Saturday, March 30, 2013


No, not running away!  I had an opportunity over the past two days to spend the day at my favorite LQS (Quilting Adventures) at a retreat.  Everybody works on their own things, and it's always so inspiring for me to see what the other ladies are busy creating.  I spent a good part of Friday working on sewing for my challenge quilt for the QA anniversary in June - sorry, but no peeks today.  I also helped my dear friend Julia finish up a quilt she's been working on for the past couple of retreats - only to find out that she'd made it for me!!!  It's a beautiful lap quilt, and I can't wait to have it in my home. 

I was really touched by her gesture, since I know she has precious little time now to sew, and I certainly didn't expect her to spend it on something for me.  I will really treasure this gift.  If you click on the picture, you should be able to see more of the specific, beautiful fabrics she chose for this project.

I spent part of my time yesterday, and most of my time today, working on a wall hanging for another friend of mine.  It's a birthday gift, already late, but I make good progress and hope to finish it within the next few weeks.  I'll give you a sneak peek - lots of cutting and sewing, and if you're really astute, you'll see where I need to go back into the block in the upper right corner of the photo and add a missing half-square triangle in blue.  But I'm pleased with how it's turning out - really got into a good groove today. I'll reveal the whole piece when I know the recipient has received it.

It was really wonderful to feed my creative spirit over these past couple of days - a real "retreat" from all of the other "stuff" swirling about and a much-needed break.  I'm jazzed to keep working on some other projects that went "retreating" with me, but for which there was no time.

'Til next time, be sure that you make a little time to retreat and take up your needle and sew!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

50th Annual Needlework Exhibition

I played hooky today and went to Alexandria, Virginia, for my annual trek to Woodlawn Plantation and the needlework exhibit.  As I am every year, I was overwhelmed by the variety of needlework, including some about which I really know very little (thread painting...?).  While many of the pieces are from commercially-available patterns, or are adaptations of these patterns, some of the most amazing are those that are original pieces created by the stitcher him- or herself.  Again, amazing and humbling.

The month-long exhibition is sponsored by "Nellie's Needlers," a needlework guild affilitated with this historic home, and most of the money raised is donated by the guild for the care of plantation home, particularly the needlework done by Nellie Custis.  Every year, it seems like the next year's exhibit is uncertain, as the Foundation of the property debates about the value of the exhibition (and, I guess, it's fund-raising capabilities).  I'm so glad that they made it to 50, and I look forward to going next year as well.  Always the month of March - if you're in the area, you need to go!  Who knows?  Maybe I'll even enter something next year!

'Til then, I need to take up my needle and sew!