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.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Dearly Beloved came up with a power cord from somewhere--I know not where and am not sure I want to know--but I am back online!

And I have had two lovely days at the retreat.

Yesterday, after the snow that chased us from the Carolinas to Virginia, the sun was shining, the temperatures were chilly but not frigid, and we were able to stroll up and down Duke of Gloucester Street.  And I was able to spend several hours in the stitching room with a friend, always the highlight of these events.

Then, we got smacked with a Winter Wonderland.

Colonial Williamsburg shut down for the day and the restaurant where Dearly Beloved and I had reservations called to tell us they were closed as well.  Originally our group was going to go to the textile exhibit at the museum in the morning, then to Jamestown to see the Jamestown Jacket in the afternoon.

That didn't happen, but we had an even better experience.  Kim Ivey, one of the textile curators, got permission for us to tour the storage area where they keep samplers and bed rugs and stumpwork and purses and all sorts of things that made our collective heart go pitty-pat.

We were allowed to take pictures, but only for our own personal research, not for publication. There is a frog that will show up somewhere on something I stitch.  We were very careful to avoid touching anything, but there were collective gasps when drawers were opened and there was a strong possibility of drool with some of the pieces.

And we had more time in the stitching room.

I ended up with this on Eve in the Garden:

Tulip Tray has not been neglected. The night we finally arrived I was able to finish another panel:

I also brought two other projects.

I never think any project is going to take anything close to the amount of time it actually does. It is always a shock when I realize just how many hours a project actually takes. At least, though, here I have nothing but time to stitch (and go out to eat, and do some sightseeing, and occasionally sleep). Any I'm enjoying every single minute of it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Long and Snowy Road

We have arrived in Williamsburg.

It was only supposed to snow a little this morning as we left home, then it was supposed to clear up.

It snowed the whole way. The whole way. It is still snowing. It was not predicted to snow here until Wednesday evening.

And I may not be able to post this week. Dearly Beloved packed the laptop but not the power cord, and my battery was low to begin with, so I may not have power for much longer. I am displeased.

So, there may be many, many catch-up posts after we get home again.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


This pitiful little bit of stitching is all I've been able to accomplish this week:

I've been hibernating instead of stitching.

I should not be allowed to complain. We haven't had temperatures below zero and ten feet of snow and icicles that are fourteen stories high.

We have had single digit temps and an ice storm that shut down the state--I don't care who you are or what your driving experience is, you can't navigate safely on a sheet of ice, and we had one that extended from the Blue Ridge  to the Atlantic.

I don't do cold and ice. I do heat and humidity. I do sipping lemonade while languidly fanning myself on the verandah. I do glowing, not shivering. (For those of you who are not versed in Southernisms: Horses sweat,  men perspire, and ladies glow.)

Consequently, I have been piling an extra blanket or two on the bed and hibernating with a book instead of stitching in the evenings.

I do need to start thinking a little more about stitching, though. I'm heading to a retreat early next week, and I can't make up my mind what to take with me. It appears that, at the very least, there will be three tote bags going, just so I can make a choice when I get there. And a friend has asked me to bring my new frame stand. Dearly Beloved, who already has a problem with traveling (he doesn't travel, he moves everything he possibly can to reproduce the comforts of home in another place, so we look like we're leaving for a year instead of a week), is not inclined to find a place in the car for it to travel. He has made the point it's like a piece of furniture--which it is--and have I totally lost my mind--which I may have. I'm attributing it all to cabin fever.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

And this is it?

This is all I've managed to stitch in over a week:

This is the second panel for the Tulip Tray. I only have three more panels to stitch, and then I can put this project together.

Finishing . . . again . . .

I've been distracted by other things this week. For one thing, I've been attempting to accomplish some organization. I bought myself a five-drawer, rolling cabinet that just happens to fit under the drop leaf table by my chair to use for the threads and bits and pieces for my Cabinet of Curiosities, aka casket, from Tricia Wilson Nguyen's online class. It does not fit with the decor of our living room, but I have come to the conclusion that I am now old enough to be eccentric and I can put things where they are convenient for me.

And I'm trying to decide what projects to take with me for a stitching retreat I am attending next week. As I will be a couple of hundred miles from home, I need to take several things just in case the one I'm working on loses its appeal. It's one thing to be able to trot upstairs and plunder the stash if I want something different. It's quite something else when you're not close enough to the stash to do that.

I also have to have another part of me biopsied to determine what's going on. Apparently I'm becoming quite good at growing things in my body that don't need to be there, so we're going to find out what it is.

Consequently, threading a needle hasn't happened as much as I'd like recently. Hopefully I'll be able to rectify that this week.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


It is the day we honor our needles for their work during the past year.

A couple of years ago, Susan Elliott of plays-with-needles offered a class to enable us to make our own needlebooks and I joined in.

And my needlebook sits by my chair every single day:

You will notice that the ties are not tied, probably because I am in and out of the needlebook with just about every stitching session.

And apparently I use more tapestry needles than any other, which reflects the fact that I work on linen and canvas more than any other ground.

Which is what I hope to do to today. What better way to honor something than to keep it in use?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

another finish-finish

Despite all odds, I managed to get another project out of the finishing basket:

Williamsburg Folk Art Box & Smalls
Merry Cox

(Should I admit that, when I ran into this while rummaging in the finishing basket, I didn't remember stitching it?  I must have--my initials and 2011 are stitched in--but I don't remember it. I can't decide if that means senility has set in or if it simply means I have way too many projects in the finishing basket for any one person to own up to.)

I feel like I've had the same wild-eyed look and hair that the angel has this week. What I thought was just a nagging headache turned into a raging sinus infection. I now have steroids and antibiotics and am on the mend--but there have been only a few stitches added to the Tulip Tray as a result.

There are now two swans a'swimmin' and a tulip-and-a-half a-bloomin' but that's it.

I should rectify that situation at once.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Finally a finish!

And the first finish of 2015!  And it's a finish-finish as well! This is Merry Cox's "So Dear to My Heart", the project I took from her at Christmas in Williamsburg in 2011 and have now finished in 2015.

The carrying bag, with a stitched pocket on the front

The top and cushion for the inside

The goodies on the inside

I have been slaving for two solid days on this and I have made yet more decisions about finishing.
  • If I'm going to have toys, I have to admit that I have to do the finishing
  • HOWEVER, I need to realize my limitations, which leads to . . .
  • I need to work on some finishing project every week to keep my hand in
  • BUT I should not work more than about four hours on any project before stopping and doing something else
  • AND, if a project has lots of bits and pieces, I need to treat them as separate projects and not feel the need to get everything done in a day
  • and spending a whole week-end on finishing is not relaxing or de-stressing
I also need to spend some time with my new sewing machine and figure out all its ins and outs. I spent part of the afternoon reading the owner's manual from cover to cover looking for the way to open the bobbin cover. It isn't in there, in English, Spanish, or French. I found the button that opens it by accident.

I do have an alternate plan. I don't know whether she was just tired of my weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but Baby Girl said that I should probably stitch and she should probably do the finishing. She likes fiddling with things and thinks in three dimensions. I like fiddling with stitches and don't think in three dimensions. Considering that she is likely to end up with all my stash at some point in the (hopefully) far distant future, this may be an excellent partnership.

Little does she know this may include papering the carcass for my embroidered casket.