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, December 31, 2020

So long, 2020!

 Chances are good that I will not be awake to see the end of 2020 so I decided to write the last blog of this weird year now.

First of all, before I go to sleep, there will be the ceremonial dumping of the ort jar.

You can't really see, but there are metal threads all throughout. It's actually kind of pretty, and I was of two minds about dumping this year's collection.  I know about the ornaments you can stuff but it is tradition to dump out the jar right before I go to bed on December 31. Since so many things haven't followed the usual pattern this year, I decided that this had to be one thing that did.

I didn't blog last night because I had decided I couldn't until I got that over-one band on Emie's Etui completely stitched. FINALLY! Simplest thing in the world and I couldn't count accurately on the last two stems. But it's now done, along with the band that comes after it.

And now to catch up on:

Wretched Excess, Day Six

Another beautiful kit from The Crewelwork Company.

That purchase was precipitated by this:

This may be my oldest UFO,  and it's probably fifty years old. I was rummaging around awhile ago and wondered why in the world I didn't finish this. It was probably another "ooh, shiny" moment-but I was doing a pretty good job on it. And then I found several other vintage kits (never started) that were all variations on Tree of Life motifs, and I started thinking that the grouping would make a lovely display, and the next thing you know, I was looking for similar designs to stitch. We'll see how that goes.

And that takes us to:

Wretched Excess, Day Seven

Another design from the latest Inspirations volume, and it's a Cynthia Jackson, and I really like her designs--so no-brainer. And she's announced that she is going to teach a Tudor Embroidery class online for ten weeks in late spring--be still my heart--so I'm very excited by the whole prospect.

And that's the wrap-up for this year's Wretched Excess.

And aside from being happy to see the end of 2020 and looking toward the future vaccination--first time in my life I've ever looked forward to getting a shot!--I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Sort of a White Christmas

 I have decided one of the many, many things I want to focus on when I retire is Whitework. So . . . 

Wretched Excess, Day Five

Inspirations magazine struck again, so I have a book of projects, and the pattern for another, and

two kits that I think I'm going to love to add to my home.

I think the last person in my family who did much whitework had to be my late-Victorian great-grandmother. That's two generations away, and I feel the need to make up for lost time.

Hopefully I'll live to be 386.

And there is no progress on Emie. I discovered that I was off by one thread high and one thread to the left, which meant I had to pull out cross stitch over one.

And now you know why I'm twitching.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Un Upheaval

 We've been having intermittent internet issues since Christmas Eve--when we lost the cable and internet completely. It's been up and down since--and when I tried to plug in my work phone yesterday, it went down completely.

So I packed up the work stuff and took it back to the office, where I worked today, completely alone. It was amazing how much I got done!

There is a piece of equipment that needs to be replaced and it will take a week to ten days to arrive, so I have permission to work in the office.

And, tonight, the internet is sort of working but the cable isn't. So I'm getting this posted while I can.

Wretched Excess, Day Four

I've been tempted by this crewel kit since it was introduced. Then Phillipa offered a series of tutorials on youTube. Then she offered it at a discount. There is only so much temptation I can withstand.

Now, you ask, what about Emie's Etui? It has two more flowers on it. Cross stitch over one takes forever!

Sunday, December 27, 2020


 There isn't much to show in today's blog:

And the reason for that--I have to work from home again for the next two weeks to avoid the potential for another Covid surge.

This means we had to take the Christmas tree down and this makes me sad. I usually leave it up until New Year's Eve, and this year I needed to have that extra bit of cheer. But, I can't set up my home office in my living room without rearranging some furniture, which means the tree has to leave to have room for that rearrangement.  I now have cords running everywhere again, but can't tell if anything is functional until Dearly Beloved gets home from a quick trip to the grocery store to plug the modem to some of the equipment. (Our modem lives on the top of a tall bookcase, and I can't reach it without climbing on a ladder, and I don't climb on ladders unless there's someone in the house to call 911 if I fall--which is not unlikely since I'm a klutz--so he has to be here anyway.)

Once I know that everything functions for tomorrow, I'll go back to my stitching corner and do a little more on this band.

Meanwhile . . . 

