Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chris's Scarf

Last year when I gave my oldest son Chris a Noro Striped Scarf, he asked for a black one. In the last couple of weeks, I finally finished it. The picture is really poor because I haven't mastered photographing black and it was dark.
Scarf for Chris
Chris had very definite ideas about the size of the stripes and the distance between them. He was really excited to get it (and wore it out of the house when he left even though he was wearing scrubs). Then he said the next one he wanted to be brown.

Next one? :) Thankfully he realizes he'll have to wait a year like he did for this one!

I'm glad I haven't made him a sweater!

Friday, January 21, 2011

SWAG

I thought I'd show you the goodies we received at A Primitive Gathering. I was so surprised! Two pair of scissors (one goes in a class project), some Gloriana Florimell silk floss, a couple of patterns, a hornbook pendant with my initial, and a hornbook frame and pattern. The quilt pattern also has a pattern for primitive stitching/sewing accessories included.
SWAG!
Here is close up of the hornbook pendant. Someone said that Jean Lea's husband made these for us. He's quite talented, don't you agree? I can imagine working with something so very small and using power tools.
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We received this from Apryl and Bunny of Priscilla's Pocket. Too cute! I've purchased my fabric and fibre to stitch this. I changed the colors up just a bit. It will be a quickie!
From Priscilla's Pocket
I truly feel so fortunate to have been able to attend such an event. This is the first time I've done anything like this. Are they all this good?! I'd love to hear of your experiences with classes.

I hope you're getting plenty of time with your stitches this week!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Primitive Gathering

This past weekend I went to Primitive Gatherings hosted by Jean Lea of Attic Needlework. I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun it was! Teresa and I stayed up late every night and took advantage of every experience that we could. It started Thursday night where we went to the Attic's regular stitch night. In attendance were two of our "Rock Stars" of the weekend. Linda of Chessie and Me and Vickie of NeedleWork Press. All of the stitchers were very nice and welcoming. Jean has a gorgeous shop and a wonderful staff.

Friday Night was our first project with Linda which is a book of specialty stitches. No pictures yet. It's put together but not stitched but it is a project that I'll finish. I did make my first cording. I had no idea it was so easy! I'll definitely be doing this again.
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Saturday was Linda's Unfinished Sampler which I barely started. Saturday afternoon Vickie opened her home up to us. Amazing! Her home is located on acreage and is full of samplers both old and new. Her collection is so large that she had several people in the home helping and each area had a sheet of paper giving details on most of the samplers. She also had several items that have been featured in Sampler and Antique Needlework to include the bag featured on the cover of the most recent issue (Winter 2010).

On Sunday, we spent the entire day with Stacy Nash working on this Drumroll Pincushion. We had prestitched our piece so almost the entire day was spent on assembly. After assembly, we aged them using walnut crystals diluted in water. This was the really fun part.
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This is my drumroll before aging.
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After aging with the walnut crystals. And wouldn't you know it, I've lost the strawberry.

The weather was in the 70s and the sun was shining the entire time we were there. It was tough to come home. I'll definitely be doing something like this again.

I didn't take many photos but I thought I'd post these few of the pictures I took of the Jean's group of Rock Stars she brought in for the weekend.
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Stacy Nash of Stacy Nash Primitives and Bunny of Priscilla's Pocket.
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Teresa talking to Renee Plains of Liberty Star.
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Linda Lautenchlager of Chessie & Me talking to Linda Danielson of Samplers Remembered who was there as an attendee.
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Anne Fraser of Gloriana. Teresa and I spent some time talking to her late one night near the dessert counter in the hotel. She couldn't be any nicer!
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Vickie Jennett of NeedleWork Press.

We also got some great swag but I haven't photographed any of it as yet. Let's just say we were surprised over and over again.

The weird part of the weekend is that we seemed to run into people wearing their pajama bottoms everywhere we went. Seriously, we saw at least 10 people wearing PJ bottoms. Odd.

Yesterday we had a rude awakening. At 3:45am when we had to get up to get ready for our flight back home. It was either that or get home really late. Today it was back to the real world. Soon this retreat will be in the distant past but it will always carry great memories for me!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Running In Circles

I'm back home from my business trip and it went well. I made good food choices except for one meal. I consider that a win. I'm really happy actually as this is a vast improvement over past trips. I still need some work with packing but I know I'll get better at that too.

I'm leaving Thursday for another trip. This time I'm attending classes offered at Attic Needlework with my friend Teresa. I'm SO excited. I finished my pre-stitching for a class we're taking with Stacy Nash. I'm hoping to come home with this completely finished. It's my first attempt at finishing any needlework! Though I sew, it's with a machine, so this should be interesting!
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I'll be home two days and then I fly out again for a 2 day work trip. I'm hoping the weather will be nice. This Florida girl doesn't need to learn to drive on ice in a busy unfamiliar city.

I've posted my goals at our sampler guild blog. You can check what I hoping to do in 2011 here. Some of them are very attainable and others are probably pie in the sky dreams. I've really enjoyed reading what you hope to accomplish in 2011. I've started quite the list of things I'd like to do. Thank you for the inspiration!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Different Kind of Challenge for 2011

I'm facing another challenge in 2011 - significantly more business travel. Something I battle while traveling is food. I eat too much and the foods that are available are typically more processed than what I generally eat. I'm going to really work on this. My other challenge? I always seem to overpack. I am determined to not check a bag for a 2-3 night trip. Todays trip is 2 nights. Here's my bag that I'm carrying on. I hope it will be allowed.
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Ugh! This bag looks 9 months pregnant!

This is really hard for me. Hopefully I'll have a nice TSA agent who won't want to flash my personal items to the world. Hmmmm....I need to check to make sure my unmentionables aren't packed on top just in case!

Let's hope I can hoist this baby into the overhead bin.

I hope you all are having a great week. Happy Stitches!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Great Start

I swore I wouldn't join any New Year challenges but somehow I managed to get involved in an UFO challenge. I'm not a serial starter and I'm not a serial finisher. I do have some projects that don't seem to be progressing. I can see how those with tons of unfinished projects can feel the weight of them. I am determined in 2011 to either finish some of my projects or pass them on to someone who will if I'm not making progress on them.

I decided to put my money where my mouth is so to speak. No New Years start for me. I wanted to instead try and FINISH something! So Thursday and all day Friday, I worked on hand quilting my Log Cabin Table Topper. I finally finished the hand quilting Saturday morning and today I finished the binding. This is a project for my Jo's Little Women Club. One thing I quickly learned is that these Jo projects take a load of time. This is 15" square and each 5" square has 15 pieces. It was a perfect project to try hand quilting for the first time. I can't imagine hand quilting a big quilt as the process was slow and by Friday night my hands were aching. I do want to hand quilt small projects in the future and I love learning a new skill.
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Lesson Learned - Small does not mean quick!
Quite often is means the opposite.
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The colors are more accurate in this picture. All the fabrics are Jo Mortons.

I'll post a list of the projects I'd like to finish or have some progress on in the next week. It's a combo of knitting, stitching and quilting projects. One project will either be done by the end of the year or it and the supplies will be up for grabs.

Another goal is to learn how to do a Flickr mosaic. Technical things do not come easy to me. I did go ahead and make up a set for my 2011 finished objects so next year it will be easy to pull those photos for a finished project mosaic. Hopefully there will be lots to put in one!

At the end of 2011 I'd like to say I started some projects, finished others and made progress on those that didn't get finished. I'd also like to learn some new skills. What I want the most though is to have fun and to continue to be inspired by and build relationships with other creative people! Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe new year!