Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Needlebook winner

I visited Random.org today and generated the random number winner. #2---Gill.

So, Gill, please get in touch with your address and I'll send the needlebook your way. Thanks to everyone who entered and who reads my blog.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vacation FOs!

One advantage to a mostly-at-home holiday is the stitching I can do. I don't seem to stitch much while traveling.
I started this table topper at our guild show the first week of October. And completed it less than three weeks later. English paper piecing, outline-stitch embroidery, quilted with overydyed perle cotton. Some buttons I had on hand. I really enjoyed making it.
From fast to very slow. I began this counted cross stitch thirty years ago (yep, 1982). It is obvious I wasn't experienced--look how little fabric margin I allowed. I also realized with this project that I really don't like counted cross stitch. I can't count. That's why it sat so long (the do-I-take-it-out-and fix-the-mistakes? conundrum--I didn't, too much had been done by the time I found them). I'd pull it out occasionally, I do like the design, stitch a bit and the realize why I had put it away and off it would go again. This time when I pulled it out I decided to finish or trash it. It's finished. I've added the recipient's name and am working on framing it.

I've also done a lot on my knit tea cozy. It's nearly done. I've been working on some other ufos and even pulled out my Japanese embroidery. I'll get photos of these soon. The JE doesn't look like I've done anything. It's slow going and I'm just working on one section. But I know it's progressing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Still on Vacation

We're still having holiday fun. Sunday we went into the city to the Japanese Garden in Hyde Park. We'd known about it for ages but didn't know how to get there until friends took me in September. It was lovely but VERY crowded. It appears to be the place to take pictures in Chicago--wedding pictures for a Hindu wedding, product shots, couple and individual portraits. It was quite interesting to people watch but not much for serenity.
We also drove into Indiana to Heston and the Steam Museum there. We had a great time, roaming the grounds.
We took a "scary" Hallowe'en train ride. This was our conductor. The place was loads of fun and very relaxing.
We've spent time at the Dunes, between raindrops.
The fall color is beautiful and we've been enjoying that. We've been caught in swirls of falling leaves. It's delightful.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More vacation 2012

I love those mesmerizing windmills.  The colors of the trees along I-65 were glorious! The further south I headed, away from the flat farmland, the more beautiful it got. Sadly, there were no places to stop for good photos. I arrived at my niece and her husband's in the evening.
I brought fabric to take advantage of my niece's sewing area. We stitched holiday table runners.
We made a bunch.
We spent a lovely day chatting and stitching and working on projects. I stitched, she worked on altering a pattern, and he began blocking a sweater he just finished crocheting. Their roommate came home and we headed out to dinner.
We ate at the nearby Carrabba's Italian Grill. We got the same server I had the night before (I really liked it and the others hadn't been there). We had a great dinner--nice ambiance, great service, the prices were great, and the food was really good.
This was my dinner. (The yummy chocolate on chocolate on chocolate dessert went too quickly for a photo.) I'm heading on home to hubby tomorrow. I'm finally starting to feel more rested and myself.  We've got a bunch of day trips planned. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I'm taking a very much needed vacation from work.  This will be one of the few times I'll have Internet access.  So far, it's been wonderful.  It started out with me being totally exhausted and my honey nursing a swollen and bruised arm and bursitis!  We took it easy the first couple of days.  We're more resilient then we were when young and a couple of frustrations didn't deter us. Three times we got to our destination only to find it unexpectedly closed and each time we were able to regroup and find wonderful alternatives.

I didn't bring a camera on Sunday when we had a lovely stroll along the Illinois and Michigan canal in Lockport. It was a rainy day, mostly, but was clear just when we needed it.  On Monday we visited the war memorial park in Munster, Indiana.
It was a sunny day, cool and lovely. This sculpture is part of the WWII section of the park. All along the walkway are bricks with memorials and dedications to soldiers from the various conflicts. Far too many.
The edging of the path is a timeline. We found this grouping from 1933 particularly incongruous. We learned a lot reading the timeline.
Then Monday afternoon I took off on a short trip to visit my niece. About half way there down I-65 is a huge field of windmills. I find them mesmerizing. This rest stop is at the beginning of the windmill range.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Homewood Embroiderer's Guild Show

