Homespun Gathering

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Stitches

Happy Sunday, everyone.  I can't say that I've made as much progress as I would have liked this week, but I did stitch everyday

last week's progress

which brings me to this week's progress.  Progression.  I love that word.  I love what it stands for.  In fact, one of my favorite quotes includes this word.

Practice makes progress.

not prefection


There is no need to be perfect.

There is full license to fail as I become a better me than I was when I started today.  The pressure is off, and somehow I grow more quickly with my sanity and value intact--love that.

this week's progress

Today is the day.  

This afternoon I realized my precious stainless steel teakettle was retiring.  After more than a decade of heavy winter use she's leaking, so I've done a little shopping online, and this is what I've come up with.  Here is to another decade. :-)

This week also brought along jury duty selection.  So for the next two weeks I will need to call each night before M-F to see if there is anything on the docket.  

On a positive note the quilt went well, and I hope to be able get it finished up tomorrow at Mom's since she has the walking foot to machine quilt it.  

Okay, y'all, I just gotta say it.  Some of those Olympic sports just bore me to tears.  Yesterday I may have had a change of heart.  I was stitching yesterday afternoon while some skiing event was going on.  Admittedly I wasn't paying much attention until I looked up and saw a skiier on the ground and several other skiiers on top of her.  What?!? Is she okay ?!? I rewound the program and saw what I'd missed.  By the end I was in tears.  Wow, what a race.  Spoiler Alert:  This was the headline.


I hope you were able to see this incredible race--amazing.  In case your interested in the interview afterword, you may find it here.  It is all in Norwegian, but the thrill of victory is inspiring and unmistakable.  I have some Norwegian in my ancestry (Dad's side), so this win was kinda sweet.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Stitches

Happy Sunday, y'all.  It is time again to share my progress on His Eye is on the Sparrow.  One thing I've learned this week is that I'm not used to stitching every day.  Second, I would have expected to be further along with all this daily stitching.

The last couple of days my mind has been wandering back to the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.  The tortoise is rather slow but methodically plods along without stopping.  The Hare is fast, but stops to take a nap loosing the race to the slower opponent.  That's me--the tortoise.  So I encourage myself constantly.  Three weeks from now I will have so much more done than today at only a couple of motifs a day.  It's just simple math.  

I struggled with Adam and Eve.  Terracotta in the photo looked more tan, but in person the skein looked badly sunburned.  We'll just leave the struggle on Instagram, shall we?

In due season I will reap if I don't loose heart.

Today I will begin on the gargantuan flowers, and hopefully I will be able to scroll the linen up this week.

A stitcher with a cat should always be careful where she lays down her frame.   Just prior to this photo Abigail used the taught linen on the left hand side of the frame as a springboard to her napping spot.  I'm surprised the whole thing didn't see-saw on her.

This photo of Heidi was taken at Christmas, but the poor dear is always a little sad and stressed out on bath day.  We've decided paying people to do this is worth every penny.  They get her cleaner than we can.  They brush out more hair than we can.  They get her dryer than we will.  Heidi was at her monthly bath yesterday, and boy does she smell amazing.  It's always a little odd to see her that first day because her hair is all blown out.  It's like she's gain 20 pounds, but it's all hair.  Today we are back to normal, but she still smells good. :-)

A couple weeks ago we were studying the letter Q in my preschool classroom.  Of course, each year I encourage the kids to bring in quilts and bring in some of my own.  This week we're working on the letter S, so I'll be bring in my sewing machine so the kids can help me piece the top for a doll bed in our classroom.  They are four so some very strict safety measures will need to be taken, but I want them to feel what it's like to sew on a machine.  This is an experience most kids will not get these days.

Because I will need an iron to press seams, the rows will need to be put together at home, but it's going to be a lot of fun putting those rows together.

I had planned on going to my local quilt shop to get the 5" pre-cut squares and backing fabric, but I remembered Walmart has that stuff.  If this were to be something to gift or keep I would definitely go down to my local shop.  But, this is a classroom activity, and I don't want to put my heart too much into the materials.  It's more important for me to put it into the kids.

So this is what I chose.  It passed the test--fun fabric and good for boys and girls.  Each pack was 21 pieces, and I needed 20.  There is one left over to check tension before I machine quilt it.  Score.  :-)

Have you been following on Instagram?  Have you been inspired to stitch this one with me?  Have you been inspired to get back to it?  Let's enjoy the journey together.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday Stitches

This Sunday I am temporarily saying goodbye to one design and saying hello to an "old" friend.
I've taken Dearie and Darling as far as I can for now.
My Colorway Version of Dearie and Darling

It's the top left corner that has me with a little designers block.  Kathy Barrick had designed a blue lake with swans gliding blissfully through its waters.  Nope, just wasn't feeling it, so I'm in the process of coming up with something that matches the design  and summery theme.  That's right.  Ignore the Christmasy wreath  around Dearie's neck because the rest of this sampler screams summer to me.

