Herringbone Happening Tip

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For those of you doing the Herringbone Happening piece, I thought you might be interested in what I came up with to make stitching a little easier.

The issue I had was figuring out where to END the bands…trying to follow the master diagram just wasn’t cutting it for me. Left to my own devices I would probably have stitched the corner squares before the bands, giving myself a clear sign about where to stop stitching the bands…but since I couldn’t do that, I basted a diagonal line from the corner of the large square in the upper left, down to the lower right. You can see the basting stitches. in the photo.

After pulling out two or three bands because I got the length/placement wrong, I was annoyed with myself for not thinking of the basting at the beginning!

herringbone-basting

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January 2019 SOTM Complete!

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Hi Everyone —

The NJNA SOTM group is doing the ANG SOTM which is a Mystery!  I chose my own colors and just finished stitching the first installment.  It is great fun to do these fancy stitches — even if it took me three aborted attempts to get the correct thread length on the crescents.

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I also want to say that using two strands of floss on the circular Amadeus was a true challenge to my thread-laying ability!  But only one aborted attempt on the thread length, but three re-stitches because of missed holes!

Can’t wait to see what February brings!

Cheers, Rosie

Christmas in SC

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I arrived to spend Christmas with Carol on Thursday, and by Saturday we were ready to shop. We set out early, met up with another of Carol’s stitching buddies, and drove to Atlanta.

The first shop we visited was the new Labors of Love. Carol and I have decided to stitch “Patchwork of Peace,” the American-flag-in-little-boxes piece that I think Margaret and Sylvia have already stitched, so we had a LOT of threads to search out! We decided to focus on the blue threads to start. Mark and Charlesy helped us pull the threads, and especially in my case, to find substitutions…because of course I decided to be different and stitch on Congress Cloth and not 18-count canvas. Imagine, we found ALMOST all the threads in one shop! And they special-ordered several that they didn’t have.

For anyone visiting Atlanta, we highly recommend that you visit Labors of Love! The shop is spacious and airy and the walls are lined with full ranges of many threads not always found in smaller shops. You want Dinky Dyes? How about those Threadworx overdyed Kreinik braids we had trouble finding for Autumn Kaleidoscope? They had them both…Burmilana? Bella Lusso? Yes and yes again. And Mark and Charlesy were knowledgeable about all the threads and very helpful. They even recommended someplace for lunch…but when we got there we couldn’t find parking so we headed over to the second shop on our list…

Nimble Needle is a smaller shop, but also carries a large thread inventory and walls full of painted canvases. We found a couple of the thread colors we hadn’t found at the first shop and I succumbed to an ornament canvas from the trunk show currently on offer. But frankly I was a little shopped out and didn’t spend as much time absorbing the surroundings as I might have otherwise. But this would also be a great destination for you if you visit Atlanta!

We ended up having lunch at an unassuming-looking barbecue place just a few shops down from Nimble Needle, and it was wonderful.

Both shops have off-street parking, always nice in urban settings.

SOTM – December

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I know I’m very late in getting this posted, but it’s a busy time of year!

The December SOTM gathering is especially fun as we not only stitch but also enjoy a pot-luck lunch. This year was no exception as we worked our way through a reuben casserole, several different salads, deviled eggs, and delicious desserts. The food was fabulous and the friendships are priceless!

Many of us are finishing with Autumn Kaleidoscope (designed by Lorene Salt), which was the SOTM this year.  By the time you see this, a few will have completely finished.  Those of our group who chose their own colorways were deciding on bead colors and will be making a trip or two to find the perfect beads!  And I apologize – but something seems to have gone wrong with my photos of this month’s progress.  So, no photos this month.  But we’ll try to get them back in January for a full display!  In the meantime, check out the NJNA December Meeting Summary for some of the completed pieces.

The SOTM project for 2019 will be the ANG Mystery Project.  We are looking forward to seeing this project develop!

Until January – happy holidays, happy New Year, and happy stitching!

 

 

Sandy Jenkins Needlepoint in Fredericksburg, TX

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I am on a bike trip through the Texas hill country west of Austin. I didn’t quite look at the weather forecast before we left (or perhaps I looked but decided to not believe the forecast!) so was not prepared for the extreme cold snap here. Sunday’s biking was a bit rainy but doable; Monday morning was not too bad it by afternoon, the winds had picked up and the temperatures fell so the biking was cut short quite a bit. The tour leaders decided this morning was way too cold and windy to be safe for biking so we headed into Fredericksbug. I quickly checked out if there were any Needlepoint shops in town. There is a fabulous museum to the War of the Pacific and a cute downtown. And of course, I found the Needlepoint shop!

Designer Sandy Jenkins (www.sandyjenkins.com) has a wonderful shop with all her own designs. I had to admit I was not familiar with her work. Since she gave up teaching and traveling to market, she does her own painting as well as designing. She welcomed me immediately even though she was working with a client pulling threads. When I responded that I was a stitcher, she encouraged me to look around at the designs and finished samples and reminded me not to touch samples (standard practice as we all know) and not to take pictures due to copyright issues since these are all her own designs.

