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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Stalking the Mail Carrier

One of my favorite activities is tracking packages and stalking the mail carrier--just slightly like a mini-Christmas throughout the year.

And yesterday I got packages from two of my favorite places. 

Tricia Nguyen opened her online store,  and I have a piece of linen for one project and a piece of linen batiste for another. The newest Frostings box was ordered and will be shipped in October.

And this year's ornament from Rachael Kinnison arrived:

 As all the others in her series have been, this is exquisitely designed with the finest of materials and colors that sing to me.

But meanwhile, I am rummaging for stretcher bars, which Baby Girl needs for a project she's doing. As I have sufficient stretcher bars to build a small log cabin--maybe even a large log cabin--it doesn't make sense for her to buy more. The problem is finding stretcher bars that play well together. Not all of them do.

And I'm doing laundry, and I need to wave the dust cloth around, and it's time to declutter my corner of the living room, and there are bills I need to pay. In short, I'm adulting.

I'd rather stitch.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Sampler Sunday and Metallic Monday

I didn't get to sit down to stitch yesterday until after supper, but I was able to finish up the part I had started last week before I went to bed.

Then today, I worked on the goldwork motif on the Tudor class piece.

As usual, my back has told me it's time to do something else. With any luck, I may be able to do the flower tomorrow after my back unkinks.

Meanwhile, I think I'll go stalk the mail carrier. According to tracking, this should be a good mail day.

Saturday, August 28, 2021


 My father used to tell me that, if you have something between you and a thing you want, you just have to work around it, over it, or through it.

Then he would always add, "You're just stubborn enough to do it."

I'm not sure if that was a compliment or not.

So, today I finished the seeding on the Marigold from my Tudor class:

I finished another band of Queen stitches on the Imperial Yellow Needlebook (soooooo close to a finish!)

And I worked the tent-over-one background on the first half of the scissors sheath from the Stitcher's Envelope:

And now I'm going to pull out Rebecah French so I'll be ready for Sampler Sunday.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Bored, bored, bored

 Due to an unforeseen situation, we did not visit Mother today.

So, I thought, I'll have an unexpected day to stitch. 

This is as far as I got when I. Hit. The. Wall.

Seeding stitches is not the most stimulating embroidery to do, unless you're using it to create shading. This motif was not designed to do that, so it just means filling in the space with random stitches. Some of the people in the class are doing other things, which is probably making it much more interesting to do. I'm sticking with the brief as part of the learning experience and as much accuracy as you can get without the same materials.

This may have been an error in judgement, but I think it would look odd if I change now.

So, I put this aside and pulled out the yellow needle case worked all in Queen stitches.

I'm so close to finishing, but I do not believe I can work another yellow Queen stitch today. Or maybe tomorrow. 

So Stitcher's Envelope came out, and I'm to the point I need to work tent stitch around the ribbon design.

Couldn't face that either. And, once again, I'm so close to getting that project finished, so I really should push through.

So, what do you do when nothing appeals?

I generally start another project, but the whole purpose of the projects I've been working on is to get some things out of the basket and finished or finish-finished or both.

Today, I took a nap. 


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Tudor Thursday

More seed stitches, more chain stitches.

 There wasn't enough of the gold tambour thread in the kit to do all the chains, so I had to wait for an order to arrive. I'm very happy to get that part finished--and the rest of the seeding for the leaves and bud just took time to do.  I have more seeding to do on the flowers, and this motif will be done. We are supposed to stitch some silver plate down around the flower to mimic the look of cloth of silver.  I've decided that I like the way the shape of this and the goldwork motif mirror each other, so I'm leaving that step out.

Actually, I had planned to do this Tuesday, but as it turns out, I haven't picked up a needle for two days. 

Tuesday I had lunch planned with a friend. It was great to get together again and the conversation was lively. However, I went home with a headache (too much sodium or MSG--do they even still use MSG? but that's what it felt like--and a very hot walk to the car in the midday sun--the only spot available was about two states away). The upshot was that I spent the afternoon sipping cold water instead of stitching.

Then yesterday, Dearly Beloved took a tumble, which resulted in a trip to the doctor's and X-rays. He has a bruise in a very interesting place and the way he landed resulted in a sprained shoulder. He is stiff and sore, but is recovering--in fact, he insisted that I go to EGA last night. But again, no stitching.

