Posts Tagged With: Calendar Girls

Still Here, Still Stitching

Clearly, I’ve been out of the loop for a bit, though I’ve still been stitching. A second round of work travel, a few night shifts, and a scratched cornea left me rather distracted. Meanwhile, my brother has convinced me to run a half-marathon in a few months, and I’m learning parkour. With what little free time I have left, it’s pretty much blog or stitch, and I chose to stitch. (Because otherwise there wouldn’t be much to blog about, am I right?)

But whatever. I’m here now, and I have updates. April or May or whenever was a while ago. Now that I’m uploading all the pictures, it occurs to me I might not want to cram all of this into one post, but if I don’t I’ll just give up and figure I can write this thing another day. Not sure if we’re in a rut or a vicious cycle, but I’m not going to analyze it too closely. I’m also going to tackle some of the WIPocalypse questions I missed, but for now let’s talk about the stitching progress.

Finishes first. Hold onto your hats.

May Calendar Girl - Completed 5/10

May Calendar Girl – Completed 5/10

Here’s the May Calendar Girl from Little House Needleworks. I have the rest of them, but I second guessed myself as to how I want to finish them. They’ll sit for a minute until I figure it out. Since I already have 3 finished, I’ll most likely keep stitching each one separately just so I don’t have to redo them. I have enough other pieces languishing in the stash that I’m not really in a hurry. They’re cute, but I just don’t know what I want to do with them.

Colonial Dry Goods

Colonial Dry Goods

I really like this one, and I had my eye on it for a while. This is Colonial Dry Goods, also by Little House Needleworks, finished 5/23. Fun fact, that blue is actually green. At least, it’s called green, which really threw me for a loop. The left side looks a little weird because I don’t stitch on a hoop and haven’t stretched it out for framing yet. I’ve been waiting until I have more things to frame because I’m cheap and don’t like to pay for shipping. It happens. The lettering at the top is a Classic Colorworks floss called Rod and Reel, and it’s one of the best overdyed flosses I’ve used. Everything else is just variation within the same color, which is subtle. This one is a little more in your face.

Sugar is Sweet - 6/8/14

Sugar is Sweet – 6/8/14

The picture doesn’t do this one justice. The lighting in my kitchen really messed with the various shades of pink. Maybe it’s just me, but in this picture the pinks look a little purple when in reality they are definitely pink.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is Sugar Is Sweet by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I could have sworn they said they were doing either 4 or 5 alphabet samplers this year with a similar layout, but so far there’s only been one other than this. Oh well. The ribbon is just wrapped around the outer part of the hoop. The fabric isn’t mounted in the hoop very well. There’s no glue involved, just a drawstring type situation in the back, so I’ll probably take it down and fix the mount at some point.

A Full Heart - 7/11

A Full Heart – 7/11

This is A Full Heart, the first part of the 2014 Shepherd’s Fold by Shepherd’s Bush. This is the first pattern of theirs I’ve done, and I admit it was harder than I expected. I’m still not sure why. The beads and specialty stitches weren’t particularly hard, and it’s only 32 ct fabric. Maybe the silk was throwing me for a loop. I don’t know. I love looking at this piece now that’s it’s finished and I would certainly do it again if I went back in time, but it was a relief when I reached the end.

A Full Heart mounted on the shaker box

A Full Heart mounted on the shaker box

This piece was designed as a box topper for a sewing box. Yes, I splurged and got the box. Up until now my notions have been a little out of control (and would often turn up in strange places), so it’s definitely handy to have the box.

My Home - 7/27

My Home – 7/27

Here’s My Home, a scissor fob and the second part of the Shepherd’s Fold. I admit I don’t know the purpose of a fob. The stitching wasn’t a problem, but the finishing was surprisingly difficult. I followed the instructions in the kit, but it just kept looking worse and worse until I finally took it apart and tried again. The “correct” way was to sew it wrong side out, flip it the right way, stuff it, finish closing it, then attach the ribbon. Mine looked just awful. I ended up making a backstitch border around both sides and sewing the backstitches together, looping on the ribbon and beads as I went.

Here's the reverse side of the same piece.

Here’s the reverse side of the same piece.

