28 February, 2007

red & white sampler

Well, it's starting to look like something now, and finally it's beginning to get into my fingers, this cross stitching.
Oh, I still hesitate whether to work vertically or horizontally, do I jump accross three, or just cut the thread and start neatly over? There's still a lot to learn about using proper technique, and although I own some beautiful books, none of them really go into tecniques at all. But that's what this sampler is about anyway. Working freely, having fun gathering fun patterns, and learning all along the way.
It's really addicting......

I've already planned to make a wonderful sampler for my daughter's 16th birthday, and the thought of tackling the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow is tempting me very gently.....why can't I just settle for a small project? Why do those dramatic samplers always get me? Guess that's something to consider as I pick up the needle again and with a hot cup of tea listen to the rainstorm outside....

WIP wednesday...

Lately, I've been more occupied with my stitching than with my quilting (Gasp!).
That doesn't mean it has fallen completely by the wayside. I've been helping to make log cabing blocks (I can't seem to escape these fascinating little blocks!) for a friend using reproduction and Japanese fabrics. I think they're going to create a wonderful old-world quilt! I love the musty-dusty colors!
To save time, we're working these on the machine. Just as well, my pinky (with a torn ligament) is still splinted to my ring finger, making delicate sewing a bit trickier, and typing very tedious!

19 February, 2007

red & white sampler

I begun working on an ambitious project: a red and white sampler. The idea is to create the sampler from letters, symbols and whatever other motifs and just freely stitch them onto 14 threads/cm linen about 100cm x 80cm. Now that I've begun, it seems I'll need a pretty long breath to be able to see this to completion!

It's been fun digging through my Marie Claire idees magazines and French stitchery books to find letters and motifs; these stylized flowers are being worked in one of the corners of the sampler.

Further more, I've come to the conclusion that working on such fine linen is Monks' work! By comparison, quilting goes quite a bit faster! It just seems that so little gets done after stitching for an hour. For me, this pattern is not the easiest to follow so I still have to color in what I've stitched so I can more easily keep track of where I can continue. As I gain more experience it won't be necessary to do that anymore...

The wonderful thing about it is that the stitching is very calming, and once I get started, it's hard to stop. I always want to finish that last row, that last flower - very addicting. It just seems to pull me in and everything around me dissapears and all that remains is me and the needle making that next stitch.

16 February, 2007

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

Do you like to buy "chartpacks" that include charms, buttons, and/or beads or do you prefer to gather all materials yourself?

I only own one chartpack that has all the bottons included. Since I've just begun stitching again, I'm really not all that up on all the latest, and the charts that I do have are from purchases made a few years back, so for now, let's just say I'd buy it only if I found all the additions perfect fot that project.

I'm a fan of the classics: beautiful linens and thread!

14 February, 2007

another first....

Well, that was that! My first border on my first sampler "round robin" is completed! My contribution are the little green squirrles. It was a surprisingly difficult theme, so difficult to find oak leaves, acorns, or anything that would fit in this border sampler! A learning experience it was too. It's been many, many moons since I've done cross stitch, so it took a bit of fumbling and fiddling to get used to the way Alie's stitches crossed, and deciding whether I would work horizontally or vertically. The back is not the way I'd like it to look, but the front is neat.

Now that I've got that out of the way, I can begin working on my red & white sampler! Yippee!...or so I thought....
I'm helping Nicole (our stitch leader) make a log cabing quilt! Yes, another one! This time a true scrap log cabin made up of many, many reproduciton fabrics. I've showed her how and she's already made a few blocks and they are wonderful.
It's a simple block, but the log cabin never ceases to surprise me! As soon as I've made a few I'll post.

Well, back to the sewing machine. It's a drizzling, grey cold & day here in Holland. Perfect for making beautfiul things.

09 February, 2007

it was there, then it was gone.....

With a "weather alarm" announced for 5-10cm of snow, Holland braced itself for the stuff yesterday.
Of course, we had to take advantage of it, because it wouldn't last very long - as it turned out, it was gone this morning, as if it were never there.

Naturally, we had to let Darwin (now 7 months old) go out and spend as much time in the park to experience and enjoy his first snow! He loved it, and was a happy pup! It was certainly worth the cold feet to watch him have so much fun!

03 February, 2007

red & white sampler

a free sampler, originally uploaded by Monkicat.

As a first-time member of a friendship sampler "round robin", and having studied some newly acquired books on the subject, I've decided to give it a go and make my own classic red & white sampler.

The idea is not to work from a pattern, but to just start and see where it takes me. Lots of letters, borders and symbols will create a lively stitched "patchwork". Or so I hope....

No, I haven't abandoned my patchwork! Just taking a bit of a break to learn something new. Doing this sort of things inspires me in ways I only realize when working on something completely unrelated.

It's really cool..

..well, wouldn't you know?...and he is a Cancer!

Your True Love Is a Cancer

Why you'll love a Cancer:

Cancer's loyal and sincere heart makes your own sensitive heart melt.
Caring and devoted, a Cancer will take the lead in pursuing you - and not give up!

Why a Cancer will love you:

You're laid back enough to deal with Cancer's little mood swings and freak-outs.
A fellow homebody, you know how make Cancer comfortable and at home with you.

02 February, 2007


swirly!, originally uploaded by Monkicat.

Just a really cool, fun piece of fabric...

fabric stash: lost & found

fabric stash: lost & found, originally uploaded by Monkicat.

So much fun to re-discover what's lurking in the closet!
The reorganization is as complete as it's ever going to be, a few details here and there, but for the most part, I can live with it.

These are just one of the piles of fabric I found lurking in the back of the closet. This bunch was/is intended to become part of "the ugly quilt", a quilt I'm planning to make. The basic idea is to just begin. No patterns, just do what I feel when I feel like doing it and see what happens!

The inspiration for such a quilt? Gee's Bend....

taking stock

sock in progress..., originally uploaded by Monkicat.

A photo of one of my socks waiting for its mate...

After reading Suzanne's blog http://saltcreek.typepad.com/, I thought I too, needed to take stock in what projects are laying around waiting to be completed. Good timing, I'm busy cleaning out the sewing room anyway. I just realized that I can't find a set of sock needles my best friend in the States gave to me! Normally I wouldn't get so upset, but these are an American size, just perfect for the kind of socks I knit! They fall right between the European sizes, and give me the perfect gauge everytime. So yes, I'm very annoyed, and even though this was firstly, and excersize in orgainzing the quilting things, it has now extended to getting my spindles, embroidery and quilting things in order.

Anyhow, back to the topic, I'm going to make a list of at least the quilting UFO's including the projects that snuck in just before my self-imposed deadline in January. it will not be as long as many of yours, but there will be work to be completed none the less. Now if I could only find out why I can't find the mate to some of these socks I've knitted....


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