Sunday, December 21, 2014

December Stitch from Stash, Reflections and Goals for Next Year

     First I want to thank Mel for her hosting this stitch a long. I can't imagine how much time she has devoted to it. Keeping track of how much everyone spent and reading everyone's blog post was a huge endeavor.
      As I mentioned in my last post, this is my skip month. I bought some fabric, threads and patterns for my stitching for next year. I haven't done much stitching this month, but I have spent time organizing my cross stitch supplies- not done yet- but progressing.
Reflections On Stitch From Stash for the year:
     My goal was to finish three projects- The Quiltmaker, Pretty Pumpkins, and Christmas Spirit, this I did. The other goal was to save money by stitching from stash- oops not so much. I learned that while I have plenty of patterns- I don't have much of a stash of fabrics or threads. I did spend more this year than I have in the past, however now I have some pretty fabrics to use.
     I visited many of the blogs of others who did Stitch from Stash and found a number that I enjoy following their stitching journeys. 

Goals for 2015: Finish Halloween House, start and work on the Disney Castle by Thomas Kinkade
(I finally found fabric I like) and start a new series by Stoney Creek- their Christmas block of the month from earlier this year. 

   After much thought and going back and forth I decided not to join Stitch From Stash for 2015. As I looked back on this year there was something missing- my quilting projects were put by the wayside. My sewing machine had hardly any use. While I plan to continue to work on my cross stitch projects- this year I will concentrate on finishing my quilting projects. Also in 2015 for the first time in a long time my quilting guild is having a teacher come who's classes I want to take. I need to practice my rusty quilting skills to be ready for her class.

Once again thank you Mel for the time you put into SFS. Although I won't officially be part of next year's group I will be following along and doing my own SFS for my quilting.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November Stitch From Stash

The year has passed so quickly- next week is Thanksgiving(U.S.) and then Christmas. Only one more month for SFS. I always planned for next month to be my splurge month because of all the sales (hopefully) that shops will have. I need to buy supplies for the projects for next year. First the accounting:
   Balance: $71.91
   Add:         25.00
   Minus:      82.35
  New balance: $14.56
  Bonus*=     $1,900.00 (*see previous post for explanation)
  Available for spending next month: $1,914.56
What I purchased this month: Patterns(Brooke's Books had a special on her Etsy site for 14 of her Spirit patterns for $25 (normally I think they cost $6 apiece)), a pattern for my Stay at Home Retreat(including some threads and beads), Just Cross Stitch 1991-2001 CD (bought from Amazon with a gift card), and 1 package of Mill Hill beads to finish Christmas Spirit. I also bought some patterns for gifts-to be started after threads and fabric purchases next month.

A finish!! Yes, Christmas Spirit (designed by Joan Elliott) is finally finished. Because I chose not to use the silver beads and use only the crystal ones I ran out of them. I had to wait until I got an order in. (There no longer a  LNS close.)

I have to say that the beaded snowflakes were a pain to do. Most of them I had to do parts of at least twice to get them right. The large one just above the purple ribbon in the picture above, I had to do 4 times to get it right. I don't know why they were so hard- none of the other beading was that difficult.
I did start Halloween House. 

Mel will be deciding what next year's SFS will look like. I will decide whether to join it for another year based on how she sets it up.


        Other people have bucket lists- but I call my list the IIWTL list- the "If I Won The Lottery" list. This year I've crossed two items off my list, not because I've done them, but because I'll never be able to do them. One is Elly Sienkiewicz's Applique Academy. One of the reason I decided to join Stitch From Stash was to save money to go in 2015 because it would be their 20th anniversary. Last year she put out that she would like to sell it- so I figured if I was going to go I should go soon. Unfortunately they decided to end it after this year's academy. There are two academies which have been started to take it's place- one in Texas and the other in Williamsburg, Va.- but they won't be the same. The other cross off is Martha Pullen's School of Art Fashion or perhaps one of her licensing schools. I mentioned in an earlier post that her company was sold and she is no longer with it. So again not the same.
          One want to do that is left on my list is Just Cross Stitch's Christmas in Williamsburg (although it is now called Annie's Needle Arts Festival). It is held the first weekend in December. I'd really like to do it, but it simply is not in the budget. So last year I decided to do a "Stay-at-Home Retreat".  One of the reasons for doing a retreat is to learn new things. For this reason I chose a design to do which had specialty stitches. Now, I know that there are somethings that I will miss- not getting to meet the designer and fellow stitchers, but  the internet and you tube will partially make up for that. They are also a great resource for how to do stitches. This is the design I selected to do:
It is from Just Cross Stitch November/December 2012 issue.  I picked this design because it reminded me of Williamsburg and because of the specialty stitches- actually so far all the stitches are specialty stitches. According to the pattern the following stitches are in the design: smyrna cross stitch, rice stitch, framed upright stitch, upright stitch, horizontal cross stitch, two sided Italian cross stitch, vertical tied cross stitch, horizontal tied cross stitch and knotted cross stitch. In true retreat tradition I've not done very much.

