Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guardian Angel for a Friend

Project: Guardian Angel for a Friend

Designer: Something I put together

Type of needlework: Embroidery

Photo: 1

Comments: When a very dear friend of mine got sick a few years ago, I wanted her to have something special with her during that difficult time, something that she could carry with her wherever she went, something that would let her know that she was not alone, that she was loved and that good vibes were coming her way and that all would be allright in the end, which I am happy to report that it did.

The size is a something between an ATC (Artistic Trading Card) and a postcard. It has for background a lovely cigarette silk print of an angel, which I have outlined with threads, couched a little gold thread around the wings and halo and made some roses with silk ribbons.



Wild Rose has been framed and a photograph can be seen at the end of the post here.

Winter Frost has also been framed and you can see a photograph at the end of that past too. Here is the link.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bookmark: Bernice Designs

Project: Bookmark

Designer: Bernice Designs

Type of needlework: Cross Stitch

Photos: 2

Comments: My friend Terry knows how much I love bookmarks so she stitched one for me and send me a second one for me to stitch (grinning).

One interesting aspect of these bookmarks is that once you have stitched the design you slide it inside the card mount and there is even a little envelope in which you can put it in. I guess, all you have to do after that is just address it, put postage and mail it or just hand deliver it.

The photo below show the one that my friend has sent me with mount, envelope, thread and of course instructions.

(Photo showing what the kit contains)


SPECIAL NOTE: To all of you who are Jean Hilton's fans, ScottLee is now exclusively sold at Stitches from the Heart.

ScottLee is the first design shown on that webpage at present. I have just received my own copy from that shop with all the necessary threads and canvas and I am so looking forward to the first opportunity I get to start working on it. I have always thought it was such a lovely design and I love the colors used.

This special design has been inspired by Jean's stepson Scott's love of Persian rugs.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Patchwork Christmas ornament

Project: Patchwork Christmas ornament

Designer: Gift received from Mireille (Belgium)

Type of needlework: Patchwork

Photo: 1

Comments: What a lovely surprise when I received this Christmas gift from my friend Mireille all the way from Belgium. I love her choice of colors and how she decorated it. It goes on my Christmas tree yearly with all my lovely hand made decorations.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spring Bouquet Tissue Holder: Angela Watson, designer

Project: Spring Bouquet Tissue Holder
(Inspirations magazine project)

Designer: Angela Watson of Queensland

Type of needlework: Embroidery

Photos: 2

Comments: Those of you who have been following my blog know how much I love the Australian magazine called Inspirations. I found this absolutely lovely and practical tissue holder envelope in their issue number 28 

Angela said that a travelling pack of tissues fits in the tissue holder and it perfectly does.

The original was done with Damask but I had none at the time and decided to use some Silk Dupioni instead. I have used the threads I had in my stash instead of the Madeira stranded cotton threads that was in the list of material for this project., so I ended up not having to purchase anything at all to make this project.

The instructions were very very good as always and I had no difficulties with either the stitching or the assembly part of it. I have kept this one for myself but this would also make a very nice gift for someone special.

(Photo showing the tissue holder empty and also a different view)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crazy Quilting Christmas Bell Ornament

Project: Crazy Quilting Christmas Bell Ornament

Designer: Something I put together myself

Type of needlework: Crazy Quilting

Photos: 2

Interesting online magazine about crazy quilting: http://cqmagonline.com/

Leslie Levison's "Crazy Quilt Patchwork Block" Online Class here.

Vintage Vogue where there are lots of links on the left side of the page

Lots of crazy quilting images here.

Article: America's Quilting History,  Crazy Quilt History: A Victorian Craze

Wonderful place to learn Crazy Quilting with Sharon Boggon: http://inaminuteago.com/cq-samplerquilt/quiltindex.html

Needlework tips and techniques for crazy quilting here

Such a fun site here for crazy quilters: http://www.miopupazzo.com/

Good source of information here with lots to see and learn

Comments: First of all, I have added lost of links above for those of you who may want to try doing a bit of crazy quilting.

This little crazy quilting Christmas bell ornament is something that I have just put together. It is easy to either draw or find a bell drawing on the web or  in coloring books and then make a few fabric divisions and just stitch and ornate as you please. This is just a little project that I made when I first started with crazy quilting.

