Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Hi, and welcome! The whole purpose of this blog is to share my passion for hand embroidery. I love hand embroidered linens throughout the home and I am always busy designing and stitching. This blog is to show what I am designing , working on, and dreaming about, and to share the love of embroidered stitching along the way with you! I love to hear and to see what others are creating. Enjoy your visit and please feel free to comment or email me if you would like to do so!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

While the morning glory climbs

the antique fence and blooms in different colors

I work my needle to create the perfect blooms on a linen tablecloth

It only takes a glance for me to get inspiration from nature

and to then  try to interpret it from floss

and into stitch. 
 I just wish I could be as fast at making them bloom as they do in the garden!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Rock- a- bye baby quilt is finished!

and is on it's way to wait in the nursery and to welcome in the new baby!
as you remember from my last post, my niece is decorating her nursery in black and white with a "rock music " theme.

I designed the quilt with the hand embroidery and applique motifs in the middle.......

I chose a pretty black, white, and gray fabric for the back of the quilt

I looks pretty quilted........

I also quilted large blocks of my niece's favorite colors to fill up the space............

And about 2 in the early morning hours............I put in the last stitch.
No matter what it is I am stitching on...........from a cross stitch picture........embroidered table a small quilt.........
I am always thrilled to be finished...........but always feel completely drained..........
do you fee that way when your finish a project? But by that same hands feel anxious to get to work on a new project.
Besides making my own children's quilts when they wee small........this is the first baby quilt I have made in a long time.
Tell many baby quilts or blankest have you made over the years?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

When my niece announced that she was having a baby,

I wanted to make a crib quilt for her. I learned that she wants a black and white nursery, but also likes the colors of  Tiffany blue, pink and light pink, and royal purple.............
but the most challenging............she wants a "rock music" theme for it all.
I started drawing off what I thought rock music instruments should be but I also wanted something a little whimsical and something that said " baby"
So for this " Rock-a-bye" quilt  I designed and hand embroidered  a colorful "song bird" in the colors that she likes

the bird sings a string of colorful embroidered  notes

that float down to a colorful embroidered bar of music

I then appliqued an electric guitar with embroidered bars and strings, as well as a cluster of flowers and leaves on the corner

I then embroidered a keyboard and appliqued the black keys

and I embroidered a set of drumsticks

I appliqued a set of drums in the blue that my niece likes with the baby's name embroidered on the center of the drum. 

My niece was very close to her grandparents who have already passed away. I however had a shirt and a dress that I had asked from them years ago to make special things for the family with.
So with that fabric, I appliqued and embroidered one butterfly from her grandfather's shirt and one butterfly from her grandmother's in that way,  they would still be a part of this wonderful celebration of life.
All of this is the center of the quilt.  I still need to remove all of the basting stitches...........I have now to stitch some colored blocks on and then to add a lovely black and white backing.............then I have to hand quilt it all together.
I hope to have this all finished and on it's way by the end of next week...........
think I can do it??
I sure hope I can! 
I have noticed that more and more new mothers are getting very un-traditional when it comes to decorating their nurseries..........
marking their own path and fixing their own nest the way they want.
It's refreshing and delightful to hear of the many different ideas of nurseries these days.
How about you.
Have your heard of a different kind of nursery instead of baby animals and story book characters?
I would love to hear!

Friday, August 28, 2015

I started embroidering this set of coasters............way 2011

that's right.........really should have been through with them a long time ago
 However, as many of you stitchers know .........UFOs ( un finished objects) 
can hang around for quite awhile. But this year I made it my goal to finish these coasters..........
and last the wee morning hours.........I laid my needle and scissors to rest.
These are the kinds of linens I want to have for sale in my shop...........however, I also want a set for myself. So I began ............hand tracing ........each design......twice, onto a large piece of cotton fabric. One set for my vintage set for me!!  I then started embroidering..........but as many of you can relate often took me away from my needle...........and I always started something new to stitch on.............

so once again, I pulled the piece out of my work basket and embroidered on it a little...........then a lot.....each day..  The design is an Aunt Marthas Hot Iron Transfer. I drew the scalloped border around each design. After I was through embroidering the flowers I then had to hand embroider each scallop edging of each coaster using the closed butionhole stitch.
I then had to carefully cut each one out.

I could not decide whether I wanted a full color Carnation or a speckled one........
so I embroidered both

I have a vintage plate with Violets painted on it........
I used that to go by as I embroidered this coaster.

I often looked up the flowers in a book or on the internet  to get the right coloring

and sometimes I just chose a color I liked the best.

I also chose an antique white color of fabric because I knew I would have a few flowers that would need to be embroidered in bright white. I wanted them to show up and I also wanted a vintage look to the coaster set.

I almost chose a light pink for this Rose coaster.......because I love light pink roses.......but this color did well I think.

I wish I had actually embroidered the Larkspur in a purple color. But I once raised Larkspurs and there were a few light blue that were so pretty that I chose blue for this coaster.

The Gladiolas always look pretty in golden yellow  to me.

The Aster that grows here on the prairie is a pretty purple, so I chose to embroider this coaster that way.

I have never heard of Calendula flower, so I looked it up and they are a pretty vibrant yellow flower. 

I love light purple or lavender Chrysanthemums.....
don't you?

Again.......the white Narcissus.....
it can be seen well.
(If you right click onto the photos you can get a better view of the embroidery)
I do plan to use my coasters. 
I cant wait to have a large group of family or friends over for dinner and to be able to hand each one a coaster for their birthday month to use!

How about you?  Have you gotten any of your UFOs out of the way?
I would love to hear!

