Saturday, June 30, 2012


I'll just let the picture speak for itself!

Prim Sisters School of Needlework
Pineberry Lane
Club Kit from The Country Sampler

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Trip to the Museum

Last night, our needlework guild visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and we were given a tour of some of the needlework items on display throughout the museum.

We saw a beautiful quilt that was made in China to honor a couple; the husband and wife were both celebrating their 80th birthday.  There was a lot of detailed embroidery; a lot of goldwork on this piece.  It was quite large.

We also saw some Japanese embroidery.  The museum has a large collection of Native American pieces - woven blankets, beaded clothing, etc. This is a little bag or suitcase that was completely covered in beadwork.

The beads used on this dress are elk teeth.  I wonder how many teeth one elk has?

Of course there were beaded moccasins...

One of my favorite pieces that we saw last night was this piece of modern art.  Can you tell what his clothing is made of?

This artist uses cast off goods and clothing from thrift stores and flea markets to create his art.  If you guessed "potholders" you are correct!  I think my mother still has some potholders like this; I know my aunts use to have potholders like these!

Do you like the one that is strategically placed to cover his butt? :)

Of particular interest to those who enjoy fine needlework, there was this embroidered casket on display.

The museum docent that provided us with our tour shared that she is participating in the "Cabinet of Curiosities" project that is being offered by Tricia Wilson Nguyen.

One more interesting piece -- it extended from the third floor down to the first floor and consisted of long strands of yarn.

Looking through it on the second floor..

View from the first floor...

Underneath it!

14,000 strings of yarn which if they were placed end to end would stretch for 82 miles!

Hope you've enjoyed the tour!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Useful Gift

I seem to be on a posting roll.  I tell you, it's either feast or famine with me!  I'm going to just keep posting until I run out of things to say!

Today I want to share with you a very special gift that I received from Paula at the retreat last weekend.  (Paula is in the process of getting a blog going so when it is up and running I will let you know!) At any rate, in the past year, I have loaned Paula two of my out of print charts that she very badly wanted to stitch.  As a thank you, she brought me one of these project keepers that her local EGA guild made.  Have you seen one of these before?

When storing and/or transporting your stitching projects, you can roll them up in the project keeper and they will be protected from getting dirty and wrinkled.  (You might be wondering about "I Sigh" - the over one is coming along...slowly.)

Here's a picture of it all rolled up:

A few more stash goodies and then I have to are some of the other projects I purchased while on the road last week:

Top left: FallBrook House Needleplay "Not All" (I'm not necessarily a Halloween gal, but I loved the verse "Not all witches live in Salem."

Middle:With Thy Needle and Thread "Strawberry Hill Sampler" - my box is ready to go!

Top right:  C Street Samplerworks "Need Has Nothing To Do With It" - no commentary needed with this one!

Bottom left:  The Scarlett House "Jingle All the Way"  - looking forward to stitching this one!

Bottom right:  Chessie and Me "Mighty Oak Sampler" - have always wanted it and it was on sale!

That's all I've got for you today.  It's going to be hot here, just like most other parts of the U.S.  Our sky is very hazy looking, the news said that some of the smoke from the Colorado fires would be drifting our way.  Prayers go out to the people of Colorado; what a horrible disaster.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles with warm woolen mittens....

No, no not those favorite things.  I was thinking that I would share with you some of my favorite things that I purchased last weekend.  Are you interested?

My most favorite purchase is this book:  Sampler Motifs and Symbolism by Patricia Anderle and Lesley Rudnicki.  I'm not sure whether the book is still in print or not.  I found it on the shelf at Stitch'n & Stuff in Clinton, IA.

It's a great reference book explaining the meaning of the various symbols used in samplers.  Many of the motifs are charted and would be great for smalls.

My second favorite purchase are these LHN ornament patterns acquired at The Inspired Needle; particularly Quaker Birds.  Cathy kitted it using a sage green linen and Belle Soie silks.  The model at the shop was gorgeous.  I'll have to stitch this up for you soon so that you can see it!

