Friday! | Annie Bayliss Update & Baking

Has the weather been strange in your neck of the woods? It has been so strange here! It’s almost felt like spring – there’s no snow on the ground, lots of rain, plenty of mud. I don’t know what’s in store for the rest of the winter, but I hope it’s somewhat pleasant. Maybe we’ll skip winter this year and have a nice long spring? I hope I didn’t jinx it! I was planning to show you a few finished quilt tops today, but I’ve barely been outside for a myriad of reasons and haven’t been able to take pictures of them. So I’m going to show you my cross stitching progress instead and -surprise!- there’s been progress! I’ve also been baking up a storm, which is a new form of making for me.

I started Annie Bayliss on New Year’s Day last year with the hopes to finish it by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last June. Didn’t happen. And now I’m stitching it to honor her death and will alter the text to include her birth and death year. If I ever get that far, that is!

I last shared a picture of this project in November and have made quite a bit of progress (for me) since then. I’ve finished the border and for the first time in my life — the border actually worked out! I usually fudge those in some way. I also completed the second alphabet and feel like I’ve done miles of darning stitches. I have to say that I’m really enjoying this project and every letter feels like a major accomplishment. The fabric transforms after it’s been stitched on and I love the feeling.

When I first started stitching on linen, I thought my issue was magnification. I even bought a headband magnifier to help but didn’t find any improvement. What I’ve learned is that the most important factor for me is lighting, which is quite a challenge in my home. Because I spend most of the day standing up in the kitchen, sometimes I’m able to pull out some sort of stitching or a book to fill in the quiet moments. When I’m stitching standing up under the kitchen light, I can see the linen perfectly and my stitches are exactly how I want them. But when the kids go to sleep and I settle in on the couch at night, my eyes start to cross and I can’t find the weave of the linen. It may also be due to exhaustion, but I think lighting is the biggest issue. So I’m trying to find a solution that fits within my budget, which is basically $0. This is my effort to put my request out into the universe, hoping that the perfect lamp will show up at Goodwill on a day I happen to be there. Wish me luck!

In one of my yearly wrap up posts, I mentioned that I wanted to tackle baking in 2023. So far, so good! Because Colton woke up at 3:30 yesterday, I managed to finish up a loaf of sourdough bread (that was rising overnight), a batch of sourdough biscuits, and a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls — all before 9am. It ended up being a very long day and I was grateful to have those snackies to help us through. And this week’s baking has included an additional loaf of sourdough bread (a third loaf is in the oven as I type this), a second batch of sourdough biscuits, and a batch of sourdough blueberry muffins. The house has smelled amazing!

This weekend’s task: to comment on your blogs! I have been reading, I promise, but commenting when I’m on the go isn’t easy for me. And I’m looking forward to replying to the messages from all of you over the last couple of weeks. I love chatting back/forth with all of you via email or in the comments section, but I have fallen behind (again). I used to be able to count on this morning time to do almost all of my virtual correspondence, but things have been upside down lately.

I hope to be back here on Monday. I might be ready to share my word for the year? If I can focus on doing it simply, then I will. But I tend to overcomplicate things and will probably make a bungle of it. So my mantra for this next post will be simple.

Friends – I hope you have a lovely weekend that’s full of exactly what you need. Take good care.


14 thoughts on “Friday! | Annie Bayliss Update & Baking

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  1. Loved the cross stitching. But the bread is always my favorite. Beautiful!! I made a blueberry banana bread yesterday. It is a banana bread recipe that once I just added some blueberries and it “worked”. I know we all have had that happened and when it does it feels like a miracle. Let’s look for our daily miracles. Have a good weekend.


  2. Your baking! (and like minds, I have cinnamon rolls on the brain as well!)

    I am excited to see what your word is! Happy First Weekend! XO


  3. Wow, what a cool cross stitch project! Great work! (Says the person who doesn’t do any sort of needle or fabric craft at all!) Your baking sounds yummy! I hope your mornings get a little more regular soon. Even though I love Spring (my favorite season) I want Winter to be Winter, ha ha! (Recognizing my Tennessee winters are easier than your Northern winters!)


  4. Keep your eye out for an Ott light. I could not do any handwork in the evenings without mine. They are on sale at Joanns often. I’ve had mine for 15+ years. Enjoy your baking. I am waiting on a new vegetarian cookbook from the library.


  5. It has indeed been a very weird winter in northern New England, but as I am fond of saying, weird is the new normal. The cross stitching is absolutely lovely. You have indeed made so much progress. Fingers crossed you find the lamp you are looking for. As for the baking…oh, yum! Looks delicious. And baking is certainly a creative endeavor. It takes patience, persistence, and a certain magical element that’s essential for all creativity.


  6. Your rolls look delicious! I always put extra’s in the chest freezer, so handy when someone drops in and I want to share a cup of coffee with them. People are always so impress with homemade baked goodies. Have a peaceful, calm weekend!


  7. The cross stitch is looking beautiful. I’m very envious of anyone who can make sourdough – I’ve had several starters, in different houses/temperatures, and never managed to achieve anything decent. Maybe 2023 is the year I give it another go? I’m certainly feeling inspired looking at your picture!


  8. Cinnamon rolls are the best! I used a new recipe this year that uses brioche dough, and it was a winner. I have the same issue with cross stitching in the winter. In fact I just gave up on it, I can knit instead and have that as a summer project!


  9. I can believe you are tired when you sit down to stitch in the evening. The baking looks amazing and so does the sampler. I love that the alphabets are both in red.


  10. Thank you for the BIG photo of all those gorgeous stitches on the linen … I’m in awe! and not at all surprised you need light to see (I’d also need a magnifying glass). I wish I could smell (and taste) that last photo … happy weekend!!


  11. Oh my! Your baking looks amazing Katie. And your stitching is gorgeous. Good light is a necessity for me (as well as magnification). Hope you can find a light. As someone suggested, keep your eye out for an Ott light.


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