Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summertime and stitching happiness...........

Hello dear we are again and it's summertime already. We had a beautiful and mild spring here in Arizona which is unusual and we really enjoyed it.  We're just starting now to get our hot summer weather.

My stitching life has been busy but happily so!  I went a retreat organized by  the Primitive Stichers Society (Facebook stitching group) in Colonial Williamsburg at the beginning of May - had a fabulous time!!   It was my first stitching retreat but not my last I can tell you that for sure.  I got to meet my cyber-stitching pal Cindy finally -we've corresponded and shared our love for stitching online for a few years now, plus I got to meet Faye of Carolina Stitcher, lots of other wonderful stitchers and some designers as well - Nan from Threadwork Primitives, Kathy Barrick  from Carriage House Samplings fame, Lori Brechlin from Norforgotten Farm, and Elizabeth Talledo from Dames of the Needle.  I felt so blessed to be able to go.  We had a finishing class with Lori Brechlin and a punchneedle class with  Kathy Barrick.  I must say that punchneedle was harder to learn than I thought it would be but with more practice I think I will be fine.   I have to master it as I have patterns and kits in my stash that I need to make!

Here's a few photos from the retreat.......

Here we are finally meeting after communicating online for 3 years -
my cyber-stitching pal Cindy and me

Our stitching table of friends - what a great group!
Designer Kathy Barrick (left) and me - a thrill to meet one of
my all-time favorite designers!

There's a wonderful store called Yankee Candle Village that was near my  hotel in Williamsburg. It had a fabulous Christmas store in it with several rooms of Dept 56 village displays - absolutely gorgeous! 

They even have a Downton Abbey buiding now with the Dowager Countess -
it's a good thing I don't have room for all this but it sure was fun to see it.

And speaking of stash....they had a fabulous vendor mall at the retreat and we all shopped 'til we dropped.  I spent a bundle but enjoyed every minute of it having never been to a stitching event like this before.  

I went a little crazy at the vendor mall but love all of it!

Here was the exchange gift I made for the retreat exchange that was held on the last evening of the retreat, plus a photo of the gift I received. I stitched Stacy Nash's "Spotted Hare Pinkeep Drum" and I  made some carrot pins out of Fimo clay to go with the pincushion. I got a great gift - a primitive-style pincushion mounted onto a lovely fabric-covered box.  I think everyone who came had a great time and I highly recommend it if you are part of the PSS Facebook group and get a chance to attend.  Next year's event will be held in Atlanta, not sure if I'll be able to go (a long way for this Arizona gal) but I do intend to try to go as often as I can.

In April I made a quilted stitching bag for myself to take to the retreat.   I found this great travel-themed fabric a year or so ago and it worked out great - I also made some coordinating project bags to use with the bag - it has pockets to store my portable light, magnetic board and stand, and I made a little travel tag to hold my 'business' card as well.  I'm very happy with it.

My quilted stitching bag with travel-themed fabric

Inside of bag with covered bottom insert
 and pockets all around

Coordinating project bags 

I've had a few finishes lately.  Below is the first project from the Colonial Gatherings stitching club I joined this year.   I haven't decided if I want to get it framed or make something with it.    This piece gave me a lot of headaches...nothing wrong with the pattern but I made so many mistakes it seemed like I was constantly frogging. GRRRRR  One problem I have is I like to use 36-ct linen but I find that using only 1 thread of cotton over-dyes doesn't give me the coverage I like, but 2 strands sometimes can be a little hard to fit in and tough to frog if you have to.  I really prefer one strand of silk on 36-ct but don't always want to do conversions from cottons to silks.  I started with the flowers on this project and after getting about halfway done with them I was unhappy with the coverage and I ended up going back over the flowers with an additional half-stitch of floss to get the coverage I wanted. But in the end I'm happy with this project.

"Hurt Not the Earth" by Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers

I also picked up some framing don't laugh but I stitched this sampler 25 years ago!!  Yes, it's sat rolled up in tissue paper since 1990.   It even has my maiden initials as I stitched it right before I got married.   I don't know why I kept putting off getting it framed...somehow it kept getting pushed to the bottom of the pile yet it turned out much nicer than I thought it would.    I stitched this using Ginny Thompson flower thread which is kind of like wool thread - it was popular for awhile in the late 80's.   Funny framer called me and said she found a couple missing stitches in the border and she wanted to know if I still had the chart so she could see what color thread to use. Well I didn't have the chart but I still had the leftover threads even after all these years so I took them to her and she slipped in the missing stitches for me. 

Finally framed!   "Ella's Sampler" from Pat Rogers

Here is one of my current WIPs - it's "Hannah's Brownstone" by The Scarlett House.  The house took a long time to stitch with all the bricks and details but I'm loving this project.

That's all for today...I have a couple other items I'll save for my next post.