Category Archives: Cross Stitch

Day 17 at home

Today is day 17 and I’m finding it difficult to stick with a schedule. I normally work from home so that’s not my problem. My kids are home all the time but they are older and do not require as much from me as they would if they were younger.  Last week I was supposed to be on vacation. But with everything going on with the stock market I worked for most of it.  I was able to get off early in the day and do various things but not nearly as much as I wanted to.  I’m okay with it. But life will be more hectic next week as we finish up one quarter and start another. So I need to figure out how I want things to be.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been working on:

Knitting – I’m still knitting on my morning socks and almost daily I’m able to knit a couple of rows on Ricky’s Weasley Sweater. But those pictures are no fun. Just a little bit longer and bigger than the last picture. I will try to take pics this week since the month is ending and I want to take end of Month pictures. My real knitting love is this hat:

Harriet’s Hat
3/29/2020

I ran out of the white yarn and luckily I have a friend who’s knitting the same hat with me. As soon as she is done, she will be dropping off (social distancing being kept) her leftover white.  In the meantime, I just love looking at it. I am still working on my mix wave cowl, water lily top, etc. Basically I’m doing my daily and weekly knitting. Mostly.

For cross stitch, since I finished Mama’s Bukid I started working on Titania by Mirabilia. I started this a long time ago – 2018 – and only did a bit on it. I hated working on it. Really hated it. I had never worked on linen before. Before this, I didn’t realize that there were different fabrics and every Flosstube I watched was talking about how great linen was. So I kitted this project up with linen and did not like it. I couldn’t see the holes and they were uneven. It was awful and sat in a box for 2 years. Every once in awhile early on I would take it out and try for a bit but it’s been in complete timeout this last year. This time I started working on it again and while I can’t say I love working on it, I am better at it and it is now doable.  I am loving what I’m seeing and it was my focus xstitch project for this week:

Titania
Mirabilia
3/29/2020

Here’s what it will grow up to be:

 

I finally finished this dress:

LAFS: Megan Dress

I’m not totally in love with it but it makes a great house dress. This is my second real dress but the first time with set in sleeve, gathers, my first time with darts, and a bunch of other things, I am really happy with how it turned out and how I can wear it. I plan to make skirts and other dresses one of these days.

On the quilting front: It’s harder to take pictures. I finished putting together this inner top –

2012 Southern CA
Quilt Run
Area One
Mystery quilt

I know the picture is not the finished top. It was harder to take a picture it because it is just too big.

2012 Southern CA
Quilt Run
Area One
Mystery quilt
3/29/2020

Here it is on my bed. I plan to do a small border – maybe about 5 inches all around.  I am loving it but put it away for now.

Here are some other things I’ve been working on here and there…

I bound a few mats that I had practiced quilting on the Q20. Here’s a table runner. I picked up the top at one of our guild’s treasure hunts for, quilted and bound it. Now it’s gracing my table.

More practice on the Q20

Fun stuff.

Hope you are doing well during this time. I’m up and down and tend to stay offline when I’m not doing so well.  I also try to remember that things are not so bad, people experience and survive much worse than being stuck at home with all the crafts, and I try to be very grateful for what I have and where I am.  It’s still hard and there are a lot of sad things going on. Stay strong, friends.

Love always,

Melanie

I’m alive and healthy

Just wanted to drop by and let you know, I’m okay and my family is okay.  I’m not part of a high risk category but my family and I are self-quarantining because we can. I work from home mostly and the 2-day a week job I was commuting to before was moved to virtual support which is what I do normally.  Today is day 11 for me and it’s helpful to take the dog on walks and say hello to the sun every day.  For awhile, it was raining and every time it stopped I would rush outside to breathe fresh air and take the dog out.  It’s no fun taking her out when it is raining.  I can say yesterday was a difficult day. It was my son’s 15th birthday and he was happy to stay in his room and play on his computer. The rest of us got on each other’s nerves. I isolated myself from the rest of the family in my office/craft room to avoid tensions rising higher.  Today is a much better day.

Since last I posted, I got this done!

Mama’s Bukid – Farmland 2
It’s finish!
3/22/2020

 

Hope you are staying safe and keeping your sanity!

Always,

Melanie

 

 

Cross Stitch: A Stitch in Time, an update

Last time I posted a picture here, was when I listed my 2020 Cross Stitch Goals.  Here is a picture from the beginning of the year.

