Dec 29, 2014

It was only one decision!

And I still couldn't make it. 
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I chose neither,
so green is the hue.
I think the grayish green of 3011 would make a great monotone sampler with the dark frame I have in mind.  Chose the lighter 32 count linen and set aside the red floss on the unbleached piece.  My overdyed floss is probably not enough to complete the project and ordering another skein would never be close.  I don't want to wait for a new order to come in because I am almost at the point that I don't even care about samplers.  Did I just say that?  Yes.  If I take even a short break, it will become much longer than I plan.
Thank you for the good wishes and prayers, once again, for nephew Chris. He has been diagnosed, it's very serious, and he is still in the hospital. 
 I'm sure others have these sudden moments, sort of a reality check, taking in events and the past.  I came out of the shower, wrapped a towel around, and went to the vanity.  Did you ever just stand in front of a mirror and stare at yourself?  How the face and body has changed?  Wondering what is next?  Where did the years go?  I buried my face into my hands and just stood there.  Slowly I pulled open my hands, stroking the sides of my face, revealing it once again.  I stood there looking in the mirror, and thought........
this is how I would look after a facelift.  Make an appointment.  Soon.
See 'ya later.  Any bets on color changes?
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 28, 2014

The Magma is loaded

Greetings fellow menopausians, stitchers, friends, and readers.  Instead of browsing the stash I chose one of the last samplers I ordered.  She's not too large, simple, and monotone.  Perfect for taking to the hospital without all the floss bags of colors. 
Only question - should I use luscious 3857, or the gray that looks blue 413?  Eliza Laidman was Uniform Blue which is just like 413 and I really love it, but would I want another the same?  In a different room, yes.  So I have just one decision to make and probably won't until I pull it out to start.
 Start what?  Harriet Hazlin from The Sampler House.  This was stitched over one as a miniature but can of course be stitched over two as I will do.  Finished size on 30 count will be about 9.5" x 7.5".  Stitching on 32-35 count would probably make it perfect for a standard 8x10 frame.   I just thought of that but I already cut a piece off my Scarlet Letter yardage and that hurt.  Hurts bad.  I rarely frame any more but this could be added to my framed group.  Damn.  I don't know why but cutting linen is very distressing to me.  Maybe I should just take a pill and cut a piece of a higher count.
I put clear shipping tape over the Velcro tabs on the Magma.  When I was working on Isobel's ornament, every time I needed to get into the pouch the loud noise woke him up and aggravated me.  Folding the tape over to the outside works really well. 
I wanted to show that ornament finish but alas, it is hiding somewhere.  Isn't alas a goofy word?  Anyway, I'll find it when I have time.
Have a great week!
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 27, 2014

Burlap tree

Hello hello hello.  Just came home from errands and wanted to show what I found. 
I fell in love with this two foot burlap and rusty bell wrapped tree and wanted to create a large version for outside my kitchen window. 
The large tomato cages were not working without wrapping them first with wire or twine to create a more solid frame.  The burlap was falling into the open areas.  Stacking several cages would help and using a heavy twine over the entire cage would also make a great outdoor tree.  Since it wasn't working and I have no time or patience to do it properly, I put it off for now. 
Then I ran into my local craft store for a quick browse and found this five foot grapevine on a better frame for only $12.50.  I can add more vines, twine, or wrap in burlap strips.  Clear strung lights on brown wire mixed in with thin grapevines will encircle the tree.  I think it will look great outside and hold up for years.  I don't know if I will work on it before I put it away or wait until next year.  Hmmm.  I could forget by then - best work on it now - maybe February?
Have a good day everyone.

Dec 26, 2014

Mary Lamin's Sampler

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.
Ours was spent once again in a hospital room.  Never got to bake cookies, have a family dinner, wrap gifts, relax.
 I scheduled this post to appear Friday - it's the only thing I am sure of at this point. 
Right now I am at the hospital waiting for scope results. Christmas day 2013 was spent in the same hospital when Carole's heart failure began.  This year, it's her son.  We have no answers, they aren't sure of the problem, and sent him home from the ER twice before realizing there is something radically wrong.  Staff is short during Christmas week. We postponed the dinners to this weekend, but that has been cancelled.  She's very upset, not allowed to drive, not recovered from last week's surgery, so we're going back and forth to see him and helping her.  I don't even know what day it is most times but I know where the Ativan is!  His girlfriend is there when she can be and has been a big help. 

