July Smalls Check In


Welcome to the July Smalls Check In! Is anyone else in disbelief that we are over halfway through 2019? My goodness the year is now flying by!

I was able to finish Erica Michael’s Tudor Rose this week-very happy with this small piece!

I love the colors, the shape, just everything about it. This chart is from a club kit and I purchased it (just the chart) from a club member who had finished it. It is supposed to be a strawberry but I plan to make a biscournu. Hopefully I can show you that next month.

So now it’s your turn! Let’s see your Smalls made in July! Thanks so much for joining the SAL!

People’s Choice for July: Finishing


Thank you so much, Jo, for this wonderful linkup! This month I will use it to blog when I have nothing really new to blog about! So if you’re a regular reader, get set for a trip down memory lane, and if not, get ready to see some “New To You” pieces I’ve shared before!

When I first started stitching, it seemed everything was large and destined for a frame, or tiny and meant to be an ornament. As a result, I did not finish anything creatively and when I did finish something it was either framed if it was meant to be a gift, or turned into a Christmas ornament. Here are some baby samplers:

For Baby Samplers, I almost always frame with glass and a mat (you can see the one exception) because I think that is nicest, and safest, for the baby’s room.

And here are some of my many Mill Hill ornaments.

My favorite way to finish these is just to hot glue a piece of coordinating felt on the back with a ribbon hanger, and then trim, leaving a little border of felt. This is how my grandma did them, so how I thought they should be done. Now even though I have seen so many other ways to finish these off, I just stick with Grandma’s way because I still like it best!

Now I am totally immersed in the stitching universe online and am blown away by the creative finishes everyone shares! I have learned so much from Vonna, and from Focus on Finishing which is a compendium of tutorials, and from fellow bloggers like many of you, and from just following the directions of many wonderful designers for putting together smalls and pillows, and adding trim and all those other nice little finishing touches. Here are some of my favorites:

Shaped flats, as ornaments or just little “ornamentals.”

Tiny biscornu ornaments (Biscornuments) from The Victoria Sampler. The Victoria Sampler gives really wonderful finishing instructions.

The “berry” finish (modified for the owl) used in the Just Nan mice and other critters:

The “tart” finish of Plum Street Samplers

Vonna’s famous, fabulous flat-fold! This one is entirely stitched together with no glue! I am so proud of how neat the fabric came together!

Pillows! In the past few years I have learned to:

Sew in trim while I’m sewing up the pillow using my sewing machine (very difficult! Especially with those pom poms!)

Sew on trim after the pillow is made (much easier-let’s do that from now on!)

Ruche (gather) ribbon so it looks like that ribbon candy and sew that on,

Make twisted cording for an edging/hanger

Add fabric scraps to make the pillow larger than or to complement the stitching

And there’s always more to learn!

Finally, 2 of my favorite finishes are box tops. First is the Lounging Hare from Sherry Jones. Stretching the linen over a big ole stack of padding and then lacing it all firmly was a real trick, but I did it! And next is the box I made up from a Victoria Sampler learning design, which was a present for my daughter’s First Communion. It’s simple but I’m just really pleased how it came out.

I have plenty more unfinished finishes to get to…hopefully with school starting next week I will have some NEW ones to share soon! Thanks for visiting, and be sure to head back to Jo’s to visit the other blogs in this link up!

Where have I been?


Well…I have been to Australia! Yes! We took took our five (5)…that’s FIVE children, ages 20 months to 11 on a 15 hour plane ride…to Australia. That was just fine. It was the 13 hours BACK that were difficult. But ALL worth it! It was a fantastic trip! And I did not get a lot of stitching done.



I didn’t even touch the other 3 NEW projects I brought with me “just in case” I finished something or felt like I needed something different to do!

But I did get to visit The Crewel Gobelin and buy many wonderful things for my stash! That was awfully fun!

I don’t usually share “stash enhancement” but felt this lot was something special!
Here’s the kit I bought from the Australian designer Designatus which includes a hand turned spool.
Here’s the tea towel unfolded. The lady at the shop was working a crewel stitch sampler on it that was fantastic. It is called Taronga for the famous zoo and printed by a local artist. I have wanted to do a crewel piece for a LONG time so her inspiration was important to me!

The shop was totally charming with many lovely things and friendly staff. Getting there from downtown Sydney was extremely convenient. A 10 minute walk to the metro, a 30 minute metro ride, a 5 minute or less walk to the shop…it would have been a shame not to go!

So, if someone goes on a big trip so far away, and even though she writes a needlework blog, I’m sure at least SOME of you would like to see some pictures. So just a warning, there is no more stitching in this post. Here you go.

Sydney Opera House from the Harbour Bridge