Sunday, December 05, 2010

More Oldies Done!!!!

Before I get to the "oldies" that I have (finally) finished, I need to show an update on Quaker Star - I have finished Part 6 - only three parts to go. I'm not really happy with the rose - the color is blotchy and it stands out too much. However, a later part has a daffodil that I want to stitch in a yellow/cream variegated thread, which will also stand out. After I see how that looks, I will pull out the soft mauve from the basket of flowers and replace it with a brighter color - so that the piece will be balanced.

And now - on to the oldies:
This is a piece I started in 2005 - it was one of the first freebie patterns I downloaded from the Internet. It is stitched using a variety of silk thread remnants on a piece of Silkweaver's Precious Metals Lugana - these colors just sing to me. Before the designer took it down, the pattern could be found here: Jardin a Decourvir

And here is a set of smalls that I picked up at Celebrations of Needlework several years ago - the model in the first picture is one of my stitching companions - she usually sits on the back of my chair (ready to dive under the chair or hassock if a strange person or noise appears!) This is called FanFleurs by Barbara Jackson of Tristan Books. The scissor fob matches my flowered Ginghers perfectly. Sadly, I no longer know the names of my patterned Ginghers.
On a brighter note, this set came out fairly nice. Maybe I'm getting the hang of finishing things. Now I just need a curio cabinet to display the items, safely out of reach of my stitching companions (cats) and the ever present dust!
I need to start some Christmas decorations - but I'd rather be stitching - maybe I have time for a little of both?????
Happy stitching! Margaret

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Two Beauties!!!

Here is my November ornament, and it's not even the end of the month yet - I'm trying to be some over-achiever here (NOT). This is a Floral Gift by Blackbird Designs from the JCS 2010 Christmas Ornament issue. I used the Belle Soie silk as listed and a piece of scrap 32 ct. Lakeside linen. I am a huge Blackbird Designs fan - in general, I am not drawn to primitive or quirky pieces - but Blackbird Designs is one of my faves.

This small piece was my first experience with Belle Soie, and it stitches like a dream - just enough color variation to be interesting; but there is no huge color variation where one row is adjacent to another. I immediately had to fire off an order for more Belle Soie - I ordered some for the sampler "I Sigh Not...." by C Street Samplerworks, and my LNS doesn't have the colors I want.

I finally finished The Wayward Garden by Cynthia Zittel. It is a beauty!!!! I love the colors and the graceful flowers. I wish you could see how pretty it is - my photo is just awful, but I don't want to take the time to learn to take good pictures. This one shows the colors pretty well, but it doesn't show the top border very well :-)
I need to pick another piece for orchestra rehearsal - it needs to be an easy project on 28 or 32 count. I will go stash diving, or I may be good and select a sadly neglected WIP....
I signed up for A Gathering of Embroiderers in Williamsburg in February. I've never attended this function and have never been to Williamsburg - I can't wait!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US - Margaret

Friday, October 29, 2010


Here is the great exchange I received from Chris

in the Halloween exchange on the Hooked on Exchanging blog. This pinkeep is just perfectly made and I adore the pattern. In fact I was getting ready to stitch that for myself, but I hadn't started yet, so my package arrived just in the nick of time. I am thrilled by this exchange!!!

And, from the oldies basket, I finished Just Nan's Snow! from the "In the Tin" series. I use the term finish very loosely - I like the way the top of the tin turned out; but the mitten shaped needle book gave me fits. I had worked the linen so much that it was beginning to fray badly, so I had to just call it quits and stitch it down. I am not a fan of the soft loose linens, anyway. I stitch in hand, and it is difficult to maintain the right tension when the linen has a lot of "give".

And here is my October ornament - this is Country Star by Elizabeth's designs using the recommended linen and fibers. I finished it as a flat fold, and I love it - the picture does not do it justice.

