Sunday, April 29, 2012


The Online Show is over and here are the winners...Sue Bailey from Greensboro North Carolina chose Lilies of the Field.  That's the picture of it above.

Karen Spivak of the NeedleArt Closet in Portland Oregan chose Winter Forest.  I used "Fuzzy Stuff" from Rainbow Gallery for the snow.  What a great fiber to stitch with!

Congratulations to the winners!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Stories Behind the Design-Victorian Bride's Purse

Victorian Bride's Purse
I have to confess, I'm not a sewer.  Now the world knows my secret.  When it comes to a sewing machine, I have fear and trepidation.  I  think it all started in 8th grade Home Ec.  I was scared silly of our teacher.  I remember when making a skirt in her class, she told me how to attach the waistband.  My mind was would I remember all (what seemed like to me) 52 steps of attaching this thing?  I couldn't ask her again...what would I do?  Well, I sat down and tried to figure it out on my own.  The only way I could think to do it was to attach it by hand sewing.  I completed the task and showed it to her.  She smiled, she said "that's correct", and then.....she saw one stitch that I hadn't hidden well enough.  Her next words made my heart stop...."  No, it was not a good day for me.
When it came to finishing the purse I was bound and determined to  figure it out on my own.  I started reading the instructions that came with the purse handles.  What's a gusset???  After a few attempts I decided it would not be wise to leave streaks of tears on my white purse and chose to take the purse and all the materials to EGA. Surely someone would take pity on me.
I explained my dilemna, then thought I would sweeten the offer.  "I'll clean your garage, I'll bathe your dog....would someone please help me with this?"  Immediately a hand shot up.  The young lady was 8 1/2 months pregnant. "My husband won't paint my toenails" she said. "You've got a deal" I responded.
Later as we talked I assured her that I would pay her for her time. Her response...."NO....I REALLY want my toenails painted!"
She did a beautiful job, and the purse went on to play a role in a very special upcoming wedding, that of our son and very beautiful daughter-in-law.
Special thanks to Alison Clarkson for her beautiful finishing work on the purse and for writing the finishing instructions.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Story Behind the Design


Many of my designs are created for a special occasion for friends and family members.  When our son graduated from Virginia Military Institute, I designed "Graduate" for him.  Our sons are amazing young men, and are so supportive of my business so it was an honor to create something especially for him. When his younger brother graduated from Penn State University he asked if I was going to design something for him and my answer was "of course!"
We actually didn't think he would graduate.  No...not because he was lazy or disinterested...he was serving his country.  As a family we've gone through 4 deployments with the boys.  Joshua was in the midst of his college career when he volunteered for deployment. His reasoning in addition to serving his country was "the other guys have wives and children" so he figured that would enable at least one of the guys to stay at home with his family.
The first time he was gone over a 1 year.  The second time was about a year  and a half.  Several months of that was spent on the other side of the country for training, then over a year on the actual deployment.  Each time he came home we figured he would decide to skip college and get on with a job, but each time he came home he went back on campus and picked up where he left off.  I actually thought about naming the design "Long Time Coming!", but thought "Pathways" sounded classier.
Each time he lamented that he was the "old guy on campus", but each time he worked hard and did better than he had the previous semester.
The design represents the pathways he's taken in his life.  He's always been one to scare the bejeebers out of me by jumping off the deck or the roof of the shed as a child, then the fast motorcyles and bungee jumping off a bridge in Bulgaria while he was on leave.  (yep...we've got video of that one!).  He's still a bit of an adrenaline junkie, but he's matured with a beautiful wife and 2 very precious little ones and has a career in Federal Law Enforcement.  The colors represent the countries he's been in and of course you can see the paths aren't straight, but that's my boy!