January 29, 2024

January 2024 Update

Can you believe we are writing 2024?  I mean, many of us remember  Y2K….

For this new year I may jump on the band wagon of choosing a word for the year.   I am just not sure what my word will be.  I might choose SIMPLIFY.   Hmm, PRIORITY comes to mind, MODERATION as well, and BALANCE.  I need to simplify my life by managing what I commit myself to. It all sounds good when I say “Sure, I’m in!”    It is not all needlework related which may be surprising.   It may be helping my sister with a project, helping a friend with a quilt, or another friend with her garden, saying yes to a girl’s night out, jumping to help on a fundraiser and yes, agreeing to join in on a project, a retreat or an SAL.     I WANT to do everything;   every stitching weekend, girls weekend or event.  It always sounds so good when I first say yes and then…… I believe that of all the things I have to offer, my time is the most valuable thing I can give which puts me in this quandary.    Definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome…..I guess it makes be insanely creative and giving.   And I guess that is not totally a bad way to be…..  As I type I feel like trying to find balance is a recurring theme this time of year for me….the need to balance stitching, yard, chores, friends and life.  Maybe my word should be REPEAT!  I’ll have to think on this word of the year a bit……at least, in this instance,  I am not jumping in head over heels with looking before I leap!   

For January, most of my stitching time has been dedicated to what I call “obligation” stitching.  It sounded like such a great idea to agree to doing a Blessings Sampler SAL.   I did it with both feet in and needle and thread in hand.    The concept is to stitch a piece, not necessarily a sampler, with a stitch count of at least 100 in one direction.   I choose - or rather agreed to  - to stitch 1889 Alphabets by Needlework Press.   Stitch count if 436 by 40.   I calculated I needed to stitched 15 columns of the pattern each day to finish on time.  Sounds doable right?    Some days, I spend more time sleeping with a hoop in hand than I do stitching!    I had my doubts that I could manage to finish this in January and so I am pleasantly surprised.   Stitched on 28 count over one thread with the called for DMC colors.

I had a plan on how to fully finish it but now that I am at that point, I am not so sure. 

I  completely neglected WIPGO this month until this weekend but I am not beating myself up over it.   One of my assignments was to fully finish the Civil War Huswif from NeedleMade Designs.   I  started this weekend to prep for  hand assembling.  I hope to get the outside prepped leaving me with just the attachment of the twill tape by hand.   Good airport work!   I know I will be able to fit in work the other number called over the next 11 months.  

Back to Camp WannaStitch in OCMD.   It is always a good weekend.   I think this must be the 10th year I have attended this EGA event.   No classes, just seeing old friends and meeting new ones.   This year there was a mix up with tables and four first-timers didn’t have a place to sit together on the second morning.   Robin to the rescue.   We happened to have four empty chairs.   It was nice to meet Barb, Sue, Karen and Barbara.   We found we had mutual friends, mutual interests, and much laughter ensued.   One even has a Floss Tube channel.  They will now be our table mates every year going forward.  

For progress this month, I got a fair bit accomplished on The Sweet Birds Sing from Blackbird Designs.  My goal is to be completed by May 1st and I know I will beat that deadline.    With dedicated stitching time coming this week, I might even be able to finish while in Tennessee.

My year long SAL is almost a month in.  The Temperature Tree, adding a leaf daily with the floss color based on the high temperature of the day.   Mid-month I also got extra stitching time in while I had four days of  babysitting.  Once the kiddos were in school and pre-school, I had from about 10 to 2:30 to chill until it was time to start the afternoon pick-up run.     I laugh at myself, I thought, I would get stitching time in but then there was snow, violin lessons, virtual learning and you get the picture.    I have to add the leaves from last week and still have the rest of the branches to stitch.  I am debating about packing it  to go to Tennessee as well.  It will depend on how much room is available in my suitcase.

Tomorrow I am taking off for Tennessee.    I am going to Chattanooga to stay with a friend for a week.   During that time we will head to Knoxville for a 4 day EGA retreat.  This will be the second year I have attended.   It is a great time both with Diane, Pat and with the Knoxville EGA.  

As always, thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching.  


  1. Another jam packed month in the books. What a way to start a new year.
    The blog header is great!
    I've never really thought about a word of the year, but I enjoy the choices of so many that do and the meaning behind their choice.
    Have a safe trip and a wonderful time.

    1. Shirley - Yes, the blog header is a winner for sure. I am still up in the air about my word of the year.

  2. Those are some beautiful projects.
    Love, love, love The Sweet Birds Sing, can't wait for it to be released.
    Have fun at the EGA!

    1. Marilyn - I am enjoying the Sweet Birds Sing and hope to have it finished this month! Robin in NJ

  3. First, I love the new pictures in your blog header, Robin. It sounds like you had a productive January all the way around. Well done on getting your Blessings Sampler finished. It is a beauty. I always start something new on Jan. 1st and this year, I picked a small sampler. Neither side measured 100 stitches, but then that is how I roll. You could always choose a word per quarter. I am still using balance this year because I haven't figured out a word for 2024. Enjoy your trip to Tennessee!

    1. Robin in VA - I really like your idea of a word a quarter. Good thinking. I surprised myself with my Blessings Sampler completion. Robin in NJ

  4. Wow Robin, I'm tired just reading this!!! What's your secret? All great projects and you're getting a lot accomplished. I hope you can work out your "word of the year" and follow that path. See you soon!

    1. Stasi - LOL, I think it is because I only post once a month. And I draft my posts during the month. Maybe I just share too much. Robin in NJ

  5. Hello Robin: My word this year is balance, I need to balance life and crafting with stitching.
    You have some lovely designs in the works, the Huswif is stunning as are the other projects.
    It sounds like you have a kind heart for helping people.
    I am looking forward to seeing your next post, have a wonderful time in Tennessee.


    1. Catherine - Balance is a contender as a word of the year. Huswif is done! And I will post it next time. As always, thanks for stopping by. Robin in NJ


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.