Daily Needle & Thread

A mother-daughter 365 Days of Creativity project

Little by little……

Leave a comment »

Here’s what I’m working on now…….

I saw this free pattern on the web…..somewhere.  Wish I’d pinned it! I’ve found a lot of patterns I enjoy by searching for biscornu, the French word for embroidery. I find it restful not to have to change colors–and that’s one reason I chose this pattern to take along during our trip, because all I needed was a big reel of white floss. Of course, if all you need is one color and you forget you packed that in your hiking boot, you might have that one color you need until you actually need the hiking boots, which turned out to be several weeks into the trip.

The weave in this embroidery fabric is a good bit smaller than anything I’ve worked on before, so it goes slowly. Just one petal took about half a Downton Abbey rerun (during multiple  nightly sessions). I need a new Netflix miniseries to watch while working on this piece! Any suggestions?

And yes, I do need to tape the sides to keep it from fraying further. I should do it right now.


Leave a comment »

I’m sure it’s no surprise

….that there has been a rather major derail to this project.

There are lots of reasons, starting with the fact that for weeks this summer, there was this outside.

I loved every minute of it. Well, every minute that I wasn’t wet, cold, or biking against the North Sea winds.

Then there was the lost pattern (found the week before we came home), the lost thread (eventually found inside my hiking boot) and multiple and frustrating attempts to embroider while reading a pattern off the Evernote application on my tablet, which kept turning off. But I’m sure you’re not interested in more excuses. It was really mostly just this sort of thing competing for my attention.

And by the time we got home, I was out of the habit (so were the girls), and embarrassed to have failed in front of the six of you who occasionally read this blog, so I pushed the embroidery bag aside and just felt bad about it all.

Well, you know what? I miss it, and several of you have asked me about it. So I pulled out the bag tonight and started again, and as I got back to work on the next leaf, even though I’m back home and it’s too dark out to have a view, I can still see where I was the last time I worked on this piece. I can hear rain bouncing on the canal and hear the birds  chatting away under the thatch while they waited for the storm to pass.



Pillowcase for Eva

I’m sure it’s not much of a surprise that I missed an entire week of embroidery (and obviously didn’t blog for awhile on either side). What was a surprise, to me at least, was that I wasn’t even aware of it at the time. Last week was our Classical Conversations practicum and there was just not much mental space for anything else both during and for several days after. But hopefully the fact that I’ve spent about four hours on it this week is a partial redemption for killing my record. I even managed to get some ten-stitch days in while wallpapering the hall. And the blog will definitely get more interesting next week when we leave for the Netherlands. I’m looking forward to checking out Dutch embroidery supplies (assuming I find some), but I plan to put family travel photos here as well rather than juggling two blogs.

But back to the most recent project. Our niece Eva just turned three and I wanted to make a pillowcase for her. It’s been a couple months since I’ve done anything  that wasn’t monochromatic and it was fun to choose different colors to work with.  I *think* the fact that the edges look off-centered is due to the shooting angle. Heidi, if it’s really off that much IRL, I’m not sure I want to know!




progress report and auction

This heart is a lot like the chicken scratch skirt–fun and relaxing for me but very boring blogging. I’m encouraged to see the progress between posts, though. It goes slowly but is so satisfying and I look forward to working on it a little bit each night while enjoying a few minutes of Netflix. The Netflix has mostly made ten stitch days a thing of the past. I almost always get a ten-inch thread worth in now.

Elizabeth had a check up this morning, and on the way home we swung by the auction house. Interesting stuff today. Wouldn’t anyone want a squirrel screaming like this? We agreed we felt sorry for him having his moment of horror stretching on into infinity.

But if cats are more your cup of tea, there were three cartons of them.

Elizabeth liked the owl and took a picture of it for you.

I thought this peacock actually had potential. I think he’d be awesome spray painted white against a darker wall. I bet the bloggers at Young House Love would have snapped him up.

And some darling embroidery. Quite a lot of doll clothes and a rack of beautiful baby clothes as well.




proof of life :-)

Leave a comment »

Block by block

Saturday Elizabeth and I got busy and sewed most of the rest of her embroidery pieces into her quilt. It’s exciting to see it coming together!

1 Comment »


It’s been awhile since I posted an update on Margaret’s pillowcase. Here’s her latest section:


And here’s what she has done across the whole thing so far. Keep up the good work, Margaret!

1 Comment »

Can I manage it?

The border, that is? I need to figure out how much space I would need to frame this and if I might possibly be able to eke it out. I’m getting sort of fond of it.

One of the newer families in the neighborhood got a cat a few months ago. Jixie makes it very hard to get any serious walking done around the circle. She sweetly begs for attention every time I get back around to her house. Walk a lap, stop to pat Jixie. Walk another lap, stop to pat Jixie. Walk another lap, stop to pat Jixie.



After Elizabeth got well, she passed her virus on to me. Fortunately it was a watered-down version and not nearly as scary (or messy). I did get a few extended sessions of cross stitch in during those days. And I’ve had a few ten-stitch days and several in between.

I picked up Alicia Paulson’s Embroidery Companion the other day and looked through it. I was surprised and pleased to see that after four plus months of embroidery, most of the projects now look doable to me. I still don’t know anything about crewel, so that section is a mystery, but with the exception of a couple advanced projects, I feel like I could at least try to tackle the rest of them. Progress!

1 Comment »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.