Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Winter Quaker Scissor Pocket

After getting notice that my partner in the HoE Winter Quaker exchange received my packet, I can post now some pictures. Marie was pleased with the result and I'm glad she is. :) This is the first time I stitched a Quaker design, and I fell in love with this type of stitching. It's lovely how these Quaker motifs come to life when stitching them.

It's of course typical for me to subscribe for an exchange and then sitting here and thinking, what in heaven IS a quaker???? Because I love to learn new things, that wasn't such a problem and I started searching to find some more info about it. Found a lot of interesting sites and designers I had never heard of. Like the designs from Romy in Austria. So beautiful. And then I found a pdf file from a Sampler Guild within a design of a scissor pocket - and fell instantly in love. A design by Barbara Bernard, who gives lessons, but doesn't have a website as such. After finally finding her email address I was able to purchase the pattern. It was a bit more work then I thought it would be, but - my first quaker just had to be this scissor pocket.

Winter Quaker Scissor Pocket
Design by Barbara Bernard
Stitched on 32ct Belfast linen - Country Cream
Thread: Theadworx Blue Navy

A bit more about this beautiful design. Barbara Bernard designed this pocket in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Loudoun Samper Guild and later charted it again for the Virginia Guild of Needlewomen. The original design had in the middle the name of the guild, the flowers were a bit to the side and it carried next to the flowers the text: aged 10 years. Where the squirrel now is, were a sun with the year in.

Because I'm not a member of a guild and stitched this for Marie, I personalized the design a bit for her and left out all text and lettering belonging to the guild. I centered the flowers and replaced the symbol that carried the year with a squirrel. The empty spaces I filled with a bird, a flower and the already mentioned squirrel. Hopefully I didn't mess up any of the possible deeper meanings of the symbols. I don't have the slightest clue what all these Quaker symbols mean. The ones I added have a very simple meaning: Gabi likes birds, flowers and squirrels.

Ohhh....and I bought another chart from Barbara Bernard. Another scissor pocket. This time a multi colored one and I just LOVE it. It's on my "to do" list.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Alpine Season Garden framed - Update on "Coming to Water"

Finally - it's framed. If framing wouldn't be that ridiculous expensive I would have done it earlier already. But it's SO worth to safe up the money and have it professionally done. Our framer and his wife both do stitching themselves and know how to treat needlework. I gave him free hand for the matting and I'm pleased with the result.

Alpine Season Garden - Framed

The plan was to hang it up today, but then we got called for an emergency to my in laws and ended up spending quite some while in hospital. Where we're heading now to also.

On stitching front I finished page 7 of "Coming to Water", and started stitching an exchange piece. I also found finally the perfect fabric for the Dragonfly Boudoir Box AND am in the process of kitting up "Manhattan Wonderland"

Coming to Water - page 7 finished

And there is also some good news. My youngest daughter turned 18. And she is partying since couple of THANK GOD today is the last day of that. We're expecting a quite large group of youngsters who (thankfully) will head direction pub around midnight. Here a picture of the happy girl

Melanie's 18 th birthday

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Winter Quaker Exchange and A gift from Fiona Jude

Today a packet arrived and in it the most beautiful Winter Quaker Exchange one could wish for. I feel truly truly spoiled.'s SO beautiful. Thank you so much Veronica.

First of all....look at this Strawberry Emery Veronica stitched for me, and I can assure you, not only the stitching is beautiful, but the finishing is superb too. The back is stitched together by adding a line of beads . This little emery will get a place in my bedroom next to my mirror. I will cherish it and am totally in love with it.

Winter Quaker Exchange from Veronica

Veronica also spoiled me with the gifts she sent with it. I received 2 charts from Blackbird Designs, and I adore both of them. I was planning to put the Easter Parade on my wishlist, so that came in most handy. And "Spring Blessings" is fantastic too - I was drooling over that one as well. I'm a huge fan of Blackbird Designs. Their designs are SO lovely.

But there it didn't end. Veronica also send a set of 40 fabric squares from moda, and they are just adorable. Ohhh...and I LOVE that keyring with the floss holder. That comes in most handy.
Winter Quaker Exchange from Veronica
Like I said before. I feel SO spoiled. Thank you so much Veronica. And your packet came on a day where I could use a cheer up most, because my father in law is very sick and that saddens us so much. Thank you for brighten up my day...tremendously.

And I got also a gift from Fiona Jude. Fiona was so generous to send me one of my favorite charts after she read of my bad luck with a grab bag. That was so nice. The design is called "Outback Gum" and features a typical Australian landscape. Even Michael is enthusiastic about it. And this one is on my "to do soon" list. It's just so beautiful.

Outback Gum by Fiona Jude

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A finish and a change

First of all, I finished the stitching and beading on the Dragonfly Boudoir Box, which is another Chatelaine Design. Now I have to follow the instructions and put together a box. Which is a bit work also. The instructions are written by Judy Odell, THE master of finishing in my opinion, so that shouldn't be too bad. Still quite an amount of steps to follow though. But what makes me nervous is can't make any faults. Period. And it's stitched with silk, there is quite some value involved. What if I DO make a fault???? Today I can't start, I need first to find a nice backing material ( But anyway, I'll have to give it a go, and will post a picture if succeeded. If I don't, I'll simply drop the

Dragonfly Boudoir Box 2
Outback Gum by Fiona Jude

Another thing to tell is that since my last blog entry I found out that the real name of the piece I'm stitching is not "Coming to Life" but "Coming to Water" and thankfully I finally found also the artist who painted this beautiful piece of art. He is called Bo Newell. I looked up his art, and he is a great artist. His work is just lovely.
Now I have to change all pictures into "Coming to Water".

