Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Stitching Story...

~ Greetings Peeps and Peepettes! ~
how are all of you doing? I hope grand! It is only 1 degree here in good old Bloomington, Indiana...and my fanny is nearly a block of ice, because I just returned home from walking Ellie to school. Cheez Whiz its colds outside! And on top of that, I think I'm getting a cold. . . and yesterday I was just bragging to a friend of mine that I hadn't had a cold in over a year. Sheesh. Pride, gets me in my frozen fanny every time. I'll learn one of these days. But have no fear, I'm drinking my lemon/orange juice water, taking Zicam and drinking my Apple Cider Vinegar...
(WHAT?! you say...well read here and here and here and then google Apple Cider Vinegar and read a whole lot more! The mister and I have been drinking 2 TBLS of ACV twice a day for about 8 months now and we are believers! It has noticeably helped both of us, but particularly my husband with aches and pains, I think it helps with appetite control, I have a yeast and eczema problem and have for nearly my entire life on various areas of my skin - now cured. I don't know about my cholesterol but I'm a believer and so is Keith. Katie, a runner, complains frequently about muscle strains/aches and I gave it to her once and it eliminated her leg pain within the same day. Then a second thing she noticed was her face cleared of blemishes. So she takes it once a day herself. Now if you can get a teenager to drink ACV because she believes it is helping her...that's something!)

Whoa...way off track!

Back to the story...
I had a very nice letter from a reader of my blog, and she asked me if I had a specified stitching "area". That got me to thinking about how I love to see where others stitch on blogs I read and see their gadgets and gizmos that work for them. I always learn something. So I figure I'd share mine with you.

I have two stitching "areas" in our home. Why? because I have teenagers. And because my house is hangout central for all their friends (which I am COMPLETELY FINE with!!) I never know where I am going to be on a Friday or Saturday night. I want to make sure that kids don't think we are snooping on them, so I make it easy to get up and move to Stitching Place #1 or Stitching Place #2 based on who is at our house (or not). :)

This is my safe stitching place...
and typically where I'm at the most because it is in our master bedroom. We have an "en suite" master bedroom, so luckily it is like a whole living area with sitting area, sleeping area in one large room with a connected master bath and walk in closet. It is also cathedral ceilings, so it is light and airy and during the day time filled with light. Its very nice and one of my favorite places in our home! Anyway, of our home is filled with teenagers, Keith and I come upstairs to our room and my stitching area awaits. Here is my stitching place in our room:

Bedroom Stitching Area

This is my Vera Bradley...
Kiss and Make-up clutch. I use it as my "needle nest" on the arm of my stitching chair. I filled it with a pincushion and my scissors and extra pins and it sits on my arm chair so I always have a place to stick my needle. (I lose needles all. the. time.) This is my way of not losing needles (or sticking them in the armchair to be pushed down in the arm, or into someone's hand when they come to sit down) This is also convenient for when I leave the house, I snap the lid closed, grab my project envelope and off I can go to stitch in the car (or where ever, and always have my needles, scissors and someplace to stick my needle!) Sadly, the Kiss and Make-up bags are discontinued. You can get them on eBay, but plan on $$$ for them.

Kiss and Make-up Bag

I was thinking...
lately that I need another Kiss and Make-up clutch for my downstairs area, that way I always have one upstairs and one downstairs for stitching at a moments notice. (That's what I do, I have projects ready upstairs and downstairs so if I have a minute. I sit and put in a thread or two)
anyway...I'm cheap and paying a lot of dough for a bag that is discontinued rubs me raw. So...while at work this weekend I saw this tin:


I opened it up...
and it was filled (well filled 1/4 of the way) with sugared pecans. My co-worker and I divested the tin of the nuts (yes, by eating them all ourselves). And I brought it home. Where I made this little pincushion:

Little Pincushion

and lined the tin:

Line the Tin

Then added the pincushion, I had made:

Add the Pincushion

Put it on the arm of my chair and added my ring of floss and BAM! instant needle nest! And it cost me ZERO! :) and it can have the lid put on it and slam it in my project envelope to take when I leave for a little vanside stitching in parking lots waiting on the kiddies! Cool beans!

