Jun 30, 2014

Monday Update 6/30/14

I finished the other two Sledding Friends. 


Here's all of them together:

Designer: Foxwood Crossings
Stitched on 14ct Brown Perforated Paper
Fibers: DMC
I did a tiny bit of stitching and backstitching on N is for Nurse.

This week, my Dad finishes the last of his radiation treatments.  Over the past 30 days, he's been going through daily radiation and weekly chemo treatments.  He has extreme edema (swelling) from the waist down.  Some of it is from the cancer and some of it is from radiation.  He was given a walker last week and has begun to use the motorized carts at the store.  A few weeks ago, we were given news:  The cancer is terminal.  The doctor told us the cancer will take his life in a matter of months.

Last week, my Mom was hospitalized for a few days.  A year or so ago, she was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis.  At that time, my parents didn't realized what a serious health issue this is.  When she was hospitalized last week, her blood oxygen level was at 48%.  It has been emphasized that she HAS to wear oxygen 24/7 now.  Things such as hanging laundry on the line makes her oxygen level go down quickly.  My siblings and I have been emphasizing to her that she can't be over-exerting herself.

The next few months is going to be very rough for all of us... between helping Dad... watching him go downhill... and helping Mom.  She has other health issues that we will have to deal with for the rest of her life.  Dad has always taken care of her, paid the bills, etc.  It's not going to be easy without him. 

My employer has been good through all of this.  I've been told I can take whatever time off I need.  I've been working from home in off hours to make up time I've taken off to take Dad to his treatments.  It's been emotionally exhausting.  :(

Until next time,

Jun 27, 2014

Stitch From Stash - June

Time to report on the Stitch From Stash challenge coordinated by Mel at Epic Stitching.  The idea is (obviously) to stitch from our stash to reduce spending.  I also look at it as a way to focus on reducing my accumulation of stash.

During the month of June, I spent $6.76 for an OOP Stoney Creek chart called Cobblestone Village.  It spoke to me, what can I say?  My plan is to do them all in a row like the framed piece in the back row.

I finished Petal Pincushion:

I also finished a Sledding Friends ornament by Foxwood Crossings.  I bought the chart and sleds when I went to the PALS Retreat at Myrtle Beach, SC last fall.

I started Sledding Friends Snowman and worked on N is for Nurse.  Photos of both later.

I was a lucky winner for last month's SFS drawing!  Here's what the postman brought me:


Until the next SFS,

Jun 22, 2014

Close Up and Personal

Many thanks to all the wonderful comments made about Petal Pincushion. 

Due to Chrisitina's persistence, Just Cross Stitch magazine will be putting out instruction revisions on their website.  It's a bit late for her and me, but at least it'll be out there for anyone else who wants to do this design.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some close up photos of my Petal Pincushion:

Mattress Pincushion Seams
Center Button - Attached to Mattress Pincushion
Inside Bottom
Outside Corner Seam
One of the Outside Petals
Inside of Petal
Bottom Seams

Jun 18, 2014

Petal Pincushion - Happy Dance!

Back in March, Christina and I decided to do this as a SAL (stitch-a-long).  I stayed up wayyyy past my bedtime last night to finish it!  After many pin pricks and a bit of freakin' frustration challenge, here it is:

Design: Petal Pincushion
Designer: Simona Bussiglieri
Magazine: Just Cross Stitch - April 2014
Fabric: 32ct Charles Craft Monoco - Dusty Rose
Fibers: DMC
Embellishments: 1/8" satin ribbon, flower buttons, ric rac,
fabric-covered button
The design called for 28ct fabric, but since I am participating in the Stitch From Stash challenge... I chose a 32ct fabby from my stash.  This meant I had to calculate the measurements for every piece manually.
Here's what the original design looks like, in case you're curious:

 I swapped out the GAST and WDW threads for DMC.  I had several bobbins of the same green color number, but different dye lots.  I ended up blending them -- using one strand of each.  Doing the eagle eye  In scrutinzing the stitching, it's difficult to discern there are four different dye lots of green.

