Thursday, April 8, 2021

What's Happening?

 

Spring has officially hit the state of Maryland, and I (Teri) have been enjoying some beautiful long walks, enjoying all the flowers in bloom. There is nothing that inspires us more than nature, with all its bountiful beauty. I guess it's no surprise that we stitch so many flowers!

Even as the world is starting to slowly open up again, at least here in the US, we are staying quite busy with new designs for online stitching programs. Participating in several stitch alongs this past year has been such a fun way to "meet" new stitching friends, while we anticipate classes opening in person again. It shan't be long, we hope!

Here are a few things we have been up to lately. We still have kits available for all our previous stitch-along blocks, and orders are still rolling in, but this is the last week for free digital pattern downloads, so if you haven't gotten your patterns, act fast! They will still be available, but for purchase.

Vicki McCarty of Calico Patch Designs has created a stunning finishing design for all of the Potted Petals Mystery Stitch-A-Long blocks. Each of the designers still has patterns and kits available, and now you can get the finishing pattern and kit to make this quilt, as well. For details, check our website, where you can find live links to each designer's site: https://www.needleseyestories.com/potted-petals-mystery-stitch-a-long.

I think my violet was so excited that we had stitched some into our Tea and Blooms block that it decided to bloom for me. These are the first blooms I've gotten in about three years!

A Few New Mysteries Coming Your Way!

Our Woolie Buddies have once again gathered together to present a new mystery stitch along. The name will have to be your hint here, because it IS a mystery, but I can tell you that there are some fabulous projects in store for you. Be watching for more information on our social media, in the Potted Petals Facebook group, and on our website, as it will be starting soon. Any guesses?!


We are also happy to be participating in the Joy of Giving Mystery, with thirteen other designers. Each of the 14 projects can be made and given as gifts, and a new one will be released every other week, beginning on June 6. These are great affordable projects to help you prepare for your gift-making and giving. To follow this fun, you can join the new Joy of Giving Mystery Facebook group, or watch our website and this blog to see more about our project.

I will be updating our website in the very near future with more information about both of these stitching opportunities. It's hard to spend so much time at the computer when the spring flowers are calling me outside!


Conferences and classes are beginning to open in person, and we are so excited to be teaching at Baltimore on the Prairie this September. We have two fun classes planned for this event, pictured below. We would love to see you there. Kara and I are already planning for 2022! 

Session A
Session B



And we are thrilled to again be on the prestigious faculty of the Academy of Appliqué in 2022 and are busily preparing our designs. The fun will continue!! The class catalog will be available in early August. 


We've been as busy as this bee in the cherry tree, stitching and writing patterns, and looking for inspiration in this beautiful spring season. You never know which flower will under our needles next!

Happy spring!!


Did you know that whenever the words appear in a teal color, they are live links to click on for more information? 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Springtime Inspiration and Happy Easter!

This time of year is so beautiful here in Germany. After a long, cold, winter, each flower that pops out is a welcome feast for these eyes that have seen nothing but grey. Those blooms provide so much inspiration for the type of stitching we do, and each year, both Teri and I (Kara) take a plethora of pictures as reference for future projects. Here is a little bit of our German inspiration.







Spring isn't the only source of inspiration over here. Since we will be leaving Germany in May, I have been actively trying to purchase some European antique treasures that have been on my must-have list. The first was a Bavarian painted armoire, or Bayerisch bemalter Schrank. The one I found has been re-painted, but the cabinet itself is from 1854. I fell in love with the bright colors and authentic paint style and knew that I had found my treasure—I even named her Elsa because that is how much I love it!




Another "unicorn" that I was searching for was a set of Mason china. My mother had purchased a Mason coffee set back in the 70s, long before she knew her daughter would marry a Mason. My mother-in-law also possessed a set of Mason china for her everyday, so owning my own set was my destiny (at least that is what I told my husband). I fell in love with this particular pattern because of the colors—you will probably see a version of it in a future design.



Easter is celebrated with enthusiasm here in Germany. Many homes will have eggs hung on the shrubs and their windows decorated. Collecting decorated eggs is also a hobby here as well. You can read about my visit with one such collector in a Spring "Egg"stravaganza.



Wanting to have a memory of the beautiful egg decorations, I found a lovely lady from Glasgow who was selling her collection of Ukranian painted eggs. The colors and designs on these eggs are so lovely that I may just leave them out all year long!


Teri actually made Ukranian painted eggs with a neighbor

Aren't they beautiful?