Arm Chair Needle Nest

Which brings me...
to my downstairs (living room) stitching area:

Downstairs Stitching

this shot is from behind my chair and you will notice that the TV is on the wall facing the room (and that I really can't see it) Well I can, but I wouldn't sit there to watch TV. However, I find, that I listen to TV more than watch it, particularly when I'm stitching. So it suits fine. And if I really want to watch TV while I'm stitching, I pull the chair out a bit and I can see it fine :)
...or I go upstairs to my room... will notice the afghan on the back of my chair, well my colleague, mentor and good friend, Ann, made that for me this year and gave it to me for Christmas. Isn't it gorgeous? I can wrap my frozen fanny in it and stitch away!
You will also notice the random foot stool in the middle of the room...? Well that is her Royal Highness Princess Ellie's personal TV viewing stool. And if Mommy moves it, she gets her rear chewed out ;) ha ha ha! So we leave it for her Royal Highness to perch whenever she gets the notion. Its the little things in life...

Stitching Chair from behind

Here is my market basket...
filled with my project envelopes, all containing a different kitted project, all ready to go. I can move this up and down wherever I go to stitch.and its ready with all the essentials including frames, q-snaps, measuring tape, scissors, etc. Today I plan on stitching downstairs so I brought it down this morning  with me.

My Market Basket Filled with Project Envelopes

another sweet gift...
I need to share is the little ivory pinch pot there, filled with scissors. At Christmas under the tree was this huge wrapped package. It was for me from Ellie. I opened up this huge box and in the bottom was this little pot, wrapped in a huge bunch of bubble wrap :)
She had made it in art class at school and when the teacher asked her why she chose to make a pinch pot, rather than her hand print, etc. She told her that it was because her Mama sewed and that she needed a place to put her scissors so she wouldn't lose them. Talk about wanting to make a Mama cry...
So forever will this Mama use her beautiful ivory pinch pot to keep her scissors so that she doesn't lose them.

Ellie's Pinch Pot

So that's my story peeps! Want to see what I'm working on and even what I have finished?
Sure you do!

First up:
"The Melicent Turner Sampler"
A reproduction sampler from Little House Needleworks
I started this on Sunday over on the Little House Showcase and Stitch A Long Place
We have Sampler Sundays over there and I decided that I needed to participate. I've had this kitted for a long time and I went with it.

I'm stitching mine on:
30 count random linen of unknown origin and color
using Classic Colorworks cotton overdyes in the colorway Diane provided in the pattern, however I changed out Sweetest Heart, which is a pinker red for Apple Fritter which is a deeper, darker red. I think it will be sweet.

Melicent Turner Start

This is one afternoon/evening worth of stitching. I got further than I expected I would!

Melicent Turner Day One

Then I finished, Seven Pines, a complimentary design from Diane for Christmas 2013
I stitched mine on 30 ct. Dark Chino using the DMC colors that Diane gave HERE

LHN _ Seven Pines

and last night ...
Did you hear the angels singing?! Because I only have a few days of January left but I held firm to my 2014 "goal" and started the first Prairie Schooler Santa! for my someday Prairie Schooler Santa Tree, that I will hopefully have more than one Santa hanging on the tree this Christmas 2014!

Here's my progress after an hour of stitching:

My Current Project

And yes...
I DO use a floor stand and a lap stand. I get asked this the most from people, so I'll share about it because I know that people will ask me about it. So I'll give my spiel.

