UFBS(UnFinished but Stitched) becomes Pandora’s Box

I am still working on my Canvas tutorial…how to use. There is an interest, maybe not a large following but I think anytime you can help someone reach their goal; it’s a good thing.  I would much rather help someone learn to produce  good stitch guides  than to have them commit copyright infringement by photocopying books for stitch guides or heaven forbid other stitch guide stitches.

14-06-08 to finish aOh my, did I open Pandora’s Box! I got out two UFBS boxes (Unfinished but stitched) to see what I had. I stopped counting at 25 finishing projects and that was not pieces but projects.  I have about 24 Halloween pieces and I only counted them as one and the 5-6 roll 14-06-08 to finish bups I counted as one. I found original designs I have not yet put in the computer. Oh my, UFBS boxes have become Pandora Boxes and have unleashed a monster; I may never get out of my sewing area again! But I am going to start and some of my original pieces I will include finishing instructions with my charts for those that want to give finishing a try.

I spent last week-end getting organized and putting everything in one place. I had finishing here and there. Well, it made it look like I didn’t have a mountain but just little molehills. Now I ‘m looking at this mountain of finishing as lots of practice.

Over the years I have amassed in my library many books on finishing; and yes I found one I did not have so I ordered it. There has to be some compensation or taking on this massive project and I already have more than enough stitching so 14-06-12_finishing101why not another book. I ordered Pat Mazu’s Finishing 101 from Stitching From the Heart (http://stitches-heart.com/) I can hardly wait to get it. I have stitched a few of Pat’s stockings (think there is one on the finishing mountain as a matter of fact) and enjoyed it very much.

I also contacted Pat to get permission to use her book picture and she is semi-retired but still does finishing for one shop. She said her finishing technique is pretty basic and so if you want the new stuff using styrofoam she’s not you girl. She also mentioned her bibliography and you know that means books…I could be in heaven.

Here are my other finishing books, I tried to contact Sandy HIgggins and Summer Truwell to for permission to use their pictures but had no response:

14-06-12 book weilemannI took a class many years ago from  Edie Weilemann and it was wonderful. It was a hands on learning class and she gave us her book Finishing Needlework.  I learned a bunch and hope it comes back to me quickly. I remember the lady sitting next to me said, “This is the best class I have ever taken! I am not a finisher but a stitcher. AND I will never complain about how much finishing costs again.”  I may agree with her after this summer, we’ll see. I contacted Edie and she still does finishing…ummm good to know. And her book is still available. Look for her on Facebook.

14-06-12 book HigginsThe following I found online so there are copies available should you want to join my summer project.

Sandy’s Finishing Touches
by Sandy Higgins; ISBN 978-0-9663617-1-1

14-06-12 book truswellUltimate Big Book of Finishing, needlework knowledge and techniques by Summer Louise Truswell.

And of course I have books from the 70’s when rabbit glue was a finishing technique of choice…I think lucky for me I only had one piece finished this way. And funny thing about this piece was it went to Hawaii with a friend, and within a few months started to disintegrate. She took the piece to local framer and he knew exactly what was wrong with it and also told her rabbit glue drew bugs. Well, I re- stitched her another piece but it was a lesson learned…no rabbit glue ever. Here are my older books and I refer to them but if investing I would go for the newer ones.

14-06-12 old booksBlocking and Finishing and More Needlework Blocking and Finishing by Dorothy Burchette

Finishing and Mounting Your Needlepoint Pieces by Katharine Ireys.

I have a notebook of finishing information a have gathered from various other sources, sometimes finishing instructions came with needlepoint, sometime I read a magazine article…and have even written some myself for guild projects.
14-06-12 Singer bookI also have many of the Singer Sewing books I plan on referring too also. The Singer books you can find on Amazon, Ebay or probably at local used book store for next to nothing.

I have a blocking board, Maries14-06-12 blocking board Products 4 square blocker; it came with these nails for blocking. My builder told me
they are roofing nails because they won’t rust.  Edie used a Marie Products board (maybe that’s when I got 14-06-12 nailsmine and am not sure where to get today) and Sandy suggests a pine wood board.  I have known people who block on their ironing board very successfully.

BUT you need to block needlework, it just looks nicer! I try not to wet my needlepoint either but if I have to mist, I do so with my blocking board lying flat with an old towel beneath it.  I don’t know how I feel about washing needlepoint. I have never had to do this but I would be careful about threads bleeding.

Supplies vary from project to project and next time I will list some of the things I think are essential in a sewing finishing box.

