Sunday, August 31, 2014

Our home additions

Over the last few weeks, it has been my house that has demanded most of my attention.  With my Dad not wanting to live on his own in the near future, my husband and I decided to add two additions to our house.  The front addition will add an in-law suite for my Dad and a guest bedroom to our second floor.  The rear addition is to enlarge our great room. We started with the rear addition and took hundreds of photos.  Here are a few photos from the last 5 weeks.

 Breaking ground -   After weeks of David tearing down walls and preparing the inside of the house for the addition, it was so exciting to finally "start".

This is how it looked when the basement was dug out and the opening cut into the existing basement wall. 


Next  forms were built and  cement poured for the basement footings.

  One week after they first started to dig the basement , the brick layers arrived to build the block wall.  The wall was then sealed, wrapped in a waterproofing  membrane, and back filled with sand.

It was very exciting to see the addition taking shape, but with every crew that arrived my backyard was looking more and more like a builder's yard.

Then over the  next 2 days the framers framed up the floor and walls. 

 The beam to support the roof was also installed on the second day.

This is a view from the inside with the old roof ripped off.  They did tarp it for over night, just in case of rain and to keep out any four legged guests.

This is how the rear of the house looked with the walls and roof.  Next the patio door and window were relocated to the new outer wall.

Lastly David and I, with the help of our son, covered the walls with builders wrap. For now the rear addition is on hold until the front addition is in the same stage of completion.  Then the roofers, brick layers and stucco guys will come in and compete the exterior.

If you are interested in the progress, let me know and I'll follow up with the front addition in a few weeks.

Monday, July 28, 2014

All done!!

After ripping out half of the sampler to make room for the year, I decided I was going to finish it and not just tuck it into my drawer.  It took me two nights.  I was on a roll, and had figured out what I would do with the stitched pieces, so I stitched the alphabet sampler as well.

A simple little throw pillow is what I had in mind.  Other than the Sulky Threads (Blendables 4016 and Solid 1198) everything else was in my stash at home.
The fabric is a fat 1/4 yard of Batik.  I can never resist these little bundles of colourful fabric pieces at tradeshows.  The button is out of my Grandmother's button box.  It probably came off of one of her old jackets.  She never discarded a button, to one day give new life to something old.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quick Work

OMG, I can't believe we're already into the second half of July.  I'm not sure where all that time has gone.  I didn't get much stitching done over the last few weeks, at least not much I can show as the stitch I used the most over the last month was the "Rip-it".  I started stitching my Mini Quaker Sampler with  Sulky 4106 to venture outside my comfort colours.  With counting errors, I must have ripped and restitched it 3 times, before I decided the colour must be a little too far from home.  So I started again with Sulky 4016 (I only just realized as I am typing the colour numbers, that with just a flip of the digits, I felt so much better). But I still can't show a completed sampler.  I was almost done and wanting to insert the date when  I realized that "all's not well ....."  With yet another counting error, there was not enough space for the year and I had to rip out the top and the right motifs.  But I do love the colours!!!! and I am really enjoying stitching with the Sulky threads.  Even ripping them out is easy. Haha!!

Before completing the Mini Quaker Sampler,
I returned to my Swedish (Huck) weaving and finished my table runner.  Although I started this runner a little over a month ago, the entire project was only about 16 hours in total.  Not bad.  With Swedish weaving your starting and ending threads are woven in on the front and not hidden on the back as with cross stitching.  No threads are actually visible on the reverse side.  I wanted the stitches to look even from end to end, with no doubling up due to starting and ending threads, so I cut each thread length accordingly.  With the intricate weave of the center motif I needed to cut the threads 3 times the length of my table runner ( the table runner measuring 60").  I then started in the middle of the runner to avoid having to weave the entire thread length along the entire fabric.
I find Swedish weaving quite relaxing as once you have the stitch order in your head you can move along quickly.
Give it a try and see for yourself.  Visit our Swedish weaving page at  to see all the new patterns we received in from Germany.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sulky Petites - Mini Quaker

Gitta's is carrying a new fibre, Sulky Petites 12 wt. cotton.  There are 66 solid colours and 14 variegates in their Blendable line.  They're made of the highest quality, long-staple, 100% Egyptian Cotton and are ideal for cross stitch, petit point,  quilting, thread lace, bobbin work, thread painting, red work, decorative embroidery, and many other handworks.