Wretched Excess Day Three

This was the year for the textile symposium at Winterthur.  It went online, and was delightful, but I have to admit, I did miss taking classes and seeing exhibits in person.

I've been taking classes at this event from Joanne Harvey for a number of years, and I decided that I would find one of her kits in Winterthur's online gift shop to stitch. This is not easy to do, not because they don't have a nice selection, but because I've stitched or have in the stash just about all of her repros--she was one of the first people whose reproduction samplers I found and started stitching. But I found two pincushion kits, one gold and the other deep red, that I wanted to add to my collection.

And there is an exhibit, which you can view online, of Erica Wilson's work. I did a lot of her crewel kits in the 70's and watched her program on PBS religiously, so I was really looking forward to the exhibit. That was not to be, but a book has been published about her life and creations, which includes photos of the items on display.

And Dearly Beloved just walked in the door, so I'm going to see if my tech works. 

At least there's an end date to this work-at-home period. Hopefully.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Past and Christmases Future

 We had a quiet, peaceful Christmas yesterday--and hope you did, too.  We fixed a platter with meats and cheese and fruit and nuts, put together several different types of crackers and bread, and grazed off and on all day. Not the usual Christmas feast, but it worked for the two of us. Dearly Beloved took a nap and I stitched.

The Little Red Rabbit is complete!

He is a happy little bunny, and I believe that I am going to make him into a Christmas ornament. I thought about a pin cushion--but I think he'd be adorable on the tree in future Christmases, so that will be his destiny.

Which brings me to Wretched Excess, Day Two:

I'm not a seasonal stitcher, with the exception of Christmas, and this year the temptations were many.

Alison Cole creates an annual ornament, and this one was a must-have. There is a family joke involving pomegranates, so this has to be stitched to grace a future tree.

And then Inspirations, Issue 108, had temptations galore. I truly want to stitch my way from cover to cover, and for a brief, mad moment, I thought about buying every single kit that they provided for projects in the issue.

Some sanity prevailed, and I chose my two favorites:

I've been patting the boxes and trying to decide which to start first.

Six months to retiring and many, many hours to stitch!

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas! (even in 2020)


Usually I just post a photo on Christmas Day, but since this is like no other Christmas, and since I haven't been a very good blogger this year, I'm going to babble on.

For Christmas Eve, I gave myself the gift of stitching all day:

These two panels will be mounted back to back for the scissors fob for Emie's Etui's scissors fob. Notice they are double running. I have said it before, doing double running should be creating new neural pathways, but there are times when I think they actually destroy the ones I have. 

And just when I thought I was through with double running, the first band on one of the major parts of the etui body itself starts with . . . yep, you guessed it . . . double running.

I stopped stitching for the day after this.

And now on to Wretched Excess.

Generally I take four or five classes a year, and I set aside a little slush fund to cover going hither and thither to take them. My last classes were in Williamsburg. In February.

And the last few years, Dearly Beloved has told me to buy what I want and put it under the tree since he is basically clueless. 

There was a little more under the tree this year than usual. I went a little bonkers, thus the Wretched Excess business. When I saw the whole stack piled up, all I could do was shake my head and tell myself I now have to live to be 386. And I'm going to show them throughout the coming week instead of one big glob.

Wretched Excess, Day 1

The Crewel Work Company is doing a lot to revitalize crewel embroidery, which has a special place in my heart because it's what I started doing when I started stitching. And they had special sales this year.

There are a couple of designs I've found that require linen for a background, and they offered a discount and free shipping on their lovely linen twill. So I splurged and bought a great big hunk of it--and with it, they sent a gift, a redwork embroidery for a sweet bunny. They also included gold-plated crewel needles.

Isn't that adorable? And now I'm tempted to hoop it up and stitch all day today on this.

And that may make this an even happier Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2020


 I did not mean to let so much time elapse since the last post.  What can I say? I've had a major pandemic-fatigue induced hissy fit and had to work through it.

No, this isn't the Christmas I wanted, but it's the Christmas I have, so the only thing to do is make the best of it and move on.

There have been lovely moments.

Baby Girl came home last week-end for our family Christmas celebration. We feasted and laughed and stitched together (more about that later). And she made this for me for Christmas:

Tricia Nguyen offered this beaded basket kit several years ago. It is similar to the baskets the little girls made during the time that they were also stitching their caskets. I bought it, thinking if a twelve-year-old girl could do this, so could I.

