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, October 6, 2022

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

 I had a stitch-filled day yesterday.

During my EGA chapter's weekly stitch-in, I added foliage to the big pin cushion that will line the top of the box for Jackie's Dear Heart.

I've decided this is the perfect stitch-in project.  It's basically free-form--we don't have specific directions for each spray other than a placement diagram. Consequently, it's easy to do while talking and laughing.

After I came home, I photocopied the Tasmanian Needle Tidy and made the templates for the interlinings.

Then I started the alphabet row on Tricia Nguyen's Tudor Band Sampler.

This band alternates three different stitches for the letters: four-sided stitch, Smyrna crosses, and eyelets. I was a bit concerned about the eyelets, since I have not had luck in the past with doing them over two threads.  However, after all these years, I realized if I worked all the stitches worked on the diagonal first, then worked the vertical and horizontal stitches, I didn't lose those vertical and horizontal stitches behind the threads of the linen. Well, duh, why that hadn't occurred to me before is a mystery.

And then I went to our Carolina Sampler Guild meeting to round out the day. 

Pretty much a perfect stitching day!

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Did It!

 I did get Merry and Bright stitched in a day!

I do need to add the beads and "garland" but I thought I would wait until the actual lesson is posted to see if Barbara has suggestions on attaching them. Yes, this is an online class, and, yes, I jumped the gun and started early.

So what will I do today? Actually, this is going to have be a Domestic Diva Day. The clutter is threatening to bury us and it must be dealt with. After all, it is a new month!

Friday, September 30, 2022

Second Verse, same as the first

 As we all know, I should not make plans when it comes to my stitching.

I was planning to stitch on my new Barbara Jackson project all day yesterday,  Based on past experience, I figured I could get it done in a day if I focused.

But then, a nap became imperative, so I put myself to bed. And slept way longer than I expected.

But today, I was up, bright and early and this is what I've done so far:

I'm about halfway, and I think I could get the rest done this afternoon and evening.

Note that I did not say I planned to get the rest done this afternoon and evening.

Thursday, September 29, 2022


 I was feeling a little overwhelmed the other day. We were having technical difficulties with the new printer (it didn't want to talk to the new laptop),  I had the new Covid booster (the boosters make me sleepy so I'm pretty useless for a day or two), and I just looked at the finishing basket and decided I just could not sew anything at that moment.

So, what do you do when you're overwhelmed? Start a new project, of course.

Maybe not three projects . . . 

So on Tuesday, I pulled out the directions and materials for the last of the projects in Tricia Nguyen's Goldwork course, which I started years and years ago. The only thing left to stitch was her Tudor Band Sampler. So I ferreted out scroll bars that would fit, ironed the linen, sewed it to the bars, and got this much done:

Not much, but it's a start.

Did I stay with it? Nope. While looking for scroll bars, I ran across Catherine Theron's Whitework Delight sampler, a class I took in Williamsburg a number of years ago. And immediately asked myself why in the world I didn't do more on it.

So I did.

Everything looks a little wonky because I had to take the side bars off the scroll frame so I could start the Spiral Trellis stitches at the top of the sampler. Generally, I prefer to work in a frame. My stitches look better and I feel like I have more control over them--but I absolutely have to work Spiral Trellis in hand so my thumb is available to hold the thread down while I pull the needle through.  

I have twelve more motifs with Spiral Trellis to do on this section. Am I going to do them?


Because this arrived in yesterday's mail:

Barbara Jackson designed the sweetest little basket lid for the petite basket, and, as soon as I locate stretcher bars, this is going to be today's project.

I will go back to finishing, but I've decided I need a break between each project I assemble. And at the moment, I feel almost compelled to jump from one thing to another, so who knows what I'll do next?

Stay tuned. You'll know as soon as I do.

Monday, September 26, 2022

All the Roses

 I have finished all the roses for this panel:

I may go ahead and work on the foliage, or I may work on assembly.

Or I may do none of the above. We are supposed to get our new Covid boosters this morning, then pick up the printer to replace the one that isn't compatible with the new laptop, then go by Taco Bell to see if they do indeed have Mexican Pizzas back on the menu.

Being retired is just one madcap whirl of excitement!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Coming Up Roses

 I took a long (for me and my wonky knees) walk yesterday, and today they announced that standing at the ironing board was not going to happen, which means that assembly isn't happening today.

