Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Hello September...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to my friends ~
I hope this finds you all well!

Helloooo September!
Can you believe it? I surely can't, but then again I feel like I've been chasing after myself all year long. 

What have I been up to?

Well in late July I finished the first part of the Little House Needleworks 
ABC Sampler series. It is a nine part series that can be stitched alone as bowl fillers or as one piece. I decided to stitch mine all on one piece. 

Here is my ABC block #1


Here is my DE - Block #2 that I finished in late August (think August 30th) 


And here is what mine looks like all together. 

A few notes on this one....
ABC Samplers is charted to have a block around each house. So if stitched as charted each home/design is like a building block to the next one, skipping two stitches in between is what Diane suggests if stitching them all on one sampler. 
Well you know me...I can't do anything exactly like what the pattern calls for.
I wanted a "neighborhood" feel to my sampler. So I am leaving off the square surrounding blocks.
I am adding my "own" block that will encompass the whole sampler. 
It is simply a solid square and then a broken line square inside the solid line square. I am using Classic Colorworks Caterpillar for the solid line (the darker brown) and then Classic Colorworks Sassy Brassy for the broken line square (golden rust color). I knew these two would look good together and with the color palette of the others according to the sneak peek that Diane shared on her company website. So I went with it.
They are...
looking so good :) Can't wait to get to the "FGH" which is the next installment. 
I am doing mine three across and three down. 
Have a tempted you to give these sweet patterns a try?!

Next up....
for the remainder of this year and for the foreseeable future, I am going to try to do more "me" stitching. Stitching centers me and I need to feel free to stitch what I want to stitch and when I want to stitch it instead of rushing to meet deadlines that I all too often put off until the very last minute due to my family schedule and working schedule. With me off-loading my job at the hospital (which has been nothing but positive!!!) I am trying to work harder than ever on my finishing business, so I have to be cognizant of not overdoing there to incorporate stitching every day on things I want to stitch. 

This summer...
watching FlossTube which has steadily become a very important part of my day. I watched Dena @ Half Stitch Channel stitching on a pattern I had seen once before from a client of mine who showed me her finish (Hi Linda!). I mentioned it on my FB page about WOW what a beauty and then my good friend Jane @ Henley's Landing Blog sent me a pictures of hers:

Jane's Smoky Mountain Christmas Jane

This is Smoky Mountain Christmas which is an adaptation of the artwork of Linda Kotila. The design was originally put out by Stardust Design Company but they are no longer in business. This pattern however (I was happy to discover) can be purchased for PDF download at Patterns OnLine RIGHT HERE

So....after putting this bit of info on my FB page, lo and behold I soon realized that there were MANY stitchers that owned this pattern (or wanted to own this pattern) and a dear buddy Natasha started a FB page Stitch-Along entitled "Smoky Mountain Christmas SAL" 
if you are inclined to jump in and have the pattern already or want the pattern search the above name on FB and ask to be admitted as a member. 

We started on September 4, 2016....
but I didnt' get started until September 5
Here is my two days of progress so far:

SMS_Day 1

SMC_Day 2

The needles you ask?
Well this is basically a full coverage pattern (minus the snow - all white is just the fabric)
I could quickly tell that I would need some sort of counting "gauge" and I didn't want to stitch those grid lines. So...I just improvised. This is page one basically in 10 stitch guides all laid out on my fabric using needles. (I was in a car when I started this - we were taking Katie back to her dorm after the holiday weekend, so needles were all I had available. I've already purchased some dressmakers pins with plastic heads that I'm going to use when I move to page 2)

I am stitching mine on 18 ct. Aida...
I am not a linen/evenweave snob. Full coverage is difficult enough I wanted easy counting!

I am using DMC as charted. 
The charted white beads (which will be snowflakes)
The charted Whisper Thread for Santa's beard BUT I am taking Jane's lead and also using dark brown-black Whisper for the bears. 

I think it is going to be lovely! and I am having so much fun stitching/planning again.

is what was missing in my life. Dreaming up finishes and dreaming up stitching plans. 
When you have stitch all scheduled...that took the fun, the dreaming, the planning, the anticipation away. I am dreamer. That is who I am. That is what I do best. 
What do I do best? Inspire others to get excited about stitching. I know that. That is what my "thing" in life is. 

kicks you in the butt to make you take a step back, take a good hard look, and then realize that changes need to be made. That is what Life did to me this summer. Kicked me in the butt. What did I do? I didn't give up! I completed my commitments to myself, to others, then I made a change. It was scary, but I did it! AND it was for the best. I'm happy to report that I am happier today than I have been in months! Literally months. I know who I am, what I do best and people can take it or leave it and that's OK, because I'm staying true to me. I lost myself a little bit there...but I'm back and better than I was before I walked down that path.

Yes. Lots.
I'll let the pictures do the talking....

