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.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Finished and done

Eve is assembled.



This was a learning experience.

I learned:

  • Overall, I'm very happy with the embroidery.
  • I love the silk gimp used for the leaves and the tree and I love the raised stitch used for the grass mounds. I will use both again.
  • Tent stitch over one on linen gives a tapestry-like effect that I love--but I don't want to do my casket in that technique.
  • Overall, I'm not so happy with the finish-finishing. (so, what's new about that)
  • I wish I had realized that my finished embroidery didn't quite fit the measurements of the original, because I would have cut the finishing materials differently.
  • I also wish I had treated the mounting of the finished fabrics differently. Instead of gluing them to the Skirtex and mounting board, I would have ironed light-weight lining to the back to stabilize the silks, and then I would have laced the silk to the backings. This would have allowed me to remove them and recut the mountings to fit the embroidery.
  • No matter how I finagled the inner box, there is still a gap between the box and the "lid" or front of the piece. It won't be obvious leaning up against the back of the cabinet where it will live, so I guess I can live with it. I also guess I don't really have a choice unless I do the whole project again.  That is not going to happen.
  • I really wish I hadn't bent the outside when trying to mount the inner box. Maybe a heavier mounting board would have prevented that. Or it may have been worse.
The good thing is that my stripes matched up pretty well on the lining. 

Now I need to find some other trouble to get into.

As much as I have to do in my stash, I always have trouble deciding exactly what I want to do when I finish a major project. I might even have a list of things to do, and I still feel a little lost for a bit, until something else jumps up and down for my attention.

I think this means I'm more into the process than the product.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Another one bites the dust

I came so very, very close to finishing the stitching on the Flower Pin Cushion last night, but I could not keep my eyes open any longer.

So I came home, plopped myself in the wing chair, and did the last little bit.


I could start working on finish-finishing tonight--or I could rummage around and find some other trouble to get into.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Turnaround

Last night I had to go somewhere that conflicted with my EGA meeting. I got home too late to go to the meeting and too early to go to bed.

So I heaved a massive sigh, just knowing things were going to go wrong again, and picked up the Flower Pin Cushion again.

And it was amazing.

Everything went right.


I got both borders completely stitched without having to take out a single stitch. I even got the center motif centered! And stitched!

Tonight I'll see if I can get the stuff for the front stitched.

And then I'll have yet another thing to finish-finish.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Giving Up and Going to Bed


This is Merry Cox's Flower Pin Cushion and Needle Book.

I would have the entire border finished, as well as most of the lettering except that last night I couldn't

  • count
  • read a graph

Tonight I can't
  • count
  • read a graph
For two evenings I have ripped out as much as I've stitched.

The new John Sanford Prey book arrived in today's mail, so I think something is telling me that perhaps I should read instead of stitch.

Monday, April 24, 2017

It kinda snuck up on me

Last night I finished the leaves on the weeping willow on Early Spring Lambs.


And this means that all the embroidery is done, which I really didn't expect to happen so quickly. I thought about starting the finish-finishing, but Eve is still taking up my table space and I'm not moving her until she's completely completed.

As usual, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep immediately, so I started thinking about what I would stitch on tonight.

No surprise--I'm starting on something new.


I won this.  Stasi, whose blog is beemusedandbeestitching.blogspot.com, offered this as a prize on her blog. If you commented on her entries, you got a chance for every comment. Well, I read her blog as I usually do, and I commented, and I won!

Stasi is blogging every day with a photo of a project she's completed, and she started at the first of the year. She has quite a collection of very pretty pieces she has stitched--and finished--and it's been fun to see what she comes up with each day. Since she and I have taken some of the same classes, and have similar tastes in smalls, it's been very inspirational.

The only problem is that every time I see something finished on her blog that is residing in my stash or the finishing basket, I feel the need to add it to the already very long list of projects I want to do immediately if not sooner.

And, speaking of that very long list of projects, more goodies arrived in the mail today.


Jackie du Plessis has been offering designs to her Facebook friends this year. Some of them I already had. Some of them I haven't, but now I do.

