Sunday, February 10, 2019

Punch Needle

Shephard's Shade
Threads that Bind #637 by Shawn Williams
Called for DMC fibers

Can we talk about a finish instead of all the mistakes?  The sheep on the left has obviously been eating more than his share of rations.  

Note to self:  when you are learning something new, choose a smaller project.  

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Winter Time Hooking

It is no secret, I am a huge cat lover.  With a grateful heart, I can say there are many cats who have shared their life with me.  Our sweet Callie Mae passed May 29, 2017.  I have not written about her passing.  She left a huge empty place in our hearts and home and even though it has been 20 months since her passing, the tears still flow.

After Callie Mae's passing, AppleJack begged for another kitty.  I was not ready.  One day he reminded me there were many kitties in the world who needed a home and to be loved and we could make difference in their life.  Christmas 2018 enter Violet Noel.  On a happy note, Christmas 2018 was a silent night at our Humane Society because all the kitties and doggers had either been adopted or were in foster homes.  

A very special thank you to my friend, Jan for helping me to make this rug a reality.  Each time I see this rug, it will serve as a reminder to me for all the kitties who have given me unconditional love, free advice and counseling sessions and brought endless hours of joy to my life.

Violet is doing great!  She has gained weight, is growing, healing and getting stronger each day.  With improved nutrition, physical therapy (interactive play) and heaping amounts of love and encouragement from AppleJack and me she is becoming Violet.  We hope we are making a difference in her life, she has certainly made a difference in ours.

Several years ago, Liseanne Miller (W. Cushing & Company/P is for Primitive) held a rug hooking event in Franklin called March Madness.  Patriotic designs are one of my soft spots and I thought this design would work well with my other patriotic pieces.  Nothing better than playing in the wool box auditioning fabrics for the next rug on these cold winter days.  Am a little stumped on the  background section behind the letters.  Liseanne and the March Madness event are returning to Montgomery Bell State Park March 15 and 16 and she and my hooking sisters will be there to help with fabric selection.

There was no snow for Music City during the Polar Vortex just very cold (for Music City) temps.  I was hoping for a snow day so I could stay home and hook/stitch/quilt/punch but no snow for Music City. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Happiest Time of the Year!

Ode to the Ort Basket
With Thy Needle and Thread/Brenda Gervais
Released at the 2017 Nashville Needlework Market
Limited Kit
40 ct mystery linen from stash
NPI Silks 206, 209, 346, 695,  923, 925

The time between Christmas and New Year's is one of my favorite times of the year.  Things begin to slow down a little (shopping, baking, decorating, wrapping, commitments), I take time off from my work, and there are many, many football games.  What makes the time extra special:  stitching, quilting, hooking, punching!

This Ode to the Ort Basket caused quick a kerfuffle in 2017.  It was released at the Nashville Needlework Market and there was a limited number of kits available to shop owners.  Shop owners struggled to get the kit and stitchers were on a search for the basket and design.  AppleJack helped with the painting and sanding of the basket.  It is stitched on 40 count linen, I am not a big fan of stitching on higher count linen.  I'm trying to get over my fear of stitching on the higher count linen and sticking to smaller, easier designs.

The Gift Keeps Giving #65 (2015)
Summer House Stitch Works/Beth Ann Seal
32 count mystery linen from scrap stash
Gloriana School House Red (my favorite color and silk)

At our Homespun Gathering Group in July 2019, we are having a box exchange.  I can't wait!  It is all about the box.  I thought I better practice.  I'm not happy with the way the piece fits in the box (the foam core is cut to small) and I may add some kind of embellishment (chenille or rick rack).  AppleJack helped with the painting, sanding, aging and waxing of the box--it came from Hobby Lobby.

This is the inside of the box.  Someone gifted me the flannel, I added the Lady Dot measuring twill, the scissors are from Hobby Lobby and the Needleminder is from Kelmscott.  

I am second guessing myself, I kinda wish I had added thread rings instead of the buttons.
This is not the box I will be exchanging--this is a learning piece.  Since the exchange is in July, we have a patriotic theme and since red, white and blue are some of my favorite colors, I have tons of ideas rolling around inside my pea brain.  I have already started gathering the inside contents--waiting until the last minute is not my style--I am not at my best under pressure.  

Snippet:  Thankful String
Lizzie Kate
35 count Weeks Dye Works Straw (a scrap from my stash)
NPI:  154, 184, 187, 245, 695, 865 and 904

This was suppose to be stitched and finished in time for Thanksgiving, I didn't make it for Thanksgiving 2018 but it will be ready for Thanksgiving 2019.  This is my first Lizzie Kate stitch.  It was simple, whimsical and perfect fall colors.

