Well hello, May (when did that happen?!), we’re going to talk about April today. It happens.
April was a bizarre month for me. I had a sudden business trip that really threw me off my game. I brought some stitching with me but didn’t touch it thanks to working some truly bizarre hours, and I decided it was more important to catch up with some old friends while I could.
So here’s what we’ve got!
The border is still sitting unfinished somewhere around the bottom of the piece. April was Goldilocks and some ursine friends. I see I missed a few stitches on one of the mushrooms. Oops–I’ll have to add those in when I do the next block. My favorite part of this one is the wee little bee. Jack and the Bean Stalk is the theme for May.
On the Frosted Pumpkin front, they have some new patterns which I’m ever so tempted by but have too many patterns sitting in my stash as it is. In a few weeks (May 15 maybe?) Ashleigh and Amanda are releasing the second alphabet sampler. I think there will be five total, maybe ever 2 months or so. Looks like they’ll be the same size and general layout but with different themes and different fabric. (The first was the Sugar is Sweet sampler, in case you missed it. I bought it when the Pumpkins had a coupon deal for Easter that was too good to pass up, but I don’t know when I’ll get it to.) They’re also doing a Halloween club this summer and fall. Sign-ups have already started so people can get materials before it starts mid-June. I don’t know if I’ll go for it now or wait. They made a passing reference to past clubs being too much stitching in too little time finishing too close to the holiday in question, so maybe that means this will be more manageable than the Gingerbread Lane and 12 Days craziness of last year.
Here’s a start on the spring band sampler from the Historical Sampler Company. I honestly don’t remember when I started this. It was probably the end of March before all the new April patterns came out. I haven’t gotten very far. At the time I figured, sure, I can finish this before the end of May. Ha! Not going to happen. Lesson learned–if you want to do a seasonal pattern and put it on the wall, start at least one season in advance. So I should probably put this one down and just work on the autumn sampler for the time being.
And we have a finish this month! (sort of this month…) I need to do a better job noting when I start things. We’ll call this 10 Apr – 2 May. These patterns really are quick when you actually sit down and do them; I think March took me a day and a half. The trick is to actually do the stitching. It doesn’t count if you put it on your desk and just stare at it. The blue threw me for a loop. I don’t have the chart handy, but the name suggests it’s actually green. And yet I had no green in my bag with that particular number. And then I looked at the picture and realized it was blue. My conclusion was that there was a mistake on the chart; the actually reason was just the DMC gave it a terrible name. That dark blue is a fabulous color.
Finished this block last night. I’m still not loving the fabric; I almost wish I’d waited until I had my second fabric choice in hand, but then I’d be so far behind it wouldn’t be funny. And after this project I’m never using glow in the dark DMC again. I’ll just sub it with white. I’ll keep at it for this one just for the sake of consistency, but it’s just impossible to work with. I goofed the tree branch, so I had to improvise a little. Not much. By this time we should all know I can’t get through a project without a few slipups here and there. Gives it character. May is a wizard, very Merlin and Archimedes (for those of us who learned Arthurian lore from Disney).
So! Now that that’s out of the way, April’s question was how do you keep your stash organized?
I have spent years trying to find a system that works for me. Something logical, so I can find things quickly. Something quick, so I can add new things fast (laaaazy). I think I’ve finally found something manageable. Mary Corbet pointed me towards some cabinets from the Container Store (http://www.needlenthread.com/2012/04/embroidery-thread-storage.html). I’m operating on a totally different scale, so I just have the one 10-drawer cabinet, and it’s nowhere near filled. Drawers are divided between floss, fabric, and ongoing projects.
For the floss, I’m grouping things by brand (though who am I kidding–Sullivans is getting mixed with DMC because the conversion is right on the label and they’re similar quality). Each color goes in a little snack bag labeled with the brand and number, then they are grouped in order on metal rings, with plenty of space to add new shades as I get them without having to reorganize the whole thing.
Each project goes in a gallon bag along with it’s floss. Haven’t come across a situation where multiple WIPs need the same bag of floss, since right now I buy floss as I need it rather than specifically accumulating a stash. My stash is small enough that there’s no harm in having doubles, especially with DMC and Sullivans. I usually buy Cosmo in sets, but it’s pricy enough that I really don’t want doubles. Then again the Workroom is 15 cents off a skein if you get a set, so I guess I’ll be doing the math on a case by case basis. But I digress.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I did the whole box of floss bobbins thing. No thank you. It was so time consuming to dismantle skeins and wind it all on bobbins, and then when you cut off a length and pull out two ply, what do you do with the other four? There’s just nowhere to put it. So the bags win.