As I was tiding up my office I found three more pieces to add to the needs finishing projects.  I am going to stop moving things around; out of sight, out of mind works for me…This new project may get overwhelming.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Time to stitch

I was reading one of my bookmarked blogs, time to SewDaily (http://www.sewdaily.com/blogs/sewdaily/archive/2013/03/20/how-do-you-find-time-to-sew.aspx) and time seems to be a universal subject. When do I find time to… (fill in with your passion)? Do you getaway (retreat, trip to the lake, etc); take classes (offline…online doesn’t count here); Invite a friend over; get up early; or stay up late? Do you make a set time; take it with you, or just squeeze it in whenever?

This was one of my favorite replies from Luv2cre84u (http://www.etsy.com/people/Luv2cre84u)

She wrote:  You know what they say “A Clean House is a LIfe Un-lived”. I always remember that the house and chores will always be there so I just take time out for ME and sew when I need to. I put some laundry in and get lost in my “Therapy Room” as I call it. It makes me a happier person and I feel like I am creating something instead of feeling like I have not accomplished a thing. Life is too short not to create 🙂

This brought back such memories…I have a friend (mother of 5) and I was always telling her as our children were growing up to stop and smell the roses. I remember one spring day, after a horrible winter  that I thought we all should go to the zoo;  my friend had laundry to do (it must have been Monday…remember the nursery song: This is the way we wash our clothes…all on a Monday morning.) I remember asking her if she would have more laundry the next day and she looked at me like I was nuts…she had 5 kids. I reminded her she would always have laundry BUT today was the only today with her children, she would never have this time/day again…we went to the zoo.

My friend gave me two little signs I still have to this day:

Don’t fret about the mess…It’s my mess and I Love it


A messy house is a sign of character—wait tell you see the one who lives here.

And I had an embroidery (my youngest son with 4 kids has this now) that hung by our front door

All though you’ll find our house a mess…

Come in sit down, converse….

It doesn’t always look like this

Sometimes it’ even worse.

Liam I live by those sentiments…this moment in time will never happen again! I know that makes me a procrastinator but you know when I’m gone no one is ever going to remember me for my clean house. They are going to remember me for my friendship, time 13-03-20 easter canvasspent with them and my creativity.

And I agree with the others that were said …”I have more ideas than time to create” and “I do it one step at a time”… (although I may have several projects at different stages of steps.) I have more irons in the fire than time, at any given minute I could find something stitch related to do. Just look Temari Ballsat the pictures I posted…and these are the ones I have at my fingertips. I could go to my closet or the sewing room and find a few hundred more projects. Remember I consider these un-started and unfinished projects as life insurance…I’m going to live long threadsenough to put a dent in all these. 😉 Or I’m going to have the best estate stitch sale someday.

I also thought these sentiments were true and good:

It’s not about finding time…but rather making time…

computer deskIt is important to stitch, it saves your sanity.

And as Lu2cre84u said, “… Life is too short not to create.”

What do you do and how do you find time to stitch?

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! I know I will.

My plate broke But I am back…Toppy too…

I am so sorry I have been gone for a couple weeks but my plate finally broke and I just had to let some things go. I have a huge project on my desk right now, but yesterday I felt like I had gotten a grip on it and I could breath.

And to compound things I also got an infection and the medicine almost did me in…this is truly a case of the cure was worse than the disease! I am allergic to penicillin but the doctor assured me it was a new variety and so I tried it. Gave me a shot in the office and I had no adverse reaction, so I took the prescription. Three days later I my stomach was churning and my head pounding so hard I thought some kid was sitting outside my house with his “bass woofers” turned up. Stopped that prescription, called the doctor, he sent a second prescription…took one pill and that was it. I was NOT going to die from the cure! No more meds…if the infection comes back I will deal with it then. This all happened the week-end of St. Patrick and last Saturday (March 24th ) was the first day I felt normal.

Needless to say, Torin Ailfred O’Patrick was not well rounded for St. Paddy’s day. He was finished stitching, BUT flat.  He  was finished before I hit rock bottom and was headed for the finishing table but only made it as far as the mantle to share his space proudly with the navy (one grandson) on the mantle). Toppy knows next year he will be a well-rounded leprechaun.

Toppy got His finishing touches; gold buckles and buttons …buttons were upright cross/French knots: Small horizontal straight stitch and vertical French knot,  a nice filling stitch.

Remember the marks I made at Toppy’s shoes? This was to remember where the shamrocks had been and I couched shamrock sequins.

