Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Final Leg of Our Journey

The Mad Tatter had such a great time yesterday.  So much fun that she couldn’t sleep last night.  She said that all she could think about was tatting!

We left our hotel at 9:30am and ventured north.  First stop was at Fiberworks in Waverly, IA.  No pictures of the shop.  The street in front is all torn up so we parked in the back and entered through a back door.  A few purchases were made and we continued north.  Along the way we admired the beauty of the corn fields and the beautiful farms along the way.

Second stop of the day - The Stitchery Nook in Osage, IA.  What a great shop.  Lots of models, patterns, kits, linen, fibers...a hidden treasure in small town Iowa!


In the back of the store they have scrapbooking supplies.  I found some great cardstock with which I will make some matchbook needle books.

This shop has a retreat center upstairs!  Can you imagine how cool it would be to spend a weekend above a needlework shop like that?  It’s a beautiful space.  If you live anywhere near Osage, check it out!

Took some pictures of the shop for you -enjoy!






Tomorrow...we return to reality.  Only two days left this week though.  Hurray!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Today’s Travels

It’s day two of my adventure with the Mad Tatter.  We spent today on the Illinois tollway.


Okay, it’s not what you might think.  Technically we were above the tollway.  We spent the day at the Hinsdale Oasis with the Tollway Tatters!


This is something the Mad Tatter has wanted to do for years.  We decided there is no time like the present.  What a fun day we had.  The Mad Tatter was happy to meet these kindred spirits.  She also learned how to do a “Catherine Wheel Join”.  Apparently, this is a very difficult stitch in the tatting world.

Thank you Tollway Tatters for letting us crash your party today.

We headed west after the meet up ended.  Where are we tonight?  “Is this heaven?  No, it’s Iowa!”  Saw lots of rolling corn fields tonight before stopping at our hotel.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Off On Another Adventure

Good morning Doris!  Hope you are doing well!

Well, I’m off on another road trip.  I have another partner in crime with me this time - the Mad Tatter!  We didn’t leave too early this morning.  She needs her beauty sleep you know.


We headed east and managed to time it perfectly so that we could stop for lunch at the Norske Nook! These open-faced sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy remind me of road trips I used to take as a little girl with my Auntie Theresa. The Mad Tatter had turkey and I had pork.





We will have our pie in the hotel room tonight.

Wait until you see what we have in store for tomorrow!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Half a Pincushion

There is a lot of stitching in this pincushion!  This is just one half of it.  It will probably take me the rest of the week to finish the stitching on it.


Mary, you commented that I stitch fast.  I use the sewing method when I stitch.  That might account for some of my speed.  Mostly though, I’ve been able to dedicate a lot more time to stitching.  And for that I am grateful!

This project, by the way, was a kit offered a couple of years ago from Hands on Design and the Elegant Stitch.  It’s called My Stitcher’s Heart. 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Fob Stitching Part II

And the other side of the fob is done!



Thank you all for your kind comments on my recent blog posts!

Friday, July 06, 2018

Fob Stitching

Just started stitching another Project from Hands on Design!  This is one side of the fob.


Thursday, July 05, 2018

Secret Stitching

Happy day after the 4th of July!  Hope you had a wonderful day.

I didn’t want to share a picture of this until after it had been gifted.  For the past few weeks I’ve been working on some Hardanger.  This piece will be used as an insert on an apron to be worn with the tradtional Norwegian folk costume (which is called a Bunad).


My cousin is Norwegian and Swedish.  She dances with a Norwegian dance group in California.  She had a beautiful Norwegian Bunad which she assembled over the years collecting the appropriate fabrics and jewelry on trips she made to Norway.  The Mad Tatter even tatted the lace for the collar and cuffs on the white blouse.  All was lost when my cousin’s house burned to the ground last fall as a result of one of the California wildfires.

She asked my to provide her with a Hardanger refresher so that she would be able to stitch the apron insert herself.  I decided to stitch it and surprise her.  I gifted it to her yesterday during our visit.

