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

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Hey Blog Buddies,

First of all, thanks so much for all your kind comments on my last post.  I enjoyed reading every one of them!

As most regular readers of this blog know, I attended the annual Nordic Needle stitching retreat last week with my partner in crime, Joyce.  The weather was much better than last year (a high of 78F on the trip up there!), and they had the same great variety of classes and extracurricular activities that we all have come to expect.

We took two classes.  The first was needle painting and we stitched Trish Burr's Little Bee Eater:

We needed a whole bunch of colors for that cute little bird!
Each person taking the class received
a blue-green "nest" (in the upper middle of the above photo)
 which was needle felted by our teacher,
to be used for our orts. 

This is my progress so far.
His claws consist of three bullion knots.
Joyce has already finished her knots
but unfortunately I didn't get a photo.
Doing the long-and-short stitch is a lot more fun that I remembered.

Our other class was a little canvaswork box.
 Each side of the box has a Jean Hilton-esque motif.
The background "icing" is done with Arctic Rays
which goes along with the theme of the retreat: "Oh So Sweet."

Here is where I'm at.
The cupcake needle minder was a gift from our teacher.

Of course there was lots of food,
a bookmark exchange,
a tea towel exchange,
a stash exchange and 
a Christmas ornament exchange.
Despite my best intentions,
I did not get around to making anything
for any of the exchanges.
I did get photos of a couple of tea towels...

Almost every one was stitched in a different technique.

One night there was a a little demo on decorating fabric
with Sharpie markers and alcohol (!)
and everyone had a chance to purchase
an inexpensive scarf and create their own art...

We had a free day, so we took a little trip
to Dakota Fiber Mills, just south of Fargo, to see
Chris and her menagerie of animals.

This is Bert, one of two yaks living there.

 She has quite a few alpaca.
They are just the cutest critters!

She even has a camel (Abraham).
Chris was a bit upset with Abraham
because he had just gone for a roll in the mud
and of course his fur (hair?) would somehow have to be cleaned!
Her dog is in the lower right corner of the photo.
She has sheep and goats, too! 

She hires someone to shear the sheep
(Abraham's hair is combed, not shorn).
Then she spins the fur and hair into roving...

...and skeins of yarn...

I purchased a big skein of sock yarn...
It's 70% alpaca, 20% wool and 10% mohair.
This should motivate me to sign up for that sock class
that I've been thinking about for the past year!

No retreat report would be complete without
photos of new stash. 
Here are some of the freebies given away at the retreat...

And here is what I purchased at "The Shop."
I didn't go crazy--you see there's only one new chart.
The portable magnifier/light works well--
I've already used it!

All too soon, it was time for us to head home.

It's always nice to be missed!

Hope you enjoyed the Retreat.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Turtle Trot Update

Hey Blog Buddies,

It's April and the big news is that my friend Joyce and I are going to the Nordic Needle Retreat in Fargo, ND (road trip!).  The festivities begin at 7:00p.m. on Wednesday the 9th, with a Dessert Bar, and end at midday on Sunday the 13th with a Farewell Brunch (yes, there is a lot of food involved).  In between the meals we do a lot of stitching, and I will have a recap for you after the Retreat is over.

But meanwhile, we have the Turtle Trot update, which for me this year means the once-a-month update on the progress of my (ahem) rotation.  So, here we go--first is Needle Delights Originals Winter Logs:

 last month

this month

If I can get the rest of the bottom triangle finished
before the next meeting of my ANG chapter,
I'll be all caught up.

Next, we have Cross My Heart's Mates:

last month

this month

This month's progress doesn't even look like that much to me
because it was at least one hour of stitching
(often longer) every day!
And I should have more done, don't you think?
This couple might not see too much action in April
because they are no longer being worked on every day.
That doesn't mean they've been abandoned,
just that they are going to have to find a slot in the rotation.
(Good luck, Wolfies!)

