Sunday – October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween.   Now is the perfect time to share a photo of a quilt Libby sent me of her Halloween Quilt made from blocks from one of the block swaps I ran many years ago.    Libby in TN – you can visit her blog Life on the Hill  -for all kinds of quilty inspiration.  This was a block swap from the Fall of 2014!  Libby sent me the photo last fall and said I could share it and I just found it sitting in my photos and remembered I never posted it so Halloween day seems the perfect day to share it!


This of course reminds me of all those packets of block swap blocks waiting to be made into something pretty.   🙂  In looking at Libby’s quilt, the block up from the lower right corner block – Black star with jack-o-lanterns in the middle  -is one I think I made.  That was one of my favorite Halloween fabrics.  Thank you Libby for sharing and bringing back some fun memories of swapping days.  And of course that lovely backdrop of the fall trees and lake outside her home is a fantastic setting.

Here’s a better photo of the piece I just finished to put on a large sled.  Got this one all trimmed up last night so it’s ready to affix to the sled.


And after finishing off the sled piece, I got my floss all on the tags and pulled some Fiber on a Whim, 18 count in the color Milk and Honey and got a bit of a start on the border for the Owl Forest “Peahen Bird” kit.  The floss is so pretty and it’s still wavy from being twisted into little hanks but it is very nice to stitch with.   I got a start on the border late last night.  I started in the top center because I wasn’t going to have a huge amount of extra fabric on the sides since my fabric piece was a fat eighth.  It’s still plenty to frame it but I wanted to make sure I really got it centered on the piece so the top right border edge is the halfway mark for the top border.  There is lovely light to dark shading in each of the flosses and it’s not really showing in the stitched piece in the photo but it adds a lot of interest to the stitch.


I might have had to order a new project bag to keep all my redbird wall stitches in – with cardinals on the front of course – and another to keep it company will in transit since I spent part of yesterday taking all the piled up projects out of my stitching basket on my table and putting each project back into a bag so floss rings and other things don’t get separated. But I needed just a few more bags to house all the long-term projects I will be starting before the end of the year and working on thru next year to keep them organized.

Today is Sunday Stitches day so when I get some stitching time later I’ll be working on that. I also think today is the day I will pull out the other sled stitches and get them trimmed down to size which is not difficult but you have to really pay attention since they are trimmed thru one set of holes in the perforated paper OUTSIDE where the last stitch is. One slip of the scissors and it would be a bad thing. 🙂

Large sled stitch finished

I stuck to my plans to finish off the sled stitch before starting anything new and just put the final stitches into it. Not a great photo since it was finished after dark. Now I can finally go eat dinner – I didn’t want to put it down when I was so close to finished. Better photos will come when I get them all attached to their sleds. I may need to set aside a weekend to get them all cut out, which will take a while, but the attaching to the sleds is pretty quick and easy.


Christmas Eve Stitch Along – Owl Forest Embroidery

I had a chart pop up in my Etsy “things you might like” section and they were spot on.  I couldn’t get this chart out of my mind once I looked at it.  As I told friend Judy, I couldn’t get it out of my head and after looking at it a zillion times, the zillion and one time I looked at it I HAD to order it (and another chart/kit from  Owl Forest Embroidery because no chart should travel alone).   I had never seen Owl Forest charts before but they are so pretty.  So of course I had to share the loveliness of this chart with Judy

She of course loved it too, promptly ordered it and a SAL (Stitch Along) was born because it’s always more fun to work on a project when you can share progress with a friend.


Isn’t that a gorgeous thing!  The colors, all the little motifs – it’s going to be a fun stitch.  Why it’s called a New Year Sampler when it’s all Christmassy designs looking to me is a mystery but we will be starting the New Year Sampler on Christmas Eve.  And of course like any Stitch Along Judy and I do anyone is welcome to join in at any time.  Our goal is to get this done by Christmas 2022 but our more important goal is to simply start it on Christmas Eve and have fun stitching it.

