Sunday, February 28, 2010

The view

outside my front door.

Not a lot of snow. Nothing like the 12-18 inches predicted. It sure looks nice and got the kids a snow day on Friday. The fluffy layer that stuck to all the branches only arrived last night. I stayed home Friday but had to work yesterday to make up for it. For most of us, a snow day is only a temporary reprieve from work. If I'm not there the work doesn't get done. It was fun while it lasted, anyway.

I did spend plenty of time in my sewing room mostly rearranging and organizing. I only stitched on Prairie Schooler's Daffodils a little bit. So, no pictures. I don't know where all the time goes. The days just fly by.

Thanks for stopping by even though I didn't have anything to show besides snow.

Time to get things ready for the start of another week.

I'm off.

The Queen Bee

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Help

(Photo from

is what I've been reading these past few days.

I always have a book, or two, or three under way. Many aren't worth commenting on but The Help, by Kathryn Stockett is worth a few words.

The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's. The main characters are a group of young society wanna-be's who grew up in homes with domestic help. As they begin their adult lives, trying to figure out where they fit in, they do as their own mothers did and hire help. The Help, women of amazing strength and character, make up the real main characters of this story. As their lives and stories unfold, so does the Civil Rights Movement. One society deb breaks out of the pack and begins writing the stories of The Help. A daunting task that must be undertaken in secret. The women all have so much to lose if anyone finds out what they're up to. The twists and turns that follow will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens as the book, Help by Anonymous, is published.

The story moves along with each chapter taking the voice of one of the characters. I love to read a book where an author can capture the voices of the different characters as vividly as this author does. I'm betting the audio version is wonderful to listen to. (Think The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.)

I've read a number of reviews faulting the story and pointing out flaws in the characters but, while I can see their point, I preferred to just enjoy the story and the characters and become immersed in their lives. The Help is very well written and well worth reading.

I'm off.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ta da...

On Sunday I finished LHN's Poinsettia House. It was a fairly quick piece to stitch despite the fact that it took me 3 months! There were a whole lot of other things being stitched at the same time so don't laugh.

Now, onto.....

Daffodils by The Prairie Schooler. This was not going to be my next start but guilt got the better of me. I think it was 2 years ago that I bought 3 Prairie Schooler patterns from Shakespeare's Peddler with the Crescent Colour conversions. There were a total of 4 pieces I planned to stitch from those 3 books. I splurged and bought the matching frames along with the 32 count Lambswool linen and Crescent Colour threads. So far, I've stitched 2 of the pieces so I'm not a total slacker. Yesterday I decided that I should start another one since I'd invested so much money in them. Choosing Daffodils was a no brainer. The colors are so springy. Just what we need right now as we prepare for a snow storm. We're supposed to get a foot of snow starting tomorrow afternoon. At least I'll be looking at spring on paper.

Alas, LHN's Mississippi Riverboat will just have to wait a little longer.

I'm off.

The Queen Bee

Sunday, February 21, 2010

As promised


In no particular order here are Little House Needleworks' Acorn Hill and Pumpkins 4 Sale.

In the Kitchen with Jane Austen by Sampler Girl,

Christmasland by Raise the Roof Designs,

and finally, Seasons of Change by Bent Creek.

Not to play favorites but Christmasland and In the Kitchen with Jane Austen were my favorites. I never would have done Jane Austen if I hadn't seen it stitched up. The picture on the pattern just didn't do it justice.

Here's hoping this posts as planned.

I'm off,
The Queen Bee

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An even swap....

sort of. I took this quilt top to the long arm quilter

and picked this one up.

The first one is spread out on the pool table for measuring. (Which explains the funny dips around the edge.) There are 42 blocks, each with 36 pieces. That's a whopping 1,512 pieces.... not counting the 2 pieced borders! I started it last March and my goal was to finish it by this March. As always, with such a huge project, I'm sick of looking at it and won't miss it for the 3 months it's gone. When it returns I'll be happy to see it again.

The second quilt is the 2009 Thimbleberries Club Quilt. I've never done a Thimbleberries class before but it's a year long program hosted by many quilt shops where the fabric and patterns are released throughout the year first to the quilt club members and then to the general public.

The fabric had 3 different color ways. Traditional, Bright and Light. Mine is done in the Traditional colors. In real life, it's much browner. I chose Lights but not enough other ladies signed up for Light so the shop didn't buy that line. I can't say I like the browns but it was a very fun project. We met once a month at the shop to work on blocks. I met some new ladies and got a chance to keep up with others who I see occasionally at quilt classes and retreats over the years. I still need to sew the binding on but that won't take more then a couple hours.

