Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 in Cross Stitch

Hi all,

A big thank you to those of you who have left such encouraging and helpful comments! 
With 2015 only days away, I thought this would be a good time to look back at my goals for cross stitching this year, and see which I can cross off (no pun intended) my list.

For the initial post of our WIPocalypse SAL (hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings), we were asked to come up with a list of cross stitch goals for 2014.  I didn't join the SAL until the end of May, so my goals were for June-December 2014.

These were the goals from that initial post (quite ambitious for me, but I made a dent in them: 4 out of 6 reached!) I have marked those I was able to accomplish, and shown where I am with the rest.  Just a warning, this is a very pic-heavy post! :P

Goal #1: finish "Checking His List" stocking: complete!  Gave to my bf for Christmas. : )
                Here's what it looks like all sewn up:
 And for the back, a Christmas plaid:

Goal #2: finish "Aurora Cabin": not so much, but I did make a big dent in it. This should be a finish for 2015 (knock on wood.)

I started here in May:

And this is what it looks like right now:

Goal #3: complete 4 out of 25 pages for "Quiet Time": nope.  1/25 pages complete. Oh well, better luck next year. I started it in March, and this was my progress for the year:

Goal #4: start and finish four nativity ornaments: Complete! I gave these to my mom for Christmas.
All finished up, this is what they looked like:


Goal #5: start and finish "Napping Kitten": Complete! Gave to my sister for Christmas.
Here it is framed:

Goal #6: start "The Wave," any amount!: Complete! I started this on Nov 16, and this is my progress:

In addition to these goals, I started and finished one additional design, and started two other designs:

I started and finished "The Lonely Mountain: The Hobbit" from Quirkorium on Etsy as a Christmas present for my dad.  This is what it looked like finished and framed:

I also started two more patterns.  First, a kit that was a birthday present from my bf, "Beauty and the Beast Falling in Love" (Disney Dreams, MCG Textiles).  I started it on Oct 4, and this has been my progress so far:

I also started "Winter Friend," (Gorjuss, Bothy Threads kit) on Nov 18.  My progress so far:

I will post in a week or so with my goals for 2015!  May your holidays be filled with stitching! :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Winter Stitching: Dec. WIPocalypse Check-In

Hi all,

I've decided to save my summary of my yearly progress on my WIPocalypse goals until the end of December, but for this check-in, I thought I'd update you on my finishes and starts since my last post.

I had 2 finishes: I finished the stitching for the final ornament in the set of 4 I am making, and finished the stocking.  I also finish-finished (so far) the stocking, and 2 of the 4 ornaments. I will upload photos of these after Christmas...just in case. : )

With all my Christmas stitching completed so early (still can't believe it!), I decided to try to tackle one more stitchy Christmas present, which I will be starting once the fabric arrives on Monday! It is a pattern by Quirkorium on etsy: "The Lonely Mountain- The Hobbit."  I am making it for my dad (who I think I can safely say will never read this blog, so I can share), who is a big LOTR (and Hobbit) fan, and who loves the "Misty Mountain Song" the dwarves sing (and this cross stitch has the first verse!)
I am going to stitch it on a mottled brown Aida that (I hope) will look like old parchment, instead of plain white.  Hopefully, I will finish it in time (if not, he's got a January birthday), and I will upload a pic of it at the end of the month!

Additionally, all these finishes meant I got to start two of the charts that have been calling to me from my craft shelf, yay!  I do a rotation of 5 WIPs, and I don't allow myself any projects beyond these 5 slots (except for this new Christmas present I just mentioned, which was a last minute decision to stitch, and therefore will technically be a 6th WIP for about a week until it's done), so with each finish, I get to start something new.  I've found this helps me to finish my WIPs more quickly towards the end, because I get excited about the upcoming start!

My two starts are both from kits, mainly because I am trying to save for Christmas presents and have therefore sworn not to buy any more stitchy supplies except for those needed for gifts until 2015.   But they are two patterns that I am very excited about getting to finally stitch!

The first is "The Wave" by Dimensions. This is my progress over the past two weeks:

(My apologies for the dim's a rainy day here!)
And this is what it will look like when finished:

 I got this kit back when I was in middle school, but it turned out to be too daunting a project for me at the time.  I rediscovered it when I was organizing my stash earlier this year, and my bf saw it and really liked it, so I decided it would be first in line after I finished this year's presents!

The second is "Winter Friend," a Gorjuss design.  I recently purchased this kit, which I think is so cute!  I love the effect of all of the different threads used in it, especially the fuzzy Lana for the snowflakes!

