Monday, January 27, 2014

EPP Diamonds +3

The past 2 weeks I've been linking up to different blogs to help motivate me to work on my EPP projects. It's working, which is awesome. I am excited and inspired by my progress and the beautiful work of other stitchers.

This week was crazy busy -- two 2-hour lectures, a 45 min online presentation with questions, a different 45 min presentation, plus my usual teaching and schoolwork load. I didn't stop until Thursday night, where I crashed and burned. Didn't even have the energy to flip through TV channels. I'm not sure what I watched, but it was brainless crap TV.

In other words, I didn't pick up a needle and do crafting of any kind for 5 days. Ugh. I wanted to, but my brain couldn't make my fingers work. That being said, I did manage to eke out a little time for EPP. Nowhere near the progress of last week, but I did add 3 more diamonds to finish my fourth big diamond.

Here's hoping next week is less chaotic and more crafty.

I'm linking up today with Jessica's Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts and with Angie's Hexie Weekend at A Quilting Reader's Garden.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Just a little bit

I had the urge to do some blackwork over the weekend.

It doesn't look like much got done, but that is some fiddly blackwork! It takes longer to do than you'd think.

Looking pretty though, I must say. :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog!!

Hello! Welcome to my blog --  my little crafty corner where I keep a running rambling record of the in & outs, ups & downs of all my crafting endeavours.

Today I'm participating (for the first time) in the Grow Your Blog party hosted by Vicki from 2 Bags Full. I believe there are close to 600 blogs involved! (I'm glad I have the day off … sounds like I'll be busy surfing!)

2 Bags Full

Let me tell you a little about myself and my blog …

My name is Adrienne and I am a cross stitch addict. I learned how to cross stitch when I was a child, but just picked up the craft again about 5 years ago. I really got into it during my first semester of my PhD … I needed something to help me unwind and relax from the stress and strain of graduate school. It's the perfect hobby for me -- it requires just enough focus that I can't think or stress about other things (aka school) while I'm engaged in it, but not so much focus that it's work. I truly enjoy stitching and have developed a taste for large complicated projects. :) I am also a stash collector (patterns, fabric, floss, etc) and my bank account suffers for my hobbies.

Over the past 2 years, I have also acquired a few more crafty pastimes: crocheting and English paper piecing (a type of hand sewn patchwork quilting). On the odd occasion that cross stitching is too much for my brain to concentrate on, it's nice to have other crafts to entertain myself with. I love creating for myself and for others.

I blog for a few reasons … (1) to have a record of what I'm working on and when I started/finished it and (2) to help me see progress and stay motivated to continue on difficult or large projects. It's a lot of fun to see how my projects slowly grow.

Thanks for stopping by … if you're interested in what I do, then I'd love for you to stick around as I share my hobby with you.

Monday, January 20, 2014

IHSW - January

It's the first IHSW (International Hermit & Stitch Weekend) of 2014. Not only did I remember to sign up for it, but I stitched too!!

During my wrap up posts for 2013, I discovered that 10 of my 14 finishes last year were gifts. Holy crap! That's a lot of stitching for others and very little stitching for me. :( I also realized that I did not put one single stitch into any of my HAEDs last year. Not one! That is tragic and horrible and it must be rectified.

So … I pulled Elizabeth off the frame and put Catch a Falling Star by Julie Fain on. This piece is almost entirely navy blue (939) at the moment. It is easy, blocky stitching at its best. I'm working 2 over 1 tent on 25 ct ice blue lugana.

From a distance it looks awesome. I started page 3 and put in 2033 stitches. I used to use a Q-snap when I worked on this project, but now I've got the Millenium frame. It's easy to work with, but that fabric looks huge! So much space to fill still (and that's just the first row)!

Up close, there is a bit of show through. The coverage isn't perfect, but I find the stitching easy and enjoyable. I've tried tenting on 28 count and it is just too squishy for me. Knowing that it looks fine from a distance makes it easier to accept the close-up imperfections.

MMSC - 6 pointed star

Joining up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts' Monday Morning Star Count last week and seeing all the great EPP projects and having people encourage me with mine was AWESOME! Totally inspiring. It really makes me want to make progress every week, even if it's just a little progress.