We had a great time at the lake.  Despite rain and thunder in the morning, it ended up turning into a really nice day.  We went for a pontoon ride in the afternoon.  The Mad Tatter enjoyed the ride!

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Stitching Red Part Two

I was thinking last night about how much I have enjoyed stitching this project in the evenings.  I have been mostly at home lately (driving back and forth to work in my little red Toyota vs. flying back and forth in an airplane.). It feels good.

Last night I finished up the pincushion stitching.  I still need to add the backstitching, but I need another skein of Weeks Tatanka to make that happen.  I’ll be going to Stitchville again soon.



The Mad Tatter and I are making a little road trip today to visit a cousin who spends her summers in Minnesota.  It’s going to be hot today.  I just hope we get home before the thunderstorms hit.

Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Stitching Red

Here’s what I’ve been stitching on the past few days. Pomegranate Pocket & Pincushion from Hands on Design.  I’ve had this kitted up for about four years; even have the French General fabric that was used in the original model!  Time to get her done.


Sunday, July 01, 2018

And some treasures were found along the way...

We really had a great time on our road trip last weekend.  The original plan was to hit two or three needlework shops.  Can't believe we went to six (actually, seven if you count the one that was closed!)

What made the trip even more fun was some of the treasures we found along the way. I love going to needlework shops that have been in business for several years; you never know what you are going to find on their racks or in their clearance bins.  Like everything else though, you just have to spend some time looking at everything.

You might recall that our last stop on Monday was at House of Stitches in LaPorte, Indiana.  This is a good sized shop, overflowing with lots of needlework goodness, old and new.  (Mary, you had asked for pictures of the insides of the shops - I wish I had taken time to do this for you.)

Anyway, I have been trying to pull together a complete set of the Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly (SANQ) magazines ever since they stopped publishing.  I had a subscription the last few years they published the magazine, but I didn't have many of the older magazines.  Over the years I've picked up many of them via eBay and stash reallocation sales.  Anyway, I needed one more issue - Issue #37 from 2004.  I knew that House of Stitches and a good supply of needlework magazines and thought I might get lucky.  I should have bought a lottery ticket last Monday.


Yep, they had it! If you are looking for older magazines - SANQ, Just Cross Stitch - and especially if you are looking for any of the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issues - give House of Stitches a call!

The previous Thursday we were at Inspired Needle in Lemont, IL.  This shop is celebrating it's 10th anniversary this year.  I found a treasure here too.


This was a joint project between Historic Stitches and Liberty Hill.  This is the second of two designs that they published, probably about 10 years ago.  I was happy to take it back home to Minnesota with me!

Also on Thursday, we visited Tomorrow's Heirlooms.  We so enjoyed visiting their new shop. Patterns and kits are so much easier to see because they have so much more space.  Many of their patterns are hanging on pegboards that you can flip through.  I spied this kit as we were flipping!


This was a collaboration between Hillside Samplings and Liberty Hill many, many years ago!  There was a series of kits and I think that maybe I have all of them now.  (I've stitched and finished one of them so far - the hornbook.)

Also at Tomorrow's Heirlooms, I found this vintage kit from Jane Timmers/Fancy Work.


The candy was still in the tin.  It expired in 2005.  Don't worry, I didn't eat the chocolate.

Finally, sometimes you even bump into treasures at shops that are fairly new.  Do you remember that our first stop was at Black Cat Stitchery in Winthrop Harbor, IL?  We just happened to be there when their limited release Mirabilia charts arrived.  We were talking about all the drama on Facebook over the re- release of the chart for Lady of the Flag.  Little did we know that we would have the opportunity to purchase it.


I've never stitched a Mirabilia, but I actually think I might stitch this one.  Another stitcher here in Minnesota stitched a beautiful version of this and had it framed by Jill Rensel.  There also is a post in the Stitch Maynia group of a color conversion that a stitcher did (converting the golds to shades of blue),  For some reason, I am really drawn to this Mirabilia.

Many more purchases were made, but these were the really special ones.

