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Monday, December 30, 2013

Afghan Discussion

Several times in the last few weeks I have been asked about afghans, what fabric to use, why and when.   In the past afghans were often designed to be stitched on Hearthside (do I have that right?) where there are distinctive separations between the blocks.  I did such as afghan when I did Nature's Home, which I finished in 2006. 

 As you can see, I have it on display in my craft room.  (Pardon the mess!)  I think this looks great but I found it difficult to 'match up' the squares/blocks.  I stitched this over several years.  Each time I had to remember how it worked.  Where blocks have stitching that goes across the divide, it is hard to do the match up and have it look right.  I am told that finding this particular fabric/afghan is getting more and more difficult.  If anyone has one that they would like to get rid of, let me know.


My current afghan is also a Stoney Creek.  This one calls for a plain fabric.  I believe I am using Lugana.  The blocks will be matched up stitch by stitch and side by side.  No separation between the blocks to confuse the stitcher.  I actually also have another afghan in construction.  Hummingbird Trellis on an afghan fabric.  If I had my way, I would do all afghans on the plain fabrics.  I just think it is easier to work on and to match up each block. 

I hope I have answered all the questions.  If not, let me know and the discussion can continue.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Village Block #1 done

 Here it is!!!  Block number one is complete.  The question then becomes what block next?  Or perhaps work on something else?  So many questions.

I decided to move down the right side of the afghan.  Block number six I believe.  It snowed again today so I was stuck at home.  Oh Gee Darn!  I did go out and shovel and I took a walk to the mail box  I saw four deer in the back yard as they traveled through.  They stopped and watched me watching them. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Progress and some purple things.....


Old John Wayne movies and some stitching filled my day.  I am oh so close to having block number one completed.  I keep thinking - each and every day - that today is the day that I will have block number one done  I am close.

Purple is my color and now many people know that.  Today I received a bunch of purple treasures.  The bear, pen, note pad, note cards, windows decoration and hand warmers are all in purple and are from family members.  I think I have everyone now convinced that I love, love, love purple.  The teddy is just adorable.

I had two gifts from fellow stitchers.  On the right is a package from Lee.  I love the little towel.  So pretty and I promise to use it.  Also a purple flashlight, purple flosses and a purple thing....  It is a tool for what I am not sure.  On the left is from my Secret Santa Nancy.  Notepad, box with stitching kit to go on top, a kit for a needlebook all purple and greens, a felt and floss kit with a heart shaped pin cushion/sachet.  These are all wonderful choices for me and all quite the surprise when I opened them. 

I had a good Christmas although I was feeling ill for part of it.  I am better tonight and hopefully on the right path.  (Mostly I think I have to ignore the doctor's advice....)  It was my first Christmas without my love and I do miss him.  Trust me when I say he gave a few very nice gifts this year.  I even found a bag that he wrote my name on and I intend to fill it every year with my present from him.  Most of my usual traditions have been packed away and won't be visited again.  I need to make some new traditions.  The weather guy is calling for snow tomorrow?  I might be snowed in?  Gee Darn.  I might have to stitch even more than I did today.  I hope everyone had a wonderful day.  Christmas should be a time to count our blessings, share with family and do what makes us happy.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to all my blog friends.  I hope everyone is safe, warm and enjoying their family.  It is a special night and I like to think of all of you having a special night.  I have been working on the afghan but I haven't made much progress  I keep saying "I will have this block done soon."  But it hasn't happened.  LOL..



Last night this surprise gift arrived.  Never mind what is in the boxes - - I want the boxes.  I feel like a two year old.  Gold shiny boxes that fit inside each other?  What can I store in them?  Where can I display them?  Life does go full circle - - I want the boxes...... 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ice Storm Stitching

Our temperatures are just above freezing.  I haven't actually stepped outside but it looks quite icy out there.  I hope it gets better over night.  I have an appointment tomorrow.  I will cancel without a thought before I will attempt to drive on ice! 

Meanwhile I have been a busy girl today.  First I picked up the afghan and got all the colors on so I can see how it will look.  I love it.  I hope to keep working on it but there are so many other things to do.

I did receive the missing floss so I was able to finish the red tulip mat.  I hope to do the finishing part on it soon.  I want to use iron on fleece to seal and protect the back and do some fraying on the edges.



