Saturday, April 5, 2014

The best laid plans...

So I had plans for the blog this week.  Tuesday I was going to share my recent stitching, and then later in the week I was going to tell you all about my recent road trip to Delaware.  A stomach bug changed all that, and so I am just now getting around to sharing my recent finishes.  Which means that I have one more finish to share than originally planned.  : )

Stitching progress Chez Patrick has been good lately.  First off, I finally did the trimming and stuffing for a Little House ornament that I actually stitched over a year ago.


I used some Weeks felt for the side, and Crescent Colours rickrack in the recommended color.  The back is a piece of coordinating cotton, because I try to conserve my felt for when it will be seen (it's fabulous, but expensive, you know?).  I'm looking forward to putting this little beauty on my stitching Christmas tree in December.

I also finished Maria Selby Humphrey, the sampler that I started at the end of February.  I'll be taking this to Mom and Dad's next week to pick out a frame.


And finally, I finished the stitching on "Heaven and Nature Sing" from Country Stitches (or With Thy Needle and Thread.  I'm not sure which she has put this under).  I debated whether to go ahead and work on assembling the pillow, but have decided to put that off til closer to December.


I have also finished stitching the model for a Halloween piece I designed myself.  It seems a little early to share that, so I'll keep it for closer to release time (August, most likely).  I am currently still plugging away at charting some more reproductions, and I have started stitching on a small reproduction sampler from The Essamplaire, Isabella Cook.  I've had the kit for this sampler for years, but for some reason the pattern has really been on my mind for the past two weeks, so even though there are a million other things in progress that I could be working on, I pulled her out and have put a few stitches in her in the last two or three days.

Last weekend, my husband and I spent some time with my parents, and on our way home we stopped at my favorite garden nursery.  It's a bit early to buy my favorite flowers, but we did come home with two hanging baskets of blue lobelia for the front porch.  When I went to remove the baskets of dead ferns from last year, I found a little surprise sitting in one of them.  (Background: I intentionally left those baskets up because it amused me to watch the birds taking the dead fronds and fly around the baskets.  Now I 'suffer' the consequences)  There was a nest with a single egg in one of the baskets.  And to my delight, the bird who made the nest is a fan of fiber arts...


Do you see the green thread twined around the front of her nest?  So sweet!  Anyway, I discovered the nest on the first day that she began laying eggs.  Each day for the next 5 days, she added an egg, and now she sits on them for most of the day.  Two weeks from this past Tuesday, I expect to have 5 new hatchlings to admire.  She's a house finch, and so pretty tolerant of humans.  I watch her from the window, and plan to lower the basket a few times to see how things are going (but no touching!).  I am hoping that the cowbirds won't visit her nest this time around.

That's all for now.  Next time I hope to share photos from Delaware.  Til then, have many lovely days, my friends!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sampler progress

Hi all!  Just jumping for a quick update before I head out to the dentist (eek!).  For about a month, I've devoted the majority of my stitching time to working on "Maria Selby Humphrey - 1831" from Blackbird Designs.  I saw the original on display at last year's Nashville (or was it St. Charles?) TNNA show.  Humphrey is a family name, so I had to have it!

I've been stitching it mainly with the called-for threads, but I ran out of Heirloom Gold and decided that there were enough variations in brown on the sampler that I could get away with using some limited edition overdyed threads instead of waiting to order more Heirloom Gold.  I think it's looking fine so far:


I hope to finish this in the next week or so, and then I'm going to start stitching a reproduction Spanish sampler that I have charted.  I haven't settled on the colors for that one yet, so I'm looking forward to a trip to Mom's soon for a color consultation.

I also wanted to share a few more photos from the Pocahontas Jacket.  Here's a sweet little cat motif:


And I HAD to share those crazy mosquitoes:


This is the last photo of the section that I was working on.  Everything you see, except the rightmost flower and the round worm in the right corner is my accomplishment for our trip.  I feel like it was a decent chunk of work!  We have been promised an email showing photos of the actual ceremony in early April.  I wish I could be there in person, and I can't wait to see what the finished piece looks like!


