Hello, hello! And how are all of my blogging buddies on this fine morning? Unfortunately, "fine morning" is simply wishful thinking on my part as it has been raining and raining for the past 24 hours here... Isn't it hard to believe that March is almost upon us? I can hardly wait for the grass to start greening up and for the first crocuses to peak through the soil. I really need a bit of spring color in my life right now--how about you? You see, I've been doing a lot of "snow" stitching lately--not exactly my favorite thing. Of all the colors, white seems to be the most difficult (and boring!) for me. Does anyone else feel that way? I don't know if it's the poor coverage or what, but it feels like a task rather than a joy...
Anyway, I'd like to share with you a big (for me!) finish... The Prairie Schooler February sampler. It is stitched on 40 ct. flax Newcastle with DMC thread and I'm so happy with how it turned out; it's such a cheerful piece.
Prairie Schooler February Sampler
You'll notice I made a few changes from the original (which you can see below). I substituted the pretty heart and doves for the groundhog in the upper right corner. Although the groundhog was cute (well as cute as any overgrown rodent with large yellow teeth can be!), I wanted the chart to be more about the other February holidays (Valentine's Day and President's Day) and there was already one tiny groundhog at the bottom merrily waving his American flag. The main change I made, though, was to the sun. In the original chart the sun is black (well, DMC 3371, which is nearly black!)... I mean, honestly, have you ever seen a sun that color in your life? If I had I would fear the world was ending! To me, the sun, as originally charted, looked ominous and a bit spider-like, so I used the same golden yellow that lit up the windows of the cabin for my sun and I'm much happier with the look.
There are so many lovely details in this piece that commemorate American history. If you look closely you'll see the names of our most famous presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, along with their birth and death dates stitched into the snow. And don't you love that border of cherries and hearts? Who doesn't remember the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and the countless "cherry-related" activities we did as children in elementary school? Well, it turns out that the whole "I cannot tell a lie" thing supposedly spoken by George as he confessed to chopping down the cherry tree was a myth! It all began with a man named Parson Mason Weems who invented that part of George's life as a way to teach children about telling the truth when he wrote an early biography of his life! Hmm...not very truthful on his part, was it? Oh, well... another childhood illusion shattered...
Prairie Schooler February Sampler
I also have a small finish from January that I forgot to share with you last time. Again, there was a lot of white stitching involved! I had such a hard time getting the white snowflakes to show up on the 28 ct. gray Monaco until I decided to use two threads of B5200 just for them (everything else is stitched with just one thread since I stitched it "over one)." I used the suggested overdyeds and backed it with the pretty white on white fabric shown in the background. I really love the look of the Word Play series, but for some reason, I didn't love stitching it. I'm not sure why; being a librarian I love words, but I struggled with making myself sit down and finish it. I had planned to stitch the Word Play design for each month this year, but I don't think that is going to be happening. I'm sure I'll stitch them all eventually, just not this year.
January Word Play
Now, although that dainty white bow in the left corner looks very charming--it really wasn't part of my original finishing plan. I had a "little"--ahem--mishap when I was ironing my finished piece. You see, I had basted the thin white ric-rac on with red thread when I sewed my pillow together. After turning it right side out after sewing the pillow on my machine, I was giving it a quick pressing when all of a sudden this red blob appeared on the white--horrors!! All I can surmise is that some of the red thread that I had pulled out from the basting had stuck on the ironing board cover and the iron accidentally got too close to the synthetic ric rac and it melted the red thread right on to the white trim. Oh, I tried everything to remove it that I could think of--I even tried filing it with a nail file, but to no avail...The red was now a permanent part of my design!
Never again will I use red thread to baste white trim!!
I was very proud of myself, though--I didn't freak out! Honestly.. I simply took a deep breath and tried to think of different ways to disguise my mistake. I thought a cute yo-yo would cover it up nicely, but I didn't have any fabric that looked just right with all of the colors in the design. I thought about buttons, but none of them seemed just right either... SO, one of my little bows came to the rescue! Oh, I could have taken the whole pillow apart and started over, but having already trimmed the seams, it would have been difficult. So, I went with the quick and easy approach, glued a bow on top of the red blob, and no one is the wiser. You wouldn't even have known about it if I hadn't told you, would you? Anyway, I'm very pleased with it and these little snow buddies seem to like their new friend in his miniature wagon, too...
January Word Play
Earlier this month, I was the lucky winner of a giveaway held by Vickie at A Stitcher's Story in honor of her 200+ followers. Vickie makes the most adorable bottlecap pincushions. Just look at this little beauty in winter blue filled with Vickie's handmade pins. I had admired them on Vickie's blog, but had no idea just how tiny they truly are until this one showed up at my house. She also sent a cute pen with the word "Stitch" stitched onto black fabric and inserted into the pen's casing--what a great idea. A charming sampler rounded out the giveaway goodies. Thank you so very much, Vickie--I am just thrilled with each and every gift!
Giveaway win from Vickie
And from my sweet friend, Catherine at Bramblewood Stitches, came a little surprise on a day when I really needed a smile. I arrived home from my last visit to my parents and found a very sweet card with the prettiest decorated pins waiting for me. I really must learn how to make these pins that you all are making. They look like such fun! The card you sent is so "me," Catherine--I think it will be a perfect one to frame for my sunroom. Thank you again for your friendship and for your thoughtfulness!
RAK from Catherine
This month has been crazy-busy at work with four of the seven librarians in our department on vacation for almost two weeks. The three of us poor souls trying to cover a reference desk that is open 69 hours a week has been exhausting. If you work with the public you know exactly what I mean!! 99% of the people are great, but there are always a few who nothing will satisfy. So, as you can imagine, I'm more than ready for March to arrive and for my work schedule to return to my normal 2½ days a week. Hopefully, I'll be a bit more productive in my stitching next month, too...
Thank you all for stopping by today--I really appreciate your visit. And I want to give my newest followers a warm welcome--so glad you've found my blog. I'm still trying to come up with a little something for my 1000+ follower giveaway so stay tuned! Enjoy your day, my friends. Bye for now...