Friday, October 31, 2014

I Made it through October!

Well, technically, it's only 10am, so the day is still young.

What I'm really referring to is the massive amount of miles I have put in on the road & the air! Between retail shows, retreats, The Trail of Orts Tour & Houston Quilt Market, I am one out-of-gas puppy! (Good thing I'm heading to the beach next week for some R&R!)

1st things 1st: New Releases!

I've got 2 shipping to shops right now. You can always see my shops that receive charts automatically on my website. Many other shops order as well so please email me if you need the name of a store near you & I will gladly refer!

Holiday Bells - a counted canvas design

2 colors - 4 shades - so easy to customize - a larger ornament size finish (I framed mine) - I had one stitcher tell me she was going to stitch it 4x & rotate so all of the red was in the middle! (Brilliant - a  "why didn't I think of that" moment!)

Winter Solstice - 2nd in the penny pillow series
This wasn't even supposed to be a series - but when several shopowners listen! Once again, woolfelt pennies are included. This just makes me want to curl up under a quilt to stitch! (1st in the series is Twice Blessed)

On to the Trail of Orts Tour wrap-up!
 I teamed up with Tracy Horner of Ink Circles to drive from St. Charles, MO (Celebrations of Needlework weekend) & travel to Myrtle Beach (Stitching at the Beach retreat). We cooked up a plan to visit 5 shops along the way & have a live trunk show at each one.
My car has a lot of room & my Trail of Orts partner & I got very good at filling it up!

1st stop was Stitches, Etc. - Gail has a lovely shop located in the heart of historic downtown St. Charles!

Quite a few stitchers who attended the Celebrations weekend stopped by for more time to visit with us. Cathy Roginela from Inspired Needle & Cathe Ray of Needle in a Haystack came by to wish us well also! (It was Cathe's birthday!) Gail was the 1st shop to say "I'm in!" as we were planning the trail.
We left St. Charles behind that Sunday & drove north to Stitches from the Heart. Shopowner Susie opened up on a Sunday evening for us & had quite a crowd come to welcome us.
Susie's shop is packed - I mean packed with all sorts of charts, kits, fibers, canvases - everywhere we looked there was a new treasure trove of color & texture! 
Look at the cookies! Yum. We did partake of the fruit as well (just to be healthy!) An awesome group showed up on that rainy Sunday evening!

Monday morning we traveled south to Nashville and a stop at the Stitchin' Post. Pat had us set up in her front room where we each took some time to talk about ourselves and answer lots of questions. We held most of the live trunk shows over lunch hour - so we had lots of pop in visitors!

Here's Tracy explaining one of her pieces (I thought I knew a lot about Tracy - but there's nothing like spending nearly 2 weeks with someone on the road to make you realize how much you don't know!)

While I was giving my presentation, I kept looking at a gal in the crowd - turns out, she used to live in my hometown & was a customer of mine when I had my shop! Small world!

We hit the road to Pigeon Forge that afternoon after we had lunch at the Jamaican restaurant that Pat suggested - it was delish!
Tuesday found us at Dixie Darlin, It is located in the tourist section of Pigeon Forge, but it has such a homey atmosphere inside - you just want to sit down & kick your shoes off!
This is what greeted us when we walked in the door! Very cool - our tour frosting!

Here we are with shopowner Cindy - you may also know her at the designer behind Foxwood Crossings & all of those wonderful little sleds! Cindy has a lot of pride in her hometown - you could tell as she showed us all around the historic area.

Wednesday morning we arrived at Stitch & Frame shop in Rock Hill, SC. The ladies greeted us in the parking lot, ready to empty our car! We were met with all sorts of southern hospitality - including a group of ladies that drove from Savannah just to meet us! I have to say that by this time, I was so overwhelmed with everyone's kindness.
They had created the perfect little spots to showcase our trunk shows.

Lots of stitchers, lots of hugs, lots of new friends!

We left Rock Hill with full tummies & a gift bag of homemade goodness!
At this point it was on to Myrtle Beach with a quick stop to steal...borrow...harvest some cotton, fresh from the field.
Made it to the beach!

I would like to thank each of the 5 shops for opening your doors to us & making us feel so welcome.
 This all started as a late night conversation of "hey, what if...". Along the way we made friendships & memories... ran for coffee in the rain, scavenged late night dinner at Kroger, talked to the GPS lady as if she were the 3rd person in the car... and discovered that needlework is a pretty strong bond. 
Enjoy the stitch!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Finish It Friday - the 5 pointed star

I made some updates to the website today ( Most notably I made some changes to the "now appearing" page. Of course I am excited about my upcoming travels to Celebrations, PALS Stitching at the Beach retreat & the Trail of Orts Tour, but I've got some fun happenings already lined up for 2015!

Of course, I will be at the Nashville Needlework Show in late February, but March & April I get to do what I love...go to retreats, meet stitchers & teach!

March 2015, I will be in residence at Camp Stitch-a-lot hosted by Deb of Stitches 'n Things. I've got a fun project in the works for that - pre-stitching will head out Decemberish (yes, that's a real month).

April, I head a little more south to Wichita where I will spend the time with Debbie & the crew from Heart's Desire for her Camp. More classes there & I get to (hopefully) reunite with some stitchers that I haven't seen in years - former customers of mine that have moved south.

Please contact the shops or check out their websites for sign-ups & registrations. I will post more info with links later. I think I need a new suitcase??
Just thought I would share a quick pic of my ornament from this year's Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazine. Snowflake House pairs with Garland House that was in the Preview issue & Wreath House that was released at market. Stitch alone or as the Home for the Holidays neighborhood (border included with Wreath House).
Now for the finishing. I had several emails about the 5-pointed star in Indigo Star. Directions are included, but we are a visual sort - so here are some pics that hopefully will help.

Stitch your 5 little panels - you are given 8 to choose from in the pattern.

Once stitched, iron on a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing to the back side. You will notice that my corners are not fused. I find it helps to decrease the bulk in the corners and that is outside the 1/4" sewing line. Anything that "matters" will be fused.
You will trace the pattern onto the back of the sewing (pattern is included in the chart). 1/4" seam allowance is included. The flat tip points to the outside of the star, so take that into account when you are laying out which of the pattern panels you stitch & how you place them in your layout.

Here's the part that freaks everyone out! Using a ruler & rotary cutter, cut along the lines of the pattern you traced. You got that are cutting through your stitching! 
Take a deep will be OK.

Lay the panels out in the order you would like them to finish - flat points to the outside. Take 2 panels, right sides together, and sew 1/4" starting from the outside edge & ending 1/4" before you get to the other edge. This will help as you work you way around the 5 points. Press the seam open & the add on the next until you have completed the star.
I sewed mine pillow fashion with Weeks Dye Works wool on the back. Leave a small opening, clip corners (both inside & out), turn, fill with ground walnuts shells (lizard litter) and close up. I used a vintage button in the middle.
I hope this helps add a visual to the written words in the pattern. It takes a little patience, but you get something really cool in the end.
I am creating a way for you to access my Finish it Friday posts easily for later reference. I am trying not to put them out as pdf's - it is just too easy to copy & claim. Imitation is a form of flattery, but sometimes it is just a plain rip-off. (long story for another day...). I like to de-mystify finishing for you - it just takes a little patience and practice.
I hope you have a great weekend. The weathermen are calling for a hard freeze here tonight & this time, I think it will happen. I look forward to some stitching, some working (packing to leave for Celebrations) & best of all - celebrating my oldest "baby" turning 21! Wow - when did that happen?
Enjoy the stitch!