November 24, 2023

November Recap

November was another great month to be living my life.  Again I look around and think how very thankful I am to have my health, my family, my friends, my hobbies, and so much more.  Not just because it is Thanksgiving time just now.  I know I am truly fortunate and I do appreciate the blessings I have.  

Now on to the stitchy stuff.   My guild had their semi-annual get together in OCMD.   We are now actually in Berlin, MD but we all still refer to it as ‘going to Ocean City”.   So good to spend time with good friends that we usually only see by Zoom or message by Instagram through the year.   Kind of hard to give an iPad a hug like you can when in person.   Our retreat is the perfect place to sit, chat, stitch and really get to know our fellow members.

 When in OCMD, we stitched together in the classroom at Salty Yarns during the days.  The move from the boardwalk in OCMD to a location in Berlin, MD is just about 8 miles from the ocean.   The in-land retreat was just as great as all the previous retreats.  Our Guild held our monthly meeting during the retreat and we were treated to a class with Janis Note of Noteworthy Needle.    This is the thimble box she designed for our guild.  It was pre-stitched and most were able to fully finish during the class.

Believe it or not, I only bought two small patterns and some fabric for myself while at Salty Yarns and therefore was not the winner of the prize for most spent!   I did buy some Christmas presents and some things for my Secret Pal Stitching Sister.

As for my stitching the rest of the month, I’ve got myself in a sort of SAL with the group I sat with when I was at Quilter’s Station in Lee’s Summit, MO.   One of the stitchers  does the crazy-stitch-a-certain-project-on-a-certain-day-of-the-month thing.   For example, on the 13th and the 31st, stitch Halloween; on the 14th stitch something with hearts; on the 4th, stitch patriotic and so on.   Since I have the attention span of the dog that sees a squirrel, this is appealing to me.   I figure it gives me permission to change projects.  It also can be used to explain why I don’t complete projects quickly.  Somehow my goal for 2023 to reduce my number of WIP’s  has completely gone out the window on my road of life!  Here is a re-cap of my first month in.

4th - Red, white & blue    Betsy’s Tart from Plum Street.   I am copying the color way a friend used.  So much cuter than the gray tones. 


13th & 31st - Hello Pumpkin from the Fat Quarter Shop

 14th - 2018 Collector’s Heart from Heart in Hand  I am stitching both the main piece and the tiny quilted heart design.   I am stitching on mystery linen and substituting floss from my stash.  

It wasn’t the 14th but who could resist a little one that wanted to stitch hearts.   It was easy to remove the long stitches she put in.  Love making these memories with my grand daughter.

24th and 25th - Merry Christmas from Willow Tree Samplings  - I really hope to be able to get some Christmas stitching in later today and tomorrow.

27th - Thanksgiving/Fall from Lila’s Studio

I am well aware if I were to just concentrate on one at a time, I could finish it. But what is the fun in that?   I think when I am on the homestretch on any of these, I will make it a focus piece until I finish it.  I laugh at myself with my ‘plans’….maybe if I spent less time creating stitching scenarios I would get more done! 

I am also working on my Blackbird SAL with the same Quilter’s Station ladies.  Each month our assignment is to stitch 32 rows.  We should all be finished by April of 2024.   The needle on the left hand side is marking how far I have to stitch for complete the December 31st goal.  Here’s to keeping ahead of schedule.  

For WIPGO, my assignment was to stitch and fully finish two months of the Year of Celebration from Hands on Design.  I choose  November and December.  My other WIPGO challenge was also a Hands on Design piece.    I fully stitched the Stitchers Workbox and now it was time to fully finish it.  We are celebrating our Thanksgiving on Saturday due to work schedules so I think - for the first time in 2023 WIPGO - I am not going to finish the assignment.    Not only that but the kiddos were here for a pajama party for 3 days.  There was water painting, and blanket forts over the table, giggles, popcorn and movies.   Also,  I am leaving at o’dark thirty on Tuesday for Tennessee for a week so there is laundry and prepping to do for that.    I did get the stitching on November and December completed.   Heck, what is my problem?  It is like 2 days each, if that, to stitch each one.  The whole year should have been completed last year!   These were both stitched on 28 count mystery fabric and substituting colors from my stash as needed as well as pulling embellishments from my stash.   I may not be reducing my WIP’s but I might be making a small dent in my stash.  The remaining months are already on my draft WIPGO board for 2024.


