Monday, November 14, 2016

I'm Back!

Sorry about being gone so long.  My father passed away in August and we brought my mother (who has dementia) to stay with us for 7 1/2 weeks before getting her moved into an Assisted Living facility near us.  It's been a challenging several months but, I've managed to get a lot of stitching done. 

Two new designs are out there in "stitchin' land".  The first one released in September was 'Tis Autumn stitched on 36 count Picture This Plus - Wren.

And the more recent one:  Dance By The Light Of The Moon stitched on 30 count Picture This Plus - Dawn.  "Framed" this one with red plaid felted wool strips, added felted "pennies" with snowmen buttons (from Just Another Button Company) to the corners and backed the pillow with red felt.
The cute "sweater" pillow in the background was a gift from my dear friend Jenny.  She made it from a Goodwill purchased sweater she felted in her washing machine, stitched on a red felt heart and rusty jingle bell . . . too cute!

Got my mother moved in to the Assisted Living facility in the nick of time!  Three days later I was off to the Shepherd's Bush Retreat in Park City, Utah . . . a much needed retreat!!!  I will get my photos organized and post that blog shortly.

They recently met with me at the Assisted Living facility and said that mom needed to be in the Memory Care wing as they were afraid that she was becoming a "wanderer" . . . caught heading out to the parking lot to look for her car (which isn't there) to go pick up my father (who, of course, is no longer living).  They moved her things over there while I took her for a day outing.  A week later I was off to another much needed retreat . . . our local EGA Retreat at Lake Junaluska, NC . . . returning yesterday afternoon.  Got some quilting done on that one . . . pictures to follow!!!

Now . . . it's lunch and then off to the post office to send out some charts that were ordered while I was "retreating"!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Camp Cross-Stitch

I always wanted to go to "sleep away" camp since first seeing the "Spin and Marty" serials on The Mickey Mouse Club in the 50's...yes, I'm that old.  Theirs was a western-style camp at The Triple R Ranch.  Then..."The Parent Trap"...the first one with Hayley Mills (1961).  Again..."sleep away" camp.  I did get to go for a weekend to a church camp at about the age of 11 or 12.  My mother and her sister were "counselors" for the teenage girls and brought myself and my cousin along...who were too young to participate...but found things to do.  Cathy (my cousin) and I short-sheeted beds and "dropped" the broom down the stairs early in the morning...successfully irritating the teenage girls.  We did get a stern talking to, but it was well worth it!

Greetings happy campers!  Here's my new design "Camp Cross-Stitch".

I needed a pillow for my favorite stitching spot.  It's a camp sign for fictitious "Camp Cross-Stitch" with the camp flag and slogan "where stitching away rules the day"...the arrow pointing the way.  Outside the lined border is the full capitalized alphabet, lower-case alphabet and numbers.  I stitched 1" black buttons in each corner or you could put your initials and date there if you'd like.  I finished the pillow with a binding like you'd put on a quilt.  I also wanted this to look like a pillow that had spent many years at camp.  I used Rit tan dye to over-dye the ticking fabric.  I used Instant Antique from Primitive Gatherings and dabbed it on the stitched fabric with a natural sponge here and there to age it.  (And...what's camp without s'mores!  I only ate two while taking the photos...really.)

Several years ago I went to the John C. Campbell Folk School for a week...sleep-away camp for grown-ups!  It was a wonderfully creative experience and I'm planning on going again...probably next summer.  Too much fun!

Enjoy Campers!


p.s. Robin says that retreats are like "sleep-away" camp.  Now...if they just threw in a little horseback riding, s'mores and sing-a-longs around a campfire at life would be complete!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Traveling Busy Bee

Sure wish I had started this insane career when I was younger!  As much fun as markets/retreats/shows are, they are also exhausting!  Events once a month for three months are enough . . . for now.

The Nashville Market the beginning of March . . . has become more fun (and profitable) each year as friendships grow with shop owners and fellow designers.  Love exploring Franklin, TN and discovering new things in the area.  Can't wait for next year!