It has been a gorgeous fall here in Maryland. Yesterday we traveled to Annapolis for my son's soccer game - the trees were just beautiful! I can only imagine how pretty it is in New England when the trees turn. Annapolis is a charming town - lots of historic buildings, pedestrian malls, shops, restaurants, and of course the Capitol and the Naval Academy.

So that's pretty much it for today; except for my political plug - Be sure and go vote! If you don't, you hardly have room to complain!

Happy stitching, Margaret

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monthly Update

Gee, I thought I was in the habit of updating weekly - but it's been more like a month since I have posted any pics. So here goes big update:

First up is Part 5 of Quaker Star with the Sticklounge group. I just love this project. The blue I selected is certainly non-traditional, but it makes me very happy. And no, I am not trying to get fancy with my photography - this is just how this picture came out!!!!

And now I'm presenting Wayward Garden by Cynthia Zittel (the Drawn Thread). She is one of my favorite designers. I have had this project kitted up since it was first published. It is stitching up like a dream! Plus it is in keeping with my projects with a "garden" theme.

And here is a finish - this was a Noel Banner SAL by a very talented and generous designer - Angie.
Despite the language barrier, she was very nice in including me in her SAL group.

And here is my September ornament - this is 'Tis Green from the JCS Christmas Ornament preview issue. I used the recommended fibers with linen from my scraps. This is one of the few patterns that I am seriously considering stitching several times more in separate colorways - can't you just see purple, green and gold for Mardi Gras?
I was thinking that my finishing skills were improving - but then I visited my LNS, the Stitching Post in Catonsville, MD, and saw some of the professionally finished projects - what a difference! But, so expensive! I intended to just go there and drop off two pieces to be framed - YEA, right - I walked out of there with a ton of stuff! I think I'm better off just ordering from my other ONS/LNS, Needlecraft Corner in Baltimore.

And from the oldie bag - I finally finished this box lid. I started this project in 1997. The designer is Amaryllis Artworks. Back then, the use of silks and overdyes was new to me; and I was soooooo nervous about messing it up and wasting my thread.
I also completed an exchange for the Hooked on Exchanging Halloween exchange. I am getting nervous because I mailed it on October 2; and I haven't heard from the recipient yet. Please, Mr. Postman, don't let us down!
That's all for now. Happy stitching, Margaret

Monday, September 06, 2010

Two posts in a row!!!

This is Quaker Star Part 4 - I'm still uncertain about the addition of color to the flowers, stems and leaves - it makes the piece very "busy" - but I don't want to unstitch any of it, so I will leave it as is. The center medallion is a unicorn; which I am not too crazy about - I may substitute a swan motif if I can find one the right size.
I signed up to stitch a blackwork project with the Sticklounge group; but Halloween stitching is calling my name, so I may stitch a small Halloween project instead.
I also have stitched a little bit on the Drawn Thread's Wayward Garden - I will post a pic in the near future.
Happy stitching! Margaret

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Joyeux Noel SAL and August Ornie

Here is my ornament for August - Red House in Winter. It is one of the All Dolled Up ornament series by Little House Needleworks. I used the recommended fiber for the house and the recommended linen. After that I was tired of fighting the knotty thread and stiff linen; so I stitched the rest of it in HDF premium silk. What a relief!

Here is the first part of a new SAL that I joined - it is titled Joyeux Noël Bannière by Angie Designer . I have been admiring her projects and this is the first one I've signed up for. I am using a piece of Light Cappucino Cashel linen and HDF Premium silk in the Enchanter Rose, Luteous Green, and Oil of Amber series. This piece has a lot of specialty stitches, which I love.

During the last two weeks, we have been on vacation. We traveled to Moscow, Russia. We hit many of the "tourist spots" - the Kremlin, Red Square, Pushkin Museum, Gum, etc. The language barrier was a struggle; but we found many restaurants that had menus in English, and many of the younger generation of Russians could speak English (certainly their command of English is much stronger than my command of Russian). I have been struggling with an awful head cold since we returned. In fact, I missed two days of work because I just could not function. I will post some pictures from vacation once I start feeling better.