This is two weeks progress on it:

I will post pics of all my finished Christmas presents, and my updates on the bigger WIPs I've been stitching on this year, on or around Dec. 31!  Until then, happy stitching!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Dances! WIPocalypse Check-In: November

It's time for my monthly update for the WIPocalypse SAL, hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings:

This month, I got quite a bit done, which surprised me because it was such a busy month at work.  But I managed to get my usual amount of stitching time in...I just got less sleep! :D

I had two finishes, one of which I posted about two weeks ago, but I'll post a picture of it again:

This is "Napping Kitten" by Dimensions, and will be a Christmas gift for my sister.  She will be moving into her own place soon (recently graduated from college), so I figured I would give her a decoration for her new apartment! 
I am planning to frame it myself, and am debating whether to use a self-stick mounting board or to tack and sew it: does anyone have any good/bad experiences with self-stick mounting boards?  I've never used one but it seems so much easier, there must be some sort of catch lol! 

The other finish is the third in a set of four ornaments by Kooler Design Studio I am making for my parents:

And I just started the fourth and final ornament I will be making them for this Christmas:

I worked on one other gift, a stocking for my bf, which I realized I never took a progress pic of last month!  So this is the progress over the past two months: 


The cross-stitching is done, I just have to finish the backstitching and French knots!  So I should definitely have all of these presents stitched in time for Christmas: the trick will be getting them finish-finished before then!

I also worked (a little) on some non-gift stitching.

"Aurora Cabin" progress:

Finally got some better lighting for a pic of this that's true to color! 
"Beauty and the Beast Falling In Love":

This month's question is: what are your favorite and least favorite materials to use in stitching?

I don't feel like I've tried enough different types of materials to really give a definitive answer...up until this year, I stitched all my cross stitch projects on Aida (my favorite is 18 count) with DMC, which will probably always be my go-to cotton floss because I've always had good results with it and it is so widely available (and fairly inexpensive where I live, at 39 cents a skein.) This year, I've tried stitching on linen, which I really enjoy (although it's easier in the daylight than at night!), and once I finish the gifts I'm currently working on, I have a couple patterns almost kitted up that call for some silks and specialty threads, so I'll get to try some new things, which I am looking forward to! 

Happy Stitching! : )

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Dance: Napping Kitten

One gift down, three to go!
I finished "Napping Kitten" by Dimensions two days ago:

Please forgive the wrinkles, I will upload another picture once it is ironed and framed.
This is going to be a Christmas gift for my sister (who doesn't blog, so I am safe to share!)
It took me just over four months to finish this.  I think this is the earliest in the year I have ever completed a stitched Christmas gift: I am usually frantically trying to finish the week before!  So I am very happy that I have some time to mount and frame it.

Happy stitching!

Monday, October 13, 2014

WIPocalypse Check-In: October

Before I begin, I must hang my head in shame since I am nearly a week late for this post (October!  Where did it come from?!)  Fall is my favorite season, although sadly, here in Tennessee it still feels more like summer, and I am keeping my fingers crossed for some cooler weather soon. : )

The topic for this month is: are you a Halloween or Christmas stitcher?
I am a Christmas stitcher, as the majority of my holiday projects are either Christmas-themed or future Christmas presents!  I haven't stitched any Halloween pieces yet, but I have a couple in the wings for DUCJC 2015 (more info about my plan for that in an upcoming post.)

Now onto my stitchy progress (I worked on quite a few WIPs, so this post will be pretty pic-heavy!):  I've managed to get a bit of stitching time in, although not quite as much as during the summer months.  I've been trying to focus my attention on getting Christmas presents complete, although I have been called away more than a few times by other projects!  I had 2 new starts and a finish this month.

One of my new starts was Disney's "Beauty and the Beast Falling in Love" (Kinkade), which I received for my birthday from my wonderful bf along with some extra stitching supplies that I have been in need of (bobbins, needles, a floss organizer, and a few skeins of DMC.)  Needless to say, I was a very happy lady!  I've put a little time into it:

The start of some pretty sky!  I am excited to really delve into it in January once my gifts are completed.

My other start and finish are ornaments from the Nativity Ornaments series I am stitching up as gifts:

I finished the 2nd of 4 I am making:

and started the 3rd:

Hoping to have all four finished by Thanksgiving so I have plenty of time to finish-finish them!

Another intended Christmas gift, "Napping Kitten" went from here:

To here:

I finished the cross-stitching and am working on the backstitching: should be a finish by my next WIPocalypse post!

The stocking I am working on as a gift went from here:

To here:

Not quite as far as I had hoped for, but I think I can still get it done in time.  Once "Napping Kitten" is completed in a couple weeks, I will use that extra space in my rotation to work on it.

