Monday, February 25, 2019

Knocking on the door of March....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to you, my friends ~

How are you all? I hope well...
I am struggling with a very bad cold. I believe now I can say it is likely bronchitis and a sinus infection. My doctor is very low key in giving prescriptions unless very, very ill (and as a former medical microbiologist, I understand why), so I continue with warm liquids, mucinex, alka-seltzer cold and lots and lots of water and RICOLA. My taste buds have Ricola drops burned into their memory :)

I want to thank you all...
for your very kind words and well wishes for my Blog of the Year Award and also for the kind prayers and words of kindness for my testing. I am now able to completely communicate what I have been and what I am facing. The week before Christmas I was diagnosed (through genetic testing that my doctor wished me to get based on family history of cancer) that I am CHEK2 genetic mutation positive. What this means (simply all boiled down): that I have a greatly increased chance of getting breast and colon cancer in my lifetime. I have been getting mammograms since the age of 35 due to family history. So, I was immediately referred to a genetic counselor and surgeon. I was set up with appointments as soon as I could be worked in for: endoscopy, colonoscopy, diagnostic mammogram and MRI. As you will note the endo and colonoscopy are pretty invasive procedures so the prep and recovery time for them was a few days prior and after the procedures. I am happy to report that all tests were negative. I've had the meeting with the surgeon and counselor and they have put me on a regiment of testing for the rest of my life. So I will: have a diagnostic mammogram every 12 months, a MRI every other year and a colonoscopy every 3 years for the rest of my life. CHEK2 is a relatively new genetic marker on the scene and it is being associated with other cancers and of course every cancer it is being associated with someone in my family has had. So I am assured that with this knowledge I can be proactive in my own healthcare. I am thankful.

lets get on to good stuff - stitching.
Since I last visited you I had been playing around with an idea in my head....
Namely the Plum Street Sampler's Animal Stacks. Are you familiar with those?
I decided I wanted to stitch mine all on one piece of fabric. I am going to do a small "tutorial" about how I determine how to do a "all on one" piece and I will link/post that information as soon as I get it written. 
Here is the result:


I am stitching them as a "string" on 40 ct. Vintage Country Mocha using a complete conversion to Classic Colorworks that I did myself. So in the pole position was: "Cow Pile". Hmmm...wonder what the #2 animal stack will be? You will just have to wait to see!

I also worked this weekend on Red Rooster Inn by Little House Needleworks and here is where I stand on this WIP:


I have 4 evenings left in February...let's hope I can get this knocked out! I really want to meet my goal of finishing this by the end of February. I have more than what one would think left to do. This is on 40 count Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens. I have the house fill in, the windows to fill in and the bottom "scroll" that frames it. Fingers crossed that I can get this done!

Last weekend I put the finishing stitches in:
"For Ewe" by Teresa Kogut

For Ewe

Stitched on 28 ct. Midnight by Luminous Fiber Arts (ETSY Store HERE)
using Classic Colorworks and DMC
I have (inside my head) a really great finish. I've purchased all the things needed to do it...I just need to put it all together after designing the finish as I want. We will see if it turns out.

On February 14, 2019....
I had a smallish finish that I completed
Plum Street Valentine Stocking

This is a freebie from Plum Street Samplers available HERE
I stitched mine in my own conversion to Classic Colorworks stitching 3 over 2 on 25 ct. Country Vintage Mocha evenweave. I wanted my stocking to be larger...therefore I stitched it on 25 ct. and I also added a cuff in ticking and added Lady Dots Creates rickrack in vanilla and a tiny JABCO heart sprinkles button. 
Why did I want it larger? So that I could add it to my mantle: 
My stockings 2019

and after I stitched and finished and added this wee stocking to my mantle...I began to think about my languishing stocking charts that I have (yes, I have all of them Kathy Barrick released) and then a few days later, LO AND BEHOLD...Kathy posted this on her Facebook Page... a couple of her Nashville 2019 releases:
The Embroideress Stocking

The Mariners Stocking 


Which means....
soon you will be seeing me pull out one that I have here already kitted to make another. Wonder which one it will be? Hmmm...I have them all! Including the mermaid punch needle one. I love these stockings that I already have hanging. They stay up year round and I incorporate them in all my seasonal decorating. Just makes me want to finish more so I have a whole mantle full of these prim-tastic stockings! I LOVE THEM!!

I also...
was called in to work at the Quilt Shop this month (I don't have set days...I just fill in when needed).
And when I work, the owners like us to bring our machines with us and sew when we aren't busy so that patrons can see projects and be inspired. So I took along some of my pillow case kits for donation and made up these while I worked one day:


I had a lady on Instagram let me know that I should focus more on boys pillow cases because girls always have more donated for them. I always do half and half. Whenever I purchase or sew, I make sure to sew equal amounts for both boys and girls (remember I have TWO boys and TWO girls in my family and plus my mind just works in equality). sort of was a bit off putting to me. So I called my local pillow case coordinator and was told that the numbers here are pretty much equal for both genders, and if she sees one gender specific lower than the other she will tell us. So...whatever - I try to do a good deed and share what I have done, not in the hopes that I get a pat on the back: RATHER its to inspire others to share a good deed too ( I can't tell you how many people didn't know about simply sewing a pillow case to donate) ...but like always - there's a critic.