That’s my last finish, so let’s move on to some of the more… long range projects I’m working on. Here are a bunch of blocks for Once Upon a Time:


Jack and the Bean Stalk


The Princess and the Pea



I’m two months behind. These blocks go pretty quickly, so that’s not so bad.

Here's what the whole thing looks like right now.

Here’s what the whole thing looks like right now.

And then there’s the Magical Creatures Calendar:

Not Merlin. "Thaddeus."

Not Merlin. “Thaddeus.”

Some dragons for good measure.

Some dragons for good measure.

And a mermaid who is not named Ariel but has a Disneyfied sense of fashion.

And a mermaid who is not named Ariel but has a Disneyfied sense of fashion.

Honestly? This makes me pretty uncomfortable. Cloudsfactory is expanding into more original designs, but a lot of her patterns use trademarked characters. I bought this one because at first it had original characters and I figured it would stay that way, but the wizard and mermaid who look like Disney but with different names in the pattern… I’ll finish stitching this pattern, but that will probably be it for me for Cloudsfactory unless the company fully shifts away from trademarked characters.

Now how about something new?

Mysterious Halloween Town

Mysterious Halloween Town

This is the Mysterious Halloween Town from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. It’s being released this fall in four parts. This is 1-3, with part 4 coming out later in September. I love that variegated purple on the bakery. The individual parts of this were fairly quick to stitch. Part 4 will go along the bottom.

I’m working on the SamSarah mystery sampler, but since they’ve asked folks not to post pictures until it’s over, I’ll hold off for now. I’m almost finished with the first part (for those who are doing the same pattern, I haven’t finished filling in that bit on the left, but everything else is done). The designer has sent out part 2, but the shop I’m using hasn’t gotten it yet.

Finally, here’s this:

Fun Every Day - Tuesday

Fun Every Day – Tuesday

This is the first tag for the Fun Every Day perpetual calendar SamSarah put out a while back. I’m going to have to start over. The perforated paper is driving me nuts; I usually use the sewing method on linen, so this is just too slow for me. I’ve ordered a large enough piece of linen that I can stitch all the tags in hand, then trim them to size and glue them to the paper tags. I do so hate to redo things, but perforated paper takes like three extra motions per stitch. Not cool.

I’ve done some work on Quilty Stitches, but I can’t remember what I last posted about or how far I am right now, nor do I have any pictures of it handy. I guess we’ll come back to that one.

Let’s look at some of the WIPocalypse questions I missed.

May: What designs or themes do you really wish you could find?  What do you think is missing among stitching designs?

This one is a little hard for me to answer. I don’t generally look for specific themes, and it’s a little hard to pin down why something appeals to me. I tend to look at Americana and nautical first, but I generally choose pieces because I like the color scheme or the layout. A Full Heart doesn’t strike me as something I would like, but I do. I can’t explain it. So I don’t know what I wish I could find, because I have a hard time searching for something specific. I just kind of see things in passing and know I like them.

June: Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!


July: It’s halfway to Christmas.  Do you start your holiday stitching this early?  If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

I haven’t done any Christmas stitching yet. I certainly wasn’t doing any in July. Then again, I’m doing two Halloween patterns this year, which is not usual for me, so if I weren’t doing those I would probably start Christmas patterns. I have two so far this season; one is ready to go once I reach a stopping point with some of the Halloween stuff, and the other is waiting on fabric.

August:  Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs,

Newest is the SamSarah Halloween sampler. I just started that September 3. The oldest one I’m actively working on is Once Upon a Time, which goes back to late December, but the oldest thing gathering dust (not really, it’s in a bag to protect it from dust) is a blanket on which I once thought I could stitch the Super Mario World overworld map. That’s been around since early 2010 (or maybe late 2009? I really can’t remember). I’m a little more realistic about things these days, so much as I would love to see that one finished, I bet I never get back to it. There are just too many other fun patterns out there that are more manageable. (More sane?)

Categories: WIP | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ferns and Calendars and Framing, Oh My

First of all, I’m pleased to say I stitched through most of the Olympics. I pretty much caught the primetime broadcast every night, though I finally had to bail the last two days because I just couldn’t stand the commercials anymore (I swear, they played the same four commercials on a loop). I was at sea during the 2012 Olympics, and TV reception was less than ideal. I think I saw about five minutes of a tennis match and some synchronized swimming. This go around, I was definitely making up for lost time.

