Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue

Everyday is a celebration of the red, white and blue at our house.  My husband, father, grandfather, uncles, cousins and nephews are all veterans.  I thank them everyday for the service and sacrifice they made so I can enjoy my freedom.  This sweet hooked rug is a sweet reminder and shall be enjoyed for many holidays.  

(It is so nice to cross off another old, old WIP)

Finishing one project, gives me motivation to finish another.

Five down, eleven to go.  August is usually a hot month--stay inside in the AC and finish the flag quilt!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


La D Da
Released as a kit Nashville Needlework Market 2018

Between the summer heat, gardening, Corona pandemic, loss of stitching mojo or maybe just life, I have been in a stitching slump.  Stitching smalls is my solution.  I love smalls.  With their pretty ribbons, backing fabrics and charms, smalls are such compliments to needlework.  When I first started stitching Home, AppleJack thought I was stitching a beer can!

Tall House
La Da Da
Released as a kit Nashville Needlework Market 2016

La D Da is one of my favorite designers, I have many favorites.  

Blue Flower Drum
La D Da
Released as a kit Nashville Needlework Market 2020

The colors Lori (La D Da) chose for this piece are so soft and delicate.

Golden Peacock Pincushion
Cardan Antiques and Needlework 2020

Carmen's finish on this piece was over the top

Pink Primrose Pin Disk
Stacy Nash Primitives 2020

Stacy's finish

See what I mean with the ribbon and pins, Stacy took a simple motif and made it into something special

Feathered Nest Pin Book
Stacy Nash Primitives 

Smalls, simple motifs, repeating patterns, hope they help me find my stitching mojo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Digging in the dirt

One of my many goals for 2020 was to devote more time to Next Year, my garden.  I love gardening and beautiful gardens!  One of the many (hard) lessons I have learned:  beautiful, productive gardens don't just happen.  There is mega planning and work involved in a garden.

This is a my curb garden.  It started because there was a huge patch of Johnson grass growing in the lawn.  Applejack dug up the Johnson grass and the area was replaced with bargain and shared plants.

Many people in our neighborhood walk in the evenings, sometimes I see them pause and smell the flowers.

I have high hopes and big dreams for this curb garden.  The plan is for it to be a three season garden:  daffodils and Iris in the spring, daylilies, coneflower, blue salvia and hydrangea for the summer and chrysanthemum in the fall.  

This is oak leaf hydrangea, big and beautiful and one of my favorites.  The next door neighbor hates it.  He has been caught red handed trimming it!

The raised bed vegetable garden.  AppleJack and I built this two years ago.  Yes, more than half the soil which fills the bed came from our very own compost pile.  The first year we planted this garden, the deer saw a sign which said:  "the smorgasbord at Next Year is open, come on down."  They ate everything but the stems!  Deer are not welcome at my house.

War was declared!  Up went the fencing and the bed is regularly sprayed with a deer repellent (stinky stuff).  The bed is planted with beans, sweet potato, peppers, basil and bargain vinca from Walmart for some color.

Flowers (perennials) are like treasured friends anxiously awaiting to greet me with a smile.

No green thumbs, just brown hands from digging in the dirt.  My fingernails are not manicured but stained, my yard clothes are tattered, torn and stained from nurturing the garden.  My garden, like me, will always be a work in progress.

Gardening, good for the body a balm for the soul.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Flag Day 2020

In my heart and mind, I will always associate the American flag with Betsy Ross.  According to Betsy's grandson. William Canby, Betsy was visited by General George Washington, Robert Morris and Colonel George Ross in early 1776.  The purpose of their visit was to sew a flag based on a sketch:  13 red and white stripes and 13 six-pointed stars.  Betsy agreed to make the flag but suggested arranging the stars in a circle and reducing the points on each star to five instead of six.  No official documentation has been found to confirm that Betsy Ross was responsible for creating the very first flag.  Betsy attended church were both Washington and Morris worshiped.  There is evidence Betsy was a maker of flags because she was paid 14 pounds on May 20, 1777 by the Pennsylvania State Navy for making ships colors (flags).