Since arriving home, I finished up a top secret project that I've been working on.  I'll share a picture with you next week.  I also pulled out some Hands on Design projects that I would like to stitch and finish.  I will be taking a class with Cathy later this year and would like to finish up some of the charts I've purchased from her over the years.  I'll share pictures soon.

To my Canadian friends, Happy Canada Day!  To my friends in the U.S., Happy 4th of July!  Happy stitching all!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Cray, Cray

The sign on the elevator kind of describes us best.  Rather than taking the shortest route home, we opted for a detour.  We are cray, cray.

Figured we could take in one more shop on this trip.  We traveled north to House of Stitches in LaPorte, Indiana!

So glad we made the stop.  Had a fun time visiting with the employees and spent about an hour digging through the many treasures in the shop.  Unfortunately, this shop is looking for a buyer as the owner would like to retire.  Hopefully they will find one because if this shop closes, it would be a huge loss.  We consider it among the top needlework shops in the Midwest.

It was a long drive the rest of the way home.  I was home by 8pm and my partner in crime arrived home at 9:30pm.  Hard to believe the weekend is over.  We had a great time.

Returning to reality today, but this weekend I’ll try to post some of the treasures I purchased along the way.  Thanks for following along with us on our journey this weekend!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Jamocha and Jackie

Thanks all for continuing to visit this sorely neglected blog!  Khristine, you asked what a Jamocha shake is.  It’s a delicious chocolate/coffee flavored shake that is available at Arby’s.  Another favorite of ours is the iced lemonade that you can get at Chick Fil A.  You have to like fast food if you are going to travel with us because we don’t waste a lot of time on meals.  We have serious stuff to attend to, like visiting needlework shops!

Yesterday was a grand day. We had the pleasure of spending the entire day with this lady.


Today will be more of the same.  We are taking Jackie du Plessis’ “Ode”.  This project is not for the faint of heart.  Lots of stitching and finishing!

Yesterday’s bonus...I also had the pleasure of meeting the infamous Ann from Stitching Foolishness.  First time we have met face-to-face.

Onward to today.  Let the festivities begin!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Resolving the Cliffhanger

Nothing like a good cliffhanger, right?  Our two heroines were hanging out in an Arby’s at a truck stop parking lot praying for the rain to subside.  The rain never stopped, but it did lighten up and so we were back on the road again.

15 miles and 30 minutes later we were in shop number six - Persnickety Stitches in Zionsville, IN.  This shop seems to cater to needlepoint a little more than cross stitch, but we took a look at everything and we each made a purchase.  

We were prepared to abandon our last stop, but when we stepped outside —— what a surprise!  The sun was shining!  Do we check into our hotel after a long horrible day of driving in heavy rain?  No!  We forge ahead!  It’s 40 minutes to our next shop and we could only think about the treasures that waited for us there.  We followed the rainbow...40 minutes, 30 minutes, 20, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...arrived!  

Our final stop of the day was at Always in Stitches in Noblesville, IN.  A group of friends, known as the “Needle Nuts” were in the back room stitching away.  We visited, we laughed, we shopped.  Perfect ending to a perfect day.

Yesterday was a perfect day too.  After some much needed sleep we ventured over to a friend’s house for a day of stitching.  We made some new friends, had a delicious lunch, and shared stories.  In the evening we met up with two of our Needle Nuts friends for dinner and finished off the day with a visit to Hobby Lobby.

Today, the real reason for the journey begins.

Sorry for the lack of photos today!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Who Needs Plans?

Good morning Mad Tatter.  Good morning Doris.  Good morning Art.  My fan club.

When my partner in crime and I set out on this mission, we only planned to stop at three needlework stores.  Before we hit the pillows last night we had visited more than we had planned (we’re including the one that was closed, we believe we should get credit for trying!)

Some of you had questions about my said partner in crime.  The 94 shops she has visited have all been in the U.S,  She’s been keeping track for the past five years.  15 of the shops on her list have closed since she visited them.  She has many more shops she would like to visit yet, mainly in the northeast and out west.

