Late Spring

It’s hard to believe that it is late spring.  After an unusual two-week stretch of very rainy days (unheard of around here), summer has come on full blast.  It’s the worst time of year for so many reasons.  The heat, the humidity, the tropical storms/hurricanes…  But having a snow-free, ice-free winter is worth the trade-off.

The rib is still not better, though it *is* better than it was before.  So I still have plenty of time for stitching.  The silver lining to the dark cloud of broken bones!


This was the freebie I mentioned last time, “Here Kitty Kitty.”  This fabric is Sage Jobelan.  Not that you can tell by my photo.  Photo woes have kept me from posting.  I can’t seem to get true color, no matter what setting I use.  I have a nice Nikon camera which does way better than my cell phone.  This issues are with the person taking the photos!


The color isn’t even close, and every picture today was taken in the same light.  The fabric is Jobelan, Star Sapphire, which is a light greenish blue.  And the silk color is not close.  It’s a sunny day, and these were taken on the North side of the house with a south-facing door and two northern facing windows.  It’s a cheerful room…  but a dreadful photo.

The project is the 2017 SAL from Linens and Threads.  This is part of January, and I think it is going to stay this wide.  (The pattern shows three repeats.)  I am just trying to use up some old silk threads.  This particular one is VERY old.  I know I bought it at a store that closed in 2001.


This is “Grant House 1865” by Chessie and Me.  Yours truly started it in the wrong direction on the fabric, thus I had to leave the top section off.  I think I like it better this way anyhow.  This one was stitched on 32 count Belfast that I hand-dyed, with GAST and WDW threads.


“Progress” on Mary Burgess.  Next to none.


“Samplers” by The Scarlett House.  A finish!  🙂  On 36-count Edinburgh linen that I hand-dyed.  I loved working on this fabric!  I did have to change two colors because they weren’t showing up on my linen.

Rosanna Pinkham reproduction sampler by Sheepish Antiques.  After finishing “Samplers” yesterday, I picked up Rosanna as shown on the left.  Last night she looked like the photo on the right.  Pretty good progress!  The fabric is 32 count raw Belfast, which feels like 14 count after working on lots of 36 count pieces!

Two pieces of fabric that I hand dyed that I have for sale.  The one on the left is 25 count Zweigart linen, and the one on the right is 28 count Cashel linen.  🙂

I’m hoping to come close to a finish on Rosanna today.  According to USPS package tracking, my over-3-weeks-ago order of fabric is *partially* shipped and may arrive tomorrow.  Our mail doesn’t get here until the afternoon, so hopefully Rosanna will be finished by then and I may start something new.  My UFO pile is down to 8 pieces, and it normally is between 11 and 13.  Pretty good!  I guess a broken rib has its blessings.

Happy stitching to all!


May 19

I’ve had lots of time to stitch while having this broken rib.  The CT scan didn’t show anything much with the rib (it is not reliable for detecting breaks) but it found plenty of other things wrong.  Since I want this to be a positive, happy place for stitchers, I’ll drop it there.

Mary is coming along.  I don’t feel like I am making great progress, but progress nevertheless.  Here she is, as of earlier today:

Mary Burgess

The flower band at the top of the photo was tricky.  Modern patterns are usually symmetrical, and this band surely isn’t!  The Frog was very active here.  The width of the winding green vine (?) varied every time, and if you look at the flowers, they are all spaced differently.  There are 0, 1, 2, or 3 spaces beside each.  Well, I kept going on autopilot and centering them.  And the stems are different lengths, which got me, too.  Now it is the way it should be.

It feels like I have been working on the current band for weeks, but it’s really only days.  The birds are different, the trees are the same shape so far, and the satin triangles are all different.  Notice the trailing red on the 2nd one.  Yes, I forgot it and had to go back.  This one is keeping me on my toes!

I stitched this freebie yesterday and finished it today.  I tend to have a lot of needles threaded when working each project.  I have lots of pincushions, but they are small and lightweight.  I stuffed this one with weighted polyester pebbles for stuffing weighted dolls.  Not the best choice, most likely, but it weighs enough that it stays put.


