Snow Day

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Thanks for all the compliments on my ornament in the last post.  I agree with you – the guild members are a talented group of stitchers!  As you know, I have been attending the Tudor Rose guild’s annual holiday party since I became a member.  I decided this time that I would also attend the Greater Dallas EGA holiday party as well.  Having never been before, I thought it would be fun to attend.  Unfortunately, the holiday party had to be postponed a week due to the crazy ice storm we had in Dallas.  We did get snow as well, but underneath that snow was a solid sheet of ice.  Needless to say – we all opted to hibernate in our houses!!
But the city thawed and we were finally able to get together for our party.  You’ve seen the ornament I stitched for the Tudor Rose exchange, so here is the ornament I stitched for EGA. 
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If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have photographed my little Santa ornament in the snow!  Alas, I wasn’t.  I’ve been mulling over stitching this ornament for a few years now.  It was actually one of the monthly sheep blankets for the Woolly Tyme club done by Homespun Elegance back in 2006.  I just always thought this was a sweet design and would be something that probably few have seen.  I just love his little Wisper beard that’s all fuzzy.  I found this great pompom trim at JoAnn’s that was a perfect choice for finishing him.  
One of the things I love about EGA is that  you have needleworkers of all kinds – cross-stitchers, needlepointers, beaders, etc.  One of the ladies brought her beaded Christmas trees to share.  You can see two of them in this photo – but she’s actually finished like six of these things!  Aren’t they awesome???
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The board members presented the outgoing President with this amazing gift.  They took a kit out of her stash (without her knowing) and they each stitched on it and then finished it.  Not only was she completely blown away by the beautiful piece – but the fact that it had come from her own stash – what a gift that is!  (Side note: if anyone would like to stitch something for me from my stash, shoot me an email.  LOL)  She had even bought these gorgeous Sajou Mother of Pearl scissors to go in the piece and quickly wen to retrieve them so that they could take their proper place!  I wish I’d gotten a photo of the outside of the piece, but it was just stunning!
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Now, on to the ornament exchange!  Here are closeups of a few I thought were eye-catching.  Loved the beaded edge and hanger on this sweet one. 
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A beaded ball with fringe.  My photo of this does it no justice. 
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This one had a lot of people’s interest – it’s a completely beaded three-dimensional star with a beautiful crystal in the center.  Loved this one so much!
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And here are some closeups of some of the fantastic ornaments together.  
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Look at the beaded cardinal – wowza!  So pretty!  I love the blackwork piece next to it as well. 
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And here they are all together.  I meant to get a closeup of the two wool ornaments – they were darling.  Again – I love how different they all are. 
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And this is the beautiful ornament I went home with.  Made by my sweet friend, Adrienne, I was thrilled I managed to hang on to it through the swapping! It’s two-sided and entirely beaded.  She is such an amazing beader. 
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So there you have it – another fun holiday party and exchange.  I will definitely be attending the EGA party again.  
I am grateful for stepping outside my comfort zone.  

The View Above

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The past few months it seems I’ve been stitching on a series of things that I couldn’t share – but now they can be revealed!  In early December, I attended the annual Tudor Rose Sampler Guild holiday party.  I’ve enjoyed attending each year but always find that I’m down to the wire getting my ornament stitched and finished for the ornament exchange I participate in.  This year I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to stitch, but when I stumbled across this Little By Little angel called “The View Above”, I knew it would be a good choice.  I thought it was a nice little nod to the Tulip Angel I stitched in 2009 for the exchange too.  She was a fun little stitch.  Finishing, on the other hand, ugh!  Twisted cording is my nemesis.  
Anyway, the party was fun, as usual.  This year instead of holding the party at a member’s home, we held it at our usual meeting place.  Our Programs Chair printed off these delightful little caskets on cardstock as a party favor – they were a freebie on Tricia Nguyen’s blog in December.  So cute!  I may color mine before I assemble it.  We’ll see!
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I wanted to show a few of the ornaments that particularly caught my eye – you know I can’t say no to a Blackbird Designs piece, right?
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I never think to stitch LHN ornaments until I see them and then I fall in love with the cute.  Love how this one was finished with that pretty (I think it may have been velveteen) red fabric and green cording (why can’t my cording look like that???).  Excuse the random red ribbon peeking out from under there – once we tore open the wrapping there were bits everywhere!
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This was a sweet, simple design but look how cute with the chenille trim, gold jingle bells in the corners and red cording for the hanger.  (again, the red ribbon photobombs my pic)
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This one really caught my eye and the photo doesn’t do it justice.  It’s by The Primitive Hare and was in the 2013 JCS issue, I think.  
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And this sweet little one – a Jeannette Douglas design.  Look at the pretty beaded edge and the tiny little over one bird.  So so cute.  (and the red ribbon is now beginning to resemble some sort of sea monster tentacles).
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Here’s a shot of all the ornaments together.  I meant to get closeups of some others, but it didn’t happen.  I’m completely in love with that Stacy Nash Silent Night one.  And that Ewe & Eye & Friends down at the bottom reminded me that I went completely gaga over seeing these stitched up on a blog a while back and meant to stitch them…clearly that plan fell by the wayside.  
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And finally, here are the ornaments I came home with.  Bonus this year – I ended up with two!  They are the sweetest little things too.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing the ornaments – every year I’m amazed at how varied the ornaments are – both in choice and in finishing.  Even when we have so many stitchers choosing ornaments out of the same magazine, we never end up with two the same.  I always come away inspired and with a long list of new ornaments to stitch.  
I am grateful for sweet little reindeer and sheep and birds.  

