Saturday, July 26, 2014

Still alive and sweatin' through the summer!

Hello people and may I say a big THANK YOU for all you nice followers that haven't dropped me off your blog lists!  I haven't had much time for blogging this year and I had such good intentions.  It's been a pretty crazy year around the WillowTreeStitcher household so far and things aren't looking up either.  My father-in-law is 86 and it got to be time for him to move to a facility where he could get some help due to health and aging issues over the last 4 months.  My husband and I found a nice assisted-care facility for him in the same retirement community where he's lived for 15 years.  He's adjusting well and doing a lot better.  The good food, exercise program, activities and medical help he gets onsite have made a big difference.  Meanwhile we're spending every week-end  clearing out his house to get it ready to sell, getting his car and other possessions sold and taking care of his financial affairs for him.  It's been a hectic time.  Clearing out and sorting through someone else's home really makes you take a good look at your own house and things you should get rid of!  Husband and I aren't hoarders but you sure do accumulate a lot of 'stuff' over the years. My craft room alone would probably make a few people faint not because it's messy but just the sheer volume of it all!

Meanwhile, my job continues to be very demanding and requiring me to do business travel about once a month which eats into my time. I hope to be retired in a couple years and really looking forward to a slower pace and more time for stitching, quilting, and whatever else I want to do.  I certainly will never be bored!   Meanwhile I stitch whenever I can grab the time whether it's 15 minutes or an hour here or there. 

I finished up Blackbird Designs "In Full Glory".  This was a fun little stitch but took a bit longer than I thought it would - there's more stitching in this than you would think.  I have a lot of pinkeeps/pincushions already so I went diving into my quilting fabric stash and made it into a little mini-quilt to hang on a wire stand I had. (the stand is from Ackfeld Manufacturing)   I found the perfect fabrics in my stash and the little motifs on the blue fabric look like fireworks to me.  I like to leave my patriotic things out from Memorial Day to Labor Day so will still enjoy this one until September. 

Progress continues on CCN's Frosty Forest.  I'm starting to see people out in Blogland and Facebook who have finished the whole series since the last pattern just came out. I only started this project in May but feel like I'm making good progress and I'm having fun stitching it.  I stole an idea from another stitcher who posted in one of the LHN-CCN groups and I'm adding a border to mine.  I took a pine motif from an LHN chart called "Pinetop Lodge" and modified and expanded it to fit my piece.  Maybe when I'm done I'll sprinkle some 'snow' in the border as well.   Here's a few photos of what I've done so far....I think the block with the two young deer is my favorite so far - they're just so CUTE!  Since I took this photo I've started on block 6.

Once I got that BBD piece done I rewarded myself with a new start naturally!   I've had "Emblem of Love" by With My Needle kitted up for a couple years already.  My start seemed like it was cursed though. I had kitted it up with a beautiful piece of 40-ct Lakeside Linen's Vintage Light Exemplar and a silk conversion I got from my local shop. When I started stitching the fabric just wasn't working for me.  It was a little too orange-y or something.  So I started over on a piece of 40-ct mystery linen from my stash.  I got the first Quaker medallion done but wasn't happy with it - the thread colors seemed too dull.   Back to the square one again...I ripped it out and did my own conversion to silks (it's charted for DMC and overdyed floss) and started a THIRD time.  Thank goodness I'm finally happy with my choices.  The thing I like about Quaker samplers is you get little happy-dance moments each time you finish a medallion LOL.  Here's a shot straight from the Q-snaps.......

