Sunday, August 28, 2011

Group Project

Each year our Friday night stitching group likes to work on a project together; the group has been doing it for five or six years now, this was the second time since joining the group that I participated. Last year's project involved some elaborate finishing (see this post from last August) and so this year we did something that was a little bit easier to finish.

We chose to stitch the friendship squares from Little House Needlework's Dear Diary series! During the year, we each stitched six of the squares and added our initials in the top corners. When we got together a couple of weeks ago we swapped squares so that we each had a square stitched by one of the other group members. Then we put our boxes together. I wasn't able to be with the group this year when they did their finishing, and I just got around to finishing my box last night.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, each stitcher chose her own color fabric. We laced the designs to matboard and then sewed them together. What do you think, isn't it cute? I love it!

Here are some photos I took of Joan's, Jill's, and Lori's boxes:

And you can see additional photos on Jill's blog and on Joan's blog.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

Poof! Another week gone. I've been under the weather this past week; caught a summer cold and just can't shake it. But I think I'm on the mend now. My mother says I need to rest more. Just can't do it.

This morning my daughter went out to the garden to pick vegetables. We have an abundance of cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash. I needed to do something with all of them! So, I made creamed cucumbers (little mayo, sugar, and cream on sliced cucumbers and onion)- we'll have this with our supper tonight. Then I baked a chocolate zucchini cake (yum!) I've been grating and freezing the zucchini too so that we can enjoy zucchini cakes later this winter. I also cooked up some of the tomatoes with celery and onion; this will be frozen and then used for chili later this fall and winter. I think we're going to have roasted zucchini and pasta with our supper tonight! Veggie heaven. (I should invite Joan over - ha, ha! She doesn't eat vegetables!)

Did any of you watch the premier episode of "The Pioneer Woman" on the Food Network Channel this morning? My daughter and I watched and we quite enjoyed it. I think that I will be making the chopped tomato salad for dinner tonight too (gotta use up those tomatoes!) It looked delicious! I'm going to have to visit her blog more often.

Believe it or not, I have another finish to share with you. I haven't felt like doing much with this cold, but I did get some stitching done. Let me introduce you to Crazy Challenge Piece #10!

Quaker Medallion Sampler
C Street Samplerworks (Ruth Ann Russell)
36-count Summer Khaki
DMC Fibers

It was a joy to stitch. I have another one of Ruth Ann's pieces in my WIP pile that I need to get back to (I Sigh Not for Beauty). I really like her designs.

A week ago, I had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem with a group from work at the Minnesota Twins baseball game at Target Field. What an awesome ballpark. On this particular evening they celebrated Jim Thome's 600th homerun (which he hit at an away game a few days prior.) Unfortunately, this was also one of Jim's last games as a Minnesota Twin (he was picked up by the Cleveland Indians this week.) Here are some photos from the ballpark that night...

The last photo is of Joe Mauer of course!

And for anyone who might be interested - here's a link to the National Anthem that night. Let me tell you that it is an awesome experience to sing our National Anthem in a ballpark like this. We stood behind home plate. Gave me goosebumps!

Before I thoughts and prayers are with my stitching friends on the East coast. Stay safe!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crazy Challenge Finish #9

Happy dance time! On Sunday night, I finished this sampler from Heartstring Samplery. Poppy Maye is one of Jenny Bean's friends. This sampler appealed to me the minute I first saw it. I like the dark linen and the floss colors. I was so excited to stitch it that it was the first Crazy Challenge piece that I started on January 2. It took me awhile to finish it though; those alphabets were tedious! But, she's done now. I can't wait to get this beauty framed.

Poppy Maye Russell
Heartstring Samplery
35ct WDW Cappuccino linen
WDW fibers

You know, when I started the Crazy Challenge in January, I didn't really think that I'd get all 15 pieces finished - and I still won't, sure has been fun working on these pieces throughout the year! I hope to finish at least one more (or maybe two). It's that time of year though when I start thinking about the holidays and I need to start working on ornaments and such for gifts. We'll see how things go.

That's all I've got for you today!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Before we left on our trip I posted a photo of this finish; I took it in for framing just before we left. It was finished when we returned, but I didn't dare post another photo until now. This was a gift for some very special friends. My mom and my children go to their cabin for a few days every summer. They have a blast boating, swimming, four-wheeling, sitting around the campfire, and playing cards. Each year they take a "thank-you" gift along; it's always my job to come up with the appropriate gift. This year I stitched this design for their cabin. My mom and daughter visited them last week and gave them the sampler so now it is safe to post!

Tall Pines
Little House Needleworks
32 ct Summer Khaki
CC/WDW/GAST/DMC (as charted)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

We Resume Our Regularly Scheduled Program

This is a stitching blog after all. And, while I thoroughly enjoyed sharing our trip to Austria and Hungary with you, it's time now to get back to the business of stitching! (I did find some more pictures of the Hövej embroidery though which I will share at the end of this post...)

Let's start with a finish! Since arriving home I had time to work on this patriotic design that has been in my stash forever. The pattern calls for this design to be stitched one-over-one; you all know how much I LOVE stitching one-over-one (NOT!) I switched out the linen for 36ct Summer Khaki and stitched the design two-over-two. Since this linen color is a little darker, I had to make some adjustments to the floss color for the sheep, but otherwise, it is stitched as charted. Without further ado, here is "Flag Day" from With Thy Needle and Thread!

