Thursday, February 2, 2017

February OMG

It's time to set One Monthly Goal and link up with Elm Street Quilts.  This time, I chose a new start as my focus for the month.  I joined a group that meets at my local quilt shop the last Thursday of each month.  It turns out that nearly everyone in the class is also in my quilt guild so that makes it even more fun. The group  has been meeting for about three years and the focus is making small quilts from the book 101 Fabulous Small Quilts (That Patchwork Place).  They decide on a quilt and spend two months making it.  For January and February, the quilt is Leaf Chain.  I love the autumn colors and I was able to find all but one of the fabrics for it in my stash.  My goal is to have the quilt top pieced this month.  So far, I've completed one block (only need 8 of these)

 and half of another (also need 8 of these)

so I'm confident I'll accomplish this goal.  I'm still not too sure about that green square, but I think it will be OK with the border fabric.  If not, I have more choices on hand. 

The quilt for March/April has already been chosen and I didn't have any trouble finding all the fabrics for it in my stash.  Although some may have a different interpretation about the multiple bins in my closets, I prefer to think of it as my pre-retirement fabric collecting finally paying off.  Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

WIPocalypse January 2017

I have another finish!  This is Love and Live Happy by Guild House Samplers.  I saw two versions of this piece at the needlework show in Woodlawn several years ago, and tried to track down the chart at the time.  The designer is Pamela Darney but she didn't have a website at the time.  (She still doesn't, but I understand she is working on it).   I sort of forgot about this piece and of course, I had a *few* other things to stitch!  Then Caryl C. showed her completed piece at one of our guild meetings and loaned me the chart.  I did mine on 36ct. white Edinburgh with the Gloriana silks recommended on the chart.  This was lots of fun to stich and I had fun with the color variations in the silks, particularly Red Clay. 

Guild House Samplers was supposed to be one of the vendors at Annie's Needlework Festival in Williamsburg last December but she ended up not having any items at her table.  Pam spoke at the opening banquet about architecture in needlework and I understand that she is teaching a class in Williamsburg in March.  I hope this designer finds a way to get her charts to a larger market!

Measi's question for the month was "What Stitch-a-Longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?"  I'm involved in two.  A group of stitchers, some of whom belong to the duClay EGA, are stitching Victorine Delacroix (The Essamplaire) over the course of two years.  I'm waaay behind, but hoping catch up during the summer when there is a break from the stitching schedule on this piece.  My other SAL is also with duClay.  Members could choose one of Brenda Keyes' charts to stitch during the year.  I'm doing Sampler Houses and my progress  so far is not much further than this.  It's going to become my travel piece, so maybe I'll have more to show at next month's check-in.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Goal Accomplished

I signed up for One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts and I'm happy to say that I finished a small quilt.  This top was pieced several years ago and put aside because I wasn't confident about quilting it.  I unearthed it when setting up my new sewing room last summer and decided it needed to be finished and donated.  I recently took a class on quilting with rulers on a home machine and thought I might be able to use that knowledge on this project.  I discovered that I'm going to have to put in a LOT more practice with the rulers so I quilted this by (mostly) stitching in the ditch.  It was shown at the January meeting of my quilt guild and given to our Pieces of Love project for donation to a charity that needs baby quilts.

Now to chose another project for February!

Monday, January 2, 2017

WIPocalypse 2017

I know, I know--this blog was silent for six months and suddenly I've started posting every day.  Please don't expect that to continue!  The beginning of a new year has brought the opportunity to set some goals and participate in a few fun things around the guild so I have some extra things to write about.

Measi  has been hosting the WIPocalypse for several years.  This month, she asked participants to introduce themselves and talk about projects and goals for the year.  The duClay Chapter of EGA has a challenge every year and it's a great way to set priorities.  These are my projects for the WIPocalypse and duClay.

1.  Ann Smith by Scarlet Letter--I started this on Super Bowl weekend last year and stitched on it a lot during 2016, but I still have a long way to go.  This will be my focus in 2017.

2.  Sampler Houses by Brenda Keyes-This was a New Year's Day start for a SAL with duClay.
3.  Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs-I have completed everything through May.  June and July are nearly done so I feel confident I'll finish the whole piece this year.