And I am going to live to 485.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bits and Pieces

When I went to bed last night, I was expecting to finish the sewing on Eve today.

Then I started, and found that the box that makes up the inside support is going to take more finagling than I had expected, so I couldn't just jump right in and get 'er done.  I need to muse and mull things over and figure out how to approach this, so I'm postponing the last bit until I have time for musing and mulling.

But other things have been stitched.


The weeping willow has started to leaf out. I do not expect to have pollen problems from this tree.


There is a very faint line of stitches above the open work band that you probably can't see. I can't see it either, which is why it took so long just to do that little bit. White on white on a gloomy day is not easy to stitch, but I need to get the next band on Isabella finished before Wednesday night and EGA.

So I suppose I should get back to it.

I'd rather start something new.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hurry Up and Wait

And that's what I'm doing today.


Not reading this book, although I strongly recommend getting a copy if you're interested in historical embroidery. Actually, it is serving a much more mundane purpose. It's weighting down part of Eve's innards until the glue dries.

Yes, I am indeed working on Eve again today.

However, I have to wait for glue to dry before I can take another step. I could be dusting and vacuuming and polishing furniture and folding laundry while I'm waiting.

I'm not.

Instead, I'm stitching away on Early Spring Lambs. The background for the border is completely filled in and the sheep are grazing. I need to add a weeping willow tree and initials and date, and this will be ready for its finish-finish.


After not threading a needle for three days, I think I'm making up for lost time.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Two Words

Sinus Infection

I love living in a city that has a canopy of green. I love the change in the leaves in the fall. I love the way the bare branches etch dark lines against the winter sky and turn into traceries of lace in snowfall.

But, once a year, the trees don't love me back.

It seems that the pollen has been heavier than usual this spring, or there hasn't been as much rain to wash it out of the air, or whatever specific tree pollen sets me off has been particularly virulent, but I have been down and out for a couple of days.

I now have medication and I'm feeling a little better, but I have not threaded a needle since the last time I wrote. Poor Eve is still flopping around on the kitchen table waiting for me to assemble her innards. The main piece of Early Spring Lambs hasn't been touched. The rest of the stash has been ignored completely.

There has been a ray of light. This lovely thing arrived in today's mail.


At this time of the year for the past couple of years, I have headed to Salty Yarns for classes from Sherri Jones of Patricks's Woods. I'd be there again this year if it weren't for the fact that I have already taken both classes she's teaching.

(Actually, I thought about going anyway, but I don't have an unlimited number of vacation days. Sadly)

Anyway, having this kit for a retired class show up in my mailbox today is somehow quite perfect. If I can't be there for classes, I can have my own little retreat this week-end.

Assuming I can stop snuffling, snorting, and sneezing long enough to read the directions.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Little golden books

Not the kind you read when you were a wee tiny child. The needlework kind.


I finally took a deep breath, hitched up the Granny panties, and started the "real" finishing on Eve. All I can say is that I hope this linen is as forgiving as other pieces have been when I tried to put things together. Tonight I have glued the backing boards in place and the glue is drying.


The cover for the Early Spring Lambs needlebook is also coming along.

I love the way the petit point band looks--almost like a tapestry.

I'm not going to think about the finishing part of this project. Then again, after Eve, this will feel like a piece of cake!

I hope.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Another step done


I have sewn the trim all around the embroidery, so it's time to do the next step.

Except there's a little hiccup.

In the middle of the night, I thought it might be a good idea to tape all the bits together to make sure they fit. Of course, I would want to use a tape that's just a wee bit sticky rather than a permanent fixture.

In the olden days, I would have used pink hair tape, but I discovered my last roll is so old that the tape had dried out and the tape itself is brittle. Apparently pink hair tape is no more. Then again, I guess the days of slicking your bangs down with Dippity-Doo and taping them in place with pink hair tape have passed.

If you know what Dippity-Doo and pink hair tape are, I can tell you your approximate age.

Next best thing would be masking tape. So I went on a search for a roll of it.

What I discovered is that we have enough packing tape to supply both UPS and FedEx for a year, miles and miles of regular Scotch tape, and four rolls of double side acid free tape. We do not have an inch of masking tape. Not an inch.

