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.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day plans

Normally, when we have a long week-end or holiday, I plan to work on a project that needs close attention and a span of time.

Not happening today.

I have a pinched nerve in my shoulder. When it hit, it was one of the most excruciating pains I've ever had--and I've survived broken bones, surgery, childbirth, and an over-enthusiastic mammogram technician. Anyway, I'm on steroids and muscle relaxers--and the muscle relaxers seem to be working on fingers rather than back--holding a needle and doing anything serious with it is not going to happen until I finish the round of meds.

So I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I just don't have anything to talk about.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Look what flew across the Atlantic and landed on my front porch this afternoon!


Jenny Adin-Christie's Peacock and Blue Wren arrived. Such beautiful designs and what beautifully assembled kits and directions!!

Yes, I want to dive right in but I realize that right now isn't the right time. I want to finish a few other projects. I also realize that, as long as my work days are as intense as they've been since early March, I don't have the focus to really do a good job.

But that day is coming, and I can't wait until it does.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Filling In

I've had a few stolen moments to work on my properly aged sweet bag kit, and all the outlining is complete.


I'm filling in the motifs now, and adding Queen stitches to the band at the bottom. I will have to wait until I take the linen from the scroll frame to do the center of the big flower at the top of the bag. It's spiral trellis, and that is the only stitch that I can think of that I can't work any way other than in hand. I need to turn the work as I do it, and I need to have a thumb to hold the thread in place to keep my tension consistent.

I think I need to do some You Tube searching to see how people handle spiral trellis while it's framed up, especially on slate frames. This is something I need to know.

In other news, yesterday was a fantastic mail day.  The first thing to arrive on my doorstep was the latest Frostings Kit from Thistle Threads:


This one has beautiful trims and threads, and included fabrics--there is a piece of batiste that is absolutely lovely. Then, Tricia posted a video at Thistle-Threads.blogspot.com showing how to use one of the trims to make a leaf--OMG, game-changer! I've seen a similar technique on a project from Alison Cole and was intrigued, but the video shows it step-by-step. I have a tree that is getting additional leaves. There may be several trees that get additional leaves, depending on how far I can get the trim to go--or if there will be more available in the future.

Then, a few minutes later, the latest shipment in Jackie du Plessis' button club, plus a thread winder I had ordered, showed up in the mailbox (our carrier tends to deliver packages in one sweep, then return with things that will fit in the mailbox in a second sweep).


Lovely, lovely Mother-of-Pearl--and the little bag on the lower left has tiny shoe buttons, which are simply adorable, but being the klutz that I am, I didn't want to take them out of the bag for fear that they would be lost forever--I would surely drop them.

And today is Mother's Day. I won't get to see my mother or The Big Kid or Baby Girl or The Flash today, but we are all, at this point, Covid-19 free. That's the most important thing. Who knows what the future will bring and how we'll have to deal with this continuing threat (especially as businesses begin to open), but by staying apart now, we'll have the opportunity to be together again in the future.



Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Properly Aged

Surprisingly, my mojo returned much faster than I expected.

I was thinking about trying to fit more stash bins in the closet, and wondered out loud if they would fit if I put them in narrow end out. My thought was to borrow Dearly Beloved's metal tape measure and see if the depth of the closet could manage the length of the bins.

This seemed a logical way to determine it, but at the moment, I had something else that needed attending and I didn't go upstairs to see if it would work.

Dearly Beloved wandered upstairs and the next thing I knew, there was a torrent of profanity erupting above my head.  I got up the stairs as quickly as I could (granted, that was not very quickly) to find that, rather than measuring, he'd decided to move the bins.

The one he had pulled out was heavier than he expected and he'd lost his grip. The lid came off and the contents were cascading across the floor.

And there was a sweet bag kit, designed by Tricia Nguyen, and offered through the auspices of Fine Lines magazine (which I still miss). I had totally forgotten about it.

But then again, the kit is twenty years old.

