Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Royal Holiday: January Update

Last week was week number three in my monthly rotation schedule, so that meant it was time to work on my Royal Holiday piece by Mirabilia. I absolutely love this design, but she’s massive (stitch count is 204 x 288). I’m stitching her with all the recommended fibers on 32-count Conifer linen from Picture This Plus. Here was my starting point at the beginning of the week.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get in nearly as much stitching time as I would have liked last week. I also discovered a major error I made, so I had frog (rip out) quite a bit of that red/pink section and stitch it again. With those two factors combined, I don’t really feel like I made a whole lot of progress this month. Here’s where I finished at the end of the rotation.

We’re now on to week four of my rotation schedule. This means it’s time for me to spin the ol’ decision wheel to determine which project I’ll be working on this week. Here’s what the wheel said.

It looks like I’ll get to enjoy some more Mirabilia fun. The wheel landed on Thanksgiving Harvest Fairy, so that’s what I’ll be working on this week. This was a limited edition kit quite a few years ago, so it’s becoming more difficult to find. Here’s one I found on Stitching Bits & Bobs, but please know her shipping times can be very slow.
Since that design has now come up on my decision wheel, it will be removed as an option next month. Doing that ensures all of my designated projects will get some love over the next few months. Once I’ve made it through all of the choices once, I’ll put them back on again and go through the whole process again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Finish: Seasonal Celebrations – Winter

Woo Hoo! I completed my third finish for 2019 last nigh. Just as with my first two finishes, this one was also started and completed all within 2019. The design is Seasonal Celebrations – Winter by Country Cottage Needleworks. I stitched this as part of the January SAL in the Little House and Country Cottage Stitching Group on Facebook.

Design: Seasonal Celebrations – Winter 
Designer: Country Cottage Needleworks 
Fabric: 32 count Star Sapphire Linen
Fibers: Recommended DMC, WDW, and GAST
Started: 7 January 2019
Completed: 14 January 2019

I’m sorry the photo isn’t that great. We’ve having lots of rain right now in southern California, so it’s pretty dark and dreary which doesn’t bode well for getting decent photos.
I used the recommended fabric for this piece as well as most of the recommended fibers. The only substitution I made was on the smoke coming from the chimney. The pattern called for using DMC White, but I substituted and used DMC 646 instead.
This finish qualifies as a $10 credit for my Stitch from Stash challenge.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Start – CCN Seasonal Celebrations Winter

Monday started a new week in my current rotation, so that means it was time to switch projects. The theme in my rotation for the second week of the month is winter stitching which can include anything from holiday gift stitching, Christmas ornaments, or just general winter-themed stitching.
I’m a member of the Little House and Country Cottage Stitching Group on Facebook. Vonna (one of the group admins) posted a fun January SAL (stitch-a-long) for us in the group. Members could chose one of four designs (two from Little House Needleworks and two from Country Cottage Needleworks) to stitch if they wanted to participate in the SAL. There was one winter themed option and one non-winter themed option for each designer.
Since I’m still enjoying winter-themed stitching, I selected the Seasonal Celebrations – Winter design from CCN as my SAL project. I’m stitching it on the recommended fabric (32 count Star Sapphire linen) using the recommended fibers (DMC, WDW, and GAST).
Design: Seasonal Celebrations – Winter 
Designer: Country Cottage Needleworks 
Fabric: 32 count Star Sapphire Linen (recommended)
Fibers: DMC, WDW, and GAST (recommended)
Started: 7 January 2019
I started this piece Monday evening after finishing up Glitter House 2. The progress photo above shows my progress for both Monday night and last night, although all I actually got done last night were the N and T flags in the bunting. Everything else was done on Monday evening. Overall, this represents about three hours of total stitching time.
I still think this will be a pretty quick stitch overall. In fact, if I can get some good stitching time in this weekend, I might even be about to finish this piece. That’s actually my goal, but we’ll see if I actually accomplish it. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Finish: Glitter House 2

Woo Hoo! I’ve actually managed to start AND finish two pieces in the first week of January. I had to fudge just a smidge on my rotation schedule to get it done, but that’s OK. When I put away my stitching last night to go to bed, I knew I was only about an hour away from finishing Glitter House 2. Instead of staying up past my bedtime, I pulled it out again today after work to finish it.

