Thursday, February 28, 2013

Almost There!

Warm up your dancing shoes! I'm almost ready to do the Happy Dance.

The cutwork band is finished without nearly as much swearing as was heard during the torturous stitching of the 'Satin Stitch Band From Hell'. Perhaps that is due to the excessive knocking on wood by my husband every time I said, "I'm cruisin' now."  Perhaps I have reached stitching Nirvana.  Or perhaps I'm just mellowing. Who knows?  I'm just going to enjoy the glow...until the frog returns.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oooh, It's a Giveaway!

Check it out! Nancy, from Victorian Motto Sampler Shop is having a giveaway!  There's no preview of the floss she's giving away, but who can resist adding to their stash!?

Just follow and comment on her blog.  You can get extra entries by doing some other stuff too! 

And don't forget to tell her that I sent you!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Do NOT Tempt the Juju

Previously on "Bad Juju" (can you hear the Hill Street Blues theme?) the satin stitch band was done and I was in the midst of the boring, yet necessary, foundation stitching for the cutwork.  Things were moving along quite smoothly and I began to cut.  No sweat. 

Not 2 minutes after these words left my mouth..."I'm cruising!" and my husband knocked on wood, I cut the wrong thread. Well, crap.  Not to fear, I fixed it and kept going.  But it just goes to show that, as in most aspects of my life, I should just keep my mouth SHUT! 

So now, the vertical bars are wrapped and I've started on the horizontal bars which include dove's eyes.  No problem. (knocking on wood)  And who cares how perfect, or not, they are because who the heck can see them on 40 count! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bad JuJu

Strike whatever I said before about finally getting to the easy part of Margret Gatis.  Once again, the satin stitch almost did me in. This time it was that pesky little asymmetry problem.  Note the vine where the flowers are growing up from the vine. To the left of the flower stem there are thirteen stitches on the vine. To the right of the stem there are fifteen stitches on the vine.  And of course, I didn't notice until I got to the end of the band and it was too short.  There was not only an unladylike outburst, but much gnashing of teeth.  At this point, my husband asked me to put it away for a while and Otis moved to the other end of the couch.
Do you remember the old Tarzan movies from the sixties where some native jungle tribal member would, in perfect English, tell Tarzan 'do not go there...bad juju'?  Well, my husband says Margret Gatis has 'bad juju'.  He may be right, but I'm too damned stubborn to give up.  So under less than optimal lighting at my mom's house, I did the whole stinkin' band again...successfully, this time. And then I proceeded to the next one which turned out to be fairly uncomplicated.
Now I am in the process of laying the foundation for the cutwork and needleweaving band. I promised my husband that if I had to rip out the same stitches more than once I would lay it aside for a short period of time.  Hopefully, when I have to frog the same stitches a second time I will be able to swallow the swear words so he won't notice that I'm breaking my promise.  Because, as I previously mentioned, I'm too damned stubborn to give up.  Do you see a pattern forming here?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hugs and Kisses

Even though Valentine's Day came about as a commercial attempt to capitalize on love, I embrace it. It's a tangible way to remind your loved ones that they matter to you.  Hopefully, none of us take our sweethearts for granted, but it never hurts to say it out loud. 

Here are just a few of the pieces I've stitched for my husband over the years for Valentine's Day or anniversaries.

I continue to work on Margret Gatis. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm picking up speed.  Satin stitch will be the norm for a while, but at least it's over two threads and the pattern is fairly straightforward. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stitch Away!

It's hard to remember how much I dreaded working on Margret Gatis just a month ago.  I've made more progress in the last month than in the last 2 1/2 years! It's already 18+ inches long and I'm about 75% done.  But it's smooth sailing from here, until the needleweaving band at the bottom. And I'm looking forward to that one too.  I won't jinx myself by calling that easy because there's the chance that I'll cut the wrong thread and that would definitely put me in a bad mood.  But the fact that everything below the knot garden is over 2 threads puts me in a great frame of mind to continue.
The right hand margin is not even on this piece, but because the knot garden band is so big, it's not noticeable.  So my anal retentive self is letting it go.

I was going to stitch all afternoon, but I had a request for a custom laying tool and fob that took precedence. But I'm ready to go now.

By the way, I got my wedding ring set back from the jeweler yesterday and it's so shiny and bright I almost didn't recognize it. Now my hand doesn't feel naked anymore. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stash Enhancement

Oh, it was a great mail day!! The latest copy of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly (SANQ), plus 2 samplers from stitchandfrog
Plus, the February Ornament from Stitching the Night Away showed up in my email today too!  I'll have lots of new projects to choose from when I finish Margret Gatis!  Oh wait, I'll be starting Virtue Outshines the Stars...if I ever get my fabric.

SANQ contains an article about a recently discovered piece of embroidery from the Moravian girls boarding school, now known as Salem Academy in my hometown, Winston-Salem, NC. It was very interesting and quite extensive.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stitching Therapy

I've really had to delve into the Stitching Therapy the last couple of days. On Saturday I had a busy day working at Angelwing Needlearts.  I stopped at WalMart on my way home for another rug for Lester.  He's having real trouble on the hardwood floors these days. So we have place little rugs about every three feet for him to use as stepping stones.  When I got home, we decided to go out to dinner so I wouldn't have to cook. 

After I finished my flounder and deviled crab, I was sitting there fiddling with my wedding ring (it's getting a little loose on my finger) and I looked down and there was a gaping cavity in the middle. The diamond had fallen out!!! Holy moly. My stomach dropped. Of course, I started looking around, in my coat pockets, on the plate, table, floor... The waitress swept under the table for me. No diamond.  My eyes were glued on the ground as we walked to the car. Have you ever noticed how much glittery stuff there is in asphalt?  We searched the car, the garage and every place I had been since I got home from work. No diamond.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night. On Sunday, I was preparing to head over to the shop and search the entire place on my hands and knees. I refused to think about the possibility that it had fallen out in WalMart.  Since it was daylight I decided to check the garage and car again.  Lo and behold, there is was on the passenger side floorboard! I guess I just couldn't see it the night before.  I almost fainted. 

It's now in the hands of the local jeweller, who proudly told me that it would be ready on Thursday.  According to him, wedding and engagement rings get priority because no one wants to be without theirs for long. Amen, brother!

Sooooo, since stitching is my only path to sanity, Margret Gatis has grown immensely this weekend.  I finished the knot garden, so all the over three threads stuff is done. Woohoo! That's almost as good as a finish.  Last night I stitched the name, but I cheated.  I substituted Smyrna crosses for Algerian eyes, for the simple reason that I hate Algerian eyes.  It's too easy for one side to end up bigger than the other and I just wasn't in the mood to fool with it.  Besides, I enjoy Smyrna crosses and as I frequently tell my stitch group, "If it isn't fun, why are you doing it?".
Margret Gatis 02-04-13
on 40 count Sandstone linen with DMC cotton floss 


Friday, February 1, 2013

It's All Purple!

I'm still stitching away on Margret Gatis, but I just listed a brand new PURPLE stitcher's accessory set and I wanted to share it. One of my friends pointed out that it would be perfect for a Baltimore Ravens fan! 
It includes a scissor fob, laying tool, large counting pins for needlepoint, and small counting pins for cross stitch, needlepoint, and hardanger.

I'll be stitching during the Super Bowl. What do you have planned?