Saturday, June 4, 2011

Simpler Singer Stuff for Saturday


I remember long days ago a machine just like this one, owned by my grandmother. I never saw her use it and unfortunately it was destroyed by a house fire years ago. But memories will stay forever. I remember playing under this machine about the age of 5 and because she had little space in the house for sleepovers, I would make my pallet right under the Singer machine. I would touch it and concentrate on the foot pedal until my little brown eyes went to sleep.

I would touch it and hope one day that I could use it. Even though that day never came for the old one, I have a sewing machine that I use sometimes, mostly to finish off pillows or occasionally making curtains or pillowcases. Fabric has always been something that makes my skirt fly up and I indeed have way too many fat quarters of it now, stashed away in an old, cupboard.

I wish I had better sewing skills and one of my goals one day is to take sewing classes. There are a few places within 30 miles from here that offer them from time to time. I hope that I can take a good class because I would love to sew more things that looked professional.

Sewing or stitching are grounders for me.

 I often reflect on why this is so. In deeper thought, I believe that stitching provides an opportunity to visualize beautiful fabric, stretch the imagination, and make choices that I can always undo if it turns out now to work well. Life situations seldom provide such choices.

In life, I think there are few things that provide such satisfaction as stitching. Some days I don't even have the energy or forethought to make myself sit still to stitch and then there are days I don't want to stop.
Creating something that reflects my perception of things is sometimes so much easier than putting a sentence in words.
Also, when finishing a sampler, my heart sings as I admire the collection of colors and how each is important for the final sampler.
I feel very thankful that I have this as a grounder for good and bad times.
It's a way to share with friends ideas, finishes, and color.
I can make choices for the colors, threads, linen.
I can start over if I see that it's not overall a good thing.
I can restart or even start something entirely different.

So when I feel that life is going in a million directions and there is no stability to ground me, I always find that my stitching can provide that repetative, soothing, pleasure that provides some degree of certainty that I have choices, I have ideas that are important in formulating the project, and I can share with folks who understand.

I have been blessed by meeting the sweetest, kindest people through this blog all over the world. Personal emails of encouragement, sharing ideas of stitching, supporting and praying for one another through good and bad, are priceless. I feel very fortunate today.

This is one thing I can know for sure.

Just as I chose as a little girl at my grandmothers, to make my pallet right under the old Singer machine, I'm still comforted as an adult by the wonder of creating samplers, using threads of all colors, and linens.
Even though my sewing abilities are not the best, there is room for much growth, learning, and more days of creating something worth sharing.

I hope that your Saturday is filled with something or someone who makes you feel special, grounded, and loved.

Till later,
Jennifer

Thursday, June 2, 2011

And the winner of the Blackbird Design giveaway is:

Deborah from MA, Cranberry Samplings, is the winner!!!!!

Congrads!  I know you'll love this sampler and threads. Hope it brings some joy to your week soon.

Just email me your addie and I will send it out this week.

The week has shot by way fast. I started Ann Hill and got the top border lines completed but oh my! to start counting to make sure this border is corrected. I will have to do that about 10 times. I may just start working in the left corner below and go with it in that direction.


This is upside down.  Almost looks like a zipper from a distance. ;)



A small start, but at least a start, for me last night. I haven't had much time this week to stitch like I would have liked. Got way too much going on in the background, but I can do it!

here's hoping your Friday goes well!
Jennifer

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What I'm starting new tonight---Ann Hill sampler


The Ann Hill Sampler (from Williamsburg trip)
 designed by The Examplarery

here are the colors

the linen is 35 count, ivory





you can see Miss Abbie swarming at the "snack mat", as we call it, because she knows she gets a snack for being a good girl while I'm working here at the needle stand.



and Miss Flossie Mae has rearranged all the cushions while she supported Barnum and Bailey circus last night on the back porch. She also learned to leap at the sliding glass door high in the air to make thud sounds loudly to make Abbie start getting yacky. Then she runs sideways and hides under the chair and plans her attack to launch again in the air.

And so between the Farmville in 3D that we have going on right now, a diabetic dog, a crazy kitten, and a spoiled Chihauhau, a very pouting male cat, and Ruby who's the matriarch........stitching is a must for my sanity tonight. All the animals are fed, nurtured, petted, given treats, not given treats, shots, and they are alive.

Life is good.



But as I try to hear the Casey Anthony trial in blips in between, I think life could be worse.....so see.....

there's always a bright side to everything  ;)



I get all giddy when I saw this one in my basket, so that was a sure sign to start stitching this one.
It's a biggie though.   A BAP is not what I usually stitch. I like medium, small, or even medium-large and especially since I just finished a larger one......BUT  this one is so beautiful and I got this at a gift shop while I went to Colonial Williamsburg.....or went BY Colonial Williamsburg (I wished I could have stayed longer)
and this one is next.

