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Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Update – 01/30/2011

  • Posted on January 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm

More finishes to report today! These were all completed by last night.

1. Paw Prints by The Stitchworks –
Finished!


[Edited: The flanges look a bit wonky because the pillow portion is so fluffy and the flanges end up flopping down.]

7. Jingle! Tin Topper by Just Nan –
Finished!


10. Sarah Belle Scissor Case by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!

27. Pagoda Pincushion by Lody Steward –
Finished!


30. The Sweetheart Tree Hearts Round Robin –
Going to the framer tomorrow (just in the nick of time; the last day of the challenge)!


Full piece


My heart


Sylvie’s heart


Cathy’s heart


Catherine Michele’s heart

So, there you go! 31 finishes! I still want to see if I can sneak in two additions before the end of the day tomorrow, so I’ll hopefully have one more update and then I will do a full recap of my challenge results on February 1st.

Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Update – 01/26/2011

  • Posted on January 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Sorry I’ve been MIA. Lots of personal stuff going on, but I’ll save that for another post. I haven’t been totally slacking in the finishing department, though.

1. Paw Prints by The Stitchworks –
Started stitching into a flange pillow. Front and back piece and sewn, just have to hand sew the opening closed on each. I also made the cloth covered buttons for the front. Close to a finish on this one.

7. Jingle! Tin Topper by Just Nan –
Ironed on the interfacing, but it scorched. *sigh* Fortunately, I think it scorched outside of the area that will show once I’ve laced the piece to the board. Must. Buy. New. Iron. For. Interfacing.

16. Barnabee’s Quest by Just Nan –
Finished!



22. Peace on Earth by Indigo Rose –
Finished!

28. Hearts & Flowers by The Sweetheart Tree –
Finished!




30. The Sweetheart Tree Hearts Round Robin –
This is an addition to the list, but has been in my to-be-finished pile for years. I decided that I could afford to get it framed, so I just went for it.

I took the unfinished (it just needs the charms added) piece into Michaels and picked out two mats and a frame. I couldn’t find the charts and charms for the hearts that had been stitched on the piece, so I was extremely frustrated. I finally found them the next day, with Terry’s help, after going through all of my stash for the second or third time. So, all I need to do is attach the charms (which I plan to do tonight) and take the piece in. In the meantime, the mats and frame have been ordered so they can just pin the piece and pop it in once everything arrives. I’ll be taking the piece in on Monday, so it will just barely make it into the end of this challenge.

31. Dimensions Holidays Hounds Stocking –
Another addition to the list, I decided that Phoebe’s old stocking could really use some cording (after seeing how much it spiced up Barnabee’s Quest).
Finished!

Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Update – 01/16/2011

  • Posted on January 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I’m well on my way to putting the final touches on 29 pieces this month. Yes, I have nearly doubled my original challenge. I have a big update today, full of pieces on which I have done the finishing over the past couple of days, so here we go.

1. Paw Prints by The Stitchworks –
I’ve decided how I’m going to finish this one, printed out the photo from when I did the same finish a few years ago and bookmarked the Flanged Pillow instructions in Summer Louise Truswell’s Needlework: From Stitch to Finish book. I just need to muster the courage (and clean up the floor enough) to start.

3. Crystal Pink Pincushion by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!


This piece is my pride and joy. The designer had finished it as a square with a beaded edge that looks absolutely nothing like what I did with it. Plus she kitted it with these baby pink beads that don’t even begin to match with any color in this piece. They were truly horrible. So, I went to Michaels and picked out some new beads. I just decided that I didn’t want all the white space of extra fabric in the corners that a square finish would have and I went from there. I was totally winging the fringed edge and it took a couple of hours to do, but it was totally worth it, in my opinion. My favorite finish of all!

5. Blue Rose Teacup by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!



It’s a little too puffy, but I don’t really care.

6. Heart to Heart (teacup) by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!


16. Barnabee’s Quest by Just Nan –
I have pulled a floss color to use for sewing on the cording and I am going to bite the bullet and finish this one within the next week.

23. Angel Heart Ornament by Charland Designs –
Finished!


24. Heart and Flowers Scissors Fob by Twisted Oaks Designs –
Finished!


I think that I will actually use this one as a Christmas tree ornament.

