Monday, May 7, 2018

Much Ado

Time is precious and each day I remind myself to use my time wisely.  I blink and the day/week/month is gone and I ask myself "what did you accomplish?"  In no particular order here is my accounting.

Emma Lerch 1843--her meadow/hay field is finished!  Only Emma knows the real truth about her very large meadow and here are my thoughts:  She lost her pattern book for the animals which were supposed to be stitched, she ran out of time or threads and just wanted to complete the project.  Emma's meadow just about got the best of me.  Derby Day (May 5) which was very wet and rainy in Nashville, I put needle and floss to linen and finished the meadow.  At the end, I think my eyes were crossed and my butt was numb and I was well into a second skein of floss.  There is still much to be stitched on Emma and am hopeful for a May 18 finishing date.

My hourglass Jo Morton table runner has been one of my most frustrating and challenging projects.
  • I wanted to make more of the hourglass blocks, but did not have any more light fabric
  • There was not enough fabric for the setting blocks and fabric had to substituted
  • With five rows, I could not decide on placement so I ripped and sewed
Our inspiration bed for square foot gardening

Nashville, like most areas of the country has had a very late, cool, wet spring.  Cold temps killed off my early blooming daffodils,  a late frost killed the dogwood blooms and a hard cold rain knocked the blooms off of my peonies.  Gardening keeps me humble and reminds me daily I am not in control.  Last year we went to the Urban Gardening Festival at Ellington Agricultural Center.  There were many Metro Davidson County Master Gardeners on hand to answer questions and share ideas.  We left the event inspired and confident we would build our own tin man and raised garden beds.  Our garden bed is about 2/3 of the way toward being completed (we are still moving soil).  Best get this task completed else there will be no tomatoes, basil, peppers or any other produce.

FlossTube has replaced television watching.  Gosh, there are so many FlossTubers full of inspiration, ideas and finished projects.  When my motivation is low, I find a FlossTuber to excite me about stitching.  May has been all about Stitch Maynia!  When it comes to Stitch Maynia, I am in awe and a complete coward.  The thought of starting 18 or 31 or whatever number of new projects in one month makes my eye twitch and my head spin!  Kudos to those who participate in Stitch Maynia and thank you for sharing your selection and self guidelines.  So many wonderful designs, fabrics and fibers are being brought out of stashes and started.  One idea for Stitch Maynia which I really like was incorporating WIP's into Maynia.  Stitch Maynia did motivate me to visit my stash and choose 18 projects which I would like to start.
  • Welcome Spring With Thy Needle and Thread/Brenda Gervais
  • O' Tannenbaum With Thy Needle and Thread/Brenda Gervais
  • Summer in Baltimore With Thy Needle and Thread/Brenda Gervais
  • Quaker Handework With Thy Needle and Thread/Brenda Gervais
  • Theodore Animal Crackers Stacy Nash Primitives
  • Mary's Garden Needle Book and Fob Stacy Nash  Primitives
  • Gardener Sewing Roll Stacy Nash Primitives
  • A Sampler Study The Primitive Hare/Isabella Maria Grazia
  • Home for the Holidays stockings Blackbird Designs/Barb and Alma
  • Bittersweet Gathering drum Scattered Seed Samplers/Tammy Black
  • Thomas the Turkey Notforgotten Farm/Lori Brechlin
  • Flag Folk Notforgotten Farm/Lori Brechlin
  • Eagle, Turkey and Pig Prairie Schooler
  • Land that I Love La D Da/Lori Markovic
  • Pennsylvania Franktur Plum Street Samplers/Paulette Stewart
  • Anna Grater 1812 The Scarlett House/Tonya Brockmeyer
  • On Stoneware Street The Scarlett House/Tonya Brockmeyer
  • Lincoln Home 1860 Sampler Chessie and Me/Linda Lautenschl√§ger
  • Common Thread Stitcher's Mat Threadwork Primitives/Nan Lewis
  • All American Finn Threadwork Primitives/Nan Lewis
  • Olga's Tart Plum Street Samplers/Paulette Stewart
  • Jenny Bean for the Parlor Shakespeare's Peddler/Theresa Venette
  • Elizabeth Furness Hands Across the Sea/Nicola Parkman
My list is ever evolving.  Just to be clear, I am not participating in Stitch Maynia, I am too much of a coward  to start this many projects in one month.  It was a fun jaunt through my stash looking at designs and thinking about fabrics and fibers.