Tomorrow we visit Mother. This social whirl . . . oh, well, I'll be back in my regular rut routine next week!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Marigold Monday

 I jumped out of bed this morning and worked on the Bacton Marigold motif from the Tudor class.

Actually, I lurched and staggered out of bed, got myself highly caffeinated, and stared at the instructions and piece-in-progress, trying to decide where to start for today's stitching.

Bacton won because it's probably the easiest, and that's about what I felt like this morning. There are days when you know you can defeat the most complicated and fiddliest stitch, and days when you do well to thread a needle.

So this is what I've done:

 The last three sets of chain stitches in the big flower are there, and you can see the seeding. Aside from the "curl" at the bottom of the stem, everything in the flower is filled with seed stitches. Little, tiny, minute seed stitches. Millions of little, tiny, minute seed stitches.

I've decided that my back will only allow me about three hours over the slate frame, so the current plan is to spend Monday and Tuesday mornings with Tudor until it's done. Then I'll do something else in the afternoons and evenings (maybe even some housework). I think that will result in a finish by the end of the year. Hopefully sooner, but I am finally beginning to realize that everything I stitch takes at least five times as much time as I estimated.

So maybe I will need to live to 1385 to get it all done.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sampler Sunday

When I was sorting out the projects by my chair, there were two samplers in the stack, and both of them have been in progress for years . . . maybe decades. I was afraid to look at the copyright dates. 

You may have noticed that I can get distracted easily, and for some reason, I can be distracted from big projects more easily than smaller ones. But, I think I can manage to work on a sampler one day a week.

The alliteration appealed to me, so Sampler Sunday it is.

Thus far this afternoon, I managed to get the stems and leaves on part of Rebecah French stitched.

I think I'm going to work on the flowers and buds after supper tonight. This is all surface work rather than counted, so I'm still dealing with a sharp needle and the potential for leaving DNA in the project. The box of Band-Aids is by the chair, just in case.

The plan for tomorrow and Tuesday is to work on the Tudor class motifs, then I'll decide how much of a schedule I want to set up for the rest of the week.

As any plans I've ever tried last about two weeks, we'll see how long this works out.


Saturday, August 21, 2021

A few stitches

I did get a few stitches in during a very busy day:

There was the farmers' market this morning, then my online Tudor embroidery class midday, then I went to help set up for the dinner after class for Jackie and the students from the Ode to Jane Austen class she taught today.

The dinner was lovely, and I got to spend some time with people I've met at Salty Yarns, but never had a chance to really sit down with. Finally being able to hang out with other stitchers is wonderful, even though we're being careful.

I'm so ready for life to get to normal again. I just wish the hold-outs would get vaccinated and continue to mask so we can.


Friday, August 20, 2021

Back in the Saddle Again

I took a day off from stitching so I could figure out what I really wanted to work on, and it helped. What I figured out is that I want to continue working on all the stuff by my chair, but I want to change the emphasis a little until I see some headway. I even worked out something of a schedule for my week when I don't have other commitments.

So of course, next week, I have several commitments.

Anyway, I'm going to try it out for a bit and see if it works.

And I have stitched just a wee bit this afternoon:

This will become the scissors sheath that goes with the Stitcher's Envelope.

I did have inspiration to thread up my needle again. Jackie du Plessis is in town to teach Ode to my sampler guild, and I went to help set up the room for the class. I've missed going to sampler guild so much, and it was so good to see people from that group again, and I came home ready to go--which, of course meant that I had phone calls from The Saint and the Big Kid's Wife and Baby Girl.

But, hey, I stitched between conversations and will stitch again tonight! That's a win.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Stick a fork in me

 I'm done.

I realized I should have used two different colors in my needle for the leaves I stitched yesterday--I missed it in the video (which is why I really need written directions as well as pictures, moving or otherwise). I am absolutely not going to take it out, but it removed all my motivation to continue working on this project today.

So then I decided to stitch my name on the flap of the Stitcher's Envelope.

And I misspelled my maiden name as I was stitching. I transposed two letters because I was watching Lord of the Rings while stitching instead of paying attention to my chart. That will have to come out.

So I think I'll go straighten up my corner and decide if I should take up another pastime.