It is poked full of needles from Mary Burgess at the moment.

I have another freebie started for something more mindless to do while recuperating.  I find Mary mentally taxing as I have to pay soooo much attention to the chart.  I think after that freebie is done (maybe tomorrow?)  I will start something else on a larger count for when I am ready for breaks.  I do have Our Lady of Guadalupe started on 28 count, and I finally gridded her this week.  I kept losing my place and it was wasting so much time trying to figure out where I am.  Perhaps something more mindless and simple.  I could start this year’s Christmas ornaments but it takes me ages to decide what to stitch for each child.  It takes longer than the actual stitching!

It’s rained every day since I last posted, which is very unusual for this time of year (or any time, really).  It’s been so dark in the house!  When it’s like that I tend to yawn most of the day and go to bed early.  I’m going to try to get through two periods of the hockey playoffs (Go Lightning!)  I normally enjoy stitching through baseball games but tonight the boys are channel hopping between the two sports.  Playoffs are stressful — not time to work on Mary.

Have a wonderful week, everyone, and enjoy every stitch!


Margaret and Mary

Since my last post, I had gone back to working on Mary Burgess.  And unfortunately, the frog has been keeping close by my side.  This is as far as I had gotten (I still have a leaf to rip out) —


Mary is a kit from the Essamplaire.  I especially hate frogging when it is a kit because one never knows if that will cause a thread shortage.  This is silk on 35-count linen.  Mary has some lively colors and she is the oldest known Rhode Island sampler.  I was born and raised there, so Mary is especially meaningful to me.

I thought that maybe if I switched projects, the frog would leave.  No such luck!  I started Margaret Havelock last Sunday and finished her today.  I probably could have finished yesterday, but that darn frog was active as ever!


Margaret was stitched with DMC floss on 32 count linen that I dyed myself.  I’m a much better dyer than stitcher.  I loved the colors on her sampler, and I am especially fond of simple schoolgirl samplers like this one.  I always enjoy every stitch (except the frogging) and it has gotten me thinking.  Sampers are my real love.  Pictures not so much.  So WHY would I stitch anything else?

I woke up this morning with my neck out of place and I couldn’t crack it back in, which causes a nasty headache.  Heat didn’t help.  Tylenol either.  And while I was in pain, I remembered a conversation I had with my doctor several years ago.  I thought it could be helpful for someone so I decided to tell the story,

My neck was hurting horribly.  I am not big on going to the doctor, but I went this time.  This was before we knew I have Ehlers-Danlos (the hypermobile type.)

“Do you do projects?”  She asked me.

“Uh… I don’t know what you mean.”  I had to admit.

“Projects.  You know, like knitting or anything like that.”

I told her I was a knitter and an avid cross stitcher.

“Aha!  A cross stitcher!”  She went on to tell me that she had treated another stitcher for horrible neck pain.  She solved the issue by purchasing a needlework stand and keeping her work at shoulder height, so that her head wasn’t tilted down.  She said if I wanted to stitch into my old age, I needed to get a stand and STOP looking down at my work.

I have to say that this works.  But yesterday I took Margaret out of the stand and worked through 2 baseball games and I got a good ol’ case of Stitcher’s Neck.  Today Margaret went back into the stand until I got to the last row (too hard to reach at that point, even with adjustments.)

I took Mary back out this afternoon and started working on her, and DUH forgot to put her in the stand.  I noticed quickly enough that my neck is fine and I will put her in the stand, I promise.

Happy, pain-free stitching, everyone!

Midwinter Stitching

A little progress (and I do mean a LITTLE.)


Quaker Gone Tropic.  On the left is the latest update.  You can see that I didn’t really get much done on this one.  There was an error in the green section on the right, and I ripped that back and re-stitched it.  The county fair is coming up this month and this was to be my entry.   That isn’t happening this year!

It is still a fun project to work on.  I just haven’t been stitching much.  I’ve had a subluxated wrist and a bout of tendonitis in my left wrist, and I am a lefty stitcher.


