Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Blast from the Past

I believe I began this piece back in early 2008. It's from the Fall 2007 issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly. Designed bt Martina Dey in response to the 2004 tsunami that happened in southeast Asia.

I was looking for a Quaker sampler when this was published. And I remember agonizing over threads at the Scarlet Thread every Thursday. 

It was designed for Hand-Dyed silks, but I chose Crescent Colors overdyed cottons.

I worked on steadily in the beginning. And sporadically over the years. But I hit a motif that I just couldn't find a rhythm for and eventually I tucked it away in a corner. 

I'm not quite halfway finished. And if I can just put a couple of threads in every week, maybe some day this will be done. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Colorfast - a Word that Caught My Eye

Today at work I was putting up an order of Gentle Arts threads when I noticed the word "colorfast."

See. I always thought that overdyed threads were not colorfast. But apparently that has changed. 

 Looking closely from left to right: 

No mention of Colorfast on the left. Middle thread says Colorfast. Thread on right says Colorfast (and then in teeny tiny letters) by industry standards. 

Edit:  left to right, oldest, older, and just arrived 

 Random pile to hang up because who doesn't love a lot of thread?

According the Gentle Arts website, we can wash our overdyed threads. See their care instructions here:  Gentle Arts

And turns out Weeks Dye Works has been doing the same. See their info here: 
Weeks Dye Works  

Now I don't want to alarm anyone, but in another trend I've seen, it's that some needlepoint threads are arriving with a dry block only notice on them. I've seen this on both DMC pearl cotton #5 and Vineyard silk. Not on all the threads, just certain ones. 

Really? What's a person to do?

Wash your hands frequently. Use a frame of some sort. Keep your work covered when not stitching. 

I'm not going to let this bother me.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Little Fun

 I have these canvases that I inherited from a friend. I have a few of her works in progress that she didn't get to finish. So I will finish these for her. Because it would make her happy to know someone got joy from what she got joy from. 

So this is the back so you can see that all she had done was the start of the bow.
 I looked at the threads in the bag and decided I needed a darker pearl cotton to go with the overdyed pearl on the bow. By the way, this is a Kathy Shenkel design that has a little felt dolphin that will go in the stocking. These designs are adorable. And kind of addicting.

I slowly started figuring out what to do with her thread choices when I decided that none of the stitches I was trying to do for the dolphin were working. My brain kept telling me packed stem stitch. But my thread was a bit heavy for that. Well, fortunately for me, the House of Embroidery was at the Fredericksburg Quilt Show so I bought some overdyed gray #8 pearl cottons. That's more like it. 

Hope JoAnn likes it. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Wait. What?

Trying to post from my phone and laughing at myself. Maybe I need to drink some coffee first?

See? This is ridiculous.


And now.

Oh my gosh.

I am not changing the font size. It's just happening.

Anyway, this is a Lee canvas. A little ladybug all in tent stitch. I've sent it off for professional finishing.

And from deep in my stash this is a Guild project called Knots on Rocks. 

It's an actual rock covered in felt. We had traced an outline of our rock onto some pretty gold silk and started making French knots with a variegated thread, in my case Watercolours. This sat in my studio 60% done for a long time. 
And finally a little Deborah Tirico project in a tin. It was just waiting for me to do a Colonial Knot and the finishing.

I have plenty more blasts from the past awaiting my attention. You'll see them eventually.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Okay, Let's Just Jump to the Present

I'm tired of playing catch up 
So let's just go with today. 
I've been organizing my studio for the past week and I've rediscovered my floor, among other things.

I still need to go thru the magazines and put some threads away. But seriously. I feel such joy walking in here.

I've pulled a few UFOs out of the piles. Admired my good taste in picking projects. And put all my books on shelves.
Yay me! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Woodlawn Entries 2019

Looking across the dining room we have my version of Sue Kerndt's Holiday Patches.

We stitched this in my ANG guild and many of us changed our design. In my case, I didn't see a need for a larger framed Christmas piece and when I started considering what to do, map fabric inspired me. Hubby is a map guy, so I stitched this for him.
I have found much more map fabric since I stitched this. But if you look closely, you can see I got Honolulu in there which is where he was born. And Scotland for his fondness of whisky.

Then I moved a motif and made it larger to be a compass rose, designed a surveyor's transit, and named the piece Love is a Journey.

No ribbon and I didn't expect one as I knew the quality of my stitching on this.

