Saturday, December 27, 2014

First Attempt at Dying Fabric

Had my first dye session.  It was interesting.  Not as hard as I thought in some ways but not as easy as it sounds in others.  Achieving a desired result might be an issue.  I only tried to dye some Aida fabrics that I picked up here and there from thrift stores.  Figured that was a good starting point.

At this point I was just dying to be dying and learned quite a bit.  Like, if you want purple, use purple dye.  If you blend red and blue, most of the blue will wash out leaving mostly the red dye rather than the thing ending up being purple. 

Now bear in mind that I am not an experienced dyer by any means.  I am sure that I did not follow the instructions so I may not have left the dye on the fabric long enough, had the perfect mixture or followed any real "rules" that may exist.  I just got dye from Walmart, mixed it up and went to town.

As I said, if I was trying for a certain effect for a certain project I might be in trouble.  So far, however, I had a pretty good time.

Friday, December 12, 2014

2015 Plans and Resolutions

As I begin to think about stitching in 2015, I find I have several projects planned that I am stitching specifically for someone in my family.  I am liking that idea, so 2015  may be the year of the stitching gift. (Warning to family)

I also am going to attempt some new techniques, new fabrics and new types of threads.  I am looking forward to it actually.  I think it is easy for me to get into a rut with my stitching which may explain why I had so many starts toward the latter part of 2014 and very few finishes. 

I am also going to try my hand at some fabric dying.   I picked up some thrift store buys on fabrics so I don't feel as if I am going to throw money away on something that might not turn out.

And I want to work on actually finishing my finishes. 

This is where the internet, facebook, UTube and the like have really been enablers for me.  I have seen so many beautiful projects done on various fabrics, colors, threads and so forth and they are made into banners, pillows and all sorts of lovely things.

I am going to try my hand at making a biscornu.  It is a funny shaped pin cushion.  Should be interesting.  I already have a bag of walnut shells that are used for filling and I have more beads than any human needs so it should be fun.

Of course my HAED Books Reading Books will take me well into 2015.  I would like to finish it in 6 months, but we will see how it goes.

I am going to do a project that is sent from the designer in parts.  I have received parts 1 and 2 already but will not start it until January.  It is the Lizzie Kate Things Unseen project.  It comes with a fabric and threads that I have never used before and is an embellished sampler which is a new thing for me. 

I will be doing a projected called Tree of Stitches so that I can learn to do some specialty stitches.  Should be interesting.   I am going to use variegated threads that I already have in my stash and plan to dye the fabric for this project.  I am doing this in preparation for a Chatelain design I want to do.

 Because several of my projects are huge ones, I am also going to do a small 5x7 Charles Kinkaid Tinkerbell.  I think it is just a section of a larger piece, but I figure I will need some finishes to keep me going.

Big plans for 2015 in the stitching arena.  I should also add to the list all the Christmas projects that I didn't even start this year. 
I am also going to make a concerted effort to learn to frame my work.  The cost to have then done is just crazy and I have not been happy with the last two things I had professionally framed.  The Michaels is only about 30 minutes away so I have access to mats and supplies so I am going to go for it.
And finally, I am going to refrain from buying any kits, patterns, fabrics or notions.  I am putting myself on a cross stitch diet.  I know a lot of stitchers take great pride in their stash, but it is just making me feel overwhelmed and lazy!  Of course that has not stopped me from stocking up during this final month of the year.  Kind of self-defeating I know.
Taking advantage of more sales I picked up some fabrics for next year.

These are linens,  32 ct.Belfast Ruby Wine, 28 ct Antique Green Jazlyn and 28 ct Thunderstorm Cashel.  The Thunderstorm is much more grey than it appears in the photo.  Lovely.  One of my 2015 goals is to try fabrics that I don't normally use.

And because I have several large projects planned for 2015 I picked up two kits that are smaller and should be faster finishes.

These also fit into my plan to use different threads and fabrics as they use threads from The Gentle Arts, Weeks Dye Works, Crescent Colours and Classic Colorworks.   I may start these before the end of the year just for  the heck of it.

And last but certainly not least I hit the HAED sale on patterns:

These will probably be 2016 - 2017 projects.  They are huge, of course, so I do not plan to kit them up until after 2015. 
So as you can see, I certainly do not need any more supplies. 

Wishing you a great December and wonderful Holiday season.  Merry Christmas to all.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What WAS I thinking?

My last finish was the free Heaven and Earth design Santa and the Mouse.  It was round and was called on ornament, but it ended up being about 9 x 9.  I decided to frame it and when I got the frames I just did not like the blank fabric on the corners (as the design is round).  So, in my infinite wisdom I decided to fill in those spaces to make it square for framing.  I found in my stash a skein of a red metallic thread (I know, I know). 

So I thought this will fill in and it will be a very quick fix before I frame the project. I figured it would take me about a day of stitching (6-8) hour tops to get this done and ready to frame.  Well, I realize how poorly I estimate how fast I stitch.  And I also had forgotten the pain that metallic can be, slowing the progress down further.  However, I am ok with the result.

I don't think I would do this again -- not with this particular thread, but this is what I had on hand so.....about 30 hours later!

I also much mention that the floss was a Rosace brand metallic.  I had never heard of it and probably picked it up in a thrift store haul. 

That is it for the moment.  Staying busy with my HAED December start and would like to complete the first page this week.  Also want to complete my first effort on linen fabric, the Thea Gouvener yellow rose. 

Will post plans for 2015 this week as they are coming together and getting a little out of hand I think!

Thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Starts and Old Projects

Just a few updates and new things this month.

December 1 started a Heaven and Earth Designs stitch-a-long.  I am doing the Books Reading Books design.  It is going so well I am lulled into thinking this is going to be relatively easy.  I am doing it on 18 county Aida because the 25 county I got originally was just too small and too distracting for me.

I am trying not to think about how stitching will go when I get to the portion of the picture that has a letters inside the book.  One stitch at a time, right.

I did get all the floss put on bobbins (most of it anyway) and am a little surprised that it doesn't use more colors.  It has a total of 86 colors which is not bad.  It has lots of area that only has a couple of colors and not much confetti.  When I get to the actual picture I am sure things will slow down, so I am making an effort to do as much stitching as possible before I get to the 'hard' part so that I stay motivated.

I have also done more work on the linen that I am learning.  It is coming along and is getting a little easier.  I am hoping to be more comfortable with this fabric as I have a couple of 2015 projects that use evenweave and/or linen.

This is a Thea Gouverner  kit that I got off of  It is going pretty well.  Magnification and lighting sure help!

So that is about it for the first of this month.  I put in a few hours on Woodland Enchantress.  I have kind of lost interest in that project for now.  I am sure I will pick it up after the new year.

And of course I have not stitched at all on Bay Dunes, Cranes or any of the other WIPs I have going.  Oh well.

Thanks for visiting.