Saturday, July 24, 2021

Final Farewell

We said our final farewell today. Judy, I hope you are stitching with a golden needle in heaven. You will be deeply missed.



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

For Judy

One of my stitching friends died last month. This was the doily she had taken with her to work on while she was recovering in the hospital. She had most of the foundation stitching done. I did the cutting and wrapping. It’s finished now. I will return it to the family at the funeral on Saturday.

I decided to give my blog an update. I renamed it “Alphabet Stitcher” to mirror my Instagram name. The blog address will remain the same.

Putzing around tonight. No stitching. Sometimes putzing is okay though.


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Road Trip! A Visit to Blue Earth, MN

My PIC (Partner in Crime) and I went on a road trip today. We traveled to Blue Earth, MN to visit Welcome Stitchery; today was their grand opening. Cathy Habermann and Carolyn Manning were special guests.

We both are big Cathy Habermann fans. If you know Cathy Habermann of Hands on Design well, you know she likes flamingos. So we thought it was fitting for her “flamin-gals” to make an appearance!


Cathy had a great trunk show on display and had brought the charts for her new designs.


It was a great morning, we saw many friends, old and new. After our visit at the needlework shop we went to the quilt shop in town and then to lunch.

On our way out of town we stopped to take some pictures of this handsome guy.



Since it was on the way home, we made a quick pitstop at the Calico Hutch in Hayward, MN.

Great day! It was so much fun to be out and about and to spend it with friends!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Rubbing Elbows With Rock Stars

Not much stitching to share, but I do have a couple photos to share.

When I was at the Attic, I had my picture taken with Jean. She puts on such wonderful events. She’s an industry legend!

I also had my picture taken with Merry Cox. Another rock star in our industry. I’ve enjoyed taking some online classes with her recently. She was a participant at the Bristol weekend event.

I visited the Mad Tatter this past weekend. She just finished stitching and blocking this doily. Isn’t it lovely. The thread color appears kind of yellow because of the lighting, but it is actually white as snow. The Mad Tatter is a rock star too!

Hope your week is going well.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Remembering Barb Adams (cont.)

My last class with Blackbird Designs was held at the Attic in Mesa, AZ in November, 2019. Little did any of us know that this  would be our last retreat before the pandemic. And it was the last time I would see Barb Adams. It was a great weekend, no painting or waxing, but wonderful projects all the same. I’ve finished all of them.

On Friday night, our project was this sweet sampler called “My Heart Can Rest.” When I stitched it, I dedicated it to my paternal grandmother.

On Saturday, we received the kits to make the top for this box (pattern can be found in the Sewing Club book. We also received the kit to make this stitched tomato; I finished mine into a drum.


This is the top of the tomato pincushion (the model).


My drum finish is in the back on the left.

And in the back, on the right in this photo.

Thanks for sticking with me over these last few posts. Such great memories. I’m grateful to have had so many opportunities to connect with Barb and Alma over the years. Barb will be truly missed.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Remembering Barb Adams (cont.)

My ode to Barb Adams and Blackbird Designs continues. We were fortunate to have Barb and Alma for two more Stitchville Spring Flings, in 2017 and 2019.

In 2017, our projects were the designs featured in their book “And Blossoms as the Rose.”  And yes, they had us painting and waxing again. Always fun!



In 2019, our projects were designs that would later be included in the “Sewing Club” book. We painted and waxed again!




I am so fortunate to have had so many opportunities to take classes over the years with this dynamic duo!

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Remembering Barb Adams (cont.)

After the 2010 retreat, I didn’t see the Blackbird Designs duo again until 2016. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor visitors from Austria would keep us from our planned excursion to The Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Had there not been a conflict, we would have probably made a weekend out of it, but given the circumstances we elected to get up early in the morning and drive to Spring Green in time for class. After class was finished, we drove home.

An afternoon with Barb and Alma is totally worth the drive!



Our project on this weekend was later released in the book “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer Day.”



Two more weekends with Barb and Alma coming up next!