I still need to sew up the side edges of the material. 35 count definitely will require my bifocals AND the magnifyer with my eye issues but I'm ready for a challenge!


The designer of this beautiful sampler is The Examplarery and Ann Hill Sampler is reproduced from The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Collection 1997

The front gives a little historical info and says that~~~

 "from the seventeenth century to the eighteenth century, the sampler evolved from a long narrow piece---probably not intended to be framed---to  a shorter, more square, non reversible work with decorative borders that could be framed and exhibited as the showpiece of a daughter's needlework accomplishments. British samplers of this period were often characterized by their precise embroidery and symmetrical motifs. Worsted grounds, the use of crowns or coronets and isolated motifs, like those used by the Ann Hill, were quite common. Ann also included what were probably her parent's initials, 'WHEH' in the right bottom corner of the sampler"

This piece was purchased, according to the front in 1930 for the first piece of Colonial Williamsburg sampler collection.

Types of stitches, cross stitch and Satin stitches.

The threads are DMC, included in the kit and includes a very pretty label to put on the back of the framed piece when finished.





Abbie is ready to start snacking now. She sends her love to all today!!!!
She does admit that a new kitty, even if only outside, is challenging her patience with the feline variety of a pac animal.



She is ready for the ORTS to start falling on her from these colors. HA!





And I can fairly say that "Flossie" of this variety has become very content in her new home and was caught on camera here this afternoon fully relaxing and stretched all the way out. I think her back legs have grown in just 3 days.

Till later,
Jennifer

Monday, May 30, 2011

Framed and finished! A Princess Moment


A Princess Moment

designed by Feathers in the Nest

copyright 2011


I finally finished and framed this sampler and with much inspiration and color, I enjoyed making this a memory for a most beautiful wedding!

I stitched the sampler on 32 count Antique White linen
using a variety of DMC, Crescent Colors, Weeks Dye and Gentle Art threads.

The frame is from The Frame Shop----EBAY (love their shop and service)



I stitched and framed this piece and will have the pattern for sale when I get a printer set up.
I made several revisions on color and design from the same one listed for a freebie for a couple of days on this blog.

After I started stitching, I could see the changes that needed to be made.


I hope you had a great holiday today in memory of those who gave their life for our freedom.

I spent much of the weekend reading. Gracie, my Kindle, was loaded with books to read and I really got settled into one by Michael Baron last night and today.

I don't know yet what my stitchy fingers will pick up next but I'm thinking I need to finish a Blackbird Design piece soon.

Speaking of BBD, June 2nd is when I will draw a name for the winner of the BBD Americana sampler with threads included!  If you haven't put your name in the hat, then you can click on the side bar which will show the post directly to the giveaway.
Till later,
Jennifer

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

I've had some issues going on lately that have slowed down my creativity and to share. Hopefully, this week I will be able to get the computer tech to fix my new computer and get my docs and pics and designs from this one. Yesterday, this old one got another virus so now it's fixed partially until Tuesday when I can get the new one  up and running.

Raven, one of our Labs, was diagnosed with diabetes yesterday morning. She had been sick a while. The first vet we took her to said she was fine but I knew she had lost way too much weight. Then by Friday night when I came in from the movies, she was so lethargic, she was limping as she has lost alot of muscle mass too. She will be on injections of insulin twice a day for the rest of her life.

In the meantime, Miss Flossie Mae, our new kitten has shown us many circus acts of flipping, rolling, leaping in the air and walking  running sideways, hiding under furniture and having a love/hate relationship with Abbie. Flossie is on the porch and Abbie is inside so they constantly are entertaining one another until late at night through the sliding glass doors.
Ruby charged through the screen on one night and we still have to get that fixed too. So much and so little time.

Today I just retreated to read most of the day and got lost in a good book by Michael Baron, called "When You Went Away". It's really good and he has a great website for all his romantic, passionate novels. Gracie, my Kindle, says I have read 36% so far and I am having trouble putting it down tonight for bed.

I hope you all have a great holiday tomorrow. I probably will spend most of it alone and doing the same to get through it. I have finished and framed A Princess Moment and hope to be able to put a pic on tomorrow. I was real pleased with the finish of it, the frame complementing it well.

I need to finish a BBD WIP, then go on to another one but this may change. I have so many to stitch.

Till later,

Jennifer

Gadget

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