Friday, April 24, 2015

New (To Me) Cross Stitch Product Alert!

Sometimes when I'm stitching, I'll inadvertently pull through a thread tail onto the front of my work.  Then I'll go to the back and attempt to pull that thread tail back with my needle.  There are times when I can successfully do this, but most of the time that tail is just elusive. And cutting the thread sticking out on the front of your work seems like a good idea, but it's pretty scary getting those sharp scissors that close to your stitching and fabric.
Snag Nab-It to the rescue!  Thea, one of the Sisters in Stitches, told us about this amazing product at our last Stitch Day.
I tried to get a good close-up of it so you can see the detail.  One end is a kind of blunt point and the other end is textured.  Just stick the pointed end into your fabric where that pesky thread tail is making you mad.
Then pull it through.  The textured end will grab the offending thread and put it right back where it belongs!
All gone!
I don't know how long this handy little tool has been around, but it now has a permanent place in my stitch bag with all of my other stitching necessities.  It's made by Dritz and I bought it at Joann's, and they're also available online at various places.  It would also be handy for pulling snags through on sweaters.

I completed my second ornament of the year last night.  Yes, I know I'm not keeping up with the one-ornament-every-two-months goal, but I'm still doing pretty well.  It's from the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue.
I'll get another one going soon.  I've been busy with a major home decorating sewing project that I'll  post about as soon as it's done -- hopefully next time!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Winner of Meet & Greet Giveaway! Once Again

Despite all of the suggestions given to me by other bloggers, many e-mails, and my super-sleuthing, I was unable to locate the original winner of my Meet & Greet Giveaway.  I am so sorry.  I tried.  But now it's time to move on.  So back I went to the random number generator and we now have a new winner! 

Needled Mom from the blog Needled Mom!!

I apologize for not knowing your name, but your blog is lovely and I've just started following. I will be e-mailing you soon. Congratulations!

Recently I interrupted my normal stitching projects to work on a very special one. My boss, who I worked for for 2-1/2 years, retired yesterday. It was a happy day for her, but a sad day for those of us who worked for her. She's an awesome person. I wanted to stitch something for her, and I decided on a bookmark. How perfect -- we work for a library system!
The stitching pattern was an online freebie.  You can find the pattern here.  I changed the colors around and stitched it on 28-count linen. 
I stitched most of it at last Saturday's Stitch Day and then finished it by sewing a seam down the back, right sides together.  Then a good pressing, and another row of machine stitching close to the end cross stitches.  And lastly, I fringed it. 

Fun & quick project!  I'm happy to say that she loved it!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tiny Tassel Tutorial

When I was planning my February Pinterest-inspired project, one of my goals was to use things I already had in my craft room.  As it turned out, I had everything on hand except for a tassel.  The tassel was an important component for this project, as it's used for the closure.  I started thinking about it, and figured that I could probably make one myself.  So I did, using some weird silk floss I had.  And it turned out pretty well!  Then I made another sewing companion and created another cute tassel, this time using some cotton 6-strand floss.
These tassels can be used for closures, for zipper bag pulls or for an added touch when finishing a stitched Christmas ornament.  So why buy one when you can easily make one, right?

Here's all you have to do:
First, find some floss.  This is a great use for that miscellaneous floss that all of us stitchers seem to have.  What do you think of my Misc. Floss container?
Gather your supplies.  The size of the crochet hook doesn't matter because you're going to pull each stitch very tight as you chain.  Don't know how to make a crochet chain?  Click here for a video that shows you how.  Cut a piece of floss about 5 feet long to give you enough to work with.
I crocheted a cord about 6" long. 
IMPORTANT!  Don't cut anything yet!  Leave that tail as it is.  You'll need the tail to wrap and secure everything.
Look!  Now you can make a basic tassel. Yes, the above one is a bit wimpy looking, but you can use a lot more than 12 thread lengths in the tassel body. Also, try using different threads, like I did when I used the weird silk floss.  And how about using a combination of colors in a single tassel?  I made another one recently using Perle cotton.  Love it!
I hope these instructions will help you to create your own tassels that you can then use for a variety of projects!  Have fun!

Friday, April 3, 2015

March Pinterest-Inspired Project

For my Pinterest-inspired craftiness in March, I chose something relatively easy to do.  It turned out so well that I may make more of these.  I saw a pin of a necklace with charms as the focal piece.  There were no instructions; someone had just pinned the photo.  After searching through my gigantic bead collection, I decided on a beaded version and one on a chain.
I found some sea glass looking seed beads and added silver accents.  The pretty flower toggle gets to be up front to show off some little charms.
And the chain version:
The chain I picked for this necklace is slightly too clunky for the design.  I think I'll find a more delicate chain and switch the toggle and charms to that. 

I've already worn the beaded one a few times and have gotten positive comments about it.  I liked choosing the materials for both of these, mainly because I'm a big fan of beads and charms.  They were simple to create, using basic materials I already had in the house.  I think I will make more!

