Designing and Stitching for a Good Cause


I wanted to share this important project from my dear friends at Casa Cenina, a wonderful source for all things cross stitch in Italy. This charitable effort includes many of your favorite designers and all proceeds will go towards helping the many towns in Italy effected by devastating earthquakes during the past year. There is still much work to be done to restore these towns so please pass on the link so we can all help with the recovery.

For full details please go to this link:



Casa Cenina and Italy

Stitching Fairy

The Little Stitching Fairy
© Joan A. Elliott

I am back home after a most wonderful holiday in Italy! Who wouldn’t fall in love with this beautiful country so rich in history and culture. Most of all we will cherish the kindness and generosity of everyone we met there. Our trip started with the wonderful Festa Del Ricamo 2013 at Casa Cenina. Thanks so much to Monica, Giovanni, Elena, Catarina and all the staff for their warmth and hospitality. We felt as if we were taken into a big Italian family and were treated royally. It was the perfect introduction to Italy and the beautiful Torre Santa Flora, where we stayed and where the Festa was held, was a joy thanks to our hosts Paolo and Carina. Here we are posing for a final photo:


The Casa Cenina ‘Family’

It was wonderful to introduce the stitched model of the Little Stitching Fairy at the Festa. Everyone who attended received the chart leaflet as a gift and she will be available now as a chart pack too. I will post when she is printed and ready for shipping, in a week or so. It was also lovely to finally meet so many people that I have known online. Laura and Carolina brought along  their WIPs to show too.


With Laura (left) With the Fairy (center), With Carolina (right)

After our four nights in Subbianno, Earl and I  extended our stay in Italy, traveling along the Chianti road to San Gimignano.

San G

An evening in San Gimignano

Here we stayed in the hills just outside of the city at Agriturismo Poggiacolle. It was a beautiful place filled with vineyards and olive groves along with spectacular views of the towered city in the distance. We enjoyed a fine bottle of wine presented to us by our charming host and owner of the vineyard, Stefano.


The view from Agriturismo Poggiacolle

After seeing the sites in the area including a visit to Volterra, a city  that began in Etruscan times, we headed west to Umbria stopping in Sienna along the way:


The Piazza, Sienna

Our next two nights were spent  in Mantignana at the exquisite Agriturismo La Posta Di Confine which was originally built as a guard post in the 16th Century. It was heavenly! Thanks so much to our gracious and caring hosts Marco and Roberta. From here we also were able to travel to Assisi and Lake Trasimeno.

La Posta Di Confine

La Posta Di Confine

After a few days we headed towards Florence staying about an hour west of the city at Borgo Della Limonaia in Pieve A Nievole.  Built in 1554 this was a truly unique place. Our hosts Raffaele and Danielle were so kind and generous and all the food and wine  was grown right there on the farm. Delicious! From here we visited Florence and the lovely town of Lucca.


Borgo della Limonaia

So now we are back home. I am getting back to a somewhat normal work schedule with two commissions due soon. I’ve also sketched out a design for the Lady from Rome after being so inspired by beautiful Italy. Keep your eye out for The Little Stitching Fairy from the Festa along with a few more goodies you have been waiting for. Thanks again to all the people we met in our travels who helped to make our time in Italy so memorable.

Until then…CIAO!!!  XOX Joan

Come one come all June 8th & 9th… An Extra Day at Casa Cenina!

Casa Cenina

Festa Del Ricamo at Casa Cenina

I am happy to let you know that we are now able to spend an extra day meeting everyone at the Festa Del Ricamo at Casa Cenina in Italy. Save the dates… Saturday June 8th and Sunday June 9th in beautiful Tuscany. There will be lots of treats waiting for you and more hours to chat and share our ideas and thoughts on stitching, crafts, and just about everything else! I am so looking forward to enjoying this wonderful event with all of you that will be able to attend. Time is getting close and we are all busy as bees preparing for these very special two days. For details and more information please click here.