May 30, 2012

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Can you see the mistake and would you fix it if you do?

Help! I think I'm too invested to go back! And honestly, I really don't want to. But with four years into this project, I don't want it to look off in any way. Can you tell what I did wrong?


May 29, 2012

Not Meeting My Goal, But Still Getting Somewhere!

Okay, I promised that I was going to stitch on my HAED until I got a whole page done. And then I got completely distracted Saturday night by the Rainbow Bridge that was still unfinished. I had tried and tried to get these two stupid dogs right on the bottom and had never been able to do it. I finally decided on Saturday that I would give it one last try and, if I couldn't get them right, they were going to find a new home.

I am happy to say that I actually accomplished that goal!

Since I had found some momentum on this project which I have come to really not like very much, I went ahead and did this:

The hamster; not the cat! He was done already.

I don't know why a hamster is eating carrots, but whatever.

Here is the reason I would really like to try to finish this project:

That's probably about four years worth of work, on and off (more off than on) and I just can't imagine dumping it now that I've got all of those animals out of the way. The only thing left is the wording I am currently working on and the rainbow bridge and it will be finished. And then I need to decide what I'm doing with it, but that's a whole other story.

As for my HAED, I did make progress on it. Just not as much as I would have liked.

I have to admit that I am getting just a bit tired of blue, but I will persevere because I love the pattern and the colors that come later. I am praying that the green quilting thread will come out because I've had to go over it with my stitches and I think I have sometimes gone through it, which is probably not conducive to removing it. The one pink line you see is the glaced thread that someone recommended and it seems to be tougher to pierce than the regular quilting thread. I will be gridding the rest of the project with that.

I am due to make some finishes and as soon as this high pressure system moves out and my whole body stops aching, I promise I will get a couple done and put up pictures of how I did it. I was quite amazed at how it wasn't hard - even making the cording isn't bad, so long as you have another person to hold the other end of it.

I'm going to (try to) focus on finishing up the Rainbow Bridge before going back to my rotation. I'd really like to get this off of my WIPs.

Happy stitching!


May 27, 2012

Update on Rainbow Bridge

This morning I decided I was going to give those puppies one more chance and see if I could count them right. If not, the kit was going back into my sewing box. If I got it correct, I would continue on and finish it. Here's where I am!

I have achieved puppies!!!

So The Rainbow Bridge project has been saved. I will continue on. I only have a hamster and a bird left to stitch and the bridge at the bottom and this 3 year project will be finished.

In other news, I worked all day Friday and Saturday on my HAED and plan to go back to it tomorrow. I won't finish a whole page (since I got sidetracked on the dogs), but I have made significant progress. I think I need a five year plan for the HAED, since I want to do a lot of other projects. I will post a picture on Tuesday of the progress I've made.

Speaking of other projects, if any of you can recommend a designer or a pattern for a small angel piece, I would love to hear about it. I put my beautiful angel girl in the half bath and now I need a small piece to complement it on the wall behind the toilet (how graceful, I know!). But I like people to have something beautiful to look at, no matter what they are doing.

And, I am currently shopping for a new quilt for our bed. I am really liking the shabby chic decorating style, even though I'm not quite sure how to achieve it. I had to get the handmade double wedding ring quilt off of my bed because the animals were going to destroy it and it wasn't meant to be used and washed on a regular basis. It stinks that such a beautiful quilt isn't supposed to be used, but I folded it up and put it on my quilt rack, along with another quilt my mom made and gave me when she moved in January.

I couldn't have folded that better if I tried! This is the last quilt my mom made completely by hand. It is a king size quilt and it took her two years to quilt it. Now she has her own quilting business and works on a long arm machine and quilting is much faster. She's a pretty well known quilter amongst the local guilds here and I'm sure will gain lots of business from the guilds in South Carolina where they just moved.

Okay, back to finish the doggies and then back to my HAED. Isn't it funny how we get so frustrated and then if it goes right, we're right back on track?

