Archive for the ‘Progress Pics’ Category

Some Late Progress Pics

Posted: May 13, 2017 by zenstitcher in Progress Pics
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I haven’t done much here with progress pics — Sue and I share this space, and writing endless little posts about the bits of progress we make on a daily basis never appealed to either of us. Lately, I’ve been sharing individual WiP pix on Instagram, but this week I found myself with a bundle to share. 

First up: Celtic Yule (nee Christmas). This is on white monaco, which is a 28 ct cotton fabric. I’m stitchin over two threads, with two strands of DMC cotton flosses for cross and quarter stitches, and one strand for backstitching. I’ve been working from left to right on the top half of this one and have the poinsettia’s cross stitches nearly done. Next time it goes up on the stand, I’ll be doing a lot of backstitching.

Design by Vickery Collections. Stitching by Alesia Matson

I have said it many times: I love the palette of colors Mike Vickery uses. It’s distinctive to my eye now, after completing two of his designs previously (I see I’ve got neither of them available here — I hope to fix that soon). After this one, I’ll very likely buy another to dream over for a bit — they’re addictive.

Next up: Caffiene Fix. Sorry for the blurry corner there. Linen is hard to stitch on, too. This 28 ct Irish linen, again stitched over two, DMC floss, two strands for cross stitches, one for back stitches. Originally, I liked the “illustrated” look of this, and I still do — but I’m finding the back stitching in this one tiresome, I have to admit.

Design by Rhona Norrie. Stitching by Alesia Matson

I only work on this one during elder care times. It’s one of the few things my mother in-law actually, visibly, and verbally likes every time she sees it — and it’s new to her every time, too. As much as I disliked her personally when she was still sane, she was one of the few people I knew personally who understood the effort it took to stitch something by hand, and always appreciated it when I gifted her with something I’d stitched. So, we have that, at least.

Next up: Trust the Grind, my homage piece to the San Francisco Giants. This one is my design,and I’m stitching in on “antique” 28 ct monaco, over two. DMC, two strands for x’s, one for |’s. I’ve just got the one last banner to do on the center bottom section. The top center will feature the iconic SF logo. In columns down either side I’ll be stitching the team’s retired numbers, some favorite short, pithy sayings, and something else that hasn’t quite made itself known to me, yet. 🙂 

My dream is to get this finished and framed in time to take it down to the Stitch & Pitch at AT&T Park on July 18th of this year, and find a way to get it to the team, somehow. The obstacles to seeing this one come true are many, but for now it’s just a matter of getting through the stitching. I almost feel like I cursed the guys by designing and stitching this for them this year, which has been awfully grindy already — culminating in that 17 inning marathon last night, that they won with Buster Posey’s walk-off homer. It’s super hard to trust that grind when you’re in the middle of it, but it’s really the only way to get through it. 

Last up is the family tradition stuff. I’m getting started on the “Contortionist Santa” ornaments early this year, since I’ve got to do four J’s and one K, and the best times to squeeze these in is when the baby dragon is down for her nap. The baby dragon is my great granddaughter. My elder son is joining his life with a woman who’s got three kids of her own, and a baby granddaughter. That’s how I got a great-granddaughter before I really had much practice being a grandmother. 

I offered to difference the J’s by color. 

They all like pink best. facepalms I made my peace with pink a few years back, but really….

DMC 956, I think

These are done on 14 ct aida. I used to do them on Rib-bands, but I’ve got some better ideas on how to finish ornaments now. They stitch up quickly, which is good, because that little girl doesn’t always sleep for long, when she goes down.

If you’re wondering if I have a thing for contortionism after a certain snarky farewell to 2016 I did, well, I probably do. 🙂

The last project I’ve got going is a Maleficent-inspired design I picked up on Etsy, but I’ve made a mistake in counts and have some frogging to do before I get a pic of it. 

Thanks for reading along!


The Last Thing

Posted: February 20, 2017 by suegrain in Besties, Progress Pics


I remembered that while I posted this on a FB group, I hadn’t said anything about it here. This crib cover has been in the works for oh, about six or seven months now, I think. I don’t normally do them because I don’t really know a lot of folks having babies, or rather know them well enough (my daughter’s friends I’ve only met once, for instance).

