Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thread-A-Day - Tribal Shamrock Update #2

I've been quite the busy beaver with my stitching the last couple weeks and am happy to say I've kept current with my thread-a-day stitching.  I missed 3 days, but only because I realized I was off by one thread on my fabric and had to do some "reverse stitching", which I didn't want to try and rush in the mornings before work.  I saved that for the weekend while I was at a stitch-in, picked it all out and then caught back up to where I should have been.

This is my progress as of this morning.  I'm probably about 60-65% done with the design.

In other stitching news, as mentioned above, I was at a stitch-in near Death Valley again last weekend.  As usual, it was a great time with good company, lots of laughs and plenty of stitching going on.

I finished the November/December pincushions and shipped those off this week for finishing.  I'm expecting to have the chart released in the next week or so.

I've also been treating my next silhouette design as a thread-a-day.  It's also currently in the 60-65% range of being done.  

And because you can never take too many projects with you to a stitch-in, I decided to take along my Pinwheel Halloween Quilt.  Unfortunately I haven't given it any love since the middle of August.  :(  After finishing my pincushions, I decided to give myself a week off before I started any real serious stitching on my next design model, which means I've put a few extra stitches in the PHQ.  This is my progress as of this morning.

Not a ton done, but I have started on the first green & purple pinwheel, along with some stitches on the black border.  I'll try to get some of the non-solid colored pinwheel segments done prior to posting my next update on it.

I've also made the decision, in an effort to keep my stitching more relaxed and not feeling quite so much like work, that all new design releases will be done on the 1st and 15th of each month.  If something isn't done for a release date I'm not going to stress over it and will just have it ready for the next one.  Hopefully that will also allow you, my awesome fans, know when to expect to see new designs.

With all that being said, and my relaxation week of reading, TV watching and casual stitching over, it's time for me to start charting my next design and get busy stitching the model.

And if you happen to be stitching any of my designs, and are on Facebook, please feel free to join our group there to share photos, chat, etc.  

Until the next time...Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thread-A-Day - Tribal Shamrock Update #1

Unfortunately as a designer I will probably never be as popular as Lizzie Kate, Nora Corbett, Joan Elliott, Ursula Michaels and many other greats.  With that being said I've decided I need to quit putting so much pressure on myself to keep up with them (I do have to work a full-time job and all to pay the bills).  Since I've forced myself to face that realization, I've decided I need more "balance" in my stitching life.  And if I haven't said it already, I must tell you that going to a thread-a-day piece has been one of the best things for my stitching life I've done in a long, long time!  It feels great to know I've given myself permission to quit worrying about cranking out new designs as quickly as I can and just to enjoy the stitching I'm doing.  Not only am I enjoying the pieces I'm stitching for myself, but I'm enjoying the design models I'm stitching much more also.  They no longer feel quite so much like "work".

I started my Tribal Shamrock 20 days ago, and haven't missed a day yet!  As you can see from this picture, it's coming along quite nicely.

I'm more than 25% done and am loving every minute I get to stitch on it.  If I stay on track, this should be done well before the end of the year and I can move along to my next thread-a-day project.  :)

In other stitching news, the November Patchwork Pincushion is complete and the December is about 60% stitched.  I'm hoping to have in done in the next day or so and get those shipped off for finishing and the pattern release.  I'm also about 33% done with the next dog silhouette.

So, since I went out and walked a Veteran's Day 5k this morning (hills included) without the use of my knee brace, I think I'll walk myself back to my recliner and get on with my stitching. 

Until the next time...Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Thread-A-Day - Tribal Shamrock

As discussed in the post for the "Wings and Things" finish, I'm really enjoying this thread-a-day concept.  I 'm devoting a little bit of stitching time for projects that aren't my design models and still getting plenty of stitching time on the "work" pieces.  I'm finding as I'm stitching on one piece I'm already planning out what can be my future thread-a-day projects.  And this is a really good thing since I've just put myself on a STS diet!

When I was about half done with "Wings and Things" I already new that Tribal Shamrock would be my next piece.  I've had the pattern and floss in my stash for several years.  And I figured some fabric I purchased in one of the sales this summer would be the perfect piece to use.  This is what I'm starting with:

  • Design - "Tribal Shamrock" by While Willow Stitching
  • Fabric - "Jungle Boogie" by Silk Weaver Fabrics
  • Floss - "Forest Glade" by The Gentle Art

Since I'm trying hard to be good to myself with my stitching, I didn't let any moss grow under my feet on my next start.  I finished "Wings and Things" on Monday, October 19th and immediately started "Tribal Shamrock" the next day.  So far I haven't missed a day.  Here's my progress through Sunday, October 25th:

I love watching it coming together and so far it's been a joy to work on.  I just have to remind myself it's a "thread a day" and I'm not allowed to keep working on it when I should be stitching on design models.

I'll share another update on it in about 2 weeks.  Until then...Happy Stitching! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stitch From Stash - The Beginning of my Journey

Hi, my name is Kelly, and I have a problem with my cross stitch stash.

