Saturday, August 19, 2017

Shepherd's Needle and Stitcher's Garden

Shepard's Shade
Threads that Bind (Shawn Williams)
Punch Needle

Shepherd's Needle was one of the needlework shops AppleJack and I visited on our AR road trip.  It is a wonderful shop full of models, fibers, linens, trims and embellishments.  I mentioned in an earlier post Shawn Williams, Threads that Bind had taught a class two weeks prior to our visit--I should have planned better.  Shepherd's Shade was one of the many shop models.

I have had the kit for Shepherd's Shade in my stash for a long time.  After seeing the shop model it has given me motivation.  The shop owner graciously allowed me to take a photo I could use for reference.

Shepherd's Needle carries a large selection of linens.  This is an older Lizzie Kate Mystery sample called Things Unseen.  The linen I have chosen is 36 ct vintage pearled barley.  I am not a big fan of mystery samplers and usually do not get on board until the mystery is revealed.

After cutting the linen to exact measurements, the fabric is serged right at the cutting table.  Oaken by Picture this Plus for the Blackbird Design, the Winter is Past.

In addition to great linens, Shepherd's Needle had a great selection of trims for finishing.  These are from Lady Dot creates and Dames of the Needle.  Love the names of the trims:  Union, Chickie, Bear, Federal Gold, Bear and Jack

Stitcher's Garden is located in Conway, AR.  The shop owner recommended we eat at the Hole in the Wall Cafe.  She also had a great selection of linens.  This is chestnut for the design Easter Peep Parade by Brenda Gervais.

Am always on the hunt for great sampler linen.  This is Creek Bed Brown by R & R.

With fall on the horizon, I couldn't resist this Frightful Jack.

When I first moved to Nashville (thirty years ago) there were five needle work shops!  Sadly, the last of those five needlework shops will be closing August 26.  Through the years those needlework shops have introduced me to designers, techniques and my Stitching Sisters.  Shopping on line is just not the same as a visit to the LNS.  There are always great models to see, classes, and words of encouragement.  On the bright side, a new to me shop called Nashville Needleworks will be filling the void left by The Stitchin Post.  Needleworks has an e x t e n s i v e fiber offering.  You name the fiber and I think they carry it.  They will also be carry linens!  Whooooo Hooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!  The best part, Kathy, the framer from Stitchin Post will be doing the framing at Needleworks.  When my stitching sister shared this news with me--I felt like a big void in my life had been filled.

AppleJack has always said "if you want to make Betty happy, just buy her a skein of floss."  Am so happy for shops like Shepherd's Needle, Stitcher's Garden and Nashville Needleworks who promote needlework.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Road Trip

AppleJack and I made the decision earlier in the year we would take mini vacations.  We loaded up the wagon and headed west.  This is one of the bridges which spans the Mississippi River in Memphis.  Memphis is one of gateways to the west.

We were enroute to Little Rock to spend some time with family before school started.  We learned very quickly with Memphis being a gateway city there is a heavy constant stream of  trucks moving freight.

The pyramid which is located near the river is one of the more recognizable Memphis landmarks..

Memphis is famous for their barbeque.  As long as there are people with appetites there will be the great debate:  wet or dry and the best place.  Rendezvous, Interstate, Martin's and Neely's are some of the Memphis barbeque places who have been in business for many years and are some of the more recognizable names.  Ronnie Q's is our barbeque joint of choice and it is not in Memphis but in a small town called Dickson, which is about an hour west of Nashville.  Ronnie Q's has melt in your mouth brisket.  Yum Yum

One of the first things I do when planning a trip is locate the needlework shop(s).

Shepherd's Needle is in Little Rock and is an awesome shop.  Shawn Williams with Threads that Bind had taught a punch needle class the week before our visit.  

From shop models, a huge selection of linens, classes, recent chart releases to the beginning of sampler Saturday, Shepherd's Needle is a great shop.  If the commute were shorter, I would be spending a lot of time at this shop.

I had planned to take a photo of the outside of the shop when it started raining.  It was raining cats and dogs and rain was pouring off the building which looked like a waterfall.  We made a run for the car and got soaked--we looked like someone had poured a bucket of water on us, don't ever remember being any wetter in a shorter period of time.

AppleJack has a very high sense of adventure, discovering new places is also one of the things we do when traveling.

The owners of The Hole in the Wall Cafe had converted an old gin into a cafe.  "Real southern cooking and home of skillet fried cornbread" is how they describe themselves.  We may have been drenched by the rain but it did not affect our appetites.  Turnip greens, (real) mashed potatoes, fried okra, pinto beans, fried chicken, chicken fried steak it was all delicious.  (No one ever said southern cooking was healthy)

The Hole in the Wall had delicious desserts:  Peanut Butter pie, Lemon Ice-Box pie, Coconut Cake.  In the spirit of adventure we decided to explore more of Conway, AR and have dessert at Patti Cakes.  I thought the oversized ginger man cookie cutter was a great way to welcome customers to your bakery.

More yum yum

All to soon, it was time to head east, back across the river to Tennessee.

Part of the Memphis skyline taken from the car while crossing the mighty Mississippi.  See those rain clouds--they followed us all the way home to Nashville.  Mini vacations--I highly recommend them.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Divine Miss M (M Quertier)

M Quertier
Quaker 1799 (Ackworth School)
Scarlet Letter
#103 India ink Gloriana silk floss
Stash Mystery Linen 

Yes, I'm still stitching.  There have been many distractions:  the heat, weeding, grass cutting, canning tomato juice, corn for the freezer, classes (basket and rug hooking) and the regular stuff aka life.

M Quertier's height is determined she is 11 1/8 inches in height.  I finally have the top most medallion and the bottom most medallion stitched.  I estimate four more medallions and I will be at the half way mark.  Whoo Hoo!

While I have been stitching M, I dug through my needlework books and found Jacqueline Holdsworth's book Ackworth School Sampler Motifs.  Jacqueline writes in the book:  It is typical of Quaker medallions to be stitched as halves or quarters.  M has eight full motifs and seventeen half medallions.  Our M was an ambitious stitcher, had a long school year or did she have a strict teacher at Ackworth?

Passionflower Motif--it is big and beautiful and one of my favorites which is surprising because I did almost as much reverse stitching on this motif as I did forward stitching.  This motif is also on the Beatrix Potter sampler and the Beatrix Potter companion sampler.

This is an undated sampler once owned by Beatrix Potter--the passionflower motif has been stitched into the sampler.

Butterfly Motif

Carnation Motif

Jacqueline calls this motif the Crown Motif (I think it looks more like a poinsettia)

While I have been stitching M, I have been re reading Carol Humphrey's book.  Am glad I purchased this book several years when I checked on Amazon it is right pricey.  Thankfully, Carol writes about M in the book:  It was also noted that the Quertiers were a Channel Island family, and in the extracts from the Minutes of Ackworth for 1800 is found this entry:  "Children from Guernsey admitted, one eight year old as a special case."  When I first read this, it made me a little sad.  Someone saw value in M and she is now a part of the Fitzwilliam collection of samplers--our M was indeed special.

The next motifs I will be stitching is a bird, garland and swan.  Am looking forward to stitching M's cartouche with her initials and date.  We are having a summer shower.  Ugh, I think I hear the weeds and grass growing but while the rains nourishes the flowers, I will continue stitching on M.