Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Party and New Pattern!!!

BIG day - Saturday! Always In Stitches, my LNS, had a Holiday Party. The party included a sale on all sampler designs, and as a special treat, Carole, the shop owner, decided to display a few samplers from her collection - just the tip of the iceberg! I have seen almost all of the samplers individually that she hung, but it was a bit overwhelming and exciting to see them all together! Here's what customers were greeted by as they entered the shop.

Then a few more beauties - a Quaker from 1799, a small Shaker sampler, a large example from the Philadelphia area, and several Maryland samplers.

On the ever-welcoming table were Hannah Horsfall and Ann Kitching, both done at the Ackworth School in England, that I have reproduced. Along with the originals of HH and AK were Ann's stitched pieces of both! Very fun to see together and celebrate.

And last, but certainly not least, was a small sampler by Mary Bagley dated 1808. I loved the flowered urns, crowns, birds, and other motifs and was not alone in this. Carole has allowed me to reproduce it and my rendering is just below the original. I finished stitching it the night before (of course) and threw it in a frame that I "altered" so it could be at the shop for the party. It will be my new pattern and I expect to complete it for release in January - available at Always In Stitches (of course)!
Here's a close-up. It's stitched on 40 ct. Vintage Navy Bean by Lakeside Linens using DMC, but a conversion to NPI silks will be included in the pattern.

Okay, I better get to wrapping some Christmas presents and get stuff out in the mail. Last night I threw together my 11th block of the Block of the Month that I'm participating in. Only one more block to go! Yeah! But it's a doozey - 53 pieces in it - ugh! Do I HAVE to???

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Baby Bee Skep

My DF Henrietta stitched me this piece a month or so ago. It's all over ONE (probably on 28 ct.)! It came to me in the mail with a BEE-themed card that she made - also a treasure! I framed the piece yesterday. I have long admired the little stitched bee skep that Henri has framed and on the wall in her kitchen. She was kind enough to make sure that I have my very own. I'll have to find a permanent home for it on one of my walls - one where I see it EVERY day!
Thanks again, HONEY!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Take a moment. . .

and give thanks for all the wonderful blessings you've received this year. My little GOBBLER is certainly one of the best!
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mermaid Girl

Here's a finish of mine from the end of October. It was a present for my sister for her recent birthday. She loves mermaids. Yes, Yes, I know, I should be doing one of those GORGEOUS Mirabilia mermaids for her, and actually, I do have the graphs for at least TWO of those babes. Maybe if I start in 2010 I might get one done for her next BIG birthday, which would be in 2018!!! Ya think??? Hmmmmm. . . . .

Anyway, I was so excited to get this in the mail - EARLY - that I forgot to take a picture of it. Nothing like getting something all gift wrapped and then boxed to go to the Post Office and THEN remembering you need a picture of it! UGH! So she sent me the picture after she opened it for HER day. She loved it - of course!

It is BY THE OCEAN WITH JANE AUSTEN by The Sampler Girl. A pretty quick and easy stitch. I did a few color changes - like putting some of the red/dark coral in the motif on the right, so that it would match the frame. The frame is an old Hog River frame that was made for a Christmas design, but it just happened to be a good size fit for the piece and I thought the painted gold circles looked a bit like air bubbles bubbling up from under the sea - so it worked for me. Plus, the frame color is pretty close to what I remember as the color of my sister's bedroom walls. As it turns out, the frame color is so close to her bedroom wall color she's hung the piece on her closet door which is white and provides the necessary contrast.

Am off to a rug hooking retreat at the Olde Green Cupboard. I'll be collecting the $25 gift certificate that I won at the end of August. Gee, I wonder how many days I'll have that before it's spent??? Not many to NONE! Ha-Ha!

Monday, November 16, 2009

What A Day!

Dark picture - It's made of print blocks and says QUILTS.