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Remembering Barb Adams

My love for Blackbird Designs continued in 2010, beginning with Stitchville’s first ever Spring Fling. I was delighted to learn that Barb and Alma would be the featured designers. We were a small, intimate group that first year and it was oh so much fun. They made us paint. Yes, they made us paint. And we waxed. On Friday, they wanted us all to leave with a finished project. Barb sat at a sewing machine in the back of the room sewing up the little sachets that we had each stitched our initial on. We enjoyed their stories and were treated to a gallery of Blackbird Designs projects, a testament to how beloved they already were in the stitching community.

Our weekend class projects…

Alma, Deb from Stitchville, and Barb

Once was not enough for me though. In July, I tolerated the heat and humidity of Tulsa so that I could spend another weekend with the Blackbird girls. This crowd was not so intimate - 150 in total if I remember correctly. They made us paint again. I think we glued pins too. They always pushed us outside of our comfort zone encouraging us to try new and creative things.

Here’s Barb addressing their adoring fans.

And Alma…

Here is the class piece from the Silver Needle weekend.

I was a lot younger then. I had more hair too!

Such fond memories — but wait, there are more!

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

In Memory of Barb Adams

The needlework world lost a legend today. Was shocked to learn of the passing of Barb Adams, one half of the Blackbird Designs team. So very sad for her family and for her business partner and best friend, Alma Allen.

I first met Barb and Alma in 2007 is Strasburg, Virginia at a Hands to Work retreat. That weekend began my infatuation of all things Blackbird Designs. I remember being mortified when they took used coffee grounds and rubbed them into the stitched project to “grunge it up” and give it an “aged look.” You couldn’t help but love them. The stories they shared - they were just so entertaining! I am so glad to have had this opportunity! (Pictured below Alma, Cathy, and Barb.)

The project that weekend was called Flowers for Sarah Needleroll. I did not finish the project until 2011, but I did finish it! It was the longest piece of linen I have ever stitched on! The linen is folded in three places to make the pockets. The bright colors of the fabric on the backside were toned down by dipping it in some Rit Dye (another Blackbird trick).


In memory of Barb, I had to work on a Blackbird project tonight. All Joys For Thine was in my stash and kitted up and ready to go. This piece was designed and stitched by Barb. I got a good start on the border.


I will continue to honor Barb’s memory over my next few posts. Rest in peace, Barb, and thank you for bringing so much joy to the needlework community.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Bristol Weekend - Day Two

Today was a full day that started with a wonderful lecture by Claudia Dutcher on Bristol Samplers. Learning about these orphans and the samplers they stitched was fascinating.

After lunch Maegan Jennett walked us through the basics of hemstitching and we had time to practice. Oftentimes the little girls stitching the Bristol Samplers hemstitched their linen before they began stitching. My hemstitching turned out pretty good.

Tonight was show and tell. Lots of talent in the room. I continued working on a perforated paper project.

A little bit more tomorrow and then all good things come to an end.

Bristol Weekend - Day One

The festivities didn’t begin until 5pm so we went to an Antique Mall late morning and then grabbed a bite for lunch. It was a nice mall; I made a few small purchases: a flower frog, some bone buttons, and some miniature clothes pins.

The Bristol event kicked off with a delicious dinner of short ribs, sea bass, risotto, sweet potatoes and salad. I should have taken a picture!

This evening’s lecture was all about perforated paper. There were many models on display from Claudia Dutcher’s and Vickie Jennett’s collections.

We received a lovely project bag filled with red goodies from the Attic. Tonight’s project was a Paper Lacework Nametag and I finished mine! My name is cross stitched but the border design is cut out of the paper. Fun project!




Looking forward to day two!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Another Adventure - The Attic’s Bristol Weekend

This is another event that was rescheduled from 2020. Happy to be in Mesa, AZ this weekend for the Attic’s Bristol Weekend.

Arrived at the PHX airport this morning, grabbed a rental car and headed to Wildflower Bread Company for some lunch. Then we were off to the Attic. Visiting the Attic is always a feast for the eyes and the soul. 


The front table was filled with lots of Bristol red samplers!


Jean also had a table with some of the newer sampler releases.


I never get tired of looking at these wonderful models.





This evening we dined at my favorite restaurant - Abuelos! Such a treat!



Looking forward to tomorrow. Hoping for sweet dreams tonight.