LA left a comment on a previous post, asking about the Sticklounge group on Yahoo. The address of the group is Sticklounge; and the e-mail address is I need to get stitching on my Quaker Star - I think the next part comes out soon.
I hope everyone in the States has a relaxing Labor Day!
- Margaret

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Topiary Garden Finished!

Here's a lousy photo of a beautiful project. This was a Mysterie with the Sticklounge group - later I found out its real name: Topiary Garden by Debbie Draper. This pattern is so much fun to stitch, I may stitch it again in a bright color. I need to sort through my stuff to see if I have more Debbie Draper charts - I love the monochromes!

I think I selected my next project - The Wayward Garden by the Drawn Thread. I found the chart, fabric, and silks all packaged together, so maybe it was meant to be???? On the other hand, I also found numerous Indigo Rose projects kitted up also - decisions, decisions!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Moonstone Garden Finish

I'm delighted - I finally finished Chatelaine's Moonstone Garden. I used mostly recommended fibers, but substituted HDF silk for the DMC. I have always loved the mandalas that Chatelaine designs - I have quite a few kitted up, but have never finished a big project. This is only a small mandala - but it has a great combination of colors and specialty stitches and beads - all the things I love.

Best of all, I now have an empty project bag - so I'm off to pick a project to fill it up again.

Happy stitching! Margaret

Monday, August 02, 2010

Part 3 of Mysterie; Part 3 of Quaker Star and July Ornie

Here is an update on Quaker Star. This shows progress through Part 3.

This is Debbie Draper's Mysterie, completed through Part 3. It is gorgeous in real life - the green is so rich looking. Both of these projects are from the Sticklounge group.

Here is my July ornament. This is the newest LHN All Dolled Up pattern - Peppermint. I used the recommended fibers, except the white is HDF Premium white - I could only fight with the stiff linen and the knotty cotton floss for so long - I threw in the towel, and started using silk. If only I could have switched to Lakeside Linen also, this project would be so much better (I am soooo spoiled.) This is my first attempt at finishing a flat ornament - I think a little practice is in order.
I have not been doing much stitching, but have resumed my stamping - taking classes and collecting stash - very little real crafting going on, but it's fun anyway.
Happy stitching! Margaret

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another new project

I tell you, I absolutely have no will power when it comes to new projects! This is a new Mysterie by Debbie Draper for the German Yahoo group, now called Sticklounge. This is a very small piece - so I should be able to turn it out quickly, right? I am using HDF Imperalosity and some scrap linen - I am guessing that it is Light Mocha Cashel. It is a very elegant piece in real life.
Not much other news - we have had some cooler temps, and even some rain!!!! The yard is turning green again - so DS will have to resume mowing. It is not a trivial thing - we mow about 3 acres - so it takes him a while to get it done.
Well, back to my internet surfing. happy stitching, everybody!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Holiday Weekends!

Here is my May ornament finished and posted late. It is Sampler Tree 1, by JBW Designs. This is stitched with the recommended fibers on a piece of scrap linen. I am late with it because I had trouble finding the angel charm for the top of the tree and the spangles for the candle flames. The designer, Judy Whitman, fortunately had a kit for finishing, even though this chart is five or six years old. She is a very nice person - makes me want to stitch more of her designs. I do like her pieces because they are very elegant. At first glance, they look very simple; but once you examine them closer, you see additional details.

Here is the second part of Quaker Star that I am stitching with the Marquoir Group. I decided to make one of the flowers and its stem stand out by stitching them in a different color. Do you like the effect? There are three more flowers that are surrounded by a frame - should I make them all the same color, or vary the color? Decisions, decisions...

