Tales of Fred and Dude, and other exciting news!

I really have been very busy the past few weeks, but much like Fred and Dude the caterpillars, there isn’t much to show for it… until there is.

This is Fred.He is a Monarch butterfly caterpillar that came to stay last weekend. His family came with him and every day Benjamin and Ruby went out foraging for a fresh new milkweed leaf. Fred chomped his way steadily through the leaves and grew and grew…

He went back home last Sunday and kept eating. Did he know what lay ahead? By Thursday he stopped eating and crawled up to the top of his habitat. He’s now a pupa.

This is Dude. Dude is a Monarch butterfly pupa. He hatched from his egg, ate lots of milkweed, crawled to the top of his habitat, became a pupa and he’s nearly ready to emerge as a fully formed butterfly.

I find the whole process fascinating. I knew the theory but it wasn’t until last summer that I actually witnessed the whole life cycle! So much happens in secret where we can’t see it and then all at once, seemingly instantaneously, the beautiful butterfly appears…

I am hoping something similar is happening in my house right now. I am plodding away, chewing through the milkweed, and dreaming of the results…

I quilted my quilt.

Loopy butterflies all around my wool appliqué. It took a while. One block at a time. Then I added the binding. It really needs steaming and I have a plan for that but it involves a trip out so this is where I’m at for now.All twelve wool butterfly designs from my upcoming book (currently being printed and shipped to the warehouse 😀) Let’s not add up the hours of hand work that went into its construction, one stitch at a time…

I did a little shopping since I last wrote. I saw a beautiful set of hand made printing stamps in the Artistic Artifacts store a little while ago and I resisted… but then I saw my friend Denise Burkitt’s new Fancy Free fabrics were now in stock. With free shipping on purchases over  $50 it was time… and three days later my package  arrived.The stamps will probably remain an ornament in my sewing room! I already have a plan for the fabric but it will have to remain on hold a little bit longer.

And now I have news to share…Registration for STITCHES at home went live yesterday! All the details are on the new STITCHES events website.

I will be teaching a five part class, ten hours in all, spread over two weekends with all sorts of other events and virtual get togethers thrown in. It definitely sounds like too much fun to miss!

My class is called Explorations in Folk Art Stitching. Here’s the short version of the description,

“Enjoy hand stitching using a carefully curated kit that includes hand-dyed threads, recycled sari silk, and beautiful beads. Catherine shares her favorite embroidery stitches and guides you through bold hand quilting inspired by traditional Indian Kantha stitching.”

The kits include the designs for a butterfly, an elephant and a bird (or students can work on their own design).
I finished my bird sample yesterday. The hand dyed threads, Kona cotton, wool felt, silk for the background, batting and backing, quilting thread, beads, beading thread, hand sewing needles were all in the kit! Here’s a close up of the bird.Everyone will get a slightly different mix of colors so even if two people work the same design they will get an original art piece when they are finished. I mounted mine on stretched canvases but they could be made into pillows or added to a bag or maybe even a jacket. I am looking forward to meeting everyone very soon!

So now there is another opportunity to take a class with me. I have been sending out kits for the students enrolled in my half day class through Vermont Quilt Festival (use the button at the side to find out more). I fixed a date for a wool appliqué class that I will be able to tell you about soon, and I have several Zoom lectures on my calendar.

But yes there is more…

I’m working another major project, one step at a time. Here’s an interesting picture snapped on my ironing board…It looks like a fossil to me…

Oh yes! I’m also working on things for my book release. There will be celebrations aplenty on September 25th 😀 when Butterfly Stitches finally appears. I have heard from several of you that you have placed a pre-order. THANKYOU!! Your local quilt shop should be able to get it for you or of course that great purveyor of all things will take your order… button at the side. (if you order it using my affiliate button you pay the same but I get a few extra pennies)


BREAKING NEWS… as I write, Dude is breaking free. This picture just came through from Rockford (thanks Matt!).Fly free Dude, fly free!