June 2018 SOTM

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Hi Everyone —

We all had a great time figuring out the new installment of Lorene Salt’s “Kaleidoscope” yesterday in Mendham.  What a wonderful array of colors, both Lorene’s originals and our own creations!  Even more exciting, one of our distant members, Tina, checked in with her status and showing off her colors!

As special eye candy, I’ve decided to post individual pictures of our current progress so that you can see just how beautiful this piece is turning out in a myriad of colorways!

 

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Tina’s Red Colorway

 

Linda

Linda M’s version of Lorene’s Autumn Colorway

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Rosie’s Raspberry Colorway

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Sylvia’s Lilac colorway

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Jill’s Aqua colorway

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Sue R’s Earth and Sky Colorway

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Mally’s version of Lorene’s Autumn Colorway

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Janice’s Own Cherries and Chocolate Colorway

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Ellen S’s Own Pastel Colorway

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Joan’s version of Lorene’s Turquoise Colorway

In addition, we had two stitchers who are continuing work on the 2017 SOTM “Stars of the New Millennium” by Tony Minieri.

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Barbara L’s Stars

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Margaret’s Stars

So — as usual, a good time was had by all!

Cheers!

Rosie

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Needlework Exhibit

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This past weekend Mr. M and I made one of our trips out to Pittsburgh to visit with Nora.  She is staying there this summer as she is working as a TA for an Organic Chemistry class as well as continuing her job at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center as a research assistant. Since she won’t be able to travel back to New Jersey until August, we celebrated Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and our wedding anniversary (39 years) at one time.

We had a great time visiting and even got to attend the Three Rivers Arts Festival on Saturday.  Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Dollar Bank, this is a 10-day music and arts festival in downtown Pittsburgh with free music, theater, dance, public art installations, gallery exhibitions, a visual artist market, creative activities, and food. There are well over 200 exhibitors over the course of the 10 days – many local artists/artisans but many from as far away as California. The Festival takes place every year starting on the first Friday in June.

While there we came across one vendor, Silk Handmade Embroidery Arts out of Depew, NY, selling silk embroidered art that was absolutely amazing. You may have seen them at the Morristown Craft Fair. We did purchase one piece for Nora’s apartment.

Needlework

Irises and Butterflies

On our drive back on Sunday we stopped at the Fort Hunter Museum & Mansion in Harrisburg to visit the Needle Art Exhibit presented by the Apple Needlepoint Chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, and the Molly Pitcher StitchersSusquehanna, Nittany ValleyYork White Rose and Lancaster Red Rose chapters of the Embroiderers Guild of America. There were more than 50 pieces of needlework, including painted and counted canvas, pulled/drawn thread, Japanese embroidery, Rozashi, counted cross stitch, and hardanger. The pieces were placed in several rooms throughout the mansion, which itself was a treat. I was not able to take pictures of the pieces but there were a number that I recognized, including a few that I have either completed or are in my collection for “someday”. There were even a few pieces for sale. Congratulations to the ANG and EGA chapters for mounting this wonderful exhibit, and to their members on such spectacular stitching!

The Needle Art Exhibit runs through next Sunday (June 17). ANG and EGA members held demonstrations on Saturdays.

There are four antique samplers on view as part of the collection, and quite a bit of clothing worn by Helen Reily, one of the owners of the property (think Gilded Age). The property is quite extensive with several buildings and gardens, but the weather was not cooperative. The mansion is beautifully maintained and well-worth a visit if you are in the area.

Happy Stitching!

2018 SOTM – May

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The day was dreary but it was perfect for stitching since no one felt guilty about not being out in the garden. So 15 stitchers gathered again to work on our Stitch-of-the-Month pieces.

As always, we enjoyed swapping hints about stitching (several of us made the same counting mistake) and a lot of discussion about the colors we are using. Most of us are stitching on Lorene Salt’s Autumn Kaleidoscope but a few are finishing up Tony Minieri’s Stars for the New Millennium. What fun to see the results of our monthly stitching.

We also celebrated Mally’s and Rosie’s birthdays so we had extra dessert! Happy Birthday to both of you!

Some of our stitchers had to leave early so not everyone is in the group photo. And I found out when editing the photos that the white surface produced shadows. So I apologize for the photos; I’ll try to figure out a better way to display all the wonderful canvases.

Sue R (left) is stitching her own colorway; Janet (right) is stitching the original colorway on beige canvas but is making some adjustments on individual elements.

Nancy (top left) and Mally (top right) are both stitching the original colorway.  Joan (bottom) is stitching a blue colorway from Lorene.

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Diane (top row left) and Amy (bottom row right) started with the original colorway and then substituted colors. Sylvia (top row right), Jill (bottom row middle) and Janice, Rosie, and Sue C (middle row left to right) all are stitching their own colorways. Linda (bottom row left) is stitching the original colorway.

