Monday, October 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Bread Cloth Exchange

This came in the mail today from Canada! It was stitched for me by Doreen, for an exchange on CSRR. I like the flecked aida - is that called fiddler's cloth? At any rate, I have Thankgiving Dinner in our trailer, because we're always camping, so this is going to the trailer. It'll make a nice decoration when it's not being used - I think I'll find a way to hang it up. Thanks Doreen!

"Cape Hatteras" by Fulmer Craft - National Park Needlework Collector Series

Finished! Now I have to take it to get framed. I hope my sister-in-law likes it. I'll tell the story behind it after I get it framed.

"Carousel Jumper" by Carousel Charts

The colors look better in real life. This is a charity quilt square I stitched over the weekend for WOCS. The quilt theme is lavender/pink girl. I got the pattern from the March 2007 edition of The Gift of Stitching Magazine. It was originally supposed to be a birth record pillow, but I left off the baby's name and the Smyrna crosses that go around it.

Cathy and Cyndi Meet in Person!

Cathy and I are both members of several yahoo charity stitching groups. When I learned she lived in southern California, I contacted her about meeting in person. I had to go to Orange County in August, but she had to be in Las Vegas at that time, so we missed an opportunity. She's visited my blog several times, and saw last week that I was coming to the OC again for a conference, and planned to stop at Needlepoints Ltd. She got off work early, and we spent almost 2 hours shopping together and chatting. Here we are showing off our full bags of stash!

Two Ornament Finishes

I needed to get these ornaments "finished" so I can get them mailed. They're for two different ornament exchanges. The one on the left is called "Snowed In," and it's designed by Something in Common. I got the pattern from the December 2006 edition of The Gift of Stitching Magazine. If you haven't subscribed to this wonderful online magazine, do so! You can get all the back issues for a great price and the yearly subscription price is really reasonable. This ornament was finished using felt and glue - no sewing. Made for an easy finish, and justified my purchase of pinking shears.

This ornament is by Prairie Schooler - it's the freebie on their website. I finished it as a pillow ornament - plaid fabric for the back, stuffed with batting.

"My Sister" by Forever in My Heart

This summer, after I'd started cross stitching again, the first needlework shop I visited was Forever Stitching in Idaho Falls, Idaho. There I met Lynda Orme, who introduced me to stitching on linen. She gave me a lot of scraps from her scrap bucket, and also let me select one her own designs from Forever in My Heart Designs. I selected this one about my sister, so I could stitch it for one of my sisters for Christmas. To the left is what the piece should really look like. It has nice soft pastel colors, and it should be stitched on white or cream so it looks good in a pastel frame.

To the right is what my piece looks like. Here's why it doesn't look anything like Lynda's: 1) I wanted to stitch something on one of the linen scraps she gave me, and 2) I needed to change the colors since I was stitching on lavender. I think it will look much better when I get it framed, and I think my sister (I'm not going to say which one yet) will like it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Bread Cover

I stitched this for the CSRR Thanksgiving Bread Cover Exchange. The pattern is from Leisure Arts' "25 Bread Cloths for the Holidays." It's going in the mail today for Kita!

Fire Update: Since the smoke from the Slide and Grass Valley fires was blowing south into the valley, all the local districts, including ours, cancelled school for today and tomorrow. I'm using the free time to stitch, of course! Tomorrow I'm going to a conference in Orange County for the weekend, meaning I get to go to Needlepoints Ltd. to browse in a brick-and-mortar store! They're already holding some more Q-snaps for me, and I need some brown/beige fabric - and who knows what else I'll just have to have.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pictures of the Fires

This one is looking south from near my office in Calimesa - the fire is the Witch Fire in San Diego County, at least 70 miles away. That's the one that's caused my little sister to be evacuated from her home in Encinitas. So far half a million people in San Diego County have evacuated.

