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





Thursday, April 20, 2017

April's Rotation

Hey Blog Buddies,

There's been a bit of stitching and some sewing (say what?) since my last proper update in March, and I've got a bunch of stuff to show you.  Let's take a peek.


First up is a finish!
Barbara Ana's Funky Bird.
She suggested finishing this as a ditty bag,
but I'm going to do a small framed piece.
He looks like he's been eating
a lot of those flowers, doesn't he?


Here is Needle Delights Originals'
Spring Logs.
It was half done last time we checked.
Actually, I'm a wee bit farther than this,
but this was a good point to take the photo.
I'm on track for a June finish.


I picked up Kay Stanis' Copper Illumination, too!
Here's where I was at last year.

And here's where I'm at now.
I was humming along, doing a little each morning,
then I took a break for my small trip.
And I haven't picked it up since.


Here's a close-up of the hyacinths.
They're double beaded, first in black,
then the purple goes on top
in a somewhat haphazard fashion.
It's still doable to finish this by the end of June,
but I'm setting aside a 10-dollar bill
just in case this challenge project remains stalled.


Since my morning stitching slot was vacant,
out came Prairie Schooler's I.
At first I thought Indian corn 
was an odd pick for the letter I,
but when I tried thinking of "I" words,
all I could come up with was
idiot, imp, ink, interstate...
maybe ice cream.
I think Indian corn is perfect.


I took a quilt class(!) last week,
sponsored by my quilt guild.
I liked the pattern,
Plum Street Quilts' Shadowplay.
This is my modest start.
It should look like 3-dimensional blocks
when it's finished--
hopefully, some time later this year.


Since I finished a project, why not start a new one?!
I've had this pattern in my stash for years.
Joseph's Coat by Lois Caron.
I'm doing it on white congress cloth,
and it's about four inches high.
The 18-count canvas that was provided
would have made the piece
way too big for an ornament.
(Congress cloth is 24 count.)

Carla asked about the Easter finish
on my last blog post, specifically
did I follow any kind of tutorial
(I'm assuming for the rick rack).
The instructions I used
can be found at A Spoonful of Sugar.

That's it for today.
Hope April is going well for you.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

Our friend Jo of Serendipitous Stitching is coordinating the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop again this year.  Blogs participating in the Hop are instructed to post a photo of an Easter or spring-themed stitched piece, and reveal a letter of the alphabet.  All the letters will spell a secret phrase.  Be the first person to guess the phrase and you win a prize!

My Easter-themed piece is called, unsurprisingly, Easter by Lizzie-Kate.


This is one of the charts I won as a
participant in the gift exchange at
the Fancy Works retreat.
And I finish-finished it myself!

The letter I have for those of you
trying to ascertain the secret phrase is...

To find the next letter in the phrase, go to:
Happy hopping, 
and thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fancy Works Retreat

Hey Blog Buddies,

Did you know that there's a needlework store in Bloomington, Indiana?  I didn't until a couple of months ago. This past weekend, my friend Joyce and I were two of the attendees at their first annual retreat.



Yes, the name of the store is Fancy Works,
owned by a sweet lady named Dianna.


The location of the retreat was lovely:
The Canyon Inn at
McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer.
The inn was originally a sanitarium!

The retreat ran from Thursday afternoon
through Sunday morning,
and for me the weekend just flew by.

There were lots of goodies lining the walls
in the stitching room to tempt us.

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher,
conducted four finishing classes:
two on flatfolds and two on ornaments.
She has a wonderful blog
with all sorts of helpful information
for finishing needlework;
if you're not familiar with it, click here.

This is one of the finished flatfolds.

And this is the finished ornament.
Everyone who took a class
left with a finished item.

I chose not to take either of the classes
because Averyclaire! does all of my small finishes,
and I'd rather be stitching than finishing.

On Friday morning, Stacy Nash
made a surprise appearance at the retreat.

Dianna is on the left, Stacy on the right.
It's fun to meet designers that you've
been following.

