WIP Wednesday – Year Of Celebrations, March

This week I am working on another installment of the Year of Celebrations series, published by Cross Stitch & Needlework Magazine and designed by Cathy Habermas. (The February and March motifs are in the March 2014 issue.) For this series I started with the February motif and was able to stitch that up in a week’s time, check out this post to see how it turned out.

This week I’m going to try to complete the March motif, and possibly have it fully finished before the end of the month. Although I love how February turned out with the variegated floss, I don’t think the March design would turn out the same way. So I decided to go with a straight conversion from the originally designed thread’s, Weeks Dye Works & Gentle Art Sampler, to DMC. There is no starting point for this update because, obviously I started with a blank piece of Aida cloth, so here’s where I am at as of this Wednesday:

Thanks for reading, check in on the next Sunday Stitches & Stuff post to see if I actually finished this!

Happy stitching!

Sunday Stitches & Stuff – Spring Quilt, Grime Gaurds, & Doctor Who Countdown

As I shared on Wednesday, it had been a bit since I posted anything, but thankfully I am much better and back to my regularly scheduled program, including a Sunday Stitches & Stuff post! Originally, I thought maybe I would do a three week update, but that would be a long post, so I am just gonna pick things up with this past week and move forward from there. Additionally, I am experimenting with a new format for the Sunday Stitches post, so I am going to give that a try this week. So with no further ado let’s take a look at my week.

What I am Stitching

Since it had been a while since I posted anything, on WIP Wednesday  I shared my progress on the Happily Ever After SAL, so check that out, but this week I have been working on my Spring Seasonal Quilt. This is the second time I have pulled this out from my rotation; motivated by the progress made by another stitcher on the same piece. This is a collection of patterns from Leisure Arts called Five Seasons of Quilts, which consists of 5 patterns, each one a grouping of quilts hanging on a clothes line, seasonally designed. When I first saw this pattern booklet at Hobby Lobby, I fell in love with it, and wanted to stitch up the whole series as an interchangeable home decor item. Now that we are settled in our first home, I am focused on making items to decorate the house and decided to include 5 Seasons of Quilts in my rotation this year. For the fabric, I decided to go with 28 count Cashel fabric in Bashful, from Picture This Plus, which is a light pinkish color, and reminded me of spring time. Working on linen is new for me, so I am taking my time, and I did have a few sections I needed to frog, but I do like how it is turning out.
Here is my progress this week:

This week I’ve also had a bit of time in the car and at work to pull out my small purse project, Busy Bees’ Mouse. Here is how it is going:

What I am Reading

This week I started reading Jewels of the Sun, the first book in the Gallaghers of Ardmore series by Nora Roberts. Typically I do not read romance novels, I just do not find them entertaining. However, back in 2014, I came across a book titled Dark Witch. Since I love urban fantasy, I was drawn to the title, read the jacket and picked it up. The book was amazing, only, I did not realize until I was half way through the book that it was a trilogy (The Cousins O’Dwyer), it was a romance novel, and it was written by Nora Roberts. Needless to say, I now refuse to exclude any genre from my reading list. So in 2014, I devoured the Cousins O’Dwyer series and once again read through them in 2015, then once more in 2016. It seemed to become a spring break tradition. This year, I decided to give one of her other trilogies a chance, and the Gallaghers of Ardmore series also takes place in Ireland, just as the Cousins O’Dwyer series did. Ireland is a special place for me and stories the take place there are always a favorite. So far Jewels of the Sun does not disappoint. Unfortunately, I am only a few chapters in, but I hope to finish up by this week and move on to the second book.

What I am Watching

Although I have not really talked about it so far on the blog, as you may be able to guess from it’s title, I am a huge Doctor Who fan. In fact I am thinking about writing a post about how I became a Whovian and possibly do a regular feature but I am not sure what that would be as of yet. This week I have been watching more than my normal amount of Doctor Who episodes, as the countdown to the new series has begun. Normally, I watch the same selection of episodes, over and over, when I am in the mood for some Who. All but one of them, are episodes with the 11th Doctor, Amy & Rory. However, since the new series is about to begin, I am watching through the series with Clara & the 11th Doctor and the transition to the 12th Doctor. Even though I still terribly miss Matt Smith, I am a true and loyal Whovian looking forward to April 15th, some fish fingers and custard, and Jammy Dodgers.