Toppy’s bag of shamrocks is needleweaving. First I basketweaved his gold bag , then couched shamrocks and over that needleweaving using a buttonhole  stitch. Start at the bottom with straight stitches and then buttonhole up to desired size adding and reducing stitches as needed. This stitch is worked from left to right; just sink thread on right and carry back to left side. The detached buttonholed may be worked first and then the embellishments just placed in the buttonhole bag.

Toppy wanted his mustache and hair to be his crowning glory. I filled his beard with directional straight stitches and overstitched them to give a fuller appearance; I even filled in the mustache area. Over these stitches I did two very long bullion knots for his mustache and couched it into place.

And his crowning glory…over 1000 French Knots…TMI(too much info)?  That’s just the guess-tee-mate because I piled them on just to give him a thick set of curly locks.

This is my temporary desk piled high with 5 Fed EX envelopes delivered to me during my melt down…I worked when I could and had most completed in time but Tuesday was the first day I felt almost caught up .

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

January Wrap up

Hopefully this month is about over and the rest of the year will be smoother.

I went for another check-up on my eye and after a lengthy check-up was pronounced “Okay for another year, unless something unforeseen happens.” I had a strange thing happen last week; felt like my left eye re-set in the socket…is the best way to describe it. I think I was more aware of it because of recent eye concerns. Anyway yesterday the sight in my left eye had gone from 20/35 to 20/20 and after a lengthy (only 1 ½ hours this trip) was pronounced ready to go. Only thing doctor could tell me was the vitreous (clear gel-like fluid that fills the eye) had detached from the back wall of the eye and there was no damage. Also thought what I felt was maybe the detachment although she could neither prove nor disprove this theory and had neer had anyone else tell her of that sensation.  Glad this is behind me and my biggest problem was I couldn’t see and had a head ache most of the day and evening. Sigh!

Since thing seem to happen in threes…two other of my friends have had more serious health problems than I; Kidney stones and a broken femur (and no she didn’t slip on the ice…we’ve had no ice yet this year) and I wish them both speed recoveries. Hopefully this I all the bad news for a while and by spring we are all able to get out and play again.

Celtic Knot magnet

BUT there is good news this month too. I taught the last part of my couching class Monday and several people are coming right along with it. Virginia, one of our oldest members stitched this magnet for me, it is the center design. Love it. I have three or four very small pieces Virginia has stitched and given to me over the years, I treasure each one. One of my favorites is this Ann Speiss Mills Angel she stitched. It was to be a ribbon center for ANG National

ASMills Angel

convention but I don’t remember which category, but there was something wrong with this one and so she stitched a second and was going to throw this one away.  I cabbaged on to it, finished is on a large button form and it hangs in my angel room (aka: dining room) most of the time. Virginia is one of those exceptional stitchers…she has tried most every technique (some she likes better than others), she stitches on 40 count silk gauze like it were Congress cloth and stitches well into the night. I consider her an honored woman among stitchers…she has forgot more than some of us will ever learn. She knows the basics of stitching and executes them very well, but she can break the rules too. Than you Virginia you are a treasure.

And last night, even though I could not see well and had a head ache, my friend Patty B drove me to the EGA meeting…and I am so glad we went!  Remember me telling you about this fabulous quilter, Janet Stone… (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/the-art-of-machine-quilted-quilts/)? Last night at the local EGA meeting Janet was the program and she showed all 10 of her beautiful quilts. Her first quilt she stitched individual blocks and the joined them together by hand. The second quilt was inspired by the first…she decided to make a quilt with a block for each letter of the alphabet…and oh yes, then she machine quilted (free hand all the names of these quilts in the border. Each quilt had a story and a reason to make whether it was figuring out a new technique, using a new and different thread, or using embellishments she found and wanted to incorporate into a design.   She gets these ideas draws them out, makes her own patterns and just puts them together; she made it sound so simple. She has added touches to a quilt to make it large enough to enter in a category; removed borders from a quilt two and three times to get it just right, but her favorite thing is the embellishments she adds to her quilts. Each of these quilts had similarities but are also so very unique in their design. Her sense of color and design is incredible, her embellishments are part of the design and not just added do dads, and her quilting is so unique and yet precise. Janet talked about each of her quilts and you could hear the love of the art she creates in her voice. She was delightful and so unassuming about her talent. What a treat! She can create about two quilts a year…and wants to write a book someday about her 26 quilts (her goal)…where do I sign up?

Oh yes and this is my tempory desk set up while we are remolding a space for our computers to have a new home. My family thinks I have become too engrossed in my tablet, but I have found Netflicks and the PBS programs I can now watch hours of PBS and stitch too…oh life is good.

