Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

We interrupt our Bittersweet Stitching Sisters travelogue to wish you a
Happy Halloween!

"Old Black Cat and Friends"
by Pineberry Lane

I stitched these sweet pillows last October, but didn't fully finish 
until my week with the Bittersweet Stitching Sisters.

I thought that the little English Paper Piecing hexies added a little fun to the finish :)

"Hallowe'en Jack Sewing Roll"
by Stacy Nash

I finished stitching this piece two years ago, but wasn't sure on how to fully finish. With my Bittersweet Stitching Sisters for support and inspiration, it is finally finished!

I made a few tweaks on this design ~ adding a grinning Jack and taking Stacy's lead and adding more hidden objects in the bottom border. My favorite is the teeny tiny mouse in the bottom right hand corner. 

Here is Stacy's original design.

And just this week I had one final Halloween finish:

"Bittersweet & Broomsticks"
by With Thy Needle and Thread
(an abbreviated version)

My second "Priscillafied" finish! Inspired by Priscilla Blain of The Real Housewives of Cross Stitch.
I used another $3 wooden pumpkin plaque from Target and set off the cross stitch with a great homespun plaid that I found at Country Sampler. A bow and some berries and I was all set!

I'm trying to finish up a final Halloween wool applique design 
and then it is on to Thanksgiving stitching!

We now return to the Bittersweet Stitching Sisters travelogue...

Hope everyone enjoys at least a little favorite Halloween candy today!

For it is by grace you have been saved, 
through faith—and this is not from yourselves, 
it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
~Ephesians 2:8-9

Blessings, Patti

Monday, October 29, 2018

Bittersweet Sisters 2018 Trip ~ Part 2

I thought that you might enjoy a tour of Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin 
decorated for autumn... 

When you walk in the door, it is hard to decide where to look first...

So many wonderful vignettes

And wonderful displays of fabric, floss and ribbon

I love this reproduction of Jeanne's antique star table mat.
Of course the kit jumped into my shopping basket :)
I'm going to try to make it using English Paper Piecing.

One display is prettier than the next

and all are calling, "Please take me home!"

I love the framed cross stitch displayed in tobacco baskets - gorgeous!

And it's not only cross stitch, but wool applique, quilting and home d├ęcor too!
I *need* to pull the "Give Thanks" kit out of my stash pronto!

I love all three of these pieces!
I passed right over the pattern for the horse, but Jeanne had a different vision.
Her colors changes are stunning! She also changed up The Prairie Schooler 2018 Santa and "Season's Greetings" by Teresa Kogut, but I didn't take pictures. All I can say is WOW! 
Be sure to check them out on her website or on Facebook.

I've been thinking about this piece ever since I saw it at Stitch Camp.
I didn't leave it behind this time! ;)

And don't forget to go peek in the basement for sale items!
That large turkey on the left is still calling to me!

We were so lucky to walk downstairs and shop each day for a week.
And each day I saw something that I had missed before...

One day a few of us went on a little road trip. 
I'll share pictures of that next.

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, 
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~Ephesians 5:19-20

Blessings, Patti

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Bittersweet Sisters 2018 Trip ~ Part 1

The Bittersweet Stitching Sisters have all returned home after an awesome week together.
The hardest part is saying good-bye, knowing that it will be another year
 until we are all together again.

This year it was a full week in my happy place ~
Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

I was just there for Stitch Camp a few months ago,
But was so happy to have a full week to relax right there ~ 
at The Second Story just steps above the shop.

It such a pretty time of year

The trees all in their finery.

And the shop decorated for my favorite season.

There was a lot of flooding in the area a short time ago.
Spring Green was fine, but Black Earth, Wisconsin was hit hard along with Mazomanie.
Highway 14 is still closed near Black Earth as a bridge was washed out.

There was a little detour to get around it and it brought with it a delightful surprise.

An old country schoolhouse!
I just had to stop my car and take a peek.

The old hand pump is still there in this sweet little gazebo.

And the old school bell and rope to ring it.

And here is the schoolhouse - complete with the girls outhouse out back.

And don't worry, the boys outhouse is on the other side. 
The school looks like it has had a few additions over the years, but still remains tiny.

Sometimes detours can yield unanticipated delights!

I have so much to share ~ stitching and shopping and more stitching with a few antiques thrown in...
I'll be back real soon and as usual there will be a giveaway at the end of this trip's travelogue.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, 
to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
~Hebrews 13:20-21

Blessings, Patti 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fully Finished!

"Pumpkin Hollow Farms"

I had so much fun stitching up this sweet piece as part of the #pcpumpkinhollowfarms stitch along hosted by Priscilla and Chelsea - The Real Housewives of Cross Stitch
(Be sure to check out their blog and floss tube - you can click the links above.)

I abbreviated the pattern a bit and only changed out one color.
I was so excited that I had to fully finish it right away!

Here it is, my first "Priscillafied" finish:

I found the wood slat pumpkin plaque at Target for $3! 
They were so cute that I had to buy the orange and white pumpkin plaques that they had as well :)
(I already have projects planned for the other pumpkins :) )

I am over the moon with this finish. It is something that I would never have tried if not for Priscilla and Chelsea! I don't use many silk or dried flowers, but I had the leaves, bittersweet and ribbon at home and thought I would try it out. I love it :)

I think the orange fabric sets it off nicely on the natural wood pumpkin.
Thanks so much Priscilla and Chelsea!
And thanks to Little House Needleworks too!

I was so happy, that I have another fully finished project to share:

"Bushel & A Peck"

My Mom sang this song to me and my sister when we were little 
and I sang it to my sons when they were little :)
So it was a must stitch.
I changed the bird to a robin, but left all else the same.

So I decided that it was time to reward myself with a start of another Priscilla and Chelsea stitch along! #pcautumnacres. Priscilla drew the original chalkboard and Hands On Design adapted it for cross stitch. I'm having fun stitching all the "chalk" outlines and will "color" it in later.

I will be MIA on my blog for a bit. In just a few days, I will be leaving for my annual trip with the Bittersweet Stitching Sisters! I can't wait! I have missed them so much and we have a year of catching up to do... along with shopping, stitching, eating, etc.
I will have a full report when I return.
I may share a picture or two on Instagram while I am gone, so stop by...
(While I'm gone, you can use the search box in the upper left hand corner and type in bittersweet stitching sisters to see posts from some of our past trips...)

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—
the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
~Hebrews 13:15-16

Blessings, Patti

Monday, October 8, 2018

Summer Remembered

 Our oldest son works at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Aquatic Plants.

For my birthday, I asked him if he would take me on a tour of where he works.

It was late in the season and so he felt that it was past its peak.

But I thought that it was gorgeous!

There were still lovely blooms to be seen.

and peaceful views. 

with hints of autumn

And surprises if you looked carefully.

Can you imagine going to work here every day?!

I would think that you couldn't help but be happy.

And feel at peace with the world.

I took this photo of the lotus from afar, but he gets to go in the boat or his hip waders and get up close.

We focused on the aquatic areas

As I wanted to see what he sees each day
and to hear his stories.

But there is so much to see there

and so many areas that we didn't cover.

Can you hear the breeze rustling through the leaves?

The Japanese gardens are lovely.

I didn't want to leave.

I think that the Great Blue Heron was posing just for us.

In keeping with the theme, my sons gave me several plants for my garden including:

Yarrow! So happy and hope that it will come back next year.
I also received some great Fiskar pruners and a Cubs t-shirt.
My sons know me well :)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, 
because God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

Blessings, Patti