Saturday, December 31, 2016

This Just Won't Do

What? I haven't posted in a month?

So very wrong of me.

Easy to say I will do better in 2017.

Easy to improve on 2016 in terms of numbers.

What's wrong? Too much time sitting. Not enough time doing.

I am still stitching. Need more sharing. Need more moving. Need more motivation.

Here's a shot of Market Square in Portsmouth, NH, one very cold December night. And here's to more communication in the new year!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Time to Think about Woodlawn

It's that time to contemplate what to enter into the Woodlawn Needlework Show.

Of course, some of us already know what to submit.

This year I'll have two pieces - one original multi stitch canvas and one adaptation multi stitch canvas.

The show is in March, so it's not too late to think about submitting in 2017.

For info,  go here

If this link doesn't work, Google Woodlawn Needlework Show for details of deadlines and the form for submission.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Imari Collage

Here's something I haven't shared here in a while. I work on this one afternoon every two months on average.

It is Debbie Stiehler's Imari Collage.

I think it's incredibly beautiful when I look at what I've already stitched. The slow progress is me working on it at chapter workshop stitch ins which happen almost once a month.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Unfinished October Finish

Last month my ANG chapter had a program called Unfinished October - bring a past chapter project to work on. Lots of memories in a program like this as we all explained what we brought, and in some cases why it became a UFO.

I picked this poinsettia project that is from the 2009 Chapter Project book. Joni Stephenson is the designer. We began by painting our congress cloth. Then traced outlines of the petals on tissue paper. Then we basted the paper to the cloth and  now we basted outlines of the petals.

That's where I stopped. With less than half of my petals basted.

In October I finished the basting, ripped off the paper and began the real fun of stitching these laid filling patterns.

I had changed the thread colors years ago and decided to keep the blue. This is a mix of Kreinik and Anchor floss and a little bit of pearl cotton.

Worked up quickly once I got it into gear. Added a few gold beads and done. Now it's off to be made into an ornament.

Nice to clear an older project off the bars.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Star Spangled Indeed

Why attend a Seminar?

For the class. For the teacher. For the project.

Why do I love to attend? For the people.

I've had many wonderful encounters over the past few days.

First, the staff at the hotel have been supremely helpful and always cheerful.

Second, the people you meet here once a year who remember you and ask if you've finished "that" class. (Frequent answer:  sorry, no.)

Third, the people who you see more often than once a year at other stitching functions with whom you share a passion.

Fourth, the people in your chapter whom you see frequently whose support, kindness, talent, and friendship is paramount to your own well-being.

And fifth, your best friend who always has a smile for you when you need it.

It's an addictive experience, these needlework seminars. We'll be talking about Seminar 2017 in Asheville, North Carolina and plotting and planning our fun till we get to the Blue Ridge Rendezvous.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Star Spangled Seminar

Here we are in Alexandria, Virginia enjoying the EGA National Seminar. Today was the first day of classes and the opening banquet. Great food, great company, good times.

No classes for me. This is a working Seminar as I volunteered to be on the Seminar Committee. I won't bore you with details. Everyone is pulling together and working hard to make sure this event is a success. It has been more pleasure than pain. Though right now I will admit I'm completely exhausted.

I'll try to get back here with some photos and fun

Friday, October 28, 2016

Governor's Palace

I finished the stitching on this two weeks ago. Today I put it together. This is a design by Betsy Morgan of Willing Hands.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I have not abandoned my linen stitching. Example:  Willing Hands ornament of the Williamsburg Governor's Palace.

Last night I planted the grass and grew a tree. This morning, with a coffee assist, the tree grew all its leaves.

Now to plant the second tree and some shrubbery. Then I'll make the sun shine.
It's good to be in control...

Sunday, October 02, 2016

October Finishes

Two new finishes.

Kathy Shenkel's Lilies of the Valley - I kind of goofed on this one. I had picked out a light blue for the background. But when I started it, I used white.

I still like it. And it's my mom's favorite flower.

Second is my little JP Needlepoint penguin. She's a cutie all dressed up like Santa.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

EGA Region Meeting

The Mid-Atlantic Region of the EGA had a meeting this weekend in Gettysburg, PA.