Design: Glitter House 2 
Designer: Country Cottage Needleworks 
Fabric: 32 count Opalescent Raw/Silver Linen
Fibers: Recommended Classic Colorworks
Started: 4 January 2019
Completed: 7 January 2019

I really love how these little houses are stitching up. I’m kind of sad to be putting it away until February, but I don’t have the chart for house three yet anyway, so there’s that. LOL
Just as before, this finish earns me another $5 credit on my Stitch from Stash budget. Even though I’m stitching these houses on the same piece of fabric, I’m considering each one a separate start/finish since they are individual charts.
My rotation for this week will be Christmas/winter stitching. I’m actually going to be doing a new start. I plan to work on Seasonal Celebrations – Winter which is also by Country Cottage Needleworks. Yes, another one. LOL I definitely seem to be on a bit of a CCN kick lately, that’s for sure!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Finish: Glitter House 1

I completed my first piece of 2019 last night. This design was actually my new start on January 1, so it was started and finished all within 2019. Completing this WIP earns me a $5 credit on my Stitch from Stash budget.

Design: Glitter House 1 
Designer: Country Cottage Needleworks 
Fabric: 32 count Opalescent Raw/Silver Linen
Fibers: Recommended Classic Colorworks
Started: 1 January 2019
Completed: 4 January 2019

This design is part of the Glitter Village series from Country Cottage Needleworks. I’ll be stitching all nine designs in the series on a single piece of fabric. Here’s an idea of what the piece will look like when completely finished.

Latest WIP

Since I’m still in week one of my rotation, I started Glitter House 2 last night after I finished Glitter House 1. I made really good progress in the three hours I worked on it last night. With some good stitching time over this evening and tomorrow, I might actually be able to finish this design during this rotation week, too.
Design: Glitter House 2
Designer: Country Cottage Needleworks 
Fabric: 32 count Opalescent Raw/Silver Linen
Fibers: Recommended Classic Colorworks
Started: 4 January 2019

Stitchy Organization

I picked up a new addition to sit next to my stitching chair. It’s this pretty fabric storage basket to holds my WIPs.

There’s enough space along the side to keep a couple of extra Q-snaps, Flossaway bags, book rings, etc. The small bin next to it holds things like spare needles, Thread Heaven, needle threaders, needle pullers, Nymo thread for beading, etc. Having this set up makes it super easy to pull out whatever project I want to work on since everything is readily at hand now.

Friday, January 4, 2019

2019 Stitching Plans

Since I shared my 2018 Stitching Year in Review yesterday, I thought I would come back today and share my stitching plans for 2019. Of course, most of these plans aren’t written in stone and are subject to change if I find something isn’t working for me.

Stitch from Stash

One of my first plans is to basically stitch from my stash this year. I’m not going on a complete “no spend” plan because I still want to support my favorite shops, but at the same time, I have so many beautiful projects already kitted that I want to stitch on them rather than constantly buying new stuff.
In an effort to help with this goal, I’ve joined the Stitch from Stash group on Facebook. This group encourages members to stitch from their stash with any new purchases fitting within a pre-defined monthly budget with any remaining balance carrying over from month-to-month. Using the group’s guidelines, here’s my plan:
  • Monthly budget is $25
  • Stash purchases include patterns, pattern books, kits, fabric, thread, embellishments, and collectibles such as scissors and needleminders will be deducted from my balance, including supplies for projects which will be gifts for others.
  • Gifts I receive, including birthday money, gift certificates, gift cards, etc. don’t count against my budget.
  • Finishes will earn credit to add to my budget. The value of finishes are determined using a Finish Grid chart in the Facebook group and range from $2 for a small project up to $25 for large projects. For example, when I finish the Glitter House 1 design I’m currently stitching, that will be worth a $5 credit since it is a relatively small piece (57 x 57 stitches).
  • On the first of each month, I will post my budget update which will include:
    • Month
    • Balance (including any carryover from previous months)
    • Purchases (subtract)
    • Finish Credits (add)
    • New balance

