Monday, April 5, 2010

I Just Have To Show You!

I actually finished it on Thursday morning before we left on our ‘mini’ vacation to Syracuse, NY.    In hindsight, perhaps that wasn’t such a great idea because the main reason why I wanted to go to Syracuse was to visit my very first needlework shop…but more on that in a future post.

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My inspiration for learning how to x-stitch was a needle case that I fell in ♥ with from the book, Thank You, Sarah Tobias by Blackbird Designs.

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I read as much as I could find about x-stitching on the internet and with some help and encouragement from my friends Siobhan in Ireland, Heidi in Holland and Pat in the US, I jumped in headfirst, which for those who know me, is par for the course.  I completed three small-ish x-stitch projects last Fall then proceeded to work on Christmas gifts, FFF designs and the designing and creating of my Raggedy & Friends quilt.  X-stitching was relegated to the back burner. 

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Immediately upon completing the Raggedy & Friends quilt, I went through a ‘betwixt and between’ stage…almost a mini burn-out.  I made a string quilt and some string needle books for Stephanie’s challenge, but the BBD designs needle case kept ‘talking’ to me.  I took the plunge and  ordered the necessary supplies.

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It seemed like forever for the order to arrive from California.  During that time I read and re-read the instructions to make sure that I knew what to do.  I also started to read the Elm Creek series of novels by Jennifer Chiaverini, just to pass the time.

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Four books later, the supplies finally arrived and I dove right in.  I was nervous because I had never stitched on linen before.  I stumbled a few times but it didn’t take too long for the rhythm to return.  I thoroughly enjoyed every stitch, from the very first one on the 26th of February to the last one on March 31st.

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Last Thursday morning, I started to assemble it.   I layered the top, batting and backing and made the binding.

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I then trimmed it to size.

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My first fabric choice just didn’t do it for me.  I chose a Civil War print from my stash and it looked too wussy.  After all this work, I wasn’t going to complete it with a fabric that wasn’t just right.

Back to my stash I went.  Eureka!  I found just the perfect fabric from the Madiera collection by Moda.  And the designers?  Who else but the Blackbird Design gals themselves!  So I re-cut the top and re-made the binding.  The colors blended perfectly.

SAM_0135The inside…

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The outside…

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And the finished project…complete with vintage button…

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I can’t believe I did it…and I’m in …with my needle case!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

54 comments:

Kelly Ann said...

Cross Stitch was my first love and I haven't picked it up in a couple of years...I think I'll search out a half finished project and get moving on it. BTW...once you've stitched on linen you'll never go back to cotton...x-stitching on linen is the best...

Linda said...

Oh, Kaaren...........I LOVE it!
Perfect choice on the trim too. Now you must send a picture to the gals at Blackbird Designs for them to see your work.
How do you like the books? I have read all of Jennifer's books and feel like I know the characters. I would love to go to a quilt camp like that.
Linda/simplycountryseasons

Cathy B said...

Oh my gosh Kaaren -- it is beautiful! You did a great job stitching and finishing your needlecase!

Don't you just love Blackbird Designs? I think this is one of their best designs...

Have a great week!

Darlene said...

Oh, Kaaren, it's beautiful. Applause, applause!

X-stitch was my first love and passion for over 20 years and it will always gently tug at my heartstrings.

Well done!

Cathy B said...

I forgot to add -- I love the Chiaverini books too. Her latest book in the series "The Aloha Quilt" will be released this week.

Stephanie said...

It's a beauty Kaaren. When you open your new needle book it'll always be like a surprise inside.

Elyte said...

What a beautiful project. Well done. I have followed this project from beginning to end and feel a little of you sense of achievement. Make sure you use and enjoy it.

Lori said...

Oh my goodness! It is amazing and just perfect!!! What an accomplishment!!

Susannah said...

Absolutely Fabulous!!!!!

Pat said...

Oh, I love it Kaaren! Great job. I love your fabric choice. I knew you could do it!! I can't wait to hear about that needlework shop. I may need to take a road trip.

Diane H said...

Amazing job Kaaren! It's beautiful and the best part is you've made it for yourself to enjoy.

Maggey and Jim said...

Don't you just love it when you have created something so special?? I made a needle case from Sue Spargo and could not bear to part with it..Cherish your wonderful case, it is exquisite..

Maggey

Sheila said...

Beautiful Kaaren , I love the look of cross stitch and did lots of it years ago but don't find my eyes what they use to be so haven't odne any in a while.Great job!
Sheila

paulette said...

Kaaren, I LOVE THIS!! I would hang it on the wall for all to see!! Stunning! I can't believe that it is your first X-stitching project!! INcredible!! Take care!
Paulette

West Side of Straight said...

Thats beautiful!!!!!!! You are so talented.

Robin said...

It is beautiful!!! The binding you chose is perfect, too. :)

Amy R said...

Congrats Kaaren! Love Blackbird Design and you work is beautiful! Such a wonderful heirloom you have created!

Sandra Henderson said...

I Kaaren! I was just at your site earlier this morning!~and now I see that you've visited my little blog and have a chance to win the sterling silver vase on Wed! lol
I love your needle case. I am a needlepointer, but haven't cross stitched since high school. Sure wish I had some ideas for all the needlepoints I have. I suppose I could use one for a case.... I'll have to give it some thought. On the front of a tote for sure. Thanks for stopping by my little blog, just started blogging. It's a nice way for me to be social being stuck on this island. Sandra

Annette said...

Your needle case is absolutely gorgeous! Everything goes together so perfectly. A beautiful finish for you. I love Blackbird designs. I used to love cross stitch but it has been a long time.