I don't normally attend these meetings, but we had a 2016 Seminar Committee meeting, too.

But this meant I got the chance to take three mini-classes yesterday. First up was a half tila herringbone bracelet with Marie Campbell. And I finished my beading yesterday and attached my clasps today. Quite pretty. Easy, too. If you're interested the bracelet is taught in Italian on YouTube.

Then we got to play with spider web stitch  with Judy Jeroy. She designed a fun little piece for us to play on. And then Tricia Johnson shared her silk paper technique with us. Lots of fun. Great weekend.

We'll finish up with a birth announcement for our new granddaughter who was born today in Italy. She looks beautiful. Can't wait to meet her.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Off to the Finisher

I have some projects to send off to the finisher. The first one has been completed for ages - I think I thought I'd finish it myself, but the time has come to be realistic. It's a Northern Pine Designs called Forever in Blue Jeans. It will become a small purse made with denim.
Next up is a Kathy Shenkel mini-sock for the next grandbaby. She's due any day now.
Then we have Mile High Princess' Nasal Congestion. I loved this the moment I saw it. Happy to finally have worked over the hump of compensating my background stitch. 


It's just a Byzantine variation, but it creates sort of a lacy background. The finisher will put shiny fabric behind this to highlight those openings. 

 The reindeer is done the same, but over 3 three threads, I think.
And finally - here's a photo of my Kai scissors. I love these. I have several pair. Yesterday I was cutting my mock turkey work on the giraffe and cut right into my finger. Lucky me, I didn't bleed on that white stocking. But these are seriously sharp scissors.

Monday, August 29, 2016


Last year at the opening banquet of ANG seminar in Myrtle Beach, I had a vision. They had just announced the Quest Challenge for 2016.

Deadlines. I could see it in my head. Because of working on the Needlepointers magazine, I would stitch an adaptation of the cover of the magazine. And I knew exactly which cover - Emily Caneer's Ima Stitcher name tag which I had the pleasure of photographing for the magazine.

When I got home, I immediately found that issue, picked a color palette and began stitching. Most of the threads came out my abundant stash. And I went with my favorite purple, teal, blue, and green.

I followed the original directions for the most part. Biggest change was deciding what to put in the name space. Eventually I chose Tempus Fugit  - Latin for Time flies.

Had this stitched within a month and sent to a finisher to be made into a flat ornament without a hanger. Even though I told her the back would never be seen, it has the most gorgeous fabric on the back.

Now here's where the whole deadline thing comes into play. I now started to procrastinate. In fact, I didn't consider starting my background till the end of May when I used photo transfer paper to print a grayed out version of the name tag on the canvas behind the name tag. Then I painted Needlepointers and the column of purple.

In June I finally got to work stitching. Let's just say that's a lot of skip tent in Petite Silk Lame Braid that was difficult to see.

As you may surmise, I made my deadline for framing. And my piece traveled to New Orleans with a friend.

I hear it's returning home with a blue ribbon!

Friday, August 19, 2016

New Orleans

I wish I was going to ANG Seminar in New Orleans. But I'm not. Some of my friends are and they'll have a spectacular time.

I am sending a few things to New Orleans though. One piece for exhibit which I'll show you when the exhibit opens. One ornament size challenge piece not for showing yet.

And also this ornament which is called Holiday Surprise. This was designed by a friend of mine for the Potomac ANG chapter for our holiday surprise meeting in December. And I started it in the red and green colorway. Then I took it Florida in January and it was out with the Christmas colors and in with Mardi Gras colors. Which meant it needed a fleur de lis.

Finally this month I got to beading my finish. It has purple ultrasuede on the back.

And it's headed to New Orleans with a dozen or so other versions along with the chart. Because our Guild sells the pattern as a fund raiser.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Interlocking Gobelin

Current canvas is a mini-stocking from Kathy Shenkel. This will be for our new granddaughter who is due to arrive in September. She'll be born in Italy which I both love and hate. I now know how my in-laws felt when both of our children were born in Germany. 

