Showing posts with label Mill Hill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mill Hill. Show all posts

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mesa Santa

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a good holiday, or at least, better than us! We have been through the wringer here in Toronto, where a massive ice storm knocked out power, and therefore heat in most homes, for several days in subzero temperatures right over the holiday.

After the first night we moved to my sister's cat-infested house, which had power the whole time. I am extremely allergic, and recovering from a surgery the week before, so it was pretty challenging. But, I'm glad she was able to take us in! It could have been much worse. We are back home now and the lights are on, but it will probably take a few more days to really recover from it all.

This Mesa Santa Christmas ornament in the photo above is one of the Southwest Santas collection from Mill Hill. Do you see the cute armadillo in the lower right corner? I love his blanket too, with just a few chunks of turquoise to set it off. It was my take-along project to my sister's house. So, at least I got one more project both started and finished in 2013.

I'm sure ready for a fresh start in 2014!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Smoky Mountain Santa

Here's the last Appalachian Santa from Mill Hill, the Smoky Mountain Santa. It's been in a partially done state for quite a while - I think I started it 18 months ago while waiting for my car to be smog checked at Canadian Tire - so I am happy to see it finally completed.

I hope everyone has had/is having a great Christmas. Mine has been excellent. Plus, I got an extra present when I logged on today - my blog just passed the 10,000 page views mark! That's a good-feeling milestone.

Back to quilting tomorrow. I've started the machine quilting on Edward's quilt, and the nine patch flimsy just has four long seams left too. My goal is to have them both quilted and bound before the next meeting of my quilt guild at the end of January. Celtic Spring will be a year old next month, so I'd like to finish it before the end of January too, but I don't know if that's reasonable. Everyone has been asking me what I plan to buy in the Boxing Day sales tomorrow, and I've been saying that I really can't even fathom any more new projects right now. I am so ready to close out some of these lingering projects! I am in a finishing frame of mind. Let's hope it lasts. :D

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blue Ridge Santa

When I saw Jillian's finished Mill Hill ornament Melchior last week, I thought it could be a good way to test out my wrist again too. This is the second of the Appalachian Santas, the Blue Ridge Santa. I stitched it entirely while watching dippy Christmas movies. This was silly fun at first, but believe me, I am WAY past the saturation point on Christmas now!

I have the third one half done and ready for the beads, but I think it will go back in the box for the time being. I'm not sure if I'll be posting again before Christmas or not, so if not,

Happy Christmas!

Related Post

The first Appalachian Santa

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tipsy Tree Brooch

It was like opening Pandora's box when I pulled out the Allegheny Santa the other day! Those Mill Hill kits are addictive!  Here's another quick finish to show:

Cute, eh? This one is almost all beads, with some satin stitches and Smyrna crosses to give variety.  Less than four hours, all in.  My mom wants one too, so I have kept the pattern this time. I think I can dredge up enough supplies from my stash to make one more.

I'm getting in that holiday mood!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Allegheny Santa

Just a quick finish to show you today.  I've been working on this while waiting for my replacement bulb for my sewing lamp.  It's one of the many Santa ornaments that Mill Hill has produced over the years.  This is one of the three Appalachian Santas.

Usually I work on these while on the road.  They are great take-along projects, and can be done in a small space and with any reasonable light.  I've done quite a few over the years!

In any case, my new bulb arrived yesterday, so now I am spoiled for choice while I consider what's next!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Banner Corners and Borders

As I mentioned yesterday, I finally realized in April that I had to simplify the design for my banner, because I still wanted the stitcheries themselves to be the focal point.  These little 2" finished square-in-a-square blocks were an idea that I had rejected early on.  But when I looked at the stitcheries I realized that the designer Jim Shore had put different blocks in each corner of his borders, so I could make my blocks more interesting by varying the colours!  I went to my stash and pulled the fabrics to match the stitching.

I mentioned a few days ago that I planned right from the beginning to use Flying Geese around the sides of the stitcheries.  I also planned all along to do them in green and yellow, echoing the colours of the top border which are consistent on all three pieces:

But during my final design phase in April I worried that green and yellow would be too high contrast, too busy, and therefore distract from the stitcheries.  I went to my stash looking for two shades of green instead, and found these:

I really, really love this fabric combination!  The small print against the big one, the slightly warmer geese versus the cooler background, the geese are defined without being "in your face."  These sections will finish at 2" x 6" each. I am foundation paper piecing them, which I did for the corners as well, using my own home made foundations copied onto vellum.  They are quite slow to sew, but at least the points are perfect!  There will be 10 in all.  Here's a preview of how it will all look together:

Imagine if I had gone ahead with those stumpwork daisies!  This is so much better.