(Close-up photo of my little crazy quilting bell)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Angelina Fibers: Golden Heart Ornament

Project: Angelina Fibers Golden Heart ornament

Designer: My friend Terry

Type of needlework: Mixed media

Photo: 1

Angelina Fibers Tutorial here on the Joggles website 

Angelina—Reflected & Refracted Light by Sonja Lee-Austin
Interesting project ideas on this blog: http://fembellish.wordpress.com/category/fibers/angelina/

Comments: Terry surprised me one year with a little Christmas ornament that she made for me with Angelina fibers. I have never used it myself so far, but I am highly interested in finding out exactly what can be done with this.

I do happen to have a needlepoint project that I will soon start working on that uses Angelina Fibers, so it won't be very long before I actually get some experience with those fibers.

I have included above a few links to get us all started reading about it if we so desire. There are also books on the market about that topic.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rose Arbour Sampler: Thea Dueck, designer

Designer: Thea Dueck for The Victoria Sampler

Type of needlework: Mixed Media

Photos: 2

Beautiful free projects on The Victoria Sampler website here.

Comments: This pattern from The Victoria Sampler was stitched as a gift for a friend. I mailed it to her unframed and I must say that her framer has done a wonderful job with it. It looks very similar to the one from The Victoria Sampler, which I thought was just perfect for it.

(Photo showing the stitched pattern as mailed to my friend)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Miniature Garden Gate: Gay Ann Rogers, designer

Project: Miniature Garden Gate

Designer: Gay Ann Rogers

Type of needlework: Needlepoint

Photos: 2

Shining Needle Society: http://www.shiningneedlesociety.com/

Finishing forms used for this project can be found here.

Comments: After having stitched the lovely miniature Georgian House, I went ahead and stitched the miniature Garden Gate.

The finishing is so easy to do with those metal finishing forms. I don't use them all the time. It really depends on the end result I am striking for. In this case I thought it would work very nicely.

This photo below shows the two little ornaments side by side.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Miniature Georgian house: Gay Ann Rogers, designer

Project: Miniature Georgian House

Designer: Gay Ann Rogers

Type of needlework: Needlepoint

Photo: 1

Shining Needle Society: http://www.shiningneedlesociety.com/

Comments: I thought it would be fun to stitch this cute little miniature Georgian House and finish it as an ornament and put on my Christmas tree during the holidays.  This was also really a quick stitch. We all need little projects like this one from time to time to do between bigger and more time consuming ones.

In case you are wondering, there was a bit of green paint applied on the canvas by Gay Ann before I did any stitching. This gave me some ideas for future projects as it seems rather easy to do really.

I am full of ideas. I just wish I had more time to work on them all. I do think that each project teaches me something and better prepare me for the one that follows.

In a following post, you will see the accompanying one which is a miniature garden gate which also had a bit of paint applied on the canvas by Gay Ann. The two of them together  make a nice little set.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Complimentary Cup of Tea, Coffee or Hot Chocolate While Reading "Cross Stitch Horrors"

Project: Complimentary Cup of Tea, Coffee or Hot Chocolate

Type of needlework: Mixed media

Photo: 1

Comments: After tracing the drawing, I painted the saucer and the cup with watercolor paint and stitched the outline.

I thought this little design was just the thing for when I have something fun and/or interesting for you to read. What could be better than to put our feet up in a comfortable chair holding a good cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and just relax for a few minutes.

Enjoy the following!



Today I joined a cross stitch class
And though it may sound dumb
Where once my fingers used to be
I now possessed a thumb

I couldn't thread the needle
And this creates a "hitch"
For without a threaded needle
You can't create a stitch

The instructor had to thread it
Amd though it sounds kind hearted
She muttered lots of muffled words
And hastily departed

She showed us how to make a stitch
And where we should begin
But the first stitch ended painfully
Beneath my tender skin

Well, I've never been heroic
And I believe one lady said
The screams that issued from my mouth
Would surely wake the dead

The class was in an uproar
As they crammed to take a peek
For my face was now a deathly white
And my legs were feeling weak

My finger was in tatters
I tried hard not to cry
But the gash looked like a canyon
There was a good chance that I'd die

The teacher yelled impatiently
What she said I'll never know
For I fainted in an instant
When the blood began to flow

The teacher phoned the ambulance
For the wound was very deep
But she said the blood-drenched patterns
Could now be mine to keep

As they placed me in the ambulance
She let out such a shriek
When I tried to reassure her
That I'd be back next week!


