Sunday, October 25, 2020

I've Been Framed

Hi, stitching friends!

Boy, do I have a lot to show you today. Now, before you say, "Wow, Meg, you've been really busy," keep in mind that I stitched these over the past year. I placed a couple of big orders from Franken Frames and framed these a couple of months ago. I've been waiting for Halloween to get closer to show you, and I've been waiting for my dear hubby to help me with the hanging hardware on the back. That is the one part of the framing process that I do NOT enjoy one bit.

Thanks to my crabapple tree in the backyard, which sacrificed some of its lovely fall foliage for my photo shoot.

First up is Lizzie Kate's 2019 Halloween Mystery Sampler. Last year I showed you the drum I made from the bonus chart that came with this sampler. You can see that post here. I finished the sampler soon after that, but it has been in my "box of shame," a.k.a. unfinished finishes, since then.

Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery Sampler 2019
Lizzie Kate 2019 Halloween Mystery Sampler
Stitched on 32-count Fog by Picture This Plus
with called-for overdyed threads
Frame from Franken Frames

I love everything about this sampler: the colors and the scared look on the moon at the top and the skinny little black house on the bottom.

Tall, skinny pieces like this are great when you have limited wall space. They fit in the most unexpected places. I hung this one on the narrow bit of wall between my bedroom door and the linen closet. It goes great there, and I see it every time I go into my bedroom.

Have you ever stitched a mystery sampler? What was it? Did you enjoy the process?



Next up is one that I've seen a lot of people stitching this year, Halloween Quaker by Lila's Studio. 

Halloween Quaker by Lila's Studio
Halloween Quaker by Lila's Studio
Stitched on 40-count Murky by Picture This Plus
with called-for overdyed threads
Frame from Franken Frames

Honestly, I would not have picked this chart up myself, but I'm glad I did. Last winter when we were on our annual Oregon Coast trip and driving from Portland to Depoe Bay, my husband and I stopped at Starlight Stitchery in Corvallis. While I browsed, I told him if he saw anything he liked to show me. He picked out this chart.

And I really wasn't sure about the fabric. It called for Murky by Picture This Plus. Since I don't have a local needlework shop, I order almost everything online. When this fabric came in the mail, my first thought was "Yuck!" But that was apparently just me, because everybody else who saw it - my husband, my son, my mom - were like, "Ooh... that's neat!" I do like it with the stitch, and I'm glad I went against my instincts (which were to send it back and get something else!). It really is perfect for this stitch.

My favorite "motif" was the little row of houses with their bright yellow and orange glowing windows.

Halloween Quaker by Lila's Studio

There is a lot of black and variations of black in this sampler, so getting through the whole thing was hard. I had to take "color breaks" once in a while and stitch other things that made me happy. But I think the end result is quite striking. The few pops of color in it really POP. When I got about 75% done, I just plowed through to the end. I was ready to be done with it and move on to other things.

Halloween Quaker by Lila's Studio

I love the spiderweb and the spiders, but they gave me FITS. A word of advice: if you stitch this sampler, go to the Lila's Studio website and download the corrected chart for this motif. I found out (too late, after a lot of stitching that I didn't want to have to frog out) that there were errors in the printed chart I bought. I almost put the whole stitch away for a very long time. I was that frustrated. I'm glad I persisted.

The cats motif is another favorite.

Halloween Quaker by Lila's Studio

The designer has a photo on the cover of the chart of the cats motif stitched on orange linen and finished into a biscornu. It would also make an adorable Halloween ornament.

And finally, my favorite of the three stitches I'm showing you today: When Skeletons Dance by The Drawn Thread.

When Skeletons Dance by The Drawn Thread
When Skeletons Dance by The Drawn Thread
Stitched on 32-count linen
with called-for overdyed threads
Frame from Franken Frames

I went through my notes and I apparently didn't write down what fabric I stitched this on, but I know it was 32 count.

Those of you with a good eye for color can probably tell I ran out of floss at one point in the house and in the moon. When I got additional floss, the dye lot was very different than what I started with! I was very frustrated and worried about it, but I went with it, and I have to say, I like the result. The house looks old and neglected with peeling, fading paint. And I think that's how the moon really looks through layers of atmosphere and thin clouds. So all my worry was for nothing.

When Skeletons Dance by The Drawn Thread

 The ghosts in the windows say, "Boo!

And I love this jolly skeleton.

When Skeletons Dance by The Drawn Thread

He doesn't seem phased at all by the creepy spiders.

