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, March 31, 2019

Blast from the Past

I wrote this right after our EGA meeting--was going to add something else so put it in the draft folder--and life got in the way--so now I'm going to hit publish and go stitch on something.

We had a great program at our monthly EGA chapter meeting. We were asked to bring in the first project we worked on as an EGA member.

There were loads of memories, lots of laughter, many exclamations of recognition as pieces were displayed.

I have to admit, I could not remember what project I worked on first as an EGA member. That was decades ago. To be perfectly honest, one reason I started blogging was so I could keep track of when I worked on projects, what workshops I attended and when they were held, and what I finished.

I could, however, remember the first project I took at an EGA National Seminar.

I do not remember the official name of this project. It was an Elizabethan blackwork sweet bag, and this is the front.

And this is the back.

Jane Zimmerman designed and taught the class. Jane was a force of nature in the classroom, and her directions were among the best. I've worked on a number of her designs over the years, and I have to admit, there are a few left in the stash yet to be stitched. She did absolutely incredible Goldwork, and a lot of canvas work, but my favorites were her Elizabethan embroidery designs.

And Jane and Sharon Cohen are the reasons that I fell in love with sweet bags. I haven't stitched a sweet bag in some time, maybe because there are several in the finishing basket that need to be put together--but I think I may have to rectify that situation.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Over the last few days I've been bouncing from one thing to another like a BB in a box car.

There are more motifs on the spot sampler:

Most of what I did involved the ladder stitch as a base, then it was embellished. The more I did, the better it got.

Well, duh.

Practice may not make perfect, but it does make better.

I also started the silk work on the Petite Pincushion from the Goldwork Master Class:

Since I decided that evenings after work are not conducive the focused work--meaning that gold work stitches need daylight and uninterrupted time--meaning the week-end--I decided to work on the "framework" for the designs after work, then I'll fill in the goldwork on the week-ends. So I'm trooping on with the projects from that class.

However, Tsubaki was not abandoned:

This is not easy to see.  It is the beginning of the framework for the next accessory piece for Tsubaki.

I have just about decided that Tsubaki is going to be my Friday night project. There are some lovely pattern repeats and stitches I enjoy making, so that sounds like a good way to end the work week.

OMG, did I just set up a rotation of sorts?

Another resolution bites the dust.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Trying Again

Somebody asked me earlier in the week what I was working on, and I replied that apparently I'm not stitching at all in 2019.

And that's what it's felt like this week.

For a variety of dreary reasons, I did not thread a needle from last Saturday afternoon until last night. Since needlework is my major source of stress relief, I was getting stressed. Believe me, I was getting  very stressed. And testy. And cranky, And unpleasant to be around.

On the way home from work yesterday, I decided that I was going to stitch last night if I didn't do a single other thing.

And I did.

The spot sampler was a little more challenging than I wanted to tackle after the week that was, but Tsubaki was sitting right there next to my chair, so I picked that up.

And I finished the stitching for the pin cushion:

That last bit was put in this afternoon, in between loads of laundry. So, I thought, I'll work on the scissors fob since it has a lot of the same stitches.

And that's when I had a lovely, wonderful, blissful surprise!

Either I stitched it all in class a couple of years ago when I actually was sitting in class, or I got it done immediately after and forgot about it.

But that brings up a concern. If I finished it, how come I don't remember? And if I don't remember stitching this, do I have other things I've done that I don't remember?

And the potential answer to that question may explain why I've found a couple of things in my stash that apparently I liked so much that I bought them twice.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

More sparkly bits

Yesterday I worked on adding some of the goldwork stitches to the Spot Sampler from the Goldwork Master Class offered by Tricia Nguyen of Thistle Threads.

Some areas are starting to fill in--others are pretty blank. I found that after about half a dozen motifs, I needed to stop and do something else--mainly because these are stitches that I don't do every day, so they require real focus and concentration. I can focus and concentrate just so long, and then brain cells start to fry. So I go to something else that I can stitch almost automatically. This seems to work out quite nicely, and it's a good excuse for bouncing from one project to another.

