Monday, April 25, 2016

Returning to the Needle

A work in progress

I have been working on a beautiful sampler 
for months now.
It is titled
"Quaker Seasons of Friendship"
and was created by Designer Pat Ryan
a Crown & Thistle Design.
I first saw it hanging on the shop wall
my local needlework shop.
(An amazing shop that I took for granted for years)
I chose a beautiful hand-dyed vanilla linen
and variegated hand dyed silk called Berry Cobbler
by BelleSoie

My sister and I both began the piece on the same day,
she has completed and framed hers already
and it is a beautiful accomplishment.
I on the other hand am just a quarter of the way done ...
I am savoring each stitch.
 I have also learned that I can't "stitch along"
with anyone.
I must go at my own pace.
My timing is my timing.
I thought stitching with my Sis would motivate me to stitch more.
It did in the beginning . . .
But I did learn that, I don't want
to stitch under pressure or deadlines,
or along someone else,
it just doesn't work for this little stitcher!
My needlework relaxes me
and I pick it up whenever I can find the time.

This sampler was to be my return to needlework,
after a very long journey away.
Hard to believe that in 1990,
I was the founder of the
Tidewater Sampler Guild,
where women who loved stitching, 
antique samplers and their history
used to gather
here in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
I stitched for years and then slowly 
let my life get in the way,
my focus had changed.
Wow that was over 25 years ago!!!!!!!

I've realized now
that sometimes we must walk away from something,
in order to return to it.

So in between working three days a week,
teaching Zentangle®, Tapestry weaving,
raising Josie (my 8 month old Lab)
and loving on my three grand babies,
finding the time to stitch is a sweet luxury!
I did find time to sew this adorable
pin cushion to add to my needlework box,
I love it!
The linen I stitched on had the polka dots on it!

Pattern by The Scarlett House

This past weekend I attended the
Dyeing to Stitch Spring Fling Retreat
at the beautiful
Greenbrier Country Club.
The guest teachers were the design team
Barb Adams and Alma Allen   
and they were so amazing!
Two creatives who are the best of friends
and share the love of the needle!
How delightful these ladies were!
How lucky we all were to get to spend time with them
right here in Virginia Beach!

Barb and Alma

We first created an adorable pin cushion box.
It was a lot of fun and lots of laughter
could be heard around the tables!

When our boxes were complete,
Kits were handed out and 
we began stitching the pin cushion,
that will be tucked inside.
(here is what the finished piece will look like)

During the retreat we were also give two other kit designs.
I've got a lot of stitching to do!

Sampler Kits

We created our own pin designs for our cushions
and had fellowship around the tables
with other needlework "enthusiasts"
I plan on making more of these!

My pin designs

I am so glad that I attended this event.
Ann and Pat worked so hard to create
an incredible experience for all who attended!
They sure did succeed!!
My goodness the treats kept coming,
one surprise after another!
The highlight gift was a handwoven basket
created for each attendee,
by 1803 Ohio Farm Basket ... a treasure!!!

The food was delicious,
the teachers were stupendous,
the atmosphere was happy and joyous,
the attendees came from all over the country.
New friendships were made!
We ended with a count of 97 for dinner
on Saturday Evening,
the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Thanks to Ann and Pat
Dyeing to Stitch
for a wonderful experience!
One I know I will not forget.
I am sure I speak for all the attendees!

There were over a hundred attendees
to this wonderful weekend.
I heard so often throughout the day
 how lucky we were to have
such an amazing Needlework Store so close by.
I have taken that for granted over the years,
not any more!
Ann and Pat work hard to keep their shop
well stocked with the latest in materials, fibers,
tools and patterns from amazing designers.
They have an open door "You are welcome here ...
pull up a seat and stitch with us for awhile" 
feeling to their establishment.
Apparently that isn't found much in
needlework stores these days.
It was good for me to reminded of that.

I know the saying
"What goes around comes around"
is used an awful lot.
This statement couldn't be more true for me
and my stitching life!
It was always there,
it went away
and now I have returned to it,
I have come full circle.

My stitching treasures

I continue to pursue the Arts that soothe my soul,
Knitting, Stitching, Tapestry Weaving
and my Zentangle® process.
I am always finding moments to calm my heart,
feed my soul
and find joy in the quiet still moments!
I am just so happy to have found
those individuals that share the same passions as I do,
the fellowship makes it all so worth it!

Donna Lee