Thursday, January 31, 2008

I finished the spring challenge!

I did the birds leaves and flowers in shadow work. Than I turned it around and did cast on needle stitches and filled the center with beads. I wanted a 3D picture. I am going to do one with stumpwork flowers. By the way I did add feet after I saw I missed them. I see a few things I would change because I had not done shadow work for several years. I did the work on Swiss Batiste and if you could see a bit better you would see the blue come through really nice. I think I will make a pin pillow from this.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Over the week-end I decided to check out my sweater sized of unfinished projects. I saw these two things that needed to be finished and decided I would finish them by Wednesday and they were finished yesterday.

The teapot was started when I was in a group and we were doing swaps but I got another idea and just put this aside. I am thankful that I have a habit that puts the project in a plastic bag with the silk ribbons and whatever else I am used in the bag. So I finished it....I think.

The cross stitch I started when Nana was with us. We lived in the basement and she was upstairs. Nana and Uncle Joe lived upstairs. I spent a good part of the day up with them. When she was really slipping away I decided to have a project upstairs and one downstairs so when I was up all night with her I could do something. I put this aside when she died. All I needed to do was finish the birdhouse and than sew the beads in place. This was a kit from Mill Hill. It was in the series called "Spring Weathervanes" and this on is called "Bluebird Inn".

It was so good to finish them. I have a few more to do and I will not start anything else until I have completed these.....maybe. You all know how this is.....anyway I have good intentions.

I have no ideas what I will do with these 2. I finished 2 others in the series and made one a bookmark for a friend and the other a wall hanging. I have thought about using this one in a crazy quilt project. The same with the teapot.....what would you all do with these.....give me your ideas on the comments.

What projects do you all have laying around that you need to finish?

Monday, January 28, 2008


About 5 years before the dementia really set in Nana was called by a company that bought an estate in her home town here in Georgia. They were told she loved old laces and wondered if she would like to come and see some they had. This Estate was quite a big one as the same family had lived in this home before the Civil War and had thrown little away. She bought a trunk full of laces that were mostly before the Civil War. She never did tell us how much it cost but she was like a kid in a candy store and we lovingly went through each piece and salvaged what we could. She used quite a bit of it in Christening gowns and I got some to use for my crazy quilting. I treasured each piece and share some with folks that also loved to use laces in crazy quilting. About 3 years ago we lost all we owned due to toxic mold in our apartment and so my stash is gone. (it sure is hard to build it up again)
After her death I tried to make something for each of her 6 siblings that would be a heirloom to them and their family. This black lace was so very delicate and I had to mend a few places and so I played with it and as I was folding it I saw it could be a shawl. So I tacked it to a piece of fabric and began to embellish it. The black beads I used as fringe were from that stash too. They are wonderful fragile glass beads. The gold beads that are close to the neck were off of a sweater that was her Mil's and the sweater was full of holes and I cut the beads off of them. She loved when I made flowers with beads and so that is why the bouquet is mainly beaded. The crystals are red because this lady loved to wear bright colors and red was one she had a lot of. Her sister now has it framed in a shadow box with a picture of Nana in it also. It will be passed on to her daughter and she says her 4 daughters are fighting over who gets it next.
It is a wonderful thing to pass on special pieces to family that will treasure it and the work you did.


I did this several years ago. I had no pattern but played with both the high top boot and designing it. I decided to do needlelace flowers and used a very fine crochet cotton crochet thread for them. I have no idea the size because it was in a box of threads I bought at a yard sale and it had the paper torn off of it. I used a dupioni fabric for the top of the boot and a black velvet for the bottom. I love to work with beads and that trim was fun.
I pulled out the photo because I think I would like to do a smaller one for a crazy quilt and today started working on a pattern. I thought maybe you all would like to see this one and when I get a smaller one made I will be glad to share that one too.
It was a joy to make.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I made this about 6 years ago and I love using it. It fits around my neck and I can fold it over the chair arm and secure it with a pin. The pattern comes from "Sew Creative Gifts for under $10." and it is a House of White Birches book and you can buy it at Amazon. The one they show uses geometric shapes and paisley shapes. I wanted to use some laces and buttons that were gifts to me. Each feature is a pocket and where the colors change is a deep pocket. I keep my needle book in one, my scissors fob goes around my neck but fits in a pocket when I put it down. I have a thimble, threads, small ruler,and making pencil in pockets and threaded needles can be simply put in the felt and you do not have to change threads so often. I also keep small pieces of lace to work in crazy quilts and that saves me hunting and that means more time to stitch.