4.  Scottish sewing set by Guila Manfredini-One of my classes at Williamsburg.  I already have the scissors sheath and the fob stitched.  There is a thread keep and a sewing roll to stitch as well.
5.  Finishing for Scottish sewing set

6.  Random Thoughts by Drawn Thread-This has been on my to-stitch list for years and I finally started it on Chrstimas Day.

7.  Live, Love and Be Happy by Guild House Samplers-A smallish Quaker sampler

8.  Paris canvas-Something I've had kitted up and ready to go for over a year

OK, I think I'm organized and focused for the year!  I'll be back next week with an update.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


I've been Kate's blog for some time and especially enjoy her posts about her OMG or One Monthly Goal.  This is hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts in order to encourage quilters to focus on one project that can be completed within a month.  That sounded like a great way for me to turn some UFOs into finished items, and I'm glad it's starting up again for 2017.

We did some home improvements last summer with painting and new flooring in the three bedrooms that our children had used.  Since they're all gone and not likely to be living at home again, we turned one of the rooms into my sewing room.  Wonderful, except that the furniture was placed back in the rooms an hour before I had to go to the airport to pick up my sister who came to help when I had the rotator cuff repair.  One of the craft related things I could do during the first two months after surgery was sort through my stash.  I organized all my fabrics by color and found a few forgotten projects.  One of them was this baby quilt.  It's time for it to get some borders and to be quilted and bound so that I can donate it to the Pieces of Love project at my guild. 

How are you organizing your projects for 2017?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye to 2016

And good riddance!  This year has been a challenging one and I'll be glad to see it go.  It seemed that every month brought a crisis or disappointment, and my husband and I found ourselves becoming less resilient.  The most upsetting event will likely be an ongoing issue, but I am very grateful for a wonderful friend who supported me through the worst of the drama and beyond.  There were smaller setbacks such as our refrigerator conking out one night in early December.  It's true that I like the new one better, but the timing wasn't the best.   Nor is it ever good timing for three root canals, which my husband had in November.  I'm sure you're getting the picture of what our year was like--just one thing after another. 

In fairness, 2016 wasn't all bad as we were able to travel to Cuba.  It was a trip we had dreamed of taking for several years and were happy that we had the opportunity.  In the city of Trinidad, I spotted a woman doing needlework in the outdoor market.
There were some lovely table runners and tablecloths done in drawn thread and of course, I bought a few pieces.  The vendors had the smaller pieces priced at 8-10 CUCs (about $9-13) and were quick to lower prices if  I hesitated even a second. 

Another highlight was a trip to Williamsburg for Annie's Needlework Festival.  All three classes I took were good and someday I will actually finish the pieces.  (Of course, the friend I went with has some of the pieces put together already.)  It was fun seeing two of the women from the duClay EGA again. 

There probably won't be any stitching for me tonight as we are having some of the neighbors over to cheer in the new year.  I'll empty my ORT jar after they leave and look forward to filling it up again in  2017.  Happy new year to all of you!


Friday, December 30, 2016


I'm back.  Shortly after the Duclay EGA  retreat in Florida in July, I had rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder.  I honestly had no idea that the recovery would be so long and difficult (physical therapy is not for the faint of heart), but I finally have nearly my full range of motion and strength.  I couldn't stitch for about two months, and really missed picking up needle and thread.  My large samplers are still in progress but I finished these two smaller pieces.

This pincushion from Blackbird Designs was the piece I stitched for the Delaware Valley Historic Sampler Guild exchange earlier this month.  It's always fun to see what people make and great to be able to take home a reminder of someone in the guild.

I sat down to stitch on Monday night and wanted something that wouldn't involve too much looking at the chart.  I pulled out this needlepoint canvas, one of six from a club run by Old Town Needlework in Scottsdale.  Each canvas represents a store window in New York City.  This was Macy's.   I realized I could have this stitched by the end of the week and I was able to finish it last night.  It feels good to go into 2017 with one less WIP!

Let me know what your "last stitches" of the year will be.