This project is part of my rotation.  I switch projects every Sunday in this order: Mama’s Bukid, Gamer, Mama’s Bukid, A Stitch in Time.  Yes, I do Mama’s Bukid every other week because it’s my priority project and I want it done soon.  It’s also my longest xstitch project and I’m really sick of it.  So, the sooner I’m done with it, the sooner I can frame it and give it to my mother.  Anyway, I stitch a little bit every week night.  Lately, my week nights have been full of things that take up my time and I haven’t been able to spend as much time as I want so I do an hour or so here and there over the weekend.  Here’s where I finished at yesterday:

A Stitch in Time
2/23/2020

Because there is so much confetti, I’m only able to do about 55 stitches an hour.  It sounds like I’m a really slow stitcher but with color changes for every single box, there’s no way to do it but slow and steady.  It was difficult to do anything on this this week as I was overwhelmed with the complexity and how slow I am  at it.  But I persevered and was able to get 400 stitches done this week.  My goal was to do 1200 but it’s just not possible given the amount of time I’m able to devote to this project.  Some may say I have too many projects and that I should probably work on one project at a time but that’s just ridiculous!

Happy Stitching!

~Melanie

Cross Stitch: Mama’s Bukid, an update

Mama’s Bukid
2/15/2020

Here is where I’m at with Mama’s Bukid.  When I finish this set of columns, I will be finished with this project.  I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.  But I’m putting it away.  I can almost taste the finish that’s how close I am. I’ve been working on this project for a week and it’s not my favorite project. If I force myself to keep working on it, I will not pick it up at all.  I know myself.  So, I will work on “A Stitch in Time” this week and next week… I will stitch a bit more on this project and maybe, I’ll have a finish.  There’s a lot of full coverage as I get to the bottom of these columns and as a result, I’m not certain I’ll be able to finish in a week.  It may take another 2 weeks of stitching.  Either way, I’m okay with taking a break on this and moving onto one of my favorite stitchy projects.

 

My weekly update, 2/01/2020

So much has happened in the last 2 weeks. First I wasn’t able to post because of Road to California and all the shenanigans that happen there. I was exhausted on Sunday and spent the day resting. And that morning, Kobe Bryant and his daughter passed away in a helicopter crash. It’s heartbreaking and I continue to cry every day.  I cannot imagine what his wife and family are going through and I offer my prayers and hugs to them.

And here’s my update…

First, the week before Road:

I didn’t cross stitch at all that week, I did some knitting and that was it.  I went to yoga once.  That’s it. I played on the Bernina Q20 that Friday and quilted on practice sandwiches. At the end, I took out this table runner and quilted it. Now it’s done and all I have to do is bind it.

I also went to a featherweight maintenance class and now I have the knowledge I need to oil and service my featherweight!

On Sunday, I spent the day finishing up clue 3 on my scrappy quilt (no pictures because I was so busy sewing).  Time just goes by so fast. Then the week started up again.

So this past week, I was a bit more productive.  I cross stitched 4 of the 5 days and I finished the columns I was working on last time and now I’m on the next set of columns.

Mama’s Bukid
1/31/2020

I went to yoga once so I’m averaging about once a week.  Much better than not going at all but I’m striving for twice a week.

Next I accomplished my morning knitting on socks for 15 minutes every Monday – Friday.

1/18/2020

These babies are now done!

knit picks
scrappy socks
2/1/2020

All the ends are woven in and I started on my next monday morning socks:

Pattern: Jo’s perfect slipper socks
2/1/2020

 

Second, my evening knitting on Ricky’s Weasley Sweater every Monday through Friday.

Ricky’s Weasley Sweater
1/11/2020

I checked this off for 6 of 10 days.  Here’s an updated picture:

Ricky’s Weasley Sweater
about 14″
2/1/2020

It’s hard to see the green stripe but it’s still there.

I only worked on the Fairy Hill Shawl during knit night but that’s okay. I have about 7 rows left to do.

Fairy Hill Shawl
2/1/2020

I hope you all have a happy crafty week!

Melanie

To see the full 2020 crafty plan, click for quilting, knitting, cross stitch, and everything else.

My weekly update, 1/18/2020

I’ve done very little this past week.  It seems to have gone in a blur.  Last Saturday’s post I complained about being sick and not getting as much done as I wanted to and this week I do not even have the excuse of being sick.  I just had a lot of family and other obligations that kept me from crafting to my heart’s content.

Monday was my quilt guild meeting and it was a good meeting. I’m co-membership chair so I have a bunch of duties I needed to do to prepare for the meeting.  At least I was able to knit on my socks during the meeting.

On Tuesday, we went to the Los Angeles Clipper game and had a blast.

