Lavender and Dragons

The flu and insomnia are not a good combination as it is 1am and I am still wide awake. I have been straightening up my stash because I want to enter in some Art/Sci competitions in the next year, and I am also participating in some Mirabilia stitch-a-longs that I will post when I start them in the new year! Although I have mostly done cross stitch, I am trying to branch out in some different types of embroidery. Here is a little piece I did to practice some different stitches. I might put some weights on the edges to turn it into a mug cover.

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Here is another epic piece I have been working on for a long time, just need to finish some beading! It is Celestial Dragon by Teresa Wentzler. It is the first piece I really worked with blending filament and seed beads. It is approximately 11″x14″ on 32 count linen.

I bought a couple of historical coif patterns I hope to start working on this year. I love embroidery and would really like to branch out into more fiber and textile arts as I go along! I am also working on a large long arm cross stitch void work piece, I will post pics of it soon.

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Completed projects

Here are some things I have actually completed:

Blue Belle by Hummel. Done on 14 count Aida, 10×20. This is one of my earliest completed pieces and one do my favorites. My grandparents had a Hummel piece hanging in their dining room that my aunt did, so I always wanted to do one. I’m glad I dated this one, looks like I did it in 2004. I have some more Hummel patterns, maybe one day…

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This is a piece I did for my grandfather, who I miss very much. It was also hanging in his house and it was given back to me when he died. Now it is hanging in my sister’s house with a couple of other pieces. I don’t remember where I got the pattern, probably Just Cross Stitch magazine. It is a view of Tuscany. Done on 14 count Aida (I think)

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This is one of my favorite pieces I have ever done. It is called Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender and Lace. Done on 28 count ivory evenweave. It needs a bit of ironing, I used to be very against using hoops and always used hand tension, which is probably why I have arthritis in my 30s… So needless to say now I use hoops 🙂 my sister has this one as well, I would like to make another one to put in Pickle and Piglet’s room.

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Last but most certainly not least, this is the most difficult one I have completed thus far. According to the designer, there are just about 20,000 stitches in it. I completed it for my father. It is called Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles. It is on BLACK 28 count evenweave. If you have never stitched on black fabric let me tell you, it was not easy. You have to work with a light behind the work because otherwise you can’t see the holes! I also used a variegated gold shaded silk. I’m glad I did this one, because I will probably never stitch on black linen again. Here is a link to some other people’s completed pieces : Cercles Gallery

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Blackwork

Here’s some Elizabethan style blackwork. Nothing terribly interesting, just a sampler piece. These are both the front and back done with a Holbein (reversible) stitch. The top pattern is a quatrefoil, bottom is the Jane Seymour cuff. I really like doing this style of stitching, I look forward to making some Elizabethan garb one day!

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Pillows

I should probably preface this post by reiterating that I love cross stitch. Before I had these wonderful children of mine, I could sit and sew for hours straight. I like to joke with my husband Cairbre that the only non child memory I have is sitting on the couch watching a 15 hour Angel and Buffy marathon and just sitting and working on a cross stitch. I literally have over a thousand patterns. I have binders and binders of them from years of magazine collecting and shopping on eBay when someone’s aunt/grandma/neighbor died and left them with a similar hoarder collection they don’t want. One such collection I have worked for years to collect is the Donna Vermillion Giampa pillow series that include fruits, vegetables, flowers, and seasons. They were published in Just Cross Stitch magazine over a dozen or so years and I am proud to say I have finally collected them all, Pokemon style. My plan, upon finishing them, is to make them into pillowcases and rotate them out.

The first one is a pumpkin pattern. It is done on 28 count evenweave over 2. I have two very small sections to finish on this one:

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Next is a hydrangea pillow, also done on 28 count evenweave over 2.

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Project of Doom

One of my long term projects is the aptly named Project of Doom. It is a paper pieced quilt I found on Fandom in Stitches. It is a Harry Potter themed bookshelf quilt. I was only able to complete one square before I was so heavily pregnant that I couldn’t lean over the sewing machine anymore… Sigh… But I am very excited to work on it. Here is my one square so far –

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I imagine that I will end up making several of these as I definitely want one, and I know my boys will want their own as well. Luckily, Fandom in Stitches also has Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit quilts, so I will be busy for a very looooong time.

I posted some pictures of other quilters that have finished their quilts and made unique bookshelves or made changes or additions. I really like the sleeping dragon on top of the bookshelf, and I think I would like to replace the monster book with the Triwizard Cup. We shall see….

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Deepest Love

Here is one of my oldest projects – Deepest Love by Mirabilia. Nora Corbett is one of my favorite designers, she has several mermaids I would like to eventually complete. This piece is on 32 count Zweigart blue linen over 2. The stitching is complete, I have a small amount of beading to do as well as some back stitch for the scales. I chose this piece first because it has been sitting in my UFO pile for some time and I would really like to finish it and get it in a frame!

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Hello world!

Well, since I have so many works in progress and UFO’s (unfinished objects), I decided to create a blog to keep track of them. I’m no good at using Twitter since I don’t have interesting things to say often enough. I titled this blog “Enchanted Thread and Magical Musings” because one day, when I was sitting at the sewing machine, my son who we will call Pickle watched me sew two parts of a quilt block together and said, “Wow Mommy, you doing magic!” This was especially ironic because I was working on a Harry Potter quilt at the time. So now, whenever I am sewing, he always refers to it as magic.

I am an avid embroiderer, mainly cross stitch and blackwork, which I have been doing for about 20 years. I am branching out into other forms of embroidery, especially historical stitching, as well as tablet weaving. I started quilting about a year ago, so I will keep track of those projects as well. As a member of the SCA, I am interested in expanding into other art/sci realms such as hand sewing/costuming, millinery, fiber arts (spinning, dyeing, and so forth!), scribal, and string music. So for now, my blog will focus on that stuff I already know how to do, but I hope to expand in the next hundred years or so.

A little about me: I have a wonderful husband, Cairbre, and two sons, Pickle and Piglet. We live in one of the “Strawberry Capitals of the World” (since there seem to be more than one)… I am a teacher and very much enjoy what I do, along with the large amount of time off that this job allows. My other hobbies include baking, cake decorating, video games, travelling, camping, and of course spending time with my wonderful family.

Until next time!

~Aoife