Sunday, January 3, 2010

Here at the fountain's sliding foot...

I can finally let the cat out of the bag! Sanctuary is done, and has found its way to a new home chez JCB. The lovely Janet and I discovered the pattern together when out shopping after an excursion to last year's needlework show at Woodlawn, so I think it was a fitting tribute to our friendship. I put in the last few hemstitches during the snowstorm that blew through a week before Christmas. It was a perfect day to sit and stitch by a roaring fire--all kinds of plans were cancelled and we were trapped in the house while an eventual 17.5 inches of snow settled over the bushes.

Here is a close-up of the hemstitching. I am very happy with the way it turned out, though I will admit that the corners were not exactly done in the textbook manner. When I did them the way I was supposed to, they had little points, like witches' shoes, which was not exactly what I was hoping for, so I just fudged it a bit.

I think this little yellow flower is my favorite.

I'll be putting a few more shots on my flickr account. Farewell, Sanctuary! I enjoyed the hours we spent together, and I hope you enjoy your new home.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 is here. On Monday I drove out to In Stitches in Virginia and found some wonderful linens. These clean, fresh fabrics hold all the promise of the new year. Can't wait to see what it brings!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

L is for literature...

JCB has been hosting the most wonderful book week! In her honor, I am posting this detail of a librarian and her books from a sampler I finished in the summer of 2007. Whether gardening, design, biography or children's literature is your passion, her guest posters have wonderful recommendations. It's always the perfect time to discover a new book.

Despite all of the shopping, addressing, wrapping, decorating, and baking I have been doing in the past few weeks, I have found a few moments for Sanctuary and have nervously tackled the hemstitching. Here is a sneak peek:

Snipping and pulling out those threads is a terrifying experience, but adds a much-needed adreneline rush to what is normally such a sedate activity. I'll be back soon with pictures of the finished product! The new year will bring Blackbird stockings, plus a mystery project (meaning, it's a mystery even to me!) based on some recent inspiration.

Design credit: L is for Librarian by The Victoria Sampler

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday packages!

December always brings a lot of wonderful surprises in the mail. Last night I received an eagerly-anticipated package containing some new charts and threads. Sanctuary is nearly done, so I am thinking ahead to what is next. But it is so difficult to choose among so many wonderful potential projects. Earlier this week I received the chart for Victoria Sampler's new Christmas Carol sampler. I have the fabric and threads, but hestitated putting in that first stitch. I always seem to need to stich 'in season', and so am not sure I want to start a Christmas design now. Another option is Victoria Sampler's tiny Winter Garden.

In the new year, I am definitely planning to tackle the Blackbird Designs monthly stockings. I finished a few of these this year, but I didn't really discover them until last summer--I would love to stitch my way through the year with them.

What do you think?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Decking the halls

A few months ago my friend JCB and held our first annual Christmas in August ornament exchange. This is the ornament I gave her--a plum pudding. While a tad on the large side, it does add a touch of an English Christmas to her lovely tree. Below, you can see what she gave me: a beautiful needlepointed ornament she designed herself to commemorate my home sweet home. It is snowing for the first time this season in Washington, so it is the perfect morning to sit with a cup of cocoa and enjoy the tree. Warm wishes to you!

Design credit: Plum Pudding by JBW Designs

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The first of December

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and as I hoped I made some progress on Sanctuary. I love this deer...He's so appropriate for this time of year, as we put away the pumpkins and pinecones and bring out glass ornaments and evergreen boughs. We will be heading south in just three weeks to spend Christmas with my family, so we've already put up our tree and adorned the bushes with multicolored twinkle lights. We're looking forward to what this Christmas season has in store.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


2009 is coming to an end, as is my work on this lovely sampler. It has been a complete pleasure to work on--all the tiny details of flowers and leaves, insects and animals have made it easy to get lost in it for a few minutes or an hour or two. I love the way this design captures both the aesthetic and the spirit of the seventeenth-century garden, its regular compartments filled with a wide variety of specimens. I'm sorry this one will be done soon, but finishing holds the promise of a new project for the new year.

In the meantime, there won't be much stitching going on in the next few days, as we prepare to host friends and family for Thanksgiving. Hopefully this weekend will be full of leftover turkey and pumpkin pie, accompanied by a few minutes to work on the sampler...I hope to post another peek of my progress soon!

Design credit: Sanctuary by The Drawn Thread