Now.... my next post will include pictures of my newly framed cross stitch so don't go far.

I'm off to take some more pictures.

The Queen Bee

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mail call.....

mail call... mail call....

Does anyone remember Blues Clues? That's the sound track that plays in my mind when referring to today's mail.

Amy at Down Sunshine Lane ordered this Trail Creek Farm pillow for me to go with Country Cottage Needlework's Liberty Lane. The back of the pillow is done using the plaid fabric that the buttons are covered with. Love it. Can't wait to stitch it.

My next favorite new pattern is Mississippi Riverboat by Little House Needleworks. I love the Americana look. Also, it reminds me of the Riverboat ride at Walt Disney World. Who wouldn't want to be there right this minute as the wind blows another bout of lake effect snow our way?

And finally, as promised, a picture of LHN's Poinsettia House. I hope I can finish this by the weekend. You never know how long all that roof will take, though.

I'm going to give it a good try.

My LNS called to tell me that my framing is done. She's so fast! I'll post pictures after I pick everything up.... cross my fingers and knock on wood that the weather will allow me to make the trip Saturday. I have to pass right by the quilt shop that has my latest quilt finished so I'll stop and pick that up. I have to go in with blinders on and chanting: 'no new fabric, no new fabric, no new......' She always has such nice fabric right by the door.

Watch for pictures!

I'm off.

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SAL progress

I am doing a weekly stitch along with my friend Rebecca. On Mondays we work on Little House Needlework's 'The Library'. It took about 6 Mondays to get that door done! I've finally moved on to the Western section. I'm anxious to start on the pictures within the window frames. I think they'll move along quicker then the building.

It's a snowy Tuesday in these parts. It's also my busiest work day and with the kids home needing transported to various activities I'm on the road more then I'd like to be. I, for one, am wishing for spring.

Soon I will take a pictures of another WIP so keep checking back..... until then I'm off.

The Queen Bee

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

It's been a nice quiet day around the house. I received a bouquet of my favorite flowers, tulips. I mostly have to keep them up high or they become salad for the cat. She's off sleeping the afternoon away so I can enjoy them for a little bit before putting them back up on top of the bookcase. Yesterday we went to lunch at a cute local restaurant. The kids are off school for a week so a lazy quiet afternoon is nice. It won't last past today.

I did manage a stop at Border's on Friday where I got Chris Bohjalaian's new book: Secrets of Eden. I've read several reviews of this book making it sound like a good read. Yesterday, while at a local bookstore I picked up a book by Dorothy Allison, Bastards out of Carolina, that looked worth reading. I'll add them to my shelf of 'nexts'. I also added a few must reads to my Kindle. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman is only out in hard cover so the Kindle purchase was a good deal. I can't pass it on to anyone but I'll get to read it sooner then if I got on the waiting list at the library. I also got The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. At both Border's and the local store I kept picking this one up and putting it back. I finally lost all control while on Amazon. The final book purchase of the weekend was Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. I can't say what I'll read next because sometimes I pick based on what looks good at the time. I'll let you all know what I do read and how it is.

For now I'm off...

The Queen Bee

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My albums

are now linked on the sidebar. I will never be a photographer. Mostly my WIPs are photographed while still on the ironing board because the light is good. Quilts are typically spread on the floor in the front hallway because there is enough space and light. I suppose if anyone was more interested in photographic artistry you'd be over at this blog instead of mine. Doesn't Staci do beautiful work?

I was looking thru my albums to make sure they were fairly up to date. It looks like I didn't add the most recent batch of finishes from the extremely talented Deb. If you are unfamiliar with her work check out her blog. Across the top she lists various albums. Her 'finishing album' is where you'll find work she does for other stitchers. Looking back thru the first and second albums in her finishing albums I am stitcher PO and have 7 pieces in 11/09 that I don't have in my album. I think the rest are in there but if you're browsing her albums I have 6 more in 8/08, 4 in 12/07, and 6 in 9/07. There are a few more from earlier but I didn't keep looking. She does beautiful work for reasonable prices.

So, back to my albums. I frame most of my pieces. Earlier this week I took the first 5 items in my 'What's New' album to be framed. Every now and then I try a different finish like a pin keep or a wall hanging but I'm not usually satisfied with my own finishing.