Mary Lamin's Lord's Prayer from Homespun Elegance.  I changed a few colors as I always do, and can't remember if I used 28 or 32 count.  I think smalls will be in my Magma for a while and I'll search for a few this weekend. 
Enjoy your weekend and empty those cookie trays.  I'll be back with another little finish of Isobel's free chart you can find by clicking here - The Primitive Hare.  Thanks for visiting.

Dec 24, 2014

Greetings from the brats

Although our already limited Christmas festivities are postponed,
we want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
 Enjoy time with family....
eat until you're stuffed, party until you're pooped...
and have a peaceful night.
Merry Christmas to all!

Dec 20, 2014

Winner, Comet, Carole, Cats

How's the weekend going so far?  Mine started with Carole not being able to breathe again and it lasted for quite a while.  She has been OK since and is concerned as to the real cause.  This should not be happening.
I wanted to show you the other chart I got from Early America 1815.  Comet's Feather Tree.  You can find Jingle Bird and Comet on her Picture Trail site.  It may be closed until after Christmas but her contact information is listed.
I changed the stag's body, left off the date, and added a rusty star (clear nail polish on back).  Haven't had time to do the blanket stitch around three sides, poke holes in the heavy felted wool back for the leather laces.  Probably won't either.  Tomorrow is cleaning day at Carole's, then taking her to the hospital for labwork Monday, get groceries, make Nona's risotto or Baba's stuffed cabbage for Christmas Eve.  Platters and buffet for Christmas.  I just can't do more than that and our traditional meals will not be served this year.  Haven't even baked a cookie so for the first time in forever, I will have to purchase a store's cookie tray.  That's OK.  The food isn't what's important.
 Here's my newest problem.  This large mean cat will not leave.  I have seen him in the woods once in a while over the years but he is now invading their space.  This is Squeak cowering and trying to sneak away from him.  I chase him away but he keeps coming back.  A half hour later, I saw Missy fly by and found Bud with the yellow cat.  It ran away and I grabbed Bud and carried him into the house while being scratched to heck.  He's hurt.  Full of mud, yellow hair on his face, bleeding paws and leg, hasn't moved for hours.  I tried getting a closer look but he started hissing and growling at me.  I think they both are hurting.  How do I keep him away?  Nitzy is skinny and young, nothing like big Budman, and will really get hurt.  Squeak won't come in and the other two don't want to stay in.  I have a little antibiotic liquid left and I will start Bud on it tomorrow morning if I can hold him.  He's been in here for hours and still won't allow me near him.

And now for the drawing.  The winner is Sheravery.  I can't contact you so please email your location and address to me.  Jingle Bird will be winging it Monday morning.
Thanks again to all of you for participating.  
Welcome to new followers!  I hope you will enjoy visiting, and I thank you all for continuing the relationships we share through this medium.  I'm not a Facebooker, not on Instagram, and enjoy the blogland way of connecting with others and learning more about fellow stitchers and their lives.
I am more exhausted than I realized, and am unplugging for a week while preparing for the holiday.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas.
If I'm not back before then, best wishes for a wonderful and Happy New Year.



Dec 18, 2014

Fly away Jingle Bird!

Spread your wings and find a new home.  A quick giveaway to you my friends.  Yes another.  Unplanned, but I want to offer a little gift of gratitude for your support.  I stained the bird with walnut dye because he was a bit too clean-cut for me.  He measures 4 1/2" square without the fringe. 
  I will draw a name Saturday evening at 8pm EST. 
Carole is doing well except for the pain.  The surgery took longer because they had to replace a questionable lead from the first implantation before adding the new third lead, change the generator/transformer in the unit, and this all took place before the node ablation.  Somehow, they burned her chest with an instrument but she is not allowed to use any medication on it because it is too close to the incision.  No driving for 3 weeks and wearing a sling on the surgery side for the same length of time.
If you would like Jingle Bird, leave your name, initials if no-reply, on this post.
Thank you all again!

Dec 17, 2014

I can breathe now

Thank you thank you thank you.  Your prayers lifted us both, gave us strength, and pulled us through.  Sudden death is rare but can occur within the first 48 hours so she will stay and be monitored but her surgeon is very pleased with the result.   Arrived at 11:30, emergencies developed with others, and she wasn't taken down to surgery until 5:30 pm.  It took much longer than expected and we got to see her afterward at 9 pm.  In a few weeks she should see a great difference.  This started a year ago when we rushed her to the hospital on Christmas Day. 
Everyone is treating her like a queen, remembering what she went through a few months ago.  I am still jittery and will take one more pill tonight to get a good sleep.  I've been on edge for months, anxious, fearful, feeling helpless.  I will still be for a short time until I feel comfortable that she is out of danger. I'm sure much of this is also related to menopause since I've been a hair trigger emotional crab for a long time.  In fact, I'm having a hot flash at this very moment.  And Kozy Shack rice pudding.  And Dove.  I may take a little break and try to unwind for a few days.
I can't thank you all enough for your support, prayers, good wishes, emails, comments, and tolerance for my moods.

