Thursday, June 28, 2012

EGA Meeting Day

I love my meeting days. Great to visit with friends and catch up on what they are doing. Best are when the meeting days include a class like this one:

Willing Hands "Elizabethan Casket Etui" by Betsy Morgan:

For those of you who already taken this class (in Australia at Beating around the Bush or in the western U.S.), we are doing things in a slightly different order. 

We didn't have prework, because we've scheduled a follow-up finishing class for January. And because we have both a morning and an evening meeting, I was able to get this far on my thimble holder yesterday. I'm working on creating a windmill. 
I'm excited by this project. It does have a fair amount of over one stitching, but not so much that I'll be setting it down. The project is Betsy's version of a casket a la the Martha Edlin casket in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

You can see Martha's casket here in a video. She was only eleven when she stitched this masterpiece. 

At the evening meeting I worked on my windmill while helping a friend, Kathy, whom we led down the path to the dark side last Saturday. She's got minimal canvas experience. And this is what she left Bedecked and Bedazzled with in her beautiful pink shopping bag!!!


Ruth is amazing with color! Kathy and I got this tacked on to her stretcher bars and got her started stitching. Go, Kathy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Little Buying Spree?

Maybe I've done a bit of shopping lately? I mean how much damage could I do?

Frankly, quite a bit!

Here's a little bit of Eye Candy! I got the Sparkle Rays to do a small border around this piece. That's what the beads are for, too. Unless...hmm. I'm going to have to think about this.

 Three more perforated paper Santas to add to my collection. I've only got 6 of these on my tree. That means there's 1 stitched that needs finishing. And dozens more to go in box in my studio. Sorry for the glare.

But my big purchase is a new sewing machine. I don't have it yet. Should have it in a day or two. It's a heavy duty model from Janome. Could I have spent less? Probably. And could I have spent more? Nope. Because the frugal yankee part of me won't let me. I'm considering that I don't want to spend any money on finishing that I can do myself. And that's how I justify this purchase. Now let's see how good I can get at pillows and such!

And speaking of finishing:

 This is a crewel work fan stitched by my friend, E.B., who is 80+ years old! Didn't take her very long either. Because she's a master of this art form. She had this finished at a local to us place called DeVaris in Alexandria, VA. 

There is a reason I'm showing this. This was a kit put out and sold by the Winterthur Museum if I'm remembering correctly sometime around 2005 or 2006. 

I would love to locate a kit to purchase for myself. If anyone has seen one, could you point me in that direction? If anyone has one that they know they might never stitch, I will buy it from you! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's Funny

Colonial Sampler State Flowers Crewel Embroidery Kit For Beginning or Experienced Stitcher 

 I was looking through google images for a crewel kit. Actually I'm hoping to find one for sale, but that's another story. (Not just any kit. So don't bother telling me about things for sale. I'll post about this later.)

Anyway. I found this image of a pillow on Austinatious Offerings. I stitched this for my grandmother back in 1974. And mine was framed. It hung in her house until she died in 2006. At the time I was hoping to take it home with me. But when I removed it from the wall and started looking at it carefully I noticed damage. 

My grandmother, with her yankee fix-it attitude, had apparently unframed it at one point and added tissues behind it. Yup. Straight up tissue from a box that most of us would use to wipe our delicate little noses. Let me tell those tissues were disintegrating into an acid mess and they took the fabric with them. It broke my heart to toss this into the garbage heap, but I did. 

This was a crewel kit sold by Avon in 1974. I love that she kept it on the wall in her living room all those years. Still miss you, Gram!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Japanese Embroidery

While following a recommendation I stumbled to the fact that the Japanese Embroidery Center in Atlanta has a store! 

Here you can purchase things like a Japanese embroidery frame which is similar to a slate frame. Flat silk. Handmade needles for goldwork. All kinds of metallic threads. 

Color me impressed!

In fact, if you've never looked before, you should poke around their home website. All kinds of pretty things to look at.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kimono Update - April

Finally. I finished our April stitching on my Kimono project. You would think that getting 13 sections a month finished would be easy. But I like to make things harder than they should be. 

I got bogged down when I didn't like how a section was working out and I just put it aside. Took me a while to figure out my problem and fix it. But now I am happy again!

It's funny. When I start certain sections, I think this isn't going to work. It looks like crap. Then I keep going and at the end, I love it.

In particular, I love how section 35 worked out. This is alternating an overdyed silk with a #12 Kreinik braid. Looks way better in person. This photo is slightly washed out. 
Down here at the bottom - I have mistakes in that lighter green section which I can see. In fact, the entire section is a mistake as I started it with 4 plies and it should really be 3. But I'm leaving it for now. I may go back and correct this at later.

So now you know how I'll be beating the heat here on the east coast this morning. Staying at home and working on May!

Details:  Shining Needle Society class with John Waddell. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blog Hop #4

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop 

Do you experience this same assumption from society in general that just because you’re being crafty you’re also driven by some unseen force to be in constant 1950s housewife mode? and then…. Who actually does the cooking and the cleaning in the household? I’d also really like to hear some words from the men in the crowd who stitch on this topic. What sort of societal reactions do you get and what ridiculously wrong assumptions do people make towards you when they see you working on needlework?

I do a fair amount of stitching in public and that does open things up to public comments not just about the piece I am working on, but the fact of my stitching at all.

I have not had the experience of being assumed to be an uber housewife. Thank goodness. Because I'm not. I am talented in the kitchen when I wish to be. Capable of keeping a house from falling into complete disarray, but I do it grudgingly. Yes. I am the sole person who does the cleaning and cooking in my household. But of course, I'd rather be stitching. 

