Saturday, March 31, 2012

Give-away - Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

If you're like me, you've taken a real shine to Nancy's wonderful hand-dyed laces, chenilles, flosses and more at her shop, Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.  Nancy's just posted her new design, along with a reveal of a beautiful new hand-dyed floss of blue with tan that she's created to use in the design.  It's just marvelous!!  Nancy's generously hosting a give-away for some of the floss and a copy of the new pattern.  I hope you'll visit Nancy's site; I'm sure you'll agree she's got a hit on her hands!

Still working on my JBW Designs pumpkin - pictures tomorrow!  'Til end, I'll go back to basketball, taking up my needle and sewing!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekend Progress

Where *does* the weekend go?  Just as I'm hitting my stride today on several projects, I realize that it's time to get ready for the work week....  How about if we had 2-day work weeks and 5-day weekends?  I think I could get into that...

I started a pretty JBW Designs pattern on Friday.  I was able to finish about half of it - not a complicated design (and only one color floss!), but lots of other things competing for my time in the past two days.  One of the things I love about many of JBW Designs' French Country patterns is the little hidden shapes integrated into the larger one - do you see the squirrel, acorn, bird, and more?  I think I will finish this as a flat-fold - have just the right pumpkin fabric for it; I may make it one of my exchange pieces at Cross Stitch Pals in Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

JBW Designs
French Country IV - Pumpkin
28-count natural linen; WDW Terra Cotta

I also worked on one of my CEO Club quilted pieces - the squares below (and 13 more like them) are the foundation for this wall hanging.  But since it's a gift, and I still have a lot of work ahead of me, you'll have to wait a little while to see the final results.  I did realize last month that I got the gist of the CEO Club a bit wrong to begin with - I had my list, from 1-6, of the projects I needed to finish, in the order in which I needed them.  When I received my first reminder e-mail of the first month's project, I realized that the LQS is randomly picking a number from 1 to 6, and that item in my list is the one I'm supposed to work on that month!  Yikes!  Well, I really wasn't ready to work on item #6 last month (these squares below), but I did finish item #1 (the baby quilt), and I've made good progress on item #4, which is this month's number.  Valuable lesson learned in seeking clarity of the rules at the beginning!!  Regardless, it's helping me get projects done early in the year, which is great!!

Time to fold laundry... and find another few minutes to take up my needle and sew!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

49th Annual Needlework Exhibition at Woodlawn Plantation

One of my favorite traditions is March (besides March Madness) is to spend a Sunday at Woodlawn, a national historic home in Alexandria, Virginia, with my wonderful friend, Julie Carter, marvelling at the skills of fellow needleworkers.  Woodlawn was the home of Eleanor ("Nelly") Custis Lewis, wife of George Washington's nephew Major Lawrence Lewis and one of Amercia's foremost needleworks.  The exhibition honors her legacy by maintaining the tradition of the needle arts and by raising funds to preserve her estate.  The event is managed by Nelly's Needlers, a local volunteer organization that raises funds for the preservation of Woodlawn and are named for Mrs. Lewis.

The annual needlework exhibition includes fabulous entries from people all over the United States.  There are a variety of categories and an array of awards given to entries after being judged by professionals from around the region.  My mother regularly encourages me to submit an entry; I've always been much too intimidated to do so. Perhaps this year I can work on a piece with the specific thought of entering into next year's show.  I always leave so inspired and ready to sew, sew, sew.

Because of restoration work underway at the plantation, this year's exhibition will not start until May 12 and end on June 10.  So there's still time for YOU to finish your entry and submit it (in person or by mail)!!  If you're in the Washington, D.C., area during this time, or live in the region, I hope  you'll take the time to see some spectacular needlework and support the maintenance and restoration of a beautiful historic home.  Find out all of the details at

Basketball game is over; time to take up my needle and sew!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Basketball, Stitching and Spring!

I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to tie all of those topics together, but if you'll bear with me, we'll see how it goes!  This is absolutely one of my favorite times of the year with March Madness - I love, love, love the excitment of Selection Sunday, the first week of games (so many opportunities for upsets), and the passion of the players, on-site fans, and all of us spectators!  And I'll admit that my brackets are busted wide open with the losses of Duke, UNLV, and Georgetown, to name a few.  Love it anyway!

In amongst listening to and watching games, I was able to make some pretty good progress on the ole' "to-do" list this weekend.  I finished up several projects that I'd like to share with you.  In a previous post, I showed you a baby quilt that I'd finished for a colleague.  This weekend, I also made a quick, cute minky ribbon blanket (about 12" square) - I'm not a fan of sewing on minky, but I love the way it feels (very soft), and I thought that the fabric choice was really right for a bunch of us in the wildlife profession.  The project was actually made easier by the fact that it was kitted up by my LQS, Quilting Adventures, in Richmond, VA.

I also finished two ornaments that I've been working on.  I think that the photograph of the Country Cottage Needleworks one doesn't do it justice - the colors are richer than the photo shows.  I was intrigued by several projects in the 2011 JCS ornament issue that used these brighter greens, pinks, and other colors.

Country Cottage Needleworks - "Merry Christmas"
2011 JCS Ornament Issue
Recommended DMC and fabric

 I'm a big fan of Prairie Schooler and am busy trying to collect all of the Santas that they've published.  This Russian-like Santa comes from Old World Santas II.

Prairie Schooler - "Old World Santas II"
Recommended fabric and DMC
Substituted Rainbow Gallery Wisper for white

The big losers on my "to-do" list this weekend were the outside projects.  I spent about an hour weeding, but there are *many* hours of that to go.  The grass still needs mowed; seems like a good Wednesday-after-work project!  I can't believe how far along our spring-flowering trees, shrubs and flowers are.  The Bradford pears and forsythias will be fully leafed out before the first day of spring this week.

Hoping you all had a basketball-filled, great weekend!  Here's promising more frequent updates on accomplishments - but 'til then, take up your needle and sew!