I'm trying to decide if I want to go to one of the big box stores tonight to pick up a roll--and get tempted by Peeps and Hershey eggs--or if I can wait until after work on Monday--and pick up half-price Peeps and Hershey eggs.

And if this is the biggest decision I have to make this week-end, I'm doing well.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Little Bits

I finished another motif on my lunch time crewel project.


This is where it gets sad. I'm managed to get more done in 10 or 15 minutes at lunchtime than I've done at home after work.


There is a reason. Dearly Beloved has been under the weather for several days. He is not an easy patient. Baby Girl, as a small child, used to lie on the couch with one arm flung across her eyes, moaning when she was ill. She takes after her father.

Hopefully the week-end will be more productive. We were allowed to leave work a little early today because of the holiday week-end, and I came home and started the first step of Eve's assembly.

I have rediscovered that I am unable to cut a straight line even with a plastic ruler and a rotary cutter. Consequently, this is going to be a multi-day assembly process.

Possibly multi-week.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pretty Little Things

I was so excited about finishing Eve's embroidery that I forgot to mention the pretty things that came my way this past week-end.


I do not believe Barbara Jackson could design anything that I wouldn't want to stitch--and this one caused me to go above and beyond. I literally had to chase down our mail carrier to find out where he'd left the package. He has misread the house number and left it at a neighbor's. It was retrieved, and all is well, and I have the Shining Needle Society class starting soon to look forward to.

And at the tea, I added two more projects to my list:


Inside this little bag are the makings for the Bluebird of Happiness. I had to miss the regularly scheduled sampler guild meeting last week where this was the program. I plan to dive into this very soon.


And we received this "token of affection" as part of the festivities at the tea on Saturday. The motif comes from the Mary Drake sampler owned by Cissy Smith, who was our lecturer and honored guest at the tea. It turns into a needlebook.


There has been a wee bit of stitching. The spring lambs for the scissor fob are completed--now I just have to do the main piece of the needlebook and put it all together. Something else to put together . . .

There would be more stitching, but we have had a domestic disaster. The dishwasher has died. Again. It was fixed a month or so ago, but the part that was jiggled to make it work apparently unjiggled itself. Our friendly handyman is trying to get a part, but it's an old, old, old dishwasher and he is not optimistic--so we may be investing in a new machine. And a new cabinet to put it in because it seems that the new models will not fit into the hole that the old one currently takes up. Which may mean some kitchen remodeling. This was not in my plans for the year.

So currently, I have been washing dishes by hand in the smallest kitchen sink found outside a camper. We believe that whoever designed the kitchens in this community believed that people who live in townhouses do not eat at home but dine out for every meal.

Or use paper plates constantly.

Anyway, I'm spending part of my evenings up to my elbows in dishwater and the remaining part slathered up to the elbows with heavy-duty hand cream so that I could possibly work on silk at some point in the future without totally shredding it.

As Baby Girl would say, it's a First World Problem.

But I am going to kiss whoever fixes or replaces the dishwasher right slap on the mouth.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Slight Change in Plans

The expedition was called off due to Dearly Beloved deciding that he would rather sleep late than get up early. This decision was fine with me on many levels.

It meant, most importantly, that I got both cartouches on Eve filled in with layers of gold and silver metals.


The only problem is that this means I have to worry about the dread finish-finishing.

I think I'll pull a Scarlet and think about that tomorrow.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Winter and Spring, all in one day

This morning when Dearly Beloved and I headed out to the Farmers' Market for our first visit of the season, it was 37 degrees.

That's a bit nippy.

We did find strawberries and butter lettuce and asparagus, so it was all good.

And then I went to a lovely tea sponsored by the Carolinas Sampler Guild where we viewed part of the sampler collection owned by one of our members. We saw some wonderful examples of schoolgirl samplers, several with quite unique characteristics. I wish I had remembered to take my camera, but chances are good that at least several of them will be reproduced by their owner, Jaenn Smith, who also is the guiding light behind Gentle Pursuits Designs.

And when I left the tea, it was a balmy 74 degrees and ever so much more pleasant.