Last Friday morning I headed on down to West Palm Beach to the World Quilt Show Florida at the Palm Beach Convention Center. It's a new event location for Mancuso Show Management - the BIG quilt show people. Hopefully, it was well attended so they will consider it again for next year. Classes were also offered by local and nationally-known teachers. I stopped on the way south to pick up THE TRIO (AD, DM and SM), who I was honored to be joining for the day! Once we got into the convention center, we bee-lined it for the Olde Green Cupboard's booth to visit with Gloria and Jill. Gloria was busy cutting out pieces for an English Paper Piecing project, Jill had her hoop and was needle punching away, and Sue was demonstrating Locker Hooking. We all just started to drool at the quilts/quilt kits/folk art - most of which is not offered at their store. The booth was my favorite - as I expected - since lots of other shops focused on the tropical look, I guess, since it is SOUTH Florida, duh! Not really MY thing. We shopped, perused the quilts from all over the world, grabbed sandwiches for lunch, and then re-visited our favorite booths. I ran into several people that I haven't seen in 10+ years. Here's two shots of the OGC's booth.

My favorite quilt: Pennsylvania Palette (made by a quilter from Maine) - it was made with repro fabric of a typical 1890's PA quilt, with the tiny yellow, bubble-gum pink, and blue prints, as well as a great red paisley fabric for the borders (a repro from earlier in the 1800's). It won an award for Best Use of Color. I was drawn to it because I own a few PA quilts using those original fabrics - one of the first antique PA quilts that I bought was a bar quilt with bubble-gum pink and yellow bars. Think I have a Lone Star quilt from PA using the pink, yellow, and blue, too!

It was a fun day (helping out the economy a bit) and as always, lots of laughs with these three women. After leaving the convention center, there was a question as to whether someone left their cell phone at a booth or somewhere else in the center. As I was trying to concentrate on getting onto I-95 going north, AD (in the front passenger seat) was calling SM's cell phone. SM was in the back seat of the car. We all heard her phone ringing, so that was good, but SM could not find it in her purse!!! It took DM to fish it out of the purse. As if I hadn't understood before, it was clear to me then why these three are ALWAYS together!!! Ha-Ha! Even though I was somewhat doubled over the car's steering wheel laughing, we made it up I-95 and back to AD's house safely.

I was thrilled to be able to get to tour Ann's house, which I've heard so much about. She loves primitives and her house is chock full of early items - yellow-ware bowls, tin and pewter pieces, redware plates, wonderful old pine and oak furniture, and quilts, in addition to her samplers and other stitched pieces.
In Ann's sewing room I spied her first block of the Settler's Pride quilt done in hand-dyed wool. It's beyond YUMMY!!! The whole quilt can be seen on Homestead Hearth's website or Country Thread's website.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Three Pumpkins

Here is a picture of the three Bittersweet Pumpkins that I mentioned in my previous post. One is going to have a white background with a hint of green in it, one will have a black background, and the other has a dark greeny-brown/black background. All are being hooked in different cuts - #4, #6, and #8 (my favorite cut!). It's a great pattern. Maybe I'll have to put it on my list for next year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Hooking!!!

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Halloween Hooking Weekend - a private workshop at the exclusive Azalea House Inn on the banks of the beautiful St. Johns River in Palatka, FL. We arrived on Friday morning to be greeted by a fully decorated Inn. Jill loves Halloween and has two trees full of ornies and lots of fun friends on mantles. The stair risers that rug guild members hooked several years ago for the Inn were up and are always fun to see!

My project for the weekend was Give Ye Thanks, a Lori Brechlin design of Notforgotten Farm available thru Spruce Ridge Studios. Three friends were working on the same design - Lori's Bittersweet Pumpkin, Jill was hooking on Pumpkin Thyme, which she started earlier in the year, and Melody was busy on Peace and Plenty. Can you tell that we LOVE Lori's designs adapted by Spruce Ridge for rug hooking???
Our teacher this year was Dianne Kelly, who was so instructive and as always - FUN! We had many laughs. The night before I left, I just got the urge to dye up a few pieces of wool, and luckily my husband was busy at work. So I had the kitchen to myself for 4 hours. WEEEEE!!! Wet wool everywhere! Dianne liked several of the pieces that resulted, so I used 2 of them for my log cabin. The pictures look a bit dark, but the cabin is a mottled pumpkin-y color, with lighter highlights hooked in.

Black lettering and brown trees. One little acorn, so far.

The background is going to be an off-white plaid with the hills being a puce-y green plaid. I'll be sure to post some progress pictures.

Decorated trees! One with a painted box as a base, and one with Jill's UNREAL hooked tree skirt (partially covered by a student's piece).

