Wednesday WIP report

Well if I needed more confirmation that my attention span on any piece will not exceed 10 hours, I got it.  I was really enjoying working on my TW Fruit Bellpull and I had decided to swap the plum and pear blocks.  I finished up the Apple block and started working on the plums and suddenly, I didn’t love it anymore.  I didn’t want to pick it up.  Part of that may have been deciding to start each stitching session with one strand in the border but I’m going with I hit 8.5 hours and started getting bored.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I pushed through for the 10 hours and put it up.  And here is where I am at the end of the Teresa  Wentzler slot for the rotation.TW Fruit Bell Pull 1/28/14

I also got out the stitching stand and put up Kustom Kraft’s Fire and Ice. Did I tell you I have Puppies?  I’ve had to make some adjustments in my stitching.  Thread, scissors and patterns have to be put away out of reach and I’m trying to fix the magnifier which got thoroughly chewed.  I thought I would be safe leaving the stitching stand out…Puppies on the stand

Apparently not!  Pretty sure this was Jach but it could be Bo.   DH sanded it down and sprayed it with the sour apple spray.  We’ll see if that helps protect it.

After my Teresa Wentzler slot is Cross-stitch by other designers.  I’m working on Kustom Krafts Fire and Ice.   I started this during my first try at Guilt Free January – 2003.  The goal for this 10 hour block is to finish page 2 and 3.   Most of 3 is open space so the only problem is counting black.  It’s one of the reasons I love pretty beaded counting pins to hold my place every 10 stitches.  I don’t have any on the picture right now but this is what it looks like after 1.5 hours of stitching and not counting any time for frogging the right side of the ear which I had to pull out since it was one stitch off and pretty noticeable.

Fire and Ice - Jan 2014

So here is to another week of accomplishing much.  I’m counting down to the Olympics and all the stitching time I’ll have as we watch.  I’m hoping to finish up the slot with Fire and Ice and the next is the screaming slot which looks like it will be my Autumn Queen by Mirabilia.

Oh, and I had time to work on my travel piece while waiting for my Daughter by Another Mother to stick me with a needle as part of her phlebotomy class.  So all in all a great week stitching.


The January stitching budget report

So here is my report for the Stitch from Stash contest.

Earlier this month, I did hit the JoAnn’s floss sale and bought the floss for my Winter and Summer Queens.  I loved the sale price and then having a 10% off coupon on top brought it down to .27 a skein which used to be the sale price for Anchor floss or equal to 2 cents more than the standard DMC price when I first started buying my own floss. But I just got all the floss for my two queens for under $14.  I seriously looked at buying a new scroll rod set so I could start them immediately but then I realized it would put me over the $25 for the month and I have so many pieces I could work on before I need to have a new start.  Besides, if I finish my Autumn Queen then I could just use that scroll frame for the new queen. And the more I think about her, the more she starts screaming at me, so guess who just dropped into the screaming slot in my rotation?

So what did I do with my remaining budget money? Well, I’m a volunteer for the Salt Lake ComicCon FanXperience and I was asked to come in for the George Takei event. I’ve been thinking about what I could do with signatures from most of the Star Trek NextGen cast who will be coming in April …

Well, I in the fall, I had Simon Fisher-Becker Sign the Tardis block for my Dr. Who Quilt so, why not a Star Trek Quilt? So I bought 4 fat quarters of a fun fabric which cost $2 more than if I had bought a yard of it but the bolt was gone and all they had was the fat quarters. It’s a good thing we can round down. Since my total for the month is $25.14 – which rounds down to $25.00
Oh, and here is my first signature for the quilt.

George Takei Signature

As for what I did from Stash this month?
I worked on the oldest WIP in my possession. You can read the history of this purse from my Grandmother’s sewing room here. It’s not 100% finished but the front canvas is done.

Front Piece of Petit Point Purse

Carol offered to mail me a piece of 14 count canvas so I can do the back in basketweave. That just leaves me the side piece and so I don’t run out of thread, I’m going to use Black DMC from my stash. So if this were your project, would you do a plain black basketweave back or graph out a matching pattern and use 8 strands of DMC to replicate the 8 strands of cotton floss used on the front?
DH suggested doing a gold/brown fleur-de-lis but I’m thinking something along the lines of just the brown/gold pattern on the front of the purse… suggestions are welcome.

I also finished 4 of the ornaments on my Fuppy list and you can read that report here. and I framed my Celtic Steps 40 ct linen gauze. So all in all a productive month.  I’m currently working on my TW Fruit Bell Pull and piecing my Dr. Who quilt.  The Olympics are coming up and I plan to do quite a bit of stitching while watching them.

And the best part my total projects is under 60 for the first time since 2003. WIPs – 33
FUPpies – 25 (of which I can do 10 myself) It’s a good thing finishing doesn’t count toward the stash budget.