Hope everyone had a more eventful and productive month than I and am looking forward to February!     Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue


Before I go off on my new tangent…my eye is much better. Sunday I stitched some and yesterday, well you’ll see… I spent the day playing…

I have a new distraction at my house, it is a gift from another family member who knew I would love it…DH take note. I am now the proud owner of an Android tablet, a Toshiba Thrive…couldn’t be more excited! 😉 Now before everyone jumps in and reminds me it is not an Ipad…I know…but I have a Windows computer and an Android smart phone so it makes no sense to me to have an ipad.

Trust me, I started out as an Apple devotee and still would be with Mac if my graphic program were written in that format. But about 5 years ago Canvas by Deneba sold to ACD Systems (http://www.acdsee.com/en/index) and they stopped supporting the Mac format. I know Canvas like the back of my hand and I have been with them since version 3 (maybe 2) and we are at version 12 now. I’m an old dog and when it comes to graphic computer programs too old to relearn. No matter what computer program you use, there is a learning curve…and I have self-taught myself this one.

Yesterday I spent playing. I had this little angel sitting on my shoulder reminding me I had plenty of things to to do but then the little red angle (remember the devil started out as an angel)  would knock off my other angel and say just a few more minutes. Well, a few more minutes turned into all day, BUT I had fun!

Today, I have left my toy up by my bed hoping I won’t be distracted. I am going to work first, stitch and then play. (I’ll probably be up all night.) But I had to share with everyone, I am so excited, thrilled…I’d do a happy dance but I’d probably fall down and hurt myself.

I do have a question for all those out there who have written apps for the mac…why not android too? I’m going to contact Suzy (http://stitcherie.ning.com/profile/SuZyMurphy), Sandra Arthur (http://duodesignsinc.com/wpsite/), and Ruth Schmuff (http://stitcherie.ning.com/main/search/search?q=ruth+schmuff) and ask this question. Maybe thy will answer here or at least answer me and I’ll post it.

sudu note: Have heard from 2 out of three  needlepoint authors, thanks for answering so quickly. And the answer is: $ and “market research shows that there are not yet enough out there (think they are refering to Android users) yet to justify the cost “.  Someday!

Need to get work done today…

Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Computers & One Long Panel

I know I have been gone almost two weeks but I have trying to get everything converted over to the new laptop…long, arduous, boring job, but I don’t want to leave anything behind. This picture looks like dueling computers and some days that is how it feels.  And of course one thing leads to another and then you are off on a tangent to remedy that problem before proceeding. I thought I would fall off my chair when DH announced he thought in the next day or two he would have everything transferred over to his new laptop…I should be about a month behind him but I was thinking all I needed was one program purchase and my email. Tonight I want my DH to explain the new email system to me because I do not think I am getting my emails as I should. I did manage to transfer all my contacts from one computer to the other with import/export 😉 and my DH did it all by hand. I’ll keep you posted; this process has been like major house cleaning and trust me, I rather be stitching.

But of course, I have been stitching too. This week was the last of Laura Perin’s, One Long Panel (http://laurajperindesigns.tripod.com/index.htm) class at the shop. It has been a fun class and interesting to see how everyone has kept up. I went by the evening class and took pictures so you can see all of our hard work. I think I am probably the most behind of all of us and many of my friends are taking great delight that I am not one of the first to be finished. Notice the pink color-ways, mine is on the left and I cut the green out. I put them side by side so you can see the differences.

Thank you for stopping by and spending a few moments with me; hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue


If it’s not one thing,it your mother….Mother Nature that is.

I have finally gotten my desk under control, my stitching is another story and I am planning to spend part of the day looking at my new computer. I think I best show more than a passing interest in this gift before DH thinks I don’t appreciate my gift. BTW, since my post Aug 11 (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/my-plate-and-table-run-n-n-nth-over/ ) that computer had to go back and I have a second new computer. The first computer had a short in the screen and periodically the “snowman would fight the polar bear in living color”; in other words I had dancing pixels. Would have to turn off the computer and restart…but since it was under warranty we sent it back for a full refund and DH ordered me one just like his. I really didn’t need a separate number pad but in many ways this will be easier;  if there is something I don’t understand maybe he will AND he has already set up my internet and printer. 😉

Anyway I am trying to play with the new computer and at some point today hope to compare new version of my graphic art program with the one I am using now; I may want to load the old version on the new computer also.