Yes, I admit it.  Since I've moved to Vegas and am only working one full-time job (instead of the normal full-time plus a part-time that I've done for about 1/2 of my adult life), and have had lots more stitching time, I've spent WAAYYYYY too much money on stitching stash...
  • 25% off fabric sale at my LNS in June
  • 30% off fabric sale at Silkweaver Fabrics July 4th weekend
  • 25% off "Christmas in July" fabric sale at Picture this Plus
  • Purchase of  1816 Vierlande Sampler pattern (2 magazines to get the full pattern), along with 1/2 yard of PTP fabric and 9 skeins (90 yards) of The Gentle Art floss to do it
  • Purchase of a few, OK it wasn't a few, it was 16 more Barbara & Cheryl patterns to add to my collection
  • "Wings and Things" chart, spider charm & some fibers to complete it (hey, this one is already completed!)
  • A couple of charts that will be stitched for future gifts
  • And I'm sure there's probably other stuff I'm forgetting

As you can see, my purchases have been a little out of control.  This prompted me to decide 2016 was going to be the year I would do my own "stitch from stash".  Then I decided, as the saying goes, why put off til tomorrow what you can do today.  That means my "stitch from stash" officially begins today.

As I've seen other groups and people talking about this on their blog posts, I decided I'd do some research to find out what the "rules" are.  Some of them were actually really complicated with forced check-ins, credit based on the number of stitches you've completed, etc.  I don't need complicated, so after a little bit of thought, I created my own simplified rules, since this will be my own thing.

And the rules are:

My stitching account will start with a $0 balance

I will earn spending "credits" for each finish, regardless of whether it is one of my design models or a "just for me" piece

    • $1.00 per ornament/greeting card stitched
    • $5.00 per piece stitched using a 8 x 8 or smaller Q-snap frame or comparable sized hoop
    • $10.00 per piece stitched using a 10 x 10 Q-snap frame
    • $20.00 per piece stitched using a 11 x 17 Q-snap frame
    • $30.00 per piece stitched using a 17 x 17 Q-snap frame
    • $50.00 per "mega project".  These will be pieces that are larger than a 17 x 17 piece, afghans, etc.
I will lose "credits" for all stitching purchases.  This means charts, fibers, fabric, embellishments, magazines, etc.  The only thing exempt is the cost of finishing & photography of my design models, as this is an essential part of my business and doesn't contribute to my stash. 

I'd like to learn how to crochet this year also.  If I choose to do that, I think my purchases will fall into my STS rules.  I'll just need to figure out how I earn credits for the pieces I finish.  But, that's another issue to be determined later *if* I actually learn to crochet.

On the first day of each month I'll do a blog post sharing my successes/challenges from the previous month, along with an accounting of any monies I did spend.  Hopefully each month I'll be carrying a credit balance forward. The next post will be done on December 1st, which will encompass the last few days of October 2015 and all of November 2015.

Not only will this be great for my budget, but I think it will be fun to see how much money I can "save" while stitching from my very large stash before I actually need to start buying more stuff.  I'm thinking possibly years!  

 If you have a STS challenge you're doing, feel free to share links to your blog with me and I'll add them to mine.  We can cheer, or commiserate if we go over "budget", with each other along the way.

Hope you enjoy the journey with me.  Until the next time...Happy Stitching...on a budget!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Thread-A-Day - Wings and Things - THE FINISH!

OMG!  Can I just say how excited I am to actually stitch AND finish a piece that isn't one of my design models and is just something I stitched strictly "because I wanted to"?!?!  Now, please don't take that the wrong way that I don't like designing and stitching my models, because I absolutely do, or else I wouldn't be doing it.  In all honesty though, it has been YEARS and YEARS since I've done something just for me.

So, since the title gave it away...drum roll please....

Let me proudly present, my "Wings and Things" finish!!!

Some of you may be looking at it thinking the colors are just all wrong.  Well, again, this piece was for me, and I absolutely love color!  And purple and green together are great Halloween colors, right?

I personally think it turned out to be a great mix of cross stitch companies:

  • chart by Ink Circles
  • chartreuse floss by Weeks Dye Works
  • glow-in-the-dark braid for the web by Kreinik
  • spider charm by Lizzie Kate
  • fabric by Stitchnmomma
And in case you're reading and saying "what spider charm?", here's a close up of it:

Now, I just need to get it framed and give it a place of honor on my walls.  I'm personally thinking a brushed silver/pewter frame, but we'll see what happens.  We all know how ideas can change.

I'm going to continue with my thread-a-day projects, as it's been so much fun stitching for myself again.  I also feel like it's bringing more joy to stitching my model designs, as those aren't quite feeling so much like "work" the past few weeks.  My next project will be my "Tribal Shamrock" by White Willow Stitching.  That will also be a great mix that will include fabric by Silkweaver Fabrics and floss by The Gentle Arts.  I'll share update #1 on that piece in the next two weeks or so.

Thanks so much for going on my little thread-a-day journeys with me.   And until the next time...Happy Stitching!