Prim Stitchers Society Retreat the beginning of April in Marietta, GA . . . also fun . . . and enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new members . . . sad that there will only be two more.  Here are the highlights of the Merchant Mall this year:
Kathie and I ready for the shopping to begin here at The Nebby Needle!

 Summer House Stitche Works

Teresa's Prim Treasures

 Dixie Samplar

Threadwork Primitives

 Homestead Needleworks

 Homespun Elegance

Notforgotten Farm
 Stitch N Button

 By My Hand Needl'wrks

Death By Thread
 Dames of the Needle

Carolina Stitcher

Kathie and I had loads of fun at the final night banquet shared with 
Lori (Notforgotten Farm) and her sidekick Joan.

 Profits were spent at the Merchant Mall as well as several quilt shops along the way and in Marietta.  There's no money to be made in this business . . . it just keeps me in my addiction to needlework!

Celebration of Needlework the end of April in Nashua, NH was great fun!  It was a long drive broken up with a stop in Myerstown, PA (at cousin's) and a stop in NJ at Janis' house to discuss how we were going to operate this joint venture . . . and helping her stain boxes for her class.  

I shared a booth (and hotel room) with Janis Note of Noteworthy Needle . . . we are the "N & N Girls".

 We were able to "cover" for each other with check-outs while Janis taught and we took breaks . . . worked out great!

I forgot my camera . . . had the tripod and battery charger, but no camera . . . so Janis lent me one.  Here are some of the highlights of Celebrations . . . sorry, didn't take a picture of every booth.
 Stephanie of "Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie"

 Niky of "Nikyscreations Primitive Designs"

 Candy of "The Workbasket"

Beth of "Summer House Stitche Works"

 "Lindsay Lane Designs" . . . where's Meg?

Niky and Candy shared a booth directly behind us . . . 
 visiting made easy!

After setting up our booths on Thursday, Niky and I took our free afternoon and went exploring (call that shopping) around the Nashua area.  We started off at Frye's Measure Mill in Wilton, NH

Our next stop was the Peterboro Basket Company

Bought a K-cup basket for The Hubs.

We also stopped at Michaels on the way back for the evening "Preview and Power Shopping".  Yes . . . we bought there as well . . . no doubt there was little profit from this show . . . LOL!

We skipped the final banquet that was a fund raiser for Breast Cancer
(looked like fun with all the donated vendor baskets for auction) 
to dine at Martha's Exchange in Nashua . . . very delish!
Karen (Rosewood Manor), Candy, Niky, Me, Janis, Stephanie and Meg (Lindsay Lane) 
(thanks Denis for taking the picture).

Then . . . we wrapped up the evening with some Port-sharing in our room at the Marriott.  

Was able to stop for a two day visit with my daughter in Connecticut on the way home. . . had fun even though she had a sore throat . . . got to be "mommy" and take care of her.  Then on to an overnight at Beth's (from Summer House Stitche Works) . . . a wonderful hostess!  Took a brief trip down memory lane . . . Beth lives 7 miles from my three years of living in Camp Hill, PA and graduating from Cedar Cliff High School.  Drove by the old house and school . . . wow . . . what a difference in both since 1967-70!

Great fun and great new friendships . . .
still playing catch-up at home and stitching someone else's design for a change 
while I recuperate from all this traveling.  

There's no place like home!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Friend * Freebies *

I've been distributing "freebies" at the Nashville Needlework Market and the Prim Stitchers Society Retreat with the promise of thread suggestions and finish suggestions.  It would help, I'm sure, if I'd take the time to post those suggestions!

Right after Market I attended a quilt retreat and then it seemed like the Prim Retreat zoomed right up there.  After these events, I come home feeling jet-lagged for several days.  Gee . . . do you think it's because I'm like a kid before Christmas?  Can't sleep several nights before because I'm excited about the whole thing . . . don't sleep well away from home . . . work my tail off getting ready.  Total crash when I get home!  So . . . I'm in crash mode right now and yet I have to get ready for Celebration of Needlework in Nashua, NH the end of the month . . . lots of goodies to pack up, pillows to make, patterns to print.  Yikes!  Here I go again!!

