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.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Getting Ready

Jackie posted about cleaning out her stitching bag so she can get ready for retreat this weekend.  I'm going to the same retreat, and thought I had better clean out my bag as well.  Here are the contents:
Not too bad since this is the bag I use each week for an afternoon of stitching with friends.  But take a look at that small owl on top of the green pouch.  It's from a kit to teach how to stitch on linen that I bought several decades ago from a shop that has long since closed.  It's all stitched, so what is it doing in my bag?  It is now in the "to be finished" pile and won't be going on retreat!

The rest of the things are much more current and more or less in progress and some are going back in the bag.  The kit from the Lauren Sauer class I took with the duClay EGA last fall is there and some of the ladies are going to be stitching on it again this weekend.  I'm a little obsessed with Ann Smith right now and that's in the large clear bag under the green pouch.  There's a project called "Jolly Jack" that is probably hard to see in this picture.  It could be completed on a retreat weekend, so it will go back in the bag.  There are two potential new starts that I've been carrying around, one from Plum Street Samplers and the other a Silver Needle Circle of Friends project.  It might be fun to start one while I'm stitching with friends this weekend.  I'm positive that half the fun of retreat is planning what to take!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's Done! (June, 2016)

When the woman at Rittenhouse Needlepoint in Philadelphia called to tell me that this piece was finished, she referred to it as my "adorable penguin."  She was so right--this penguin is adorable and I loved stitching it!  I can't remember the name of the designer, but it was a part of an animal ornament club from Fireside Stitchery several years ago.  I chose to expand the background and have it made into a stand-up. 

This was one of my duClay EGA challenge pieces--from 2015.  I didn't get it completely stitched until May of this year, but done is done, no matter what the date on the calendar.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This Has Been Challenging

I'm participating in year long challenges with both the duClay EGA chapter in Jacksonville, FL and my local guild, Delaware Valley Historic Sampler Guild (  The challenges are similar since both allowed participants to choose up to a specified number of pieces to focus on during the year, and prizes may be awarded for completion. 

Delaware Inspiration from Heart's Ease Examplar Workes is my main focus piece this year.  Here's where I was a week ago.   Notice the vines and leaves on the upper right?  They have been ripped out and re-stitched twice, both times because I was off by one vertical thread. 

The frogs have been banished from my house and this is where I was as of last night.  I'm using the Belle Soie silks called for in the chart, and the colors are amazing.