Saturday, 28 November 2020

Hapsburg Lace

Last year, Barb and I became intrigued with stitching Hapsburg lace. It is done on monocanvas with perle cotton. We found this project on Tanja Berlin's website and ordered the kit which included the pattern, the canvas, and the bell pull hardware.  

I enthusiastically started it when the kit arrived and in fairly short order got all the 'snowflakes' done. It then went into a project bag where it sat for over a year. I even took it to Texas with me last January in hopes that I would finish it. All that needed to be done was the snowflake border and FFOing it with the hardware.


Siobhain had also done this project, so on one of our visits in the park she mentioned she had bought blue fabric to back it with and had extra she was willing to share with Barb and me. I was overthinking the finishing instructions that came with the pattern, so when Siobhain told me how she had done it, much more simply, I had the confidence to do it myself.

I finished the snowflake border last night and this morning I cut the fabric, backed the piece, cut the edges and folded them to the back and threaded the ends through the bell pull hardware.

Another project is fully finished.

I enjoyed the variety of snowflake designs and also the large gauge of the 18ct monocanvas and #8 perle cotton thread. I used my scroll rods to keep it taut and flat. 

I would like to do more canvaswork. It's fast, easy on the eyes, and looks really nice. 

3 days 'til the tree goes up.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

On a Roll

 I finished another project today. I only had to put a few beads on it and a bit of stitching.

It's a little Mill Hill ornament. I don't really like stitching through perforated paper because I'm a 'darner' or 'scooper'. I make one motion going down and back up. I can't stitch that way on perforated paper so it takes me longer to 'poke and pull'.


The pattern had a cool finishing technique I'd never even thought of doing before. It suggested stringing about 6" of beads to use as the hanger. I used dental floss so I knew it would never break. It gives it a bit of bling. I will definitely use beads again as a hanger.

It's going to look very spiffy and sparkly when I get it on the tree.

Several of us are putting our trees up on Tuesday, the first day of December. I bought a new tree this year as I got tired of my old tree falling apart when bringing it upstairs all these years. It was so annoying to put together that Skip and I would take it downstairs whole and just leave it standing up in the basement all year. Bringing it back up, branches would get caught on the handrail, etc. and have to be put back on - all the while prickling my hands with plastic needles.

The new one is from the 21st Century, pre-strung with lights, comes in 3 pieces, and is hinged. It should all fit back in the box after Christmas. I bought extra lights so it should be well illuminated. I'm looking forward to seeing all my ornaments as most of them are ones I've made. 

Also starting on Monday is the beginning of Arne and Carlos' knitting Advent calendar. They have designed 24 new Christmas balls for this occasion. I will only knit one per week as I don't have a lot of red and white yarn left. I've been using them up in my sock yarn blanket. I also have the advent calendar I had them autograph last December when we saw them on tour in St. Thomas. I had bought it in Bergen, Norway when Skip and I were there in 2017. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Good Mail and Another FFO

This came today:

It was out of print for a while until Annie's reprinted it in the fall. It sold out and they had to do another run so I was finally able to order it. Shipping was expensive - $10 - but I'm glad I have this guide to many embroidery stitches for counted thread.

Last night I finished stitching 'Snowman's Treats'. I ironed some fusible interfacing onto the back in preparation for finishing it (FFO). BTW, I have tremendous success getting creases and hoop marks out of my fabric using Best Press. I put the item face down on a couple of layers of terry towel, spray the back with Best Press, and steam press it on the cotton setting (high). 

Finishing it today took a while. First, I had to find a round object the right diameter for the piece to use for a template for the circles. I had to pick the fabric for the back, cut the two pieces of cardboard, and batting for mounting the piece. I spray basted the cardboard and adhered the batting to it so it wouldn't slide around during the mounting process. I then basted around both fabrics to pull the edges in on the back like a yo-yo. Then I glued the back and the front together and secured the edges with WonderClips. While the glue was drying, I made some cording using 6 lengths of #5 while perle cotton. After removing the clips I glued the cording around the edge and made enough for hanging. 
The back fabric matches the lighter blue. I like that it also had swirls - like the steam emanating from the mug on the front.
Ready for hanging.
Several of my stitching friends are putting up their Christmas trees next week. Our new one is still in the trunk of my car but I'll be getting mine up next week as well. It's always fun to see all the ornaments in it that I've made over the years.

Monday, 23 November 2020

Tackling UFOs, Starting, and Finishing.

I unearthed this project which I had mostly completed last year. All that I had left to do was the many snowflakes/stars all around the border. 

It's a Tanja Berlin Hapsburg Lace Sampler. I have the bell pull hardware somewhere and a plan for backing it with blue fabric.

I'm working on another Winter Cardinal Etching - this time over 1 stitch. I just have to finish the trees and finish it into a little ornament. 

Last night I started this cute ornament from the December 2020 Just Cross Stitch Magazine, Snowman's Treat by Caitlin Baerg.
I have some white pom pom trim that I'll put around the edge. I just need to find something the right diameter I can use as a template for cutting the circle for backing, batting, and fabric for the back. 