I was totally ignoring the fact that it uses beads. Lots of beads. And beads and I don't get along. But Baby Girl loves beads, and they play well together. So when she asked me what I'd like to have to Christmas, I told her that nothing would make me happier than having this beaded and constructed.

And now I have it.

Baby Girl also announced that we were going to work on Emie's Etui together. We had both planned to take this as a workshop with Betsy Morgan at Salty Yarns last June. As we all know, that didn't happen, but the kits were sent to us so we could do the project.

So we stitched together, all afternoon and into the evening. So far, I've managed to get this much done:

 This will be the closure band, eventually. 

And this is the thread winder.

I would have been farther along, but when I turned the piece over to see if I had managed to get the thing reversible, I discovered a big glob of knotted thread on the back. Well, that couldn't be left alone, so I started reverse stitching and ended up just cutting everything out, which meant the whole flower motif had to be restitched. 

Since this is to be the quietest Christmas ever, I hope to get the two pieces that will make up the scissors fob stitched this afternoon.

And tomorrow, I have a Christmas project I plan to do, but you'll have to wait until then to see!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Strawberry Fields Forever


And after stitching these lovely strawberries, I hit the wall.

This has nothing to do with the project or the design. I love everything about it--well, maybe not the Nun stitch, but that's all finished. The problem is with me.

I can't decide if I have a short attention span or the worst case of Stitcher's ADD ever, but I can work on a project for only so long and then I have to move to something else, something fresh, something more exciting simply because it's new and different. I can't figure out why. I come from a long line of women who persevered with any project until it reached completion before even considering taking on something else.

Mother is a case in point. She made a lot of The Saint's and my clothes when were were in elementary school because she loved to sew. Not a single dress missed having a designer touch. She did buy fabric ahead; there was a fabric outlet store fairly close to my grandmother's house back in the days when there was a multitude of mills in our area. When the outlet received new shipments, the call would come and we would be loaded in the car for a trip to the store. There would be intense consultations--I remember having fabric held against my face to determine if it was the exact shade needed to bring out whatever they felt needed to be brought out--and my father used to joke that the back of the car was dragging on the ground from the weight of the fabric when we returned home.

Each length of fabric was joined with its pattern and notions and stacked in the drawers of the sewing chest. And then she worked her way through them until the chest was empty. Notice that I said the chest was empty. And all the projects were completed.

Meanwhile, I truly will have to live to 385 to complete half of my stash, and there are a lot of unfinished treasures in it.

So . . . yesterday when I could not stitch another stitch, I decided I am going to have to figure out some kind of rotation that will get some of this stuff done. I don't do well with timekeeping and recording, so I have to figure out a way to do that painlessly. And I have to figure out a way to fit more stitching time into my life, at least until I retire.

For those who have been reading my blog for awhile, you'll know I've attempted this before. 

Epic. Fails. 

Every. One.

But I'm going to try again.

At least until the model I promised to stitch arrives--then it's definitely going to be a one-at-a-time process.

Sigh . . . 

Friday, December 4, 2020

One Leaf

Today is the last day of my stay-cation and I planned to stitch all day.

This is what I accomplished.

One. Leaf.

That's it.

One leaf.

I have talked to almost everyone in my family. I have assisted Dearly Beloved with one of his projects. I decked the halls a little more because today is the day that Dearly Beloved finally got a couple of boxes down for me, after being asked to do so just about every day this week.

So, I have one leaf stitched.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Nun is Done

All the nun stitch is done, along with a couple of bits that just needed to be outlined.

 Now I get to do the fun stuff. Which I will start. Tomorrow. I am totally cross-eyed at the moment.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Almost invisible

 I've been stitching off and on all day and you can hardly see a thing.


I've been working on the Nun stitch for the needlepages for the Strawberry Purse and Accessories.

I can only do this for so long and then I have to move onto something else. The something else is trying to remember how to do a creditable plaited braid stitch.

I stitched a sweet bag a quarter of a century ago that had a mile or two of plaited braid. I remember that I could only stitch it in a quiet room with no distractions. What I can't remember is exactly how I did it--and before you start recommending videos and stitch guides--I've looked at just about everything the innerwebs have to offer and I'm still having problems getting it even.

