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I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.





Sunday, May 22, 2016

Another Month, Another Trip

Just two weeks after returning from Pennsylvania, I went away again, this time on a girls' getaway to Spring Green, Wisconsin.  You may have read about the Country Sampler on other blogs, because they have a wonderful 3-bedroom apartment above their store that they rent out to groups of 7 or less.  It's set up so that you can either stitch or quilt (or both), with a large U-shaped work table, cutting tables, irons and ironing boards.  It's been used by many happy stitchers and quilters.


Here is the store, and you can see
the windows of the apartment above.

And here's a peek inside the store...






Lots of fabulous stuff for both
stitchers and quilters,
with a definite prim flavor.

While we were in Spring Green we visited Taliesin East,
the home and studio of the late
Frank Lloyd Wright, an American architect.
It is a sprawling compound that
includes not only his house and studio
but also a school, theater and farm
on over 600 acres of lush rolling hills.
Here are "a couple" of the 
many photos I took.

The house wraps around a hillside.

He used a lot of limestone, both inside and out.

This land is all part of the estate.

You can peek into the dining room
from the upper floor.

This curtain in the theater was designed by Wright,
depicting the hilly landscape of
this area of Wisconsin.

I love the way the stairs are tucked away...

Looking into a multi-functional room:
a sitting area and dining table on one side,
and a long work bench with built-in shelves on the other.
Only a partial wall separates them.
He was doing "open concept" in the early 1900's.

I took a lot of ceiling photos; I love geometrics.


We were lucky to be able to take photos
of the interior of the buildings.
Prior to this year, they were prohibited.

Of course, in addition to Taliesin
and exploring the shops of Spring Green,
our main activity was stitching,
with some knitting and sewing, too.

Karen J was working on this
stunning French boutis piece,
one of many samples she plans to have
for an EGA regional class that
she will be teaching this fall.
She is also the person who
finishes my smaller stitched pieces
to perfection.

Karen P was working on this
lovely holiday runner.
It's actually a stamped cross stitch
design, but you would never know it
because her stitches are so perfect
they look just like counted cross stitch.

Anne had a good bit done on the
Prairie Schooler R is for Rabbit.
This chart is on my to-do list!
I will probably get to it around 2020
after I finish letters A through Q.
(No, I haven't started yet.)

She alternated between the rabbit
and this delicate knitted piece.

Joyce was working on a couple of cross stitch pieces.
This one is a cute Halloween design from The Primitive Hare...

...and she finished it, too!  (happy dance!)


Sue was cutting fabric for a tote bag 
that she plans to make and use 
on a trip around the world
coming up in just a couple of weeks!

She was also working on this
beautiful canvaswork piece
featuring a free-form tree
made from silk ribbon.

I worked on Autumn Logs, and came close 
to a finish, but not quite.
You guys have seen it so often,
I won't show it here until it's completed.

I also started this hardanger bookmark on the trip...
...and finished it after coming home.
It's from the 2011 Nordic Needle
Bookmark-of-the-Month Club.
I only have (ahem) six more to go now.
I should tackle a few more,
because they really don't take much time.

On the way home, we stopped at Lynn's
in Madison, Wisconsin.
It's a large store whose merchandise
consists of half needlework and half art supplies.
Here is my stash enhancement:

From top left:  a Permin miniature kit "Two Horses"--
they are hard to see in this photo;
a gold frame that I have in mind for a
Lizzie-Kate piece that's almost finished
(they had a wonderful selection of frames there);
a Mill Hill kit by Laurel Burch: "Fur-ever Friends;"
another PS chart "Happy Christmas" (really?!);
and finally two coloring books
featuring designs from one of my
all-time favorites, Charley Harper!
(I had to buy both because 
I couldn't decide which one I liked best.)
I might try transferring one or two designs
onto canvas to see how they stitch up.
DH has already expressed an interest
in the toucan!

It was a fun trip with good company.

That's it from here for now.
Hope you've had a fabulous weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pennsylvania Six-Five Thousand

OK, the title of this post is a stretch.  It has nothing to do with the jazz song that the Glenn Miller Orchestra recorded in 1940.  I do love the song, however.  But we did go on a short trip to Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago, and here are the highlights.

This is the cottage we stayed at near Somerset.
We had it all to ourselves.

First we went to the Flight 93 Memorial.
It was a very solemn place.

Next up was the Johnstown Flood Memorial.
The flood occurred in 1889 after a
catastrophic failure of a dam upstream of the town.
Over 2,200 people were killed.
This was part of an exhibit inside the Visitors Center
depicting some of the carnage.

