Friday, February 3, 2012

Quaker Diamonds, Mary Wigham sampler, crazy quilting, Valdani Thread, Cavendish National Park Dunes

Winter has come to PEI, sort of. It has been crazy with temps falling to minus 20 C at times for only for a day or so and then zooming up to + 10 C or there abouts for a day or two and then back down again. We get snow, then freezing rain and the snow eventually disappears and then we get more snow and then rain. But, we were rewarded with a not too bad dumping of snow two days ago. We have about 8 or 10 inches on the ground.

I sort of did a bad thing. I have a Nikon camera that I bought with two lenses about 3 years ago in a very, very good sale. Shortly after buying the camera, I was out one summer day in a park taking photos when all of a sudden, I was swarmed by mosquitoes. They were horrible! I was trying to gently lay my camera on the ground while at the same time searching my bag with the other hand for mosquito repellent. I ended up misjudging where the ground was and my telephoto lens ended up hitting the ground first, a little bit too hard. Well, the lens was jammed and nothing I could do unjammed it. I was told by Nikon that they needed about $100 just to look at the lens, and repairs would be added to that. Well, for that, I could buy a new lens but the economy being what it is, it will just have to wait and so I just used the one lens I have. A week or two ago, there was an incredibly clear night, so filled with stars you could make out the Milky Way. I wanted to see if I could get a photo of the stars so I attached the camera to the tripod and didn't open up the legs of the tripod enough, and you guessed it. The tripod fell over, and the camera landed on the lens first, so another jammed lens, the 18 to 55 mm lens.. Sigh.. I can take some pictures, but you will see below, they just aren't quite in focus.

In any case, for anyone who has seen Cavendish National Park dunes in the summer time, you will agree they just do not look as inviting in the winter time!

I belong to the sampler group in Facebook. We are doing a "SAL", Stitch ALong. We started January 1st of this year. It is the Mary Wigham Sampler and it is free and can be downloaded on the link below. You have to look on the right side of the page and go quite a ways down before you get to it.

The photo below is what I have done so far. I decided I wasn't too crazy about the bland colours used by Mary Wigham so changed quite a few of them.
I was hoping at this time to have a completed project or two but I don't. January was a very busy month for me. The Sumptuous Embroidery and Encrusted Crazy Quilting classes that I took last year from Sharon Boggon thrilled me to no end. I am so eager to make more pieces using what I learned! Big problem though is that my stitch stuff was scattered all over, or, I had no room for it and kept moving from room to room searching for what I needed which was frustrating to no end. I did not have a very good fabric inventory, no beads to speak of, and not a large selection of floss/thread. Three very very generous people from her classes were kind enough to send me some of their fabric stashes! Imagine people you have never met being so amazingly kind to send you some of their fabric and lace and thread stash! Wow! Thank you so much! I can't wait to use what I have received! I also happened upon a lovely bead sale in our big city and so am ready to go! But, I needed to get everything into one room. So, I bought a cabinet, put it together and sorted all my stitching stuff and am now just dealing with the odds and ends that you end up with that you wonder where the heck you are going to put them. I spent very little time stitching lately and only the last few days worked on the Mary Wigham sampler above.

One project that I have been working on but only at stitch guild meetings, is my Quaker Diamonds. Well, I certainly learned alot this month. First of all, this was my first Rosewood Manor pattern. And it was the first time I have used Valdani threads. When I ordered the thread, probably more than a year ago, I ordered the 3 ply balls of floss. They come already in a set for this sampler. When I received my order, I got skeins of 6 ply floss instead. When I questioned the store on my order, I do recall they sent me a note saying something about the floss when I enquired as to why I received the skeins instead of the balls but don't remember anything other than, them saying they had no more balls left, only the skeins. I used 3 strands of the floss skeins.

