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, November 30, 2021

Big Oooooops!

 I went to bed last night thinking there was something I missed doing.

At 3 a.m., I woke up and realized I forgot to blog yesterday. You'd think after doing it for 28 days, it would be a habit. It was not.

I am going to continue to blog, probably not daily, but more often. When I blog, I stitch for at least a little while every day. Given the size of the stash, I need to stitch every day.

Meanwhile, I got the second hill on Rebecah French filled in with cross stitch and have begun to fill in the flowers:

This may get attention on days other than Sunday. I would like to finish Rebecah this year.

Meanwhile, I haven't forgotten about showing how I do ornaments. I've decided I need to spend a couple of weeks just putting things together, and I'll include ornaments in that mix.

This week, though, is going to be busy. Dearly Beloved has "The Procedure" tomorrow, and I have to sit at the doctor's office the entire time he's there. I tried to think of something I have that I could work on while waiting, but it seems everything I'm currently involved in requires either a lot of equipment, is sizable, or has a lot of moving parts--and the light in waiting rooms tends to be dim or dimmer. I suppose that's supposed to be soothing. I find it irritating, since I can't stitch. So I'm taking a book.

Tomorrow night is our EGA holiday dinner. Depending on how well Dearly Beloved feels, I hope to go. He tends to require pampering. . . 

Our family Thanksgiving/December birthdays/Christmas celebration is Saturday, so I will be cooking and doing the final decking of the halls Thursday and Friday. After that, we will be able to sit back and enjoy the season.

All will be calm, all will be bright.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Last Motif

 I decided to spend a little time on the Tudor project, even though it's officially Sampler Sunday.

I couched the gold and sequins to finish off the first motif, and I cut out the pieces that will be appliquéd to the velvet in the center. I need to start couching down the gold lizerine that makes the stem and attach the bits as I go, but this is where the bits will be when I do all that.

Those white lines will be removed with a Q-tip and warm water eventually. I have found that it isn't completely successful. If I had it to do over, I don't think I'd use the velvet background. I believe I would use a black delustered satin that I could use a gel pen on.

Live and learn.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Oh, Christmas Tree . . .

 The tree is decorated, and I have two more ornaments in the finish-finishing pile. Both had been started some time ago, and it was past time to get them stitched.

The one on the left is a Barbara Jackson design from years ago. I bought it at Haus Tirol on one of my visits. I really miss that shop!

On the right is a Fern Ridge design that I think came in a goody bag at Christmas in Williamsburg, which used to be one of my favorite events. 

I was asked to describe my ornament finishing process, and I'm going to try to take photos of it, step by step, when I put these together, so stay tuned!

Friday, November 26, 2021

One Step Closer

 There is a light at the end of the Tudor Tunnel.

I got the patterns for the metal thread applications transferred and painted this morning.

I have to wait for the paint to dry before I do anything else on this.

BUT, the Christmas tree is up. Dearly Beloved has had a miraculous recovery--note that it occurred on the day after Thanksgiving, which is when he wants the decorating to begin. Anyway, I will start decorating the tree as soon as he brings the boxes of ornaments downstairs.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I hope everyone who celebrates has had a lovely day with family, friends, and food, and that your holiday has been everything you wanted!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

blood, sweat, and tears

 All I needed to do was sew a circle of velvet to the Tudor project so I could transfer the design and get on with it.

This took way more time than it should have and I said words and combinations of words which frightened Dearly Beloved. I also stabbed myself--twice--with the sharp needle.

Silk velvet is slippery and wants to wiggle and this particular piece did not want to maintain a circular shape. Having beaten it into submission, I believe I will do something mindless for the rest of the day.

And for those wondering why I'm not in the kitchen flinging pots and pans around for the US Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow--ours is delayed until next week due to schedules, family issues, and a plethora of other things. So, tomorrow, Dearly Beloved and I will be enjoying lasagna, which has become our Thanksgiving tradition. Pot flinging will ensue next Friday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Another Tudor Tuesday

 I spent a couple of hours this morning on the Tudor project.

I've added gold braid to cover the joins between each motif.

There is another motif that will be appliquéd to the center of the piece. I've been going back and forth about when to add the braid--completely cover the seams or wait until the center circle is added and just use braid up to the circle?  I finally decided  that it would likely strengthen the joins between different fabrics if I did it this way. I've been especially concerned about the silk faille on the lower left.

That part has been scary, since every time I needed to tighten the slate frame, the silk shredded more. Out of desperation, I finally glued the edges to the backing muslin. I do not know if this would be a Tudor appropriate practice, but otherwise this might have become the world's most expensive dust cloth.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Oh, Christmas Tree

We had planned to put up the Christmas tree today. Dearly Beloved did something to himself in getting it out of the closet, so we now have a box in the corner of the living room instead of a tree. He finally gave up and took a muscle relaxer and feels much better, so hopefully tomorrow will see the tree instead of the box.