(I unfortunately do not know who is the author of this,
but I just found it so funny and posted on my blog so that I could read it from time to time
when I needed a good hearty laugh)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

End-of-Term Examination Ornament: Gay Ann Rogers, designer

Project: End-of-Term Examination ornament

Designer: Gay Ann Rogers

Type of needlework: Needlepoint

Photos: 5

Shining Needle Society: http://www.shiningneedlesociety.com/

Comments: Well, it seems that Gay Ann wanted to give us a little test in order to find out if we had learned anything at all with our Mystery in a Corner so she had this little ornament for us to stitch in any colors that we wanted.

Since I had left over threads from Mystery in a Corner, I thought that I might as well used them, but this little design would look great in Christmassy colors too or any colors that someone wants to use.

I still had the same objective as I have had with Mystery in a Corner, still rooting for BLUE and fighting green at every corner.

I did the finishing of this little ornament using the book called Sandy's Finishing Touches.  I must say that I consider this book my finishing bible. I have other books on finishing but I always seem to go back to this one. I just feel comfortable with it.

(First photo taken showing the first few steps of this ornament)

(Concentrating on adding BLUE here)

(I love that bit of range with it. Makes it look alive)

(Ornament all stitched up and ready for finishing)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Stone Bridge: Rowandean Embroidery, designers

Project: The Stone Bridge

Type of needlework: Embroidery

Photo: 1

Rowandean link where this project came from is here.

Comments: My friend Terry stitched this lovely design for me and surprised me with it years ago.

Looking at the Rowandean Embroidery website, they have some fascinating ideas. I love that part of the embroidery design goes over the mat and also the painted fabric on which embroidery is done.

Those are things that I have been highly interested in for quite some time now and I want to do similar things myself through experimentation. I have also seen other designers do something a bit similar to this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Braid Bookmark: Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

Project: Braid bookmark

Designer: Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

Type of needlework: Mixed media

Photo: 2

Comments: When I take the time to look INSIDE all the wonderful books I have in my library, I find all kinds of wonderful ideas.

When opening the book called "The Victorian Book of Ribbons and Roses", an Inspiring Collection of Delightful Projects and Pastimes from a Bygone Age by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell, I came across a wonderful idea about making fabric bookmarkswithout having to spend lots of time actually doing them.

All someone needs for this project is to find some already made braid that appeals to her or him, have some fabric glue handy and be able to make a tassel with some thread that will go nicely with the colors of the selected braid. 

At home we are all avid book readers, so we can never have too many bookmarks. I have made 4 so far, two for my husband and I will keep two for myself. No doubt I will make others in the near future, as soon as I manage to find some interesting braids.

Here is a photo showing the 4 bookmarks that I made so far.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Winter Frost: M. Lashley-Liston, designer

Project: Winter Frost

Designer: M. Lashley-Liston

Type of needlework: Needlepoint

Photos: 3

This design can be seen here on the ANG website

Comments: When I saw this project, I immediately wanted to stitch it as I just loved the elegance of its design and the stitches used.

If you are wondering what kind of blue shade the canvas for this project is,  it is Leviathan blue. This project also only needed a few different threads and beads.

I started by stitching the first two steps shown on photos below and then the following three steps, I more or less followed the directions given when decorating my tree but not entirely, so there are some differences between mine and the one stitched by the designer, which an observant eye can see by following the ANG link above and looking at the original.

In order to couch the different ribbons and attach the beads I had to use "invisible thread" and I must confess that on a big project, I just hated it. The number of times that I got in trouble were just too many to count. My patience ran pretty thin at times with that thread, but of course the thread had to be invisible for obvious reasons, so I took some deep breaths and kept going. I am happy that I did as I absolutely love the end result.

(This photo shows the first step)

(In this second step, the photo is now showing the eyelets)


Winter Frost framed. I can't believe the amount of time and number of photos taken in order to produce the photo below. This must have been the weirdest way of photographing a framed piece. I ended up putting it at a certain angle on my desk in a basket no more. Anyway, this is NOT my best accomplishment so far, but it must be my GREATEST effort at trying to produce a decent photo for you all. Hope that you will give me some browny points for "efforts" at least, if not for quality (grinning).