It’s Friday, Y’all!

It's Friday, Y'all!

I’m back with some fun things to share with you today from when Eric and I went to the State Fair back in October.  You know seeing the Creative Arts and Textiles building is always high on my list and it’s always fun to see the pieces people have entered.  I hope you enjoy getting to see some of the pieces I thought were “highlights”. 

I’m always a sucker for a sparkly Chatelaine Designs piece, and this one is no exception.  This is one of her Christmas Mystery designs. 

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A little closer so you can see the detail.
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Sweet little mini quilt that looks like a Jo Morton.
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And the hooked rugs always get me.  I have two kits that I bought many years ago, and I really need to make it a priority to learn how to hook. 
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Pretty applique quilt.  I thought the border was interesting as well, with the dark fabric and then the triangle pieces.  It’s kind of shame that they folded the sides in to display this piece, because I think that border probably changes the look of the quilt completely with the dark surround. 
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Cathedral Windows quilt – I’m always in awe of these due to the amount of time and skill they require.  This one is a more traditional looking quilt with the white background, whereas the one I showed you last year was done in very modern fabrics.  Interesting to see the comparison. 
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A little closer for detail.
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I love the texture created from the windows.  
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Another mini quilt, but opposite end of the spectrum from the one earlier.  I love the fabrics and colors in this – especially the grey background and binding.  It makes the stars really pop.  Hard to see in this photo, but the quilting was done in multi-colored or variegated thread. 
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The miniatures are always fun to look at too.  I love these little individual scenes, and I totally cannot resist miniature desserts!!
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A little closer…look at the yule log way down at the bottom.  Too cute!!
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Another hooked rug. 
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This quilt I thought was interesting because of the shapes.  It reminds me of “tongues” like you’d see in a penny rug, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quilt like this before. 
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Mini Dresdens!  It’s amazing the effect when you take a bunch of these and assemble them together.  
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Closer…
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I am so in love with this tiger.  It’s so different from the usual sheep you see in hooked rugs.  I seriously want this in my house.  Someone come make it for me!
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Beautiful jewel tones in this rug. 
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Now, I have to admit that I totally don’t get these entries.  There’s always a ton of “stuff” that have been entered and often with ribbons, but I don’t get what the point is.  The pieces are interesting, I’ll give you that, but why enter something you pulled out of your attic or bought at a antique shop?  If anyone knows, I’d love to be enlightened!  But, I took this photo because I thought the old Oz books were cool – brought back some memories. 
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Fun frame for this BOAF piece.  I love how it brings out the blue in the stitching. 
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I wish I’d gotten a better photo of this one – very pretty sampler.  No idea what sampler it is though.
 
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This piece was stitched by one of the ladies in my guild and won Best in Show.  This is the second year in a row that we’ve had a member with that honor.  This is all Blackwork.  And let me tell you, it is gorgeous in person.  Plus it makes me think of the Boleyn girls, so I love it.  And you can’t really tell here, but this is a big piece!!
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This was a fun hooked rug.  I really love this and of course, since it’s depicting a Dallas landmark, it makes it even better.  Beautiful rail fence pattern in the background. 
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Of course these HAED-type pieces are amazing to look at.  I started one HAED years ago and I think I managed to stitch about a 40×40 stitch area and called it quits.  I absolutely applaud anyone that can finish one of these because they are not easy – mainly I think because it’s really impossible to see what you’re stitching because it’s usually such a small area it just looks like pixelated color until you get a good chunk of it done – then the image starts to form.  
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Here’s a closer look.
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Another beautiful sampler – this looks like a Moira Blackburn to me, but not sure if it is.  Beautiful stitching.
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Another miniature – look at the moose head on the wall.  
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Look at the little dog!  And the tiny jars and mirror.  Amazing!
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Love this applique quilt.  Looks like this is all done in batiks, which gives it those pretty jewel tone colors.
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Check out this painted Halloween box.  Most of the Halloween stuff doesn’t interest me usually because it’s usually too cutesy for me, but this I love. 
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As you can see, the whole thing is painted, not just the top.  So fun.  Wonder what the inside looks like??
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And this was a little blast from the past for me.  This is a Just Nan piece that was a limited edition piece for The Silver Needle years ago (like maybe 10??).  Mine’s still in the original packaging, never stitched.  And it may or may not be accompanied in the box by like four other limited edition pieces.  Maybe. 
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It really is a super cute piece.  It’s a little ort box, with the attached felt pumpkin pincushion.  I swear, put the words “limited edition” on something and I’m all “SOLD”!  Maybe after I learn rug hooking I’ll start working on some of this stuff that’s in my “archives”.   
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And finally, one last quilt.  I think this is such a fun, bright quilt.  The fabric is all vegetable/fruit fabric.  How fun is that.  And what drew me to it as well was that when I went up to my LNS a couple of years ago to spend the morning cutting my fabric for my Kiss Kiss quilt, there was a woman there working on a quilt with this same fruit/veggie fabric.  No idea if this is hers or not, but it was so fun watching her work with those fabrics. 
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See how fun?
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So there you have it.  Another year at the fair.  I hope you guys enjoy seeing these photos.  Like I said, I love wandering through the exhibit every year and every year it’s different.  
I am grateful for the end of a hard week. 