(As he has strong opinions about decorating for Christmas before the day after Thanksgiving, I have not entirely bought into this whole thing. I will admit, he is moving easier since he took the pill. Or since he said he took the pill. Hmm . . . )

So, instead of putting ornaments on the tree, I finished putting one together.

This came from one of the JCS Christmas Ornament issues, but I do not remember which one nor do I remember the designer. I think it's very sweet, and wish I could give credit where credit is due. I do remember that I stitched it as part of an EGA program on the way I put ornaments together. I stitched several ornaments and had them in different stages of the finishing process for demonstration purposes. I know I had a couple that were almost done, and those have been put together and have been living on the tree, but I have a feeling that I will excavate a few more before it's all done.

Stash diving does result in finding some surprises.


Sunday, November 21, 2021

All I Can Say


Cross stitching big chunks of grass is almost as tedious as watching the real thing grow.

That is all.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

one step back, two steps forward

 I ripped out the stitches that were in the wrong place on Carmen's Etui. Then I put some new stitches in the right place and have the framework for the fourth panel.

I think I'm going to work on this today.  I did a little more on the Tudor project this morning, but I need to transfer the design for the metallic thread embellishments before I go any further. I'm leaning toward doing that when I appliqué the center piece of velvet for the last motif. I'll have to prick and pounce then--may as well do it all at the same time.

I think I'll start working on Christmas stuff after Thanksgiving. I have just about persuaded Dearly Beloved that we should go ahead and get the Christmas tree up and decorated on Monday--I'm feeling the need for a little Christmas cheer.  I believe that will motivate me to at least get two Christmas etuis that need assembly finished.

Motivation is always helpful when it comes to assembly.

Friday, November 19, 2021

All the way across the ocean

 I meant to post about this lovely delivery when it came, but it slipped my feeble mind. Anyway, some lovelies from Allison Cole landed on my doorstep last week.

The new book from Inspirations. I would love to stitch every single pin cushion in the book. Would I ever stick pins in any of them? Nope. You don't stick pins in works of art.

Baby Girl's birthday present, which is why it's still in the sealed wrapper, making it difficult to see what it is. What it is is a stitched dragonfly atop a pretty box. The stitching must be done, and Baby Girl likes to stitch--but the deal is that if she reads over the directions and thinks it's a technique she isn't comfortable with, I'll do the stitching and she'll still get the box.

This year's Christmas ornament. I don't believe it will grace the tree this year, but I could surprise myself.

I am leaning towards putting everything I have going aside and just working on Christmas projects for awhile. I'm still arguing with myself about it, so we'll see whether me, myself, or I prevail.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

As Ye Sew, So Shall Ye Rip

And I'm going to rip. Bummer!

 Yep, that carnation motif on the left is in the wrong place. So . . . before I go any further, it has to come out and be restitched.

I should have realized that today wasn't going to be a good stitching day when I stabbed myself with a sharp needle while working on the Tudor project. There is now some DNA in the black velvet.

Maybe I should do something else tonight.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Another done!

 The bottom panel for Carmen's Etui is finished!

It would have been finished sooner if I hadn't spent so much time tipping the frame back and forth to see how the silk shines.

So now it's time to turn the scroll bars to start the next panel. I'm getting a little concerned about having enough of one of the silk colors to do all the bits that need it, so I'll be holding my breath on that for a while.

And I put in my two hours on the Tudor piece this morning. I'm really tired of appliqué at this point, but the last two motifs both require it, so I may as well just get it over with.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021


Today, needles were successfully threaded and stitches were successfully accomplished!

I worked on the Tudor piece this morning, but didn't bother with a photo. At the moment, I'm couching down the motif for the upper left corner, and nothing looks that much different from the basting stitches I placed to hold the motif steady.

Then there was laundry, and then there were some additional Domestic Diva Duties.

And, at last, the framework for the bottom panel of Carmen's Etui is complete! After dinner, I'll start filling in the spaces.

Hopefully, this means a return to regular stitching time.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Not gonna happen

 I believe I mentioned that I planned to spend the entire day with needle in hand.

I believe that I have mentioned in the past that I shouldn't even try to plan when it comes to my needlework.

Dearly Beloved has had a couple of falls when his knee completely gave way, and we ended up spending the day dealing with that. An MRI is planned, but the initial assumption is a torn meniscus. He has a brace to help stabilize the knee until the ortho guy has a chance to review X-rays and the MRI results.

This has taken all day.

All day.

I just tried to thread a needle through the pointy end instead of the eye end. I believe that is a message to put the project bag away and do a load of laundry, or dust, or scrub counter tops, or something else requiring little thought. This is definitely the night to crack out the emergency frozen pizza.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Vines and Outlines

I had great plans for this Sampler Sunday, but this is all I have to show for the day:

 Other people had plans for my day. 

