Tuesday, July 9, 2019

We Have A Winner!

The winner of the chart, "A Bluebird's Salute" is:

Vickie (From the blog "A Stitcher's Story")

Congratulations to Vickie! I'll be emailing you for your address and sending your chart soon!

Thank you to everyone who commented and entered this giveaway! I'll be doing more giveaways in the future. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Cross Stitch Surprise And A New Designer

I'm glad that my last post helped solve the mystery of the little holes in shirts! I thought you all would think I had lost my mind with that different kind of post, but I'm happy that it proved helpful. Now let's get back to stitching.

I want to show you a sweet little project that I've been working on.
Cute, isn't he? This is my newest start, a pattern called "A Bluebird's Salute" by Luminous Fiber Arts. I'm stitching it on 32 count off white Jobelan. I'm mainly using the called-for colors with a couple of substitutions. That's my effort to stitch from stash.

The designer is Misty Pursel who I became acquainted with through our Flosstube channels. Misty is an avid multi-crafter, talented in cross stitch, knitting, crochet, quilting, and weaving. Last year, she delved into the design world and now her charts are available at her Etsy shop, Luminous Fiber Arts, as well as other sources.

Now you can see how adorably my bluebird is coming along. Misty's other charts currently include two more in the bluebird series, along with some holiday-themed designs. Other designers' charts, hand-dyed fabric, floss assortments, and needle minders are also available at her Etsy shop.

There are a lot of stitchers who prefer reading blogs over watching Flosstube, and I'm thankful for every one of my subscribers. However, if you'd like to check out Misty's Flosstube channel, go HERE. And you can locate my channel at CraftyCat Stitcher.

Now for the surprise! I'm going to do a giveaway for this chart, "A Bluebird's Salute". Here's all you have to do:

- Be a subscriber of my blog. 
- Be 18 years old or older.
- Make a comment ON THIS POST.

That's it. Easy, right? Also, make sure that there's a way that I can contact you. I will pull a name from the comments on Monday, July 8th and I'll post the name of the winner on that day.

Before I go, here's a picture of a sweet cookie jar that I have.
I see a little resemblance, don't you?

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Holey-Moley! This Really IS A Thing!

This may be the most unusual blog post I've ever written, but I'll keep it relatively short. I've been noticing little holes in the front of my shirts near the waist. This has been going on for quite a while, and I could never figure out why this was happening. I got pretty good at mending these holes and can say that I had better luck on dark color shirts or shirts with a busy print. The mended spot on light color shirts pretty much scream "look at me!".

One day a couple of weeks ago, I was being particularly domestic. I put dinner in the crock pot, baked a loaf of chocolate banana bread, and did a good clean up in the kitchen. When I finally took a break, I looked down and saw a bunch of these little holes in my t-shirt. They weren't there earlier!

What?!! I guess this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I Googled "why are there tiny holes in my shirt?" and couldn't believe how many articles came up! Here's one of them. Other people actually had this same issue. They questioned whether their wash machine was the culprit, or maybe it was sneaky moths. One mom thought that it was from her toddler's shoes when she carried him. How about seat belts? I always thought it had something to do with leaning up against the counter top in the kitchen and have felt the underside edge of it to see if there was anything sharp there. Nope.

Here's the issue. When you're a particular height and your waistband hits the counter edge, your shirt rubs against the button your pants resulting in a hole. This mainly happens in lightweight knits. As it turns out, I am that very particular height for this to happen. The article I linked above has hints on how to prevent this from occurring. There are even little covers for your jeans button. My solution: I tuck my shirt into my jeans in the front when I'm working in the kitchen. Some might say that this is trendy; on me it looks ridiculous. But I don't care if it will save my shirts.

I hope you liked this little public service message. I know it was kind of strange but I felt I needed to get the word out. Oh and that chocolate banana bread was delicious. I really wish I had taken a photo of it, but here's the next best thing: The Recipe! 

Enjoy! I'll get back to our regular programming soon. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Stitching Up A Storm

My original plan for Stitchmaynia was to stitch on a different WIP each day, and just keep rotating them. That worked for a while, but then I'd get stuck on a project. You know the feeling: "I like stitching this chart so much I can't put it down!" And really, when you think about it, this isn't such a bad thing.