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Gotta love graphics programs…Voting requested…

fbpmaybe fruitbellpullmodel


It’s Wednesday!! Here is the WIP for this week.

Back in 1996 I really liked the work of a designer whose work was published by Just Cross Stitch. I started buying everything that I could of Teresa Wentzler and another Just Cross Stitch designer, Cathy Livingston. My Sister in Law saw my collection of patterns and asked me to stitch the Fruit Bellpull for her. She bought all the supplies exactly the way they were listed in the pattern. I started working on it and then got sidetracked.  I had been making hand stitched ornaments for her and one Christmas when I went to deliver it and the presents for my niece and nephew, she couldn’t be bothered to come receive her present. So I stopped stitching for her.

Fast forward and I haven’t seen or spoken to her in over a decade and I have a nephew I’ve seen once from a distance at a funeral. I don’t know his name – I think it’s Bjorn. Anyway, with that history I had no reason to work on the Fruit Bell Pull. However, two summers ago I repainted my TV room and it’s about the same color as the bone Brittney on the bellpull so I now have a place on my wall that I could hang it so it’s time to work on it again. This is what it looked like at the end of 2013.

And this is what it looks like tonight.


So I have a bit of back-stitching and the border and I’ll be ready to work on the next block. Back in 1996, I planned on changing the order of the blocks and doing it peaches/grapes/apples/plums/pears/cherries instead of the original pattern pictured below.

In the intervening years, I’ve begun to understand the importance of weighting a design at the bottom with darker colors.  If I stitched this the way it was originally designed, it would be the first piece in years that I’ve done exactly as charted, with the supplies as recommended.  I’m not sure I can handle that.  Maybe I should add some beads? Or I could swap the pears and plums as I originally planned.  I’m just not sure how I want to do it…

Finished some Fuppies…

I keep two separate spreadsheets of my ongoing projects. I have my WIPs and I have my FUPPY list. WIPs are Works in Progress, items that have been started and haven’t been finished. Then there are FUPs. These are items which have been finished but are not in a condition to display. These are quilt tops which are not yet quilts or stitched items which need to be framed, made into ornaments, bellpulls or pillows. My combined list has been over 60 items for several years which has bothered me in the past. As I realized last year, the big key is to work on the FUPpy list.
This weekend I finished three of the FUPs.

My sock monkeys
Sock Monkey Ornaments

And my Homespun Majestic Bird for a neighbor –

That brings my total list to 60 items. And 4 of those are at the framer and 5 of them are at a finisher’s place. This could be a good year for me. It’s not even the end of January and I’ve finished 5 items…

Edited to add:  Finished the last ornament for this rotation slot… A Victoria Sampler Heart ornament.

First Full moon of the year….Topic – Introduce yourself!

Steps up to the mike…taps…
Hi, my name is Stasha and I suffer from Completion Anxiety. At the top of the blog, you’ll see the navigation to go to my Stitch from Stash/Wipocalypse/WIP/UFO page showing the initial status of all my started projects or things I’ve committed to do. On January 1st, I completed the Homespun Elegance Majestic Bird pattern that I’ve committed to make into an ornament. Then over the last weekend, I finished one of the sock monkey ornaments that I’ve had in my FUPPY pile for over 2 years. But this month I’ve been concentrating on one of my 3 oldest WIPs. A Petit point purse from my Grandmother’s sewing room. I figure that it’s a 60+ year old WIP.

Progress as of 15/Jan/2014

Progress as of 15/Jan/2014

The back is missing from the kit but Carol offered to send me 14 ct canvas to make a back. So now I’m hoping I have enough 8 strand cotton floss to finish the entire thing. I will admit though that I am ready to move on to the next slot on my rotation which will be my TW FruitBell pull that I started sometime in the 1990’s.

The big goal this year is to have more finishes than starts and to finish more older pieces than new pieces.

Well it all started when he found an amplifier…

See DH found a great ad for an early 1970’s Technics amplifier and when he went to pick it up, the man practically forced us to take a faux Stickley chair that his dog had chewed up the arm on…Well as DH was repairing the arm, he kept missing our Darwin who passed due to cancer in September. He had said he didn’t want to go puppy shopping until spring since training in the winter is not easy. But fixing the chewed on arm led to visiting the Pets section of the classifieds and looking at beagles. Christmas puppies start showing up the first week of January and there were two beagles in the county south of us. We called on both and decided to check out the one furthest away. We had trouble at the ATM and couldn’t get any cash and I knew that one of the couples wouldn’t take a check but we pressed on south. There we found our Jach. He was 11 weeks old and their baby was horribly allergic to him. While we were deciding, the baby woke up and the father used Go-Jo to clean all the skin showing, changed his shirt and then fixed the baby bottle. I knew we had to take the puppy if only to save that family. This couple was willing to take a check and we took Jach, his crate, his toys and a bag of dog food.

