Monday, November 22, 2010

Sketching Out a Plan

Here's what I worked on over the weekend.  I'm not sure that I'll keep to this plan exactly (who knows when inspiration will strike?) but I do like the fact that I've got a few ideas down on paper before I begin.  Now I'm itching to start my first square! 

How's your project coming along?  If you're out there lurking, I hope you'll join in on the stitching fun!  (Just leave a comment and I'll add you to the blogroll.)  Also, be sure to join our Flickr group so you can share pictures of your squares!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope you have a lovely holiday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Inspiration: Vintage Embroidery Transfer Patterns

Recently, I've started collecting these wonderful vintage embroidery transfer patterns.  I haven't actually tried to transfer them onto anything, but I love looking at them for ideas and inspiration.  A few days ago I went through my stack of patterns looking for anything Christmas.  Here are a few pics of what I found.

I hope this gives you some more ideas for your stitchalong (if you need ideas, that is!).  As always, if you want to join in on the fun, just leave a comment here and I'll add you to the blogroll.

One last thing for this Monday morning: I'm having a lace giveaway on my other blog: Dishy Vintage.  Go check it out and leave a comment if you'd like to enter!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Off to the Races!

I stitched the grid last night!  Woo hoo!  I'm excited to get this project started!  I went back and forth about whether to stitch the whole grid first.  When I did the 39 Squares sampler, I stitched the outline of each square as I went along, with whatever color seemed right at the time.

I liked the overall effect of that, because even though there were three different colors for the grid, when it was all done it just seemed to work. But this time, I decided to do the whole thing green. 

You can see that some of my stitches are better than others!  :)   Well, now that the grid is done I'm going to spend some time sketching ideas for my squares!  How's your project coming along?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eye Candy Inspiration

So, now you've got your grid -- how are you going to fill it?  Here are a few pictures of some things that are inspiring me lately.  You can pull ideas for your squares from so many different places!  I've been looking at some of my favorite vintage Christmas cards and Christmas wrapping paper.  I think the vintage ornaments in the pic above are going to make an appearance on my sampler!

I just love those little angels, but I'm terrible at stitching faces and actual body parts.  So, maybe just wings?

And how about these little angels, gathering up stars!?  So cute!  Why don't they make wrapping paper like this anymore?

I hope this gave you some inspiration!  I can't wait to see everyone's ideas! 

It's not too late to join the stitchalong!  Just leave a comment here with your blog address [if you want to be added to the blogroll].  Also, please feel free to join the Flickr group and start posting your pics! 

Happy stitching, everyone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Drawing a Grid

Ready to get started?  I know I am!  Since I've decided to do a 5 x 5 grid, I wanted to start by getting my grid on my fabric. (A word about the fabric: you can of course stitch on anything you like!  I'm stitching on a linen fabric that I bought in a package at Hobby Lobby on the needlecraft aisle.  I love this linen -- everything seems to look good on it and it is easy to work with -- but it was expensive, around $24 I think.  The good news is that the piece in the package is huge, enough for several projects!  But it you're headed to HL to look for this linen, bring a coupon!)

For those of you who haven't done this before, here is a very simple little trick that I learned from Amy Powers when I did her 39 Squares Project.  Now, I'm sure the experts out there are cringing at the simple method I'm about to show you, AND about the fact that I'm using pencil.  But hey, this is supposed to be fun, not perfect, and I've discovered that pencil actually works great for me.  So, the moral of the story is: do what works for you and have fun!

All you need to make your grid is a ruler (a 1-inch wide ruler if you want 1-inch squares) and a pencil.  Using the ruler as a straightedge, sketch the top line of your grid.  Then simply draw another line along the bottom of the ruler, and now you have your first 1-inch row.

After you've drawn 6 lines (to make 5 rows), turn your ruler the other way and repeat, to create your vertical columns. 

Don't be afraid of the pencil -- you can always erase a stray mark (just be sure to use a white eraser, and not a pink one).

In the end, you will have your 5 x 5 grid (or whatever size you choose) of little 1-inch squares!

