Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eileen Bennett Class

Yesterday was a totally satisfying day for me - a lecture and a class by Eileen Bennett of the Sampler House at the Loudoun Sampler Guild. The lecture was on the ABCs of samplers. Good solid information and if you ordered the information packet, you also got a black letter alphabet sampler (more on this later.)

This was my first class with Eileen whom I found to be a delightful and knowledgeable teacher. I wasn't in love with the Little Green Acorns sampler from the photos nor was in love with it just looking at the linen and floss. When I fell in love with it was during the reading of the instructions. Twenty-four different stitches including a two or three that I haven't stitched yet! And yes, I did purchase her "Red Book of Sampler Stitches" to add to my library.

She starts her class by reviewing her stitching tips. As she is a certified needlework judge, her tips are invaluable if you are stitching in pursuit of excellence. I'm not saying I would stitch following all these tips always, but it's good information to have. The only stitching police are in your own head. And I would say that no one is going to come and take your needlework out of your hands and make you do it their way except I saw just that happen yesterday. Too funny! (This incident did not involve Eileen. And the stitcher took it with good grace and may follow this advice for the rest of her stitching life.)

I did start this piece using a hoop - something I don't normally do. And I did use a size 24 needle - something I never do on linen. Will I continue this way? It depends. I may have some 32 ct linen in my stash that I like better than the fabric Eileen was forced to use as a substitute when Zweigart had a shortage of what she wanted. If I start over, who knows what choices I may make.

What I was dreaming about this morning as I woke up was the black letter sampler. I don't know if it's the color possibilities or the echoes of the Art Deco style, but this piece is calling to me. We all know what this means. I have just added two new pieces to my works in progress as I will be able to kit the black letter from my stash today.

Other things that totally tickled me yesterday - people from my Shamrock Pin class wearing their finished pins or stitching on them. Anne, Kathy, and Kay - this made my day. I had to smile every time I came face to face with my design. And lastly, the thing that made me smile for the rest of the day, were the too kind words of a reader who is member of the LSG praising my blog. Thank you so much!


Lee said...

I took a class with Eileen about 20 years ago when I was model stitching for a shop in Pittsburgh. It was practically a private class because it was held for just the shop staff and its model stitchers.

I'll always remember two things! First" Using a bigger needle to create an opening in the linen so your thread goes thru with minimal stress. Second: Two strands means TWO STRANDS and not one strand doubled over. Eileen hated the loop method of starting a thread!

I'm glad you had a nice day!

Donna said...

Ah, Lee. She still beats those drums. I'm with her on the loop method. But the larger needle feels like a log in my fingers when I'm working on linen. I am willing to give it a try.