Hello everyone! Can you believe we're down to the final week in October? I don't know about you, but I'm not at all ready for the cold and snow that will be with us before too long. It didn't hit me until I was putting this post together that each of the things I have to show you today is a freebie! I love freebies and think they're great ways for designers to introduce us to their charts. First up is a new design called Quaker 31 from San-Man Originals.
I can't remember when I enjoyed stitching a design so much--I just loved every stitch in this one! There are so many details in it--the checkered cat, the black bat with his yellow eyes, all of those pumpkins and scary words--it was just a fun, fun piece! I stitched Quaker 31 "over one" on 28 ct. summer khaki lugana using DMC threads 301, 725, 520, and 310 and made it into a little pillow with some orange and black paisley fabric, black ric-rac, and a yellow button. What do you think?
I know most of you will recognize my next finish as "Snowman's Quaker Christmas" from Midnight Stitching. It is an old freebie which doesn't seem to be available online any longer, unfortunately. Since blue is my favorite color, I changed him from the traditional red/green combo to Crescent Colors "Blue Moon."
Most of you know that I've been stitching an ornament a month and this is my finish for September (yes, I'm a bit behind!). For this smiling guy, I used 32 ct. flax Belfast linen and bordered him with Mill Hill Glass seed beads (color 02087). This was only the second time I've attempted a beaded edge, but it went well and I'm very happy with the result. I think he'll make a great addition to my snowman tree this December!
Next on the freebie finishes list is my ornament for the month of October (see, I caught up!!). This design by 123 Citrouille can be found right here: Noel Freebie. Would you believe this was my first ever red and white finish? I loved it! It was also the first time I used DMC 115--what a great thread--I finally see why you've all been raving about it!
I left out the bottom band of the original chart because the ornament was becoming too big for me (plus I was getting lazy!). The finished hanging pillow is backed by the red and black patterned fabric you see behind it and trimmed with some red and white checked ribbon and those "antique" buttons (purchased at Joann Fabrics!) for accents. I think this is one of my favorite ornament finishes of the year. ..
In an effort to keep track of my favorite freebies, I've added a new list to my sidebar. Just look for this photo collage of some of my favorites and you can link to the charts yourself. And what about you? Do you have any favorite freebies? I'd love to hear what yours are--who knows, your favorites might just become some of mine, too. With everyone trying to save money in this economy, it's nice to know that with some scraps of linen and a few threads we can all create something special for next to nothing. Thanks so much to all of you designers out there who share your talents with us--we really appreciate it!
Finally--just look what appeared in my mailbox this week...this beautifully stitched RAK from dear Catherine. Now, Catherine doesn't have a blog (yet, anyway--keep encouraging her!!), but I know many of you know her as a "super commenter!" She is one of the most loyal and sincere commenters on more blogs than just about anyone I know. Catherine stitched this Sampler Girl design, called "The Empty Nest," for me after reading one of my posts about my youngest son flying the nest--and yes, her gift made me cry. She personalized it by adding a third bird to represent my three sons and even coffee-dyed her own fabric! I just love the verse on it:
I happy am, if well with you."
I think what touched me most, besides the fact that someone I've never met stitched this lovely pillow ornament for me, is the fact that Catherine gave up her precious free time to make this gift. You see, Catherine, also the mother of three boys, is living my life of 15 years ago: the sports practices and games, the Scouting events, the music lessons, the multiple-times-a-week trips to the grocery store to feed her rapidly growing brood. Throw in the daily cooking, cleaning, laundry, counseling, homework help, refereeing the inevitable disagreements and roughhousing that a house of men includes and you have one busy mom. So, thank you, Catherine--your gift means more to me than you know and I am truly touched by your kindness...It has a special place of honor in my family room.
Well, that's about it for today... I'm not looking forward to the upcoming week. We are getting a new roof put on our house so things will be in an uproar (am I the only one who hates having workmen around?), but at least we'll have it installed before winter starts. Thanks again for your wonderful comments--I know each one takes time to write and for that reason, they mean all the more to me :) Bye now...