I've missed the cut-off for guaranteed Christmas ornament finishing, which is okay. I'm going to practice my own finishing on this one. Getting brave or stupid. Not sure which. I'm sure some swearing will be involved as always happens when I use a sewing machine. 

It's a small thing, so not going to get too fancy here. Just using a mosaic to create the wallpaper. And interlocking gobelin to stitch the giraffe. 
 Looking at this canvas both at the shop and at home, I thought the spots on the giraffe were white. Then I pulled this out in the car and realized I was wrong. They are painted an off-white. So I chose a Vineyard silk in a complimentary color and stitched them in basketweave. AND then last night started on the giraffe's body with some Thread Gatherer's Sheep Silk, a 50/50 wool/silk blend. Basketweave was okay. But interlocking gobelin is better. 

Now I think I need to pull out that Vineyard silk. Impressions or Burmilana will do to stitch the spots in interlocking gobelin, too. It will look better. I might even brush it.  Eventually I'll come back to turkey work on the mane and tail. 

Here's a diagram of interlocking gobelin, a great stitch for creating fur. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Following Orders

I don't always follow orders, but sometimes I do. Thus the photo.

Earlier in June I had my first opportunity to visit TNNA's market in Washington DC.
This is an open-only to the trade market, public not allowed. It's for retailers and wholesalers.

I attended wearing two hats - one as a shop employee and one as a product reviewer for Needlepointers magazine, the American Needlepoint Guild's magazine for members. I have a partner in the reviewing enterprise and she recently started working where I work so we road the Metro in together.

Not a huge show for needlepoint, I still walked my feet off. My favorite part was putting faces to names that I call at work. Plus seeing new canvases for the first time.

I apologize that I had absolutely no time to take photos other than my selfie.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Small Finish

Just got back from retreat and though I can't show my progress (top secret, etc.)
I did have a small finish I can share.

Mill Hill flamingo. I think I started this in 2011. Good to add it to the done pile.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Really Really

More than a month since I posted?

I think this means I posted something on the wrong blog.

No worries. All good.

I've been adventuring in bead embroidery. This is a design a friend did for our EGA chapter. Love it. Hers is a palomino, but I'm partial to bays.

May have become obsessed with this finish. Took 3 episodes of Rome and I think it's 9 o'clock and I missed supper.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Woo-hoo! Yesterday my belated birthday present arrived at the shop.

Thanks to my terrific boss and co-worker.

He'll partner with my Mr. Bones. It's by Labors of Love. There's a witch and a pumpkin man, too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cube It

I thought I'd share with you my new favorite thing to bring to stitching retreats.

First photo shows it folded up. This one shows the inside.

And here we have the assembled product:  a Poppin Cube from the Container Store. My friend and I each brought on to our retreat in January. A place to put your things. Store your varied projects inside. Strong enough for others to sit on while visiting with you. You can put your feet on it. I used mine as a table beside me. 

Never leaving for retreats without this. 

Don't think I'll bring it to classes though as it takes a certain amount of room. 

Comes in eight different colors. You can see them here:  Poppin Cube  

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Words Worth

My two favorites:  words and textiles. Worth reading.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

National Stitch in Public Day

The first Saturday in February is National Stitch in Public Day. That's because February is National Embroidery Month.

I'm doing my part today while traveling.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Blizzard's Away

And the snow began to fall. Quietly. Steadily.

Got several inches already. As of now, it's a dry, fluffy snow. Please stay that way.

Started off my blizzard stitching with Radishes, a class piece from ANG seminar.

Oh, and if you're curious at all about what an impending, major snowstorm does to stitchers, you should work in a needlepoint shop the day before the storm. Wow. We were busy! Came home exhausted. If anyone runs out of thread before Tuesday, it's not my fault!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Wise Words

Finally. Some good advice to those who write about what we do.


Saturday, January 02, 2016

Color Play

I was bopping along yesterday stitching on my last hexagon. Then I heard the nagging call from the kitchen to wash the dishes as our dishwasher is officially broken and in need of replacement.

Of course I cut my index finger on the paring knife.

Not badly, but enough so that I couldn't continue.

I'm still intrigued looking at this piece and am hoping I can move on to framing soon.