I have made several of these for friends and some for mom's friends that quilt and they love them. It is just a neat way to keep it all together and we "stitchers" need that!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Redwork for a Swap

I am on a small group that is a very important group of Christian ladies. One of the ladies wanted to do a quilt block swap and the theme was Valentine Day. I found this pattern"Sentimental Stitches".

she has quite a few free patterns here: So enjoy...

We each did 2 and it is the first redwork I have done for years and I think I will be doing more. There are so many wonderful free patterns on the net for us all to use. I have added some on the side under links.

So here is to 2 blocks being done before they were late!

Monday, January 21, 2008


About 3 years ago I decided I wanted to tackle stumpwork. I love to make 3-D cards and so it made sense to me to try stumpwork. I had a magazine I found at a Goodwill called "Embroidery and Cross Stitch" magazine. It is volume 3 number 5 and in it was Fairy Wrens in My Garden" by Jean Fletcher. It was a lot of fun and a real challenge....especially the needlelace petals but I got it finished . I had it framed but they did not stretch it properly and so I am going to have it done again. This is one of the few pieces I have kept for us.

I have also done a piece called "Winged Desire" and is a sweet pea and bee. It was in in " Inspirations" volume 17 and I did "Rustle of Winter" and is a thistle and is in volume 37.
I enjoyed that so much I did another thistle one that had a wonderful Monarch Butterfly and that is in volume 42. I did a Christmas one from Caron and you will find it in the side under free patterns stumpwork along with some more good ones.

I find that I am wanting to branch out and try to add stumpwork to many projects. I love that it is not flat work......maybe that is why I like Brazilian work too. Check out the free patterns on the net at the side and be brave and try stumpwork.......Happy Stitching.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Sewing Basket

This project was inspired by 2 things....I had a picnic basket from Nana that was special to her and the magazine "Inspirations" Issue 21 had a round sewing basket they did......maybe I had better say it was inspired by 2 things because I have always wanted a English Cottage and flower garden.

A year after Nana passed away I decided to just get it done. We had moved to a new apartment complex and John was in the middle of making a nature trail for them along the most beautiful
Chattahoochee River that flowed at the edge of the property. Going out with him and being in nature kept me inspired and so the project really was completed in short order. I had to add things because of the shape but that really makes it mine. It was a year after 9/11 and so that inspired me to add the flag and the Robin in the nest was because outside our window I watched as the mother Robin cared for her babies and than watched the babies take their first flights. The shell button that holds the flowers on the other side was from memories of the fun days I spent with my kids while they were growing up on Florida's beaches.

I have enjoyed keeping my scissors and things I need for stitching inside the lid. The pin cushion has Velcro to hold in in place when I am not stitching and I have found the Velcro has helped it stick to my chair arm when I am stitching.

I have a dear friend that has blessed me with several things she has made and soon this basket will take a journey to "Down Under" for her to enjoy. After all what we create needs to be shared with those we love.......

Friday, January 18, 2008

Needle Books

I mentioned I like to work with felt. I find it a easy medium to work with and I simple relax when I use it. It is easy to stitch on with all mediums also
I simply love to do needle book or cases. I believe every lady should have several. I keep one in my purse, one in my stitching bag and several by my chair where I usually sew. I like to keep them on hand for gifts and the are so easy to put in an envelope. I have received some neat ones in swaps a few years ago. They are fun to swap.

This is the first small needle book I made. It has a pocket in the front and back on the inside and has 3 pages for needles.
I really do not remember how I got this pattern. I think I may have used a coloring page. The inside is like a petticoat and has lace at the edge. I use all kinds of threads to do these and add beads for fun.

This Needle case cottage is from Pattern Bee. I just decided I wanted to add the window boxes so I could do more flowers. I use wool yarn, floss and silk ribbon and beads on these. This patterns handles 2 pages inside for needles.

This one makes up quickly and I can do one in an evening. I have a folder with the pattern and several cut out and ready to go at all times. The centers come out cute with beads in them.
The heart pattern comes from Pattern Bee:

This one is done with felt but I have made many with wool. I like to but that here:

The colors are great, the service is great and I find prices for patterns and fabric to be good.
Maybe these will spark your creative ability.

My Amish Lady Chatelaine

It is a beautiful day in Atlanta. They say we may have some snow again in the morning...we shall see.

I love to work with felt. I have used the pattern for this Amish lady many times and have always made the Chatelaine in fabric. Several weeks ago I decided to make one out of felt. I like the way it turned out.

