Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Needlework Mindset Yieldings

Glad to report that changing my perspective in regards to my needlework has yielded quick results. Indeed!
Above is a small design a whipped up the other night from one of the Japanese embroidery books in my stash (which shows a bit on the background). The design is by Hiroko Ishii. Below is a super cute skunk from the same book, but by a different artist. Do you remember Pepe Le Pew? I think he will approve. ;-)
Below is my completed bee square on my ongoing future lap-quilt.
I tell you... definitely rolling with my needle. 

Now trying to decided which of these birds below will make it to the next square on the quilt. Leaning towards the left and middle envelopes.... most likely a ducky. Which one would you pick?
I have a ton of office work to do this week, so not sure if there will be any other projects completed in the next few days, but I'm glad the needlework rut is over.   
Enjoy your midweek!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Doings


Just coming out of a crafty rut. Slowly going back to working on my embroidery projects... old or new. 
Something that I realized about myself is, that putting restrictions on my creativity dampens my enthusiasm for needlework. From now on I'll work on whatever I want to work, whenever the desire strikes... as long as it doesn't take away time from the most important responsibilities and duties in my life.
Wow, it feels so liberating already ;-)!
Until later!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Busy Bee and Vintage Puppy

Started a project for myself ;-). Using Aunt Martha's embroidery transfers in my collection. It's a stress free, no deadline project.

This is the first stitched design, a vintage one. "Puppy Fashion Show" no. 3262.  Didn't want to cut the pattern, so I made a resized copy of the chosen design, used a fine tip iron on transfer pen from Sublime Stitching to traced the design from the back of copy, and then ironed it on the fabric.

I'm using a pre-printed quilt top fabric, from Aunt Martha's too (www.colonialpatterns.com). 

Here it is all done... so cute!
The second design is from "The Busy Bee" pattern no.3681.

Totally enjoying the no deadlines. Whenever I feel like working on this project I'll pick it up and stitch away... therapeutic, especially when experiencing an intense fibromyalgia flare.



Kind of nice to be able to use what I already have in my stash/collection. Planning to add some fabric squares (also in my stash) to this pre-printed quilt top.  So liberating to hand embroider just for fun, without stressing for deadlines!

Non-affiliated link:
Aunt Martha's "The Busy Bee" and pre-printed quilt top from: www.colonialpatterns.com .


Friday, October 7, 2016

Singing Sunflower Rooster Tea Towel

We are in October already! Totally forgot to blog about this finished kitchen towel. It is from a Stitcher's Revolution iron on transfer called Folksy Farm. How do you call your towels: kitchen towels, dish towels, tea towels? I'm curious :-).

I wasn't raised in a farm, but the area where we lived was rural. Some people kept farm animals: goats, chickens, horses, rabbits, pigs, etc. There were two dairy farms nearby. My parents kept chickens for a short time. Speckles was the name of my favorite hen. She didn't turn out to be a good mom... she ended up in my uncle's soup. Bittersweet memory.

This rooster's suggested colors (in the pattern) reminded me of my Speckles, didn't have to make any changes... love the red, black, and white combo. That cute mushroom is a needleminder (needle nanny). Hand sculpted and painted by the talented Cynthia Crane, I'll add a link at the end of this post. I love her work!

Sunflowers are beautiful, yellow/orange... happy colors. The music notes add a nice touch too.

Here is a little peek at the humble beginnings of this towel. I love in-progress-project pictures ;-)! 
A large area of the United States is being affected by Hurricane Matthew as I type. Hoping everyone stays safe!
Until next time!

None affiliated links:
Stitcher's Revolution SR no.23 Folksy Farm on Colonial Patterns here.
Cute needleminder from Cynthia Crane here.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Busy Summer

Taking a few minutes to briefly say hi! Hoping everyone is doing well! We are keeping busy. Here is a nice summary of some of my needlework doings these days. 

Be back in a few days with a proper blog update ;-).
Until later!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hand Embroidered "Vintage" Towels

There is something special about hand embroidered towels... even more so if the look is vintage. These towels embroidered by myself (blogged about previously) fit the bill. 
Around my neck of the woods is practically impossible to find these kind of treasures. Not always I'm able to splurge on original vintage linens, so I'm glad when I have some time in my hands to sit and relax stitching a new towel with a vintage look. There are so many free vintage patterns online, but Colonial Patterns still prints and re-prints vintage original designs... which as you may already know, I love collecting (1st picture)! 
I'm looking forward to adding a few more towels to my kitchen's linens drawer soon! 
Non-affiliated links:
Aunt Martha's embroidery transfers at Colonial Patterns.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Three More English Paper Pieced Flowers

