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............. . ."She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight" Proverbs 31:13 NAS

Friday, July 17, 2020

Maria Antoni Sampler, Agatha Christie & Coloring

Hello below is how far along I am not with the Maria Antoni Sampler. My pace has slowed because I have been doing a LOT of reading and took a coloring class online. As you can see I am at the halfway point. I do hope to get it done before the sampler kit I ordered for the 400th anniversary of the May Flower comes in Sept. The ideas is to start stitching it the date the May Flower left England and finish on the date it arrives in the New World. But that is for another post!

Did you know that 2020 marks 100 years of Agatha Christie? Her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920. More information can be found at her official website

I found this out around June 25 and since then I have been reading her books in an attempt to get them all read in 2020. We will see how THAT goes. Many years ago I subscribed to the Bantam Books Agatha Christie Mystery Collection with the idea of reading them when I retired, so I have all her mystery books (plus a few others) and decided to give it a go. I am reading them in order to see if I can notice a change/development of her style. But honestly, I read for fun so I probably won't notice. So far I have not figured out any of the guilty parties, except for in a few of the short stories. Enjoying it tremendously. 

I have read these so far, having finished Thirteen for Dinner last night and now I am on to Murder on the Orient Express.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles 
 The Secret Adversary 
 Murder on the Links 
 The Man in the Brown Suit 
 Poirot Investigates 
The Secret of Chimneys 
 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd 
 The Big Four 
 The Mystery of the Blue Train 
The Seven Dials Mystery 
 Partners in Crime (SS)
The Mysterious Mr. Quin (SS)
The Murder at the Vicarage 
 Murder at Hazelmoor 
 Peril at End House 
The Tuesday Club Murders (SS)
Thirteen at Dinner

I also decided I wanted to color better with colored pencils. I found this really good online class from Kit and Clowder. She has free classes, some great general information, and classes you pay for.  She is in Australia, so the price is not too bad after the conversion and I LOVE her accent. She is also very positive and encouraging and offers free consultations. She covers pencils and while she uses Prismacolors, she has charts for other brands. She also has Copic marker classes with conversion to other marker brands. 

The June/July class was called Brighten Your Day and her is my result. I used Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and Springhill Vellum Bristol Cover Digital - 67# and 147gsm. It fits in the manual feed of my printer without any trouble. You need to be able to print out the images to color.

That about covers it for now!!
Stay safe all.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Maria Antoni Sampler Update

I have been stitching a bit on this in the evenings and working my way through it. Some parts have been harder than others, but I am well on my way to half way.

The chart for the section at lower right was a bear to read, I had to use the color photo of the sampler to figure it out. But it is FINALLY finished! Now on to the pretty flowers.

That is all for now, take care everyone!!

Monday, June 8, 2020

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

More reading than stitching since I have been in a bit of a reading mood the last few weeks.  I am in the process of reading Christmas Boutique by Jennifer Chiaverini.  I think what started this reading trend was our bookmobile returning (pick up and drop of only) and I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. Here is what I have read so far.

Lost Among the Angels Alice Duncan
Angels Flight Alice Duncan
Fallen Angels Alice Duncan
Angels of Mercy Alice Duncan
Thanksgiving Angels Alice Duncan
Scraps of Paper Kathryn Meyer Grifith
Owl Be Home for Christmas Donna Andrews
Love & Death Among the Cheetahs Rhys Bowen
The Victory Garden Rhys Bowen
What Child is This Rhys Bowen
Above the Bay of Angels Rhys Bowen
A View to Die For Richard Houston
Christmas Bells Jennifer Chiaverini  

I have also been quilting and did a little finishing, so here goes the updates.

I  have worked a bit more on the Maria Antoni Sampler and it is a little over 1/4 done.

I also put together the blocks for a quilt top and moving on to the borders.

I used Layer Cake pre-cuts from the Moda Fabrics Farmhouse II collection and solid white layer cake pre-cuts (10" squares). I then followed Layer Cake Recipe Card 2 to create the needed half square triangles and sewed them together to make the T blocks. Used my "fancy" design wall (the back of a fleeced plastic tablecloth binder clipped to my bookshelf).

I also made a disappearing four patch star based on month 4 of the Missouri Star Quilt Company's 2020 block of the month club. I am not a club member, but used their you tube video to recreate the block using my fabric. It was fun!!

Finally I did a bit of finishing, turning this gingerbread man I stitched in 2014 into an ornament. It was from a challenge put out by the Columbine ANG chapter in Denver, CO to trace a cookie cutter and stitch an ornament.