We had a fabulous Fourth of July. We retrieved DS from band camp on Saturday, and they put on great concert for the parents to conclude the camp. We had some friends over on the actual holiday. We had barbeque, of course. We were out in our backyard late, and someone in the area was putting on a fabulous fire work show (professional grade). We walked to the top of our hill, and got to see a wonderful show, without fighting the crowds. Doesn't get any better than that.

It is still hot and dry in Maryland. My poor garden is sad! Please do a rain dance for me! I've been doing some watering but a lot of plants are just going to have to go dormant. My graveyard lilies are finally blooming - their botanical name is crinum. You find them in the South in old graveyards, where someone planted them by a headstone to commemorate a loved one.

Happy stitching! Margaret

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

I have finally finished a project that I started long ago: Abécédaires by Gazette94. I stitched this on a piece of 32 ct. Purely Primitive by Silkweavers. I used HDF Indigo Ocean and Deep Ocean. I love, love, love Indigo Ocean - the blues and greens are just beautiful. I stitched this during my son's horn lessons - at 45 minutes a week, this project took a looooong time! Finishing it is rather bittersweet - I will miss it! But, it is going to the top of the framing pile that I will tackle after I win the lottery!!! LOL!

And to take its place in my "travel bag" is Quaker Star, a new piece with the German Marquoir group. I am using HDF Velvet Masquerade on a piece of 32 ct. Lentil by Lakeside linens.

We take my son to band camp later today - it is a week long residential camp. He has gone for three years, and he really enjoys it. They will put on a concert next Saturday - the concerts are always very good.

Very hot and dry here - very tempting to do absolutely nothing!!!!

Until next time, happy stitching! Margaret

Sunday, June 13, 2010

June ornament, GGM 13 and Quakerchen 4

Here is the lovely GGM sampler. Only one part left to stitch now. I plan to get this framed as soon as I finish it - I love its elegant simplicity.

Here is the latest view of Quakerchen that I am stitching with the Marquior stitching group. This is a fun little piece - I think there are three more parts, so it will be a tiny piece when done.

This is my June ornament. It is Joyful Blessings by Blue Ribbon Designs published in the August 08 JCS magazine. I used the charted fibers and a piece of scrap white linen - by the time I recognized it was 28 ct. and would result in a huge ornament, I had already stitched most of the over one alphabet - so I just finished with the big fabric.

I know that I have not yet finished by May ornament - it calls for embellishments that I had trouble locating. It is a JBW design. Finally I wrote to Judy Whitman, the designer, for advice. She has the needed embellishments and I ordered them from here. She seems like a very nice person - I'd love to meet her in person. So, I hope to finish that ornie soon, and will post a pic.

Well, my yard work has come to a screeching halt. A hot sultry summer has seized Maryland. It is just too hot to go out and work. Late in the day I go out and try to water my plant "stash" and hope to keep it alive until relief arrives.

I have spent this weekend at a soccer tournament in the Maryland soccer plex. DS is playing as a guest player on a team - they put DS in as goalie - which causes great anxiety in the parental ranks. The team is learning to play together - today they won their game 1 - 0. YEA!!!!

Well, all for now. Happy stitching, everyone!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

No time to stitch!

