Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why *blank* Matters

Another stitcher pointed me in the direction of this series which is now available for purchase:

Why Quilts Matter:  History, Art, & Politics

You can see a trailer here in case you never saw this on PBS.

I've had my so-called quilt phase. I learned to hand quilt in Germany from another Army Wife. And I was taught to do it all by hand. No sewing machines involved. I made several pillows this way as gifts and I'm sure none of them survive the decades. I did some very basic machine quilting with a friend a few years later. I don't have any of that either. And no photos were taken because I just wasn't thinking like that then. 

I still love to look at quilts. Because they are fabric and thread. I still have a few issues of Mark Lipinski's quilting magazine hanging around. (Why? Mostly for the color and because I knew him way back when on the AOL Cross Stitch boards. ToughGuyNJ.)

I've got one crazy quilt made by my great-grandmother that is in average shape. A few of the fabrics are disintegrating. Probably made in the 1930s. 

And I admit that I still go into quilt shops. For the fabric. But not to quilt it. LOL

I agree that quilts matter.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Musings from a Four Bedroom Townhouse

I've been bad at blogging lately. Seriously misplaced my mojo here in the month of August. I'm here today to begin to rectify this situation.

First of all - there is absolutely nothing new here to report. Not a thing. 

I did accompany a friend to two of our local needlepoint shops yesterday. And I was for the most part, good. No new canvases followed me home. No books, no charts. One magazine snuck in my bag - the new issue of Piecework where literature and needlework collide. 

Piecework Magazine: July/August 2012 

I couldn't not buy it. Because I had to have the article on needlework and Jane Eyre. See, I'm currently on a Jane Eyre binge. I started reading a book called The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde which is the first book in his Thursday Next series of books. Which led me to bring up my copy of Jane Eyre on my Nook which had a decent foreword. And of course there is this piece in my stash from Sampler Girl:

A Jane Eyre Motif Sampling 

I should obviously get cracking. Um, kitting? stitching?

But first a few progress photos:

 My progress on my Casket Etui. I've put this project on a one thread a day status. It's one way to make me stitch on it. Most days that can turn into more than one thread.
 Here's the part that I like, but dislike stitching. It's the pattern darning. Looks great, but I just don't have no fun stitching this. So it's one thread of this and one thread of a part I like!
 And I have finally picked my Kimono back up! My progress thus far - sections 1-42 stitched. I'm thinking that this might have to become a one section a day project...

Funny how when I picked this up on Monday I immediately saw two small areas with missing stitches. Sometimes putting things down for a while helps. Good thing I've been keeping track of what I've used in each section! 

And back to that shopping expedition. I went to pick up some threads. Because I've got a project to teach next year for my guild. I brought home a nice collection of possibilities. A bit of cotton, a bit of silk, a few beads, some metallics. Now I need to go purchase some color ink for the printer and I'll be in business.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Repeat after Me

Raise your right hand and swear, you won't buy any more stash until landing in New Mexico for Seminar in October. 

Is it possible? Can I do that?

I think I can with a slight modification.

I swear not to purchase any new patterns (except the one waiting for me at my LNS that I had them set aside for me a while back) or canvases between now and Seminar. 

If I possibly need a thread or two or six, I'm allowed. But no new threads just for inspiration. Or just because they are there. Only threads for things already to go or already in progress.

No new fabric. (Except that one yard of something that I told someone to get for me.) 

This means I decided that I am not going to try to visit ANG Seminar in Philly next week. Nor will I be going to Fireside Stitchery, as much as I want to. 

No more looking at Canvases Be Gone. Or evilbay. 

It's only two more months till I'm heading to Santa Fe. I can do this.

And speaking of Santa Fe. I'm all set. Got plane tix, a car reservation. And final payment for my kits is headed out in the mail. Seminar fever is in the air as several of my friends are headed to Philly for ANG Seminar. I'm sure the first-timers will have a fabulous experience. It's so entrancing to be surrounded by that much stitching power.

In other news:

Here's my second Olympic stitching project.

I tried and tried and tried to find something to do in that red part that wasn't basketweave. No go. Went back to look at the pillow on Barbara Bergsten's website and it was basketweave. I bowed down to the inevitable. 