It is a Needlework System 4 Floor stand. I have had it now for 6 years. You buy it to suit your stitching style. Mine is the floor stand part and the Q-snap head. I also own a separate set which is: the lap/table top stand part and a second Q-snap head. I prefer the floor stand, however the lap stand is fine too. Both work...but I prefer the floor stand. The lap/table top stand is my mobile stand that I take with me to retreats, to my LNS stitching day, etc. I do use it at home too, but the floor stand is light enough that I can carry this one up or down the stairs depending on where I'm stitching here at home. Yes, these are costly and it is scary to spend that much on something. I did not "pre-test drive" it, or any model. I just did a lot of research about it. I have had two things break over the years on my head part. Both times I e-mailed the company and both times replacement parts were sent to me to fix it myself. The owner of the company even volunteered fixing it if I didn't feel comfortable, however, my husband is handy, so we didn't need to do that. I am completely satisfied, I have sold many stands over the years for the company based on people asking me about them from my blog. Maybe I should be given a brand spanking new floor stand because of my touting them as the best stand ever? :) Honestly, this stand is fabulous. If you are having issues with tendinitis (I was) or just general muscle problems, posture problems, etc. while stitching. I HIGHLY recommend this product. HIGHLY! Best single thing I ever did for my stitching life. Period. The head turns so that you can easily start out/end off. No loosening no nuts to turn, just load it and go. I stitch two-handed too, so I think that speeds stitching up a lot, which is another side benefit.

In the Q-snap head...
is F.A. Edmunds Stretcher Bars I've having a new romance with these lately for cross stitching and I have to "rig" the Q-snap head holders to hold the stretcher bars. But some old  pieces of felt do the trick. The new romance is because I have found that the stretcher bars really do "block" the piece well. Especially on a loose weave linen. But maybe its my imagination. They are also light weight, reusable, cheap and if you stitch "in hand" they are not heavy on your wrists.

So there you go folks...
That's my stitching story and my current WIPS and finishes for today!

I'll be back...
and until I do, I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always!
Join me!

Hugs and stitches, 
Vonna xxxx


  1. Brrrr Vonna! I'll stop complaining about the fog here. I love your snowman tin sewing box. Very very very cute.

  2. I love both of your stitching areas they look so comfy. Your stitching is always so perfect, I always learn so much from your post.
    Happy Stitching!

  3. Lovely post...I used to give raw apple cider vinigar to all our poultry this time of the year when we had hens. We had over 50 and they never had a days illness unlike my friend's birds which were always getting colds and she would lose quite a few. I havent tried it myself but can understand you taking it.

  4. Great post, Vonna! Nice to see your stitching spots, they look so comfy! Thanks for the info on the ACV!! I had read up on it to use for sinus headache but I didn't know that regular use can help other things, many the same as you had so I will give it a try too! Do you dilute it in water or just drink it straight down? Have a wonderful week!

  5. It's the story of a passionate, dedicated stitcher! Just cozy nests everywhere!

    We are at 12 degrees here in DC after about 4-5" of snow in my neighborhood, more as you go a bit farther away from the city. Too cold for my bones to handle!

    Off to read about your miracle "drug".

  6. I love your post, Vonna! My favorite thing?? Your stitching basket full of fabric project bags. Love, love, love it!! I need to get to work and make some of those! Great job on your stitching this month. Good for you!


  7. Great. post Vonna. it is freezing here in South Carolina also, but we are in the double digits today. it is 34 right now. going down to 22 tonight. My toes are so cold I have the heating pad on them to warm them up lol
    love your stitching spots, both look so cozy. I have one of those Vera Bradley kiss and make up clutches, Michele from Seattle gave it to me at PALS. IT is great!

    take care and stay warm!! :)

  8. Vonna, thank you soooooo much for this post. I struggle with tendonitis too and have been contemplating spending the money to get a floor stand because my lap stand just doesn't cut it. I've been on the fence about which one to buy so your recommendation on this is so helpful! I use the same light too....I love it.

    Funny that you say you "listen" to tv while you stitch; I do the same!

  9. Another great post, Vonna! I always take something away with me by reading here. Will look into the ACV. Love your stitching spots. Stay warm!

    Robin in Virginia

  10. Oh Vonna what a fabulous post! I love seeing where your stitching nests are in your home. Yours looks so comfortable and you have all the tools of the trade right at your finger tips! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Great projects that you are working on. I stitched Melicent Turner a while ago and I love that little sampler. I'm still working on ornaments too. I'm bound and determined to have a LOTS of stitched pillow-type ornaments on my tree this Christmas.

    Thanks again for a great blog post -- it made my day:)))

    Stay warm.