I'm late in posting pictures.  World Embroideries and Southpaw Stitcher both got pictures up fast. Theirs are good, and different, so be sure to check them out.
We had a lovely Autumn themed display.
My Japanese embroidery piece was in the floral themed area.
The Christmas area was quite full.
I think this was my favorite section. Lovely smocked clothing for children and dolls. At the right is the corner of a needlepoint rug.
In addition to our show there was a large quilt show by the Pieces 'n Patches Quilt Guild. They organized it all--I was very impressed. There was a lovely large vendor area, raffle quilt, a silent auction plus loads of hand stitched goodies for sale, lectures, and displays. It took us a while to browse it all on Saturday.

While I was "working" on Sunday, I found more I'd missed the first time. Everyone who paid for entry received their choice of a lovely favor. (Since I brought hubby, I got two! my second one, not shown, is a kit to make an English paper pieced hexagon--which got me thinking along those lines and reminded me of my magazine and inspired me to look for fabric.)
This is a charming little spool holder with a felt for needles.
It was made to hold one large spool of sewing thread, but I used it to hold three small ones for my stitching at the show on Sunday.
I fell in love with these multimedia quilted pictures, some inspired by photographs, by Norma Sherman.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

800th Post

I was pretty surprised to note last week that my next post would be number 800. In honor of that, I decided to do a small giveaway.
This is the mixed-media needlebook that I made a couple of years back in a class at the International Quilt Festival. If you want some needle dreams, please leave a comment on this post, making sure that you include a way to contact you if you win.  I'm going on holiday for a couple of weeks, so please leave your comment by October 28 and I'll do the draw soon after that.  Anyone, anywhere may enter.  Good luck!

Our guild show this past weekend was fun. A bit exhausting on Sunday--I was there from 9:00 a.m. until shortly after 4:00 p.m. It was mostly over by then and my cold caught up with me so I dragged on home.  It was a fun time--I mostly enjoyed spending time sitting with various guild members and just chatting. It was wonderful.
A while back I bought a magazine with an English paper pieced design for a table mat on the cover. I visited the show's Market on Saturday with my sweetie and found fabric for it. Washed it with the towels Saturday afternoon and cut out my card hexagons while it was drying. I began stitching Saturday night, doing the embroidery and basting the fabric to the hexagons. The orange piece to the left is the beginning of the outer row. The wrapped stack of hexagons are my covered hexagons, waiting to be attached to the row (tied because they're in order). Since I snapped this picture, I've gotten the outer row about 3/4 of the way done. (and wore a hole in my middle finger stitching at a guild meeting without a thimble.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hearts 'n' Hands Raffle Baskets

I made two raffle baskets for this weekend's show. You'll have to come to the show to get tickets for the raffle. (see previous post for directions)
This is a bead treasure trove, full of lovely beads and pearls, many through the generosity of Susan at SJ Designs. I've included a few crystals, random glass and wooden beads, ethnic beads, bugle beads, and some beading thread and bead storage and usage tools. The basket is a Lori Birmingham basket with a hand-embroidered stumpwork top. Tiny but overflowing with goodies.
This hand-made basket contains a crazy-quilt journey to Africa. It is full of images, fabrics, embellishments, trims and threads that evoke all aspects of the Dark Continent...from Egypt, through the desert, to the jungle. Elephant skin, mosquito netting, harem silks, and jungle grasses. Tribal prints and weaves. Perfect for a crazy quilt group to share for African themed squares or for an entire crazy quilt bringing the continent to life.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Heart 'n' Hands Quilt Show

The Homewood Embroiderer's Guild is very lucky to be the guest of the Pieces 'n Patches Quilt Guild for a joint needlework show this coming weekend.  The website is here.
The show will be Saturday (9-5) and Sunday (9-4) at Columbia Central Junior High School at 94 Richton Road in Steger, IL.  Admission is $5

The Quilt Guild has organized some great programs--in addition to their 200 quilts!--lectures each day (included in admission price), a gift boutique of handmade items, a vendor mall, scissors sharpening (he's great!).  We're contributing embroidered and beaded pieces of all sorts and raffle baskets for a teacup auction. 

I've got a bad cold, but hope to be there Sunday.  I've put my Japanese Embroidery phase 1 in the show.