Thursday, October 30, 2014


I couched until I could couch no more.  I'm not the best at this embroidery.  I'm impatient, I'm sloppy.  It's not perfect.  But I soldier on.
So far:

I'm working on the round circles on the upper wings.  With any luck I'll get them done today.  I was surprised to see that some quilling is used in the roundel.  I've never done that before.  There is a little plastic tool.

I think my first one is a little big.  I'm trying to decide whether to take it off and try again.  Lazy A says leave it, artist A says fix it.  We'll see who wins.  The metal petals that go around the quilling will fit better if I redo it.

I want to start the Fair Maiden's Work Bag but I'm intimidated.  It seems like so much work and will take forever.  But how will I know unless I work on it a bit?  I also want to work on Betsy Morgan's Edinburgh Etui.  I have two kits coming in the mail.  One is another Jackie kit, Folio, from Needle in a Haystack.

 The Other is a Just Nan Exclusive from ABC Stitch Therapy.  You know I will be tempted to start those if and when they come in the mail.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I've been couching.   I picked up the Jenny Adin-Christie butterfly.

I wanted to see how much more I needed to do until I got to something interesting.  Stitching down felt isn't exciting.  I was happy to see that I only needed to stitch down four small circles.  So I did that.  Then the more exciting part came next.  Couching down pearl purl (or is it purl pearl?).  Anyway, I couched the outside edge of the wings and it is starting to take shape.

I am couching down the next gold thread.  After this is more couching of iridescent turquoise thread.  And then there is another row of couching after that.  I'm deep in couching mode.  Wouldn't it be great if I could get this finished before I leave on my trip?  I could wear it.  That's my goal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sew Darling

I finished stitching Sew Darling.  I put the same border in the inside as I did the outside.

 I read the directions for finishing and was illuminated as to all the specialty stitches I left out.  But I don't care.  I like how it looks.  Here is one side:

Here is the other side (my favorite):

The inside:

I think it turned out great.
I still have to get some wool felt that matches better than the red in the kit for the needle page and the little button bag.  Otherwise, it is done!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dancing with The Stars

I admit that one of my very favorite TV programs is Dancing with the Stars.  But that's not what this post is about.  It is about me not reading directions.  Or having no directions to read!  I bought the Dancing Stars quilt pattern in Shipshewanna.  When I picked it up I was suspicious.  It was very light, as though there were not many pages inside but it cost nine dollars.  Hmmm.

 I really liked the quilt made from this pattern so I threw caution to the wind and bought it and some fabric too.

 I was right to be suspicious.  There are only two half pages inside and not a lot of information.

 I like directions spelled out for me.  I need directions meant for a five year old.  Very specific, one step at a time, lots of information and pictures.  Not going to happen with this.
When I looked at the pattern, I figured out that part of it is a paper pieced pattern.  I also figured out that the numbers on it were not indicating which fabric to use.

So I made a copy and proceeded to try and sew it right on the paper and figure it out as I went along.  After the first seam, I realized I had not planned well and the piece of fabric was not large enough.  So I took it out and tried again.  So far, so good.  I added another piece.  I goofed again.  Well, this is going to be harder than I thought.

Time for YouTube.  Maybe there are hints that would help me not mess this up.  The YouTube video was very helpful.  The first thing she tells you is that you will waste a lot of fabric.  The numbers indicate the order that the seams are sewn.  You should iron and trim after each seam.  You should not use printer paper, it's too heavy.  Copy paper works better.  I have stitched one star block.

It looks okay - not great, just okay.  I will get better as I go along (I hope).  The next one will be much better.  I'm an optimist.

Then I read the directions to finish Sew Darling.  I realized that I just ignored all the specialty stitches (and there are a lot!) and stitched it in cross stitch only.  Whatever.  I am almost done putting it together, I'll show you tomorrow.  It is very cool.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Yoko Saito Book

I read David's blog Cottage Down the Hill and he talks about classes he has taken with Yoko Saito.  He has made some of her projects.  I'm not really a quilter but I have sewn several quilts.  There isn't enough time in the world to do all the crafts that I would like.  Yoko's quilting is interesting and shows artistic talent for putting together fabrics and colors.  On impulse I bought her new book when I was in Shipshewanna.