The little chart I offered last time will go to Courtney, or better said, her daughter. I think that's the perfect solution for that little kit.
And there was a big surprise for me as well. I told you that the main reason for me buying that grab bag was that it said "Fiona Jude kit". And guess what. Fiona Jude herself visited my blog, was not a happy camper that a kit she created for children and for that shop got put in a grab bag where it fooled people like me. She offered to give me something else for it. Which is so nice of her. And she gave me a link to her website. Gosh that got me into drooling mode. Plus, that she has a very nice service on her website. You can order any of her kits also directly from her with linen instead of Aida. I showed Mike couple of the designs and he really liked them a lot too. Chances are that he gets me one of these kits for my next birthday. Which will take a while, but I have already so much kitted up here that that doesn't matter.

Anyway, back to the email with Fiona Jude. After I thanked her for visiting my blog and her kind offer, I told her that I can't send the kit back to her because I offered it on my blog and it seemed only fair to send her that little kit to Courtney's daughter. Besides, by doing so the kit will go exactly there where it was meant to be: to a child who is interested in learning cross stitch. Perfect solution.

Anyway, here some pictures of Fiona Jude's work. Then you can see why I'm such a fan of her work. The pictures are clickable and go to her website. There are so much more pictures on her website. Most beautiful birds and other Australian animals (I stitched the Eastern Rosellas already), beautiful Australian flowers, and of course the landscapes. She is a great designer, and quite well known in Australia.

If you think her kits are expensive, then it is because it's Australian dollars. When converted to US dollars, its way cheaper. 40 Australian $ are about 25 US.

The first picture looks a lot like the areas we hike regularly.

Mountain Ranges by Fiona Jude

Friday, March 6, 2009

Coming to Life and a Give Away

Yesterday I finished another page of "Coming to Life". 6 pages are now done....10 to go.
And I had a discussion with a friend about so called "parking" of threads instead of finishing each color off like I do. The last time I tried parking, all the hanging threads drove me nuts. Plus I'm somehow afraid I'll park the thread in the wrong hole, and stitch then with the wrong color in the next square. With 90 colors and heaps of them are similar, it COULD happen if I would make a fault in parking.
Anyway, our discussion burnt down to the point that I tried the parking method BEFORE I ever started with scroll rods. And following my friend it does make a huge difference. She advises also to use hair clips to keep the parked threads together. I'm not sure. One moment I think I'll give it another try, next moment I think...nawww....I'm fine.
May be....very may be....I'll give it another try.

Anyway, here is a picture of page 6 finished:

Coming To Life - Page 6 completed

Shortly ago I read on Meari's blog about a marvelous grab bag. She's a lucky lady. And it brought up a giggle here when I thought about the grab bag I bought last year. It only said that it did include a kit from Fiona Jude, and I am a fan of the Australian landscape and Australian flora and fauna cross stitch charts/kits of her. So I thought, what CAN go wrong??? I never had any luck with a grab bag, but what in heaven can go wrong when it says a Fiona Jude kit AND silk ribbon and beads???
LOL....did I tell you that I'm not into cutesy at all? I can assure you, everything out of that grab bag belonged in the cutesy department. Grab bags and I just don't go well together. I knew that from time to time I need some assurance of that. My kids had a good laugh again, so at least I could cheer them up. A good mum should make her kids laugh from while to while ....right?

And because there are people that actually do like kits like that, or have children who might want to give it a go, or even know someone who likes cutesy like this, I thought I offer it here. Who wants it, can have it. Just tell me so in a comment and leave your email address so that I can contact you. If there are more then one person, I'll pop a name out of the hat.
The kit contains also Aida, a needle and of course the needed floss It's unopened.
Fiona Jude - Spring Babe

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Biscornu from Nic

Today a packet arrived with a most beautiful biscornu in it. Nic stitched for me a design from Victoria Sampler called "Grow where you're planted" and she did a lovely job. She also stitched a floss tag and spoiled me with lots of presents. I love them all, especially the beautiful floss.

Biscornu from Nic, closeup front
Isn't it lovely?

Biscornu from Nic, closeup back
And look at that gorgeous backside. The same motif, but on a different color linen and with a personalized text.

Biscornu from Nic
And here a picture of all the gifts Nic sent with the biscornu. I feel truly spoiled.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Biscornu for Anna

I heard from Anna that she received the biscornu I stitched for her. The biscornu turned out bigger then expected. I changed a design from Giulia Punti Antichi and planned to stitch it on 36ct linen. But by the time the linen arrived, my father was already in hospital and I wasn't able to stitch on that fine fabric in bad light without a magnifier. So I started it on Cashel, and felt so unsure if Anna would like it or not.
For the most part the design is taken from a Giulia Punti Antichi pattern ("Deruta Christmas ornament") as shown in the Gift of Stitching magazine from November 2008. But I changed the colors completely and also the middle part of it. It's stitched on Cashel linen using Gloriana Stranded Silk and Mill Hill beads.

Biscornu for Anna

I also finished my "Winter Quaker" project, but can't show a picture yet. Right now I'm busy with another page of Coming to Life. I will post a picture of that soon as I have finished that page.