In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Friends and Family

Not much stitching to report this week. Mother had another episode which is not unexpected when you're almost ninety, and we had friends from Key West in town, waiting to get the all-clear to go home. Mother is back in rehab for a few days, and the Floridians are wending their way home as of today.

And Mary Otter has had a few (very few) stitches:

After the past week, I really, really, really need to have some quiet time with needle in hand.

And that is exactly what I plan to do all day tomorrow.

Friday, September 15, 2017

September Strawberry

I've started stitching Mary Otter.

It is a very good thing that I like stitching Queen stitches because the entire border is made up of Queen stitch strawberries.

I have not counted to see how many there are.

I don't believe I will do that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

There and Back Again

I was not planning to go dark for so long--but with my sore finger, stitching was not on the agenda for almost a week.

Actually, as I was packing for my expedition to Salty Yarns, Dearly Beloved asked (somewhat plaintively), "You are going to get to stitch while you're gone, aren't you?  I think that will put you in a better mood."




Obviously the stress-relieving qualities of time spent with needle in hand cannot be overstated.

Anyway, Baby Girl and I took off for Ocean City for a relaxing week-end. She wandered around on the beach and boardwalk. I took another lovely class with Jackie du Plessis.

This is what I hope to eventually approximate:

It is called Tsubaki and the picture does not do it justice.

This is what I managed to stitch:

On the bottom are the pieces for the scissors fob. On top are the first two outlines for what will become the thimble cozy.

Now, what I'd love to tell you is that I am going to work on this project until it is completely done.

Not so much.

Because the materials for Mary Otter are staring at me and I am going to put a stitch or two into that first. Actually, the plan is to work on Mary in the evenings and Tsubaki on the week-ends.

And we'll see which one gets to the finish line first.

(As usual, the hospitality at Salty Yarns and the Lankford Hotel were unsurpassed. It's become my favorite venue for classes.)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day Stitching Report

Friday night I stayed up way too late to get the second chamber of Frances Burwell's sampler filled in:

I love this pansy--something about the red petals really liven up the sampler.

After two days of fiddling with teeny tiny pieces, Afternoon Leisure Basket is complete:

In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that there's a missing piece. There should also be a darling velvet strawberry. There is not.

I very carefully cut out the piece of velvet to make the strawberry's body. I stitched the seam exactly where I was instructed to stitch it. With great care, I turned the body right side out--and the whole seam shredded.

All I could do was stare at it for a minute or two.

So I very carefully turned it wrong side out again and did yet another seam, and then I overstitched the second seam, and then, holding my breath, I again turned it right side out.  

The only problem is that instead of having a nice, plump strawberry, I now have a skinny, shriveled up strawberry that the cap doesn't fit. I am mulling over the best way to handle this--I'm thinking I'm going to have to get another piece of velvet and start over.

And here we are on Labor Day. We have a holiday from work, and you'd think that I would have had a threaded needle in my hand all day.

Not so much.

I cut a chunk our of my left forefinger with the rotary cutter late yesterday afternoon. This is the same finger I sewed on the sewing machine about 20 years ago. This hurt almost as much and certainly bled a lot more.

As I do not wish to leave excessive amounts of DNA in any project--what am I saying?--I don't want to leave any DNA in any project--I am avoiding needlework until my finger gets better. So, I'm doing some preemptive packing for the coming week-end and a workshop at Salty Yarns.

Assuming Hurricane Irma doesn't interfere.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

One down, two to go

The first "chamber" on this band is complete!

I had to use a sharp needle to work the satin over the double running stitch outlines, but I am happy to say that I have left no DNA behind.

I realize that I have now jinxed myself and will stab myself with my needle repeatedly and painfully throughout the rest of the band.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Back to School

First, the obligatory stitching content:

Here is where I am on Frances Burwell. I need to work the double running outline of a big flower and then I'm going to cover all the double running up with satin stitch. This may mean a sharp needle. As I haven't left any DNA on this project thus far, I suppose it's time.

And now the Back-to-School part:

Our local schools went back into session today. The start of the school year always feels like it should be the real start of the year. I have managed to restrain myself from buying notebooks and markers and a pencil box (do people even use pencil boxes any longer?), but it's been a close thing. I want stickers!

The big thing is that I've decided it's the perfect time to give myself a kick in the posterior and restart the year.

My stitching has been drifting all over the place this year. With a couple of notable exceptions, I haven't been passionate about anything I've worked on. Don't get me wrong--I love the things that are in my stash and I want to stitch every single solitary one--but I can't seem to settle on anything. The number of things I've started since January--and that have never seen the light of blog--is a little scary. And I've spent way too many evenings staring at the TV without working on anything--a most  unusual waste of time for me.

Because I tend to make lists, just for the sake of making lists, I started listing things I want to do. Everything falls into one of five categories:

Seventeenth Century
Special Stuff (like whitework and goldwork and my lunchtime crewel projects)

I've made the decision I need to get into a routine. Notice I'm not saying "rotation" or assigning projects to specific days of the week, but a simple routine that I can follow without feeling constraints. I don't do well with rules, even the ones I make for myself.

So, the plan at the moment is to use my weeknights after work for a project that is ready to go when I plop into the wing chair after the dinner dishes are out of the way.  It can be anything in one of those categories that is ready to go when I am.

When I have a long expanse of time--like Saturday afternoons while the laundry is churning--I'll do thing like all the cutting and pressing and sorting of bits as needed to assemble the smalls I stitch, then don't get around to finish-finishing.   I found that worked really well on the Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet--I got everything cut out and sorted so all I had to do was pick up a piece and sew on it. This also includes sewing linen to the scroll bars or tracing designs to be worked on later.

I think I am going to reserve Sundays for pieces that need real concentration. That worked well on Eve in the Garden.

Holidays and vacations--anything goes.

And I am going to try blogging more often. If I blog, I stitch. I will not even try to blog daily--last November showed me that won't work with my life as it currently works--but I'll try to blog more often--maybe because I might have more to talk about if I'm stitching more.

I already feel better about getting some things done.

Baby Girl says that I'm overthinking. She is probably right.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

More pretty little things

While the Finishing Fairy seems to be smiling on me, I thought I would start putting together all the pretty pieces for the Afternoon Leisure Basket, designed by Sherri Jones. I took the class last year at Salty Yarns, prepped most of the pieces, and then (what a surprise) was distracted by something else.

I put the basket pieces together in class. In the last few days, I put together the two needle books.

I still have to do the mattress pin cushion, the pin keep, the strawberry, and the scissors sheath. I believe that may keep me out of trouble this week.