March 2017 WIPocalypse Check-in

WIPocalypse ButtonHello everyone!

Happy Sunday, Spring/Autumn, and for those celebrating it earlier than us in the States… Mother’s Day.  I was a bit confused when I first saw my Facebook feed, and saw all of the posts about the latter.  I honestly didn’t realize that it was earlier over in the UK!  (Ours isn’t until the 2nd Sunday of May).

Winter has been refusing to give up her grasp on us here in southern New England… we had a relatively mild winter, but the last month has made sure we got a bit of the snow and bitter cold to remind us throughout the summer that it’s only a few short months again until it’s cold.  My daffodils and day lilies have begun to poke up through the earth, but look a bit white on the ends due to the cold.  Hopefully I’ll still be able to enjoy flowers this year!

It’s been a decent stitching month for me here- nowhere near as productive as last month, but still I’m quite happy with what I’ve accomplished.  I’m personally waiting until the very last day of March to post my WIPocalypse update because I’m really, really trying to finish a goal for the month, and I feel like I’ll jinx myself if I post too soon!  🙂

I hope you’ve been productive this month.  I look forward to seeing what all of you have created this month!
Happy Stitching,

Melissa

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Important SAL Announcements…

Question of the Month – What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?

Next posting date: April 30, 2017

Topic for next time: What projects are in your UFO pile?

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Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

    • Via Auto-link
    • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
    • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


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My end of February stitchy updates…

February flew by. I know it’s a short month… but I feel like yesterday was the first week of the month, and poof! Here we are.  And to be a good Wipocalypse host (and Smalls SAL participant), it’s time for me to update my stitching for the month!

Between a snow day from work, a three day weekend, and then a three day stitchy retreat (plus my normal stitchy times with the girls), I managed to get quite a bit of stitching done. I wasn’t quite settled on any one piece after finishing Blue Jeans & Daisies last month, so I indulged in some bouncing around between projects that were asking for some attention. I’ll get on track again for March, since I have a month-long stitch-a-long to participate in that will honestly really work for some of my yearly goals.

You Were Hatched - as of 2/23/17For this month’s Smalls SAL, my goal was to finish stitching You Were Hatched by Teresa Wentzler. And I almost got there.  But not quite.  The cross-stitches are done.  The backstitching is mostly done.  And then as I was stitching it, some little tendrils of adaptation started brewing in my brain… so it’s evolving from a Baby’s First Christmas ornament (now four years overdue) into something else.  I have a bunch of fabric around this piece because I hadn’t quite settled on how to finish it.  Originally I’d thought to do a mini birth sampler – I saw someone who adapted it into Teresa’s needle book (“my needles… touch them and your toast”), and then the ornament idea came up.  But as I meandered around all that backstitching, I realized I had an opportunity to do a little writing here, too.

And so I’ll be playing on the title… “You Were Hatched…” and write a short bedtime story verse about Max’s birth underneath the sampler.  What’s a little more backstitching if it’s in script, right?

I’m happy with what I got done in a day and a half, though. Very happy.  It’s been a while since I’ve gone Wentzlering (yes, that is a verb… because I say so).  This was a good warm-up project for next month.

Astrology Sampler - as of 2/28/17Most of my month was spent stitching on Astrology Sampler from Witches Stitches.  I got through the tense moments of the Super Bowl with this one.  I’ve watched a couple movies while working on this one.  It’s moved along well.  Although now that I’m looking at the photo here, I may not have had enough light to really capture it.  Hopefully it’s showing up on your screen.

I’m stitching this on 14 ct Aida (because when I started it, black linen and evenweave were a little trickier to find), and it’s stitched with the called-for threads.

I miss Witches Stitches.  They had so much potential to be a good Pagan pattern company among all of the Biblical verses that are everywhere.  I wonder what ever happened to them?

Never Ending Sampler - as of 2/28/17My next piece was the Never Ending Sampler.  I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped on this one this month… I’d brought it to Stitcher’s Hideaway, intending for it to get a day’s worth of love on the 2nd day, but instead was pushing through that backstitching.  So it only got touched this month to finish Band #5.

I decided to add in some greenish blue to the mix.  I’ve really been waffling on the ecru.  It’s pretty, but very difficult to stitch with, and I’m not sure I like how it looks.  So we’ll see.  I’ll continue to tinker!

The first full 20-band sampler panel is now done.  I might keep pace with the new panel of bands on a separate piece of fabric, and also try to throw a band per week on this one.

My next two pieces are part of my “Stitch From Stash” challenge (which I fully admit I completely blew out of the water with shopping at Hideaway… but meh… I’m okay with that).  I intentionally am only using things from my stash that didn’t already have a project home.

