Monday, January 15, 2018

Snow Day 2018

    The first snow day of the year!  Only about 2 inches, but enough to drift a little and make the roads ickky.

I cancelled an appointment this morning and a meeting was cancelled this afternoon, so I get to stay home and putter, also sew and hook.  But first, the dreaded laundry.  (No pictures of that.  Who would  want to see it?)

     Today was my day to update my Early Work Mercantile site, so I posted it last night and went to bed.  Here is the link to mine, but be sure to look at as many as you have time for.  There are some wonderful primitives.  hhttp://earlywork-oldtrailprimitives.blogspot.comttp://  He
   Here are some pictures from my page.
Linen hearts made from an old dresser scarf.

A Cardinal pillow

Hooked hearts.

Aviary, the Keeper of the Backyard Birds
(She is already sold)

The computer is not cooperating with me today as you can see by the strange formatting, so I will just stop and say
Keep Warm,

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Happy New Year 2018

     A belated Happy New Year!  The decorations are back in their plastic bins, the house is decorated in evergreens and blue and I am itching to be in my sewing room.  It seems, though, that I keep getting distracted by organizing something.  Yesterday, I thought I would get my quilting UFO list together.  There were some tops to be quilted, a Bonnie Hunter (Smith Mountain Morning) left from the retreat with her 3-4 years ago, and some BOM's partially done.  And then this.....

My term for them is PNS, Projects Never Started.  

Layer Cakes, Charm Packs, Jelly Rolls, Fat Quarters!  Most with companion fabric to put them together.  Some have notes with them.  Most of them?  I have no idea what I intended.  This has to stop!  I equalized my Fabric Used with Fabric Purchased this year, but these baskets didn't see any action.  With you as my witnesses today, I vow this will change.  

On to more positive things, I did finish the Red Cross quilt and it is now in a place of honor on the back of the couch.  Its really too big for napping, but I'm enjoying the color in the room since the Christmas decorating has gone into storage.  Mr. Zeke had to check it out before I folded it and I think he approves. 

Isn't he handsome?  

    What's happening in the Wool Room?  I bought some wool last week from the Cushing Etsy Shop, FQ bundles for a good price.  I decided to start hooking a small sample with any new wool. It is helpful when choosing wool for a project.  

I am always amazed by how the hooking changes the appearance of the wool. 
Since they are only FQ's, I also noted when and where purchased.  It might not be still available if I need it later, but it's possible.  

    Other news from the wool room;  my update for the Early Works Mercantile website is due on January 15, so busy with those things.  I'm hooking some wool hearts, there will be a Cardinal flying into the wool room,  and maybe another doll will be born.

Stay warm,

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Gingerbread House

    I burned the midnight (actually 11pm oil) on Friday night finishing this as a Christmas gift for my youngest daughter.  We had our family Christmas on the Saturday of Christmas week-end.  I'm glad we did, because of the snow we received on Christmas Eve morning.

Gingerbread House Pillow

     This was a free pattern in the November/December issue of Rug Hooking magazine by Sharon A. Smith.  I love her designs and to have a free one to use was too good to pass up.  A 15 cent enlargement and a little tracing and I was ready to go.  The brown wool was from my walnut hull dyeing last month.

From this.....

To this..... one fine November afternoon.  
(We won't mention the terrible smell in the kitchen while I boiled the walnut hulls.) 
The gumdrops are hooked with sari silk from the workshop with said Sharon A. Smith a couple of years ago.  The yellow in the lollipop is also from some of my wool dyeing episodes.  

     This was really fun to hook and small enough to finish in a week.  I love to work on seasonal things, no matter which season it is.  I already have my big Christmas project for next year and I have a bunny design to hook in the spring.  I recently joined the Pattern of the Month Club with Deanne Fitzpatrick and the first pattern was roses.  I'm thinking that will be a good February project.  

   Those of you who have followed my blog for quilting conversations are probably wondering if I have given it up.  Do not despair, we will still be quilting in this house for some time to come.  (You don't want to see my quilting stash).  I am not a fan of television, so rug hooking and wool applique fill my evenings while my husband watches sports and news.  One of us has to stay in the great room to let the cat in and out, so he watches TV in the den while I hook in the great room.  It works for us.  I sew most afternoons in my sewing room, so that's when the quilting activities take place.  
     So quilters, don't give up on me, I plan to 
Keep on Stitchin',

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Post-Christmas Musings

     We had a lovely Christmas at the pickinstitchin household!  Family gatherings, good food, an unending Uno game with the grandsons, a beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service and SNOW!  Yes, we had a little snow on Christmas Eve.  Just enough to cover the ground, but not enough to restrict travel to family activities and church services.
Here it is, falling softly on the deck, just before sunrise.

This is one of our recent sunrises, but not the snowy one.  Still beautiful.  Is it my imagination, or are the sunrises and sunsets more spectacular in the winter?