For my quilting and cross-stitching friends, here's Jill's Quaker wall, with Sarah Tatum and Sarah Moon, and a fabulous Halloweenie Quilt draped over the couch.

And the very recognizable And They Sinned, taking up a whole wall, that Jill stitched in THREE months! (Better get on it, Ann. Next summer vacation, maybe?)

It was a wonderful weekend away. Great place to hook, good friends, good food and another great time with lots of memories.
Please, check out Melody's blog entry on the weekend. She always does fabulous event reports and her entry on this past weekend is another great one! Plus, she's got a picture of the hooked stair risers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Happy Halloween to all! I hope that you get lots of treats and NO tricks!

Thanks to Princess EW for bringing in a NEW TREAT to the shop the other day. These PEEPS were good - chocolate mousse through and through. These were not just dipped in color with the white insides, like the orange pumpkins that she also had. Notice that the package is empty! YUM!

Also, many thanks to my sister, who always sends me a box at Halloween. This box had some fun candy - besides chocolate, there were also Gummy skeletons in different colors. Below, is one of the favorite items that she sent - a water bottle from BlueQ. BlueQ's stuff is hilarious, as is this item. I also got a Pirate Girl PINK T'shirt, Pirate Girl sticker, a pad of gorgeous scrapbook paper, along with a few Wizard of Oz papers, a card with the Wicked Witch of the West on it, and picture of my nieces. TREATS! TREATS! TREATS!

Wild Ride - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Got my October block done this month with 2 HOURS to spare! I opted for going to the Monday class to "flash" it, which actually gave me an EXTRA 2 days to get the block together. True heaven for a procrastinator, OR as I like to say, "Someone who works best under pressure!"

So I cut out all the pieces on Sunday afternoon, sewed most of the components of the inner block together on Sunday night before hitting the hay. Then Monday, I got the ironing board and iron prepped, sat down at 9:15 a.m. to tackle the rest of the block. As I proceeded, quite a lot that could go WRONG did go WRONG in putting on those corner pieces. My machine started to act up, with the top thread breaking and the bobbin thread in a mangled mess. So some cleaning of the machine was in order, and after pulling out gobs of lint from under the needle plate and bobbin area and applying some oil, I proceeded. Somehow the needle position knob was altered - unbeknownst to me - BOOM! The needle broke sending a piece of it flying into my hair. I was wearing magnifiers at the time, so I was thankful that my eyes were a bit protected.

NOTE TO SELF: Next month get Nuclear-Grade safety glasses from trunk of car to wear while sewing block!!! (Just kidding about the "Nuclear-Grade" - no such thing - just safety glasses that I got while working in the Nuclear industry.)

Back on track, the big corner pieces got on and off and back on again, because the block was turning out a bit too big. BIG is good, but not TOO BIG. Just as I hit the ironing board to give the last corner a pressing, I noticed that there was a seam in one of the corner pieces showing on the right side. Now, HOW did that happen??? Another little seam ripping session - always nerve-wracking because the seam ripper can and (if possessed at that moment - certainly nothing to do with OPERATOR ERROR) will cut right through the fabric causing an even bigger problem. But the seam ripper was my friend that day and with continued perserverence the block got done.

For a while there, I felt like I was in a Charlie Chaplin/Max Sennet movie - it was getting a little sLaPsTiCkY. So at 11 a.m. the block was in my clear project box ready to go to the Jam Patch to be "flashed" at 1 p.m. Whee-EEW! What a ride. Only three more blocks left, so here's hoping that I'll be cruising smoothly to the end, and not having to install a 5-point seat belt (like they use in NASCAR) to my sewing room chair.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sheet Set Info

In response to comments/questions: the sheet set referred to in my previous post was from a catalog page sent to me by JLM. She knew I would love to see those "animaux" knitting away! The description is all in French. The designer is Zofia Rostad and the manufacturer is Elve. has a lot of Zofia Rostad bedding, but I didn't find this set :-((( I did a Google search, but haven't seen this set yet. Perhaps someone else will have better luck.
French bedding is not the same size as here in the U.S. - Just an FYI.