  11. Hi Vonna. I have been reading your blog for a quite a while and really enjoy it. I loved your 25 days of Christmas. You have a lovely home and I enjoyed seeing and reading about your stitching spots. Congrats on getting your first PS Santa started for your tree. Can you tell me which design your doing.
    When you have time, please come by my blog and say hi.


    PS I really think I am going to try the apple cider vinegar. Maybe it will help with all my aches and pains.

  12. I agree, a great post and I love both your stitchy spots.your pinch pot is so lovely,unique and made with can't beat that

  13. Love this post! Do you take the 2 TBLS in water or straight?

  14. I always enjoy my visits with you. I love re-using tins for the "sewing" kit. and besides I can stick in a magnet and voila, ready for my needles. I too loose them all the time.

  15. A wonderful post Vonna, and I loved checking out your stitching spots - they look so cozy! Keep warm, its the complete opposite here this week, we had 30 degree C plus yesterday!

  16. Thanks for sharing your stitching areas with us today, Vonna. I always enjoy seeing other's setups. Also, I love the apple cider vinegar tip and will definitely try it. I have gotten into essential oils over the last year, and they have worked great for me, so I'm all about going the natural route when possible.

  17. I can see you will have to answer questions about the ACV...inquiring minds... Loved this post! I have both lap stands and a floor stand, plus QSnaps... and ever since I got the QSnaps, the stands have been idle. I don't use ANY now, but I have been contemplating using them again... I stitch in hand right now. But I miss two-handed stitching a lot! You will surely have plenty of Santas done by Christmas! Thanks for sharing as always!

  18. Well thanks for sharing! I really like finding out about fellow stitcher's worlds.

  19. Thanks for sharing all the info on stitching and ACV. I am going to check out the ACV. You are the reason I purchased my stitching stand last year. I am always (jazzed) after reading your posts! Keep um comin! Amy in OK

  20. Vonna, I tried that apple cider vinegar drink and I couldn't take it. It was awful. Kudos to you and your hubby for being able to do it.

    I enjoyed your stitching story. Kinda envious of your organization though. My wips are just thrown into a laundry basket! Maybe I should work on that a bit. I can say my overdyed floss is now organized since I spent the better part of the day working on it!

    Congrats on starting your PS Santa!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  21. Another fabulous post. Your stitching areas are so cozy. My favorite part of the post today is the pot Ellie made you for Christmas; so sweet !! And again you are so creative making your needle tin.

  22. Thanks for sharing your personal stitching style and spaces. It is fascinating to see how others create!

  23. Thank you for sharing your stitching space! I am fascinated by how we all create. I completely agree that when I am stitching I am really only listening to the tv. You have two cozy spots.

  24. LOVE the idea of the traveling tin of necessities~~ especially if it cost you zero!! And, knowing momma has a stitching spot both up and down stairs is good yo know.... I always stitch in the den w the family.... When I just HAVE to get in my zone, I'll head down to the craft room.... BUT, I need to set up better, like you've done..... Traveling baskets, tins and the like are great ideas!!! Tytyty~

  25. Love seeing your stitching nests and arrangements. Very nice! I tend to stitch in my bedroom so I'm out of the way when the kids' friends come over. Of course these days they aren't home most of the time. Oh well. Love your stitching too! We are 2 degrees right now. I hate this cold weather!

  26. I love your stitching areas! What a wonderful idea for having your needles, scissors, and threads handy! I'm definitely doing that! I'm trying to decide if I want to take my stitching to the hospital with me...I'm just not sure if I will have the inclination. However, I think I will get some projects packaged up, like you did, in case I want my hubby to bring me something. How incredibly smart you are! Love it! I have a stand that I love, too, and it has really sped up my stitching. Mine is for my recliner, though, and it has ended up working very well for me. I searched and studied before I bought mine and I'm so thankful that it all worked out. Love your projects, too! So beautiful!

