Friday, October 8, 2021

PNWSS Recap

PNWSS Logo

I had the wonderful pleasure last weekend of attending the Pacific Northwest Stitch Summit (PNWSS) virtual retreat hosted by Acorns & Threads. This was my fourth time attending an Acorns event, three of which have been held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeannine (the shop owner) said she is hopeful they will be able to start offering in-person events again next year (2022), but also hopes to continue offering virtual options as well since that gives people who might not otherwise be able to attend a chance to participate. While I love attending in-person events, having a virtual option is nice as well. It's makes it so much more affordable since I don't have to worry about transportation or lodging costs.

The designers for this year's PNWSS event were Cathy Habermann of Hands on Design, Tracy Horner of Ink Circles, and Beth Seal of Summer House Stitche Workes. I'm not quite as familiar with Beth's work, but Cathy and Tracy are definitely two of my favorite designers.

The three pieces they designed for the retreat are called Seeds of Friendship. Under that main umbrella, there is Seeds of Friendship: The Book, Seeds of Friendship: The Basket, and finally, Seeds of Friendship: The Ball. Here is a photo of the three pieces in their intended configuration.

Aren't they lovely?! While designed to go together, each piece could also be used independently. In addition to the Aztec Red linen from Weeks Dye Works and Gloriana silks being used on all three pieces, another cohesive element to the designs is the use of some simple embroidery details on each piece. I haven't done any embroidery in over 40 years, so it should be interesting when I get to that part. LOL (Note: I didn't link to the Weeks Dye Works site because I was getting a certificate error when I tried to visit their site.)

The Book was designed by Tracy (Ink Circles) and includes a pattern for the stitch book as well as for a fabric pillow to sit inside to help the book hold its shape. Alternatively, instead of using the pillow, you could place any 4x6" item inside the book instead (photo album, journal, an actual book, etc.).

The Basket was designed by Cathy (Hands on Design). Each section of the basket has a repeating cross stitch design on the inside and the embroidery on the outside. It's not visible in the photo, but in the inside bottom of the basket has an adorable little scene with squirrels and spools of thread.

The Ball was designed by Beth (Summer House Stitche Workes). The top linen section has a really pretty little leaf motif and each of the wool sections around the sides has a repeating embroidery pattern. There is a small washer whip stitched to the inside bottom of the ball which can be lined up with a coordinating magnet hidden in the bottom of the basket to secure it in place and prevent it from falling out. Very clever!

If you would like to hear the designers talk about their projects, be sure to check out Cathy's FlossTube #61. Tracy and Beth were still at her house and made a special appearance in her video. They did a bit of a recap of the retreat from the designer/teacher view and showed off each of their designs.


A couple of people have asked me on Instagram about whether these charts will eventually be released for general purchase. On the final day of the retreat, Cathy stated there are no plans at this time to release these designs publicly. That's not to say it couldn't potentially change at some point in the future, but for now, it seems retreat participants will be the only stitchers with these designs. Take heart though, there is a way you CAN get one of the retreat charts!

The three designers also collaborated on this beautiful set of circular designs titled Around My Friends. The set was created to celebrate and honor the 25th anniversary of Acorns & Threads this year. Jeannine didn't know anything about this extra project and as a surprise to her, they gifted her with the models during the retreat. Her face when she opened the box and pulled out the models was priceless! 

If you would like to get your hands on these three beautiful designs, the chart will be available exclusively at Acorns & Threads. It is charted for Gloriana silks, but also includes a DMC conversion. Click here for all the details and to purchase online.

Each retreat participant was gifted not only the chart, but a full kit as well! These designs use the same Gloriana silks used in the Seeds of Friendship designs, so there wasn't any floss included since we had it already. The kits we received included the chart, linen (36 ct Platinum), red trim from LadyDotCreates, a little make & take kit to make the "acorn" pins, as well as a full finishing kit with precut mat board for each of the three designs. How incredibly generous!! I just want to send a big thank you to each of the designers for the extra kit! 