I’d also like to report that the sick kitty is no longer sick. In fact, here he is killing a Something stuffed with catnip.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

As for the stitching, I’ve not exactly been sitting around watching the paint dry. I finally threw my hands in the air and decided to be done with the Nature’s Trio fern once and for all. So here it is, stitched, stuffed in a picture frame, and sitting on the bookshelf:

Finished 22 Feb 2014

Finished 22 Feb 2014

There’s still one left in the series. Once a finish it, I don’t think I’ll ever touch aida again. It’s just so unpleasant after all the linen I’ve been using lately.

But wait, there’s more! It’s March, isn’t it? The March Calendar Girl from Little House Needleworks shipped to the shops not long ago, and it turned up on my doorstep pretty quickly. It was a much faster project than I was expecting; I started it on Friday afternoon and finished it Saturday evening. Easy day. This is DMC on 28-count Zwiegart linen in clay. The frame kit is for a different set of patterns from a completely different manufacturer, but I figured it would suit my purposes. Naturally, it didn’t ship with the actual calendar pages even though the description totally says it does. Rather annoyed. I’m skeptical that the 2014 calendar even exists. Half the sites I look at say the whole thing has been discontinued, and the other half show 2008 in the product picture. Hmm. Rather than take my chances, I’m just going to get a plain, wirebound calendar from Staples. Not as decorative, but probably more useful in the long run.

It also didn't have any hardware except those cup hooks and some chipboard, so for the moment the piece is actually taped in there without glass until I can get the right hardware.

It also didn’t have any hardware except those cup hooks and some chipboard, so for the moment the piece is actually taped in there without glass until I can get the right hardware.

The March blocks for Once Upon a Time and Magical Creatures were released yesterday. While I haven’t started them yet (I was finishing the LHN girl), I have made some progress on the Once Upon a Time grid and border since I last posted. I was trying to finish it before the March block came out, but I didn’t quite get there.

Border is Weeks Dye Works Merlin and Blackberry. The Merlin has some very slight variation which I can only see in one spot (and could be fooling myself that it's actually there), but the Blackberry is much more noticeable.

Border is Weeks Dye Works Merlin and Blackberry. The Merlin has some very slight variation which I can only see in one spot (and could be fooling myself that it’s actually there), but the Blackberry is much more noticeable.

Finally, I tackled the question of framing. Framing ain’t cheap. You know those 50% off coupons Michael’s and Joann’s always have? If something is always on sale, it’s not really on sale. I’ve also spoken to a few people who ran into some fine print issues (can’t remember exactly what) and couldn’t actually use the coupon. Ouch. You’re much better off finding a local framing shop for a more competitive quote, but it’s still pricy. Framing comes up from time to time on the Frosted Pumpkin Facebook group, and it’s universally expensive. I haven’t seen anyone say they had it framed for less than $100, and some people have gone upwards of $200. This hobby is expensive enough as it is (especially once you start using hand dyed fabric and floss instead of DMC and aida). In the past, I’ve put things in regular picture frames, but that really doesn’t work unless the pattern is specifically designed to fit the usual photo sizes. Besides, photo frames don’t have enough space in the back, so it’s always a headache just to secure the back of the frame.

But there’s hope! There are a number of companies online who will custom cut frames and mats. You measure your piece, choose your components, and they’ll cut it and send it to you. The company I used had already assembled the four sides of the frame, so all I had to do was attach the hardware to the back. Easy day, and it was about 25% the cost. I was able to get custom cut acid-free foam board along with the frame, so I mounted the stitching using dressmakers pins. Plenty of space inside the frame for acrylic, mat, foam, and fabric, with enough to spare I probably could have put in spacers to lift the glass a little farther off the stitches. Sweet. This is totally the way to go. I saved stupid amounts of money in exchange for about half an hour of my time per frame. Biggest limiting factor was that the pins started hurting my fingers after a while. So here we go!

Here's my Twelve Days of Christmas with a distressed white wood frame and sage mat.

Here’s my Twelve Days of Christmas with a distressed white wood frame and sage mat.

And here's Christmas on Gingerbread Lane to match! This is the same frame and same size as Twelve Days.

And here’s Christmas on Gingerbread Lane to match! This is the same frame and same size as Twelve Days.


Categories: Completed Projects | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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