25. Christmas Hearts Bellpull by The Victoria Sampler –
Finished!

29. Friendly Frosty by Mill Hill (Tiny Treasured Diamonds series) –
Finished!


This one wasn’t on my original list, but I found it down in the large basket in my stitching area, so I added it. And finished it. :)

There you have it. Another 7 finishes under my belt brings me up to 22. I have 7 left before I will have finished up the entire pile that I pulled out for this challenge. At this rate, I might actually have time before the end of the month to pull more out from my roll of pieces to be finished!

Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Update – 01/12/2011

  • Posted on January 12, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I’m done, I’m done, I’m done, I’m done, I’m done! I met my own challenge!! Happy dance! Of course, now I should amend the challenge so that I finish all of the pieces that I set out for this challenge by the end of the month. Or should I? That is the question.

So, here is the latest status update:

2. Hardanger Embroidery Emery Cushion by Roz Watnemo –
Finished!

3. Crystal Pink Pincushion by Lorri Birmingham –
Stitched the back piece for this one. It’s now ready to be finished.

5. Blue Rose Teacup by Lorri Birmingham –
6. Heart to Heart (teacup) by Lorri Birmingham –
I did the running stitch on these last night and then the attempts to actually stuff them and pull them into some usable shape today was a total failure. I’ve now pulled the old running stitches from both pieces, drawn a proper circle on the backs with a compass and will try again.

11. Sarah Belle Needle Keep by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!

12. Butterflies & Hearts Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!

13. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!

14. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!

All four tins together:

26. Butterfly Scissors Fob by ??? –
Finished!


This one’s a little wonky, but hand-sewing a circle is always difficult. I didn’t make the cording thick enough to hide the flaws.

There you go! 6 more finishes brings me to a total of 15 pieces finished in 12 days. Woohoo! Go me!

I was just paging through my original challenge post to see where my sticking points are going to be for the rest of them. I thought #1 would be a sticking point, but I have made a flanged pillow before and I just had the sudden flash of how to do it, so that shouldn’t be too bad, once I decide what fabrics are going where. I know how I’m going to try to finish #3 (different from the recommended finish) and now that I have stitched up the back piece, that will just be a little time-consuming. Number 5 and 6 will hopefully not be too problematic once I get the running stitches in again in an actual, even circle. #7 just fell by the wayside because I didn’t want to take the time to drag out the ironing board to do the interfacing as she instructs. #10… ah yes, number 10. I think this is going to be my procrastination piece. Which is terrible since I promised to send the leftover materials to Coral when I was done with it and that was before Christmas 2009! I really need to force myself to sit down and look at this one this weekend. #16 I think that I can handle. #22 is already sewn into a pillow and just needs floss for me to make tassels for the corners. #23 is ready to be sewn and stuffed. #24 needs to have a backstitched border added and then be sewn and stuffed. I just need to reference the Mill Hill Tiny Treasured Diamond ornament finishing instructions to reproduce that type of finish. #25 shouldn’t take that long. I just need to sew the top opening closed and tack it to the bellpull rod. And then I have the two pieces that I finished stitching at the end of the year, one of which will become a biscornu (easy) and the other a pagoda pincushion (not too bad, either).

That’s another 13 finishes and I still have 19 days. Do you think I can do it?

Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Update – 01/10/2011

  • Posted on January 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Before I continue with today’s update, I did want to clarify something. Numbers 17 and 21 from yesterday have invisible fishing line hangers, so they are actually usable! 😆 Number 17 will go in the boat this spring and number 21 will presumably go on the Christmas tree next year. I haven’t taken the tree down yet (it’s on this week’s task list), so I hung it on the tree briefly today, snapped a picture and will send it to Tracy. It might even make it into one of her blog posts! :)

And now, on with the show (and tell).

2. Hardanger Embroidery Emery Cushion by Roz Watnemo –
Lining fabric glued to behind hardanger section. Outsides sewn together. Insides sewn together and filled with emery. Inside pouch inserted into outside pouch. Just have to stitch it closed and it will be done.

4. Nantucket Basket Topper “Butterfly” by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!

11. Sarah Belle Needle Keep by Lorri Birmingham –
12. Butterflies & Hearts Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
13. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
14. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
Still pressing and drying. Max cure time for E6000 glue is 72 hours, so I’m leaving them be until that time has elapsed.

15. Star of Wonder (Punchneedle) by Homespun Elegance –
Finished!


I’m going to sound very conceited here for a minute, but I love my finish of this one so much better than that of the (stuffed) model!