UPDATE from JLM - She has been going through old magazines and catalogs and tearing out items of interest. So it's probable that the catalog and picture of the sheet set is quite old. AWWWW - really not fair! Still cute though!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I NEED a Twin Bed

So then I can get this sheet set??? It's too cute! Why would this just be made for kids??? It's not fair! Wouldn't EVERY knitter want to sleep with these industrious animals??? Well, I sure would, and I'd probably even get into bed earlier every night so I could knit a few rows myself with my buddies before heading off to a yarn-filled dreamland.

Hmmmm. . . . Then in the morning, I could knit some more with them while having my coffee.

I'm sure eventually I'd have to leave them to work on their projects during the day, but I'd be back to join them again later.

I just had to share this with some of my knitting friends. I know that secretly we ALL would want these!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Mon amie JLM!!!
I have been waiting and waiting to post these pictures of a SHEEP scarf that I made for my friend who now lives in France until she opened her gifts for her birthday. Well, today's the day, and of course she's 6 hours ahead of me, so she's been celebrating. How do I know? Because in my email this morning was a message from her with the subject line: OMG!!!!! Clearly, she opened this gift - even wrapped in paper with SHEEPS on it.

Besides that I just happen to come on some white alpaca yarn at my LYS to use for the body of the sheep (we LOVE alpaca!!!), I also "found" (meaning I shopped at home) two great sheep buttons to sew on for the eyes. When you stand away, you can't really tell that they are sheep buttons, just that it's eyes are looking sideways.

I love the way this turned out and luckily I have enough of the yarns to knit myself one. I'll have to go hunting for the buttons though or do a little more shopping at home!

JLM said that she would be posting a picture of herself wearing the scarf on her blog, So check out her posting and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Now. . . The Back Story -

One day last year when I was at my LYS, Sandy, one of the owners, was busy and asked me to help one of the customers with the scarf she was knitting. The woman wasn't sure how to pick up stitches. So I sat down and got her going on it. She was knitting a similar scarf to this SHEEP scarf, only it looked like a Panda Bear. I thought it was pretty cute at the time, but didn't know anyone who was a "Panda Bear person", so no need to start THAT project!
Then several months ago, in Joann's, I came across a small book of scarves, and pictured on the back of the book was the SHEEP scarf and also a Zebra scarf (same shape, just knit with black and white stripes and it also had a yarn mane). Needless to say, the book came home with me and so far, one gift was accomplished.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Could it bee???

the middle of October already?

Last week, I stitched up a little freebie from primitivebettys blog, and personalized the piece so I could give it to a friend's baby girl for Christmas. Then it hit me, FOR CHRISTMAS!!! Oh, no! Christmas is in December and it's now October. Well, at least this one present is done, but I better get to a few more, or at least start my LIST. No more lounging around like the two I live with!

This piece just came together - a small piece of Lakeside linen in Vintage Bittersweet (gorgeous pinky tones) that was sitting around, along with some CC Clay Pot, the freebie pattern, and a pre-made frame with cute little irredescent stars on it in just the right size! I added the crown to the pattern and changed the date in the box to the baby's name.

This freebie along with some great others can be found at:
And check out all of her patterns. Love them. Halloweenie and Primitive ones.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Framed, Finishes, and Flubs!

Here is my Blackbird Design's Flock of Birds framed in a favorite Eastside Moldings frame in black with a tan undercoat. Now I just need to find a place to hang it around here.

Two weekends ago I had a pretty productive few days. I finished my Sampler Block of the Month block for September at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, so I could attend the Saturday morning 10:00 a.m. class. I am certainly not alone in this last minute effort. When I got to the quilt shop for our sampler block class, there were several other women who said that they were up until all hours finishing their blocks for the class. Guess some of us work better under pressure! It helps to be using this Bali fabric colorway because the front and back of the Bali fabrics look the same. So at all hours of the night/morning when you can barely see to sew the block together, at least you won't end up with the wrong side of a fabric showing - one potential problem averted!

