Monday, November 24, 2014

More Baby Gifts

On top of the projects I have been working on for my own kiddlets, I have done two other projects for friends and family.

The first project was for my new niece, Ingrid. She is a total cutie! I have made her two older brothers blankets, so I had to make one for her. I was extremely upset about the whole project I almost didn't even start one. I went to go buy the blanket at Joann's and they didn't have any. OK, no big deal, I went to Michale's. They did not have any either. Not the end of the world, I got online to find one. NO ONE HAS THEM. I looked all over for one, and apparently they don't make the baby sized one anymore. I could of bought a normal size blanket and cut it to the size I needed, but it would of been twice the money.
I now had to find something different. Joann's had another style, its just not a pretty as the other ones. And the blocks go around the edges instead of the whole blanket being blocks. I know I totally over reacted about the whole thing, but I was pregnant, and that's my excuse and I'm stickin' with it.

I found the alphabet pattern in a book I recently bought. It is a Joan Elliot alphabet book. I love Joan Elliot designs, they are my absolute favorite. Thanks to Facebook, Joan even got to see the finished project. (its really not that big of a deal, but I thought it was pretty cool that she told me she liked it).

The next challenge was sewing it together. I am by no means a master seamstress, that is my mother. I have totally piled on the projects for her since I found out I was pregnant. She is making quilts, and bumper pads, she crocheted adorable granny square blankets for them, plus on top of it all she alters wedding dresses. When the baby was finally born, our babies were only a few weeks old and we were at the hospital all the time. The day before I was going to give it to her it still was not done. I felt terrible asking my mother to do it for me, so I tried to do it myself. I was up until one in the morning trying to get this sewed together. It to FOREVER! but, only due to my poor sewing skills. I have the knowledge, but not the skills.
I had some minky for the back, and I got it all pinned together, and in the end I swear I sewed and unpicked each side at least twice. It kept slipping and turning out terrible. I finally got it done, and it turned out alright, but it took way to long.

 This is the blanket as I was trying to pin it together. I have a nice big kitchen counter that is the perfect size, so that was helpful.

 Close up of one of the letters
 ALL DONE! and wrapped up.

The second project is for my best friend Monica and her new baby boy Luke (aka Wilson's new best friend). He is such a cutie. I got to go over to her house the other day and he just cuddled me for almost an hour, it was great.
Anyways, I got the pattern out of Cross Stitcher Magazine issue 232. It was from May of 2010. I have been wanting to stitch this design since I first saw it. When I found out Monica was preggers I knew exactly what project I wanted to do. It is really simple, but really cute.

The design in the magazine was stitched on a cute pok-a-dot aida, but they unfortunately don't make that any more either. I had to settle with plain blue. It was a breeze to stitch up, and I have had this finished for months thankfully. All I had to do was stitch the name and date and frame it and it's all ready to go.

Gifts for Grandparents

Last night I was very productive, and I got two projects framed and ready to go.

One of those projects is for Justin's Dad and his wife. Justin asked me many many months ago to make something for his Dad.  I got it done quite quickly, but then all hell broke loose with getting pregnant, and all the fun that came along with that, and the fun we are having now in the NICU everyday.

Christmas is getting closer, and I remembered this project that I have had stashed away. I got it washed and pressed, and my Mom got a mat cut for me, and presto! We now have a nice gift to give them for Christmas.

It is a Lizzy Kate design, and I think it is pretty cute. I added the "Grandparents for all Seasons" onto the bottom, that was not originally in the design. I had made something like this for Justin's Grandma a while back, and that is what was on it, so I reused the wording.

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Promise I Have Been Stitching

The last little while has been a crazy time for me and Justin. I have not posted anything for a while, but that does not mean I have not been stitching. (I admit though I have not been stitching as much).

The reason we have been so busy is because I got pregnant in March thanks to modern medicine and IVF. I was a pretty big mess all around so I did not do much for a while. Starting at the end of June I was in and out of the hospital quite frequently because of all different sort of things. And then finally on September 8th I had two precious little ones come into the world. (You can read all about it on my other blog if you feel so inclined

They were 3 months early, but they are doing fantastic. Baby boy is Wilson Floyd. He was 2.7 lbs and was born at 2:32am, and Baby girl is Stella Grace. She was 2.4 lbs, and was born at 2:34am.

