Wednesday, May 19, 2010


May seems to be the busiest month of the year. Where has the time gone? My mom was released from rehab last Wednesday and is now back at her apartment in her retirement complex. She has no assistance. She's been walking the halls with her walker and going to out patient rehab 3x a week since last Friday. She is doing so well that they might have her drop to 2x a week! Go Mom!

Bill and I went to our place in Michigan last weekend. The weather was cool but we did get in a boat ride. I sat on the floor of the boat to stay out of the wind. Bill went fishing early Friday morning. I took three of my "masterpieces" up there to get them framed. The first is my shepherdess "tapestry." I bought this kit from a gal in Virginia who had started a bit on the tree but knew she would never finish it. I am crazy about it. It is stitched on a large count linen and the design was drawn on with permanent ink. All is done in tent stitch/basketweave/continental and the strawberries and sheep are enhanced with colonial knots. The threads are hand-dyed wool and silk. I had to purchase more threads and supplement what was in the kit. I also changed some of the design—sky and trees. Looked at all the Boston fishing lady pieces I could find and used their ideas to make this my own. It is large but I'll have to measure the size when I get it back from the framer.

This piece I started last October and finished it in March. It is called Nova and is a design by Genny Morrow. My photo is upside down as the red should be at the bottom. Each square is 12 x 12 threads and is a different combination of colors and stitches. I loved doing this piece. Started out with just one color throughout and then added colors. Every night I looked forward to working on it. It is done entirely in floss—Anchor, DMC and Eva Rosenstaad. It is another large piece. There are over 300 squares on 18 count needlepoint canvas. The other piece that is being framed is my Carriage House Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. I could not get the black outlines straight so sent it to the framer with the frame. Worth it not to struggle with the outlines! Can hardly wait to get these pieces back.

I rolled up my Prairie Schooler ABC on the roller bars and threw it into the car to go to the lake. I have most of the 3371 black/brown completed and am now starting on 420 gold. 

My biggest problem with these charts is that the designer did not use the same symbol for the same color throughout the design. Now when you start designing A, you know you will go to Z so make it easy for us stitchers! Also there are about 4 or 5 different red families used. Am trying to decide whether I want to stick with one family or use them all. Decisions, decisions! This is on 28 count linen over one thread. It is on 26" stretcher bars so is again a big piece. Have had the charts for years and am really enjoying stitching on it.

It's  hard to tell from these pics, but I am using a gobelin/satin stitch on the tree trunks and on the birdcage to the right (for the Parrot—P is for parrot.) If I kept to continental/half cross/basket weave stitch throughout, I would be working on this forever. In appropriate areas I am trying to incorporate stitches that take less time to complete. I'm using two threads of DMC throughout.

Am currently reading The Postmistress set in WWII. It is not as good as I had hoped. It does not compel me to read it, but it's good enough to finish. Finished Little Bee a week ago and enjoyed it. It's fiction about the immigration problem in England and problems in Africa as told by a 16-year-old African girl. It's not a happy book but is very good.

While in Michigan, I visited a wonderful fabric shop that is a chain of 5 or so shops in that state. They were having a terrific sale and I bought enough fabric and batting to make a king-sized quilt for my neighbor/best friend Donna's daughter's wedding quilt—30% off batiks. That was a great accomplishment. I am now in the middle of my brother's the Beatles quilt and it is pretty psychodellic (sp?) but I think he will love it. I am learning some new techniques and more about my sewing machine.

Have to go to yoga now. My Sampler Group is coming this morning when I am gone to yoga but my husband will let them in. I join them after yoga. We have started bringing our own lunch which is easy and someone brings a dessert. There might be only 5 of 11 of us today as life seems to get busier the older we get. Yesterday we had 6 at Tuesday stitch/knit and had a great time as always with good show and tell. If I don't get back on here for a few days it is because I am working on the  Beatles quilt. My brother's birthday is the 26th and I haven't finished sewing it by a long shot. --Nancy


  1. Oh Nancy, your work is beautiful! I love the lady - what an amazing piece. It sounds like you and your husband had a wonderful time.

    Can't wait to see your pieces framed.

  2. i love the stitched quilted looking piece. i must try this. think of how fun it would be to design each square as you go, using left over threads of course would take me years???i also love the alphabet piece looks like fun.
    can't wait to see the Beatles quilt should be fun to see or have. lucky brother.
    you do amazing stuff and seem to stitch so fast. or maybe it seems that way on the blog.