Tuesday, 11 December 2018

More Crafting

After going out for breakfast with Skip followed by an epic Costco shopping spree, I spent the rest of the day working on various projects.

I got my doors and windows cut out and fused to my wool appliqué mat. I just need to finish stitching the appliqué stitches and embellishing the tree branches and leaves.
I made cording for this Winter's Eve ornament.
It looks very cute on my tree.
I finished stitching the ornament for the Trillium Embroidery Guild ornament exchange next week and just need to make and attach cording.

Whilst binge-watching the latest season of Shetland on Netflix, I did more stitching on my Buzz pincushion.

I made up some gingerbread dough this morning and have it chilling in the fridge. After running some errands, I'll make some cookies.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Wool Appliqué Class

My 'girl gang' Jen, Jeanette, Barb, Marilyn, and I took a wool appliqué yesterday at the Quilter's Cupboard in Uxbridge.

Marilyn and I worked on the table mat from Buttermilk Basin table mat.
Penny Mats Thru the Year: November Pattern & Kit
I forgot to cut out my doors and windows so this is as far as I am. My stitches aren't the most consistent but they work well with the primitive nature of this craft. I may add some flowers to the front yards of the house.
I chose not to use fuse my pieces to the base fabric. I used freezer paper to cut them out. Instead I basted the pieces on with long stitches and one strand of sewing thread. I learned that technique at the wool appliqué class I took in October. Basting pieces this way prevents the wool from shifting, the stitches are easy to snip and remove, and the result is 'puffy' appliquéd pieces. I will be fusing the doors and windows to the gold house pieces.

I used good felted wool for the base and will be backing it with commercial polyester felt and whip stitching the two pieces together. I may fuse them together as well to give the mat a bit of firmness.

I LOVE the micro serrated scissors I purchased for doing wool appliqué. Unfortunately I misplaced the guard for the tip yesterday but found it today. Crisis averted.

I now have TONS of projects to work on which will keep me busy when we go south in the new year.


I got the fabric for the Buzz pincushion from the Hands On Design Block Party set and have started it.
The slate fabric isn't too hard to stitch on. I'm using my magnifiers and good light.
 I started it in the centre without checking that the fabric had been cut square. It hadn't. It's going to be close on the left side but there's just enough fabric to attach it to the bottom piece. Phew!

I've been binge-watching Priscilla & Chelsea on Flosstube - The Real Housewives of Cross Stitch. I started about episode #20 and am up to #49. They don't frame any of their pieces - rather they finish them in very unique ways using thrift store items and pieces on sale from craft stores. They acquire tons of Little House Needleworks, Country Cottage Needleworks, and other similar charts.

Haul from Our Trip

The sunlight has been so sporadic lately. Finally today it is beautifully sunny so I grabbed my camera and took pics of the charts that I purchased on our trip last week.

I really love donkeys so I had to snap up this Musicians of Bremen chart by Madame Chantilly
I would probably change the colour of the letters. I can also just use the donkey chart. It would be easily adaptable to a punch needle pattern.
This Mani Di Donna smalls pattern came with the little wooden buttons.

I have become quite partial to these monochromatic/tonal patterns. We are all thinking of stitching liners for trays and this one would be perfect to hold stitching tools.

I seem to be drawn to alphabet samplers with houses.
I also like the "To Everything There Is A Season" verse.
I couldn't decide between the one above and this one...
so I bought them both and snagged an equivalent floss for the lettering. It would look good on grey linen or evenweave. I really like Drawn Thread designs.
I also enhanced my fabric stash. This would work for the Hands on Design Block Party pincushion - Snow.

This is some extra slate-coloured fabric. I'm using another piece for my Buzz pincushion.
This was just a random piece of linen I snagged at The Old Tattered Flag.

Punch Needle Kit

When I was at The Old Tattered Flag last week, I purchased the kit for Village Christmas tree pictured on the cover of the current Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher (above the red glass ornament).
COVER - Xmas-Winter  Issue 2018 Web LG.j
It came in a burlap bag with the flosses.

The pattern is in the magazine. Julie won't be selling the pattern independently for at least a year due to contractual obligations. I have a digital subscription to the magazine so can print my own copy. One neat feature of the digital subscription - in addition to getting 4 issues digitally, I am also entitled to all the issues back to the beginning of 2017. It has made for some interesting browsing.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Geri's Academy of Sewing

Yesterday I coached Jen and Marilyn through the steps to make the project bags. It went well. They were both amazed at how good they looked once finished. The secret is that all the raw edges are hidden.
The topstitching makes a very nice finish. I may have to make a couple more for myself. My pupils were also amazed to learn that zippers could easily be trimmed to fit any project its size or smaller. I usually buy 16" zippers (on sale, of course) and trim them as needed.
Lying in bed this morning, it occurred to me that if I made the vinyl bigger, fat quarters could be used for the two fabrics. They're certainly great stash busters.

Tomorrow the three of us plus Barb and Jeanette are taking a wool appliqué class at the Quilter's Cupboard in Uxbridge. I used my nifty micro serrated scissors today to cut out the base of my project - black wool and black felt. I'm all set for tomorrow's class.

More FFOs

I finally finished a couple more ornaments (FFO - Finally Finished Ornament).

I made the cording out of Perle cotton.

I stitched this last year and it's finally an FFO.

 There are a couple more I want to do a flat fold finish on. Hopefully soon.

