I have several interests to share through this blog including my love of needlework, quilting, cooking, and my pets, Molly and Butterscotch. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with adding to most of these areas over time. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Merry Cox and Oval Shaker Box

You Never Know What You Might Find in Your Stash

The other day I was doing a little research on eBay for antique samplers.  Their search engine pulled up old copies of Sampler and Antique Needlework Magazines.  One in particular caught my eye.   It was Volume 14 and included a beautiful piece from Merry Cox called "Abide Thy Heart".  Well, I fell in love.  It incorporates one of my favorite stitches - Queen Stitches, and is set into an oval shaler box - another one of my favorite pieces.  So, I checked my back isues and low and behold, I had Volume 14, plus Volume 15 which has the second part of the pattern. 

I then did some online research to find a maple oval Shaker box as pictured in the photo.  I found an excellent source at Orleans Carpenters (www.shakerboxes.com).  They have specialized in Oval Shaker Boxes since the 1970's.  I placed an order immediately for a #3 Birds Eye Maple box that perfectly fit the dimensions that Merry specifies. 

I emailed the Dixons and requested a box with a lot of birds eye detailing.  A few days later, this is what I received.  

The box has a beautiful sheen and a soft sily feel from the wax finish that they apply to the box. 

The great thing is that after I received it, I realized that this was the same source that Jackie DuPlesis used for the carrier that was used for Lady Jane's Garden (pictured in a previous post).  The bad news is, I learned from my correspondence with Beth Dixon, that they will be retiring from box making in August to pursue making parlor guitars.  They are hoping to be able to pass the box making business along to a colleague.  I need to make sure that I order anything that I might want from them before they retire. 

That's all for now.  Happy stitching!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It has been awhile since I have posted on my blog.  This has been a busy year mostly since last December and now I feel I can breathe and get caught up on life.  My Mom went into the hospital in early December with pneumonia and late stage lung cancer.  She had a lung tumor identified 2 years prior, however with her severe lung disease, it would have been too dangerous to proceed with an invasive lung biopsy and it would have been too hard on her to undergo chemo or radiation.  So we let her live her life in relative comfort.  She was able to live on her own for 2 years with ongoing help of my sister and I, with very little pain or suffering.  She passed away December 28th and is now at peace. 

My sister and I spent the next 3 months going through the house, cleaning, sorting and organizing for Goodwill and auction.  It was an 1 1/2 hour drive each way with every weekend spent with my sister going through everything we needed to.  My parents bought the house in 1953 and my father passed away in 1984.  You can imagine what all there was to go through.  We put the house on the market in March and it sold 2 months later.  Being busy has helped with the greiving process, but it is still hard and I miss her a great deal. 

Needlework has been my sanctuary over the last few months as well.  I have been busy stitching on multiple projects, having Lady Jane's Garden fnished by a lovely lady in VA, and having several pieces framed - some onld and some new. 

I completed the Mystery Sampler from With Thy Needle and Thread - she is now at the framer.  I have been working on a Betsy Morgan (Willing Hands) class that I took last November, but needed to take a break as there are multiple pieces to the Elizabethan Casket Etui and I needed to feel a sense of accomplsihment.

Below are pictures of this WIP

Casket Etui Lid Top
    Casket Etui Lid Sides

Casket Etui Front and Back

Casket Etui Sides

Pin Cube Sides

Pin Cube Top and Bottom

Scissor Fob Back Panel

Some projects I finished while I paused on the Casket Etui Project:

Shepherd's Bush Needle Roll, Scissor Fobs and Pin Cushion

I also finished some Blackbird Designs pieces over the last few month and had them framed.  The first one is Clara Ellen that I showed previously, but had it framed and was able to show to my Mom before she passed away.  It was done in honor of her mother, Lilah Hood:

Other pieces included "Their Songs":

Loose Feathers 2011 - Summer, Autumn, Winter:

I framed a couple of Shepherd's Bush Round Robins that I completed in the mid 1990's with some friends from around the country:


I got "Lady Jane's Garden" back from the finisher:

...and I fnished a sweet pin cushion for my BFF Kate

I think I'm caught up now.  Now off to stitching another project.  I plan to get back to work on the Casket Etui as I have another class with Betsy Morgan next weekend. 

Happy Stitchinhg, Sue