Flag Day
With Thy Needle and Thread
36ct Summer Khaki
DMC Fibers

Last week and this week the quilt shops in Minnesota are hosting their annual Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. What makes this event particularly fun, is that every year there is a line of fabrics designed with a Minnesota theme. Click on the link if you would like to see this year's fabrics.

Over the weekend I took time to visit some of the shops in the Twin Cities. I've dabbled a little bit in quilting, but never have completed a large project. I bought some fabric this weekend and am going to attempt to make a quilt. Will let you know how that goes!

I found a few more photos of the Hövej embroidery that I didn't share with you on my initial post (The Embroidery of Hövej, July 27). Here a few more pictures for you to enjoy.

One afternoon we had lunch at the home of one of my mother's cousins. She had the panels inside her china hutch lined with Hövej embroidery.

Then, in another room, she had another hutch and each shelf had edging that was made from Hövej embroidery. Isn't it beautiful? (Sorry for the reflection.)

Notice how each circle is filled with a different design. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)

We enjoyed a beautiful today; temperatures have finally cooled down a bit. We cleaned up our garden a little bit; pulled some weeds, picked cucumbers and yellow squash. In a few days we are going to have a boat load of tomatoes (as soon as they all turn red!)

That's all I've got. Hope you have a fabulous week. Do some stitching!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

All Good Things Must Come to an End...

Yes, all good things come to an end, but the memories will last forever! We had a fabulous two weeks in Burgenland and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to share this trip with my mom.

She is still thinking about our trip too - she continues to cook and bake some of the things we ate while we were there. Two days ago she made apricot marmalade (like the stuff we had at the pension every morning); and yesterday she tried to make cabbage strudel (remember, she ate five pieces!) My son tried the cabbage strudel yesterday and said it was delicious! I'm sure there were will be more Burgenländishe foods coming our way in the days ahead.

Sadly, this will be my final post on our trip to Burgenland. Oh, I'm sure that I could probably go on and on for several more days (or weeks!) and I will likely still occasionally insert a little story or a picture or two as things occur to me, but I think I've successfully covered all of the major highlights of our trip.

So today, I leave you with some photos (and of course, commentary!) on the "land" and the "lake."

We think we understand why our ancestors came to Minnesota. When you look at the landscape of Burgenland, it's like looking at the corn field or the wheat fields that you might see in the country right here in Minnesota!

Minus the vineyards of course! (Oh I know there are vineyards in Minnesota too, but not like these.)

The grapes are growing everywhere - every little patch of available land! Everyone has their own little patch of grapes and everyone makes wine. The wines made in Burgenland are delicious!

This picture could almost be mistaken for Iowa with all the wind turbines, don't you think?

Flowers were in bloom everywhere too...

One day, during our visit we traveled to the city of Neusiedl to visit with some cousins (Mitzi and Rosa). We had lunch at a newer hotel that was recently built just north of Neusiedl in Parndorf. After lunch, we had the opportunity to go up to the 14th floor and view the Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl) from the north.

Can you see it in the distance? If the day had been clearer, it would have been an even better view. And yes, immediately in front of the hotel - that is an outlet mall. Just like the ones we have here in America.

Quick people picture of second cousins Rosa (middle) and Mitzi (right), Rosa's husband is on the left. I stayed with Rosa's family twice over the Christmas and New Year holidays while in college and studying in Germany.

On a different day, we also viewed the Neusiedlersee from it's most southern end. You have to travel into Hungary to see it (keep in mind, it's a big lake!) Behind these houses you can see the southernmost end of the Neusiedlersee.

Much of the lake in Hungary though is made up of "Rohr" or reeds. These same reeds were used to make the thatched roofs that you often see on older pictures of homes in the Burgenland area. This is a barn that we came across in Hungary.

Much of the area surrounding the Neusiedlersee is a National Park and since 2001, it has also been named a World Heritage Site. This area would be like heaven to an ornithologist because of the various different birds that can be seen here. We saw thousands of geese and an old fashioned well as we traveled through the park

And of course, let's not forget the storks!

But, the best way to see the Neusiedlersee is "up close and personal." We did something that we never "in our wildest dreams" thought we would do on this trip. One afternoon we traveled to a marina in Hungary and we boarded Martin's sailboat and headed out to the lake!

The captain of the ship and his first mate (or do they look more like the "Skipper" and "Gilligan"?)

We had to travel down a long (with emphasis on the word "long") channel of rohr to get to the lake..."How much longer before we reach the lake, Martin?"

The long trip through the channel was worth it. Once we made it to the end, we had a front row seat viewing the beautiful Neusiedlersee!

A very happy captain and first mate basking in the sunshine!

So, that's my story. Special thanks to Martin and Ilse - this trip wouldn't have been possible without the two of you. I hope you know that you will always hold a special place in our hearts (and we hope you will seriously consider coming to America one day soon!)

Tomorrow we will resume regular programming, a.k.a. needlework updates! Although, I did find a few more photos of the embroidery from Hövej. That still counts, right?