I believe that it is a matter of practice, practice, practice when what I want to do is finish, finish, finish. I have a project I want to complete but I have to do plaited braid to complete it.

So back to the doodle cloth. Sigh . . . 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Three done!

 All three of the ornaments are done and ready for the tree!

And that's where they are going in the next few minutes. And then I decide what to do next.

In case I forgot to mention, I'm having a stay-cation this week. I had very elaborate plans for the needlework I wanted to accomplish and the halls I wished to deck, but so far, those plans have fallen by the wayside for other things. Like sleeping late--OMG, how much I love to sleep past 6 a.m.! And naps. Naps are lovely, too.

It is quite possible that I have been very sleep-deprived and just needed to spend this week to catch up.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Two down, one to go

 The Pineapple is stitched, the Lantern has been started.

I don't think this one is going to take too long to stitch since it's not as sollid as the pineapple or apple basket. And that is a good thing since I'd like to put all three together and hang them on the tree.

Assuming, that is, that I can get Dearly Beloved to dig the tree out and put it together and drag the ornament boxes down. I keep reminding him that, since we went artificial (and I'm still not overly happy about that), he no longer has to battle a tree stand and make sure the tree is watered. He still likes to grumble about it.

This time of year, his name is Ebenezer Grinch.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Back in the saddle again

 I totally lost my stitching mojo for a couple of weeks. Absolutely nothing in my vast stash appealed in the slightest and I couldn't even make myself thread a needle and take a stitch or two. Normally, that's enough to jump-start my desire to stitch, but not at the moment.

It may have been a mixture of job stress and pandemic fatigue, but whatever it was, it wasn't getting anything done.

Then I started looking for something else entirely and ran across the kits for some ornaments that Barbara Jackson designed for Haus Tirol in Williamsburg the last couple of years. And there is always something about the colors that Barbara uses and happiness of her designs . . . well, I started the Apple Basket on Wednesday and finished it yesterday, then dove right into the Pineapple yesterday and will finish it today.

I have one more to stitch, then I'll do an assembly line finishing and they'll be ready for the tree.

Which is going up this week-end, along with the decking of the halls. We need a little Christmas, right this very minute!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Already the middle of the month

 How did it get to be the middle of November already?

Despite the fact that it feels like time is getting away from me, I did start and finish a project:

Here's Barbara Jackson's 2020 ornament. The kit arrived a week ago Friday. I plopped myself into the wing chair Saturday morning, and had it stitched by the time I went to bed Saturday night. Then yesterday,  I put it together.

I didn't put the date on this one because I really don't want to remember too much about 2020, which seems to both drag and fly by at the same time.

There has been a little bit of other stitching going on--I've worked more on Catherine Theron's Strawberry Sewing Purse, and I've started putting together the pieces for Jackie du Plessis's Ode to Jane Austen (finally)--which has reminded me that I really need to stitch and assemble projects immediately after taking a class.

But, on with the day. I need to clear the bed in Baby Girl's old bedroom so she'll have a place to sleep when she comes home for our very abbreviated Thanksgiving. I've been using that bed for storage and a staging place for project planning, and there may be about 3 square inches of space left. I don't think she'll fit into that small a space.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Flower and Fruit

 I have been doing a lot of tent stitch this week.

The big, central flower on Rebekah French is finished, and I've outlined and started the second big tent stitch flower.

Then Rebekah went into time-out because the black silk I'm using to outline the motifs is shredding and fraying and leaving little wisps of itself all over the linen. I am aware that black dye is one of the harshest and sometimes that makes black silk more fragile than other colors, but this was getting irritating. Rebekah went back into her pillowcase for a little bit. She will return, but I want to go rummage in the stash to see if I have another skein of black that may not be so pitiful.

So I pulled out the Strawberry Purse and Stitching Accessories project, which is an online class from Catherine Theron through Shining Needle. When last we spoke, I had just finished pulling out the Nun stitch that was in the wrong place. I decided to get it back into the right place, and did, and then, since I had it out, it was easy to start the stitching for the purse panel.