My plan is to pull from my Victorian Motto floss stash – there are 11 colors, mostly reds and greens – and I haven’t decided on fabric yet but I’m thinking something 18 or 20 count.    According to the stitch count if I do it on 18 count Aida  (36 count for you linen users) the stitched area would be 11-1/2″ x 15-3/8″ and on 20 count Aida (40 ct linen) it will be 10-3/8″ z 13-3/4″.  And again I think with the letters of the alphabet that are scattered about, I will stitch the letters that make up my initials in a darker shade of blue or different color.   It’s a great chart too (other than just pretty) because it’s printed on ledger size paper, in color so is  very easy to read.  So many of the motifs would also make great ornaments.   Yes I am very excited about this project and a good thing that I have some other fun charts to distract me so I don’t start this one before Christmas Eve!  But I’ll be pulling flosses and my favorite holiday project bag and getting it all kitted up and ready to go.

The kit I also ordered from Owl Forest is called Peahen Bird.  It was only available as a kit (not just a chart) so I ordered the kit despite it including linen to stitch it on.  I’ll just replace the linen with Aida and this is the one I might just start on later today.  (Oh and a word o Owl Forest – I ordered my thru an Etsy shop  in the states and it got here super quick but Owl Forest  does have a website and are located in Russia.  I haven’t ordered from the Russian source so don’t know anything about it other than you need to make sure if you order from there you get the English charts (not Russian) – for instance New Years Sampler Russian version has the Russian alphabet on it not English Alphabet so just a heads up).

Here’s how it arrived in its own little box with the chart image on the front.  This was a must have for my redbird wall.  The border was what made me decided I really needed to stitch this even tho I don’t particularly like stitching borders.  The flowers and fines alternate with the cutest little red birds – which are hard to see in my photo  but so adorable.


Here’s what was inside the kit – linen, all the floss needed tied to cute little bobbin like cards with owls (Owl Forest logo) on them.  They are smaller than normal bobbins people use for floss but I think big enough that I an punch a whole in the bottom so I can use them as floss tags on a ring so I will be unwinding that floss later today and getting it all organized.  And on the bottom is a little needle minder with a needle.  The chart for this one is nice and big also and easy to read.  On 18 count it will end up 10.5″ square and on 20 ct 9.5″ square.  


The last chart that arrived this week I had pre-ordered a couple weeks ago .  This may be my St. Nicholas Day start — doesn’t everyone start a new project for St. Nicholas Day??  🙂    


I didn’t get the sled I was stitching on completely finished last night but will be finishing that one off today and then need to pull them all out and start affixing the stitchery to the sled and make sure I have all of them done that I want.  I found some pretty gift boxes that I think one large and several small ones will fit in perfectly for the two people that are  getting a collection of the sleds.

I definitely seem to have start-itis and need to make a list of all the projects I plan to start on specific days (and looking at the list below I will have all of next year filled up with stitching projects to switch between when I get tired of stitching on any one of them and need a change up:

  • Nov. 4 – Mary  & Abe Lincoln wedding anniversary – start the Lincoln Sampler
  • Thanksgiving Day  – First Thanksgiving Sampler
  • St. Nicholas Day – maybe start Greetings from the North Pole
  • Christmas Eve – New Year Sampler SAL with Judy
  • New Year’s Eve – I think I had something planned for this but can’t remember right now what it was.

And of course, these die cuts I got to use for floss tags will be used for the Christmas Eve project start.


Okay if I want to spend time stitching I need to get some cleaning done around here first.  Grocery order is to be delivered soon and I haven’t even had a cup of coffee yet!

Elf Made & Tested


Just a quick progress of the latest sled piece I am stitching. Three elves in pointy hats with pointy ears are starting to come into view. This one will fit a large sled.

Eliza revisited, Santa Claus and a finishing item….

It gets dark so early now (and it’s been so cloudy and rainy for days so that hasn’t helped) but I wanted to show where I left off last Sunday on Eliza so I quickly got a photo tonight after I finished work (good thing I was working from home today).  Here’s how far I had gotten after all my ripping out of the initial letters, changing colors, etc. which I prior explained.  I do like the addition of the lighter shade for my initials and will add it randomly on some of the inner dividing lines.  This has been put away until next Sunday.