In my extended family, no one comments like this about my stitching because they have always seen me with a needle in my hand and they have just accepted that as a fact.

The biggest comment I get from strangers is that they couldn't do what I do because it takes too much patience. 

I try to enlighten them that the path to patience is to do what I do. I certainly wasn't born with an excess of it. 

The second biggest thing about public comments is people who call it knitting. 


Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Impressive video. Terrific idea. Great execution. Now I'm stuck with the song...


What young hand embroiderers are doing today!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Finish

Had a lovely time yesterday stitching with the Tuesday night group on a Sunday afternoon. And I nearly finished this then. 

But I had to go home to put in the last two threads. 

It measures 3 3/4" by 7 1/2." 


What do I do with it? 

Friday, June 08, 2012

Progress and Photos!

First:  I finished "Ravish Me" which will get made into a pillow when I find time to take it to the finishers. No rush. I added a little bit more bling in the border and I think it needed it. Very happy with this. And yes. It is for me.

Progress photo:  this is a bargello piece that I started as an experiment to see what would happen with an overdyed thread. I got so far and ran out of thread. Had to find somewhere on line to order more. It's Carrie's Creations Caribbean Laney and also there is one skein of DMC in there. Thus far it's taken nearly 5 skeins of Carrie's to get to this point. I hope I have enough to finish it. 

I also did not count as carefully as I thought I did. The top and bottom are supposed to be symmetrical and aren't! Also the top was wider than the bottom. OH MY! I must have been drinking mint juleps or something. I'm doing some creative fudging.

And that's my proof that I'm still putting thread in a needle and using it. 

I've got another little project that I worked on the past two days that I can't show yet. All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about stitching these days. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012


I want to confirm here that I have finished my registration for EGA National Seminar in Santa Fe. 

I'm one of the hundred or so that will have a spouse attending with me. He's not into golf, but he loves the southwest and there is no way I could go to New Mexico without him unless I wanted to get divorced. *joking*

I've been a very busy stitcher lately, but alas, I have no photos to share. There is a project that it pains me to work on because the lovely lady who started it has died. She had made a start on a wedding sampler that is a gift for another member. I have comes to terms with it and have begun the process of finishing this piece for her. I'm hoping to pass it along to others in my Tuesday Night group of stitchers so we can all share in stitching on it. 

I've also been stitching some Montenegrin samples. I'll show this eventually. 

And I've picked up an experimental bargello that I started like 18 months ago. 

And I've joined my linen and started stitching on Cindy Valentine's Tropical Punch that was in July 2011 Needlepoint Now. 

Colors are brighter than this photo! The directions were probably terrific as originally written by Cindy, but the edited version in the magazine leaves a little bit to the imagination. Doesn't give clear starting points. Or even spacing. And calls for the cretan stitch to be done with a Glorianna that is a Crescent Colour name. Makes me wonder sometimes. 

But still it's very cheerful summertime stitching!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Kimono Update

I'm sure by now my friend, Donna, who is also stitching this piece has been wondering if I was ever going to get back to this. Donna has posted photos of her May stitching which looks fantastic. (edit:  posted in the class yahoogroup.)

And me? I'm still working on April. In fact my last posted photos are dated April 3rd.

I fell into one of those places where I didn't like how something looked. I thought it was my color choices on section 30 that were killing me. I even brought the piece to my stitching groups asking their advice on the color. The decision was to continue. 

Saturday afternoon I took my Kimono outside to the deck to enjoy the lovely weather and looked at section 30 and sighed. And boom. It hit me. My problem wasn't with color. It was with my compensation. So I am outside laughing to myself and I frogged my darker purple. In no time at all, I managed to restitch this area with the same color, but enlarging the stitch. Big improvement. Huge. Finally I'm moving on.

I finished section 30 and 31 on Saturday and started section 32 yesterday. Phew. Overall this is where I am. Got a ways to go to catch up to the schedule.

 My improved Section 30.

 I also acquired a new accessory:  a Needle Valet from DebBee's Designs.

 Funny how the colors match my Kimono. Super handy little do-dah for parking threads. 

Now about my public statement about not making goals. Well, I'm going to contradict myself and make one now. I will catch up on my Kimono. We should be through Section 65 by the end of June. But that's not my goal. My goal is to finish by the end of this year so I don't carry another UFO over into 2013! See? I can be reasonable. 

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Royal School of Needlework

CBS Sunday Morning did a piece on the Royal School of Needlework this morning. To see it, go here:

Unfortunately, you will have sit through a short ad first. 

Definitely worth watching!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Blog Hop Question

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop  

Do you set stitching goals for yourself and how do you plan them out? (Weekly, monthly, annually?) What are your current stitching goals (if you don’t mind sharing)? In addition to setting goals for yourself, do you have a special reward that you reserve for when you reach a stitching goal?

I rarely ever publicly state goals. And when I do, I usually regret it. LOL

This doesn't mean I don't have goals. They are mostly floating around somewhere in the further reaches of my brain - sometimes just vague little thoughts like I'd like to get this done by such and such a meeting. Other times they are more concrete - like I need to get this done to enter it in Woodlawn and it needs to be at framers 6 weeks before the entry deadline. 
Right now I am going through my world goalless. I have one little thing that needs working on in the next 10 days. But beyond that I am free of deadlines both real and self-imposed. 

I am wondering if when working in a group and someone issues a challenge and you take up the challenge, does that mean it becomes a goal? Because under the right circumstances, I do seem to respond well to challenges.

No real goals = no real rewards. 


  Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.