Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Pincushion How-To

I've been asked a few times for the steps to finishing my completed cross stitch.  For example, the ornament I finished back in July.  Unfortunately, I didn't photograph my steps as I went along creating this ornament.  I will admit that I made them up as I went along.  So next time I do one, I can take pictures as I go to give you an idea of how that festive little creation came about.

Yesterday, I took time to make the pincushion from my completed "La Fleur".  This time I did keep the camera by my side as I worked in order to give the step-by-step instructions for making a pincushion.

First, take your completed stitched piece and trim around the edges if necessary.  Make sure to give yourself enough seam allowance a little allowance around the edge of your stitching.  A 3/8" seam allowance works well.  Then cut a backing piece and some fusible lightweight interfacing, both of the same size as the stitched piece.
Fuse the interfacing to the back of your stitched piece, using the manufacturer's directions.  Next, pin the backing to the stitched/interfacing piece, matching right sides.  Then sew along the edges leaving an opening of about 2".
Trim the seams to about 1/4" and clip the corners diagonally, but don't get too close to the stitching or it will spoil your day!  Turn your piece right side out.  This is a good time to give it a little pressing, if necessary.
Now you're ready to fill your pincushion!  Go and find a pet bird and ask if you can have some of his crushed walnut shells.  (I finally found out that birds use this as their cage litter.  Who knew?)  So tell him that they must be unused crushed walnut shells.  Or if you don't know any pet birds, then go to your nearest pet supply store and get a bag of them.  Get ready to do some lifting because I don't think this stuff comes in teeny tiny bags.  You'll have enough for many, many pincushions.  Or you can share with other stitchers. 
After you've filled your cushion to your liking (I like a little space in there to give it a squishy feel), then pin and stitch the opening closed by hand.
It's cute enough to leave like this or you can add some trim to the outside edge.  I chose some 1/8" organza ribbon and ran a thread right down the middle of it and gathered it up. 
This took a while but the result was worth the time.  Just make sure you have enough to go all the way around your pincushion.
Sew the trim on by hand right over the seam.  Then enjoy your awesome handiwork and your finished product!
Well, what do you think?  I hope you liked this little tutorial on how to craft your own pincushion.  There are a lot of different smaller cross stitch charts that you can use for this project.  The design doesn't have to be square.  Just pick something you like and give it a try!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

One Stitch Day, Two Finishes

Yesterday began the new phase of Stitch Days for the Sisters In Stitches.  I previously told you that our favorite cross stitch store, The Stitch Store, was closing and we had to forge ahead and make decisions about how to keep our happy group together.  We determined that the best thing to do for the time being was to host Stitch Days in our various homes.  We're all set for the rest of 2012.  I was glad to host our September Stitch Day. 

So our group spent the day stitching, talking, laughing and eating, just like usual!  All that was missing was Terrie (who has moved away, but will join us for our twice-a-year retreats), and shopping.  But as someone pointed out, they could have shopped in my bountiful stash collection.  And the readers of this blog would agree, having seen part of the colossal cross stitch compilation.  All in all, I think our day went well.  Well, except for the little incident involving the bad behavior of one of my cats.  We won't go there. 

Like always, everyone was stitching beautiful projects.  I will have to get into the habit of taking pictures of their WIPs each month.  There was a finish, which is always good news!  Sheila completed her "Daily Life - Garden Daily" by SamSarah Design Studio. 
Sheila thought out of the box for this one, using DMC and Weeks Dye Works #5 Perle Cotton on 10-count Tula fabric.  It resulted in a very pretty, rustic, chunky-stitch look which will look great framed.  The photo honestly doesn't do this finish justice.

I also had a finish, although not technically during the actual Stitch Day.  Later in the evening I completed "La Fleur" by Sweetheart Tree.  All I had left to do were a few stitches, a quick pressing, and then sewing the tiniest buttons I've ever seen onto the piece. 

I'll be finishing this as a pin cushion.  I have enough of those crushed walnut shells left since I had to buy a gigantic bag and only used them for one project.  So stay tuned.  It should be a cute finish. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Blog Hop #8 - Choosing Favorites

I'm glad to see the Blog Hop is back!  The Blog Hop question this time is:

What has been your favorite project to stitch? (either finished or in progress)

I didn't have to think about this one for very long.  My favorite thing that I've stitched is my "Square Dance" pillow.   I found this chart in a New Stitches magazine in the 1990's, and knew right away that I had to stitch it.  It was kind of a step up for me stitchingwise because it required two different fabrics to be pieced together.  My little local cross stitch store had to special order the navy blue Aida for me.  I remember the store owner warning me that dark colors were very difficult to stitch on!  Beware!  The light fabric was a very cool product called Aida Plus, which was a stiffer, heavy duty Aida.  The designs on the navy were stitched on the large piece of fabric and spaced very carefully.  The designs on the Aida Plus were stitched and then cut apart, again very carefully and then stitched onto the navy.  Lots of measuring and counting, but so worth it.  I just love the colors in these mini floral designs.  This throw pillow sits on a chair in my family room all year round.  And I was very happy to pass this chart on to another stitcher who admired my pillow when I posted a picture of it somewhere on line (I don't remember where)!  I just love when my used charts go to good homes!