Wednesday, I was in Century City, and went with a friend to a yoga class.  Which was awesome!  I haven’t gone to yoga for almost a month and while the class kicked my butt I was very glad to go.

Thursday was knit night and it was my daughter’s last night with us before she headed off to college. So I went to knit night for a couple of hours before the family and I went to sushi for the girl’s last night.

And on Friday, we woke super early to get the girl to the airport for her early flight.  It was fine and at 1pm my parent’s called to say they were on their way to visit for the weekend.  I love that they are here visiting but my plan was to spend Friday sitting on my butt stitching.  Instead I had to run around getting them dinner.  I’m okay with it.

Anyway, that’s my busy week.  So what was I able to actually do?

First up – morning knitting on my socks for 15 minutes every Monday – Friday.

last week – 1/11/2020

 

I checked this off for 5 of 5 days.

1/18/2020

The cuffs are done and I’m working on the heels.  I have about 2 or 3 more rows on the heels and then I can kitchener it and call it a finish!  woohoo…

Second, my evening knitting on Ricky’s Weasley Sweater every Monday through Friday.

Ricky’s Weasley Sweater
1/11/2020

I checked this off for 1 of 5 days.  I only did about 2 – maybe 3 rows during knit night so any picture I take today will not be much different than what I showed last week.

I had dropped a stitch on my Fairy Hill Shawl and spent some time trying to fix it. Mindy spent more time on it but I didn’t get anymore done on it than that.  And I got another small blip done on my mix wave cowl.

Mix Wave Cowl
1/11/2020

For Cross Stitch, my goal is to work on it every evening Monday – Friday.

Mama’s Bukid
1/11/2020

I did nothing on this project all week.  😦  So it looks the same. I wanted to finish up those columns last night but it will have to wait until my next free xstitch moment.

And finally Quilting! I was able to finish Glam Clam last weekend and posted about it during the week. But here it is again!

Glam Clam
Finished Top
1/13/2020

And finally for Sewing, the top and bottom of my Megan dress is put together and my next class is tomorrow. I’m excited to get that to the next step.

Megan Dress
1/11/2020

I guess I made small progress on some projects and no progress on others.  That’s okay. And I have a finished top so that is reason to celebrate.  I hope life calms down a bit over the next few months so I can get back into the rhythm of crafting, creating, and relaxing.

I hope you all have a happy crafty week!

Melanie

To see the full 2020 crafty plan, click for quilting, knitting, cross stitch, and everything else.

My weekly update, 1/11/2020

Now that the first full week is almost done, let’s do a quick check in to see my progress. To see the full 2020 crafty plan, click for quilting, knitting, cross stitch, and everything else.

To summarize, I have no specific goals other than to carve out time to craft on particular projects. This week, the first full week basically blew me out of the water because I got sick. So sick that I missed my minigroup get together on Monday, worked only part time Monday – Wednesday, and barely made it to knit night on Thursday.  I was able to do some things but not all things every day.

Monday – In addition to minigroup, I was supposed to go to yoga. I didn’t go. I also didn’t go on Wednesday or Friday.  😦  I hope to change that next week.  I know yoga is not a craft but I need it to stay healthy and enjoy crafting.  So it’s part of my weekly “must do’s”.

First up – morning knitting on my socks for 15 minutes every Monday – Friday.

I checked this off for 4 of 5 days.  It doesn’t look it, but those tubes are about 15 inches long and I’m just starting the cuff.  There is no heel yet but I’ll be adding those on using the afterthought heel method when the cuffs are done.  I smell a finish coming…

Second, my evening knitting on Ricky’s Weasley Sweater every Monday through Friday.

Ricky’s Weasley Sweater
1/11/2020

I checked this off for 3 of 5 days.  It’s really hard to take a picture because it keeps rolling on itself and it’s on cables.  I did my best above and hopefully the colors come out right on your end.  It looks fine on my monitor.  His sweater is Slytherin but he did not like the idea of a green sweater so I made it gray with green.  It originally was supposed to just be a Green R but I wanted there to represent more green so included striping at the bottom of the sweater. I hope to also have stripes on the sleeves but that will depend on whether I have enough of the green.

I also did a couple of rows on my Fairy Hill Shawl which I still do not have a picture of. It’s because it’s all bunched up on cables and any picture I take will just be a jumbled mess.  And I did another blip on my mix wave cowl.

Mix Wave Cowl
1/11/2020

For Cross Stitch, my goal is to work on it every evening Monday – Friday.

