A Stitch in Time

Do you know the expression, “A stitch in time saves nine?” It’s a sewing metaphor, admonishing that if you don’t fix it now, you’ll have even more work down the line.

That’s no fun.

Instead I’m going with “A stitch in time is fine”…and lovely, and extraordinary and appreciated beyond measure. (Oh no, another sewing metaphor).

Check out  the lovely stitches from my dear friends Marlene and Marcia.

Marlene loves to sew and quilt. She’s also a master of machine embroidery. Look at this gorgeous piece.

Marlene's embroidery books and flowers

Embroidered Panel

I dropped a metaphorical stitch when I unwrapped it. Isn’t it lovely? She’s captured my passion for gardening and books, my love of color and flower-arranging and wrapped it all up with beautifully blended threads and the perfect quote:

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

I would add that if you have friends like Marlene, you are lucky indeed.

Marlene shares her generous talents far and wide. She quilts for a cause, makes beautiful gifts for friends and writes warm, caring and thoughtful comments throughout the blogosphere. If you haven’t had the pleasure, you can find her at In Search of it All.

This beautiful tea towel is also a gift from Marlene. When I was a girl, personalized items were all the rage, but I could never find anything with the name Alys. I still get a little boost from seeing my name embroidered on this towel.

Marlene's embroidery Alys' kitchen

Embroidered Tea Towel

This whimsical linen calendar is a gift from my friend, Marcia. We met over thirty years ago when we worked together in a costume shop in Santa Rosa. Marcia is a skilled pattern maker and a wonderful seamstress. Like Marlene, her hands are always busy sewing and crocheting lovely gifts. Last year she sent a hand-made apron, wrapped in a fabric remnant.

The linen calendar came wrapped in a pattern piece. Cool, eh?  She finished the top of the calendar  with seam-binding to allow for a dowel. The edges are a pretty zig-zag pattern. Again, all my favorite colors and themes: watering cans, flowers, birds and cats and the wonderful color palette.

The calendar is hanging in our guest room and it looks right at home.

All three of these pieces inspire me, and make me realize how much I miss sewing.

I’m going to turn Marlene’s embroidery into a cushion cover now, and will do the same with Marcia’s calendar when the year is over.

How about you? Have friends inspired you to creativity this year?


Marcia's calendar

Linen Calendar

35 thoughts on “A Stitch in Time

  1. My goodness, those are both beautiful pieces. Marlene’s ability with the sewing machine leaves me a little breathless! [I can sew straight and zig-zag and that’s about it!] The towel is lovely and not something one sees commonly. How lovely Alys that you are the recipient of these fine gifts – you so deserve them! xo


  2. Thank you so much Alys, for your kind words indeed. You make me blush. I love the calendar that your friend Marcia made too. And wrapping gifts in pattern pieces is a grand idea. I have so many old patterns that no one wants anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good Morning dearest, Enjoying your post and just listening to the doves cooing. At least that’s what I think they are. Your gifts are really pretty and amazingly creative. Isn’t it lucky that we’ve found our way to Marlene’s? She’s loving, generous, welcoming, hard working and smart and witty. We really have got to get our butts down there and knock on her door. I received a beautiful little quilt with colourful christmas panels of snowmen. I took pictures with my phone and hope to blog while I’m here.

    Your 2016 Calendar is beyond cute. I love everything about it. The colour the art the aqua kitty the bird. I wonder where it’s from? It fits right in to your guest room too. That’ll make an awesome pillow at the end of the year.

    My gosh it’s so beautiful here, I wish you were with. Time to plan a Skype! What time of day is best for you hon? I know you’ve got school P-up’s and clients. I can do any time really. It’s 8:42 here right now and 10:42 in San Jose. So, probably no earlier than 11 am your time, since I’m not an early bird on holidays, LOL xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I can’t wait to see the quilt and your post! Yippee, Boomdee.

      Yes, yes, a visit is a must. We’re coming your way, Marlene.

      I knew you would love that calendar as much as I do. I’ll have to find out where Marcia found the fabric.

      I wish I was with you, too. Maui is my favorite of the islands. From your photos, you’ve landed in a wonderful place, too.

      I’ll PM you about our Skype. Can’t Wait!


    • Thank you, Helen! I am lucky indeed.

      I’m thinking of sewing some unique cushion covers for our deck this summer. I want to try to photo transfer some garden pictures, then cut them into squares for a patchwork pillow. I’m still working that out in my head. When my boys were young, I had fun sewing teddy bears and Halloween costumes but they’ve long outgrown that. If I can continue to slim down, I’ll also look for a summer shift pattern. I haven’t sewn for myself in years.

      Do you like to sew?


      • Yes, I do sew, although I prefer crochet. A friend took me to a local town (I’d never actually been to) last Saturday where there are some brilliant fabric shops, so I’ve now got various bits of material to make things into. That’s on top of the dress I’m about to make for my daughter, anyway 🙂

        The photo transfer sounds a great idea. How will you do that?


        • Be still my heart: you have new fabric and a daughter to sew for. Lucky, lucky you. The nice thing about crochet or knitting is that you can carry it around with you, and work on things almost anywhere. It’s relaxing too.

          As far as the photo transfer is concerned, I found a cotton sateen like fabric that you can run through a printer. It’s the size of a sheet of paper, hence the need to make panels or squares. I made a banner/bunting for another blogger last year and was delighted with the quality of the photos. I’ll find the link and will share it here.


          • Yes, crochet and knitting are great for being portable. I miss that but am concerned about the yarn or action of knitting/crocheting aggravating the psoriasis in the palms of my hands. I tried doing it with gloves on but even the thinnest get in the way. The psoriasis is nearly better now though, so hopefully I will soon be able to get my needles out 🙂


          • I think the most scary bit for me would be the ironing – if I did it too hot and the printing came off or something! Sounds a great idea anyway 🙂

            By the way, I think I saw your post at the time but it’s interesting to read in a different context – you take different things in.


  4. What fun to share a favorite quote on our blogs, Alys! We truly are kindred spirits today! 🙂 Here is a link to my post: https://petalspapersimplethymes.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/public-library-learning-reading/

    Your creative, talented friends shared such lovely gifts… from their hands and hearts. They will always be a bright, happy reminder of faraway friends in your guest room, Alys!

    I am busy blossoming (my One Little Word) this year. My papercrafting friends have inspired me to take on card making Challenges and try new techniques. This weekend, I’m looking forward to an all-day papercrafting ‘Crop.’ It’s sure to be a day filled with creativity, friendship, and fun! Sending warm hugs from the frigid Midwest! ♡


    • Dawn, I’m sorry I didn’t respond here sooner. I think I replied…in my head! Do you ever do that?

      I’m excited to read that you are making cards again. Those crops are a treat. I’ve fallen out of that habit, and must work at incorporating more of those this year.

      I did spend this past week or so working on a unique project: a miniature Little Free Library for a fellow Library Steward on the east coast. I’ll blog about it soon, but want to get it into the mail to her first (probably tomorrow). It was *so* much fun.

      Creative projects rock my boat as they do yours. It’s fun getting lost in the zone.

      I hope you’ve had a break from the snow. Just think: Spring is just eight weeks away.



  5. What is clear to me, dear Alys, is how you draw people in, make them feel loved, and because of that, they want to thank you.
    You really have a gift. Many people give; yet you have an ability to make people feel accepted, and embraced, and cherished, and because of that, they shower you with love.
    I’m learning from you.

    Liked by 1 person

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