But I will say again, thank you.
Sleep well.


Panties bunching?

I am sitting here ready to take a pill to calm down and face this scary day.  We have to be there by 11:30 and the procedure won't start until 3:00.  I'm taking a few things to stitch but my thumb is cracked and painful, and my hands aren't steady.  We won't be in the same area as the last time until after the surgery and going back into that small unit will not be easy for her.
As for the stamp issue.  I don't give a rat's ass if they have a stamp for each religion.  When I go into a pharmacy and ask for eye drops for dryness, I don't want ones for allergy.  When I go into a yarn shop and ask for wool, I don't want to be sold cotton.  If I order a DVD, I don't want to be given a Blu-ray.  When I go into a coffee shop and order tea, I don't want coffee.  It's called a job, a responsibility.  They are being paid to serve the customer what they are paying for. I am not going to stand at a counter, search for a computer, Wi-Fi areas, and look up what I am purchasing.  Yes the buyer should check the merchandise, but I trusted the post office to know what stamps they have.  She isn't delivering mail, she is working the counter as she has done for many years as the manager of that branch.  The stamp was released last year!  I expect people to do the job they are paid to do. Yes it may look like a Christmas tree, but it's not.  I asked for a Christmas stamp.  Not Kwanzaa, not Hanukkah, not EID.  I have a right to celebrate my religion just as they have a right to celebrate theirs.  Tolerance goes both ways.  Preaching it without practicing it is ideology.  The title of that post was about someone not doing their job.  Period.  Don't send emails about being a racist, anti-Islam, anti-worker.  I have a right to say what bugs me and getting a stamp for a religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas when I specifically asked for the opposite, bugs me.
My former mail carrier was a gem, very friendly, very conscientious.  She is 6 years to retirement so they moved her to an easier and shorter route, and she stopped in to say goodbye last year.  My new one won't take my stamped mail from the mailbox.  The flag is up, the mail is ready, but she leaves it.  She has left my packages at homes several miles away with nothing similar in address or name.  I have to deliver my neighbor's mail that was left in my box.  There are workers that take their responsibility seriously and do an excellent job. There are workers that know they can't be fired and make no effort.  We have more of those in my area.
I hope to have a good report posted by tomorrow morning. 

Dec 16, 2014

Another well paid employee

Hello people.  I am fuming and as usual, vent here.  I only had a few cards to mail and stopped at my post office to request 10 more Christmas stamps.  My carrier is paid $29.50 per hour plus $.50 per mile, per day, for her route.  I would assume the manager would be a higher rate.  I asked her for the Christmas stamps, she held up a green stamp with a tree on it.  I asked if she was sure and she said they are clueless as to the print (EID Greetings), but it is the Christmas tree stamp and the only one they have at that branch.  So onto my envelopes they go and into the bin.  I looked it up when I got home. It is shaped like, but not a Christmas tree - it's calligraphy with Islamic symbols. EID commemorates the two Islamic holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.  It is a Muslim stamp for a Muslim holiday, they do not believe Christ is the Son of God, they do not recognize or celebrate Christmas, and my post office is selling them to me as a Christmas tree stamp.  I am furious.  All my cards to my Catholic and Christian family and friends have a Muslim stamp.  Should I have known this?  I'm not Muslim!  Why would I know?  More importantly, why didn't she?  Another government employee that serves the public well.

Dec 15, 2014

Jingle Bird

I stitched this on 32 count because I wanted it smaller, changed a few colors.  No interfacing, backed with two layers of linen in different neutral shades to get a variegated and fuller fringe.  The backing linens are coarse 25 count - I didn't want a fine thread fringe.  After pressing it with the iron's tip to separate, I got the ragged look that I wanted.
Originally with little bells that I removed - thought it was too much.
I pinned the three layers together and fringed the top linen to the size I liked, then stitched with matching thread on a very small zigzag setting, catching the end thread to prevent further raveling.
The stitching is barely visible.  I didn't want to hand stitch a decorative seam with colored floss.  Finished fringing the edges of the other two linen layers, stuffed, and sewed the bottom the same way.
Jingle Bird.  Over and out.


