Thursday, June 23, 2022

My lone June post...

Hi everyone! Gosh, it's been a while, hasn't it? No excuses, just pure procrastination when it comes to sitting down and composing a new post. So, how is everyone's summer going so far (all three days of it!)? It's not been the best start to our summer as my husband tested positive for Covid on Monday morning--ugh! Last Friday, he came home from getting his hair cut and said that his barber was coughing and sounded sick and had just flown from New Orleans. I knew in my heart it was Covid... My husband began feeling a sore throat coming on Sunday evening and sure enough, Monday brought the news we had been hoping to avoid for the past 2 1/2 years. He's had a tough time of it and doesn't hesitate to tell me that it's much worse than the flu! Terrible sore throat, fever, congestion, joint and muscle aches, and extreme tiredness.

I'm feeling a bit like a sitting duck here, just waiting to get attacked, but, so far, I'm feeling fine. We are basically living in two different sides of the house and when we are in any common areas (hallways, kitchen), we wear masks and try to not be in the same place for very long. We are also keeping the windows wide open (and believe me on the steamy 95° day we had on Wednesday, that was no easy feat!). Anyway, we are anticipating that he will be feeling better soon (and really hoping and praying that I can avoid it). 

I've been doing more patriotic stitching lately--it always seems to call my name at this time of year. Interestingly, all of the finishes I have to show you today are from Italian cross stitch designers! First up, is this darling trio from Mani di Donna called "Sounds of Freedom Pillows." I used most of the suggested overdyed threads, substituting just a couple with DMC colors. 

"Sounds of Freedom Pillows" finishes


Here is a close-up for you...

This photo shows the true color of the fabric much better.


I stitched these "over one" on 25 ct. vintage country mocha Lugana--love how tiny they came out. They will be perfect to use in my patriotic Pottery Barn cubby (which I'll show you next time--still haven't photographed it!). I finished them all the same way except I chose to use different colored stars on each--gold for "Let Freedom Ring," blue for "Stars & Stripes," and red for "Land of Liberty." The other change I made was to just stitch a simple star outline on each flag rather than using the called for French knots. Much, much easier! The backing fabric is the gold-starred burgundy fabric you see underneath.


More patriotic pillows for my Pottery Barn cubby!

My other finish is from the top right portion of the Madame Chantilly design called "Celebrate 4th of July." You can see the entire design right here. I just love each of the tiered trays she has designed and have purchased almost every one. Just look at all the charming little motifs! I would really like to stitch the entire design for each holiday and season, but have to be realistic that that probably won't be happening. So, why not stitch the sweet motifs individually?!

Hmmm... which tiered tray design should I choose next?

This eagle is so regal looking, isn't he? I used overdyed threads and added a little star charm hanging from his beak. And because I wanted an oval finish, I added the little white doo-dads (not sure what else to call them!) around the perimeter to help shape it. The fabric I chose was a new to me 40 ct. Newcastle linen called Stormy Night--I love the subtle shading on this wonderful gray color.

A patriotic finish from "Celebrate 4th of July"

The blue flannel shown in the background is from one of my husband's old shirts. I used it to back the ornament and to make the little bow. For the bow, I simply cut off a long, thin piece of the shirt, frayed the edges, and applied Dritz Fray Check to the entire thing to stiffen it up a bit and keep the fraying to a minimum. The blue cording is the same color as the blue star and I also added little gold pearl-tipped pins around the edge. I just love it!

Loved the mottled gray fabric on this one!


And look at this wonderful surprise which arrived from Instagram friend, Trinka (bluebonnettexas on Instagram). Oh, my! Two beautiful charts, some charms, patriotic colored floss, and a darling scrappy handmade star. Thank you so much, Trinka! I am working on the "All American" chart right now and will definitely pass on the kindness when I am finished with it. Honestly, what a generous, kind community we stitchers are blessed to be a part of!

Goodies from Instagram friend Trinka in Texas!

And now for something I hadn't done in nearly 50 years--I finally got up my nerve and put in a zipper! YAY! I am so pleased with the little pouch that I made for my grandson's upcoming 2nd birthday. I found a very easy tutorial on Apple Green Cottage for a simple rounded bottom zipper pouch (you can find the tutorial right here). I also used this video tutorial on YouTube which was very helpful at the end of the process. It contains some excellent tips on clipping the curves and pressing the seams before you turn the project right side out at the end. I still recall my home-economics teacher's words from 8th grade: "It's all about the pressing!" She was right--a good pressing makes such a difference to the final look of a sewing project, doesn't it?