I think that covers it for now. Take care everyone and 

Happy Stitching!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Maria Antoni Sampler

I last told you about this sampler here on May 1.  I have been stitching on it in the evenings and average about 3 hours a night. It was a 2015 workshop offered by the Sampler Guild of the Rockies. The piece is designed by and the class taught by Margriet Hogue of the Essamplaire.

Here is the progression so far and I plan to post an update every Monday. 

April 28, 2020

May 3, 2020

 May 10, 2020

Happy Stitching!!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Been Busy Stitching!

I have gotten into a bit of a routine. When I stitch during the day I work on a needlepoint project and in the evening I am working on a Sampler while sitting on the sofa "watching" TV. In the process I finished a needlepoint piece first started in 2003. I took a class with my Raleigh Needlepoint group from Debbie Stiehler, it is called Lucky Gecko. Is on a 15" x 17" frame and its size made it perfect to work on in my studio vs on the sofa.

Here are a few other things I finished recently. The first three are projects from a Sampler Guild of the Rockies Retreat, a needle fold and a bookmark. I think both are from 2012.

I also finished a project done last year by my Saguaro Chapter of ANG (American Needlepoint Guild). I attached the stitching and fabric to a finishing form which helps keep it nice and round.

I also finished a 2" square practice piece into a pin. It is designed by Catherine Jordan and was a Cyber course. We made the small square first to practice making a larger piece that consists of multiples of this square. It is call My Granddaughters quilt and the idea is for it to look like a quilt top when done.

Tomorrow I will have a post on the progress I have made on the Maria Antoni sampler, which is what I have been working on in the evenings. My goal is to post an update on this sampler every Monday until it is finished, so stay tuned!!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Latest Project - Maria Antoni Sampler

I tend to stitch in the evenings while my hubby watches TV (I listen to it a lot) and during the day I work on other stuff. Kind of a remnant from when I worked, but now I can do FUN stuff during the day!!

During the day, I have been quilting a bit, organizing my studio a bit and making cards. I took a virtual retreat and posted about it here. The post is a tad photo heavy since we learned 11 projects! It was fun. I also picked up a needlepoint project that is more easily worked at my studio desk than on the sofa - it is on the large size. A post for another day!

In the evenings I have been working on a former UFO (UnFinished Object) called Maria Antoni Sampler by Margriet Hogue of the Essamplaire. She was the instructor for the 2015 Sampler Guild of The Rockies Retreat. It is worked with Soi d'Alger silk but I am not sure the fabric other than it is a 32 count. I believe it was originally charted for 40 count, but she offered this count as well for the Guild retreat.

When I took the class I did not get far, only as far as all the black and yellow stitches in the top left diamond area. I started on it again around April 21 and below is my progress. This will take me a while, it is a large sampler the fabric is 18" tall by 23" wide.

I think that is all for now! Take care everyone.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

With My Needle Finish Finish! Lots of Photos.

I showed you the finished stitching on my blog post of  April 10, 2020.

I finish finished the box and the smalls for the inside!

Top photo is the fronts of the smalls followed by the backsides. The blue bird was supposed to be one side of a scissor fob, but I felt it was a tad big, so I turned it into a pin cushion. I used a nickel on the inside of the scissor fob to give it some weight.

This is shows the inside of the needle book

Here is the inside bottom and the top mounted on comic book board waiting to be placed on or in the box. 

This is the top mounted on the box, followed by photos of the smalls and the inside of the box.

I decided the top needed a cover too so here it is.

With the current situation I had to use paint from my stash. I originally painted the box red, but it was not right with the red in the fabric or the stitching - Dang.  So I used a crackle medium on the red and painted over it with a sand color to give it an aged look. 

I think that covers it for now!! 
Take care all and keep on stitching!!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Another Finish and New (Old) Project

This is also a sampler project from Sampler Guild of the Rockies. I think I told you a little about it on March 21st.  *****I have a correction to that post. Threads used were Weeks Dye Works Lancaster Red and The Gentle Arts Sampler Threads Dried Thyme and Deep Sea.*****

I finished the stitching for the box top (top part of the fabric), the needle book (middle section) and the scissor fob (bottom section). Now to actually make them into their indented items!! Stand, or sit, by for that.

I have moved on to this (UFO) -17th Century Cross Stitch by Nan Tyson Euler:

It is from the EGA National Seminar in Hilton Head, SC (2002). My first EGA seminar. I loved the sampler, but did not like the marking cross used, so set it aside. I picked it up at some point and did regular cross stitch on the top band, did about half and set it down again.

I picked it up last week and finished the cross stitch section. I then decided I should to the thin green dividing band in marking cross to see why I did not like it and maybe after over 17 years and more experience I would like the stitch.   I DO NOT. But I thought it best if the dividing lines between the top bands matched so I carried on and finished the next green dividing line.