Happy stitching!


May 26, 2012

Just Throw It Across the Room!

Have you ever had a project that you ended up hating so much because you just couldn't get the stitch count right, no matter how many different times you ripped it out and tried again?

For me, it's the damned Rainbow Bridge over there on the right and I am stuck on those two dogs down at the bottom right, just above the bridge. I'm soooo close! But for the third time this week, I had to rip out the majority of the orange dog and I'm back farther behind than when I started again!

I have to stop working on the HAED when it gets dark because the holes are so tiny. Even with my Ott light, I can't quite see it right and I'm very afraid of making a counting error or floss error on that one. That would be disastrous, with as many hours as I have already put into it. Ripping out is almost not an option on these pieces because there is just no way to catch the thread without catching other thread with it.

When I realized I couldn't work on it at night, that I might have a little trouble completing an entire page in one weekend. Even a three day weekend that I started on Friday. So I apologize for the unrealistic goal I made yesterday morning. Let's revise that I will get as much done on it as possible in the next two days.

As for the Rainbow Bridge, if I can't get those dogs right on the next try, it will be going back into the stack of UFO's and might end up staying there for a good long time. It's the most basic of cross stitch - aida fabric, regular cross stitches, what should be easy counting. But I keep getting hung up on the animals, which are really supposed to be the whole point of the piece.

But first, I will be throwing it across the room (after removing the needle), just for the satisfaction. I never feel so frustrated as when I can't get the stitches right and it will aggravate me until I fix it or bury it. I'm going to try throwing it if I can't get it next time though and see what happens.

Hope you're enjoying your long weekend!

Happy stitching!


May 25, 2012

Weekend Goal for HAED

I decided I wanted to set a goal for myself this weekend, since we don't really have much in the way of plans. My oldest son is working and my husband is making homemade barbeque sauce. I'm going to see if I can talk him into some smoked chicken to shred for sandwiches with some watermelon and home fries and maybe some peach cobbler for dessert one night. Yum.


Here is where I am right now with the HAED:

There are a couple of things that scare me about this piece. The first is that I used regular quilting thread to grid this page because my glaced thread hadn't arrived and I'm a bit concerned that I won't be able to get it out once the stitching is done. I can see a huge difference between the regular quilting thread and the glaced thread in terms of being able to get it out of the stitched piece.

The second thing that scares me a bit is this:

That little tiny bit of blue up in the left hand corner is what I have done so far. This project is the largest I have ever undertaken and, even though I am an experienced cross stitcher, the sheer size is a little overwhelming. There will be 19 pages of pattern to do once I finish this first page and that is a lot of little stitches when you're doing one over one! Joey and I added it up (I already knew, but I wanted him to do a little math for fun - don't hate me; he loves math) and we figured out that it's about 200,000 little, teeny, tiny stitches. That's a lot of stitches!!! 10,000 to a page. How many stitches can you do in an hour? A day? If you're not interrupted, that is.

So, my goal for this weekend is to get the first page completed and grid up the second one. Maybe even get a start on the second page. Which means I will be focusing on this exclusively until I have achieved that goal.

Do any of you have any suggestions on how to make sure you can get your gridding thread out when you finish a page? Also, I have noticed that most people start at the left and move to the right. Is there a reason to do it across instead of down? I would guess it's so you aren't holding the already stitched part any more than necessary, but if this is true, then why wouldn't you start in the upper right hand corner? Just curious. Oh and one more question. If you are using a hoop, doesn't it distort the stitches that you put it over once you have completed a page? I generally don't use a hoop, but have been for this one.

Happy Memorial Day weekend and happy stitching. And please remember what Memorial Day is really about and take a moment to honor those fallen veterans who fought for our freedom.

UPDATE: I forgot that I can't see the tiny little holes once it gets dark! And how many stitches is involved in doing an entire page...I can grasp 10,000 stitches in my mind, but when you start actually trying to get 10,000 stitches done in one weekend...let's just say it probably isn't going to happen. But I am giving it my best shot - I will post an updated picture of just how far I was able to get at the end of the weekend.