Mama’s Bukid
1/11/2020

I checked this off for 4 of the 5 days and I’m almost done with the first 2.5 columns of these last 2 pages. There are 2 pages (a top and a bottom) and I want to finish 2 columns per month so I can get this long time project done and framed sooner rather than later.  I’m in the home stretch now because once I finish these columns I will only have 4 columns left!  And if I am on pace this will be done in March.  The problem as I’ve said in previous posts is that I’m not loving working on this project right now so it’s super hard to get myself to work on it.  I started these columns in December and didn’t even get halfway through the column.  Now, these are made up deadlines so if I take a month or two longer, it’s not a big deal.  🙂

And finally Quilting! My only schedule for quilting is to quilt all day Saturday but sometimes I work it in during the week.  So I was able to finish my Good Fortune Quilt!   I posted this picture recently but here it is again in all it’s glory.

Good Fortune
1/6/2020

It’s hard to see but the top is done and I have already put it away in my quilt queue.  Next up is Glam Clam and I’ve already started working on it today.  In fact, I finished another row.  I only have 1 row left and if I buckle down I might be able to get that one done today and have a second quilt top finished in January!  It’s stuck up under my sewing machine until I finish typing up today’s post so you get a picture of it “under the needle”.

Glam Clam
under the needle
1/11/2020

I do not actually have all day today as we are expecting friends for dinner this evening so I will need to end early to get ready for the socializing.

For Sewing, I just posted about this yesterday so it’s the same status.  But tomorrow is Sunday and normally Sunday is sew day.  Unfortunately, but fortunately, instead of sewing, I’ll be taking a quilting workshop with Mike McNamara offered through my quilt guild.  So I’ll be quilting tomorrow as well.  More on that later.

I hope you all have a happy crafty week!

Melanie

 

How I cross stitch

I received a comment the other day in regards to my cross stitch post.  Her questions and comments prompted me to do a full post on how I cross stitch.  Hopefully this helps you.

Starting a new cross stitch project:  I learned to cross stitch by starting in the middle and working my way out.  When I finish each color, I would cut and bury each floss before starting a new one.  This works fine with small projects that are not full coverage pieces.  With larger pieces, I tend to start on the upper left.  I have to check the measurements multiple times to make sure the project will fit (especially if I didn’t buy a kit) and start in a good place with about 3″ from the edge of the fabric (assuming I have that much available).

For projects that are not full coverage, like Mama’s Bukid, I generally bury each floss when I’m done.  But as you can see in my picture, that is not always the case.

Mama’s Bukid
12/24/2019

When I get to a spot that has a bunch of changing colors, I like to do a stitch at a time because my floss lays better on the fabric.  When I do all of color A, and then color B, there may be stitches of color B that fall within the color A section and my floss will not lay nicely.  And it distorts some of the already stitched sections that it comes in contact with.  So, it just looks nicer to me when I do it this way.  So I may pull a floss through and “park” it in the next spot I have to stitch for that color and not actually stitch it until I get to that spot. This part mimics what I do for full coverage.

I am loving working on my full coverage pieces at the moment.

 

I’ve tried various methods.  Where there is a lot of floss, I was doing something called the “waste knot” method.  This is where I knot my floss and pull it down from front to back away from where I want to actually stitch my first stitch. At my first stitch, I pull it through back to front at the bottom left hole and do the stitch.  As I stitch, the floss in the back gets covered and when I get to the part where the knot is, I can clip it off because the floss is secured in the back by the stitches.  When I finished with a floss, I pulled it to the right and brought the needle from back to front.  Again, as I stitch those little boxes, it covers the floss and when I get to the floss that I finished I clip it.

Some of the floss above is mixed in with parked floss and I mark my pattern with which ones I’ve parked so I know which I can clip and which I need to stitch.  Anyway, it looks a mess and I couldn’t stand it so I do things a little differently now and as I move down the diagonal the rat’s nest will get cleaned up bit by bit.

I stitch a row at a time for 10 stitches and I stitch on the diagonal to avoid tension lines.  Instead of starting with the waste knot method, I use a modified pin stitch.  Search you tube for pin stitch tutorials and that will show you how to do that.  It makes it so that I do not the mess in the front to clip away later and the floss is secure right from the first stitch.  I am still parking but I do not park more than 20 stitches away.  I do not rely on my counting because the further away I go, the more likely it’s not in the correct spot.  When I finish a floss I still waste it away like I did before. The difference is that I’m not wasting away to the right of my piece, I’m wasting it to the bottom left so that as I’m working the diagonal, those wastes will get clipped away.  That way, the nest is not as much as it was.

