Sunday, January 26, 2014

A winter walk

The temps are higher today, the weatherman  says the high will reach near fifty.  Whoo Hoo!  I dressed for a walk, thinking the fresh air and sunshine would be a welcome change.  Layers of clothing has become the norm--cuddleduds (silk underwear) thermal underwear, turtleneck, sweater or sweatshirt and heavy coat, wick socks, cotton socks then wool socks.  I pray I don't fall down else with all these layers of clothing I might need assistance in getting back on my feet.  

As I took my walk, I dream of spring and gardening,  digging in the dirt and the return of my friends.

Will the peonies bloom this year and remind me of the abundance of peony blooms in my Mother's garden?

Will the ballerina rose take her first dance with Jackamii?

Will the hardy Tennessee bearded iris survive these bitter cold days?

Will Miss Oak Leaf Hydrangea shower me with an abundance of blooms and make my heart sing?

Will my faithful, hardy friends, the daylilies return with endless weeks of summer blooms?

My friend Cindy says anyone who names their garden Next Garden is an eternal optimist.  The coldness of the winter days and nights, the layers and layers of clothing is going to make the spring even sweeter.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Coming together

Don't you love it when things come together, compliment each other and live together in peace and harmony?  

Callie Mae (with AppleJack's help) strategically placed her condo by the window so she could keep a watchful eye for the mailman.  The mailman did not disappoint, he delivered not one but two packages.  One package from Dying to Stitch and a second package from Heartstring Samplery.  Be still my heart, the goodness.  Yes, the first kit from the Colonial Gatherings Club and Harry Tyler's Lion from Heartstring Samplery.  Want to know what Harry Tyler's Lion looks like?  Well, he looks like this.

Beth (Heartstring Samplery) drew her inspiration for this design from The National Museum of the American Coverlet.  Here is what Beth writes about the design.

Coverlets in both geometric and figured patterns were widely popular during the early to mid 1800's.  The coverlets were usually woven of wool and cotton.  The wool was generally hand-spun and colored with natural dyes, while the cotton was usually machine-spun and left undyed.  Coverlets were made by both women and men.  Geometric coverlets were usually produced by women for their own use, while coverlets with figured (realistic) patterns were made by men as a profession.  Some coverlets include trademarks.  One of the most well-known is a lion used in the 1830's by New York weaver Harry Tyler.  This cross-stitch design is my adaptation of his original trademark, along with a tree and partial medallions found on his coverlets.

The red fabric pictured above is the backing fabric I used on my bow tie quilt.  See everything is coming together.   Those wonderful girls at Dying 2 Stitch included enough Needlepoint Ink Silk to stitch both the first Colonial Gatherings project and Harry Tyler, which perfectly matches the color of the coverlet in Grandmother Bessie's room.

  Ahh, it's all coming together.  Colonial Gatherings is the first club I have joined and am ready excited about the projects.  I see lots of goodness in store for Grandmother Bessie's room.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

John C Campbell Folk Art School

Is everyone dressed like Nanook of the North?  Are you testing the theory of the number of clothes you can wear at one time?  Can you believe we are having the second polar vortex?  Are you sorry you didn't ask Santa to bring an extra pair of thermal underwear?  What are you doing to amuse yourself during these cold winter days?

Have I ever shared with you about my relationship with mailmen?  My Great Grandfather was a postmaster, my Grandfather delivered mail on horseback in The Great Smokey Mountains, my Father began his career as a rural mail carrier and retired as a postmaster and AppleJack worked in Vehicle Maintenance for the post office.  I come from a long line of mailmen. 

As I write this post, I am anxiously waiting for the mailman to deliver the first kit from Dying to Stitch.  Yes, I joined the Colonial Gathering Club!  If you want to see the first kit, hop over to Plum Street Samplers and take a peek. 

So what am I doing to keep myself warm during these long cold winter nights?  A little quilting, some hooking, stitching and reading.  The mailman delivered one of my favorite catalogs--the 2014 course catalog from the John C. Campbell Folk School.

The John C. Campbell Folk School was founded in 1925 and is located in Brasstown, North Carolina.  A typical week at the folk school begins on Sunday afternoon with registration and orientation.   MorningSong begins at 7:45, a custom of singing to start the day.  A hearty breakfast follows morning song.  Students learn by doing, each at their own pace.  Most classes are limited to twelve students or fewer to allow instructors time to work with each individual.  Each afternoon after class, students are given an opportunity to explore local art and culture.  Visits to the shops of area artisans.  Evenings are filled with dance and music, readings by writers, tales of storytellers and interesting craft demonstrations. 

