Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stitching Subculture

Another addiction that many of us stitchers have is Vera Bradley bags. These are some of the bags that were present last Sunday.
To me, Vera bags are a cross between "old lady" bags, quilts, and comfort food. There is something about them that is just so delicious!
I feel really lucky that I have a big Vera bag that I can load my stitching stuff into and head off to Inspired Needle or a friend's home to stitch. I can fit everything I need into the one bag and I think I am pretty cool as I walk around with it.
There are many different styles and patterns to Vera's bags. I heard that on July 8th they are announcing their fall colors! Wooopeee! I am excited!

Now Vera has reading glasses that match some of the bags. I got readers that match my bag!!!! I was so excited! The other cool thing is that I bought the readers at a shop in New Carlisle, Indiana. That is the town where my grandparents are from and it holds a special place in my heart.

Once, when I was visiting my Dad, I was on the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and saw a fellow Vera wearer. We struck up a conversation just based on the fact that we both had Vera bags.

I think I love all the accessories that go along with stitching as much as I love to stitch!

P.S. Thank you for all of the wonderful comments! I love, love, love reading them and have discovered some great new blogs because of them!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Stitch

Today was our one Sunday a month stitch-in at Inspired Needle. We have so much fun every time we get together!!! It sure is good for the soul! Above is the very talented Barb with her finished Midsummer Night Musings design that I absolutely love!! The frame is just fabulous also!
Below is Debbie's Jeanette Douglas project. Each piece is the page of a book. It is very labor intensive and is going to be a true work of art when finished. Gee, it is already a work of art really.
I went around snapping pictures of everyone's projects; either in progress or finished. This is a gorgeous work done by Cathy. It is on 40 count over 1. I was lazy and did not write down the name of any of the projects (actually I was so giddy to be there I just could not contain myself!). If you want to know the name of anything let me know and I will find out for you.
Below is Teresa's progress on Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow. She is way ahead of me!
Below you see Linda. I love the way she put her Hawk Run Hollow pattern in a notebook!!! Great idea!
Here is Pat's Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow progress. Stunning!
Speaking of Pat, she is on the cover of this magazine! She is the wonderful woman located at the left of the group. She won an award for being an amazing nurse! That is so cool!!!!! Congratulations Pat!!!!
Below are two of Barb's finished pieces. Both of them are by Carriage House Samplings. I know the one on the left is named "The Gilded Cage." I am not sure of the name of the other one.

This is the project that Nancy was working on! She is nearing the finish line and I love the greens in this piece.
Below is a finished Laura Perrin piece done by Cathy. Vibrant and great colors!

Here is another shot of The Gilded Cage with the frame that Barb picked out for it. Barb only got this chart about ten days ago. We joked with her that she finished it on the way home while stopped at traffic lights! She is a speedy stitcher and her work is always meticulous!!! I want to be like Barb when I grow up! I missed getting a picture of Jayne's work in progress because we all started acting up, walking around the shop, screaming about this or that pattern, and generally getting a stitcher's high!!!

You just can't beat an afternoon like it!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day Two on Cloud 9

The second day of the BBD (Blackbird Designs) retreat was just as much fun as the first one. I really would have liked a week long retreat.

One of the fun parts of day two was show and tell. Above, my buddy Pat brought in the quilt she made from a BBD design. She is showing the designers her work. Isn't that so cool!!! It is a truly glorious quilt and her first applique quilt. I believe we are seeing natural talent at work here people! Pat is on the left and Barb of BBD designs is on the right.

The rest of the pictures I took willy-nilly. I hope I am not stepping on anyone's toes because I did not really ask for permission, just went around the room snapping. If there are any pictures on this post that someone would rather not share please let me know and I will take it down (this excludes Pat and Teresa!).

Below is one of the new BBD designs (oh, I also don't know a lot of the names of things and am too lazy to go look them up. Please just enjoy the eye candy! We can all research the names of things later right?)

Below is a really cool basket square made by my buddy Teresa. She and Pat are making a basket quilt out of one of the new BBD quilt books; which by the way, I had a look at and even though I don't quilt I must obtain one. There are amazing photos and a way cool cross-stitch alphabet in one of them. I think the new one is named Country Inn. I am going to get it for my Mom for her birthday (but I will be perusing it myself too!!!)
Further show and tell brought in by ladies below; Shepard's Bush My Country. What a fabulous piece this is!
Below is one of the class pieces. It is a Quaker pin cushion. Love it!
One of the very interesting things at the retreat was Barb and Alma telling us about collecting antique samplers. Below is one that inspired a new design.
BBD Blessings Be Thine. Gorgeous!
More BBD and I don't know their names. For shame!