I did finally get a little order I had placed at Hobby Lobby today – it took forever to get here.  I ordered something that I might use as a gift  so won’t show that – unless I decide to keep it for myself which may likely happen. 🙂  I ordered these adorable Christmas Die cuts which are the perfect size and weight to use as floss tags – slightly heavier than a business card. – quintessential vintage Christmas look.


I saw them on a floss tube (Sherri at ColoradoCrossStitcher  had ordered some and said the item was on sale and was back in stock at Hobby Lobby) and as I was working on my order at that exact moment, grabbed several packets which were incredibly cheap  on sale, and after placing my order it shows as out of stock so I (or someone else ordering at the same time) must have gotten the last ones.   These will be so cute to use.  Instead of starting a new project on Christmas Day, I may have a new project start on St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6), which will space it nicely between my November 4 (Mary and Abe Lincoln’s Anniversary) start on the Lincoln Sampler and my December 31/January1 New Year’s project start, and these tags will be perfect for that.  Hmm oh yeah that Thanksgiving start falls in there too so I’ll  have lots of big projects in the works to switch back and forth between.

And the new finishing piece I got in that order was this.  I cut off the top just slightly in the photo – the decorative dowel on the top is not much longer than what is shown.

finishing iem

Not sure what I’ll put on this but at was a bargain at half price.  It will need to be painted because it’s unfinished and the border is just pressed board type wood but it will fit about a 5 x 7″ stitched piece and it could do double duty – you could put a stitched piece on both front and back.

Yesterday’s Progress on Eliza M Stone 1881

My Sunday Stitches project – I was this far when I realized hmmmmm, my stitching does not look exactly like the chart when I had counted down to start the next row in the middle.  So I investigated.


I decided to stitch my initials where they appear in each alphabet in a lighter shade of purple.  Of course I decided that after stitching the first two rows in the darker purple.  Then when I stitched the first two of my initials in the third row I decided the color I was using was too pepto pink so ripped both those out along with the dark purple initials for my name in the top two rows.   Restitched them all in a lighter pinky/purple color and now I’m happy with the color combo.

Heads up to anyone stitching this – in the third row of letters  (the lower case letters) – after the letter “g”, the rest of the letters don’t have their bottom stitch along the same line of stitching as the ones before the “g.”  After the “g” they are one stitch higher.  Not an error in the chart – just the way it is charted – perhaps Eliza liked it that way or after she stitched it she thought “oh no, it’s off but I’m not going to change it.”    I am going with the “I’m not going to change it” since I didn’t notice it until I had finished all that row.    I was in the stitching zone and never even noticed it.   Of course I did stop to check the chart to make sure none of the future rows are similar to that and they all seem “normal.”  I just need to figure out if the border line that goes on either side of the last lower case alphabet row needs to be moved  or if the spacing will be fine where it is.

Some of the divider lines – where there are just a few letters at the end of the alphabet in a single row – also have that divider line stitched higher on one side of the letters than the other.  I think I will likely just stitch the so they are straight across those lines.

Sunday Stitches – October 24, 2021

As you know I’m stitching along with friend Judy on Eliza M Stone 1881 from Whilst Iris Naps which is a fund raiser chart, as a Sunday Stitches project – which basically is a stitch saved to stitch on just on Sundays.    I did pull it out about 1:30 AM this morning to start putting a few more stitches in but didn’t stitch on it for real long before setting it aside.  When I picked it up I had the first row of letters done, outside border around those letters and half the  border done beneath the first row of letters.  So a few more letters and border work done. before I set it aside.DSCN1259

