Friday, March 11, 2016

Whole Lotta Stitchin' Goin' On

Lots of bunny parts around here.  I finished the arms and legs yesterday, and I'm hoping to get at least one ear done tonight.  I'll try to finish him up this weekend.  Grabbed a cute fat quarter this week and I'm going to attempt making him a bow tie.  I couldn't find green/orange plaid, but I did find something with green and orange in it.

I worked on Blackberry House a bit this week instead of waiting until this weekend to make progress.  A few more minutes work should see page 1 complete on this.  I'm really enjoying my time working on this and might need to work it into my weekday rotation instead of only working on it a few hours on the weekend.

I divided my time this week between 3 HAED projects.  The first was The Great Snail.  I only managed to complete a little over 900 stitches on this before eye strain and a headache drove me to put it up and work on something else.  I think this will get more time on the frame once I manage to get past all this background work.  It's very motivating when little details start to take shape, but can be a bit disheartening to put so many hours into it and not see anything at all.  I am not going to give estimates on completion on these three projects because not working on them for the full week has really skewed things.  Let's just say that if these estimates are correct, I hope my eyesight holds out for many, many, many years :-D

Next I decided to restart one of those projects I sat aside due to not being happy with the coverage.  I had fabric big enough to work this, so figured I may as well get it back into rotation.  This is Mini Bottom of the Garden, and is a chart purchased for me by my friend Brandi for Christmas.  I also completed just over 900 stitches on this one, but those 900 stitches were completed much faster than those on The Great Snail.  Both of these patterns are by the same artist and feature fairies with other fanciful creatures.  I plan to hang both in my spare bedroom when completed.

The last HAED design I worked on is another new start.  I got the first 130 stitches in on Mini Days Like These.  Not much to see yet, but I only worked on it for a bit one evening.  Hoping this one moves faster once I get it worked into rotation.

I have several more that need to get worked into rotation, both restarts and new starts.  My goal is to get fabric and work at least one of them in each month until they are all started.  I know it seems crazy to have so many going at once, but this way I have a nice variety to choose from and hopefully won't get burned out.  I tend to get tired of projects and set them aside if I try to work on them exclusively and it takes a long time to get them done.

This week, Ornament Enchanted Christmas is back in rotation.  I put it on the lap frame Paul made me last week.  I really like working on this frame, but I think I might have him make it a bit smaller for me.  I don't seem to have the coordination needed to work with my left hand on the back side, and my right hand won't reach all the way to the other side, so I wind up only being able to work on the lower left 2/3 comfortably.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Weekend Recap

I pulled out the green bunny and worked on it for a bit on Saturday.  I really need to get my butt in gear on this since Easter is right around the corner.  I don't think the limbs and ears will take too long, so I'm going to try to complete one each day before moving on to my cross stitch.  That will see it finished this weekend.  I think it's going to need a nice bow around its neck.  Maybe I'll try my hand at making a bow tie instead.  Some nice spring looking orange and green plaid fabric might do the trick.

I worked a bit on Paul's stocking this weekend too.  It doesn't look like much is completed, but I did get most of the white done on the snowman, and started working on his hat.  Maybe next weekend I'll work on the flesh colors for the children's faces, hands, and legs.

I spent the better part of Saturday working on the Blackberry House sampler.  I finished the scallops across the top, and I'm almost complete with the rest of page 1.  Really liking the colors in this.  I had Paul make me a new lap frame yesterday.  Might try to put this on it and see if work goes any faster this week.

Friday, March 4, 2016

HAED Enchanted Christmas 3/4/16 Update

 I never did get around to blogging about my "side" cross stitch projects this past week, and one of them isn't going to get blog time today either.  Just not enough completed on it to make it worthwhile to show off.  I think I'm trying to stuff too many projects into my weekend craft time again.  I'll be setting aside the Joyful World Calendar project for the most part, and concentrating on the Blackberry House Sampler.

After a rough start and 2 sessions of picking out everything I had completed, I'm finally making some headway on this.  I plan on hanging this in my dining room when it's finished.  I already have one sampler hanging in there, and I think this one will go nicely with it.  This week, my HAED project is on 25 count fabric, and I have to use a magnifying lamp when working on those.  I can only work on these type of projects for so long before eye strain becomes an issue and I get a doozy of a headache, so I'll probably only work on that during the afternoons while listening to an audiobook.  In the evenings, I'll pull Blackberry House out to work on instead.  This is on 28 count fabric too, but since I'm working over 2 threads, eye strain doesn't come into play.  Hopefully a lot of progress to show of this next week.

Enchanted Christmas had its turn on the frame again this week.  I completed 2,992 stitches on this, and it is currently estimated to be complete in early July 2016.  It's hard to tell, but the dark area that I completed this week is the sleigh.  On the leftmost edge is a lantern that can be made out.

I'm not 100% happy with the coverage on this project, but I'm not so unhappy as to start it over using higher count fabric or more strands of floss.  This is on 14 count using 2 strands.  I had started another project using 14 count and 3 strands, but it was so bulky, I scrapped it.  The project I am completing on 18 count with 2 strands feels a bit thick, but I am really happy with the coverage.

At one point, I had made the decision to set aside 2 projects I was working on 14 count fabric.  Then I asked Paul what he thought of the one I was doing for him, and since he said it looked fine to him, I was going to continue on with them as is.  Now, after seeing what this one looks like, I'm back to the mindset of starting over.  Neither project had a full page complete, so it's not like I would be scrapping months of work on either one, and I'm sure I'll be much happier working on them on 18 count fabric instead.  I'll also never use this cream/off white colored fabric again.  It sticks out like a sore thumb when coverage isn't great when using dark colored floss.