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Barbara and Margaret are both working on Stars for the New Millennium. Barbara is stitching in the Kaleidoscope colorway and Margaret’s is the Egyptian Nights colorway.

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Happy Stitching!

Woodlawn

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John and I took a trip  to Woodlawn last weekend to see the Needlework Exhibit and visit some of the Smithsonian museums.  We drove down Saturday afternoon and stopped outside Annapolis at a wonderful Thai restaurant, Lemon Too, for dinner.  We then went on to Arlington to our hotel.  Sunday morning we went into DC to the Smithsonian Castle, which is the original Smithsonian building.  We took the tour to learn about the origin of the Smithsonian – who knew the benefactor had never come to this country and willed his estate to create a knowledge center in Washington, DC should his nephew have no offspring.  The last of the cherry blossoms were visible on the Independence St. side of the Smithsonian castle.

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After a tour of the first floor of the castle, we spent some time at the Air & Space Museum before venturing back to Woodlawn for lunch sponsored by Nelly’s Needlers.  As usual, their lunch was delicious, including the chocolate cake, and I am always happy to give them a nice donation as the ladies work very hard to put on the lunch.

We then viewed the exhibit several times.  John was amazed that every time he walked into a room, he saw something he’d missed the times before.  As others have said, I was disappointed all the SOTM were not together.  Linda’s was displayed near another with a similar colorway (some of the colors were slightly different) and it was interesting to compare them and how the finishing changed them.  I almost missed the one Stars on exhibit, since as you can see the stitcher added an extra border.  Apparently, there was a group doing Stars that didn’t like the “non-square” design so someone told them to add another border to square it up.  It was interesting to hear John’s comments on the piece since he was familiar with mine.  I think this is another instance where the choice of colors impacts what viewers see.

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There were a lot fewer pieces this year at the exhibit.  Apparently a finisher who usually showed her clients’ pieces as part of her finishing service stopped doing so a few years back when the cost to exhibit was raised.  I was also told that many of the stores that usually bring pieces from their clients did not do so this year although it wasn’t clear why.  It is even more important that NJNA continue to support this exhibit or it will cease to exist.

I met several people who were part of the local ANG groups, including “the other Barbara L” and spent a lot of time chatting with them.  It is fun to discover camaraderie due to our common passion!  There were also 2 people demonstrating Japanese goldwork, which was very interesting; although I really don’t need more projects!  We finished day off with a wonderful seafood dinner at The Wharf in Olde Towne Alexandria.

Monday we visited the Pope-Leighy house also on the grounds at Woodlawn although it was moved there when Rt. 66 I think was put in and it had to be moved.  This is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house during his USONAian period.  We had a delightful, well-informed tour guide who spent over an hour with us.  Having viewed Wright’s house outside Chicago, it was interesting to compare this one.  I’m hoping we’ll get to Falling Water later this year for still another comparison!  Both Woodlawn and Pope-Leighy house are owned by the National Trust – very different houses located together.

We then began our journey home stopping at Fort McHenry for a short visit to another National Park.  Unfortunately since we were there Saturday evening through Monday, none of the local needlepoint shops were open.  Possibly, I’ll have time to stop when we drive down to pick up the NJNA exhibited pieces.

While the exhibit is over for this year, I encourage our NJNA members to think about exhibiting next year as well as visiting the exhibit.  It is a wonderful opportunity to see many types of needlework displayed.

Progress!

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Hi Everyone —

I just packed up “Wishful Thinking” so that I could pack my suitcase for tomorrow’s early flight home.  Sue carried hers on board, so she will finish a bit more tonight.  Here is our progress at suitcase time!

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It may not appear like we got a lot done, but each package has six to eight steps.  In addition, we took my brother’s dog for about an hour walk each day and visited with my Mom for uncountable games of Bananagrams!

Cheers!  Rosie

Wishful Thinking!

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Hi Everyone —

Despite the NJ weather last week, Sue C and I were able to get to Ontario, California in time to take Ann Strite-Kurz’s class “Wishful Thinking”.   Thankfully, we had scheduled to fly early and ended up arriving just in time!

The class is planned as a four-day class at seminar, but we were part of a three-day pilot class sponsored by SBCANG chapter of ANG.  We had a small amount of pre-work to set up the dog outline and the border, but Ann told us that we could do as much of the border as we wanted if we had time.

Ann’s design shows a stack of Christmas presents with a Scotty dog trying to reach a bone on the top of the stack!  Sue is doing the piece in this original Christmas colorway.  Another woman did her own Hanukah colorway and we saw her stitched model in class — it was lovely.  I had asked Ann for a girl’s birthday colorway, but she had trouble finding the right threads, so she did a boy’s birthday colorway for me instead.  I am stitching the sample for this colorway (which Ann plans to also offer) so I am under a self-imposed deadline to get this done!

