Author Archives: jawilliams4

Day One of A Dusting of Snow

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Carol K. and Marge K. and I are all taking Gail Stafford’s “A Dusting of Snow.” I am really enjoying the class — Gail is a great teacher and I’ve learned a couple of new tricks…the piece is a manageable size, the threads are all cottons, and the finished piece is spectacular. The design is based on an actual gazebo that is a couple of blocks from her house. 

Here’s my progress after a day of stitching…How is it that it looks like I’ve accomplished so little after an entire day?

Notice the magnet in the upper right — a special hand-crafted one for this seminar. Carol and I both succumbed when we saw them in the boutique.


And speaking of the boutique, it is spectacular! It’s run by ABC Stitch Therapy in Spring TX and they came with a huge selection of threads, cross stitch patterns, painted canvases, tools, and oh did I mention threads? On top of the impressive inventory, the people are really nice and helpful too.

This evening Carol and I went to dinner at the Grove Park Inn, one of Asheville’s landmarks, with two other stitchers we’d met at the opening banquet. We ate on the Sunset Terrace — outdoors, overlooking the MOST incredible view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Dinner was wonderful, but the setting was equally if not even more wonderful.

This is a photo of one of the two similar stone fireplaces in the Inn’s lobby, almost as spectacular as the mountain view!

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Touring Biltmore House

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Today Carol and I went on a tour of the Biltmore Estate, the Vanderbilt home in Asheville that has been open to the public since the 1930s. The day included a self-guided audio tour of the interior of the house (think Downton Abbey), a little stroll through some of the gardens, a buffet lunch at a restaurant in a building that used to be the cowsheds, and then a visit to the Biltmore Winery for some wine-tasting and, of course, some wine purchases.


The views from the house are spectacular, across acres of forest to the Blue Ridge. We were told how Mr. Vanderbilt had a large scaffold constructed in the precise spot where the house would be to determine if the views were going to be captured as he wanted…I think he succeeded!


My favorite part of the tour (aside from the view) was the basement–the kitchens and pantries, laundry rooms and so forth, where the work of keeping the house running was done. It was easy to imagine all the servants bustling around keeping things on an even keel, enabling the Vanderbilts and their guests to live the life of ease that they did. 

SOTM 5/13

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We didn’t manage to take photos of all our pieces yesterday for a variety of reasons, so here is my “My Way.” I’ve finished four of the six squares — but don’t think I’m a speed demon, I had all the borders done as well as two of the squares before NJNA started this SOTM. (It was offered through CyberPointers a couple of years ago, and I started it then.) I’ve also bought threads to do “Stars,” so I need to get “My Way” done so I can catch up to the Stars stitchers!

Here are photos of the square I just finished along with the whole piece in its current state.

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Jill’s Way (The Monster Walnetto)

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The SOTM group met yesterday, but we didn’t manage to take a progress photo at the end of the day. Partly because almost everybody was just starting, and there wasn’t a whole lot to photograph.

I actually started “My Way” two years ago with CyberPointers, so I had a head start. Here’s what my piece looked like before yesterday.

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And here is that unfinished square after an afternoon and evening of stitching.

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Not entirely successful — at least not that final very dark brown walnetto stitch. It almost completely hides the very beautiful smaller gold walnetto that you can barely see peaking out — and looks like some kind of sea creature that might suck you in. So I suspect it is coming out, to be replaced by something else, still to be determined.

Alternative SOTM

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Although I am missing the actual get-together today for this month’s SOTM, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on the piece.

I was somewhat surprised when I saw the instructions — “daisies” seem pretty far afield from the all the other very geometric stitches. And I have to say, I’m not sure that I like them. And I admit to finding them pretty boring to stitch. But I’ve finished two sides, and here they are:

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And a close-up:

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And in case you’re wondering where I am, it’s here:

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Beets!

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The first day of Beets taught by Jennifer Riefenberg was very successful…look how much I accomplished! (I’m hoping my photo shows up here, I’m using a different app to post and am not 100% certain what is happening.)

The red-violet color of the beets (they get beads added at the end) is luscious compared with the other threads, many of which are greens and shades of violet-gray. Jennifer talked about how she thought about the colors in all three root vegetable pieces (Carrots, Radishes, and Beets) as she was designing them, at the same time. It always interests me when teachers talk about the process of designing–especially since everybody seems to do it differently!

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