Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waving Goodbye to Ann

  Well, it has been a long time coming but I finally put the last stitches into Ann Bowers Sunday afternoon.  It was so wonderful to see the end of that very long stitch, a finish literally years in the making.  But it was also kind of sad too because she has been a long time companion and a challenging piece to work on although a lot of that was of my own making.  (my advice:  Investigate the stitches used in a sampler BEFORE going crazy and changing to a high count linen!!!)

  Without further ado,  I show you my now completed Ann Bowers!

Ann Bowers by The Exemplarery
45 ct Italian linen w/ DMC

I really love this wide center band with the birds!

    My major hang up with finishing this piece was the strawberry band above the bargello.  It is supposed to be done in queen stitch, which I found would not work on 45 ct linen with DMC!  Trying to find a stitch to substitute was a nightmare.  Someone suggested I just leave it off but it is one of the identifying characteristics of this sampler and I just couldn't do it.  In the end, I used my go to stitch when subbing for queens and although I didn't like it in the beginning,  I think it worked in the end.
    So there she is, finally finished!  I am hoping for another finish within a couple of days so keep an eye out!!

Hope you're having as much fun with your stitching as I am,    Laura

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Road to Hell...

  Yes, I'm sure you are all familiar with the old saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions.  That's me, good intentions but getting nowhere fast.  After the wonderful progress I had made in finishing Wips during the first couple of months of the year I thought I would have several more by not but that is not the case.  And I am now prepared to show you why.
  After my finish of The Pink Sparrow Sampler, I pulled out another long suffering Wip, The Red House Sampler and I got very close to a finish before having to move on.

Only my name, date and what remains
of the border left to do.

I had to put The Red House Sampler aside because  a chart that was being loaned to me became available and I needed to get right to it.  I picked the linen and thread from my stash and got down to work.

Blackbird Designs Garland Fair
40 ct. Meadow rue w/ Valdani silk

I still have the over one verse left to do on this one and it remains unfinished since I can't decide what color silk to use.  The Valdani is too thick for over one on 40 ct but I do have several of the Gloriana Tudor silks I can use if I just make up my mind!!
  Then, it was getting close to crunch time with a birthday gift so I got back to work on Mary Betchel.

 I love the colors in this one but for some reason it was just moving along too slowly and I knew I wasn't going to have it finished in time.  I will have to get back to this one soon because I am being over-run by UFOs and the thought of adding another one to the pile makes me want to scream!!
  So, now I'm trying to figure out what to do for the birthday gift.  I have several things in various stages of completion that might fit the bill and I worked on a few of them along the way.  I thought this half finished With My Needle piece might be nice. But as I worked it, it just didn't feel right.  Then I found an error and had to rip out the crown on the right side and I knew it was doomed!


Then I did a total new start, keeping in mind that I was moving into the 2 weeks til the event zone. Insane, I know, but what was I to do??

Love, love this piece but red is my color, not hers and I really didn't like the linen.  The silk doesn't give good coverage on it and I really prefer something in a tighter weave.
  So I thought I would just leave it for a while and see what came to me and in the mean time I worked on some other things.  Ann Wallace came out to play for a day and I got her on a lap frame to boot.  I think she might migrate downstairs and become my baseball piece, for a while anyway.  Baseball starts in just a few weeks and is a solid 3 or more hours of stitching just about every night.  I should be able to make some significant progress on her over the summer!

Yesterday, I decided to get Ann Bowers out and try get her wrapped up.  The over one verse on 45 ct is just about making me blind but at least it is the last line!!

So that has been my journey for the past month, wildly meandering and full of good intentions but no new finishes.  I hope to be able to show you at least a couple in my next post and hopefully it won't be another month before that happens!!  However, I can make no promises.  I placed a HUGE market order and who knows what might happen when that gets here!

Hope you are enjoying your stitching as much as I am,   Laura

By the way,  I did figure out what to do for my friend for her birthday and I think you are ALL going to be surprised!!