A little dinosaur pouch for my grandson's 2nd birthday!

I don't think I had put a zipper into anything since I was in high school back in the early 1970s! I used to do a bit of sewing then, making myself a few skirts, halter tops (remember those!!!???), a couple dresses, etc. Nothing fancy, but I really didn't have a fear of putting in zippers when I was younger. I was so scared to try it again after all these years, but look...

Yep! I put in a zipper :)

And it even works!

I did it! It works smoothly and looks really nice with those cute zipper tabs on each end. As you can see, the green checked fabric in the zipper tabs is also the lining--another repurposed man's shirt to the rescue! 

I can't wait to give it to my grandson with these little toys tucked inside. And I can't wait to see what treasures of his own, he'll add! I really enjoyed stitching it and can see more of these in varying sizes in my future.

Can't wait to see what other goodies my grandson fills his little pouch with!


Giveaway winner... I had several entries for the cheery "Spring Time" chart by New York Dreamer and the winner's name pulled from the hat is...

ISABEL (in Spain)

Isabel in Spain--you are the winner!

Congratulations Isabel! Please send me your mailing address and I will get this chart in the mail to you as soon as possible! And for those of you who didn't win--check back again. I often have chart giveways in this space.

Thankfully, I have a lovely yard to enjoy as my husband and I continue to quarantine. Here are just some of the things I spotted on my recent nightly strolls...

I personally find moths kind of creepy, and this was, by far, the biggest moth I've ever come across. He was just laying on one of the stepping stones in our fenced-in garden. Notice how well he blends in with the stone? This is a Carolina Sphinx Moth-- fascinating, but I hope he doesn't cross my path again!

And for the first time, we are growing blueberries! My husband has put netting over them in hopes of keeping the birds away--I'll keep you posted.

The hydrangeas are beginning to pop out--oh, how I love them!

Lots and lots of green in my husband's vegetable and flower garden right now. The tomatoes are getting huge and we have milkweed (in the lower left corner) for the first time in hopes of attracting those lovely orange and black monarch butterflies.


And finally, I'll leave you with the most beautiful sight (of this month, anyway)! Have you ever heard of "mammatus clouds?" I hadn't either, but we had them in the skies over southwestern Pennsylvania last Thursday evening. The skies were absolutely magical as these puffy white clouds appeared (after a threatening storm passed) right at sunset. Oh, my--the colors! My middle son said the photos look like something out of a video game... I honestly gasped in awe as I admired the pouch-like clouds that looked like they were falling from the sky. It was something I had never seen in all of my 67 years and I love the fact that nature still manages to surprise and delight me with its beauty!

A most magical sight!

No filters or color changes; just nature's beauty as its finest!

Mammatus clouds in our backyard: June 16, 2022

I hope your day is filled with things that make you gasp in wonder! Take the time to look around you--they are there simply waiting to be discovered... Thank you all for visiting today! I hope you enjoy the rest of June--please stay safe and healthy. Bye for now...


Sandra said...

I was so sorry to hear that your husband caught Covid and that his symptoms were so strong. Fingers crossed that you continue not to catch it!

Those very special fluffy and colourful clouds are just wonderful!

Well done for the dinosaur pouch for your grandson's birthday. I'm not sure that I could put a zip into anything!

You are certainly in a patriotic mood for your stitching this time! To celebrate the Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, I crocheted a little pouch in red, white and blue!

MartinaM said...

Oh dear, get well soon for your husband. It's bad that he's got it now, but I hope that you'll be spared and that your husband will be healthy again soon.
Beautiful your new patriotic motifs and everything so beautifully processed.
great designs by Mdm Chantilli, I think the next thing I would choose would be Autumn and Halloween so they're ready in time. I'm curious what you decide.
You did a good job with the little dinosaur bag. Congratulations, your grandson will be happy.
Yes, such a look at the sky always brings something new, you only do it too seldom, while there are a wide variety of clouds and cloud games to see.
enjoy the rest of June.

Irene said...

Carol, abbia cura di te e cerca di stare bene, vedrai che il covid passerà e non ti toccherà, non veniamo contagiati sicuramente, se abbiamo buone difese immunitarie. Che brava con la cerniera! Io adoro le pochette ma odio cucire le cerniere e cerco sempre di non farle! Un abbraccio!!!

butterfly said...