(Framed Winter Frost)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tear of Joy: Loretta Spears, designer

Project: Tear of Joy

Loretta Spears' Needle Adventures
 Christmas Heirlooms Collection
 October 1993

Name of designer: Loretta Spears

Type of needlework: Needlepoint

Photos: 4

Comments: I love stitching designs from Loretta Spears. This one is an unpretentious little Christmas designs that Loretta included in her Neelde Adventures, Christmas Heirlooms Collection and I am glad that she did.

There are only two threads used in 'Tear of Joy", Waterlilies and Sarah Bennett Specialties Opalescent threads together with some beads.

As for the finishing of Tear of Joy, it always depends a bit on what I have at home at the time. I try as much as I can to use what I already have. I had some Dupioni fabric which was a similar color and found some lovely already made cording that was just perfect for it. Perhaps, a little too perfect as it blended totally with the ornament, contrary to how Loretta Spears finished hers using a much darker color. I have also put some gold lame just under the canvas as the canvas is only partially stitched. This way there are gold sparkles coming from here and there when looking at the ornament.

I also managed to find in my stash some lovely velvet ribbons of a color that went very well with the colors already used in the stitching and finishing of the ornament so I added that for the final touches. Since the design pattern is exactly the same all over the ornament, I don't think that it really matters that much if part of it is hidden by the velvet ribbon.

You can see previous Loretta Spears projects that I have stitched so far here.

(Close-up photo)

This photo shows how Loretta finished hers
and the top and bottom part of mine before putting them together.

This photo shows the two parts together before
 the cording had been added together with the finishing touches.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament: 2004 Ornament Exchange

Project: Christmas Ornament

Designer: Ornament stitched by Pauline
and given to me in a 2004 Christmas ornament exchange

Type of needlework: Cross Stitch

Photo: 1

Comments: This is a Christmas ornament that I have received from Pauline on an exchange made on a Brazilian Yahoo group.

I was a bit surprised when I got it (well, a lot surprised actually) as I expected that all the ornaments stitched and exchanged by the participants in this exchange to be done in Brazilian embroidery, so my very first reaction was of disappointment, but I got over it. 

I think that Pauline has done a great job in stitching and finishing her ornament. She has cut a little piece of tree branch and inserted it at the top between the two layers of Aida as to create a kind of bell pull hardware. Very good thinking there as it makes the finishing quite unique and special. 

She finished it all by tying a piece of ribbon so that the ornament can be hung and by adding fuzzy knitting thread or something of that nature at both ends of the little wood piece, not sure for what medium this thread is originally made for, but anyway it goes very well with her finishing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crazy Quilting Round Robins

Projects: Crazy Quilting Round Robin Blocks

Type of needlework: Mixed media

Designer: Work I have done on some CQ Round Robin blocks

Photos: 5

Interesting online Crazy Quilting Magazine: http://www.cqmagonline.com/

Comments: At one point in my life I did a bit of Crazy Quilting. I have never done much of it as I love to create projects by themselves and not just blocks. I do love its possibilities though. Perhaps one of these days, I will actually create useful projects as there are not many on the market. I know there used to be some online CQ shops that had interesting things but they seem to have vanished. 

With a Round Robin, every crazy quilter creates her own naked block and then send it around to a little group of participants, which in turn do a little bit of work on her block and then mail it to the next person on the list and so on.

Once every participant has done her bit, then the block is returned to the original owner of the block. If the owner of that block had not done any prior work on her naked block, then she probably will have to finish embellishing her own block. If she has done prior work, then her block may return to her all completed. It really all depends on the participants involved and how much work and time they are willing to put on each block that comes their way.

These are a few of the photos of work done on other crazy quilters' blocks. I believe there are only two blocks involved here.

The first photo above, you will see a little hummingbird. It was originally all white, so I dyed it using Ozecraft Dyes and then attached to the CQ block with his beak in the direction of the flowers.

On this photo, I have stiched a lady's hat, adding ribbons and creating some silk ribbon roses on it. Have also done a seam treatment usiing different buttons, making sure the buttons went well together color wise and about the same size. I also made another seam treatment adding a bit of lace which I first dyed a pink shade to go with the colors of this block.