That's it for now.  I'm off to the dentist, and this evening I shall comfort myself with stitches in my Humphrey piece.  Next week, I will share some photos from our trip to Delaware and the symposium at Biggs Museum.  Til then, stay crafty my friends!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Snowy Williamsburg

Good morning, strangers!  I came on here to blog about my trip to Delaware this weekend, and realized that I hadn't shared about our trip to Colonial Williamsburg two weeks ago yet.  I guess I posted so many pictures on Facebook that it just felt like I'd already blogged about it.  Soooo...

Continuing the trend we started with our Nashville trip, our travel plans were disrupted by snow.  Instead of leaving for Virginia on Monday, as originally planned, we left Sunday evening, ahead of the predicted snow.  Monday was spent mostly hanging out in our hotel room, although I could not resist bundling up for a two hour walk around the colonial site (which was around the corner from our hotel).  I basically had the place to myself.  It was a beautiful, if rather uncomfortable, walk around the snowy colonial capital city:


I always love seeing the palace, although the snow obscures this photo a bit:


This is apparently a permanent sign, and it really made me laugh:


It's a good thing this poor little guy had a nice wool coat to keep him warm!



We were in Williamsburg to work on the jacket that will be worn for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.  You can read about it here.  Tuesday through Thursday mornings, we got up and headed over to the Costuming department for Colonial Williamsburg.  There were always several ladies there working, with several pieces laid out on various frames for us to work on.  Mom and I sat at the same piece every day, and it was like magic watching the piece come alive.  Here's some of what I stitched:


All of the motifs on the jacket represent animals or plants native to North America.  Mom worked on a tobacco plant for most of our time there.  Some of my favorite motifs included cats, dogs, owls, a big turkey, and a possum.  My least favorite was probably the mosquito.  It was cleverly done, but, you know, mosquito.  I thought I had some more photos taken, and I'll have to dig around and see if I can find them to share later.

Our wonderful week of 'volunteer' stitching came to a rather rushed end when we discovered that the forecast called for ice and sleet back home on Thursday evening.  So we cut our stitching short on Thursday morning, did not detour for one of our usual side trips on the way home, and rolled into Durham just as the sleet was starting.  Mom still had another hour to go to make it home, but thankfully did not have any problems.  My brother and sister both lost power for a few days thanks to that storm.  :(

That's all for now.  I will be back on in a day or two to share some of my personal stitching progress, and I also want to tell you all about our visit to the symposium and needlework exhibit in Dover, Delaware this week.  (I am writing from our hotel room before we head back home today, just ahead of .... another snow storm).  Take care and stay safe and warm, my friends!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nashville Market (and a giveaway winner)

Hello everyone! Sorry it took me so long to make this post.  Life was busy when we returned from Nashville, and now I've caught some nasty cold thing.  I have almost no energy, which is no fun at all!

We ended up leaving a day early for Nashville, thanks to the snowstorm barreling into North Carolina just before our original departure date.  So instead of being snowed/iced in in Greensboro, we had a stressful hour or two of snowy driving just west of Asheville, and then all was good.  Flash forward past some room mixups at the Embassy Suites, and you would have found us all set up for my first official Nashville Market as a designer!  Here's a peek at a bit of our room:


We tried to add a lot of flowers and light colors to make the room bright and cheery, and I really think we succeeded.  The show went well, I think, and I made several new friends on the trip.  Since we were in town so early, we found enough spare time to hit one of several antiques shows going on that weekend.  This one was at the state fairgrounds, and was called the Tailgate Music Valley Antiques Show.  Boy did we do a lot of walking around!  Our purchases included a new antique sampler for me, and two new antique samplers for Mom.  I don't have a picture to share with you right now, mostly because I just don't have the energy to get a proper photo at the moment.  I will try to share before too long.  We also ran into a few other designers who were taking advantage of some free time to do a little shopping.  I don't think it's really my place to say who I saw buying what, but there are some fabulous reproductions bound to show up out there in the next year or so!  I also picked up another treasure for myself from an antiques dealer at the Nashville market itself.  Again, I haven't the energy to take a picture of my new baby just yet, but I promise I will share in the future.  Suffice it to say that I was showing my new treasures off all weekend long.  I can't wait to put needle to linen and breathe some new life into these precious pieces!

I have some photos of Mom's new releases that I want to share with all of you, but my energy is already fading.  Bleg.  So I will get down to what you are probably really interested in (a winner) and save the rest for another post.  Numbering each post and then using a random number generator to choose the winner, and....





