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.

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!