But this is a stitching blog and I should show what I've been doing.

Not much.

This has been a topsy-turvy week and there hasn't been much time to ply my needle.

I do have the sections outlined for the fob for Early Spring Lambs.


And I've finished another motif on the lunch hour crewel piece:


I am finding that crewel is also a very good travel project, and waiting-in-waiting-rooms project, as well as a good lunchtime project. I don't need extra light and I don't need extra magnification, just an embroidery hoop and my folding scissors as the only equipment necessary.

Hopefully tonight I will get the sheep stitched on the fob, and tomorrow I'll work on Eve. Unless, of course, Dearly Beloved has his way. He is threatening an Expedition.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Two down . . .

Well, two of the outlines are stitched.


And I have one more to do. But not tonight. Things are going to be topsy-turvy for the next couple of days, and I need to get a good night's sleep before I jump into the middle of it all.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I thought I was done . . .

I put what I thought was the last stitch into this panel for my Early Spring Lambs needlebook.


All those little letters and little numbers--and we all know just how much I love stitching letters and numbers--and I was all excited to think this was done and I could do the little sheep for the scissors fob--and then I made the mistake of looking at the directions.

I still need to outline the border.

So that's what I'm going to do.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

All leafed out

The tree has all its leaves--or at least all the leaves I'm going to stitch.


I'm glad to have this done. I'm even happier that I decided to put the tree on only one side of the box.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sidetracked

The plan was to leaf out the tree on Eve in the Garden today.

We got sidetracked.

  • Dearly Beloved's car needed its oil changed, so we dropped it off to have that done.
  • We had a list a mile long of essential things--like light bulbs and laundry detergent--so we went to the Big Box Store to take care of that.
  • Sushi and sashimi have been calling my name, and Dearly Beloved loves real ramen of the slurpable variety as opposed to the college student staple type--so we went to our favorite Japanese restaurant for lunch. They were very busy, so it took longer than usual.
  • I had an urge to bake a cake. This happens only rarely since we no longer live with ravenous teen-agers.
  • The usual week-end household chores needed to be accomplished.
Thus, no new leaves can be seen on the tree.  There is still tomorrow.

I did do a little week-night stitching the last few evenings, though.


This is part of Catherine Theron's Early Spring Lambs needlebook. I do so love the soft pastels used in this--and somehow it seems appropriate for the season.

And I most definitely see hopping from one project to another in my future for a bit. I am making no plans, setting no goals, just playing in the stash.

This may be a symptom of spring fever.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Loopy

Last night I started stitching the leaves on the tree on Eve.


You create them by wrapping a loop of gimp around the needle as it comes through the linen, then couching the base of the loop with the thread in the needle.  This sounds like no problem at all, but it was giving me fits last night when I wanted to change direction to go around the shape.

In another of my remarkable headslap moments, I realized life would be easier if I stitched a tiny tacking stitch after every few stitches, especially when I wanted to change direction. Of course, I thought about doing this right at bedtime, and as I am still a wage slave, I couldn't stay up half the night finishing the leaves.

And, then, driving home from work this afternoon, my stitcher's ADD kicked in and I decided that I want to do something else tonight. I'm not sure quite what, but something different. I also decided that I would be happier working the loops--and the rows of metal thread that surround the cartouches on front and back--when I have natural light--which means week-ends.

Meanwhile, my work project is slowly progressing. The framework that divides the various motifs is done.


I'm still having fun with my foray into crewel. I just need to decide which motif I want to work on next.

But now I'm going to go play in the stash and see what strikes my fancy for tonight.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Planting a Tree

Last night I couched down the gimp that creates the trunk and limbs of the tree on Eve.


Today's plan was to add the leaves and quite possibly wind the snake around the trunk.

However, after spending a few more hours than usual sitting over the frame stand yesterday, my neck, shoulders, and back told me in no uncertain terms that I would not be sitting over a frame stand today.

So I puttered around the house and looked at stuff on Pinterest and Facebook and caught up on reading blogs and did a little bit of housework. Finally I decided I could probably stitch if I didn't bend over the frame stand, so I pulled out the next little sampler kit and started on its border.

