Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

December 1st was our annual Christmas Open House at the shop.  It was a wonderful day geared to appreciating our customers.  The shop was decorated for Christmas, the snack table well stocked, plenty of specials throughout, and a gift of christmas stitching free bees.

One of the Christmas suprises at this year's Open House was a kit of a singing reindeer I designed just for this occasion.  All were quite taken with him, and Margaret even named him "Felix". 
I realize many of you were unable to drop by on this day, so I would like to share Felix with all of you. 
Click here for Felix, the Singing Reindeer.

Gitta's team this year at the Open House, from left to right, consisted of Clare, Margaret, Mary, Gitta, Me, Helen, and Ietje.  To see our Christmas Open House photo album on facebook  click here.   At the shop we appreciate your support throughout the year and look forward to helping you with your stitching projects in 2013.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, 
a season filled with love, family, and good friends,
 and a New Year filled with good health and happiness.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Surprise for Kathrin

I recieved an email Tuesday entitled "A Surprise for Kathrin"  It was like opening an early Christmas present.  The surprise was from Kim Beamish, she had already completed her 15 Sided Pulled Thread Biscornu and so much more.  Kim is designer herself and has had many of her designs published in A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine.  (issues available through Gitta's)
Here are some photos of Kim's finished project.
Her Biscornu
Her box is way beyond the box I plan on completing sometime (when I find some time)
She had the box almost all finished before I even posted the last square. 
What's a treasured stitching box without tools to tuck inside.
Absolutely Awesome; great job Kim.

However, Kim's was not the first photo I received.  2 weeks ago, I had received a photo from Susan H., she had completed hers before I even posted the last square (using one of the pattens twice).  She had to have it finished for her (Toronto) Guild's annual Christmas luncheon and gift exchange.  The recipient was totally thrilled (I was told).

Great job ladies!!!  If I'm lucky I'll manage to stitch mine together over the holidays.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Square #15 - Chessboard Filling Stitch

15. Chessboard Filling Stitch
It has taken me a while to post this last and final square, and for that I do apologize.  It was a hectic week before our Christmas Open House, and this past week I was desparately catching up on finishing seven Christmas Stockings.

Well here is the last square.  Although it is called Chessboard, when I look at the finished stitch I see interwoven ribbons.  No matter the name, what is in a name any way, I love the finished look.

Click here for the stitch instructions and stitch diagrams.

As for the finishing.  Please follow the finishing instructions from my last 15 Sided Biscornu.  I first posted these instructions on my March 18, 2011 blog post, but you can also click here
The only differnece between that and this 15 sided biscornu is that this one has open areas.  So before following the finishing instructions, you will first need to sew a backing fabric behind each square.  Sew this backing fabric to the square just along the outside of the backstitched border.

I will not get to finishing mine until after Christmas.  Sorry, to leave you on your own, but many of yours' will probably be finished before I get a chance to finish mine.  Lots of luck, and I'd love to see them all done !!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Square #14 - Leaf Stitch

Prepartions for our annual Christmas Open House are in full swing.  Next week some final decorating and we'll be ready.   This year's Christmas Open House will be held on  Saturday, December 1st.
Every year at the Christmas Open House we take the opportunity to thank you, our customers - without you the shop would not be here.   In this year's "Thank you" package is a kit of another Christmas ornament I designed just for this occasion.

I would like to invite all of you to join us next Saturday 
December 1st, to celebrate the Holiday Season 
with shop specials, goodies and lots of Christmas Cheer.

With all the prepartions for this year's Christmas Open House, I only  just finished stitching the Leaf Stitch last night, and this evening the stitch instructions.

I love the appearance of this stitch.

14. Leaf Stitch

Click here for the Stitch Instructions and Stitch

Friday, November 16, 2012

Square #13 - Triangle Stitch

13. Triangle Stitch

As the colour of my Perle Cotton #8 is almost identical to my linen colour, this stitch is very subtle. 

What is not very evident in the photo is the raised effect, very cool.

If your perle cotton colour is slightly different from your linen colour, as mine will be for my sampler version, then the stitch will be more visible.