So . . . for those of you who have picked up the freebies and those of you who haven't had the opportunity . . . here are the color and finishing suggestions . . . and the patterns themselves. To print your pattern: click on the picture; then right click and either choose "save as" and save it as a picture in your files to print later or right click and copy to a word document and print.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Crochet Trim

I've been crazy enough to crochet trim on a few designs so far, vowing each time to NOT do it again.  Apparently I don't listen to myself.  I will say though that it is easier to use pearl cotton than floss.

On "Stay Strong" I used #5 pearl cotton and a #1 crochet hook.  I made two of these (one for a friend) and learned that it's easier to chain stitch the length you need to completely encircle the finished piece . . . don't cut the end off . . . attach the chain around the seam of the piece and then begin crocheting the trim in each chain stitch.  Much easier than stitching the complete trim and then attaching it only to discover that it's an inch too short!

Once your chain is attached slip stitch (Sl st) in the first chain loop, single crochet (sc) in the next.  In the third loop of the chain: double crochet, chain one, double crochet again (dc, ch, dc) in that same chain loop. Single crochet (sc) in the 4th and slip stitch (Sl st) in the fifth . . . continue this all the way around.  Somehow it came out even for me, but this may not be the case for you.  If you start this at the bottom, it will most likely not show when you finish up there.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On The Home Stretch

Print, fold, bag, repeat . . . print, fold, bag, repeat . . .  print, fold, bag, repeat . . .

All the patterns are ready for the Nashville Market . . .  

Now for filling the Hoffman Distributing order . . .

Print, fold, bag, repeat . . . print, fold, bag, repeat . . . print, fold, bag, repeat . . .

The Queen and Monty are supervising . . . a lot of help they are!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

"My Country Tis Of Three"

Why's another Market piece.  This will be a limited early release for Market shoppers.  "My Country Tis Of Three" (containing all three designs) will officially be released by Hoffman Distributing sometime in April . . . but since it's fun to have something no one else has . . . I'll let some of them go early.  These were fun and quick stitches and who doesn't know a service person that wouldn't appreciate a "thank you"?


Friday, February 12, 2016

Shake Your Tail Feathers

I am wearing this stunning peacock necklace to share this fun cheeky piece. "Shake Your Tail Feathers" is a limited release...once the feathers are gone, so is the pattern. Peacocks shed their large feathers. These small feathers are only plucked once the bird is deceased. (These birds died a natural death and were not killed for their feathers) The pattern includes a genuine peacock feather as well as a rusty heart button.

Today concludes my presentation of The Nebby Needle fair for the Nashville Market...Bob's your uncle!



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Love Blooms

Do forgive my tardiness today. Bonny had to go pick up the last two designs from her brilliant framer at the Carriage House shop in Kingsport, TN. She left Monty and I as dog-minders for her beloved Myška while she was gone. Monty and Myška had a jolly good time together.

This lovely piece called "Love Blooms", in addition to being a sweet sampler, would make a brilliant wedding, family or birth sampler. Bonny has put her initials and her husband's on the little pillow with their wedding year. You could easily put your children's' names below with their birth years. The possibilities are endless! I just may stitch this one on my trip home for my grandson Will's utterly lovely!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Stay Strong

Keep Calm and Carry On was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for the Second World War. The poster was intended to raise the morale of the British public, threatened with widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities. I (the Queen) was a young teenager at the time.

Not to make light of our wartime poster...Monty and I are trying to keep WARM and carry on here in Tennessee while revealing the Market releases from The Nebby Needle. Bonny is releasing "Stay Strong" as another Ripple Effect* pattern . There are two options shown here with two different crowns allowing one to be made for a cancer patient (you can use whichever color ribbon is appropriate) or the other bead-embellished crown for anyone that needs the encouragement to stay strong.

*Ripple Effect Patterns was formed from an idea of Meg Ripple's.  An avid stitcher, Meg asked several designers to design cross stitch patterns of inspiration for her fellow cancer patients.  Although Meg lost her battle, we carry on her vision with this pattern.  The profits from the Ripple Effect Patterns are donated to the American Cancer Society in Meg's memory.