Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And Even More Hearts . . .

Just a few days left in February so here are some more hearts to share:


These are from a band sampler. I think they are pretty in their simplicity.


I found this not too long ago in my pile of 'stitched-but-unfinished' projects. Years ago it was stitched on 28 ct amber linen with DMC floss and Mill Hill beads with a little shank button on the bow. It's crazy quilt look and nostalgic feel was appealing to me. This could have been made into a pillow or even framed. Instead I tacked a narrow tatting-like lace around the edge, backed it with muslin and put a little pearl cotton hanger on the back.

I’ve toyed with the idea of turning this into a card and putting a message on the back like “Remember Me”, or “To” and “From” written in colored ink . I can even see this with a pocket on the back to hold special cards. It could even go on the front of a picture or scrapbook album. The pattern is Victorian Elegance “Forget Me Not” by Homespun Elegance No. 122.


I’m partial to the watermelon heart; how about you?


And for all the love birds out there (I see that smile!) – two love birds surrounded by a heart!

I enjoyed sharing these hearts with you; I hope you liked seeing them.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tip to Share: No More Dangle-Tangle!

Have you ever worked on a project that involved a lot of thread changes (HAED, for instance) and you just let the threads dangle, hoping they wouldn’t get tangled or dirty? I discovered that a tiny plastic bag can keep these threads clean and separated. This bag came with a garment I purchased that had an extra button and thread in the bag. Several of these could be used at once without creating a weighty drag or bulkiness while stitching.

WIP - Berlin Woolwork

Berlin Woolwork
Part 2 of 9 (Motifs 11-22)
Darlene O’Steen -The Needle’s Prayse

Motif 19

Motif 20

Motif 21

There are a total of 95 motifs in 9 parts in all and since that sounds so daunting I've decided to set a goal. Did you know there are 3 parts to effective goal setting? I didn't learn this until recently.

1. The goal must be realistic, obtainable: do-able. In other words I can't say I'll finish this project in 2 days because I can't humanly stitch that fast.

2. There must be a timeframe attached to the goal (mine is September of this year). Otherwise, I would take forever.

3. It must be measurable (I always have trouble with this one).

My Goal: I will stitch Parts 3 through 9 until the project is completed in September 2009. If I break it down in smaller increments it doesn’t sound so daunting – I will complete stitching Part 3 in March, Part 4 in April, and so on. Sorry for my rambling – I’m giving myself a pep talk – sort of a motivational kick in the pants. So many projects, so little time. . . . . . but I'm smiling!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Exercise or Adventure?

I thought long and hard (30 seconds) about what to call this entry. At first I thought it should be called an exercise – a stretching exercise - because that’s what I did – I stretched and exercised my creative brain. But oh! no, no, no. Exercise conjures up visions of huffing and puffing, heaving and sweating, moaning and groaning, and words of “Do I have to?” And exercise is WORK!

So I decided ‘adventure’ was a much better word. So here goes: I went on an adventure recently.

For ages I have been fascinated by stumpwork but felt it would be too difficult, too expensive, and require a learning curve I was not willing to undertake. So the other day, I went outside my safe zone and exercised (oops! I mean challenged) my creative brain and attempted stumpwork. And am I glad I did! Some dimension and texture can be obtained by stitching alone but, WOW!!! by adding stumpwork, the fiber picture jumps out – 3D, in fact.

Here is my first attempt –

Honey Bee Skep by Liz Turner Diehl

Some of my favorite motifs are bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and ladybugs. Does that make me a bug lover?

What was your latest adventure?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tip to Share: Smyrna Cross Stitch

To make stitches look fuller or more rounded try a Smyrna cross stitch. This is a closeup of the stemmed cherries at the bottom of the Chocolate Covered Cherries.

I ‘plumped' these tiny cherries by adding a + on top of the x stitch to make them look fuller and more rounded. The photo is a bit fuzzy but I hope it shows the difference between the red cherries at the bottom of the stems and the green x at the top. By adding a horizontal and a vertical stitch on top of the diagonal stitches of the initial cross stitch a Smyrna cross stitch is formed! I use this stitch when ‘rounding’ out an eye, for example. The top stitches can also be done in a different color for subtle shading or bright contrast.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mini Sampler - February

Mini Sampler – February
Cupid’s Delight (silk & 28 count linen kit) from Periwinkle Promises

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lovebug Needlebook and Heart Bead Scissor Fob

This is what happens when I find myself in a craft store – alone – with money in my pocket, no where else I have to be, and lots of time to browse. Fibers and threads, beads and gems, glitz and glitter lure me closer, closer, closer . . .

1. Heart-shaped bead. It called my name. I’m weak. I am. I admit it. When I saw this heart bead my mind raced with all kinds of things to make. And then . . .

2. And then I saw this little mirrored heart. Can you believe it? Yes, that really is a little mirror in a heart-shaped iron-on appliqué. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but I knew I just had to have it. And then . . .

3. And then I found an adorable chart of a ladybug .

Put them all together and this is what happened . . .

A Lovebug Needlebook and Scissor Fob for a young girl’s first sewing basket

Chart is Lovebug by Erynne Designs available here.
18 ct white Aida, pink flannel needle pages, DMC cotton floss, assorted beads

The heart appliqué went on the back. Just right for a little girl to watch her reflection as she makes faces into it.

The heart bead and a little ‘love’ charm make up the scissor fob.

