Monday, January 11, 2021

Winter Decorating

 Christmas 2020 has been safely and lovingly packed away.  Stitching for Christmas 2021 has begun (the Noel sampler by With Thy Needle and Thread).  Decorating after Christmas can be a challenge.  Do I decorate for Winter? President's Day or Valentine's?  I choose all three.

It seldom snows in Nashville.  I do enjoy allowing the snowmen to stay out until Spring to remind me it is winter.  We have had some cooler temps so I don't need much reminding.  The snowmen are sitting on my save-the-stitches cathedral window quilt.  While soiled when I purchased, a good soaking in Dawn brightened it as fresh as new.

I love adding a stitched Valentine to the dough bowl.  AppleJack thought he was pretty special to have a handmade Valentine instead of a store bought Valentine. 

This year's Valentine will be Let Love Rule from Modern Folk Embroidery.  Jacob de Graef is a new to me designer and his designs are singing to my heart.  With some backing from Lady Dot Creates and School house red from Gloriana I think this will make a nice Valentine addition.  

Add some red, white and blue for President's Day.  History has always been a favorite subject for me.  Living history (pandemic, Christmas morning bombing, politics) has taught me about the sacrifices my family and the thousands of families have made for me to enjoy the freedoms I have. Let us look for the good, practice kindness and forgiveness.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas Auditions

Melinda, AppleJack's niece is an eternal optimist, her glass is always half full.  Taking a note from Melinda's optimism, I have searched for something good about 2020.  For me, one of the good things about 2020 is the return of stitchers to needlework.  With all the stay at home time, people have returned to needlework and this makes me very happy. 

Searching through stash, rediscovering great designs which we now have the time to stitch.

Choosing those designs which sing to our hearts and call us "stitch me, stick me."

Giving time to a series started and near completition which will be enjoyed Christmas 2021.

Which one of these will I choose for a Christmas Day start?  Why not all of them and thumb my nose at 2020.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Christmas 2020

Since 2020 has been such a different kind of year, I thought it was time to change things up. Instead of sitting on the mantel, the nutcrackers have been sitting atop the pie safe in our downstairs guest bedroom.  See the partial feather on the toy soldiers hat?  He's struggling with Covid fatigue.

One day while cleaning in the craft room, I found a paper mâché box and this fabric and thought why not.

Both AppleJack and his nephew, David lived in Washington DC for several years.  This tree is angels and White House ornaments David gifted to us.

Was thrift store shopping with a girl friend and found this.  It was a pillow, which I took apart, gave it a good bath and now makes a great table topper. 


Hang your stockings

Ask Santa to fill his sleigh with all the good fabric, floss, wool, and designs

And have yourself a Merry Christmas

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!