It is fun to look at all the projects and to see how she does things.

 I would never think of putting together fabrics like she does but they are gorgeous.  Looking at the book made me want to make something.  Something little that wouldn't take forever.  I really haven't hand quilted much.  But I want to hand quilt one of her projects.  I liked these projects.

But then would her type of fabrics (yarn dyed wool, homespun) be available around here?
I googled her fabrics.  I could buy some on ebay or etsy or in Japan.  Oh, she has some kits!  That would be perfect.  I decided that Santa would want me to have a small Yoko Saito kit.  I found the most darling kit on an etsy site.

So I ordered one for Santa to give me.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I went to Shipshewanna yesterday.  It is a big Amish area with buggies and horses on the roads.  I hadn't been down that way in decades.  It was interesting to see how it has changed and grown.  What a lovely day!  The weather was warm and the sun was out.  I went with Terry's mom.  We had a great time.  We picked up Terry and her friend Barb and went out to breakfast/lunch - brunch!  There are many lovely small bakeries in the area.  The one we stopped at was called the Bread Box.

 Now, I can not be trusted at bakeries.  I've been known to buy much more than I could possibly eat.  This was no exception.

Just look at those cases full of deliciousness.  Those pecan rolls were still warm from the oven.  You can't get any fresher or more delicious than that!  But since I couldn't decide which dessert to get, I got three.  I've fallen off the wagon so to speak.  I only ate half of the warm pecan roll and saved the rest to take home.

They also had jams, jellies and sauces there.  You could taste them so you knew what you were getting.  I got a couple. The pumpkin one is fabulous.  Then you could buy a whole jar of homemade pie filling.  How easy to make a pie, just pour it into a frozen pie crust.  Yes, I had to get one of those.  Then there were cookies and my favorite candy drops.  I was very bad.

Then in downtown Shipshewanna there are many little stores.  You could get a buggy ride if you wanted.  See the horse patiently waiting?

We went into one called Lacy Carved Eggs.  Very interesting.  There is a big building with lots of little stores inside.  One of the stores was a fabric store.  Now I'm in trouble.  I was looking for some more French General fabric as I have a pattern for a bag and want to get the exact fabric.  They didn't have it but they had this great quilt.

The bright colors attracted me.  So I bought five different fabrics to recreate this quilt.    I also splurged and got a Yoko Saito book. I've seen some of her stuff on other blogs.  The book has lots of projects in it.  I definitely want to make one of the smaller projects.
When you are in Shipshewanna, you must go to Yoder's.  They have such interesting shoes.  I like wild looking shoes so it was fun to see what they had.  They also have a ton of fabric.  Yes!  I found the fabric I was looking for.  Yeah!  At the fabric cutting counter was a machine that I remembered from my youth.

 It measured material.  As a kid, I used to buy 1/4 yard cuts of fabric to make doll clothes and the salesclerk would measure it out using the fabric measuring machine.

The retreat that Terry was attending was at a hotel with very nice grounds.  It would be a great place to walk in the mornings.  There were quite a few women at the retreat.

 I ran into one that I knew.  One side of the huge room was the shopping area.

 From the side it doesn't look that big but there was a lot of stuff there to shop from.  I tried to control myself.
Terry's mom and I had a great time and even were back home for dinner.  What a fun day!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Off Tomorrow

I worked on Sew Darling and got all the front done.  I like it.  I just have to do the inside border and I can finish it up.

Tomorrow I'm going to a retreat.  Well, I am just going to visit a friend who is at a retreat in Shipshewanna.  I've thought about going to this retreat but I had too much going on this year.  Maybe next year.  I have always gone to retreats with classes with cross stitch designers.  But this retreat is just for stitching whatever you want.  You do get a retreat project.  I think this retreat is put on by The Inspired Needle shop that is in Lemont Illinois.  Anyway my friend's mother and I are driving down to visit and shop.  Fun!  I'll tell you about it when I get back.  But I probably won't post tomorrow.

Also tomorrow I am officially old.  DH took me out to dinner last night at Carrabas.  Oh my did I eat too much.  I absolutely love their dessert called Chocolate Dream.

You can taste the high quality chocolate in it.  It is just the best.  I'm just the luckiest person.