There’s a new app called Pattern Keeper that has made full coverage pieces easier to stitch.  I love it.

Another resource is The Needlebugg Channel on YouTube.  Karen has been stitching for many years and has a lot of tips and tricks.  A lot of how I’m stitching now is based on what Karen has talked about on her channel.

I hope this helps and send me more questions if you come up with any.  I hope I was clear and if not, let me know.

Thanks,

Melanie

 

2020 Crafty Plans: Cross Stitch

Last year I didn’t finish any of my cross stitch goals but I made a lot of progress on everything. So I moved my projects over to this year and added new ones.  Because I’m crazy and I am loving my stitching right now.

Mama’s Bukid – Cross Stitch Priority Project #1

Mama’s Bukid
12/24/2019

My goal for December was to finish 2.5 columns and I only got halfway.  So I do not think I’ll be finishing this in February as I had intended.  I am struggling hard with finishing this project.  Part of it was that December had a lot of events and family and friend time.  All of it was wonderful and time well spent but my cross stitch time was hurt.  And I am totally unmotivated with this project.  I have had to force myself to work on this.  It is really hard but it’s so close to finishing that I can’t stop, it’s just taking me longer.

Gamer Nouveau – Cross Stitch Project priority #2

My goal for 2019 was to finish 6 pages but I only got 2.5 pages done.  I will work on this one week a month until Bukid is done and then I can work on this two weeks a month.  I hope that this year I will be able to get 6 pages done. There are a ton of pages and I do want to get this done sooner rather than later. I started using a new app called Pattern Keeper and it has changed my stitchy life.  It has taken a lot of the struggles I’ve had working on full coverage pieces. I’m currently at 20% completed on this project.

And because I like big projects (or BAPs – Big A$$ Projects), the new cross stitch project – priority #3 is a HAED (Heaven And Earth Design) which is a full coverage piece also.  Here’s my current spot:

And here’s what it will grow up to be:

Each of those gridlines marks a page and I’m still only on page 2. I do not have a goal for this year other than working on it each month.

I’m also working on a smaller project: A kiss for Snowman

This is only about 6″ square but I’m not enjoying this project at all. I only work on it when I’m travelling. On my personal retreats I may take this with me to do some stitching.  Hopefully, this will be done soon and I can start a new small project.  I am currently in love with full coverage projects and I’ve got another one started but I rarely work on it.  I do have a lot of projects kitted up and I plan to start another 2 or 3 over the course of this year.  But, the 4 projects shown above are my top priority projects for now.

Happy new year!

Melanie

2019 Recap of my Goals

I got a lot done on my #make9 projects for 2019.

1- Celtic Solstice: Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt from 2013 – Finished!

Celtic Solstice
Finished
February 2019…

2- Have yourself a quilty little Christmas by Lori Holt – Finished!

I still need to take a picture of this quilt all quilted and done.  I am sure I have a picture somewhere but I cannot find it.  So that’s something I need to get done soon.

3- Staycation by Lyn Brown – The top is done but I still need to do the rest of it.  I believe this is ready to go – meaning, I have the batting ready, the backing ready and all I have to do is baste and quilt it.  The basting is the hardest part for me.

4- Mama’s Bukid aka Farmland2 – This is not done but I made a lot of progress this year and I plan to continue with my current pace so that I’m on track to finish this coming February.

Mama’s Bukid
12/24/2019

5- Gamer by @medusadollmaker (just 6 pages) – I only got 3 pages done this year.

6- Kiss for Snowman: a dimensions kit – Not done. I really do not like working on this project so I consider it my travel project. I only work on it when I’m not at home.  Lately I’m getting a lot of work done on it as I’ve been taking it with me to the stitch in’s at our local needlepoint shop.

7- monthly socks – I continue to knit on socks but I’m not as strict as I used to be.  When I created my 2019 goals I used to knit a pair a month and my plan was to continue that through 2019.  Well, I have a lot of hand knit socks now so one can only use so many hand knit socks in Los Angeles.  I even gave away a bunch to my daughter who went away to college in Boston where she has much use for hand knit socks.  So, I always have a pair on the needles and I always work a bit every day on these.

8- Jacob’s Weasley sweater – Is done but I still need to take a picture of it.

9- Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig – Finished!

So my take on my #make9 – even though I didn’t get everything I wanted done, I made significant progress on everything I didn’t finish.  And that’s always a win.  For 2020, I plan to make up another make9 but I also want to make a list of goals like I’ve done in previous years.

Always,
Melanie