Finally! Some progress on this project... about time!
Worked on them while watching "Pioneer Quest" on Amazon in the middle of the night, while sipping chai latte on the living room floor. Ahhh, amazing what one can get done while kids are asleep and insomnia is your companion. Back to "Pioneer Quest", truly enjoyed it! 
Photo of it below, on the next day, while my youngest (whom I purposely blurred on the picture) was letting me know her favorite fabric prints... little does she know that these someday, hopefully soon, will become part of a lap quilt for her.
Currently taking a break from Instagram, but decided to stop by and update my good old blog since insomnia decided to show up uninvited. Until next time!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vintage Beauty

Are you captivated by the beauty of vintage linens? I certainly am, especially to hand embroidered ones. Browsing on Etsy I found this set of vintage towels that I just couldn't resist.
Mrs. Nancy (at GypsyGeranium on Etsy) packed these beauties very carefully and beautifully, shipped them promptly too. Excellent customer service! I can't wait to start displaying these lovely towels on my future kitchen (can't speak much about that for now). I really need to find a "partner in crime" that wouldn't get bored hunting down pretties like these ones on thrift shops, estate sales, etc. . For now I may have to splurge online, here and there when I see something that gets my attention. I'm specifically looking for floral designs or a combination of floral with kitchen utensils like these ones, nothing anthropomorphic for the ones that will be dedicated only for displaying. 
I also like bluework, and redwork, like the hanky above which I stitched sometime ago.
My time is so limited at the moment, however I'm planning to start embroidering some new towels with vintage patterns probably this coming fall. Maybe. At some point... I hope!
For now the current in progress projects must see some progress... can't get motivated enough to keep going, but I must! 
May also choose to do a set of towels with the cooking/kitchen design from several DOW (Days Of the Week) embroidery patterns. When in the kitchen, glancing at my oven's door displaying an embroidered towel, I must certainly do not want to be reminded of all the other chores that need to get done ;-). 

Remember Mrs. Laundry Hen? She hasn't make it into a towel 'cause of that same reason.  Interestingly most DOW embroidery transfers have Laundry on Mondays. I've been doing laundry on Mondays since getting married, what a coincidence! What about you? Which embroidery designs catch your attention?

Until next time!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Spring Nostalgy

Took my littles for strawberry picking before the season comes to an end... which is soon. Happy that my youngest was able to experience strawberry picking for the first time!
Visiting the strawberry farm brought back many sweet and sour memories.

These strawberries were stitched in 2010. Mom, my oldest (then 4.5), and I went strawberry picking in April of that year. It was a beautiful sunny day, the strawberry season was just starting. We came home and got busy cleaning up the berries and baking a crisp. We also stitched strawberries. 
Mom was in her very early stages of Alzheimer's, she only stitched the seeds... I can't find her work :-( . Those 2 are my oldest's and mine. Thankfully I still have a couple of pictures of that precious day and the many priceless memories treasured in my mind & heart. 
Mom's Alzheimer is advanced. However, she is still able to show love in many little ways, especially giving kisses and hugging whomever is within her reach. Anyhow, I needed to find these today and live that day in April 2010 all over again. 




This mosaic above is from our recent visit... the plants were starting to wither and there weren't many berries to pick. The ones we found weren't as big as the ones from 2010, but they were very sweet... so no complains.
Next time we'll be sure to visit the farm at the start of the season. 
Now we are looking forward to blueberry season! The farm we go to opens to the public in July... can't wait!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Improvising

Despite all the unfinished projects that must get done, I felt the sudden need to improvise a bit and stitch a cute quick pattern from one of my newest Japanese embroidery books.

This hedgehog was irresistible and couldn't tell my self "no" or "later". Interestingly, this small project gave me the little nudge I needed to make a bit of progress on my current projects.  

Perhaps breaking the routine by working on this unplanned tiny project was exactly what I needed to keep going. As you can see above, two of the twelve stitcheries from the second group of patterns got done, plus the last one of the first group is currently in the process of being hand pieced. It may not seem much for some, but for me is a total success! 

PS: Insomnia came to visit, almost 5:30am and just now I'm feeling sleepy. Thankfully I wasted no time; dishwasher load done, all the prep for today's dinner done, hubby's business shirts washed and hanged, and wrote this post. Wanted to vacuum a bit but I'm afraid the noise would've awaken the family. Now to shower and hit the sack ;-), at least for two hours before my little ones wake up.

PSA: The Oh Joy! First Aid Bag from Target is perfect for keeping needlework projects ;-)! After purchasing 3 inexpensive first aid items that I normally buy and needed the case was free. Can't beat that... LOL. The one from last year is still going strong, the one for this year is cuter. Sorry for sounding like an infomercial, just thought that some of you may like to know ;-).