(I may have to take a break and work on something a lot smaller and faster to finish!)


May 23, 2012

Celtic Princess Update

Today, I spent the whole day on the Celtic Princess. I discovered that there is a counting error in there somewhere in her skirt, but I think I can work around it.

Progress on May 17, 2012

Progress on May 23, 2012

I know the colors look different, but the pictures were taken in two different rooms at two different times of day.

I was relieved to get what I had to rip out all put back in, along with the second long strand of stitching on the left completely done.

Not sure what I'm working on next, but I think I need a break, as my shoulder is complaining about the non-stop stitching. I've got a massage scheduled for Thursday, so hopefully that will help. Every weekend is for me a hermit and stitch weekend, pretty much. It's rare that I don't spend most of my time working on one of my projects, especially since joining the guild.

I think tomorrow will be HAED, since it's been a few days since I picked it up.

Happy stitching!


Stitching Day Disaster

I was so excited I had all day to stitch yesterday. So, I pulled out the rarely worked on Rainbow Bridge, thinking I could get finished with everything except the bridge. Um, not.

Here is what 5 hours worth of work accomplished:

The green section was already done!!!!

I spent the first hour just frogging the stitches I had put in incorrectly the last time I worked on it. Then I put in a couple more hours putting stitches in the wrong places. Then I frogged some more. Then I worked on the orange puppy. Then I frogged some more and restitched.

I finally got so frustrated that I put it down and picked up the Princess, thinking at least the purple is a great color and the fabric is easy to work with. After putting in a whole vertical row of stitches and ripping it all out completely because I had counted over one too many holes and it was over 3 instead of over 2 threads, I gave up in disgust and considered it an entire day wasted, because it was 9:30 at night.

Ironically, I was watching Groundhog Day last night while I was ripping.

I have another open day today and am hoping to get some correct stitching done, but after the new dog woke me up again at 5:15 to go potty and I never got back to sleep, I have a feeling that the errors are somewhere in the fog that is my brain and no matter what I pick up, I may have the same problem I did yesterday.

Maybe I'll take a short nap first...

Happy stitching.


May 22, 2012

IHSW - Long Weekend and a Finish!

I wanted to post my update on my IHSW on Sunday, but I didn't quite finish the piece I was working on. So, I finished it yesterday and here it is:

Ooops! I forgot the birds' beaks!

 Guess it's not quite finished!

This is not actually framed. What I discovered when the frame arrived is that there is no glass and there is no back! I'm not quite sure how I'm going to figure this one out, except obviously to have a piece of glass cut. There is is a woman in our guild whose husband is a woodworker and I am hoping she might be able to help me. She is very good at framing her own stuff, so maybe she can help me out on what to do about the back.

I was thinking it would look nice if I had a "place" for it to hang, so I need a back that can open (to switch out the months) and something to hang it from. To be honest, I was a little surprised at the cost of this frame and what I got for my money. Which is why I won't be buying a frame for every month!

When I got the frame in the mail, I placed each piece I had already completed against it and realized that January is indeed too small for the frame. I will have to probably whip stitch some of the linen in the same color on the back of it to make it the correct size for the frame. (I will post finishing photos to show you how I learned to finish at the guild. It's really not hard! If I can do it, anybody can do it.)

Today is a stitching day for me and I decided to pull out the old Rainbow Bridge piece to work on, since I haven't touched it in months. I also need to get a start on the March cottage and work on the HAED and maybe do some on the Princess. I should also probably at least start on "Catnap," since I have him on my works in progress list. I have a lot to do!

Here's an update on the HAED:

Unfortunately, I still have not finished a whole page, but you can see I've made some progress. This is a huge project - about 200,000 little, tiny stitches, so I don't anticipate it being done this year and probably not next year, even working on it steadily.

