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, October 1, 2023

Stitches, stitches, stitches!

I have just returned from a lovely visit with my Dear Friend Sharon and a workshop with the Carolina Sampler Guild. Catherine Theron taught her Flowers and Berries Band Sampler.

On the left is a life-size photocopy of the sampler. On the right are the luscious colors of silk, and my start. I thought I did rather well, considering that the outer two strawberries are detached buttonhole with return, and the center is trellis stitch worked back and forth. I can do spiral trellis with very little difficulty--I have a hard time getting my back-and-forth trellis even. I have decided that some strawberries appear to have been pecked by hungry birds and move along.

Sharon is a delightful hostess, and I got to spend some quality time with her kitties, Winchester and Winston. As a matter of fact, I spent one night with a gentleman caller curled up at my feet. However, the second time he stomped up my chest and looked in my face in the wee hours of the morning, I disinvited him from my boudoir. A lady can only be expected to withstand certain attentions from her callers!

I did carefully check my suitcase before I closed it up. I was a little concerned that Winston, my midnight caller, was going to decide to come home with me. He didn't, but I did bring home a couple of projects that I'm going to stitch for Sharon's company,  Thy Needle's Worke. You'll see more later.

Anyway, sadly, after a wonderful two days with some of my favorite people and a teacher whose classes I love, I trooped home.

DBE was here when I arrived. As luck would have it, the local Greek Orthodox congregation was having a fair today, and we went for souvlaki, pastitio, dolmades, and baklava. And we found out they have a holiday bake sale. We were thrilled. Our tummies were even happier.

And I had mail. Good mail. Stitching mail.

Christmas came early--from Inspirations, a pattern for a set of stitching accessories and the new Design Collective book--all Christmas designs. I don't do much seasonal stitching, but I do love Christmas designs.

The Western Reserve Sampler Guild had a meeting devoted to Scarlet Letter samplers, and there were door prizes. I was happy to receive these two charts

You'd think I have more than enough to work on, but, no, I need to finish setting up my hoop for my Deep Dive into Whitework class--and then I'm heading to Sassy Jack's for three classes with Jackie du Plessis.

And in between, I'm going to continue unpacking stash boxes. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


 This little bit of the top border of Isabel Redie is the only thing I've stitched in three days.  If I don't stitch, I don't have anything to blog about on a stitching blog.

I have been in a funk. My stitching mojo just up and left.

It better get back soon--I have the Cardinal EGA meeting tonight to look forward to. And I'm leaving day after tomorrow for my old stomping grounds. The Carolina Sampler Guild is having Catherine Theron in to teach a two-day workshop for a lovely little band sampler. 

It would be most impolite for me to grumble and growl at either event.

Friday, September 22, 2023

No Way in Blankety-Blankety-Blank-Blank-Blank!

 There are some things you can do on autopilot. Loading the dishwasher, or brushing your teeth, or running the vacuum. I hate to admit it, but there were times in my working life that I drove myself to or from work without realizing how I got from Point A to Point B. (This is not safe, and I don't recommend it.)

Stitching is one thing that should never be done on autopilot.

But I did.

It was time to do the personalization at the bottom of the Eternal Flame Huswif. I charted out my name and the date, stitched them in, and started the background.

All of this is tent stitch over one thread.

I didn't notice that the date was one thread higher than the name.

I was filling in the background, working the tent stitch diagonally, and was halfway through the background on my name when I realized that there were suddenly four threads above the capital letters when I had had three above the numbers.

Well, phooey.

Please note that is not what I actually said.

I went for a walk. On that walk, I decided that perfection is vastly overrated and that it can't be seen from the back of a galloping horse and that there is no way in Perdition (not the word I used) I was going to rip out that much tent stitch over one.

But I will be more mindful of my stitching in the future.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Something from the Stash

 Yesterday was a wash-out as far as actually threading up a needle and stitching was concerned.

It was the first day of another online class, this time a deep dive into whitework. We have a choice of working the whole sampler on a slate frame or working each term on a hoop. I've been working on hoops for the previous classes and decided to use a slate frame for this one.