The postman has been delivering some very special things.  Have you seen the Hands Across the Sea 2018 Queen of the May sampler, Sarah Braizear?  Sarah's border is just over the top beautiful.  Nicola's chart is also over the top, forty-four pages of history about English monarchs with illustrations and a thread guide.  The postman also delivered some bee skip scissors holders and a sheep holder for my cameo punch needle.  I have a watchful eye because Maggie Bonanomi's new book, Pure and Simple should be arriving any day.

Lastly, Nicola Parkman is returning to SassyJacks in August to teach one of her samplers, Esther Benson--it has an Adam and Eve!  Yes, I have mailed my registration deposit and AppleJack and I are making plans to spend time in the beautiful Smoky Mountains and BlueRidge Parkway.

There is my accounting.  If Grandmother Bessie were here I think she would say:  "I believe you have enough to do to keep you out of trouble. "


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Strawberry Time

Strawberry's are in season--one of my favorite seasons and fruits!  Fresh, served in salads, pies, cakes, it is safe to say I am a little obsessed with strawberries.  This year the Blackbird girls, Barb and Alma released a new booklet called Deck the Halls with six strawberry patterns and the Erica Michaels strawberries are just over the top!

In June, I am taking a strawberry finishing class.  In preparation for the class, I stitched up a strawberry--a practice piece.  This is a 2006 Blackbird Design strawberry--it's big, an overachiever strawberry.

During a recent trip to Hobby Lobby, I found this container and thought it was a good container for my stitched strawberries.  (A new Hobby Lobby is opening soon in Providence Place--I can't wait, I have saved the date for the Grand Opening).

While tidying up my stitching space, I discovered these half square triangles.  Thought it was time to give them some attention, finish up a project and make a dent in my fabric stash.

Also found the beginnings of my flag quilt--a Quilt of Valor.  One of my 2018 goals is to finish this quilt--time to get sewing.

AppleJack and his cousins found their family cemetery!  The cemetery has been very neglected and is in need of serious attention.  This chimney was part of their family home.  

While I was stitching strawberries, sewing quilts and clearing cemeteries, Emma Lerch was on spring break--wish she had taken me with her!  

Monday, April 9, 2018

Emma's Second Basket

Here is Emma Lerch's second basket.  Emma loved her some color.  

Emma, my kind of stitching girl--just like the border the baskets may look the same--they are not.  The colors in the two baskets are just a tad different and just like the border, Emma has added and dropped a stitch here and there.  Was she bored, not paying attention, waiting for floss?  

The poor house desperately needs a roof and window treatment.  Desperately trying to finish Emma--full schedule, pollen not playing nice with eye allergies and an out of town meeting with family.  Yikes! The third and final basket may have to wait a few days longer.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Emma's basket

My stitching ambitions for the week were greater than my time.  This is one of the three baskets on Emma Lerch's sampler.  Colorful isn't it?  I wasn't sure I liked the basket but now that it is stitched I am liking it better.

A tiny start on the second basket--the colors in this basket are also very bold and I'm struggling with stitching them as charted or choosing toned down colors.

LNS (Nashville Needleworks) to the rescue!  Yes, it's a match and no excuses for not completing the stitching of the meadow.

Shopping at second hand stores is one of my favorite things to do--one never knows what treasures are waiting to be found and rescued.

This is a new to me designer--I think this will be a perfect fit for my second hand find!

The outside temperature is 34 degrees and a wintry mix of rain and snow (slush) is in the afternoon forecast.  Music City like many cities is having a very late spring.  While I am waiting for the temperatures to warm, my basil is patiently waiting inside.  No outside gardening today--more stitching on flower baskets inside where the temps are warm and toasty.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

2214 Medium dark olive green

Emma Lerch 1843
Scarlet Letter
Mystery linen over dyed with walnut crystals
AVAS Fibers

Emma and I have been busy--two weeks ago at the Homespun Gathering, Emma's border was not finished, her house had no upstairs and there was no tree.