So I'm growing roses on Hold Dear, one of the classes I took at Salty Yarns in April.

I'd love to get all of them stitched today so I can start adding the foliage. I think they'll look more like roses once that happens.

I am thinking that once this piece is done, I'll get the rest of the innards of the box where this will live put together. It occurred to me that if I finish parts as I go, final assembly won't be quite so overwhelming. The problem is that I love the embroidery, and I love playing with the finished project, but I don't love the part between the embroidery and the enjoyment.

And that's why I end up with an overflowing basket of things that need to be put together.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Twisting and Turning

This week has not been a good one for stitching in any way, shape, or form--but I managed to assemble Tribute's Tiniest Things. 

 Actually, I had to make a couple of changes in the finishing.

When I took this as an early bird class at Christmas in Williamsburg some years ago, we were supposed to get a package of ribbons as part of the kit. Keep in mind that we were in a mass class, sitting shoulder to shoulder with about 15" of work space in front of us. It was easy for things to become confused, and I have a feeling that my ribbon package may have gone home with someone else. There was supposed to be a narrow ribbon that would be used with another length of ribbon for the scissor fob, and another that would go around the outer edge of the pin wheel.

So, I spent some time rummaging in the stash for ribbons that would work. Once I realized I didn't have something I could use, I spent some more time looking for additional Creme in AVAS. Lo and behold, that I had, actually, a couple of skeins. Wonder why I had that . . . anyway, I ended up making twisted cords and using them in place of ribbon.

So second thing out of the finishing basket. The next two projects on top are the Tasmanian Needle Tidy and the Carmen Etui. Both look like they are going to be relatively easy to assemble.

Famous last words . . . 

Hopefully, I will get back on track with blogging this week. We're still having issues loading photos---and, of course, I need to stitch to have something to blog. I'm going to work on that, too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


While watching the pageantry of the Royal funeral yesterday, I finished Tribute. Somehow that seems fitting.

Here is the outside--and please pardon the darkness of the photo, I had missed the sun when I took this.

And here is the inside with all the bits and pieces attached.

I have started putting together the Tiny Things that coordinate with Tribute. They were an Early Bird Class when I originally took the workshop years ago, but were available as an add-on for those who took Tribute at Sassy Jack's.

I have reached the point where I need to stand at the ironing board for awhile and press empty-leven little bits and pieces so they can be sewn together. Once all those bits and pieces are connected, I'll have two project bags out of the finishing basket.

I may actually be finishing. And I haven't screamed and run in circles yet.



Sunday, September 18, 2022

Last One

 The last of my light-headed purchases:

More yummy colors! I really like these overdyed wools that Gumnut creates--very subtle, tone-on-tone shades. They will be used in the Rosehip Needlecase, designed by Margaret Light in her book A Fine Tradition.

In last week's newsletter, there was a hint that there will be a second volume of her designs coming out next year. Wouldn't it be lovely if I could stitch these three kits before then?

Lovely, yes. Likely, no.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

And Another One

 And the second kit looks like this:

Look at those yummy colors! I think this one is going to be a lot of fun to stitch.

But, I have to admit, I set finishing aside yesterday. Instead, I worked on vines for the insert for the top of the lid for the box for Hold Dear, which, for some reason, I have renamed in my head as Dear Heart. So if I have a senior moment and call it the wrong name, please be aware that this is Hold Dear.
There will eventually be roses on the vines, but not today. There has been no stitching today, and there likely won't be any tonight. I have been cleaning out paperwork. My eyes are now crossed from looking at years of stuff that we should have tossed before now.

Dearly Beloved doesn't know I'm going to start on bookcases after the paperwork is sorted. I'm not sure he will be able to cope. The man does love paper.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Seeing Red

While I was in an altered state of consciousness during the Prep for the Procedure, I ordered some kits from Inspirations. They arrived yesterday.

And this is the first of them:

 I do love this dark red, and I'm happy to find out that it's available in several different thread weights--and the tape is printed with that red outline (from looking at the photo, I was afraid it would have to be stitched) and the piece of linen is quite lovely--so I'm looking forward to starting this.

Meanwhile, I've been putting Tribute together:


The box part is attached, but I'm having some issues with the closure. There are magnets to hold the lid in place, but it doesn't seem to hold when the lid is down. It "clicks" so I have the magnets positioned correctly, but they aren't holding.