Friday, July 31, 2015

My miniature crazy quilt has been published

in the Fall issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly on page 8!
This lovely magazine is filled with other beautiful quilts from others as well. It will be available for order Aug. 1, 2015 and you can find it at this link

I made this little quilt November 2011 
you can read the post here

I started with one piece of fabric that I loved and worked 

and embroidered other things I love in life

and added a few beaded embellishments.......and was happy that I actually finished a small quilt like this...........never thinking about submitting it for publishing. 
Then a few months ago..........the publisher of this magazine, Pam, emailed me about putting it into her fall issue and I am so delighted! 
So tell any of you love to " crazy quilt" 
I would love to hear!

Friday, July 17, 2015

I'm still working ........I want to tell you about Fannie Farmer

today because I just fixed the most amazing cake from her cookbook 
and the recipe is so worthy of sharing........and baking...

and Fannie's story is inspiring.

Fannie Farmer was born on 23 March 1857 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, to Mary Watson Merritt and John Franklin Farmer, an editor and printer. Although she was the oldest of four daughters, born in a family that highly valued education and that expected young Fannie to go to college, she suffered a paralytic stroke at the age of 16 while attending Medford High School. Fannie could not continue her formal academic education;  for several years, she was unable to walk and remained in her parents' care at home. During this time, Farmer took up cooking, eventually turning her mother's home into a boarding house that developed a reputation for the quality of the meals it served.
At the age of 30, Farmer, now walking (but with a substantial limp that never left her), enrolled in the Boston Cooking School at the suggestion of Mrs. Charles Shaw.  Farmer trained at the school until 1889 during the height of the domestic science movement, learning what were then considered the most critical elements of the science, including nutrition and diet for the well, convalescent cookery, techniques of cleaning and sanitation, chemical analysis of food, techniques of cooking and baking, and household management. Farmer was considered one of the school's top students. She was then kept on as assistant to the director. In 1891, she took the position of school principal.

Fannie published her best-known work, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, in 1896. Her cookbook introduced the concept of using standardized measuring spoons and cups, as well as level measurement.  A follow-up to an earlier version called Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, published by Mary J. Lincoln in 1884, and some criticized her for using some of the recipes, the book under Farmer's direction eventually contained 1,850 recipes, from milk toast to Zigaras à la Russe. Farmer also included essays on housekeeping, cleaning, canning and drying fruits and vegetables, and nutritional information

The book's publisher (Little, Brown & Company) did not predict good sales and limited the first edition to 3,000 copies, published at the author's expense.[2] The book was so popular in America, so thorough, and so comprehensive that cooks would refer to later editions simply as the "Fannie Farmer cookbook", and it is still available in print over 100 years later.

Farmer provided scientific explanations of the chemical processes that occur in food during cooking, and also helped to standardize the system of measurements used in cooking in the USA. Before the Cookbook's publication, other American recipes frequently called for amounts such as "a piece of butter the size of an egg" or "a teacup of milk." Farmer's systematic discussion of measurement — "A cupful is measured level ... A tablespoonful is measured level. A teaspoonful is measured level." — led to her being named "the mother of level measurements."

Farmer left the Boston Cooking School in 1902 and created Miss Farmer's School of Cookery.She began by teaching gentlewomen and housewives the rudiments of plain and fancy cooking, but her interests eventually led her to develop a complete work of diet and nutrition for the ill, titled Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent which contained thirty pages on diabetes. Farmer was invited to lecture at Harvard Medical School and began teaching convalescent diet and nutrition to doctors and nurses.  She felt so strongly about the significance of proper food for the sick that she believed she would be remembered chiefly by her work in that field, as opposed to her work in household and fancy cookery. Farmer understood perhaps better than anyone else at the time the value of appearance, taste, and presentation of sickroom food to ill and wasted people with poor appetites; she ranked these qualities over cost and nutritional value in importance.
During the last seven years of her life, Farmer used a wheelchair. Despite her immobility, Farmer continued to lecture, write, and invent recipes; she gave her last lecture 10 days before her death. The Boston Evening Transcript published her lectures, which were picked up by newspapers nationwide. Farmer also lectured to nurses and dietitians, and taught a course on dietary preparation at Harvard Medical School. To many chefs and good home cooks in America, her name remains synonymous today with precision, organization, and good food.

Fannie Farmer died in 1915, aged 57, and was interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
 I chose to make the Lord Baltimore Cake today.
There is a recipe for a Lady Baltimore Cake as well........
but the filling for this cake sounded so wonderful.....that I chose Lord Baltimore instead........
and I am so glad I did. 
The filling has a mixture of cookie crumbs, cherries, almonds, pecans and lemon.........
so wonderful!
You can get this recipe on my cooking blog

There are no mixes in this recipe........just fresh ingredients like butter and pure vanilla.
It takes a little more time to make........
but that is what makes it so good!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I had to make the decision

whether to sell the beautiful antique linens I find along the way...........
or to keep them for my collection........
when I opened my vintage shop.

For years......all I ever dreamed about was owning my own linen shop and selling hand embroidered linens  such as these above. Now my shop is open..........

This is a set of intricately embroidered napkins and place
that have never been used.  

Each piece has it's label still on it........
"Pure Linen embroidered in Portugal"

can I bear to sell them??

I have my own collection of beautiful linens much  like these........
in an old trunk that had once belonged to my grandfather.The trunk is almost full..........
So I should be able to easily sell the newest things I find.........

Someone once told me when I first opened my shop that I had to decide whether I was
 "married to the piece  or not."

So I made the decision this week..........

to weed through the ones I would not miss if  I sold them.............
and I placed all these my Etsy shop.........
to sell

But how hard it is to really let them go when I see them on my dining room table like this!
How about you?
Do you collect wonderful antique linens?
I have posted a vintage recipe from Ann Pillsbury 1950
on my cooking blog.......just click onto link to visit.