Dec 14, 2014

Me again

Hey.  What's happening?  Forgot to show how I hang ornaments from wall baskets.  I had a few emails asking, but can't find them now.  Other computer maybe? 
It's simple - just insert a thin nail or straight pin with a head into the outer rim of the basket, straight down.  Keep stabbing until you find a spot, leave it up about 1/2" and hang your ornament.  Use a magnet to pull the pin out should it fall all the way in.

It works great for flat back baskets too.

Jingle Bird is almost finished and I am feeling better today.  Why?  I talked to my sister and she can barely speak.  She just can't get her breath so the sooner this is done the better.   80% get their breath back, 20% do not.  We're thinking positive, still anxious, but it has to be done.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and good wishes.


Dec 13, 2014

Mary's house

Hello people.  Hope your weekend is off to a good start.  I ventured out for shopping and came home with too much.  I just can't pass up a good sale.  I abhor looking for clothing for myself and get what I need online, but there are two babies in the family and how can you pass up their little outfits?  The 6 month old is wearing a helmet because of complications during birth and I tried to find a little hat that would fit over it.  I think I did but I plan on knitting one too.  Why is it so difficult to find hats for infants and babies?  I found toddler and only a few fitted others, nothing cute.  Summer was even worse when I tried to find a brimmed hat for the other baby for sun protection.  Anyway.... I also had to get away from the house.  We had another incident with an arrogant belligerent hunter who would not leave and is hunting with others behind my house.  Forget the PA Game Commission.  I was told many years ago that they can't do anything unless they actually witness the person discharging a weapon at the game within 150 yards of my house.  I kid you not.  So they are back there, with houses on three sides, using high powered rifles, and I can't do a thing.  You can't expect police to walk through the woods in their dark clothing while idiots are shooting at anything that moves and it's the Game Commission that should be responsible for enforcing their regulations.  But just like anything else in PA that my tax dollars fund, they are useless and inept at their responsibility.  But they get a hell of a pension.  I didn't want to hear any shots fired so I left the house but they can still hunt until dark.
So here's Mary's house, and I don't have much more to complete this sampler.

Poor Mary, like many of us, had a hard time deciding on what color to paint her house.  I made a few changes too.  Whether I will continue or switch to Jingle Bird will be decided this evening.  If I finish either, I will post the photos, but that's all until after the surgery.  I am getting more and more anxious - just can't stop remembering the scene the last time she had a procedure.  Even her cataract surgery was a disaster and that seems to always happen.  I'm trying to stay away from taking a pill to help me sleep, and my doc is arguing with me that I need counseling because I want a few 0.5 Ativan!  I tried to explain that aging, upcoming retirement, finances, and all the crap that comes with mid 60's bothers me SOMETIME and to add the stress of what we've been going through with family and pet losses, I want a freaking pill!  Not every day, not for long, just sometimes when I get over anxious.  I am not going for counseling.  Our very young, too young, irresponsible mothers in my old office were pregnant, taking care of infants, and their docs gave them Xanax, Ativan, Valium and others.  I'm just an old lady with hot flashes and a bad attitude.  GIVE ME THE FREAKING PILLS!!!!  She prescribed 30 and I only take half most times, so I should be OK.  One week to go and she will be out of the woods if all goes well.  And so will the hunters as the season ends. 
So I will be back, hopefully with great news the end of next week.
Until then my stitching buds, take care of yourself.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 12, 2014


 This year anyway.  Do you have favorites or does it change every year?
I started out thinking I wanted it simple.
And it grew from there.
And kept going.

By Sunday, it will all be changed or reduced back to simple.  When will I learn?

Dec 11, 2014

Shop stop

Just had to show what I found at Apple Basket in Vienna Ohio.  It's on the way home from my injections and I rarely stop because it is more country style.  But I did today and am glad I did.  I got the last of each but the wood (resin?) lantern is being ordered again for the third time so the lady that I snatched it from will have to wait until they come in.  The large size is 16 x 16 inches and I like the impact rather than several smaller items.  They had sweet trees, more primitive, but not sparse, really nice 3 and 4 foot.  Very tempting. 