I briefly--very briefly--considered going ahead and doing the Nun stitch outlines for all the pieces for the project and then decided I would go stark raving mad if I did that. Between work and the election craziness, I'm already close to stark raving mad and I decided I didn't need to be pushed over the edge.

But, I am still doing tent stitch. 

Lots of tent stitch.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Not Happening

 I stitched the other vein on the big leaf on Rebekah French. And that's about all I've done in the last week.

I also started working Nun stitch around part of a new project I planned to start.

The only thing more tedious than stitching Nun stitch is frogging Nun stitch. There is nothing more to be said.

So I won't.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Oh, so glittery

Which you can't really see in the photograph.

 The stitching on the first of the golden accessories is finished!

I realized that I can't stitch metal thread stuff under artificial light very well, especially not fiddly metal thread stuff, so I decided to wait for a sunny morning at home--which means a week-end.  My plan is to work on bedazzling the second piece tomorrow, then the third and final one next Saturday.

And then I'll need to do the finish-finishing, but I'm trying to avoid thinking about that.

It is probably a good thing that Dearly Beloved slept later than I did this morning, because I had to talk myself through the stitch used for the silver thread. As in talking out loud. As in "over, under, pull up tight, through, under, and down". As in the steps I needed to work the knotted stitch. However, after overing, undering pulling up tight, etc, I got the stitch in my head and I really, really like it. I'm not sure where I can use it in the future, but I really want to.

Meanwhile, in the evenings after work, I've been working hundreds of tent stitches over one to fill in the leaves on Rebekah's big flower.

Please notice the stripes in the middle of the leaf. If they went horizontally, I'd decide that it was supposed to be shading on the vein. But they're not, they are obviously vertical. Why?

And it's not just this one sampler. There are other samplers front the same area with vertical stripes in the middle of their leaves. It does make you wonder what in the world the little girls who stitched this type of motif were representing. Or was this the teacher's idea? And if it was, once again, why? It boggles the mind.

And if that's the only thing that happens today that boggles my mind, it will be a nice day.

Sunday, October 11, 2020


 I couldn't settle down to stitch yesterday because nothing in the current workbasket was ringing my chimes. I still like them all, but I just didn't feel like playing with them.

So, I decided to watch/listen to the rest of the lectures from the Winterthur Textile Symposium's virtual event--if you signed up, you can access the lectures and discussions for the entire month of October--and I did.

As usual, there were some lectures I adored and some that left me cold, but the one on Erica Wilson sent me upstairs to rummage in the stash to see how many of her kits I have that weren't stitched (I know there are a few). But to get to that box, I had to move another one, and the lid popped off, and right in front of me was Rebekah French.

I got a little frustrated with her several years ago because the tracing diagram didn't match the stitched sampler. However, I looked at her again and decided I can do an adaptation instead of a reproduction, and so, at ten at night, I picked her up and started stitching.

This pretty posy is all tent stitch over one. The lower part of this sampler is either tent over one or surface stitching. This is going to take awhile.

Instead of emptying out the current workbasket, I seem to be adding to it.

Saturday, October 10, 2020


 After stitching a lot last week, this is all I have to show for after-work stitching this week.

It probably would have helped if I hadn't had to rip out everything I stitched on one night on the next night. It turns out that I can count to two, but it doesn't help if the point at which I start counting is the wrong spot.

Mutter, mutter, mumble, mumble.

And, of course, the new book from Inspirations arrived this week and I spent a night drooling over the designs and reading the descriptions and trying to decide which projects I could probably work from stash and which kits I would like to add to the stash.

I'm trying to decide what I want to do today. I had planned to work on the Golden Accessories, but I'm also inclined to try to finish this needlebook. I may have to flip a coin. Meanwhile, I need to get the laundry started and the dust cloth wafting.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Alas and Alack

Today is the last day of stay-cation. Tomorrow I go back to the routine.

So today has been all about getting stuff together and getting organized to go back into the eating-breakfast-packing-lunch-dressing-in-business-casual-driving-to-work-working-driving-back-home-getting-organized-again rut routine.


I did stitch a little today. I was in the "whatever is handy" mode, so I picked up the Catherine Theron needle book. Considering I didn't have a lot of time to stitch this afternoon, I think I got a lot done.

I need to chart out my name for the back cover, which may be tonight's task.

