Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

I'm down to one chance to do a blog post for 2019-- I'll take it!
Yes, we've been busy!

In addition to having a HUGE family Christmas, the Kris Kringle Cross Stitch Carol Club has not missed a beat.

Here's a sneak peek at #9 coming out Friday...

I'm sure if you know me, 
you knew that more birds would be included!

And here's two more sketched, which leaves only one and a finishing kit before this Christmas series is one for the books.

Next year, we were thinking of having our annual stitch-a-long DONE by Christmas, but who has time when it gets so close to Christmas to finish anyway? We always enjoy this week between Christmas and New Year's to make NEXT year's things. Still, the closer it gets to February, the less we're feeling it. Weigh in down in the comments below if you have an opinion.

We also finished a Cloud Club bird, the Mockingbird...

but she's sitting on cherry blossoms and looking completely 
spring-ish, so we decided to hold her over till January.

Do you see the cute sewing room in the window?
 This is our second-to-last bird, so we decided to give future generations a hint at who we are in this beautiful quilt.

And a New Year calls for a new stitch-a-long!

We are now going underwater for 
"Stitches of the Sea!"

We will be stitching the seven seas over the next year-- starting in the Chesapeake Bay, but also voyaging around the world to visit the Koi ponds in Japan, the coral reefs of Australia, and just about anywhere else if you have a suggestion. We'd love to have you as our "shipmates!"

These will all have the gorgeous ITH quilting we're known for--
the blue crab above will have the famous Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse in the background-- look for it next week.

And finally, the cross stitch news!

NO, we weren't able to finish this and have it under the tree for dear "Caroline" who has waited 22 years for this finish!
Good news, ALL of the cross stitches are finished-- Bad news, there's still a ton of backstitching to do on the side by the tree-- also the infernal "Chicken Pox" as I call the colonial knots on the red chair, have yet to be done. I could probably finish in January, or, as I said to Mr. SFO, it could take another year, to which he replied,
"It looks like you've insured yourself job security there!"


Look what Santa left me under the tree!

Another vintage cross stitch kit hot off Ebay...
Looks like I'll have job security for another 20 years!


Thanks for stitching with us this past 2019, 
and have a Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Kris Kringle's Cross Stitch Club Crushes it!

A huge THANK YOU to all who joined-- and yes, I promise to stop it with the alliteration now!

This is the first of twelve 4x4 cross stitch designs, and if you signed up for the series or bought it individually, you should already have it.

This is the first FREE charm size! This year, the free size will only be available on Friday--- this is different this year, so be sure to mark your calendars!! We're keeping the church charm free through Veteran's day to get everyone up to speed on the new rules...
Missed charms will be for sale for 99 cents.

If you signed up for the series, all of the charms will be free to you and will be sent to your inbox for the next 11 glorious Friday mornings! You also get the finishing kit for free. The Club price is $24.99, it will not be offered on sale, and the offer ends on December 1st-- after that, you have to buy individually.

We already have about 1/3 of our Christmas Carol series digitized, and about a third more sketched. So here's some sneak peeks if you're not convinced.

My True Love Gave to Me....

Winter Wonderland...

and Have a Cup of Cheer!

We're not sure which of those three to do next Friday yet...
so weigh in, in the comments below, if you have an opinion!

and here's some more sketches-- 
you can see that all of our designs start out on pencil and paper-- from cross stitch to cloud club. I guess we're a bit old school that way!

Upcoming we have "I Saw Three Ships" ( I confess I just wanted to do ships, and even as a kid I never really understood what this hymn had to do with Christmas LOL), Let Heaven and Nature Sing, and O Tannebaum. (I finally got that is German for Christmas Tree in my early adult years, heehee. In fact, a huge thank you to the German culture for making up most of this beloved holiday! xox)

So that is the skinny on
Kris Kringle's Cross Stitch Carols!

Again, a huge thank you for all of the early support-- it is a HUGE honor to us how many of you are willing to support this sight unseen.

Members-- look for your second installment on Friday, November 15th-- and also a big hug to all who bought the individual Jingle Bells design this weekend-- we really appreciate you, too.

Click below to visit the Kris Kringle page...
and for those of you who asked, YES!, a Santa head will definitely be one of the designs!
 Click Here


Sunday, October 20, 2019

To market, to market....

