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, May 31, 2022

Ready for Occupancy

The house and landscaping are complete.

The whole scene is only about 3" square--it's a sampler in microcosm!

I still have more to do before this section of the project is complete--and it's all over one as well.  Come to think of it--I have yet to chart my name for the top part. 

I guess I need to get busy.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Construction Zone

 After planting shrubs and grass yesterday, I started building the Georgian Manor for Milady.

This may be the extent of the work for today. 

I have had the most discombobulated weekend, and it's beginning to slow me down. I stayed up later than I should have Friday night watching a movie. We had plans to get up at seven on Saturday morning for our weekly trip to the Farmers' Market. I got to bed around one--which would still give me six hours of sleep, and I can function on that.

If, of course, I didn't wake up at five.

This has been a pattern for quite some time. I sleep for about four hours, then I wake up, my brain clicks on, and I stare at the ceiling for an hour or more until I finally drift off to sleep again. Early Saturday morning, the last time I looked at the clock, it was 6:20. I didn't get my six hours of sleep. But I did get up at seven, we toodled off to the market (probably the last of the strawberries, first of the peaches came home with us, so it was worth it), and then home again.

I realized I had to have more down time--so I went back to bed for a few hours. When I got back up, I had all my usual morning routine to do--only it was two in the afternoon. Basically, I had two Saturday mornings, and that threw me off--to the point that I was up and out of bed today at 5:30. And now I'm going facedown on the keyboard.

I am going to try to get my second wind so I an stay up until my regular bedtime--and maybe get back on track tomorrow.

Dearly Beloved wants to know what difference it makes. After all, I am retired and don't need a schedule.

But I do . . . 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Long work day

 I have spent the day setting cobblestones in the walkway in Tribute's scene.

It might have been easier if Milady and her hound had moved out of the way, but they were not interested in going elsewhere while I labored to finish their path.

I had hoped to plant the garden that sits behind the fences on each side of the path so I could start building her fine Georgian house tomorrow, but it was not to be.

I love the delicacy and detail that working over-one gives a design, but OMG, it takes for-bloody-ever to stitch! I am getting closer, though, to have this piece of the project completed, and I think that it's the most labor-intensive part.

Anyway, on to the garden tomorrow--and maybe a little construction on the house.

Thursday, May 26, 2022


 I started the scene that will grace the top of Tribute.

I have been thinking a lot about stitching and blogging today, since I learned of the death of Amy Wilson. Amy's blog, Thread in Hand, has been followed by a multitude of readers for quite some time. She took a break, then returned a short while ago--stitching up a storm and enabling so many to find the unusual and challenging. In fact, she posted the morning of the day she left us, showing one of her recent acquisitions, and unhappy because the meds she was taking were interfering with her stitching time.

There aren't many of us left who blog consistently, and not many of us who are as productive as Amy was. She and I frequently stitched the same projects and occasionally ended up at the same events.  I'll miss "hearing" her voice.

I'm left with the thought that you need to work on the projects that bring you pleasure, and never delay doing the things you love.

Monday, May 23, 2022

A Day Late

 This is where I planned to be last night:

I've decided that I have to stop stitching when I start yawning.

The petals need to be filled in with tent stitch over one. I'm saving that for tomorrow. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Very Bad Language

An hour ago, the vine on the right was about the same length as the vine on the left.

Notice that I said "about the same length." As I was adding the flowers, I discovered that I had omitted two vertical stitches on the main vine. I had already stitched the leaves and the little gold stitches, just as they appear on the left vine--and the leaves are made from rice stitches and the little gold stitches are Smyrna crosses. Neither of them are quick to rip out.

Obviously, the frog came to visit (rippit, rippit, rippit). Very bad language was used. Dearly Beloved was impressed--he said the last time he heard such language, he was in basic training in the Air Force. He felt that I could have increased the vocabulary of his training instructor.

I think I will take a break and wash out my mouth with soap.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Another change . . .

I sat down last night and read through the rest of the directions for Tribute.

Holey Moley, I have a lot left to do!

So, for the moment (or until my Stitcher's ADD kicks in), I'm going to focus on getting all the stitching for this project finished. And that means no finishing, no Sampler Sunday, no doodle stitching.

Nope, nose to the grindstone, needles threaded, get 'er done.

At the moment, I need to chart my name.

 Do you think it would be a problem if I just used my initials?


A little note: I read all the comments, but if you're a no-reply blogger, I can't respond to you. Please know that I'm delighted to know that you're visiting my corner of the blogoverse, but I haven't figured out the workaround for this particular problem. Sigh . . . 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Another good mail day!

 Today was another very good mail day!

