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

Sunday, May 10, 2015

May Turtle Trot (and Nashville)

It's Turtle Trot time once again! 

If you're just joining us, Turtle Trot is a Stitch Along.  All the participants posted ten projects to work on in January, and through the year we show our progress, or lack thereof, on the tenth of each month.

But for me this past month was for the most part devoted to things other than my nine remaining TT pieces.  I spent a good deal of time working straight through on the Bloom piece that I showed in my last post, and I took two trips, one to the EGA Heartland Region Seminar in Minnesota that I talked about here, and one last week to Nashville, but not the Nashville in Tennessee that you're probably thinking of.  Folks that live beyond the Midwest United States may not realize that there is a Nashville in Indiana.

It's a small (pop. 1,084) town full of gift shops, galleries, restaurants and southern Indiana charm.

While many of the items for sale are not made locally, if you look you can certainly find homemade goodies.

Brown County State Park is just a few miles away.  It's quite pretty, with hills, trails and a lake.

We managed to find this flat, paved(!) quarter-mile trail through the woods.

There's an old, somewhat rickety fire tower in the park that I couldn't resist climbing.  The structure shakes when there is more than one person climbing it.  The trip down was actually more difficult for me than the trip up, because I have a slight case of acrophobia!

Southpaw Stitcher staff stayed safely on the ground during my climb.  See him there by the tree?  I was about halfway up at this point.

We stayed at this cabin in the woods.  From here, you couldn't see the road or any neighbors.  It was awesome!

The cabin was very spacious. Let's go inside...

 It had a fully-equipped kitchen. 
We ended up doing the same amount of eating in
as eating out.

 The rustic living room. 
(But there was a flat screen TV, too!)

Balls of crochet cotton the the mantel.

Dining nook.  Notice the little shelf next to the doorway
filled with books to read and games to play.

The outside was "spacious," too.
This is Southpaw Stitcher staff,
staring up at the trees in the backyard.

But the best part of the cabin was...

..the screened-in porch with comfy chairs...

..and Mr. Woodpecker.

Back to the Turtle Trot.
But before I show you any stitchy photos,
take another look at the turtle in the first photo.
He is a Nashville turtle.
Look at the ground he is standing on.
Did we find him in the yard?
No, that is the middle of the road, people!
It was one of their paved roads, too.
But that just adds to the charm, right?

I must mention here that
Southpaw Stitcher staff shooed the turtle
into the relative, if temporary,
safety of the grass by the side of the road.

Now, on to stitching.
I worked on two of my TT pieces.

As we approach the 4th of July
(I know it's still two months away),
I took out Plum Street Samplers' Liberty Inn.

Last month.

And this month.

The construction of the Liberty Inn continues,
if somewhat slowly.
There are many guests booked for the
grand opening of the Inn on July 4th.
I do hope they will not be disappointed!

 And last but not least,
regular readers should know what's coming next.

Of course, it's Needle Delights Originals' Summer Logs.
Here's where I was at last month.

And we have a finish!
I skipped ahead of my ANG chapter's SAL a little bit.
I should have saved that last pastel corner
in the lower right for this coming month,
but I once I picked it up, I didn't want to stop.

Thanks for coming with me to Hoosierland!
Happy Mother's Day to all the
moms and step-moms out there.
Hope your weekend was fun.

Friday, May 8, 2015


Finished and framed!
Bloom by Art to Heart
The chart came with eight JABCo buttons,
but I thought there was enough
"stuff" going on in the piece
so I used only one.

Have a great weekend, people!
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Divine Ms. Scoular

Last week my friend Joyce and I took a road trip to Bloomington, Minnesota, near the Twin Cities to attend the EGA Heartland Regional Seminar hosted by the St. Paul Needleworkers chapter.  We were able to take only one 2-day class, so we chose the blackwork class being taught by Marion Scoular--and we're glad we did.

About a month ago, we received our 28-count Lugana fabric in the mail, with the outline of the design already drawn on (thanks for that, Marion!).  All we were asked to do was damp press the fabric (if we so desired), mount it on our frame of choice, and bring our own threads and colors to stitch with.  She assured us in her accompanying note that we wouldn't be bored in her class (I certainly wasn't), that we would get hooked on blackwork (as most of you know, I already was), and that every student's piece would be quite different from all the others.  I was a little skeptical about that last claim.  I thought that everyone's would be a different color, of course, but that we would just copy what she had stitched.

