Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

flag fence !

Remembering those in our military who have served their country so that we all may be free!

It's cloudy and dreary looking outside my window - and much cooler than it should be for this time of the year!

Looking forward to spending today at home.  I have a few projects to finish up but hope to spend a good portion of the day stitching.

Here's a little project I finished up yesterday.  I borrowed little bits and pieces from other designs to create this small needlebook.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  It's going to be gifted to a special friend.

The inside is lined with dupioni silk.  I attached a double piece of doctor's flannel with an old button that matched the color of the silk.

This is the outside of the book opened up.  I used a mother of pearl shank button and stitched a loop which easily slips over the button to keep the needlebook closed.

These pictures really don't do the piece justice, the silk color is really more like apricot (less pink, more orange)...I think I need a new camera!  I hope my friend likes it!

Enjoy your day....

Friday, May 24, 2013

Stitching Progress





I sure would like to try to finish this one this weekend!  (Stitchville Retreat piece from Chessie and Me.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Some Finishing

Yesterday started out nice but it changed to rain as the day progressed.  Made for another good stitching day!  Before stitching though I worked on some finishing. That pile has grown over the last few months and I need to work on getting it down to a more manageable size!

Here are the fruits of my labor...two hornbooks and an ornament!

The hornbook top let is a design from Chessie and Me called Birds and Blooms.  I used the recommended linen, 36 ct LL Vintage Exampler, and fibers, Belle Soie and Gloriana silks.  Quick and easy finish!

The ornament to the right is from the LHN series - it's stitched on some 40 ct linen that I had in my stash with the recommended fibers.

At the bottom, Sew Petite from iStitch Designs.  I used Gloriana Schoolhouse Red silk on some 40 ct linen from my stash.  Another easy finish.  If you are interested, you can purchase the chart from Carol here.

I also spent some time last night stitching on my Chessie and Me sampler from the Stitchville Retreat; not enough progress yet to be worth sharing a picture, but I will get there soon and then will take a picture for you.

Rainy, humid, a little windy's to the week ahead. Hope it is a good one!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Surrounded by Talent and Inspiration!

Today was a great day for stitching - but then, what day isn't?  A group of us gathered at Rosebud's in White Bear Lake.  What a wonderful time we had.  Lots of beautiful needlework to admire!  This post is a bit picture heavy, but so worth it!

A couple ladies were working on their Spring Fling Chessie and Me samplers.  Mary is making great progress...

LuAnne just finished hers last night!

Pat was working on a beautiful hardanger piece; it's almost finished...

Jana was starting a new project from Lizzie Kate...

Jeanne brought lots of show and tell - a finished quilt top and some embroidered sections which will eventually be joined together to make a finished quilt top...

More hardanger - Nancy is going to make these hearts into bookmarks...

And a finish from Pam - love the carrot!

Joyce loves everything Just Nan - check out her bunny and her bumblebee finishes!

Joyce was working on the Blackbird Designs piece from the Lady's Prim Society...

And more hardanger...Chris is an amazing stitcher...

And for you quilt lovers, Julie was hand-piecing some hexagons together!

I missed a couple of people....Vicki was working on hardanger and Judy was working on a Chessie and Me piece.  And me??? What was I working on??? I'll show you in a few days when it is finished.

A good time was had by all!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sunday Night Stitching

Thank you all for your kind comments on my last post.  Those women all played an important role in my life. It was a good day to reflect on them and what they have done.

I did some stitching last night - it doesn't look like much but I needed to take my time with it so that it would turn out exactly right.  This is some pre-stitching that I needed to complete for an upcoming class that I am taking...a road trip is in my near future!

Over the weekend I was doing some spring cleaning and came across a piece of needlework that I wanted to share with you.  About 17 years ago I had the opportunity to travel to China. I spent time in Beijing and Shanghai and saw many interesting things.  I never ever thought that I would see the Great Wall - what an amazing sight that was.  Anyway, I tried to bring home souvenirs that were meaningful to me - many of the other women I was with were buying jewelry (pearls), instead, I looked for needlework.  I purchased these two pieces while I was there.  The first one I have framed and hanging on the wall in my bedroom.  It's white on white and it's covered with very intricate stitches:

While cleaning this weekend, I came across the second piece that I had purchased.  It has been hiding in the bottom of a drawer!  Similar design, but done with pastel colored threads.

The two pieces are about 12 inches square.  I feel as though I need to get this second piece out of the drawer and use it in some way (I should be enjoying it!)  Any thoughts on what I should do with it?  I could put it in the china cabinet - at least it would be seen there. If you have any good ideas, let me know.

The start of a new week - I hope it is a good one for you.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Inspiration

After reading Ruth Ann Russell's lovely tribute to her mother, I was inspired to write one of my own on this very special day - Mother's Day.  Many great women have inspired me throughout my life, this post however is dedicated to those who inspired me to be the needleworker that I have become.  I pulled some special items from various places in my home to share with you...let me tell you about the items in this photo.