Dearie and Darling with a little Puppy Pashmina where the new design with go.


I've had an account for a couple of years, but never really knew what to do with it.  I finally decided to use it as a timeline and holding tank for my cross stitch finishes.  That plan derailed after I posted my fourteenth sampler.  Okay, one was a hornbook from a freebie from BBD.  

Why stop?  I'm not exactly sure, but it may have had something to do with the next sampler in line hadn't been framed yet.  

For whatever reason the posts stopped, and I have felt the account in great need of life support.  This week I had a brilliant idea to bring her back to life.  At the end of each stitching day I'm now posting my stitching progress of His Eye is one the Sparrow.  It might be one motif or it might be many.  Do you want to see the entire project?  I'll post the whole kit and kaboodle right here on Sunday Stitches.  Don't look for it on Instagram because I won't be posting it there until it's framed.

You may find and follow me on Instagram as hollandhousegifts.

His Eye is on the Sparrow progress

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday Stitches

This afternoon I carry on with the top section of Dearie and Darling.  I knew I wanted the house red instead of pink, but it wasn't until I dove into my tiny collection of silks that I found the color.  I thought white would be too stark, so I went for a more muted off-white for the windows and doors.  This girl sees a barn now, and that couldn't make me happier.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Stiches

Beth Twist from Heartstring Samplery posts her Saturday Stitches each week on her blog.  If I am not able to stitch any other day I try to do a little stitching at least on a Sunday.  Today is a beautiful day for it--sunshine, in the 60s and almost no snow left.  

Today I'm working on project number four (shaking my head).  There were all sorts of reasons I started it for the Homespun Gathering yesterday, but now I'm putting myself on a current project diet.  When my clothes get too snug I eat better.  When my current projects have gotten out of control I start completing them before starting more.  Believe me I wan't to start several more.

So without further ado . . . my Sunday Stitches.

Summer House Stitche Workes
Coverlette Biscornu
kit fabric and floss

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Current Projects

Yep, you read that right.  There is an "s" on the end.  How does this sort of thing happen?    No, really I'm a one project at a time kind of girl.  I could point my needle at my local enabler stitching friends--drool worthy projects.  I could blame FlossTube--distractability worthy.   You know who you are.

Top:  Dearie and Darling, Bottom Left:  His Eye is on the Sparrow, Bottom Right:  Manor at Peacock Hill

 Really, it's about width of frames, traveling, stitching smaller projects with friends, etc.  Zoiks, Batman.   One of the main characters in this story was Cathy Barrick's Dearie and Darling, and then we weren't on speaking terms for a while.  

I had to stitch SOMETHING, so I finally pulled out the new fabric from The Attic, measured it (just in case--unnecessary), and threw it on my 36" bars.  You might remember my pre-menopausal brain ordered the design size instead of the cut size from 123stitch.  We are now well on our way with that one, and the girl who was avoiding extra fabric now has a large piece of it.  Of course this is ME we're talking about, so I'm already coming up with uses for it.  

In case you are new here I avoid pattern and fabric stash.  I try not to buy anything I don't already need and as little as I can get away with.   I realize that makes me a little odd in the fiber world, but I need the finished project so much more than the possibilities.

Full Disclosure:  I have far too many Etsy designs from beloved designers just waiting for me to start, but they are smaller and will be stitched.  Most of them came from Black Friday and Christmas Shopping.

His Eye is on the Sparrow

I'm about to put Dearie and Darling back on the frame, cuz it's stiching weather.  And, daggummit I've got to get this thing finnished.    Lollygagging be gone.   

Today was a Snow Day from the several inches that fell last night.  I suspect we got about 4", but the NW part of the county got at least 5".  My friends, I live in the South, so our ability to get rid of snow takes some time.  It wasn't even 10:45 this morning when the call came--no school tomorrow.  Thursday in my mind is probably a Snow Day too as temperatures will get barely above freezing that day.    

So yesterday instead of my weekly cleaning I stitched.  Today instead of stitching I cleaned.  Well mostly.  The belt on the vacuum was acting like it needed replacement, and I was not in the mood to change it a third time in about 6 weeks.  I'm pretty sure I bought old dried out belts.  One would think they'd still be fresh in the store.  One would think.  These may have even come from Amazon.  No idea, but I'll have to address it tomorrow for sure.  After talking to Mom I think I'll give the company a call and see if they can't send me some fresher ones.