I'm pretty excited about this little grid because it seems so do-able! It's a nice, small, manageable size.

So, there you have it. I hope this helped those of you who hadn't done a grid like this before. 

Now I need to decide whether I'm going to stitch all the outlines first, or do one square at a time..... Hmmm.... still not sure.  I'll be back soon with a stitching update and with some fun vintage items for inspiration!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Project, New Supplies!

I'm pretty new to stitching.  When I was younger I did some cross stitch from time to time, but I had never done any other type of stitching until I joined Amy Powers' 39 Squares Stitchalong last spring.  That was when I discovered perle cotton embroidery floss: and a love affair began.

I'm not sure why I love perle cotton so much more than regular embroidery floss -- it's probably because it's so easy to work with for an amateur stitcher like me. But I also love how thick it is -- it makes great French knots -- and gives everything a cool dimension that I enjoy.  The only downside to it as far as I can tell is that it does not come in nearly as many colors as regular floss. 

Anyway, in addition to not being an expert at stitching, and I am also not a particularly organized stitcher either! (Most of my thread rides around with me in a gallon zip lock bag.)  So, I probably have enough thread to do this holiday stitchalong and several other projects, too.  But did that stop me from going to Michael's for new thread?  Of course not!

My color palette for Christmas has been evolving the last few years, as my decor focuses much more on vintage Christmas.  I used to decorate in very traditional reds, golds, and greens, but now my house is covered in pastel colors and silver tinsel!  In keeping with that, this card reproduced from vintage wrapping paper is a really good jumping off point for the palette I'd like to use in the stitchalong:

I took it with me when I went shopping, and grabbed a bunch of thread to match!  So fun!

Tomorrow I will show you an easy way to make a grid for your 5 x 5 sampler (if that's what you decide to do.)  I think I've decided to do the grid and not a design, just to keep things simple and manageable (and because I loved the way my sampler came out for the 39 Squares project).

I've set up a Flickr group for the stitchalong!  You can find it here.  Please feel free to join the group, and to start posting pics of your stitching at any time!  I can't wait to see everyone's work!  :)  And again, if you'd like to join in the fun, just leave me a comment here with your blog address, and please swipe a button to spread the word.

Happy Friday! 
[And go Horned Frogs!!]

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Need some Inspiration?

If you haven't seen this gem already, you must go check out Amy Powers' new Christmas edition of Inspired Ideas!  It's chock full of incredible projects to inspire your holiday crafting! 

There are two projects in particular that I think you'll love: a small Christmas sampler (great for some stitchalong inspiration if you need some), and very clever felt sampler Christmas trees (I am SO making some of those this year)!!

In other news, I hope you'll consider joining the holiday stitchalong!  If you're interested, just leave a comment here -- and please leave your blog address if you want me to add you to the blog roll!  Also, I'd love it if you would grab a button (the code is over there to the right) and help me spread the word!  The more the merrier!  :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

25 Days of Christmas Stitchalong!

Even though I didn't get an overwhelming response to my poll, I couldn't get the idea of this stitchalong out of my mind, so I decided to go for it!  I'll be doing a 25 Days of Christmas stitching project of some kind (not sure yet if it will be a Christmas design or a 5 x 5 sampler grid), and I'd love for you to join in!

What I plan to do is spend November planning, sketching, and maybe doing a bit of stitching just to get ahead a bit, and then come December 1, I plan to post one square (or part of the design, whatever I end up doing) each day until Christmas Day.  That way, I think I can get this smaller-scale project done without adding to the crazy Christmas rush!

If you'd like to join in on the fun, please leave a comment here or on my Dishy Vintage blog and give me your blog address so that I can add it the blog roll I will have here on this blog.  If after a couple of days you don't see your blog listed, please just drop me another comment as  reminder.  Also, I'd love it if you would grab a button and add it to your blog to spread the word.  The code for the blog button is right over there to the right -------------->.  The more the merrier, really!  It's so fun to log on every morning and see what everyone has stitched.

Once we get rolling, I'll set up a Flickr group as well where people can post their stitching pics.

So, I hope you'll join me for some holiday stitching!