Back to our mission.  Our first “planned” stop was Black Cat, but we ventured off the road in Delafield, WI to visit the Hidden Staircase which carries pottery, quilting and needlework supplies.  Unfortunately for us, they are only open on Saturdays.  Stop number two was Black mCat Stitchery in Winthrop Harbor, IL - see previous post.

As long as we “were in the neighborhood”. We figured we may as well pop in to Welcome Stitchery in Crystal Lake, IL.  Never know what treasures you will find here; they have been in business for 30 years!  We were hoping that luck would be on our side and that Gary Parr of Fiber Talk might be there shopping, but he was not.  Made a few purchases.  We found some wonderful persimmon banding which we will use for the next iStitch Black Band Sampler.  Have to support the local needlework economy! (Forgot to take a shop picture.)



Our second “planned” stop was Tomorrow’s Heirlooms in Glen Ellyn, IL.  They just moved to a new larger, location.  Beautiful shop.  Another fun one where you can find older treasures.  I found some hard to find projects here which I will share in a later post.

We had to keep moving.  Found ourselves on Lemont Avenue and immediately said to ourselves We must be close to the Inspired Needle! “. Took a quick right turn and in 10 minutes we were there.  Poor Cathy was dealing with a ceiling leak in her shop.  Had a nice chat with Cathy about the upcoming Needlework Galleria in September.

Keep in mind, it’s been raining cats and dogs this entire drive.  Not fun in the Chicago area where there’s always lots of semi trucks and road construction on the interstates.  But I digress.

We left the Inspired Needle and decided it was time to get serious (tall order for the two of us).  We had to head south.  We buckled in, ate our leftover pizza from the night before (very good pizza, by the way) and forged ahead.  Neither rain, nor big trucks, nor road construction would keep us from our destination.  Let the GPS direct us and oftentimes we wondered where the heck we were, but we continued to stay the course.

We were about 15 miles short of our next stop and the pounding rain got the best of us.  We pulled off the interstate and drowned our sorrows in a Jamocha shake at Arby’s.

Would this fearless twosome make it to their final destination?  Or would their adventure end at a truck stop in Indiana with only an Arby’s Jamocha shake for consolation?  You’ll need to tune back in again later to find out.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Doris, this Blog Post is for You!

Yes, Doris - a little birdie told me that you too were concerned by my recent lack of posting to this here blog.  You are not alone.  The Mad Tatter constantly reminds me that I must update more ofyen. She has even offered on several occasions to bring more of her tatting to me to photograph just so I would have pictures!  I will attempt to do better.  Time, however, is not always on my side.

My partner in crime and I set out on a mission yesterday.  To be clear, I am merely her co-conspirator in this one.  She is trying to visit as many needlework shops as possible and has already visited 93.  Our mission is to increase that number without getting hurt or arrested in the process.

We departed in the wee hours of the morning (0700 - yes, this is defind as “early” by many, including me) and we traveled east.  Neither rain, nor sleet, nor road construction would keep us from our destination.  Now, we did take a slight detour anticipating that we might be able to add “two” new shops to her list.  This alleged needlework shop is “hidden” after climbing down two “staircases” and landing in a dark hallway only to learn they are open only on Saturdays.  It was not meant to be.

After pushing further east for another hour or so, we landed in Winthrop Harbor, IL, the home of Black Cat Stitchery.  It’s a lovely little shop!  They’ve only been open for six years, but they have a nice selection of charts, fibers and other needlework accessories.  Black Cat is number 94.

And so the adventure continues.  Doris, I hope you will stick with us.



Sunday, June 10, 2018

Stitchy Update

I thought maybe I would try to blog a little each day in June.  So much for that idea!  I haven't been traveling very much lately, so I've had more time, but I really enjoy spending that extra time stitching.  Please forgive me!

There are three primary projects that I have been working on.  One of them is a gift, so I won't be able to share progress with you until it is finished and gifted.

