Tuesday, 30 June 2009

My first finish for 2009!

It seems rather strange to be reporting a finish! Just goes to show how used I am to doing large projects that take up to or over a year to complete.

I finished The Fabric Collector half way through the second week of my last rotation. I knew I could finish it during that rotation but, a you may recall, I'd made a boo-boo on it right at the beginning of the rotation and then didn't pick it up for about 4 days because I knew I'd have to fix it up and that's a drag. Well I fixed it up at the same time as working on a new area--did a bit of fixing then a bit of new stuff--and that kept me interested enough to go on with it. I am just amazed that I finished it in 3 and a half weeks!

This is the first time I finished something while using this rotation system and all of a sudden I wondered what to do with the remaining half week of the rotation. Should I do another Fabric Collector for my sister-in-law who is also a quilter or should I sort out the colours from the Latrobe Terrace kit and get that ready or should I get a half week's head start on my next rotation? All possibilities opened up. In the end I decided to start another Fabric Collector as a second Christmas gift since the first one only took 3.5 weeks. I think I've made more progress on it the second time around than I did in the same amount of time on the first one. I'm being more careful this time about counting my rows so that the pattern elements are correctly positioned. Not that it really matters with the first one. I think it looks great!

The kit contains enough fabric and floss to make 3 samplers but there were only enough buttons for one (the buttons go in the corners and mid way along the top and bottom) so I went to Lincraft and bought 6 buttons for the second one. I'm hopeful of finishing this piece when its rotation comes around again.

Second round of The Fabric Collector--another Xmas gift!

So now it's the end of June, about the time when I planned to add the Christmas calendar to my rotations. I've decided I hate the map of Australia so much that I'm going to put it aside for a while and work on things I like. So I started back on the Christmas calendar again. I've been working on this off and on since about October 2007. Back then I finished the pockets and nearly all of the ornaments that go in them to count down to Christmas. Last year I started a bit earlier, finished the last ornament and then worked on the top part of the design with Santa and the pine trees. There's a lot of work involved in cutting out the felt and sewing the sequins on the various pieces there so I didn't finish it in time for Christmas again. But the kids used it as it was and it was fine. This year it's going to be finished. In fact it will be finished this rotation.

Yesterday I started in on it by doing the sequins on the part with the pockets. That was fiddly especially as some of the beads wouldn't thread through the needle. Anyway, I got that part done last night then started on the part with the pine trees. I stuffed and sewed the snowman on and part of the sign in front of him. I've worked again on that area today and he's coming along well. I have yet to sew on his right arm, hat and the sign in front of him. Then it's on to the reindeer which is the last element in this area. Finally it's attaching the top to the piece with the pockets and sewing the backing on and it's finished!

Piece with the pockets with sequins--finished!

Santa and the snowman (nearly finished) waiting for the reindeer.

I haven't yet decided if I'm going to start Latrobe Terrace next in lieu of the map of Australia or if I'll go back to the Golden Gate Bridge and the start of my rotations. I'm mindful that if I add too many projects in rotation it's going to take me longer and longer to get around to them. Hummmm. I'll see how I feel when I finish the Christmas calendar.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Half way through my current rotation

I started this rotation with great enthusiasm last Monday by working on the border of the sampler then . . .whoops! . . .discovered after I'd finished one side that I'd mispositioned the thread spools by one row. Oh darn! I was really annoyed. This project just seems to invite mistakes. I don't know what it is. Maybe because all of the stitched areas are separated. I don't know. All I know is that I didn't seem to find the time during the week to undo what I'd done. On Saturday I started to fix some of it up and last night I finished fixing my mistakes and also finished all of the thread spools on the other 3 sides of the piece.