I changed the words “Bless” to “Blessed” by backstitching instead of cross stitching.   Back stitching “Merry” as well in December.  Perhaps I will fully finish December before the end of the year.

Bearing in mind my above mentioned stitching assignments, I need to be sure I don’t overwhelmed myself with my 2024 WIPGO board.  I need to steer it more towards completing projects rather than starting ones I have been wanting to start but haven’t.  Time is fast approaching to revisit the list and see what should be added, deleted, or dialed back.  I keep two large baskets in my family room.   One with my monthly projects and the other with the WIPGO projects for the year.  Here’s hoping both are less full at the end of the year.    I just crack myself up with that thought!

And as if I don’t have a ton of ‘stitching assignments’ lined up, I signed on to the Blessing Sampler Project on Facebook.  The concept is to start and finish a piece in the month of January.   It is supposed to bring good luck during the year if you start and finish a sampler January.  The only requirement is that the pattern must have at least 100 stitches in one direction.   I am thinking I will do 1889 Alphabet from Needlework Press.   But then again, I am rethinking because it is 430 stitches by 40.   Long and skinny but it will require a minimum number of rows EACH day.    I will be going to Camp Wannastitch in OCMD again this January so that does allow for 3 or 4 dedicated stitching days. Hmmmm…..what to do.

And if that is not enough ASSIGNMENTS,  I am doing a Temperature Tree starting January 1st.   I saw a friend, Lisa of Lady Huzzah Floss Tube, stitching on her’s last spring and I was sold.  Me and three other friends will be starting this on January 1st.   There is a color chart graded for each 4 degrees of temperature.  There is a leaf for each day of the year and your color is determined by the high temperature of the day.    Since the three of us live from south Jersey to Florida it will be fun to see the different colors on our individual trees.   I hope to have, at minimum, the first three branches done by January.   After that, I will work on the tree one day a week adding the leaves for the week and working toward completing the branches.    I am stitching this on 28 count Color and Cotton Special Edition over one thread.   My tree may look more like a shrub when I am done.     The pattern is available from Stitchin’ Mommy on Etsy.  

Some happy arrivals are two pieces I had framed this month.    First up is Red Bird Sampler from With Thy Needle and Thread.    Stitched and finished in 2023 using the called for colors on 36 count fabric.

Second is Garden of Stitches from Samplers Not Forgotten.    This was the SAL with the DVHSG for 2022.   We started in February 2021 with a monthly schedule for completion by February 2022.  It was fully of specialty stitches and was enjoyable to work on.  I finished on schedule but never took the time to go to the framer.   DVHSG is doing the companion piece, Hummingbird,  as the 2024 SAL but I am passing on stitching that one.    It is pretty but as you have read I have a ton of stitching plans already!

Well that’s bring me up to date on what is happening in my town other than the trees growing taller.   Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching!


  1. What a fun recap to read, Robin! Love the trio of pictures of the grands! It sounded like you had a wonderful time at your retreat. Good luck with all your stitching plans! I look forward to seeing your progress on your pieces. Safe travels to Tennessee.

    1. Yes those two grand babies are just a joy. Retreats are the best especially when it doesn’t involve a class - although this one was done by the time I left. I just don’t need another class piece to bring home and but on the shelve in the closet. I’m supposed to be whittling down my stash! I’ve made a lot of progress on two pieces so far since I arrived in Tennessee. We run errands for shop in the morning, eat lunch out and come back to Diane’s and stitch the afternoon and evening away! It is great. Robin in NJ

  2. What a whirlwind certainly have a lot of "irons in the fire"...but what fun projects!!! I love the photo of your granddaughter looking up at your sweet! Safe travels to Tennessee...will you stop at Buc-ee's???

    1. Too many irons I say as well but that doesn’t stop me it seems. Yes, I can’t believe how fast those two little guys are growing. In Tennessee now and stopping at the Buc-ee’s two hours north when we head out Monday morning. I’ve been told it is an experience for sure!

  3. Wow, talk about growing up, those two grands!
    What a month, such great progress and plans.
    I love the frames for those two pieces, great choices.
    Don't forget to factor into the plans yard work and gardening, oh my.
    Safe travels.

    1. I know. I can’t believe how fat they are growing up and I am enjoying every minute of it. Yes, the yard work and household projects need to be factored into my schedule - with a shoe horn maybe. Robin


Thanks is much for stopping by. I so enjoy your comments even if I do not always reply. Have a great day that hopefully includes a bit of stitching.