This is the project that started it, or should I say stopped my plan.
This is "Quaker Diamonds" by Rosewood Manor. I'm stitching it with overdyed floss in a color conversion shared with me by another stitcher. The fabric is 30 or 32 count linen in the color Flax. I had been stitching it using a hoop, but switched over to a Rolaframe and this has made my stitching on this project easier and more enjoyable.

I also worked on "Tulip's Praise" by Gracewood Stitches.
I'm glad that this is my focus project because I'm making so much progress on it. The fabric is 18 count Jobelan in off white and the threads are the called-for DMC.

At stitch day I made a little progress on "Bluebird's Garden" by Artful Offerings.
This is such a cute project. I'm stitching it on 32 count Jobelan in a light beige-y neutral. OK, I don't know the color. The called-for threads are all overdyeds.

"Rainbow Row" got a little attention. I'm currently working on the green house. All of the subtle shading in this project is so worth it.
"The Light Upon The Lawn" by Blackbird Designs is turning out really nice. I'm stitching it on fabric that I coffee and tea dyed.
It's a 28 count fabric that got slightly stretched or something during the dyeing process, so when I started stitching this, the stitches looked huge. So I made the executive decision to stitch it one over one. We're talking teeny-tiny stitches!

And last but not least, I have a new start. I figure, why not. It's "Small Animal Sampler" by Bobbie G Designs.
Stitched on 28 count black Jobelan, I need really good lighting for this one! I'm using the DMC that the pattern calls for. This is just adorable.

Thanks for visiting with me today, and letting me show you what's going on in my stitching endeavors. I hope to be able to post about a lot more stitching next time because I plan to keep up with my "WIPmaynia" even into the month of June!

Monday, May 13, 2019

A Lot Of Sewing Going On

I had a "craft room day" today. It was my day off so I dedicated it to doing stuff in my craft room. Sometimes I get so busy that I just pass that room by and look in longingly. So today was the day. I organized my cross stitch fabric, kitted up a new project, and did some sewing.

I'd been ignoring my sewing machine for a while and wanted to do a small project so I made a lined zipper pouch. I followed the complete and easy to follow instructions on the video "How To Make a Lined Zipper Pouch" on the channel "Needlepointers" on YouTube.
If you've been following my blog for a while, the fabrics might look familiar to you. I made a larger project bag out of them last year. But this small bag is for a **giveaway** on my YouTube channel, CraftyCat Stitcher. I figure the recipient won't mind the repeat fabric performance.

This bag is fully lined and has no raw edges. The only change I made was to add some medium weight sew-in interfacing. I sewed it close to the edges of both lining pieces as the first step, then followed all of the other instructions. I love it! I will be making more of these. They recommend using a zipper the exact width of the bag, but I bought a bunch of 16" zippers on Amazon for a good price. Sixteen inch zippers can be easily cut down to whatever size you need. Just don't use your good scissors to cut them!

Previously I had made a vinyl-front project bag using the instructions from Calico on this video. This will also be part of the giveaway. You can see photos of it on my previous post.

Here's what I came away with after today: I need to do craft room days more often!

Please come on back and visit again! I appreciate all of my blog followers and enjoy each and every one of your comments. See you soon!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A Fresh Start And Stitchmaynia Maynia

I think that this is the longest I've gone without posting since I started this blog almost ten years ago. Maybe I just needed a breather, or wasn't feeling super creative. I don't know.

This is a good time to refresh the look of my CraftyCat blog and start posting again. With spring come new things, right?

It's May and many of you know what that means -- Stitchmaynia! Stitchers do Stitchmaynia in many different ways. Some start 19 projects during the month, because it's 2019.  I've heard stitchers say that they want to start a new project each day! I don't know about you, but that would freak me out a little. For more info about Stitchmaynia, go to the Facebook group.

I'm still an avid stitcher. That hasn't changed. I think that the idea of Stitchmaynia is a great motivator if you can figure out a way to do it that suits you best. My plan is to work on a different WIP each day of May. I have 15 WIPs so I know I won't get bored.

