Friday, July 23, 2010


I still have many wonderful photos to share with you, I hope you don't mind if I continue to dwell on last weekend's Blackbird event at the Silver Needle!

One of my most favorite parts of an event like this is spending time with other stitchers who have a mutual love for the art of needlework. Ask Joan and she will confirm for you, I spend more time flitting around from table to table visiting with people than I spend on my butt stitching the project. Clearly this explains why Joan's class projects are already finished and mine are not! But I digress...

It's fun meeting other stitchers, especially those who I have met in blogland. I posted a picture of PJStitcher with my very first post. Here are some other blogger friends that we met up with at the retreat:

Here's a picture of Michelle and Karen. Please check out their blogs for more BBD reports!

Here's a picture of me, Edie (no blog, but stalks and comments, LOL!), and Joan.

See what I mean, Edie and Joan are both busy stitching! Me, I'm working the crowd, taking pictures!

One of the fun parts about visiting with others is admiring their finished projects that they brought with them. There was a table of ladies that had completed this 2006 BBD Loose Feathers called Secret Garden. Here's one of the finished boxes, inside and out - isn't it gorgeous?

Another lady had finished this box using this BBD Loose Feathers #33 Keepsake Box and Pinkeep (thanks Carol!)

And check out this beautiful box finish. This was a class project that they taught at Old Mill Stitchery in Liberty, MO. This stitcher did a beautiful on her box - it was so cool!

Finally, here is a pincushion. I believe this design is from the BBD Loose Feathers called Winter Wonderland.

There were other bloggers there who I really enjoyed meeting - wish I had taken even more pictures! It was a wonderful weekend and I hope to do it again soon!

Thanks for stopping by - hope you enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back for Part II

I'm still reminiscing about the fun weekend in Tulsa. In my last post I told you all about Friday's events; but the main event occurred on Saturday!

Joan and I were up bright and early and one of the first ones in the door when the Silver Needle opened at 8am. We weren't going to buy anything on Saturday, having made all of our purchases on Friday night (yeah, right!) The class with the Blackbird glas started at 9am, so we did our speed shopping and headed over to the classroom.

A retreat with Barb and Alma is like a feast for the eyes...they always bring lots of models with them. From a tree adorned with some of their stocking finishes... some of the Anniversaries of the Heart pieces completed and framed...

I took a picture of this finished design; I think it is the Glad Tidings chart - I really like it!

Here is the most current Loose Feathers project - Hedgerow Birds. The bag is much larger than you expect and the linen color is more gold than pictured on the cover of the pattern. It's really a pretty design!

Scattered about on the table were a number of projects that Alma and Barb have completed using stitched fragments...

... or colored copies of designs that they have stitched.

Here's Margaret Harris:

Our main project for this event was this pincushion in an oval box and a needlebook that folds in thirds.

Our main project on Saturday was to paint and wax the boxes. Barb told us that when we were finished with it, the box needed to look worn - like it had traveled across the prairie in a covered wagon! Here's a picture of some waxing and buffing in progress:

My pincushion is not quite finished yet, but it will be soon. For a look at a finished pincushion, check out Joan's post from Sunday, July 18.

Well, I think that's enough for tonight. Believe it or not, I have more to share with you. You will have to wait for Part III...

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Heart Blackbird Designs

I love Blackbird Designs. I love everything about them - their charts, the fabrics and fibers they choose for their designs, their finishing ideas. And then the two women behind Blackbird - Barb and Alma - they are just amazing. So creative, warm, and fun to be around. After seeing them this Spring at the Stitchville retreat, I hoped that I would be able to spend time with them again. Little did I know that it would happen again so soon!

My friend Joan and I were fortunate this past weekend to be able to attend the Blackbird Designs event at the Silver Needle in Tulsa, OK. It was my first trip to the Silver Needle.

The best word I can use to describe how I felt when I walked through their front door - mesmerized. The Vera Bradley collection was to my left - to my right and straight ahead was a multitude of charts, fibers, kits, fabrics, and finishes. I know I had this "kid in a candy store" look on my face for a few seconds! The shop was filled with other anxious retreat goers - it was a hoppin' place! Here's what I enjoyed most about this shop -- all the finished samples. Many projects were stitched over one and were finished into flat folds, boxes, ornaments - it was such a delectable feast for the eyes! I regret now that I did not taking pictures of some of the displays in the shop...

Our retreat started on Friday evening at about 6pm. There were many blogger friends that both Joan and I looked forward to meeting. Here's a picture of me with PJStitcher. Pam does not have a blog, but she frequently comments on blogs. It was a real treat to meet her!

Just to give you an idea as to how popular this event was - take a look at all the stitchers!

There were about 150 stitchers from 20 different states and Canada that came to this event in Tulsa!

After dinner on Friday night, we had the plesure of listening to Barb and Alma share some of their stories with us - how they met, how Blackbird Designs got started, where they get their inspiration from, etc.

Barb and Alma had brought some of their sampler collection with them. These samplers have been found at flea markets and thrift stores and have inspired some of the fabrics and cross stitch patterns. (Sorry, the pictures of Barb and Alma are a little bit fuzzy.)

One of my favorite samplers from their collection was this orphan sampler done with black thread on a white/cream colored fabric. Do you recognize it? This sampler inspired the alphabet sampler design that was used in their first fabric line.

This is the original Sarah Tobias...

And this is the sampler that inspired some of the designs in Joyeux Noel...

And some of the other lovely samplers that they brought along...

Our first afternoon and evening in Tulsa was quite nice. Joan and I went back to our hotel and looked forward to the day ahead. More to come....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random Act of Kindness

Before you continue, I have to warn you that my pictures for this post are not the greatest. It's late and my pictures are dark. You'll just have to deal with it!

A most special thing happened today - I received this lovely pincushion in the mail from Faye (Caroliner Stitcher). I'm touched that she thought to gift me with this lovely finish. It's adorned with some really cute pins that Faye also made. Just love it. Thanks again Faye!

On the stitching front ...

...two more blocks done for A Token of Friendship. These are Lori's.

...and Lizzie Kate's limited edition summer fob. Just the stitching is done; I still need to finish it. If you want to see the finished product, check out Jill's or Joan's finished fobs.

Counting less than three days I will be at the Silver Needle enjoying a weekend of stitching and stashing and visiting with Barb and Alma from Blackbird Designs!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Hello Dear Friends!

It's Monday, July 5 and I am enjoying an extended weekend with a holiday from work today. Yesterday was Independence Day and we celebrated by grilling burgers and watching fireworks. Of course, there was time for stitching too!

I'm also celebrating another finish! I just loved this design so much that it was hard to put down. This is Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers #3 - Evening Shades the Garden. I've stitched it on WDW 35ct Light Khaki; it's a creamy soft yellow. For the most part, I used the recommended fibers, with one or two changes because I think the dyelots weren't quite right. It's not very big, approximately 5 inches X 6 inches. This one will get framed soon!

Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers #3
Evening Shades the Garden

35Ct WDW Light Khaki

I've also been working more on This is the Day. I had run out of GAST Tomato and picked up another skein the last time I was at my LNS. Now I've run out of Picnic Basket and Pumpkin Pie! I can finish the lettering at the top and do the filling stitches top and bottom until I get more of these other two colors. I also want to find a replacement fiber for GAST Camouflage; it has too much blue in it (IMHO).

Hot, sticky, cloudy, dark -- not a fun day outside today in Minnesota. As I right this blog post it just started to downpour outside! I've been working on various projects around the house and am in the midst of cleaning through my stitching stash and finishing supplies. Couldn't be happier!

Hope you had a nice weekend; thanks for stopping by!