It may have something to do with the thickness of the two pieces that I'm trying to bring together. There are several layers of material between each magnet, and then there are more layers that have to be folded down and enclosed by the lid. 

What may help is getting the iron out and pressing everything as flat as possible. I do want the layers to be a little crisper than they are, so I was planning to do that anyway. If that doesn't work, I believe I'll just add a button and a short twisted cord and close it that way.

I am generally a slave to the directions as written but on occasion, I do take artistic license.

Usually because I screwed up following the directions . . . 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

What a lovely weekend!

 Dearly Beloved figured out how to load photos from the old computer, so I can blog again as long as his hack works--which means I can describe the lovely weekend with Jackie at Salty Yarns.

BDE and I left early, early, early in the morning to head to Ocean City, Md. The trip up was long but relatively easy--we had our usual lunchtime stop at the Great Machipongo Clam Shack on the way--we got checked in and unloaded at the Howard Johnson's where the class was being held. With my wonky knees and the four block walk from the Lankford to the HoJo,  we decided it would perhaps be easier on me to stay where the class was.

Sara was very kind and gave me a ride to and from the reception that evening, so I did have a chance to spend some time in the Lankford's lobby. (BDE had announced after driving all day, she was not about to get behind the wheel again.)

The next morning--first day of class!

The Hornbook Slide-Show consists of a lovely little box with a scrim hornbook slide top. A needle roll will fit inside the box, and there is an embroidered doily to serve as a display. Eventually, there will be hornbook lids for the other three seasons and seasonal smalls to fit inside.

Jackie spent the the morning talking about the stitching and we started the flower motif, which can be turned into a fob. In the afternoon, we covered the edging stitches used on the doily and the directions for the needle roll. It was a delightful way to spend the day.

The next day, BDE joined me for the second one-day class.

Oh, my . . . while I love the Hornbook, I adore this Huswif!

OK, I really like bargello patterns and this one is covered with them. Just like the Hornbook, the color palette is one that really appeals. And it will all live in the beautiful box that Jackie's husband, Naas, created for us.

You'll notice there is also a small flower motif. It, too, will become a fob, and since there was a sweet small pair of scissors in the goody bag, it will most definitely have a use.

I admit, I stalk Jackie, every chance I get. And I really enjoy spending time in class with others who also enjoy her designs. So it was great to finally meet Robin of Crafting with the Stitch Witch in class. We discovered that we have a mutual admiration society going--she follows my blog and I follow hers. We talked about grandchildren and projects and traveling companions--we have a lot in common!

And so the weekend ended. I am not going to go into detail on the trip back to BDE's house that included what we in the South call a frog strangler--in other words, such heavy rain that you can barely see the front of the car. I'm not sure either BDE's or my muscles have completely unclenched since.

And then home the next morning with every sixteen-wheeler heading south on the interstate surrounding me. The rain may have been less stressful.

But I am back in my nest. Am I working on the new projects? 

Nope, I am doing assembly. It occurred to me that I have spent this year starting all manner of projects and putting together very little, so I'm going to finish out the year by finishing. I'm working on Tribute since it was already in progress before I ran away from home.

Oh, and by the way, here's the crewel piece I stabbed a bit before I left home. It's going to continue to be my stitch-when-I-can't-think project. I'm afraid I left all the boring bits to last, but maybe that's good for mindless stitching.

After looking at the length of this--I really hope I can get back to almost daily blogging. I've developed writer's cramp!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Checking In

 I still can't load pictures. We are going to the Apple Store next week when I'm home again to try to figure out if it's the operating system on the new laptop or user error. I imagine it is user error.

Anyway, I'm in Ocean City, MD, with BDE. Today I took Jackie's Hornbook Slide-Show, Fall edition. There will be opportunities to add the other seasons, which will include a hornbook and stitched small for each one. Obviously, we're going home with the Fall hornbook slide that creates the lid of the petite box. We have an acorn patterned needle/pin holder to stitch, and a Four Seasons embroidered doily to do which will be the display mat for the whole project.

We have another class tomorrow which consists of a stitched huswif that will fit into a lovely box. It's stitched in bargello patterns, which I do enjoy stitching.

And then back home again. Where hopefully I will soon be able to load photos and get back into regular posting.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Technical Difficulties

 I have been trying to add a photo to today's blog for hours and it will not load.

I am just a wee bit frustrated.