And I found a slate frame. Only the roller bars were too short, so the linen wouldn't fit. So, OK, I've done the rest on hoops, I can do this one as well.

Only I haven't unpacked the 8" hoops. No idea which box they're in.

Even if I had had the hoop or frame, I couldn't have transferred the design. My water soluble marker, which I may have used once in the last twenty years, had dried up.

So I listened and made notes, and will continue to unpack, and now have an excuse to go to Joann's or Michael's for a water-soluble marker.

Then I realized I needed to find a Scarlet Letter design to work on for Saturday's Western Reserve Sampler Guild meeting. At the moment, I can only think of two that might be hiding in my UFOs or WIPs, and neither has reached the light of day.

But I did know where I had some kits, and Isabel Redie is coming out to play.

She's a big girl,  16 1/2" x 21 1/2" on 40 count. And she is started. I inherited her from a dear friend who died 20 years ago after a sudden illness. Roxie had basted the upper margin and begun the twining vine for the border. I think Isabel is going to be fun to stitch--she has a couple of bands that look like the 17th century band samplers I love, and all kinds of motifs.

And not a lot of letters.

I will have to build a house, though. At least it's not a big house.

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Final Flame

 I was going to continue setting up my stash room today. I shoved boxes around and sorted threads until my back announced that I really needed to sit down and stitch for the rest of the day.

So I did.

And I got the final flame on the Eternal Flame Huswif stitched.

I need to chart out my name and stitch in the personalization at the bottom of this panel. As soon as I get that done, I can take this off the scroll frame so it will be free for a Catherine Theron class I'm taking next week.

I did find a slate frame that I can use for my Deep Dive Whitework class that starts tomorrow. In the morning, I plan to set that up so I'll be ready to go. Now if I can just find the lacing thread . . .

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Third Time's the Charm

 Finally, finally, I was able to get the black silk framework for the final flame stitched!!! There was no ripping, no fussing or cussing--just head down and got 'er done.

And to continue with a charmed day--the USPS delivered a package, all the way from California, and on a Sunday, no less:

This is the newest online class from Katie Strachan.

This greets you when you first open the box.

And here are all the goodies inside.

The class doesn't start until January, so I believe I know what one of my New Year's projects will be. 

Meanwhile, I am going to head upstairs to see if I can find a slate frame that doesn't have something attached to it. I have a whitework class starting Tuesday, and it will take me most of the day tomorrow to set up the slate frame.

Since I'm having a charmed day, it should be in the first place I look.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Zooming around

 I do not know why everyone has scheduled Zoom meetings for the third Saturday of the month, but I attended three of them today.

I really love my Carolinas Region Zooms--always something to find out, good ideas shared, loads of lovely WIP's to see--and I managed to completely assemble another pin cushion.

This was another Make-It-Take-It kit. The top is a fabric transfer based on a trading card from J.&P. Coats Thread--yep, they had trading cards for threads just like baseball cards century before last. Since I spent the last twenty-plus years of my working life with Coats & Clark, of course I had to do this.

I may have more pincushions than pins.

Then the Orange Coast Sampler Guild had a guest speaker, Teresa Venette of Kitten Stitcher/Shakespeare's Peddler fame, who talked about how cross stitch books come into being.

And, last but not least, one of EGA's specialized Zoom groups for surface embroidery. This Zoom meeting has participants from around the country. Today's discussion was quite enjoyable since many of the people in the chat had recently taken classes from Alison Cole. Alison is this year's EGA International Teacher. I love Alison's pieces but have never had the opportunity to take a class from her. Now I know what I've been missing.

Meanwhile, Dearly Beloved has put up another shelving unit in my stash room, so I doubt that I will be stitching tomorrow. It appears that I will be unpacking more boxes.

I really wish I had a fairy godmother who would wave her magic wand and Bippety-Boppety-Boo, everything would be in its place--and that she would leave me a detailed inventory so I would know where to find it all!