Meanwhile I continue to work on the cross stitch Christmas Village afghan.  This is all quite the list for one day!!  I hope everyone is safe and happy as this wonderful holiday approaches.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Backstitching always helps





I am making progress.  I did some backstitching as it helps to make sure the other parts are going where they belong.  I am approaching the end of block number one.  I do believe I have hit all four walls at this point.  There is still a lot to do.  I don't know why I enjoy this so much but I do. 

Today the floss showed up for the little mat project.  I should take a few moments and finish that up and then do the finishing on it.  Christmas is ready except for perhaps a cake and some cooking.  I am not planning on many visitors or much by way of special things happening.  It will be a quiet day for me.  I plan to do some stitching.  I suppose I am as ready as I will ever be for the big day at this point.  I am starting to look at year end and plans for next year.  More to follow.....

Friday, December 20, 2013

One flower done.....

One flower almost done!!  I have been working on my project.  I had to give up on the lap stand and I am just working with the Qsnaps at this point.  I think it is coming along well.  Perhaps this weekend, I will have chart number one done.





I have been contemplating (and discussing with a friend) the idea of cross stitch afghans.  I have done them on afghan fabric with squares defined by colored threads for even just a change in the way the fabric is woven.  Personally - - I like this idea of cashel fabric with no divisions between the charts/blocks.  I think it will look even better.  There will be no question as to how the squares go together.  Just a thought......

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just a bit of progress - -





It is almost a whole flower!!  I keep working on the border and the flower is coming along.  I have to be better than half way done with the first block.  I am going through an unbelievable amount of floss.  This is stitched on 20 count, over two with four strands of floss.  I am using loop start and a end a floss with extra caution.  I still plan to but a backing on this one once it is done.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Yes, the Afghan is large!!!

I suppose I should confess that this isn't my first afghan.  I did one from 2001 through 2006?  I really don't remember.  I did Stoney Creek's Nature's Home.  I did 4 or 5 squares every winter.  I count each block as a single project.  (After all that is how the charts are done...)  I only work on the afghan in the winter because the fabric is draped all over me while I stitch.  Generally I roll up the excess and put a clamp on it to help keep it out of the way.  I also work to have my water glass and phone handy by so that once I get started I don't need to get up too quick.  They are a lot of work but I do enjoy them.  Here is today's progress.

When I am not working on the afghan it sits on the floor.  (Horrors!!)  Here it is.  There is a lap stand under all that fabric.

Today was a snow day.  I am not sure how much snow we received today.  I shoveled about three inches off the sidewalk.  Light and fluffy snow because it is soooo very cold outside.  Last night the back yard was fully lit up with the moon casting shadows from through the trees.  I love to see it but it does mean it is cold, cold, cold.  I also had a great time watching the deer today.  I saw six at the neighbors having a snack.  Three of the deer went under the trees, scratched out a small area and laid down for a rest.  I sat here in wonder just looking at them.  Wow - I so love living here!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pretty presents and some stitching done

The sun was out bright and beautiful today.  The sky was so blue.  I did get out and did some errands and shopping.  I watched the deer today.  I now see them almost every day as they look for corn my neighbor puts out for them.  This evening one deer stood in my back yard for quite some time.  Was she watching me watching her?  Today my Secret Santa package arrived.  I took a photo.  They look so pretty and I will be waiting until Christmas to open them.


I also had a bit of time to get some more stitching done.  Part of my shopping today was purchasing more DMC floss for just this project.  More snow is due in the morning so I hope to get some more stitching done then.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snowed In!!

Well it snowed all night.  I was up fairly early and right away my plow guy was here.  I guess I could have gone out but it was better to be a 'snow day'.  I might make tomorrow the same. 

 I did work on my afghan.  I have never been a big fan of borders but I am making progress.

This is the deck that greeted me early this morning.  I guess we have at least a foot of snow on the ground.

This evening I tried to capture the sunset through the trees. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let It Snow!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.  Ok - enough of that.  Although I am happy to think that this snow will be enough that someone else will plow and shovel!  Enough shoveling for me.  It is pretty.  I am curious to see what tomorrow brings.  I have seen so many really pretty pictures from my friends in St. Louis. Maybe tomorrow I can share a photo or two.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I broke a rule!  I normally try to only have one cross stitch project going at one time.  BUT it is snowing!!  It was 4 degrees this morning - it is cold, cold, cold.  So I have been itching to work on a new afghan.  So here is the start of it.