Vakje Per Week - started 2/18/17One piece I’d been looking forward to starting, but promised myself I would not start until Blue Jeans was done is the Vakje Per Week.  For the past two years since I stumbled on the Randje Per Week blog, I’ve loved the idea of the playful band sampler stitch-a-long.  Last year they did an alphabet sampler in parts (which I’ve saved for possible stitching later).  This year they decided to do sampler rectangles with various patterns.  Each stitcher picks fabric and threads, and  personalize as they see fit.  There is a Facebook group for this Stitch-a-Long, although the patterns are released on the blog.  It’s fun to see the variation in colors and creativity!  I’ve barely started on mine, as you can see.  My colors are a DMC green and a spool of 12 Wt. Sulky thread (#4010, Caramel Apple) that’s been sitting around with no project to call home for a few years.  I’m really liking the Sulky thread so far.  It changes color very fast, as you can see in my loops at the top and in the pinwheels.  You only need to use the single ply for good coverage, and because of that – it sits beautifully.  If you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend it.  Lots of pretty colors to choose from!  I bought mine at a quilting shop.

Dear Rine Bourden - started 2/23/17My final project was the other free stitch-a-long that my friend Becky discovered on Facebook.  It’s called Dear Rine Borduren, and it’s a series of circles.  The motif for each circle is being released each Friday – one week is a geometric pattern, the next week is an animal.  Like the Vakje Per Week, the colors are entirely up to the stitcher.  I decided to do mine on a very old piece of Silkweaver I’ve had sitting around for ages – 32 ct Poltergeist Lugana.  I selected four thread colors – two browns (for the circle and the filigree between them) and two peacock blues (for the circle motifs).  Circle #1 is now complete in the lower right corner.  This piece is unusual because the designers started the filling from the bottom right corner – so it’s going to develop the completely opposite way of how I’m used to starting big pieces!  I’m looking forward to watching this one develop.

 

 


So… for the Stitchy Blog Question of the Month:  What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  I have a hard time deciding between Algerian Eyelets and Rice Stitch… so I’m showing both! Algerian Eyelets I love when they get more complicated – with more pulls on that center hole, it forms a very pretty open textured hole without cutwork (which I’ve yet to try).  This image shows a very simple one over four threads.  You could put a stitch through every single hole, rather than skipping over one like they do in this diagram.

The Rice Stitch in its simplest form is essentially a double-sized cross stitch with four smaller leg crosses to create a big diamond over the cross (or four little cross stitches, with legs all askew… much like children).  Rice stitches can also have additional small legs, giving it even more texture and making it look more like a cross stitch with triangular caps, rather than just a simple crossed strand.  They’re very easy to do, but when done in a large group give pieces a neat braided texture.

And that’s my update for this month.  Next month, I’ll be doing an all-Wentzler, all the time stitching month, as Stitch Maynia over on Facebook has Teresa as the featured designer for March.  (her projects don’t apply to me at all… nope, not a single one going… nuh-uh.)

Until next month… happy stitching!

Mel.

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February 2017 WIPocalypse Check-In!

WIPocalypse ButtonHello again everyone!

I’m a little late this morning in posting the check-in due to a bit of post-convention brain fogginess.  I just returned home yesterday after a fantastic three days at Stitcher’s Hideaway in Sturbridge, MA.  This retreat is held every February as a come-as-you-are relaxed atmosphere to work on whatever you have going and hopefully make some good progress, meet new folks, eat a bunch of yummy (and a bit too much) food, do some shopping, and just have a great time.

I managed to check every box on that list this year.  Definitely the best year so far with Hideaway.  I needed the escape so badly.  Hopefully the relaxed feeling won’t be completely obliterated as soon as I walk in the door at work tomorrow.

So once I get my stuff unpacked and sorted, I’ll get my own check-up posted.  🙂  I wanted to get this up and active, though, since I should have had it done earlier this morning.

(Edit:  And of course, as I rush to get this done, I forget my password to login to InLinkz so I can set up this month’s linkup… any minute now that password reset can show up… it’s been 10 minutes since I typed up the rest of the entry…

So… while we wait… how about a random non-stitchy question for you all? Feel free to answer in the comments, or not at all… because I’m sure this looks rather odd in a blog entry…  but what fun things do you have planned over the next few months?  Here Spring is right around the corner, and I’m getting a little itchy to really spend some time outdoors.  Max is old enough now that I’m thinking of taking up some easy form of Geocaching/Letterboxing with him to go have some adventures and also get some good walking exercise.)

Okay… clearly it’s going to take a while for that InLinkz issue to get solved… so I’m going to post this for now.  Please post your link in the comments, and if you have a preferred photo to link to it, please EMAIL it to me at measiwitch(at)gmail.com.  I’ll add everyone personally to the linkup once I get this fixed.)
Update at 6 pm – Link up has now been added – thank you for your patience!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful February and made some great progress, too!

Happy stitching,

Melissa

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Important SAL Announcements…

Question of the Month – What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  (bonus points if you provide a how-to link or diagram it on your blog post!)

Next posting date: March 26, 2017

Topic for next time: What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?

*~~~~*~~~~~~*

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

    • Via Auto-link
    • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
    • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


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January 2017 WIPocalypse Check-in

WIPocalypse ButtonHello everyone!

January definitely flew by, didn’t it?  Thanks to some iffy weather weekends and lots of playoff football, it was a productive one on this end.  I hope that you found some quiet time to enjoy your projects as well.

