Tuesday, January 20

IHSW, Post-holiday&friends weekend

 I know a number of people used the 10th as their YOTA weekend, since the first of the year gets a bit crazy for most people... and since I was working that weekend, I thought I would belated-YOTA-it (I think only one of my SALs is strict, and it's a FB one, so that didn't matter as much for blog posting).    But it was definitely IHSW, and I failed in that hanging out with a bunch of people wasn't necessarily hermiting, it was all about stitching, so I hermited from non-stitching.

I met with a few friends and did a bit of stitching & shopping this past weekend, and I'm happy to say that I'm here with plenty of not-quite-in-focus camera-phone pics to show for it ;)

First, let's get the stitching out of the way:

I wanted to start on Steampunk Angler Fish (technically the Steampunk Sea Serpent, but, well I'm a trained zoologist, I just can't) by SamSarah Designs, but it was late and I wanted something easy, so I started on Mirabilia's Thanksgiving Fairy instead (large blocks of color, yayz).

So that was my first night of stitching (after a day of other stuff).   This is the last of the Holiday "LE" (are they really LE?  I mean, they sold out initially, but I don't see a shortage of them now or anything) kits that I have not stitched, and I have to say that when I started working with it, I got a bit miffed.   I did not change the kit fabric (which I would have enjoyed doing), because I wanted to keep consistency between the pieces (consistency being a bugaboo of mine for series), but this particular kit has different fabric than the rest!
Nicer fabric, for sure, but still, it's still totally different.

This is the "natural" linen by Zweigart, and all of the other fairies came with "natural" linen, but I swear, all of that was the same fabric, and this one is utterly, utterly different.  Annoyances.  Oh well, at least this particular linen is a lot softer and nicer to work with.  Still.  Feh (and now that I've gotten that out, I'm over it).  I do note that this is #6 in the series, and I bought them as they came out - I don't know if all of the fairies are on this linen now, or what.  I do think I'm the only one I know that actually has been using the kit fabrics.   So that's the start on her.

The next night, I broke out the Steampunk Angler Fish, and I stitched the scales along the back first, and as an avid Dune fan, of course my brain went to "sandworm" as I finished my second night of stitching.

The color of the linen in this picture is much more true than the next one.   I did a floss toss to pick this fabric, but I'm suddenly not quite sure about it.  I'm hoping I like it when it's all said and done, but right now, I'm feeling nervous.

This piece does crack me up, though, because I am once again running into the disconnect I have sometimes when hand dyed flosses are involved with the model stitch on the front of the chart and the actual threads not matching.  That "Daffodil" is really bright (and not so much on the stitched model on the front of the chart).    I'm fine with the colors working together, I just think it's funny how that happens.

And after another night of stitching (plus stitching on half of my flight, which seemed to fascinate my seatmate, who watched, but didn't ask), this is where I am with this piece.

The fabric in this pic looks way more tan than the purple it is - it's actually Shale, by Picture This Plus.  I originally looked at Ancient, but when I saw it in person, floss tossing, I hated it.

The inner bits will all be stitched in a dark color, so all of those bits and gears will pop more when I get back to it.  So far, it's been a thoroughly enjoyable stitch.

I think changing between all of the gears and little bits are keeping it fun - frequent swapping, but no confetti, so it's not like I'm struggling with each piece.  I just pick a color and go.    I keep thinking, though, that the fabric I picked up is entirely too large (fat quarter), but this is just part of the body (I just hate wasting fabric).  And of course as I'm stitching it, I realize that I didn't need more fabric, I had some fabric in my stash that would have worked quite well.   And I wonder why I end up with so much extra fabric.

And finally, I wanted to stitch all day yesterday, but I was actually quite productive, doing all of my laundry and putting this away (I'm usually a total slacker that takes a week or two to get everything put up, tripping over that luggage for the two weeks before I finally get around to it).  Heck, I even folded all three loads of laundry!

I wanted to stitch on Fantasy Sampler, but I discovered that I didn't want to use the working copies I had made, and figured that since I have the Best of TW books, I would just write on the original, but I couldn't find that either, so I'll have to make new working copies out of the Best of book.   The symbols are the same, but they're typed (vs the handwritten original), so it will at least be easier for me to read.   I actually briefly pondered buying the pattern on PatternsOnline, and then realized that would be foolish as I have no (working) printer at home.   So my January YOTA goal is shot, but that's cool, I'll catch it next month.

So I decided to work on Celtic Ferret Knot instead; this one will probably get finished first, as it seems to be my "go to" for "oh dear, I can't stitch on what I want for _____ reason."

It calls for DMC, and I decided to go with overdyes, and the hand/overdyes go together, but aren't really anything like what the DMC color is, but I'm OK with that, though every once in a while, I feel like I should have gone with a darker tan (there's a "chocolate" somethingerother Crescent Colour that I think I might have liked better, but when I look at the colors I did choose, I'm still content).