Ellie wanted to share....
some sugar cookies with her teachers and friends for Valentines Day...
so, this happened:





They were a big hit, like always

And this month....
due to all of the illness, procedures, doctor's appointments, etc. I have not finished much but when I did these were completed for my business clients:
CD_HB Witches Pets CD_SSS Fireworks on 4th SK_SS Autumn Bird SK_SS Forest JG_LHN My House HM_LHN Farmhouse Christmas Set RL_PSS Hello Summer CA_HOD Oh Say DB_HOD Grown w Love DB_HOD Ready Set Snow EC_PSS Fall EC_PSS Spring EC_PSS Summer EC_PSS Winter

OK folks....
that does it for me for today!
I'll be back as soon as I can with a written tutorial on how to lay out your design for a "all on one piece" project. 

Until next time...
Hugs and Love in Stitches,
Vonna xxxx


  1. Love all your stitching especially your stockings.
    Don't let the critics get to you. Some people just can't accept goodness in others. Your finishing, as always, is the best.

  2. Your finishes, as always, are perfection and my o my aren't there talented stitchers out there! Wonderful projects all.
    While your tests are not a lot of fun I couldn't help thinking how blessed we are living in a time where this science is available to us.So happy your test results are all clear, full speed ahead. Good health is such a gift.

  3. Beautiful work, as always (per Mr. Rodger's neighborhood, my inner voice adds: "King Friday").I am so excited to hear about your upcoming tutorial on how to stitch a series as one large piece - I need that! Thank you!

  4. So enjoy your blog, videos and everything you do! I'm fairly new to you so I've spent way too much of my time going back and watching all your tutorials and videos. Your skills are just wonderful. And I'm so envious of all the patterns and charts that you have at your fingertips to be able to pull out and start something new. I'm so glad you got a good health report. I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and thankfully have not had to do chemo or radiation just a mastectomy so I feel very blessed too. Keep up all that you do you are very appreciated

  5. Thanks for including links to sites & freebies - much appreciated!

  6. Good to know all of your tests came back negative and that you'll be with us for a very long time! Nice progress on the LHN piece; I think you'll have a finish before the month is out. Those stockings, wow. I've stitching the PSS freebie stocking too and just need to FFO it too but after I've done a practice piece on regular cotton fab. Those cookies look so good, wish I could reach through my screen and snag one! Take care, Vonna.

  7. Vonna, very glad to hear that your test results are in your favor. Praise be to the Lord! Your finishes for your clients are all incredible. Your stocking finish for yourself is darling and looks fabulous with your other stockings. I look forward to seeing your animal stackers come to life with your vision. Thinking of you!

  8. I just recently found you, thanks to dear Caroline from "Off the Grid Needlework" and have fallen in love with you. You seem as familiar as an old friend or my daughter. I have so enjoyed going back and watching all of your videos and learning about the ups and downs in your like the problems we all have daily. I appreciate hearing of your service and devotion to God and family and am glad you are being proactive with your health risks. Thank you for sharing your life and needlework talents with all of us. So wonderful to find new friends all over via floss tube and FB stitching groups. I watched "The Magic Pill" and as a retired RN was surprised to learn so much from it which will send me off in search of more information and most likely dietary changes. May God send blessings to you and family!

  9. Vonna, glad to hear your tests came out ok. I go every 3 years for a colposcopy. My mother was 1 of 12, al but one sibling had numerous forms of cancer. My surgeon told me when I was 40 I must have my first, wow, I was good, so he said, 45 not so good. So for at least 4 years it was yearly, then every 2 years and now every 3. Wish my brother had l listened to me because at 48 he had colon cancer. He is now 61 and doing well. It's a pain to go but boy it's worth it. Love your post, thanks for sharing and God bless 😏♥️

  10. Wonderful to read about your negative test results, Vonna! And routine testing for the rest of your life is worth the peace of mind, I'd say... It's amazing the strides science has made discovering all the genetic markers and possibly preventing future diseases through testing. Hooray for those hard-working scientific researchers who are often underpaid and under-appreciated, but worth their weights in gold (gotta get up on my soapbox as my middle son and daughter-in-law are both researchers in scientific labs involving medical discoveries :)

    Lovely finishing, stitching, cookies--everything is wonderful and I'm glad you can rest a bit easier now...

  11. I'm so happy to hear you got the all clear and they will be watching your closely. As we all know cancer is nothing to joke about. I just hope you never get it and it proves better to be safe than sorry. Love your beautiful stitching and all your gorgeous finishes. I agree with you there is always a critic. They are so frustrating. What matters is you....for doing to good deed. Who would tear that apart?? Big Hugs!!