We also had a beautifully stitched gray, black, and yellow version and an original Holiday design in the show. It's disappointing that the house does not hang these together as we stitchers love to compare and contrast.
I also entered my Bowie piece "Serious Moonlight"

I've documented this before here and won't go into the details. Did get a 2nd place ribbon and will be sending this to my daughter who is a Bowie fanatic.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Mini March Finishes

 I'm not a college basketball fan, but I sometimes fill out a bracket just for fun. Anyway, this cartoon struck my funny bone.
 Then I finally finished stitching these two canvas weights, got out my sewing machine, and stuffed them with bbs and some fiberfill.
 I did these for the shop, thus the initials, Waste Knot Needlepoint. Counted out the letters and stitched them with Planet Earth wool. These will help us when taping a rolled canvas. Or when a customer brings in a stocking that they are working on that's rolled.
And here's my next class, an online class with the Gingerbread Girl Designs, otherwise known as as Kathryn Drummond, from Canada.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

March Class #2

 Mid March my EGA Chapter hosted Kurdy Biggs for her Creme de la Creme class. You could make it as a cube, a box (which is a cube that opens), or as ornaments.
I chose cube and it matters on the placement on your canvas so you had to make a decision right away. So hard first thing in the morning. These are photos of Kurdy's piece. No way am I that fast. There are three sides each stitched twice. Lots of Jessicas. Was it 240? I think I've purposely blanked that out of my mind. Lots of pearls. So pretty.

She teaches a great class and we all had fun including a dinner with schnitzel and black forest cake, or gateau if you watch a lot of the Great British Baking Show.

Also had the pleasure of being able to take her to the Woodlawn Needlework Show before bringing her back to National Airport. She had a ribbon on one of her own stocking designs. But I think she was more thrilled to see a piece of hers that someone else had stitched and entered in the show. Fun hanging with someone who views the world as potential needlework designs. Don't be surprised if someday she has a dodecahedron piece...

My piece has sort of languished since the class. But I have finished another Kurdy design since then. More on that later. 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

March Demo Day

 See. I'm still catching up.

March in northern Virginia means it's time for the Woodlawn Needlework Show. I had entered two pieces. More on those later. First, let's talk about demonstrating at Woodlawn.

They ask demonstrators to pick a technique to highlight. And I knew my studio was a disaster (still is) so I chose something I knew I could pull together quickly, my miniature stitching, or whatever you want to call silk gauze and stitching over one.

My first formal needlework classes were in the 90s at the Spirit of Cross Stitch in Sacramento. I took an over one on 32ct linen lily class with Maureen Appleton, the queen of over one stitching. Finished the piece maybe 10 years later, but I've purchased and stitched (and collected) many of her kits.

My second class was a silk gauze bluebird with Paula of Crossed Wing. I finished that one right away and gave it as a gift. Again, I became a big fan of her silk gauze kits and stitched many pins and porcelain boxes as presents. That photo is one I'm finally stitching for myself.

I knew I'd be upstairs at Woodlawn in a room with brilliant sunshine. So I didn't bring a magnifier or light. But I did bring this Charland Designs Irish Sampler for my afternoon stitching as the sun eventually moves on. It's always been a pleasure to stitch in public at Woodlawn and chat with those touring the show. Many are stitchers, but a lot aren't. It's an opportunity to educate and just hang out in a beautiful space doing something I love to do.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

March Class #1

 Woo-hoo. A chance to take a Japanese bead embroidery class with Mary Alice Sinton. First mount your fabric.
 Next admire the teacher's piece. Again and again.

This class involved us stitching on different projects. Which was fantastic to see different pieces being created.
Next. Thread up a beading needle and get to work. This will be a long term project for me as other things have jumped ahead of it. But I love it. And even found more Tula Pink fabrics in other colors and patterns. Just in case I want to keep beading.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Big Finish in February

I finished my version of Ambrosia Honey. Obviously I changed the colors and I flipped the ribbon. I also didn't use a single bead. Instead I used Kreinik 1/16th ribbons.

Then I went and picked out some fabulous framing at Total Framing in Fairfax. 
Pretty wonderful when your framer sends you a preview! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

In Which I Attempt to Catch Up

These are two hearts I stitched back in February for the Hearts for Hospice outreach project some guild chapters have been supporting. 

