Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rhapsody in Blue

Wow, it has been a long time since I last posted. I've been stitching a little bit, just haven't had anything newsworthy to share - no pictures, no finishes.  I have to be honest with you; I've been a little depressed.  It just keeps snowing here in Minnesota and I am tired of it!  Early in the week, Tuesday I think, we got about 6 inches and then on Friday our temperatures were in the 70's. Mother Nature has been really fickle this year.

Last weekend and this weekend I attended Spring luncheons for our two local needlework guilds.  Last Saturday was the Needlework Guild of Minnesota's Annual Meeting.  We had a nice brunch at a local hotel and then listened to a talk about Ethnic Drawn Thread by Pat Donaldson.  She compared and contrasted beautiful embroidered pieces from over 14 different countries.Of course, this was of particular interest to me given my desire to learn more about Hungarian embroidery.  One new type of embroidery that I learned about is the Lefkara Lace that is made in Cyprus.  Google it - it is beautiful!

Yesterday, I attended the Spring Luncheon for our local EGA chapter - St. Paul Needleworkers.  A delicious lunch and an interesting lecture by a local designer/teacher/stitcher.  Carol Pedersen's topic was "Ancestral Angst" and she talked about the importance of labeling our stitched pieces with as much information as possible to ensure that generations to come won't be asking "I wonder who stitched this?" Carol also talked about caring for our needlework pieces.  It was very interesting!

Enough chatter - you want some pictures to look at, right?  I had some "finishing mojo" last evening and so while the rest of the family was either at work or at my daughter's lacrosse game (she's the coach), I set out to finish the remaining pieces for Rhapsody in Blue.  Back on March 24, I shared the finished bag with you.  Since that time, we received the finishing instructions for the smalls.  I just haven't had time to finish them!

This was an online class with the Shining Needle Society.  The project was designed by Jackie du Plessis.  Having taken a class with Jackie last summer, I was excited to work on another one of her projects.  Here are the accompanying smalls which I finished last night:

The round disc on the left is a pinkeep.  The rectangular box is a pincushion; look at those tiny pinheads that I stitched!  and then the strawberry serves as a scissor fob.  These pieces are really tiny.  I had to use magnification to put them together!

Here's the whole kit and caboodle:

I also attached my lid to the bag last night (hadn't done it the first time around).  Jackie had us make a hedebo ring to cover the stitching where the lid was attached.  Perhaps you can see it in this picture:

And one more photo of the entire piece...

I won't lie - the finishing was a bit challenging.  But it really turned out beautiful and was worth the time and effort!

Now on to my next project -- I'm nearly finished with my stitching for Ellen Chester's My Lady's Worke Box.  If I could get the stitching done this week, I could try to get it finished next weekend.  We'll see!

Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Snow + Sleet = Finishing Day

Mother Nature has not been kind to us folks up north this Spring.  When we should be experiencing sunny days with moderate temperatures, instead we experienced a weekend of freezing rain and snow.  As the saying goes, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!"  So yesterday, while it snowed and sleeted and the wind blew outside, I stayed inside and got some finishing done.  Made a couple of pretty darn good soups for supper and lunches this week too!

You will have to go way back in the archives to figure out when I stitched this one; 2009 I promptly went into the finishing pile and hasn't seen the light of day since.  I decided it was time to resurrect it and find a proper frame, and so I did.  Now she sits on the table next to my stitching chair.

Dutch Strawberries
Goode Huswife

Then I also put together three smalls; two of them are mine and one belongs to my friend Judy.

Here's the first in LHN's Little Sheep Virtues series:

LHN Hope
36 ct R&R Walnut
DMC fibers

And here's Chessie and Me's Liberty:

Chessie and Me Liberty
Linen and Fibers as kitted

And finally, this piece was stitched by my friend Judy.  It's one of the "tag trios" that Jeanette Douglas released at Nashville.  Judy wanted hers finished as a little pincushion

Jeanette Douglas Pins and Needles
Linen and Fibers as kitted

Is anyone else wondering who the next mystery designer is for Norden Crafts?  I think it will be Little House Needleworks...we'll see!

Until next time...

Monday, April 08, 2013

Stitchville Retreat - Part Two

One of the best parts of a retreat like this is getting to see all of the designer's projects on display.  The stitchers were invited to bring along any of the Chessie and Me pieces they had stitched; the shop had it's shop models on display, and Linda brought her trunk show along; particularly her newer pieces that had just been released at Nashville.  Nothing compares to seeing these designs in person!  I tried to take a lot of pictures so that you could experience the "show" too...