In addition to all of the Christmas preparations, my Early Work Mercantile update was posted on December 15th.  On Saturday, December 16th, we had lots of family here to attend our local theatre's production of A Christmas Carol and I was getting emails about purchasing the items from that post.  My previous updates had pretty lukewarm sales, but this one sold out in the first day!  So exciting!  Here they are.
Feather Tree Stocking went to New York state to live.    

This cute little doll quilt from CW fabrics went to Katy, Texas.

Hooked wool Snowmen.  I actually hooked 4 of these, but gave 2 to my oldest daughter for Christmas.  These went to El Paso TX, so will add some winter cheer to a warmer climate.  

Santa doll.  He went to live in Rome, NY.  

Frosty.  This was sewn from a white wool and came with a red scarf and a blue scarf.  He has a little pocket on the back to tuck a personal note or a small gift.  
Here is his cute face.  I actually sold two of these.  The extra one added some stress to my week before Christmas, but went to a really sweet lady in Texas, so it was worth it.  She also bought the  doll quilt, would love to see how she is using them.  
     My mind is spinning now about what to make for the January update.  I have seen some other snowman ideas, but also want to do something with hearts for Valentine's Day. 


     This week, though, will be about finishing up the year with a flourish.  I am within a few yards of equalizing my fabric stash-in and stash-out numbers.  I would like to see it done, for once.  I usually buy more than I use.  Not a good situation for someone in my age group.  My children will not thank me for that.  I finished this quilt top a couple of weeks ago. 

 It had been languishing in the UFO pile for about three years, so it was time to bring it to the finishing stage.  It is a pattern by Homestead Hearth called Red Cross, so has some significance for me as a retired RN also.  I plan to start the quilting on it this week.  I've been thinking about the quilting (this is always my biggest decision of the entire process).  I grabbed this quilt for my Christmas Day nap and have decided I will use this design. 

It was an easy and fun design to do, so will be a good choice for the week.  No stress!

It shows up a little better with this picture.  

     I'll be back after I finish it and give a recap.  Meanwhile, I'll 
Keep on Stitchin.'

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Early Works Mercantile and Etsy

     I recently decided to dip my toes into the online sales pond.  I had done a little E-bay selling when I had a shop here in town, so wasn't entirely clueless (pretty close, though).  I started with applying to a juried shop, Early Works Mercantile, just to see if my stitching came up to the standards of online sales. It is a primitive decorating shop and I love the things in all of the shops.   I was accepted, so stewed and fretted until my first "update", which was October 15th.  I immediately sold an item, so was definitely encouraged.  Then I sold another from my November update.  This emboldened me to set up an Etsy Shop for those things that don't fall into the primitive category.  There is still a lot to learn, but I think it will be fun.  My Etsy shop is PickingandStitching (that was easy) and my Early Works shop is Old Trail Primitives,  Here are some pictures from the current update on Early Works Mercantile.

And this is my logo.  I think it is pretty cool.  

Here's a few things from the Etsy shop.

That's enough, that gives you an idea.  Why, you ask?  I love to stitch, my house is overflowing, and it might help fund my habit. 
So, I will just 
keep on stitchin'

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pumpkin Party

I was recently invited to a pumpkin patch party with some guild friends. I had been admiring the Bonnie Hunter string pieced pumpkins in Quiltmaker magazine, as well as the Jo's Country Junction version with a brown background. We could choose any pattern we wanted so we were all working on something different. See all of Christi's pumpkins at her blog Here is my version with the brown backgrounds.

And here is the quilting.

And here is some pumpkin inspiration for you from my side yard.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Benefit Gifts


       We still have rural elementary schools here in Mid-Missouri.  Before you form a picture of a one room schoolhouse with a potbelly stove, let me set you straight.  They are modern buildings with several classrooms, a library and a gymnasium and provide the area with a pre-school, kindergarten, and grades 1-8.  The class size will be less than 10 usually and might serve two grades.  Our local school has a very active parents organization with a traditional fall fundraiser, a dinner and some type of auction.  I was invited to donate a quilt for the auction this year and gladly agreed.  I invited one of the organizers into my sewing room to choose a quilt from the "pile", both quilted and unquilted.  She chose two to consider, a traditionally pieced one in fall colors and a simply pieced Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern in yellow and pale gray.  The rest of her committee was younger women with school age children and they overwhelmingly chose the more modern one.  Here it is after quilting;

A vintage quilt was gifted to me by a friend cleaning out her deceased mother's sewing supplies after her passing.  It was a lovely top of Nosegay blocks, all made with feedsack prints.  I was able to find that odd shade of green to make a border and binding, then quilted it.  I know, if I was a purist I would have hand quilted it, but it had laid unquilted for 50-75 years, so I decided done was better than perfect.  I am donating it to our historic preservation organization for their house tour and silent auction this fall.  Here it is:

I enjoy donating quilts to good causes and it seems I do more of that kind of quilting than I do for us. I think I've made just two or three this year that I intend to keep.  That's probably enough!