I have had very little time to stitch - too much that I need to do in the yard! Not to mention carting around a fifteen year old with a busy schedule - soccer, French horn performances, and socials....We spent the weekend at a soccer tournament in Gettysburg, PA - lovely area; and I was lucky enough to get to see one of my dearest friends from South Carolina that I hadn't seen in years - she happened to be nearby; and came and rescued us from the soccer fields for a wonderful lunch and shopping. High school is now out for the summer - we have one orchestra audition; one recital, and one more spring soccer game - and then a long, lazy summer to enjoy.
Nevertheless, I have been stitching a little on the German Group Mystery - only three more parts to go now. I love this piece and will miss it when I complete it.
The other photo is a little piece called Quakerchen with the Marquior group. It is small enough that I might actually finish it someday. I will look up the details - designer, threads used, etc. for the next time I post.
I was doing very well on my Christmas Ornament challenge; but now I have hit a stone wall. I stitched one of the old JBW Sweet Nothings Sampler Trees - but it calls for pailettes (sequins). I need 4 mm gold ones - I can find places to buy them online, but I have to buy several hundred and the shipping is outrageous!!! I haven't decided what to do about this yet - but because of this dilemna, my May ornament will be late - Grrrrrrr!
Warning - here is my soapbox statement: Quit worrying about whose fault it is and who's going to pay for the Gulf cleanup! Just focus on stopping the leak and cleaning up! Then focus on what went wrong and how to prevent it from ever happening again! Make sure it can't happen to the other wells that are operating in the region. There is plenty of time for blame; and I'm sure the cost is going to be high enough that the well owner/operator and the taxpayers will get to shell out plenty of money to clean this up. Then if we are all not completely exhausted, we can start blaming each other in earnest. OK, this is supposed to be my stitching blog; with a little gardening and the boy wonder thrown in; so I will get off my soapbox now.
Well, summer hit Maryland this weekend - we can bid spring an abrupt adieu. We are having thunderstorms today, and it is hot as blue blazes out there. Nice day for stitching!
All for now, Margaret

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Update at last!

Finally here is a long overdue update. This is Part 11 of the GGM Mystery sampler - coming right along.

And this is Part 1 of Quakerchen - it is stitched with LL Dragon Toes on Maritime White. The picture is washed-out, but some things just can't be helped. This is one of four or five new projects I have going.

I attended Celebrations of Needlework earlier this month - and had a blast of course. I will post an update on my projects from that event sometime soon.

Meanwhile, I am trying to catch up on my yard work - the peonies, bearded irises, Siberian irises, and baptisia are putting on quite a show right now.

Happy stitching! Margaret

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Seba Blackwork Project Completed!

I put the last stitches in the Seba Blackwork SAL yesterday during my son's orchestra rehearsal. The last piece was the border; and I put if off because I thought it would be tedious. As it turned out, it went very quickly, and I can add something else to my "to be framed" pile.
Now, I will treat myself to a new quick project - I only have to decide which one of the "thousands" that are screaming for attention. It will have to be a quick thing because I will be going to Celebrations at the end of the month - and so will start several new class pieces.

I haven't been stitching very much this week - DH and I have flung over 8 yards of shredded bark mulch so far this spring. I still have three large areas to mulch - one is a sadly neglected bed that is weedy, and that I need to reclaim from the deer, so that one will be a lot of work. I also have to bring some order to the planting area by the pool - it is rampantly overgrown with deer delicacies - roses, lilies, hibiscus, redbud trees, and such.

We are off to the soccer field in a little bit - but will have to dress warmly. This morning it was 40 degrees when I walked the dog.

Happy stitching! Margaret

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Here is a long overdue update - when I was snowed in, I had plenty of time to update my blog; but now that spring is sprung, I don't want to take the time - LOL. First up is Part 10 of the German Group Mystery sampler. This piece is lovely. When I started it, it was Christmas time, and the red, green and gold color scheme looked very "Christassy". But now, the piece looks like it will fit in perfectly into my house, which is mostly green and cream colors.

I am also still plugging away at the Seba Blackwork mystery. All that is left to do is the borders; but they are not great fun. So, I am trying to do at least two motifs a day until I get this done. This is an awful picture, but you get the idea.

And lastly, here is my April ornie. The chart is from the Needlebook Tree by Follow the Leader Designs, TGOSM December 2007. I used HDF BeFrogged and mystery linen. I finished it as a pillow ornament. I am not at all happy with the finishing; and I would redo it; but I am afraid I would tear up the piece if I took it apart. I think I am too impatient to take the time to do a nice finishing job.