To the top of the needlebook, I added this little doodad (sorry, I don’t know what it’s called but it’s part of a necklace closure). I thought it would be a clever parking place for the scissor fob when not in use, plus, it creates lots of dangle for a little girl to love.

Love and friendship to all!

Friday, February 13, 2009


One, two, three . .

I w - o - n - d - e - r . . .

What can it be?

Put them all together and what do you get?


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quilted Hearts

The last 2 entries evoked memories of the warmth and comfort provided by quilts. So here goes. A sampling of hearts - quilted, pieced, or appliqued:

Pieced Heart
Quilted Heart
Appliqued Heart

The landscape of hills and valleys created by quilting through layers of fabrics makes a cozy ‘puffiness’ and a play of light and dark shadows dances across the material. The design on the back can be just as pretty as the front. See the heart design here – it was created by quilting around the heart on the front.

Mini Sampler - January

Quick project. This is small about the size of a 3x5 index card. Instant gratification. I plan (we know what happens to plans, don't we?) on doing one a month until I have the whole calendar year. Only 11 more to go and I've already started on February's. Make that 10 1/2 to go. I'm on a roll now!

Winter Fun (silk & 28 count linen kit) from Periwinkle Promises

Little bit of cross stitch, mostly specialty stitches - sew the back on, stuff it, add tassels and it becomes a mini pillow. I think I'll had a little floss hanger to the back & hang it. Of course, it doesn't have to be made into a pillow - it could be the front of a needlebook or it could even be framed.

Snowman Scissor Fob

Luv this little guy! Fat little snowman with bugle bead for his carrot nose and petite beads for coal buttons. I dangled clear teardrop-shaped beads at the bottom of this scissor fob hoping they looked like icicles. Let’s go make snowmen & throw snowballs & drink hot chocolate! Brrrr!

Snow(man) Keeper free chart from The Drawn Thread

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thank You!

Thank you for welcoming me to blogland. Your wonderful comments have warmed my heart! I have so much to learn and am looking forward to the journey! I hope to visit each and every one of you in the very near future and am thrilled that you have found my site. Please come back soon.

Thank you, Sharon M. @ Cross Stitch Happy for your encouragment.

Because You Asked . . . Candy Box Stats

The heart box that I used has sort of a velvety finish. I think it was a Hershey’s Pot of Gold ® box but can’t be certain. It measures on the outside about 9-1/4'” (east/west) x 9” (north/south) & on the inside 8-½” x 8”. I noticed the pattern calls for a 1-lb. box but a trip to the store shows that my box is smaller than that. The box I used looks more like a 9 or 14 oz box. My stitched design measures 7-5/8 x 7 ½ on 14/28 (I think) ct fabric. A larger box would give more of an unstitched “border” around the design which would look very nice.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Heart Scissor Case

Three separate designs and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. I thought about turning each into a separate ornament and then it came to me. . . TA DA . . . I LOVE beads. Since the theme is love, and I love beads, I decided to make something embellished with lots and lots of beads on it. So this is what evolved - a scissor/needle case - to hold a special pair of scissors and beading needles. Well, the scissors aren’t really special, but they’re small and used just for beadwork.

The larger design (back of the case) is a perfect introduction to specialty stitches. Each tiny heart is created using a different stitch – satin stitch, fern stitch, sprats head, queen stitch, smyrna, and more. The how-to diagrams on the chart are excellent! If you’ve never tried specialty stitches then the “Love” design on the back of the case is a perfect ‘try-me’ piece! I encourage you to try this tiny sampler – it is FUN to do! If you don’t want to make a project, just pull out a piece of scrap fabric and experiment with the stitches – you won’t be bored. Find a favorite and you can stitch up a little ornament, pincushion, or scissor fob . . . or . . . or . . .well, you get the idea. GO FOR IT!

The two rectangular designs, “All You Need is Love” (on the back) and “JeTaime” (the flap) are freebies from The Drawn Thread found here. The heart design is the February 2009 pinkeep design from Les Grilles de Maryse. Silk threads (leftover from a previous project), 28 ct pink Jubilee, and beads were used. Green cotton flannel lines the case and a plastic bead rope surrounds the back of the case. The heart design was stitched 1 over 1.

Work in Progress

Berlin Woolwork by Darlene O’Steen of The Needle’s Prayse.

This is part 1 – COMPLETED! I give myself one “atta boy”. Only 8 more parts to go! Any bets on when I’ll finish all 9 parts? 2009? 2010? In my lifetime? I better get movin’!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


This is Watercolor Heart from Shepherd’s Bush. A beautiful hand-painted mat was included but is not shown here. Instead I've chosen to display it in a pretty pink fabric frame with vintage ecru lace surrounding the opening. A tiny heart charm and beads adorn this small heart.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chocolate Covered Cherries

When I saw this chart I knew I had to stitch it! Chocolate covered cherries are one of my favorites! I finished it as an ornament. A hanging loop is formed if the pin at top is removed. Stick more pins in it and it becomes a pinkeep.
Chocolate Covered Cherries
free design by Casey Buonaugurio
available here.
I auditioned all sorts of fabrics for the back. You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to find a suitable backing fabric but nothing seemed to work. So, to perk up the solid red faux silk backing that was finally chosen, I raided the button jar looking for a ‘cherry’ button to put on the back. Out of luck again so I took a plain button and stitched some cherries into the holes of a 4-hole button.
They look like cherries don’t they? Kinda . . . sorta . . . maybe?