To M.H. - I have no antique samplers, they were all stitched by me from charts. 
I have to apologize for not answering all comments and reading blogs.  Have been busy and too distracted other than hit and miss now and then. (Distraction has cost me a few bucks too, since I forgot to use my $10 coupon at Kohl's, a $15 coupon at JCP, and the $5 coupon at Apple Basket.) While weaning myself off the old laptop and adapting to the new one, I discovered that gmail doesn't appear on both like my provider does.  Depending on which computer I open, the mail will download to it, but not the other.  And the new one is pretty strict in security, sending several to the Junk folder but I think I have it all fixed now. Anxiety will be taking over for the next week so this won't be the last apology. 
Until then, be good, stay safe, thanks for visiting.

Dec 10, 2014

So here's the skinny...

and it's not me.  I had to get a new pair of jeans and threw them on to take Carole.  Unfortunately, those confounded long sticky labels that run down the leg proclaiming your size wasn't removed.  Hey people!  Here it is!  See my new size?  I left it on because I'm so proud of that higher number.  Isn't that what we always strive for?  A higher score?  What a putz.  That was our first laugh.  The second came when she almost flew out of the wheelchair.  I had to get a running start to get up that fricking hill in the parking lot and on the way, hit uneven pavement under a rubber mat.  I got quite a jolt and saw the back of her head come up about a foot while her body bounced forward.  I almost wet my pants.  I haven't laughed that hard since I got lost at the Ford dealership.  My husband asked why I didn't leave her at the door, get the car, and drive over to pick her up instead of struggling.  Oh.  Dumbfounded, I had no comeback other than "why would you even ask me that?"  That one usually confuses men and they shut up.
Next Wednesday afternoon, she will be admitted and have the surgery.  I found out that PVI ablation, typical for Afib, is not done in patients over 70.  So she will stay in Afib, have the heart's upper chambers disconnected from the lower, and another lead to help with efficiency.  Total dependency on the pacemaker.  If all goes well, she has an 80% chance of regaining her breath and not retaining fluid.  She is scared to say the least.  I downed a bag of Dove since we got home followed by an Ativan.  I guess these jeans won't be around too long.  The first 48 hours is critical and she may have to stay two nights.  Better yet.  It will take that long for her bedroom's bonfire to extinguish.

That's all I got.
As soon as I get the chocolate from under my fingernails, I may stitch a little.
Have a great day.
Thanks for listening!

What do you do

with old tablecloths?  Linen that needs pressed, one little coffee stain, patterns no one wants?  I got rid of mom's because of the stains that would not come out, now my brother is throwing more at me.  Beautiful fabric, but who wants these old style that appear to be linen and wrinkle like heck?
This all over pattern is so pretty and I believe it's linen, just like the huge hemstitched off white and gold one.  It would take forever to search for small stains in natural light and I don't have the time, nor do I care.  Some are cotton, maybe a blend, but you can't offer them unless you're sure there isn't a stain yet throwing them out is unacceptable.  Maybe I'll cut them up and add the pieces to a ridiculous mountain of other saved fabric I have no intention of using.  Drives me nuts.
Anyway, this afternoon we will hopefully have more information on treatment, if any, to help Carole.  She just can't breathe, walk very far, and diuretics are not removing enough fluid.  The only good thing is the lungs are clear.  From what the cardio said, I don't think there is much they can do and the drastic surgery that this doc is insisting on, will not address her difficulties.  So.  Whether they decide on the surgery, treatment, hospitalization, I will be tied up.  Her food, house, decorating, shopping, everything.  She just can't do a thing.  Which brings me to a dilemma.  I have not heard from Dawn.  I can't wait because I may not even be on the computer for a time and want to take care of this.  The other time I thought a winner did not contact me, I offered it to another and the first winner also claimed it so I ended up with two.  The mistake she made was replying to the email post she received from Blogger.  If you receive posts through your email, you cannot reply.  It goes no where.  So Dawn, if that's what you did, please use the email link at the top right to contact me. 
I carried mom's wheelchair down from the attic, lifted it in and out of the car a dozen times for several appointments Monday, will do it again today.  So just like bending over a hundred times while raking leaves doesn't take a pound off, neither does weightlifting.  I'm still a growing girl.  Damn.  It's also not easy to push her weight up a sloped parking lot, over a rubber covered threshold, through manual double doors that automatically close but not open, and then hold to prevent a runaway chair down the parking lot hill.  We had a good laugh.  This is a transport chair with small wheels, not easy like the big boys and although they are offered inside, she needs it from her home to the car and before we enter the buildings.
Take care - enjoy your day.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 9, 2014

Two new smalls

Hi everyone.  How did your already-the-second-week-of-December start?  Mine was cold.  I mean cold!  But at least no snow.  It was a long day Monday and we don't have any answers that are encouraging.  I'll leave it at that and fill you in later.
Here's my two other new smalls for Christmas.  I fell in love with the Jingle Bird.  I plan on larger rusty bells sewn to each corner for a finish but of course, that will probably change.  I'm thinking a pouch for the stag filled with feathers and greens.  Jingle Bird and Comet's Feather are from Tina Woltman. 

