Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Gifts Are Revealed

A few posts ago, I talked about making gifts that I couldn't show pictures of -- yet.  They were for the members of my stitch group and were specially made for our stitch retreat.  The Sisters In Stitches meet every month for a stitch day and we always have a gift exchange.  It's a tradition that we would never want to give up.  So when it was time for our spring retreat, we planned our usual fun exchange.  For the occasion, I made a tote bag.
Pat was the recipient of this colorful bag.  It was lined in pink and has two pockets inside and a button closure.  The fabric also had a little sparkle to it.  It's just the right size for a few stitching projects and necessities.

Occasionally I like to make something for the members of my stitch group.  Recently I learned how to make little zippered bags.  I had a lot of fabric remnants left over from making tote bags, so my plan was to stitch up a bunch of bags.  I didn't realize that zippers are so weirdly expensive.  So I did a little research and found a great deal on Amazon - 25 zippers in a rainbow of colors for a very small price!  After a little matching and color coordinating, this is what I came up with.
A little special touch.  I found these cute charms on Etsy.
My fellow stitchers were surprised and delighted!  These little bags can be used for stitching supplies, a very small project, makeup, or just as a little bag in your purse to keep small stuff organized.  I hope that everyone enjoys using this little keepsake of our retreat. 

See?  I told you that my sewing machine got a major workout during the past month or so.  I had fun making these bags and will make some more in different sizes.  What a great use for fabric remnants!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

And This Is What We Stitched

I told you all about the Sisters In Stitches' wonderful stitching weekend, and today I'll show you what we were working on.  The things that we stitch are as varied as we are! 
Thea is stitching Drawn Thread's "Easter Eggs".  She accomplished a lot during the weekend!
Laurie picked a pretty color to stitch the Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler
Rosewood Manor's Bucklebury Sampler is being stitched by Maggie
Pat started a new project.  What do you think this "would be"?  Perhaps a pretty sampler?
An original design being stitched by Sheila.  The inspiration was from a cut glass dish.
Trish is stitching small motifs on ultra fine plastic canvas. 
I'm stitching LHN's Song of the Seasons.  Finally finished part 2.

See what I mean about the different types of stitching we do?  The other thing I noticed is how we stitch.  Some of us use q-snaps, a couple of us love hoops and we have two in our group who always stitch in-hand.  This is what makes stitching with friends so interesting.  Plus, you see charts, threads, stitching supplies and finishing methods that you might not have seen before. 

We're a lucky group -- lucky to have each other as stitching friends and lucky to have a wonderful place to meet every month for a full day of relaxing stitching.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Fine Spring Retreat

My stitching group, the Sisters In Stitches, attended our spring retreat this past weekend.  I think we are all in agreement that it was a success.  We held our gathering at Don Carter State Park in Gainesville, GA, right on Lake Lanier.  Two members of our group had been there before, and recommended it for our retreat.  What a great find!  The cabins were spacious, gorgeous, and stocked with all the kitchen equipment we needed.  We couldn't believe our eyes when we entered the cabins for the first time.
Cute on the outside, but the inside was amazing!
Each cabin had two bedrooms with attached baths.  The part that delighted all of us was that they also included a table that could seat eight - the perfect stitching spot.
Comfy, well-lit stitching spot
As we always do, we shared meal duties.  Everything was delicious, from Maggie's breakfast choices, Thea's chicken pot-pie and desserts, Trish's lunch, and Pat's dessert, and we had enough food for several more days (if we got snowed in - very unlikely).  Sheila and I prepared our Saturday dinner. 
Camp food, SIS-style
The park itself was pretty and the staff at the visitor's center and check-in was friendly and helpful. 
View from our deck
We had our traditional gift exchange, which is something we all look forward to.
I don't think anyone wanted to leave on Sunday morning.  It would have been nice to have another day or two.  And of course, we got in a lot of stitching time!  I will feature all of our work in my next post. 

We missed our fellow Sisters In Stitches, Peggy, Renee and Terrie, who couldn't make it to this retreat.  We hope that they'll all be present at our next one!
The friendly park employee even took our traditional group picture!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Thing About Gifts

I love giving gifts more than getting them.  I can honestly say that.  And making the gifts I give is even more fun.  But the problem is that I can't show them to anyone and I especially can't feature them here on my blog until they've been given.  My latest project has kept me in the craft room and away from my blog.  The items I've been creating are going to be for my stitch group's next retreat, which is next weekend.  So no pictures or hints about what I've been working on.

My stitch group, the Sisters In Stitches, is having its spring retreat at a new venue - Don Carter State Park in Gainesville, GA.  There are two lovely cabins, completely furnished and stocked with all that we'll need to prepare meals, just waiting for us.  Two of our group members are coming from out of state, and we're all looking forward to seeing each other.  This will be a weekend of stitching, eating and laughing.  My camera will be there to capture highlights of the weekend. 

I have been diagnosed with an arthritic thumb joint in my left hand.  A cortisone shot has been successful in making it feel somewhat less painful.  But for a while, I hadn't done any stitching.  I did pick up my Song Of The Seasons sampler last week and stitched pain-free!  Yay!  Now THAT I can show you a picture of.
Pretty good progress.  I'm almost done with part 2 of this mystery sampler.  Maybe I can make more progress during our retreat.  Or just maybe I'll start a new project.  Hmmmmm.

I want to welcome my new followers.  Wow, I'm at 195!!  Just 5 more and then the giveaway announcement will be made.  So stay tuned for that and for photos from the retreat.  Oh yes, and photos of those gifts I can't show you right now.  Have a great week!