The marking cross is worked totally opposite of how I do regular cross stitch. It is worked from the top and the leg of the X on top is not the same as when I do cross stitch. So I was not easy for me to pick it up and develop a good feel stitching it. I think if I could have worked it starting at the bottom going bottom left to top right, I could have gotten a good stitching motion. But I did not, and I did not want to switch since then my marking crosses would not be the same and that is a big no no.

Marking Cross is not the only stitch used and so I have been working each band using the suggested stitch, except I use regular cross stitch in place of Marking Cross. So it is not exactly as designed, but I was not going to have it sit in the cupboard because of one stitch!

It is on 32 count Edinburgh cream linen. The finished sampler is 5" x 9". Threads are all silk, mostly Au ver a soie 100/3 and some Pearsall's silk. I am not a big fan of either silk, but glad I got to experience using them and know for future reference!

That is all for now!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Sampler Finished!

Well I finished the 1837 Crown Sampler by Plum Street Samplers! The design is approximately 16"x 13". I used DMC floss throughout and it is on 32 count linen. It was the 2014 Sampler Guild of the Rockies Year Long Project.

It is a reproduction sampler, so it includes mistakes made by the original stitcher and a few of my own. You get to figure out which are which!!

It is always a question when doing these is if you should use the original stitchers initials or name and date? I decided to do it as charted and added my initials and date below the original border. I especially wanted to do this since I finished it the same month as the original.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Beading and Working Outside

I have a multitude of crafty things I like to do, so retirement suits me fine! I am doing ok with this Corona virus as far as having stuff to do goes, but I miss my Club socialization!

I primary dabble in  paper crafting*, beading, embroidery/stitching and quilting. With embroidery being my first love. I live in the desert and it gets a bit dusty, so in order to stitch outside I need to clean the surfaces or take out a big towel to cover stuff. Depending on what I am working on that works fine. But it does get a bit windy sometimes and that adds to the challenge.

The easiest thing to work on outside is beading. On nice sunny days I can sit at the table on our patio and work on a project. My mother in law visited from Iowa in February and she liked to sit outside and read. I joined her with my beading and got this bracelet done:

I liked this idea so much I picked up a beading Work in Progress (WIP) and now am working on this necklace.

*I have a blog for my paper craft stuff:

Hang in there folks and wash your hands often!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

New (Old) Project

I seem to be on a roll regarding working on my Sampler Guild of the Rockies (SGR) Works in Progress (WIPs)/UnFinished Obects (UFOs)!!

I am attempting to make 2020 the year of WIPs and UFOs. The only exception being ANG National Seminar which will be in Tucson, so I MUST go, and sale items for our community Expo. I may post later with my WIP and UFO number - could be scary, but will keep me busy for sure!! I also thought I should do these because many are on 36 count linen, which I can still do, but not sure for how long.

I am almost done with the 1837 Crown Sampler, but I want to finish it in April, so I have set it aside for now.

I have picked up a SGR project from 2012/2013 called With My Needle, a complimentary design by Plum Street Samplers. When finished it will go on top of a wooden box. The project also includes a needle book and scissor fob that can go into the box, all based off the chart.

Actually I had been working on it before I started the Crown Sampler UFO, but ran out of thread, so changed projects. I am using Weeks Dye Works (Lancaster Red, Deep Sea and Dried Thyme). It is on 36 Count PTP Doubloon (got that off the label which I happened to tape to the chart).That is all the information I have on the fabric.

Here is where I was when started it back up. I got as far as the top line and part of the second line when I ran out of thread. The chart had all the same symbol, so I think some of the green should be red, but I like it as is and am not taking it out!

This is how much I have done up to now - I finished line two and onto line three.

You will just have to stay in suspense until I get further along!!

Happy Stitching Everyone!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Back to Stitching!

I have picked up my needle to work on a Sampler Guild of the Rockies year long project....from 2014!!

It is the 1837 Crown Sampler. An antique needlework reproduction by Plum Street Samplers.

Since it is a reproduction of the original, the mistakes made my the original stitcher have been charted and reproduced. I will leave it up to you to decide which are the original stitcher's errors and which are mine!! If you can see them that is.

I still have not decided how I will "sign" it, but I have time yet. I am thinking I will try to finish it this April and put April 2020 with my initials.

I have been working on it most every night for a while now, but do not have any photos until the top one taken Feb. 12 and the bottom one taken Feb. 23.

I am now working on page 5 of 6, so I may get it done in April!!

Happy Stitching!!