Our EGA Chapter donated a basket of stitched items to raffle at the Sun & Sea Region retreat last weekend. Our theme was “travel”. I had a little kit for a Scottish Thistle bookmark that I bought when on vacation in Scotland in 2016. I thought it was the perfect small addition to the basket. I had already cross-stitched the thistle while living in Virginia. I completed the backstitching on a flight across the Atlantic in 2019, and I did the finishing while vacationing in Rome in 2019. So this is one well-traveled piece of needlework!
This sweet little piece of counted needlepoint, entitled “Memory Box”, was a gift to my sister-in-law this past Christmas. It was designed by Kathy Rees as a fundraiser run by the National EGA to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. It was originally designed in purples (in keeping with the Alzheimer’s Association‘s colors), but I decided to stitch this completely from my stash. I love how it turned out, and it was very fun to stitch. I finished it in a box from Sudberry. I look forward to stitching more of Kathy’s designs.
My EGA Chapter offers a “Challenge” each year as a fundraiser. For completed items from our individually chosen challenge list, we are granted entries into a prize drawing at the end of the year. It’s my first time participating, but here goes my challenge list:
1. original needlepoint designed by my daughter!! (Definitely the most intriguing item on my list)
2. Ambrosia Honey – needlepoint design from EGA Needlearts magazine
3. Autumn Square – Laura Perin needlepoint design
4. Mother’s Heart – cross stitch design from Shepherd’s Bush
5. small piece for Christmas exchange (precise item is a secret!)
6. Santa – needlepoint canvas by Leigh Walker and stitch guide/instruction by JaneAnn Sleeman
7. Canvas Stitch Alphabet Sampler – needlepoint design by Light House Designs
8. Blackwork Band Sampler – blackwork design by Rae Iverson
9. Honeycomb pin cushion – backstitch and stumpwork piece from Stitcher’s World Magazine
10. Do the Right Thing – cross stitch design by Lizzie Kate
Wish me luck on completing my list!
I made this cute piece for my sister for Christmas. It’s “Sisters + Friends” from The Drawn Thread. It was a fast and easy stitch, and I got to try some nice finishing for it. It’s finished with a ladder stitch to a fabric backing.
I have done some sort of needlework since I was 10 years old, with the most prolific period for me being in my twenties. It was B.C. (before children), and I was early in my marriage and career. I belonged to the Monticello Needlearts Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America (even President for a year or two), and I enjoyed many different techniques. But once I had two children, my pace of stitching slowed substantially. Between working full time and raising two kids, there just wasn’t the time or energy at the end of the day.
Now, however, I have two teenagers who are pretty independent. With our move to Florida in autumn of 2017, one earning her driver’s license, and one having school and activities a short bike ride away, I suddenly had unexpected time on my hands. Around this same time, the National EGA began their EGA Stitch-a-long Facebook group. I joined and lurked that group for a time, but the bug hit me again, and soon I found myself rejoining EGA as a member-at-large. It was time to get stitching again!!!
After a few months as member-at-large, I started looking at the local EGA group. I found their Facebook group, went to one meeting, found the group super friendly and welcoming, and I soon transferred my membership to DuClay Chapter of the EGA. Between the national stitch-a-long group and stitching with my local chapter at least twice a month, I have refound my love of all things needlework.
With that, I am going to try to re-start this blog, focusing mainly on needlework and maybe other crafts here and there. I have *many* past pieces that I have not yet posted, so I will go back and post those in the coming months.
I hope that you enjoy what you see!
Yours in stitching,
I love the annual Santa designs from Prairie Schooler. This piece was stitched as a round robin with a group of friends in real life and online, probably at least 15 years ago. This piece brings back a funny little memory . . . . When my youngest child was a baby & I was home on maternity leave, one of our cats brought a baby bird into the house and let it go still alive. When our dog Buddy spied the bird, he launched himself across the room at full speed and slammed into the wall. The force of him knocked this framed needlework and a glass lantern off of the wall, sending both crashing to the floor into a mass of broken glass. Meanwhile I was simultaneously trying to deal with a crying baby, a bird on the loose, and a frantic dog. It was a scene worthy of I Love Lucy. Eventually I caught the bird, calmed the dog, and cleaned up the glass. But 13 years later, I still haven’t replaced the glass in this frame. I really should replace it to protect the needlework. But it is a funny memory in hindsight.
In the late 1980s, my mother, Sandra Gentry, started this cross-stitch design. In time, arthritis made stitching too painful to continue. She passed along the partially completed needlework to me. Years passed as I set aside needlework in the 2000s when my children were small. In 2014, in anticipation of Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary, I completed the piece.
I love you Mom and Dad, and I want to thank you for a home of love & laughter!
A few years ago, I did a round robin project with a group of internet-friends. This was the piece that I selected for the round robin, a kit entitled Lily of the Valley by The Drawn Thread. There are a few different drawn thread techniques in this one, but nothing too daunting. I love the silk threads in it. The round robin ended in 2010, but unfortunately the green silk fiber ran out before this was completed. I wrote to The Drawn Thread, and they happily sent me more. But by then I was preparing to move and all of my needlework ended up packed away for the next 3 years. I pulled everything out this spring, and I finished this piece. I’m so happy that I finally did. It hangs in our kitchen and cheers me every day.
plural noun: orts
a scrap or remainder of food from a meal.
I first heard the word as applied to needlework. Orts . . . . the scraps or remainders of fibers when stitching . . . what do you do with them? Many years ago, a fellow stitcher gave me an ort container made from an old margarine tub. But at my stitching spot I like to keep my orts in a pretty piece of pottery from Blue Ridge Pottery. In the spring, I spread the orts in the bushes around the house so that birds can use them in their nests.
What do you do with your orts?
For more than a decade, I have searched and wished for an old spool cabinet. I have found plenty on ebay and occasionally in antique shops, but they have always been price prohibitive. Yesterday my husband and I stopped by our local antique shop (Kelly’s Real Deals) looking for a small side table, and I stumbled upon the treasure I had been seeking . . . a lovely old J&P Coats thread cabinet. It was mostly buried under a pile of china, a walking cane, candleholders, a brass scale, and other odds and ends. After excavating it from the pile and checking it out thoroughly, I made my negotiations with the proprietor and loaded it up in the car.
Keep in mind that Kelly’s is basically a barn, and the items you find there are by no means picture perfect refinished antiques. That’s part of what I love about it.
Here is my find right after I brought it home:
and after some basic cleaning:
It has 4 drawers and the top is hinged and opens up. I covered the black insert in the top with a piece of black fabric, and I lined the drawers and inside the top with blue felt.
I will spend a little time researching this, but I know these cabinets were made for merchants starting in about 1877. J&P Coats merged with Clark in 1952. So this cabinet would have to date somewhere in that range. I’d love to narrow it down further. The knobs on the lower left drawer are replacements, but the others are original. The labels on the drawers are original. The one that is rubbed off would have said “Best”. You can buy new labels for these, but I intend to leave everything original.
I will probably use a little wax paste on the wood to condition it a little, but for the most part I plan to leave this as-is. I can’t wait to fill it with needlework supplies!
Updated Oct 8, 2014:
I cleaned the piece a second time and used a paste wax on it. LOVE the final outcome.