Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Winter's Bounty

Hi to all my stitchy friends and any visitors!

Winter's bitter effects are minimal in my part of the country (So Cal).  Actually, I really love cooler days because of the heat we endure during some of our other months.  There is no doubt in my mind that the weather has changed over the years...I've given away so many of my warmer clothes because I just don't wear them anymore!  We are almost to the end of February and the average temperature over the last several months has been around 70.  😮

I don't know if you remember, but I was in the middle of several stitching projects in my last post.  I am so happy that I've finished those three and another unplanned one.  I can now move on to a family gift I need to start for next year. For me, these four projects are a "bounty" of progress.  Last year, I had just returned to stitching after many years and felt like I spent much of my time doing the LHN Monthlies.  I love each one of them, tho and will continue to display them.  After making fabric covered backs for the first ones, I learned from Priscilla how to attach metal sheets and magnets so that I can use the same back (since the color matches all the monthlies) over and over.

AND my stitching seems to move a little bit faster for me now related to my Lowery frame that holds my Q-Snap pieces to the side with my hands free to stitch with both hands. Yay!

Here is the Valentine's Day stitch that I will display through the month of February.

Endless Hearts by Threadwork Primitives
28 count Tea-Dyed Monaco

This one is specifically for winter...I'd better finally finish it ...spring will be here before we know it!

Hello Winter by Plum Street Samplers
25 count Vintage Country Mocha Lugana

Next is a famous series that I just started and am sure to be working on for years to come!  I have all 34 of them, so I can now rest... ;-)  I haven't yet decided how to finally finish these Santas.
Prairie Schooler Santa 2017
28 count Putty Khaki Davos

My bonus piece is a wip from last year....can't decide whether to mount on foam board or frame....final finishing is a challenge for me!  Yes, I should have chosen darker fabric...

Hello Spring by Hands on Design
25 count Stormy Night Lugana

Oh...and I almost forgot my Little House Needleworks February monthly....I finished this in November, 2017, but haven't shown it yet...

Goodby for now & Happy Stitching!
Hugs, Susan

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Returning to the Fold

Hi to all!  I've been absent for sooo long.  I'm not sure why I've put off posting for such a long time...I guess I let life get in the way.  I developed sciatica last fall and it was a humdinger for me.  I could sit for short periods only and found myself constantly whining about not being able to stitch!  Fortunately I was able to stitch some of the time, but being the slow stitcher that I am, I didn't feel very productive.

All that aside, I need to get to some of my stitched pieces and Wips.

But first, here is a site I've just discovered through Flosstubers.  Victorian Motto Samplers...I haven't received my first threads as yet, but everyone raves about them so I couldn't resist! The site has a contest going on right now until February 14th....with some beautiful red and green threads to win. So join in!

Here are nine of my twenty 2017 finishes:

Much of my time was taken up with getting the Monthly cross stitch charts (Little House Needleworks) done.  I started them at the end of February 2017 and finally finished all of them at the end of 2017!

Here is this month's stitch...most of the monthlies have magnets on the backs, making it easy to use the same green back board, which has a corresponding magnet.  This was an idea from the very well known Priscilla of Priscilla and Chelsea Flosstube fame.

Next are three wips that I'm working on...the first one is for Valentines Day, so time is of the essence.
With this one, I'm trying to teach myself two-handed stitching...not easy with my uncoordinated left hand, but I'm getting better and I think it's helping me to move a bit faster.

I've seen several finishes on this piece...Hello Winter...I'm hoping to finish before winter is over :-)

And this next one is a brand new "genre" for me...I've never really been into Santas, but the huge amount of Prairie Schooler Santas I've seen on Blogs, FB, and IG have tweaked my mind into thinking I must stitch these!  I've joined two PS groups on FB, so now I'm hooked...
I'm starting with the 2017 PS Santa and next I'll stitch the first one ever, the 1984 Santa.

Take Care and keep on stitching!

Hugs, Susan 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mid-July and Stitching Progress

A hot summer hello!  Air conditioning is here to stay for awhile in my house!

I've been doing a lot of sitting and stitching lately and have surpassed my goals to get ahead with the Little House Needleworks monthly series (I didn't start them until last February)... I'm so ready to finish them so I can concentrate on other seasonal pieces.  

