Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Forget-me-not Sampler
Country Stitches-With thy Needle and Thread-Brenda Gervais
Exclusive Nashville Market Release 2013
35 count cream linen
Weeks Dye Works Floss

Friday, March 20, 2020


Hope everyone had securely buckled their seat belts, because it has been a bumpy ride!  March 2020 has brought new words into my vocabulary:  social distancing/isolating, coronavirus, stay-in-place.  Ask AppleJack where my favorite place is and he will tell you home.

The past several days/weeks have given me time to think about my home and family.  I have thought about the hardships Great Grandmother Anne Elizabeth endured during the Civil War.  

I have thought about the promise of spring and the return of the perennials to my garden.  Old friends returning for a visit.

A brisk walk in fresh air, a time to let my body work and my mind rest.

Sitting at a table and sharing a home cooked meal.

The smell and taste of fresh baked cookies from the oven.

 Resting under the warmth of a hand made quilt.  

I have thought about the anxiety which Grandfather Johann Martin must have felt as he was crossing the Atlantic headed to the Americas and a new home.  The sadness felt my Grandmother Bessie in the death of her Mother and two sisters within three years.  The fear of Grandmother Rebecca as she waved goodbye to her sons headed off to fight in WWII.  The perseverance of my parents growing up during the depression.

My family, warts and all.  Through all these times, they found their inner strength and kept going.  Cool heads, rational thinkers, finding a way to carry on.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Not a monogamous stitcher

Ann Wright 1726 (drum kit)
Samplers Not Forgotten (Kimberly Nugent)
36 ct beige Weeks
Weeks Dye Works fibers

There are stitchers who choose one project and faithfully work on that project until it is finished.  I am not one of those stitchers.  I flit from one project to another, I either make a mistake and am to lazy to correct the mistake or I get distracted by another project.

Weeks Dye Works fibers is not one of my favorite fibers.  This is stitched with two strands, my stitching advisors did not recommend stitching with two strands.  Lesson learned.  

Needlework Press
40 ct Vintage Butter Pecan Lakeside Linen
Gloriana Schoolhouse Red

There is something about red samplers!  This is a fun, fun stitch and don't you just love the font of those capital letters?  Yes, that break in the border is where I made a mistake, but I love stitching on this sampler I will correct the mistake and be back to her.  The more I stitch on this sampler, the better I like her.

Can't wait to get back to those capital letters!

Home for the Holidays
Blackbird Designs
Mystery linen (I think it might be an R & R)
Country Redwood

This is the third stocking from the Blackbird Designs book, Home for the Holidays.  I have two of the five stockings stitched and have big plans for them.  Hope I can get the other two stitched and fully finished for Christmas 2020.

My basket of shame has more than enough projects to keep me busy for 2020 and the Nashville Needlework Market starts March 6.  I have been stalking Instagram, Facebook and webpages to get a glimpse of what is coming and it looks like the designers have outdone themselves with more great irresistible designs.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Grand Plans 2020

New Year's Start 2020
Brenda, the sampler stitcher said it best:  "we're going to stitch a sampler a week, a Christmas ornament a month, all the club and retreat pieces, and finish all the WIP's.  In reality, we are going to stitch those pieces which speak to us."  Sound like great plans to me!

The linen and most of the silks were purchased at SassyJacks when I was there in October.  This sampler has been in my stash a long time and is loudly calling to me.  

Am also starting Catherington or in my case Catherine.  She is red, simple and will be stitched with Gloriana Schoolhouse Red.  On those days when the simplicity of a sampler is needed, Catherine is going to be my go to girl.  Yes, Catherine is one of my ancestors, she has a very sad story.

"Jane" is also speaking loudly to me.  AppleJack Santa made a special delivery because he knew I wanted this sampler.  Rebecca Jane was my maternal Grandmother and Laura Jane was a paternal Great Grandmother--both Janes have special stories.  

Brenda also said, "it's great to have choices."  There are many samplers in my stash and I wish I could stitch a sampler a week.  Reality says "that ain't going to happen."  Am going to stitch what makes me happy.  The good news, I can start The Plantation Sampler when New York City drops the ball and start Catherine when Music City drops the musical note.  

Friday, December 27, 2019

Santa Delivers

Have I shared with you AppleJack Santa is the best guy ever?  Well he is!  I have admired this sampler for the longest. Jeannie at Country Sampler in Spring Green, WI has a great eye for color and her "dull it down" style is also my style.

This is also from County Sampler, it is a kit from the ABC Schoolgirl Needlework Club 2019.  From time to time, Jeannie has leftover or unclaimed club kits which she makes available.  I love the way this sampler has been made into a needle roll.  Again, love the "dull it down" colors.

One of my favorite fibers is Gloriana and one of my favorite colors is Schoolhouse Red.  Laura, the Serial Starter says everyone should have a red sampler in their sewing basket--it's the law!  I agree.  On those days when my brain is tired, stitching a simple sampler with one color is very relaxing.

Thank you AppleJack Santa for the wonderful gifts!  You sure know how to make this girls heart happy!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

My Eyelet Christmas Miracle

Sarah's House
Blackbird Designs

Ahh December 26, one of my favorite days of the year.  I love Christmas: the decorations, music, special foods and even some of the hustle and bustle.  I do not love the commercialism and the self imposed stress.  My goal is to finish Sarah's house in 2019--not many days left.  

Sarah's House was designed by the Blackbird Girls (Barb and Alma) in 2012--it was the second in a series of their Loose Feather designs.  The design was inspired by an antique sampler in their collection.  Alma wrote this about Sarah's House:
The alphabet potion was left unfinished.  Maybe Sarah realized too late that there wasn't enough space to stitch all of her letters.  We added another row of the alphabet to the reproduction but we found as did Sarah, there really wasn't enough space for the entire alphabet.

Barb and Alma included photographs of the original (antique) sampler and the original was stitched with eyelets.  I thought the eyelets added so much visual interest to the sampler I would stitch my Sarah with eyelets.  With all due respect Barb and Alma, spacing might have been some of the reason Sarah did not complete her alphabet but after stitching these eyelets, I think they challenged Sarah's stitching sanity.  They certainly challenged mine.  Let me just say reverse stitching eyelet stitches is not one of my favorite things.  The letter I will be completed after I replace the floss color, I ran out.

Sunday Social 2007
Threads that Bind--Shawn Williams

To give my brain a rest from the eyelets, I started needle punching Sunday Social.  Yes, like most of my projects, it has been in my stash for several years.  Thank goodness it was not dry rotted.  It is a fun whimsical design and will share space with my other sheep in the spring.  

To finish stitching Sarah, I've got to replace NPI silks 696 and 294 and to finish Sunday Social I've got to replace Gentle Arts Evergreen and Corn Husk.  While waiting for Nashville Needleworks to reopen from Christmas holidays, I will play in my stash and decide on my New Year's Day start--it's going to be a sampler.  

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Sarah's House

Sarah's House by Blackbird Designs
Released in 2012 (she's still available) 
Lakeside Linen 36 count Butter Pecan
NPI Silks

This sampler has been in my stash a good long time.  She was calling to me.  I love the wonky border.    The Blackbird girls reproduced Sarah from a sampler in their collection.  In looking at a photograph of the original sampler,  the letters were stitched in eyelets.  I thought the eyelets would add interest and am also stitching the alphabet with eyelets.  Either because of spacing or Sarah got tired of eyelets she only stitched 12 letters of the alphabet using eyelet.

Am hoping to finish Sarah during my Christmas break and debut her at the January stitch-in's.