Dearly Beloved requested that I use the very ripe bananas on the counter to make banana bread. And then, there were some Granny Smith apples that needed to be in a pie. Both were accomplished.

Then I had a long conversation with an old friend. Our paths diverged and we had lost contact. So we have now caught up on the last twenty years. I believe our paths will continue to diverge.

So I barely threaded a needle again. After four days of little or no stitching, I'm ready to plop down into the wing chair and stay there all day tomorrow with needle in hand.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Back to normal?

Like flipping a switch, the fatigue vanished and I can function again.

But that doesn't mean I'm getting caught up on my stitching. This is probably all I'll get done today.

I have been stash-diving. And that means that while I'm looking for the project I want to find, I'm getting distracted by other projects.

It's a lovely distraction, but it's a distraction all the same.


Friday, November 12, 2021


 I didn't have problems with my first two Covid shots, but the booster has left me shaky and achy and tired!

It's sort of like the last day or so of the flu. 

So what does a stitching fool do when she doesn't have enough energy to stitch?

Marathoning Great British Baking Show, FiberTalk and Floss Tube online, and napping. Lots of napping. And I'm heading upstairs to nap again in a few.

I said I would blog every day in November, and I am.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

This may be it

 I started the bottom panel for Carmen's Etui.

And this may be it for today.

I had my Covid booster this morning. I came home and took ibuprofen, as advised, and feel decent. . . except I can barely keep my eyes open. I am so sleepy, I may have to take a nap, and this is after a solid night's sleep. They did tell me that fatigue can be a side effect, but did not mention terminal yawns!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Second Verse, same as the first

 And here's the other half of the second panel on Carmen's Etui.

Looks just like the first half,  doesn't it . . . 

That big open space in the middle will have a separate pin pad attached to it eventually. Meanwhile, I can turn the scroll bars and start on the panel that will make the bottom of the carrier.

I felt like I was making fantastic progress, but then I realized I have to do the bottom panel, the two side panels for the other side, the side pieces/handle, the lining for the bottom, the tray that fits into the bottom, the supports for the sides, the pin pad that fits into this side, a pin cube--and then I have to assemble the whole thing, plus the pin cushion and scissors fob I've already stitched.

I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A Tudor Tuesday

 Today I decided it was time to hitch up the Granny panties and get on with my Tudor class project.

I had to cut out the motif that goes into the first square. This was nerve-wracking. This was very nerve-wracking--I didn't want to cut into the stitching, but I still needed to get as close to it as possible. I didn't break out into a cold sweat in the process, but it was close. I had to take a break after I did it.

The velvet is very slippery, so once I had the placement where I wanted it, I stuck pins straight down in strategic spots to hold it. Yes, it's upside down. I was stitching it down that way because my arms aren't as long as the slate frame.

And now it's basted in place. Apparently I took the photo cock-eyed, since it looks straighter in person.

I need to rewatch the video with the directions for the rest of this, but I think I've strained my brain and fingers enough on this for today. I believe I will go back to Carmen's Etui if I do any more stitching today.

Tudor embroidery is exhausting!


Monday, November 8, 2021

Pretty, pretty silk

 This silk is just so shiny!

I'm working on the second panel of Carmen's Etui. I'm almost to the halfway point, and I may get there tonight.

Tomorrow the plan is to work on the Tudor project again. I have to start appliquéing all the finished bits and pieces to the main piece. I've been a little afraid to start cutting out stuff, but I need to get over my fears and just get it done.

After all, it's just string!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

So very close

 I have spent the whole afternoon filling cross stitches in one of the hills at the bottom of Rebecah French's sampler. The whole afternoon, and there are still more to go. I think having to stop and fill in tiny little compensating stitches around the design has significantly slowed me down.

But there's only a little more of this hill to fill . . . 

Maybe if I stitch a little longer tonight, I can get it done before Sampler Sunday ends.

I did not thread a needle yesterday. I played games on my phone and talked to The Saint and Baby Girl and puttered around the house and nary a stitch was stitched.

I also baked a loaf of banana bread, which leads to an Old Married Couple story. If you just came for the stitching, stop here.

To make banana bread, you need to mash up the bananas. The easiest way to mash bananas is to use the potato masher, which is what I was doing when Dearly Beloved wandered in. Lord knows, I might be doing something fascinating that he could miss if he isn't there to observe.

So, he asked what I was doing. I said I was mashing bananas. But, he said, you're using the potato masher. I replied that in all my years of cooking and baking and wandering through kitchen supply stores, I had yet to find a banana masher, so I was using the potato masher. He felt the need to say, "But it's a potato masher." At which point I mentioned that if he ever wished to taste my banana bread again, he would remove himself from the kitchen and not worry about which utensil I was using.

