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, April 30, 2016

Little bits

I've started the prework for The Un-Played Piano Etui, a class I'll take from Jackie du Plessis in July.


There might have been more done if I hadn't had to rip out so much of one of the smaller pieces. First I discovered that I had missed a stitch, so I ripped back and restitched. Then I discovered I was working with the wrong color thread, so I ripped out again. And restitched.

And then there was the Great Scroll Bar Hunt. Because of the stitches involved, I wanted to put the panel on scroll bars rather than work in hand. This led to spending an entire evening digging through the stash in search of scroll bars that were not otherwise involved in something. Eventually I realized that I was going to have to take something off a set of bars in order to work on this project. That's painful--after spending the time to sew the linen to the bars, taking it off hurts!

The search resulted in A Moment of Utter Clarity. I have too many things started.

And that moment resulted in A Moment of Total Insanity.  I need to get all these things stitched. To do this will require Discipline and Diligence.

I might even have to work out a rotation system.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I don't succeed with rotations, and when it comes to Diligence and Discipline, I have none at all when it comes to needlework.

I am thinking, though, of trying again, once I have the prework for the next two workshops finished.

I give myself about a month before I start flitting around projects again like a deranged butterfly.

And I may need to invest in yet more scroll bars.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Catching Up

It's been a very full week, and there's a lot to catch up on.

First of all, a major TA-DA!!

One week after taking the class, I have a completed project!!


Garden Variety Long Pocket
designed by Sherri Jones of Patricks Woods
class at Salty Yarns


and here's the back, with the smalls that live inside

When I got home on Tuesday, this lovely, lovely thing was awaiting me--I almost hated to open the package, it was so nicely done. Of course I was humming "brown paper packages tied up in string" even though the paper was actually more beige than brown, but it's the same principle.


And inside was this:


Rachael Kinnison of the The Ladies' Repository is offering a limited edition ornament, available only in 2016 (or until she runs out, so don't wait too long if you may be interested).  The threads are beautiful, the design exquisite, and the directions detailed. There are a number of techniques in this project that I have not attempted before, so I need to study and doodle and think before I start this one. I also need to do some major work on cuticles before I take the first stitch.

So anyway, I drove home on Tuesday from Baby Girl's home, then turned right around, repacked, and headed 400 miles south on Wednesday for a meeting at one of our other facilities. Vacation was over, it was time to go back to work, and I have to say, it's not as much fun to go on a road trip alone as it is with an entertaining companion.

I did take something to work on, but it didn't see much love.


This will eventually become one of Barbara Jackson's strawberries. It's one of the kits I brought home from Haus Tirol last December.

On Thursday, there were meetings, on Friday I drove back home, and on Saturday I went to another workshop. This was held by the Carolinas Sampler Guild and taught by Cissy Smith of Gentle Pursuits Designs.


First we learned about Eliza Palmer, whose sampler Cissy has reproduced. That teeny little green blob on the linen is a leaf that will eventually become part of the border.

Cissy also gave us a needlebook, the shape based on one of her Shaker antiques and the designs drawn from motifs on the sampler.


And finally we went over the other small Cissy designed using motifs from Eliza's sampler:


And I did a few stitches for the border for the front of Eliza's Pocketbook.

So, yes, three projects from a single workshop.

So, you ask, what am I stitching on today?

After a couple of thousand miles on the road this past week with little or no time to decompress,  I am going to sit in my corner and rock and drool.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wonderful Week-end

The plan was to blog every day during this expedition, but I was distracted by stitching. As that was the purpose of the trip, that's probably exactly what should have happened . . .so here is a capsule of everything that's been going on.

Afternoon One:


The car is packed for the trip to Baby Girl's. Yes, I am just going for a week-end. Yes, this is all my stuff; Baby Girl's stuff has not yet been added. No, I do not know how to pack light.

And this is why I drive and do not fly.

Day Two:

Baby Girl and I drove to Ocean City, Maryland, to Salty Yarns and one of my very favorite stitching venues, for two classes with Sherri Jones.

This is one of my very favorite stitching venues because of Sara, Mary, and Sally of the Lankford Hotel, where the event is held. This is not like checking into just any hotel. You're welcomed as if you were staying at their home, which, in a way, you are. These people really know the meaning of hospitality, and bend over backwards to make sure every need is answered. There have been discussions among the stitchers who come here about just moving in. There are always people stitching in the lobby, there is always show-and-tell about either the projects in class or what you just bought at the shop, there are comfortable beds and ocean views. What else could you want?