And what of this coming week? I have enjoyed blogging again, and I'm going to do my best to make time to stitch and blog--maybe not daily but as often as possible. And it's only 7 1/2 weeks until my next stay-cation.

But who's counting . . .  

Saturday, October 3, 2020


 I am being tempted to stray from my original stitching plans.

This flew in from Australia today:

I'd been going back and forth about getting this ever since it was published in Factoria, one of Inspirations' Passion for Needlework books. It is just the kind of prissy thing that appeals to the prissy person deep inside me. Then, they announced that the kit would be discontinued so they'd have room in inventory for the kits for the new book coming out.

The things I regret are the things I don't get. So I got it. 

I have not allowed myself to start it. I've been doing something else, and it's not the gold work I was going to practice. 

I've been listening to discussions as part of Winterthur's virtual textile symposium, and I discovered that I can stitch and listen without losing the train of the discussions as long as I am working on something relatively mindless. And Nun Stitch is about as mindless as it gets, so I pulled out a tiny Catherine Theron needle book that I started outlining awhile back, and I've been happily listening and Nun-ing ever since.

Not the most interesting thing to look at in its present state, but as long as I've come this far, I think I'm going to finish the second needle page.

As long as I'm talking about listening to the Winterthur programming, I should probably mention that there are both an exhibit at Winterthur and one of the lectures from the symposium featuring Erica Wilson. And I should also mention that when I really got into stash-building, some of her crewel and embroidery kits made their way into my stash. And they have been aging to perfection for lo, these many years. Seeing them in the online exhibit brought them to mind, and I may fall down that rabbit hole at any moment now.

I really need to retire.

Friday, October 2, 2020

This, That, and the Other

 I lost track of time yesterday, but today may make up for it.

I've been working on the gold bits of the Golden Accessories, and I have been learning patience in the process. Gold Wire is stitchable. It is not cooperative. It has a mind of its own, and we have been trying to come to a meeting of the minds. Therefore, I have been stitching slowly and deliberately so as to avoid kinks and knots and other misbehaviors. This is not unlike dealing with a two-year-old.

But I've made progress, which is going to be a bit slower for awhile. There are three stitches used to fill in the open spaces, and they are stitches that I am not comfortable with, so I need to pull out a piece of scrap linen and practice before I start stitching them on these bits. These are teeny little spaces, and there isn't a lot of room for error. Or frogging.

Then yesterday, I went stash diving looking for a started project that I'd like to finish. Instead of finding it, I found something else.

I couldn't remember if I had bought this, more or less fifty years ago, or if I planned to buy it, more or less fifty years ago. Looks like I actually did buy it, and I think it's aged long enough to stitch now. I believe this may become my lunch project.

But meanwhile, I am enjoying this year's Textile Symposium from Winterthur. It's virtual, as you might expect, but the talks have been beautifully done and extremely informative. We have access to them for the month of October, so I can re-watch and re-listen at any time.

That said, I miss being at Winterthur. I miss seeing people I generally see only there. I miss having the opportunity to take classes and tour the museum. I miss the wonderful hospitality extended to attendees at the conference. I miss the drive there and back through the Shenandoah Valley in the Fall. I know that there will be an opportunity sometime in the future, but right now, I'm very tired of doing everything at home.

P.S. The television has been set up. I sent Dearly Beloved on an errand and read the directions so it was playing nicely by the time he returned. He's been growling about that ever since. Cranky old bear.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

We are still married--at the moment

 This is probably all the stitching I will get done today.

We bought a new television since the old one is on its last legs and the remote for it no longer works (horrors!). Dearly Beloved has been trying to set it up today.

Apparently there is something in the male genome that refuses to read directions or (Heaven Forbid!) call the help desk. You should just be able to plug it in and it will work, but somehow he has screwed up the remote for the new television. I do not know what he did--I was reading the set up directions to determine what should be done beyond plugging in and turning on while he was fiddling with it.

I did promise "til death do us part" but I don't remember anything about setting up a television in the vows. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A little sidetracked

 I started working on the three pieces of the Golden Acorn set of smalls this afternoon. The first bit involves a little embellishment of the base tent stitch designs.

