And that was that!

Happy New Year!

It’s 2016. How did that happen? I’ve been talking about this year for so long now and now it’s here…

But first, what happened to Christmas?

It started this year with a box appearing on the doorstep. It was delivered in between taking Jonathan and Lauren to the airport and setting off to church.

IMG_4684The DVD arrived… No time to watch it but I needed a photograph!
IMG_4682Christmas day was quiet. Sausage rolls and bacon wrapped dates with John and Joanne. Lindsey didn’t like the sheets on the sofa and stayed off it… She can come again! (OK Joanne?)

The silence didn’t last long because a blue van set off from Rockford bright and early on Boxing Day. Ruby and Benjamin sat for a picture while we got ready to open some presents.
IMG_4715Ruby loved her big box of tape…IMG_4725 We had a surprise planned for Sunday.

After church we all piled in the van with our suitcases and set off for the city. Who knew there was a whole shop devoted to Lego AND another one full of American Girl dolls?

Ruby and Ruby Juniors got matching outfits…
IMG_4737Just pass the credit card over grandma… no turning back…

We stayed over night at the Westin. Julia booked on Hotwire. It seemed scary to me but it worked and we had two very nice rooms for not a lot… We’ll not mention parking or dining! Benjamin had a good time assembling one of his new Lego sets.

Elf Benjamin…IMG_4741The weather outside was frightful on Monday morning but Steve had taken a day off work and no freezing rain/ice storm/50 mph wind gusts/sleet or snow was going to stop him going through with the plan.

We set off  for the Field Museum and had a fine old time getting acquainted with all sorts of wonderful things.

Benjamin wanted to see the mummies so we spent some happy minutes in the Egyptian section. Julia remembered being enthralled at it all when she was younger but felt decidedly queasy thinking about all those wrapped up bodies now.

Here’s a shield in the Pacific Island section.IMG_4764

Future embroidery inspiration?

By two o’clock we were tired and ready to go home.IMG_4784 Matt did a sterling job of getting us back to Naperville on the slushy slow moving roads. The weather forecast for Rockford was not good so we were glad to have company for another night and it gave us a chance to watch the DVD together…

By Tuesday morning everything looked a lot calmer.IMG_4800It was quiet when they left!!

On Thursday afternoon I got back to the sewing machine. Free motion pebbles in pink 50 wt. Aurifil give lots of texture. IMG_4817Another sampler finished. This one is stitched with Wonderfil Eleganza 8wt. perle cottons in some super bright colors.IMG_4824The Wonderfil perle cotton is my favorite mass produced embroidery thread right now. It is lovely to stitch with, very even and with a great twist that helps with tangles and unravelling. I’m going to be taking it to classes as an alternative to my House of Embroidery hand dyed threads. Nothing can beat the variegated hand dyes but if you want a wonderful range of solid colors at a very reasonable price I would look out for Wonderfil at a shop or show near you!


With all that excitement my Amaryllis lily has been blooming quietly in the kitchen.
IMG_4830So beautiful.


Now it’s 2016. I have a wonderful busy year planned. My calendar shows trips to eleven states outside Illinois and two international expeditions. I’m writing a book that I’m sure I’ll be telling you more about as the months progress…

The new DVD is now available in the Interweave store (click the little picture at the side to find out more) and we’ll be starting a blog hop in less than a week. Watch out for prizes!

And that’s just what I know about. I learnt a lot in 2015. I’ve learned that there’s a lot still to learn. I hope I end the year not just older but wiser too.

And quilts… there has to be quilts!


  1. Susan Earl said:

    Happy NewYear. May you be ever Blessed!

    January 2, 2016
  2. Susan Dunne-Lederhaas said:

    Hi Catherine,
    I truly enjoy hand embroidering and use several different threads.. For the first time, I ordered some of Sue Spargo’s “Eleganza” threads because I covet variegated threads..they are an 8/2 and nicely plied.. My favorites are “Painters Threads”, the beautiful hand-dyed threads in all 4 weights..of perle cotton..

    January 2, 2016

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