I also put a little time into "Aurora Cabin," which went from here:

To here:

I worked on "Quiet Time," but only put a couple hundred stitches in, so I won't bother putting up a pic until I've made more progress.

And I think that's it...whew!  My WIP list keeps getting longer and longer: the more I blog and read all of your blogs, the more stash I seem to accumulate, and the more starts I have! :P  Looking forward to seeing everyone's progress from the past month.  Happy stitching!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WIPocalypse Check-In: September

Hi all,

Can't believe it's over a week into September already!  Things are getting busy again because of school, but I still managed to stitch a bit on my WIPs, especially those gifts that are (and hopefully will be finished in time!) for Christmas.

The topic for this post is: Who is your favorite person to stitch for, or do you prefer to keep your stitching yourself?
Almost all of the cross stitches I have finished so far I have given as gifts to family members/friends, with the exception of one sampler, which was a kit I received as a gift from my parents (and therefore felt weird about then giving away once I completed it.)  I am currently working on a couple for myself: "Quiet Time" and "Aurora Cabin."  I am not sure who I prefer to stitch for: I really like giving cross stitches as gifts, usually to my immediate family who know how much time/effort goes into stitching a piece, but picking out a pattern that I like for myself is also fun, because I can really get into what I am stitching!

This month, I worked a little on "Aurora Cabin," which went from here:

To here:

I've gotten a bit more of the sky done, although this one has taken a back seat to the gifts I'm working on, which I can share since no one else in my family blogs!

"Checking His List Stocking" went from here:

To here:

I am setting myself the slightly-ambitious goal of finishing the cross stitch by my next WIPocalypse post. That way I will have two months to backstitch and finish finish the piece!
"Napping Kitten" went from here:

To here:

Just a little bit more stitching on the top: the cross-stitching on this one should definitely be done by my next WIPocalypse post (knock on wood!)

And I had two new starts and a finish (my first for 2014, woot!!)  I am making 4 nativity-themed ornaments for my parents (there are 12 total in the collection: I plan on doing 4 this year, and depending on how they are received, doing another 4 for each of the next 2 Christmases.)

I started and finished (stitching)  the first ornament:

It was a nice, quick stitch: very pleasant after all of the bigger projects I have been working on!

And I started the second ornament:

I only put in about 300 stitches on "Quiet Time," so I'll wait to post a picture until I have a page finish to show you (which may not be for a few months while I finish up these presents!)

I also acquired another kit: "Let It Snow" by Mill Hill.  I plan on adding it to my rotation in November once the bulk of my gifts are completed. I have only ever beaded on one other cross stitch, so I am planning on using this as a change of pace/beading practice!  I have been eyeing a couple of Chatelaine's Mandalas, but I know they require a lot of beading and either one would be an immense project to take on, so I want to make sure I'm at least halfway decent at beading before I seriously consider purchasing a Chatelaine pattern.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone has been working on!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

1st Page Finish!

Yes, it is obscenely late (or should I say early?), but hey, it's the weekend, and I finally finished the first page of my first HAED! : )    This is the start of  "Quiet Time" by Sara Butcher:

In order to avoid lines in the finished product, I continued some colors onto the adjacent pages, so I have a small amount of pages 2 and 6 already completed.
Just gridded several other pages, and am excited to work on page 2! ( :  Now to bed!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

WIPocalypse Check-In: August

Hi all,

Lots of fun progress to report!  I've been on a crazy stitching kick, especially the last couple days now that my new patterns have arrived.  I'm very ready for some new starts! : )  I am forcing myself to wait until I finish the gifts I am currently difficult, but it's helping me find the motivation to work on my current WIPs. : )

The topic for this month is: Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.

My oldest WIP is "Aurora Cabin", which I started back in May 2009, then left it as a UFO for 4 years while I completed my undergraduate degree.  I picked it back up in October 2013, and am hoping to see a finish on it by May.  It is one of the patterns I am tackling as a part of WIPocalypse, and this month it went from here:

To here:

The sky is going so quickly after all of the confetti of the trees and mountains!

My newest WIP is "Napping Kitten" which I started in June (will be a Christmas present for my sister.)  It went from here:

To here:

I am also working on "Checking His List Stocking", which went from here:

To here:

And, last but not least, I am working on my first HAED, "Quiet Time."  I did not have a page finish, but it is about there, so hopefully I will be able to share one with you in the next couple of days!

I am thrilled because today I have absolutely nothing to do besides a little housework (when does that ever happen?) so for the rest of the day I plan on stitching, stitching, and stitching some more!