Sunday, July 24, 2011

Busy week!

 It was another busy week! We spent some time with our two grandchildren and I also found time to participate a few stitching related endeavors.

Monday was our St. Paul Needleworkers annual Potluck and Stash Reallocation. The members of our group donate things from their own stash and then we get together and buy those items from one another. All of the money goes directly into our chapter’s fund. It was a horribly hot day with temps flirting with 100 degrees and dewpoints in the 80s. Still, we had a nice group that showed up. Some just shopped while others stayed for the potluck.

There were many bargains to be had and we all left with some new “treasures” to add to our own stash. You can see my new additions below. I found a chart I had somehow managed to misplace (I may have donated it to the stash reallocation in a previous year), along with several other fun things. You can never have too much in your stash!

I have been making progress on the baby quilt. I am currently quilting on the final side of the border. It is one of the long sides but I hope to have it finished by the end of the week. Then I’ll be able to get the binding done and that usually works up quickly.

In the evenings when my fingers are too sore to stitch, I’ve been reading one of my Kindle books. I picked it up for 99 cents.  It is The Stumpwork Robe by Prue Batten. I must say that it isn’t my usual genre of fiction. It’s a fantasy about an embroiderer who creates a beautiful stumpwork robe. Within the various stitches/motifs on the robe she hides pieces of a miniature book. The reader must find each piece in succession, use a “spell” to open it, and then read the next part of the story. I found the descriptions of the various stitched pieces very realistic, but the story itself was just okay. Again, I’m not much of a fantasy person. Those who enjoy that type of fiction give it rave reviews on Amazon. There is a second part to the story, The Last Stitch. I purchased this for 99 cents at the same time I bought the first book. At some point I will read it because the story was clearly left unfinished, but I’ll go back to reading my usual fiction for the time being.

Last night I heard some very sad news. Another one of our local quilt shops is closing. Silver Lane in Forest Lake is currently having a closing sale. If you are in the area you may want to stop by. I don’t expect the sale will last but a couple of days.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's a boy!

Well, I did not finish the baby quilt in time!

Baby Ryan made his entrance on July 16, a healthy 9 pounds and 2 ounces!

Everyone is doing well.

Now, I need to decide if I want to stitch Ryan's quilt or hold Ryan!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Slow but sure...

Swimming lessons are over and we are well into our summer weather. I did not finish either my Dresden garden piece or the baby quilt, but I did make progress on both. And my granddaughter enjoyed her lessons as you can see in this photo of her practicing jumping off the edge of the pool.

On the baby quilt I finished the quilting on the blue background and I quilted a variety of flowers in the grassy area on the bottom of the quilt. I marked both of the outside borders. The inside yellow border has small hearts and the outside green border has a swirling pattern. There are a lot of stitches in those patterns so it may take a bit to finish. The baby is due in one week so we’ll see if I get it finished!

Our group met yesterday. One of us has completely finished the piece. I am on section 5 of the stitching. There are 13 sections. Section 5 was giving me a little bit of trouble. You create two rows of stitching at a time, but when you get to the end of a row and start on the next row you need to be careful where you place your stitches. The first stitch of the next row actually skips a thread and the second stitch moves up into that skipped thread area. I ended up pulling out an entire row because I didn’t skip that thread. I made the same mistake again but only had to remove a few stitches because I caught it in time. 

One of the good things about being a member of EGA is being able to do these group correspondence courses. Another benefit is being able to share your stitching with others. One of the requirements of each chapter is to be involved with Community Outreach. Our group has had a relationship for the last three years with a local library. We provide two projects each summer for their Teen Program. On Thursday of this week I was at the library helping with our second project for the summer. We did a fun cat toy project using felt and a variety of embroidery stitches. We had a nice group of teens- I think around 15 of them- who were all able to finish their projects within the two hour time frame.

I was chatting with one of the teens and asked her if she did any stitching. She told me no, she was a hockey player. I had to smile at that! I told her you could be both a hockey player and a stitcher. I was pleasantly surprised when at the end of the class she asked to bring home materials to make two more of the cat toys. In a technology focused world, it was nice to see so many young people working with their hands and enjoying it!