Friday, June 29, 2012

Surprises in the Mail

I absolutely cannot wait to show you what I received from my exchange partner in the Patriotic Exchange coordinated by Stitched with Love Exchanges...  but I'll have to, until we get the go-ahead from Lainey.  My first stitching exchange, and I was (and am still) overwhelmed by the generosity of my exchange partner.  I also had a blast putting together a package for my partner; her likes and dislikes are very similar to mine.  More as soon as I can show it.

In today's mail, though, was a fantastic package from Myra at Gr8dame's Place.  She had finished a cool little project (United by Bent Creek) and offered to pass the chart along to anyone interested.  My hand flew up in the air so fast!!  And there was a super extra surprise with the chart - one of Myra's lovely sewing cases - what a treat!  I also received one of these cases that I'd actually purchased - I'm thrilled with both and can't wait to press them right into service!  The construction work is top-notch; as you've already seen, Myra's creativity extends well beyond her cross stitch!

Bent Creek "United" plus a lovely surprise sewing case

Beautiful sewing case and fob - Myra's fine handiwork!!

I also received the monthly LHN ornament - I love this one with the cardinals!  Can't wait to sew that one up; with the heat indices predicted to be at or over 110 degrees each day this weekend, I see some sewing time in my future!

A few more minutes until bedtime - ready to take up my needle and sew!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Secret Stitching

So this is the only part I don't like about participating in a secret stitching exchange - not allowed to post pictures of works-in-progress until everyone has received their packages.... boo.  I am participating in a "Patriotic" exchange with Stitched with Love Exchanges and am having a blast putting together what I hope will be just the perfect package for my partner.  Mailing date is no later than next Wednesday - looking forward to showing you more after that!

And in the interim, I've been busy processing sour cherries from Baugher's orchard in Westminster, MD.  This activity was a long-time family tradition when my DB and his family lived there - the orchard will pit the cherries for you, making the processing so effortless!  That is, unless you're like me this year and forgot to determine whether or not the buckets of already-picked cherries were already pitted, and, if not, to get them pitted.... sigh.  But I've managed to make two batches of jam - my absolute favorite, have 16 cups of "jam starter" ready to go (am going to try cherry-almond), and just popped 16 cups of pitted cherries into the freezer!

But I'm also looking forward to finishing up my last piece for the exchange this evening, so I'll be taking up my needle and sewing!  Hope you are, too...


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fabric Stash

I have a serious weakness....  "hello, my name is Becky, and I think that there's no such thing as too much Christmas fabric."  I'm hopeful for some support from my stitching sisters and brothers!  I had an opportunity this afternoon to visit my favorite LQS, Quilting Adventures.  Some of the early Christmas fabrics have already been released for sale, and I couldn't help myself.  I scored a few pieces from the Kaufman design series "O Tinsel Tree 2" and "Jingle."

I also bought almost every different piece there is from the "Charlie Brown Christmas for Quilting Treasures" line. The "Charlie Brown Christmas" is my all-time favorite Christmas program/movie; I could watch it multiple times a day, many days in the year. I love the music, the message, the animation... Anyway, not sure what I'll do with it yet, but it will be something fun and Christmas-y!

Until I decide what to do with it, though, it's time to get busy on exchange projects.  Gotta go take up my needle and sew!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Needlework Exhibition at Woodlawn

This morning, I took my annual trek north to Alexandria, Virginia, to visit the annual Needlework Exhibition at Woodlawn, a National Trust Historic Site.  The exhibition is sponsored by Nelly's Needlers, a volunteer auxiliary which works year-round to raise funds for this historic site.  Woodlawn was the home of Eleanor (Nelly) Custis Lewis, one America's foremost needleworkers.  The exhibition accepts entries from around the country - I think that there were nearly 650 pieces submitted this year.  The Needlers thematically organize the pieces throughout the house (so, for instance, all of the Christmas-themed entries were together in one room), and volunteers share interesting information about individual items.  Three certified judges award ribbons for Best in Show, Outstanding Original Design, Outstanding Miniature, and more.  I can't imagine how long it takes them to review the entries and make decisions about awards!  I wasn't allowed to take any photos in the house  (which really didn't surprise me, given the age of the facility), but I thought this snap might help convey the sense of the day.  Next year will be the 50th exhibition - I hope that *everyone* who reads this post will consider submitting an item in the show!

And it was a beautifully glorious early summer day - blue skies, moderate temperatures, and low humidity.

After the exhibition, I went up the road about 1/4-mile to one of my favorite LNS, In Stitches.  I have been patroning that business since, well, practically forever.  Every time I step through the door, I'm overwhelmed by the diversity of items that they manage to get into their space.  Just because I didn't prepare an extensive list of "things I need to buy next time I'm near In Stitches," that certainly didn't stop me from buying some stash!  The fabrics, in particular, were a great find - it's a bit hard to tell, but the two dark colors are actually shades of green - WDW overdyes.

I'm thinking ahead to exchanges at Stitching at the Beach PALS in October - starting early to put some things away for the Grab Bag exchange!!

Until then, though, I've got lots of projects to work on, including several for a Patriotic exchange that I'm participating in this month.  So, off to take up my needle and sew!