We visited the Allegheny Portage Railroad
National Historic Site.
This is the Skew Arch Bridge.
The railroad was the first to circumvent
the Allegheny Mountains in 1934 and included
the first railroad tunnel be to built
in America.

We also went to Fort Necessity National Battlefield.
The confrontation there in 1754 was the prelude
to the war fought by England and France
for control of the American continent.
This was the first major event in the
military career of George Washington,
and it was the only time he ever had to
surrender to an enemy.
As you can see, it's a pretty small fort.

There is a lot of history in Pennsylvania,
and we explored only the western part
of the state!

We spent a little time in Pittsburgh, too.
We took a tour on one of the ducks
(amphibious vehicles built for the Army in the 1940's).
It was entertaining, informative and a lot of fun.
We quacked at passersby
and they quacked right back at us.

We rode for free on the Duquesne Incline
(one of the perks of being old).


The view from the top of the hill was great.
Tall buildings and a river or two?
I felt right at home.

Pennsylvania is a really pretty state.
I love all the hills, having lived in
the flatlands of Illinois my entire life.

Meanwhile, back at home,
a friend and I went to a "Sip & Paint" class.
If you're not familiar with the concept,
they are usually held at a restaurant or bar
and you go there to paint a picture
under the guidance of an instructor
while sipping some wine purchased at the site.
Our class was held at Color Cocktail Factory
and it was a BYOB (and snacks if you wanted).
No painting experience is necessary.
Our instructor was great
and took us step-by-step through the process.
Both my friend and I had a blast.
And here is my post-impressionistic "masterpiece," 
Van Gogh Comes to Chicago:



And since this is a stitching blog,
I do have a small new piece to show you:
This is the May Flip-It Bit
from Lizzie-Kate, wonderfully finished
with French knots and a bee charm
by Averyclaire.

That's it for now.
Hope you had a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Leap Year List - May Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

We had a very cold and gloomy end to April, but the sun's out now so May seems promising.  I missed most of that gloom because we were out of town last week; the weather where we were staying was nicer--more on that in another post.  I took four projects with me for stitching in the evening.  Ha, ha, what was I thinking?  I got a little bit of stitching in on the trip (Autumn Logs), but not much.

On to the list...

First up we have the afore-mentioned Autumn Logs 
by Needle Delights Originals

Here's where I was last month.

And this month.  So close--the border stitches up quickly.

Here's Dawn Chorus by Long Dog Samplers, as of last month.

Here's this month's progress.  The end is in sight!
But there's still a lot left to stitch.

We met this fellow last month:
Tanja Berlin's blackwork horse.

I did get the stitching started!
Tanja's model is all black,
but I'm turning my guy into a bay.


Last but not least, I finally started this piece.

That barn took a while to build!
I'm stitching this on 25-count
wedgewood blue lugana, one over one.

That's it from here.
They (Google) rolled out their new
photo site replacing Picasa recently,
and this was my first attempt at using it.
I'm sure it can do many things
of which I'm not aware,
but I must have figured out the basics,
since my photos showed up in this post!

 Thanks, as always, for visiting!

Friday, April 15, 2016

April, Come She Will

...from the Sounds of Silence album by Simon and Garfunkel.  A lot of my projects seem to remind me of songs.  Does that ever happen to you?

Anyway, I have a finish to show you today!

This is one of two designs from Prairie Schooler Book 152
entitled (are you ready?) April.

It was finished into a beautiful flatfold by

Here is a better view of the lovely material
that she used for the back of the piece.

And now for something completely different...

I do knit from time to time.
This project is called Slopes Scarf
and the pattern is available on Ravelry.
It's not quite finished--
I made sure that the needle didn't 
make it into the photo.
Unfortunately, I don't remember
the brand/color of the yarn.
It's a Merino wool and it's
self-striping.

And here's something I'm really excited about...

Wha-a-at?

I ordered some antique white, 32-count,
Monika evenweave from Tanja Berlin,
and it came this week.
Its measurements are 18 x 70.
I don't think I'll need all of the 70,
so I might have some left over for smaller projects.
For those that are interested in this fabric,
Tanja sells it in either a half-yard or a yard,
and the width is always 70 inches,
which was perfect for me
because I intend to use this on the
Prairie Schooler alphabet.
I plan on stitching it all
on this one piece of fabric,
3 letters across and 9 down.
There is an extra pattern in the Y-Z booklet
which comes to an even 27.

Friends that know me personally
are well aware that I'm very eager to start
this piece.  However, I'm going to
try to show some restraint
and wait until Dawn Chorus is finished
before I start.
We'll see if that happens.

That's it from here.
Have a wonderful weekend.
The weather is supposed to 
be gorgeous in the Chicago area--finally.

Thanks for visiting!