P.S. I decided I had to fix my name, so I ripped and restitched. Then I wondered why it looked so skimpy compared to the alphabet on the back panel.

Well, duh. I was supposed to stitch it with two strands rather than one.

I am not going to re-restitch.

PPS. When I pulled out all the stuff around my corner, I found I have four projects ready to assemble, and three more that only need a little more work to be ready to put together.

I am now going to bed. The thought of all that assembling has worn me out. And tomorrow is another day--which hopefully, will be better for my stitching.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Little leaves

 I've spent the entire afternoon stitching tiny green leaves.

Just three of them.

In my defense, they are worked with filament silk and solidly stitched, so each one took awhile. It didn't help that I must have stabbed myself with the sharp needle forty-leven times. However, there was no DNA left on the fabric or the embroidery, so I'm counting that as a win.

However, tonight I am going to work on something that has a blunt point. Dearly Beloved will be happy with that, since every time I stick myself, I jump and use inappropriate language (although when you stick yourself with a sharp implement, I think it's highly appropriate to express your displeasure). Apparently I startle him when I do this.

So tonight, I'll work on something else.

Or let my sore fingers have a chance to rest.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

A marigold

The outlining for the marigold is done.

When I was transferring the pattern, I had a problem with my pen that I've never had on any other fabric. The ink blotched and ran a little. I think it may be the ribbed silk fabric that caused it, but the stitching didn't cover everything.

So, I am going to do something that I've never done before. I'm going to get my white gel pen and very carefully mark over the blotches to see if I can cover them.

I'm very glad this is a learning piece since I have done some things on this I've never done before and hope to never do again!

Reading over this, it occurs to me that I have used the word "never" quite a few times. Wonder what that means . . . 


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Another motif

 I started on the next-to-last motif in the Tudor class I'm taking.

So far, I've outlined all the greenery but I still have to outline the marigolds. This motif is based on one from the Bacton altar cloth, which was probably embroidered at some point during Elizabeth I's reign.

I have not finished the gold work rose. Because this class is taught primarily on videos, which will be available for only a limited time, I've decided to do enough on each motif so that I would know how to complete it, then move on to the next. That way, I think I'll be able to get the whole project completed even if the videos aren't accessible.

And, since I have the attention span of a gnat, I need to be able to zip from one project to another. I haven't done as much of that as usual, and it's starting to tell.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

A little break

 My back and I needed to take a break from leaning over the slate frame, so I took a day off from the Tudor class.

So I decided to restitch the border from Gardenesque that I had to rip out, and then I completed the outline.  Today, I wound a vine around part of it.

I also cleaned away as much of the white paint on the gold work motif on the Tudor project as I could.

At the moment, I believe I'm going to move on to the next motif. I know what to do with this one, but I still have two motifs to stitch and only a couple of weeks left in the course. If I'm going to finish the class,  I need to get a move on.

But after this, no more deadlines!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

And this is where I was when my back said enough!


I am inclined to take the veins on that lower leaf out and redo them, but I think I'm going to sleep on it and look at it again tomorrow.

Actually, I think I got a lot done considering that I work up about every two hours last night. This does not make for the most competent stitcher. This makes for a drowsy stitcher who probably should have taken a nap this afternoon. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

a little more progress

 I've made a little more progress on the gold work motif from the Tudor class.

I had planned to be past this point yesterday, but my frame stand had issues. It's had issues before--the knob on the top of the screw that holds one of the arms came off.

This happened with this frame before. I emailed the person who sold them, and she sent me a replacement. She also said not to screw the screw in tightly.

Now please explain to me how you can work with a frame when the arms are not stable? Anyway, everything has worked fine until yesterday, when the second knob came off. The seller has retired, so replacements are not available.

Dearly Beloved to the rescue. He rummaged around in his stash and located a nut that would screw on the bolt that holds the arm of the frame AND hold the arm stable. But, by the time he found one and puttered around with the frame, I was out of the mood.

So today I finished the section of stitching I wanted to do and started removing some of the excess water color that I had to use to mark the pattern on the velvet. Right now, I'm waiting for the velvet to dry to go any further. I think I am going to need to go back over it to get the rest of the paint removed, so I may not be able to stitch much on this section for another day or so, at least until everything dries.