Rotation Stitching

I haven’t done a formal rotation in a few years, I am implementing one for this year. While I’ve enjoyed just stitching on whatever I wanted when I didn’t have a rotation plan in place, I found I just didn’t seem to get pieces finished as much. I know the structure of a rotation will help with that.
My rotation will be one week blocks which run from Monday through Sunday. Here’s my list of projects for my initial rotation plan:
  • Glitter Village (Country Cottage Needleworks) – first week of the month
  • Christmas stitching – second week of the month (gifts or holiday/winter themed stitching)
  • Royal Holiday (Mirabilia) – third week of the month
  • Decision Wheel – fourth week of the month
  • Stitcher’s Choice – fifth week of the month, if applicable.
My decision wheel will include a few other WIPs I want to work on this year. It will also include one space for a new start. I will spin the wheel each fourth week of the month and stitch on whatever project comes up on the wheel. These are the other WIPs I plan to focus on in 2019:
For any months that have five weeks, I will allow myself to work on anything I want. It could be one of my focus WIPs, one of my non-focus WIPs, or a new start. I’ll just stitch on whatever strikes my fancy at the time.
Those are my stitching plans for this year. If all goes well and I stick with my plan, I should have a productive 2019 with my stitching.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2018 Stitching Year in Review

Since we’re at the start of a new year, I thought I would post a recap of my stitching finishes for 2018. Since there will be quite a few photos, I’m going to keep them fairly small so the page will load more quickly. You can click on any of the images to see a larger view which will open in a new tab.
I actually had a very productive January and February in terms of finishes. Sadly, that was due to the fact I was on short-term disability from work because I suffered a pulmonary embolism (PE) on January 7, 2018. I had lots of time for stitching for a few weeks until I was cleared to return to work. It was my second PE in less than two years, so now I have to take blood thinners for the rest of my life to hopefully prevent having another one.
12 Jan 2018 – Eiffel Quaker by Jardin Privé (started 1 Jan 2015) – Stitched on 32 count Brigid Jobelan from Fabrics by Stephanie using the recommended fibers. This one is dated 2014 because that’s the year I went to Paris.

16 Jan 2018 – Merry and Bright by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (started 1 Dec 2016) – Stitched on 28 count Crystal Quartz Cashel linen from Picture This Plus using the recommended fibers.

17 Jan 2018 – Dance in the Rain by Lizzie*Kate (started in 2014) – Stitched on 28 count linen from my stash (color/manufacturer unknown) using various GAST fibers from my stash.

20 Jan 2018 – Le Quaker á 6 Mains – Complimentary collaboration design (no longer available) from Broder Ensemble, Le 498, and AMAP (started 5 Jan 2007) – Stitched on 28 count Chai Tea Jobelan by Wichelt using Woodland Fantasy floss from the now defunct Needle Necessities. Fantasy Island from Threadworx is a very comparable color.

25 Feb 2018 – Snowy Pines by Little House Needleworks (started 9 Feb 2018) – Stitched on 32 count raw linen using various overdyed fibers from my stash (mostly WDW and GAST).

25 Nov 2018 – Coffee Break by SODAstitch (started 11 Feb 2018) – Stitched on 32 count white Jobelan using the recommended DMC fibers.

15 Dec 2018 – Wonderful Time of Year by Country Cottage Needleworks (started 25 Nov 2018) – Stitched on 32-count Raw/White Petit Point Linen using the recommended Classic Colorworks fibers.

That’s my stitching finish recap for 2018. I hope to finish a few more in 2019 than I did in 2018. Honestly though, as long as I’ve got some finishes in 2019, I’ll be happy. I’ll be back tomorrow to share my stitching plans for 2019.