Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Confessions of a Stitching Shop-a-holic

I've been bad.  Very, very  bad.  I should also say that I had quite a lot of trouble with Blogger this time around and had to publish an incomplete post in order to save it.  Sorry for double posting.

But first, to update you.  It's been awhile, I know.  I've been working like a demon designing up a new website for the historical society.  It's been quite a road.  First, I had to regain control of our domain name.  Then when I did that, I got an email saying oh, by the way, now that you have control, you can't transfer it for 30 days.  Thanks so much for telling me that before!  It wouldn't have changed anything, but at least I wouldn't have been so relieved about being near the end.  I have taken that 30 days and run with it though, got all of the pages built and have the new site ready to upload.  It will be a work in progress for a month or so.  I have to publish it so that the rest of the executive committee can chime in on it.  I'll then make all necessary changes and upgrades and viola!

In the meantime, it has meant everything to me to have my stitching to turn to in order to destress.  This has also been a terrific month for stitching related things.

Last I posted, I'd done this month's stitching on AotH.  Here's what I've done on the LK Christmas Rules . . .

And, when I'd stitched on that for two days, I moved on to my beloved "The Chase" sampler.  I have to say, as much as it drives me batty for different sized cross stitches and not following the thread, it is beautiful, even in its unfinished state.  In this photo, taken yesterday, I was closing in on completing all the cross stitch.  As of this morning, I did finish.  April I will move on to the embroidery portion.  I do not like spending most of my month stitching on this though and said last post that I would have to find something else to put into the rotation.

Now, see, rotation is something I'd never thought about.  I have to say that this thing I've started with the three projects, AotH at the first of the month until done followed by two LK Christmas Rules, followed by The Chase - it seems a little rigid to me.  On the one hand, I am loving AotH; almost too much.  And, I want to get Xmas Rules done and framed before this coming Christmas - so the rigid rotation is making me get it done; I think I only have 3 more turns on that though.  And I have to be rigid about the Chase or I'll put it aside and never pick it up again.  But I miss the fait par hasard  feel of it all.  Guess I just haven't found the right rhythm yet.

Anyway, it was the birthday of one of my stitchy friends and we surprised her with a birthday trip to the 48th Annual Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition. She didn't know where we were going until we were right at the entrance and she saw the sign!  It was a wonderful surprise for her.  She doesn't do computers or internet, so doesn't have the access to online shopping and information that we all take for granted.  And she LOVES needlework.  So we went in and went from room to room admiring all the beautiful work; it took a l-o-n-g time to go through it all.  Advice for future attendees - take your own penlight/flashlight.  The lighting is terrible and most rooms, the needlework is back away from where you are standing, so a pair of opera glasses or small binoculars might not be a bad idea either!

We had lunch in Nellie's Tea Room and I was delighted with the menu.  An old favorite of mine - cream cheese and olive sandwich - was on the list.  They don't serve anything hot (I guess they don't want to burn the place down!) and desert was delish!

There were some gorgeous pieces and several that I put notes in to find out if charts are available on them.  But, the one piece that has stayed with me was one that I almost didn't even see - or pay attention to.  Unfortunately, there are no photographs allowed so I can't show it to you.  It was done by someone whose name I didn't write down, but submitted by Lucy Edmison.  She is a Shenandoah Valley stitching instructor that I had the pleasure to meet when I worked at the shop in Stephen's City.  I can't wait to talk to her to find out more about this remarkable map.  It was of a large portion of the west and northwest - Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, and southern Washington, Idaho and Montana.  And it was done in something like a seed stitch in - well, the only way I can describe it is - map colors.  The rivers were done, some narrow, some wider, in navy blues and had their names next to them.  I believe there were some towns marked and named.  It really was amazing.

Afterward we went over to In Stitches.  Birthday Girl was as happy as a pig in  . . . well, she was really, really happy.  It was 1:30 when we drove over to the shop.  I was hopeful that I could get us back on the road home by 3PM.  Donchaknow we didn't walk out of that shop until 4PM.