What I was working on most of the evening was the project I had told you was for a Christmas present that I finally got the piece I needed so I could start planning it.  As those who have read my blog know, I have a  best friend which has been my Chauffeur for many things since I don’t drive, have never owned a car, due to vision issues.  I’m very blessed to have her as a friend for so many years and very lucky she is retired.  She was my chemo buddy sitting with me thru those appointments and many other doctor appointments, chauffeured to the ER when I broke my arm, which then began her chauffeuring me to work and picking me up on the few days I was working in the office as the broken arm healed (and doing so many things like taking out the garbage bags when she dropped me off at home and opening jars and things I couldn’t open one handed); and then that, after Covid mandated working from home for a while, morphed into chauffeuring me to and from work on the part time schedule once we were able to return to the office 50% of the time which will continue thru the end of December so I didn’t have to ride a city bus to and from.   I do look forward to someday going to do some of our weekend ramblings out for breakfast or a stop in a shop like we used to, but so far I am still avoiding restaurants and shopping and haven’t been in them since Covid started.  Anyway, all that is a long way of saying how grateful I am for friend who has gone above and beyond and in addition to her normal Christmas gift, the “Chauffeur” needs some special gifts as thank you this holiday season.   As I was searching “chauffeur” related items on Etsy thinking I might be able to find something cute, nothing seemed quite right until this old book, published in 1905, popped into my list.  Lightbulb moment!   I have been wanting to finish a cross stitch piece on the front of a book similar to what I had seen in this Lori Holt Flosstube.  This was the book I ordered.


I’m going to leave the title showing and mount my stitching below it.  It’s not a large space to put the stitching in – only about 4″ x  5″ so I spent a large part of yesterday late afternoon and evening  searching for what I wanted to stitch on it.  She is an avid biker so I wanted to include “her ride” and after much search and counting stitches finally found a bike motif that would fit and started there.  I also knew the words I wanted to put on it:  “It’s all about the Journey…. Enjoy the ride.”  So I spent a long time with the Sampler Motif book trying to find the style and right size letters to chart out for  the phrase.  After starting, erasing, restarting several different styles of letters I finally found one that would fit but that process took longer than I thought it would.   

DSCN1257But it was made easier because I remembered I had gotten this book from Amazon a while ago since I want to work on charting a sampler with motifs that have meaning to me (one of these days).  This is is just a book of graph paper for charting.  It does have an index in the front so you could list a pattern or page of motifs to know where to find them (I however would not be that organized).  (and that cover has also given me an idea if I ever need to print another set of floss tag cards – it’s just so pretty).  Anyway, after getting the letters all figured out, and searching for a simple border line that would work with them, I pulled fabric and floss.  I’m using a green (to go with the book cover), a gold  and a dark grayish black similar to the border of the book cover and got to stitching.  Here’s where I left off last night before switching to the Sunday Stitch.


After I get the words finished I’ll figure out how much room I have left for additional stitching.  She has two dogs so I may add dog motifs or I found a simple little turkey-looking bird motif – we have seen tons of turkeys that live in the city on our rides to and from work so I may add them.  It’s sort of a design in progress as I go along so who knows how it will end up.  She’s also a VERY avid book reader so will appreciate the fact that it is mounted on a book that she can stand up to display on one of her book shelves.  Sometimes a gift idea just falls into place perfectly and this is one of those personalized gifts that will be perfect.



Home of a Quilter – Chart Adoption Stitch by Carol

One of the chart adoptions that I mailed out was the Home of a Quilter from the Told in a Garden Series.  Carol Pifer was the lucky recipient of that chart and sent me a photo of her finished stitch to share.  Thank you so much Carol for letting me show your lovely stitching.

carol Pifer's Home of a Quilter  Isn’t this gorgeous!  I tried to make the photo a bit larger but it just made it blurry but look at all those color changes.  And I of course love all the quilts in it and that stove.  My Granny had a very similar style stove (gas not wood burning) with the bit black stove pipe.  The other thing I like about this series of charts is they have the name of the chart stitched right into the design.  I had to look back because I knew  I had not mailed this chart out to Carol very long ago.  I put the chart in the mail to her on September 13!  That’s a whole lot of stitching to be accomplished since she would have received it.  Congratulations Carol for a lovely stitch!