I didn't know my grandmother; she died nearly 10 years before I was born, but I've heard many stories about her over the years.  She was a strong, determined, hard-working woman.  When she was 16 years old she left her family in Austria-Hungary to travel by ship to the United States in search of a better life.  She met my grandfather and they were married and had 10 children (my mother is the youngest.)

I don't think my grandmother had much free time to relax and enjoy needlework - she was always cooking, cleaning, caring for children.  She also worked outside of the home at Schunemann's Bakery in downtown St. Paul and also did laundry and cleaned house for some of the wealthy families that lived on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

My mother has given me the pillow case lace that my grandmother crocheted.  The pillow cases wore out a long time ago, but thankfully my mother saved the lace!

My mother has six sisters, one of them died as an infant.  The oldest sister, Theresa, was like a grandmother to me (she was 23 years older than my mother.)  As a child, I spent a lot of time with my Auntie Theresa.  She took me on trips to their cabin up north (the "Shack") and on fishing trips to Canada.It was a big deal back then to be able to fly on an airplane, and we flew by plane a couple of times to visit her son and his family in Colorado.  The last trip I took with her was to British Columbia, Canada.  My Auntie Theresa was a character, she was always a lot of fun.  She always knew where the bakery was, and we always ordered roast beef sandwiches when we would stop for lunch at a local cafe.  Here she is all dressed up taking my brothers and I out trick or treating on Halloween (it was the only time she ever wore her hair down!)

Auntie Theresa was always crocheting - she crocheted afghans, hats, ponchos, etc.  She was always crocheting "granny squares"!  While I don't have any finished needlework from her, I did inherit her collection of crochet hooks when she died.  These are just a few of them...

Auntie Betty was a special lady too.  As far as needlework goes, she was probably the most talented of them all.  A few months ago I posted photos of her embroidered dishcloths.  Not only did she embroider, but she also did cutwork, she quilted by hand, she could knit, and she crocheted with thread.  Auntie Betty (we always called her "Lizzy") had a wonderful sense of humor.

Whenever someone in the family got married, Auntie Betty always gifted a set of feather pillows at the shower.  Of course, the pillows were covered with pillow cases which she had made herself.  The set I received had crocheted lace edging - can you see the heart design?

I was fortunate to receive many other sets of pillow cases from my Auntie Betty including these cutwork ones, as well as some crocheted doilies.

Auntie Florence was special too...she often took care of me when I was a little girl.  I spent a lot of time with her and Uncle Stan at their lake cabin during summer vacation.  Auntie Florence loved birds and she loved football!

Auntie Florence was an amazing knitter - she knit sweaters, afghans, mittens, and slippers.  I am lucky to have this beautiful afghan from her and still have several pairs of slippers and mittens left!

Of course, the most special lady of all is my mother...I know I am biased, but she is quite an amazing lady.

 Like her mother, she is strong, determined, hard-working, and she has many talents -- she is a musician (plays organ and piano), loves to garden, and enjoys crocheting and tatting.

Most importantly though, she is just my mom...Happy Mother's Day Mom!

 Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me.  Enjoy your day!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Finally - A Post!

You probably thought I fell off the face of the earth.  Thank goodness I didn't; I'm still here.  Life has been busy and truth be told - I don't like blogging very much when I don't have some pictures to share.  We are going to fix that today though!

Here's what I have been up to lately...

...finished stitching all of my pieces for My Lady's Worke Box from Ellen Chester (class that I took last October.  You can't see them all perfectly in this photo - but you get the idea.  Quite a lot of stitching on this little lady; many specialty stitches and some over one.  Now I just need a day for finishing.

I also whipped up this little project - it's from iStitch Designs - some of you may know Carol, as she is a pretty regular blogger.  This design is called Sew Petite.  It's stitched on 40 ct over 2.  I used some linen and fibers from my stash.  As soon as I have time to do some finishing it will go on that hornbook that is in the photo.

I'm almost finished with this piece from Chessie and Me.  It too will be finished on a hornbook.  Everything is done except the beehive and the beaks and legs on the birds.  I thought I had Belle Soie Butterscotch in my stash, but I do not -- will pick some up tomorrow at my LNS.  I also have to stitch the nun's stitch border yet.  Rather than three initials, I stitched only two and then stitched 2013 over one where the third initial would have gone.

Finally, my favorite finish of late, is this sweet little biscornu.  It's the third installment for the Nordic Needle Hardanger Accessories club this year.

I used the same silk to line the biscornu as I had used under the box top.  Now I'm thinking that I might take the scissor keep apart and put some of the same rust colored silk behind the stitching too -- the dark colored silk really makes the stitching pop!  i think we have two more installments left in this club.

So, you can see, I haven't been slacking off on my stitching.  I've just been a lazy blogger.  Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!