Small progress on my Casket Etui. I had fun doing the four-sided stitch while babysitting beef short ribs on the grill on Saturday. Was nice to sit outside and stitch. Was not nice that I needed to use bug spray to stop the mosquitoes from biting. 

Now what is this Minuteman statue from Lexington doing here?

 He's an emblem of the service many have given to our country.

And this is my son raising his right hand and swearing into the US Army on Tuesday. That's him in the beard.
We're very proud of him. 

Fortunately for us, he doesn't leave until January. Gives me time to get used to this idea. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Beginnings

Sometimes it seems that I'm just floating along on the lazy river enjoying the view and sometimes that lazy river turns into rapids and you get upended into a cold pool of water. 

Today is a new beginning for someone I love. And I'm contemplating the change this brings to me. I cannot help but view this a good opportunity. Seems I am more of an optimist than a pessimist. 

Yeah, I am talking in code. And there's a good reason for that. 

But meanwhile I will continue to search for the zen calmness I get from stitching. 

I've got some progress photos to post, but no time to post them! 

I know. Promises. Promises. All will be explained shortly.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Recent Acquisitions

Back in July we had a few vendors at our EGA meeting. One of them was the French Needle. I do like getting things from her and in particular this time I decided to pick up two French needlework magazines. These are from 2009.
For some reason I was just completely captivated by these sardines. And I am obviously going to have to stitch a plate of them.
Also while in Massachusetts, we visited Lexington. I think we took our children here when they were small, but I don't have any photos as proof. What I really remember about Lexington and Concord is being there in 1975 for the 200th anniversary of the Battle. We marched in a parade and did a battle reanactment. President Ford was there and his presence delayed things by quite a bit. I remember this one specifically because I carried a musket and some stupid Boy Scouts tried to give me a hard time about a girl carrying a gun.
In the gift shop at the tavern I found a small repro sampler with a black and white photo and a hand-drawn chart. And also a colonial pocket kit done in surface embroidery. I might change the cotton threads to wool. 

This is designed by Deborah Campbell who does 18th century reproduction clothing and accessories which you can see here at Nouveau Chic

A Few Vacation Photos, or More Accurately What I Bought in New Hampshire

My sister, my sister-in-law, and I needed some girl time together. We miss our lazy afternoons at the lake talking and floating in the water. 

I figured we'd get some good talking time if we went for a long ride. 

And one long ride that I've been meaning to make in New Hampshire is the drive from the seacoast to ABC Stitch Therapy in Grantham. 

That's right. I got to visit one of my go-to online stores. 

They have recently relocated to a brand new building and though it took a bit of driving on my part, we found it. Did I mention we actually had to pull over on the interstate because of a downpour? I seriously could not see. 

My sister once upon a time dabbled in the sewing world, but she doesn't stitch any more. My sister-in-law still dabbles, but she's moved on into the knitting world. But they were willing to indulge me and walked around pointing out stuff like pros.

Even on a cloudy, rainy day, this space has plenty of light. Especially the upstairs section which is where the hand-painted canvases are. Once my sis got a look at some of those prices, she got scared. I tried to convince her she could have a career painting them. We'll see. She's the one in the family with the innate drawing talent.

Here's what I bought: 

A 2012 Homespun Elegance patriotic sheep. The new Yvette Stanton Portuguese Whitework book, and a witch's hat thread holder.
I also picked up one of the Riolis kits from Russia. The instructions are in 6 languages and thankfully one of them is English.
The nice ladies at ABC asked us if we'd noticed the thrift shop just up the road - 65 Roses. So we went to check it out and first tumbled into the Farmer's Table for a delicious lunch. I had a locally grown grass fed Angus burger which was perfection. 

I won't detail how some people got karmically and comically paid back courtesy of the rain. But next time I take off for the car, the two I was traveling with will be hot on my heels because they got completely drenched, soaked to the skin, complete with squishing shoes and wet hair that lasted for hours. 

Well. We still had plenty of daylight hours and I took off for Center Harbor to visit Patternworks and Keepsake Quilting. The white 100% cotton yarn is for experimenting with dyeing and using it for needlepoint.
The owl grab n go kit made me happy. I used to buy her stuff in the shop in Barrington, NH that is now closed. Wool applique = easy and fun. 