SD_LHN 7 Pines SD_LK Halloweenie SD_LHN Liberty and Justice JP_Brooks Books Advent Animals JP_Shepherd's Bush Wish JP_LK Oct 31 JP_LK Jack JP_Frosted Pumpkin Halloween Town JP_DT Autumn LO_LK Red, White and Blue LO_CCN London LO_PSS Patriotic Stockings W1_Shepherd's Bush Stocking SG_Sewing Room LS_WTNT Land of  Liberty LS_The Scarlet House Penny Pumpkin IC_CCN Red White and Bloom FW_SHSW A+B FW_LK God Bless America FW_LK Boo DW_LK Snowman Tiny Tidings DW_LK Santa Knows Tiny Tidings

there's more, but that's all I'll share this time around :)

My kids are doing fabulous....
Katie LOVES college

Ian and Jacob are doing great as Juniors in High School and in the middle of their Cross Country Season.
(in this photo Ian is out front and Jake (in white head band) leading second pack)



Ellie is chomping at the bit to start 4H meetings again and thriving as a 5th grader.

Speaking of 4H...
My fair results this year:

Carriage House Samplings "Quaker Stocking"
Honor Ribbon

Pineberry Lane's "Bringing Home the Tree"
Reserve Champion Ribbon

Little House Needleworks "Melicent Turner"
Reserve Champion Ribbon

2015 was a lean stitching year across the board, so not as many to enter as previous years. 
Let's hope 2016 is a better stitching year :)

Until next time...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and my heart to God just like always. 
Letting my little light shine for all the world to see, while I continue to be me and reach for the stars!
Hugs and love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx


  1. Lovely finishing Vonna! Your kids look great and happy. That means mamma is happy. :D

  2. So good to hear that your new life (after that job!) is so fulfilling, Vonna... I think you are doing a great thing by deciding to do more stitching for yourself, too. I've pretty much made up my mind to do so next year, also. I realize how much time gift stitching is taking up so I am going to make some changes.

    Love your LHN sampler--it will look so special all on one piece of fabric. And those finishes for your customers--all I can say is wow! They must be so thrilled when they get them back.

    Good to know all is well with the kids--especially your college girl. Changes never stop coming in life, but we have to make the best of them, don't we?

    Happy September to you!

  3. Good morning, Vonna! What a fabulous post you shared with finished items, your kids, and your new WIP! I like your use of needles for gridding and I look forward to see your progress on Smoky Mountain Christmas and the ABC Sampler by LHN. Have a fabulous week! Thinking of you!

  4. Great to hear from you and know everything had been going in a positive direction. A very fun pattern, enjoy your stitching!

  5. Love following you and the family. Love your stitching and of course your finishing is superb.

  6. So glad to hear you are happier than ever Vonna. You are such an inspiration to so many of us stitchers!! Your tutorials gave me the courage to attempt some finishes and I love them. Are they perfect? No but they make me happy and they are not laying in a drawer somewhere, hidden away. Thanks for being an encourager!!

  7. You have been busy! So many beautiful finishes. Looking forward to your progress on Smoky Mountain Christmas.

  8. I'm not surprised to find you happier than ever! Sometimes it just takes that 1 negative being moved out of your life and everything else just falls into place.

  9. I am so glad you are doing well and are happier. And, of course, that you are enjoying your stitching. Your finishes are just incredible. If I was a better stitcher I would send you my work to finish! HA Thanks for sharin.

  10. Your LHN neighborhood is looking that you are making it your own. Glad you are making the time to stitch what you want. I've had the sewing bug lately so I've been enjoying making the project envelopes from your video. I'm starting a collection of these. I've made three so far. Happy Stitching!

  11. Change is such a hard thing, so hats off to you for taking the plunge! I really like your finishing style as well as your stitched pieces. Great inspiration, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you turn out.

  12. Such a newsy post! I'm sooooo glad you are happy now and happy about your changes. Good for you! Yes, you need to stitch for you, dream and have fun!! I'm so glad you have time for that again! Love all the finishing you did too. Great to hear how the kids are doing. Sounds like they are all happy and doing great! Hooray! Love all your stitching. And congrats on the ribbons at the fair!

  13. Gosh you have done a lot of work. They are all fabulous. I look forward to seeing your progress with Smoky Mountain Christmas. I am so glad for you that you have found another door has opened since giving up your hospital job.Hugs from N.Z.

  14. So good to hear that your new life (after that job!) is so fulfilling, Vonna... I think you are doing a great thing by deciding to do more stitching for yourself, too. It's good to have "me " time. Love seeing all the stitching and finishes. Looking forward to seeing more :) Happy Stitching! ~ C's Cross Stitch Creations~

  15. Holy moly, that's a lot of finishing! Glad you're getting time for your own stitching too. Glad everyone is doing well and good luck to your runners this xc season!!

  16. I am so happy you are doing better. You are an inspiration to all of us. Your finishing is beyond beautiful!!

  17. I love how you're doing the ABC Samplers I wish I had seen your way first before I started mine, like in the pattern. I'm not frogging! Your kids are all doing so great, and I'm happy to hear you're doing so well!

  18. I am so tempted to do the ABC samplers series like yours but it will have to wait as I've just bought the Little sheep virtues designs. All your finishes are beautiful. I'm glad to read that life is now better for you and that all your family are doing well.

  19. I'm so happy for you that life is much brighter. You are such a positive person and share your passion with others. Your finishes are absolutely gorgeous. You have a special talent and we are the lucky recipients of your finishing skills.

