March 14, 2021

Menu planning, Hexies and Palestrina Stitch

I’ve been a bit silent in blog-land for the last month. Months of disturbed nights with little sleep don’t exactly foster creativity.

 We have become used to the routine of being ready for all hubby’s carer visits each weekday. They are such a help in enabling me to care for him at home for a bit longer.

 I was having difficulty in getting him to eat his meals, so it’s been a bit of trial and error (and lots of prayer to the Lord for guidance!) in getting texture, size and taste correct, now that he is no longer able to use a knife and fork. I’ve therefore spent a bit of time thinking about meals and have now fine-tuned a 4-week menu. Do you have a planned menu? Over the years I have drifted in and out of menu plans. It’s easy for me to become lazy and not think ahead about meals, which usually results in having much the same menu each week.

 The bonus in preparing a new plan was getting rid of a whole pile of recipes that I know I will never make!  Culling is good for the soul!

There is now a pleasing, healthy, variety of meals on the plan. I have put all the recipes in plastic sleeves and they are now in one folder, sorted in order behind each week’s plan. It makes it so easy to find the recipe and to work out what I need to purchase on our weekly supermarket order. 

I’m being a little flexible with the plan, maybe swapping two evening meals around if necessary, and not being too rigid at lunchtime when tiredness says “just make a sandwich today”, but basically it really does make life a lot easier having it all organised. All I need to do now is to make a pretty cover for my folder!

If you are wondering what the photos above have to do with a 4-week menu plan, the answer is absolutely nothing! They do, however, have something in common, and that is they all have examples of one of my all-time favourite stitches, the Palestrina Knot Stitch. You can see the corner of my Enchanting Forest Cushion with the scallops and rectangle worked in this stitch with an off-white thread. Palestrina stitch is also outlining the bell flower, the daisy petals, the toadstool tops, inside the turnip and the pink edge of the umbrella.

I've used the Palestrina stitch in one of my March Gentle Gems Hexies - the Beehive:

Palestrina Knot adds a lovely knobbly texture so I enjoy using it to outline my appliqués and give them some dimension.

The second March Hexie is a simple appliquéd rose:

The patterns for these two Gentle Gems Hexies have been sent to all who have joined the 2021 Hexies of the Month programme. It's not too late to join and it's very reasonably priced, so hop over here for all the details.

In the pattern I have put a link to what I consider the best resource for stitching techniques on the internet and that is Mary Corbet, an internationally renowned embroiderer. The tutorials and videos she freely shares are amazing. Do go over and check out her website here and have a try at Palestrina Stitch!

Happy stitching!


  1. Val, that is a beautiful stitch and I can see why you enjoy using it to give dimension to your stitchery! Thanks for sharing your beautiful work with us. I'm glad the caregivers are helping make your life a tad bit easier. I don't really have a menu. We pretty much have the same thing week after week, but that is what we like! The hubby does not eat a broad range of foods so this works well for us! Have a blessed week.

  2. I love Palestrina knots, and I don't use them nearly often enough. You have some gorgeous examples. Thank you! I don't plan much. My nights sound like yours, and I just eat whatever's handy and leave my sons to do the same. I have no energy for more than that these days. I'm glad you have some care givers coming in to help.

  3. Hi Val, Gentle Gems is sweet and lovely and I would love to sew it with you. I have just joined up.
    Love and hugs to you and your husband. Prayers for strength and patience in your role as carer for your dear husband.
    Blessings, Angela

  4. A four week meal plan sounds like a great idea - though I'm a bit of a "weekly turnaround" person...LOL
    That is a lovely stitch - it really gives good definition.
    It's great that you can get home assistance to help you with caring for your husband.

  5. Val, I have never heard of the Palestrina Stitch so will check it out not that I do any embroidery these days. Yours is just beautiful. I know what you mean about getting rid of recipes you never use and especially now that your hubby’s needs have changed.,


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