Carol also said she’s happy to pass the chart along to another adoptee to stitch but since she doesn’t have a blog herself,  I will post it here as a Flash Chart Adoption (see rules in button at top of blog on how to  play along).  So you know what to do if you are interested in adopting this chart.  Once the Flash Adoption is closed and a recipient randomly chosen, I will email the recipient  for their mailing address and pass that along to Carol so she can mail out the chart to the next lucky stitcher.

I might have just started a new stitch a short time ago!  Yep I know I have several in the works but this one is a Christmas gift that I’d like to get done sooner rather than later and it will be a really really quick stitch.  If any of you watch Lori Holt’s flosstubes, a while ago she showed a stitch that she finished into a flat and attached to the front cover of an old book.  The fabric cover on the old book had a color that complimented her stitching and it is  another great  non-framing way to finish  a stitch since you can stand the book up and it stands by itself with the covers slightly opened on a table, shelf or bookshelf.    I was looking for something else and stumbled upon  the perfect book with the perfect title, so my plan was hatched and  my stitching will not cover up the title of the book because it is perfect.   And then I found a motif  to go with it so just need to chart out some words to go with it.  The stitching itself will go very quickly.  So I’ll share my progress and book I’ll be using in a new post – I don’t think the recipient reads my blog but EDITH!! if you do, then you just need to stop reading it until after Christmas or ruin the surprise for yourself!!! 🙂

10-24-21 — FLASH CHART ADOPTION HAS ENDED.  CONGRATULATIONS RAY!  You are the lucky recipient and I will be emailing you for your mailing address to pass along to Carol.


Quaker Redbird update


Just a quick update (because I have yet to get anything meaningful/productive accomplished around here yet today and it’s nearly midafternoon)  so here is the progress I made last night on my Quaker Redbird (chart is called Quaker Crow).  He’s coming along nicely.  And since I generally stitch to the wee hours of the morning on the weekends (and most other nights), I’m already looking forward to Midnight rolling around so I can officially pull out my Sunday Stitch project and get back to Eliza M. Stone 1881 – here is where I left off on that one.


One Color Stitch – Quaker Crow

After starting the one color project previously posted that will be my Sunday Stitch which I’ll be stitching along with friend Judy, I realized how much I really like one color projects.   With Silent Night Sampler it seems I’m constantly having to switch colors (except for the lettering) to stitch a handful of stitches and then move to the next color.  I don’t necessarily mind that but it’s much more relaxing (and you see progress much faster) with a one color stitch.  Since I left the other one color project at work to stitch on my lunch – I decided Tuesday night that I needed to find another one color project and I knew just the one I wanted to start.  This is an older chart but a goodie – such a strikingly graphic design.  I thought about making it as a stand up as shown in the chart but have decided I will frame it instead.   And here’s why…

quaker crow

This is an old photo (Christmas 2019 I think) of a wall in my living room where I have hung one of my favorite wall hanging designs made from favorite Charley Harper fabrics.  (Ignore the Christmas tree – it just happened to be the first photo of that area I found).

redbird wall  

That quilt hangs there 95% of the year – it gets switched out for a season themed one if I happen to remember to do it   but this is the normal one to hang there.

I love Cardinals, especially during the winter when they are the only thing of color I see outside my door.  I usually have several pairs of them at my bird feeder year round,  and decided that I will hang cross stitch cardinals on either side of that wall hanging, .  But then I decided that some of the one-color designs of birds I like aren’t really “cardinals.”   So I’ve decided this will be the “Red Bird” side of the room.  Doesn’t have to be of the cardinal species – just red birds (which may be expanded to other color birds as well but for the moment I’m planning on all red bird pieces).  Basically to qualify to be hung on that wall, it must have a red bird in the design somewhere.  

All that is the long way of saying, I’m calling my version of the Quaker Crow a Quaker Redbird.


The floss is Victorian Motto in Red Riding Hood  and the fabric is Fiber on a Whim 20 ct in Oatmeal.