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Giveaway Winner!!!

The winner of my 100th Follower Giveaway Drawing is:

Denise (Country Stitcher blog)!!

Congratulations, Denise!  I've already sent you an e-mail.  All you have to do is e-mail me with your address, and your stitchy goodies will be sent!

Thanks, everyone, for participating!  I hope you'll all continue to visit my blog and let me know how I'm doing. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ready For A Giveaway?

Yay!  I got my 100th follower today!!  I can finally reveal the contents of the project bag and let you know how to enter the drawing.
Here's a list of what our winner will receive:
*The Sanctuary by The Drawn Thread chart
*Happy Everything by Imaginating chart
*Morning Song by Just Nan chart with charm
*Sunflower Sampler by Country Cottage Needleworks chart
*Snowy Morn by Shepherd's Bush KIT with fabric, floss and beads
*Needle Threader
*LED Booklight
*8 Bohin needles (#26)
*Stitcher's Recordkeeper
*DMC #5282 metallic gold
*Kreinik Blending Filament #003 red
*Lo Ran project card
*Overture 4 ply cotton V59
*Overture 4 ply cotton V52
*Sew Mate Rainbow Thread Cutter Scissors - Blue
*Stork Tweezer
*Sheep Tape Measure
*Zipper Project Bag

Sound good? 

To enter:
1.  You have to be a follower of my blog.  If you're not yet, you still have time to sign up!
2.  Leave a comment on THIS POST on my blog.  You can say anything you want, including how awesome my blog is. 
     That's just a suggestion.  
     I'll leave the commenting for the contest open until Sunday, September 16 at 6:00 P.M. EST.

There will be ONE winner of this fabulous giveaway!  A name will be drawn and I'll announce the winner in a blog post on Sunday (September 16th) evening.  So come back here then to find out who the winner is!!

I'm doing this to let my followers know that I am so thankful for each and every one of you.  I blog for the fun of it and enjoy your comments and feedback to my ramblings. So good luck!

WIP Review

I noticed something as I increased my number of WIPs from one, to two, to three, then to four.  Yes, four is my self-imposed limit.  Currently.  But what I'm seeing is that I don't get very much finished.  Well, duh, you say.  It's true though, isn't it?  When we're project-hopping, the finishes just don't appear quickly.  I'm not a deadline-maker, but it would be nice to see something completed once in a while. 

So first I have "Holiest of Nights" by Homespun Elegance.  I started this one about 10 months ago thinking I would have it done for this Christmas.  Maybe if I worked on it exclusively......

Next is Prairie Schooler's "Folk Eggs", started in the spring.  I've actually made good progress on this, with only two more eggs to go after some finishing touches on the top left one.  I've found that I like stitching on black, but it attracts the cat hair like nothing else.  Especially the snowy white portion of Moxie's calico fur. 

I've barely made a dent in "Red White & Bloom" by Country Cottage Needleworks.  I know I'll finish it though.  I think this one was started around Memorial Day. 

Last but not least is "La Fleur" by Sweetheart Tree.  I'm stitching it with Weeks Dye Works color "Independence".   I think it looks cool.  Mark pronounced it "interesting".  I didn't ask him to elaborate.  This will be a pin cushion, and I already have finishing ideas for it.  So yay for me. 

Everywhere I look lately, there are so many wonderful fall and Halloween charts being stitched.  From my favorite blogs to stitching spots on Facebook, the photos of autumnal stitching are gorgeous!  So tempting, especially since I have that Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue.  My oh my, that magazine is full of cute things.  And don't even get me started on my recent stash haul.  But I think I'll stick to my limit of four and actually get a finish in before I begin a new project.  Self control, right?  That's all I need.

I need only one more follower to make 100!  Then I'll announce the details of my super-fantastic giveaway drawing!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

By Popular Demand...

...I am posting photos of my recent, um, stash acquisition.  Yes, that's what it is, and not "bordering on hoarding" as I referred to it in my last post.  OK, so that's what we're calling it, right? 

So without further ado, here it is.
Charts and some misc. stuff.
Fabric, misc. floss and some buttons and charms.

Basket o' floss.

Stop laughing.  I had very good reasons for getting all of this.  One is that this was a phenomenal sale and we stitchers all understand that.  Yes?  Another is that is was all so awesome.  I mean, who doesn't love a new chart and pretty floss?  Or should I say a bunch of new charts. Oh, and I wasn't the only one -- there were plenty of stitchers in that store doing the exact same thing that I was. 

It's important to know that all of it didn't make it into the photos.  Some of it made its way into the giveaway bag.  And you'll find out exactly what's in there when the numbers of my blog followers reaches 100, along with the giveaway details!  This will be one of the coolest giveaway drawings you've seen in a long time!  I only need TWO more followers!

So there you have it.  I've come clean.  Is it a embarrassing hoard, or is it an awesome stash addition?  You decide.  But don't tell me unless you think it's awesome.