In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Fastest Finish Ever!

 Merry Cox's Tend Thy Sheep:


Should I admit that it almost took longer to locate the bag of fiberfill for the pin cushion than it took to put this set together?

Maybe I'm getting the hang of finishing.

Nope, not gonna happen.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Well, it's about time!

 Emie's Etui is done!


I had planned to stay up Tuesday until the innards of the case were assembled, and I did. Only they were assembled in the wrong place. I created new ugly words, ripped out, and went to bed.

It is very rare that I sleep the night through. Generally, I wake up 4 or 5 hours after I go to bed. If I can make myself relax, I can drop off, but if my brain clicks on, I'm doomed for an hour or so before I can finally get back to sleep. Generally I obsess about something going on at work, which is not a pleasant way to spend the wee dark hours of the night.

In fact, I had wondered, with my impending retirement, what in the world I would think about in the middle of the night.

Now I know. I'll think about putting things together and where I went wrong and how to fix it. As it was, I thought about that the other night to the point of ridiculousness. I finally got up, came downstairs, and sewed the case together again.

In a new and also wrong way.

At this point, Emie went into time-out and I did other things until I finally decided that walking into walls was a bad idea. I went back upstairs and took a nap.

And when I got up that time, I got the case sewn together the way it should have been.

This has some interesting construction.  There are pockets inside for the scissors and thread winder.


And there is a pocket on the outside that holds the needle book:


That's the slit at the top, between the bows. The needle book slides right in.

And I was asked what the inside of the needle book looks like:

In the interest of full disclosure, I must mention that there is supposed to be a little felt button bag that sits on the cord for the closure band. I made the button bag, then tried to thread the cord that would connect it to the closure band through a couple of buttons that act as stoppers. I broke both of the ones that came with the kit. Not a problem--I have buttons in the stash. So I found a couple that were about the same size but a little thicker--and broke both of them.

At that point, I was done and declared the project complete.

Now, on to the next finishing project. I have a sweet bag that needs to have eyelets added before the final finishing. I have a project that needs to have a box lined and a couple of smalls assembled. Then I have two sets of smalls with multiple pieces and more complicated assemblies.

I think I'll take a nap before I decide.





Monday, February 22, 2021

a little distracting

 The mail carrier dropped off a distraction:

So this is on the outside of the box. It's one of Margaret Light's projects from her new book that Inspirations published at the end of last year.

So, I opened the box and dumped out the threads, and, oh, my, such lovely colors.

It's hard to tell, but there are some beautiful overdyed threads, as well as the more muted, solid colors.

But I am persevering with my assembly of Emie's Etui. This is what I plan to view for the rest of the day:

At the moment, I'm sewing a red silk lining on the back of part of the etui. It's a good thing that it's red; I have left some DNA on it. I should not be allowed to use a sharp needle without supervision. Actually, I'm not sure supervision would make any difference.

If I can get all the linings done before I go to bed tonight, I will just have the band that holds the etui closed to assemble tomorrow.

This may, however, mean that I go to bed around 5 a.m. I need to stop drooling over the Tree of Life threads and get back to work.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Starting to Finish

I think I mentioned I had five projects hanging out in the basket by my chair that need finishing.

Normally, I would be in Williamsburg this week for the annual get-together of like-minded embroiderers and fans of dining out. In fact, last year's event was the last trip I made in 2020, and the last workshop I attended face-to-face, before the New-and-Unpleasant-Normal descended. Obviously, we are not meeting this week in person, but we are having a virtual event. So I am taking a week of vacation so I can Zoom with my friends.

And what better time than this to tackle those five projects, especially as I discovered that there was another member of our merry band who also has a stack of things to put together. I am not alone in enjoying the embroidery, but the sewing together part, not so much.

So this is what has been accomplished thus far:


As of this afternoon, I have the accessory pieces for Emie's Etui assembled. There is a needle book, a thread winder, and the scissors fob, which has a shorter cord than it should because I really don't like long cords on scissors fobs. I'm always afraid I'll cut the cord instead of what I should be cutting. In the interest of full transparency,  I say this because I have cut the cord instead of what I should have cut

The rest of the etui, the actual carrying case, is awaiting my needle. I have all the bits and pieces cut out--Betsy Morgan, who designed this set, uses an assembly line approach to putting her sets of smalls together.  However, I need to talk to Baby Girl again, since she figured out exactly how to put the carrying case together. Without being able to take the class, I'm not sure I could have done it by myself. I may have mentioned that Baby Girl can visualize things in three dimensions, so she is the perfect person to stitch something like this with.

So, I now have 4 2/3 projects left to assemble. We'll see how far I get this week!


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Puttering

 For the last couple of weeks, I've puttered more than I've stitched.  I don't have much to show for the puttering, but I did find a project I wanted to work on.

Merry Cox designed Tend Thy Sheep in the late 90's. Then it was offered by Shining Needle in 2011. I started it then, but for some reason, it sank into the stash until I uncovered it in the puttering around. I think I probably had a pilot project show up--I was doing a lot of pilot stitching then--and just never got back to it.

Almost all is worked over one thread, and the linen is not cooperating. I tend to like closely woven linen with some body. This appears to be hand-dyed, so it's very soft and the threads are all wibbledy-wobbledy, so I have to be careful about where I put my needle. Generally I hoop or frame linens like this, but the piece is tiny and I don't have a hoop that really fits it well. Actually, you can see the hoop marks where I tried.

I will most definitely work on it until it's stitched because it's been marinating in the stash for ten years. This is not the longest something has "matured" before I got back to it, but I haven't worked one of Merry's pieces in a long time and I miss her workshops and projects.

I just realized something. When I finish the stitching on this, I will then have five projects that need to be assembled sitting by the wing chair. 

That is simply terrifying.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Neck and neck at the finish line

 Earlier this week, I finished the stitching on Emie's Etui:

One of the habits I wanted to establish this year was to do the finish-finishing on any smalls I stitched as soon as the embroidery was done.  So why haven't I started putting this together?

Baby Girl and I had decided to work on this together, since we couldn't take the class together. That included the assembly. Then she was seduced by the lure of a bag of luscious plum-colored yarn and decided she would alternate projects, which means she's about a week behind me in stitching.

So I pulled another UFO out of the pile, the Strawberry Purse and Accessories from a class Catherine Theron offered through Shining Needle. I hit the wall on tent over one and put is aside a couple of months ago.

Now the embroidery is finished on it.

Now I have to decide what to do--pull out another UFO and finish the stitching, or start putting one of these together, or spend the afternoon in another pursuit entirely . . . I think I'll start a pot of vegetable beef soup while I think about it.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Almost on the home stretch

I stitched Sunday afternoon. I ripped out what I stitched on Sunday on Monday evening. I restitched what I had ripped out on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. And I finally got the second panel for the body of Emie's Etui stitched.


 I was under the weather for a couple of days, so no needle was threaded. However, I did dream, because this arrived in the mail this week:


There are a dozen projects in this book. I want to stitch nine of them.

Not sure I'm going to live to be 400, but I may need to plan for that.