The winner is Cath of "The Stitching Chicken."  Congratulations!!!!!  Please email me at robin@threadsofmemory.com with your address and your choices of patterns.

That's it for today.  I'm headed to the couch for a nap.  More updates soon (I hope).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Introducing Harriet Hodges

Hello world!  I will have to make this a quick one, as the winter weather is throwing a major wrench into our Nashville preparations.  Here is the last pattern that I will have available this month, Miss Harriet Hodges:


I feel a bit like this photo doesn't do her justice, but it's the best I can do.  Harriet stitched her sampler on a very fine linen using silk threads.  I have used 40 count Beige linen from Weeks Dye Works for my reproduction, and it is stitched using NPI silks.  It was quite a challenge to chart and stitch, because Harriet's cross stitches weren't always two threads high and two threads wide... not something easy to show on a chart in so many colors!  I have done my best to be faithful to the appearance of the original sampler though.

There's just a little more time left to enter my giveaway, which can be found here.  There are not a lot of people entered, so you have a fabulous chance of winning!

The original plan was for three of us, Mom, me, and our friend Chris, to leave bright and early Thursday morning for Nashville.  We would arrive just after 5 that evening, giving us plenty of time to set up our room and even do a little sightseeing on Friday before the market gets going.  Our first bump in the road came when poor Chris came down with the flu.  She will be greatly missed on this trip!  Then there's the weather.  Not only do we have to make it over a mountain range to get into Tennessee, but now they are predicting that this could be a major ice event here in middle North Carolina.  So what do you do?  Do you wait and hope that you could travel safely a day later?  Do you leave early?  How early?  And that's where we are right now.  I think we're going to live before the sun comes up tomorrow and hope that we can get through the mountains before it even begins to snow.  But we're watching the weather closely all evening, as we scramble to pack and get all those last minute details ironed out.  Hopefully, I will be updating early next week with a happy little report of safe travels and lots of sales.  Hopefully.

Stay out there my friends!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Two more new releases

Good morning all!  Hope you all had a pleasant weekend.  I'd ask if any of you enjoyed the game yesterday, but it was a real snoozer for those of us who aren't die hard fans of one of the two teams involved.

Anyways, I'm hard at work assembling patterns here.  The cats are supervising, but I don't let them get too close, or else I'd have sheets of paper and plastic bags skittering everywhere!  I wanted to share my other two original designs with you this morning.  First up we have Springtime on Hodge Hill, which was inspired by my love of designs with houses on them, and by the flowers on the Harriet Hodges antique (repro to be shared later this week).


This design is stitched on 35 count Linen line by Weeks Dye works using overdyed cottons from Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Arts.  It's another small design, and stitches up pretty quickly.

And finally this morning we have Yield Not.  After charting my reproduction sampler with the Adam and Eve on it, I decided I wanted a smaller Adam and Eve piece, and this design is the result.  It is stitched on 40 count Vintage Exemplar Linen from Lakeside Linens using overdyed cotton threads from Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Arts.


If you like what you see here, please let your local needlework shop know about these designs.  And please share about these patterns with your friends too!  I can be reached for wholesale orders at robin@threadsofmemory.com, or you can contact my mother at Cherished Stitches.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway, which can be found in this post.  Til next time, stay warm, and I hope you have plenty of time to be creative!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Friendship and Family

Good morning everyone!  I'm sitting here in chilly North Carolina, waiting for two snow bands, one from the east and one from the west, to converge over the region and drop a few inches of snow on us.  It's kind of exciting, since I haven't seen any accumulation of snow in several years!

Meanwhile, I have two more patterns to share with you.  These patterns were inspired by the antique samplers that I own.  They are very small, quick pieces to stitch.  Here is "Family":


And here is "Friendship":


Both designs are stitched on 36 count Weeks Cocoa linen.  Friendship is stitched entirely with Weeks overdyed cottons, and Family is stitched with a mix of Weeks and Gentle Arts Shaker Threads.

If you like what you see, and you would like to purchase a pattern, please let your LNS know about your interest in my designs!  And please, share your interest with the rest of your stitching friends too.  Shops can contact me regarding purchase at robin@threadsofmemory.com.  Or they can stop by the Cherished Stitches room at Nashville.  My mom will be carrying all of the patterns that I am sharing here on my blog.

Don't forget about entering my giveaway.  You can read about it on this post here.

Til next time, stay safe and warm, and stay crafty!