I took advantage of a break in the humidity last week to piece these side sections, but I still have six left, so I think it will still be a while before this is finished.  I have found, though, that I stay cooler working on something small like this, rather than trying to manage large pieces of fabric and long seams.

There will also be a little bit of needleturn applique in the triangle at the bottom.  Hopefully I'll be able to show you that soon!

Previous Posts:

Percy Pig

Sophie Sheep

Clarissa Cow

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Clarissa Cow

You saw yesterday that Sophie had a nice quilt on her back.  Clarissa's blanket also features a great quilt block:

I think the colours stand out beautifully against her black and white cowhide!

Quilt blocks are featured throughout these designs, in the blankets and also in the upper corners, so sewing them into a quilted banner seems like a natural evolution.  My first plan was to put a solid fabric border around them, with just enough quilting to hold it all together.  Then last summer both my quilt guilds were sending out reminders for us to submit our quilts for their shows in the fall.  Wouldn't it be nice, I thought, to put some fancy pieced borders on these cross stitches (the last one, Clarissa here, was almost done), and enter them into the show(s)?  Well, I missed the entry deadline, and it is probably just as well, because the shows are long over and I am still not done!

That "fancy pieced border" turned out to be quite a sticking point.  Once I had the idea I couldn't give it up and go back to the original simple plan.  I came up with the idea to put 1" x 2" Flying Geese around the sides almost right away, and that part has stuck.  But the big question has been what to do in the corners.  The plan got more and more elaborate!  First I thought about tiny pinwheels.  Then I was obsessed with daisies.  Maybe I could design a little cross stitch daisy for the point at the end?  What about thread painting it?  Maybe I could fussy cut some daisy fabric?  At one point I thought I would do stumpwork daisies in the corners.  Thank goodness I backed away from that!

Finally in April I went back and pulled out the actual stitcheries again for inspiration.  This seems more reasonable:

Stay tuned!

Previous Posts:

Percy Pig

Sophie Sheep

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sophie Sheep

There were a heck of a lot of beads on Sophie!  I was surprised by how long they took.  But they give her a nice curly-looking coat.  The beads look great in the flowers and vines in the borders, too:

Once I had decided that I wanted to use fabric instead of the perforated paper that comes with the kits, I knew that I would still prefer aida over an evenweave for these projects.  The beads are heavy, so I wanted a fabric that could hold them.  The cross stitches are also done with three strands, which gives them a nice full look on the 14 count fabric.  At first I looked for a fabric that would match the colours of the perforated papers, which were in pastels.  But when I saw this natural linen aida at Nordic Needle, I was sold!  I love the traditional look of natural linen, and I think it complements the folksy designs, while the darker colour provides good contrast to the bright threads and beads.  Nordic Needle still sells it.

You can see that Sophie stands out quite nicely from the darker neutral of the background:

And I love the little basket block on the quilt on her back.  Stay tuned, the tale continues tomorrow!

Previous post:

Percy Pig

Friday, July 20, 2012

Percy Pig

That's a pretty gorgeous little blanket for a pig, right?  It belongs to this guy:

This is one of three farm animal designs in cross stitch and beading that Jim Shore did for Mill Hill a while ago.  You may still be able to find them.  Jim Shore did a whole bunch of fun designs for Mill Hill, which I immediately loved, but waffled about for quite a while.

Like most Mill Hill kits, these came with 14 count perforated paper, and are designed to fit into a 6" square frame (which is also available).  They are fun and easy projects, but the question soon becomes what to do with them all?  I think that in general, this is a big issue for stitchers.  No matter how elegant the designs may be, once you start littering your walls with a bunch of tiny pictures you have lost any claim to good interior design.  I usually handle this by grouping together smaller pictures into sets - those Lanarte butterflies, for example, are hung stacked vertically over a bedside table.

These designs, though, I felt were more seasonal, and just in a grey area near too whimsical, so not something I wanted to hang permanently.  So I didn't buy them.  Then one day it occured to me that I could stitch them on fabric instead, and sew them together into a quilted banner.  For me it was one of those Eureka moments!  That was almost two years ago now.  So yes, this is another UFO.

Tune in tomorrow for the continuing saga!
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