It's even better in person than it is in the photo on Amy Mitten's site.

I am trying to be strong and not start it. I did cut out templates and iron-in interfacing yesterday, and I practiced double knotted buttonhole--and I really need to get the prework done for my auditing class in July--but this is so cute!

I truly need to have 36 hours in a day. And I thought I would have so much time when I retired . . . 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Making Progress

So I'm still working on Tribute, which has more stitching than I remembered from when I took the class. It's probably a good thing that I pulled it out to work on again if I'm auditing the class in early July so I can review the assembly process.

 I had a chance to work on it this morning at a stitch-in that some of the members of my EGA chapter have started. I've had plans to attend this weekly event for . . . well . . . weeks . . . and something always interfered. I actually made it there today, and will do my best to go again. It's a lovely, supportive group, and I got a good bit of over-one stitching done while I was there.

Harmony has not been ignored. I have my muslin pad assembled so I can work the detached elements for the panel I worked on at the beginning of the year. However, the first bit I want to do is a knotted triple buttonhole stitch. Have I ever done a knotted triple buttonhole stitch? I have not. Can I do it? Not without some practice. Change that--not without a good bit of practice if I want it to look like a knotted triple buttonhole stitch instead of a mess of knots. So I have set up a practice piece of linen and I am slowly and carefully making my way through the diagrams and photos and written directions on how to triple and knot and buttonhole some thread.

But tomorrow, I am going to start putting Carmen's Etui together. I have decided I absolutely cannot start another project until something is put together. Carmen has been stitched for a couple of months--maybe longer--so it's going to move toward a finish.

Of course, starting a new project is one of the joys of stitching . . . 

And temptation is so strong . . .

Monday, May 16, 2022

Getting back in the groove

 There was no Sampler Sunday yesterday. After stitching like a maniac, and having to tightly hold bits and pieces together to assemble Bird in Hand, my hands announced that they needed to take a day off.

So I spent the day playing in the stash. And that resulted in deciding to pull Tribute out of the pile and doing a few more stitches this morning to get that project back underway.

I originally took this class at Christmas in Williamsburg a number of years ago. The class was packed, shoulder to shoulder, which created a less than optimal learning situation. When I reviewed my notes, I realized that I must have missed some things in all the confusion--so I am auditing the class at Sassy Jack's in July. I would like to have all the stitching done so I can zoom right into the finishing as soon as I'm home again. That means I need to work on this. 

I still want to work on the innards for Dear Heart, the last class I took from Jackie, and I'm going to pick up Harmony again, this week, do or die. So I have plenty to do, and I'm looking forward to plopping myself in the wing chair and getting it done.

I have a dear friend who has asked me to stitch the model for one of her reproduced samplers--and I'll slot that into my stitching routine. We had lunch together today--commiserated about elderly parents, solved the problems of the world, and figured out the programs for the next two years in our sampler guild--it was a delightful interlude. The last couple of years without those simple pleasures have taken their toll, and, while still being very careful, it's so nice to have the chance to spend time together. 

It's absolutely worth it to get a needle in the arm to be able to get out and about with fewer fears!


Saturday, May 14, 2022

What I did this week

Last Saturday I took an online class with Catherine Theron with the Orange Coast Sampler Guild.

Today I finished the project.

 Bird in Hand Sewing Companion

Actually, I started to assemble it yesterday, but after a couple of errors, I figured it probably wasn't the best idea to work on finishing on Friday the 13th, so I stopped and puttered around the house for a bit.

I believe I will press the top just a little more--with all the handling  to get the fiddly bits sewn together, I squished it a little. I'd like for it to lie a little flatter, but other than that, I am quite pleased. Then I need to decide what kind of trouble to get into this evening. I don't think I'll stitch any more today--my hands are telling me it's time to take a break.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

It's a Bird!

 All the stitching for Bird in Hand is done!

I plan to start the assembly tomorrow, then get back to my original plans aspirations for the month.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Committed Now

 I've committed to finishing the Bird in Hand needlecase/pin cushion in May. Of this year.

I'm planning to work on this the rest of the day.

So far, my plans for today have not worked out, so I'm not optimistic. I was planning to go to my EGA chapter's weekly stitch-in this morning. I didn't get there because I slept until almost 10, when it's scheduled to start.

Generally I pop out of bed without need of an alarm clock between 7:30 and 8--but night before last, Dearly Beloved was very restless and kept waking me up. He had gone to bed "early" since he had a doctor's appointment at 9:45 yesterday morning. One thing you need to know about Dearly Beloved is that he is a night owl,  and generally stays up until 3 or 4 a.m. This can be a problem if you have an early start planned for a trip, or a morning doctor's appointment--his body just doesn't want to go to sleep when it should. So he tossed and turned and muttered and got up and down. 