I have had a few inquiries for these threads as they are slowly appearing in cross stitch designs. One of these are Many Many Welcomes by Rosewood Manor.  Just Stunning.

When the threads arrrived this past week, I too fell in love with this fibre.  The colours have a striking sheen, and one strand of the Sulky Petites equals 2 strands of DMC floss.  They are convenient to use as the thread winds off of the spool with no tangling.

I wanted to start using them straight away, and I
searched for a small pattern to give them a try. Not having much luck,  I designed this Mini Quaker sampler using motifs from our Hannah Beeby 1816 Sampler.

I started stitching with the Sulky Petites this evening and I am pleased with the results.
Click here to download the pattern and give them a try for yourself.  They are only $1.89 / 50yrd spool.  A great value.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Proud Parent

This past Friday, my daughter graduated Cum Laude from York University with a Bachelor in Design.  Convocation was a wonderful ceremony, and although there were over 800 graduates, it did not seem long.  All the pomp and tradition  made it a very memorable occasion, and I almost cried as I watched my daughter cross the stage to shake hands with the Chancellor.  I was filled with so much love and pride.

I remember her first day of Kindergarten those many years ago.  With a great big smile she waved good bye as she entered the classroom and yelled "bye Mommy".  I then walked home in tears.  She was so anxious to finally go to school and move on to a new and exciting phase in her life, and I,  realizing the same feared that I would not always be there with her; sharing in her experiences.
Graduating from University is another one of life's milestones, and I was honoured and proud to have been able to share it with her.

Here is a photo of my Graduate with her proud parents

And this is a photo of my little cutie on her first day of Kindergarten.

I love you Sarah, and I know you will always have the courage to stand up and speak out for what you feel is right.  I know you will work hard and put your creative stamp on everything you do.  And through it all I will always be right there to cheer you on.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Hiatus

"Designer of the Month" is going on hiatus for the summer.  You can use this time to catch up, or, if you haven't yet joined in, get started on the Collaboration Sampler stitch-a-long.   For every leaflet purchased from any of the participating designers we will include their FREE pattern designed for the sampler.  Then in September we will conclude the Collaboration Sampler with the final three designers!  Until then, click here for my contribution to the sampler.  It is in the forth square in the top row. I also finished it as a scissor fob biscornu, shown in my May 10th, 2014 blog.

All this is not to say that nothing exciting will happen in the shop over the summer.  We are launching a Monthly Prize Draw for the summer.  With every purchase over $30 you will be able to enter the draw.  At the end of each month we will draw the winner.  The prizes are valued around $50.  Visit Gitta's Events Page next week for the rules and to see the prize for each month.   Good luck to all !!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Gersternkorn is German for Huck (Swedish) weaving.  One of my first stitching projects that I remember from elementary school in Germany was a buttoned pouch adorned with Gersternkorn embroidery.  Today we have few Swedish Weaving patterns available to us and Zweigart has discontinued their Huck fabric.  So imagine my surprise and pleasure upon my arrival at the Hobby & Crafts tradeshow in Germany back in March, the first booth I came across had fabric and patterns for Gerstenkorn.  I was completely enthralled.  Their patterns are very attractive and specifically designed for tablecloths, table runners, and pillows.

When my order from the show arrived this past week, I just had to pick out a table runner for myself.  The fabric is 16" wide and I cut myself a 60" length.  The pattern I choose requires four shades and my colour selection for the threads, with no surprise to some of you, are DMC 924, 926, 927 and 3072.

Huck embroidery works up quickly, and over the holiday weekend, I hope to have enough time to finish this table runner.
These patterns, and fabrics can be found on Gitta's website.  Click here to visit the Swedish weaving page.