Sunday, June 17, 2018

Still Spring

Churn Dash (set on point)
Jo's Little Women's Club 2017
Fabric by Fig Tree

The calendar says summer begins June 21 which means there are a few remaining days of spring, the temperature gauge says summer is already here with temps in the high eighties and nearing ninety.  Let's don't even speak of the humidity.  This churn dash quilt is one I started last year, I wanted to add more spring seasonal.  The green color reminds me of new grass and leaves, the yellow is the color of daffodils and forsythia and red are the tulips.  Oh those miniatures they are such foolers--their diminutive size  is misleading, I allowed my quilting ambitions to overload my quilting skills.  I thought the quilt would be much more interesting if set on point.  The quilt is approximately 18" x 18."

Last Saturday (June 9) Linda Stoltz (Erica Michaels), taught a strawberry finishing class.  Learning to  make/finish strawberries has been on my bucket list for a long time!  Linda gave great instructions and shared tons of ideas.  All those scraps of wool, lace, pins and  charms will be used in embellishing strawberries.  These are my practice berries made from left over toile fabric.

The raised bed garden is growing and blooming.  Due to a late spring with unusually cold temps, the garden was not planted until the first weekend of May.  AppleJack and I are hopeful for a late harvest.  The very hot days require constant watering which gives us an opportunity to check on the progress and for any potential damaging insects.

At the back of our property line are two long perennial borders.  Each time we look out the window, the day lilies and coneflowers make us smile.  Oh,  there is also an abundance of weeds--I consider it good exercise, the sunshine and fresh air are a welcome change from staying indoors.  AppleJack and I consider the beauty of these flowers our reward for working in the garden.

Miss Oak Leaf Hydrangea's blooms are beginning to turn.  Isn't she a show stopper?

The blooms on the day lilies this year are huge and vibrant.

Stacy Nash
Rose Garden Sewing Basket
from the 2017 Nashville Needlework Market

Three of the four panels for Stacy Nash's Rose Garden Sewing Basket are stitched, panel #4 is in my hoop.  Another nice addition for my spring seasonal.  For me, spring is always a sign of renewal, hope and potential.  Pulling weeds, struggling with the mathematics of setting a quilt on point and stabbing away at flower panels for a sewing basket are gentle reminders of the beauty of spring.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May, Where did you go?

May has come and gone in a blur, we skipped spring and went from spring  (wet and cold) to summer (hot and wet).

AppleJack and I spent many of our May days building this raised garden bed.  Tomatoes, peppers, basil and cucumber is what is planted.  We are hoping this will be a three season gardening bed.

Our tomatoes are looking happier and healthier being planted.  By the way anyone who uses the term dirt cheap hasn't purchased any dirt lately.

Miss Oak Leaf Hydrangea is ready to show her stuff.

After I get the dirt cleaned out from my fingernails, I have been stitching some patriotic stitches.

Hope to have this stitched in time for Flag Day and July 4th.

While on a fabric search, I found this cat fabric and decided it would be a good project bag.

AppleJack and I took a rain break from gardening and went to the Middle TN Fiber Festival.  Isn't this a handsome guy?  With those horns, I want to be his friend.

My churn dash squares have moved from storage to WIP's--two more squares to make and then setting them on point.

Strawberry finishing class two weeks (June 9th) at Linda's house--found some great wool at the fiber festival to use for stuffing.

AppleJack is giving me the stink eye to let me know it is time to put on my gardening clothes and pull weeds and spread mulch. 

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.)