On Friday's  students display  a sampling of their week's experience and view the creations of new found friends.  At week's end, new friends have become old friends.  You have experienced the tradition and history of the Appalachians and you have created your own work of art. 

The classes, oh the classes and endless variety and for all skill levels.  Basketry, blacksmithing, cooking and baking, enameling, knitting, metalwork, needlework and thread art, painting, quilting, spinning, weaving, woodcarving, and woodworking.  None of these strike your fancy, not to worry there are many, many more. 

If your schedule does not allow you to take off an entire week, there are classes designed for a weekend.  There are themed weeks:  Scandinavian Heritage, Earth Week, Intergenerational Week, Scottish Heritage, Shaker Week, Holiday in the Mountains Week and Winter Dance Week.  A beautiful mountain setting, delicious meals, time to spend time doing what you love, meeting new friends, expanding your skills.  All this is beginning to sound like the perfect vacation get away for AppleJack and me.

Time to find another pair of socks, encourage Callie Mae to snuggle closer, study the John C. Campbell catalog and keep a watchful eye for the mailman. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

The silver lining

Ever had one of those weeks?  You know when everything that could have gone did and a few more things with it?  Once again it is time to remember a lesson learned from Grandmother Bessie.  "When the storm surrounds you, look for the cloud with the silver lining."  Here are some of the silver linings in the cloud.

  • Polly Minor, a Scarlet Letter sampler arrived from Nicola.  A win from a drawing from Nicola's Scarlet Letter year.  And dear sweet wonderful Nicola also included a fat quarter of fabric.  
  • The arrival of back ordered NPI silks needed to begin Isabella Fox
  • The latest issue of Primitive Quilts is on the bookshelves
  • Carriage House released a new design called "Gregory in the Garden"
  • Am meeting a long armed quilter tomorrow and the best part she lives in my neighborhood!
  • A turkey avocado bacon sandwich from Mitchell's Deli.  AppleJack knows how to cheer a girl up
The silver lining in the storm clouds.  Thank you Grandmother Bessie for teaching me to look for the good things.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Signature Quilt

AppleJack, Callie Mae and I consider change a good thing.  In fact, we frequently change things up at Thistle Manor to keep things interesting.  As time is very precious, I sometimes need assistance with my projects.  This is a cheater signature panel.  I think it works well with Callie Mae's nap bed.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Turkey Trot, Notforgotten Farm

Turkey Trot
From Autumn at Notforgotten Farm
36 count raw Edinburgh  linen
NPI Silks

Is your glass half empty or half full?  If your glass is half empty, I missed finishing this project for Thanksgiving 2013 by a few weeks.  If your glass is half full, I have a start for Thanksgiving 2014.  I made a few minor modifications to the design.  I have big loopy letters in my initials and had to compensate one of the motifs.  

A fun whimsical stitch.  AppleJack has decided he is the turkey on the top and I am the turkey on the bottom.  Notice the turkey on the top is regal and composed while the turkey on the bottom looks frazzled and like her tail feathers are dragging.  Yep, some days that is me.  

Glass half full, glass half empty, regal or frazzled a fun stitch which will add to the festivities of Thanksgiving 2014.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

French Braid

Know what you get when you combine your binding tool with some stash French General fabric

Toss in a Missouri Star YouTube Tutorial

Add some inventory 50% off reduction fabric?

The beginning of a French Braid quilt

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

Brr, it is cold at Thistle Manor!  Temps in the single digits with snow forecast for Sunday, the school system has declared a Cold Day for Monday.

AppleJack, Callie Mae and I decided to do something different this year.  As the Christmas decorations were lovingly packed for 2014, the Valentine decorations came out.

Valentine's Day, hearts abound

Valentine's 2014 is made all the sweeter

Valentine's 2014 is Heart of Country Antiques Show

and Music City Antiques Show

But, the most important event is the. . .

Nashville Needlework Market!!!!!

Samplers are being planned, fibers are being pulled, linens are being cut.

I have started the countdown.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cold Winter Days

Brrr, Baby it's cold outside!  Am so happy and grateful there are quilts to keep us warm.  Nothing like sleeping under a quilt.

Quilts made so many years ago, lovingly stitched with the skilled hands of Mother and Grandmothers.

Their caring hearts, keep us warm on these cold, snowy winter days.