Sunday, July 21, 2013


Close-up of the New World Rose - Santa Maria Block by Mercy Arrastia Savage
As the David Bowie song goes..."Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes".  Fortunately, all good changes.  Just so much change in such a short amount of time that I have not been able to keep up with my stitching or my blog.  For that I apologize.  But I'm back among the blog-o-sphere and I have lots of news to share.
First the BIG news. I am honored beyond words to have been invited to The Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy (TESAA)  as a Guest Artist in 2014.  I will be teaching my original, Baltimore-style block, The Santa Maria. 

Santa Maria by Mercy Arrastia Savage
Ultra-thin stem - part of my TESAA Workshop
The Applique Academy has moved venues and will be held in 2014 at a beautiful resort right on the James River in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The change in venue has also made the accommodations more affordable.  So if you have been considering attending but the cost held you back, give it another look.  This may be your lucky year!

Personally and professionally, I am very blessed.  This has been an incredible year.  In a few months, my office will be relocating to a bigger, better facility one county north to accommodate expanding business.  This required my husband and I to move or I would have been stuck with an unbearable commute.  We found that perfect home for us.  It's still in Miami but in a much more central location.  Plus, it's much smaller so for me it's a dream.  Way less upkeep and responsibility! So much more time for the fun stuff!!  Of course, this dream needed a lot of work - new floors, new appliances, new laundry room, new A/C, new electrical, new...well you get the idea.   There are still quite a bit of projects but they are all my husband's domain.  I finally finished the unpacking and organizing and am in my new sewing room!

Wreath I began in class with Elly Sienkiewicz at TESAA 2103 
I celebrated by unpacking two Baltimore-style blocks that I started in February in class with Elly at TESSA.

Rose made from gathered french wire silk ribbon.
Made in class with Elly Sienkiewiz at TESAA 2013
The Rose Wreath is almost entirely stitched using silk ribbon and Ultrasuede.  It stitched up fairly quickly and has been a lot of fun.  Next, I need to begin adding the embroidery detail.

The second block was also started in class with Elly.  It will be a basket filled with flowers.  Right now it's just a basket.  I made the slats by appliqueing down lengths of shaded french wired ribbon.  I left the wire in while I basted the strips of ribbon down.  I then removed the wire and appliqued the edge.
I made the brim by braiding three different colors of Hannah silk ribbon.  I love how it turned out.
But, I must confess it was not my idea. It was my friend Faye Labaneris' idea. If you are not familiar with her or her work - check out her website She has authored several books for AQS and is a very talented needle artist. She will be vending and teaching at TESAA 2014.

Well, that's all for now.  Hopefully, I will be able to get into more of a routine quickly and find even more time for stitching and keeping up with all of you.

Until next time...

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami