Friday, October 30, 2015

Country Sampler 2015

 Lucky us!  Again! We were able to all get away for a weekend together of fun and stitching.  We try to plan at least two weekends a year of time for stitching "retreats" where we go somewhere fun and just hang out.  Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin is absolutely one of our most favorite places on Earth.  The shop is beyond fabulous and the town is just perfect for strolling about and shopping.  Above is a picture of all of us at Granite City in Madison.  This is always our first stop for lunch.   Sorry, the flash did not go off on this picture.
 Here are some great shop pictures.  Above is a fabulous piece by Plum Street Samplers.  We were all in love with it.  The colors just popped and the design is so fabulous.
 Another great vignette with one of Tanya of The Scarlett House amazing pieces. 
 I love this special Stacy Nash piece and need to start it stat!!!
 Perfect combo of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!
 Several of my friends kitted up this very cool long and narrow sampler.
 Country Sampler has quilts, home accessories and stitching.  This Halloween quilt is just perfection!
 Here are Linda and Karin taking a moment from shopping to have their pic taken!
 I was really taken with this dear Christmas sampler by With Thy Needle and Thread.
Here is what I was working on during the weekend.  I started The Red Chair Sampler by The Scarlett House!!!!  

I should have taken tons more pictures, but I was a more subdued than usual on this trip.  Needless to say, it was a perfect weekend with people who are so very dear to me.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Last Day at Summer School

Our last day of summer school arrived.  We had a grand finale of sorts with this beautiful project by Linda Vinson of Needlemade Designs.  Linda designed this beautiful Civil War Huswife and gave us an amazing history lesson too. 
 Linda's relatives are pictured in the projects directions and history. 
 Linda's packaging of the materials was wonderful.
 Here is the finished Huswife.

Jeanne's husband is a master wood worker and he made each of us this amazing thread winder that you see peeking out of the huswife.  It was thrilling to receive this whole kit.  I am hoping to finish mine for my Mom who is a major Civil War historian is a past president of the Chicago Civil War Round Table. 

 I purchased a new magnification light to help me stitch on the higher counts that are used by The Attic.  I am really a 32 count stitcher so it was a real shift to stitch on 40 count.  This light helped and also allowed me to use a very darling embroidery hoop.


Pat remained dedicated to her Mexican sampler deer throughout the weekend and was able to finish the stitching on the deer.  She was fueled by her VIP Diet Coke!

Of course we had to make one final stop at the store before boarding our flight back to Chicago. 

 These are the things that caught my eye on my last trip to the store for 2015 (see how I said that.....that means I am going back in 2016!!!!  I hope!)

I bought these scraps of fabric so that I can play with stitching on a higher count with silk threads and also play with stitching over one on 28 count. 

We really had a most fabulous time in Arizona at The Attic.  We made tons of memories and met new friends.  I hope we can go back again.  It was truly sheer perfection.  Thanks to my BFF's, Karin, Brenda, Teresa and Pat!!!  Also, we missed having the rest of our group, Linda, Patti and Kellie with us.  Next time let's all go!!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Day 4 at The Attic Summer School 2015

Day 4 was Saturday and we started our morning with the wonderful Linda Danielson of Samplers Remembered.  Linda's specialty is Mexican Samplers which are also known as Spanish Colonial Samplers.

Linda's project was a beautiful pin pillow and scissor fob.  It highlights a wonderful deer taken from a larger sampler.  Linda gave us a wonderful lecture/history lesson on these samplers and it was certainly a highlight of the whole weekend!  I know we all fell in love with this deer.
This is the back of the pillow which is just perfect!  It will help us always remember the weekend. 

Linda brought in many of the samplers from her personal collection for us to see.  Also, in the latest (and last) issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework there is a great article about her collection of Mexican samplers and their history.  It is a must read. 

This is the piece that is charted in the magazine.  So cool!

Next up was Needlework Press with their projects.  I was very remiss in getting pictures of all of the teachers.  Next time I will try to be more organized.  As you can imagine I was a tad overwhelmed by all of the stitching goodness surrounding me.
 Above is the sampler and below is the original. 

 Their packaging of the project supplies was adorable!
Interlude:  Below is the chart that Jean gifted to all of us.  It is by Threadwork Primitives and Jean wanted us to have it because it so perfectly sums up stitching people.  As you can see it was finished into a beautiful tray.

 Next up to teach was Gloria from Milady's Needle.  

Her project was so dear.  I really should have a picture of all the supplies she gave threads, etc.  It was quite a beautiful presentation. 

Here is Barb with some of the awesome stuff she purchased!!!  The green scissors are for the Mexican stag pin pillow.  

As you might be able to tell, this is now Saturday night in the pictures.  We had a stitching pajama party.  Everyone got in comfy clothing and we hung out all night long.  

We brought out some of our other projects for show and tell.  This is Cindy and her daughter Katie with their Randje projects.  See HERE for an explanation. 

Katie was working on this fabulous sampler.  I love how she outlined everything first and now is filling in the color!!
Jean has reproduced this antique sampler and I am in love with it!!!  You can only get the chart at The Attic so give them a call if you would like it.  

With that we were exhausted by the end of the day!  But not too tired to realize that we were the luckiest stitchers on Earth that night!!!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Day Three - Sidetracked by Bracelets

Day Three was Friday.  Class would begin in the evening so we had a day to goof off.  Now, we could have sat still at the hotel and stitched all day....but nooooo!  We could stitch at home....we had some shopping destinations to visit.  First up was Three Dudes Quilt shop.  Some of my group are also quilters so this was a great "bi-craft" destination.  I found this medley of fabrics to love and bought some fat quarters to have a pin keep backing fabric collection.

These were my selections.  

Had to pick up some magazines for my Mom.  Three Dudes was featured in this issue of Quilt Sampler. 

Next step was a fancy shopping mall to visit the Cornelia Park gift shop.  We were on a Troll Bead hunt.  Over the past several years I have resisted all Pandora and Troll Bead bracelets.....however, due to circumstances beyond my control I recently succumbed.  First with a Pandora bracelet....and now on this trip I was obsessed with getting a Troll Bead or two.  So, we searched the internet to find this one shop in Phoenix that carried Troll Beads.  So, off we went in our magical van.  We entered the shop and lo and behold....they were discontinuing carrying Troll Beads!!!  But, here is the good news, everything they had remaining in stock was half off!!!!  Whooop!  Whoop!!!!  The picture above is us at the end of our epic hour in the store.  Troll Bead bracelets for everyone!!!!!  Even those of us who did not plan on partaking!!!!  After our bracelet buying insanity we went from restaurant to restaurant in the mall looking for the perfect place to eat...we ended up with a lovely, quiet, classy ladies lunch at The Capital Grille!!!!!  Perfect afternoon.  

Here are my selections.  On top is the new Troll Bead bracelet.  The second bracelet is by Mariana.  This shop also carried Mariana jewelry which is beyond exciting and gorgeous.  I was feeling so happy with these purchases. 
This is Brenda's new Troll Bead bracelet.  Brenda was "just along for the ride" to the Troll Bead experience.  That is until she saw that there was a Scottie charm!!! Then it was all over!!!  But it was all half off!!!!  So exciting!
Pat had a troll bead bracelet started and she added some more beads to her start. 
 Teresa got a new Troll bead bracelet and this lovely from Mariana. 
Karin selected these total winners by Troll bread and Mariana.  We all just had so much fun selecting these bracelets.  It is great that we made these memories together and I will always think of these gals when I wear my bracelets.  

 Well, we still had some time before we had to be back at the hotel for the start of class.  So, back to The Attic it was!!!  I purchased this beautiful chart with these two samplers in it.  These are the models.  The name is Perfect Pair and it is by Linda Danielson of Samplers Remembered. 

We were lucky enough to see inside the framing room.  I would have loved to take pictures of all of the work waiting to be framed but I did not think that would be cool.  One of the samplers waiting to be finished was The Betrothed.  Wow!!!  Karin promptly kitted it up!

Finally, it was time to get ourselves to class.  We got to our table and took some new student pics.  Above, Brenda, Teresa and Pat.
 Here are myself and Karin.
The funniest thing happened while waiting in line to get in the sacred classroom!  We met Maria and Barb.....and they are from Illinois!! In fact, their LNS is Welcome Stitchery!!!  We all sat at the same table and fell in love!  These gals are definitely kindred spirits.  Thanks for hanging out with us Maria and Barb!  We all hope our paths cross again soon!!!!!

 There were lovely gifts at each place from The Attic. 
Love this thread keep!!!  What a great souvenir!

 Our first project was Tanya's Coverlet Berry Scissor Tray!!!!  We all love this project and the cute box it came in!!

 I love everything about this project!!
This is the darling pin that Tanya made for each student!

The second project for Friday night was this amazing Colonial Pocket by Priscilla's Pocket!  Just gorgeous.

It was certainly a jam packed day!!!!  One of those everything was totally perfect days that I will always remember!!!