    Congratulations on your fair ribbons. I love seeing what you are stitching. Enjoy stitching along with the Christmas SAL. The LHN sampler is beautiful and I like the border you have added.

    I love seeing the pictures of your family and following their activities.

    Happy Fall !!

  20. Oh Vonna, I am so happy you are better and happy. Your finishes are beautiful. Good to hear the kids are doing well, such a blessing our children are. Congratulations on your fair ribbons. Thanks for all you share, you are truly an inspiration.

  21. I am happy that you are so happy! Love the finishes.

  22. Wow, great finishes! :)

  23. Vonna, you sound so happy! I'm glad things are going so well for you. Your finishes are all so cute. And congrats on your Fair ribbons! Can't wait to see the projects that come from your dreams and plans!

  24. since we vacation in the Smoky Mountains and have for years and years - I remember the shop owner who encouraged this lady to create this pattern. She had more by her I believe - I know I have this somewhere in stash. LOVE LOVE all the finishes you are showing for customers. You do meticulous work - so creative and so cool - I'm glad you are feeling more grounded and fulfilled these days. I'm glad summer is ending on a very high note for you. I love your ABC sampler layout - should be very unique - I'm getting the designs but just not sure how I want to stitch them. cheers and have a great weekend - Mel

  25. I am so happy you found your way back to your happy place. I have always known my stitching is my sanity and therapy. It keeps me centered. Your finishing work is inspiring. Welcome home

  26. So glad you're finding your happy place again. Thanks for sharing your talent with the rest of us. Love, love, love your finishing! You are indeed inspirational. I plan on entering a few items in the fair this year and will use your fantastic video tutorial to finish a Mill Hill ornie.

  27. Thank you ... thank you for your inspirational post. The last paragraph titled Life was exactly what I needed. I believe God uses His people to speak to us. This was a confirmation from you to me that quitting my job this past summer was exactly what I needed to do. I, like you, have NEVER been happier. Blessings to you and your lovely family.

  28. Vonna: Wow you have been very busy, I like the fact that you did not put the stitch lines between the houses, your border design is wonderful.
    I see you have been very busy with finishing, wow you amaze me.
    I retired last October and love it, I had a wonderful job with a great boss.
    I have me time a couple of days a week, it keeps me sane.
    Love the photo of Ellie, she looks exactly like Katie from your posts from a few years ago.
    Congratulations on your ribbons.
    The boys look great.


  29. Dear Vonna,
    first up: Congratulations on your great results on the fair - you really deserved it!
    I adore your wonderful finishes as always, everything is so beautiful and perfect!
    So happy to read that your kids are doing well!

    Have a wonderful rest of September


  30. It's quite obvious that the changes you made in your life have been doing you good. And you have been so busy filling your newly gained freedom with things that you love doing.
    Wonderful stitching on this LHN ABC. It will look so great on one piece of fabric. And your new project Smoky Mountain Christmas looks just gorgeous. I'm sure you can't wait to stitch more and more on it. Wonderful finishing for your clients, too. And congratulations on the success at the fair.
    You and your kids seem to be so happy at what you are doing.

  31. Beautiful stitching and finishing! I really like the way you are doing the ABC sampler houses

  32. What a lovely post. You and your family look so happy and it sounds like leaving work was the right move for you.
    I love all your finishes but Red White and Bloom jumped out at me.
    Congratulations on your ribbons too!

  33. Glad to hear you're happier now, Vonna! Lovely stitching start, gorgeous finishes, and congrats on the ribbons :D

  34. Hi Vonna! Lovely post. You're really tempting me with the Smoky Mountain Christmas... it's not my usual style but I love it anyway. Thanks for the info on your ABC sampler, it looks great and you're inspiring me to think about how I want to stitch the Mill Hill Christmas village- I hope you don't mind if I use your idea!

  35. If you aren't happy, life gets too hard. Glad you came around, and are doing the things you WANT to do! Love all the finishes... (I must get some of mine done!!) You are such an inspiration to us in blogland! Hugs!

  36. You have been very busy Vonna. Your WIPs and finishes look awesome and glad to read you will be taking some time for yourself. That is so important, I think. Please direct me also to the Smokey Mountain Christmas SAL (I have searched and is difficult to find). I saw that finished and framed in a crosstitch store years ago and purchased the pattern soon after I returned home. I would love to stitch it. Please let me know. Thanks in advance.

  37. I am so glad that you have found that life is happier now. Sometimes a BIG change while incredibly scary, is the best thing that could happen. I find your stitching and finishing amazing - and it looks as though the Fair judges did too! Keeping busy and happy make for a healthy positive person. Stay true to yourself Vonna!

  38. So glad to hear you are rediscovering yourself and being happy. That's so important. Life is too short to not enjoy it. Your new project is beautiful. I wish you tons of luck with it. Just love your finishing. So beautiful and perfect!!

  39. What a great post !!! You are such a great example to us and your children. I am 66 soon and I can say you have re ignited my cross stitch passion. There is always something new to learn technique wise. I can't see myself gridding or parking but, I do love your pin idea You are the best !


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The Twisted Stitcher