The retreat organizers thought up
all sort of games for us to play so that we 
could be entertained and win prizes at the same time.
The scavenger hunt was particularly
crazy and diabolical (but fun).
If you didn't win any of the games, not to worry.
There was a steady stream
of free stash given to each attendee
starting before the retreat even began
(a small chart was included with the retreat schedule
and directions that were mailed out),
through and including Sunday morning.

It's hard to show all of the freebies--
the table isn't that big.

And did I mention that a $75 gift certificate
to the Fancy Works store was included?
This is how I used it to further enhance my stash.

There was a wonderful masseuse available on
both Friday and Saturday.
Joyce threatened to take a photo of me
getting a massage,
but fortunately that didn't happen.

Most of us participated in a gift exchange, too.
I forgot to take a photo of what I gave away,
but here is what I received.
Yes, it's an Easter-themed basket
with jelly beans, a floss-filled egg,
four Easter/spring charts and some white linen.
Fabulous!
I was actually thinking of buying an Easter chart,
and now I have several.
I've already kitted one up;
over half of the threads came from that egg!
You'll see it here later this month.


Old Friends Meet New Friends

The seating was six to a table and,
let's be honest here,
sometimes you find yourself seated next to a pill.
But I'm happy to report that
everyone at our table was very congenial.


From the left: Carol, Donna, Joyce, me, Claire and Liz.
It was a bonus to meet four new friends.

As for what I stitched, I took
only three projects to work on:
Needle Delights Originals' Spring Logs
Barbara Ana's Funky Bird and
Lizzie-Kate's A Bit of June (below).


I started this at the retreat,
and finished it after I came home.
I did make progress on the other two,
but they are not quite "blog ready" yet,
and this post is way too long already.

Dianna announced that they are having
another retreat next year,
and there was general merriment
when the attendees heard that bit of news.

A big Thank You goes out to Dianna, Sandi,
and the many Elves who worked so hard
and made this retreat so much fun for all of us.

That is it for now.
Hope your April is getting off to a good start.
Thanks, as always, for visiting.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Taste of Honey

Hey Blog Buddies,


Within the past week or so I've had a few finishes, 
and I've taken some other projects to the framer's, 
so it's time for a little show and tell.



First up, my two(?) or three-year project, 
Prairie Schooler's Alphabet. 
These letters always seem to take more time
than I think they should.

H has not been my favorite letter thus far
because it was a little repetitive.
On the other hand, once I stitched 
one of the bee skeps, or got started
on the flowering vines, I was able to use
what I had just stitched as the chart!

The H is also one of those problem letters
for those of us stitching this project as
one gigantic sampler.
Most of the letters are a uniform size
(70 x 100 stitches).
The H is larger, so I had to make the buds
opposite each flower smaller, and
chop off the ends of the bees' wings
on the top of the piece
in order to make it the
same size as the other letters.

But it's done!

I think the whole piece,
even though it's obviously unfinished,
looks so much more impressive
than the individual letters.

I'm putting this project on hiatus for a while.
I have to make some progress 
on my chapter's challenge piece,
Kay Stanis' Copper Illumination.
Wish me luck.

Next is my blackwork project,
Blackwork Journey's Wandering Star.


Here's where I left off...


Here it is finished and framed.
It's hard to tell from the photo,
but I chose a light purple frame
to try to bring out the purple quadrant
in the upper left.
I'm a little disappointed in the result,
but it is what it is.

Next up is Hands On Designs'
Underwater Basketweave.


This is what the model looks like.
It was my ANG chapter's February class.


I decided I wanted a sunnier colorway.
This was a fast and fun piece.
This will be finished either as a box top
or a small picture.
It's only about 5" x 5".

Speaking of small,
you've already seen
Permin's Two Horses on this blog,
but now it's framed.


The whole piece, including the frame,
is only about 6.7" by 7.2"
DH thinks the top (brown) mat
makes everything look too dark,
but the stitchers at my Guild said "No way."
What do you think?
The lighting has washed out the piece just a little.
It's somewhat darker all around IRL.

Finally, I have a new start to show you.


Barbara Ana's Funky Bird.
It's a fun piece.



Here's my start.

Well, that's it from here.
Hope your March is going well.
Thanks, as always, for visiting.