The second project that I have been working on is one of those FOMO deals!  Yes, FOMO = Fear of Missing Out.  Several Flosstubers and stitchers on Instagram started this project in May.  I've always wanted to stitch it; I had the pattern, the linen and the fibers in my stash, so I figured that I may as well jump on the bandwagon.

The design is from Birds of a Feather. The pattern is still available.  I stitched it on 40 ct PTP Legacy using the called for fibers (only one switcheroo - I switched the GAST Buttermilk to WDW Whitewash.)

As you can see, it's mostly finished.  I just have to add the personalization.  I will likely follow some of the Flosstubers and stitch the initials of the other stitchers who were working on this design with me.


The color of the linen looks pretty good on my iPad.  This was a fun stitch!

The other project I am working on is the Red Band Sampler from iStitch designs.  You might recall that I stitched their Blue Band Sampler last year. Since Blue isn't really my favorite color, I stitched the Blue Band Sampler in RED.  So when it came time to stitch the Red Band Sampler, some of my friends asked me if I was going to stitch it in BLUE.  No to blue...I didn't really want another Red Band Sampler either.  I remembered that Sassy Jack's had posted some banding earlier this year.  They had this beautiful light purple banding that was perfect for this design.  I called and ordered it up and so now my Red Band Sampler is PURPLE.

I'm quite far behind.  Most of the group is on week 25 or 26 or something like that.  I am working on week 5, but I will get it done eventually.  I usually work on this project on the airplane.


As noted above, my third project is kind of a super secret project.  I'll share it with you eventually.

That's all folks.  I'll try to come back sooner rather than later!

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Time for an Update

Since Stitchville's Spring Fling (the record breaking snowfall and class with Jeanette Douglas), I have been on the road constantly which makes updating this blog regularly somewhat of a challenge!

When I last left you, I was telling you about Spring Fling and Jeanette's class project.  The project, My Stitching Box, was awesome and one that I look forward to stitching and finishing.  Of course, I haven't put a single stitch in it since that weekend.  My dear friend Chris has finished her project though and hopefully she won't mind that I am sharing the picture of her finish here!


Isn't she an amazing stitcher and finisher?  Someday I hope I am able to accomplish as much as she does.

The Monday after Spring Fling I left for Paris.  Arrived Tuesday and was there until Thursday.  Despite the fact that I was there for work, I still was able to take in some familiar landmarks.

Arc de Triomphe - after record breaking snow in Minnesota, the beautiful weather was a welcome relief!


Eiffel Tower - this is at 9pm when the lights were twinkling up and down the monument.


Did you know that the city of Paris has their own Statue of Liberty?  It is a much smaller version than the one that France gifted to the United States.  It sits at one end of the Seine River and faces West, toward the United States.


Notre Dame.  Aren't those flowering shrubs beautiful?


Of course, the highlight of the trip for me was the very last day.  My flight was delayed five hours.  Normally this would not be a happy situation, but the delay provided me with just enough time to visit a needleworker's favorite place - Sajou!








It's not a large shop, but it is jam-packed with stuff! I only had about 30 minutes to shop and could have easily spent three hours!  Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to visit again some day. 

Arrived home from Paris, spent a week in Atlanta, traveled to Wisconsin for a family wedding on the weekend, and then last week, spent the week in Miami.  Had never been to Miami before.  Since I'm not really a beach person, I don't know that I would ever go back, but it's fun to be able to say that I was there.

This was the view from my hotel room:


After one of our evening events, I did walk down to the beach and contemplated putting my toes in the water and then chickened out.


I've enjoyed a delightful weekend at home (doing laundry and vacuuming), but tomorrow I travel back to Atlanta again.  After this week, my traveling should be done for awhile (I hope). 

Yes, I have stitched a little bit these past few weeks, but not nearly as much as I would have liked to.  Have enjoyed seeing all of the Stitch Maynia posts on Instagram and Flosstube!

If you made it this far, I hope that you enjoy the week ahead.  Happy Stitching!