And if you get the chance to take a class from Sherri, run, do not walk, to sign up. Her classes always involve lovely designs and unique finishes with special attention to all the small details that make each project a delight. And Sherri is one of the best teachers I've been privileged to take a class from--detailed, but clear directions, individual attention if needed, and the warmest smile of anyone. She loves what she's doing and does a fabulous job of communicating it.

This is The. Best. Goodie.Bag that was handed out on arrival:


This is just about perfect for a week-end devoted to finishing.

 Day Three:

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I don't stitch much in classes, and get even less finished. I'm a slow stitcher and a slower finisher and can develop a severe case of fumble-fingers with the slightest provocation. However, I am pleased and proud to show what I managed to accomplish in the first class:


The bag is constructed and the pocket band is attached, completely attached, to the pocket itself. This has the potential of being totally assembled, and I do mean totally assembled, in a matter of a few more hours.

This never happens.

Day Four

Not quite as much was accomplished today, but the lovely wooden basket, constructed by Mr. Miller of Miller Carpentry, has the bottom panels assembled and positioned.


However, I think I can get the accessory pieces put together in a relatively reasonable amount of time.

The trick is to go ahead and do them, and not allow them to fall into the finishing basket, where they will be sucked into a black hole.

Therefore, that will not happen.

(I really hope that doesn't come under the heading of "famous last words.")

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Getting Back into the Habit

What with work and prework, I got out of the habit of blogging. It seemed like there was either time to stitch or to blog--and the stitching needed to take precedence.

Most of my prework is done--I just realized I need to do a little more prep with the finishing materials for one of the projects--which I will do tomorrow night at Baby Girl's house--and most of my packing is done--so it's finally blog time.

And today the kit for the next SNS class with Jackie du Plessis arrived!


Berries Sew Sweet


and what's inside the kit . . .

The online class starts Friday, but I won't be here. I am heading off to Salty Yarns for two workshops with Sherri Jones. Baby Girl is heading out with me. I am abandoning Dearly Beloved for awhile. 

Actually, I think he's thrilled to have some time to himself.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

In the last week . . .

Since I last wrote, I have clawed my way out of prework hell, attended a wedding, signed up for another online class, and registered for the textile symposium at Winterthur in October.


All of the prework for the Afternoon Leisure Basket is complete.

Now all I have to do is get the finishing supplies Sherri listed assembled and packed, and I will be ready for my week-end at Salty Yarns.

But today I'm going to catch up on at least part of my domestic duties before the dust rhinos completely take over the zoo.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Never try to count if you're feverish

Earlier this week, I was a little under the weather.

Not in the pale, wan, romantic way in which one reclines upon a chaise longue while a dear caretaker brings one toast and weak tea in china on a silver tray with a rose in a bud vase . . .although I'm sure Dearly Beloved would have made the attempt had I asked. Of course, I would have had to tell him where to find a tray and a bud vase, and the tea he brews is generally strong enough to conquer nations and build empires, but he would have tried.

Instead I had the chills and fever kind where you sip ginger ale slowly and hope it stays where it's supposed to.  Since I didn't think it was fair to my coworkers to bring the Plague to share with them, I stayed home.

What I should have done is curl up in my blankets and marathon old movies, but I figured I had time at home to stitch so I should do that.

I swear I counted the outline for the first bit on this prework project four times and used pins to mark everything before I started to stitch. And immediately after stitching the first frame, I used it to mark off the parameters for the second outline, which I then stitched.

And after doing all that stitching, I found I was a thread off.

As I didn't have enough energy to rant and rave, I mumbled a few choice words under my breath, then decided that I could ease in 1/32 of an inch when I put things together.

And since then I have stitched the inside designs and more or less recovered. And this is where I am as of today:


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mini Happy Dance

I'm not quite through with the prework for the Garden Variety Long Pocket, but I'm close.


There are a couple of bands to be worked above and below this design that are involved in the finishing, and there is a seam that must be sewn on the fabric of the bag itself. I've decided I need a long expanse of time to do both of those things, so they will wait until next week-end.

And there is a confession I feel compelled to make. I have a custom cornucopia. Somewhere I got off on the outline. I have counted and recounted and ripped and restitched and I can't locate the oopsey. I have a feeling there is either a very thin thread I've missed or a very thick thread that I may have thought was really two threads. Whatever it is, I have declared my independence from the tyranny of the chart (actually, I got tired of trying to figure it out) and declared it done.