I manage to finish about 2 quilts a year. I take those to a professional long arm quilter for quilting. For me, the magic is in the piecing. Hand quilting is just NOT for me. It eats into my cross stitch time, anyway. I do wall hangings, candle mats and table runners on my machine.

I hope everyone is having a good week and possibly even planning for a long weekend or winter break next week. Tomorrow after work I am driving the 2 hours to College Town to pick up The Scholar along with 2 friends. They both live nearby. One of the girls is at the same college as my daughter and the other goes to school across the city. They are all off thru Tuesday. I'm hoping for an uneventful drive and maybe a stop at Border's on my way by. I'm not expected until 3 when classes are done so I don't have to rush after finishing work at noon.

I'm off to see which stitching project needs some attention.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


... the kids.

My oldest daughter, The Scholar, is 18 and attends college about 2 hours away. She's planning to be a high school language teacher. Her concentration is Spanish with French classes thrown in for good measure. She loves to travel. I often say she was born with her suitcase packed. She doesn't care where we're going..... just THAT we're going. We recognized that love early on so have taught her how to navigate airports & train stations. She can read a map and use the Garmin to get wherever she wants to go. We've been to Spain twice and she's going to Mexico this summer. Over Christmas she went to Boston and Philadelphia. She flew back and forth plus took the train between cities without a grown up. (You'll notice, as we go along, that the kids growing up and away is a tough thing for me.) I'll be lucky if she settles down only a days drive away. Be still my heart.....

My son, The Boy Wonder, is a 17 year old high school junior. He runs cross country and both indoor and outdoor track. Unlike his sister, he hates to travel. Says he's going to settle down within a 30 mile radius of us. Phew. Gives me hope. Anyhow, we've called him The Boy Wonder for a few years. We had to actively quit calling him 'Bud', the nickname that somehow attached itself to him when he was little. We're currently shopping colleges for him and trying to turn back time as he jumps into the car and drives off into the future without us.

My youngest daughter, Buttercup, is a 13 year old 8th grader. Buttercup isn't a made up nickname either. As a baby she had a full head of fluffy blond hair that stuck straight up like a baby chick. She's forever reading a book. Over the summer she decided to read the Harry Potter books as many times as she could. Her reasoning was that during the school year the teachers discouraged students from reading books that they'd already read. Her favorite Christmas present was a brand new set of the HP books, hardcover, in their own box. She is on the school's swim team and plays several instruments in the school band and the jazz band.

So, there they are. The reason I have so much laundry and need to heap my grocery cart full every week. The reason for living.

I'm off because.....

(Picture from ABC Stitch's website. A Nashville release by CherryWood Designs.)

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What a wonderful welcome. A special thanks to Lee for posting a link on her blog. I met Lee and Barb at a cross stitch retreat this past fall.

I also see comments from ladies with blogs I've lurked at in the past. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a note . As an answer to Erica's question.... I'm in Western NY. Often, we call ourselves 'Upstate NY' but most people in and around NYC call the area just north of the city 'upstate' so I'll go with Western to save the confusion.

Today is my big work day so I'm not going to add anything to the blog but should have more time tomorow. I need to reorganize my photo album and add other information. Not to mention, learn how to set up a list of blogs I regularly read and things like that.

Until then, I'm off. The Queen Bee

Monday, February 8, 2010

So, I finally got that blog up and running that I've been talking about for the last 4 years. The hardest part was thinking up a name. I thought I had it about 18 months ago but that name was taken.

Stitching Between The Lines popped into my mind because I'd rather be sewing or reading more then just about anything else in the world. Mostly, I can stitch and/or read while doing a whole bunch of other things. You know, waiting in the car for a kid, waiting at the orthodontist office again...., waiting up for a kid's phone call, you get the idea. Such perfect hobbies.

I have 3 kids and live in a part of the country where winter lasts about 6 months. Again, perfect hobbies. I could live anywhere in the world as long as there was a library and the UPS guy can find my house. (With my new Kindle, the UPS guy is almost expendable.) Oh, bite my tongue..... who would bring me all that great stitching and quilting stash.

I plan to post about my stitching, quilting and reading, for the most part. Since the kids, the husband, the job, and the cat are forever present, they'll get mentioned too.

I'm going for a small amount of anonymity, the kids would have a cow otherwise, so I'll try to keep things a little general. Don't be afraid to email or post a comment asking for more specific info, though.

OK..... So here goes...... now I just need to get people to stop by and see this all come together.

I'm off..... The Queen Bee