I’ve become slightly obsessed with the 1930s; specifically, the Dust Bowl. About a year ago, I read The Worst Hard Time (which is excellent, I’m re-reading it and highly recommend it). I have a whole list of ideas that I want to try and stitch. These are just some of the first (and they are a bit on the unfinished side).


The Vaseline jar I worked on last night, and I’m not sure why I thought I could do letters well on paper. Still, I’m pretty happy with it since it’s the first time I’ve tried text on paper.

vaseline jar

As I said, I’ve got a list of ideas. I know that I mentioned before there might be some new pieces in the shop, but I haven’t really made anything that I like enough to list. In time, I suppose.

My Phat Quarter January swap pieces made it all the way across the Atlantic to Nicole this week and I’m so pleased that she likes them.

Honestly, I was a bit nervous, she’s a fabulous stitcher. (Don’t believe me? Go see.) Not only that but I also wanted to do something inspired by The Smiths that hadn’t been covered before. (The January theme for the swap being music and Nicole being a huge fan of The Smiths.) There are some really great pieces out there. (This, for example. And these, and some more. All, seriously great.) It took a minute to really find something that I not only liked, but also that I could make something of my own out of.

PQ Jan Swap - smile detail

Once I had the song — Rubber Ring, I still wasn’t quite satisfied with just this one piece. I mean, I like it, I like it a lot, but it didn’t seem enough. Not just in the sense that it’s simple, but that it doesn’t quite capture the whole feeling of the song. It isn’t just about songs that make us happy, but also those that make us cry – or feel anything, really. Songs that well, as Morrissey says, saved our lives.

Then, I remembered I had a half dozen handkerchiefs, just waiting for the right project – and the second piece (which reads “don’t forget the songs that made you cry”) just fell into place.

I’ve been busy with my swap piece ( it turned into two pieces) for Nicole — which I can’t show you just yet. I will say that they are inspired by The Smiths, and have been a lot of fun to work on.

The stem stitch still drives me up a wall but I’ve decided to make peace with the fact that I cheat it (because I like the way it looks).

I was hoping to finish up tonight so I can take photos and go to the post office in the morning; however, the iron and ironing board don’t get used much around here (I’m the worst) and they are tucked away in the baby’s room in his closet. So it’ll just have to wait.

I am also hoping to have some new paper pieces finished up soon. Something along these lines — neater and minus the pencil marks. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I’ll end up doing most geometric paper pieces at least twice.

I finally have some real space of my own. It took some doing. Rearrange furniture in both kids’ rooms. Move a little dresser from my daughter’s bedroom to my son’s. Move a desk from the basement to my daughter’s room and then move the giant 8 foot table leaning against the wall in the garage to the basement.

Only half of the space is mine, the computer and other art supplies officially belong to the kids. In the little cabinet I am keeping floss, needles, scissors, and whatever else I need on-hand. The shelf holds my materials, works in-progress, and finished pieces.

I’ve lined the table with drawing paper; the table has been around the block a few times. (It’s been in my family as long as I can remember. It started its life in a fire hall, then as a activity/sewing table at my parents house, then at pretty much every family function for food service, crab eating, you name it. I ended up using it for a birthday party and then it became mine.) And the paper makes a good place for scratch work and notes and it’s fun for the kids to decorate.

I was so inspired by having a new space, I whipped up a little cross stitch (something I haven’t done before). I’m pretty pleased with it. It will hang alongside the griffin and a few paper pieces in my office.

Recently I discovered that there’s a monthly needlework drop-in group at one of the local libraries. Last night I tried it out. I’m really not so good at meeting a whole bunch of new people all at once, but it was a small group, about 8 ladies, of varied age. Mostly knitters/crocheters, but there was one woman teaching another to cross stitch. I think there’s some potential for meeting local people with similar interests, but we’ll see. It might take a while for me to get the courage to say more than a few words. Since it’s a monthly meeting, it might take me a good six months to strike up a conversation. For my own sake, I’ll try and be brave. As it was, I sat and practiced my stem stitching. I don’t know why, but that stitch has really eluded me. Whenever it’s looked like I’ve done it (the hair in my piece for my brother and his wife for example), I’ve cheated and not done it right. You can tell from the back.

Internet interaction is much easier (though it still makes me anxious). Just this week I signed up for my first swap. The theme is music which leaves plenty of room for ideas. At the moment I have too many, but there’s plenty of time to let things settle. I think I will try and incorporate some knotless starts and stem stitching into whatever I decide to do. Nothing like practice.


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