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


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, 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


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.