If you look at this picture, you'll see a needle sticking in the border.


If you look very closely, you'll see that most of the stitches below it have been clipped so they can be removed.

I got off by one linen thread and was almost through with the whole outer border when I discovered the mistake.

I think I should have continued to putter.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Growing a Spine

Today I finished the second grassy knoll and embellished the spine section of Eve in the Garden.


It doesn't look like much for a whole afternoon of stitching, but setting in those metal threads was not a speedy process. One, in particular, had a tendency to snag on everything, including air.  The air, I might add, sometimes turned blue in the process.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Grassy Knoll

The first of the two grassy knolls is stitched on Eve in the Garden.


This is actually a raised stitch which is worked over a rod--or, in the 21st century, a very small sock needle. Obviously, after you work the stitches, you carefully slide the needle out, which ruffles up the stitches just a wee bit, but makes them look grassier--if that's a word.

It does help if you know where the needle is. It came with the original kit. But one of the problems with letting things age in ones stash is that sometimes things go walkabout, and my needle did. Luckily I also knit socks on occasion, and I have a plethora of knitting needles of all types and sizes, so I was able to find the right size.

I just have to remember to put that needle back with the pair of socks I'm working on when I get through planting grass. Otherwise, in three or four years when I have another mad desire to make the rest of the sock, I'll be in trouble on that front.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Happy Day

The background for Eve in the Garden is done!!


And I have the band for the EGA Group Correspondence Course finished!


And I haven't had to sleep in a chair for two nights--so my back is much improved!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The results of being a klutz

Wednesday evening I returned home from my ANG meeting, having enjoyed myself tremendously as I usually do at that gathering.

Somehow I either tripped over my own two feet or the first step to our front stoop and very nearly did a face plant on the bricks. This would probably have resulted in broken glasses, broken nose, broken teeth, and potentially a broken jaw. Instead, I managed to grab the rail along the steps and avert major disaster.

I thought.

Instead, I wrenched my back. I didn't realize this--I thought my arm and shoulder bore the brunt--until about three in the morning when my back started to spasm. Muscle relaxers and major pain meds made life somewhat bearable, but very loopy. Having to alternate sleeping in bed and in a chair also made me a little drowsy as well as loopy. So I was home from work for a couple of days.

Despite loopiness and drowsiness, I thought I could work on Eve's background. And I did. I am not going to look too closely as the workmanship on this, however,


About another inch and I can start the fun stuff.

Today, though, I'm going to see if I can work on the next band on Isabella, the correspondence course from EGA. I think I can get by with the OTC stuff instead of the hard-core meds, and that will mean that I won't be embarrassed to turn it in.

Hopefully.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

More work in progress

My little lunchtime crewel piece is moving along. In fact, I have finished one of the motifs completely.


I have to admit, I've very pleased with this one, especially the shading on the leaves. And I'm really looking forward to working on the big flower in the center.

Now if I can just get over feeling discombobulated and out of sorts so I can stitch when I get home . . . DST is still kicking me in the posterior!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Snow and Soup and Stitching

It actually did snow today! It lasted most of the morning, turned the tree limbs into spun sugar and created a hush that no other event can--then it stopped and the sun came out and it all melted away.

For those who deal with lots of snow every winter, this may seem ideal. For those of us who don't see the white stuff very often, it just wasn't quite enough--although I'm afraid the cold snap that is accompanying the weather front is going to kill all the blooms and blossoms.

Anyway, I had made soup and cornbread yesterday, so we had a good snowy weather lunch, and I had already decided that I was going to stitch all day.

And that means that this got finished:


Four Silver Needles
David McCaskill design

Now I need to decide what to work on next.  I guess I could pull another project out of one of the vacation totes since that seems to be working well. Then again,  Eve has been neglected for two weeks and her background isn't going to stitch itself.

Or I could try to go to bed a little early since I have to get up even earlier. Yes, it's time for my annual Daylight Savings Time rant.  I really, really hate feeling jet-lagged for the next two weeks without the benefit of traveling anywhere and having fun to compensate for it.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

After Vacation

When you arrive home from a vacation, you may be too tired (or lazy) to unpack all the tote bags of projects you took with you.