In closing, I also want to thank all of the crew at Acorns & Threads for putting on such a wonderful event! Of course, we have to start with Jeannine as the shop owner who is at the helm of everything at Acorns & Threads. Up next is Jeri who always does such a great job as the event manager. Tasha has been a big part of things as well since they've moved to virtual events. She takes care of helping everyone on Zoom with any technical issues that arise as well as things like helping people change their name on Zoom reminding people to mute, etc. Of course, we can forget Jenn who does such an amazing job with the giveaways. Finally, there is everyone else who works behind the scenes putting together the kits, getting them shipped, sending invoices, holding down the fort at the shop during the event, etc. Events like these wouldn't be possible without the entire team, so I just wanted to publicly say thanks! 

Speaking of the giveaways, I was actually one of the lucky giveaway winners during the retreat! The prize package I won included the Be a Pineapple chart from Hands On Design (shown above) and the Chronicles of Oline Marie - Volume I by Summer House Stitche Workes (shown below). 

All in all, I had a great time! I'm already looking forward to the next one!


**PNWSS logo image used with permission of Acorn & Threads

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Unicorn Sighting!

Thanks to the generosity of a very dear friend, I am currently in temporary possession of one of my long-time unicorn charts. Woo hoo!! Since I haven't been able to find a copy to purchase, she is loaning me her copy so I can stitch it. The package arrived today along with another purchase I made last weekend during the Pacific Northwest Stitch Summit retreat hosted by Acorns & Threads.

Not only did my sweet friend send me the chart and a lovely card, but she also included a piece of the called for fabric! It's 30 ct Garden State Java by R&R Reproductions. She said she decided not to use it after she got it, so she sent it along to see if I might want to use it. I agree with her that this is a SUPER stiff fabric. I might try doing a small test swatch in one corner to see how I feel about stitching on it. If I decide I don't like it either, I'll just substitute and use one of the myriad neutral fabrics I have in my stash. Now I just have to be patient waiting for the threads to arrive. LOL

The other package I received today was the beautiful PSL/coffee-themed project bag. I ordered it last weekend from Denise at DotDotGooseDesign on Etsy. She was also attending the PNWSS retreat and graciously offered all attendees a 10% discount. I had already been eyeing this bag in her shop, so I immediately went and purchased it before they were all gone! I'm glad I did because, as of this writing, they are all gone! She has lots of other cute bags available though. I have several of her bags and absolutely love them. They're vinyl front bags and very well made. If you haven't checked out her shop already, you should!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Finish: Garden Party

 Can you believe it? I'm back with another finish. This was my fourth oldest WIP started back in 2018, so it feels really good to get this one done.

Design: Garden Party (Cool Colorway)
Designer: Satsuma Street
Fabric: 32 ct Antique White Jobelan
Fiber: Called for DMC
Stitch Count: 109x127
Started: 2 March 2018
Finished: 6 October 2021

Stitch from Stash:

Based on the stitch count, I'm claiming a $14 finish credit for this piece. This brings my current balance to $11.86 which means I'm now officially out of the red! Woo hoo!!

WIPs-B-Gone:

I forgot to post about this a couple of weeks ago when it started, but I'm participating in the WIPs-B-Gone 2021 challenge over on Instagram. It was organized by Leanne of the Devoted Quilter. You can find her on Instagram and over on her blog. You can click here to find all the details about this challenge.
I selected three of my older WIPs to focus on between September 23 and the end of the year. My goal is to get the stitching completed on all three of these WIPs during the challenge. I'll worry about FFOing them another time. As my friend Abi would say, "That's a problem for future Melissa." :) 


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Finish: All the Trimmings

 I completed this adorable free design today as part of the #AllTheTrimmingsSAL hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop. You can find this free chart on their website on their All the Trimming Mystery Sew Along page. In addition to the free cross stitch design, they are also offering a free quilt design. You can find full details about both projects on the Jolly Jabber blog.