I have a finish, a new toy, November will be early, and I'm going to Quilt Market for the first time this week!  

All is right with the world.

First, the finish...

I am not a grandma yet, which Mr. SFO keeps reminding me is a good thing because neither of our kids is married--hee, hee. But I do have my first grand-nephew! You can tell by the date on the quilt, I'm a little late on this, but it's done. Many thanks to Sara Velder of Acorn Ridge Quilting for dragging it over the finish line!

This is my own design-- the boots were easy, but the guitar took forever! The fact that it's on a angle shook up all my math. 

Sara quilted it in an all over stars and swirls pattern. Perfect!

The backing fabric is cowboy bandanna. 
I tried to get cowhide minky, but it just seemed like it was going to weigh as much as a cow, so bandanna it is.

You can probably tell where this little boy lives... some months ago, I had the foresight to see that I could both deliver the quilt AND go to Quilt Market for one airplane fare this year! I signed up for a new program at market--- it is called "Threads of Success" and the point is to develop your business potential. Even more exciting, I won a free business consultation!

I am not overly good at winning things, and this just hits the whole trip out of the park. Do you think they will advise me to add customer accounts to the website? LOL. I'm betting so, and I'm hoping to come home with a lot of new ideas. 

And now for the new toy!

Yup-- to help in finishing up the stack of unfinished embroidered quilts, I took the leap! It's a 22" Innova-- I tried absolutely every longarm on display at the MQX East show last April, and hands down, I loved it. The action on in it is just amazing-- you can move it with one pinky.

Practice has not been perfect, but it has been perfectly enjoyable. I love this thing-- the beginning of a beautiful friendship and many more finished pieces. I'm also hoping to do more charity quilts in my spare time. My quilt guild has a group of women who piece them, but there always seems to be a need to quilt them. 
I'm hopeful I can fill a need.

And so, because I will be away for a few days, NOVEMBER is early-- look for it midweek. It is SO HARD TO BELIEVE there is only one left in this series!! We loved our year of cross stitch, and are hoping to continue next year with cross stitch teacups of the month(?) or some other series, in addition to a regular embroidery series (a creatures of the sea monthly pattern instead of birds?) Be sure to weigh in below if you have a monthly series idea for us.

Happy week! 
We are going to take a ton of pictures at Quilt Market and 
get you the inside scoop on what it was like-- Sample Spree, Schoolhouse, and all!


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Mug Rug Maker

We just released a brand new set and we're more excited than usual!

This one is very different then others-- instead of being a new project to START, it's one geared to help FINISHING projects!

It all started when we got behind on finishing our 
Cross-Stitches-of-the-Month. How easy would it be to just digitize that quilting and do it in the hoop?

Yes, it was SEW EASY! We're kind of committed to hand binding this series, but for those of you who aren't, we expanded the file to include a backing that is stitched on, so you can just turn it right side out for PERFECT edges.

This was the first mug rug we completed with this idea-- 
made with a 6" Lori Holt Vintage Farm Girl Block for a Farm Girl Quilt that we may or may not ever finish. Well, the Mug Rug was done in five minutes!

Then, we checked out a bin we keep in the corner with test stitch outs. That bin is overflowing like Niagara Falls. It wasn't long before we found a "Lovely Letter" from last year that was too pretty to throw out....

And another five minutes later...

We were now pretty addicted... a couple of months ago, I found this towel in the clearance bin at Anthropologie (love that store.)

It's frankly a bit dainty for my house...  like, you'd use it to polish up your champagne glasses when your girlfriends are over.
Well, my entertaining lately has been a bunch of hungry 20-somethings licking up BBQ sauce. 

No, the dainty cloth wasn't really useful here.

So this happened...

And then this!

And finally this...

All within an hour!

Eventually, we had six different quilting patterns and four different sizes to fit every hoop and finish most smaller UFOs... LOL.

So check it out...
Gift giving season is on it's way,  and you'll have SEW much fun finding ways to use this kit... and it will never go out of style, either!

Next, we are going to design the "Postcard Maker."
If you remember from the last post, we stitched our Halloween Cross Stitch as a postcard.