I apologize for being behind on reading and commenting on your blogs and on updating my regular blog. Life kind of ran into me like a truck and I haven't quite made it back to my normal level of functioning. Hopefully, if this rain ever lifts, I will get some energy back!

Happy stitching!


May 20, 2012

ORTs For The New Moon

In honor of International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, I am going to post my first ORT picture! I started saving my threads about two months ago when I discovered this TUSAL, but I haven't yet added a picture.

So, here you go!

Not sure why I wanted my wedding picture in the background, except that my hubby and I just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary and this was one of my favorite pictures.

For those of you who are interested in what I have been learning about finishing from the EGA, I will be posting pictures of my step by step finishing of my Christmas ornaments when I finally get around to doing them. You'll be surprised at how easy it is. It's also very easy to make your own cording if you have a spool of perle cotton and someone to hold the other end of a very long group of threads! I was so pleased with how my nametag for the EGA turned out and tickled that I finished it and it looked so good.

Happy stitching!


May 18, 2012

Frame for Country Cottages

Today I finally ordered the frame I had decided to use for my monthly country cottages. I wanted to make sure it was something classy and pretty and that complemented all of the designs. Here is what I chose:

I ran this by Justin, since he will have to look at it on the bookshelves all year long. I wanted something that drew the eye into the cross stitch piece and I think this fit the bill. All Family Tree Frames can be ordered through 123 Stitch and they come in a variety of sizes.

I'm not sure how big the opening is. I need to find out so that I can finish the two months that I have completed the stitching on. I've got January and April done and am about halfway through this February design. As soon as the frame comes, I will be able to determine how large the finishing board needs to be in exact dimensions.

One thing I have already learned from joining the Embroidery Guild of America is how to finish pieces. I had finished one Christmas ornament prior to my lessons with the wonderful Maggie Frasier (stitcher extraordinaire) and I realized that I had done pretty much everything wrong. Which is great because now I know exactly how to do everything right. I have two other ornaments to finish and I want to go back and refinish the little angel the proper way so that the fabric is not damaged over time.

Since it is International Hermit and Stitch weekend again, I will be planting my ever expanding butt in my recliner to stitch and maybe do some finishing on the pieces that I am able to. Hopefully it won't take long for my frame to arrive.

What are your plans for this weekend? Will you be stitching on big projects or small ones?


May 17, 2012

My Very First Post!

I'm so excited. I've finally got the new site the way I want it and I'm ready to do my first post! I figured I would just go ahead and post pictures of the current progress on my WIPs for you to see.

My February cottage is moving right along. I've kind of limited my rotation since I finished the Love Quilt square to try to get some of the smaller projects done. This is my third Country Cottage monthly cottage stitch and I have the patterns for three more. I am planning on finishing these with a mat board behind the fabric and using one frame for each, switching them out like a calendar each month.

This is my exchange project with my friend in Washington. I haven't made a lot of progress on it. I figure she might get it by Christmas this year. I will finish as many projects as possible while adding smaller ones in to break up the stitching on the big ones.

My poor Celtic princesses just haven't gotten the attention they deserve. Some days I wish I had more hands! This is a fun one and I hope to get some time in on her. I want to frame her in the same way as the finished "Winter" and, when they are all four finished, I will choose a long wall to display them.

I have been spending a couple hours every day, as allowed, on this HAED. I want to wait to post to Claudette's site until I have finished a whole page of the pattern (20 pages total). This is one big ass project (or BAP)!

And that's what I have for today. My son's last band concert is tonight and I am both disappointed and relieved. Unfortunately, his band director has turned him off to music entirely and he will be dropping it after this year. Which means no more concerts to attend or keep track of. He refused to march in the Apple Blossom parades, so I have no idea if he will pass this class or not. He can be very stubborn when he doesn't want to do something. But then again, what 15 year old isn't?

Please leave comments on the blog's style. I will probably be making changes as time goes on to get a design I love. It took a year and half to get there on Life on the Domestic Front, but it was worth it.

Happy stitching!