  12. So glad o hear the good results on the tests. I always love the way you finish the cross stitch pieces.

  13. Yeah Vonna--- Great news! So happy the test results are good. Even though you will have to do the mammograms and other testing more often, it is do-able. Not fun, but to have the testing available to us AND the fact that testing improves each year is a wonderful thing. My prayers for you will continue as you have done for me at my request earlier this year. The cookies look wonderful. Such preparation, and the outcome is just beautiful. So professional. Even with so much going on with your health you still do for others. Now relax and stitch and get plenty of sleep! -- Cindy in northern Illinois

  14. I just really love you, Vonna! Thank you for sharing with us, as always! There is so much gorgeous stitching and finishing from you; I am waiting with bated breath for the next animal in the PSS strip! I am glad to hear that things are going well with your health. It looks like you have really been putting in the time and effort on taking care of YOU lately, which is awesome because it is so easy to put it OFF for "later" or "next". Go, you!!! :D

  15. Vonna, I'm glad to hear your testing went well. I've been thinking of you. Congratulations on your blog award - well deserved! As always, your finishing is awesome.

  16. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers! Lovely projects!!!

  17. Vonna: I am so happy you had good results, todays medicine is amazing, however the prep for a couple of your tests are the ones I hate the most.
    You stitching as always is beautiful, you choose such lovely designs to stitch.
    Your finishing is beautiful.
    I love the cookies your royal icing is perfect.
    I have not seen the new stocking until today wow that mariner one I have to stitch, Mike was in the Navy.


  18. Hi Vonna: I'm so glad that your tests all came out clear! Praise the Lord! Isn't it amazing what they can do now to help us be proactive in our healthcare? I do hope you start feeling better but if you think you need some antibiotics, don't wait too long. I know you know all this but just worried about you as I have had both the bronchitis and sinus infections in the past and they are the worst. I'm praying for you! Your stitching is gorgeous and I love your pillow case project. What a wonderful idea! Take care of yourself!

    Blessings - Julie

  19. I have been praying for you and am so happy to hear your test results have all been positive! I know the routine testing will be a pain, but will be worth the peace of mind. Your stitching and finishing is gorgeous as always. (Even when you have less time you still get an enormous amount done!)Those stockings are so pretty - I like how you keep them out all year. The cookies look wonderful! Hope you feel better soon!

  20. Vonna … so pleased to hear that all of your checks are OK and continue to be OK. At least you are on the radar now for them to keep an eye on you, even if you have to go more often.
    Love the stitching, it's so good to see you stitching more for YOU.
    Wonderful finishing, both your own and clients. Looking forward to see what you come up with for your future finishes.
    Love the pillowcases. Yes, there's ALWAYS one!!
    Take care.

  21. If I were to comment on each individual subject in your post, my comment would be a mile long! So, I'll just stick to the highlights... Thank God for the good news of your medical tests. I will be praying specifically for your health in the days, weeks, months, and yes, years to come, Vonna. All of your finishes are gorgeous (as always), your cookies look delicious; all in all your post was filled with beauty!

  22. I always enjoy your updates - blog, flosstube, FB - so much. Beautiful stitching and finishing as always. And your cookies are too pretty to eat. Hope you feel better soon.

  23. Lovely finishes as usual. So glad your tests came back negative. Please take care of yourself. I've been having sinus infections several times this winter also. God Bless

  24. Congrats on your last post! I’ve been unable to leave comments on blogs forever. Just figured out I need to be logged into Blogger for my profile to show up. UGH! Been following via IG.
    Anyway, sorry your been through so much medically and emotionally. So glad your doctors are being proactive with the prevention. Hope your cold goes away soon. We had a nasty virus at the beginning of the year.
    Beautiful job on your stockings and client finishing. Cookies look to pretty to eat.
    Thank you for posting the info on the pillowcases. Once I get my sewing room cleaned and reorganized I will contacting my local chapter.

  25. Beautiful finishes, Vonna! Looking forward to seeing your animal stacks progress. Such wonderful stitching! Hope you can kick that bronchitis and sinus issue. It seems it can drag on forever and is so tiring. Happy for your good news.

  26. So glad you are being proactive. I get the same screenings. Love the stockings I did my Quaker in blue I like yours in red. I am starting noah

  27. You always make me laugh when you say you haven’t gotten much done...which is rare, but have you read this post? lol! Haven’t gotten much done?!!!😳. I have nowhere near what you are doing or have been through, and I haven’t even finished one piece I’ve been working on for almost a year. And it’s not even a large or difficult piece! I’ve baked no cookies (because I’ll eat them), nor cooked all those meals, worked at a shop, finished others’ projects, etc...Sheesh! As usual you amaze me. So glad all turned out great. That seems like a lot to go through in a short period of time. Love all your work, and all the cookies. But the heart cookies are so beautiful. Ok...I need not keep you any longer cuz you need to get back to not doing as much... Lol! Hugs to you Vonna.🤗

  28. Glad to hear your tests came out ok. Must have been quite a difficult time for you. I hope you are getting over the bronchitis now and aren't feeling too tired.
    What an amazing collection of photos though, so many beautiful stitches, finishes and those biscuits look delicious.


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The Twisted Stitcher