Stars in Her Crown

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The Tudor Rose Sampler Guild invited Paulette of Plum Street Samplers to come and teach a workshop for us and we commissioned her to design a sampler.   I’ve been counting down the days and anxiously awaiting Paulette’s arrival in Dallas for our class.  Saturday was the big day, and true to form Paulette’s attention to detail was evident in every piece.  The kit was beautifully packaged and opening it brought gasps of joy from every person in the room. 
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The kit included a glorious array of silks, Lakeside linen, Weeks wool, a Sudberry frame, crushed walnut shells and other little bits for finishing the smalls as well as a fun little lip balm.  Everything was beautifully presented.
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Paulette also set up an amazing trunk show for our members – and seeing her pieces in person was a treat.  Absolutely gorgeous pieces – and several of them just got bumped up to the top of my To Stitch list.  
And here is the gorgeous sampler Paulette designed for us.  It’s called The Crowned Bird Sampler.  Love love love it!  I cannot wait to get started on this beauty. 
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Paulette spent some time talking about her inspiration for the piece and some of the things she included and why. 
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Look at the red bird!
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And Victoria Beckham move over, this lady’s fascinator puts hers to shame!  What a perfectly dressed couple – particularly for a  workshop taking place on Derby Day!
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And here are the smalls – a miniature sewing tray and strawberry.  
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Here’s my little bitty start on the sewing tray.  Paulette’s pieces are always so fun to stitch and it was such a good day filled with friends, stitching, laughter, good food and beautifully designed pieces. 
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Thank you so much, Paulette, for designing such a special sampler for us.  Your visit was much too short although I’m sure Tilly-Roux the Yorkie was glad to have you back home!
I am grateful for a wonderful weekend with a wonderful lady. 

Spring is Coming

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I really don’t know where the time goes!  March is here and the trees are blooming and we’ve had a few really beautiful days.  Of course this time of year, I’m drawn to brighter colors and I’m really loving my new found focus on the projects I have in progress.  Earlier this week was the monthly guild meeting and I took a couple of things to work on (not that I put a single stitch in).  I’ve been working on some Tula Pink Prince Charming hexies as you can see.  I’ve also been hard at work on my John Reed sampler.  My pretty stitching wallets from Sylvia come with me wherever I go too!
Here’s a closer look at John Reed.  I’m loving the AVAS silks on the 40ct Confederate Grey.  I’ve finished page 1 and I’m moving along on the adjacent pages.  I’m stitching this for my dad, as his memorial sampler, so I’d like to have it finished by June (his birthday).  It’s a bit washed out in this photo due to the bright sunshine I had coming in the window.  The photo from guild night is more accurate colorwise.    
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I’ve also been spending Sundays on ATS.  Nothing much exciting going on – but I’m on the last row of alphabet finally.  I’ll be glad to get back to the motifs at the bottom of page 2.  
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In quilting news, since I finished my Kate Spain Christmas quilt top, I decided to get back to my Tula Pink Kiss Kiss quilt.  You may recall I started this on my birthday last year?  A couple of weekends ago, I pulled out all my fabric and finished all the cutting for the quilt top.  Now everything’s ready for piecing.  I can’t wait.  This is going to be gorgeous!
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And look! an older Tula Pink line, Plume.  I’ll have to find something special to do with this. 
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 And along those same lines, remember back in October when I got to meet Tula herself?  I pre-ordered her new Hex on the Beach kit.  I got a call at the beginning of January that it had come in and I rushed right over to pick it up!  After seeing Laurie and Margaret’s progress on their Hex on the Beach hexies, I couldn’t resist any longer.  So, I have a sneaky suspicion I’ll be showing you progress on this soon too!
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And tomorrow I am heading out to the Dallas Quilt Show with a friend to see what trouble we can get into get inspired by all the pretty fabric and quilts. I’ll be sure to share what I find there!
(P.S. – if you’d like to take a look at my February in photos, you can check out my other blog.)
I am grateful for a good book, a pretty mani and bursts of happy colors.