Another important goal of mine is walking.  In this hot weather, that means getting outside fairly early.  I do have a treadmill, but I save that for winter when the garage is cooler.  And there are just so many hours in the day for walking, stitching, and all the necessities of life, aren't there?  It's good to be busy, though.

Besides the LHN monthlies, another series I've started is the LHN Early Americans (me and a lot of other stitchers!)...most everyone I see on IG is well ahead of me.  I just finished Betsy Ross and have now started John Hancock.  I'm not stitching on one piece of fabric as some are, so I will complete them all before I decide how I want to frame and display them.

I'm doing all the Early American pieces on 30 count Tin Roof linen which is kind of a loose weave. It's been a challenge to stitch so as not to pull the threads too tightly.

Here is how far I am on John Hancock...

It has been fun stitching this series and reading about these American pioneers.  

I've never worked with a stitching rotation, but now I have so many WIPS that I found myself needing to focus on finishes instead of wandering from piece to piece.  The monthlies are a priority for me...I'm barreling through them and just started October, so I'm hoping to finish before the end of the year (I started with March, so my last piece will be February).

Here is August, the next monthly to be displayed next to my summer, patriotic dough bowl (shown in a previous post).  I finally got "smart" about the mat boards that back up the monthlies...I attached magnets to the monthly piece and to the mat board so that I can use the same mat board on the next one and don't have too keep making new ones for each monthly! The idea of magnets was extracted from the Priscillas blog except that she uses sheet metal and magnets.  I see that Amazon sells sheet metal, so I might try that on a decorative frame!

August was an OK piece...a bit too subdued for me...I could have frogged the wording and re-stitched in a brighter color, but I decided to stay with the recommended threads.

And finally, this proud mom wants to show off a picture of my son on his 50th birthday celebration.  My son, Chris is to the right and his brother-in-law, Steve is to the left...I don't know if you are familiar with the popular Corn Hole game where you toss bean bags into the hole from a distance, but Chris has been wanting one...sooo Steve is actually building one (actually two since there are two players)...with Chris' favorite logo..the L.A. Dodgers.  

I didn't take a picture of it, but I gifted Chris with a picture album from his birth through high school that I've been working on for almost a year.  Whew!

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Finishes and StitchMaynia SALS

Hi to everyone!  Welcome to my stitching blog...

The most important news event for me this month was the graduation from middle school and high school for my two granddaughters (my son's family).  It was a big day for our family as we gathered to participate in this day-long event...the eighth grader graduated at 9:30 in the morning and the high schooler at 7pm the same day...Whew!  So most of us just hung out at my son's home for the day.  Here is a picture of the two of them...Makayla on the left and Jessa on the right.  I'm so proud of these girls!

Here are the stitching presents I gave them...first for the eighth grade graduate and then for the high school grad...I framed these myself...you can probably tell...and the most difficult part was finding the right size frame!  I never did!  Of course, mats would be able to solve that problem, but I don't (yet) have a mat cutter.  Oh, and I loved using the Micro-Stitcher...it worked really well to attach the stitched pieces to mat board (see my previous blog for an explanation and picture of the packaging).

They were both stitched on 32 count Antique White Lugana...the larger one with all the words was more difficult than simple cross stitching...I still can't figure out exactly why, but it was!  I hope they liked these presents as much as I loved making them.  No one in my family is accustomed to my stitching because I just returned to this hobby after so many years.

Remember Stitch Maynia?  I did have five starts during May, but I had to keep it to that because of the two presents I was making and the Little House Needleworks monthlies that I'm scrambling to complete every month.  Actually I'm finally getting ahead with the monthlies...it's still June and I'm starting on August...Yay!

Here is July... the colors were a little softer than previous months, but I love them!  I've finished most of the monthlies with mat board covered in a green cotton material.

Now that Stitch Maynia is over...with some WIPS to finish, I'm going to jump into their Summer SAL starting on June 20th and ending on September 21...my goal will be to finish Summer by Little House Needleworks (started during Stitch Maynia).....and get another summer piece started...Hello Summer by Plum Street Samplers.

Sorry...sometimes the fabric photographs a bit wonky.  This particular fabric is 28 count Earthen Lugana.