Click here for the stitch instructions and diagrams.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Carolyn's "My Way" Class & Square #12

This weekend we were once again exhilarated by a knowledgable designer, Carolyn Mitchell, and her wonderful design entitled  "My Way".  This photo is of Carolyn's colours, but many were truely inspired by the designs title, and choose their own colour palette.

It was a 3 day Workshop and every morning as I was opening the shop, several of the ladies were already waiting infront of the shop, ready for another great day.  It was a great weekend of learning, handling different fibres, playing with our colour palettes, and making new friends. 

By Sunday afternoon, they all wanted to see Carolyn's other workshop projects and make plans for another weekend, to be held November 2013.

It was a wonderful weekend of sharing our love of stitching, all while learning and being inspired by a wonderful instructor.

Square #12 Open Trellis Filling

This stitch builds on the previous stitch from last week, so you will first need to stitch the Diagonally Raised Band Filling first.

Click here for the instructions and stitch diagrams

Friday, November 2, 2012

Square #11 and San Francisco, CA

After the wedding we drove back to San Francisco, with a stop at Mount Diablo.  The
drive up to the summit was pretty awesome, as long as you didn't look down.  The road was windy with hairpin turns and no guardrails.  David  I loved it, but my dad was a bit uncomfortable.  Once at the top we all relaxed and the views were magnificient.

By the time we drove into San Francisco via the Oakland Bay Bridge,  it was already late.  I managed to get some fabulous shots of the city out of the car window.

We had dinner that night at Pier 39, over looking the bay.

The next day was all about the Golden Gate Bridge.  We first stopped by the South over look, and then continued to Baker's Beach, for some more views of the bridge.  I could just imagine this beach during the summer, building sand castles and jumping waves all within view of an amazing bridge.

Our next stop was the Point Bonita Lighthouse, it is located just at the entrance to San Francisco Bay.  We had to hike down to the lighthouse, along the way we had great views of, you guessed it, the Golden Gate Bridge.

 We then spent the afternoon in Sausalito for a bit of shopping, and on our return trip back into San Francisco we had yet another view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The next day we spent in SanFrancisco, first walking and then driving down the most photographed and curliest section of Lombart Street. This portion of the street has beautifully groomed gardens, fabulous homes, and hundreds (if not thousands) of tourists daily. 
Afterwards we continued along Lombart Street to Coit Tower.  The views of the city from the top of the tower were great.  We could see Lombart Street and yes, the Golden  Gate Bridge.

For our last day in San Francisco we first dropped by Pier 39 to see the sea lions.  This was actually the first time we visited the pier during the day.  The sea lions kept us entertained for almost an hour.  Two things the photos cannot reveal are the noise and smell, and still we stayed.  Next was a quick stop by the Cable Car Museum. 

The afternoon we spent at Union Square, visiting Chinatown and of course Needlepoint Inc.  I had been here once before, but this was the first time for my mother.  We visted the shop and had a tour of their finishing workshop as well.  We had a great time.

The next day we headed home.  David happened to spot and snap a photo of Mount Diablo from the plane.  I was amazed that he even spotted it, yet alone pull out the camera fast enough to take a photo.   This day was rainy and overcast.  We were lucky to have driven there on the day that we did, as we would not have had those magnificient views today.

11. Diagonally Raised Band Filling

This stitch was quick to stitch, and not so much of a strain on the eyes.  I work in hand, so I did not pull too tight.  If you are working with a frame, and you pull your threads tighter, you will have more of a defined ridge effect.

Click here for the stitch instructions and stitch diagrams.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Square # 10 & a week in California

Over the past week my husband & I were in California for my cousins Wedding.   Except for our kids, due to midterms, the entire family attended.  We arrived in Modesto the day before the Wedding; we did a bit of shopping in the morning and relaxed by the pool in the afternoon.  For Friday evening my Uncle arranged a family dinner for everyone staying at the hotel.  It was alot of fun catching up with everyone.  After the dinner, my mother & I presented the bride with one of our gifts to her for her Wedding.  It is Sweetheart Tree's Wedding Sampler with a few tweeks.  I extended the centre area, as both their names are too long to fit on the same row, and I converted the colours to reflect the colours of her bridesmaids' dresses and flowers.  She absolutely loved it.
Saturday morning my Mom, my niece and I went to a Salon to have out hair done.  I would recommend this to everyone; we felt quite pampered.  And I could never get my hair to look like this.