Design: All the Trimmings
Designer: Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric: 28 ct black Jobelan
Fiber: DMC (conversion included with chart)
Stitch Count: 92x120
Started: 7 September 2021
Finished: 5 October 2021

Stitch from Stash:

Based on the stitch count, I'm claiming a $14 finish credit for this piece. This brings my current balance to $2.14-. I'm almost out of the red!


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Monthly Recap - September 2021

I can't believe it's October already! As slowly as 2020 went, it seems 2021 is going by super quickly. Since we are in a new month, I'm back for another monthly recap. September wasn't a very productive stitching month for me. I started off strong, but then didn't do much stitching in the last couple of weeks of the month. Here's how things went. 

Stitching Recap:

Number of Days Stitched:

  • 15

Projects Worked:

  • Jessie Watson c. 1816 - HATS
  • All the Trimmings - Fat Quarter Shop
  • Relentless - Ink Circles
  • Garden Party - Satsuma Street

New Starts:

  • All the Trimmings - Fat Quarter Shop

Finishes:

  • I had no finishes in September.

Stitch from Stash Recap:

Balance Sheet:

Starting Balance - 1 Sept 2021$ 21.46-
Monthly Allowance - Sept$ 25.00
Finish Credits$   0.00
Purchases$ 16.40-
Current Balance$ 12.86-


Finish Credits Earned This Month:
  • None


Purchases This Month:


That's my recap for the month of September 2021. I hope you've all enjoyed following along with my progress in these monthly update

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Monthly Recap - August 2021

Yesterday was 1 September 2021, so that means it's time for another monthly recap and Stitch from Stash update. I did a LOT of stitching in August. My Stitch from Stash took a bit of a hit due to ordering two fully kitted designs released at the Needlework Expo, so I ended up in the red. I should be able to get things back on track this month. 

Stitching Recap:

Number of Days Stitched:

I stitched every single day in August for a total of 31 days. I spent the first eight days of the month wrapping up the Stitching Olympics event in the Stitch All the Things group on Facebook which ran from 23 July through 8 Aug to coincide with the sporting Olympic Games. I also worked in a few projects I was behind on for my WIPGO board this month. I'm actually almost caught up!

Projects Worked:

New Starts:

  • Quaker Heart by Janice Wood in PieceWork magazine - started 4 August 2021
  • The Fruit of Plenty SAL by Modern Folk Embroidery (restarted with new fabric & fibers) - restarted 9 August 2021
  • Paris of My Dreams by Artecy (later frogged with plans to restart on a different fabric) - started 13 August 20201
  • What Remains by Blackbird Design - started 14 August 2021

Finishes:

  • Quaker Heart by Janice Wood in PieceWork magazine - finished 10 August 2021

Stitch from Stash Recap:

Balance Sheet:

Starting Balance - 1 Aug 2021$  52.39
Monthly Allowance - August$  25.00
Finish Credits$    9.60
Purchases$108.45
Current Balance$  21.46-


Finish Credits Earned This Month:
  • Quaker Heart - Janice Wood for PieceWork magazine - $9.60 ($8 base + 10% bonus for specialty fiber + 10% bonus for hand dyed fabric)


Purchases This Month:


That's my recap for the month of August. I hope you've all enjoyed following along with my progress in these monthly update

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Finish: Quaker Heart

 I finished this lovely free design today called Quaker Heart as my August project for #CrossStitchCamp. The design originally appeared in PieceWork magazine several years ago. They now offer it on their website. Here's the link: Quaker Heart

Design: Quaker Heart
Designer: Janice Wood for PieceWork magazine
Fiber: Sulky Blendables Redwork 30 wt cotton
Stitch Count: 58 x 63
Started: 4 August 2021
Finished: 11 August 2021

Stitch from Stash:

I'm claiming a $9.60 credit for this finish ($8 base + 10% bonus for hand dyed fabric + 10% bonus for specialty fibers). This brings my current Stitch from Stash balance to $82.48.