I was not thrilled to find that as I stitched this sampler, I kept running out of a colour and had to order another skein. I believe I had to purchase 3 or 4 more skeins. I recently ran out of blue and was definitely NOT a happy stitcher. Well, I learned this past week from a friend, that 2 strands of the 6 strand skeins are equal to 3 strands of the 3 stranded balls of Valdani's. I have too many little motifs to do to just borrow a hanker of the blue valdani from a friend so just placed an order for some. lesson learned.

What upsets me a bit more is that, when I did the Encrusted Crazy Quilting class, I would have loved to use some of the Valdani threads but was afraid to as I wasn't sure if I would have enough to finish the Quaker Diamonds pattern. The photo below shows where I am now in the Quaker Diamond Pattern; almost finished except for a few motifs. Another big lesson learned: when doing a page of this sampler, DO EVERYTHING ON THAT PAGE AND DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING FOR THE END!!! While working on the sampler, I got a little tired of the colour changes and if you look closely at the pattern, there are some motifs that have only one cross stitch of one colour and perhaps 3 or 4 or 5 cross stitches of another colour. Well, annoying as they may be to do as you stitch each page, they are wayyyyyy more annoying to do if you leave alot of them to do at the end!!! Anyways, the end is near! The blue has been ordered and when I get it, I will finish the sampler. As an added note, I will say that I do not believe in ironing a stitching project for the sake of a lovely photo for this blog. I think it will press the threads flat if it is repeatedly ironed, so I will press it at the end when it is done. There is a photo of the whole sampler and then a close up of one of the large motifs.
A close up of on of the large motifs: (keep in mind that the focus is not great as the lens is damaged!) :-(

Well, I have the Old Timers Disease... I think its called the Craft Syndrome. "Can't Remember a Freaking Thing"! Did I mention in an earlier entry that I was going to join Sharon B's Stitchin' Fingers? I think I don't have the time to join this group as I barely have the time to post on this blog. There is another reason as well. I did not want to go into Stitching Fingers with an "Alias" which is what I use on the net as I have a very "different" name.

I was in an abusive marriage for almost 30 years. I try to be quite guarded about my identity on the net, over and above normal common sense. I am in Facebook for example but untraceable and my identity remains hidden as my ex is a stalker and I do not wish to be found. Seems so silly to be writing that but there it is.

Anyways, I read all of Sharon's blogs and web site and if you have read this blog, you know I am totally thrilled with her, her website, her stitching, her quilting and mostly her artistic gifts. I do see that she is doing a TAST, or Take a Stitch Tuesday, for 2012. I have not started but hope to start very soon and catch up. I was hoping to get the sewing room in order and have some TAST stitches done to post before today, but it just ain't happening for me!!! LOL... So I will get started in the next week and then post where I need to, from reading the instructions for TAST. You can click on the word TAST here to see what it is all about! I have been printing off the pages for each week, have my binder all set up and just need to pull out a sampling of fabrics to use. What a great venue to learn some new stitches!

Well, we had a cloudy day yesterday when our ground hog came out of his den and didn't see his shadow, which supposedly means an early spring. I certainly hope that is true because the last few springs and summer have been horrible beyond belief and we certainly can use some nice weather! It has been a somewhat mild and snowless winter (compared to usual) and I hope it stays that way.

The sun is out so I might go outside for a bit and play with the dog. Enjoy your day!


  1. Dear friend, I've read ALL the comment and my first question is:
    when looking at a camera, ..... what part is the lense? My camera has a little window where you look through and a button you press when you think you aren't going to move at all, then, my camera takes a photo of what she wants! lol

    Then I read about the weather and came to the conclusion that snow isn't good for you.... you stitch too many projects!!! I hope Spring comes along so you start digging you garden and won't have time for stitchery :P

    And then I read why you don't want to join the group..... Yoy really ARE a brave woman!

    Biquiños for you!

  2. Hey!!! I replied a few days ago but i don't see it here! The lens of your camera is the part that sticks out the front.. Depending on your camera, it may slide out and back into your camera depending on whether you are zooming or not. Hope that helps. And no dirty comments from you after reading that either!!! lol And thank you!