This is one of my favorite pieces of all; sorry, the photo is a bit blurry!

The patterns and supplies for these next two designs came home with me!  Love the sheep!

I've had this next one in my stash since it came out. Why don't I have it stitched yet?

Another one that has been in my stash for quite awhile....

Love the finishing on this design - wow!

These two pieces were my contributions to the show!

Of course, while I am running around taking pictures and visiting with others at the retreat, my tablemates are busy stitching!  Some things never change....

And, just in case I haven't shared enough eye candy with you, take a look at these finished pieces.

These are from Primitive Traditions - the Abigail Colby Workbasket and accompanying smalls.  We all like to bring our finished pieces to show and share with our friends!  These were done by a lovely stitcher who had come to the Stitchville retreat for the very first time.

Another prolific stitcher was in attendance and I regret not taking any pictures of her finishes, but you can hop on over to her blog anytime to see them.  The infamous Amy from Thread in Hand was there; it was good to see you again Amy!

(Amy - left, me - right)

Three of my tablemates (the other two were missing in action, a late night of stitching perhaps?)  Don't we all look happy after a weekend of stitching bliss?

My annual "photo with the designer" for my collection!

And last but not least, our hostesses, Deb C and Deb S, with Linda from Chessie and Me. These are the ladies that made this wonderful weekend possible!

Another Stitchville retreat is over.  What a fun weekend it was.  Let the countdown begin for next year's retreat!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Stitchville Retreat - Part One

Just returned from a delightful weekend of stitching.  The end of the weekend is always bittersweet.  We go home happy with wonderful goodies and beautiful projects (both finished and yet-to-be finished) and also sad, because our weekend of fun is over.  Now the countdown begins for next year's retreat.

This was the fourth Stitchville retreat...each year we have the opportunity to meet one of the needlework industry's top designers.  This year's guest of honor was Linda from Chessie and Me.

Over the years, I have enjoyed stitching a number of Linda's designs; I've collected even more of them (I'm sure you can relate.)  Linda designed some wonderful pieces for our weekend retreat.

Do you remember the project that was released by Chessie and Me last fall?  It was a "Fall-ish" design that was mounted on a paper mache box...well, we were treated to the "Spring" version of this design.  We received the design and stitching supplies a few weeks ago so that we could focus on finishing our boxes.  Here's a picture of the finished box - outside top:

And a picture of the inside cover:

But our boxes didn't look like this to begin with; they were sort of a "pepto bismal" pink.  I should have taken a picture of that stage -- sorry, I forgot.  We waxed the areas of the box that we wanted to look worn and then painted our boxes black.  Here's the black box "cemetery"...

After the boxes were dry, we roughed them up a bit with some sandpaper and then sprayed them with some polyurethane and they were ready to be finished!  After securing our stitched pieces to some wool, we glued them to our boxes.  Mine turned out pretty good, don't you think?

See that cute little strawberry?  It was a gift from Linda!  I love my box, it turned out great.

Deb from Stitchville and the other Deb (aka "the Debs") did a wonderful job with the retreat as they always do.  They look after every detail.  There's always a little welcome gift in our rooms... (It looks like one of my caramels is missing.  How did that happen?)

The tables in our stitching room are always beautifully decorated...

All of those wonderful goodies came home with us!  And in addition there was a project bag filled with some additional goodies...

Details, details...those two are so good at taking care of all the details!

Our second project of the weekend was this wonderful sampler...

Love the colors and the verse at the bottom...

"In the Springtime of your Youth
Be sure the seed you sow
That in the Harvest of old age
The good there of you will know."

Of course there was more to the weekend - lots of time for visiting with old and new friends, many Chessie and Me models and stitcher finishes to "ooh and aah" over and some of the attendees brought some of their recently finished projects along.  Tune back in tomorrow for more of the fun!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Wishing You a Nice Weekend...

Hopefully I will be back next week with some stitchy pictures.  I have been working on stitching the pieces for Ellen Chester's "A Lady's Worke Box".  I just have the front of the needlebook and the front box panel left to stitch and then it will be ready to assemble.

This weekend is Stitchville's annual Spring Fling retreat.  Always good to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones.  The designer at the retreat this year is Linda from Chessie and Me -- I'm looking forward to meeting her!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 01, 2013

If You...

...could only stitch one more sampler in your lifetime, which one would you stitch?  It's so difficult to choose, but I think this is the one I would stitch:

And They Sinned
Examplar Dames

How about you?