I finished a Hardanger ornament. It was a little 'Learn to Hardanger' kit from Victoria Sampler that I stitched years ago and was in one of my many piles of finished but not fully finished pieces.

The kit came with the gold beads and reindeer charm. I made the cording from some #5 perle cotton DMC 890. The pattern is also in two formants in Issue 34 of The Gift of Stitching from November 2008. It's called 'Vintage Christmas Ornament'.
Both the back and front are padded with a bit of batting.

I also framed this piece that I stitched years ago when I was spending the winter in southern Texas. I purchased the pattern at Judy's Stitchery Nook in Harlingen TX. It's 'Bucky the Snowman' by The Trilogy. It was a little card with the buttons in a little zip lock bag stapled to it. I found the frame in my stash.
I didn't put it behind glass because of the buttons.






Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Two More Finishes

I got the beads on the Winter Greens sampler. I had the called-for beads in my stash but decided to go with sparklier gold beads instead. 

I'm still not quite sure how I will FFO this. 
I also spent a lot of yesterday loafing and stitching. I started this piece during my Monday morning videochat. I was using what I thought was 28ct linen but it turned out to be 24 ct in one direction and 28 count in the other. Darn that cheap MCG Textiles stitching fabric! It wouldn't necessarily have been a problem except the piece is supposed to be square. So I started again with some 36ct white linen from my stash. I stitched on it while bingewatching the latest season of 'The Crown' and finished it up last night.

It's Winter Cardinal Etching by Cecilia Turner and is in the new Winter/Christmas 2020 issue of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher Magazine. It's the last in the series of hear seasonal etchings - each one appearing in each issue of 2020. If you get the digital subscription, you have access to the previous year's issues as well as the next 4. At $24US (rather than $36US for the print issues) it's a very good value. The Winter/Christmas issue is always really big and can be ordered individually as well.
I substituted DMC 115 for the red and used the DMC equivalent given in the pattern for the dark grey. When I stitched the Quaker Sampler using DMC 115, I cut out the brightest red areas of the variegated thread and had saved them. I used those bright red sections on this piece. 

I found a suitable frame in my stash.

This pattern would also be very nifty stitched over one and could be a nice little ornament.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Improvising from My Stash

I didn't have the required Kreinik gold thread for the star and ribbon on the gift in my Winter Greens project. I remembered that I did have a gold thread of some kind and actually found it in a somewhat disorganized stitching stash bag. I then decided to combine it with a DMC gold coloured thread to give it some 'bling'.

The metallic gold thread is very thin so I used one strand of it with two strands of DMC floss.

It is a very acceptable substitute.

Just enough 'bling'.

I still need to finish stitching all the 'snowflakes' and will add a sparkly bead in the centre of each one.
Once mounted on some foam core, this piece will fit nicely in a standard 5" x 7" frame. Yet another project to FFO.

I also cut the threads on my Hardanger pouch 
and got the woven bars done on one of them.
A dove's eye goes in the centre of each # and 3/4 spider webs go in each corner.

Last week I purchased the non-woven polypropylene fabric that has been recommended as lining for home-made cloth face masks. I made a couple of Christmas-themed masks with the more shaped pattern.
This third layer makes the mask rather stiff but still breatheable. I don't really like the design, though, because even though the ear strings have been tightened up, the mask still wants to slip lower. I still prefer the pleated surgical mask style and have retro-fitted a couple of my masks of that style with the filter fabric.

There's always the issue of glasses fogging up but Skip has found if he puts a folded tissue just under the top edge of the mask it solves that problem by closing up any gap the warm air was coming out.

Some members of our embroidery guild are participating in an ornament exchange this year, including myself. We can either drop off the ornament or mail it to the person we picked through a random drawing. I have the piece stitched - I just need to FFO it. 

The latest season of 'The Crown' was released on Netflix today. I managed to watch the first two episodes before my videochat with my stitcherly friends today. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the season.


Thursday, 12 November 2020

A Cover Girl After All

The digital Christmas/Winter 2020 issue of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher Magazine came out on Monday. Teresa's pattern and instructions start on page 82.

I just had a good look through the rest of the magazine and although it didn't make the front cover, Frolicking on Fern Hill did make the back cover.



Teresa collects old books to use to mount some of her punch needle and cross stitching projects. She likes the prim look and old books work well for this purpose and also will stand up themselves like a flatfold finish.

I wrote previously about several of the projects in this issue that I'm putting on my 'to do' list. 

Print copies are not available outside of the US but a digital subscription is $24US - 2/3 the cost of a print subscription. AND you store the files on a hard drive not on valuable shelf space. 

We have had record-breaking high temperatures here in south-central Ontario this past week. A year ago this date, our area had a huge dump of snow. Skip and I missed it because we were down in south Texas for a couple of weeks. In addition to our winter holiday down there, we hoped to make a 2-week visit to that area in November an annual event. Oh well.

If you're having nice weather right now - enjoy it. The gloom of winter will come soon enough.