This is looking north from the same spot near my office, at the Slide Fire in Running Springs/Green Valley Lake. It is now making us nervous, as the last time a fire came down from Running Springs we had to evacuate because it threatened to cut off the highway that leads to our little town.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Has This Ever Happened to You?

Cross stitching is supposed to be relaxing. It usually is, except when you're frogging. But this weekend a weird thing happened. I was stitching the pastel hen on 18-count. It's a stiff Aida cloth, and I was having a hard time with nearly every stitch getting the needle into the hole on the back side of the fabric. It would catch, make scratching noises, and I found my body really tensing up - sort of like I wanted to scream. I couldn't believe how it was - and I realized I needed to put it down and stop. When I finally finished the hen yesterday, I was so relieved - and decided to start a piece on softer evenweave just so I wouldn't have that "tensing up" with the stitches.

I've noticed that my right (stitching) hand has gotten pretty adept at locating the next hole when I'm stitching - even on linen - and for some reason it just wasn't working with the 18-count.

What about you?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Pastel Hen" from

I finished this one just now, after starting it last night while I was camping. It goes with the bunny I did last week, for Tammy's quilt on SOLAK.

A Great Surprise in the Mail

I came home from a weekend camping trip, checked the mailbox, and found this great package from Nelly in France. We're both members of CrazyExchange, a cross-stitching exchange forum that used to be a Yahoo group. It's a simple group to be in - we post our likes and dislikes along with our mailing addresses. When I want to send someone something, I go through the list, pick someone out, make something, and send it! The recipient then has a month to make somthing to send back. I sent Nelly "Boo! Guess Who!" that I made back in August. She had put on her "likes" list that she liked Halloween items, so the little "boo" ornament was perfect.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Pastel Bunny" from

This is a bunny I stitched for SOLAK, and it will be a quilt square for Tammy. She likes pastels, so I signed up to do this bunny and a hen that's in the same style. I had to shorten his ears and body a little to make it more like a square. I might do the same for the hen - it's sitting on a colored egg which I might omit from the piece.

Two Jar Lids

I like to give thank-you gifts to people who have done favors for me or have worked hard on behalf of the Association. I used to make little food gifts, but now I plan to make a lot of little jar lids and fill the jars with M&Ms, Skittles, cookie mixes, and other nice edibles. The pattern on the left is from an old issue of Cross Stitch & Country Crafts, and I have no idea where the other one came from. I had one "thank you" stitched that had been sitting around in my stash for 20 years, and copied the pattern onto some graph paper so I can make it again and again. I like the colors since they go so well with M&Ms and Skittles.

Friday, October 12, 2007

How I Feel Sometimes

If you didn't know already, I'm a teacher's union president in southern California. For a glimpse of how I feel sometimes, click on this link, then click on the pig's nose. Wait few seconds.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"Lemon Tree" by Alita Designs

This is a square for Sangeeta's quilt, for which I signed up on SOLAK. She wanted a quilt with lavender or lemon, and I thought this pattern was lovely. It's pretty large (90H x 75W), so I stitched it on 18-count Aida. I'll get it off in the mail today and start on "Crabby All Year" tonight!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Goals Check and October Goals

DoI stitched a great deal in September, and finished some things that were not on the goals list. I didn't start a large Martina Weber mandala - mainly because the fabric just now arrived. So I guess that goes on the October list! I didn't even pick up "Calico Cats," so I'll have to make a point of working on that one, too.

October goals:

1. Start "Alpine Seasons Garden" mandala
2. Stitch at least 2 more cats on "Calico Cats"
3. Stitch at least 2 more hours on "Cape Hatteras"
4. Stitch at least 3 charity quilt squares
5. Finish an ornament for the Xmas Ornie Exchange 2007
6. Stitch two more "freebies" from my notebook
7. Stitch at least one LizzieKate snippet or flip-bit
8. Start gathering goodies for 12 Days of Christmas Exchange
9. Start "Crabby All Year"
10. Do Thanksgiving bread cover for CSRR