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.  


  1. Enjoyed reading your post! Thank you for sharing your pictures from the PSS retreat. Love your quilted bag and accessories! Your sampler looks stunning in its frame. Nice brickwork on your WIP!

    Robin in Virginia

  2. Your post was just stuffed with fun pics and explanations. I love the Fimo carrot pins!

  3. Looks like a good time was had at the retreat! Love your stash, all of it. The drum you made is so cute! Great framing on the sampler, it's beautiful. I've always admired that Scarlett House design. Your posts are always fun to read, come back soon!

  4. The retreat looks like a great time.
    That's an awesome display of Dept 56.
    What a Great stash pile you bought!!
    Love the drum, tote and pouches you made.
    What a great fabric.
    The carrots turned out so cute.
    Ella is a great piece, glad you had it framed.

  5. Love your new framed piece! It looks like a fantastic retreat! What a great stash haul! :-)

  6. Wow! What a post! I love, love, love your 25 year old sampler. And your framer! What a gal to see that and do that for you!!!

  7. Looks like you had a great time at the retreat. Lovely stash haul!

    Gorgeous stitching and your travel bag and pouches are amazing!

  8. What an awesome treat it was for me to finally meet you, my far-away stitchy friend! We sure had a blast in Williamsburg! I loved this post full of gorgeous pictures my friend! Your stitching is always just so beautiful! Reading this really made me smile today, dear friend! :) :)

  9. Stitching retreats are just the best! Love your bag you made too. Did you use a pattern? It looks like a really nice sized bag. Love the fabric you chose too. Way to go on that awesome stash haul. What a fun trip post today!

  10. what a great post Jeanne, so many beautiful thing - loved the pin drum and the tote bag. Isn't that something about framing that sampler from so long ago. It looks great and the colors are bright and pretty. I know what you mean about 1 strand of overdyes on 36ct - I find I am gravitating more towards 32 count these days especially with non-silk projects where I can use 2 strands with no worries of bulkiness to deal with. I am fairly close to Atlanta and I hope I am able to attend the PSS retreat in 2016. You know with work and my EGA regional commitments - one never knows if I can work it in or not. Take care and stay cool - it's upper 90's here, too hot for mid June - Mel

  11. Jeanne, aren't stitching retreats the very best?! I'm excited just reading your post!! LOVE the stitching bag.

  12. Wow, looks like a lot of fun, gone a little crazy on the stash, lol. Love your finishes, love the colors on the sampler. And your bag is sooo neat!

  13. It sounds like a wonderful retreat! Since it's going to be in Atlanta next year, I'm thinking that I might be able to go. Love your bag and project pouches!

  14. Oh Jeanne, what a wonderful retreat this must have been at Colonial Williamsburg (a place that I want to visit one day). Both exchnage gifts are so beautifully stitched and finished, what a treat. And all the new stash that you bought there will keep you quite busy for a while, lol. That travelling bag was certainly perfect for all the things that you took with you to the retreat.

    A great finished piece by Paulette Stewart. And your framed sampler is such a beauty, that frame just makes the stitching pop out. And you have started a lovely new sampler and already got a lot stitched on it. A very promising piece.

  15. I'm envious…Williamsburg stitching retreat looks amazing. I need to check into the Atlanta retreat ~ I have a friend 1 hr south of Atlanta that I would love to go visit. :-)
    I love your little carrot pins. You're so clever.
    Did you REALLY purchase ALL of that stash? Yikes, good for you!
    Congrats o the completion of "Hurt Not the Earth" ~ looks great.

    Ella Sampler looks wonderful. Amazing how we let things sit for years before giving them some attention!


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