The board came from Hobby Lobby and am going to attempt another finish.

Am currently stitching the pig from the Prairie Schooler Barnyard Christmas, another quick stitch--one good football game and it should be a finish and then it is on to some punching.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Violet Noel

It is a busy time of the year for Santa and because he is so busy, he sometimes makes an early delivery.  Introducing Miss Violet Noel.

Miss Violet Noel is a Tori (Tortoiseshell):  black with orange and yellow, no white.  She is all Tori:  smart, feisty, curious, playful, expressive (a talker) and a hang-with-me girl.  Her most important trait:  she is a survivor!  The past few months have been challenging for Violet.  She was dropped off at the Humane Center, underweight and injured.  When the vet and techs evaluated her, she was thought to have a broken pelvis.  A very kind, generous, loving foster family family took her home because she was so underweight (4 lbs.) and to help her regain muscle strength.  When she was returned to the Humane Center,  she had gained a pound and was regaining muscle strength.  She was re-evaluated and the vet decided against surgery.

The day AppleJack and I met Violet she had had a very busy day.  She had gone from the foster home to the vet for evaluation and x-rays and then returned to the Humane Center.  Needless to say, she was more than ready to call it a day.  Enter her humans in training.

Violet is adjusting and learning her new home.  She has put her humans in a training program and feels confident she can have them whipped into shape and meeting all her needs in a short period of time.  Hopefully, the kitten food (high in protein and no grain) will help her to grow strong and heal.   She has a voracious appetite, I think she is making up for those times when she had no food.  She has a limp and may always have a limp.  But do not be deceived, she like the late President George H. W. Bush has two speeds:  full throttle and asleep.  She is very quick and fast.  With each day, she is gaining confidence and trusting her new humans to protect her and to keep her safe.  She can pack away all her fears, watch the birds from her personal upstairs window seat, sleep on a down comforter, have her own personal hairdresser and masseuse and be bold in asking for treats.

Violet is still a kitten, seven months old.  She will have her kitten moments:  Climbing, getting into things she should not get into, breaking things, voicing her opinion.  Extra attention will have to be given to floss, ribbons and strings and her humans do hear bumps in the night.

We do not know who named her Violet, maybe her foster family, the person who rescued her, or a tech at the Humane Center, but AppleJack and I like the name.  She responds to being called Violet (yes she answers when she is called) and she needed something consistent in her life.  The name Violet comes from the French and means a diminutive flower.  With her challenging start in life, she may be a diminutive girl.

Welcome to our home and hearts, Miss Violet Noel!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Justice for All

Justice for All
Blackbird Designs released 2002
40 count Old Massachusetts linen by The Primitive Hare
Needlepoint Ink Silk Williamsburg Blue Range 328 and Russet Red Range 209

Christmas is in sixteen days, most people are stitching beautiful Christmas pieces.  Me, I'm stitching patriotic pieces.  Last night I was watching one of my favorite Christmas movies:  Griswold Family Christmas.  At the end of the movie, Aunt Bethany begins singing the national anthem as Santa and the reindeer are catapulted into the sky.  I had myself a double good belly laugh:  laughing at the Griswold's singing the national anthem and me watching a Christmas movie and stitching a patriotic piece.  Does this mean I am becoming Aunt Bethany?  

Those Blackbird girls have been releasing winning designs for many years.  The font of the elongated letters was very appealing to me and the sampler gave me inspiration to stitch more of my family history.  The initials JSS are for my 5th Great Grandmother, Julianna Steinz Shultz and the year 1780 is the year of the Battle of King's Mountain.  The Battle of King's Mountain was a Revolutionary War battle and a turning point in the war for the American patriots.  

The Battle of King's Mountain
October 7, 1780

By the year 1780, the American Revolutionary War was well under way.  Great Grandparents, Johan Martin Shultz and Julianne Steinz Shultz may have thought that moving west from Pennsylvania into North Carolina might be a way of escaping the war.  

A few weeks before the Battle of King's Mountain, British Major Patrick Ferguson bluntly warned the local revolutionaries who lived in the Carolinas, that if they did not cease their rebellion, he would march over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay waste their settlements with fire and sword.  This bold statement by Major Ferguson angered the colonists living in the Carolina's and they felt forced to defend themselves, their families and their homes.  

