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.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Academy of Appliqué 2021: Home Construction

It has been a crazy year since last year's visit to Williamsburg, Virginia, for the Academy of Appliqué. In fact, for me (Teri), I can admit that the Academy perfectly sandwiched this odd pandemic year: it was the last and the first place that I had traveled and taught. I quickly realized how much I had missed stitching in-person with friends when class began on the first day this past week. We were even able to include Kara, who didn't make the trip from Germany this year, thanks to my iPad and FaceTime. Technology can be awesome, when it works!

We were well-spaced in a large room, skewed a bit in this panoramic shot,
but we all felt quite safe with one person to a table. 

Our class this year was Village Wanderings—Homes, the first series in our Village Wanderings quilt. We focused on the Autumn House during class, and many of our construction crew members came close to having a house by the end of the week!

My early morning walk to class was crisp and cool.

This view is nothing to complain about!

Such peaceful beauty to see as we stitched.

We had patterns and tools for sale... well as threads and ribbons.

On day one, we built our houses, preparing the wool for appliqué and stitching the house elements in place. We started to embroider the timbers as well.

Show and Tell included our Spring Woodland Reverie block, from last year's class. What a stunning job!

I dashed into Huzzah Quilt Shoppe during the lunch break to buy some greens, and when I went back to pay for them, I MAY have picked out a few other fabrics to go with them. And after years of admiring the Suffolk Shaker Shop boxes, I finally succumbed to the temptation to buy one. Okay, one for each of us. My sewing tools are so nicely organized now!!

Our houses were at various stages of completion, but everyone made wonderful progress. We experimented with new ways to use some stitches to create leaves and flowers for our flower boxes. And we made a lot of knots!

Progress on the swag

This was a great group of ladies, with whom I truly enjoyed spending three days building houses. It was an absolute joy to stitch with them!

It is always amazing how fast those classes go. If you have never had the opportunity to attend the Academy of Appliqué, pencil it in for next March. You deserve a getaway to relax, stitch, and meet new friends who share your stitching passion, don't you?! We will keep you updated about what's coming; the class catalog is released in August and registration opens on Labor Day. We would love to see you there!

And because so many have asked . . . 
Yes, we will have patterns and kits available for our Village Wanderings—Homes! I am working now to get them listed on our website, so watch for them. They should be posted within the week. And you'll learn more about that—NEXT week!