April 25, 2013

Bloglovin, anyone?

I have just decided to try out Bloglovin. Have you checked it out yet? I have also been dabbling with Feedly, so we'll see which one works out better for me. Maybe I'll use both!

Please do tell me what you have decided to use, and why you like it.

Thanks for stopping by!

April 22, 2013

Quaker Diamonds- A New Start

A very dear friend is going to be working on the same project as me!  The piece is called  Quaker Diamonds, and it's designed by Karen Kluba.

About a month ago my friend and I visited a new needlework shop not far from where I live, and we both fell in love with this model in the shop. It sang out to both of us, and it seemed only right that we work on this, together. We're having a 'stitch a long', some 65 miles apart.

We had to order the Valdani threads this project requires, and I had to order some fabric. The fabric I chose is a 28 count lambswool linen. Our beautiful threads arrived Friday after much anticipation and excitement on our part.

I finished off the raw fabric with a whip stitch last night,  and I decided to stitch a few x's on it as well.  A progress photo will be coming soon, when there's a few more x's to show. It's going to be such a fun stitch!

The Valdani threads and the fabric I chose~

The design~

Thanks for stopping by today. 

April 17, 2013

Cinnamon Bread

Thanks for all your comments on the previous post regarding the antique sampler and my own house and garden sampler. I really appreciate your kind words!

I have managed to do a big of work on Paula Vaughan's Wedding Ring Bouquet in the last week. It is coming along rather nicely, and I will post a photo soon of it. I started it years ago, so perhaps it will be finished in the next few years!

In the meantime, I have been doing some baking and cooking for different family events. I baked up a cinnamon quick bread for our Easter celebration, and all seemed to enjoy it.

Cinnamon Quick Bread

2 cups flour (I use Gold Medal's "Best for Bread" flour)
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan.
Measure flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda,  1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and salt into a bowl. Mix together. Fold into the dry mixture the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir until the dry ingredients are wet and just combined, being careful not to over mix the batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Topping: Combine 1 tablespoon white sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 3 teaspoons butter, mixing until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over smoothed batter. Use a knife and cut in a swirling motion very lightly to give a marbled effect.

Bake for about 50 minutes, and remove from oven when a toothpicks comes out clean. Remove bread from pan to rack to cool.

Thanks for stopping by today.

April 7, 2013

Antique Sampler --1849 and a Stitching Coincidence

Be still, my heart!

I recently stumbled upon a sampler that was stitched by my dad's great grandma Mary (or my great- great grandma) back around 1849, when she was ten years old. This little treasure was tucked away in an antique dresser drawer in my parents' house for years. I didn't know it existed until 2012.  My Great Aunt Ruth (the one who stitched the tablecloth)  wrote about the sampler in 1980, and said it was stitched between 1849 and 1853 when her grandma was between ten and fourteen years old.  Great Aunt Ruth gave it to my mother when she was near the end of her life and in her eighties, which was also in 1980.  Great Aunt Ruth's grandma Mary gave it to her when Ruth was just a young girl.

Mary lived in Switzerland when she stitched it, and it was brought over to the United States when her family moved here in the 1800's.

Here it is:

It has a bit of wear, stains, and moth holes. But I love it, and treasure it. I will have it framed soon at a specialty framing store.  I love the bright colors, and motifs.

Here's a few more photos of it:

Fast forward about 150 years, to around 2009.  In that spring I finished a sampler that I started a few years earlier. I threw together a bunch of patterns for this sampler, used a bit of graph paper, and came out with what I call my 'House and Garden Sampler'.  My old blog where I wrote about this sampler got hacked, but if you click here and scroll down to May 2, 2009 under the Summer Queen post, you will see more about the sampler.

Here's a photo of it here:

When I was studying the 1849 antique sampler this morning, I noticed that the lower right corner had a rose in red tones. I then realized that one of the last motifs I added to my own sampler in 2009 was a red colored rose, in the lower right corner. It's the only big bold flower on the sampler.  The design was from a pattern book of German 'Berlinwork' designs. I know it may not seem amazing to all, but I find it intriguing that 150 years earlier my great great grandma's sampler contained a similar motif in the same spot, and color. I had not seen the 1849 sampler until three years after I completed my own sampler. 

A comparison photo:

Thanks for stopping by today and looking at what I think is a very interesting coincidence.  I am so happy to be a needleworker, as was my Great Great Grandma Mary back in Switzerland in 1849.  I'm also happy that my daughter also shares this love and will pass it on to future generations in our family.