18. Acorn Nantucket Basket Topper by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!

Warning: another conceited moment coming. These two Nantucket basket toppers turned out awesome. For the two finishing projects that I was dreading the most, they turned out perfectly and I am very, very pleased with them. I wish I had more! Oh wait, I totally have more. 😛

Today’s 3 finishes take me up to a total of 9 finishes, with 5 more to come shortly. Getting close now!
I’m also going to do the running stitches for 3 other pieces tomorrow, so that is another 3 that are being queued up.

Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Update – 01/09/2011

  • Posted on January 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm

4. Nantucket Basket Topper “Butterfly” by Lorri Birmingham –
Backing fabric laced to mat board. Front laced to mat board. Glued together with tie ribbons sandwiched in between. Pressing and drying.

9. Happy Wishes by Shepherd’s Bush –
Finished!


11. Sarah Belle Needle Keep by Lorri Birmingham –
12. Butterflies & Hearts Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
13. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
14. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
Each is laced to mat board and glued to its respective tin. Pressing and drying.

15. Star of Wonder (Punchneedle) by Homespun Elegance –
Laced to mat board. Front felt cut out and glued to the star form. Felt strips for sides cut out and glued to the form. Cording made for around the punch needle portion. Just need to do final assembly.

17. A Very Merry Summer by JBW Designs –
Finished!

18. Acorn Nantucket Basket Topper by Lorri Birmingham –
Backing fabric laced to mat board. Front laced to mat board. Glued together with tie ribbons sandwiched in between. Pressing and drying.

19. Irish Needle Roll by Lorri Birmingham –
Finished!

20. October Birthday Needleroll by The Victoria Sampler –
Finished!

21. Celtic Ice by Ink Circles –
Finished!

22. Peace on Earth by Indigo Rose –
Mostly finished. Sewn and stuffed, but I haven’t decided what else to do with it. I’m thinking tassels in the corners, but need to buy floss.

So there you have it. 5 more finishes brings me to a total of 6, with 9 more to go in the next 21 days. It’s not where I had hoped to be by the end of the weekend, but… oh well! At least I have 6 more finishes pressing and drying, needing only cording once dry. Once I figure out what finishing touches to add to Peace on Earth, that will be done, as well. Numbers 25 and 26 should finish up quickly and now that I’ve successfully sewn cording onto a piece and have a good feel for it, I think I can also knock out number 16 while I’m at it. I can’t tell you how lovely it would be to have that one finished and hanging somewhere in my home.

I don’t think that meeting my goal will be a problem. I just need to make sure that I keep my momentum and finish the remaining pieces that I have laid out. I can see numbers 1, 2 and 10 as being my biggest obstacles to overcome. I am determined to finish them all, though!

Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Update – 01/07/2011

  • Posted on January 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. No new finishes yet, unfortunately, but I have plans to plow through a bunch this weekend. In fact, if all goes according to plan, I will actually reach my goal of 15 finishes by the end of this weekend. Hopefully. Maybe. 😉

So, let’s see where I am with my prep work:

3. Crystal Pink Pincushion by Lorri Birmingham –
Pulled the brown floss and gold blending filament for the border. Yes, I’m going to stitch the back. I have succumbed.

10. Sarah Belle Scissor Case by Lorri Birmingham –
Purchased ecru ribbon needed.

11. Sarah Belle Needle Keep by Lorri Birmingham –
12. Butterflies & Hearts Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
13. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
14. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham –
Cut the mat board. Made the cording.

17. A Very Merry Summer by JBW Designs –
Made the cording. Just need to glue it on and it’s finished.

18. Acorn Nantucket Basket Topper by Lorri Birmingham –
Made the cording.

20. October Birthday Needleroll by The Victoria Sampler –
Working on the hem stitching. One end done. 1/3 of the way through the other end.

21. Celtic Ice by Ink Circles –
Made the cording. Just need to glue it on and it’s finished.

We’ll see what kind of update I have to post on Monday morning.

Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Update – 01/03/2011

  • Posted on January 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I spent part of New Year’s Day prepping for finishing the pieces, including choosing and ironing backing fabrics for every piece that needed it. I then spent yesterday doing more prep work and starting to finish some pieces. The prep work was mainly cutting mat board for additional pieces while I was cutting for other pieces. Here’s an update on individual pieces:

3. Crystal Pink Pincushion by Lorri Birmingham – I decided not to stitch anything on the back. I’m not sure if that’s due to laziness or just because you’ll never really look at the back, but it didn’t seem worth the effort. I might change my mind, though. 😉 It would actually be much easier to finish if I repeat at least the outer border on the back. I don’t have any more of the overdyed for the inner border, so that’s probably as far as I will get. If I do that, I’ll probably put my stitched signature and the date inside the border.