Just some Watercolours, pearl cotton, and Kreinik braid from my stash. Our ANG stitched dozens of hearts. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Crazy January Challenge from 2011 Part II

  1. Sampler Girl Jane Austen Bookmark
  2. Blackbird Designs Souvenir of Paris from Joyeux Noel
  3. Queenstown Designs freebie
  4. Sampler Girl freebie kitted with Ginnie Thompson Flower Thread
  5. Raise the Roof Designs Go Fly a Kite
  6. Laura J Perin Heart from May 2010 Needlepointers
  7. Little House Acorns
  8. Queenstown Sampler R. Le Tellier 1873
  9. Queenstown Sampler freebie
  10. Little House All Dolled Up Snowy Pines
  11. Mill Hill Flamingo Magnet
  12. LHN Necessities Sampler
  13. Homespun Elegance Wee Fancy House
  14. Oatlands Nametag
  15. Victoria Sampler Oh Canada

    So this was my list from 2011. 

    Finished on this list 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

    That leaves Acorns which I haven't worked on since January 2011, but it might become my next purse project. 

    Queenstown R Le Tellier which I have worked on. Probably about 1/2 finished. Wish I had chosen different linen.

    And Oh Canada. I'm right down at the bottom on this one. It hung out for a while because I needed to work on the personalization. But I will eventually finish this. 

    And shout out to anyone (Hint, Rachel) who might still be working secretly on their list. 

    Funnily I thought another piece was on this list, but nope. Did I do it again in 2012? I'm afraid to go look...

Monday, February 18, 2019

Crazy January Challenge

Who remembers the CJC of 2011? The challenge was to begin a new project on each of the first 15 days of January and finish the projects in 2011.

Well, I failed to complete all 15. But I did have some success. And I picked my projects well because I just finished #10 and #11 is nearly done. In fact  I will finish 14 of them. Eventually. No rushing me. 
Here's Necessities by Little House from 2007. Some of the floss I used is older than my son and he just turned 30.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Another January Finish

In which I finish something and run around begging people to touch it! 

 I started this Halloween ornament last year at Camp Wannastitch. But I had a mistake that a friend saw. Then I couldn't unsee it.

Last fall, I corrected my mistake. It's all seed beads. This is an experiment before I decide if I want to bead a larger canvas.
 Here, you can see I started adding two stitched rows for the finisher 
It came back to Camp with me this year and because I was sitting with someone who's brilliant, I finished it. I had been trying to couch those beads on the ornament top but being seed beads, things were a bit irregular. My friend suggested something and boom! Light bulb went off in my head.

I wish the shine photographed better. And it feels so good, too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February Freebie

I was just doodling around with my graphing software. And created this. Not that I'm stitching it by Thursday or anything. In fact, I'll be posting some finishes soon and one or more of them will be surprising. 

But meanwhile
Copyright 2019

Friday, February 08, 2019

Threads of Life

I'm listening to the Book of the Week - Threads of Life:  A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle

Absolutely enchanting and touching.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

New Year, No New Starts

Last year I designed a small band sampler for my EGA Chapter as we were celebrating our 35th anniversary. We have a great tradition of anniversary projects. My only limitations were to incorporate the colors of coral and jade. Which sort of explains the untraditional sampler colors occurring here. I've had this kitted since July and finally really started making progress in December. It's only 77 stitches wide. Feels great to be working with floss on Glenshee linen again. 

Monday, January 07, 2019

First Finish of 2019

One Kelly Clark Halloween design done. I love Halloween and autumnal color palettes.

Now. What's next.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019


I love 13ct canvas when I'm traveling. This piece is a Kelly Clark canvas I kitted to take on a trip last year  But I never took a stitch. 

 I grabbed it to bring to Oklahoma for our holiday visit with our son's family. I mostly worked on a linen project, but finally succumbed to the fun that is hand painted canvas. I love my granddaughter who is very encouraging. Every time I work on it, I'll be hearing her say, "Good job, Grammie!"
I wish the shine of the Kreinik photographed better.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Happy New Year

In the past I've stated here at this time of year that I am bad at stating goals and following through. That hasn't changed a bit.

I have good intentions of posting here more frequently. We'll see.

Anyway  this pillow was a Christmas gift for my sister who lost her husband last January. She has had a crow following her around since then.

When I saw this Pippin canvas I knew I had to stitch it for her.

Just basketweave with Planet Earth silk. Simple, yet elegant.