OK, friends, I need your help.  A week ago, I announced that my Meet & Greet Giveaway winner was Lynn from the blog "Random Acts Of Stitching Kindness".  I was informed that she is a contributor to the blog and that there are 2 Lynns who contribute.  I have no way of knowing which Lynn this is, and how to contact her.  If any of you know her, please ask her to contact me.  If I don't hear from her in the next week or so, I feel like I should draw another name.  This is a sticky situation for a blogger!  So if you can help me, I would appreciate it.

Welcome, new followers!  I can't believe that I'm almost at 250!  That just seems like a major number in the blogging world!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Here's A Neat Idea

Have you ever opened up a kit that contained so many different kinds of beads that it overwhelmed you a little?  It has happened to me.  I was at one of our stitch retreats and I thought it would be fun to start a Mill Hill Halloween kit.  You know - the really cute ones on perforated paper.  As I removed all of the contents of the kit from its packaging, I saw those little bags of beads.  Hundreds of beads, all different colors, and two different sizes.  All mixed up.  And I wondered how I was going to organize them.  Well at that point I decided to stick to stitching and leave the bead organizing for another time. 

One of the Sisters In Stitches came up with an idea for organizing those beads that I think is perfect.  It's one of those "why didn't I think of that?!" ideas that I'm glad she shared with us!

It involves Tacky Bob, which I think is an amazing invention in itself.  In case you've never heard of Tacky Bob, it's a CD case-looking thing with a very sticky interior.  It keeps those beads secure and allows you to pick each one up individually with your needle.
But Thea took it one step further.  She bought some little number beads at a craft store and used them to identify the beads.  The chart she was using for this one had number symbols.
At our last Stitch Day, Thea was working on a Mill Hill Easter Egg chart which had different kinds of symbols.  She drew each symbol with a pen or marker and then used a paper punch to cut them out.  Into the Tacky Bob they went denoting each type of bead in the kit.  Genius!

OK, you still have to separate all of the colors and sizes, but just think about it.  If you complete this little separating chore ahead of time, then you'll just get to experience the fun of stitching as you complete your project.  You won't have to stop and search out each kind of bead in that crazy mixed-up bead soup. 

The next time I'm watching a movie or something, I'll find that Mill Hill kit and do my bead separating then.  So when I'm ready for stitching they'll be all organized and ready to go!  Thank you, Thea, for this idea!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meet & Greet Giveaway Winner!

I'm happy to announce that the winner of my Meet & Greet Giveaway is:

Lynn from Random Acts of Stitching Kindness

Lynn has won the little sewing companion and golden embroidery scissors.  I have also e-mailed her with the good news.  Congratulations Lynn!

Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments and welcome, new followers!  I'm so happy that you will be visiting my blog.  Please keep the comments coming so that I know how I'm doing. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meet & Greet

Welcome to my blog!  Today is the Meet & Greet which is organized by Madame Samm at the Sew We Stitch blog. I'm looking forward to this event because I like seeing what other stitchers, seamstresses and crafters are doing.

I've been doing cross stitch since about 1981.  Patterns, fabrics, floss and accessories have sure come a long way since then!  One of my favorite pieces that I stitched is a pattern called "Square Dance", which I made into a pillow.  I stitched this in the 1990's when I found this chart in a magazine. 
Another one of my favorites is "Peppermint Twist" by Blue Ribbon Designs.  I love the colors and all of the little motifs in this one.
I even framed it myself!

Sewing is something I've been interested in since I was 8 years old.  I used to make tiny dresses for my Barbie dolls out of tiny patterns.  And I sewed them by hand.  Then I graduated to making clothes for myself.  Nowadays, I like sewing things like tote bags and other small accessories.
I made these little bags for the ladies in my stitch group.
My latest project is an embroidery project called the Summer Garden Pin Cushion.  I had done some embroidery in the past, but really needed a refresher course.  This project was perfect for re-learning some things, and also for teaching myself some new stitches.
You can find the first part of the tutorial here.  Then just follow the rest of the tutorial posts for the complete instructions.

I hope that you enjoyed your visit to my blog today.  Please consider becoming a follower.  Other than the hobbies mentioned above, I also like to make beaded jewelry, crochet (A little.  I'm working on that.), and other miscellaneous crafty things.  And I enjoy blogging about all of them.

As part of this Meet & Greet, I am having a giveaway!  One winner will receive this little sewing companion that I stitched up just for this event!  Inside you'll find a pair of the cutest golden embroidery scissors.
All you have to do to have a chance at winning is comment on THIS POST by Friday, March 27th at 11:00 a.m.EST.  Also, please make sure that there is a way that I can contact you.  There is nothing sadder than not being able to reach a contest winner.  I will draw one name on that day and announce it right here on my blog.  I will also e-mail the winner.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog today.  Stop by again sometime!  You never know what you'll find here!