I feel that I should send this to the guy who writes "Pickes" for the comics.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

More on Finishing Friday

 Maybe I should say Frustrating Friday.

I had almost finished sewing the lining to the needlebook when the linen I was attaching the lining to started to fray. And I do mean fray.

I had been a little concerned about the number of threads outside the edge stitch, and I should have listened to myself. When the threads starting pulling out just from stitching through on the last side I needed to attach I came very close to having a sinking spell. This would have required lying down with a cold compress and I had other things to do.

All I can say is Stitch Witchery is my friend.

And the needle book is assembled.

This will likely never be used for its intended purpose, it will be put on display at Christmas, so I'm not horribly concerned about the fraying and the fix.

It would be logical to go ahead and assemble the tray. The only problem is that I need to make new templates. After I had stitched the first piece of the tray, I realized it came out bigger than the template for the bottom of the tray. This has happened before--just because a linen count says it's 32 or 36 or 40 or whatever, there are enough variations in thread thickness and linen weave to throw that count off slightly.

So I'm going to photocopy the finished pieces and make my own templates.  Just not today. Today Carmen is calling and I'm going to work on embellishing instead of assembling.

I'm ignoring the fact that Carmen will eventually have to be assembled.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Finishing Friday

 Yesterday, the notification  for this year's ornament from Barbara Jackson through Shining Needle Society popped into my inbox.

Well, of course I had to order it, and then I thought it would likely be a very good idea to assemble her Christmas is Coming Etui before the ornament kit arrived. So I got a start last night.

So that leaves the needle book and the tray that holds everything. I need to read through the finishing directions again.

And, who knows? This may precipitate a flurry of finishing.

Don't hold your breath.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Zigging and Zagging and Filling In

 After I came home from my sampler guild meeting last night, I was inspired to stitch. That's the good thing about belonging to a stitching group--it's very motivating when you see the beautiful things others have stitched, and it makes you want to stitch more!

So another zigzag row is done, and now I'm filling in some of the surrounding areas.

This may be all the stitching done around here. I've been awake since about 4:30 this morning and I'm beginning to drag. It's a cloudy, gloomy, rainy, cold day--perfect to snuggle under the blankets and nap. I believe I will do that, especially since I can't seem to focus my eyes!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Zigging and Zagging

 The second panel for Carmen's Etui has been started.

As much as I want to continue with this, I have a bunch of adult things I need to do this afternoon. Among other things, I need to calculate how early I need to start supper.  There's a Carolinas Sampler Guild meeting tonight, and this will be the first meeting since February, 2020, that I could attend. We all know what happened to the rest of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Our first meeting of the year (September) was cancelled because of issues accessing our meeting place. I was in Weaverville, getting ready for Jackie's class on Carmen through Sassy Jack's when the second one (October) was scheduled. I am more than ready to get back into the rhythm of a "normal" year.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

One Done

 The first panel for the body of Carmen's Etui is stitched!

The sheen from the Soie de Paris is just amazing, and the photo doesn't come close to showing it.

However, there is a little rough spot on the end of one of my thumbs, and I've had to be very careful as I stitch. No matter how much sugar scrub I use, and how much hand cream I rub in, I can't seem to eliminate that spot. So I took out an emery board and sanded my thumb this morning.

Dearly Beloved wanted to know if I were planning some nefarious deed, and removing my fingerprints in preparation. 

Monday, November 1, 2021

November? Already?

 How did it get to be November already? And the countdown to the holidays? Time does fly when you're having fun, I guess.

And I've had fun.

Yesterday, Rebecah French had a little love.

This little hill is supposed to be worked in cross stitch and, you may notice, there are flowers growing on it. I have a feeling that Rebecah probably worked all the cross stitches first, then embroidered over them. Instead, we're working the outlines of the vines and flowers and cross stitching around them. To work the reproduction, though, it would have been hard to determine where to place the flowers, unless, maybe, you traced the designs on tissue, basted it on top of the cross stitch, and worked through both. I'm not sure which makes more sense to do, so I'm following the directions as written.

Today I'm working on Carmen's Etui, and I am loving this project. I think I may spend most of my stitching hours this week on this:

Filament silk is a little pesky to work with because it will snag on air, much less the slightest rough spot on your hands--but, oh, the sheen! I wish the picture showed it better. I just want to stroke it. I am avoiding that, because as sure as I touch it, it will find the one rough spot I haven't sugar scrubbed off. I am exercising restraint, but the temptation is great.

And, now, on to another topic. For many years, when blogs were the thing to do, people tried to write every day in the month of November. I have done it myself. Last year didn't make it--I think I wrote four posts the whole month. This year, I think I'm going to take a deep breath and dive in. If I blog, I have to stitch to have something to talk about, and I have a lot I want to stitch.

So on with November!