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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

More Framing

I just got three more pieces back from the framer tonight.  I am on a framing kick now that I have my wonderful samplers back from Jill Rensel.  

Two of the three samplers are ones that I had framed about 20 years ago when I was framing on a budget.  I wanted to give them the Jill Rensel matting touch and cannot imagine framing a Shepherd's Bush piece without it now.  I have one set of before and after pictures, but not the other.  

It's amazing what a difference it makes.  I did a terrible job ordering the mats for The Promise.  I used to mail order mats and frames and do it myself.  The terrible matting has bugged me all of this time and it makes a huge difference with the right touch.   

"The Promise" - before

"The Promise" - after

"Road to Bethlehem" had previously been framed with rounded top and bottom mat in a dark smokey blue with a dark gold painted poplar frame.  I decided to frame RTB and The Promise this time with the same frames as the mat sets coordinate so well that the new framing tie them together.  They are hanging next to each other in my bedroom.  

"Road to Bethlehem - after

The third sampler is "Autumn Blessings".  I bought the mat set when I was at Jill Rensel's studio in 2012 for the Shepherds Bush retreat with the plan to stitch this sampler.  I finally finished it.  Unfortunately there is too much glare to get a good photo.  It is framed in a similar fashion to the other two, but with different moldings.  

I'm now working on "The Queen Bee Sampler" from Shepherd's Bush.  I will have it finished in time for my friend Janie to take out with her to Utah in July to Jill Rensel.  I may be able to get a second one stitched by then to send along with a few others that I have in my finished pile that are calling for her special touch.  I guess that will be my Merry Christmas 2015.     

Happy Stitching,

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Stacy Nash's Spring Fling

No pictures today.  I picked up my BFF Janie and took a nice trip over to Fortville to Stacy Nash's Studio for her first 2015 open house - Spring Fling.  She has done some spring cleaning and rearranged the shop.  She has all of her new market releases along with a little limited edition kit out for display and purchase.  I was able to pick up some of the velvet to go with the new charts that I bought.  My bag runneth over!  :)

Then we had a nice lunch at Famous Dave's for a little BBQ fix.  I dropped her off and ran down to my favorite quilt shop, Quilts Plus to get my March Second Saturday block kit.  You start the year buying the kit for the first block for $7 and as long as you bring in your finished block for one of the two Second Saturday sessions, you get the next block free...and so on each month.  You can conceivably get 12 blocks for $7 if you don't miss a month.  

I came home to give Molly a little attention before I head out to get some more framing done.  Our local Hobby Lobby does a fantastic job, so I have a couple of projects that I want to get taken care of now that my special Jill Rensel pieces have come home.  Once I take those to sampler guild tomorrow, they will find their permanent places on my walls.  

Next weekend I am taking a couple of classes with Sherri Jones of Patricks Woods, so I'm sure I will have some pictures for some show and tell.

Best Stitches,

Thursday, March 12, 2015

They have arrived!!!

I got the call that my pieces were finished and ready to ship from Jill Rensel.  I received them on Friday the 6th and could not wait to get that package open as fast as I could.  If anyone has ever received a package from her studio, you know that it is not a fast process.  Everything is secure as nails in those boxes.  

These are the pictures they took at the studio.  I defer to those as the ones I can take are with glass and you lose detail behind the glass with a photo.  I also delayed posting these until today as I wanted to take them to stitch group with me and didn't want anyone to get a sneak peek (except for my BFF Janie).  

The first one is the "Needleworker Sampler" from With Thy Needle and Thread.  I fell in love with the frame and felt it really enhanced the sampler.  I love the folk-artsy painting on the frame.  Since I picked this one out, I saw examples of what Jill has done with doing her signature painting, only on the frame for those with no mats.  I may have her do something in the future for me like that.

This second one is "Three Ships" from Shepherds Bush.  It was the retreat sampler from their 2012 retreat.  Jill did a fabulous job hand painting these mats!!  She brought out all of the special elements from the sampler...as she always does!   

I am thrilled beyond words and can't wait to get another batch ready to send to her.  I will probably wait until July when Janie takes a trip out to see family and have her hand deliver them.  They would probably be safe in the mail, but not sure I want to risk it.  

Happy Stitching!

Friday, March 6, 2015

New New Project

Well I decided on my next project.  Awhile back while organizing my stash, I put together projects that were already kitted or had all of the supplies for.  The one that called out to me was "Quaker Garden" (Loose Feather #19) from Blackbird Designs.  I am using the called for linen which is 30 count Garden State Java.  The stitches seem so big after working on 35 and 40 count linen so much.

Here is my progress to date.  

The one change that I made is to do the bird entirely in WDW Dolphin instead of what the pattern called for which was to outline in Dolphin and fill in with Sampler Threads - Shaker White.  I had stitched it as charted and just did not like the stark white with the bird.  I ripped it all out and started over with all blue.  I am so much happier with it.  I like the simpler look, less fussy.  My one regret is that I didn't take a before picture to show the difference.  

BTW, I got the call this week that my samplers were finished and ready to ship from Jill Rensel.  They will be here later today.  I will post pictures once I have had a chance to show them at stitch group on Thursday so look for a post on Friday the 13th..  