 We saw some ocean on an incredibly clear day.
 The newly rebuilt pavillion at Hampton Beach.  (This one's for Anna.)
 We saw some old houses.
 And some beautiful roses.
 And a view of Great Bay which is what I grew up with - water and sky. I love my home.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Still Playing in Paradise

I have been be-bopping around various parts of New England. Been to parts of Maine, Massachusetts and even New Hampshire that I don't usually get to or have never been to. Always fun to find new places to visit. 

One day, DH and I had a goal of where we needed to be at 6 p.m. and initially I thought I was going to get to visit the Lowell Textile Museum. We'll save that for another time. Instead we detoured to Lexington, MA again,  home of the first battle of the American Revolution and the famous "shot heard 'round the world." I've got photos and things to show you from this little adventure, but instead this morning I'll show you our second major stop of the day.

I unfortunately did not take any photos of the Wellesley Needlepoint shop. But suffice it to say it's a charming place filled with wonderful stuff and staffed by friendly and helpful people. Definitely worth a stop if you are remotely in the area. 

What I loved was an opportunity to purchase some things in person that I had viewed online. 

My wonderful husband was the one who pinged on the train stand-ups. We almost bought four of them, but instead left with two which is slightly more reasonable. First up - Santa in a Swan Boat.
Second - a fan car for us New Englanders. We left behind the State House and the Make Way for Ducklings ones. But I know where they are once I finish these two. The funny thing is that though there is a caboose for this train, there is no engine.
This is my team regardless of how the year is going. Apparently we are back to the break your heart version of the Sox...which so many of us remember well.
Here's some stitching progress. The basketweave portion of this program is nearly finished. Now I need to decide what will work in the red portion. 

I'll play catch up with my other adventures in a few days. I've been getting in snippets of stitching time. I'm lucky that my relatives have no problems with me sitting around with a piece of needlework in hand. In fact, if I wasn't stitching, I'm certain there would be questions!

edit:  I forgot to include a link to the shop - Wellesley Needlepoint.  I just did a quick look and didn't see the train canvases. But you can see the Patriots and Red Sox ones.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Greetings from Paradise


I'm on vacation in New Hampshire. 

Having a great time visiting family and friends. 

Still stitching to the Olympics. 

Will update soon.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A Public Service Announcement for Needlework Blogs

I'm going to apologize in advance. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Especially the last person who did what I'm about to highlight. Because she's certainly not the first and I doubt if she'll be the last one to do this.

Here goes:

If you see a finish or a work in progress on a needlework blog and you're curious about whose design it is, instead of asking, why not scroll down a post or two or three? 

I'll say it again:

Scroll down and look for the answer to your question.

Because I can almost guarantee you the information you seek will be there. 

Now, I know not everyone who stops here to read, reads my blog all the time. I'm not that much of an egoist. I don't expect you to be keeping track of my various projects. In fact, I've got so many, I can barely keep up myself. 

I freely admit that I am terrible about adding labels to my posts which is something that I am working on getting better at. Because labels do help with questions of this sort. 

Why I am even going out on a limb about this is because I don't want to sound like a broken record constantly repeating what the project is. I bore myself when I do this.

Some people have asked me what the project is when the answer has been in the post that they were commenting on! And questions like that just break my heart. 

I know that I'm writing here 99% for myself. But that other 1% wants to feel like someone cares and that someone pays attention. 

Goldy, much love. Thanks for giving me a chance to highlight something that bugs me. I hope I haven't hurt your feelings. And the answer is:  Jane Nichols, from the July 2003 Needlepoint Now magazine. 

Olympic Finish and Start

Olympic stitching - it's what I'm stitching while watching the Olympics. 

And yesterday I had a finish and a start. Of course, this will probably be my only finish because I'm slow like that. 

 And this finish counts twice! It's an Olympic finish and it's my first finish in my Needlepoint Now stitching plan. I like this so much that I'm giving myself a gold medal. 

Because I can.

 Here's my start - I bought this last year at Bedecked and Bedazzled as they were having a Barbara Bergsten trunk show. People who have traveled in London get it.