Spring is finally here - YEA! My daffodils are about done - we have had unseasonably warm weather. The asparagus is yielding like mad, and I noticed the first of my miniature tall bearded irises (how is that for a plant name?) are blooming. They bloom between the iris reticulata and the dutch iris. The iris season then continues with the tall bearded, then the Siberians, the Japanese and then my faves: the Louisianas.

Usually my favorite flower is what is blooming now; but my all time favorite is blooming now - my camellias. I live in the northern border of their hardiness range; but our 3 feet of snow this winter did not seem to bother them too much. This year I will take more garden pics and post here.

Have to go and get ready for DS's opening soccer game today. He is on two soccer teams and the golf team at school. He is headed into concert season for the orchestra - a performance at school on Tuesday and then his Peabody Youth Orchestra concert in May. Plus, he has started doing volunteer work at the Recreational and Therapeutic riding center near us. He is helping with the horses for now. I am hoping this gives him something to do this summer. Looks like my travel stitching projects will see some action in the next couple of months!

Thanks for leaving me comments - I am a hardened lurker; but I do enjoy reading everyone's entries and admiring their projects.

Happy stitching! Margaret

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Many Projects Update

Well, I have been stitching, but not blogging. Our snow is finally gone (yea) and my daffodils are about three inches high. The sad part is that I fell and fractured my leg, so no gardening for me for the next few weeks. I suppose an optimist would simply be glad of the extra stitching time, no?

Here's my latest start - I want a series of "Scottish" reproduction samplers - primarily red and green. To get that series started, here is Ann Taylor by Heartstring Primitives. I am using 32 ct. Days Gone By from Silkweavers and premium HDF floss in Pennyworts, Everlasting, and Dried Roses. I am just picking colors as I go.

Next is Part 8 of the German Group Mystery Sampler:

An update on Moonstone Garden:

And here is Part 8 of Seba Designs Blackwork Mystery SAL:

Then, in my never ending quest to find a finishing technique that I am actually good at, here is the Mystery zigougou Noel from Hohla ( There are many great SAL's on her site. Go check it out if you have never been there. My project was done with opalescent white Belfast and HDf fibers - Yonder Skies and Befrogged. The ornie has a lot of Krenik braid on it, also. Sadly my photo doesn't capture that very well.

Well, that's all for today.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Introducing Moonstone Garden

Having to return to work after the snow days has drastically cut down on my stitching time! One of the topics on the cross stitch boards has been the idea of a Bucket List of projects. I started thinking about this, and the projects that would be on my list, but are not in my rotation, are the gorgeous mandala designs by Chatelaine (Martina Weber). To rectify that, I pulled out the mini mandala, Moonstone Garden, and have been stitching on it this week. I had some of the center done, but I have added much to it this week. I am using the called for threads, except I am substituting HDF silks for the DMC called for in the pattern.

I would be ashamed to admit how many Chatelaine projects that I have kitted up and languishing in a plastic tub - I now plan to work more on those projects.

Here also is the completed Part 8 of Graphic Sampler.

And, here is the completed Part 6 of the Seba Blackwork Mystery Project.

OK, back to Moonstone Garden!

Happy stitching everyone! Margaret

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Heart and More Blackwork Mystery

I found this freebie, fell in love with it and had to stitch it up last night. The chart can be found at Le Gernier de Zoe, along with many other great freebies. I used a piece of scrap linen, and HDF BeFrogged and Enchantress silk floss. My photo doesn't capture the colors very well - again, the result of my lack of photo skills. I feel like an overachiever this year - two hearts for one holiday!

And here is my Seba Designs Blackwork Mystery Part 5. This is a fun project - each installment is small enough that I can complete it in a day, and I like the sense of accomplishment from completing each part.

It is a beautiful day today, but sadly, they are predicting more snow for Maryland tomorrow. This doesn't put me in the mood to do anything but sit by the fire ( oh, I might also be tempted to take a peek at the previews for the Nashville show) !

Happy Valentines Day, Margaret