Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend of Stitches--Fun, Fun, Fun!!!

Last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I was fortunate to attend a 2-day class taught by Ellen Chester of With My Needle.  It was sponsored by House of Stitches in La Porte, Indiana, and it was the best stitching fun I’ve had in a long time.  In fact I was enjoying myself so much that I almost forgot to get my camera out.  I did manage to get Ellen and Linda to stand still long enough for this photo:

Ellen and Linda
 The main piece in Ellen’s newest teaching project, A Lady’s Worke Box, is a lovely box lined with dupioni silk, and having a stitched piece on the front and on the inside of the box lid.  The matching accessories consist of a  needlebook,  3-sided scissors fob, pincushion, and an adorable little hornbook threadholder.  Two threadwinders were also included in the kits.  With Ellen’s permission, here is a photo showing all the pieces:

We spent much of the first day working on the needlebook back, which is a miniature band sampler with several whitework bands at the bottom, each using a different specialty stitch.  I'm done stitching the needlebook back and will start working on the front soon.  Here is the back of my needlebook:

On Sunday we did more stitching, and then Ellen taught us how to assemble models of the  Jacob’s Ladder-style needlebook, using scraps of ribbon and cardboard pieces.  Her instructions were very methodical and easy to follow and even though I’m somewhat “finishing-challenged”, I am confident that I’ll be able to finish my stitched needlebook without too much trouble.  All of Ellen’s chart instructions are detailed, complete, and so easy to follow.

Sunday afternoon Ellen presented a slide show of some incredibly beautiful antique wooden work boxes and their contents. The workmanship on these boxes was unbelievable!  If I ever win the lottery, one of the first things I'm going to buy is an antique workbox of my very own.

Throughout the weekend, door prizes were given out, and Linda made sure there were enough that each of us received one. 

Before we left, Linda gave us lovely wooden tool blocks and rulers which were inscribed “House of Stitches Weekend of Stitches October 6-7, 2012”.  If you’d like to see a photo, check out Ellen’s blog at

If you ever have the opportunity to take one of Ellen’s classes, please jump at the chance.  She is an incredibly good teacher--knowledgeable, informative, very organized, and above all, interesting and FUN! 

A great big THANK YOU to Linda for bringing us this wonderful weekend of stitching!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Gift from the Birds?

The other day I discovered a lovely new resident in my garden. I love the triple petals on the bottom of each flower!

I looked through my wildflower books, and it appears to be a wild lobelia.  Now, I live right smack in the middle of town, far away from wooded areas and fields, and I'm not quite sure how this little beauty found its way to my yard, but I suspect that birds may have helped it find a new home by unwittingly transporting  its seed.  I wish I could get them to bring only flower seeds to my garden, because I also found sprouts of poison ivy that had appeared out of nowhere.  I guess every silver lining has a cloud!