made another quilt as you go table runner for my sister-in-law for her birthday. Alas, it still has not been delivered but don't think she reads the blog so it shouldn't ruin the surprise.
As mentioned previously, I was making pretty good progress on the Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler by With Thy Needle and Thread....or at least I was until I opened my big mouth and said how much progress I was making. That very evening I ended up ripping out the entire upper right corner of the piece as I was 2 threads (1 stitch) off. I thought about just leaving it but then I would be trying to make adjustments for the remainder of the design and ripping out seemed the lesser of 2 evils. The picture on the left gives a better representation of the fabric color while the photo on the right shows you how much work has been completed.
As mentioned, here are the fabrics and threads I am using on this design. The fabric ended up being a 36 count fabric but I have absolutely no idea the color (other than it has a bluish color to it). I wish I had more information on it but I am stumped on this one. The appearance and texture of it make me think it is Edinborough by Zweigart. I usually keep the tag with it but it seems to have disappeared.
As mentioned, I did change the majority of the thread colors which was necessitated by my choice of fabric color.
Called for Color Lorrie's Color
Weeks Light Khaki DMC 739
Weeks Straw DMC 738
Weeks Dove Weeks Dove
Weeks Confederate Gray DMC 3023
Weeks Guacamole DMC 734
Weeks Cappuccino Weeks Cappuccino
Weeks Sage DMC 612
Weeks Caper DMC 3781
Weeks Bark DMC 3031
Weeks Brick DMC 3858
Weeks Kentucky Bluegrass Weeks Kentucky Bluegrass
Weeks Kudzu DMC 640
Weeks Cinnabar DMC 3064
Weeks Indian Summer DMC 3857
Weeks Olive Weeks Olive
Last Friday was my monthly book club meeting and we discussed Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon. I didn't even come close to finishing this book before the meeting but I was not alone. It is some 700+ pages long and is more academic reading. In fact I think the only one who actually finished the book was the discussion leader. It was nice of her to admit that it took awhile for her as well. Surprisingly it was a pretty good discussion as the book is broken down into several different topics and everyone had chosen different topics to read. I can only imagine how long we would have talked if we each had read the entire book.
I also recently finished reading The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston. I enjoyed the book and unknowingly had put another one of her books on my wish list to read so anticipate reading something from this author again soon.
I've also read a couple of the J D Robb mystery books. I really do enjoy a good mystery.
I am currently reading 4 books right now. I'm still working on 2 from book club which are Far from the Tree and The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen as well as The End of Night by Paul Bogard and Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.
Hubby and I've had a couple of date nights since last post. We saw the movie Divergent and I felt they did a pretty good job of putting book to screen. We also saw Capt. America: The Winter Soldier. I can't help it I just love those Marvel movies.
Received the Amish Friendship Bread starter from my friend Launa and today was baking day. I'm thinking a slice of this will be my dessert for tonight.