Third favorite purchase - this older chart from Hillside Samplings.  It's called Legacy Sampler and the verse reads: "With careful hands our work complete, Let kindness guide our deeds. For knowledge, friendship and virtue seek; Our legacy, flowers not weeds."

As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you are looking for older patterns and have lots of time to peruse through  rows and rows of patterns, Tomorrow's Heirlooms is the place!

Sing it with me....These are a few of my favorite things!  Gotta run - work is calling.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One More Finish...

Hey, I'm on a roll...last night I finished the retreat smalls.  The stitching was done before the retreat started, but I had the finishing left to do.  When we first received the materials in the mail I wasn't so sure about the colors, but I really liked the design.  Now that they are finished I love the colors.  Crazy, huh?

Here they are - a pincushion, a needlebook and a fob...

The inside of the needlebook and backsides of the pincushion and fob.  The fabric I used to line the needlebook and back the pincushion is from Blackbird Designs new Moda line of fabrics called "In the Meadow."

The backside of the needlebook:

I may pick up some more navy colored chenille (used on the pincushion) and use it to finish off the edges of the needlebook (it covers a lot of sins!)

Don't you think they turned out pretty cute?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Finishing Frenzy

Well, since I'm not due back to work until tomorrow, I took time today to work on some finishing.  I will have more to show in a few days!

Here's the LHN/Shakespeare's Peddler/Crescent Colors collaboration pieces that were released at market earlier this year.  I kind of liked ruching that hand-dyed rick-rack!

This Mary Garry piece entitled "Forget Me Not" was stitched way back in 2010.  It's finally finished as a pillow.

And this LHN piece was stitched last year or the year before just waiting to be finished into something.  When I saw Mary Kathryn's finish, I shamelessly copied her.  Please check out her blog, her pillow looks even better!

Finally, here are the ornaments that I came home with from the retreat.  The camel on the left was stitched by Ranae at Stitch by Stitch.  I'm thrilled to have something that she has made!  The sled on the right was made by Carole from Nebraska (no blog).  It's really cute.

That's all for today!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend, Part Two

The best part of going to a retreat is meeting other stitchers.  Judy and I had really been looking forward to this retreat because we were going to meet up with some old friends and we were anxious to meet some of our new blogging friends.

The retreat was organized by Jan of Tree of Life Samplings.  She had her entire trunk show there.  It's always fun to see the designs all stitched up.  Here are some of the photos I took of her trunk show:

I bought the pattern for this reproduction sampler and hope to stitch it up some time in the near future!

I also bought this pattern.  It was last year's retreat project and I really like the verse on it - "Beauty and Grace Abound in my Stitching Place."

Of course, Jan had many of her hand-dyed linens and other patterns and supplies available for sale.

During the retreat there was an exchange for those who wanted to participate.  We could bring either a small stitched piece or an ornament; I brought one of each and received two ornaments.  Will save pictures of those for a later post (I need to take the pictures first!).  Here are some photos of all of the exchange pieces.

As mentioned though, the highlight of the retreat was reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.

My good friend Wendy Jo and her friend Paula (who I have exchanged emails with but had not met until this weekend) were both there.  We enjoyed visiting with them!

Judy and I also had the opportunity to reconnect with Barb (Babs); we first met her last fall at the Dyeing to Stitch Retreat in Virginia Beach.  (Babs is on the left in the lime green top; her friend Ellen is on the other side of the table.)

I knew that some of the Inspired Needle gals were going to be there, but to my surprise nearly all of them had come to this retreat.  It was great fun meeting Laura, Karin, Linda, Jayne, Pat, Patti, Teresa, and of course, Brenda (Brenda and I met a few years ago at the Silver Needle).  These gals are a lot of fun and it's always interesting to see what they are working on (usually documented in great detail on Laura's blog.)  Here they are with their Vera Kiss and Makeup bags (aptly re-purposed to carry stitching supplies!)  Ranae from Stitch by Stitch is also in this photo and sometimes joins these gals at The Inspired Needle!

There was a great group of ladies at this retreat; we really enjoyed meeting with each of them.  Here are a few more photos in the classroom and outside of Cracker Barrel where we ate lunch on Friday.