BUT I have this distraction…


These wonderful humming birds are flickering by my windows and I see them out of the corner of my eye or I see their shadows scurry across the patio. I get distracted and stop and watch…lose all concentration. I took a coffee break and went outside to watch and take a couple pictures. They weren’t frightened one little bit by me, just buzzed all around me. I did get a couple pictures but this is one of the moments I wish I had one of these fancy, fast cameras. There are four or five of them; I think a couple are migrating because the other three seem to be running them off and I have only seen two or three most of the summer. Must mean cooler weather is on the way…not today though, suppose to be 100 degrees.

Guess if I am going to get anything accomplished today, I am going to have to shut my curtains and turn my back to the window. Yes, I am easily distracted and I do have stitching I must do today also!

I’ll just let Angel watch for us both, and hopefully she won’t start making this little growling noise she makes when she sees something she wants to pounce upon…We’ve tried to tell her that making this noise is not helping her be a great blond hunter, but she’s a blond and well… if you have a blond cat you know what I mean.

Thank you for stopping by and spending a few moments with me; hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

My plate and table run-n-n-nth over

If I don’t post this today, it may never get posted.

I was picking up the house yesterday, my nests seemed to be spilling over into other areas, so I decided to put the current projects and business on the table to sort and prioritize it. Hum-m, my plate seems to be pretty full right now, but then my life seems to be that way… feast or famine; all or nothing; too much, too little. Oh well, it is the nature of the beast! After I felt I had the house back at a manageable level of messydom, I started to sort through the table (after all, we do use this table to eat off of several times a day.)

Here’s the rundown of this mess…looks kinda like the 12 Days of something….

#1-5 are needlepoint stitching projects:

#1 (two pieces) are the class I told the guild I would do for them. Trust me I have stitched and restitched this several times in different ways. Not that the project is difficult, it is not; I just keep making stupid mistakes. But the research is all completed and I have several of the areas charted so I am not in panic mode over this project…yet.

#2 is another shop project/class I wanted to do. I am doing it in afternoon class at the shop, it is my two hours, once a week to socialize with other stitchers and allows me inhance my stash all in one trip. The class is Laura Perin’s, One Long Panel (http://laurajperindesigns.tripod.com/index.htm) and as soon as we get a bit further I’ll take pictures to how all the color choices look. The evening group has some cool combinations also, will try and get back and take pictures of theirs too. I was current after week one, but with the looks of my table I may be behind after week two. Hopefully I can find time to keep current.

#3 The Eagle…poor guy seems to have gotten pushed to the back of the list…But I do have several years before I need to have it completed. Although, my 6 year old Grandson, to whom this eagle is intended to be given, informed me the other day; “Grandma, my eagle is not making a lot of stitching progress, I would like to have it finished before I am an Eagle Scout. And you know Grandma 10 years will just fly by.” From the mouths of babes or maybe just too big for his britches.

#4 These are 3 painted canvases I just could not live without. Now I have them, stitching is another story. Someday…

#5 is another project I started (must have had a slow day), maybe I’ll put this one in the car…It’s a small one and I could work it when I’m waiting on someone or stuck in traffic. This is a Just Nan kit, Sunny Summer Happy Garden (http://www.justnan.com/index.htm) that I am doing on canvas instead of linen. I just love the sunflower pin that came with this design; I’m a sucker for do-dads! And I love all the little pins and charms she adds to her kits.

And of course I must not be able to count above #5 because I missed #6, but I’m sure there is something in this heap of to do’s there must be a six.

#7-10 are projects in various states of completion for other people. Some have minor rework, some are wait pilot classes to finish, others have not even been begun. I’m sure #6 is here and probably a couple more.

And one of those included in #7-10 is the paperwork for my #1. I have that one about 75% complete.

#11 are two uniform skirts for one of my granddaughters…they need to be shortened. I don’t get why the uniform company does just not make these shirts shorter; since time began (or at least since uniforms were introduced) girls have shortened these skirts. They are pleated skirts that have had the folds set in cement and so no matter how many times you press them before and after you hem the skirt those folds are set and so the skirts flare at the bottom…Been this way since before my boys went to the same parochial school. One down,one to go but it is pined.

#12 And see that bit of gray metal shinning through at the bottom of the pile on the left? That is my new computer that I have had little time to do anything but register. System 7 is going to take some looking at, I may even see a Dummy book in my future.

And speaking of books, I have two of those I am trying to read also. One is stitching related, not to any project I’m doing but just to read and the other is “The Help.” Would like to read the book before I see the movie (when I don’t know…do you think I could stitch with a small light in the theater?) Maybe, if I’m lucky,  I’ll get the book read before it comes up on my Netflix list. 😉

Okay, now that I have spent time blogging I guess I best get back to work and conquer some of these to-dos.

Thank you for stopping by and spending a few moments with me; hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue