Friday, March 30, 2012

Is It Really Spring Already?

I swear I don't know where the time goes!  There are days and weeks that seem to drag, and then all of a sudden - wham - it's the end of March.  The house renovation has resulted in a few days of no computer as the floor finishers managed to cut off the room with the computer. 

Spring Is Here

We in New Jersey experienced a very mild winter this year.  We had no snow to speak of since the Halloween snowstorm that took everyone by surprise.  And summer made an unusually early appearance this year - we had temperatures in the 70s for much of early March.  You do have to understand that although we have four seasons in the Northeast, spring is generally about two weeks long.  We usually go from freezing cold to our two-week spring (somewhere around late April/early May), followed by really hot weather that lasts into September. 

Our mild weather this year caused all the trees and flowers to bloom early - and I have the watery eyes and runny nose to prove it!  Because of the house renovation (still a sore subject around here), we have no landscaping to experience the wonders of spring.  Perhaps next year ...

However, I have been stitching quite a bit so I do have some progress to share.  But first, a tribute to another stitcher.

Winter Smalls Exchange

The I-Love-Cross-Stitch group held a Winter Smalls Exchange.  Everyone stitched a "small" project - ornament, pin cushion, needlecase, etc. and sent it, along with two skeins of "wintery" threads, to her/his partner, who was not the same person who would send a similar package.  The person who sent to me was Denise in Saudi Arabia!  My package apparently took a little vacation along the way and everyone was getting a bit anxious that it had gotten lost.  However, it finally arrived and was well worth the wait.  Denise stitched a pin cushion that is exquisite.  The pin cushion was accompanied by two skeins of silk - one from Dinky Dyes and one from Madeira as well as some buttons and a very pretty card.  I have never stitched with silks from either of these companies, so I am just thrilled to have the opportunity to do so.  Because of the delay in receiving the package, Denise sent me two more skeins of Dinky Dyes silk direct from 1-2-3 Stitch.    Thank you so much, Denise!

Winter Smalls Exchanged
Received from Denise in Saudi Arabia
I sent a package to Shaunteria in California.  The pattern is from The Gift of Stiching December 2006 issue and is called Snowed In by Something in Common.  But, of course, I forgot to take a picture.

Florentine and Lace Sampler (a finish!)

This is a Jane Zimmerman design that I took as a class at one of my LNS, Mrs. Stitches in Mendham.  We started in April 2011 and met four times before the summer.  Over the summer we were able to finish off the stitching we had started.  Then we picked up again in October.  I couldn't make the last class, which was the last band in the sampler.  For some reason it sat around the house over the holidays.  I finally finished it in early March.

Each student chose her own colors and I really went out of my comfort zone on this one.  I was concerned when I first started stitching that it was just way too bright - but I really like the color combination now that it's finished.  It is stitched on 18-count mono canvas with Kreinik metallics and Au Ver a Soie's Soie d'Alger and Soie Perlee.  The Soie Perlee is used on the cut and drawn canvaswork. 

Florentine and Lace Sampler
Designer:  Jane D. Zimmerman
Design Size - 7" x 19" (approximate)

Close-ups of Bands

Patterns of the Orient

I am trying to finish this wonderful design from Tony Minieri this year.  I have been concentrating on Area 9, which is Kreinik metallic couched with Au Ver a Soie silks.  This past weekend I finally managed to finish the area - hurray for me!  Area 9 is the diagonal band of turquoise and red (with some green and purple accents).

Patterns of the Orient Area 9 Finished
Designer:  Tony Minieri
Anasazi Spirit

Here is my progress on Anasazi Spirit through Lesson Three.  The outlines are cross stiches with Kreinik metallic.  The outside of the stars are oblong cross stitches and straight stitches with Watercolours in Arabian Nights.  The inside is a Walneto stitch in Impressions and Tied Plaited Rays in Elegance and Kreinik metallic around the Walneto.

Progress as of 03/25/12

Close-up of Walneto Stitch
Lesson Four, which I have started but not yet completed, is a Double-Fan-Double in the center diamond.

Moorish Splendour

For those who haven't already nodded off, here is the first lesson in Jane Zimmerman's Moorish Splendour.  The center area is a trellis pattern over alternating satin stitch diamonds.  The diamonds are stitched in silk while the trellis is in Kreinik metallic.  The silk is actually a pumpkin color - it looks a bit pink in this photo.

Progress through 03/30/12
Lesson Two, which I'll start this weekend, is a variation of a Japanese filling pattern using silks and metallics.

Until next time, enjoy the spring and happy stitching!


  1. Wow! You are very talented! All of these are very beautiful pieces!

  2. Your work is just beautiful! We in the desert are a bit concerned that you in the east have not had a winter -- if it is that warm in your world, it will probably be a very miserable summer in ours! Judi in Phx

  3. I love the colours in all your pieces they are just beautiful

  4. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pieces. Your stitching is beautifully done and the pieces are so unique. Barbara in San Jose

  5. My, you HAVE been busy. All you pieces are lovely.

  6. Congrats on your finish! I'm glad your exchange finally arrived. It's beautiful! Your WIPs look great. We had a mild winter here in the midwest and an early spring/summer.

  7. I'm enjoying reading your blog, such a lovely idea to have the Smalls Exchange. Using the Florentine and Lace together is magnificent, I've not seen that before and am amazed at how well these two techniques compliment one another. You've made wonderful progress on your projects particularly considering the upheaval of a remodel. Great job!

  8. Linda, I love all your canvas projects, they are gorgeous. I am passing the Lieber Blog Award along to you. Check my blog, for all the details.

    Happy Stitching. Jane

  9. Hi Linda, Your projects are beautiful. I love reading your blog and checking out your progress. And now I see that Jane had the same idea that I did. I also passing the Liebster Blog award to you. You can go to my blog to check out the award and what needs to be done and I also have an update on my stitching and happenings.

  10. WOW Linda!! Your WIPs and your new finish are gorgeous...congrats on all the wonderful stitching.

    Our winter in California was pretty mild. Now are spring was hit or miss. Winter kept making a quick appearance during spring. Now that Summer has offically hit we have already had triple digit days. Today though it is very cool with lots of wind. The bad part is if summer is mild right now it will be horribly hot when school gets back in early August. I just hope it isn't 80+ degrees at Halloween again!!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. They help me stay motivated.