Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Can't believe the pictures coming out of the east this morning.  To think that I was in New York just last week and everything was as normal as could be and now today...all that devastation!  My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this horrible storm.

Last Friday morning my daughter, my mom, and I flew to Indianapolis.  Look what greeted us as we deplaned:

There is a Vera Bradley store in the airport!  We ogled all the pretty colors and patterns for a little bit and then moved on to pick up our car rental and head out.  Our destination:  Lafayette, IN.  My daughter's boyfriend studies at Purdue and she wanted to visit him.  I didn't want her traveling alone, so we decided to make a weekend of it.  She spent all of her time at Purdue; I had other plans in mind!

On Saturday morning, my mom and I drove up to LaPorte, IN; it's just a two-hour drive from where we were staying.  You all know what is in LaPorte, right?

That would be House of Stitches!  Have always wanted to go there - what a great shop.  It's a fairly good sized shop and it is jam-packed with patterns, fibers, linen, etc., etc.  There was so much to look at!  Sorry, I wasn't very good about taking pictures once inside.

While I was happy to finally get to the shop, I had two other objectives in mind for this trip.  If possible, I wanted to meet Lelia from Stitches of Life.  She is the very first connection I made when I first started my blog all the way back in 2005.  We have been online friends ever since.  I hoped that she would be available to come to the shop and she was!  Fortunately, Lelia is also a tatter and so she and my mom spent much of time "talking tatting" - my mom even learned how to do a "split ring" from Lelia, so she was especially glad that she had come along.  Lelia, thank you for taking time out of your busy weekend to come visit us and have lunch with us!

The other "mission" I had in mind was to try to connect with Ruth Ann Russell of C Street Samplerworks.  I keep telling her that I am the president of her fan club, LOL! Ruth Ann lives near House of Stitches, the shop has her trunk show of designs always on display.  Lucky for me, Ruth Ann had the day free and was able to stop in at the shop.  What a delight to meet her!  She showed me the sampler she is currently reproducing.  It's top secret, so I can't tell you any details; but I can guarantee you that I will be stitching it as soon as the chart is released and I suspect that many of you will be too.  We talked and talked about samplers, about genealogy  about her designs that she has had published in SANQ....I could have talked and stitched with her the entire day!  It was so good meeting her and I look forward to future designs from her.  Mission accomplished.

Her models are on display just above us in the display behind us!  Many of you will recognize "I Sigh Not for Beauty" (left in back) and Quaker Medallion Sampler (right in back).

We left LaPorte and headed a bit further north to Michigan City.  Found out that there was a Vera Bradley outlet store there and decided to check it out.  I'm glad I don't live there, I probably would spend all of my money at that store...it was fun to see oodles and oodles of Vera.  The prices were comparable to what you would pay via the online outlet store...After our shopping was done we headed back to LaFayette and had a nice dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend.  Great weekend.

Maybe tomorrow I'll share with you some of the stash-shopping that I did on this trip and in LaCrosse.

Monday, October 29, 2012

New York City

In between Ellen's classes in LaCrosse, WI and a trip to Indiana this past weekend (which I will tell you about in my next post) , I had to make a quick trip to New York City.  This trip was for work and so much of it was spent in meetings and on visits with customers, but we did have a little bit of fun.

This was only the second time that I have been to New York; the last time was in 1999. When I was there before I saw many of the landmarks but had not seen the Statue of Liberty.  This time I was sitting on the correct side of the plane and as we were approaching LaGuardia Airport there she was in the New York harbor!  Wish I would have had a camera handy.  It was truly a highlight for me.  Made me think of my grandparents and what they must have thought and felt when they immigrated to the US in the early 1900's as their ships approached New York.

The first night we were there, we had dinner at the Friar's Club.  What a cool place!  It's like a historic castle in the middle of New York City!  We didn't see any famous actors; just enjoyed a good meal and had a lot of fun looking at all the pictures that are hanging on the walls throughout the club -- Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., I could go on and on...