The next Stitch-a-Long (SAL) that I will participate in starts on July 1st and is the Patriotic Pride SAL....I will be working on Let Freedom Ring and possibly some smaller patriotic pieces I've started. 
So much to stitch...so little time!  

I won't be able to finish this piece until well into next year...Ha! and perhaps beyond!

This concludes my latest stitching...thanks for visiting my blog!  Take care and God Bless!


Monday, May 29, 2017

The June Bug

Do you have the June Bug like I do...longing for clear skies and sun, patriotic celebrations, graduations, maybe even a picnic or two?  Stitchers are usually stitching up something in anticipation of the days ahead and during the month of May, many stitchers are frantically starting new projects for StitchMaynia on Facebook.  This year marked my first StitchMaynia..I started five new pieces (some stitchers start 20 to 30 new projects....Eeeek!) and I'm excited to be able to just go to each one and stitch away because they are kitted up and already started.

I have been slowed down a bit by two projects that will be June presents...I'll show those after I deliver them...right now I'm trying to figure out how to frame them myself!  A little bit scary for me, but I've been watching framing videos on Flosstube (The Crafty Curator #29) to prepare myself.  I bought a Micro Stitch on Amazon to seal the sides of the fabric to foam board, but that's as far as I've gone for now.

In addition, I have chosen to finish the Little House Needleworks monthly series from a few years back and that also keeps me from ALL the projects I want to stitch!

Here is a picture of the MicroStitch...it really is quite nice and works well.  The kit comes with quite a few of the black or white stitches. Of course, I'll show the finished projects when the deed is done!

The following pictures show my monthlies for May and June...and the upcoming July monthly...

Next are some of my new starts, but first my patriotic dough bowl for the summer months...

This new start is Land That I Love by Little House Needleworks....I started this piece stitching with one thread over one square on 25 count fabric, but unfortunately my eyes are just too old to be able to be able to do that kind of stitching...Sad, because I love the way it looks.  So, I've restarted this piece stitching 2 over 2 on 32 count Platinum Lugana.  

And here is the first in a series of Early Americans by Little House Needleworks...I need to get going on Betsy Ross because John Hancock is already in the house!  The 30 count Tin Roof Linen by Weeks Dye Works looks a bit wonky here, but it's just a distortion of the picture for some reason.

And finally, here is a picture of a Mother's Day Tea I attended at my son's church...my daughter-in-law, Melinda is to the far left with her friend, Natasha standing in the back...my daughter Jennifer is next, then my granddaughter, Jessa (graduating from high school in June) ...next is me, and then Amanda, a friend of Melinda's.  We had a wonderful and blessed time...you can see the room was packed!

Remember those who have given up their lives for our freedom and thank God for his protection.

Happy Memorial Day!

Many Stitchy Blessings,

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April News

Good morning!  I hope your Easter was blessed with family and delicious food!  Mine certainly was! I went to my son's church in Long Beach where he is the pastor... for a delightful Easter service and then on to a restaurant called Claimjumper where they are known for mega-servings.  The 12 of us who gathered together were stuffed!  Here is a picture of my son, his wife and my two lovely granddaughters.

Now on to stitchy news...if you remember from a previous post,  I said I returned to cross stitching at the beginning of this year after many years away (I was in the midst of card-making for quite a long time). It seems no matter what I do, it doesn't take long for my stash to build!  I'm going to show you what I'm recently stitching, but it is not all of it. My WIPs (works in progress) are many, some just "kitted" and waiting.

First, my finished April monthly stitch by Little House Needleworks:

Here is my Spring dough bowl ... you can't see it in this picture, but the April monthly is sitting to the right.  Toward the back of the bowl is a Mill Hill beaded egg that I finished for the bowl.  I really loved beading!

And here is the May monthly in progress...

The next stitch is unfinished but I'm hoping to add it to my Spring bowl collection soon...
It's called Hello Spring and the designer is Hands On Design. I'm not using the "called for" fabric which is black (meant to look like chalkboard). My fabric is 25 count Stormy Night Lugana.  

I'm also in the process of stitching two presents...for the granddaughters shown above..
They will be graduating from high school and middle school in June.  Here is the piece for the high school grad...by Ursula Michael for Imaginating.

And the next is for the middle school grad...hers will be a bit smaller, but I couldn't leave her out, could I?  This piece is by My Big Toe.