Candace said...

Oh Kaaren - it's beautiful! I love the colors and to find the perfect fabric compliment - yippee!
I hope you had a nice mini-vacation!
Cheers!

Susan said...

It is lovely.......... Aren't finishes wonderful?

Heidi said...

Congratulations on your finish Kaaren!!!!! You did a fabulous job on it. Don't you just love it when it all starts to fall together and you realize you have the perfect fabrics and buttons for a project? I think the best way to start working on things is to just jump in headfirst as it gives you the momentum of your own enthusiasm.

Hugs from Holland ~
Heidi

Carrie P. said...

Wow, Kaaren, congrats on your xstitch finish. It is fabulous and definitely the perfect fabric for it. Great little scissors too.

Carol said...

You got all that stitching done in a month, I am impressed :) Looks gorgeous. Congratulations.
Blackbird Designs are great and Elm Creek books are always fun to read.

Bertie said...

Stunning Kaaren!! and thank you so much for showing the way you have assembled your needlebook, it's inspiring.
You must be so pleased, now on to the next bbd project LOL.

Deb said...

Oh Karen - it came out perfect!!! You did a wonderful job!!!! The stitching, the fabric, and the finishing!! I knew that you could do it and it would look wonderful!! Congratulations!!!

DaCraftyLady said...

I love your designs, although I have not done cross stitch in some time I do enjoy it and was inspired to buy a bread basket towel to do.. :) glad you got to see a needleshop...Syracuse is not far from my hometown Buffalo.. :)
Debb

Karen said...

A beautiful finish. I don't know when I will start mine but seeing yours gives me lots of enthusiasm.....just not time.

Rita said...

It's beautiful, Kaaren! X-stitch is my first love and I love to stitch reproduction samplers on linen. I always have an ongoing project and work on it in between my quilting projects.

Sue-Anne said...

Its beautiful Kaaren! I have enjoyed watching your progress and what a treasure you now have in your sewing basket.

Janet said...

Gorgeous Kaaren. What a fabulous job you did and I agree, the fabric is perfect. Now what to do next because I bet you're going to do more cross stitch.

Grammy Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

You SHOULD be in love with that keepsake you have completed. It is gorgeous! You have the magic touch - no matter what you decide to make, you do it so well. Job well done!! I agree with the blogger who said 'applause applause"!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh Kaaren, it is wonderful and I know how proud and happy you must feel. I now have a new word that I shall start to use "wussy"!! Not quite sure what it means but I love it!! way to go kiddo!!

Brenda said...

Stunning! Absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations on your finish. I just knew you could do it! B=)

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

It's wonderful Kaaren and I know your hear will skip a beat every time you open the case - I know mine would!!!

Jantine said...

It seems that you have just started and now it is finished already! Can't believe it! You were right, the second fabric is great combined with these beautiful stitcheries!

Cathi said...

What a fabulous finish -- love how you finished it!! Now I think I can't resist getting that Blackbird Designs book!

Miriam said...

Congratulations Kaaren!! Your work is beautiful!!!

I hope you had fun in that needlework shop in Syracuse.

Kim said...

Oh this is just lovely. too pretty to fold up so it can't be seen...what about putting a loop at the top and hanging it on the wall where you can admire it everyday!

Happy Sewing

Micki said...

Kaaren, this is just so stunning! I can see how much work and love went into it!
Micki

Karen at Briarside Lane said...

Well done, well done! It is beautiful! I agree... it's just too pretty to be folded up.

Looking forward to hearing about your visit to the needlework shop.

Kathy said...

Beautiful finish! I love the needlecase. I just might have to make one for me...I've had a chart and threads ready for ages...just needed the inspiration to GO! Thanks!

WoolenSails said...

That is a beautiful piece. I want to make things like that too, still learning.

Debbie

Allie said...

Kaaren that is STUNNING. I love the fabric you chose with it. You did a beautiful job on this!
I love the Elm Creek Quilters series!

Tatkis said...

It is just beautiful!!! Wonderful creation!

AnnieO said...

I love cross-stitch. My godmother got me started by giving me stamped kits on fabric, but I quickly progressed to counted cross-stitch. It is so satisfying to turn out such beauty with a needle and thread! Your fabric choice was the perfect compliment to your excellent stitching. Congratulations.

Rumi said...

Your needle case turned out so lovely!

julieQ said...

Your stitchery is just gorgeous! I love the way you finished it...lovely indeed.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

What a beautiful piece of work! You did a great job!

pamina said...

Really beautiful I love it !

Quilts And Pieces said...

Absolutely Gorgeous! But I"ve loved it all the while you have been working on it!

Siobhan said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am behind in blog reading, so imagine the delight as I got to your blog and saw that you'd finished this!!! Wow, wow, wow. What a fantastic finish... and so neat that you used the BBD fabric on the back. You definitely should send a pic to the BBD gals, they'd love it.

Congratulations!

Susan said...

Your did a wonderful job on the BBD needlecase Kaaren!!!

My CC threads to make my own have just arrived from the USA. However, I've got to fudge my linen fabric a bit to get the length required, so I've got to cut it and add in some homespun which will be folded up behind as pockets, so that I have the length of fabric to x-stitch it. I love the colours of the wool felt you get in the US. I like how your piece matched the green CC thread. I've not seen anything like it here.

I've found a dark navy blue wool skirt in my wardrobe that doesn't fit now, as the start of my "Wool Crazy Quilts" A long way to go to find more before I can ever start!!!!

Regards,

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Gorgeous! I miss doing cross-stitch...one day I'll go back to it I'm sure. It's such a soothing craft to do.