Monday, August 22, 2011

Progress on at least something . . .

The drama of the air conditioning unit continues . . .

The gentleman who came out last week looked at the unit for all of five minutes and decided it couldn't be repaired but rather needed to be replaced. I was a little skeptical. He spent more time writing up the bill than he did actually inspecting our air conditioner. I asked that someone come out today to do a full appraisal. The gentleman who came out today came to the same conclusion but he spent almost an hour examining the unit and talking to my husband. So it looks like we are getting a new central air conditioner. I'm both a little excited and nervous. Any major home repair puts me on pins and needles and not the kind I like :)

Now begins the negotiating between the heating and cooling company and our home warranty company. So far both have been very accommodating so I have high hopes. We're still waiting on the actual bid to do the work then we need approval before any work can be done. Right now we're just . . . waiting. By our estimate the whole process will take about two to three weeks. Then of course we have to put the attic back together and start repairing all the water damage. For having gotten so much done in the past week it feels as though so little was actually accomplished.

I did manage to make progress on Blest Art. Virtually all of the alphabet is finished as well as some of the verse. I'm still not entirely happy with the white thread I've chosen. I'm in the middle of a pretty heated argument with myself about the color when I get an e-mail from Gentle Arts about their new thread releases. Have you seen them yet? If you haven't you can see them here. Antique Lace looks perfect! It's hard to be sure with nothing but an image on a computer monitor but I went ahead and ordered it. I'll just hold off on stitching those parts of the sampler. Even if I don't end up using it for this particular piece I'm always thrilled to order new threads. They are like candy to me and there can never be too many colors to choose from :)

In the future I promise to talk a little more about stitching and a little less about my air conditioner. It has dominated my life this past week and I fear that will not end anytime soon but nothing can keep me from needle and thread for too long :)


Jennie Lynn

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sneak Peek of Blest Art

It took me longer than I had thought it would but finally I have finished the border for Blest Art. Forgive my hasty ironing. I had only twenty minutes to snap these photos before my husband left for the day. I'm still on the fence regarding the white thread but I thought I would stitch a little more of the sampler and then decide. I can always frog those few stitches if I need to.

We've had a minor crisis in the house. Remember I said our air conditioner leaked back during the heat wave? Well it's still leaking. The unit is older than I am and was bound to go at some point. Fingers crossed it's nothing that severe but I'm preparing for the worst. We had to shut it off last night and it was a bit of a shock to my system but the temperature isn't supposed to go above 85 degrees today so it shouldn't be too bad. The worst of it is the wall in our son's room directly below the air conditioner has significant water damage. All of the paint peeled off and most of the plaster is going to have to be replaced. All of the walls in the original part of the house are plaster, which I think is much easier to fix than drywall. My husband and I think we can fix it on our own. Of course thinking and doing are two different things so we'll see how successful we actually are. Is it bad I'm actually looking forward to getting to repaint the boys' room? I've been wanting to for awhile now and this is the perfect excuse. Of course, first we have to fix the actual air conditioner and stop the leak. Thankfully, we have someone coming out later this morning.

Last night, when we realized the full extent of the damage, my husband was beside himself. After we cleaned up the mess and showered I simply sat on the sofa to finish the border for Blest Art. I felt a little like Nero, fiddling while Rome was burning. My husband just couldn't understand that once I got focused on my stitching I didn't care that the house was falling apart around me. Unfortunately, no stitching today. It's time to emerge from my little cocoon of needle and thread and focus on cleaning, cooking, laundry and a leaky air conditioner.


Jennie Lynn

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hollow Wreath Free Pattern

I do know that in fact the wreath is not hollow :)

But it was when I designed it. I only added the year after I had finished stitching the wreath. I had a little of the linen left over from Blest Art and designed this in order to practice my stem stitch. I wanted to know if I could stitch a circle. Perhaps a little more practice . . . but I'm happy with it. I could not have managed to place that one leaf over the stain in the linen if I had tried and to have had it been stitched with that little bit of brown in the thread. It looks just as if the thread has bled over time.

It was stitched over two on 30ct R & R Reproductions American Chestnut using Gentle Arts Espresso Bean. When choosing a black for Blest Art I considered almost every black colored thread I owned. There are more than one might have thought. Dark Chocolate, Tin Bucket, Blackbird, Onyx, Kohl, Mascara . . . and Espresso Bean which was my second choice for Blest Art. I decided to use it here intead and it had the perfect amount of brown for this particular cut of the linen. The free pattern shows a backstitch where I put a stem stitch. A backstitch would look lovely too as would initials in place of a date. You can find the free pattern here or use the link on my sidebar.

Only two days until Emma and Jem return from New York and only two weeks now until school starts again. I think I have enough #2 pencils, lined paper, composition notebooks, binders and school glue to start my own stationary store. Of course I'll have completely run out by December. There is something equally sad and exciting about the end of Summer . . . but I have to admit I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of Autumn.

I hope all of you enjoy this month's free pattern and remember I love to see everyone's finishes. Before the children return I am hoping to have finished stitching the border on Blest Art and I'll post a picture as soon as I do.