I've been accumulating stash for a very long time.

So, I pulled it out and sewed the linen to scroll bars, and got started.

This is where I am as of tonight:


I am thoroughly enjoying this.

And I believe I will continue with it.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Missing Mojo

My mojo went for a walkabout this week.

This is the only stitching I've accomplished.


This will be the scissors fob for one of the classes I hope to take from Betsy Morgan in June, depending on what Covid-19 is doing.  I started the needle case for the other class, but ran out of steam about halfway through.

I really want to go take the classes. At the same time, I'm in the dangerous age range for the contagion, and I'm more than a little frightened about going a couple of states away and spending time with others from all over the country, especially since I'm coming from one of the hot spots in my state (major urban area, fifth busiest airport in the country, etc, etc). I don't want to expose anyone if I've been exposed and am asymptomatic.

At the same time, I haven't been out of my house except to take walks in the afternoon, so I'm more than a little stir-crazy and definitely suffering from cabin fever.

I have been baking--I was up at 7 this morning making cinnamon rolls--and have explored a lot of games that I can play on my phone, which passes the time but does nothing about reducing the size of the stash. I did print out the lessons for the two online classes I'm taking, and they've been stored in their respective notebooks.

Usually starting something new restores my enthusiasm, but the projects I think about are not the kinds of things that are easy to do in short periods of time in the evenings after I finish my workday. The same goes for doing finish-finishing.

I think I'll go dust something. I've REALLY lost it if I'm thinking about dusting.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Ta Da!

I just took the final stitches in the bottom panel for Ode to Jane Austen.


I have to say, I am sorry to see this one end.

And now I will start putting the parts together--as soon as I get the mask-making supplies cleared away, which may not happen today. I have a couple more cut out and want to get them assembled before I pack the sewing machine up.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide what I'll focus on next.

I want to re-stitch the missing panel for Tsubaki.
I want to do the metal thread parts on the pin cushions and accessories from Thistle Threads Goldwork Class and then assemble them.
I want to stitch Jenny Adin-Christie's Lakeland Odyssey.
I have one of Alison Cole's Christmas ornaments ready to go.
I think I'm ready to stitch over-one letters for the Pandemic Project--there are only three more rows.
I haven't touched Hannah Thornbush since I was in Williamsburg--was that only two months ago?
I want to stitch  at least two more of Jackie's projects this year.
I want to clear at least a few things out of the Finishing basket.

And that's just a partial list.

Should I try a rotation, knowing how bad I am at doing rotations? Or just bounce around until something sticks and I decide to work on it to completion?

Actually, I think I'll pick up the pre-work for the two classes I hope to take from Betsy Morgan at Salty Yarns in June, assuming everyone stays at home for a little bit longer and the virus becomes less prevalent. Keep your fingers crossed on that.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Progress

The center design on Ode's panel is complete!


I love, love, love the basket--simply stitched with cross stitches and straight stitches, but to great effect! I also love the darning pattern in the back which gives the center panel a wash of color without overpowering the motifs.

The only problem is that it ate up thread. I had oodles of all the other colors, but the pale green used here is down to about two strands. And I have three areas that are going to require a good bit of that shade. I think I can eke out enough for two areas, but not all three.

I believe, though, that I can substitute the other shade of green in the kit and the third motif will look just fine. Anyway, that's what I'm going to try.

I had plans to make masks today, but Dearly Beloved is in the middle of a reorganizing project that is involving my cookbooks, which means I need to be on call since his idea of the way to sort them does not jive with my idea of the way they should be sorted. For example, I like having the ones that I use the most all together rather than sorted alphabetically either by title or by author's name. We are not the Library of Congress. And, yes, I do need three editions of the Joy of Cooking and the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, since later editions have added information and because I know exactly where to find favorite recipes in earlier editions.

Actually, if he doesn't stop trying to organize my cookbooks and utensils,  I may resort to threatening him with a wooden spoon--which he is also trying to organize!