Oh, the one below is new. After seeing it in person I bought the chart. Love it. It is one of the Anniversaries of the Heart series.

Above is a start of the Anniversaries of the Heart on one piece. A house design will be issued each month. This is on 32 count linen. Katrina is doing hers on 40 count linen and it is stunning! If you can work on 40 count linen I highly suggest that you do this series on one piece of 40 count.

I am starting to come down from my BBD high. However, I have the class projects to look forward to and also, next Sunday is stitch day at Inspired Needle!!!! Yip and eeeeeeeeeee!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cloud 9

Today was a wonderful day. I attended the Blackbird Designs retreat sponsored by Tomorrow's Heirlooms which is in Glen Ellyn, IL. Blackbird Designs consists of Barb and Alma, two friends; each of whom is a genius! They design cross-stitch charts and quilts. I love their work and it was quite an honor to spend the day with them.

Above pictured are my very cool friends, Pat and Theresa. They are showing off the boxes we started making. We received a bare box and then painted, sanded and waxed them. They are going to be the base for one of the cross-stitch pieces started in class.

Below you see myself and Karin. I should have also taken a picture of Katrina! She is a friend of Karin's who came in from Colorado to attend the retreat. That is how great Blackbird Designs are; people come from out of state!!!
As you can see we lined the inside of our sewing boxes with some fabric that Barb and Alma designed.
Above is the table of great ideas that Blackbird Designs (BBD) have done over time. The great thing about Barb and Alma is that they have tons of ideas and lots of enthusiasm. If you get their book Joyeaux Noel you will find out lots of different things you can do with your finished cross-stitch pieces before you frame them.
Pictured above are the three projects we are going to be working on. We have a half day of class tomorrow! Yipeee!
Pictured above are Barb and Alma weaving a wonderful and interesting story.
Ooops, another picture of our project. Sorry, I am having technical difficulties this evening.
Above pictured is a pin cushion with a BBD design along with some cool hammered out vintage flatware with words metal punched in them. Cool!
Another mouth watering view of BBD stuff.
In this shot you can see the inside of my sewing box and the little stitcher's journal that Barb and Alma gave to each of us.
Above is a finished project by Pat. It is not a BBD. It is a Carriage House Samplings pattern that Pat was working on last Tuesday and is now finished! I loved it so much I had to get the pattern when I saw Pat working on it at our last stitch night.
The really inspired idea that BBD had was making color copies of your finished work and then using them in other mediums. Above is a journal page in one of Alma's journals. This is a great combination of stitching, journaling, stamping, etc. that I for one hope to embrace!
Another brilliant idea above and below; picture of finished piece reduced and put in glass with a fabric backing and words from an old it is a Christmas ornament.
Below is a silver tray found at a Goodwill. Look closely at the magnets.
Yes, pieces of finished project copied and cut down to make a magnet. I loved the Wuthering Heights pages stuck on this. So cool!
Love this old envelope that was put into a journal. Also, I like a part of a page of a chart (that you must purchase and not copy from anyone!!!) inked up and placed in your journal.
Below is an example of more inspired BBD!!!
Below are some darling little sachets with family initials. These were in a basket! So cute. The chart for these is in a new quilting book that BBD just put out. A must have even if you don't quilt. The pictures are gorgeous!
I had such a perfect day!!! There is nothing like spending the day with other stitchers and getting giddy over all of the ideas, designs, threads, gadgets, and talk of future projects. The best part is that there is another half day tomorrow!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Young Victoria

I watched this movie tonight and cried my eyes out. The love story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was so touching. I loved the costumes and location shots also.
I love Queen Victoria's crown pictured above. I would love to see it in person. The music in the movie was wonderful too. In particular, they used Handel's "Zadok the Priest" which is an anthem that is used in all of the coronations in England. Here is a link to it on You Tube. This is one of my Mom's most favorite pieces of music so it had special meaning to me to hear it in this movie which I just loved.
I know have a great big crush on Prince Albert (and/or the actor that played him in this movie!). I am having trouble coming back to the real world!