Slices of Summer

Back in February, I posted about our Winter stitching, and in April I posted the Spring stuff. Here it is, the mid-point of August and I haven’t shared the Summer works. Could it be because there aren’t any? Au contraire! I’m just really lazy and haven’t gotten around to taking them all off the wall for photographing. Turns out we have a lot of summer stuff. A lot. Which seems odd because prior to this year, it was hands down everyone’s least favorite season here at Maple Hoo. Hm. Maybe that’s why we have so much? Maybe previously we stitched summery stuff as a way to make the season more palatable? All I know is now that I love this time of year, I love that we have a lot of needlework to share in the spirit of Summer!

Another fun thing about this set of pieces is that we have examples of everyone’s work: me, Schnookie, Boomer and the elusive Kate The Great! In no particular order, here they are.

Strawberry Garden Designer: Blackbird Designs; Stitched by Pookie

This was one of those darling Loose Feathers Club charts; it might even be my favorite to date. This little chart packed a big punch, too, as it featured a handful of fun stitches, including tons of little lazy daisy leaves.

Strawberry Theif Designer: Blackbird Designs; Stitched by Schnookie

One of Schnookie’s rare pieces done on linen, the “Strawberry Thief” is a favorite around here. The blue linen choice was a ballsy one, and a move that paid off hugely. Also, the choice to use two strands of floss on a tiny count gave the piece a striking and compelling three-dimensionality.

Watermelon Thief Designer: Blackbird Designs; Stitched by Pookie

This probably isn’t actually called the “Watermelon Thief” but I can’t find the book this came from (“A Fine Collection”) so whatever its real name will have to remain a mystery. Sure, as Schnookie points out, a bird can’t actually steal a watermelon. Unless it’s a big bird. Like a condor. But whatevs. This piece isn’t actually so fantastic that it warrants this much thought!

Sailboat: or I Can’t Believe This Is Over One Again! Designer: Unknown; Stitched by KtG

As you may of guessed, this isn’t actually what this piece is titled, either! KtG made this for us so I don’t know which designer it’s from. She picked it up at a family trip to the Attic Needlework Shop and then started working on it while we lolled around our old house in Arizona, enjoying a lazy, lazy summer vacation. Everything was going fine until she hit the American flag at the top of the mast.

Yeah, that’s stitching over one. Stitching over one that KtG didn’t realize was there until she got working on it. The deer and the fishes are also over one. Heh. Of course, as with all her stuff, it’s impeccably stitched, and we appreciated that she braved the over-one in order to make us the nicest sail boat possible! Thanks, KtG!

Sunflower Charms Designer: Blackbird Designs; Stitched by Boomer

Speaking of impeccably stitched, it’s Boomer’s work! 99% of my motivation for not featuring more of Boomer’s work on here is that I’m insanely jealous of how gorgeous her work is. She works more deliberately and with a lot more care than I do, and it shows. She’s my stitching hero, basically, and some day I hope to grow up to be just like her!

Those little squares are one of my favorite special stitches, “four-sided stitch”. You follow a specific order of needle placement and it makes a square on the front and a cross on the back. It’s a perfectly reversible result!

Sunflower House Designer: Blackbird Designs; Stitched by Pookie

Another Loose Feathers pattern, this “Sunflower House” features bright yellows we just never get in the other seasonal works. For a long time I resisted working anything that had an American flag in it, just because I didn’t want to have anything that could be considered “Americana” in the house (there’s nothing wrong with it; it’s just not part of our Modwardian Style). I’m glad I relented though, because I love how joyous and bright and cheery this one is.

Because I wasn’t thrilled with how my stitching went on this one (I’m not great at working with double-stranded floss now that I’m so used to using single strands of silk) we opted not to send this to our regular framer. Instead we took it to a local artwork framer. Yeah, we’ll not be doing that again. He didn’t pad the piece, so it’s stretched strangely. We learned our lesson. All needlework will go to a framer who specializes in needlework.

Summer Offering Designer: Blackbird Designs; Stitched by Schnookie

For some reason, this one smacks of late summer to me. I don’t know if it’s the dusky lilac linen, or the blackbird, or what, but I look at it and think this bird must be flying in to offer this berry branch to students returning from the first week of school.