The piece that has taken their place as the once-a-day, every-day stitch is Debbie Stiehler's Autumn Pumpkin Patch, known informally around here as La Calabaza (Spanish for pumpkin).  I did this switch just a few days ago, so don't expect much.

last month

this month

This is the piece that I really want to finish next.
Each of the 16 sections is stitched five times--
they just switch locations--and it's becoming a little tedious.
I still really like the piece, just want it to be finished!
I need to find my zen place with this piece
and think more about the journey than the destination...

And speaking of finishes, I actually have one this month!
Needle Delights Originals Tangerine Twist:

last month

this month

...and a close up of one of the squares so that you can see the beads.
They are Little Charmers,
and the package had an assortment of colors, finishes and sizes.
All the directions said to do was attach them at random,
making sure that you don't get two of the same beads
next to one another!
This is only my third finish for 2014.
(And one of them was a small piece!)
That's what happens when you devote a lot of time to the BAPs.

Check out Claudette's blog, BAP Attack, 
to see what the other Turtle Trotters have been doing.

That's it from here.
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Hey Blog Buddies,

It's quite the lovely spring day here (finally!).  In addition to my round robin project, I've been working a little on my quilt.  After I got my blocks completed, I laid them out on the bed according to the pattern (don't have a design wall) and then carefully sewed them together in strips.  Well, when I went to sew strip #1 to strip #2, I sewed them together in the reverse order, so I had to "unsew" that long seam...

As you can see, I've gotten the strips almost separated--only 1.2 more blocks!  It's amazing how much longer it takes to unsew than it does to sew strips together!  I'm definitely out of my comfort zone any time I use my sewing machine, so after I get the strips separated, I think I'll take a short break from this piecing project and do some stitchin' instead.

Speaking of quilting, the cryptic title of my post refers to a New Blog on the Block that I want to introduce:  Prairie Quilts and Other Things.  Shirley and I go way back--all the way to high school--and she is a much better quilter than I am!  If you have a minute, please click on over to her blog, take a look around and say "hi."

That's it from here.  Hope you all had a great weekend.  And thanks, as always, for visiting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

March Stitch from Stash

Hey Blog Buddies,

Mel over at Epic Stitching is hosting the Stitch from Stash SAL this year.  We all have $25/month to spend for new stash.  Obviously, the goal is to stitch from stash as much as possible.  So, time for the monthly SFS report.  My purchases for the month so far are three packages of beads for a blackwork freebie that I plan on starting later on in the year.  

You can find the instructions for the piece over at Blackwork Journey.  It's gorgeous and looks like a lot of fun, but it's yet another really large piece--it's called Save the Stitches and the directions are coming out in installments.  

I also got some fabric from JoAnn's.

This will be the backing for a lap quilt that I started a couple of weeks ago.  The pattern is called Semaphore and it's from the Fall 2013 issue of Easy Quilts.  Here's a photo of the model:

All my blocks are sewn. I chose an autumn colorway:

So, beads:  $4.50; fabric, $15.70.  Deduct that from the $25.00 spending money for March, and there's $4.80 left over.  Add that to my $35.08 carry-over, and I have $39.88 going into April.  (Too much math!)

I had a birthday this month, so I got some stash as a gift.

These are GHI and JKL of the Prairie Schooler Alphabet series.  There's also a little seasonal chart from Heart in Hand called A Spring Day with a cute bunny and flowers.  I still need five charts from the PS Alphabet series.  I plan on stitching them as one large piece.  Not this year, though.   (smile)

Finally, I participated in a workshop this month hosted by my Guild.  The piece was Carrots by Jennifer Riefenberg, and the pattern was so cute I couldn't resist...

See what I mean by cute?

Here is where I'm at.

Other than that, I've been stitching along on my rotation
which seems to be filled with BAPs at the moment.
This week I'm stitching on a round robin piece
which unfortunately I won't be able to show.

So that's it from here.
Hope everyone is having a lovely spring or fall,
depending on where you live.
It's technically spring here,
but we're expecting more snow (and cold) tonight!

Thanks for visiting!