My cousin's dress was stunning and she made an absolutely beautiful bride.  The groom looked pretty good too!                                                                                                                       

Here are David and myself at the reception.  We partied until after midnight.  

Sunday morning, after all the final good-byes we headed off to San Francisco for a few days......   I'll save this portion of our trip for next week.

10. Mock Faggot  

I had managed to complete this stitch before we left for California, but then ran out of time and could not post.  

Now that we're back home I should slowly get back on track.  I had taken my 15 sided Pulled Thread biscornu with me, but I only managed to stitch a little bit at the airport on our trip home.


                     Click here for the stitch instructions 
                     and stitch diagrams for Square #10.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend & Square #9

Last weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving up North.  The weather forcast had promised rain for most of Saturday, so my mom and I packed our stitching as well as 12 stitched ornaments we needed to finish. 

We worked on them all day Saturday and a bit each day on Sunday and Monday.  Here is the fruit of our labour,

We completed 7 Halloween ornaments (all from the 2012 Just Cross Stitch Special Collector's Issue: Halloween).

The 5 Christmas Ornaments are from the 2012 JCS Special Christmas Christmas and from Mill Hill  (Oli Elf, Paisley Tree, and Pear Tree Partridge).We always stitch these adorable Mill Hill kits on fabric rather than the perforated paper and then finish them with foam, to give them more of a presence.

On Sunday the weather was exceptional for a fall day.  It was chilly, but the sun shone all day.  My dad and I took this opportunity to head into the woods and go on (what has become an annual event)  a mushroom hunt.  This year we found a large variety of mushrooms, but as we are novices, we only harvest the Honey Mushroom.

Then on Monday, as we were preparing to head home we had a little visitor drop by to see us off.  We shared some of our left overs with him.  His colour was beautiful and his tail looked so full and soft.

In the evenings I did manage to stitch a little and work on my next few Pulled thread patterns.

Here is the 9th pattern.

9. Star Eyelet

Click here for the stitch instructions and stitch diagrams for Square #9.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Stitch In Public Day & Square #8

Yesterday, September 27th, was the day the Embroiderers' Association of Canada had selected as Canada's first National "Stitch in Public" Day.  The Toronto Guild had choosen Gitta's as their public place.  We re-arranged the shop to accomodate enough tables and chairs for everyone.  Some stitchers dropped in and stayed for a while, while most stayed for the entire day.   It was an absolutely wonderful day of stitching, relaxing and sharing.  Conversations covered the gamut, from the serious to the light hearted.  I enjoy events such as this, as it is a great opportunity for stitchers to meet other stitchers.  My mother thoroughly enjoyed herself, she stitched and caught up with some of our regular customers.
I also managed to sit a spell in the afternoon and work on my next pulled thread stitch, the Ringed Backstitch.

8.  Ringed Backstitch 
This stitch is comprised of backstitches over 2 linen threads.  Octagons are formed when two paths are completed.

When starting each row, please note that the first (and last) stitch is over 1 linen thread.

Click here for stitch instructions and stitch diagrams.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pulled Thread #7 - Running Stitch

7. Running Stitch Filling

The Pulled Mosaic stitch, posted last Sunday, has a heavy appearance and was not the easiest for me to stitch;  I had a hard time idenitfying which hole to stitch into.
So this week I wanted a stitch that is easier, with a  lighter appearance.
These stitches are over 4 linen threads - mainly because a multiple of 4 fits evenly within the squareYou can alter the appearance of the stitch by altering the number of linen threads the stitches are stitched over and are separated by.  If needed don't forget to insert compensating stitches along the edge.    Click here for stitch instructions and stitch diagrams