Spring’s Song

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I had one final finish in 2012 that I’m finally able to share.  I stitched this little piece up for a dear friend’s birthday (which I am notoriously and repeatedly late for).  She spent the majority of her year last year stitching for other people, and I wanted to do something special that was just for her.

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This is Spring’s Song by Blackbird Designs from the Spring 2012 Loose Feathers booklet, Mary Ann Blackburn.  I stitched it with the called for threads and linen (Crescent Colours and GAST on 30ct Sheep’s Straw).
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Part of what I loved about this piece was the jewelry box it is mounted in.  I found the called for box at Hobby Lobby and painted and Briwaxed my little heart out. 
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And I really thought this might be a perfect little sewing box, a place to keep her scissors and threads.  It has a mirror inside the lid, and little removable trays to hold little odds and ends.   
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I love the way it turned out and the finishing instructions were very easy to follow for mounting the piece in the lid.  Another sweet friend lent me her Briwax so that I could get the box finished, when my hunt for a local source to obtain the stuff turned up empty.  But thanks to online resources, I’m now the proud owner of more Briwax than you can shake a stick at.  I suppose there will be a lot more box painting in my future!
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I’m always nervous about mailing things off, and I hold my breath until I know they’ve arrived safely.  But I wrapped this baby up in about a thousand layers of bubble wrap and sent it on its way.  I’m so pleased that even a very late birthday gift still brightened her day and let her know how much I treasure her friendship.  
Happy Thanksgiving Christmas New Year’s Valentine’s Day Birthday, my sweet friend.  
I am grateful for hints of Spring.

Epiphany

2012 Finishes
Happy New Year!  I can hardly believe it’s already the 10th of January!  I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and spent some quality time with friends and family.  Before the new year gets away from me, I thought I’d do a little 2012 recap of some of the things I accomplished last year.  
2012 was not a banner year with regard to finishes.  But, I enjoyed what I did find time to stitch on, and a lot of it was little things that caught my fancy, rather than working on existing WIPs.  You may remember that after starting Margaret Cottam in November of 2011, I was enjoying her so much and was so close to a finish that I decided to stick with her rather than having a New Year’s Day start like I normally do.  And sure enough, I finished Margaret only a few days into 2012.  
Isabella Johnstone was the big star of my finishes this year.  I started her for my birthday in August of 2011, and when I picked her back up in April I continued to work on her steadily until she was finished at the beginning of August.  I really enjoyed stitching her and she’s a beauty!
I did work a little bit on quilting in 2012, I pulled my Kate Spain quilt back out at the end of the year and made some progress on it.  I also started my Kiss Kiss quilt for my birthday.  I also spent the first part of the year working on the Prince Charming hexie pincushions that were gifts for friends.  I made six of them, and still haven’t made one for myself.  I need to rectify that situation!  And in the fall I made some stitching wallets that I shared with you a couple of posts back.  
I also made one other little piece that I haven’t shared yet.  I made a knitting needle case for a friend’s birthday.  I love the way it turned out. 

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Here’s the inside.  I bought the fabric back at the beginning of the year knowing I wanted to use it for her gift. 
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I think she was happy with it, and I am head over heels about that fabric.  So fun!
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So, while I didn’t get a lot done this year, I did enjoy what I was working on.  
And my 2012 finishes were:
  • Margaret Cottam
  • Hexie Pincushions (6)
  • Bonus Block #1 (AOTH)
  • Happy Birthday (AOTH)
  • Rabbit Box
  • Isabella Johnstone 1854
  • Quaker Pincushion
  • Glory House
  • Stitching wallets (5)
  • Sugar Skull 5
  • Five Star Pinkeep
  • Knitting Needle Roll
  • Candy Cane Stocking

For 2013, I have three main stitching pieces I was to focus on – John Reed, Anniversaries of the Heart and And They Sinned.  All three of those are pretty big undertakings, but certainly not an unreasonable feat to finish them all this year.  I did also have a new start on New Year’s Day, but I chose a piece that’s a bit smaller.  In fact, I’m already half way finished with it.

Also this year I want to focus on my quilting.  I did so little sewing last year that I want to rectify that situation.  I bought a lot of fabric, but now I need to do something with it!  I definitely want to work on finishing some of the quilt WIPs I have in progress.  So these will be my focus this year:

Kate Spain
Kiss Kiss
Blue & White
Partridge
Log Cabin
Pansy Park

Plus I intend to get back on track with my niece and helping her with her first quilt.

I definitely think these are all reachable goals, and it will be nice to focus on some of the pieces I’d really like to finish.

What’s your plan for 2013?

I am grateful for refocusing.

‘Twas the Night Before…

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Thanks for taking a moment during the holidays to stop by and see what I’m up to.  On Thanksgiving Day I decided to start something new.  Above you can see my little bitty bit of stitching that evening.  It’s Jenny Bean’s Christmas Sampler.  I so enjoyed sitting with my guys, watching a tv special on Saint Nicholas and stitching this little tree.  Such a blessing of a peaceful evening.  
Below, you can see how my little sampler is coming along.  I’ve also been stitching on a gift, so it’s really only been in the last week that this has gotten much attention.  I love how the colors are coming together. 
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And you may have spied in that first photo my new Christmas scissor case.  It was made by a sweet friend to go with some stitching wallets I decided to make for some friends.  I have to say that my first try on the stitching bags went pretty well!  By the fifth one, I think I got the knack of it!  The fabric is Kate Spain’s new Christmas line, Joy.  I just loved the little snowballs on the turquoise background. 