    Blessings - Julie

  27. Love this post, Vonna
    Its great to see where you stitch, and to see what you use, I have a little tin of bits and bobs that I carry around, needles, scissors, pencil etc, your clutch and tin are just perfect.
    Love the pinch pot Katie made for you, so sweet!!
    You managed alot of stitches on Melicent Turner, its looks great as does your Seven Pines and woo hoo!!! for starting your first PS santa, I'm sure you'll get losds finished in the year for your tree!!
    Keep warm!!!
    Love to all
    Linda O xxxx

  28. Thanks for sharing your stitching preferences, Vonna! I loved reading about them. And your stitching looks beautiful! Try not to freeze too much :D

  29. Great post Vonna! I loved reading about where your stitch and all the bits you added :) Your little Ellie's gift is soooo sweet!!

  30. You have two lovely stitching nests and both are so cozy, and so organized. All the lovely accessories that help to stay organized. Having such a basket with your projects to carry around from one nest to the other is a neat idea. I have my project bags and stitching accessories in a big box but this box hasn't got handles, so it's not easy to carry it around. I think I'll switch to a basket. Thanks for sharing this idea.
    We've got the same idea with PS Santas. I always failed during the last years with stitching an ornament per month, so this year I thought I should stitch ornaments from my favourite designer maybe I could stay with the plan this way. And so far it works.

  31. I love reading your blog!!!! Always inspiring!!! I also have a System 4 and love it!!!! My stitching speed has definitely increased!!!!

  32. Loved seeing your stitching areas,Vonna ! I joined the group on Facebook , and am going to try and stitch an ornament for January ! Love yours !

  33. Thank you for sharing your home I could feel the warmth & comfort made me want to grab my needle and start stitching! Such great ideas here in MN it's -30, -43 windchill so good time to stay in & do some organization and much stitching. Stay warm & continue the fight against your cold! Happy stitching....

  34. I enjoyed reading this! I've known the benefits of ACV for a long time. Everything you say is true : ) Both your stitching areas look so comfy! I'm going to look into that frame, & of course I am The Easily Influenced Stitcher so as soon as I read about the Kiss & Makeup bag I rushed over to eBay & ordered one! Yes, I am pathetic ... lol!

  35. Thank you for sharing your favourite stitching spots...they both look so cozy and comfortable (as well as tidy)!
    I hope that you feel better very soon, and send healing hugs your way ...
    Judy xo

  36. Both of your stitching spots look cozy and inviting. As soon as I finish this comment I'm off to make my own "clutch" for my chair. I'm always losing needles, too and I don't have a perfect height table to place along my chair that's easy for me to work off of. Your method is a great solution for me. Thanks for sharing!

  37. What a nice newsy post. I'm going to look up Apple Cider Vinegar...thanks for the tip. Yes, I love seeing your stitching spots. We want to add a master bedroom suite onto the main floor of our house, and I had this in the back of my mind...a stitching corner in it.!! LOL.

  38. Vonna thanks so much for all the great info today. Love your stitching areas. Would love to stitch with you, if only we lived closer. Love your start and the finish. Can't wait to see it when it is done! I will have to look up the ACV. I was just talking to Sandra from Homespun Elegance the other night and she uses concentrated cherry juice from the health food store. Need to try something. Happy Stitching!

  39. Loved seeing your setup! I use the mini stretcher bars too. Love them for needlepoint or cross stitch.

  40. Vonna

    Wondering how you store your threads? I use the little plastic bobbins and case for DMC, and add "tags" of Weeks or GAST thread to a "ring" but they the threads get all tangled. Wondering if you or your readers have any suggestions??

  41. Your ideas are all great! Love your little handmade pieces and boxes. As well as you shared the stand, I would love to see a photo of you stitching with it. I usually sit with my feet in the chair, and wonder if a floor stand could accommodate my posture (or lack of).

  42. Its funny how everyone has a different set up and you have two. Ahhh the days of teenagers, that wasnt to long ago for me. The blanket is really pretty. Apple cider vinegar is the best for you. Hope you dont get to sick.

  43. Our house was always the hangout for the teenagers when my girls were still at home. I definitely didn't mind one bit! Thanks for sharing your stitching areas. I really enjoyed seeing them. That ivory pinch pot is just so awesome and such a sweet gift. I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and having alot of problems with my neck, shoulders, arms and hands. I wonder if a floor stand would help me. Does it come close enough to you that you don't have to lean forward or bend over it? Do you glue the ends of the stretcher bars to keep them together? My LNS sold them, but she only sold them already glued together in sizes she chose.