And this is where the really really bad part comes in.  I spent way WAY WAY more than I had planned on.  But, I'm not taking anything back.

Somehow, I managed to find the tool tower first.  There were scissors . . .

The black pair are what I call "storklettes" 'cause they're so small.  The pair under the quarter were a recent purchase from an auction hound, not found at the shop.  The pair on the right are new this year from Kelmscott - got those at In Stitches.  The last pair are tartan plaid Gingher's that my husband gifted me with at Christmas.  I just haven't had time to show them.

Then there were some thread winders.  I'll have a picture of those in an upcoming post.  This shop is chock FULL of charts.  I don't know if I've ever been in another store with more charts!  They do sell them a bit pricier than I've seen in other places, but Alexandria is a high rent district.  Also, they had charts that I had never seen anywhere but online.  So it was nice to see them in person.  Some I decided I just didn't like in person.  But, there were a lot that I did.  Like these . . . .

I thought that the tree one would do nicely for when I want to make something for a friend.  I have been drooling on line over several Long Dog samplers.  There is another that goes with the one below called "All Things Part 2".  I will have to get that eventually.  I think that working this sampler will give me the color lift that my makeover of the Prairie Schooler "Adam Names the Creatures" did.  Also, another Long Dog I've had my eye on "Opus Magnusson" is now on order.  It is Celtic Knotwork (which I used to do when I was an art major) and has a Book of Kells influence.  My eldest son loves Celtic design, so I will make that one for him.

The other chart is the scissors keeper by the Cat's Whiskers.  I saw this when she released it in Nashville in 2009 and liked it very much.  I was able to find it in the clearance bin at In Stitches, so saved a little bit there.

Also, I've had in my mind lately that I wanted some Lakeside Linen to have on hand.  I generally don't use the chart-recommended linen on a project; preferring to go my own way.  The problem is that with the overdyed linens, it's hard to decide online if it's the one for you.  So, I had a look at the Lakeside selection at In Stitches.  It is quite complete.  I brought home a good bit and look forward to using it.

Now, if you know me, you know I love me some history and Americana.  I've seen the Ferry Farm sampler from Homespun Elegance on several blogs so it was on my shopping list when I arrived.  The other if from Blue Ribbon Designs and is a flag done with the names of the states. 

Next is a little mishmash.  The case, I found at the shop.  It's bright red leather - the last one they had on the shelf, but there were more colors available.  I think it's by Namaste.  Anyway, it's one of those that is magnetized on the inside top and bottom with the suede insert to go in the middle.  That HAD to go home with me.  The scissors shown were a gift from a friend at Christmas - they have an antique chain that has a slider that goes up and down to make the opening around the neck bigger or smaller.  The scissors are from Germany.  The floral thingy I got at the shop.  It's made by Lady Dot Creations.  The fabric is sort of laminated; but retains its softness.  Inside it is a needle book.

Next I picked up a SoHRH.  I'm not a big fan of these designs because I don't think the floss choices are always well considered.  I know, I know, there are a lot of folks out there that just love these designs.  Well, I'm not one.  Stand me up and pin me to the wall.  I like the designs, just not the colors.  And with these, there are a lot of colors that have to get along with each other on one piece of linen.  Well, long story short, I like this design so much that I have decided that at some point in the future (after I have finished with The Chase) I'll take the time to sit down and make the colors play nice together.  I'm thinking of using the hunk of 32 count Tobacco.

Now, over at Woodlawn, they had a niceish gift shop.  I saw this thing in a cabinet, but it looked like it was more for display than anything else.  There was no price, so why not come to that conclusion.  But, one of my friends never let's anything stand in her way.  What was really funny was that at lunch she was telling about an antique one her husband had recently gotten her at auction.  I told her that if she comes up with another one, I'd love to have one.  ten minutes later we're in the gift shop.  She sees the same thing and goes to the sales lady and wants to know is it for display or sale and if for sale, how much is it?  Turns out, it IS for sale - $30.  Now, it's not an antique, but it is quite pretty and until I get me an old one, I've got this.  Attaches quite nicely to the top of my chair-side cabinet.