Heartland Sampler, updated version on the right.

There is definitely some improvement there.  It’s encouraging at least!


Paul Revere, updated version on the right.

With 29 stitches to go for the finish…  I ran out of floss in that color.  Of course it is overdyed, and I don’t have a shop nearby.  Thankfully my order with Stitches n Things has not been completed as of now, so Deb was able to add the skein of Muddy Puddle.  Hopefully one skein is enough to finish the whole project.


Mary Burgess.  A little progress here too!  🙂  Somewhat embarrassing to show you how little I have done this year, but I’m human, and definitely NOT perfect.

I had burned through (or sold off) my entire yarn stash, minus one skein of cotton for dishcloths and two for a shawl (someday.)  I picked up a big skein of baby yarn in white to make these for charity.


These are burial sets for babies and one burial blanket by itself.  I have made hundreds of these sets over the past ten years (though not many at all for the last six years or so.)

I also tried some of the scrubby yarn and made a scrubbie for my kitchen.  I am not too happy with how it turned out.  The pattern was designed for regular cotton yarn.  Mine is very hard where I sewed in the ends.  I knit the scrubbie, and I knit continental style.  My first two fingers are missing some skin because of it.  I had to switch to English-style knitting which is painfully slow.  The yarn was hard to work with too (due to the nature of the construction) so I won’t be making any more for a while.  Too many wrist and finger problems here to want to struggle with that.  Been there, done that, and ended up in wrist braces for 6 – 8 weeks, sometimes longer.  The crocheting also triggered the carpal tunnel I have in both wrists.  My wrists and hands are just so bad!  I have to take it easy because I want to be able to stitch for the rest of my life.

Plans?  Uh…  I guess I will plod along on UFOs/WIPs for a while.  I would really like a finish!  I contemplated starting something smaller, but do I really want another project hanging around?  I won’t be knitting or crocheting for a little while until the tingling/pain/tendonitis calms down.  I still can cross stitch as long as I use a bigger needle (26 or 24.)  I am thankful for that.  I have only a few projects using that needle size going right now.

My UFO/WIP list currently:

Heartland Sampler, 40 ct lambswool linen  (13″ x 7.25″)

Quaker Gone Tropic, 32 count lemon whip lugana  (11.5″ x 28″)

Loara Standish, 35 ct linen (11.5″ x 33.5″)

Cardinal Points, 18 ct Aida (12.5″ square)

Emmanuel’s Song, 32 ct linen  (4.5″ x 18.5″)

Our Lady of Guadalupe, 28 ct jobelan (11″ x 15″)

Paul Revere, 32 ct lambswool linen

Mary Burgess reproduction sampler, 35 ct linen (7.5″ x 17.5″)

Samplers, 36 ct linen  (4″ x 11″)

Betsy, 36 ct linen  (4.5″ x 12.5″)

A Right Spirit, 35 ct linen

Hopefully I’ll finish SOMEthing soon!

Wishing you happy, pain-free, mistake-free stitching!



July stitching

Saturday was finishing day — these are the pieces that are finally finished.


Main Street Gazebo


Early Americans progress

I designed these and stitched them over the weekend.  You can’t see “love” or “joy” because they are caught in the q-snaps.  I am not sure how I will finish them.  I had been thinking little pin pillows as gifts for my ever-changing weekly prayer partner at our ladies’ Bible study, but then I started to second-guess myself.  What if she doesn’t sew? Now I don’t know…


After much time spent ripping out the right side, I finally finished this one!  The *local* beeswax made a huge difference.  The other beeswax was drier — this one was soft and not leaving chunks on the floss, and it made the Valdani thread stop shredding.

I also had a start but no photo yet.  It is the Mary Burgess Sampler from the Essamplaire, which you can see here.

I have been working a little on Samplers from the Scarlett House.  My “goal” would be to finish 2 UFOs before starting another project.  I have 11 to choose from, which is so embarrassing.  I’d really like to get the number DOWN — to 5 or less.  I would feel better.  Wish me luck!

Happy stitching everyone!