So there we go! Happy summer, everyone!



Filed under Pins and Needles, Seasonal, Stitching

23 responses to “Slices of Summer

  1. AAHHH!

    Incredible work, guys! On KtG’s piece, I love that the sailboat is frickin’ huge…hee, it’s so enormous and cute! I’m really digging the Strawberry Thief one and The Sunflower House for some reason – and I’m with you, Pookie, I am not the biggest fan of stitching anything with an American flag on it.

    It’s not that I’m not patriotic but…it’s odd, I don’t know.

    I love your frames, too!

    I had no idea you were supposed to pad the needlework piece before framing. You learn something new, every day!

  2. Crap, and Boomer’s piece is really impressive too. (I KNEW I forgot something, dammit.) That four side stitch thing makes my head a little hurty.

  3. Caitlin, I’d never really noticed that about the boat in KtG’s piece. Heh. The people on the boat said, “We’re going to need a bigger boat” a few too many times, methinks. :P

    I am also normally very anti-American flags in stitching, but Blackbird Designs has so many wonderful summer pieces with flags in them that I finally chipped away at Pookie’s resolve. We were reaching “cutting off your nose to spite your face” point with them.

    The framing is one of the main reasons we can’t quit The Attic. We just send our finished pieces off to them, and Sandy, the genius framer there, takes care of us. It’s always a wonderful surprise to see how they look when they get sent back to us, because more often than not she turns something ho-hum into something spectacular. (As for the padding, we tried to get pictures to show the difference, but it wasn’t conveying at all. You can frame without it, of course, but it just looks a bit nicer with it.)

  4. hg

    Those designs are amazing and you all did fantastic work on them. I think the time has come for me to become a serious stitcher (maybe because it’s my birthday TOMORROW and I feel like it’s a grown up hobby).

    And it’s a good time to train Hada to be a floss holder.

  5. (maybe because it’s my birthday TOMORROW and I feel like it’s a grown up hobby)


    Wait, stitching is a grown-up hobby? I think I need to stop doing it, then! :P

    Hada will be an amazing floss holder. I just know it! She’s got that look about her, the look of a Helper Kitty.

  6. And speaking of floss-holding Helper Kitties, my favorite thing about this post is that you can see cat hair in the stitches of just about every one of these pieces in their close-ups. Heh.

  7. Not cat hair — thread of love! Please!

    The sailboat is a little bit excessive. Maybe they’re transporting a bunch of littler boats in the main hold?

    HG, your birthday is tomorrow?!? It feels like just yesterday that you were counting down the days to last year’s birthday! Where does the time go?

  8. hg

    Wait, stitching is a grown-up hobby? I think I need to stop doing it, then! :P

    It’s just something I tell myself as I sit here in this shirt. Hee hee… I think I meant “grown up” as in “buckle down and start something new already you big baby it won’t take you ten years to do another one.”

    HG, your birthday is tomorrow?!? It feels like just yesterday that you were counting down the days to last year’s birthday!

    I KNOW! I haven’t counted down at all this year! Well, since yesterday. But last year was a tough one so I didn’t put any pressure on this year’s b-day. All will be great. I have a pretty bag o’ goodies from HR and The Legend to open and a card from Grand-HR. They’ve been out since I got back from BC, eagerly awaiting me to rip into them.

  9. HG, I love that shirt!

    And your next project won’t take ten years! We all have that one, the decade-or-longer project. You just happened to have it right here in your nascent stitcherdom. Now it’s behind you, and it’s all downhill from here! :D

    I’m sure this year’s birthday appreciates that you’re not pressuring it, but I bet it’s gonna RAWK! I can’t wait to hear what kinds of goodies HR and The Legend got for you. And do you and Mr. A have any awesome plans? More cheese and wine, perhaps? :D

  10. hg

    Hehehe my bestie got the shirt for me last year for my b-day and she got one too so of course when she was out here, we wore them on the same because we’re square like that.

    HR did get me a bunch of scrapbooking stuff (because, again, I’m a square [square is going to replace dork soon, I know it]) for my birthday already so I was quite surprised to receive a package from her.