I am working on projects for them, and when those are all done I will post about those. I also did a project for Justin's dad, but it has not been framed either, so I will wait to show that until it is complete.

The only other projects that I have finished are ATC's since they are super fast, and I run one of the groups on Facebook, so I am always participating each moths. I thought I would show some of those off. my favorite one is probably the frog prince.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Giving Thanks

Justin and I have an incredible family. We recently had a reason to offer some of them lots of thanks. I felt like a plain thank you card just didn't show how much I was truly grateful. I wanted to stitch them all a card.
I feel a little bad that they did not receive them as fast as I would of liked, but I hope they appreciated the sentiment in the end.

All the patterns came from one of my favorite books, "Joan Elliot's Cross Stitch Greeting Cards"
Only one was an actual thank you card, I just changed the wording on the rest.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Year, New Technique

I had a whole Saturday where I did not have to do ANYTHING! No work, no shopping, nothing. (ok I cleaned the bathrooms, but that was it). So I decided to try something new!
I subscribe to Cross Stitch and Needlework Magazine. They have some awesome patterns, but they usually have a punch needle pattern in each issue. I finally decided to give it a go. I already had a punch needle, I had bought it months and months ago because I knew I wanted to try it eventually.

The latest issue had a really cute Spring/Valentines pattern. I decided it looked simple enough, and would be a good pattern to start out with.

Cross Stitch and Needlework Magazine also has a great website. They have a Tips and Techniques link, which is where I found instructions on punch needle. (they also have free patterns)

 The instructions say to use weavers cloth. I really don't know what that is, and I really didn't want to venture out to buy some. So, I just found some fabric in my stash of stuff. I figured it would work. It also said you need a hoop. Luckily I still had one plastic hoop stashed away. I don't normally use them anymore. I have some antique ones from my Grandma, but that is about it.

First I needed to transfer the patterns onto the fabric. The fabric was light enough that I just placed the fabric over the pattern and traced it on with my favorite tool ever, my fine point black sharpie, I never leave the house without it. I'm actually serious. Most of the time I have one in my purse.

If you noticed the pattern is backwards. With punch needle you work from the back of the project. That was something I didn't realize until I got started.

The actual needle is pretty cool too. The ones in pictures I had seen look different then the one I have, but its pretty slick. You use the long needle threader and pull the floss (2 or 3 strands, I used 3) through the tube, and then thread it trough a little hole at the hop of the needle. The process is really fast, which is nice, it does not slow you down to much when you have to stop and re-thread.

 The technique is super fast. That is why I was interested in punch needle to begin with. I read that you can finish a small project in 1-2 evenings. SOLD!
I did learn a few things as I went, the number one thing is to make sure your floss is not caught on anything as you go. I noticed when I was holding the needle I did not realize the floss coming out of the end of the needle was underneath my hand a lot, BAD! Don't let that happen, it was seriously frustrating because I did not realize it and was mad because it was not working right. I then figured it out why later on. It went a whole lots smoother once I figured that out.

Hear are a few progress shots..

This is the back after I was all done. The other thing I learned is pick a logical pattern to punch in and stick with it. It makes it much more neat, and makes it a lot less frustrating. You can tell I started with the grey, its more messy. I then moved to the A and B, not quite as messy, and then the C and the heart are A LOT better. I then did the little details like the flowers and the hearts. And then in the end filled in the white.
The other thing about punch needle, it uses TONS of floss. I used about a skein and a half of white. I also used all the grey I had in my stash.

In the end I think it turned out pretty cute. Its by no means perfect! And I had to do a little trimming hear and there because of snags and other things. But for a first try I think I did alright. I definitely learned a lot along the way. And the next project will be better.

How am I going to finish this off? I have no idea. I think I want to use it on my Valentines wreath somehow. I will post again with the results.

Happy punching!