Each stitchy project I'm working on has its own project bag by Made by Mama Joan  (Joan Seidel)...she is on Flosstube (You Tube), has been stitching for years and makes project bags to sell.  They are so well-made and the fabric is beautiful.  What I especially like is the "window" made from a heavy plastic that she sews into the front.  I can identify my project and don't have to look into each bag before I open!

Here is the front of one of the bags...Joan has coordinating fabric on each bag...one on the front and one on the back...

Finally, here is one of my next projects...very popular among stitchers right now.  By Lila's Studio, it is called Let Freedom Ring.  I admit it is huge (for me) and I find it daunting...but, one stitch at a time!

Stitches and Blessings,

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March News and Heading Toward April

Hello!  Because I am focused on getting monthly and seasonal projects done, time seems to be rushing along at breakneck speed!  Being a recent returnee to cross stitching after many years of card making, I have a lot to make up and I seem to want to stitch everything I see, which we know just isn't possible.

I will probably post on my blog once a month, but if you wish to see me more frequently please join in to Instagram here...my Instagram name is susanrlankford.  It is just easier for me to post a quick picture on Instagram with a short statement.  After all, I need time to stitch! (wink)

First is my February finish for the bread bowl I purchased after seeing several of them on Flosstube...(I'm very suggestible)! The swirly motifs on the heart have small pearl beads attached and I added a verse from Luke 10:27.

And here is the bread bowl...due to be changed for Spring...the stitched felt hearts are made from some Primitive Heart dies (Papertrey Ink)...I thought they really added to my heart pillow.

I've started stitching a monthly series by Little House Needleworks and the next picture shows my finished March...I started these later in the year, so I'll have to catch up to January and February for next year.

Here is the back...I have a lot to learn about finishing!  Have you been to Stitching Dreams?  Carol has the model blog (she just won a British award for most outstanding needlework blog) and her finishes are exquisite.  I recently won a lovely pattern on her blog....Yay!  I'll have a picture for you one of these days.

The April monthly is still a work in progress...I'm stitching my monthlies (so far) on Monaco Tea Dye Evenweave fabric.  I'm still a little afraid of Linen...slubs and all...but I'll venture into it eventually.

He is Risen by Little House Needleworks is another WIP....Of course, this one is specific to Easter, so I really need to push a bit...isn't it sweet?  I'm not sure why I decided to use this Dusty Green Jobelan 28 count, except that green is my favorite color!  I just hope the greens in the pattern show well!

And finally, this next one is kind of an extra (I am already accumulating lots of "extra" stash)...that I work on less than the others because there is no time pressure.  The pattern is called The Pedigree of Honey (Leisure Arts Samplers) and I actually started it for a SAL on Stitch Maynia (something historical).  This pattern has a line from a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and will be my first sampler.  I really do like a lot of the Bee patterns that I see!

Gotta love the hive needle minder! I'm stitching this one on 32 count Lambswool Jobelan...smooth as silk!

That ends it for this month...Much happy stitching to you!

Stitched Blessings...


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine Heart

Hi!  I'm back to show you my finished, but not completely finished, heart from the February issue of Just CrossStitch magazine.  If you remember, I have recently returned to cross stitching and have never fully finished a piece (ex: pillow finish or other types of finishes).  So out comes the sewing machine and the next task is to familiarize myself with how to actually complete the task.

Here is the finished front with an added verse from Luke:.

I'll post a picture as soon as I finish the back.

After watching a Flosstube video by Night Owl Stitcher, I really had to have a dough bowl...when it arrives, I plan to decorate with "smalls" as other stitchers do!  Love that idea!

Here are a couple of my planned projects to be started very soon:

He is Risen by Little House Needleworks will be started in one of my SALs on Facebook...called Year of Starts...a new project can be started on the 17th of every month. 

The next one needs to be started ASAP .... it is a monthly series by Little House Needleworks ...the first one I'm stitching is March...I'll have to do January and February for 2018 since those months have passed.

I just ordered a lap stand with connections for Q-Snaps and Roller Frames by Needlework System 4! So excited to get this system....the floor stand may come later *wink*.

Must rush on.  Hope all of you have a stitchy day

Stitchy Blessings,