A few years ago, Edyta Star, Laundry Basket Quilts released a pattern for a flag quilt.  My fabric stash contains lots of red, white and blue fabric and this quilt looked like it was within my skill set.  Let's not talk about time management.  Since the Fourth of July 2020 falls on a Saturday, I will have an extra day to sew.  It is usually hotter than heck the Fourth of July so a good time to stay indoors and work on this quilt.  It would be nice to move this WIP into a ready for the long arm.

Whittle's Fabrics in Smith's Grove, KY is an out of the way place and so worth the trip.  They sell their fabrics at about one-half of the price.  This is a Jo Morton fabric especially designed for the Quilts of Valor project.  I think it will make a nice backing fabric making the quilt reversible.  Am going to ask the long arm quilter to quilt with a wave pattern--simple but appropriate for an American flag.

Happy Flag Day, long may she wave!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

La D Da

Bo Peep

 It has been two months since this poor neglected blog was updated!  A very kind friend  remarked to me the other day "kid, 2020 has not been very kind to you."  Toronado's in late February, the lock down of the city in March because of the Covid 19 virus and riots and looting in downtown Nashville last week has meant much sadness for Music City.  Add sickness and death and this has been the first six months of 2020.  AppleJack always said to me "you got to keep on living."  Instead of thinking about the sadness and changes the past few months have brought to my life (and everyone's life), I am searching for the happy.

La D Da (Lori Markovic) is and always has been one of my favorite designers.  Her style, the fonts of her letters, the color of the fibers she chooses just sing to my heart.  Each year at the Nashville Needlework Market, Lori usually releases a market exclusive, and that is one of the first items which goes into my shopping cart.  Home was a market exclusive in 2018.  I started stitching this after the mayor issued the Safer at Home order.  Yes, there are some missing stitches on the right side.  With everything which has happened in 2020, I am not going to add the missing stitches.  The missing stitches will be a reminder of the trials, tribulations and losses of 2020.

BlueFlower Drum was this year's market exclusive.  Lori choose a very soft, feminine, palette of colors.  It is very delicate and the Lady Dot velveteen is a perfect choice for the top of the drum.  I even managed to snag me one of Lori's counting pins for this piece.

In 2019, Lori released these scissors cube.  I purchased extra cubes, they are so easy to finish and make wonderful gifts to share with stitch friends.

These are past market exclusives:  Basket Weave Needle-Keep from 2015, Birdy Stitching Roll from 2013, and Stitchers Roll Kit from 20??.   Inside these pieces I stitched the name of Grandmother Bessie and her sisters, Maggie and Kittie.

Will add sister Bonnie to the Summertime Roll-Kit and Mother Laura to the Garden Birds box.  There is also another kit called Garden Maiden which will be for sister Allie.

Carmen, my stitch-buddy-in-crime, and I are stitching Tall House needle book.  Now that some of the restrictions have been lifted we hope to have a meet-up day.

Whew!  I've got a ways to go, best get stitching.

In the 2019 Christmas issue of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher, Ann Thompson of The Shepherd's Needle in Little Rock, AR announced Lori Markovic would be coming to the Fall Fling, Nov. 4th-5th or 6th-7th.  Be still my heart, I told AppleJack this was what I wanted for Christmas.  Little did I know at the time, the entire world would be turned upside down and stitching retreats, events and classes would be cancelled by the scores.  Am hopeful, the world will right itself before November and I can attend Ann's Fall Fling and spend time with one of my favorite stitching designers.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Finding the Humor

Witch Hazel Sewing Coffin
Stacy Nash
35 count Weeks Dye Works Straw
Gentle Arts Sample Threads

Some would say AppleJack and I have a warped sense of humor--they might be right.  We have found  humor serves us well.  Yes, there are times when things seem bleak and we have searched for something, anything to lighten the situation.

I was searching for something the other day and came across this piece.  Isn't she cute?  I did not have any of the called for fibers or linens so I just went searching in my scrap bag and coloring book fiber box and found what I thought would work.  For a little more humor:  all of the fibers I choose are food related:  Apricot Blush (jam), Chamomile (tea), Black Licorice (candy) and Fragrant cloves (spice).  Judging from the size of Miss Witch Hazels hips, she like myself has been visiting the Easter candy jar while staying at home.  

I'm hoping when fall comes, Corona will be a distant memory and I can chuckle at my choice of colors as I make an extra lap around the track, while walking off my safer-at-home Easter candy.

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