So you have a little project that you pulled out when you last blogged.

When you arrive home from work, where you find that your desk exploded during your absence, you may be too tired (or lazy) to drag the big frame stand over to work on what you'd planned to do.

So you pick up that same little project you pulled out when you last blogged.

When you're too tired (or lazy) to stitch more than an hour or so after work, it's nice to have a small project that at least looks as if you're getting something done.

So you continue to stab at that little project every night.

And when you were too tired (or lazy) to take the big bag of fiberfill upstairs after the last time you needed fiberfill before you went on vacation, you might get that little project completely stitched and finish-finished.


Spring Showers Sampler Accent
#4 in Events in Stitches
Periwinkle Promises

I was so excited to get this finished. I actually pulled another project out of one of the vacation tote bags and worked on it last night. I haven't unpacked any of the vacation tote bags, but I did pull something out.


Four Silver Needles
Stitcher's Christmas
David McCaskill

My plan is to work on this today, in between doing the usual laundry/housework/week-end cooking. There is a big pot of vegetable beef soup simmering on the stove as we speak, since we are predicted to get a whopping inch or less of snow overnight. Given that the last big snow event that was predicted turned into a No-Show-Snow, I'm not expecting anything more than rain--but it will be nice to have soup anyway. This  winter has been so mild, this is the first time I've made this particular recipe.

There is an ulterior motive. This pot of soup will provide a few meals next week, so I'll have more time to stitch.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Moving back to reality

After a week in Williamsburg, stitching away every day, we're back home again. The washer is chugging away, Dearly Beloved has headed to the grocery store to restock, and I'm trying to get over feeling as if I blinked and it was over.

We spent the morning of the last day in Williamsburg's textile department, getting a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the treasures in their storage areas. We were allowed to take pictures for our own use but cannot publish them--which I totally understand and agree with--but it is lovely having a chance to enjoy things rarely seen.

Then in the afternoon, I worked on yet another project. This is the start on the Fourth Day of a Stitcher's Christmas, Four Silver Needles.


I also had a small project I was working on in the room in the evenings, since I felt as though I needed to spend a little time with Dearly Beloved.

This is the next Accent mini-project from Periwinkle Promises, Spring Showers:


I bogged down in the "raindrops" that make up the border. Each one seemed to take forever--and I still have to do some highlights in backstitch. Then I get to do the good stuff in the middle, so that's keeping me motivated to forge on.

Meanwhile, Baby Girl had a glorious time wandering around the Historic District and taking advantage of the programming. We are already in discussion about next year.

And I'm wondering if I can complete all the projects I took with me this year by next year's event.

Even though Eve's background is calling to me again.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Days Three and Four

I really did plan to blog every day, but the group went out to dinner together last night. My dinner was excellent (go to the Blue Talon if you visit Williamsburg) and I was barely able to totter back to my room as a result. (And I even brought a doggie bag back to Dearly Beloved, and he had enough for a full meal.)

Anyway, I'm still working on a different project every day.

Yesterday was Rebekah French:


Today was Sally Munro:


I did not get very far. For one thing, rice stitch takes me forever. Some people hate Queen stitch. I kinda like Queen stitches. I get just a tad bored with rice stitches and Smyrna crosses. Luckily I have a lot of Queen stitches in this pieces. Unfortunately, the whole border is rice stitch.

We also had two lectures this afternoon.

One of our group has been collecting textiles for 50 years, and she brought a very small number of her vast collection for us to view. We were asked not to post photos online, but just let me say, they were indeed drool-worthy. There is an embroidered strawberry on one of her silk pinballs that literally made my heart go pitty-pat.

Our other lecturer was Katherine Duiguid, who is a professor at NC State and who has done fascinating research on color and how texture and material alter our perception of it. That color wheel we all learned about? Forget it! Katherine is also teaching some of her embroidered designs in venues throughout the country, and she is a delight to listen to.

To add to the pleasure of the day, Baby Girl drove up today and joined us for the last little bit of the vacation.

