Wednesday, 14 November 2018

A UFO that is L O N G overdue

I've been trying to sort out stuff from the closet in my craft room/office. Yesterday I unearthed this ornament I started stitching for a former colleague almost 20 years ago. It only took me an hour to finish the stitching. Today, I made it into an ornament.
I didn't have any appropriate Christmas fabric that looked right for the back, but this turquioise fabric in my stash was the right colour. The pin in the bottom is to camouflage the beginning and end of the gold cording. The gold cording has been in my stash so long it still has the 'White Rose' sticker on it. They've been out of business for over 20 years.
I'm going to put it in the mail tomorrow.

We are getting quite excited about our upcoming stitching retreat. There have been emails back and forth among several of us: what we're bringing to stitch, eat, knit, demonstrate, etc. Tomorrow is my last day to get everything ready to go. The dining room table is covered in projects, project bags. lamps, needle cases, embroidery hoops, etc., etc. It's going to be a very fun weekend where we each get a room to ourselves and don't have to plan, prepare, serve, or clean up after meals.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Wool Appliqué

Next month, a bunch of us are taking a wool appliqué class at the Quilter's Cupboard in Uxbridge.

Yesterday we went up there to pick our patterns and fabrics. Marilyn and I selected a fairly small pattern (8 1/2" x 8 1/2") from Buttermilk Basin.We then picked the colours of felt. The grey-brown at the top came from Alda via Jeanette.

I have printed the template onto freezer paper which I will use to cut out the pattern pieces. I have ordered micro serrated scissors especially for cutting the wool. I hope they come in soon.

Next Thursday I am heading up to Elim Lodge for our stitching retreat. On the way I will be stopping in at From the Heart in Bethany and Craftworks to do some shopping.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Maple Leaf Stitching

I finished the stitching on the Maple Leaf from the Fall 2014 issue of "A Needle Pulling Thread".
The difference between stitching with two adjacent threads maintaining the colour integrity or with one thread doubled, can be seen to the left of the centre vein. Where it is mottled-looking is where I just double the thread over. The clearer colours are where I threaded the needle with two adjacent threads. I did the crosses of each stitch before going on to the next one. I also outlined the leaf with backstitching when I was done.

I could make this as a lid for a box I have. In the meantime, I have a bunch of Christmas ornaments to get finished.

2018 Needler's Retreat

Last weekend, Jen, Barb, and I attended the Needler's Retreat sponsored and organized by Deb at Sheeps Ahoy. It takes place at the Glen House Resort on the Thousand Islands Parkway near Gananoque ON and there are 60+ attendees. We departed from home on Friday morning, stopping at several yarn and fabric shops on the way. We also dropped into Karen Keiser's rug-hooking studio just off the 401 in Belleville.

There, I had a quick intro to rug-hooking. All three of us purchased some of her lovely hand-dyed wool felt for appliqué projects. We also beheld some wonderful designs of Karen's.




We arrived in time to check in and get to the 'Meet and Greet' before dinner in the bar area where we signed up for 'Show and Tell' and our class schedules.

Jen and I stepped out on our balcony for a quick selfie.
We had a cozy fireplace in our room.
At 'Show and Tell' after dinner, a group of people showed off their Caitlyn Hunter 'Sunset Highway' sweaters.
This was one of her two sock yarn blankets completed since last year's retreat.
A beautiful crow sock. It was recommended that the beaks be done by duplicate stitch rather than trying to use a 3rd strand in the round.
 Robin and Nancy showed off their Fair City Knits "Up Helly Aa" sweaters. I believe Robin was a test knitter for the project.
 This would be such a fun knit. See the Viking heads and flames? Up Helly Aa is an annual event in Lerwick, Shetland on the last Tuesday of January. The day involves a series of marches and visitations, culminating in a torch-lit procession and the burning of the galley.

I loved this cow sweater.
The spots were added by duplicate stitch.
This was a very cool Christmas tree quilt. The blocks were knit in sequence very much like pieced quilting.
 During dinner the second night we had a discussion about sock heels. Here, a Fleegle heel was being displayed.
 One project bag had been specially made for the retreat by an attendee's very good friend.
On Saturday night at the raffle of donated items, Jen won a Shetland shawl and a rolled up, woven  needle case with knitting needles.
Barb won yarn
and I won all this loot in three draws.
The Joy of Color by Janine Bajus, Handywoman by Kate Davies, Laine - a book of patterns and recipes, and from Wild Wooly - a project bag, 2 soaps and a lotion bar. Wow!

