Changing my Focus

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I decided, finally, the I would just go ahead and focus on Frosty Knot Garden in February and not feel guilty about any other projects I had waiting so forlornly in my projects basket.

I’m pleased I did, I really made good progress on it this month! It’s a very enjoyable stitch. At this point it is still all symmetrical so once one section has been stitched, I can leave behind the chart and just mirror that section the rest of the way around. Yes, I do have to be careful, (VERY careful) but I am stitching this one slow and steady anyway.

But now, alas, February is at an end and my other projects are calling, calling. I will pick up something else for March. Ah, I can’t decide yet! Good thing I have a few more days!

February Fully Finished Objects

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Thanks to Rachel, I have been motivated to FFO a few more smalls this month!

I already showed you my 2 Mill Hill Santas…

And here is the snowflake all finished. This is Mill Hill’s “Ice Crystal” from the Snow Crystals series.

I finish them very simply, the way my Grandma always did. I hot glue a ribbon/cord on for the hanger, then hot glue some coordinating felt on the back. Then I carefully trim the felt to leave a little border. I have not seen any other Mill Hill finish I prefer!

Some of you have commented on my Mill Hill projects, wondering about beading and stitching on perforated paper. I’m just going to give a little PSA/free advertising for Mill Hill! If you don’t want to know all about stitching Mill Hill kits, skip to the next picture! 🙂 So…I have made over 30 of these kits. I think that they would be a very easy intro to beading! First, I do all the regular cross stitches in the pattern, using 3 ply to get good coverage. The paper is nice to stitch on as it is firm and you just hold it, no need for a hoop or anything. It is not paper as much as it is very thin cardboard, like tag board or what a cereal box is made of. In all the kits I have done, I have only ripped the paper one time, when I was dealing with a very fiddly, loopy Santa mustache. I had to unpick the mustache several times and got impatient. There were already 4 stitches of 3 ply through each hole which had overfilled and weakened them, and on top of that I was trying to position the mustache. I did just rip through the paper in my frustration. HOWEVER! repairing it was a cinch! I cut a small patch of paper and sewed it on behind the ripped place using additional cross stitches, and then proceeded as if nothing had happened. You could NOT TELL at all I had ripped the paper! I would show you but I don’t have a picture of that project! It was before my blogging days! For those new to beading, or who have beaded on fabric and hated it, I will just say, beading on the Mill Hill paper is nothing like beading on fabric. It is stiff and supports itself so it is quite easy to scoop up your bead and get it in place. I usually only put one stitch per bead unless it is a “petite” bead which calls for a cross stitch to position correctly. The paper is nice because it does not give the tension problems that fabric can, and it goes really really quick. You do use a beading needle of course because you need something thin to go through the tiny beads, but on paper you don’t have the trouble of the fine needle getting caught in the wrong thread of the linen. Having done beading on fabric and paper, I MUCH prefer paper. I would say, if you are interested in stitching on perforated paper or beading, Mill Hill kits are the way to go! There is an ornament for every interest and theme under the sun and they are small enough to stitch up in 2-3 sessions! Go for it! But don’t blame me if you become a Mill Hill addict! In the USA, you can buy Mill Hill kits for a good price at 123stitch.com and Austiners, as well as many other shops and eBay and even Amazon! I will admit that I never buy a Mill Hill kit at retail price unless I HAVE to have it right now, which is rare. They don’t really go out of production, and you can usually find them on sale eventually.

Now for my next finishes:

I turned my Blackbird Designs “A Bit of Summer” (from De Handwerk Boetiek pindrum club) into a drum! Ta Dah! I’m so proud of this!

This is my first drum. I am just tickled with it. I have many drum patterns in the wings. Now that I know how to make them, I should stitch them up!

The adorable pins are from The Glasshopper (click to link to their Etsy shop) which I received with my Frakur Birds club kit. Now, you might remember I framed that one so I couldn’t stick the pins in it! But these pins are perfect for this drum! I love that cute birdie!

Edited to say: I watched Vonna’s Pindrum Tutorial on Youtube to learn how to finish the drum. Her complete and precise directions really helped me achieve a clean finish. Thank you, Vonna!

I stuffed my drum with sawdust bought from Qodesh Wood, an Arizona- based, family-owned shop on Etsy. They also offered the largest amount for the cheapest price of what seemed to be “good” sawdust (which is, I guess, a little like saying “good orts” so it seems ridiculous to buy the byproduct of a craft, but hey, it IS good sawdust! And I don’t know any woodworkers!) This drum holds about 1/2 gallon of “fluffy” sawdust, which is compressed tight. It is still quite light (nothing like my enormous, heavy, walnut shell-packed berry from last month) and the sawdust not only was very forgiving to work into shape, but I feel like it is stable and won’t settle. End of Edit.

For my final FFO this month, I mounted the Brenda Gervais/WTNT Ode to the Ort on the little box I had. It was one of those little inexpensive wood boxes from Hobby Lobby that needed to be finished.

I painted the box the same color suggested to paint the basket. Then I sanded it and rubbed it with furniture wax to give it an antiqued look. The top measures a touch bigger than 2″ x 3″ so very dainty and perfect for the stitching. I’m thrilled how it turned out!

To see more FFOs, head over to the Ten Hour Stitcher and see what everyone else has been up to this month. Thanks for stopping by!

Secret Stitching Sweetheart 2020!

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Every year, Jo of Serendipitous Stitching organizes a virtual Valentine’s exchange called “Secret Stitching Sweethearts.” All the participants email a Valentine’s (love, hearts, friendship) themed stitched piece to Jo, and she emails one out to each of us to put on our blog. Then we hop around to find out who received our picture and reveal ourselves as the Secret Stitching Sweetheart!

Here are my Sweet Hearts this year…so pretty! I recognize the card as a free design from The Scarlett House, so if this is NOT yours and you want to stitch it, you can if you head over to the Facebook page of The Scarlett House! And of course the red hardanger is darling! Someone had fun stitching these!

That said, I have no idea who my sweetheart is! Is it you? Let me know in the comments. If not, head back to Jo’s to try another blog! Happy St. Valentine’s Day!