Inspiration comes from many places and we hope that we have brought a little to you with our images of what inspires us. May you have a lovely Easter even in these somewhat challenging times, and may the beauty of this season bring you hope and inspiration.



Thursday, March 25, 2021

What's Stitching?

Over the course of the last two weeks, Teri shared about the first installment of our Village Wanderings project that she taught at the Academy of Appliqué. Much to my dismay, I (Kara) was unable to make the trip to the Academy this year, due to travel restrictions here in Europe. We did a little stitching session via video, but it wasn't quite the same. Although the lockdown is quite restrictive here in Germany, I have been keeping the stitching home fires burning for future projects, and today, I thought I would share some little picture hints of what I have been stitching. 

Maybe you can guess what we have in store!







We love the look of hand quilting, but it does take a lot of time. My plan for our Fraktur quilt is to chip away at it a little bit at a time...


...but the pinwheels are never ending!


Another thing that is keeping us busy, is turning some of our past Academy projects into patterns and kits that will be available on our website. One of the blocks, Oiseau et Panier, needs to be taken from a lowly block into a quilted beauty before we can pattern her for the website.

These hands have not been idle for sure, but I have a slight sense of urgency to get these projects finished before the movers come to take all my stitching stuff and put it on a boat with the rest of our belongings. It is hard to believe, but in less than 2 months, we will be heading back stateside. In the meantime, I will be stitching feverishly, so that when I get back, we can share full pictures of our exciting new projects!

What's stitching at your house?

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Village Wanderings—Homes

Last year, Kara and I (Teri) had designed these four little homes with the plan to teach them at our local wool shop, Primitive Homespuns Wool and Needleworks. Initially, they were to be finished as individual little projects to fit in a frame, which could be switched out with the seasons. Then life happened and a pandemic hit. No classes. 

The houses were complete, and we were ready to write the patterns, but we had so many requests to teach them at the Academy of Appliqué that we decided to put the pattern release on hold until that event was finished. And indeed, we had a lovely class of house builders, which you can read about in our post from last week. And as promised, we have the pattern listed on our website for purchase, along with kits to complete all four houses.

Let's wander through our village and take a look at the four homes, all of which are included in the pattern.

The spring cottage has climbing wisteria and a flower box of pansies,
surrounded by swags of forget-me-nots.



The summer house has a potted rose bush with flower boxes filled
with geraniums and sweet alyssum; the swags are black-eyed Susans.



The autumn home includes topiaries and flower boxes of mums, pansies,
and ivy; asters bedeck the surrounding swag.



The winter house has wreaths in the windows and a box of evergreens in the 
dormer, and it is flanked by swags of mistletoe.


We thought it would be fun to try our hand at stitching these up in cotton,
to see how it would work for those who don't care for wool.
We think they turned out pretty cute, albeit a bit more challenging. 

Our plan changed as we stitched our way through the pandemic. The separate framed houses became the basis for a new quilt—Village Wanderings—and we added a set of shops (which we will be teaching at Baltimore on the Prairie in September), a center medallion, and seasonal trees in the corners. As we have posted pictures of this project on our social media, we have had many requests for the patterns and kits. And now, we are ready to release Set 1: Homes


Patterns are available in printed format or as a digital PDF download.

The wool kit is comprised of 13 different textured, solid, and hand-dyed wools—enough to complete all four of the houses. You will need to provide your background, and perhaps a batik for the windows, if desired. You can purchase the wool kit alone, or with a printed pattern for a savings. 

The ribbon kit includes 7 spools of River Silks hand-dyed silk ribbon in two sizes—4mm and 7mm—to complete all of the leaves and flowers on the swags.



The thread kit consists of 12 skeins of hand-dyed threads by Weeks DyeWorks, a variety of crewel wool, pearl cotton (sizes #3, 5, 8), and six-stranded floss. The included threads will be sufficient to embroider and embellish all four of the Homes. 

Of course, if you buy the whole kit and caboodle, you'll save!

These patterns and kits have been listed in our website shop for less than a week and are going faster than we would have dreamed. I think we will be restocking ribbon and thread soon! Thanks to those who have already purchased our Village Wanderings—Homes patterns and kits. We are humbled by your interest and support and hope you have as much fun stitching them as we did.

Please stay tuned, as we will be releasing the rest of this quilt over the next year. And perhaps you'd like to join us in Nebraska while we stitch up some shops!
Village Wanderings quilt top, by Through the Needle's Eye

To order, click HERE.