Anyway, yesterday I decided my hands needed to do something but my brain didn't, so I pulled out the ancient crewel piece and stitched the big flower. That leaves the two leaves at the base of the big flower and one more leaf motif, then the stems and some French knots on the base of the tree.

All of this would make much more sense if I could load the blankety-blank photo!!!

Things may be a bit erratic for the next week. I have both an EGA stitch-in tomorrow morning and a Carolina Sampler Guild meeting tomorrow evening, then I leave for BDE's house on Thursday. I'll spend the night there, then we'll get up before daylight to drive to Ocean City, Md and Salty Yarns. On Saturday and Sunday, I'll be in classes with Jackie du Plessis, then we reverse the process to return home. I always take the laptop, planning to blog while I'm gone, and somehow the time is taken up with other things.

Besides, if I can't figure out what's going on with the pic uploads, the blog will be basically useless.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Wild Roses

 This is not what I intended to work on yesterday.

This panel goes with a different Jackie project, Hold Dear, that I took at Salty Yarns last April.

I really was going to work on Tribute, but after cutting the iron-on interfacing to the wrong measurement, and then somehow getting a piece of it ironed to the bottom of the iron instead of the back of the fabric, I decided that assembly perhaps should not happen.

One of my grandmothers used to say that if you sewed on Sunday, you'd have to pick out the stitches with your nose on Monday. I could never figure out how you'd remove stitches with your nose, but there are times when I think she hexed me. Yesterday was one of those days.

Anyway,  Hold Dear was at the top of the bin of projects to stitch, so I spent some time trying to make sweet roses. Jackie's roses looked lovely and smooth. Mine look like they have run amok.

I haven't decided what I will stitch today. When I was a wage slave, holiday weekends always meant pulling out something special to work on. Now that every day is a holiday, I'm not quite sure how to celebrate. Maybe I'll play in the stash until I decide.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

 I finally felt enough like myself after The Prep and The Procedure to thread a needle last night.

At the moment, this looks a little messy, but it's the beginning of the interior lining for Tribute. I'm going to start working on the exterior panels today and we'll see how far I get with it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--Jackie du Plessis could have been an engineer or architect. I'm always amazed by the way things go together. This is another one of those projects that I could never in a million years have come even close to designing.

I'd hoped I would have it finished before the weekend, when BDE and I head to Salty Yarns for two more classes with Jackie. I'm not sure that will happen because I've also (again) decided that I absolutely cannot set deadlines or make plans. I am really trying to enjoy the process instead of being so  first-born-girl-child perfectionistic goal oriented.

Even if it's very difficult to overcome almost seven decades of conditioning.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Mountain Grows Higher

The mountain of projects in the finishing basket just grew higher.

I finished the last part of the Tasmanian Needle Tidy last night.

This is a pocket that fits inside the Tidy.

I would really love to say I was going to assemble this immediately. However, this is Prep Day for The Procedure I have to undergo tomorrow. I am not sure that even attempting to thread a needle--much less pull out the rotary cutter, a danger on "normal" days--would be a brilliant idea. And, depending on ensuing events, there may be radio silence for a day or so.

I understand that medical procedures become more and more necessary as one slides into ones Golden Years--but they certainly do tarnish them!

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Little more

 I started the last piece for the Tasmanian Needle Tidy yesterday.

I realize it doesn't look like much yet, but it's all I got done. Most of my afternoon was taken up by cutting out little bits of Mylar and Skirtex and iron-on interfacing.

Yes, I have re-started the finishing process on Tribute. 

I heard a phrase on a TV show yesterday that sums up my feelings about finishing, "I need a whole lot of Jesus and a little bit of Jack." Praying and sipping might get me through.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Ever so much better!

So, I ripped out the wrong color and stitched in the new color, and I am much, much happier.

 One more band and this panel will be finished.

It occurs to me that I planned to lower the level of the finishing basket. Instead, I stitched Tribute's Tiniest Things, and I'm almost through with the Tasmanian Needle Tiny.

Thus, I have added two more project bags to the pile sliding out of the finishing basket at the least vibration. I think I'm going backwards instead of forwards.

Monday, August 29, 2022


 I finished off the Thistles on the Tasmanian Needle Tidy yesterday and started on the second band on this panel.

I stitched the second band according to the color on the chart.

The chart was wrong.

