Thursday, December 9, 2010


I've been busy as we all are at this time of the year. Finally finished my Prairie Schooler ABC and took it to my framer in Michigan last week along with lots of pulled thread and other pieces that were in my acid free storage box. Decided my dining room need more needlework on the walls (not the ABC though). I have loads of pictures to post here so I hope you enjoy seeing them.

Prairie Schooler ABC-- 
I stitched it on 28 count linen with 2 strands of DMC floss over 1 thread of the linen. I used the half cross/basket weave/continental stitch and other needlepoint stitches to make the "work go faster. Started it in the spring as I recall. It is difficult to get the pics all lined up so be understanding. Apparently these were not meant to be one large project as they did not all have the same stitch count--bummer. I did a bit of adjusting here and there.

  I put my name and date in the girl's hoop.

 I put my initials in the hoop here too.

KNITTED SHAWL—Donna, my neighbor of 32 years, has a daughter Amy who got married in October. I didn't want to buy a new dress for the wedding so I used the dress I wore to my daughter Linda's wedding in 2008, and I knitted a lace shawl from yarn from Joann's to make my dress a little more like fall than summer. I used a pattern from the Vogue lace shawls book from the local library. Though it said "advanced," it was not as difficult as I had thought it would be. I used stainless steel lace blocking pins from my friend Judy to block it. Luckily it was dry as I left for the wedding! You wet the yarn in a small amount of water in your washer and then spin it to get out the excess. I laid it on a sheet in my family room, inserted the wires and held them with t-pins. Blocking shows off the lace design.

I also made Amy and Travis a king-sized batik quilt. The blocks were large at 12" and I used about 25 different batik fabrics. I quilted it using a pantograph. 

I didn't have enough of the lighter green fabric for the backing so I pieced the backing too. I like the effect. That is a corner of my long-arm machine on the lower left.

This is the label. I bought an inexpensive used Janome embroidery machine on line and experimented like crazy to try to make a quilt label. It was worth the effort and I sewed it to the finished quilt with invisible thread--by machine. I do all the sewing on my quilts by machine as I do enough handwork on other kinds of projects.

My other neighbor Bev had a pattern for a darling Thanksgiving turkey to piece and quilt. Donna and I made 5 of them, but some are still not finished...this weekend? I wanted one for her, me, my 2 daughters and my sister-in-law who shouldered the burden of Thanksgiving dinner this year. I only had to bring scalloped corn which I made 10 minutes before we left home! 

The feathers on the turkey's tail are 3-D prairie points and each square of the body has a little extra body piece basted on to the square. It just took a lot of time. We used scrap fabric for everything but the turkey body and the outside borders. The legs are loose. I have 3 completely finished and have to quilt and bind the last two. I did all the cutting and sewing as I don't allow Donna to get near my rotary cutter--and she did the ironing and pinning. We had a great time! It's always fun to sew with another person around.

CHRISTMAS decorations—
I had my 4th annual yoga holiday party for my friends in my 2 yoga classes. We take Iyengar yoga with our teacher Sharon Carter. This is one nice bunch of gals. The party is a great excuse for me to clean my house up really well and to get my Xmas decorations up well before the 25th! As I was pulling them out of their boxes, I decided to share some with you each time I post--which I hope will be on a regular basis.

I made this Santa last year—needlepoint. It is a Libby Sturdy design from one of my magazines. Stands about 10" tall. I like free standing pieces.  

This is the first small quilted project I ever made. Wish I had kept the pattern as I still like it. Was working on it--as I made probably 10 for my sampler group--when they were arriving at the party. This was years ago. I didn't even know about a walking foot for my machine in those days.

This was an American Needlepoint Guild project as I recall. Decided to turn it into an ornament.

This was another ANG ornament when water colors first came out.

I bought probably 8 of these little angels years ago--needlepoint.

This was an iron on applique that I made years ago. I hung it in my sewing room this year. 

Boy, do I hate beading, but I made several different of these designs for me and my daughters. Have decided that I won't do any more things on perforated paper as it doesn't last through the ages--too fragile. This was a Mill Hill design and he really is cute.

I like to try different techniques and must say I am not fond of duplicate stitch, but I had bought all these little stockings...

I don't even remember making this but it is a lovely design. It is on my daughter's tree--notice her "orange" living room wall. They have their tree upside down with the tip at the floor--looks strange from outside but it is a conversation-maker. They went to some neighborhood parties last summer and people asked them if they were the ones with the upside down tree!

I need lunch after all this! Plan to get back on tomorrow with more Xmas ornaments/decorations that I have made. Wanted to start this on December 1st but better late than never. --Nancy


  1. So nice to see a post from you! And I LOVE the PS Alphabet - i's gorgeous! I have always loved PS anyway, but this brings it to a whole new level - and now I need one, too, hahaha. I've been collecting those letters forever and have never done anything with them...

    Love the Christmas things - and I've heard about those upside down trees before but never seen one - would love to see a pic of the whole thing. How do they anchor it?


  2. Awesome Prairie Schooler ABC I love all the specialty stitches it really adds so much depth, but I'm most impressed that you finished it in such a short period of time.

  3. Congratulations on your alphabet finish. It is to say the least, magnificent. What an undertaking and dedication to get it finished in really a short period of time! I love all the specialty stitches that you added to it to give it texture. The designers should be very proud that you did such a magnificent job.

  4. Oh my goodness, Nancy! Your Prairie Schooler sampler is incredible!!!

  5. Hi Nancy~its Annie Belcher-you probably don't remember me, I used to be in Fox Valley guild with you years ago! I LOVE your PS ABC! I am so thrilled with all of the stitches you used. One thing that keeps me away from needlepoint is the glitzy-ness of most of the designs I see on the market-I am a primitive at heart. But you have used wonderful stitches and still retained the primitive feel of the design-love it!Thank you for all the wonderful close-up pictures, I am quite inspired!

  6. Wow! Your PS sampler is amazing. Gorgeous job! I loved seeing all the decorations you've done over the years, too. I need to get better about doing seasonal designs--thanks for the added incentive.

  7. Beautiful job on the ABC sampler! I'm just starting that project myself and I enjoyed seeing all the photos with your own specialty stitches. Thanks for sharing!