There was much more of the border which needed to be completed than I had originally thought.  As I was making photos, I noticed a missed stitch in one of the border flowers.

After completing the border and adding the upstairs to the house, I directed my stitching efforts to the tree.  Oh Emma is such a girl after my own heart.  Like the border, the leaves of the tree may appear to be symmetrical, they are not.  Once again, an extra stitch here a dropped stitch there.  Notice the way Emma has the major branches of the tree stitched but does not connect all the leaves to the tree.

Emma must have liked baskets--there are three in her samplers.  I haven't stitched any of them.  This week my stitching focus will be on Emma's baskets.

While stitching the leaves on Emma's tree, I realized I have a huge color challenge/problem.  I have run out of 2214.  The huge meadow is stitched with 2214.  When I looked through my AVAS fiber box, I thought everything was okay when I found the above skein.  Nope--there is a huge difference between 2214 and 2214 T.  Am off to Nashville Needleworks, hoping they have the matching color of the meadow grass.  I'm going to do like Emma would have done, stitchers before me would have done and Grandmother Bessie definitely would have done:  I'm going to find a way to make it work!  I may have to do some backstitching or I may have to shop at more than one store, I'm going to find a way to make it work.

It is a rainy, cool Easter Sunday here in Nashville--a great time to turn on the Netflix and start work on Emma's flower baskets.  

(Psssss. I always wanted a sampler with a big border--I think Emma has exceeded my expectations.)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Emma Lerch

Scarlet Letter--Emma Lerch 1843
Mystery Stash Linen--overdyed with walnut crystals
AVAS silk fibers

Apologies for the wrinkles--Emma looks like she has been living a rough life.  One of my 2018 goals is to complete Emma Lerch.  As I look at her, I am close.  One of my observations about stitchers is there are sampler lovers and those who do not love samplers so much.  For those who love samplers, and I consider myself one of those people, we can't get enough.  We are always looking for the next sampler either an original or reproduction.

What is it about samplers?  the border? alphabet? verse? motifs? house? medallions?  It is all of these things and throw in colors and scale and proportion.  Yes, I love a sampler with a flower growing out of a pot taller than the house.

I was drawn to Emma's border--it is big and bold

While Emma's border looks balanced and symmetrical--it is not.

Sweet Emma and I suffer from the same stitching affliction:  borders.  We both struggle with meeting borders.  Emma made it work, she added a stitch here and there, she dropped stitches.  There are three different colors of leaves.  Did she run out of one color or she started stitching with the incorrect color and like me was to lazy to rip out and stitch with the correct color.

This was my progress on Emma at the March 17 Homespun Gathering.  Judy is my stitching accountability partner.  She is stitching Heartstring Samplery His Eye is on the Sparrow--if you haven't seen Judy's beautiful sampler,  hop over to her blog (hollandhousegifts.blogspot) and check it out.  Our next gathering is in May and I think Emma will be finished.  Am adopting Judy's suggestion:  stitch every day.  Some days it is only a few stitches.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Stitch Time

Heartstring Samplery--His Eye is on the Sparrow

Yesterday was Gathering time for the Homespun gang.  This is Judy's HEIOTS.  Her finger is marking the half way point.  It is beautiful and she is making great progress.  Judy and I have become each other's accountability partner.  At the next gathering, Judy hopes to have this sampler completed and I hope to have Emma Lerch completed.  

Delilah was working on her Blackberry Primitives BOM piece, Settler's Pride (a Maggie Bonanomi design).  Maggie has such a way with colors and wool.  Is everyone as anxious for the postman to deliver Maggie's book, Pure and Simple as I am?

Another BOM piece from Blackberry Primitives.  Linda has beautifully sewn all the blocks and has begun setting the blocks.

A couple of Linda's latest strawberries.

Strawberries with a patriotic them and Linda has graciously offered to give us strawberry finishing lessons.

I'm still stitching on the Rose Garden Basket by Stacy Nash.  Thank goodness my stitching sisters were there to help me with finishing tips.

There were many more completed pieces and works in process,  I was to busy talking, eating and stitching to get good photos.  Good food, beautiful needlework, plans in progress--it doesn't get any better.