I’ve heard some concern about the Facebook group, and whether or not it would take over the blog updates.  I want to assure those on the blogs that this is definitely not the case – WIPocalypse is, and will always be, a blog-focused Stitch-a-Long.  The Facebook group is merely an interactive social tool for the participants to communicate and share their progress in real-time, or get some encouragement if they’re feeling stuck.  If you’ve been in SAL for a while, you’ll recall I tried to do a message board forum back in 2012 and 2013, but it just didn’t work out.  Facebook is the place to go for the immediate gratification these days.  I know there are quite a few people in the Facebook group who do not do the check-ins because they don’t have blogs… and that’s okay.  We’ve always had several people “stitching in spirit” with us, all the way back to the first round in 2012.  Perhaps they’ll be interested in creating stitchy blogs themselves, or perhaps their comfort is simply stitching in spirit – and that is, of course, always welcomed.  The most important thing is that we’re having fun with our projects… and the more sharing, the better!

My cup of morning coffee needs to be refreshed, and I have a three-year-old who’s threatening to spread Legos all over the living room as barefoot mines… so I’d best get this post up and live.

I look forward to seeing your progress photos – have a wonderful, productive February!

Happy stitching,

Melissa

*~~~~*~~~~~~*

Important SAL Announcements…

Question of the Month – What Stitch-a-Longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

Next posting date:  February 26, 2017

Topic for next time: What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  (bonus points if you provide a how-to link or diagram it on your blog post!)

*~~~~*~~~~~~*

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

    • Via Auto-link
    • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
    • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


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My January WIPocalypse Update…

I think this last Sunday of the month plan is going to work out much better.  At least right now, it’s going as envisioned… Max is playing and watching cartoons.  I’m enjoying my morning coffee and catching up on blog posting.  Perfect!

I had a very good January stitching-wise – two finishes!  The one I’m much more proud of has to be first, of course.  🙂

Blue Jeans and Daisies - FINISHED 1/22/17

Blue Jeans and Daisies, designed by Blue Ribbon Designs. Started Jan 1, 2013; completed Jan 22, 2017. Fabric and all threads per design. Stitched on 30ct WDW Blue Jeans with Weeks threads.

Yes – Blue Jeans and Daisies is finished!  I began that little birdhouse in the top left corner as my New Year’s start in 2013, when I was 7 months pregnant with Max.  The final stitch (the heart over the house in the center panel) was done last weekend.  A few months ago, I posted about how this piece has definitely been a journey.  I have an index card written with archival ink to tell about some of the different squares and what I was doing in life.  I plan on having it placed on the backside of the framing paper when I get this one professionally framed, so it serves as a memory record.

Overall – a very fun stitch.  Life just had a way of making this one a bit difficult for me.  The only time I really felt bogged down were those beautiful flowering trees in the center panel – they look lovely, but I stumbled through them for some reason.

So hooray!  Big finish!

My other finish of the month was for the Smalls SAL, and I talked about it in yesterday’s post.

Ornament - stitching completed 1/16/17

Smalls SAL – Drop Ornament. Stitched on 28 ct antique white with DMC 221.

I’ll get that put together in the next couple months. As long as it’s ready for the tree in December, I’m good!

I also did a little bit of stitching on a very old UFO, Smoky Mountain Cats, as part of the “Full Coverage on Fifth” SAL on January 5th in the Stitch Maynia group on Facebook.  Progress on that one really isn’t worth posting a photo of at this point, though, since I spent half of the evening trying to figure out my colors… since my key has gone wandering.  THAT was not fun.  But I think I have it resolved, so it’ll be my “Full on Fifth” piece for the rest of the year.

My final piece is what’s back on my frame right now – the Never Ending Sampler SAL.

Never Ending Sampler - as started 1/1/17

Started Jan 1, 2017. Stitched on an old piece of 32 ct Silkweavers (color name unknown) with DMC Ecru and Threadworx Hawaiian Flowers (#1068).

This is a free ongoing band sampler SAL created and hosted by Kitty and Me Designs. So far she has posted 15 bands. The first three went very quickly – I got them done in about 3-4 hours. I’m now working band 4, and I’d like to get another 5-6 bands done before I switch to another project again.

So yep, a very good month and good start to my WIPocalypse 2017 – I’ve already defeated two WIPs.  🙂  Not sure how my next month of stitching will go, but I have my three-day retreat to Stitcher’s Hideaway coming up, so I expect I’ll get a lot of stitching done.  I may intentionally find the pieces that I’m close to finishing so I have another finish to post!

So… onto the WIPocalypse Question of the month… What Stitch-a-Longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

I’m participating in three year-long ones:  WIPocalypse (obviously… hard not to when you’re hosting it!), the Smalls SAL, and the Never Ending Sampler SAL (both linked above and on my sidebar).  I’ll also be participating in some event day and themed month SALs being hosted within the Stitch Maynia group on Facebook.

With the exception of the sampler SAL, everything else is intentionally tied into my WIPocalypse stitching… I figure the more motivation, the better!

And that’s my update for this month!

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