    I don’t know what Mr.A has going for me during the day but he did take the day off for us to hang out together so that’s all I need! We’re heading to his sister’s for dinner with the whole family and then Thursday I’m going out to a pal’s for a BBQ and drinks and Friday we’re going out for dinner with some more pals so really it’s birthday week, isn’t it?

    And Hada just sneezed all over the keyboard and my hand. Sheesh. She went to the vet today and she has an upper respiratory infection that has flared up. She had it at the shelter – I guess it’s quite common when you have 8473594738349 cats in one place – and the stress, even though it was positive, of moving has made it reappear. Poor kitty with a cold. Sniff.

  11. Birthday week is so the way to go. We get back from Arizona on Tuesday of next week and then on Wednesday I’m going to open my birthday gifts, even though my birthday isn’t for another week. I mean, why not?! :D It sounds like your birthday week is going to be awesome, hg!

    As for the ten-year-long project, how much of it did you do in the last year? A TON! Enough for a normal project, right? So essentially, you finished a project’s-worth of stitching in a year! There’s no reason why you can’t do that again, this year! Like, say, that BC sampler? Hmmm?

  12. Your birthday week sounds awesome! It’s so much better to make it into a festival rather than just one day. :D

    Pookie and I have all the same shirts from Threadless, so we have to very carefully coordinate not being twinsies when we go out. We are totally squares, too.

    And poor little Sneezy Hada! I hope she gets well soon!

  13. hg

    You’re going to make me do that sampler, aren’t you? If I do pick it up, you better be prepared for 307 questions a day because I won’t know what I’m doing.

    Threadless is a dangerous site for me. I haven’t ever bought anything from them. I’m scared to buy one because then I know I will have to buy more. Although… if I get birthday money… heehee

  14. I think Pookie wants nothing more than to be your BC Sampler Coach. :D

    We both went through the Threadless addiction a few years ago. We both realized we were low on t-shirts, and did a year of T-shirt Of The Month. Which, of course, meant that we both now have 12 matching t-shirts. That was… not very well thought-out on our parts. Heh.

  15. hg


  16. T-shirt of the Month was so much fun. Of the 12 I got, I think only two of them were ones that I wouldn’t have picked out or myself. The only problem with Threadless is I’m totally spoiled by the cut and comfort level of their shirts. Schnookie and Boomer gave me awesome shirts to proclaim my Tisch/NYU pride, but the collars are tighter than I’m used to now. I’m like a delicate t-shirt flower now, with picky tastes. Heh.

    I am more than happy to be your BC Sampler coach! I have my dumpy gray sweatsuit on, and I’ve got my whistle on a string and my clipboard in hand. TWEET! Give me twenty satin stitches now!

  17. hg

    I am going to aspire to be a member of the Threadless t-shirt of the month club. It will be a goal of my NBL.

    IF and WHEN I do the BC Sampler, as it’s become known as, this will be the one since the Rocky Mountains were my backyard. If that one is successful, then I will do her other Canadian ones I like.

    And I will only sign up for the extra-curricular club of stitching if you wear knee-high gym socks. And a ball cap that says, “COACH POOKIE” on it.

  18. You got it! *doffs “Coach Pookie” hat*

    (The link didn’t work! Booo!)

  19. hg

    I meant to check the link but got distracted by Hada scaling the armchair. It was quite impressive. Now she is squeaking from the top of it. What a square. :-P

    How about now?

    You got it! *doffs “Coach Pookie” hat*

    Dammit. That’s another one of those Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog laws, isn’t it?

  20. Now she is squeaking from the top of it. What a square. :-P

    :^::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Hada’s so cute!

    I LOVE THAT SAMPLER! My favorite part is the little mountain rams. That’s so wonderful!

  21. Oh, and you know it, with the Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog laws. We are strictly by the book around here.

  22. Well, I’m not going to sit here and talk nonsense with Bob Loblaw!

    I love the sampler! And it’s skinny, so it won’t take as long as it looks!

  23. hg

    :^::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Hada’s so cute!

    She really is. She likes shoes. Ask Pookie.

    And if Bob says so, then it must be done. Grrrf.

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