If you lift up the apron you will find a piece of felt for needles. Actually with this one out of felt you can use any on it as a pin cushion. It is so easy to secure your scissors in the other side and I also have a needle book that fits in it. The heart in the front will hold a thimble. I like to have this on hand when I take a project with me.

This came out of a cross stitch magazine many years ago. The publication is out of business. I wonder if I can share it.....any of you know these rules?

The Amish lady takes me back to Pa. Grandma had many family member that still were Amish and as a young girl we would go to their homes for a family reunion. How I loved going on hay rides and eating the wonderful food! The Amish are such gentle people and so full of love for family and God. I love the quilts they make. If you want to plan a trip consider Intercourse, Pa and go to the Old Country Store.

I went to school with Phyllis Pellman Good. We both graduated from Lancaster Mennonite School in 1966. She has written many good books on quilts and cook books. The Quilt Museum
is a wonderful place! Amish women are known for their very small stitches......Maybe I will share with you all a picture of the quilt mom and I did.....
I think I would love to collect chatelaines. It would be fun to do a swap with these.....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I mentioned my Mother-In- Law in the last post. She was a wonderful heirloom seamstress. She had a real love for what she called "sweet embroidery" but she never seemed to master it. So she begged me to learn all the stitches and so I did. We were a good pair.

When Nana came started to have a hard time sewing on her beloved Bernina sewing machine we knew she was in trouble. We were told it was dementia and so we moved her and the brother she was keeping into our home. By that time she could no longer sew and when she sat down at her machine she was blank. But she still loved what I would create. So create I did.

When she could no longer talk to us I tried to stimulate her and show her the beautiful dresses she made and she would smile. One day I was looking at her old "Sew Beautiful" magazine by Martha Pullen and saw each one had in paper dolls and Nana had made many of these outfits and so I cut them all out and she ad I played "paper dolls". She loved it. After 2 and 1/2 tears with us she went to meet the Lord on September 5, 2001.
Link to Sew Beautiful:

The last gift she had given me was a tapestry piece and she challenged me to make it "mine". It took me months to begin doing that and I finally started while she could still watch. But after her death it was far too painful to work on it and I set it aside. I even gave it to my mom to keep. She handed it back to me a year ago and again I picked it up. I have made some head way but still have a long way to go. I decided today I would show you what I am doing and maybe you all can keep me on task.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Today I start.....

I have thought about doing a blog for a long time. My husband gave me a camera for Christmas and so now I have no more excuses!

I love to stitch. This love was instilled in me at a early age. My grandma had a crazy quilt that her mother had made and it was my favorite. She would tell me about the patches and who wore a dress from the fabric. I loved all the stitches and that is where my journey started.

Grandma taught me the basic stitches. I made several things for my Hope Chest and than put it aside for a season. As a young mother I learned to do crewel embroidery and cross stitch. Than came the counted cross stitch craze and I was hooked! I had a small craft store and gave lessons
Macrame was big than also. I sure did my share.

I soon learned I could do counted cross stitch and add silk ribbon embroidery and make a design personal. Than I added crazy quilting to bring all mediums together. I was hooked!

I love to make a crazy quilt piece and embellish it and turn it into a photo album. I think I have mad at least 30 of them for gifts. It is my "love" given to friends. I also find that when I make one for a friend that I use my stitching time to pray for that person and their family. So that makes each gift special.

I also love to work with felt. I have arthritis and sometimes I need a easier medium to work with and felt is very easy. So I make needle books and pincushions for gifts too.

I have self taught myself to use many forms of stitches.....I love stump work, Brazilian, shadow work and anything I can learn. I must add that I learned many stitches due to my precious "Mother-in-Love". She was a heirloom seamstress and made portrait clothing. She went to many Martha Pullen classes. I did all the handwork for her. My favorite was to do the Christening Dresses and she taught me to make bullion roses. Nana, as we called her, passed away after suffering from dementia. We had the privilege of caring for her the last 2-1/2 years of her life.
She was an inspiration to me.

Speaking of Inspiration.......that is my favorite magazine. Inspirations by Country Bumpkin.
If you have never bought one make sure you do. They are like gold to me! When I lost my past issues several years ago I cried. I hope to get the back issues. One of my projects right now is a ornament called "Mother Goose". It is from the issue no. 52. It is a challenge.

I hope you will all enjoy taking this journey with me. I will introduce you more to the ladies that are an inspiration to me.

Donna G in Midtown Atlanta.