Current Progress

Dearie and Darling isn't exactly a travel piece anymore. After finishing up the deer I realized I would be stitching from my stash.  For the most part I was matching tone, but color would completely change.  The DMC called for either seemed unnatural or not what I was looking for, so I Judy-fied it.  Some flosses are overdyed threads and some are DMC.  I chose based on color.  Did I keep records as I stitched?  No,  it felt like I was doing less work that way.  But . . . I did keep all the colors I had already used in one place since I'm not completely batty.

The flower pot changed a little in color and design.  The flowers changed a lot.  While I'm not crazy about the bright red and yellow combination, I won't be ripping it out.  This has been a learning process, and here she is in all her glory.  I must say I like the deer's bell.  I think the original was a light blue and that wouldn't do.  The wreath was also charted as blue.

While I didn't want a blue wreath I was more than happy with blue letters.

Would you believe the bird on the baby's back is the third try . . . after I stitched the mama and had stitched 5-6 columns of brown into the bird's tail.  Finding where to pull the thread would have been WAAAY easier had I not used so many pin stitches.  Had to pull the scissors out on this one and pick a stitch.  

We headed to Iowa few days after Christmas, so D and D had to come off the frame.  Here is where I left her.  There are a couple of houses, farm animals and some designing to do (where the swan pond is).  The bars got packed with a newly kitted up piece.  This one wouldn't need me to have access to all the floss I own.

So, what did I bring with me to stitch in the SUV?  His Eye is on the Sparrow was the project of choice.  The 36" bars take up 40" of space, so there wasn't much wiggle room, but I got the first stitch in before we left Tennessee, and stitched happily through the trip up.  Fortunately, the 28 count linen made stitching on the road much easier, and the minimal colors made floss selection easier. 

Now, I must admit stitching the tree twice helped me realize how I needed to be stitching with the overdyeds.  Stitching horizontally left the tree with these weird bands of light and dark color.  Stitching vertically avoided all of that.  Of course, there is still banding on the llama/alpaca/deer.  Hopefully, I'll figure that one out by the time I get to the other side.  I haven't tried to blend overdyeds with this much drama contrast, and hopefully the learning curve won't be too steep.

I had much better blending results with Manor at Peacock Hill.  But stitching on 35 count on the interestate . . . whoa, Nellie!  

I currently only have one set of side stretcher bars for my Millennium Frame, so off the stretcher bars for HEIOTS, and on went my new linen for Peacock Hill.  I'm so glad I got this one started in the hotel.  Stitching on 35 count was a challenge in the car.  At one point I had to give in and block sun blinding me through my window with a blanket.

Sadly, we left Iowa too late to have light all the way home, but the entertainment floss faeries were smiling, so there was a beautiful option--Fiber Talk.  Have you listened to this podcast?  Have you even heard of it.  If not, I'll bet you've heard of some of their guests.

Stacy Nash
Vonna Pfieffer
Nicola Parkman

And     Many    More

You may find and subscribe to this podcast through iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podbay, and Podbean.  
Gary and Christine can be found with all the podcasts on their website We Talk Fiber found here

If you've stuck with me this long, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I need the focus of one project, so I plan to get closer to that this month.  

For all your sweet comments, thank you.

This weekend we will be looking at temperatures in the 50s and 60s which is just fine with me.  It is our Homespun Gathering in our new place.  Now, what am I going to make? :-)

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, y'all.  I'm hoping you've had lots of fun projects in 2017 and many more for  2018.

Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my last post.  I have realized that writing a post at 2 a.m. can require clarification, but until the next post . . .

Tonight marks the third annual floss bonfire at the stroke of Midnight on New Years Eve--or however that works out.  Each year my floss ends gather in this glass jar awaiting the mini bonfire in my fire pit.  This year Frosty decided to say goodbye before the bits and bobs headed out into the cold tundra.  (Right now it is 9°F.)

First, I nestle them into the pit.  Wow, how compact they were this year!

Then I douse them with rubbing alcohol.  For cotton, it sure doesn't like to burn very well.

Then I light it on fire and stoke it to get it to burn all the way.  This year I had some floss bits from my Homespun Gathering friends, and I was able to enjoy the sweet scent of friendship rising from the flames.

My jar is now empty, so I must begin stitching again.  I currently have three projects going, and need to get it down to my usual one . . . in a hurry.  More on that later.

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.