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Monday, October 19, 2020

Firecrackers -- Updated 10/19/2020

October 19, 2020==The medium size firecracker is stitched with only the smaller one left to do.  

Firecracker Medium Completed

October 14, 2020--Here's a photo of  the first of three firecrackers (and largest) that is fully stitched.  I can imagine how cute this will look with a sparkler coming out of the top.  

Firecrackers Large Completed

August 13, 2020--The CyberPointers Chapter of ANG offered this project by Toni Gerdes as a class to be held during its July and September meetings.  I purchased the full kit and love the variety of threads and stitches.  Lesson one given at the July meeting covers the largest of the three firecrackers.  I plan on getting the stitching done in time for the second lesson given in September.

Here's my progress to date.

Firecracker Largest Top Portion Completed


Firecracker Largest Top Portion Completed Closeup



Toni advised us to be sure the laid threads in bargello are flat, not only on the front, but on the back as well to avoid a "twist" working its way from the back to the front.  She's right.  You can see this problem in a few of my red threads on the right side where I didn't worry about what was happening in the back.   Of course, to do this means flipping the canvas over after every stitch.  I realize now that I need to Iearn how to lay stitches on the back without turning the canvas over.  This will be interesting.

Click on "In Process Projects" on the right to see a photo of the project as stitched by Toni Gerdes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Firecrackers -- Updated 10/14/2020

October 14, 2020--Here's a photo of  the first of three firecrackers (and largest) that is fully stitched.  I can imagine how cute this will look with a sparkler coming out of the top.  

Firecrackers Large Completed

August 13, 2020--The CyberPointers Chapter of ANG offered this project by Toni Gerdes as a class to be held during its July and September meetings.  I purchased the full kit and love the variety of threads and stitches.  Lesson one given at the July meeting covers the largest of the three firecrackers.  I plan on getting the stitching done in time for the second lesson given in September.

Here's my progress to date.

Firecracker Largest Top Portion Completed


Firecracker Largest Top Portion Completed Closeup



Toni advised us to be sure the laid threads in bargello are flat, not only on the front, but on the back as well to avoid a "twist" working its way from the back to the front.  She's right.  You can see this problem in a few of my red threads on the right side where I didn't worry about what was happening in the back.   Of course, to do this means flipping the canvas over after every stitch.  I realize now that I need to Iearn how to lay stitches on the back without turning the canvas over.  This will be interesting.

Click on "In Process Projects" on the right to see a photo of the project as stitched by Toni Gerdes.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Stitch of the Month 2020 - Updated 10/12/20

October 12. 2020--October's stitch covered the second portion of the four different background patterns.  Coming to the end soon.


SOTM 2020 through the October Lesson



September 6, 2020--Below is a photo showing September's stitch, the Diamond Pavilion in the upper left and lower right blocks.  We are definitely approaching the finishing line with 3 more months of different background stitches to be done.

SOTM 2020 through the September Lesson

SOTM 2020 through the September Lesson Closeup

August 10, 2020--The August lesson is now stitched.  This lesson covered the last leg of the 8 legged star and as with all the others, got done very quickly.  The next four lessons will cover the background stitches.  This should make for easy stitching while watching TV.


SOTM 2020 through the August Lesson

SOTM 2020 through the August Lesson Closeup

July 5, 2020--Here's a photo of the 7th star leg stitched as part of the 2020 ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM) lesson for July.    Half way through this project with one more star leg to do.  After that it's background stitches with the possible addition of a border.   Have six months to think about what would look best.



SOTM 2020 July


June 5, 2020--June's lesson for the 2020 ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM) is the sixth star leg consisting of waffle stitches.  My favorite is worked up in the 2 corners (left and right).  Two more legs to go in blue, then the background will be next.

SOTM 2020 June Closeup 
SOTM 2020 June


May 9, 2020--Last night I stitched up May's installment (number 5) of the ANG SOTM 2020 project.  This month featured the Milanese stitch which I love when using threads that must be laid such as multiple strands of silk floss, Neon Rays types of ribbon, etc.   However, using variegated Caron Watercolours for a number of this month's sections didn't show off the stitches as well as some other type of thread could have.   But that's why I love doing these ANG SOTM projects--I learn so much and develop confidence to try new things.  Now i have to wait until the next lesson is available on June 1st to continue working on this 8 legged star.

SOTM 2020 May Closeup

SOTM 2020 May


April 5, 2020--Here's the fourth installment of the ANG Stitch of the Month project (SOTM) for 2020.  The designer, Kathy Rees, skipped a star leg and continued on with the red colors using cashmere stitch variations.  Am now thinking about a border to close up the design.  Hmmm.

SOTM 2020 April Closeup

SOTM 2020 April
The pink lines on the canvas are basting threads.




March 19, 2020--Just finished stitching March's lesson.  This third leg of the star highlights Smyrna stitches with some interesting variations.   It's a fun project to stitch...just wish I were doing this under better circumstances (no COVID-19).