Lovely post again Carol , I love your header .
Sorry about your husband hope he gets better soon.
Lovely stitching and flowers .
Also your photos of the sky are beautiful.
And the little zip bag is really lovely , your grandson with love it .
Enjoy your Friday .

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,
es tut mir so leid zu hören, dass dein Mann an Corvid erkrankt ist. Ich wünsche ihm Gute Besserung und dass du davon verschont bleibst.
Deine fertigen Stickereien sind wunderschön wie immer. Danke, dass du immer erklärst wie du deine Stickereien verzierst.
Mister B wird sich über die Figuren mit der Tasche sehr freuen.
Tolle Fotos von deinem Garten und den Wolken.
A wonderful weekend and a big Hugs, Manuela

Marilyn said...

Oh, I hope your husband is better soon.
As always, your finishes are perfect!
Love that gray fabric.
Your pouch turned out so cute, he will love it.
I'm the same way about zippers, but there are easier ways now than when we were in high school Home Ec class.
I love how you repurpose shirts, what a great idea.
That Moth is huge!

Sandy said...

Beautiful post! From the stitches to the pouch to the clouds, it is all eye candy. So sorry to hear about the ugly C hitting. You may not get it. I have squeaked by it twice with Jeff and Mother has it as well. It has been a tough month, but I have managed to not get it thus far. It is raging here again, but most describe it as a day or two of cold like symptoms. Mother has been fatigued. I think it will have undone all that PT she had. I am hoping they will extend it.
Can't wait to see the cubby with all that patriotic goodness.

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, your patriotic finishes are beautiful especially the eagle snippet from the Madame Chantilly chart. What a great idea to stitch snippets! Love the pouch you created for your grandson. I am sorry that Tim has come down with Covid. I am praying he is beginning to feel better each and every day; also praying that you escape capture. What gorgeous cloud pictures you shared! Thinking of you.

Vickie said...

I am so glad Tim is getting better and almost over it. I continue to pray for both of you. IT IS NO JOKE EVERYONE. MY BROTHER JUST LEFT ICU THIS WEEK. THE DOCTOR TOLD HIM IF MY MOM HAD NOT TAKEN HIM TO THE HOSPITAL, HE MAY HAVE DIED.
Love your patriotic finishes Carol!
I am STILL fearful of the zipper. Do you know I never did zippers in school? We did buttons! Unless this memory is that bad!!
Oh the Toy Story figurines. Such memories. :) :) :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol! So sorry to hear about your husband. Praying he will get through this quickly and without lasting effects and that you will stay Covid-free! Just FYI, as a nurse I can tell you that germs will survive in warmer, rather than colder environments. It’s why we have more sicknesses in the winter. Everyone gathers inside in close quarters with the heat on and it’s a perfect recipe for spreading germs. My humble suggestion is to close those windows and crank up that air conditioning! (There’s a reason why Operating Rooms are freezing!) Anyway, just a little observation from your post. Also, as always, your stitching and finishing is superb! Thanks for sharing your life with us! I feel like you are an old friend!❤️

Eva H. said...

Carol,your handiwork is very nice.I haven't sewn a zipper in many years.I know I used to be able to,but I guess I'm lazy.I'm truly sorry about your husband.I wish him a speedy recovery and no repercussions.We followed all the rules too.(until I was traumatized that my family couldn't visit me).There is very little testing done now,people act like there was never any danger.Unfortunately,I think it will come back by the end of the summer.All my kids' families have had it,only my daughter(she works in the lab where the tests are done)and the two of us have not been infected.
I believe your grandson will love the gift.There is nothing more beautiful in the world than a beautiful relationship with grandchildren.I have too three great grandchildren(5,4 and 1,5years)...with them the relationship has yet to be built.
Have a wonderful weekend

patty a. said...

I too have been trying hard to avoid covid, but it was going around at work and even though I was wearing a mask I got it. Ugh! I was lucky that for me it was like a mild cold. I did have to stay home for a week and did I ever get a lot of stuff done! It was like a surprise vacation. Another woman at work got it and she was really sick with a massive sore throat, aches and pains. I hope your husband is recovering and that you don't end up with it. I tested negative this morning - I hadn't tested since Monday which I was still positive - and yes they had me come back to work even though I was still positive!