However, this one plus three others came to me via my heart-sister whom I knew for 35 years. She died in January of 2016, but she had two of these in the works, plus plans for two more. One for her grandson, her grandniece, one for an extended family member and one for her daughter’s own heart-sister. When I went to see her the last time, I told her of course I’d get them done.

Work was already started on the first two, so cranking those out was a relatively short piece of work and a bittersweet joy. Her sister-in-law finished them and also said she’d take the one intended for her granddaughter off my hands, so that left me with this one. I took a break before starting this one and actually got a lot accomplished before her private memorial service in September.

Therein is where I stalled. After that weekend, I just couldn’t bear to pick it up again because it hit me: This was the last thing I would ever do for her. The last favor, the last gesture of our deep bond. It’s certainly not the last connection but it felt like it for a while.

I finally picked this up again at the end of January and have been plunking away at it, slowly. The actions of attending her public memorial service at the beginning of that month helped close the circle enough. Fortunately my god-daughter and her friend are understanding and are in no rush for it, even if the baby will be turning two this year. 🙂 I hope to have it to them before then.

Grief is definitely an individual’s providence and we all go through it in different ways and deal with it differently. I’m rather glad I had these crib covers to do in the aftermath of her death. What will happen once I get it done and sent? We will see.

WiP: The Book of Ink Circles, Almost Done

Posted: February 5, 2017 by zenstitcher in Progress Pics
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I finished a block today.

Design by Tracy Horner of Ink Circles. Stitching by me.

This is the penultimate block. And it is finished.

Look at how nicely the sparklies show up in the green and gold borders.

Design by Tracy Horner of Ink Circles. Stitching by me.

I started this in 2009, as I’ve said before. Looks real good for a completion early in 2017. 

Who wants to see a pic of the back? 

Progress, Book of Ink

Posted: December 9, 2016 by zenstitcher in Progress Pics
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This is the penultimate block, and it’s the craziest so far. Insanely, stupidly difficult. As designers go, Tracy Horner is a freaking sadist, and I love her charts so hard. Yes, I know what that says about me. Go on, judge me. But get a look at this, first:

Every tiny stitch HAS to be right.

The greens and golds in the frame (only) are one strand of DMC cotton floss + one strand of DMC Light Effects — and this is why I tell every stitcher I know to STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM DMC LIGHT EFFECTS. Go with Kreinik, for the love of your own sanity. I even made the same mistake with those little blocks with the red patterns, because I’m completely insane and that’s why it’s taken me six years to finish this, so far.

deep breath

A happier subject are the corner kitties — I use an alternate pattern for the cats, and I changed the colors to honor my Libby kitty. She was just barely not a kitten anymore when I started this. Yeesh.

No more complete pics of this project until I get it completed. Partial shots only, to whet your appetite for more.

Or something like that.

BoINKin’ (WiP)

Posted: November 7, 2016 by zenstitcher in Progress Pics
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There. Pesky aesthetic dilemma resolved.

I like that lighter blue through all the rest of this project, but the contrast with the darker blue was just too great for this particular block to “look right” to my eyes. I snapped a pic of it like this to show how I attempted to correct the problem — one strand of DMC 798 over the top of each stitch.

When I give you a zoomed-out version later, you won’t even be able to see them. 😀

Progress, Book of Ink

Posted: October 27, 2016 by zenstitcher in Progress Pics

There were quite a few important reasons I couldn’t join Sue on retreat this year. It’s the first year I’ve missed since…  well, it was before 2010, I believe. I missed the time away and the chance to set aside time every day dedicated to this project. Since it’s so close to completion, I decided to put it back up on the floorstand and nibble away at it as a way to step down from the insane amount of writing I’ve been doing lately. Tracy Horner’s Book of Ink Circles is a straight-up tribute to the muses of inticacy and precision, and it’s a good way to soak up mental energy when I’m exhausted from spinning it out into stories.

Here’s where I am now:

Nit-picky critics like me can’t help but notice the block in the lower left corner and how the lighter blue is having some problems. Well, the problems are memory-related — mine — I keep forgetting that I started deepening that light blue with one strand of DMC 798 over the top stich in each cross, and that I need to finish it so it looks right. 😀 I might do that to finish up the afternoon because I really am dragging ass, today.

Oh, shit. I see where I missed a stitch. Well, at least one. Can you find it?