Friday, November 22, 2019

Long time - lotsa stuff....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to all ~
well I've been MIA on this little piece of blogosphere for some time.
As you can imagine I have been in "full tilt" for the last what...close to 3 months? I cannot wrap my head around how fast time flies and how much I run from pillar to post.

Here's a breakdown (and it won't be quick) of what I've been doing over the past days fast flown....

October...
I had the distinct pleasure of going to Sassy Jacks in Weaverville, NC to attend The Bristol Sampler Weekend with Claudia Dutcher Kistler of Dutch Treat Designs
I was SO EXCITED!!! I'll talk more about why I was later...

Here we are on our way to Asheville:

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We ate at Mayfel's which is a Louisiana style food diner. Here is Ellie trying her very first green fried tomato!
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Ellie walking the streets of Asheville: 

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On our way to the Arts District (yes we walked .... about 4 miles round trip) there was this beautiful iron gate that I had to take a picture of:

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After the arts district we made the drive to Sassy Jacks in Weaverville to drop off cookies I had made for the weekend courtesy of Fiber Talk. On the way to Sassy Jacks we saw this local honey store and I thought it was so darling: 

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Here are the cookies we dropped off (when they were in production of course)...
I delivered 100 individually wrapped iced and decorated sugar cookies for the first day of classes and about 150 individually wrapped chocolate chip cookies for the second day of classes.

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The Bristol Class began on Friday afternoon and went all the way through to Sunday early afternoon. Oh my word! It was fantastic!! Claudia is not only a historian, but she has worked closely with the George Mueller Trust to catalogue the Bristol Orphanage samplers they have in their possession, so she is VERY well acquainted with the styles and history of these simple samplers made by the hands of young orphans in the Ashley Downs, Bristol orphanages ran by George Mueller.

Here is Claudia:
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Here are some gorgeous, ORIGINAL, Bristol Orphan Samplers:

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The Original Harriet Salt that is in Claudia's personal collection that was reproduced by:
Hands Across the Sea Samplers and is still available for purchase!

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While I was in class...my family - Keith and Ellie - were touring the sights of Asheville and surrounding area....
here are a few snaps of them enjoying their time together...they did tour Biltmore, go hiking and swimming and driving all around ;)

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I couldn't go to Sassy Jacks without some great money spending! Here is some loot from my 3 glorious days at Sassy Jacks and the Bristol Weekend:
Hardwicke Manor Fanny Stand and some of Claudia's Bristol Reproductions


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Class Projects!!
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And finally my Bristol Sampler Collection!
(some of these I had prior to my trip to Sassy Jacks)

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Finally I urge interested parties to take a look at Claudia's website. I stumbled across Bristol's last fall. In January I started researching them. Which led me to Claudia's website...which led me to look for books on the subject in particular George Mueller biography books. Fascinating man, fascinating story, these Bristol Orphan Samplers have become a VERY dear thing to my heart.
Here is Claudia's Website: BRISTOL SAMPLERS

I spent largely the rest of October recovering from my star struck fun at Sassy Jacks and working either at the quilt shop or at home finishing....

November....
started with a bang again because it was my bi-annual trip to Berlin, Ohio where I meet my friends Renee and Christy for the weekend of stitching and good fun. In November it is at Camp Gotta Stitch which is through the Needlework Shop: Cross My Heart LTD 

I love Berlin, Ohio: 

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Here was my table mates:
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and my good friends the day we were departing:

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Golly what a good fun time we all had! LOVE IT!! Can't wait until I get to go back!

Now that you are caught up with my personal stitching life...
here's what I've been stitching on: 
The Queen Sampler
Here is how it stood October 18, 2019

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I am going to be honest...I was struggling with it.
 I had made a counting error is Row 2, then I used it to count off on Row 3, which compounded the error because I used Row 3 to count off for Row 4....
compounding errors along the way - it just got bigger and bigger.
I emailed the above photo to my friend and mentor: Gary Parr (who is also stitching The Queen) and after a 5 second turn around of "yes he in fact did see my errors" and a circle around the obvious error, in row 4...I decided to: 

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I washed the linen (by hand, of course) dried and re-started - I am NOT going to let this project beat me. Here is a progression of my restart with appropriate dates.


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I haven't worked on it since November 16.

Information about The Queen's Sampler is:
Original Design by: The Needle's Prayse: Darlene O'Steen

I am following her pattern using the stitch guide by: Needlemade Designs: Linda Vinson

I am stitching on 37 ct. Russian Tea Cake by Access Commodities with A Ver A Soie 

I am stitching mine fully reversible. I will be framing it with plexiglass on the back so the backside can be seen.

The stitches I have used so far in this sampler is:
reversible cross stitch
double back stitch
double back stitch variation
satin stitch
montenegrin stitch 
running back stitch
I have also set up one grape for the spiral trellis stitch

I do not regret picking the entire sampler out and restarting (although many people thought me nuts) I feel great about it, I feel great about the amount of lessons I've learned, the stitches I've learned, how my stitches lay, the tension on them...and I can say with perfect assurance that as it stands now...there are ZERO mistakes! HURRAY!