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Stash Enhancements: Japanese Embroidery Books

On our recent trip to New York City we stopped by Kinokuniya (Japanese bookstore), at my request ;-). We were just a few blocks away so we walked there.

My husband and kids were so patient. I browsed the entire hand embroidery section and a bit of the patchwork section as well. The kids requested to browse the Sanrio section... which I happily obliged.

Here are our spoils!

Three books for my ever growing Japanese embroidery book collection. Which I may never get to make something out of each one of them... but, hey, collections are mainly for looking at ;-). Right? Like teacup collections, spoon collections, thimble collections, you name it.

The kids also got a couple cute folders for their homework... ok, ok, that top one is mine... LOL. 
It was fun to visit NYC once more! Especially since we got to tour all the Bethel facilities and the Stanley Theater in NJ.
I'm still catching up on things around here, better go! 
Until next time!




I



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Project(s) Update

My family and I were traveling for a couple of weeks, and of course I took with me some projects.
Was able to complete the Calendula from the Flower of the Month, Aunt Martha's transfer pattern. Although reading in a moving car makes me sick, embroidering doesn't ... thankfully!



From the two hexagon flowers I took to hand-piece, was able to complete only one... better than nothing, right? This one was done in the hotel room while listening to upbuilding songs. For some reason hand-piecing in the car doesn't appeal to me... lots of tiny even stitches, while trying to match hexagon sides, a bit of a challenge on uneven highways.

Well, that's it for now... have to run! 
Enjoy the week, until next time!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Flower of the Month Project



A brief hello and update ;-).
Flower of the Month lap quilt project progress. So far these are the blocks that are done, the one I'm currently working on, and the main fabric. I was helped with two of these embroidered blocks, and will be helped with two others. There will be twelve embroidered blocks in total, but I may add two more... not sure yet.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Anniversary Gift / Simply Stitched Book Review


The english paper piecing project was put on hold in order to make part of an Anniversary gift for my husband. His work office has an elegant decor and I think this project will complement it. 

This was my very first time using tapestry wool, it was very nice and easy to work with. I used a regular pencil to trace my designs onto tracing paper, then on the back retraced the motifs with an iron on transfer pen (fine tip from Sublime Stitching), and ironed them onto my linen. Where it didn't transfer properly I used my Sewline pencil to go over those areas.

The embroidery goes fast with tapestry wool, but you do need to use more force to pull the needle in and out, which could make your fingers a bit sore if you are not use to embroidering with these materials. Could easily be compared to the feeling of stitching with ribbon and crewel yarn.

The 3 design motifs I chose are from the book Simply Stitched by Yumiko Higuchi . The Japanese version was already in my embroidery library, but Lindsey (from Zakka Workshop/ Worldbook Media) kindly provided me with the English translation to review. Miss Yumiko Higuchi is a master in the art of embroidery, love her work!
Simply Stitched  has very easy to follow directions, and easy to find materials (either online like I did or at your local needlework shop). Not only does the book provides embroidery motifs but also instructions to turn your completed stitcheries in to a variety of practical items. There is a video review on my Instagram if you'll like to take a look. 

Book video-review: Simply Stitched by Yumiko Higuchi @yumikohiguchi / English edition publisher @zakkaworkshop / ISBN: 978-1-940552-22-4 / What a treat to have this book translated in English!!! Love this book!!! Yumiko Higuchi is a master in the art of embroidery ๐Ÿ˜. The instructions and diagrams are clear. Measurements for projects (you may need a sewing machine for those) are given in inches and cm. Towards the back are sections on: materials, tools techniques, stitch guide. The patterns are in black & white which makes it easier for tracing. Each design has a stitch guide and DMC color number. Tapestry wool & cotton embroidery floss/thread are used. In my opinion this book is beginner friendly since many of the motifs are simple, but also there are more elaborated motifs and projects for the more experience needleworker and the adventurous beginner. The Japanese version has been in my stash for a bit (on my feed few weeks back) and I was impatiently ๐Ÿ˜Š waiting for this one to be released, didn't have to wait long @zakkaworkshop kindly provided me with this copy to review. This is my honest review. #needlework #embroidery #hoopart #handembroidery #bordado #broderie #ricamo #stitchery #wool #bookreview #YumikoHiguchi #book #stickerei #design #pattern #textile #diseรฑo #sewing #ๆจ‹ๅฃๆ„‰็พŽๅญ #ๅˆบ็น #์ž์ˆ˜ #ุชุทุฑูŠุฒ
A video posted by BitsofStitching (@bitsofstitchingtoo) on

I already presented my husband with the finished piece and he was delighted and appreciative... we only need to find a custom frame for it ;-).