This Week’s Highlights

One major highlight from this week is that I’ve made my first grime guards! While I’ve seen them around on Instagram, Facebook, and Flosstube, I never felt the need for them. I just never thought my fabric ever got dirty when I was stitching. However, this year I’ve started working with hand dyed fabrics, and oh man do they pick up every little bit of dirt. With 3 dogs, a cat and 2 birds, I have a lot of dirt and dust that I clean up on a regular basis, and while I always wash my hands before stitching, I was noticing some discoloration on the fabric at the corners of my Q-snap. So I decided it was time for grime guards. Two factors led me to make my own, one is that I am trying to learn to sew, and the second is that I am on a craft spending budget. Thankfully, The Left Handed Stitcher has an awesome how to video on her Flosstube channel (make sure you check it out) and following her instructions, I made myself 2 grime guards this week, one for my 8×9 frame and one for my 6×6. I am very proud at how they turned out.

This week I also made myself some project cards. Not really going to go into detail here, but I used Adobe Photoshop Elements and printed out a few projects cards for myself. I prefer having my floss grouped in groups of 10 or less on a card and previously I just used spare bits of card stock or cardboard for sorting my threads when kitting up a project. However, I thought maybe I’d just try to make some project cards that were a bit more fancy. They turned out pretty good, if I say so myself. Here is a shot of one of them in use:

That pretty much sums up this past week for me and I think I am going to start ending my Sunday posts with pictures of my furbabies. So bye for now, thanks for reading, have a fabulous week!

Pics from the Zoo:

WIP Wednesday – Happily Everafter SAL & Spring Seasonal Quilt

Gosh, it’s been two weeks since I’ve posted anything! My how time can get away from you, especially when illness and injuries are involved. Things started 2 weeks ago with a mild sinus irritation, that lead to some type of bug, then allergy season began, and this past weekend was a pretty bad flare up of my chronic back injury. Thankfully, I am feeling better and have started to get back into my normal routines again. The only good part about all the sickness and stuff, was that I spent a lot of time sitting on my heating pad and stitching! So today I have two updates to share, progress on my Happily Ever After SAL and my Spring Seasonal Quilt.

Happily Ever After SAL

In my previous WIP Wednesday post, I shared how much I am enjoying the Happily Ever After SAL from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. This still remains true. It seems I just can’t put this one down. As much as I love having a rotation this year, to switch off projects so that I don’t get stagnate with my stitching; this one is just hard to put down. Last I shared, I was working on the January pattern, The Owl & The Pussycat.
Here is my progress as of Wednesday February 22:

Here is my progress as of this Sunday when I switched projects:

January & February are finished!!! I couldn’t be happier having completed the January & February patterns. Moving forward, because I do want to rotate my projects to make progress on those as well, I think I am going to work on 2 months at a time. So that means, I won’t pick this up again until April, and at that time I will attempt to get March & April’s patterns finished before switching off, and so on.

Spring Seasonal Quilt

Even though I have a few other projects in my rotation that I haven’t worked on this year yet, I decided to return to my Spring Seasonal Quilt. In North Carolina, spring is getting ready to make an appearance, if not already having begun, and I was in a ‘springy’ mood. Also, another stitcher shared her progress (much further along than I) on the same piece on Facebook and I am anxious to see more progress on my own. Although, I am glad that I chose to stitch the Seasonal Quilts on linen, I am not that experienced with linen, and the counting has thrown me off a few times, so this project will take a bit more time.
Here is my starting point this week:

Here is my progress as of today:

Slow but steady, I love the colors so far, and am happy with my color choice for the hand dyed linen. Check in with me on Sunday and we will see how much further I get!
Thanks for reading and happy stitching.

WIP Wednesday – Happily Everafter SAL

This week I am attempting to make progress on my Happily Everafter SAL.
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It’s only been 2 weeks since I worked on this project, in fact I have two other projects, plus my knitting, that should have been next in the rotation, but the February pattern was released this month and I haven’t even finished January, so I want to see how much I can get done this week, then I’ll pull one of the other projects. Plus, this pattern is so much fun to stitch and I really love the fabric. I ordered the kit from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery which included the fabric, Crystal Helix, from Picture This Plus, of which I chose the 14 count Aida option. As of today, I am very pleased with the progress I’ve made, however, it did require a few late nights. On Monday I started where I left off, having finished the center title section, and moved to the upper left corner to begin the Owl & Pussycat section from January.

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As you can see, I have the ocean and the boat done and the Owl is nearly finished, hopefully he and the Pussycat will get finished tonight, then I can finish the background and border for this section.

Thanks for reading and happy stitching.