When Skeletons Dance by The Drawn Thread

And these spiders are SUPER creepy. The one in the crow's mouth at the top of the house uses a fat black seed bead, and the others use 4mm black buttons. (I could not find black buttons so I used a black Sharpie to "paint" some pastel buttons black.) The effect of using beads and buttons for the spider bodies is truly terrifying. These spiders look (and feel) REAL!

When Skeletons Dance by The Drawn Thread

I don't like spiders, but these are cool. At least these don't bite.

What are your plans for Halloween? Do you celebrate Halloween? I know it's not everybody's cup of tea.

We like it because we have lots of young families with kids in our neighborhood, so in "normal" years we get loads of trick-or-treaters. This year is different, though. With Covid cases soaring in our county, the health department is advising that no one trick-or-treat. I hate to say it, but this year we are probably going to turn off our porch lights and pretend no one is home. It has got to be really hard on the little ones.

Hopefully families with young children can find safe ways to have fun and enjoy the holiday. I'm lucky that my son and his girlfriend are old enough that I could just buy a bag of candy and say, "Here you go." They'd be happy with that.

I hope you all stay safe and healthy, and remember: This, too, shall pass. They just never say when.

23 comments:

  1. Finishing my cross stitch projects is not my favorite, but I do get helpful inspiration from friends like you.

    You made the comment that tall skinny frames are good for small spaces. I agree completely, plus, the long shape is just interesting to the eye.

    Thank you for sharing your stitching with us.

    P.S. I've never done a mystery sampler. Not real sure how that works.

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  2. My favorite LK mystery sampler was the Halloween one before the one you show above. It's on ptp ale linen. Btw, you just sold me on the LK mystery sampler that you stitched on the Fog linen. The colors just leap out at you! I didn't like this pattern at all but I do now, especially on a lighter linen. Love your framing!

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  3. Meg: I do not celebrate Halloween, I have stitched some for friends, we celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st.
    All your designs are adorable, I love that Skeleton, so cute.
    The framing you chose is perfect.
    I have had to order more floss after a ripping of threads, the effect of a different shade does work out sometimes, yours worked out perfectly.
    I hope you have a lovely week.

    Catherine

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  4. Such great finishes Meg...I think my favorite is the Drawn Thread. I love that font. And boo for having such fits with that Halloween Quaker. I am just not much of a Quaker fan since I stitched First I Drink the Coffee by Stacy Nash. I assumed the designs were symmetrical....they were not. I frogged one motif several times before I figured it out.lol We will have Trick or Treating here. My grands went to a drive through trick or treat at a local church in Birmingham. I thought that was clever. I have not stitched any mystery charts...too OCD for that. I have to know what is coming next!!

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  5. What fabulous pieces! I'm not a Halloween stitcher but love your work. That Murky could not have been a better choice. Those thread colors on it are so striking. I would never let my husband pick a chart! Yours made an excellent choice.

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  6. You can see how much fun Halloween is with these motifs. Yes, it's a shame for the children, but maybe they understand better and can accept the current situation - unlike many adults. I wish you from the bottom of my heart that you stay healthy, I think we will have to do with C for a very long time.
    Hugs Martina

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  7. Hello Meg,
    so wonderful your Halloween finishes. I love them very much.
    Dieses Jahr werde ich auch keine Süßigkeiten verteilen. Es tut mir sehr leid, insbesondere für die Kinder.
    Have a nice week. Manuela

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  8. Meg, your stitching and framing are perfect! I too love tall, narrow pieces, as well as wide, narrow pieces...they're fun to fill in odd spaces. The curse of overdyes is the dye lot issue, but you worked it out with great results.
    Our neighborhood voted overwhelmingly to go ahead with Halloween as usual, we are still deciding what to do. Luckily, VA is one of the states that isn't spiking right now.
    Have a nice week and thanks for sharing all your wonderful work.
    PS The Drawn Thread is one of my favorite designers.

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  9. I love them all and your frames are just perfect. Maybe I will try this for my 4 flowers if I ever finish them:)
    I did a mystery sampler, but I can't really call it that because it was much later than the release date and I ordered them all. I don't know if I would have had the guts to just order a mystery sampler.
    I love the colors and could not tell that they weren't the called for. The moon is so pretty and looks like that is exactly as it should be.
    I remember Halloween fondly with my own kids. We have never EVER gotten any trick or treaters in our little corner, but both kids live in neighborhoods with lots and they love it. I think they missed out on seeing kids come to our home. I don't think there will be much of it this year. I think Lindsay was thinking about putting some individually wrapped items out on the porch. It is all a big party pooper this year.

