Stitchers began arriving Thursday night and by Friday we were in full swing in the shops. Stasi Buhrman was busy cutting fabrics for stitchers, I was in charge of getting the tickets done for incoming merchandise and Sara and Debbie kept busy locating different charts stitchers were trying to locate. The sun was shining, however, the wind and cold were blistering. As each person blew in the door it just seemed to get colder out. And then Friday night Sara hosted her welcoming reception at her house while I went home and finished doing whatever I do at home (usually stitch and watch TV). Debbie Shiowaza brought in 2 large boxes of models she had finished, class pieces from the many classes she takes and the models were exquisite. Debbie is such an incredible stitcher and finisher...(a role model for me), and Jayne Donchez brought over her over 1 piece (she only stitches over 1) Thea Gouverneur's America....unbelievable. The color changes were dazzling on this piece. I also got to see many of the projects the stitchers were currently working on. It is always inspiring to see what others are working on. I love it and always come away with a new idea for finishing or a new piece I want to stitch. I did finish a few things for the weekend, I once again (I can't believe I stitched another tote) stitched Lizzie Kate's latest Winter Smalls and used one of the wooden totes to make a winter sewing set. Winter Smalls actually consists of 4 designs, obviously I only used three of them as the 4th design was a Valentine design which I didn't want to use on the winter tote. I finished the tote using Deep Sea Wool to back the design and then trimmed it with Snow white Lady Dot mini pom pom trim Easy stitch, and an easy finish. Then I took the Snow design and finished it as a mattress pin cushion. On the side panels of the pin cushion I stitched snowflakes copied from the top design.
The third and final piece is the Snuggle design which I made into a needle and pin book. I used the Deep Sea Wool as the lining, forgot to put the white ribbon ties between the wool and linen so the ends weren't seen, so had to hid the ribbon ends. On the left side the needle page hides the ribbon end and I used a Just Nan snowflake charm to hid the other end. I'm actually going to add a couple more pieces to this set but this was all I could do before Super Bowl. Obviously I love stitching for these totes. Debbie Liming changes all her stitching totes and fobs and everything else she carries to match the seasons. It is really a good way to clean out your stitching totes and saves on wear and tear as you rotate them out. That's almost too organized for me. I do seem to manage to do that every fall, but once I go back to a winter tote I don't seem to change until the next halloween. However, in my house I have seasonal things beside my stitching chair and I do swap them out for the different seasons. So once I take this home, it will be beside my stitching chair to hold my scissors, needles, pins, threads, etc., all the stuff I need for the project at hand. These are the only stitched pieces I will actually use. Everything else is just for display in the display cupboard or in my stitching room.
Then Sara wanted me to stitch "Valentine you are cute as a button." by Needle Bling. So I stitched that on a random piece of linen I had at home. Since it was just the lettering it worked up really quickly and then it was on to finishing. At first I was going to make a small pillow, but I saw long pin cushions in dough bowls on the internet and thought I'd like one of those. So that's what I did. Easy to finish and I filled it with lizard litter and Valentine pin cushion complete. Of course then I had to made 3 valentine red pins to put in the pin cushion. Stasi Buhrman arrives with the exact same design for show and tell and she finished hers as a small pillow...so cute, so I took a picture of hers as well to show different ways to finish the same design. Stasi went the extra mile and stitched hers over 1 which makes it extra special and so cute. Love the over ones. It's fun to see the differences between my vision and Stasi's. We both used colored buttons as opposed to the white ones shown on the model.
While I finished stitching the oversize Whittaker (Stacy Nash-Animal Cracker snowman) I didn't get it finished. So we will have to wait to show that.
But I did finish Brenda Gervais Snowbirds. Brenda shows this as a cute little pin cushion done on 36 ct linen. But I love to show hers on 36 as well as 18 ct. linen over 2 which makes it a 9 count so I can get a big pillow for my sofa or chairs. Finish size is approx 13 1/2" 9.5" when stitched on 18 ct. linen over 2. I stitch them using pearl cotton, both Weeks and DMC, and this time when I was mixed on which trim to use I asked Sara to pick. Sara said she liked the large pom pom trim, which worried me as I could see a problem for me and my sewing machine. So I put it off as long as possible and then just sat down and sewed it and it really wasn't that hard. Next time I'll do even better but for a first time job done and I'm pleased. Not too much embellishment, I used faceted black beads for the coal buttons and eyes and I did turkey work on the scarf ends to represent fringe and on the vine I used beads to represent berries. I always supply my stitching room with purchased pillow forms so I knew I'd find something to put inside. And of course I had one that fit so I popped it in and zipped the pillow up and it is now in the shop. And I've moved on to a couple of new projects. I'm obsessed with the Jim Shore Chicks for Easter which just came in and started one of those the minute the arrived in the shop and then Sara asked me to do another Valentines piece, "V is for Valentine", by Heartstring Samplery, so I'm starting that tonight. Can't wait!