Jennie Lynn

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shades of Halloween

Apparently, I have All Hallows Eve on my mind. I chose these colors for my Blest Art Sampler and don't they just make you think of Halloween? That shade of green is wonderful. I'm not sure about the white, though. I might replace it with an acorn brown or perhaps a sunflower yellow? Sometimes I just have to stitch a little with a thread before I can make a final decision.

The linen is lovely too with all of these little black specks on it. The ladies at my LNS show think me odd because I'm the one asking for the most aged and mottled pieces of linen they have. Every time, the lady who cuts the linen for me sighs and shakes her head and wonders why I would want the "dirty" piece. It's a "prim" thing, isn't it? Please tell me I'm not alone :)

Recently I've been working on quite a few samplers. There's something soothing about stitching an alphabet. Borders drive me batty though. They don't have to actually meet in the corners do they? I had difficulty in this sampler getting the border to do just that. It's quite an unruley vine so rather than fight it I just let it grow it's own way. I like the way it turned out though and even though it's not a Halloween design I think the colors are just perfect. In a day or so I should have some progress to show you. Hopefully that wild vine will be easier to stitch than it was to design.


Jennie Lynn

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sharing some finishes . . .

These finishes were kindly sent to me by Connie (no blog). First is my French Letters Bluebird pattern which can be found here. She resized the pattern for 36 count linen and stitched the letters using Crescent Colours Old Blue Jeans. I meant to ask if she had a photo of the backing fabric but it completely slipped my mind. I love the little bow she added around his neck.

Connie also used several of my free patterns to create a lovely little needle book.

Connie's stitching and sewing is gorgeous but I have to admit I can't take my eyes of that little strawberry scissor's fob. I'm going to have to ask her about that . . . isn't it so sweet?

I love the way she stitched the Peahen's Valentine Freebie. The colors are so different than what I envisioned and looks completely different than what I stitched. I love that! Most of the time when I design something I see it one way only. I adore seeing my designs interpreted by other people and most times I think you guys do a better job of stitching it than I did!

Thank you so much Connie for sending me pictures of your finishes. They're beautiful and seeing them truly did make my day.

I'm redesigning my page for purchasing patterns, or at least trying to. I have a very clear idea in my mind of how I want it to look and function and it's getting there . . . slowly. There have been several times this past week I've just had to walk away from my laptop in order to maintain my sanity! So thank you for your patience as I wrestle with blogger. As always if you are interested in any of my patterns you can always e-mail me at


Jennie Lynn

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Euphemia Myles Sampler Charted Pattern

Printed Pattern: $10.50 which includes travel faire

E-Pattern: $8.50 sent within 24 hours as a PDF Attachment

Thank you so much for all of your kind words about Euphemia Myles Sampler. It was due to all of your requests that I finished charting the design last night and put the pattern together this morning. If you would like to purchase either the printed or e-pattern you can send me a message at

Thanks again for all of your comments. I couldn't ask for better friends to share my work with :)


Jennie Lynn

Monday, August 1, 2011

Euphemia Myles Sampler

Fair warning, this post has quite a few photos in it. Even with today's "point and shoot" cameras I am a wretched photographer. Stitched on 30 ct this sampler is also larger than I'm used to stitching and photographing. It certainly wasn't easy to "stitch in hand" which is my preferred way to stitch. It's also very sunny today which surprisingly isn't the best condition for taking photos. Some colors in the sampler are also very light shades which blend into the linen.

This is basically my way of saying these photos aren't particularly good and trust me the sampler looks better in person. I've included a lot of photos in hopes that at least one ends up looking like the sampler I stitched.

The sampler isn't terribly large, only 160 stitches square, but I chose to stitch it on 30 ct so it's almost 12 inches square finished. The linen is R & R Reproductions French Vanilla, a beautiful color and perfectly aged as is. All of the threads are Gentle Arts and most of the colors are very subtle. The Gentle Arts Garden Gate stands out nicely. The Gentle Arts Roasted Marshmallow blends beautifully with the linen. It's hard to make out in the photos. I told you I was no good at taking pictures :)

I've always loved the aged look of antique samplers and part of that (I think) comes from the fading in the threads. I think over time the colors just all begin to blend into one another which is hard to replicate. I've been wanting to try for awhile and I'm happy with the results.

There are three alphabets, some numbers as well as a signature and date. The name is fictional. I've always felt a little odd just making up a name but on this sampler it felt right.

I had originally designed the sampler intending to leave an unstitched area at the bottom. I think leaving the sampler "incomplete" also lends to a more aged look. At the last minute (this morning) I decided to add some feather stitching. There wasn't a lot of planning with this sampler. It came together on its own. What was particularly fun was "choosing" where to use what colors. I knew the border would be black/grey and I knew I wanted most of the stitching to be blue. I used very little of the lighter shade of gold because it is very subtle. Other than that I just began stitching with one color and when I finished a letter and didn't have enough thread to finish the next I went onto another color.

It was a lot of fun to stitch. Very relaxing. But of course whenever I get close to finishing one design I begin putting together the next. I'm going to show a sneak peak of the colors for that one soon.


Jennie Lynn