I'm also finding that my stitches are looser than usual. I tend to be a very tight stitcher, but if I use my usual tension, there is more chance that the gold "skin" covering the thread core  will break and strip away.  So, I'm working very slowly and somewhat loosely to avoid that.

We were given a different type of gold thread we could use after the online class started (and years after the f2f class where I started this project). The lessons state that once you go to this thread, you'll never go back. I figure, though, if I can do a decent job with the threads I've been using, I'll do an even better job with better thread. So I'm saving that for the next sampler in the class.

Hmmmmmm, sounds like I'm almost committing myself to continuing with the projects in this class for awhile.

Let's see how that works out . . .

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Annual Rant

It is time for my annual I-Hate-Daylight-Savings-Time rant.

I'm delighted to have sunlight--mainly because we've had way too many gray, gloomy days this winter. However, I am not delighted to have to get up in pitch black dark again to get to work on time. I'm sure parents having to get their children up and out for school are feeling the same. And I have noticed that people have been crankier and more ill-tempered this week than usual, probably due to changes in schedule.

One of my coworkers says that the crankiness and irritability are due to Mercury being in retrograde. I think Mercury has been dealing with DST, too, and that's why he went into retrograde.

Anyway, with my internal and external schedules all discombobulated, the most advanced stitching I've been able to accomplish involves little blocks of tent stitch. Lots of little blocks of tent stitch. But that means that I have all the background for the goldwork done for the Tudor Pin Cushion.

All the blank bits will be filled in with gold work techniques, and most of them are stitches that I have yet to do on the Spot Sampler project. So . . . this week-end, I'm going to pull out the sampler again and see if I can get a few of those stitches practiced before tackling them on the pin cushion.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Back in the Saddle Again

Re-entry is tough.

My desk blew up--as usual--while I was gone, but I finally got to the bottom of my inbox by the end of the day Friday.  And I got to spend time with friends at the monthly sampler guild meeting Wednesday, so that was good, too.

I still haven't unpacked the stitching suitcase--yes, this year, I took a rolling suitcase instead of a tote bag filled with projects. This worked so well I will probably do it again next year.

But there has been a little bit of stitching this week:

I started on the second corner of the Tudor Pin Cushion.

And more on the gusset for the pin cushion for Tsubaki.

There seems to be a theme. Apparently I'm in the mood to stick pins into something.

I'm not going to examine that too closely . . .

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Great Escape, Days Six, Seven, Eight, and The End

Before anything else, I have been told I need to show what Baby Girl accomplished in her two day class with Rachael Kinnison.

I keep telling people she is far better at every type of needlework than I am. Finally, there is proof.

Meanwhile, I got this much done:

Most of a squirrel--I decided I need the Dazor to redo the cap and nut of his acorn.  He still looks a little like he has a bow on his head rather than ears.

Part of the gusset for the pinkeep for Tsubaki.

There were other things going on--Friday we had a tour of the behind-the-scenes part of the Textile Collection in the morning, a lecture in the afternoon.

Saturday and Sunday I really took a vacation--slept late, read my book, walked around the Historic District in between showers (the weather did not cooperate this year), generally took it easy and really relaxed. I did stitch a little, but it was very little.

So, things I've learned about attending retreats:

  • They are very good for making the world go away, if for only a few days.
  • I can get more stitched at home than I can at a retreat.
  • This is not a bad thing.
  • Catching up with friends you see only once or twice a year is much more important--and a retreat gives you that chance.
  • There are enablers there. They are happy to enable.
  • Sometimes someone has such an incredibly good idea that you are forced to copy it. As soon as I lay my hands on the kit for one such project, I plan to.
  • Re-entry is HARD.
And since re-entry involves doing some laundry, I need to do that.