Picture is fuzzy, but this banner hangs in one of the rooms in the building:

The second night we were there, we went on a tour of the city on a bus called "The Ride".  It was a very interactive tour.  At various points along the way the bus would stop and we would interact with the crowd outside (and a couple of employees who were planted in the crowd).

Here we are counting down to New Year's Eve....five. four. three, two, one....Happy New Year!

Lights, lights, and more lights! This truly is the city that never sleeps!

Here we are at Times Square...it's like 8:30pm and look at all the people!

For the brief time I was there, it was a nice visit.  I arrived home on Thursday night with enough time to swap out my business clothes for some comfy, casual clothes -- will be back on an airplane at 7am the next morning for a flight to Indianapolis!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Where Do I Begin?

The past 10 days have been crazy!  I've been traveling...first to LaCrosse, WI; then I was in New York City for a few days, and this weekend I was in Indiana!  I'm finally back home and I think I will stay put here now for a few weeks!

So much to tell you about...let's start at the beginning!  On Friday, October 19, some stitching friends and I traveled to LaCrosse, WI.  We stopped at a few quilt shops along the way (no pictures) and finally arrived in LaCrosse late afternoon.  There is a delightful needlework shop in LaCrosse called Crosse Stitchery and Main Street Framing.  I think I must have been sleeping on the job because I failed to take a picture of the shop (neither inside or outside!)  It's a cute shop in downtown LaCrosse - there were several neat finished needlework pieces and many framed models on display to admire.  We spent a good bit of time checking out every nook and cranny and even the clearance bins downstairs.  Once we each made our purchases we headed to our hotel - The Stoney Creek Inn in Onalaska, WI (great hotel if you ever have a reason to be in LaCrosse, WI!)

Why were we in Onalaska?  To take classes with Ellen Chester of course!  The Crosse Stitchery and the local EGA chapter (Coulee Country Chapter) hosted two classes.  Saturday's class was Ellen's Fruit of the Vine Huswife and Sunday's class was The Lady's Worke Box.  You can see pictures of both of these projects on Ellen's website:  With My Needle.

It was a delight to finally meet Ellen; she is a fabulous teacher.  She brought some of her models with her - what a feast for the eyes!

Many of the class participants also brought some of Ellen's projects that they had stitched over the years.  You can see many of them on Ellen's blog:  With My Needle Blog.

I really enjoyed Saturday's class.  Ellen provided some background information on the project; where she drew her inspiration from and how the Fruit of the Vine Huswife came to be.  We also got a history lesson on hornbooks which was really interesting!  We then spent much of the day working on the needleroll that accompanies the Huswife.  Ellen's stitching diagrams are great and make it really easy to stitch the various stitches that are used in the needleroll!  At the end of the day, Ellen walked us through the finishing instructions.  The instructions that accompany the pattern are very detailed; I think I will have no trouble once I finish my stitching.

On Sunday, we took The Lady's Worke Box with Ellen.  This is her newest teaching project.  Another delightful day of stitching and learning from her.  This time we worked on the needlebook that will accompany the box.  Many different stitches used, but very easy to follow diagrams in the instructions.  After reviewing the finishing instructions we finished our day with a slide show that Ellen had brought with pictures of various different Needle Worke boxes from the 1800's.  Some were very simple in design, others very ornate - it was very interesting to see so many different boxes!

I can't say enough good things about this particular weekend.  Crosse Stitchery and the local EGA chapter did a wonderful job of organizing this weekend.  The accommodations were good, the lunches both days were delicious, the local stitchers were very friendly!  We had a great time meeting and spending these two days with all of them.

As for Ellen, if you ever have the opportunity to take a class with her - DO IT!  She's very knowledgeable and is so excited to share her love of needlework with all.

Looking forward to stitching both of these projects and will share pictures with you as I work on them!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The End of the Weekend

Sunday nights are always bittersweet -- I always make time to get some stitching in, but it also means that the end of the weekend is here and the beginning of another work week is just around the corner.

Tonight we had a delicious supper - it felt like we were at Olive Garden, but we never left home.  A few weeks ago I found the recipe for Pasta e Fagioli on Pinterest and today I decided to give it a try.  Warning about this recipe -- you need a super large crockpot or else you will need two crockpots to cook it in.  I didn't mind having the large quantity; I just froze about a third of it for another meal down the road.