Yep, another UFO. This will be on my to do list for next year.
Even though I called this a Stay at Home retreat - I didn't do this at home. I started it over Christmas last year down in Wilmington. My sister and brother-in-law rented a cottage and family gathered for the holidays. Some views I looked at while stitching and the room where I did some of the stitching:

I did splurge for the threads- buying the specialty threads suggested. I substituted 32ct Lugana instead of linen. I have also decided to do another Stay at Home Retreat for this year. I have chosen the pattern and have purchased most of the supplies needed. I'll post about them the first weekend in December.
The cost for the Annie's Needle Arts Festival this year in Williamsburg:
    Basic cost (includes 4 nights lodging, one class, 1 dinner, 1 lunch, 3 breakfasts and snacks and gifts)= $1,150.00, add early day class $125.00, add additional class $375.00, add additional night $130.00 (after all if I'm going to go I might as well do as much as I can) gives a total of $1,780.00. Add to that the meals that are not provided, the travel expenses and any stash and I figure that it would be over $2,000.00. The cost so far for this year's retreat= $74.64. I figure I'm saving at least $1,900.00. Do you think I can add that as a bonus to my Stitch from Stash challenge this year?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stitch From Stash October

Just a short post to do the accounting for this month.

Previous Balance=$39.99
November Additions= $25.00
Bonus= $50.00
Total = $104.99
Spent $33.08
Balance= $71.91

I bought a couple of thread and beads for my new project. I did start Halloween House- but I have not taken a picture yet. No progress on Christmas Spirit.  I was doing very well spending wise until yesterday when I went to the library and again some books flew into my arms. I will take pictures of them later and post them.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stitch From Stash September

It's hard to believe that the year is almost over. Only three months left to Stitch From Stash. It's a good thing that I have some budget from earlier this year. I have been spending lately. The accounting for this month:
       Budget from last month: $47.69
       Add                                  $25.00
       Total                                $72.69
       Spent                               $32.70
       Budget to carry over       $39.99

A Finish:  She's done!!"The Quiltmaker"
I tried to take an up close picture to show the gold thread but my camera wouldn't cooperate.
I haven't finished adding the beads to Christmas Spirit yet. I did remove the silver beads- I just wasn't happy with them. Hopefully it will be finished by the next Stitch From Stash report. I am happy with the finishes, but what I have spent is for my next starts.
Here they are:

First Halloween House by Ursula Michael for Imaginating and Stitcher's Days of Christmas (SDC) by Sue Hillis. I already had the fabric for Stitcher's Days of Christmas but not for Halloween House. I also needed to buy floss for Halloween House(HH). I did the gridding for SDC while I was waiting for the fabric for HH- and now I am about halfway through the gridding for HH.I think that these will be quicker stitches then the others I did this year. I've put the Disney one on hold- I'd like to find a lighter blue fabric for it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stitch From Stash August 2014

First the accounting for the month:
          Balance from last month: $69.85
          Allowance for this month + bonus: $25.00 + $25.00
          New Balance $119.85
          Spent this month $72.16
          Ending balance $47.69

What I bought this month is for a project that I will start in September. I'll blog about it when I receive the kit. I'll still have to buy the fabric for it- but I'll wait until next month to buy it.

Now to show some progress- I've been working exclusively on The Quiltmaker- and she's almost done.

The only thing left is the outlining of the quilt squares. The pattern calls for DMC metallic thread- which I bought and used for the buttons on the dress, the needle in the hand and the thread which she is using to quilt with. If you look closely on the second picture you will see it. I started to outline the quilt squares with the thread and it was awful- I was so frustrated with it fraying and knotting, so I stopped. I'm looking for another option. I was showing this at my quilting bee to other night and one of the ladies offered some of her
threads to try. They are Sulky metallic and rayon threads. I'm going to try them and see how they work, if they don't I will order some Petite Treasure Braid to try.

I thought I should show some of the items I bought with my "budget" this year. Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow I hope to start in December and do a block a month and have it done by next Christmas.  "Summer Splendor" will be a quick stitch- but I will wait to order the threads for it until some one has a sale on them. The Thomas Kinkade Disney kit- I've opened and will start soon. I'm going to substitute 28 count light blue Jobelan for the 14 count Aida that came in the kit. Lastly I bought a kit of one of my favorite Norman Rockwell paintings- "Stockbridge, Main Street at Christmas"- sorry no way to get a good picture of it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stitch from Stash July (No Pictures)

Well- just a quick post - no pictures. It's been a busy month. I went on vacation- so first getting ready to go, then the vacation, then getting back and catching up on everything- I didn't have a chance to take a decent picture of my cross stitching progress. I did however want to put in my accounting for the month.

I bought some floss for a future project, some metallic thread to do back stitching on The Quiltmaker and a new cross stitch kit. Total spent this month = 42.77. Balance from last month 87.62 +25=112.62. This leaves my balance at 69.85 for next month. I already have plans for it! This weekend after I get caught up I'll try to post pictures.