Then the next day I put the last stitch in my Live Simply. I love this piece - not sure I can LIVE up to the instruction, but hopefully I can aspire to it! It was a quick and easy stitch. The pattern was charted in Valdani thread. I changed all but two of the colors to other hand-dyed threads. It was necessary to finish this piece up because I started stitching another piece and used a length of DARK thread on the new piece, assuming it was WDW Charcoal. Well, it turned out to be the WDW Onyx that I had used on the alphabets in this piece. So, after I had to rip a few stitched words out in the new piece, I went back to this piece and finished it off, stowed the unused threads for Live Simply, and WHA-LA, hopefully no more Charcoal/Onyx confusion!
Well, new patterns are coming in from the cross-stitch market in St. Charles. I loaded up on a bunch of new Halloween patterns. Tomorrow starts the Online Show. It'll be interesting to see how much more new stuff will be out for that. According to the lastest Always In Stitches newsletter, I might be coming out with a new reproduction sampler soon. So, I guess I better get on that right away!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Isn't that guy the cutest??? How did someone in M&M's marketing think of the perfect item - A bee guy (holding a pumpkin) with stickers and a stamp and CHOCOLATE all in one! Hmmm. . . Could it BEE that this would BEE appealing to kids? Probably, but also to a chocolate addicted bee-lover who scrapbooks, like me! Thanks to a friend for gifting it to me. Hightail it over to a Cracker Barrel if you want one for yourself.

I've been meaning to show a few of my latest knitting projects, but since several are presents to others, I can't post pictures of those yet. So, here's the latest scarf that I'm working on. I love to have a mindless knitting project going and the pleated wrap on the front of the Spring/Summer issue of Debbie Bliss' magazine is a perfect one - almost all garter stitch with some interest along one side. I considered going on the hunt for the DK weight yarn the pattern calls for, but decided to shop at home and use my favorite yarn - Malabrigo - which I have quite a bit of! So after re-writing the pattern for the worsted weight plus Malabrigo yarn, I was set to go. The Malabrigo color is Indigo - a medium blue with some purple mixed in. I am loving it and so is Cayenne, who is a HUGE Malabrigo fan too! If the wrap is left out on the couch, she is on it and curled up asleep immediately. I think I'm going to have to knit her a kitty bed out of some Malabrigo - not a mindless project. That will have to go on the to-do list.

Here's the wall of mostly Malabrigo yarn at my LYS, Knit or Knot. Needless to say, it's one of my favorite places to visit every few months for a FIX. I'm pretty sure I could have at least HALF a wall like this at my house if I hung all the Malabrigo out that I have. But it's so much easier to stuff into various crevices if the skeins are kept twisted up. Not so obvious to SOMEONE exactly how much of it is around!

If you've got 4 skeins of Malabrigo worsted weight and want to do the DB Pleated Wrap, cast on 47 stitches, work the pleated edge with 7 stitches ,and knit the 40 stitches. I'm using #10 needles (ebony with mother of pearl encrusted ends - which also add to the enjoyment of the project). The piece is a bit stiff/tight, but I want it to be. So you could always go up to a #10-1/2 for a bit looser piece.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Part Two - Relaxing Night

After the rocket launch, my friend and I walked to one of the docks at the condo to enjoy the sun setting. Pelicans and various wading birds were flying low over the Banana River.

Manatees were just off to the right munching on the grasses.

A lone windsurfer was making his way across the water as the breeze at dusk picked up.

It was a great end to an exciting launch day.

Notice - no beach shots. I've been up to Cocoa three times and have yet to see the beach! Hmmmmm. . . . maybe next time?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rocket Launch

This week I got to ESCAPE to Cocoa Beach for an overnight trip with a friend. Even though we were only gone overnight, it felt like we were gone from home for a week!!! NICE!!! Taking the leisurely 2 hour drive up A1A along the beach probably helps, as well as stopping for lunch along the way. We know we are almost there when we pass. . . .

and then see The World's Famous Surf Shop Ron Jon's. It's huge - takes up an entire block.

After settling into my friend's condo, we await the Atlas 5 rocket launch. The launch window opened at 5:35 p.m. and the weather looked okay, but since the rocket payload was CLASSIFIED, the local news channel didn't do a lot of advance coverage - nothing like the coverage they do when one of the shuttles goes off. So at 5:35 p.m., I stood at the front door of the condo and looked one way and saw the TV with the rocket ready to go,

and then less than a minute later out the front door, there it was flying off!

and as I moved outside I could hear the low rumble of the rocket as it made its ascent.

Another neat launch!