Sunday nights are a really good time for me to get a lot of stitching done. I should probably be brain dead from sitting in front of the TV for 4 hours but I don't mind all of the forensic TV shows. They keep me entertained while I stitch. So here's where I'm up to as of this morning. You can see I even started the saying at the bottom. I just keep jumping all over the pattern and doing whatever I feel like. I still have to go back and finish stitching all of the fabric on the shelves and there's a small quilt on the upper right wall to do. There's a bit of backstitching as well. How far am I going to get this week? And will I make any more mistakes????

Friday, 19 June 2009

One rotation finishes and another one begins

I made a big push last Sunday night to bring the small section of the New England Sampler to some sort of a finished state. As I previously wrote I'm doing the lower band starting on the left hand side and going across. This area depicts a farm scene with an apple tree and some buildings. I finished the apple tree and the foreground in front of it and did some of the foreground below the buildings. I've also decided not to stitch the phrase 'Stitched by . . .' in the dark green foreground. I always put my intials and a date on my stitching and I'd rather just do that. So I'm doing the bottom of the foreground totally in the dark green. It looks nice so far so I hope it will turn out nice.

I received a surprise email from a former co-worker who liked the two Charleston cross-stitch patterns I had (Rainbow Row and Verandas) so much that she copied them and finished Rainbow Row long before I'd even started it. Now more than 10 years later she's working on Verandas and she emailed me because she was missing part of one page of the pattern. It's amazing that we're both working on the same project in the exact same area of the project without knowing it. Not many people have my taste for doing large cross-stitches of houses so it's great to be able to share the journey with someone. So I thought I should put up a photo of Rainbow Row which I finished nearly 10 years ago in November 1999. Wow, I had no idea it had been so long!

Now I'm working on the small sampler Christmas present for my sister. I don't know why but I keep making mistakes on this one. I'm working on the border and mispositioned some of the thread spools so I'm unsititching at the moment. Frustrating!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Thank you for voting!

Thanks to everyone who voted on which Juniper Designs street scene I should start next. I don't know if voting was along a state-based bias or not but I agree with the result. I think LaTrobe Terrace is the most interesting of the 4 projects because of the unique style of the houses and the bright colours. I can't say I've ever seen LaTrobe Terrace in person where I have seen the other three, but why should I let that stop me!

I'm into my second week on the New England sampler and it's going well but not fast. I've had a lot of extra 'outside' activities on including my daughter's appearance in the state gymnastics championships. Life does get in the way of stitching sometimes! I did end up going down from the middle and I'm working on the lower band of the sampler. My main focus has been an apple tree. I'm enjoying this area very much because it uses several tones of the same colour of apple green (what else!). I've got a few days left on this rotation but we'll be having houseguests from tomorrow and over the weekend so I don't know how much more I'm going to be able to do.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Reluctantly time to move on to next project

Well my Verandahs rotation is up. This is my favourite project so I'm really sorry not to be continuing on it. I didn't finish the house I was working on but I'll finish it next time for sure.

So now it's on to the New England Sampler. I feel reluctant to pick this up again because I'm enjoying the Verandahs so much but also because I have to start a new section of it and, since I've finished the middle of the design, I have to decide whether to go up or down. I think I'm going down.

There are definitely projects I like more than others and I wish I could spend more time on the ones I like--but then the others would never get done. So there it is!

Now about my poll--it looks like LaTrobe Terrace, Brisbane is narrowly leading Sydney. LaTrobe is the most colourful of the designs so that's probably not surprising. I'll have to decide where I'm going to fit it into the rotation. I'll do another rotation on the Fabric collector sampler then probably slot it in after that because I'm hoping to come close to finishing the Fabric collector this next rotation.

I'm going to have a push this week on the decluttering I've been doing. I just want to get it done and I also have guests coming next week so it would be nice to finish it before they come and to have the house looking really nice. My DH is also having a big declutter in his junk room. He must have 20 + boxes of papers in there plus other stuff spread all over the place. The decluttering he's doing now is the most I've ever seen him do. I just hope he either finishes before the guests come or keeps it up after they've gone. Well I'd best get back to sorting through piles and deciding what to do with them.