Your patriotic stitching is lovely!

Jutta said...

Dear Carol,
oh sorry about that, get well soon to your husband and all the best to you. I hope you don't get infected, I wish you the same from the bottom of my heart.
You show us very nice embroidery, your garden photos turned out beautiful again and your first zipper is something to be proud of. "The first is always the hardest", said my grandmother ;-)
Don't let it get you down, Jutta sends you best regards

Kyle said...

Bummer about your husband getting covid. I hope you're spared. You're stitching is always beautiful and the new patriotic additions are wonderful. Ready to do another zipper? Looks like you did great. Everyone will be wanting you to make them special bags.

Jackie's Stitches said...

Carol, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. You CAN live in the same house and not get it yourself. You are doing everything right it sounds like. G had it in January and we followed protocols and I was fine. I hope his symptoms abate and that you stay well.

I know you've had serious deer problems in the past. Has your husband been able to solve it? Your gardens are just gorgeous!

Bridgette said...

Sending your hubby speedy recovery wishes. I am also sending you protection prayers. We are dealing with it right now also, my mother has it. I am like you I am praying I don't get it. But I am unable to keep a distance, as she needs lots of assistance, but I'll take my chances verses sending her to a nursing home. I just sanitize, clean clean and bleach everything, and windows open here also! I love the Sounds of Freedom trio, I have added it to my wish list. Your stitching is lovely! We have been enjoying the gardens early morning and late evening due to the heat. Have a blessed day with some "thread-time"

Anonymous said...

Hopefully T will be feeling better soon— and you’ll avoid getting sick! That moth— way too big! Looks like it’s planning sonething! Love all the pieces you’ve been working on. My fav piece is, of course, the dino bag! ❤️ Can’t wait to see his reaction!

Jill said...

Dear Carol, Sorry about your husband being ill and hope you’ll be okay. I was glad to see you post other than the sickness part. Nice patriotic projects and the dinosaur pouch is adorable. The garden is doing very well so early. I have empathy on the fear of zippers and shall watch your suggested videos. Appreciate the photos of the mammatus clouds. I had not heard of them or seen them before and I tend to be a cloud watcher. May the worse symtoms be over for your husband and may you stay well!

Leonore Winterer said...

Hi Carol, and happy summer! I'm so sorry to hear your husband has caught the virus, but hope he'll feel better soon, and that you will continue to be healthy.
You did some lovely stitching - but isn't it wild that apparently, US patriotic stitching is such a big thing that European designers are publishing patterns now?! That's globalization in action!
That pouch you made for your grandson is very sweet, I'm sure it will be much beloved all through his kindergarden years.
Your corner of the world truly is beautiful and full of marvels, what wonderful pictures!

diamondc said...

Carol: Your Patriotic designs are beautiful as are the finishings.
What a grand idea to use an old shirt, bringing a bit of the past into the future is so sweet.
I am so sorry your husband is ill I hope you stay healthy and do not get what he has.
Your garden photos are beautiful, i am one who loves to look at moth's, some are so amazing to see.
Your ziper was put in perfectly, you can do it and do it well, it is so cute seeing the Buzz Light Year toys by the bag.
What a lovely surprise from yoiur mailbox.
Have a lovely day


marly said...

Was your hubby prescribed Paxlovid? It really knocked the socks off several really ill friends. Others were not bad at all, few sniffles, and had the drug ordered anyway. I was also very surprised that they were told FIVE DAYS of quarantine and they could be out and about.

You did a great job on the pouch and your patriotic pillows are absolutely smooth, perfect corners, not even a tiny crinkle.

Our tomatoes and peppers have a few stems, that's it. Very scrawny. I want to get more (they're actually larger than ours at the nursery) but he won't hear it.

Keep us posted on your husband and you, hope you stay well and he improves quickly.

Cathy H. said...

So sorry to hear covid has invaded your home! Praying for a quick recovery for your husband and that you continue to avoid it!

You have certainly been busy this month. I love your small patriotic pillows! Perfectly finished as always!

You deserve a pat-on-the-back for putting in a zipper. That was always one of the hardest things to do in sewing. The pouch is so cute! I know your grandson will enjoy putting his treasures in it!

Have a great July!

Shelly said...