HoHoHo that I just finished is calling me for another stitch, done in a wild color.  Purple with lime green and yellow striped legs.  I don't know why.  Maybe he golfs with Rickie Fowler.
I finished the first color of the house on Mary and wanted the shading but didn't have an over-dyed that I liked well enough.  I used 926, 927, and 3768, starting with two strands of the lightest color, changing to one medium and one light strand, then to two strands of the medium shade.  Next group was one medium and one dark, ending with two dark, and then working in reverse.  Not too bad.  Will probably use that method for the next two colors.
Something tells me I will be kept pretty busy this week.
Stay safe - enjoy your day.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 7, 2014

Winner and answers

Greetings!  I had sun today for the first time since ????  I first want to answer a few questions about my last post. The linen thread I remove is never on the sewing line, it's 1/4" to 1/2" away from where I want the seam.  I use that line as a guide for the edge of my wide presser foot to follow.  When it's folded back to see and center the fabric beneath, the glue stick is on the outside edge of that line so the needle is not near it, not going through it or picking up any glue.  The glue is easily removed with a wet cloth but I don't even bother.  It's just a basting stick to temporarily hold fabric, better than pins.  No more surprises when I look at the back side which is great for careless sewers like me.  As for the fusible, I've done several that were wonky because the linen was a little stretched in places so I had to heat it again, remove, and start over.  Fusing after the thread is pulled allows me to square it and the edges of the interfacing can follow the lines making sure it will be running true.   Hope this answers your questions. 
It took quite a while to enter all the names.  Random chose Anonymous Dawn in Georgia as the winner of my Christmas giveaway.  Congrats Dawn!  Choose the shop you prefer and please send me your email address and name for the certificate.

And just in case you've wondered....yes, you can fit two tuxedos in a Land's End box.
Hope your week starts with a smile.
Thanks to all for participating!

Dec 6, 2014

Plaid finish

Good day all.  No news on Carole.  She is having a difficult time breathing and will call an ambulance if she feels the need.  I did not have to convince her to get to the hospital.  I'll be there cleaning this afternoon (my drywall won't get done today either!) and Monday morning I need to take her for blood work (wheelchair) and then to the doc, and both of us feel he will have her admitted as emergency for the procedure.  Her appointment yesterday was only for a pacemaker check and he called the nurses in when he saw the reading, no doctor was there. The electrophysiologist is only there one day in the next two weeks so she has to wait for that day.  Going to Pittsburgh would be the same since she would have to see a doc first, they will want their own testing, and then schedule so she wants to wait it out here.  It has to be done by an electrophysiologist, not a cardiologist.
I wanted to show you what I do when backing with plaids.  As usual, you already know this, but a few may not.  It just makes it easier for me because I don't like to see wonky plaids. 
After I pull a thread out of the linen about 1/4" from where I want the stitch line, I fold back on that line and center with the plaid, use a fabric glue stick to make sure it doesn't move, and continue around the three sides.  I don't fuse interfacing until after it's sewn so I can see the removed thread line which my presser foot edge follows. 
 The stitching comes out nice and straight on the plaid, even when sewing from the linen side.  Then I added fusible interfacing on the linen side only.
 Storing my fusibles with the directions clearly visible for each was one of the best things I ever did.  I would usually lose the paper and not know what weight it was, steam or no steam, hot or not, dry or damp cover.
 Came out pretty good!  I guess I could have centered the plaid - maybe next time.
 The piece looked off, like more margin on the left.  But when I checked, they were the same.  When this happens, do you make a centering adjustment for looks, or keep the numbers?  I moved the seam over as the little gap on the left shows and it looked better. 


 Checked my rusty bell inventory and added a few at the bottom.

A little aging using a dark brown archival ink pad and a soft brush.  Of course I changed the thread colors.  Santa is 3858, the vine is 3051, beard is ecru, 640 changed to 830.  Thank you Pineberry Lane for this sweet guy! 

I'll be back tomorrow with the gift certificate winner.
Thanks for visiting, and for your prayers.
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