About a month ago I got an email from a reader asking if I was, or had been, ill with Covid 19. Then, last week I got two more emails asking about me and my family and Covid 19. They were concerned that I hadn’t written a post for a very long time and were checking to see if I was OK. Isn’t it lovely that people whom we know only online can be so concerned for our health and well being?
The answer to those questions is…yes and no. Yes, we are all fine and no, no one has been infected with Covid 19 in my family. We are truly blessed (and very careful!).
The reason I haven’t been writing any articles for the blog is simple – I haven’t been very creative lately. Although I did produce a crewelwork piece for the National Academy of Needlework Teacher Certification Course I’m doing, that was really the only thing that I’ve designed, stitched and finished since Covid 19 began. Afraid that I was losing my creative juices, I explained to my mentors in the NAN teachers program that I just couldn’t get anything going. They all replied that they were in the same place creatively. Whew! I felt a LOT better!
Here’s is the darling little needlebook I did for my course way back in the autumn of 2020. It’s called “Acorn Hill Needlebook” because our family home was given the name “Acorn Hill” by my mother. Our home is on a hill, we have tons of oak trees which means, in the fall, the hill is covered with acorns!
One thing that has kept my needle moving and my mind calm during the last months is stitching reproduction samplers. I finished this stunning sampler by Amy Mitten called “Tour van Holland” that I began in my first sampler class almost two years ago. It was a joy to stitch and I learned so much! Amy does beautiful reproduction and original samplers as well as embroidery projects that are historically based. Her work is wonderful! You can see it here.
In September my older daughter had a new baby, Harriet, and I made a quilt for her. My husband and I worked on it together and it was really fun for both of us! There are now three little granddaughters to love and spoil – if only I could see them! That has been the WORST thing about Covid 19!
For the first time I’m participating in a stitch-a-long on Facebook embroidering the Ann Morison sampler. At the same time, I’m working on Sarah Spencer’s reproduction sampler. Both of these come from Hands Across the Sea Samplers. Nicola reproduces historic samplers and they are so lovely. Nicola’s charts are exceptional, easy to follow and she includes the history of the girl and the time in which she lived, which I just love!
Ann Morison stitch-a-long progress
Sarah Spencer progress
Truthfully, it is nothing short of amazing that I’m embroidering counted samplers! Me! who couldn’t count her way out of a wet paper bag a few years ago, is finally becoming competent!
Just before Christmas I made a stocking for my granddaughter, Adeline, with this darling fabric and a cross stitched band. It was a quick project that turned out beautifully!
The last thing I want to share is the crewelwork piece I’ve been struggling with and am now finally happy with: The Prince’s Thistle. The first article about this project is here if you want to read about the inspiration behind the design.
I reworked the leaves multiple times, each time becoming less happy with how they looked. Finally, I found a lattice pattern I liked and, once the leaves were finished, I was able to start stitching. I’m really happy with the center, which is all padded satin stitch. The diamond shapes get thicker (more padding) towards the bottom of the oval and the result is really lovely. I’m now getting ready to work on the flower and look forward to showing you my progress in future posts!
Thank you to the readers who inquired about my health and well being – you inspired me to sit down and write a post!