Best stitches,


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sampler Hill

I just finished Sampler Hill from With Thy Needle and Thread last night, so this is hot off the iron - literally.  Once again, the bee skip theme drew me in.  the linen is Cornsilk from Weeks Dye Works and while it probably doesn't come off as anything except the usual beige color in my photos, in person it has a beautiful yellowish cast that just glows.  If you decide to stitch this, one change that I made was to use DMC Ecru in place of Classic Colorworks Eggshell.  I did a direct comparison at my LNS and just did not see the variation in the Eggshell even when I held it right next to the Ecru skein.  The other change that I did (I did this with Miss Baxter's House as well) was to use 35 count instead of the 30 count that was used for the original.  (Miss Baxter's House called for 32 count Beige which was impossible to find at the time, plus I like the look of the smaller count linen with 1 strand).  

 I think I am pretty well caught up with posting my finishes for the winter so far.  It has been so cold that it has been nice to stay in and cocoon myself in my stitching chair.  

WIP's include:

  • pre-stitching for a class with Sherri Jones in three weeks - "A Fine and Fancy Tulip Tray".  I have all five sides, plus the bottom done for that.  I just need to work on the smalls that go inside.  
  • the most recent installment from Notforgotten Farm's Little Stitches Handwork Club
  • part 4 of The Fold
  • Sampler Roll from La-D-Da - I just need to chart out and stitch my name on that one, then put it in the finishing pile
I now need to decide what next larger piece I am going to start....

Til later...when I get my framed samplers back from Jill Rensel,

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Fold - Parts 1, 2, and 3 - plus needle rolls

When Shepherd's Bush announced that they were going to do a six part series with a sewing box and smalls, I knew I had to have it.  First - the color palette is me, second - it's a sewing box with smalls and third - it's Shepherds Bush!

At first I thought I could do without the expensive box from Lone Elm.  Then I saw a couple of finishes on Facebook where they had used another medium and it just didn't feel right to me.  I saw the box in person from my BFF Janie and ordered it from Tina and Teri along with some trinkets to go inside.  

I posted pictures of parts 1 and 2 on August 10th.  I finished stitching part 3 a few weeks ago and gave it to my friend Karen who finished the box lid for me.  I have seen pictures of it finished as a pillow and it is just so big.  I saw it finished to fit in the bottom and knew that was the right way for me.  

Front Side

Back Side

All three together
  And of course we have some trinkets to go inside...

Now onto the needle book.  My friend Cathy Boyd has a great idea to finish the needle book as a wallet type finish instead of the way it is originally finished.  I will have to see what she does and decide from there.  She is a fabulous finisher and is so clever with how she does things.  That is the benefit to not finishing everything first - I get to see what everyone else does and decide from there.  

Two more SB finishes that are not part of the Fold:   

I finished this needle roll for my other BFF Kate for part of our annual Christmas exchange.

English Christmas Cushion

I was into the spirit of needle rolls, so I finished another shortly thereafter (although not in season...).  

Halloween Needle Roll
...and am well on my way to finishing a third one.  We'll just have to wait until a later time once I have that finished.  I have a stack of pieces in the sewing room that are waiting for me to do another finishing weekend here at home.     

One more posting tomorrow, and then I think I am caught up...at least until my framing order arrives from Jill Rensel in the next week or two.  I took a couple of pieces with me to the Shepherd's Bush retreat for her to frame for me.

Best stitches,

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Beekeepr

Once again - the bee skip just draws me in.  This was a Nashville market exclusive kit from a couple of years ago.  I was lucky enough to get it for 20% off at Stitchville at their Spring Fling in 2014.  

This is a sampler that is going to get the Jill Rensel touch.  She framed it for another customer and I fell in love with the way she did the matting.  The overall effects was stunning.  To see what I am talking about, go to her blog post from August 6, 2014 @ http://renselstudio.blogspot.com/

While I love the way this turned out, I did not love the linen choice in the kit.  It fought me the whole time as it was so stiff and hard on the floss.  A couple of the colors would just shred if I wasn't careful.  I ended up waxing the floss to give it some extra strength.

Until tomorrow...will it be The Fold or Sampler Hill?  We'll just have to wait and see!  

Best Stitches, 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Miss Baxter's House

This is the first in the Berry's Chapel Road Series from Stacy Nash.  I fell in love with it at first sight due to the bee skip.  

The overall effect of the sampler just appeals to me...from the log cabin to the chickens/rooster.  Each elements was so much fun to stitch.  I'm looking forward to starting the next in the series ~ Turkey Hollow Farm.  

I just saw her new releases from the Nashville market and am looking forward to heading over to Fortville for her next open house in a couple of weeks. 

Tomorrow I'll share The Beekeeper...

Til then, best stitches,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Busy Stitching

Well, Spring is almost here and I have been busy stitching my fingers away this winter.  I am planning to post my finishes in a few different posts so you can get some detail of the finishes rather than just one shot of each.  

First, I am going to show Autumn Gifts.  This is a sampler designed by Paulette Stewart from Plum Street Samplers that I took as a class at the Shepherd's Bush retreat.  It will be released in Autumn 2015.  

She also designed a couple of pin cushions that uses some of  the elements from the sampler.  I have stitched one of them, not sure if I am going to do the other.

After we returned from Utah - I took a class from Lauren Sauer - "Summerfield Smalls" along with the "Summerfield Smalls Afterthoughts".  This is the bag that everything fits in.  We hand stitched the bag in class, then I added the ribbon to the top for the cording closure afterwords.  

Later, I will post finishes of Sampler Hill, Miss Baxter's House. The Beekeeper and the first 3 parts of The Fold.  

Best Stitches,