A bit of finishing work to share.....this little pinkeep was stitched by a friend and I did the finishing. We both think it turned out cute!  I just happened to have a piece of purple fabric in my fabric stash that matched it perfectly.   I forget who the designer is on this piece...maybe BBD but I'm not sure.
I picked up a couple Halloween charts a month ago when The Strawberry Sampler had a sale.   I just couldn't resist.   Aren't these fabulous?!  Can't wait to start on them.
On a sad note....our beloved dog Buster was diagnosed with prostate cancer this week.  He's 11 and the outlook they gave us is poor.  We are absolutely crushed and heartbroken of course....I know so many of you are pet owners and will understand the pain we feel.   We plan to make the most of whatever time left that we are blessed with...they couldn't predict any timeframe for us.  He's always been such a lively dog and still acts the same so it's hard to believe he really is sick inside. 
Thank you for coming in to visit for a few moments, I really appreciate each and every one of you who stops by.
Our beloved Buster


  1. What a post full of eye candy! Love love love your finishes. The fabrics are perfect to set off the stitching. That pinkeep is simply beautiful. Sorry to hear the sad news about your dog.

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  3. Hello dear. I too am guilty of not blogging very much this year. Lovely to see you're still stitching. Sounds like things have been very busy for you and so sorry to hear about your dog. Stunning stutched finished. Well done. Xxx

  4. Beautiful stitching and finishing. I love your border around Frosty Forest, it gives it extra pizazz!

    So sorry to read about Buster. We lost one of our cats to cancer last year, I just made a photo book of all his pictures this weekend - and it still makes me cry. It's so hard when our furry family members get sick :(

  5. Great BB finish, the fabric is perfect.
    Love FF with the border, it adds a lot to it.
    The BB pinkeep is beautiful.
    So sorry to hear about Buster.

  6. Goodness, you have had a lot to do Jeanne! I haven't been blogging a lot either, and recently had to return to the UK to clear out our home ready to let. We had made a start when we were home at Christmas, and had got rid of loads then, but couldn't believe how much more we threw out and still had left to put into storage for when we eventually return to the UK.

    Beautiful stitching and finishes - I love the wire stand! Love the BBD pinkeep too! I have this one to stitch, and hope I find as perfect a piece of matching fabric in my stash for finishing.

    So sorry to hear about Buster too.

  7. I love how you finished In Full Glory! The fabric does look like fireworks!

    I love what you are doing with Frosty Forest! The border is adorable! I need to get busy with mine! :-)

    I am sorry to hear about your dog.

  8. L♥ve In Full Glory. The border really adds a lot to all the patterns on FF.
    I am so sorry about Buster. He looks like such a good boy.

  9. I'm sorry for the hard times you have been going through. I'm glad you have time with Buster - so sorry he has prostate cancer. Glad your FIL has settled in well to the assisted care facility. Clearing out his house must be quite the job. Love all your stitching and finishing. The BBD piece looks wonderful as a mini quilt!

  10. Your stitching and finishing are beautiful as always, Jeanne! You've been hanging so tough and being so strong through the past couple of months, and I think you're something else! You know I understand completely what you're going through now with Buster. Sending lots of hugs to you, my dear friend! <3

  11. What a fabulous post with all your finishes and starts! I really like the border on the FF piece and I love how you finished the BBD patriotic piece. What colors did you end up using for the Quaker piece? I really like your choices.

    Robin in Virgina

  12. So sorry you've had a lot to do just lately. It's hard clearing out someone's home. It certainly does make you think about your own!

    Your stitching and finishing are gorgeous.

    Sending hugs to you and your sweet dog. Pets are family too and hits us hard when they are ill.

  13. Our family has also been going through some trials over the last few months,so I send you my prayers for grace and strength to get through. I truly appreciate your wonderful post and pictures; it inspires me to keep stitching and finishing. Such a nice job on all of them. I am glad that your FIL is doing better! Enjoy the time you have with your dog; they do become like family members. Happy Stitching - it is a great stress reliever.

    Pam in KS

  14. Sorry to hear about Buster. It's heart wrenching when our pets get sick. I'm sure the worrying has lessened with the new housing for your FIL. Frosty Forest is beginning to grow on me every time I see someone's progress on them. Yours looks great with that pine border. I may have to look into the price of gray fabric and all the patterns. What is yours stitched on, if you don't mind? Nice finish and stash too! I'm with you sweating through this summer!

  15. So sorry about your dog. :(

    I just love your finishing and especially like the little mini quilt. My current stitch would make the perfect little mini quilt so I will be using yours as inspiration. Happy stitching....