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And speaking of Kate Spain…you may be wondering how that Christmas quilt of mine is coming along?  


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You may remember that I started this quilt last year around Thanksgiving.  It’s made from two different Kate Spain lines, 12 Days of Christmas and Flurry.  All my blocks are put together, they just need sashing between the blocks.  I started work on that, and have all my rows sewn together. 
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Maybe one of these days I can get the rest of the quilt top put together.  I’d so love to have this quilted and out to snuggle up under next year!  
I’ve also been starting to plan for my New Year’s Day start.  I’m missing one thread, but other than that I’m ready to go!
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I hope the holidays are a magical time for you and your families.  Take a moment to find a bit of peace for yourself amidst all the hustle and bustle.  Thanks for visiting my blog and for the continued inspiration I get from all of you!

Merry Christmas!

I am grateful for Christmas carols on the stereo, an applesauce cake in the oven, twinkling lights on the tree, and my family around me.  

Holidayin’

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Last week I attended my guild’s annual holiday party, which I always look forward to.  This year, even more so, because my sweet friend and PIC, Sylvia, was here from Germany.  Such a treat to see her, and her schedule allowed her to come to the party too!  
I did the finishing on my ornament last weekend and I’m really happy with how it turned out.  
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This is Candy Cane Stocking by Blackbird Designs from the 2003 JCS Ornament issue.  It is stitched in Weeks and GAST with Mill Hill beads on 30ct 18th Century Blackbird linen from R&R.  The fabric I used to finish it was a pretty Kaffe Fassett fabric that I picked up last weekend in Fort Worth at Madtosh Crafts.  
And the ornament I received? 
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Isn’t that the sweetest thing?!  It’s from With Thy Needle & Thread’s Friendship Samplers.  Stitched over one, it’s so tiny and cute.  Love it!
Our hostess had the best displays of stitched ornaments.  And there were so many of them!  I need to stitch faster (or finish faster – considering I have several that are stitched but still not finished).
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There was a lot of yummy food too.  
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And delicious desserts…
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And here’s a look at all the fabulous ornaments that were exchanged!
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Here’s a few closeups…
This was Sylvia’s.   I’m so in love with the button trim.   It’s a BBD.
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This one was the sweetest little needlebook that doubles as an ornament.  I love the gingham fabric!
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 Here’s the back.  Such sweet trees!
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Robert also stitched a BBD ornament.  I need to stitch this one for sure!
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And rounding out the BBD party several of us were clearly having, my friend Ava stitched up Crowning the Tree.  My photo of this does not do it justice at all.  I have this chart too and need to stitch it up for sure!
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A good time was had by all, and it was an excellent way to kick off the holiday season.  I also started a Christmas sampler on Thanksgiving Day that I haven’t made much progress on, but I’m looking forward to getting it back out to work on.  Once I have some progress to share, I will.
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I hope you’re enjoying whatever holiday stitching you’re doing!
I am grateful for visits with friends and my sweet husband for taking care good care of me. 

Time Warp

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It’s been a while, huh?  I’m not really sure where September, October or November went.  And obviously, it’s been almost a month since I blogged, which is unheard of for me.  Hopefully, I am back on track now.  Thanks for bearing with me though, and I hope that you’ll enjoy what I’ve got to show you today.  The photos aren’t the best, but hey at least I have photos, right?!  And speaking of photos, I (like many of you) am currently in the process of moving everything off of Webshots to a new location.  So, if you go post-diving in the archives, there may be some older photos missing.  But, the end result is that eventually I should have everything in one place.  Hurrah!
Ok, on to the good stuff.  I’ve been having a hard time concentrating enough to stitch lately, so at the beginning of October, I decided to have a new start.  This time last year, I pulled out my Garden of Eerie and worked on it through the month of October.  So, this year I decided I’d like another little Halloweenie finish.  Enter one of my birthday gifts – the chart, fabric and threads for this fabulous Sugar Skull design.  The design is from an etsy seller, and she’s done several of these Sugar Skull designs.  Perfect for this time of year.   It is stitched on 40ct Weeks Cocoa with DMC.  I love it and had such fun stitching it. 
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At the beginning of the month, I was gifted with this sweet little pincushion jar and the cleaning cloth for glasses underneath it.  
And look what was inside!
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Yes, she even included a little mini bottle of nail polish!  How fun is this?  Perfect fall colored silk too.  
And if that wasn’t enough, she kitted up another little design she came up with herself, so once I finished up my Sugar Skull, I jumped right on stitching this little pincushion!
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It’s stitched on 40ct R&R French Vanilla with Weeks thread.  And it’s finished with some Blackbird Designs fabric and chenille trim.  Plus a little black safety pin for a little extra touch.  This was stitched one day and finished the next.  It’s filled with crushed walnut shells, so it’s got some lovely weight to it. 
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So, there you go – two finishes for me!  Since I finished these I’ve been working on a piece for the guild’s ornament exchange, which is all done but the finishing, and on a birthday gift.  Of course, I can’t show you either of them yet!  In quilting news, I have been working on my Kate Spain Christmas quilt that I started last year, as well as I have been doing some other sewing I need to share.  
Next post I promise to share a little about my Betsy Morgan Casket Etui class.  Until then, I hope you all had a lovely holiday here in the US and hope to see you back here soon!
I am grateful for the blessings of friendship and am sending prayers for a sweet friend going through a difficult time.