Colonel John Sevier learning that Grandfather Johan Martin was a (self-taught) surgeon, asked him to join his troops.  Colonel John Sevier and Colonel Isaac Shelby joined their troops together and rendezvoused at Sycamore Shoals (Tennessee) on September 25, 1780.  On that day, Sevier and Shelby arrived with 240 troops and joined Colonel Charles McDowell, who was already there with 160 North Carolina riflemen.  Colonel William Campbell joined the march with 400 Virginians.  

When the American revolutionaries arrived at Quaker Meadows in Burke County, North Carolina, they  were joined by Colonel Benjamin Cleveland and 350 North Carolinians. The Americans arrived at the foot of King's Mountain in the early afternoon of October 7, 1780.  They launched a four pronged attack with two columns on each side of the mountain led by Colonels Campbell and Sevier on the right and Shelby and Cleveland on the left.  Ferguson and his men were taken by surprise by the bold aggressiveness of the Overmountain Men.  Over the sound of the battle could be heard a shrill shriek from the silver whistle Ferguson used to direct his troops.  It was soon silenced, as Ferguson was killed while leading a desperate attack by a few of his men to break out of the mountaineer's cordon.  Captain Abraham DePeyster, the second in command of the British troops, almost immediately raised a white flag.  In an hour's time, Ferguson and 119 of his men had been killed, 123 wounded, and 664 captured.  The Americans had lost 28 killed and 62 wounded.  The victory at Kings Mountain demoralized the British.  No longer could the British depend on the Loyalists in the Carolina Piedmont.  King's Mountain was a turning point in the Revolutionary War, and on October 19, 1781, General Cornwalls surrendered at Yorktown.

The British had one doctor, Dr. Uzal Johnson and the colonists had Dr. Martin Shultz.  The problem was lack of supplies:  no medicine, no bandages, no splints.  Amputations were carried out with whisky and brute force.

"A terrible night followed the terrible day of the battle.  the cold was intense, and a strong wind swept across the mountain.  The wounded lay around where they had fallen, upon the bare ground, among the unburied dead, with no shelter but the grey sky above them.  There were no splints for their shattered limbs, no bandages for their flowing wounds, and only one surgeon among the entire two hundred and fifty."  Said one who witnessed it:  The scene was heart ending in the extreme--the groans of the dying and the constant cry of the wounded for water.  Taken from the notes of The Bear Guard of the Revolutions by James R. Gilmore page 261 and 262.

While Grandfather Johan Martin was away, with Colonel Sevier tending to the wounded, Grandmother Julianna was home in Tennessee with their children:  Valentine 18, David 16, John 11, Jacob 9, Marin 7, and Julia Ann 5.  I sincerely doubt if Grandmother Julianna had the time, energy, linen and threads to stitch a sampler.  This sampler is my way of honoring and remembering my Grandparents and the sacrifice they made for me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I've Been Framed!

The Dirty Brown Sampler (released in 2001)
Beside the Hearth by Janet Morse
Mystery Linen from stash
Needlepoint Ink Silk 587 Burnt Umber range
Gentle Arts Sampler Threads:  Gold Leaf, Mulberry, Forest Glade

Yes, I take ownership of not updating my blog since October 11.  Am always busy.  Busy does not mean the same thing as productive.  Book Festival,  football, election, trips to the apple orchard, walking, the passing of a friend and for good measure toss in everyday life events is what has been occupying my time.  Oh yes, throw in a couple of fun trips to the framer!  Aren't trips to the framer fun?  I can get lost looking at all the moldings and my head is spinning with visions of the finished product.  While my Dirty Brown Sampler was being framed, Rita, one of the stitch girls from the Homespun group was also having her Dirty Brown Sampler framed.  I think it was fun for the framer and her customers to see the framed samplers hanging side by side.  Two samplers stitched on different fabrics, framed differently and stitched by two different needleworkers.

Lydi Emaline Shults (Emma Lerch)
The Scarlet Letter
Mystery stash linen
A Ver A Soie fibers

Lydia Emaline Shults is a part of my family history.  Her story is rather sad.  She was born October 26, 1865 and was a baby and child during the reconstruction years following the end of the Civil War.  She married a minister and they had no children.  She died from consumption (tuberculous) most likely spread from her husband and his parishioners.  About those colors:  Lydia's crayon box was full of bright colors and she was not afraid to use them.  One of the stitch girls said she wolud glow in the night.  Yes, she just might which is okay with me.  It will be Lydia showing me the way.

All American Finn
Threadwork Primitives (Nan Lewis) released 2014
32 count dove gray linen overdyed with walnut stain
Gentle Arts Sampler Thread, Needlepoint Ink Silk, Sewing Notions Trip
Starfish from Michael's

AppleJacks' Granddaughter has transitioned her room from the pinks of a young girl to a beach theme of a teen.  I found the board at Michael's, AppleJack spray pained the board white and the framer added Finn, cording and the starfish.  A fun piece of whimsy.  My framer and I are calling it the Betty version of a Priscilla finish.

