Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Garland Fair

I thought I would be able to share this last night, but I was eight letters short of a finish.

May I present to you, Garland Fair from Blackbird Designs. This was one of their Loose Feather designs from 2005. I started it about a week ago and finished it tonight. I’m not sure what possessed me to stitch this on 40 ct (R&R Patriot’s Brew) linen, because that verse is stitched over one. I must be cuckoo!

“Would that this Garland fair

Might weave around thy life,

A spell to shield from care,

A guard from every strife.”


It’s stitched entirely with GAST Maple Syrup. I love it and will likely frame it.

I’m closing in on another finish which I hope to share soon.

Geraldine - that chevron case you noticed in an earlier post was from JoAnn’s. My light fits in it perfectly! I believe it was intended to be used for storing knitting needles.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Amana Part IV - Shopping

We had a lot of time to enjoy the many shops in Amana; everything was within walking distance of our retreat center! The weather was beautiful and there were so many shopping options. I really enjoyed visiting the Antique shops to search for treasures.

These pictures might be a little dark; I waited until this evening to take them. Many of our lamps have been temporarily stashed away. Not to point the finger or anything, but a certain little lady in our house likes to chew on cords when she has the opportunity to do so. I’ve already had to replace the cord to my stitching light! The guilty Miss Lizzie:


But I digress...back to shopping.

One of my favorite purchases (I have several favorites) was this shaker box from the Amana Furniture Store. This will be a great reminder of this trip.

At one of the Antique shops (which also sold soap) I found this old sewing machine drawer. It’s still in its frame and I think I could mount a pice of needlework to the top. The wood is walnut. The jar next to is filled with all kinds of treasures - old buttons, small sea shells, and some wooden spools of thread. Also, a tomato pincushion.

Look at all of these treasures! A child sized rolling pin (think band sampler), a darning egg, more old buttons, a tatting shuttle, an acorn needle holder, and another tomato pincushion. And the doily underneath was also purchased at one of the shops.

The piece de la resistance might be this wooden tray. I found one at a shop but it was over-priced. Then I found this one at a different shop for a third of the price of the first one. I think that Brenda Gervais’ Lessons in Abecedarian will look great in this tray. Now I just need to stitch them. :(

Almost forgot this “save the stitches.” A perfectly stitched and finished Prairie Schooler Santa!

We also made a road trip to the nearby town of Williamsburg where we visited The Woolen Needle. They have some quilting fabric, but mostly they have wool. Lots of kits, all the accoutrements for wool applique. It was such a cute little shop. I wish I had remembered to take a picture! Here’s a picture of my purchases.

On Saturday morning I stopped at the bakery in Middle Amana on my way to the retreat center. I wish I had taken a picture there too. The bakery is in a residential area; it’s an extension off of someone’s house. The little old lady was behind the counter. She had a loaf of white bread and three coffee cakes and an apricot kuchen left. I bought the apricot kuchen - let me tell you, it was delicious! The whole set up reminded me of Austria. I’m glad I made the stop.

This post pretty much wraps up my trip to Amana. I really enjoyed the weekend and will definitely go back again once we are past Covid. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my posts.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Amana Part III - The Exchanges

The theme of the retreat was Christmas and so we did an ornament exchange! All of the exchanges were beautifully stitched and finished. 17 of us (roughly half) participated in the exchange.

These pictures aren’t the best. I took them upside down, so the angle isn’t quite right, but it will give you an idea of the pieces that were exchanged.






This was my exchange. It’s a Mary Garry design from the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Magazine; I’m quite certain that it was the 2001 edition. That’s a gold needle on the front and I finished it with a pocket on the back for a small gold scissors. I like smaller ornaments. Stitched on 40 count, this ornament was roughly two inches by three inches. I included some other goodies (not pictured).


I love what I received in exchange. It’s a Pineberry Lane design and it is beautifully stitched and finished. It will look great in my dough bowl display. I also received a dish towel and some hand lotion as part of the gift. I couldn’t be more pleased!

In my next post, I’ll share some of my purchases!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, November 09, 2020

Amana Part II

We had a very spacious stitching room; there were originally supposed to be 75 of us at this retreat and with Covid, only about 30 of us decided to still attend.

This was my stitching spot. Antibacterial hand wipes on the left and my face mask on the right!


Lots of show and tell. I’m sure you will recognize many of these pieces.







My contributions were pieces that I had stitched over the years all designed by Theresa Venette, our guest designer at this retreat. The Jenny Bean Sampler and pincushion on the left are two of my favorites. The framed mermaid piece on the right is from a class I took with Theresa at the Dyeing to Stitch retreat in 2011.

Come back tomorrow for photos of the ornament exchange!!

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Amana, Iowa

I took a little excursion. It was nice to escape the day-to-day worries - work, Covid, the election - and pretend that things were a little bit normal. Why Amana?  The Midwest Cross Stitcher’s Retreat was held here this weekend.

I drove down on Thursday. It’s about a five hour drive. My partner in crime is in Florida so I traveled unsupervised which is never a good thing. My BFF, Judy, will be happy to know that I snatched one of the free Iowa transportation maps at a rest stop. It didn’t matter, I was so busy singing along with Neil Diamond that I missed my turn. To get myself back on track, I had to travel down five or six miles of dirt road in the middle of Iowa. There was just farmland all around me! Where there is a will, there’s a way (and it helps to have GPS too!) Never fear, I successfully made my way to Amana.

Got checked in at the retreat, checked in at my B&B and enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Ronnenburg Restaurant in Amana!


Friday was a shopping/stitching day. Our schedule was open to spend time in the stitching room or to explore the shops of Amana. I did some of both!

Our teacher this weekend was Theresa Venette and she designed a lovely project for us. I’ll include details in my next post!

Need to get to breakfast; heading home this morning.


Monday, October 05, 2020

Blogging Break

Going to take a little break from blogging. My posts are normally stitching related, but there’s not enough time for stitching these days. Will be back when I have something to post!



Sunday, September 20, 2020

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Stitching For...

Stitching is going to be somewhat on hold for a little bit. We have a new family member! Her name is Lizzie and she is a Yellow Labrador Retriever, just seven weeks old. 

Our first day went well. She loves exploring the backyard and especially likes to chase leaves.


She and Maggie are becoming fast friends.

Her first night went better than expected.

Today she is all pooped out (or maybe she is bored with the football game!)

It’s fun having a little one around again!