Since I decided to limit myself to just one canvas, I had a tough time deciding! There was a lot of variety of style and themes. I chose a fun Thanksgiving Sampler, which she offered to kit for me. Since I was limited on time, I decided to not kit it for now. I did listen in as she was helping the other client pick threads and was impressed with how she worked with the client. While her thread selection is not vast, it was varied and I would have had no problem finding any threads I wanted or needed.

Sandy Jenkins’ shop in Fredericksburg, TX

While I couldn’t take photos inside, she did allow me to take an outside shot. She does host stitching retreats, so we may need to think about a road trip!

SOTM – November 2018

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Twelve of the SOTM group met today to stitch and share conversation. It was a bright autumnal day and our stitching area was well lit. We even had a surprise visitor – Tina was able to join us to stitch today as she has been visiting from Wisconsin! It was great to catch up with her.

Here is our progress as of this month. All of the projects look fabulous!

November - Barbara

Barbara’s Stars for the New Millennium

Autumn Kaleidoscope progress.

November - Ellen

Ellen

November - Jill

Jill

November - Joan

Joan

November - Linda

Linda

November - Nancy

Nancy

November - Noelle

Noelle

November - Rosie

Rosie

November - Sue C

Sue C

November - Sylvia

Sylvia

November - Tina

Tina

And, no, you didn’t count wrong – Margaret is being shy about her progress on Stars but we’ll get a picture soon.

Next month those of us stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope will be working on the outside border and the beading. And, we’ll all be deciding on our project for next year!

Happy Stitching!

 

Winterthur Conference – Day 2

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I am back in New Jersey to write this as I was just too tired on Saturday night. And yesterday Mr. M and I got to drive to Long Island so that we could have dinner with my father and sister to celebrate their birthdays (95 for him, 61 for her). Can someone explain to me how it take 2-1/4 hours to drive 125 miles from Winterthur, DE (even with some construction detours) and almost 3 hours to drive the 65 miles to Jericho, NY?  Gotta love the NY/NJ Metro area!

Saturday morning I got to pack up and head over to Winterthur for a free morning just wandering around the grounds and the Galleries. I was not sure of my timing so I didn’t wander too far, but I did get to see a few of the follies on the property (a folly being a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose). Maybe if I win the lottery I can build my own folly!

Autumn Garden

The Galleries provide an up-close and personal look at objects in the museum’s collection, and the pieces are changed periodically.  There are several galleries but I stayed focused on the Textiles and Needlework.  (You can access the collections online.)

There was a special exhibit entitled Dining by Design: Nature Displayed on the Dinner Table which included some very elaborate table pieces.

And, of course, there was the exhibit for the conference Embroidery: The Thread of History.

One of the most impressive pieces in the exhibit is an embroidered casket and toys created by Janet Carija Brandt from Indianapolis. It is part of a group of work she created imagining the adult lives of traditional fairy tale characters. The piece on exhibit shows the life of Little Red Riding Hood. My pictures do not do this piece justice so please click on the link here; it is amazing!  Be sure to explore her site to see the toys that go with the casket as well as all of her amazing work.

Of course the afternoon was spent in more fascinating lectures. Did you know that the National Archives and Records Administration in DC found six embroidered samplers in the tens of thousands of documents housed in the Archives? In Embroidered Evidence: Family Record Samplers in the Revolutionary War Pension Files of the National Archives, Washington, DC, Kathleen Staples described how these samplers were used as legal proof in determining the eligibility of claimants for Revolutionary War pensions!

In Embroidered Narratives: Storytelling Through the Eye of the Needle, Susan Boardman, an artist from Nantucket, described how she was inspired to create 8-inch by 9-inch textile narratives of women who lived on the island during the ninetheenth century. Her creations use dye painting, hand embroidery, handmade needle lace, appliqué, beadwork, gold leaf, carving and quilting.

In Collecting for Love or Money: A Discussion of Needlework Donations to The Met and the Art Institute of Chicago, Melinda Watt, Chair and Christa C. Mayer Thurman Curator of Textiles, Art Institute of Chicago, described the individuals who amassed diverse collections of European embroideries.

Our final speaker was Dr. Susan Kay-Williams, Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court Palace, UK, who spoke on Fine and Beautiful: Historic Commissions from the RSN Studio. Dr. Kay-Williams was fascinating as she described some of the history of the RSN; it moved seven times in the 146 years since it was first established, settling in its current location in 1987. RSN tutors work in teams on a project and the training is such that no matter how many people are on the team the final piece looks as if it was completed by one person. One incredible project that they worked on was The Overlord Embroidery which tells the story of the D-Day Invasion and the Battle of Normandy in 34 embroidered panels, a total length of 83 meters (about 272 feet).

This conference was truly amazing and I’m so glad I was able to attend. The next conference will be in 2020 (date TBD) and will focus on the work of Erica Wilson, so it promises to be another exciting event.

For fans of The Crown, Winterthur will be mounting an exhibit in March 2019 entitled Dressing the Crown which will feature the fashions from the series.

Finally, for those of you who are readers of history, Dr. Joan DeJean, who I mentioned in my previous post, has written a book entitled The Queen’s Embroiderer: A True Story of Paris, Lovers, Swindlers, and the First Stock Market Crisis. I have my copy already and am looking forward to reading it.