4. Nantucket Basket Topper “Butterfly” by Lorri Birmingham – I found the basket and cut the mat board. Still need to cut backing fabric and a piece of thinner material to mount the backing fabric to. I need to take a look at the instructions and see what I’m really supposed to be doing.

8. Jingle! Biscornu by Just Nan – I actually finished the biscornu last night. It took longer than I had anticipated because of the dumb, fiddly ribbons in the corners. I need to trim the tails of the ribbons so that they are more manageable.
Finish #1!




9. Happy Wishes by Shepherd’s Bush – Picked a DMC floss that matches the fabric. Need to do backstitching to ready the pieces for stitching them together.

10. Sarah Belle Scissor Case by Lorri Birmingham – Picked a backing fabric. Need to buy some light pink or ecru ribbon.

15. Star of Wonder (Punchneedle) by Homespun Elegance – Picked black felt for the back, cut it out and glued it on. Just need to trim it a little bit.

17. A Very Merry Summer by JBW Designs – Glued front onto foam core. Glued a blue backing fabric that matches the sails of the boat to mat board. Glued the two pieces together and put them between two large books (actually one on the bottom and two on top) to dry. I need to buy some floss in the dark blue color for the cording/hanger.

18. Acorn Nantucket Basket Topper by Lorri Birmingham – Found not only the basket, but the kit remnants. Woohoo! Cut the mat board.

19. Irish Needle Roll by Lorri Birmingham – completed the hemstitching of the open areas last night. Wow, that took a lot longer than I had anticipated. I had hoped for a finish by the end of the night, but it was not to be. I just have to sew the seam, stuff it and then tie up the ends and it will be done. I should get it finished tonight.

21. Celtic Ice by Ink Circles – Glued front onto foam core. Glued a dark purple backing fabric to mat board. Glued the two pieces together and put them between two large books to dry. I have some purple ribbon that I could use to finish it off, but it didn’t work with the dark purple backing, so I think I’m going to go with black cording for this one.

22. Peace on Earth by Indigo Rose – Chose a dark blue sparkly fabric for the backing and pinned the two pieces together. It’s ready to be sewn up.

26. Butterfly Scissors Fob – Figured out where I wanted to place the new seam, traced it onto the back of both pieces and pinned them together. It’s ready to be sewn up.

While I was doing my prep work two days ago, I also picked out some small pieces that I want to stitch up early this year and ironed the fabrics to go with them. A couple are now kitted up and ready to go, plus I found an old project that I had started stitching on a sweatshirt many, many years ago that I want to work on this winter. I’m determined not to do any (much?) stitching this month, though, and just plow through finishes instead. Hand-stitching pieces together should scratch my stitching itch, right? In theory?

Anyway, with any luck, I’ll have at least one finish to show in an update tomorrow!

My Not-So-Crazy January Challenge Pieces (Photo-Heavy)

  • Posted on January 1, 2011 at 11:39 am

Warning: Photo-heavy post ahead!

I have yet to have any takers on my Not-So-Crazy January Challenge. As it turns out, most people don’t seem to have the huge finishing pile that I do. Go figure! 😆

I’m still determined to plod ahead on my own, though. I have laid out all of the pieces that I know what to do with onto the bed in my spare room. There are more than 15 pieces laid out and that doesn’t even include the Pagoda Pincushion I just finished stitching and the biscornu I’m going to make out of the two Hearts & Flowers pieces.

I have my work cut out for me:
1. Paw Prints by The Stitchworks – stitching finished in 2005

This will be finished as a flanged pillow. The fabrics are shown behind the piece.

2. Hardanger Embroidery Emery Cushion by Roz Watnemo – stitching finished in ????; I have no record of this finish

I still haven’t decided what to do for the back piece yet, so this may or may not get finished in January.

4. Nantucket Basket Topper “Butterfly” by Lorri Birmingham – stitching finished in 2008

I even have the basket for this one… somewhere.

5. Blue Rose Teacup by Lorri Birmingham – stitching finished in 2008
6. Heart to Heart (teacup) by Lorri Birmingham – stitching finished in 2008

Cording needs to be made; otherwise, these are ready to go.