When the class started, we were given a wide variety of blackwork patterns from which to choose.  Here are some models that Marion brought with her.  As you can see, each is really different from the others--there was a fourth piece that had just every other section stitched, but I didn't get a good photo of it.  She didn't tell us which specific blackwork patterns she used, these are merely for inspiration.

We are doing the Dresden design that you see on top and on the lower right.  The piece on the lower right has half the sections shaded dark to light from the center outward, and the other sections are shaded the opposite.  I'm not going to get quite that fancy with mine.

Here is my start.  I'm planning to stitch only every other section, using a red and blue color scheme, and the Lugana really is white.  Marion gave us some clever blackwork patterns that are actually letters, if you look hard enough.  Starting with the section in the southwest corner, the pattern will spell C H I C A G O.  Can you see the first four letters?  The stitched sections will be shaded and outlined, but only after we get all the base patterns stitched, per Marion's instructions.  I made my task a little bit more challenging because all of her patterns have suggestions for shading, except for the "letter" patterns, so I'm on my own with that.  Chicago's flag is blue, white and red--I may depict it in the middle in some way.  No one in the class is doing anything like this piece, probably for good reason, so she was right about each piece being totally different, too.

Here is the Divine Ms. Scoular her very self.
She is a graduate of the 
Royal School of Needlework,
but is surprisingly relaxed about reversibility,
what types of stitches to use on the outline,
mixing double running, back stitch 
or a combination thereof within each section,
and even knots on the back of your work!
She teaches other techniques,
such as hardanger and hemstitching, too.
If you ever have an opportunity
to take a class from her, go for it!

That's all for now.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 10, 2015

April Turtle Trot

We had some very severe weather in northern Illinois yesterday.  A little town northwest of Chicago was totally destroyed by a violent tornado.  At least one person died and several people were injured.  My thoughts go out to those families.  In our area, fortunately, all we got was rain.

Stitch-wise, it's Turtle Trot time once again.  For those of you not familiar with this virtual SAL, we all picked ten WIPs in January to work on, and we post before and after progress pics on the 10th of each month.

Despite the classes, workshop and new starts that happened in the last month, I did get some time to work on a few of my TT pieces.  I have to start out with Ink Circles' 99:

 Last month's photo.

Regular readers of this blog know that I finished this piece a couple of weeks ago.  Here it is framed, but I'm afraid that my framer and I did not do a good job on this one.  She will usually let me know if she thinks that something I pick out does not work.  The piece just looks like a dark brown blob on the wall.  The frame is dark brown but appears much lighter in the photo than in real life because it's reflecting the flash.  I think the reflection of the glass (yes, there is glass there) is contributing to not being able to see the stitching, too.  My plan is to first remove the glass, then if that doesn't work, I will go to a lighter-colored frame.  Gold maybe?  I didn't choose to mat it because the piece is large and I don't have all that much wall space, but a light-colored mat would probably have done the trick, too.  (Just a tip for those of you stitching this piece on the "ale" linen.)

Next, I wanted to stitch something that I hadn't worked on for a while, so I chose Laura J. Perin's Nordic Panel.
This is where I left off in February.

I did the next band
and extended the borders
almost all the way down.
I have a love-hate relationship with this piece.

Here's a close-up of the band I stitched.

Next up is Needle Delights Originals' Summer Logs:
Last month...

 ...and this month.  This piece is just so much fun to stitch!  It has no metallics, ribbons or anything to be laid.  No open canvas where you need to avoid carrying threads.  Even the border is simply a two-row repeat and is very zen.  But all the different stitches do make it look textured and interesting.  I think I'm going to be a little sad when this one is finished.

Lastly, I chose another piece I hadn't worked on in a couple of months (and because July is just around the corner!), Plum Street Samplers' Liberty Inn:

Here's where I left off in February...

...and what it looks like now.
The lighting isn't the greatest in this photo--
as I mentioned before, it was very stormy yesterday--
 and the piece looks much prettier in real life.
Once I uploaded the photo to my computer
and finished cropping, etc., I noticed
that two small motifs have one stitch missing!
(That has already been rectified.)
I like this piece so much,
once it's finished I may leave it up all year,
not just in the summer.

Well, that's it from here.
To see what the other Trotters have been up to,
go to the BAP Attack blog.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks so much for dropping by!