Here's what our supper looked like - caesar salad, crusty vienna bread and Pasta e Fagioli! Yum!

You can find the recipe for the soup here:  Pasta e Fagioli

I've been working on a little hardanger lately.  Purchased a Permin kit that included the patterns for six different angels.  I finished up one of the angels tonight (sorry for the dark photo.)

I hope to stitch up a number of these angels for Christmas gifts.  Keep your fingers crossed that I will have time to finish several of them!

That's all I've got for you tonight.  Hope you had a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Delightful Day!

It's the second Saturday of the month and you know what the means...Sip N Stitch Saturday at Stitchville!  There are about 10 - 12 of us that gather each month for fellowship, food, and fun.  Today did not disappoint!

Since I don't have any stitching updates of my own to share, I took my camera with to Stitchville and took a couple of photos for you.  Here are a couple of photos of their Halloween and Fall displays:

Nothing compares to seeing a piece all stitched up and finished.  Stitchville has something like 1000 models on display!

One of my stitching friends, Joyce, brought in her Just Nan Limited Edition Pumpkin.  I don't know the official name for this piece, but I know that it was available last year.

Joyce said it took her three weeks to completely stitch and finish this beauty.  Didn't she do a nice job?  Her finishing was impeccable.

The other cool thing at Stitchville was a new line of perle cotton they just got in.  They now carry Presencia Finca Perle Cotton...many colors in all sizes -- if I remember correctly, it was there in sizes 3, 5, 8, 12, and 16 -- wow!  Check out these vibrant colors:




I have used this perle cotton before when doing Hardanger; I really liked it.  It has a little more sheen to it than DMC does.

There's no better way to start the weekend! Have a good one and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's a Small World...

I continue to stitch on the Hillside Samplings sampler that I've been working on; haven't made too much progress since my last post.  Maybe this weekend I will have an update for you.  I wanted to share a story with you though.

Back on my September 5 post I shared with you the article on Hövej Embroidery that I wrote for Ellen Chester's newsletter. When I was researching this article I came across a website that I had not found before.  The website is about a woman named Mrs. István Szigethy.  Mrs. Szigethy is 85 years old and lives in Hungary.  She was born in Hövej.  Her father died when she was very young and before she even reached the age of 10 she learned to do the beautiful white on white Hövej Embroidery.  She would stitch all day long and sometimes at night producing beautiful needlework that could be sold so that she could help support her family.

Please, if you have time, visit her website.  It's written in English and it includes beautiful pictures of this special embroidery.  You can read the rest of her story and see this beautiful embroidery!

You might wonder why I am so enamored with this embroidery.  It's kind of special to me because my great grandfather was born in the tiny village of Hövej.

When I found this website a few months ago, I clicked on the "contact" link and sent an email asking for more information and explained my connection to Hövej.  I received a reply from Mrs. Szigethy's daughter.  We have been writing back and forth for a few months now.  Mrs. Szigethy and her daughter gifted me with a book on Hövej Embroidery as well as some pictures from their exhibit and a calendar from the village.

I had indicated an interest in learning how to do this special embroidery and they sent me a doily on a frame that was worked in stages so that I could see how to start and work toward the finish.

I was so touched by their kindness; to show my appreciation I sent a box with some tatting from my mother and some hardanger pieces that I had stitched as well as a few Minnesota goodies.  This week I received an email telling me that my box had arrived and many of the items that I sent are now on display in the exhibit in Hövej!

Do you recognize my blog pictured in this display?

Look at the beautiful curtains covering the window!

Another view of the exhibit:

The contacts that I have made and the friendships I have formed as a result of a common interest in fine needlework - it just amazes me.  It really is a small world, isn't it?

Friday, October 05, 2012

Did You Know?

Did you know that C Street Samplerworks has a blog now?  There's a link to pictures of each of her designs on the left hand side.  Check it out!

C Street Samplerworks Blog