7. Jingle! Tin Topper by Just Nan – stitching finished in 2009
8. Jingle! Biscornu by Just Nan – stitching finished in 2009

9. Happy Wishes by Shepherd’s Bush – stitching finished in 2006

Cording needs to be made; otherwise, ready to be finished into a (large) scissors fob or pincushion.

10. Sarah Belle Scissor Case by Lorri Birmingham – stitching finished in 2009

I need to pick/find lining fabric for this one. I’ll check my stash, but I think a trip to Joann is needed.

11. Sarah Belle Needle Keep by Lorri Birmingham (bottom left) – stitching finished in 2008
12. Butterflies & Hearts Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham (top left) – stitching finished in 2008
13. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham (top right) – stitching finished in 2003 (yikes!)
14. Sweetheart Decorative Tin Cover by Lorri Birmingham (bottom right) – stitching finished in 2008

#14 is a re-stitch because I thought that I had lost #13. Fortunately, I have just enough Altoids tins for both of those, plus #12. The tiny tin for #11 came with the kit and needs to be emptied of its mints and cleaned out. I had to heavily modify the design for #11 because the charted design didn’t even come close to fitting on the top of the tin.

15. Star of Wonder (Punchneedle) by Homespun Elegance – stitching finished in 2008 (this is attempt #2; attempt #1 was horrid and thrown out, I believe)

I have the overdyed perle cotton by Weeks Dye Works, the WDW felt and I found a papier-mache star ornament at Michaels the other day that I can use as the form. I had originally purchased a wooden star to use as the base, but when I dug it out, I discovered that one point of the star was rather irregular and would be very time-consuming to fix.

16. Barnabee’s Quest by Just Nan – stitching finished in 2008 (as well as the sewing, I believe)

You might feel like this one is cheating, but adding the cording and the tassel has been lurking about as a seemingly daunting task, so tackling it deserves some credit, if I manage it.

17. A Very Merry Summer by JBW Designs – stitching finished in 2009

I had a frame for this one and then I accidentally used it elsewhere. It works out better this way, though, because I couldn’t hang a framed piece in the fabric of the boat cabin as it would be too heavy. A matboard ornament finish will be much more usable.

18. Acorn Nantucket Basket Topper by Lorri Birmingham – stitching finished in 2003 – (another yikes!)

There is a kit for this laying about somewhere. I know where the basket is, but the finishing bits are still in the bag with the chart. I’ll have to go digging for this one.

19. Irish Needle Roll by Lorri Birmingham – stitching finished in 2009
20. October Birthday Needleroll by The Victoria Sampler – stitching finished in 2009

These two should make up pretty quickly.

21. Celtic Ice by Ink Circles (bottom left) – stitching finished in 2009
22. Peace on Earth by Indigo Rose (top left) – stitching finished in 2007
23. Angel Heart Ornament by Charland Designs (top right) – stitching finished in 2007
24. Heart and Flowers Scissors Fob by Twisted Oaks Designs (bottom right) – stitching finished in 2006

These will all be matboard ornament finishes, except for #24, which will be a stuffed diamond scissors fob finish. I just need to figure out what color of red I used so I can make the cording.

25. Christmas Hearts Bellpull by The Victoria Sampler – stitching and sewing finished in 2005

Okay, I admit that this one is a bit of a cheat as it only needs to be finished at the top and then sewn onto the bellpull, but it has been languishing for 5 years!

26. Butterfly Scissors Fob by ??? – stitching finished in ????

I can’t find any record of this little one, so I don’t know what the design is or when it was stitched, but it is old. I had finished it at one point, but something went wrong. I don’t remember what, exactly, went wrong; maybe the stitches burst because I stuffed it too full? I’m notorious for overstuffing things. At any rate, it needs to be sewn up again as a little scissors fob.

So, there you have it. My finishing lineup for January 2011. How many do you think I’ll actually finish? There are 28 finishes to be done, if you throw in the two that aren’t pictured. I’m hoping for a lot of success, but I can tell you right now that I see those two Nantucket basket topper finishes going by the wayside first, if anything.

Happy New Year!

  • Posted on January 1, 2011 at 12:00 am

I wish all of my friends and family a happy, healthy, prosperous and generally wonderful 2011.
The beginning of every new year is filled with hope and promise. Make the most of it!


Photo taken from the website Down With Tyranny because I’m too lazy to make my own.


My Stick Family from WiddlyTinks.com