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  10. Meg, each one of your framed stitches is lovely. I love the frame moldings you picked especially the one for the LK mystery. I have stitched mystery pieces and while I enjoyed some, I didn't enjoy others. Now, I wait and if I like the whole thing, I will get it. The county has canceled trunk or treat here and we never get any trick or treaters in our neighborhood (too far off the beaten path along with a very narrow road with no lights or sidewalk).

    Have a super week!

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  11. Hello Meg. I do not celebrate Halloween. I am most impressed with your frames from Franken Frames. It does make me think about using them some time. I remember dear Carol mentioning them years ago, but am anxious about mail ordering frames. I think it is horrible to still allow kids to trick or treat this year. I think it should be called off across the country. I do NOT think people are taking this virus serious enough. I am in the world's HOT SPOT as of today. WISCONSIN.

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  12. Awesome finishes! I love that Lizzie Kate design. She really has adorable designs. The one your Husband picked out is awesome as well. I love all the cute pumpkins I keep seeing everywhere. So cute. Wishing you a day filled with many blessings and lots and lots of time to stitch as well. ((hugs))

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  13. Meg, you are a very talented framer! Can I send you a few things? :) :) :)

    I'm not fond of mysteries. I'd rather wait a while to see if I like the project before jumping in.

    My husband and I were discussing trick or treating and whether or not we were going to find some way to pass out candy. We've decided not to encourage kids going out and for the first time ever, we will be home and our porch light will be off. Better to be safe.

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  14. Beautiful stitching , I love the Lizzie Kate one .
    Great finish on all .
    Have a lovely week.

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  15. These stitches are gorgeous! Thanks for the heads up on Halloween Quaker... In the back of my mind I know to check designers sites for corrections (before I start to stitch) BUT, I never do... lol! I'll make sure I do when I start this one! :-) LOVE When Skeletons Dance! I'll have to add that to my list of Halloween stitches....
    Halloween is on a Saturday this year...so the porch light trick might not work for the early candy grabbers... hopefully each town will update people with how to approach the candy thing. Be safe and stay well!

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  16. Oh My Goodness! I love all your Samplers! They are gorgeous!!! I especial love the Halloween Quaker and am so glad that you went against your instincts each time on this piece! Congrats on fully finishing them too!

    Sad to say but we will be doing the same as you for Halloween. I will miss seeing the kids in their costumes but I would rather be safe than sorry. My grandson said just leave a bowl outside with a few pieces of candy in it and after each group of trick or treaters come fill it up again. But I think that I may actually meet some at the door so I won't be doing that either. Hopefully 2021 will be better.

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  17. These are all beautiful framed projects. I'm not really into Halloween but I now enjoy my Halloween stitching. The Murky fabric is ideal for Halloween Quaker. It makes the different motifs 'pop'.

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  18. Your finishes are fantastic! Great job!

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  19. Oh, these are all so special, Meg, but the Drawn Thread is my very favorite. I have that chart and I WILL stitch it one of these days. Drawn Thread Halloween designs are my favorites and I actually just finished up a small pillow today (yes, it is Halloween--surprise, suprise!) that I hope to post soon. So glad Franken Frames has worked out for you. I seriously need to sit down and measure and send in an order. I've just got to get these older finished out and on display!

    They are having trick or treating here--we will participate, but may just lay out the candy (well cookies in my case!) and let the kids help themselves. We don't get many to begin with, but I bet this year there will be fewer than ever. Oh, no--more cookies for me :)

    Take care now and enjoy this last little bit of October ♥

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  20. Your projects all turned out beautifully. I, too, have never done a mystery stitch. Thank you for sharing your beautiful stitching with us.

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  21. Hi, I found you via Carol's blog. You have done some wonderful Halloween stitching, I love it all :-)

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  22. Just love your finishes and cannot believe that you did the framing. I can finish the pinkeeps, etc., but have never bitten the bullet and tried framing. Do you lace or pin your piecesd, and glass or not?? My favorite is the last one as well.....those little spiders are too cute. I am currently using Murky for a Stacy Nash sampler, Mary Bovee. It was the called for as well. I like it, but it is a little strange to stitch on. Congrats on your great progress.

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  23. Another WoW post! Even more fantastic Halloween pieces, but I think I like Halloween Quaker the best. That's one I would like to stitch one of these years, although the others are quite tempting too! They are all framed beautifully and I wonder how long you keep them up? They might stay up year round at my house!

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