Sunday, April 14, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching - April 14, 2024

Well, things are looking up a bit stitching wise, though still busy at work.  Pushing through the rest of the training I have to give.  People are taking me out to lunch and dropping little cards and such by my desk, which is kind of nice.   I asked my boss to keep it low key, I don't want a big reception.  

I even managed to get my remaining vacation scheduled.   Looks like I'll be working half days for all but about four days off site over the next few weeks, then vacation for the last week after I turn in my computer.   Much HR paperwork still to do.

I had a good stitching week and even managed to put down the dragon and pick up the Birdhouses SAL. 

The April section is well underway - working on a cute little cartoonish duck down at the bottom of this section.  Right now, the ecru of the duck feathers meld into the off white of the fence, but he'll get some back stitching once I get him filled in the rest of the way.

Linking up with the SSS crew (roundup here).

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching - March 31, 2024

First of all, Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

I apologize for being "little miss least in sight" the last couple of weeks.   This transition of leaving the workforce is more stressful than joyful, at least at this point.    Lots of training, paperwork, writing documentation.   I wish I'd had HALF the backup and documentation when I took on this job that management is expecting me to provide!  Two months left, so they'll get what I can do in that time frame.....

My crafting has fallen by the wayside and probably will until June.   All I want to work on is my full coverage piece.  So I'm just going with it and tossing my rotation out of the window entirely.  

The good news is that I have made it to 10.0% on my Mead Dragon (art by Stanley Morrison, chart by Paine Free Crafts).  9,451 / 94,500 stitches in fact.

And here is where I was at the start of the month for comparison:

Every day when I have time to stitch, I put in one floss length on the dragon's face, one length of my 'problem color'; then using the typewriter cross country method, I get into the background greys, navy and black (goal is at least three strands).  I know myself and letting myself get too far ahead on the dragon will mean that I will never get to the background.

What, you might ask is a "problem color"?  Well I'm doing this chart in the Pattern Keeper app and when you highlight a color that is to be stitched, it puts a little circle of your chosen high light color on every stitch (or you can choose every unworked stitch) of that color.   Then when you work each stitch and tap it,  the program overlays a neat little box that (when saved) approximates the floss color and is the exact size of the gridlines.   All well and good, EXCEPT for the symbol that is a solid black box that ALMOST fills the grid.   There's a bare rim of the highlight color.   That wouldn't be so bad if that symbol was for 310, but no, it's 318.  Finished stitches are fine.  But I can't tell the highlighted 318 from the finished 310 unless I zoom in really far, which rather defeats the purpose of highlighting the stitches in the first place.   As far as I can tell, there's no function to 'replace' a symbol, so my strategy is to color complete the 318 when I get to a new section.   So right now, all that steel grey that is dipping further down than everything else is my attempt to get that 'problem' finished and marked off before I start putting anything else in the area.  

Checking in with the SSS crew (current roundup) so they'll know I haven't fallen off the planet......

Sunday, March 10, 2024

OCTtoOCTSAL - March 2024 Section

Let's see.   This month's offering on the Jardin Privet Birdhouses SAL offers Lucky Clovers and Irish Bells plus a pink lily in the flowers at the base of the fence, and a Mardi Gras mask hanging from the end of the birdhouse platform, a green birdhouse with a 'leprechaun hat' roof, a butterfly and two birds.   All very "spring is on the way" motifs.

Slow Sunday Stitching - March 10, 2024 and getting started on the March WIPGO slots

First of all, I need some color advice from the quilter people.    I bought a jelly roll of Christmas fabric for the wall quilt made of the Victoria Sampler ornaments that I finished last year (Holly Berry Tree Farm by Deb Strain for Moda).  I plan to use it to sash the blocks.  Two of them were called for my WIPGO picks for March (you can also see the jelly roll laid out in that post.)

I'll be doing the 'quilt as you go' technique where the sashed blocks are joined with a thin 'window pane' of half inch finished strips.  I think I'll do those in white tone on tone front and back.  