As I previously mentioned, this was a challenging piece to assemble because the instructions aren't that good.  Here are some tips if anyone wants to attempt to do this piece:
In order not to be wasteful of fabric, I recommend the following fabric sizes:
•  5 1/4" x 6 1/4" - 8 pieces for the petals -- This will give you an inch border around the stitching which is plenty.
•  3 x 3" - 1 piece for the fabric-covered button. I ended up cutting a lot of this off so you could probably go with 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".
 •  3 3/4 x 3 3/4" - 2 pieces for the bottom.  The design calls for a coordinating fabric for one of the pieces, however I thought it gave a more finished look to the project to use the same fabric I stitched on.
I ended up making a mattress pincushion for the inside instead of using the instructions given with the design.  I didn't do the backstitching before assembly.  Instead I measured for the seam allowance and then pulled one thread.  I then matched up the lines and sewed the mattress together.
A glue stick and fray check should become your new best friends.  Be sure to put fray check along the edges of all the material before stitching and assembly.  Trust me, it will make things go a lot more smoothly.  Even though the instructions say to "finger press" seams on the petals, I found it easier to use the glue stick to hold them in place.  I also used the glue stick to tack the ric rac in place before sewing the petal sides together.
Be sure to sew the buttons in place before sewing the petal sides together.  Also, put the ribbons in between the pieces before sewing the petals together.  The instructions say to do this afterwards, but I think it makes for a nicer finish to do it before hand.
The interfacing makes it a bit difficult to assemble, but I found that using a short, thin beading needle makes the job easier.  Be sure to use a thimble -- I can't tell you how many times pricked myself before getting out my thimble.  I recommend the thinnest fusible interfacing you can find.  I used Pellon brand.
Assembling this project requires a lot of hand stitching.  I used one strand of a DMC thread color that closely matched my fabric and used very tiny stitches so that they are barely noticeable.
Overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out.
Until next time,

Jun 15, 2014

Cross Stitch Chart Holder

For a while, I've been struggling with how to have the working copies of my chart close to where my my stitching is on the scroll rods.  Since I'm on a stash diet and didn't want to have to buy yet another gadget, I came up with an idea that works wonderfully.  The best part about it... I had all the supplies!

2" Floss Ring
1 Hanging Clip Board
8x10" Loran Magnet Board (optional)

This step is optional: I took 3 small pieces of tape and attached the magnet board to the clipboard. Two on each side toward the top. One piece on the bottom. I used packing tape since it's usually stronger than the 1/2" invisible tape. I tried to use the clip on the clipboard to hold the magnet board, but the magnet board was too heavy and kept sliding out from under the clip.  You could glue the magnet board to the clipboard, but I wanted to be able to use my clipboard for other things if need be.
Using the 2" floss ring, hook it through the hanger at the top of the clipboard  and then around the scroll rod.

 There you have it... a magnetic, hanging chart holder.  I like that I can have it right next to my stitching and it's easily removable, when I have to flip the scroll rods over. Easy peasy... and inexpensive.

You could also do this with a 6x9" clipboard and a 5x7" magnet board.  Just remember to use a clipboard with the hanger at the back.

Happy Stitching!

Jun 9, 2014

Marvelous Monday Update 6/9/14

On Friday, I finished the stitching part of Petal Pincushion.  ::little happy dance::  By the end of the weekend, I had all four "petal" sides put together.  This week, I'll attempt more of the assembly.

Construction companies have been busy over the past several months.... putting up a new JoAnn Fabrics!  It's scheduled to open in July.  I'm looking forward to it as our current one has been in sad, sad shape for quite a while.

The Old Store
The New Store
 Incidentally, both stores are right next to each other! A strip mall used to line two sides of the parking lot.  With the exception of three stores: old JoAnn's, Dollar General, and Sherwin Williams, all of the old strip mall was demolished and the New JoAnn's put up.

Until next time,