Monday, April 30, 2012

On the Road Again!

Well, I have managed to get in three posts this month! I wasn’t sure I could. 

I just returned from a weekend at the Heartland Region Mini-Seminar in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There were no classes at this one so we had a slightly smaller group than usual, but it is always fun to get together, stitch and laugh!

Four of us drove down from the Twin Cities to attend and on the way we stopped in Waverly, Iowa at Fiberworks. This is a fun little shop with just about every type of stitching you can imagine plus quilt fabric. The women in the shop were very nice and helpful. Their offerings are eclectic and if you happen to be in that area of Iowa it is a very short drive off the main road to downtown Waverly. Check the website before you go for their current hours.

I have been eager to try stitching on 40 count gauze and picked up a kit from The Crossed Wing Collection. They had several bird options so it was hard to choose. The kit includes just about everything you need except for the final finishing materials.  I also picked up a pattern by Blackbird Designs called Christmas Garden along with a few other odds and ends like new tapestry petites, which I like to stitch with better than the full size needles.

After our arrival in Cedar Rapids two of us had a meeting to attend. It was a quick one so we had time to go to the Village Needlework Shop in nearby Marion before dinner. This shop also had a variety of needlework items, everything from yarn, knitting and crochet supplies, needlepoint, cross stitch and all of the fabric and floss you might want or need. They had an interesting way of displaying their fabric. Instead of folding up their yardage on a shelf, they hung it up on hangers, much like you would see in a clothing store. They would then cut to size whatever you needed. Each of the four of us made a purchase and helped the local economy!

I did not go home with an Opportunity Basket this time around, but I did win a silent auction item. It's an old Winterthur kit for a sewing roll. The copyright on the box says 1989 so I imagine you can no longer purchase it directly from them.

You are probably wondering if I did any stitching at this weekend event! I did manage to finish one of my Mary Wigham motifs. But now I am home again and back to working on the model I am stitching.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mid April Update

I can’t believe it has been over two weeks since my last post! I’ve been busy with a lot of things that have taken me away from my stitching, but I can update you on the little bits of progress I have made.

I did manage to felt my knitted tote bag and handles, although I have yet to sew the two to each other. This will likely be my last felting project as I have a washer with no agitator. It’s a top loader, which I was told could easily be used to felt, but I found this to not be quite true. After an hour of trying to felt the thing I finally decided it was as felted as it would be. Plus, it made a huge mess in my washer! Ugh!

I worked some on the grass area of my Whale Hunting piece. This is done with one strand in a tent stitch using overdyes. The designer suggested stitching in a random pattern and not in straight rows to help give it a nice grass-like look.

I am still liking the lap frame I showed you last time, although I am finding that sometimes the Q-Snap slips and I have to remove it from the frame and get it set up again. But in the grand scheme I like stitching with it more than stitching without it.

About a week ago I received a package from a designer that contained the fabric and silks for stitching a model for one of her new designs. I’m so excited to be able to do this for her! The fabric is a 40 count and the silk colors are wonderful, in spite of their names: Collard Greens and Lasagne!!

I’ll show you a photo of the silks and fabric, but no photos of the piece because it isn’t published yet! Once it has been published and presented at Market I’ll give you the links for where you can purchase it. 

I haven’t been able to stitch on “her” for the last few days because I’ve been busy with the annual Textile Center garage sale. This is a crazy annual event with everything textile related you can imagine for sale. I did enhance my personal stash with books, patterns and a couple of new projects. The sale is now over and today is a gray, chilly, damp day. Just perfect for a cup of tea with a side of Lasagne and Collard Greens!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Updates and Freebies

This last week I was happily doing Grandma Day Care for my 3 year old and 8 month old grandchildren, so stitching took a back seat!

The next stage of my knitted tote bag was completed and was felted. Now it is drying. I stuffed it with rolled up towels to help it keep its shape. Once dry I will secure the knitted handles and be ready to use it.
While taking care of the grandchildren, I also worked on a small dishcloth. My little pumpkin pie wanted to help so I taught her how to do the basic knit stitch, with a lot of help from Grandma!

Now on to the freebies!

First up is a nice selection from Nordic Needle. They have a section on their website called Save the Stitches which has blogs, stitch aids and useful information. The best part though is the freebie page! I love that the web address includes the word swag! These are mainly hardanger but there are also a few cross stitch and a variety of other needlework techniques. If you like fun pieces be sure to check out the hardanger designs that are a Santa face and a cupcake.

Next on the list is Victoria Sampler. I posted once before on this site but referenced the page that had some great stitching videos. Most of free designs feature a combination of hardanger, cross stitch and specialty stitches. You will find charts for biscournu, ornaments, name tags, needle rolls and other fun things. While on the site you might want to check out the free Cyberclass.

Last, but certainly not least, is a great site if you like samplers or primitives. These are presented by Liberty Needle. Go to this link and you will see a photo that says, “My Album.” Click on this and you will come to the page that has free charts. Most of the charts are accompanied by a color chart and a black and white chart of the design along with a thread guide. That means you have the choice in most cases whether you would like to stitch from black/white or color.

You’ve probably read a lot about copyright and pirating on the various blogs and forums lately. This is just a gentle reminder that these designers ask that you not sell or kit these free designs.