Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Perfect Pairing

I am just back from Salty Yarns Fall Jamboree in Ocean City, MD!

Let me tell you, this is one great retreat: fun stitchers against the perfect stitching backdrop...the beach! I've loads of pictures if you can stand it!

Last Fall, Sara (Salty Yarns) asked me (Hands On) and Rachel & Cecile (Just Another Button Co) to come teach at the Fall Jamboree (this is one hoppin' shop - tons of retreats & events!). We decided it would be fun to "pair up" on our projects & have pears as our theme. I think it all came together very well, don't you think so?

Here is a closer look at my project (I know we said pears...but I had to throw in an apple for the teacher!)
Here we all are! (including the newest Miss Button - Anna!) Each of us taught a class...we spent 3 hours with a group & then we all rotated between classrooms. A shout out to Sara's son who toted the big items between classrooms!  
Talk about a room with a view! We could not have asked for more perfect October weather!
I knew that Salty Yarns was right on the OC Boardwalk (it's one thing to know this & another to actually be there!)
I learned so much of the history of not just Salty Yarns, but The Lankford Hotel - all owned by Sara's family for generations. I literally walked a few feet from my room, down the boardwalk, to the hotel. This is a commute I could really get used to!
Our first day at retreat was spent preparing for classes & setting up Trunk Shows...but we snuck in a little boardwalk time.
I didn't get any pictures, but it was Hot Rod weekend in OC. We were greeted each morning by a parade of loud cars rumbling down the boardwalk! 

Lots of interesting "artwork" along the boardwalk - looks like a quilt of old advertisements.
Anna enjoyed the fresh sea air!
I too enjoyed the fresh sea air!

Class time! The stitchers figured out why my company is called 'Hands On' - my classes are very hands on!
They were ALL good students!

To a needlework designer, this is the ultimate compliment. She was practically like a one woman Trunk Show of my designs!

I love seeing the various takes on my designs as well! (Podzi personalized her bag with her name!)
This is from a year in chalk - stitched very small & all in color!

The last morning before heading home. I don't think I need to say anything else.
A huge thank you to Sara, Sally & all of my class angels (you earned your wings!).
Enjoy the stitch,



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Gather a Harvest

I admit it - I love designing for the Fall season. With it's rich colors & textures, the words flow easily.
 I wrote this ditty a few years ago when I was asked by Cross Stitch & Needlework magazine to design an acorn door hanger (do they sit in a meeting and say 'we want an acorn doorhanger...let's ask Cathy')? 
At the time, I actually designed the larger sampler as well, but the acorn was the only part in the magazine. This Fall season, I felt it was a good time for that sampler to see the light of day - so it got a make-over - yes, kind of like the make-over TV shows: the squirrel got a re-do as did the colors.
Now - when you say the words in your head - you must say 'Leisure' the hoity-toity way...'le-sure' to make the rhyme work. That's the way I wrote can make our own adjustments.
I had some emails about the acorn doorhanger finishing. I've come up with a crude, but useful pattern. There will be a link below to print a version, but 1st a few directions:
Acorn Cap - cut 2. I don't know if the sizing will stay true when you print the pdf, so I've included measurements for a point of reference. The 2nd picture is the back of the doorhanger so you can see a little more of it's construction.
I've given directions in the chart for finishing the stitched portion. You will insert the stitched portion between the layers of wool (I pinked my edges for that extra cuteness factor) as well as the acorn stem (you will need 2 of those as well; stitch the 2 stem pieces together with a running stitch all around before inserting into the top of the acorn cap.
A few well placed pins will keep everything (stitching & acorn stem) in place as you stitch cap front & back together with a running stitch (I used 3 strands of a coordinating floss color).
I chose several yummy colors from my wool collection (yes, I have a wool collection) for the leaves. Cut 2 in each color. I like the depth that 2 layers gives. Sew them together with a running stitch all around & add a few veins & lines in the middle of the leaf for added texture.
I also added the JABC Herringbone button with a touch of cool ribbon (yes, I have a ribbon collection too).

Thank you for your emails & go out there & Gather your Wool...umm I mean Harvest!
Enjoy the Stitch,