Amazing looking clouds! Praying for your husband to recover fully from covid! Poor guy! Hoping you don't catch it! Your finishes are always the best, hands down. Lovely garden too! Take care 😊

Kgirl said...

I managed to stay healthy when my entire family had Covid after my son came home from college for Thanksgiving 2021. However I contracted it this week last summer after a plane flight next to a very sick teenager. I was fine, but it took me awhile to regain my stamina. Tell your hubby to take it slow.

I have used some of my son's old shirts for finishing after reading your blog. What a great idea for those favorites! When I look at my FFOs, I see the fun stitching, and it brings back good memories. Thank you for sharing that idea!

When you stitched on the 25 count one over one, did you use one strand of floss? I love how neat and vibrant your colors look! I need to drag out my magnifier for that.

Love your sweet pouch too! I need to pull out my machine and relearn how to use it.

Thanks for sharing!

Katie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your hubby. Hope he gets better quickly and doesn't spread the ick to you. Sounds like you are doing everything possible. I just LOVE your patriotic stitching. I need/want to do more just like yours. The one you received is just wonderful too. Might have to look that one up. Mammatus clouds are gorgeous indeed. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

Isabel para ALROMASAR said...

But what wonderful news, Carol!
I can't believe I was the winner of such a beautiful graphic!
Thank you very much for your generosity!!
have loved your embroideries to celebrate the 4th of July...that contrast of fabrics is fabulous!!
I sincerely hope your husband is recovering.
He receives a big hug from Spain

Stasi said...

Carol, so sorry to hear about your hubby and Covid...hoping he is feeling better by now. Your patriotic pieces are so sweet and will be perfect in your cubby. Oh those clouds...magnificent!!!
Hope you're staying clear of Covid and enjoying the end of June.

Faith... said...

Your new patriotic stitching is so pretty. I love the way you finish them into those little pillows with the fabric on the front panel. Great job on the little pouch for Mr. B! He is going to love it and the Toy Story toys! Beautiful garden and yum so many veggies! I hope the netting helps and the critters don't nibble on anything.

Hope your DH recovers soon so life will be back to "normal" at your house!

Congratulations Isabel!

Anonymous said...

Well, I haven’t been online much recently (a lot of catching up to do now!). First of all, I so hope your husband is doing well now and feeling so much better and recovering from Covid! And, of course, I really hope you haven’t/don’t get it either. Please let all of your readers know how you two are doing - I’m sure we all have said a prayer (or two!) for his recovery and for you not to get it either!
As for all of your stitching WOW! I am always so thrilled to see what you have stitched, how you have finished them and can’t wait to see them displayed. So looking forward to your Pottery Barn cubby. The tired tray designs are so wonderful.
The little zippered bag you made for Mister B is perfect! What a lucky little boy to tuck away any of his treasures. It’s amazing that he will be turning 2 so very soon. How lucky for all that his birthday falls during a weekend - I imagine a wonderful party will happen to celebrate!
And, I must tell you that your backyard is beautiful! The flowers, vegetables - even the moth! I’m not too big on bugs of any kind, but it’s not hard to be quite impressed with that moth - quite amazing. Thanks, too, for sharing the photos of those clouds- they are so beautiful. I’m sure I’ve never seen anything quite like those so it was great to see your pictures.
This is probably long enough for now - just really wanted to say “hi” and wish you all the best!! xoxoxo🌸💐💐
Barb R.

Alhana said...

Carol, sorry to hear about your husband. I hope he is feeling better by now and you're safe as well. Your stitching is flawless, as always! Can't wait to see your patriotic display for July.
Please take care! Hugs.

Jennifer said...

What a great post Carol - hope your husband is fully recovered by now - we’ve had it in our house too - my daughter. Luckily her case was pretty mild. Love your summer stitching - what a good idea to pick pieces from the trays to stitch. Love your finishing as always! And love that little bag for your grandson - he will have all kinds of great treasures to put in it! Hope you had a nice 4th!

Susan P said...

Interesting how COVID affects all of us differently. My husband and I were in New Orleans over July 4th weekend, returned home to Las Vegas and five days later we both came down with COVID. For both of us, our symptoms were just a low grade fever and a cough. We started medicine on second day of symptoms and we were symptom free in 5 days. For us, it was just like an annoying summer cold. We've had the flu in past years where the symptoms were much, much worse. As I read this mid-July, hope your hasband is well and you never got it.