My Phat Quarter January swap pieces made it all the way across the Atlantic to Nicole this week and I’m so pleased that she likes them.

Honestly, I was a bit nervous, she’s a fabulous stitcher. (Don’t believe me? Go see.) Not only that but I also wanted to do something inspired by The Smiths that hadn’t been covered before. (The January theme for the swap being music and Nicole being a huge fan of The Smiths.) There are some really great pieces out there. (This, for example. And these, and some more. All, seriously great.) It took a minute to really find something that I not only liked, but also that I could make something of my own out of.

PQ Jan Swap - smile detail

Once I had the song — Rubber Ring, I still wasn’t quite satisfied with just this one piece. I mean, I like it, I like it a lot, but it didn’t seem enough. Not just in the sense that it’s simple, but that it doesn’t quite capture the whole feeling of the song. It isn’t just about songs that make us happy, but also those that make us cry – or feel anything, really. Songs that well, as Morrissey says, saved our lives.

Then, I remembered I had a half dozen handkerchiefs, just waiting for the right project – and the second piece (which reads “don’t forget the songs that made you cry”) just fell into place.

I had a really great idea for a gift to make for my husband for Christmas; it was so good that I couldn’t keep it a secret for long. He knew I was working on something, and the best light in the evenings in the house are in rooms that are “public” so I couldn’t hole myself up in our bedroom with the door shut and stitch. As a result, he got a look at the sketch pretty early on (and cracked a little smile).

The end result is this scene.

Dennis & Dee

If you aren’t familiar with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you should be — it’s hilarious. This is based on a scene from the episode Dennis and Dee go on welfare. Plus you know, he does have what I need. Hilarity + Sentimentality = Awesome. Or at least, I think so. I did learn that hands are not my forte, but the intention was to have it look a bit hand-drawn and irregular (since I know I can’t draw [or trace] people terribly well). I didn’t want the stairs to look perfect and then have two slightly odd-shaped people on them.

Happy Christmas!

My brother is getting married in December, and as soon as I saw this pattern provided by doe-c-doe, I knew that I had to stitch it for him and his fiance.

I am particularly proud of the face.

I used a how-to written by Jenny Hart at Sublime Stitching for guidance — especially on the mouth. It’s just four little stitches, but they had to be placed just right.


Stitched up this griffin, based on a photo of a wood cutting I took on a boat in Ohio.

The outline is 4 strands, and the smaller details: seed stitches, detached chain on the wing, etc are 2 strands of floss.

Don’t be fooled, I didn’t draw this pattern by any means. My sketching skills are very limited. I printed my photo (on regular paper) the size I wanted to stitch (this is a 7 inch hoop), drew over outline of the photo, and then used my Saral transfer paper (which is awesome, btw) to transfer that to my sketch book. Traced that with a thin sharpie. Then traced it yet again with a flashlight and blue washable quilter’s pen to the fabric. And finally stitched it. (In case your counting, that means I “drew” this griffin four times. Five, if you count stitching.)

I’m thinking about possibly trying it again, but this time with either a little more detail, or with fill stitches to give it some texture. We’ll see.

pickle text

One of Johnny’s nicknames is “pickle” or “pickle pants.” I have no idea why I call him that, it just happened.

what's the dill?

I wanted to try and vary the stitches I used on this piece so, the letters are all worked in just a simple backstitch. The outline of the pickle is done in a stem stitch (I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of that one. It’s eluded me for some reason.), the eyes are french knots, the facial features are split stitch so they stick out a little, and the pickle bumps are isolated chain stitches done a little wide.

Hopefully I’ll be finishing up another paper piece soon.

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