Friday, February 26, 2016

Spring Stitching / English Paper Piecing Project

I've slowly started to make more progress on the english paper piecing project. The last three flowers (of the first group of twelve) need to be whip-stitch.
It is always fun to see how, little by little, an entire garden of english paper pieced flowers grows!

I'm halfway there! Below you see the preparations for the other group of twelve hexagon flowers. The flora supply case that one of my dear friends made for me will house the embroidery part of the project... it is perfect for keeping all the floss, hoop, embroidery designs, blank squares of fabric, and the rest of the supplies needed to make the embroidered centers.

Another dear friend sent me a lovely gift, which in part included that super cute and practical see thru pouch in the background. Can't wait to put it to good use!
Haven't been feeling well today, but hopefully I'll get to do a little bit of stitching... hopefully. May this weekend do you well!
Until next time!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Countdown ... 1


The final of the three projects! This wasn't a swap, but a 'just because' token of appreciation of friendship. It arrived at its destination this past Saturday, so I hope when it is open it makes my friend smile! I know she likes: cats, to garden, victorian/cottage and country french decor... hopefully this will fit a bit among her likes :-). 

There are a couple of thank you notes (with a couple of goodies) that I need to send internationally, that is, once I'm able to step out of the house. Freezing cold weather has kept me inside the house for sometime. Sunday was freezing cold, however I'm so thankful that I was able to attend a special assembly held indoors in a large auditorium with my family. This week temperatures will go up a bit, supposedly, I'm definitely hoping so!

Now I can start to focus on keeping up with my personal projects... 2 english paper pieced quilts for my little ones, the Flower of the Month lap quilt for mom, and a few embroidery projects that must be completed. I'm hoping to get busy with all of them soon! 
Until next time!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

UPDATE: Countdown... 2... and Bunny Added ;-).

(Fri. 29th Update: Bunny added, 4th picture.)
Hello everyone! These below were stitched for one of my lovely friends across the Atlantic. They all arrived at their destination and were very well received! Which made me really happy!
This 3 owls were one of the projects I needed to complete before starting to work on my personal ones. The owl above is part of an embroidery pattern set by Kimberly Ouimet. The two below are part of an embroidery pattern set by Mollie Johanson. 
There were other goodies accompanying these winged creatures, among which there was a cute little bunny that my oldest daughter stitched. I forgot to take a picture of it :-( , which made me a bit sad since it was the work of my daughters hands and she worked so hard at it, picking out stitches that didn't meet her expectations and redoing them until she was content with the results. In the rush of getting the package ready for the post office, I totally forgot :-(,... but my friend will be sending a picture of it when she's able! Will try to do a continuation to this post in order to add the bunny and keep record of my daughter's work.
Soon I'll send away the last of the completed projects to its forever home, and will post it here once is received. Then I'll be back to posting progress on the Spring Stitching Club english paper pieced hexagon flowers, which by the way I'm already making progress on. Can't wait to show you! Perhaps you already took a peek at it through my instagram ;-). 
On another subject... winter storm Jonas left an unpleasant amount of icy precipitation with a dusting of snow on my neck of the woods. Thankfully we didn't loose power, and it can't be compared with the awful amounts that it left/is leaving the other states further north. If you were on the path of the storm I hope you are warm and safe!!! Until next time!

UPDATE:
Here is the bunny my oldest daughter stitched, so thankful that my friend was able to send me a photo of it! As you can see it was stitched on bright green fabric. Pattern is by Lova Handmade.

Non-affiliated links:
First picture owl, Owl pattern by Kimberly Ouimet.
Second & third picture owls, Little Owls by Mollie Johanson
Fourth picture: Bunny by Lova Handmade.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Countdown ... 3 ...

I'm done with all three pending stitcheries! The first one that I was able to send to its forever home is the one above. A tea towel, with a vintage pattern embroidered in pastels as requested by my friend. I'm posting it here so as to keep record along the rest of my embroidered projects. I'm so happy that she liked it!!!


We were doing a personal swap and she made me a lovely Flora Supply Case (pictured above), which I love!!! It is helping me keep one of my needlework wips organized and portable. We sent each other additional goodies, but the main item was handmade with love. I will continue the countdown as soon as I send the other two and they are received, which may take me a few days since I'm currently feeling under the weather. 

It's freezing cold out there which means the trip to the post office will be delay for a bit. This winter has been a wacky-weather-kind-of-winter.... is started in the 70's and out of the sudden is freezing cold out there, not good for some us with chronic illnesses that get exacerbated with drastic weather changes and/or cold weather. Hoping that y'all are well and keeping warm or cool, depending on your location! Until next time!

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