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

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New stitching and a surprise from The Beehive Cottage!

I just want to tell all of you who stop by to visit me and take time to leave a comment, just how much I enjoy hearing from you! I love to hear where you like to decorate with linens, what favorite creative spot you create in,your ideas on colors and design, and what your favorite things to do on a cold wintry nights. I am so amazed and thankful to find "common threads" in this large world tapestry we all share!
Old man winter was a good guest....he came on time, he visited a short while,.. left a little something to remember him by.... and then went on his way.Everything was dressed in sparkling white,....when the sun shone, it looked like little diamonds across the prairie.
As everyone huddled either in the hay outside or by the inside fire.... I worked the cold hours away on a cross stitch piece and on a new design for a guest towel.

The next day everything was thawed out and sunny weather graced our land. I was able to drive down to the post office where I found the sweetest surprise waiting for me in my mailbox! Maryjane at Beehive Cottage http://thebeehivecottage.blogspot.com/ sent these precious hand crochet dishcloths my way! She crocheted them herself.

Didn't she do a wonderful job? The colors are my favorites. Pinks, creams and greens. Just lovely! Go visit Maryjane... she travels around in the cutest little trailer when she's not at home making everything lovely! You'll enjoy the visit! I love crocheted dishcloths, rugs and doilies. So my question to you is... what is your favorite crocheted thing? Do you crochet or knit? Do you have a special crocheted item passed down to you? I can't wait to hear!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter has arrived, a good night to stitch

The weather here in our area has been in the 80's for a couple or more weeks. Any kind of temperature drop, is cold to me. Today, there have been more birds than usual, gathering seed,...they know what's coming....a cold spell. A REAL cold spell. The forecast says it is to be this cold all week, tonight there is to be patches of "frozen fog"......I didn't know fog froze. What happens when you drive through a wall of "frozen fog?"
Sophie and I took off for a late afternoon walk, if you look off in the distance, you can see the fog coming our way.

By the time she and I made it to the main road, the temperature dropped, the wind bit our faces, and the fog was coming at us like a blanket....but not a frozen wall yet... we didn't want to wait around to see if it actually would freeze.... the coyotes sounded more scary than usual.

Sophie was more than glad to lead the way home, and we both were glad to see the welcoming light from the window.

Sophie found her spot to spend the cold winter night, in front of a crackling fire. Soon she will be lightly barking in her sleep....chasing those cows in some warm pasture far away.

Salem was waiting for me along with my stitch work.He is my companion while I sew, sometimes approving a skein of floss with his outstretched paw. So this is where I will be as I listen to the wind blow around the house tonight. With a week of this to come, I won't be outside much..... I will get a lot of stitching done. Now, tell me.... how do you spend your cold winter nights? Watching an old movie, perhaps? Putting together a jigsaw puzzle, or stitching a new creation? I would love to hear.


I was awoken by the phone ringing at 5:30 A.M with the school telling me that classes and buses would be delayed until 10:00 A.M. Then the bus driver called me to say that the buses would not run at all and that my son would have an excused absence from school if we did not want to try driving him in. We live 30 miles away from school on roads that are treacherous during these times. So he has the day off. I go out to check on all of the animals and hear the crunching and snapping of the frozen woods surrounding me.

Everything is coated in layers of ice and the wind chill is even worse. All of my critters were tucked in their hay and warm, so off I go back to my stitching and I think I will make a hot pot of soup today. Stay warm everyone!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vintage charm of yesterday created for today's use

A few posts back, I showed this picture of the white work I am beginning to do for my dining room table..
This is the vintage transfer that I decided to use. Well......

I finished! The center design at least. This shows the cutwork I love to do,

along with the different stitches....closed buttonhole stitch, french knots, satin stitch and so on.

I have always loved the old linens one finds at antique sales. The sheets and matching pillowcases done in white cutwork along with monograms, the sets of napkins(some 12 to a set) with either monograms or other floral done in white work. I have always wanted to bring that look back to today's tables and homes. That is my passion and desire. To have a line of linens for use in the kitchen, dining room, bedroom and bath, that is newly created and durable for today's use, but also have the charm of yesteryear. That is how I came up with my company name....Yesteryear Embroideries.

I now need to decide what I am going to stitch on the corners and the sections in between, plus I want to do some kind of cut work on the very edge of the whole cloth. So hopefully at a later date, I will be able to show you the complete finished cloth! For now....my attention must turn back to a cross stitch picture I am trying to finish for a friend. So my question to you all this time is..... if you were to decorate with linens.....which room would you chose to decorate? I always love hearing your comments and opinions, I can't wait to hear on this!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Inspiration Of Blossoms

The Italian Jasmine is starting to show of is calico dress of cheery yellow blossoms.
I removed the Christmas poinsettia and holly out of the flower boxes. Because it is almost Valentine's day....my favorite holiday.... I thought these silk flowers with pink and white would be pretty for that day.