The next step is, I'm taking it to the post office to see if 
#1 they will take it and  
#2 it gets back to me!
If not, it's probably just a matter of sticking it in a envelope, because it's just too cute to not make the set.

Stay tuned.

In other exciting news, we've decided to start our own YouTube show! Yes-- the set is almost ready-- (it is recommended to be in a corner for some reason.) As soon as I get confident, The SFO team will get into production and show how to make some of these wonderful things, and also get to know you all better. We even have a couple of guest stars in mind! 

Finally, because some of you have been so kind to ask how my cross stitch stocking is coming, I have to admit I don't think it's going to be ready this year! It's not that I put it away again, but the back stitching is FOREVER. I'm totally at peace with it-- I still think it will be finished this winter.

But as I have been cleaning out the office for the movie set, 
look what I found!

 I knew I had this somewhere-- it was rolled up in a plastic scrap booking box. Completely finished, by me, in 1996!!

To decorate the new studio, I decided to finally take it to Michaels for framing. It was pretty incredible-- they scanned it and were able to show me on a computer screen exactly what it would look like with the frame and mats I chose.

And here it is!!

It just makes me sew happy...

but even with 70% off, I guess you can imagine it still cost a fortune.

But don't worry, as I told Mr. SFO...

I saved $450!!!


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Indian Summer

We have been having the most incredible wave of weather... 
in the 70s with low humidity and piercing blue skies!

The thing I love after machine embroidery is gardening... 
(best of all is digitizing flowers.)
I frequently take walks around the house for inspiration...
that's my green "thinking chair" on the front porch.

It has been a great year for the gardens, but all around there are signs that summer is once again coming to a close.

I have knuckled down to start fall designs and have had some nice finishes this past month.

Food is just as much fun to digitize as flowers, come to think of it!

There are two types of people in this world:
those who like pumpkin spice and those who do not. Guess which camp I fall into?  Which do you? This is going to be both my Halloween and Thanksgiving centerpiece:

For the Halloween Special Edition Cross Stitch, I experimented and turned mine into, not a pumpkin, but a postcard. We are working on some sets that would fall into the category of "Finishing Kits." For example, you could take any embroidery stitch out and then use a "Mug Rug Maker" to turn it into an ITH mug rug, or a postcard.... This isn't available yet, but be sure to comment if you think you would be interested and what you would like to make out of your stitch outs.

In non-SFO sewing, I also had two nice finishes!

There is a little boy who has waited HIS WHOLE LIFE for this quilt... can you guess what state he lives in? Yes-- it's the one that has Quilt Market! And guess who is flying down that week to deliver this quilt!!

Out of 12 Frivols kits, I just finished my fourth one--- I'm not going in order, but this matched my daughters new apartment, oh so  perfectly! It is kit #12 and is made up of Editya Sitar fabrics-- Blue Barn, I believe. When I decided to buy all the Frivols after the fact, most were half price, but this one was DOUBLE!! Maybe by the end of the series they were not selling as well and so they didn't make as many.

So there are just a few random thoughts as one fall day, 
happily and beautifully, passes into the next.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

My Birthday Adventure...

My birthday was at the end of last month, and as luck would have it, no one was around to celebrate with me. :-(

Not being one to sit home feeling sorry for myself, I decided to make my own party with a field trip, and let everyone know all along the way IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

Quite a few asked me if it was a "BIG" birthday-- thank God, no! But I AM old enough to be in a museum.

Yes... The New England Quilt Museum!

There is my sweet little "New England Album" on display for the LAST time. (This is what I tell Mr. SFO every time he gets the ladder out to take it off our bedroom wall. But I DO think this will be the last time.)

The show was called "The Best of New England Quilt Guilds" and each guild juried one quilt from their membership. It's quite a treat to see what "real" people are doing out there, and to get away from the show quilting world. 

Here are a few of my other favorites-- does anyone else read the stories behind each quilt? I love to, so I've posted them under each quilt.

After viewing the show, you were invited to vote for a favorite...
this was mine...

Just because it makes the perfect segue way into my actual birthday party, which occurred on the weekend!

My son and his girlfriend made us all a fabulous seafood-fest complete with lobster, oysters, scallops and tuna.

We live on a pond, and here they are with the "grand-dogs" trying to get a little family portrait taken.

Here we are!

I love my crazy, happy, disorganized life!