But I got a good chunk of those sections done while watching Godzilla, so yay for progress (I like it so much better filled out - the linen annoys me less)

Other than stitching, I went on a bit of a shopping binge or three.

First up, are most of the goodies I bought at the stitching shop.  I am so utterly happy to have 1.  A brick-and-mortar shop to visit and 2.  Friends and people to help me figure out and decide fabric colors.

I picked up Growth Rings by Ink Circles, even though I have the magazine, because I just hate having an entire magazine hanging out when it's not really necessary.  I really want to get to that one sooner rather than later, and of course I'll be changing the colors.

Red Riding Hood is a piece I've been looking at a *lot* on Etsy from Primitive Hare.  I just adore it.   Without any kind of frame of reference, the finished photo makes it look a lot smaller than it is - when I opened the chart I was a bit shocked at how huge it really is, not that I love it any less.

The two Glendon Place Baroque Beauties are Millicent and Elizabeth.   I think there are 4 or 5? of those floral pieces out now, but these are the only two I like I didn't see Isabel which is the other one from the series I quite like, and I not only like them, but I adore them, especially Elizabeth (the bottom flower).  They use a lot of kreinik, so someday when I'm at an LNS again I'll have to work on conversions to Petite Treasure Braids.

And finally, Cherry Wine from Keslyn's.  I actually saw it as I was sauntering my way to the check out counter - I just love all of the specialty stitches.   I really want to do more canvas work or samplers, because I really miss all of the specialty stitches I used to do.  As much as I love my little xes, I need a bit more sometimes.

And of course, when I saw the Margaret Sherry box (well, there was more than one, but I didn't want to hold anyone up), I had to look for some adorable mice, and there they are.   I especially love the dandelion one.

And here's where my trip got expensive ;)

I really, really, really, really, really, really (no really) want Tiramisu by Glendon Place, but I have been resisting.   But I hate buying fabric online, so since they had the threadpack (which I was not going to buy, oops),  I did a bit of floss tossing (I don't like the peachy fabric it calls for), or at least the lady at the shop did a little floss tossing, and I really liked this "Bone" color.   Because of the piece, I didn't really want or need any kind of mottled fabric, and I was quite happy with this.

So now I have the threads and the fabric, and no chart, which I admit, isn't the kind of situation that I usually find myself in (they were sold out of the chart, or I would have it, and probably would have started it).

The other picture shows the two Nora alphabet fairies charts and the fabric I picked out for them, though honestly, that fabric has to be one of my all time favorites, and as I'm stitching the letters for others, I might try to weasel different fabric in there from my stash so I can keep that Queen Anne's Lace for myself.  For heaven only knows what, but it will be mine!  It's just so pretty (and OMG, so soft!), but really, I think that fabric is great for those letters.

The last of the stitching trip acquisitions was this piece of fabric.     Once upon a time, I saw Mirabilia's Red (gods I hate the Mirabilia web re-design) and I thought it was pretty but not for me (red being my favorite color, but Mira's ladies not being my favorite subjects), but when I read the story that Susan wrote for it, I fell in love with the piece.   So now I have to stitch it because of the story.    And because of the story, I want Red to be on a dark fabric, like she's walking at night or in the forest.

I expressed this to the very patient woman who was helping me with my fabric and she immediately pulled this fabric.  Apparently someone who frequents the shop wanted the same kind of feel to the piece and this is the fabric she used, and they said it was absolutely stunning.   I've tried to color correct for the fabric, but it's a deliciously stormy forest color.   I think I'm pretty on board with this color, but I was also thinking of Bayou from Sparklies, though I might chat with Kate about it, because I'm not sure I'm ok with the yellow accents (though the fabric is definitely killer, just not quite perfect for Red, I had purchased a swatch during my great search).

And just when you think it was done, more shopping happened.

I got this from the quilt store - I'm not a heavy quilter, but I have some ideas and picked out some pretty fabrics.   The three fat quarters of pretty horses is so I can make a stitching bag (pattern in the photo), and a couple of the other fabrics are because I have pairs of fat quarters at home and these round it out in case I want to make the case (and if not, there are other cases I'm thinking of making, which I needed a third fabric for anyway).

And finally, I fell into a Vera Bradley sale.  I'm not a Vera fangirl, but I had gotten a wristlet-wallet thing and it has taken a serious beating, and it's holding up like a champ.    And stitching friends taught me the value of the Miller bag and how it's perfect for storing and traveling with stitching, so I bought one of those.   And because those pieces have both proven to be really sturdy, I've been looking for a work bag... and then we went to the outlet store where everything was on super sale.  And then (there are a lot of  'ands' and 'and thens' in this whole story), a friend who quilts convinced me of the practicality of a hanging organizer for quilting stuff, and since I am taking my second quilt class in a month or so, it made perfect sense (I struggled with dragging things back and forth and keeping them organized), so I ended up with a Miller, a hanging thing, and a small-ish tote bag (Villager?) for work.  At least they were all in the same pattern?  I do find most of the patterns hideous, but black and white should work pretty well (and show all of my dirt - hah!).