SOTM 2020 March Closeup

SOTM 2020 March


February 3, 2020--It didn't take long to stitch up February's lesson.  In fact, was able to get this done while watching the Super Bowl game last night (or mostly listening to the game).  However, I did look up at the television to watch all the commercials and half-time show.  Most of the ads were very entertaining and it was interesting to see the difference in energy levels of Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

SOTM 2020 February Closeup

SOTM 2020 February


January 25, 2020--January's lesson is stitched.   Based upon the instructions, I can tell this is going to be a lot of fun to work on.

SOTM 2020 January Closeup

SOTM 2020 January


January 2, 2020--The ANG 2020 Stitch of the Month project looks to be fun while offering stitching challenges.  The star designed by Kathy Rees will be great as a "stand up", hanging ornament, etc.  I think I'll encase mine in clear plastic and make it into a front door ornament for use on Independence Day.

So far I've downloaded the two files for January (one is an introduction and the other is January's stitching).  I really like the blue and red colors used by Kathy,  and found some of those threads in my stash.  Then  ordered what I don't have.  I already had a 12" x 12" piece of 18 count mono canvas in white, so will change the background stitches to a very pale, almost white, color rather than the ecru color Kathy used which went with her suggested egg shell colored canvas.

Below is a photo of the basted star.  I started to do the outline in #4 pencil, but feared it might look too dirty where the white background stitching met the star.  Since the design graph is based upon 6 canvas threads equaling 1 thread in the graph, I basted using a count of over/under 6 threads.  Actually faster than counting out each length.

Everything looks a bit messy now because I like having my basting thread knots in front along with their tails to keep an eye on where everything is and easier to remove as each star arm is stitched.  You can see I stitch "in the well" and mount my canvas so it sits on the back of the stretcher bars.  The tacks on the inside of the stretcher bars are for small magnets which will hold needles.

ANG Stitch of the Month 2020 Basting


Below is a photo of the project as designed and stitched by Kathy Rees.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Hardanger Pick A Flower - Stepped Petals - Updated 8/3/2020

August 3, 2020--Continuing to work on this delightful project.  So far I've finished stitching all the Klosters, including the blanket stitch edging.  Putting this away for awhile, but when it comes out again, will work on the decorative petals and pulled stitches before cutting in preparation for the wrap stitches.  Still lots to do.

Hardanger Pick a Flower - Stepped Petals as of August 2, 2020


June 3, 2020--Just returned from a fishing trip with my husband (he fished, I stitched) in Cape Charles, VA.  Stayed in a beautiful B&B and enjoyed working on a project from the February, 2019  Hardanger University  class taught by Donna Olson.  She gave us instructions and enough cloth to work on four "petal" projects.  I'm starting out with "Stepped Petals" which seems to be the easiest of them all.  Below is a photo showing where I left off after class and another of where I left off today.   I find hardanger very enjoyable to stitch since I'm comfortable working "in hand", not needing to cart around a stand, etc. 

Hardanger Pick a Flower - Stepped Petals at 2020-06-03

Hardanger Pick a Flower - Stepped Petals at Class End
To see a photo of the project as designed, click on "In Process Projects" on the right under the Pages heading.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime - Updated 7/28/2020

July 28, 2020--Ta da....this project is now framed.  Michaels Arts & Crafts did a good job on this.  The simple metal frame and matting look great with the fancy stitches and beading.  Very pleased.

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime Framed



July 9, 2020--The stitching on this beautiful project is now done and ready for the framer.  Below are photos of my project done in blues and lime along with the designer's project photo stitched in mulberry and lime (I think both are equally beautiful)

There were many challenges to this piece, most involving thread selection which I wrote about on June 22nd below.  I understand that magazines are limited as to how many pages can be devoted to instructions, so happily there weren't many issues in that regard.  In fact, there was only one instruction missing that I found--the placement of a Smyrna cross stitch in Step 21 needed to be repeated after stitching the right angled row of backstitches.

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime Completed
Mulberry & Lime Project Photo

Below is a revised list of threads I used in the project compared to those used by the designer.  This has been saved as a .jpeg so it can be enlarged.

Regarding the beads, my stash is limited, so I only used 2 types instead of 4 as designed.






July 4, 2020--All the bands through Step 19 are stitched.  The next steps involve the beautiful lacey looking stitches in the corners and centers, then the placement of lots of beads.   I haven't dived into my stash of beads yet, waiting to see what colors I'll end up using for the lacey stitches.  

Once everything is done, I'll repost my thread list which continues to change as I move forward.  This has been one of the most challenging projects I've done to date, but believe it'll be worth it in the end.  

Wishing everyone a Happy July 4th.