I got the tree up two days ago and only got ornaments on it today.
Skip and I went out for lunch then on a shopping spree at the Superstore. I have a lot of PC/Optimum Points (or whatever they're called now) so we just bought whatever we wanted to stock up on (personal items) and current stuff we needed. I also cashed in my $25 Loblaws card we got when it was discovered they'd overcharged customers for bread for years. As we spent over $200, I won a free turkey. With the Loblaws card and my PC points, we paid a total of $1.08 for today's shopping spree.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Our Epic Trip

On Wednesday morning, Barb, Jeanette, Jen, and I hit the road - heading for a fibre adventure in upstate NY.

First we stopped at Ecstasy Crafts in Shannonville after overshooting it by 70 km and having to drive back to it. Then we grabbed lunch and crossed the border near Gananoque. We first stopped at Fabric and Sew Much More in Clayton where I bought some ground walnut shells. We then drove to The Old Tattered Flag in Evans Mills - about 15 minutes NE of Watertown.

There we beheld many many punch needle and rug hooking patterns designed by Julie, the proprietor. I had first become aware of this shop in Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher Magazine to which she is a major contributor. Julie also had a comprehensive selection of rug hooking wools, both 'as is' and hand dyed. Most of her designs can be rendered in rug hooking, punch needle, or wool appliqué.

She also sells a rug wool cutting system that can be used with the Sizzix die cutter.

I purchased a punch needle kit, Pumpkin Bouquet.
In the little box are all the threads - from Sullivan and many hand-dyed by Julie - and the pattern printed on weaver's cloth.
I also bought a couple of antique spools and a sunflower pin.

We then headed to Watertown where we checked into our hotel for the evening. After dinner we shopped at JoAnn Fabrics, TJ Maxx and Dollar Tree. Back in our rooms we had 'show and tell' where we put all our purchases out on beds in Jeanette and Barb's room so we could ooh and aah.

The next morning we got up early to head to A Stitcher's Garden in Fayetteville, a few kms SE of Syracuse.

We decided to take our time at this shop to make sure we didn't miss seeing anything. We were positively giddy with excitement.
There are many beautiful samples on display - most of them well-labelled.

We ended up spending 3.5 hours there and significantly boosted the economy of the store with our purchases.

Then we drove over to the Piano Works Mall at East Rochester to check out Golden Threads Needlearts and J Madeline's Quilt Shop. The needlework shop had supplies for many types of stitching and needlepoint. There was also a Jeannette Douglas trunk show.

Of great interest to us were her 'boxes' of smalls.

The Bird Box

The Pumpkin Patch Box
The Mermaid Box
The Journey Box

I liked this needlepoint pillow that had a donkey on it
and the sheep with a couple of the Three Wise Men.
There were also some wool appliqué sets.
We drove back to check into our hotel in Camillus - just east of Syracuse. It is a brand new Tru by Hilton hotel that was built right beside the Costco that opened there a couple of years ago.

It has a very minimalist, Scandinavian aesthetic.
Everything is pristine. No rugs or overstuffed furniture. The TV was huge.
The bathroom was also very modern and clean.
Instead of little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash, squeeze bottles are mounted on the wall.
It reduces the need for all those little, plastic bottles.
These were the ones beside the sink.
That night, we had show and tell again. To preserve the 'sanctity of the group', I'm only revealing my purchases of the day.
The next day we drove to Canandaigua to explore a rug hooking/needle punch/fabric shop in the main floor of a residence a few miles south of the town. It took a couple of tries to get up the slippery driveway but we made it.

Then we went into town for lunch and to explore Expressions in Needleart on Main St South. That shop had lots of fibres and patterns for cross-stitch, embroidery, needlepoint, and knitting. I bought a stitching pattern, cording drill and some #24 and #26 needles there.

Then we drove back to Camillus for supper at Azteca Mexican Grill, only 0.5km from the hotel. Back at the hotel, we watched some Flosstube videos. I worked on Skip's hat (super bulky Lumio yarn which has a reflective thread throughout) which has to be done by the middle of this week. We discussed what stores we wanted to visit and revisit on our last day before heading back home.

The next morning, we headed directly to the JoAnn's in Fayetteville for the 9am opening. Then we returned to A Stitcher's Garden to grab the items we had missed getting on Thursday. We then headed northward and after lunch in Cicero, we stopped into The Old Tattered Flag again where I picked up the kit for the punch needle project I had seen on display on Wednesday. It is in the current (Winter 2018) issue of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher for which I have a digital subscription.
Back in the car we visited our last shop - Gunn's Country Corner and Quilt Shop where we looked at all the beautiful housewares, Christmas decorations, and fabric.

After a trip through the duty free shop, we crossed back into Canada and made it back home at around 6.

Today was a 'jammie' day. I slept in and spent the day doing crosswords, stitching, knitting (I finished Skip's hat), finished stitching an ornament and got it mounted and ready for the cording (which I'll make with my new cording drill) and knit about half of my Lattice Cowl.
I'm using this Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend yarn.
What a splendid way to spend time with like-minded friends. We enjoyed the hotels, meals, and all the shopping. If laughter is great therapy, we are the healthiest, sanest people around. We are already formulating plans for our next trip. In the meantime, I'm getting together with Jen and Marilyn on Wednesday to coach them through making the project bags with the vinyl window and on Friday, Jen, Jeanette, Barb, Marilyn, and I are taking the wool appliqué class at the Quilter's Cupboard in Uxbridge.