In another post I will show you a picture of our retreat projects.  You've already seen the set of smalls that I stitched up prior to the retreat (in an earlier post).  We also received a sampler that was designed especially for this retreat -- will show you that as soon as I get a photo taken.  Maybe I'll share some of my stash purchases too!

One last photo -- here I am with my partner in crime.  Judy and I enjoyed our trip and we look forward to planning our next adventure!

I hope to have more updates for you tomorrow - I've been working on some finishing today (it's about time, don't you think?)  Have a great evening.  Thanks for stopping by!

Home Again...

Going on road trips is fun but it's always nice to come home.  As Dorothy would say, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home."  It's going to be a beautiful sunny day here in the Twin Cities and I plan to enjoy it!

I have some fond memories of the past few days to share with you.  My friend Judy (no blog) and I left early Wednesday morning on our road trip; our ultimate destination was Terre Haute, Indiana for the Tree of Life Samplings Retreat.  We mapped out our course to include several needlework store stops along the way!

On Wednesday, we made stops at two shops in Iowa.  The first stop was The Stitchery Nook in Osage, IA.    Nice shop with a nice selection of patterns, they have lots of fabric and fibers too.  The shop owner and her helpers were very friendly.

The shop owner is renovating the second floor of the building and we asked for a tour of the part that was finished.  Excellent space for a stitching retreat.  Large gathering room with tables and chairs (would work great for scrapbookers or quilters too), comfortable sitting area with large flat screen TV, full kitchen and three bedrooms that sleep at least five each with their own bathroom.  Why didn't I take a picture of the retreat center?  (There are pictures on her website; click on the link above.) She's working on the other side now, so in the future there will be even more space.

While we were there some stitchers were gathering at the table located in the front of the store and I asked them if I could take their picture - they happily obliged.  

Got a kick out of these two guys.  One was working on an Ink Circles design, the other on a geometric design; they were doing very nice work.  We enjoyed visiting with them.

Our next stop was clear on the other side of Iowa - Stitch'n & Stuff in Clinton, IA.  This shop was smaller than the previous one, but they had a nice variety of patterns.  They had two chairs sitting inside the front door with a magazine rack that included hunting, fishing, and auto magazines (a place for the husbands to sit and relax!)  

We were impressed with the many finished models - particularly the smalls.  Pat, the shop owner, does lovely small stitching and finishing.  We enjoyed looking at all of her finishes.  A few purchases were made and we continued on our journey!

We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express on Wednesday night - check out this amazing little invention that I was introduced to at breakfast in the morning... a pancake maker!

Just push the button and strategically place your plate under the conveyor belt to catch your pancakes as they magically pop out of the machine.  Cool, huh?  

Our journey then took us to Illinois and we stopped at two wonderful shops in the Chicago area.  We promptly arrived at Tomorrow's Heirlooms in Glen Ellyn, IL right as they opened on Thursday morning.

This is a great shop for uncovering hidden treasures.  It's a small shop, but jam-packed with patterns, fibers, fabric, and other stitching supplies.  I spent quite a bit of time in the back looking through all of the their older patterns - wow!  

Next stop - The Inspired Needle in Lemont, IL.  We weren't expecting to see shop owner, Cathy, as we knew she was headed to the needlework market in Columbus, but she was there!  Had a great time visiting with her and seeing her shop.  Friendly, friendly, friendly shop.  Cathy often takes patterns and converts them to silk and then kits it up with just enough silk to complete the project.  Brilliant!  

With our purchases made, it was time to head to our final destination of Terre Haute, IN. Navigating our way through three states to four different needlework stores was quite easy.  Judy had taken great care to MapQuest our route and printed directions to follow for each step of the journey.  We also had our handy dandy road maps just in case there was any question about the route.  But our most favorite companion was....

...MRS. DASH!  I know that some of you call it a "Garmin", but this is a special model and I grew quite fond of her.  We didn't always get along --- got a little annoyed with her when she would say "Recalculating!" but over all, between her guidance, my navigating, and Judy's excellent driving skills, we made it to everywhere we wanted to go without incident.

We arrived in Terre Haute around 4pm on settled in our room...we're ready to stitch!

More to come...