They perk up the house in the winter sun.

My mailbox is full of the new flower and vegetable seed catalogs. I can't wait to start ordering for the new season's planting, but I also love the books for the color they show in the flowers.

They are a great guide in deciding which color a flower should be and which hues of color goes best with another. I love vintage catalogs for this reason. As you can see, this is from 1894. The colors just call to me.

As well as the seed packets. These packets are from the 1920's and the seed company captured the prettiest colors for the flower.

When I see packets like these.....

I pull out my floss collection and start matching colors.

All I need then, is a wonderful piece of white cotton fabric, "my blank canvas"

and some vintage transfers or designs... and I can get lost in stitches all day! What about you? What color or color combination catches your eye the most? Do you decorate with silk flowers as well as real flowers? I would love to hear!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This Is Your Day

Imagine...you awake....the morning sun streaks across the room onto the door of a brand new day.
A new day just for you. No other day will be like today, not like yesterday, and not like tomorrow.

Today is a blank canvas waiting for you to chose on how you want it to be.

A new day to plant those creative seeds you've been wanting to try. The possibilities are everywhere.....eye candy calling out to your hands
to get creative and dare to dream
to put the pieces together and

to make your day one worth remembering!

Monday, January 12, 2009

An Appreciation For Red

Red has never been a favorite color of mine. I would have been perfectly happy if Santa had been wearing a "pink and white" suit instead of red.{:However, as the years have gone by, I have really started appreciating the value of the red member of the color wheel. I have noticed how it stands out and draws the eye to it....especially in flowers. Wildflowers....my favorites, have the Indian Blanket. Among the blues, whites and yellows in a field, the reds and oranges of the Indian Blanket, just make the field come alive.
One of my dear friends, Bell, who is in her 90's. has an antiques business,and does not like to have grass in her yard. Instead she has a packed dirt yard, but full of color with all of the flowers she grows there. You could say her yard is her flower bed. She has California Poppy among her beauties. It is one of the most prettiest, petally (if there is such a word), vibrant red flower ever. In my last post on transfer tracing I had begun to stitch this vintage poppy. Here it is, in the color, a few years back, I would have never chose to stitch with.
I chose different hues of red to have some shading on the flower. The same way in the black center. If you have ever noticed black in nature...as in crow's wings, butterfly's wings, and some flowers, the black gives off a blue highlight. I chose black and a darker blue for the french knot center. You can click on the pictures to see a better view ( I hope).

I also noticed the poppy has little brown "hairs" that run along the bud and stem.

As you know, I appreciate your input and comments....
Now my question to all of you.... I plan to place this stitched piece onto a towel.....as in my earlier posts......what color of towel do you think would be best? Red......green.... black? As you have gotten "more mature" in the years.... have you found yourself changing your ideas about something that you thought you would never like? I would love to hear!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

An Easier Way To Trace A Transfer

Whenever I am fortunate enough to have vintage transfers and a nice piece of fabric, I don't want to take risks of ruining the fabric or the transfer by using a hot iron. So I hand trace my transfers on.
I am sure most of you are already familiar with taping the transfer onto a sunny window,

and then standing and tracing it onto the fabric. For me, this works well, however, I do a lot of my work at night.....no sunny window to trace from, plus with the load of work I do, this technique is hard on my arms and shoulders. So I found a much better way......

I have a beautiful antique wood table. It has served many purposes,.... to feed family on, to serve as my kitchen island, now that I have a dining room table..... and it is wonderful to trace my designs on. If you have any table that splits into to add another leaf.... it will work fine.

I use the frame and clear glass of an 11x14 picture frame as my "window".

A small desk reading lamp with a bendable neck is also important.

Pull the table apart, just wide enough to support the picture frame. Lay the picture frame over the space of the open table. Tape the picture frame in place.

Turn the neck of the lamp upside down to where the lamp is shining up. Place the lamp underneath the table, right under the picture frame.
Tape the transfer in place on the glass of the frame, position the light to shine up through the transfer.

Place fabric over transfer and trace your image.
It turns out well, and if you like, you can also sit and trace the design instead of standing over it.

I hope this might be an easier method for all of you who trace your transfers. It really helped me to get my work done at night. Hopefully I will now have this stitched to show at a later post. Have a blessed weekend!