Then we went to look at the 2nd dog. Now I should tell you, my daughter is a zookeeper and we have yet to meet an animal that doesn’t love her (except the Swans but that’s another story) or love her father. This 2nd beagle was supposedly the same age as Jach but looked a good 4-5 weeks older and growled at all of us – even DH and L. Jach took one look at him and bolted for the car. We thanked the people for letting us look at him explained we didn’t have any cash after getting Jach and we would be in touch but we knew we didn’t want it in our house and we wouldn’t be back.

And DH keeps cruising the classifieds because beagles belong in a brace. They are pack animals and want to be together. He keeps showing me pictures of a cute female but I don’t do female dogs. After all, I’m the only b**ch allowed in this pack. He points out how she looks so similar to Jach and Bo would work as a girl’s name. So I tell him if he wants to buy her he has to make the call, I’m not doing this one. He calls and leaves a message for the owner.

A few days pass and the owner calls back. She says that the parents are champions and the little girl was the first of the litter sold but had to be returned since the buyer’s housing fell through. He asked if the price was fixed or if there was room for negotiation. She said it could be negotiated for the right family and would he tell her about us. He told her how we had always had dogs and had lost our beagle in September after 12 years. We had recently picked up a male beagle pup in Spanish Fork and he was 12 weeks that day and we wanted to get him a companion. She surprised us and said, “You got him from a family where the baby is allergic?” DH said, “Yes, how did you know?” She says, “My husband talked to L about the medical records, this is his sister from the litter.” She immediately gave us 15% off the price and made us promise to get one spayed or neutered as soon as possible to prevent issues.

So we have our brace of beagles and they’re siblings like we wanted except we have a boy and a girl instead of a set of brothers but they’re still adorable and we love them and they play well together.

Jach and Bo on her first day home with us.

Jach and Bo on her first day home with us.

It’s so good to have a dog in the house again.

Guilt Free January

Several years ago when social networking was done on bulletin boards like Yuku, the idea of Guilt Free January started.  You could start as many pieces you wanted to during January with no consequences.  I participated in 2003 and still have many of the projects I started.  For the last several years, I’ve been concentrating on finishing WIPs and trying to get my list of unfinished projects below 63 (most of those are Finished Unfinished projects).

This year however, I’m thinking seriously of new starts.  I’ve got several things kitted up and it would be so easy to start something new. I’ve got Sleepy Hollow from Glendon Place and La-De-Da’s The Raven both Halloween pieces.  I have my three Carousels – Patricia Allison’s Dragon Carousel, Teresa Wentzler’s The Carousel, and Fire Wing Designs The Wild Hunt and I have my Mirabilia Queens – I have Autumn as a WIP and Summer, Spring and Winter are kitted up.  And that doesn’t count all the smalls I could do and there are 2 kits DH bought me to stitch for him…

But then I think of my completion list from last year and the number of completed new starts compared to the older WIPs.  If I haven’t changed my mind about new starts at that point, I look at my WIPs and find something close to the one that I’m thinking of starting.  So far it’s worked.

First Wednesday WIP for 2014

So I got off to a great start for my stitching this year.  I’ve done something every day this year which is a new record.  On New Year’s Day, I finished off an ornament which I have promised to make for a neighbor as part of a service auction.


This is Homespun Elegance’s Majestic Bird from the Just CrossStitch Christmas ornament edition.  After finishing this, I started working on probably the oldest WIP in my stash.

This was in my grandma’s sewing room when my aunt and I cleaned it out.  From the paperwork with it, the kit was first published in 1943 and from the price of $6.95 was probably purchased toward the end of the 40’s or start of the 50’s.  If she started it as soon as she bought it which was her habit, then it would mean, in all likelihood, this WIP is a good 15 years older than I am.

Now the kit should include (according to the paperwork) the brass hardware, the lining, the front, back and side petit point canvases and instructions.  I have everything but the canvas for the back.  I called Plaid which acquired Bucilla in the 1990’s and their suggestion was to buy a 14 count canvas to replace the back piece.  My husband’s suggestion was to buy a piece of black satin and use that for the back.  He’s worried that I will lose interest in it before finishing all three pieces and I can see his concern.  I’m at 6 hours of work now and starting to want it finished.Image

But then, this is what it looks like right now….and I really think I could finish the frontispiece in the 4 hours I have left in this rotation slot which makes it highly unlikely that I’m going to want to mark a piece of canvas and tent stitch the whole thing in black, it’s going to be boring enough doing the center band.  I own black velvet in my stash so all I would need would be some interfacing to stiffen it up so that it would work around the lining pieces.

So this is where I am right now. So just out of curiosity, if you had this piece – how would you do it?  Would you do the whole thing in needlepoint?  Would you just finish the frontispiece and do either a satin or velvet back?  if you did a different back would you do the petit point side piece or just do that in the same material as the back so as to highlight the petit point piece?   We’ll see how I feel after 4 more hours…