The following picture shows our progress after the second day of class.

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It’s hard to believe, but we did the bottom four packages on the first day and the “top” two on the second day.  Ann walked us through all of the intermediary packages which did not introduce any new techniques, but we still had a number of questions.  The top red package was an interesting pattern and Ann used it to discuss how she comes up with new pattern ideas!

SBCANG workshops meet in the community room of a bank in Ontario, CA.  It is large, well-lit and Pat Correz provides an awesome set up of coffee and pastries for our breaks.  There is a wonderful “Local Baker” about three miles away in Upland, CA that is a favorite lunch place for sandwiches and salads.  Sue and I ate there on two of the three days.  The middle day we walked to an individual fast-fired make-your-own pizza place about two blocks from the venue.   Sue and I ate wherever the teacher went — that way we were never late to class!

The  following picture shows our progress at the end of the workshop on Day 3.

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We spent most of the third day on the dog and the dog’s shading.  Sadly, a number of our classmates missed the morning session while they attended a memorial service for a local chapter member.  Ann walked all of us through the rest of the design and we spent most of the afternoon stitching what we wanted while Ann walked through the dog again.  I actually learned quite a bit — while adding the “whiskers” to the dog.  Ann showed me (and a few others) how to do the stem stitch and the outline stitch which were required for the whiskers.  She also showed us a ruche technique for adding a few of the bows.

After the conclusion of the workshop, Sue and I had been invited to dinner with several of the local members at an Italian restaurant a few miles from the venue.  We had a wonderful time and I feel like I have more and more connections to this guild!  SBCANG often has a workshop teacher stay and do a chapter program on the evening of the last day of the workshop.  So, after dinner, we all went back to the community room.  After a brief business meeting, Ann provided a slide lecture with fifty (?) or more of her designs with close-ups of unusual stitch variations.

Luckily, Sue and I have a few days to continue stitching at my brother’s house before we head home.  My goal is to finish the piece, but that too is “Wishful Thinking!”

Cheers!  Rosie

A visit to the Needlework Exhibit at Woodlawn

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Today Rosie and I went to Woodlawn as we have been doing for the past few years. We now have a system of going through the house once, having lunch in Nelly’s Cafe and then a second go around of the exhibit. At lunch we talk about what we have seen and what warrants a second visit. This year during our second trip around we picked our People’s Choice vote for a silk ribbon design that had special touches of embroidered felted wool small birds and tiny 3 D butterflies that had a shadow of the butterfly stitched behind it as well as all the beautiful silk ribbon flowers! We missed those details the first time around.

As usual we found some needlepoint counted designs that we particularly liked and wanted to know the designer. My job is to fill out a question sheet to be given to the stitcher requesting the name of the designer. Rosie’s job was expanded this year as photographs of rooms were permitted–not close ups where a design could be repeated by another stitcher without purchasing the design. So to entice you to come, here are a few room photos.

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An entry from Sue R and the silk embroidery with the butterflies!

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Joan S’s two ribbon-winning pieces were displayed on the same wall.

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Diane B’s and Barbara L’s SOTM along with Sue R’s second piece.

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Two pieces by Andrea B as well as Cathryn C’s and Ellen B’s entries.

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Rosie’s two collages by Debbie Stiehler, Imari collage won a ribbon!

We did not get photos of all the entries from NJNA, hopefully there will be a later post including others.

What we always enjoy is trying to identify the designer of pieces that we see. This year we identified eighteen different designers whose work we have either stitched or are familiar with! See what spending time with NJNA members will do! This year several members, who had stitched former president of NJNA Susan Hoekstra’s Stitch of the Month design for ANG in 2016, exhibited their completed piece either framed or as a pillow. Unfortunately for those of us who find the different color ways as well as variations of the design a great study of both design effect and color relationships, these pieces were exhibited in several different rooms. Another two (that I counted) exhibitors stitched this design with a very different center. One was at eye level so that we could see the center was beaded and three dimensional. That was one of the question sheets I filled out, who had designed the center. It made for a very different piece!

I felt that in this year’s exhibit there were many more original designs than I have ever seen exhibited before! Several were by teachers but most were not (or at least I don’t believe they are designers!). This seems to me to be a good sign that needlework is expanding and more people are creating their own work.

Each year I come away inspired to stitch more and a plan of what I want to complete for exhibit next year! If you have not come, plan a day in March–not a Tuesday–to come see the beautiful pieces and be inspired! If you have not yet exhibited, consider exhibiting next year to inspire others in this great hobby!

Sue