 It is a border in red and green.  This is a beautiful afghan from the Stoney Creek magazine.  It is called Christmas Village.  I am stitching it over two, with 4 threads on 20 count Lugana.  I have never been a fan of checkerboard stitching but I will be doing a lot of it with this one. 


I did work on the current Just Nan - Autumn project.  I am just not sure of those little pumpkins in yellow, green and red.  All I can think of is Angry Birds.  Geez!  I hope everyone stays safe tonight. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Such a Surprise and a bit of stitching

 While I took a nap (my sinuses do not like this dry winter weather at all), the mail lady brought me a happy surprise.  I have been looking at these very special fabrics and drooling.  Now Look what has arrived for me.  Cheryl, of PG Peddler, sent me pieces of many of the fabric she designs and uses in her quilts.  I am itching to use them with some applique patterns that I have.  I love them all.  I don't want to open them or begin using them as it is just so much fun and oh so wonderful to look at them all stacked up.  (I wonder how long that will last?) 
I need to think of something special to do for Cheryl, she has been a very good friend for many years and today she sent me some smiles and I do appreciate it.

I also did some stitching.  The machine is also working away.  I did shovel for a bit but my asthma is not liking the super cold temperatures.  I am being careful and resting when I can.  We have a snow storm coming this weekend.  STITCH TIME IS COMING!!! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tree is Up and Autumn is being worked on -

Thanks to some help, I do have the tree up and all the decorating done that I plan to do.  I am absolutely positive that this holiday will be very different for me.  I have to keep remembering that this too is making me stronger.  

Today I returned to the Autumn piece that I had abandoned many months ago.  I am contemplating a start on the Christmas afghan that I have been collecting charts and supplies for.  One of these days, I hope to find some quality time to sit and stitch.  I have been busy with appointments, paperwork and a sinus problem.  I do seem to require a lot of sleep right now.  It is getting the way of my stitch time!! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Decorating and a few projects getting done.

 I got a deal!!  Nordic Needle "last one left" of the red tulip small mat.  I started it last night and ran out of floss.  It is my fault because it is two stitches bigger and I am now on the hunt for Anchor 1204.  Plus, in the middle is a scissor fob that I have been working on.  It needs beads and some fancy stuff and then finishing.....


Meanwhile I made these and a few more machine ornaments today.  I am learning a lot.  How to change threads in the middle of a project... how to clear a jam when they happen... what threads work better than others... some times it is just the  angle that the thread is being fed to the machine....  I plan to use these little goodies to decorate packages this year.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Few New Things

 If it wasn't for the last minute ---  Uncle Sam is to be a Christmas gift.  So tonight he was made up into a stand up pillow.  How cute is that?


This is the back of him.  I went with just blue and white and avoided the overly busy flag design fabric that I had.

Being sick means that I get up in the night and have tea.  So at 3:00 am, I finished the ruler sheath.  It is a finish and I will take it.  My numbers are very low for this year's XS accomplishments.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Six Ornaments





I am struggling with my yearly sinus illness.  Boooo.  Stitching is not a priority right now.  However, last night I was able to get these done on the machine.  Today I melted away the stabilizer and ironed them.  They are ready to go.  Tonight?  Green Wreaths?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Good news - some progress is being made.

Where does the time go?  The Christmas holiday is coming so quickly.  I have so many things I would like to do.  I suppose that "I am speaking to the choir" on that topic.  LOL  Our Thanksgiving was great and I hope that all that read this have also enjoyed wonderful family gatherings and many blessings.

I have been busy.  I am ready for buttons and beads on the Christmas etui.

 All four pieces!!!  I might have to set it aside for a bit while I get Christmas duties completed.


Here is a new Christmas duty!  I have been playing with the new machine and did these five ornaments a couple of days ago.  As I write this I have six white stars stitching up.  I do enjoy doing these but now I want so many to give as gifts!!!  When will I find the time?  I think one of these tied to a ribbon on every gift is a goal I have to work on.  LOL.