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime Through Step 19





June 22, 2020--This project has been a challenge, to put it mildly.  At one time I considered dumping the whole thing and starting over.  The biggest problems came from the threads in the instructions which are way too big for use on Congress Cloth.  For example, the designer calls for Kreinik #12 for an Oblique Encroaching Gobelin stitch over 1 thread.  Impossible to use Kreinik #12 without stretching out the Congress Cloth.  Kreinik #4 and #8 work much better.   There are other similar examples, such as using DMC Perle 8 when 12 is the better choice.   I'm also unhappy with my congress cloth.  I'm stitching on a cream color cloth with gold weaving through it.  That gold is always in the way when trying to find a hole in a crowded stitching situation (e.g., working up Jessicas).  Then I decided to change out some colors which involved some frogging.  However, I still love the design and like how the designer worked up the Jessica stitches--they came out beautiful.  So it's a love/hate relationship with this thing.  Still have 7 more steps to stitch which will really add "bang" to the project.

Mulberry (aka Blueberry) & Lime Through Step 14



May 31, 2020--I recently picked an old project I had in my stash designed by Jeanne Polzin and published in ANG’s Needlepointers Magazine in 2012, number 3.  This was a project led by Maryrose C-B for Delaware's Seashore Chapter of ANG back in 2014.  Maryrose wrote up wonderful notes on each section and made fantastic suggestions for alternate thread colorways.  I chose blues and am calling my project Blueberry & Lime.

So far I've stitched Steps 1 and 2, waiting for threads to arrive in the mail before going further.  Here's a photo.

Mulberry (Blueberry) & Lime Completed through Section 2


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Stitch of the Month 2020 - Updated 7/5/2020

July 5, 2020--Here's a photo of the 7th star leg stitched as part of the 2020 ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM) lesson for July.    Half way through this project with one more star leg to do.  After that it's background stitches with the possible addition of a border.   Have six months to think about what would look best. 



SOTM 2020 July


June 5, 2020--June's lesson for the 2020 ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM) is the sixth star leg consisting of waffle stitches.  My favorite is worked up in the 2 corners (left and right).  Two more legs to go in blue, then the background will be next.

SOTM 2020 June Closeup 
SOTM 2020 June


May 9, 2020--Last night I stitched up May's installment (number 5) of the ANG SOTM 2020 project.  This month featured the Milanese stitch which I love when using threads that must be laid such as multiple strands of silk floss, Neon Rays types of ribbon, etc.   However, using variegated Caron Watercolours for a number of this month's sections didn't show off the stitches as well as some other type of thread could have.   But that's why I love doing these ANG SOTM projects--I learn so much and develop confidence to try new things.  Now i have to wait until the next lesson is available on June 1st to continue working on this 8 legged star.

SOTM 2020 May Closeup

SOTM 2020 May


April 5, 2020--Here's the fourth installment of the ANG Stitch of the Month project (SOTM) for 2020.  The designer, Kathy Rees, skipped a star leg and continued on with the red colors using cashmere stitch variations.  Am now thinking about a border to close up the design.  Hmmm.

SOTM 2020 April Closeup

SOTM 2020 April
The pink lines on the canvas are basting threads.




March 19, 2020--Just finished stitching March's lesson.  This third leg of the star highlights Smyrna stitches with some interesting variations.   It's a fun project to stitch...just wish I were doing this under better circumstances (no COVID-19).

SOTM 2020 March Closeup

SOTM 2020 March


February 3, 2020--It didn't take long to stitch up February's lesson.  In fact, was able to get this done while watching the Super Bowl game last night (or mostly listening to the game).  However, I did look up at the television to watch all the commercials and half-time show.  Most of the ads were very entertaining and it was interesting to see the difference in energy levels of Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

SOTM 2020 February Closeup

SOTM 2020 February


January 25, 2020--January's lesson is stitched.   Based upon the instructions, I can tell this is going to be a lot of fun to work on.

SOTM 2020 January Closeup

SOTM 2020 January


January 2, 2020--The ANG 2020 Stitch of the Month project looks to be fun while offering stitching challenges.  The star designed by Kathy Rees will be great as a "stand up", hanging ornament, etc.  I think I'll encase mine in clear plastic and make it into a front door ornament for use on Independence Day.

So far I've downloaded the two files for January (one is an introduction and the other is January's stitching).  I really like the blue and red colors used by Kathy,  and found some of those threads in my stash.  Then  ordered what I don't have.  I already had a 12" x 12" piece of 18 count mono canvas in white, so will change the background stitches to a very pale, almost white, color rather than the ecru color Kathy used which went with her suggested egg shell colored canvas.

Below is a photo of the basted star.  I started to do the outline in #4 pencil, but feared it might look too dirty where the white background stitching met the star.  Since the design graph is based upon 6 canvas threads equaling 1 thread in the graph, I basted using a count of over/under 6 threads.  Actually faster than counting out each length.

Everything looks a bit messy now because I like having my basting thread knots in front along with their tails to keep an eye on where everything is and easier to remove as each star arm is stitched.  You can see I stitch "in the well" and mount my canvas so it sits on the back of the stretcher bars.  The tacks on the inside of the stretcher bars are for small magnets which will hold needles.

ANG Stitch of the Month 2020 Basting


Below is a photo of the project as designed and stitched by Kathy Rees.

ANG Stitch of the Month 2020 Design by Kathy Rees Project Photo