Monday, November 17, 2014

More on Punch Needle

I finished my first punch needle design a couple of days ago but got somewhat distracted doing/making other things. My next step is to use my finished project to embellish a functional piece. 

Punch needle is very easy to do and once you pick up the rhythm, it works up quite quickly. I used my Valdani 12 wt threads and am thrilled with the results.

The beauty about using the Valdani threads for punch needle is that you can use them directly from the pre-wound ball without having to continually stop to cut lengths of thread or floss and rethread the needle which for me is a pain in the you-know-what.  In addition, the variegated threads provide a natural shading and highlighting which adds natural depth and dimension.

I still have a few of my signature sets of Valdani threads avail for purchase on my Etsy site HERE at a great price.  They are the same threads that I use for all my wool applique as well!

EDIT:  I have sold out of my signature sets of Valdani threads...AGAIN! 

If you would like to reserve one, please email me by clicking on the "postcard" button on the right sidebar of my blog.  I will contact you as soon as they are back in stock.    

As soon as I get my project finished, I'll be posting a tutorial here which will include my sheep design for those who would like to give it a try.

In the meantime...

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More retail therapy and...

Punch needle!

About ten years ago I came across some examples of punch needle embroidery in a needle shop in Ligonier, PA while I was there teaching decorative painting at a retreat.  I immediately fell in love with it, probably because it resembles traditional rug hooking but in miniature.  Of course I had to buy a kit but never did anything with it because by the time I arrived back home, the quickie instructions that were graciously given to me by the shop owner were long forgotten.

And so it sat...until this morning when I decided to drag it all out and give it a go.

Back then, You Tube wasn't developed to be the virtual on line classroom that it is today.  Last night I spent about an hour watching "how to punch needle" videos by some of the best in the business and do you know what?  

It's as easy as it looks!  All you need are the right tools.

I had some weaver's cloth in my stash, lots of Valdani thread to choose from, a Morgan hoop that was gifted to me by a friend years ago and of course a Cameo punch needle.

So this morning, I sketched a design, transferred it to the weaver's cloth and started punching!

I didn't get as far as I would have liked because we had friends drop over but you can rest assured that I'll be back at it tonight!  I'll keep you posted on my progress.

I'm still working on my redesigned Down in the Garden stitcheries by Leanne Beasley but as you can see, I have been a little distracted.

However, the exciting part is that I've finally found the P-E-R-F-E-C-T fabric to use to do the patchwork part of the quilt.

Twenty-one glorious fabrics from Kim Diehl's A Vintage Farmhouse line of fabrics!

The colors are virtually identical to the floss colors that I am using in my stitched blocks.  I've been having a heck of a time trying to decide which fabrics to use to complete the quilt.  Nothing seemed appropriate.  It's almost as though these fabrics "found" me...and just when I needed them!  

Happy stitching!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Serendipitous Sunday

Everything is prepped for tonight's dinner...

Baked ham with pineapple raisin sauce, home made baked sweet potato fries and Brussel sprouts with garlic and parmesan cheese.  

Even if you dislike Brussel sprouts, I promise you'll love...well not maybe love...but maybe develop a taste for them when cooked this way.  If you'd like to have the recipe, I wrote about it in a blog post a while back.  Just click HERE.

I've been making some progress on my Down in the Garden quilt by Leanne Beasley, albeit kinda slowly.

Between stitching, I finished November's flimsy for the small-quilt-a-month group that I belong to.  We meet on the last Tuesday of the month for show-and-tell.  Last month I waited until the day before the meeting to make the October quilt and although I love it, I learned a lesson to NOT wait until the last minute!  I don't know why I do these things to myself!

This month I started in on our second project the day after the meeting and finished piecing the flimsy a couple of days later.  Lots and lots of tiny pieces to this one!

I made mine entirely from Civil War and reproduction prints and shirting fabrics from the same era.  Now it just has to be quilted which hopefully will happen before our next meeting.

In the interim, I've come up with two new designs and now I just have to decide whether to make quilts with them or to use them in some other kind of project. 

Stay tuned because I'll be sharing them with you as soon as they're done.

Happy stitching!

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Visitor

While the soup was simmering on the stove...

I just happened to glance out the window into the "back forty" and lo and behold, I noticed that we had a visitor!

A young buck helping himself to some of the windfall apples.  Eat up young man because winter is just around the corner!

By the time the snow melts in the spring, there won't be a single apple left on the ground.  

We have several apple trees and love to share because there's no way that we could come close to eating them all!


Our Christmas cactus doesn't realize that it's only the 3rd of November.  I wish it could have waited another month before showing off it's peachy-colored flowers.

Isn't it so pretty?

And now I hear my mini quilt is calling me.  Just a little more work and the flimsy will be finished!

Happy stitching!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sewing and Stitching

I guess by now you realize that when you haven't heard from me in a while, you know I've been busy!

Frankie and Ollie continue to cuddle by the fire and I also stay warm and keep them company while stitching at the kitchen table.

I completed another block from Leanne Beasley's Down in the Garden and have already started on the next one.  A butterfly will be appliqued to the end of the spout but I haven't decided whether I'll make it from wool or cotton.

In the interim and to take a break from stitching, I finished piecing a mini flimsy for a small quilt-a-month club that I'm taking part in.  

I cut the second one out yesterday and started piecing it this afternoon.  My goal is to have the flimsy finished by Sunday.  This one will be made entirely from Civil War and reproduction fabrics.

The quilts are from Tara Lynn Darr's book called Small Treasures From Scraps.

And of course no week would be complete without a little retail therapy!

Aren't they gorgeous?

Happy stitching!