Monday, February 23, 2015

How Did I Ever Find Time To Work

Well, I've signed up for multiple on-line stitching classes for the coming months:
  • First off, I'm participating in the ANG "Stitch of the Month" project.  This started January 1st and will be a three-dimensional water lily (assuming I finish!)  A new stitch is introduced each month, over the course of the year.
  • Next, we have a mystery sampler, "Starstruck," by Kathy Rees.  I've taken her "Inchies" class and "Sudoku Delight" class in the past.  This time, we don't know what the project looks like, it's a mystery.  We could pick what colors we wanted to work in and won't find out what the completed sampler looks like until the end.  We had our first lesson February 1st and will end July 31st.
First Lesson of Starstruck Mystery Sampler
  • Then EGA offered a "Patriotic Sparklers" class that started today.  It's six small projects done in red, white and blue.  The class will be done in six weeks.
  • Next, we have "Shady Colors," by Carole Lake and Michael Boren.  The very first online class I took was their "Stella Polaris" project, which I liked so much I did the piece twice in different colors.  This time, I picked gray and silver as my color choice.  This class starts March 1st and ends May 1st.
First Lesson of Shady Colors
  • I figured that was plenty of stitching, but no, along came another online class that I couldn't pass up: "Explorations" by Debbie Rowley.  That class starts in April and goes through June. Mix in other projects, large and small, and I think I'll have a busy spring into summer!

And a New Year Begins

I re-joined the Embroiders' Guild of America.  I was a member years ago when there was a local chapter, Plum Grove Chapter.  That chapter disbanded and I let my membership lapse.  But decided to join the on-line Cyber Stitchers chapter.  One of the first things I discovered is that the President of the Cyber Stitchers chapter had issued a challenge to complete UFOs (UnFinished objects), that is, stitching we've worked on and then put away to finish later.  Some UFOs languish for years and years...  Anyway, those wanting to accept the challenge could identify up to five pieces they wanted to finish over the course of the year.  Most of us responded, "ONLY five???"

I have been able to complete two of my five identified UFOs.  One was the teaching piece from last year's ANG Seminar in Chicago.  I changed the color a bit, it has a hint of pink, rather than the hint of beige that the teacher planned.  Shortly after finishing the piece, we learned that Pat Donaldson, the teacher, had died.  I also changed several of the drawn thread rows..  I had set it aside with all the stitching done except for the needleweaving column on the left, that was new to me and for some reason I thought it would take a long time.  Once I picked the piece back up and started needleweaving, it only took about six hours to complete the piece.  Here it is in all its glory!

Whitework Sampler by Pat Donaldson
And now for something completely different: the second piece I've completed so far this year. Can you guess the designer's name without reading the caption?

Lahaina Breezes by Laura Perin Designs
In between those two big pieces, I stitched a bookmark.  I picked up the kit in the gift shop at Westminster Abbey on our 2011 cruise.

Stained Glass Window bookmark by Textile Heritage

Remembrances of Things Past

A trip to Dubuque for Christmas Day, with roast beef dinner at the assisted living facility, followed by opening of gifts.  Last year I gave Mom and Dad some assorted candies, this year I went for salty snacks.  Plus springerle cookies "imported" all the way from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  I discovered Springerle House at the farmer's market across from the hotel in Lancaster where Stitching Jubilee was underway.  It's a great farmer's market, and the springerle cookies are excellent!  Fortunately they do mail order, so in December I order some for myself and some as Christmas gifts.

This would have been my 45th wedding anniversary; my husband and I were married on Christmas Eve in 1969.  So, the holidays had a somber note for me this year due to this milestone.  I remember when Stan was dying back in 2007, the on-call chaplain who arrived in the hospital room in the middle of the night, asked how long we had been married.  My response:  "thirty-seven years...but not long enough."  Some days it is still an effort to get through the day without him.

But on to more cheerful things.  I ended up finishing several stitching pieces.  First up is a chart I purchased at the ANG Seminar in Chicago.  The designer's name should be familiar - I've done a number of her designs.

Nordic Valentine by Laura J. Perin Designs
 Next is a smaller piece, a needlecase.  Here are the stitched front and back, ready to be assembled.   Textile Heritage makes a "Violets" series and a "Lily of the Valley" series of small accessories: needlecase, bookmark, sachet, and scissor keep.  I earlier completed stitching on and posted a photo of the "Lily of the Valley" scissor keep.  Here is the Violets needlecase.
Violets Needlecase by Textile Heritage