I think I might go ahead and work on the next motif--or go back to Elizabeth's portrait--or work on the Queen stitch needle case--or put a few stitches in either Rebecah French or Hannah Thornbush--or replace the stitches I ripped out in Gardenesque.

Or start something completely different.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

More gold

 Today's task in the Tudor class was to finish couching the gold thread in the places the gold thread needed to be couched.

Not only has it been couched, the tails of the gold thread have been plunged to the back of the work and  were sewn to the back.  I am relieved to have that done. It is a pain to get those thick threads through the velvet and the closely woven muslin backing it. I was muttering under my breath quite a bit during the process.

But here it is as of today:

I have no idea why the gold looks white, other than the light when I took this photo was reflecting, or looked especially bright against the black velvet.

On to the next step . . . 

Friday, August 6, 2021

More Tudoring

I decided I really need to get back to my online Tudor class, so I started couching gold thread to the gold work flower.

I'm a little concerned about dealing with the watercolor when the gold is all applied, but I haven't gotten to that point yet. I've decided not to think about it. I imagine it's going to take some time before I have to think about it, so I'm just going to avoid thinking about it.

Until the middle of the night, when I wake up and think about it.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

A little progress is better than none

 And a little progress is all I've made.

She has her pearl headdress, and the overstitching for her ruff is started, and that is all she's getting today.

I had to go to the dentist midday.

I now have a headache.

I don't fear the dentist. I don't enjoy going to see the dentist, but I don't fear the dentist. However, his hygienist does such a thorough job, I always feel as if every tooth in my head has been pulled out, scrubbed and polished, and stuck back in. And by the time she's through, I inevitably have a pounding headache.

So, rather than continue and create a problem, I believe I will watch another episode of the Great British Baking Show and relax.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Such a good mail day!

 I didn't think that I'd have any stitching news to report today, since I'm doing some product testing for my former employer.

And then the mail came!

Betsy Morgan's Willing Hands 2, published by Inspirations, hit the mailbox today.

Baby Girl and I went through the photos of the projects as soon as they were released, and we have ordered a bunch of kits from Inspirations.  With the worldwide shortage of materials, we know it's going to be some time before they arrive, but here are the ones I plan to stitch:

One of my very favorite designs from Betsy: Holbein Hexagon Etui--It's blue and uses double running, which, despite all of my wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth when I have to do it, is one of my favorite stitches. 

Cardinal Pocket--Cardinals are my favorite birds so I have to do this one.

Betsy designed the Virgin Queen's Stitching Pocket as a companion for her Virgin Queen Etui. I've stitched it, Baby Girl has the kit from the previous book--we both had to have this one.

I already had the kit for the Tasmanian Needle Tidy, since it was going to be the last class I took from Betsy at Salty Yarns in 2020. We all know what happened to 2020, but it makes me happy to see the design featured in the book.

I ordered a couple of other kits for Baby Girl, the Goose box shown on the front and the Gathering for Winter Etui--so between us, we'll have lots of Betsy's projects to stitch for a little longer.

I need at least another 24 hours in the day.

And no more temptation for the next few months until my stitching budget recovers.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Progress Report

 Well, she's not finished yet, but she has acquired quite a disapproving look:

The next step is to outline the entire thing, black outline over the black tent stitch, followed by attaching seed beads, followed by couching an outline over the ruff, followed by more beads, followed by finish-finishing. At this point, my eyes and hands have yelled, "Enough!" and I should listen. 

I believe the evening stitching will involve something worked on 28 count linen with no counting. In other words, I'm back to Queen stitch on the bright yellow needle case.

But now, the dishwasher should be unloaded, and we should really decide what form tonight's chicken breast will take. The last few days, we've acted like we were in college again--hamburgers, tacos, and pizza--and it's time to get back to balanced meals, for at least one night.

Especially since my arthritic joints have been reminding me that I'm not of college age any longer.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Life gets in the way

 I truly thought I would have this teeny portrait finished and finish-finished by today, but life got in the way.

I had a meeting this morning, and a doctor's appointment this afternoon, and things I had to do at home yesterday. And all those things kept me from stitching.

But I have accomplished this much:

It's teeny. That's a size 28 needle above her, if you want a way to determine the size. However, it is tent over one on 40 count linen, so there are a lot of stitches in that small space.

Hopefully tomorrow will see her all done--unless, of course, life gets in the way again.