And woke me up off and on all night. I was weary all day yesterday, so it's not quite the surprise it should have been when I slept in today.

I used to wonder why my grandparents had separate bedrooms. I finally decided it some kind of Victorian holdover--but now I'm reconsidering that idea.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Another Happy Mail Day

 A second day of stash enhancement!

The Crewel Work Company has been sponsoring a needlework festival for a number of years, and occasionally there are extra kits or extra designs available later for sale. Several years ago, I invested in ornaments that Alison Cole offered, and I took advantage of another designer's work recently.

You open the shipping box, and this is what you see:

Such an elegant presentation!

And then you open the box--it's just like Christmas!--and you find this:

The design is Zina Kaxban's Elizabethan Moth. The instruction book is thorough, complete, and well-illustrated, but if you would like extra help, you can purchase the online class with Zina, or you can contact her directly--the instruction book provides her email address.

And then there are the materials, beautifully and carefully packaged. Luscious colors of silk, shiny metal threads--all the things I love to work with.

I'm trying to stick to my stitching plan for May, but I'm having a very hard time doing it.

A very hard time.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Happy Monday Mail Day

 Today was a good mail day.

A new Barbara Jackson kit arrived on the doorstep.

I love Barbara's designs. I love her little people, I love her colors, I love her style. And this is going to be fun to stitch, with the different flowers on each heart.

It is a class from Shining Needle, and the first lesson hasn't been posted yet--but I just may have to dig out the right sized stretcher bars and get ready to start. Actually, I may just have to start.

Seriously?  I think I will have to stick a needle in this before I go to bed.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Strawberries for Mother's Day

 I may not have real strawberries, but I do have a couple of stitched ones:

I thought I might get the leaves worked as well, but I got a late start.  I stayed up past my bedtime last night, finishing the outlines of the panels for Bird in Hand. However, that may be just as well--I have to work the leaves in trellis stitch and I need to think about that a bit before I start. They're going to be worked around and around from outside to inside, so it may be like spiral trellis in a way. I think I may have to doodle a little.

Meanwhile, I have talked to son and daughter, daughter-in-law, and grandson today. It's been a lovely Mother's Day--and Dearly Beloved is cooking tonight! Perfect way to end the day . . . 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Threads every which way

I have working threads strewn all over my linen.

 I'm setting up the panels for the Bird in the Hand Sewing Companion, a Zoom class from Catherine Theron that I took today with the Orange Coast Sampler Guild.

I had thought about getting it all stitched ahead of class--but then I had my second Covid booster. Like the first one, this one didn't make me sick, but it did make me sleepy. As in standing up and leaning against the wall sleepy. As in crossed-eyes sleepy.

As I would much prefer being sleepy to getting Covid, I am not complaining. But, since I'm finally coming out of the fog, I'd like to get the parts of this completed before I forget the nuances of the finishing process.

Assuming I wasn't too sleepy during the class to catch onto those nuances.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Working on my drawers

The innards for Be Still My Heart are finished and installed.

 Of course, this isn't all that's involved in this project. I have two pin cushions and a sampler roll to stitch and complete, but I really wanted to have this part assembled while I remembered what to do.

Meanwhile, Dearly Beloved has been afflicted by the malady I had earlier in the week. I had planned to go to an EGA stitch-in this morning, then we had plans for the rest of the week which included a quick trip out of town. I decided, just in case I was still a carrier, to stay home from the stitch-in, and neither of us is up to traveling at the moment.

I've decided this means more stitching time--as soon as I pick up some more saltines and chicken noodle soup.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Lost Day

I woke up this morning quite unwell. To be as delicate as possible, it's been a ginger-ale-and-cracker day. 

So that meant that I wasn't going to work on any assembly or challenging stitching. What I could do was start the work on the Bird in Hand kit that will be a Zoom class on Saturday.

And this is what I did:

 And that tired me out, so I had to take a nap.

When I woke up, I felt much better, but still not up to assembly or challenging stitching. So I believe I will continue with this for the evening.

Let's hope for a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Satin Stitching on Sampler Sunday

All the satin stitching for this band of Hannah Thornbush is now done.

Granted, it's a small band, but progress is progress. And, despite using a sharp needle, there was no DNA left in the band.

The strawberries will be detached buttonhole and the leaves filled in with trellis. But not today.  It's clouding up, and I prefer to do those stitches when I have bright daylight.

So what to do with the rest of the day? I have a Zoom class on Saturday, and I think I may iron the linen for the class and sew it to scroll bars.

Even though that will require the continued use of a sharp needle.