So I made time this week and got some EPPing done. In the comments Jessica had kind of challenged me to up my game to 10 pieces added this week. I thought it was a crazy goal (I really don't have that much time for EPP), but I thought I could manage at least 5 again.

Well, I did it. I added 10 more 2" diamonds to this piece! (And no … I'm not trying for 20 next week!)

I had a lot of trouble working on this project in the fall after my mom passed away (this was originally meant to be her Xmas present), but it feels good to work on it and see it grow. I can't wait to have it hanging on my wall!

This post is also linked up to Hexie Weekend at A Quilting Reader's Garden and to HeLP for Hexie-aholics at Sarah did it!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Block 2 Done

I was feeling antsy today, so I picked up a small, easy project to work on -- Wise Wisdom by Stoney Creek. I forgot how satisfying a small simple stitch is and how quick! A few hours of tv & stitching and the second block is done (except for some backstitching -- not sure what I want to write in the blank space).

Seriously, I need to remember this and choose more quick, fun designs as gifts. :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

EPP Motivation

I have several EPP (English paper piecing) projects on the go and I never seem to find time to work on them. I want to change that this year.

Jessica at Life Under Quilts hosts a "Monday Morning Star Count" which is a place to be accountable for the progress you've made on your EPP projects. It's meant to help motivate people litlle by little.

I have decided that I want to try to participate every week. This will be my first. :)

I didn't manage to spend much time with my 6 pointed star in greens & browns (Kaufman Fusions Mist). All of the diamonds are basted and I'm working on putting together the 6 points of my bigger star. For the star count tally, I'm counting each added 2" diamond. So I managed to add 5 diamonds this weekend. Two of them finished off one of the bigger diamonds and the other 3 are the start of another big diamond.

While I was sewing this weekend, I played around with my big diamonds and discovered that if I flipped my diamonds around 180 degrees, I had a whole new pattern in my bigger star -- and I think I like it better than my original design!

What do you think?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lots o' Boxes

Over the past few days I have been working hard on my schoolwork and rewarding myself with stitchy sessions. 

1 hour of schoolwork = 1 box

See ... lots of work got done. :) And I stitched a lot of boxes!

I think Ciara Blue needs a break; too much blackwork makes me crazy.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Turtle Trot SAL - January

Last year I didn't participate in any SALs (I think the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge, the WIPocalypse SAL, and the TUSAL in 2012 burnt me out a little). This year I decided to ease myself back into the swing of things by participating in the Turtle Trot SAL hosted by BAP Attack.

I've chosen 10 projects, both older UFOs and newer WIPs, that I would like to make slow and steady progress on this year. These pics are the most up-to-date available for each project.

1. Baked Alaska (Glendon Place)

2. Catch a Falling Star (HAED)

3. Ciara Blue (Blackwork Journey)

4. Damask Square (Ink Circles)

Side note: Damask Square was my New Year's Day start for 2014. This is the first progress pic of it. It's stitched over 1 on 28 ct black lugana using white HDF silk.

5. Drama Queen (custom chart by Skitzzzzz)

6. Elizabeth (Mirabilia)

7. Home Sweet Home (HAED)

8. Lickle Bit Shy (DMC)

9. Welcome (Kincavel Krosses)

10. Wise Wisdom (Stoney Creek)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Not a good start to the year

… in terms of blogging, that is. Despite my good intentions, I somehow didn't find time to blog until a week into 2014! My apologies!

Better late than never though, right? And I do have pics for you this time. While I might have been remiss in my blogging duties, I have still been stitching whenever I can find a spare minute (usually between the hours of 10:00pm and 1:00am).

First up -- more pretty pink skirt for Elizabeth!

I still have a lot of pink skirt left, plus the double ruffle on the bottom, her chair, her arms, neck, and face, her hair, and a ton of beads. She's lovely but a much bigger endeavour than I had originally thought.

I also put a smidge more time into Blue Ciara by Blackwork Journey.

I have a ton of WIPs that I want to work on (and a new start or three), but I think for the time being I'm going to stick to these two as my main big projects, plus I have two littler ones that travel more easily. (One is a new start that I'll have pics of soon.)

Side note: I noticed during my final post of 2013 that 9 of the 13 stitchy finishes (and both of the crochet finishes) I had last year were gifts. I think this year I need to concentrate more on stitching for me.