This is my current magical Vera, in the only pattern that I actually like (well, almost the only pattern I like), and it traveled with me on the plane.  I removed the several projects and books from the bag and put them in my checked bag so I'd have less to carry on the way bag home - I knew what I'd be doing on the plane on the way home so I needed less stuff, on the way out, I had everything in there, because I'm always so excited I can't just focus one one or two things.

But OMG, the POCKETS!  they have so many pockets!

Here are the Veras I managed to purchase.   I'm really torn, because now I want a Miller for "active" projects and a Miller for "on deck" projects... but I am thinking I should save the new one for the quilting class.  I probably will just switch usage, but geez, I love these bags.

So matchy-matchy
So after all of that, the only things I managed to NOT buy that I was hoping for were more qsnaps (mine are getting so old they're cracking or just won't work well, even using the dishwasher trick) and Tiramisu.   I ordered Qs from Amazon, but I'm avoiding the purchase of Tiramisu (even though it kinda hurts ;) ), because I know if I get it I will immediately start it, and I'd like to think I have some semblance of self control.


  1. What fun projects! And great new projects for the future.

    1. Thank you! I'm trying to keep purchasing down to "actual projects I'll do' instead of buying-spree like I used to :)

  2. Lots of cool new stash and you've got a great variety of projects going on!

    1. Thanks! I have such XS-ADD, I just keep bouncing from interesting looking thing to thing. Hopefully I'll actually finish a thing or three this year ;)

  3. Love the new stash! Your projects are all fantastic. Your black & white Vera bag (the big one) is the same one I have. I LOVE how big it is, although I was just as worried about it getting dirty easily. After traveling with it for the past year, I must say it's still quite clean and looks just as fantastic as it did when I first got it. :-)

    1. Thank you for that wonderful endorsement re: the Vera pattern! There was another one I liked less, but I almost went with it just because I thought it would show less dirt, but I quite liked this one better. I can't wait to see how the Villager holds up on the bus (when I go back to riding again).

  4. Great projects and what fantastic stash enhancement. Definitely a successful weekend.

    1. Thanks! It was definitely fun!

  5. I have the most bizarre urge to shop for more fabric now....cannot fathom why...

    1. I would be the last person to tell you to resist ;)

  6. Wow, I love everything but that fabric for Red is absolutely gorgeous :)

    1. Thanks! Even if I didn't stitch Red on it (and it seems most probable that I will), I still love it!

  7. You were way too easy in the Vera store. But no shoe shot?? LOL

    1. Shush you.

      And I haven't been logging into ebay each and every morning looking for a metropolitan bag in a not-ugly pattern. No ma'am, not me!

      I figured I had enough pictures without the shoes, though I should have put them in as a cameo somewhere ;)

  8. Wow, what an epic post! I LOVE your steampunk fish, it looks absolutely awesome. And you made such great purcheses, I'm really looking forward for when you get the pattern for and start Tiramisu, and those other patterns as well...and you made nice progress on your ferret, it's going to look great with the colors filled in :)

    1. Thank you! I'm trying to be more realistic with purchases (there was a time when I would buy any and everything i saw that I liked). Almost everything here had been on a wish list or planned for quite a while, so I feel pretty good about that, even if I might have gone a bit over budget (well, well under the "limit" of what I had set aside to spent, but more than I was hoping to spend ;) ).

      I'm really enjoying the Steampunk piece, but I know I need to get to FS for my SAL/Race.

      Oh Tiramisu... I'm so trying to stay away from that one, I know I'd probably fall right on into that one for a good long stretch!

  9. I'm so glad you found fabric for Red! I know you've been looking for a while. I've finally decided I'm going to have to do her at some point, but that is still quite a ways off. Congrats on your Miller! I've been having similar thoughts about having an active Miller and a pending one, but that would require me to find another pattern that I like, which is difficult.

    1. Poor Red - languishing. I really did want something with more green, but no yellow, so I think that "dolphin" flavored one will work. I think I really lucked out about the LNS having people who had thought the same thing. The fabric is a little thin, but she's not too heavily beaded and since someone else managed it, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Now I really want to push Deco so I have Red for framing at Nicks! (as if that'd happen :P )

      At the outlet store there was a whole lotta ugly, but luckily, the black and white pattern is neutral enough not to annoy me... maybe I should have bought two? There used to be a Vera outlet in Carolina (near Charlotte, I think), but it seems to be closed, so no hunting there for me.

  10. Awesome stash enhancement! I have got to find those flowers. And the angler fish, and, and, and... Queen Anne's Lace is a great fabric. I have used a number of the fabrics from that line and they are all great to stitch. Summer Sky has become my go-to for Chatelaines.

    1. I will definitely keep Summer Sky in mind! I've been looking for a blue.


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