I just wish it didn't have to end . . .

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Day Two, Two Projects

So, here I am for my second day of stitching and nothing but stitching . . .

Last year I was doing prework for a class, so I worked on one project for most of the week. This year, I decided to bring a different project for each day--I may have mentioned this--and I did--but today, I worked on two different things.



This may look like medieval torture.

It's not.

This is one of the prep steps for last year's Florentine Ornament from the Ladye's Repository (aka Rachael Kinnison, who also created this year's memento for the event--you saw that yesterday).

I will admit when I first read the directions for this project, the set-up was not like anything I'd ever done. I will admit I was intimidated. I will admit I put everything away in its elegantly packaged box.  I will admit that I mentioned to Baby Girl I had just bought a project that she would most definitely inherit because it was beyond me.

Then, when this year's plans were announced, a support group to work on the ornament was also announced--and I announced that I was in.

The embroidery is worked through card stock which is pasted to the back of the silk ground. This will avoid bubbling when the embroidery is mounted. In fact, it will create the mounting. 

OK, I had to get past the idea of pasting. I had to get past the idea of working through the card stock. But then, one of our Fearless Leaders who also organizes this annual get-together, worked through those steps and it is definitely do-able.

You do have to be willing to take your time. There are no short cuts. If you're a stitcher who just wants to get things done, this is not a project for you. However, if you appreciate fine needlework and are willing to invest the time it takes to create it, you'll put your head down and focus.

And the directions for doing all this are in the instructions. 

So, I spent most of last Saturday afternoon mounting the silk so I could bring it with me. I spent this morning tracing the design, and then pasting the silk to the card--and I don't think I could have accomplished that without Fearless Leader and a couple of stitching buddies cheering me on. I have to say, though, that when I got everything pasted and mounted and ready to weight so the paste could set, I felt like I was on my way to something I'll treasure--and that is going to get its own ornament stand under a glass dome when it's done.

Should I mention that I went ahead and put in 2017 as the year of the finish?

Now, if you've managed to stay with me this long, you might be wondering about the other project.

I got the purl purl attached to Key to My Heart this afternoon.


Today was my bling day. Obviously. I'm really tempted to work on this again tomorrow, but I'm going to have to cut metal into small bits. That may work better at home where I have a stitching tray to catch all the pieces that tend to fling themselves about the room if I'm not very careful.

I think tomorrow will be a little bit of work on the Florentine Ornament, then I'm going to pull out one of the other samplers that traveled with me.

I've been asked what retreat, where and when. This is a group of friends who originally came to take classes in Williamsburg about this time every year. When the coordinator of that event decided to retire, we were all used to coming to Williamsburg in late winter to stitch, so a couple of brave, brave souls decided to continue with our own meeting. Our Fearless Leaders have created an event that I love to attend, whether I work on one project or seven!


Monday, February 27, 2017

In Full Retreat

Despite the Demolition Derby on the interstate yesterday as we drove to Williamsburg, we (finally) made it, safe and sound, and I am in full needlework retreat mode.

To commemorate, we added another lovely tool from the gifted hands of Racheal Kinnison:


We had some fun goodies in our goodie bags:


There's a sweet kit from Catherine Jordan and the perfect pincushion with fleece from Catherine's sheep.

And today I got a band completed on Frances Burwell.


If you peer very closely, you may be able to see that there are cream-colored motifs between the dark blue ones.

The instructions tell you to work the cream-colored ones first. It didn't take me too long to realize I could not see what I was doing. I literally could not see the cream-colored thread against the cream-colored linen.

This is not good.

However, since I think I brought almost every practical stitching tool I own, and a few impractical tools as well, I realized that I had stronger magnifiers with me.   And, Hallelujah, with more magnification, I could see the cream-colored thread against the cream-colored linen, and I was able to continue with the band.

Unfortunately, I could also see the errors I had made when I started out.

It has occurred to me that if I couldn't see them without 2 1/2 x magnification, most people couldn't seem them with their unadorned eyes, so I did not rip out all that work.

I'll just wait to see if the guilt and my perfectionistic tendencies make me change my mind.