Here's the tentative layout.   I'm pretty firm on where the centers are going, though I do wish that top one had some color in it, it's really too late to do anything about it now.  But the sashing is still up in the air - good colors?   Good mix?  Suggestions welcome!   I do have a strip of the cardinal on a black background, snowflakes print on a green black, white poinsettia on red background.  And a bunch of directional and typography prints plus buffalo plaids that are not really useful for this project.  (They will go into the materials for the Christmas random block quilt.)

Need to get the sashing pinned down so I can start sewing!

ETA:  Thank you, Gail, for your suggestion.  checkerboard mock up

I think this is the final version.   Brought that white diamond down to the middle and sashed it with the lighter green, brought in a tone on tone green from the stash and moved the hearts into a vertical row.  Swapped the poinsettia sashings to be in opposite corners. 

On the needlework front, I am Very Close to getting the March section of the Birdhouse SAL done - just the backstitching on the fence.  And there's another 'trail and butterfly' motif sort of between the March and April sections that I might as well do while I'm in the area.   Look for a changeover post later today.  (ETA:  That post is here.)

Linking up with the SSS crew, hoping for advice.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching - March 3, 2024

It's the first of the month, so I'm working away at the next section of the Birdhouses SAL. I got the bird in flight, the first of the two sets of spring flowers along the fence row (shamrocks and Irish bells this time) and got started on the fence.   There are two birds in this section, so once I get that little bit of fill in done on the fence post, the second bird is up next.

In other news, I finished up Full Coverage February with just over 5,500 stitches put into Mead Dragon.  (See the final post here).

And also got to my ten hours on the KC Plaza Sewing Bag.   (See the whole side laid out here in the changeover post.)  Here's a closeup of the landscape on the right side.   Those modified eyelet/fan stitches making up the pine needles were great fun.  Still lots to go on this project - next on the list is statue fill in over one, starting with the 'dolphin' spout.

All in all, a good week for needlework.  To see what the rest of the SSS crew is up to, check out the current link up list.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Full Coverage February wrap up and plans

 Well, it's the end of February.   I stitched on my Mead Dragon every day this month.   Some days it was only a few stitches, and some days it was hundreds.  

Statistics:  Total Stitches in project to date  5,501 = 5.82%    Average of 188 per day for this month.  Least was 25, most was 444.

Things I found out:  

  • I really like marking my pattern in the Pattern Keeper app.   I find the tracking of the % completed to be very motivating.
  • Also motivating was taking frequent photos.  Maybe not every day because it is sometimes not very obvious what was completed on a 'light' day. But at least a couple times a month could be interesting.
  • It's a good thing that I'm motivated by the above - because the whole 'dark background' in 310 black, several navy colors and what feels like every dark grey that DMC makes would be quite boring without the stitch tracker in the app.   
  • I like the 'cross country' using the 'typewriter method'.   It takes the angst out of 'what color do I do next', and there's a lot of reference points in already worked stitches.  
  • I don't like the parking method.   Once I got more than two colors parked, the dangling threads drove me nuts and I worked them in right away.   I should have expected this since threads dangling from floss drops or cards or pallets or similar ALSO irritate me no end.
  • I did not get a lot done on my regular rotation projects this month between the Birdhouses SAL and the Full Coverage challenge.  So I'm not even going to try to keep up this month's pace on the Full Coverage piece.

Which brings me to plans.

I think I'll continue to work on my Birdhouses SAL for the first few days of the month, but I think I'll work on it exclusively, so the number of days allocated to it should be slightly less.  I'd like it to be no more than seven.  Once I have that done, I'll work on the regular rotation on Sunday to Thursday and my full coverage piece on Friday and Saturday.  My full coverage goal is 2,000 stitches per month. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Full Coverage February - Day 28

 Just 86 stitches today.   But I did get quite a bit of time into the KC Plaza Sewing Bag and finished my ten hour on it. 

Total stitches in project = 5,454 or 5.77%