On Stitchmaynia day #1, I worked on "No Bees No Honey" by Birds of a Feather. I love this chart. I'm stitching this on 20 count Jobelan in off white, one over one. Teeny-tiny stitches, pretty colors, all DMC.

On day #2 I stitched on the 2017 Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler. I'm still working on January. It's a HUGE chart, friends. I chose the DMC color combination and the fabric is 32 count antique white Jobelan.
I worked on my focus piece on day #3. My focus piece is a project I select to put into my rotation more often to see it finished quicker. So normally I stitch on a project for several days, choose another one to stitch on for several days, then go to my focus piece for several days. Then I repeat the sequence with two more projects and then my focus piece again. My current focus is "Tulip's Praise" by Gracewood Stitches.
Once again I'm stitching it in DMC in the suggested colors. Another big project, this is only the bottom half and even that half isn't complete! It's being stitched on 18 count Jobelan 2 over 1.

Right now the view out of the window to my left is a bit scary. Dark skies, wind, and rain. Oh yeah, let's add in some very loud thunder. Last week at this time, this was my view.
We took a little trip to Orange Beach, AL for my birthday. So relaxing, good food, and I got in some stitching and reading.

If you follow my Flosstube channel, CraftyCat Stitcher, you may know that I have gotten to 1000 subscribers. This is a big deal to me, and I'm going to celebrate it. I plan to have a giveaway and I'll announce the details in my next video which I will upload early next week (the week of May 5th). The giveaway will include, among other things, a project bag which I made especially for this occasion.
I hope you'll consider watching my video and finding out more! Thank you for visiting me today here on my blog. I've been away from it for a while but am glad to be back. My plans for the next week are to continue my Stitchmaynia stitching and attend my stitch group's May meet-up. So stay tuned to see what else I've been up to!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Fabric Dyeing For Beginners

I've been seeing all of these cross stitchers dyeing their own fabrics with wonderful results, so I wanted to give it a try. I already attempted coffee/tea dyeing and talked about that right here in my blog. But the many colors of Rit Dye were calling me.

I started with Peacock Green, Royal Purple, Sunshine Orange, and Teal. Please understand that I'm a beginner at dyeing and haven't yet attempted the blending of colors. I tend to start out slow and figure out my limitations with a project like this. Therefore, think simplicity.

Purple was the first in this experiment. I used 28 count Monaco fabric, and did a few different dyeing times to get some varied results. I mixed the dye with warm water and some salt. The salt part isn't in the dyeing instructions on the bottle, but I have heard that salt can help to set the color.
I ended up with three different shades after dyeing them 5, 10, and 15 minutes. Also, the colors are slightly darker in real life than you see in the bottom photo. The top photo shows the fabric wet, and the bottom pieces are dry. I was very happy with the mottling I achieved, especially in the largest piece of fabric.

Next up were the green, orange, and teal.
I used both Jobelan and Monaco for these. The orange was dyed on a pale yellow color Jobelan. The Monaco took the dye better and that resulted in a darker fabric. The teal is next to the orange. And the other color? The one that looks blue? Well, that's the Peacock Green. Yes, you read this right - green. I don't know what happened! Maybe I didn't shake the bottle enough, or it could have been a mismarked bottle. But it was a happy accident because I like the color, kind of a purply blue.
This photo shows the fabrics dry.


So fabric dyeing was a good experience, and yes, I would do it again. Maybe some multi-colored fabric is in my future. All of these fabrics will be good for future cross stitch projects. A few tips:
--I used a plastic tablecloth to protect my countertops. Dollar store tablecloths are perfect for this.
--I used a plastic storage container for the dyeing solution. Just one of those storage things that   you can buy at Wal-Mart.
--Get some plastic gloves unless you like blue hands. Or purple.
--To get the mottling effect, scrunch your fabric up in different areas before putting it into the dye.
--Wear old clothes.

Let me know if you have any questions. Keep in mind that I am no expert at this, but it really was a fun project. Thanks for visiting today!