Instead of the dark teal, it should have been the bright multicolor overdye. There is a line of double running between this band and the next, but it was a little difficult to determine which color the line was--so I pulled out my copy of Willing Hands 2 since it has both color name and color designation.  And then I discovered the chart on my original set of directions used the wrong symbol for the band color.

Originally I was supposed to take this class as a f2f. In 2020.  When the class was cancelled, Betsy allowed the kits to be sent since just about everyone in the class had taken her classes before. I was working from the chart in the kit since it was easier to use than the book.

The two symbols are very close, so it was an easy mistake to make when charting the design. And I thought about leaving the dark teal--but the overdye is so bright and colorful that I can't leave the teal and be happy with the panel.

So, today I will be unstitching.

Or maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

Or the next day.

I do have other things to stitch. . .

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Off the reservation and back again

 Yesterday I took an online class from Jessie Chorley with the Orange Coast Sampler Guild. Jessie designs fabric collages that involve embroidery and appliqué, similar to crazy quilting but with its own sensibility.

We have templates that we can embellish with embroidery:

She suggested floss and Perle cotton colors as well as stitches which she likes to do. Jessie uses a lot of seed stitch and satin stitch in her creations.

She also provided fabric pieces to incorporate into the hanging:

And she offered suggestions on other items and techniques we might consider using.

This is way out of my wheelhouse, but I think I'm going to tackle it in baby steps. At the moment, though, I think I'm going to play in my embroidery floss colors and fabric stash. Jessie uses faded, muted tones--I think I'm going a little brighter. And, of course, since I try to make everything ever so much more difficult than it needs to be, I think I'm going to use some shading in the motifs--actually, I'm sorta thinking about trying to duplicate the pattern on my china on the teacup, for example.

We have another class in October to go over what we're doing. I do not believe I will be to the point of having a review by that time--I have other things that are calling my name more loudly--but we'll see how it goes.

After the class, I went back to my usual type of embroidery. I picked up Betsy Morgan's Tasmanian Needle Tidy. I now have pink snails and purple thistles. Dearly Beloved said they look more like pineapples to him, but I'm going with thistles. I have yet to see a purple pineapple. I will leave it to you to decide:

Thistles, right?

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Last Little Stitches

 At least, the last little stitches for this project.

I would start the construction today, but I have an online class this afternoon through the Orange Coast Sampler Guild with Jessie Chorley. It's a patchwork/applique/embroidery piece--way out of my comfort zone--but I need to shake things up once in awhile.

And after that, Domestic Diva Duties resume. When you clean one thing, why does it create a mess in another?

Friday, August 26, 2022

Not as Planned

Optimistically, I planned to stitch a tiny set of smalls that go with Tribute yesterday. Then I was going to assemble them today.

This is what I stitched yesterday.

 Obviously, I was interrupted.

So, between Domestic Diva Duties today, I'm going to try to finish the stitching.  I have an online class tomorrow, so finishing may be delayed,

I always say I should never make plans when it comes to my stitching. I should listen to myself.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

More Little Stitches


At last night's EGA meeting, I finished the strawberries on the bead carrier and started the pin keep for Tribute's Tiniest Treasures. The plan today--subject to change--is to finish the stitching for all four of the smalls in this set. Of course, that will add to the finish-finishing pile. I'm not going to think about that.

We had a stitch-in for our meeting last night. Normally, we have a social in August, but EGA's National Seminar is going on at the moment, and a number of our members are attending. We decided to have a stitch-in at our regular meeting place for those members who were interested. And it was delightful! 

We had a chance to talk about what we were working on--normally that doesn't happen until the project is finished and is brought in for Show-and-Share. Actually, a lot of times it's more interesting to see things in progress. We also had the opportunity to just hang out, and that's always a joy. The general consensus was that we should probably schedule this into our regular program plans. There isn't anything that says you have to do a project at every meeting, and Lord knows, we all have plenty to do!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Little Stitches

 Once a month, I have a two-hour zoom class. I am totally incapable of sitting quietly during lectures--either my mind wanders in totally unrelated directions or I start to nod off. Neither is particularly helpful. I used to knit in college lectures (drove the professors crazy, especially since I can do plain knitting without actually looking at the stitches), but I've found that I can stitch during zoom meetings if the project isn't terribly complex.

There are several smalls that were designed to go with Tribute, so during yesterday's zoom class, I started the outlining and embellishment for a little fabric basket designed to hold bead bottles.