On this photo, I have stitched a little fan and embroidering with silk ribbons. Have added a ribbon at the bottom which I also dyed and added a little dyed flower on top of it. We can see the end of some lace at the bottom left, something I have also dyed and added to a seam. Have also done the seam treatment at the top of photo.

On this photo, we can also see some of the work that the other crazy quilters have done on this block.

On this other block, I have done a couple of seam treatments and spent a good amount of stitching time embroidering the willow tree on this block. The remaining work has been done by other crazy quilters.

Another crazy quilters also thought of doing something similar to my little hummingbird with different dye colors and a different flower, so with the same theme, options are only limited by our imagination or lack of it (grinning).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Antique Ivory Pincushion: Karen Kraus, designer

Project: Antique Ivory pincushion
Designer: Karen Kraus
(Moonspun Designs)

Type of needlework: Mixed media

Photo: 1

Comments: I have actually made 3 of those lovely pincushion designs. Have kept one for myself and given two away to friends. This one was given to Rengin and went all the way to Turkey where it found a good home.

These designs are just so elegant, fun to put together in a rather short amount of time too. Karen has kits and also patterns only for those of us who wants to use our own supplies.

You can see Victorian Heart Pincushion here and Triangle Pincushion here. Looking at Karen's other designs makes it very tempting for me to make a few additional ones.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mystery in a Corner: Gay Ann Rogers, designer

Project: Mystery in a Corner

Designer: Gay Ann Rogers

Type of needlework: Needlepoint

Photos: 34

Shining Needle Society: http://www.shiningneedlesociety.com/

Comments: One of the goal for Gay Ann Rogers in her Shining Needle Society classroom when she suggested  Mystery in a Corner for our collective project was to help us learn a bit more about colors.

At first, I resisted that new project mainly because I already had so many different projects in progress and lots more waiting in the wings, but after giving it quite a bit of thought, I decided to go ahead and participate because as I said before it had been designed to help us with color decisions, something that I can always learn more about.

The first decision I had to make was to choose the colors. I selected Woodlands as my Watercolour and then Pam from Tomorrow's Heirlooms picked up the additional threads to make my special combination. I thus ended up with the following colors: greens, blues, topaz with my already selected Woodlands Watercolours.

There is a lot of photos in this blog entry as one of my goal while doing this project was to end up with a visual documentation of what actually happens when I put a certain color next to another one. I have found fascinating to see the impact that each successive colors had on the previous ones.

Once I got all my colors in front of me, then I realized that although I liked all the colors, I prefered the blue, so during all the days that I stitched on this project I was there rooting for BLUE. I wanted BLUE to win over the other colors. Some days it seemed that things were going my way and on other days, they were not, so I kept stitching until they were going my way (grinning).

(My thread selection: My Watercolor selection done from some Waterlilies threads I had at home. Interestingly
enough there seemed to have had more blue in it than the actual Watercolor. I do love that green but that blue
 really appeals to me )

(From here on there will be a succession of photographs showing all different steps.
On this one I just love to see all that BLUE)

(BLUE followed by Topaz)

(Some Watercolor added with some orange tints)

(BLUE is winning here)

(BLUE still doing good)

(BLUE looks great but there is lots of green too)

(Lots of green. Where is my BLUE?)

(WOW, Lovely BLUE)

(Even more BLUE here)

(Let's bring all that BLUE)

(Green added but can still see lots of BLUE)

(Still happy with my BLUE)

(Looks like a mixture of BLUE and green here)

(OUPS, getting greener and greener here)

(Even  more green - where it my BLUE?)

(Things are not getting any better)

(Oups, a tiny bit of additional BLUE)

(Topaz added after my little bit of BLUE)

(Love the BLUE)

(A tiny bit more BLUE)

(Adding a bit of Watercolor with a bit of orange in it)

(Adding a bit more BLUE)

(NOW we are talking, more BLUE that we can really see)

(A bit more BLUE)


(Things are really going well, MORE BLUE)

(Oups, a bit of green)

(We can barely see the additional BLUE here)

(Green added)

(Lots of green but I can still see some nice BLUE too)

(Well that is ONE way of adding BLUE with a BLUE MAT)

We now have a BLUE Mat but with a green frame
Oh well, that is what we call making a "Compromise"