Saturday, February 26, 2011


I am happy to report that I have finished The Richmond Sampler!  I've been attending Jeannine's Sampler Seminar (aka Jeannine's Gathering of Embroiderers) for 15 years and this is the first project that I've ever done any serious work on once I got home.  (I could make an entire blog post on that subject!).  I really loved this piece and it was also not too intimidating - plenty of variety to keep it interesting but not so challenging that I would put it down and never pick it up again.  I don't have turbo needles like some of you - this took an entire year - but it is finally finished.  I had set a deadline of today so I could take it to the framer, since I am in Madison this weekend and won't be back for a couple of months.  I barely made it but I stayed up until 3 a.m. and got it done.  (And yes, my husband thinks I'm crazy).  It's a pretty big piece so it was not an inexpensive frame job (trust me, DH doesn't want to know the details of that either!) but I think it will look great once it's framed. 

Here are a few photos:

The house (I did a lot of those windows last night!):

The sunflowers:

Some of the animals:

Monday, February 14, 2011

So Close But Yet So Far

Hello everyone - it's been a long time but I finally have made some blog-worthy progress on The Richmond Sampler.  I'm on the home stretch, but there is still a ways to go.  I'm hoping to get it done in two weeks so that I can take it to my wonderful framer when I go up to Madison.  I just have some of the grass and animals and the house to finish up.  The good news is that all of the dreaded over-one is complete, including the horses and riders in the lawn, which were a bit challenging.  Now the rest is just a lot of stitching.  Here is a photo of the center of the sampler showing what still needs to be completed.

Here is a close-up of the horses and riders:

Just think, if I actually finish in two weeks then there will be two blog posts in one month, something almost unheard of !

Mom and I just returned from a wonderful week in Williamsburg attending Jeannine's Gathering of Embroiderers.  This is the 15th year in a row that I have attended the seminar, and Mom has been there with me most years.  Getting there proved to be a bit of a challenge this time due to "The Blizzard of 2011" but we finally made it after three canceled flights and 24" of snow.  While it wasn't exactly warm in Virginia, it was definitely better than back home!

Mom and I took two classes from Margriet Hogue and enjoyed both of them immensely.  The first is a beautiful Balch sampler by Cynthia Burr.  Our class was full of friends, some that we only see once a year, and it was so nice to visit with these ladies while we stitched.  Of course I forgot my camera, but my blogging friend Valerie took a wonderful photo of the model, which you can see on her blog, A Shenandoah Sampler.  There is some counted work which needs to be completed first, then we have a large tracing diagram to insert all of the outlines for the surface embroidery.  Cynthia is a big project and I will be glad if I can get the counted work done this year.  I see an investment in a light box this year to do the tracing.  A lot of the counted work is over one - here is my (minimal) progress on the statehouse at the top:

Our second class was a Providence, RI sampler by Esther Coggeshall.  This is a much less intimidating piece, although it does have a bit of a challenge with the tree outlined in stem stitch and filled in with long-armed cross.  Here is a photo of the model:

I made a little more progress on Esther - Mom and I had two free days to stitch and shop in Williamsburg and I was able to get the green border in so now I'm ready to work on the flowers (after Richmond is finished, of course). 

Mom and I took full advantage of the seminar and Williamsburg, with a visit to the DeWitt-Wallace Museum gift shop, the wonderful bookstore at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor's Center, shopping in the seminar boutique (beautiful Shaker boxes and a cool new portable LED Ott light that only weighs a pound and runs on batteries) and meals with some good friends at some of our favorite restaurants.  I think the french onion soup, chicken and mushroom crepes and bottomless chocolate mousse at The Blue Talon Bistro might be one of my favorite meals on earth.  Lunch at The Old Chickahominy House (best chicken and dumplings on the planet) and dinner at The Fat Canary rounded out a week of great stitching, shopping and dining.  Sadly we did have to head back to the frozen north but this week it's actually above freezing and there is now only about three feet of snow around the grill on my patio!  The end is in sight.