I also have been stitching on: 

Early Americans Sampler by Little House Needleworks
(28 ct. evenweave, using MY bake and basted method - search bar on sidebar will get you to tutorial)
Here is how the whole sampler stands:
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Sarah Brazier by Hands Across the Sea Samplers
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and a small Bristol "treat" I'm making for someone special using MH Smith by Dutch Treat Designs

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I've also been quilting:


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Are you tired yet? I sure am...
I also have been finishing out of the WAZOO...definitely not as high as numbers as last year because I had to slow down due to my hand doctor's orders, but as of last night I had finished my 425th item of 2019 for clients. Whew. However I AM DONE with deadline 2019 finishing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That means no deadlines for the rest of the  year and smooth sailing. I still have packages lined up her to work on, but I'm going to slow down a little and 2020 will see me accepting less finishing and doing more for Vonna. Life is short. I want to create every day, but more for me and not everyone else....again my hand doctor orders me to slow it down or face severe, hand mobility issues. I can't live my life without the use of my hands. They are precious to me. So cutting back is the only  option.

I've been getting emails about -
The 25 Days of Christmas with The Twisted Stitcher....
am I going to do it?
YES!!! of course! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

This year is going to see some differences though...I'm going to at least post a picture of something I'm doing that day and maybe a little commentary....
I'll have days with memories and things I hold dear in my heart still...
but the big change will be:
I am going to start working on a sampler December 1st and try to finish it by Christmas Day - and if not finished by then, hopefully by January 1st!

Would you like to know what the Sampler is?
It is this one: 
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I saw this in the Country Sampler - Spring Green Wisconsin Newsletter and flipped out. So much so that I went IMMEDIATELY to their webshop and purchased it. The colors are different in the top photo because it is one of Jeanne's fabulous conversions. I cannot give the conversion because you have to buy the kit from Spring Green to get it. FANTASTIC colors and I am SO in  love with this. 
I will be starting Dec. 1 and daily will upload my progress to the 25 days posts. 
Wanna join me? The more the merrier, I say! Here is a link to the webshop at Spring Green Country Sampler: Jane Stanwix Sampler KIT

So until December 1st and the start of the 25 Days of Christmas with me...
I wish you and yours a most blessed, thankful, Thanksgiving...no matter how  you spend it - we are doing PJs and Tacos because who says you have to eat turkey? or get dressed up? LOL!

May your blessings be many and your troubles few...
Love and Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx

13 comments:

  1. I love your plans for Thanksgiving! You have been busy! I think I would've had to frog the sampler too knowing it would bug me plus what it would do to stitching further down. I would be star struck if I saw the Blackbird Designs ladies too! Here's to a fantastic Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  2. Ok Vonna, I'm getting bloggers and their retreat stories mixed up. Another blogger saw the Blackbird Designs ladies somewhere else! Such beautiful samplers you saw at your getaway though. Enjoy your December 1st start!

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  3. I am just SO blessed to read this today, Vonna!!! Thank you for being wonderful and sharing your heart with us! ❤️❤️❤️ Go, you, on your fully-reversible re-start. Sometimes we move on, sometimes we pull a full re-start/refresh try again. I love hearing you did what felt right and you are loving it! What a pretty advent calendar in the form of a daily stitch you have set for Dec!!! :O I am SO looking forward to seeing that one, especially because you mention that there are some colorway edits in the fibers--going to be fun to see! Thank you again, and have a blessed weekend!

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  4. Weaverville-SassyJacks-Claudia-Bristol Samplers-Cookies were all awesome. Your Queens Sampler is beautiful. Stitch a sampler in a month (December) maybe next year. Looking forward to daily blog in December.

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  5. You've been busy as always! I understand the concerns about hand pain. I'm having trouble just in my thumb. Can't imagine having it elsewhere on my hand too.

    Looking forward to your beautiful sampler unfold....and trying to resist. But what fun is that?!

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  6. You have been busy. So lovely to see you having lots of fun with your stitching. x

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  7. I like your idea of starting a sampler for the month of December! Thanks for the round-up of what you've been doing. I already follow you on youtube and Instagram, but it's also nice to have it all summarized here! No judgment here about you re-starting your project - you have to be happy with what you're stitching! Happy Thanksgiving/Taco Thursday. :) Carolyn

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  8. Are you doing an Advent Devotional? I am looking for one to use. Love all your lovely photos. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Beth, yes - Best Advent ever by Dynamic Catholic - sends daily thought provoking short videos/inspiration. Plus reading Joy to the World - How Christ's Coming changed everything and still does by Scott Hahn.

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  9. Oh my goodness, you've been busy! I get tired just reading about all you have done. 425 finishes for clients is amazing. So happy that you will do the 25 days of Christmas again.

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  10. Hiya Vonna, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, enjoy!

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  11. Thank you for the update. I am exhausted just reading about your live.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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  12. So glad you're happy now with the Queen's sampler. I decided to put those trellis stitches aside and wait for you and Gary to get that far along before I go back to my Queen. Had a few other projects that needed to get done anyway. You seem to be a serial starter like I am! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I'm thankful for your heart and openness to share with your Stitching Buddies.

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My sincere thanks for taking the time to comment!
~Vonna
The Twisted Stitcher