Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Winner and Some Eye Candy

What a week this has been! Kara and her husband, along with their German shepherd and husky, left for Germany. I (Teri) am happy to report that they arrived safely. Here is a photo of the dogs resting up after the long trip to their temporary home. Kara already has her new driver's license. Watch out, Autobahn!!

I've had a busy week, which helped me to block the fact that Kara is now living on a different continent. (Thank goodness for technology—and an excuse to visit Germany!) I thought you might enjoy a few shots of some of the eye candy I encountered in the past week.

One day last week, while having lunch with my friend, Vicki,  I was admiring the ceiling. I have a penchant for snapping a photo of an elegant ceiling. (I was once reprimanded by an usher in a theater because I was taking photographs—even though it wasn't of the set, just the ceiling!) But can't you see all kinds of stitching inspiration in these patterns?

After lunch, we walked out of the restaurant to a rain shower, so we figured we would just duck into the nearby antique mall to wait out the rain. I was so glad it rained! I'll be keeping my eyes on this unique quilt, and may have to succumb to making the acquisition.

Made from silk—probably neckties.
Sometimes the stars resemble pinwheels, depending on how the fabrics were fussy-cut.
The secondary design with the squares is striking, as well.

Exquisite placement of the stripes! 

Evidence of the use of neck ties: note the seam in the lower left corner.

I love the crazy quilt style of embroidery used to outline the stars.
The stitcher uses color to accentuate the star design, giving an interesting effect to the squares.

A cute embroidered farm-themed crib quilt.

How sweet is the scarecrow's face; I love her hair!

Later that afternoon, I visited the elementary school where I taught for nearly thirty years. We were celebrating the retirement of the school counselor. It is always a bit like going "home" when I visit that school, even though there are fewer familiar faces as the years pass. As I walked down the hall,  I was stopped by this map on the wall.

This incredible embroidered map was stitched by the second graders in the school, with the help of a visiting artist.

My friend, Barbara, who still teaches at the school explained: "This wonderful soul, Pamela Negrin through Young Audiences, worked with our whole second grade—four classes of 24 students. They worked for about three weeks. She taught the students how thread a needle with yarn. She taught them the chain stitch and the back stitch, and maybe more. This was accomplished during their art class. There were two to four parent volunteers at each class. She set up square "tables" to do the embroidery. This project tied in with our socials studies unit on suburbs, rural, and urban communities—and maps. The students also got to create their own design on a 8x8-inch piece of fabric. They embroidered it and finished in time to take it home for Christmas. The students were super involved and super excited, and so were the parents. It was a terrific experience for all!"

You can see in the wonderful detail shots below that seven-year-olds can do some pretty good stitching. I was thrilled to see that the school was implementing such a fabulous program, exposing the children to the art of needlework, learning geography at the same time. 


A black-crowned night heron
Another day, and another lunch date. Kristy and I set out to visit the local wool shop, and ran into this guy eyeing the fish in the creek. He hardly moved, but he must have been planning lunch—he kept licking his beak, but he took no interest in the bread that a passer-by had left for him. And he took little interest in me, as I inched closer and closer to shoot his picture. We enjoyed his long, gray ponytail!

After our wool and thread fix, we stopped in an antique shop on our way to the restaurant. We were greeted by this fabulous album-style "quilt," below. Upon closer scrutiny, however, we found that it was actually hooked, not quilted! It would be far too pretty and magnificent a piece of work to lay on a floor for a rug; the wall was the perfect spot for rug-hooked beauty. Interesting irony, seeing this just after leaving the wool shop!

Over the weekend, my husband and I went to see the progress made on our new home. The flooring was just installed in my new studio. I can't wait to unpack my fabric!

My 12-foot closet, with a triple-window pouring natural light into the room,
(making the walls appear much yellower in this photo than they are.)

On our way home, we passed yet another antique mall, so of course, we wandered through the booths. I'm definitely getting to the age where I stumble upon "antiques" that I have had in my home. They CAN'T be antiques, can they?! 

Another crib quilt: Jane Cook English was a lucky little girl to receive this circus quilt. I love the backwards fours!

Detail: What a creative use of rick rack! 

This quilting in this mariner's compass quilt is as stellar as the compass blocks.


This pretty cabinet, above, was enticing, but when I opened it and saw it filled with all those colorful threads, I had to try not to drool. The shop owner must have seen my eager eyes, and he offered me a deal, which I so wish I could have accepted. But even a $500 "deal" is unaffordable when building a new house and planning an upcoming Yellowstone vacation.

The winner is...

All the while, I was enjoying the stories that were being shared about why someone might have cut the lovely embroidered quilt in half that I wrote about last week in Vintage Flower Baskets and What's the Story? Some shared historical anecdotes, some personal experiences, and some fictional stories. We loved them all and had a great time reading them.

Using our favorite "Random Name Picker" website, the winner of the Sampler Threads by The Gentle Art is:

Mona Kindel

Mona's story was touching and sweet. Here it is:

"I believe this was made by a young woman, maybe right before the civil war, and she made it for her wedding night. But, right before she was married her sweet heart went to fight in the war. She cut the quilt in half, like it cut her heart in half to see him go. But she knew that some day when he returned home, she would be able to sew it back together again, like her heart would be whole again. But he didn't make it, his buddies returned the quilt half to her after the war, and because her heart never mended, she never mended the quilt together again either."

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your stories with us on the blog. We always love to hear from you! And congratulations to Mona! Please email us (click here) with your mailing information, Mona, so that we can send you your threads.

Until next week, happy stitching! 


  1. Your room though empty speaks volumes about the quilting you will be able to accomplish in there. I just love its spaciousnes.

    1. Me, too! I am eagerly anticipating our new homecoming, but especially that studio space!

  2. Your room looks lovely. Having all that great light will be wonderful.

    It's great that your daughter's dogs were not held in quarantine. . . I've heard that it can sometimes take 6 months of quarantine before they can be allowed into a country. . not having my pups for that long would devastate me (and them too because they are so spoiled)!