Doesn't look like much, but it is such a relief to have all that backstitching done!

I will likely continue to work on this today. We have a stitch-in for our regular EGA meeting tonight, and I think this will be a good project to take.

Of course, it means just that much more to assemble. I am trying to avoid thinking about that.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

More Books

 Alison Cole had a sale on her site, and I succumbed to temptation. 

I've been looking at these books for years. They're good introductions to goldwork in general, but the main draw is the list of projects--lots and lots of projects that serve as both inspiration and instruction. Alison creates beautiful things--just check out her website--and I'm adding these to my library, next to her Masterclass books on Goldwork and Stumpwork.

Okay, I'll admit it--it's the peacock. You can only see his tail on the cover--but the design for the entire bird is in the book. At some point in my stitching career, I plan to stitch that peacock, along with some of the other designs that Sarah Rakestraw offers on her website, the Golden Hinde.

I need to rearrange some shelves to add to my Goldwork section. Dearly Beloved suggested that perhaps we may need another bookcase, but I'm not sure where it would go. Figuring that out may give him a project for today. Hmmmmm . . .

Monday, August 22, 2022

Definite Maybe

Yesterday, when I was not in the mood to stitch, I figured it was a good time to look at stash. Realistically, I likely won't live to 385, so I should winnow down what I want to work on and what I don't.

Usually I find a bunch of stuff I really want to do right this very minute, and that jump-starts the desire to stitch. Yesterday, though, I found a project that I'm having to think about.

This came from an ANG National Seminar about 20 years ago. At the time, projects that looked like woven ribbons were still popular in canvaswork.  Overdyed threads were still relatively new, and there were new textures and types of threads that hadn't been available before. This design had all of them.

Looking at it now, it would be fun to stitch, simply because of the stitch construction. The colors, though, are really a problem. There isn't any harmony from one 'ribbon' to the next, and there's so much going on, there isn't a place for the eye to rest.

I could easily rectify that by changing colors in several places. That green/yellowish ribbon at the top might work if done in two shades of green, darker than the current pale green, especially since it's repeated on the lower right corner. The diamond shapes are currently designed to be stitched in a medium slate blue that, I think, is going to glare. If I did them in a darker slate gray, they would recede and make the ribbons stand out more.

This would all mean making a trip to the needlepoint store to look for threads and some experimenting and likely ripping. 

So the decision is this: do I like the overall structure of the stitch patterns and what the design will eventually look like enough to go to that trouble, or do I add the threads to the thread stash and let it go?

It's a definite maybe at this point.

Sunday, August 21, 2022


The flower band on the Tasmanian Needle Tidy is complete.

 All I have to do is stitch some snails in the open space below the flowers, and this panel will be complete.

Am I going to do that today? I'm not sure. At the moment, I feel like reclining on a chaise in a ruffled negligee, popping bonbons, and reading a trashy novel. Unfortunately, I do not own either a chaise or a ruffled negligee and I don't believe we have anything that could be considered bonbons in the pantry. I do have nachos and salsa, and I'm rereading one of the older John Sandford Prey novels (which I read so long ago that I don't remember the plot, so it's like a new book), so that may be the way I spend this stormy Sunday.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Any progress

 Any progress is better than none.

At least I got the first three of the six spiral trellis stitches done. Actually, I like doing spiral trellis, but it's the only stitch that I absolutely have to do in hand. And that meant that I had to take the side bars off the scroll frame so I could manipulate my way around.

Which meant that I was jabbed and bashed by the scrolls as I turned the linen. If you think I was going to take the scrolls off and then sew them back on again, you have a far higher opinion of my industriousness than I do.

It occurred to me later that I could have waited until the rest of the piece was stitched. Well, duh, but now that I've gone this far, I may as well finish as I began.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Ain't No Sunshine

 We have had what feels like weeks and weeks of cloudy skies and afternoon thunderstorms. I haven't had my morning sun for stitching in days and days.

Yesterday I decided I couldn't face sewing dark linen with dark thread again, so Betsy Morgan's Tasmanian Needle Tidy came out of its project bag. I was in the mood for bright and cheerful colors, and this has those clear pastels that appeal to me--especially on a gloomy day.

I might try to finish this panel today, or I might cut out Mylar for finishing, or I might grab something else from the stack of project bags.  I'll see what I'm in the mood for when I plop into the wing chair for stitching time.