There are bullions on the acorn:

The centers of the pansy and carnation are worked in spiral trellis, but there was only enough room to do two rounds, so didn't think it was enough to bother with a photo.

And that got me sidetracked. No matter how many times I've done spiral trellis--and I've stitched a couple of pieces that each have at least forty bazillion spiral trellises--I can never remember exactly how to point the needle and which thread goes over and which goes under it. Apparently the experience is so traumatic I repress all memories of it.

Anyway, as long as I had the diagram out, I decided to pull out the sweet bag I was working on earlier in the year and get the center of the main flower spiral trellised. I realized I didn't have quite enough thread to work it in the color it was supposed to use, so I subbed for another shade that had plenty, but I don't think it made a lot of difference.  Anyway, the main design is now finished.

And I could begin putting it together, and I have thought seriously about that.

However, I think I want to continue with the smalls and get them stitched and assembled while I have lovely long days to do both.

Monday, September 28, 2020

A Finish!

 On the first day of my stay-cation, a finish!

All the gold and silver threadwork have been added to the Petite Pin Cushion--and I've put it together!

There was a twisted gold thread in the kit that could be used as additional cording for the pin cushion, but its shade of gold and the gold thread in the stitching were from different families of gold. It just didn't work for me, so I made the executive decision to leave it off. There's already a lot packed into a teeny little cushion--it's little over 2 inches square--so I stopped.

And what next, you may ask? Probably this:

I did all the tent stitch months ago. All the blank spots need to have gold and silver thread added, plus there are some silk embellishments that will be added as well. I do not believe this will be finished in a day. Or maybe several days.

These projects came from the Goldwork online class that Tricia Nguyen offered. I finished the spot sampler a couple of years ago and the Tudor Pincushion earlier this year. I still have two projects from the class, this set of smalls and a band sampler.

The band sampler is the only part I haven't started, and I've been thinking about getting it on a scroll frame. On the other hand, I have some other pieces that are almost finished and there is the Basket Of Unfinished Objects full of things that need to be assembled. On the top of that basket are all the bits for Jackie du Plessis' Ode to Jane Austen, and I really want that assembled before the end of the year.

I believe I have enough to keep me out of trouble for the rest of the week. Or quite probably, the rest of the year.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Back in the Habit

 I am totally out of the habit of blogging.  However, I'm taking a week off from work. Right now, I have two goals:

  • Stitch something every day
  • blog about it
I did finish Barbara Jackson's Fair Flowers Sewing Basket this week.

I might need to trim the leaves on the big strawberry just a tad--or I may leave them.

That strawberry gave me fits, by the way. I was supposed to work the berries, choosing the shades of red randomly. I am so left-brained that random is not in my vocabulary. I was literally trying to chart out random, and if that's not a left-brain thing to do, I don't know what is.

I am very pleased, though, with the way it turned out, especially those happy, happy colors.  They make me smile every time I look at this.

Now I am going to plunge my hand into the basket by the wing chair and see what pops up first for this afternoon's stitching pleasure.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Second band complete!

 The second basket band is stitched!

Each part of the band looks like a different snippet of ribbon:

I think I've stitched more in the last couple of days than I have in the last month.

One more piece to go, and I'll be ready to put the basket and its accessories together.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Pretty Flowers

 I haven't been in the mood to stitch lately--think the monotony of living with the Pandemic got to me for a little bit--but decided late last week that I needed to do something besides being generally grumpy, so I pulled the basket band linen for Barbara Jackson's Floral Basket out of the basket by my chair.

I was waiting for stretcher bars to arrive to start this part. They did, and, not surprising for 2020, one of them came broken. So I dug around and found a scroll frame that would work, sewed the linen on, and got started.

The whole world is stitching for fall and Halloween, and I'm stitching spring flowers.

But why not? Right now, I think we need to focus on what makes us happy, and these are the colors and motifs that do it for me!

Happy little flowers (I may be having a Bob Ross moment.)

And a cheerful little lady in her garden. Even if it is 2020.

Actually, I was having such a good time with this that I stayed up until after 1 a.m. Saturday morning--after getting up at 5:30 on Friday and working all day--to stitch. With the Labor Day holiday tomorrow, I may stitch all day today and tomorrow.

No maybe about it. That's the plan.