Over the two days we took classes on reversible slip stitch knitting, knitting a set-in sleeve into an armhole, and designing asymmetric knits.

The sun even came out! This panoramic shot was taken from the deck off our classroom.

We love many things about the retreat: the cozy rooms, delicious food, seeing people from previous years, getting inspiration from everyone's 'Show and Tell' items, winning cool stuff at the raffles while supporting the scholarship program, getting away from our real lives for a couple of days, a beautiful drive through the autumn colours, the camaraderie of scores of people who really 'get' you, etc. etc.

We are already looking ahead to next year's retreat which will again be held on the first weekend of November.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Craft ADD

I've been flitting from one project to another lately.

When I was in Woodstock, I was given an old issue of "A Needle Pulling Thread" magazine. Therein I found a maple leaf pattern that appealed to me with instructions for making a scissor fob, a needlebook, or the top of a box - depending on the gauge of the fabric.

I couldn't find the Caron Watercolours colour that was called for but found a very acceptable substitute in DMC 4511.
The brown parts are too close in colour to the dark brown veins so when I get to that spot in the thread, I just pull a loop at the back until I hit the red, green, or yellow.

There are more border stitches to go. I think I'll make a needle case out of this.

I also finished the 27 snowflakes in the Hapsburg Lace piece I've been working on.
I now need to do the snowflakes all around the border.

Yesterday I also started the process of finishing some of the ornaments I've stitched. I will be making cording to go around the outsides. Here, the backs have been glued to the fronts and are clipped until the glue dries.
I have many more to finish.

On the weekend, Marilyn and I ventured to Peterborough for the Hand of Man craft show. The farmer's market was going on in the parking lot. I picked up a bushel of apples that weren't perfect for display but totally serviceable for apple sauce. They had minor breaks in the skin but only bruises on a couple of them. This afternoon I processed about 2/3 of them before I ran out of space in my big pot. I also ran out of snap tops so will pick more up and finish the job tomorrow.

Friday, Jen, Barb, and I will head off to our knitting retreat at a resort on the Ivy Lea Parkway near Gananoque at the east end of Lake Ontario. I need to start thinking about what knitting I'll take and get my homework done for the one class that requires it.

As I write this, we are investigating taking an introduction to rug hooking class in Belleville on the way to the knitting retreat.

So many crafty things!

Monday, 29 October 2018

Needle Case

I found an easy pattern to make a sewn needle case on Pinterest. I bought wool felt for the interior on the weekend at From the Heart Quilt Shop in Bethany.

Instead of tracing the outline onto the wool. I cut a piece of freezer paper to 8 1/2" x 11" and copied the template onto it with my printer.  Then I ironed the freezer paper onto the wool and cut it out.
I drew the crossing lines onto the felt with a heat erasable pen and stitched it on, backstitching at the beginning and end of each line. Careful ironing ensured that the case would fold properly.

I then marked, poked holes with the awl, and attached the plastic snaps with the Dritz tool (purchased for 1/2 price at Fabricland).

All closed up.
This was a pretty easy project. Next time, I'll make a template so the interior felt is consistently 1/4" inside the outline of the outer piece. To save a bit of time, I'll do a search for other needle cases like this online.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Confused Warbler Needlebook

I more or less finished the 'Confused Warbler' needlebook. 'Confused' because the bird is an indeterminate species. Green?

I want to embellish the leaf on the front.
I had fun doing various 'veinings' on the leaves on the back.
The inside is rather plain.  I used both pieces of white felt for the pages.
But the outside is comparatively snazzy IMHO.  My inconsistent blanket stitch gives it a primitive look, n'est-ce pas?
Barb, Jeanette, and I have signed up for a felt appliqué class at the Quilter's Cupboard in Uxbridge on December 7. We're going to go up there in a couple of weeks and look at the patterns offered.  I hope the project isn't too big as this little one ( 8" x 4" or 20cm x 10cm) was just about right.