Live and learn I guess.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekend Recap

I finished up the March "A Year of Celebrations" design this weekend.  2 days to spare!  I haven't started the April design yet because I need to dig around to find some higher count fabric.  Several of the frames I bought cover up a bit of the design, so I need to do a few that will turn out smaller.  I know I have some extra 18 count in the craft room somewhere, just need to find it.

I didn't spend as much time working on Paul's stocking as I hoped, but I did get quite a bit done on the snowman's head.  You can see the beginnings of his face now.  I also spent a bit of time picking out all the half cross stitches I had completed.  I had stitched them all using 3 strands of floss, but it was only supposed to be 1.  Sigh.  Oh well, better to discover that now than after I had too much more stitched up.

I spent some time working on the Blackberry House sampler and the Joyful World Calendar too, but I will save blogging about them for another day.

I really shouldn't have, because I have way too many projects in progress already, but I started something new this weekend.  Not my fault though.  I blame this completely on Paul.  He knows I have too many things going, but came home with a request from a co-worker to make her a bunny for her son for Easter.  A green bunny with floppy ears.  This won't take long to complete, just need to crochet a bit every day or so.  The head is almost complete.  I need to go find the eyes and noses I'm sure I have before going any further though, or I won't be able to attach them.

Friday, February 26, 2016

HAED ASiT 2/2016 Update

I need to take photos of these a bit further away and quit zooming in so close.  Some of the detail is lost in these closeup photos.  Oh well, next time.

I got more stitched on A Stitch in Time this week than I originally thought I would.  Normally, I would still be stitching on the current rotation on Friday, but I decided I was going to start rotating on Friday morning instead of Monday morning.  That way I can blog about my progress at the end of the week instead of lumping everything together into a post on Monday.

I was able to get 2,220 stitches completed, which gave me a page finish last night.  The bottom row of pages on this are smaller, just shy of 1/2 the size of all the others.  At my current rate of stitching speed and rotation, this is estimated to be complete in January 2029.  LOL!  This will change at some point, of course, as I work on it more often.

I'm only working on this currently once every 4 weeks, as I have 2 other projects that I wanted to work on.  One of those is also being worked on every 4 weeks, and the other is being worked on every other week.  As I finish a project, I will decide whether to add in a new one, or just rotate between two.  Knowing me, I'll add in another to the rotation, and move something new into the every other week spot.  Hopefully I can keep to this rotation and not add in too many new starts.

I love how the fox turned out!  It is so adorable.  The white on the far left side is a tree trunk.  I'm not positive, but I believe the blue and turquoise are book spines, and it looks like the blue and white to the right of the fox is a lady working on needlework.  I think I can see an arm and a hand near the top of the stitching.  The white looks like it may be an apron over a long dress, and the grey/green look like the stitching.  I refuse to look at the cover art because I want to be surprised as details come to life on this.  Book spines are a logical guess because this is a bookshelf chart, and the lady working on her needlework is a logical guess because there are little scenes of this exact thing throughout the shelves.

This week I am back to working on Enchanted Christmas.  Ah, 14 count fabric!  Such a nice break from working on that 28 count.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fox In Sox

I didn't quite get the fox completed, but you can certainly tell that's what it is.  This pattern is going to be so much fun to work on.  So many little surprises waiting to show themselves as soon as I take a step away from the work.

Not a lot more to blog about today, but I did finish up the lighter green on the March cross stitch.  If I don't get this finished before, I may dedicate Friday to working on this so it's ready to display on the 1st.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Recap

I made quite a bit of progress on Enchanted Christmas last week.  Just a couple more blocks and the sleigh will really start to take shape.  Still loving this project, and still want to get it done quickly, but I'm putting it away this week. I don't want to work on any one project so long I get burned out and lose interest.  That's what happened last year with the cross stitching, and I wound up putting all of it away for most of the year.  Slow and steady wins the race in this case.

I don't have a progress photo to share yet, but this week I'll be working on A Stitch In Time.  This is one of two bookshelf designs I will be stitching.  The artwork is by Aimee Stewart.  I currently have 3 charts of artwork by her.  Must figure out a way to live to be 200 so I can stitch all these lovely charts I have.  I started this one in the bottom left corner, and today should see the little fox stitched.  Progress photo tomorrow.

Just a tad bit of progress to show on Blackberry House.  I had done about half of the border across the top, then decided I wasn't caring much for the color I chose.  I was planning to use whatever colors I had in stash, but when I didn't like what I had stitched, I picked it all out and ran to JoAnn's for the called for DMC colors.  Much happier with it now, and hey, the stash only grew by about 7 skeins.  That's not too bad.

I finished up 3 colors on the little March pattern last week.  Started working on the next one after snapping this photo.  Hoping to have all the green finished this week.  I'm trying to stitch one strand every day to keep progressing on these.  Plus, I will be working on these during my Tuesday Skype sessions.

Made progress this weekend on Paul's stocking.  Spent most of my stitching time working on the little boy this time.  This is going much faster than I remembered it going when I first started it.  Could it be that working on those gigantic HAED charts has changed my perspective a bit?  Still enjoying working on this one, so it's going to remain my weekend project for awhile yet.

I finished the applique on the March wall quilt yesterday.  This is now layered and ready for quilting.  The sewing machine is all threaded up and ready to go.  I should get this one done this week, just in time to hang for March.  I think I'll finish up the February one after that, then move on to April.  I've also cut out all the base pieces for May and June.  I finally feel like I'm a bit ahead of the game on this project.