Justice for All
Blackbird Designs released in 2002
40 count Old Massachusetts linen by The Primitive Hare
Needlepoint Ink Silks Williamsburg Blue Range 328 and Russet Red Range 209

After finishing the Dirty Brown Sampler, I started Justice for All by Blackbird Designs which was released in 2002.  The weathering and distress of this linen fit my needs for more family history.  I will add the year 1780 which was the year my Grandfather Johan Martin Shultz joined Colonel John Sevier and his Over-the-Mountain men and defeated the British at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War.  To my knowledge there is no surviving needlework from my Shultz/Shults family.  (I think they were to busy surviving the challenges of living on the unsettled frontier and caring for their family.). Once again, I did some research and will add Grandfather Martin and Grandmother Julianna's story to the back of this sampler.  A very quick stitch--love the long, tall, leggy letters of this sampler.  Have set a goal for myself to finish this sampler during the Thanksgiving holidays.  No Black Friday shopping for this girl, but I can be talked into shopping for moldings at the frame shop.

There are so many things in the stitching box sitting beside my stitching chair which I want to stitch.  The two samplers which seem to be calling my name the loudest is Sarah's House by Blackbird Designs released in 2012 and the Hospitality Sampler by Words of Praise which was released in 1970.  Thank you for asking, I do have some golden oldies in my stitch stash.  The verse on this sampler has always spoken to me:  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers;  for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  

Thanksgiving plans include staying at home, cooking some family favorite recipes, planting daffodils for the spring, decorating for Christmas, morning walks, watching some SEC football and time in the Stitch Room!  No road trips, no trips to the malls for this girl.  Our Homespun group is going to do a July exchange and I have already started working on mine.  Thanks to Flosstube, I have some great ideas.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


The Dirty Brown Sampler (2001)
Beside the Hearth by Janet Morse
Mystery linen from stash
Needlepoint Ink Silk 587 Burnt Umber Range 2+ skeins
Gentle Arts Sampler Threads Gold Leaf, Mulberry, Forest Glade

This sampler has been in my stash for years!  Yes, Janet Morse released the design in 2001--seventeen years ago!  Both Debby and Rita from the Homespun group have stitched this sampler, there may be others in the group who have stitched the sampler just can't recall right now.

What is it about this sampler?  Is it the simplicity, the undulating border, or the cartouche?  Janet's alphabets are beautiful and stitching with just one color except for the cartouche adds a special touch.  If you are looking for a quick stitch--Dirty Brown Sampler is your girl.

You know my mantra:  finish a sampler, start a sampler.  Who is next?  There are several contenders:  Sally Spencer by Birds of a Feather, Anna Grater by The Scarlet House, and Justice for All by Blackbird Designs

In an attempt to rightsize my stash, I have been sorting, passing and prioritizing.  One of the things I have discovered in this process is the rediscovery of older charts in my stash which I really like and I keep asking myself why I have never stitched them.  It is hard for me to resist the call of new releases.

I am not sure how long Sally Spencer has been released, let's just say she is not one of the newer girls on the block.  Sally Spencer or Mustang Sally as she was nicknamed by Mischievous Stitches has beautiful colors and who can resist Sally's mantra:  Sooner Begun, Sooner Done.  This sounds like something Grandmother Bessie would have said to me in her very pragmatic voice,  (see #mustangsallysal on Instagram)

Anna Grater by The Scarlet House is another contender.  Anna Grater was a club project Tanya designed for the Sampler Club at Country Sampler.  Tanya released Anna at the 2018 Nashville Needlework market and Lynette at Homesteading on the Homefront floss tube also did a SAL with Anna.  (see #annagratersal n Instagram)

Contender #3 is Justice for All by the Blackbird Girls which was released in 2002--another colder design and perfect for all the red, white and blue at my house.  I found some 36 count Patriot's Brew linen by R & R Reproductions and some NPI Williamsburg Blue in my stash.  Seems all the elements are coming together for this sampler.  Am thinking of changing the date to 1780 (the Battle of Kings Mountain) and adding the initials JSS for Grandmother Julianna Stentz Shultz.  I will add Grandfather Johan Martin's story and his contribution at the Battle of Kings Mountain and attach to the back of the sampler.  The alphabet on this sampler just sang to my heart, there are only two colors in this sampler.  (I think Emma Lerch wore me out with all the greens she used in her sampler)

Finish a sampler, start a sampler!