  44. Another lovely post. Your tin is so cute, another creative idea. My favorite part of this post is Ellie's pinch pot she made for you, sweet !!

  45. Both your stitching spots look lovely and cosy.

  46. I love both of your stitching areas. The little box you made is an excellent idea, I may have to copy it. As always your stitching is lovely.

  47. Hi Vonna,

    Wow!! This is a wonderful, newsy post that is full of interesting and educational stuff. I was
    interested to read about the dose of apple cider vinegar that you and your family have been
    taking. I've never heard of that before I don't think. Must check it out. I would imagine that
    the taste must take a bit of getting use to. I don't care for vinegar myself except when called
    for to be mixed into recipes. I have a bit of eczema too that refuses to clear up but I hate using the
    creams that aren't really good for your skin either.

    Your stitching areas are cozy, comfy and well thought out. And two are always better then one!
    I'll take a picture of my spot but it's just at my computer desk where the light is best. I use my
    computer as a TV at times but really I can't stitch and "watch" a program. I'm a visual person
    so if I don't watch a program and give it my undivided attention then I don't get into it at all. So
    when I stitch I listen to talk radio or music.

    That Kiss and Make Up clutch is cool but making your own version is genius! Trust you to
    come up with your own unique variation on the design.

    The Melicent Turner Sampler is looking great so far. Another great choice to add to your sampler
    wall when it's done. Love the thread choices for it. And Seven Pines is cute! I wonder which
    PS Santa design you've chosen to stitch. Congrats on the first step towards your own PS
    ornament tree.

    Your stitching floor stand sounds wonderful. I have a floor stand but rarely use it. I'm
    stitching in hand these days because of my eye sight issues.

    Hope you're not suffering too much from the nasty winter weather that has been plaguing
    so much of the U.S. and Canada. It is a never ending ordeal it seems.


  48. Great update Vonna! It is always interesting to me to see how others organize their stitching and stitching nest. My favorite thing is the pinch pot :)
    Have a great week!

  49. Lovely to see you stitching spots :). You've had some great new starts, congratulations on finishing the cute ornie

  50. Looks to me like you have two very cozy stitching areas!

  51. I'm a believer in the ACV too, my DH was taking probably 2 Zantac a day for years when he started on the ACV - hasn't had a zantac since and it's been 2 years in March! I was happy to read the links you published - more interesting things I didn't know.
    Love "a Little Snow" yep I'm behind on blog reading and since I was a needlepointer for many years - I have several System 4 goodies in my arsenal - I have the travel mate floor frame and the table clamp - I'd like to add a lap frame but I don't enjoy working on my lap so I have been able to resist. Fun to see your stitching haunts - hope you have fun in the LHN sampler SAL. With warm and wooley-thoughts ! Mel

  52. What an inspiring post. I love the tin idea. What kind of floor lamp are you using? I have been contemplating getting one. Thanks for the ACV tips.

  53. What an inspiring post. I guess it is time for me to start working on my stitching area. I love the tin idea. Thanks for the ACV info, I will check into it.

  54. What an inspiring post. I guess it is time to start working on my stitching area. I love the tin idea. I will definitely look into ACV. What kind of floor lamp are you using? I am looking into getting one soon.

  55. What a great post. I enjoyed reading about your stitching spots. I love the idea of the tin and may just have to make one for myself. Sadly I can't have a dedicated space for now as the kids are too little to be trusted not to sort through my things and Felix cannot be trusted with scissors or needles or anything for that matter. My stitching is contained in a small bag and I put it out of reach every night after stitching.

    Nice start on Millicent, this is such a pretty sampler.

  56. Love your stitching spots. They look so cozy and inviting. I can't even begin to imagine what 1 degree of cold feels like. I wouldn't go outside! Your stitching is fabulous as always. :-)

  57. Whaou, your stitching places are wonderful as your organization Vonna, happy stitcher you are :)

    Hugs Cat from France


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