Thursday, August 18, 2022


 Earlier this week, I think I mentioned that I'm going to take a Goldwork class online, starting in September.

Yesterday, the supplies arrived.

When I opened the package, there was a quite elegant box:

I untied the bow and opened the box to find:

And when I unsealed the sticker and folded back the tissue, I found:

Threads and needles and fabric, oh my!

I think each package corresponds to one of the three terms that the class will run. I didn't want to mix things up, so I closed the box. Regretfully, I closed the box. Actually, I reopened the box several times as the day wore on. Can you tell I'm looking forward to this?

Meanwhile, my lunch with my friend was cancelled when she tested positive for Covid--at least she tested before we met and not afterward! So I had the afternoon to work on Tribute.
And it took all afternoon to get the front panel sewn to the lining panel. I've realized that I can still see relatively high counts of linen, between the cyborg eyes and magnification and decent lighting. What I'm now having problems with is seeing dark thread on dark fabric--the lining panel is a dark plum, and so is the thread used to assemble this part. So, I had to work slowly and carefully--but it's done now. Today, I plan to work on the panels that will create the storage compartment.

Between episodes of opening the Goldwork box and drooling over the stuff inside, that is.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

So it begins

 I've started putting Tribute together.

I thought I was going to have the front attached to the lining in no time at all. As usual, I was overly optimistic. And I'm not sure how much I'll get done today--I'm meeting a former neighbor for lunch, and we have a lot to catch up on.

So before lunchtime, I'm going to try to finish sewing this part together. And maybe I'll get the interfacing ironed to the box lining. And the ribbon sewn to the outer panels of the box. And the box lining attached to the main body of the etui--and did I say something about being overly optimistic?

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


 Well, I did bash a few dust bunnies and I did decide what I'm going to work on for the next few days, but then the mail came.

Umpty-leven years ago, when I went to EGA and ANG national seminars, I took a lot of Goldwork classes from Michele Roberts and enjoyed them immensely. Then I sort of wandered off into other things and Goldwork went dormant. Last year, when I took the Tudor Embroidery Class from Cynthia Jackson, my interest was rekindled, to the point I'm signed up for an almost year-long class, a deep dive into Goldwork, that will start in September.

I have a couple of Goldwork books in my stitching library--I love Alison Cole's Masterclass book especially--but you can never have too many books on a subject. (I am the child of a librarian, after all.) So I decided to beef up my collection.

I stumbled across Lizzie Pye's "Goldwork Embroidery" on sale. You can't turn down a book that's on sale.

It has excellent information on materials and tools and incredible photography of the things you need:

There is even a list of metal and metallic threads from shiniest to least shiny--that's helpful if you want to create a certain effect, or need to have contrast.

And there are step-by-step directions for six projects, from beginner to challenging. And when I say step-by-step, I mean step-by-step.

Materials list, design to trace--then clear photographs showing exactly where and how to work the stitches to produce a beautiful creation. I could happily work my way through them all.

And then there was the second book, Tanya Bentham's Opus Anglicanum.

I've been following Tanya on Facebook and reading her blog for several years, mainly because she has a wicked sense of humor. I didn't think I'd ever actually work a piece in this style--I had pretty much figured I was happiest in the 17th century--but then, as I said earlier, Cynthia Jackson dragged me into Tudor embroidery--and Tanya may have just pushed me back even farther.

She, too, has information on threads and ground fabrics and techniques:

The information on techniques includes photos of what things look like if you do them the wrong way. Sometimes that's more helpful than seeing them done the right way . . . 

She also offers tips, and interesting bits of historical information--for example, in one project, the horse is . . . um . . . anatomically correct--because the king riding said horse would appear wimpy if he rode one that wasn't . . . um . . . fully equipped.  Who knew?

Tanya has a great line about those of us who amass threads. In talking about the colors to use in Medieval embroidery, she mentions that those embroiderers used a limited palette with high contrast between shades, and she says: 

"Buy all the colours if you must (and, let's face it, we want all the colours because they are shiny and pretty and the possession of a complete set of something makes our little monkey brains happy) but please use them on different projects."

Is that not true?

She also provides directions for a whole bunch of projects--step-by-step again--

There are even directions for alternate methods of working certain aspects of a design.

So, my dilemma today is this: should I start the finishing frenzy I had planned--and really need to do--or do I start collecting materials for new Goldwork and Opus Anglicanum projects?