Finally, on the day that we went there were three demonstrations happening.  One was cross stitch, one was hardanger, and one was Japanese embroidery.  That Japanese embroidery was incredible.  But, you'd only get maybe two or three done in your lifetime.  Unless of course, that's all you do 24-7.  Anyway, the lady that was doing the cross stitch demonstrations was really nice.  And she had quite a selection of items on the table that she'd done.  One really caught our eye though - a pincushion doll with a cross stitched skirt.  First of all, she was thrilled that people actually knew what a pincushion doll was.  And even more so that we loved what she'd done.  She told us that she'd taken a chart of Tuscany and just extended it.  For the size doll she had (and hers was a small doll body) I think she told me that she'd worked on a piece of linen that was 6 x 18 inches.  Or, it could have been 24 inches.  Anyway, you would use whatever gave you the height and fullness in the skirt that you were looking for.  So, ladies, if you have a doll torso that you haven't known what to do with - or want to go look for one, here is an excellent idea to use . . .

photographed with the demonstrator's permission.  Hope you enjoyed!


  1. I admire your determination to get your stitching accomplished. I plan rotations but never seem to be able to stick to it...right now it is working better for me to concentrate on one project at a time.

    Glad you got to attend Woodlawn!

  2. Did you mean to post a pic of your L*K or am I reading it wrong? No worries if you didnt mean to, but just in case you had, it's not there--but I know others were having problems posting pics.

    ANYHOO! I'm glad that you have your stitching to destress. I can't stick to a set rotation. I tried valiantly but it just isn't in me. I think my inner teenager comes out and rebels against any set schedule. Instead, I try to rotate between a few things--and when I get tired of one thing, I pop out the other project and work on that.

    I'm glad you enjoyed Woodlawn. I dream of going one day.

  3. Sometimes my stitching is the only thing that keeps me sane!

    So glad you enjoyed Woodlawn. I hope to make it to Woodlawn some year, but with the boys schedules this month, it didn't happen.

  4. Like, oh my gosh. I'm glad you e-mailed me to say that pics were up, because I am drooling all over my keyboard. I can't believe your progress on the Chase Sampler! You go girl! It looks incredible. So does the L*K--very happy.

    Your In Stitches loot is AMAZING! I love their assortment of Lakeside--it's like being a kid in a candy shop. I think one of the things that I like the most about CHS Kathy's samplers are her color choices, so am intrigued by how you'll change them. To each his own, what trips my twanger might not trip yours and that's fine, so no worries--I'm just intrigued! I have no color sense at all so am happy to follow a chart.

    The doll--AMAZING. I'm not a big doll person but could definitely see the appeal of having one with a stitched skirt. Too cool!

  5. It sounds like you had a wonderful day! Fabulous goodies came home with you. I have the Namaste case and love it - I hope you do too.

  6. Oh my goodness, I just love pincushion dolls and actually have a couple of the dolls just waiting for something to do with them.

    I don't even know what to comment on with your post because there is so much eye candy in here. I love, love all the charts and the scissors - one can never have enough scissors.

    Such a great post and I'm going to have to read it over again so that I don't miss anything.

  7. I have recently gotten the Chase sampler kit and do not like some of the colors. Did you use any different colors and if so do you (or anyone else reading this) mind sharing your ideas? Thanks.

  8. Wow, your Chase is wonderful--and I heartily approve of all of the stuff you picked up at In Stitches and at Woodlawn. I saw that map, but now I wish I had paid more attention to it! I'm so sorry I missed your visit to In Stitches--it would have been fun to meet you and your stitchy pals! I find stitching is great for de-stressing also; in fact, I get a tad cranky if I miss too many days.

  9. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

    You have some wonderful projects going there and some wonderful looking stash.


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