Cool stuff I had to share!

I woke up at 6:00 am this morning, which is always annoying on a Saturday when I don’t have to be up early. So, after trying to go back to sleep for a while, I decided I should just get up and get some things done — look at my store’s flyer to see what’s on sale and use it to plan my meals and grocery list, pay some bills, get caught up on my temperature scarf, and start that second block for the CAL before I get behind schedule. So, what do I do? I go online to check Facebook and a few blogs. Well, while doing that I found some great projects that I just had to share. Honestly, I found one last night on Facebook and shared it there, but I think it deserves another mention.

Please check out these beautiful projects/ideas that I found and am sharing instead of doing something more constructive. (Well, I did all the grocery stuff and paid some bills, so that’s something.)

Also, I want to be clear that I am not affiliated with any company or person I’m mentioning below, just a fan.

Mermaid Me Blanket

mermaid blanketThis is an absolutely adorable design from The Felted Button! You can stitch it using any colors you wish, but I have to say that these are my colors. It’s a great idea for that special girl in your life, no matter her age. It’s a blanket, not a cocoon, so feet and legs will not struggle to get free. And it’s so sparkly! Instructions say it’s for experienced stitchers, but I think I will still give it a shot sometime soon. The pattern is available for a nominal fee on CraftsyEtsy, and Ravelry. Susan’s blog is full of all sorts of colorful projects.

The Learning Sampler Chart

LearningSamplerNorthern Expressions Needlework designs are unique and use color and specialty stitches beautifully. I purchased their Twisted Band Sampler a little while back and bought threads and fabric for it — and one day, I’m actually going to stitch it. I have looked at the instructions for Twisted Band Sampler and they are very detailed on many pages, and I’m sure the chart for The Learning Sampler is no different. You may view a larger, more detailed photo and purchase it at their Etsy shop. While you are there, peruse their other designs. You won’t be disappointed.

Create Travel Photographs Through Embroidery (please click the link to see the gorgeous photos)

This is more of “what a great idea!” than a specific design. Teresa Lim, artist, says this helps her become part of the environment, rather than just someone traveling through. This could be a good way to work on stitching what you see, without a chart or specific stitches in mind – just go with the flow. Some of you are fantastic at this, and others are more like me and have a hard time with it. I think it could be good practice for people like me who are trying new ways of using a needle and thread, and a very fun project for those of you already skilled at doing so. I think next time I visit my old stomping grounds in the Finger Lakes or my sister in San Francisco, I may try this. Of course, there are some beautiful places in Philly I could do this, too. Maybe this spring I will spend a morning or afternoon in Rittenhouse Square.

Obligation Stitching

So, it’s that time of year when two words send chills down stitchers’ spines: obligation stitching. For most people, it means a bunch of promised gifts for loved ones that seem to creep up on them ’round about Halloween. The “Oh my gosh! Tomorrow’s November? I have two stockings to stitch and finish before Christmas!”

This year, I’m not involved in that kind of obligation stitching. Instead, I’m stitching a few models and some other items for customers. This is a good thing, as it helps me afford my habit. As with many other people, though, I find such projects end up taking more time than I think. I’ve been cross-stitching for decades, needlepointing a few years, and I still have a hard time gauging how long projects will take. My big project at the moment is all basketweave (a form of tent stitch) on 18ct. mesh, and it’s practically driving me crazy! It’s a beautiful piece, and I’m stitching with lovely Vineyard silks that need no plying, but it’s almost painful to stitch it in all basketweave when I can picture all the different stitches that could really give it some texture. The customer gets what the customer wants, though, and it will still be beautiful. I have exactly one week to finish it, so I’m ordering Thanksgiving dinner from Acme or Genaurdi’s and am going to stitch like crazy to get it done. (I’d show it to you but don’t like to show what I’m stitching for customers. They don’t always want people to know.)

What kind of obligation stitching are you doing this year? Are you stitching for others, for customers, or just have some things that you have told yourself you WILL finish in 2011?