  16. Hi Jeanne! it seems or summers are both on parallel tracks, as I've spent the better part of mine also moving my mother out of her house. It's such a bittersweet time, with so many things to let go of.

    Your stitching and finishing, as alwyas, is beautiful! Love the BBD Quaker piece.

  17. Lots of pretty stitching! Love your patriotic finish and the finishing of it too! Buster looks quite regal. Pretty boy. Have a great week!

  18. You have been so busy! That's a lot to keep going all at once. I'm sorry to read about your Buster. May he have abundant good days left. Your BBD piece is stunning :) love it!

  19. Lovely stitching .
    Give buster a hug .
    Wishing you a good week.

  20. Beautiful beautiful finishes. Love your mini quilt In Full Glory - stunning. SO sorry about Buster. He's so handsom...I know we hurt when any of our family members are hurting. Sending you hugs.
    love Annette

  21. I am sorry to read of Buster 's illness. As a dog/pet lover I completely understand your heartache. Wishing you strength during this difficult time.

    It really is amazing how much "stuff" many of us can accumulate. It's a lot of work clearing out other peoples belongings.

    Love the finish on "In Full Glory" and with that mini quilt frame you could stitch season designs and change them out. The patriotic fabric you selected is perfect.

    Frosty Forest is coming along nicely (nice pics as well).

    "Emblem of Love" is turning into a labor of love. :-)
    It is looking beautiful.

    I almost purchased the 3 witches pattern. I would love to see one finished.

  22. so sorry to hear about your pretty boy's illness. I hope he will be pain free. Love the creative way you finished in Full Glory - it is lovely and I was just looking at that chart last night - summer is still upon us and I am still looking at patriotic stitching even though I should be doing Halloween now or even Christmas LOL - LOVE your Forest Monthly piece - the pine border adds so much to the piece. YGG - hang in there with work and all the challenges you have on your plate. take care Mel

  23. Sorry to hear of all your woes, I hope life gets a little easier for you in the months and years to come. Poor Buster. :(
    Beautiful stitching, I just LOVE your border around Frosty Forest, it just seems to add a bit of warmth to it, it doesn't look so cold with all the white on grey fabric. Am I making sense, never mind it's amazing!

  24. So great to see a new blog post from you. It's not easy to find the time for hobbies and blogging when your life is busy with so many things. BUt I can tell you from my own experience that time is also rare when you are retired, lol. BUt it's wonderful! Something to look forward to.

    Such a lovely patriotic finish. And your Frosty projec t is looking gorgeous with the border you are stitching around it. A wonderful idea. Your start on the DT piece is just great. Enjoy stitching it.

  25. Hello Jeanne,

    you have a wonderful blog. I'm your new follower.
    Your Frosty Forest looks great. The border is fantastic. Great Idea!

    Have a nice sunday, Manuela

  26. I'm always excited to see a new post from you, Jeanne--your work is just so very beautiful!!! I love that patriotic hanging that you created--wish my sewing skills were decent enough to make something like that. And your Frosty Forest looks wonderful with the border.

    Aww... I'm sure the dianosis of prostate cancer in dear Buster has hit your family hard. He looks like a loyal and true friend...

    So glad you were able to find a good facility for your FIL. Having been through that with my parents over the last couple of years, I know how exhausting and heartbreaking it is to watch them fail. Good luck with the house clean-out... That is backbreaking work for sure.

    Take care now, Jeanne, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

  27. Real life comes to us all. Love your stitching and you stash additions. PPS Halloween Delivery is on my list. Your Buster is beautiful, enjoy your time with him :@

  28. I've been terribly behind too in all things to do with blogs, commenting, etc. Life does get busy for us but it's nice to reconnect :D I'm sorry to hear about your FIL but that's good that he is in a good assisted care facility. Makes all the difference. I'm looking forward to retirement but I still have 25 years to go!! Quite a long time yet. Love your finish and your new start. Quaker medallions are fun to stitch and there's a happy dance after each finish. Hugs to you Jeanne!!


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