March turned out to be a very busy month but I wanted to visit the 59th Needlework show at Woodlawn since I had missed it last year. I made plans to do a day trip on Friday March 25th as it was the only day I could make it. Fortunately, it turned out to be a beautiful day and I had no problem getting there in time for my early afternoon timeslot. There were very few visitors which made it nice to browse but sad that all that work was not being seen and experienced. There were about 200 submitted pieces and another 100 in special exhibits. It is so inspiring to see all the different pieces, to notice multiple pieces of the same design, and to search out the NJNA pieces. I had an amazing time checking out all the pieces, seeing what I liked and didn’t like, and enjoying the display. I even met a 99-year old woman who was there with her 2 daughters – what fun to talk with her. I did not take any pictures to share; rather, I just spent the time exploring and examining. Nelly’s Needlers do an amazing job of displaying the needlework and organizing it for fun viewing.
I had planned to stop at In Stitches in Alexandria before going to Woodlawn but a minor car problem along the way delayed me so that I did not have time to go beforehand. I didn’t realize until I got there just after 3pm that they close at 3pm. While I was sitting in my car downloading a new audio book for the ride home, the owner Ellen came out to ask what I needed. I was honest and said I didn’t “need” anything but had been hoping to shop! Even though she had closed for the day, she invited me in to shop as she was busy doing some paperwork. How kind and helpful she was allowing me to browse and purchase what I had hoped to buy.
All around, it was a very successful day! I am so glad I made the time to visit both the exhibit and the shop even though it was a quick trip.
Despite a late start, rethinking of my colorway and threads, and taking over as babysitter/preschool teacher for the past 2 weeks, I have finally caught up on the 2020 SOTM. I’m using stash and the same overdye in both colorways since it has both blue and burgundy. I was surprised I was able to find everything I needed in my stash.
Diane’s thru April
I’ve been able to stitch a little during “quiet time” and was very happy when my grandson wanted to sew with me. He made presents for his mom and his dad and has started one for himself. Fortunately I had cleaned up enough to locate some plastic canvas and a large needle!
Stay healthy and keep stitching.
On Monday, the last day of Seminar, I took Cynthia Thomas’ Thread and Stitch Manipulation class. The main purpose of this class was to look at basic stitches we all know and see how you can manipulate it. For each stitch, we were to look at changing/adding one element at a time – color, orientation (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, oblique), spacing, size, etc. to see what effect we could have. While a relatively simple concept you would think, this was difficult for me to see on paper. I was able to create some potentially interesting stitches that I can play with. It was fun to look at what others were creating.
While I expected this to be just a notebook class, she did include canvas and threads for 2 ornaments – either Christmas or Halloween – and I chose Halloween. However, I decided to play with trying to modify stitches rather than actually stitching one of the ornaments, especially since all the stitches I was coming up with did not work with the threads in my kit. What a challenge it was thinking not only of the effect you want but what threads you need to create that effect as you design the stitches for a particular area.
I am very glad I took this class even though it meant 5 days of classes. It is triggering me to look at stitches differently and think about how I can really make a piece my own.
Overall, I had a great experience at this seminar, even though 5 days of classes in 5 days is very tiring In addition to the other seminar activities. I thought the hotel had great amenities and was well situated to find restaurants and a grocery store and talk walks in the evening. I loved the lazy river and hot tub and tried to enjoy them each day after class to work out the sore muscles from sitting in class stitching.
After leaving Seminar on Monday, I caught a bus to Austin to spend a day with my newest grandson before heading home. A win-win week for me!
As many of you know, I struggle with picking colors and understanding color value. Thus, I was eager to take Jennifer Riefenberg’s More Color Play. We did a lot of stitching today – mostly Scotch Frame – all with the same thread, while Jennifer explained how the background and thread colors appear to vary as they interact with each other. Add in a Woven Stitch in the middle of some of the Scotches in a different thread with a different color value and you get even more differences. I chose the warm (blue) colorway and it was interesting to compare the same canvas with those doing the cool (pink/red) colorway. The biggest stitching challenge was all the compensation as the kites are on different oblique angles. I am enjoying the simplicity of the stitching along with getting a better understanding of color and its interactions on a canvas. Here’s my Day 1 progress.
After a fun Fiesta banquet last night, i had day 2 of Toni Gerdes’ Abyss. Toni is an excellent teacher explaining each section, allocating time to practice the stitches in that section, letting the class know when there was about 5 minutes left on a section to allow time to finish a thread, double checking that everyone was in the correct place, answering questions,etc. i was impressed with how much progress I made on the piece even though when i look ati the photo, it doesn’t look like much. We focused on the right side today. The crescents were interesting shifting the focus of what was the inside as i moved from the left to right crescents. Toni spent a lot of time explaining howto do Bargello to get maximum thread pull and coverage. I think i may finally get it! At the end of the day we went over the background but i decided to wait until i could see where it really goes.
I enjoyed this class and love the piece. It is great to see how designers put stitches together and use colors and threads to create an effect as well as how different stitches can go together. While i have a bunch of other projects in progress, I’m hoping to get this one high on my list to finish!
After class, i worked at the Exhibit. There are some impressive pieces even though there seems to be fewer entries.
Tomorrow i start More Color Play.
Today was the first day of classes at the Houston ANG Seminar. I flew in yesterday along with Jill W and Robin M. The Marriott Marquis is a fabulous hotel and i hope to find time to enjoy all it has to offer along with all the Seminar activities.
My first class is Abyss with Toni Gerdes. This piece is a companion to her Fire and Ice and i think this piece is the better of the two. We began with the center front (short teal column which is actually done!) and worked towards the back left. We ended the day with the right center column. The rationale for working front to back is to establish the boundaries for the front columns before working those behind. You really can’t see how the columns overlap yet nor how the are like columns of ice. The stitches in each column are very interesting and the thread combinations wonderful. The challenge for me is not only working on Congress Cloth but doing the multi-layer stitches with very similar colors. Still, I love the piece and look forward to working the rest of the columns.
I was amazed how much work we got done today:
How many times do we start stitching with a needle, put it on a needle magnet, and then wonder what size it is. Generally, I can tell a size 20 versus a size 22 especially when they are side-by-side, but not always. And, yes, it is important to stitch with the correct size needle to help the thread through the canvas.
Here’s a great reference chart, courtesy of John James.
I was in Delaware last week with two of my children, two grandchildren, and my son-in-law’s sister and hr family. We stayed 2 blocks from the beach just north of Dewey Beach and a little south of Rehoboth. Needless to say, i got very little stitching done but lots of babysitting and playtime with the grandkids.
On Friday, i finally got a chance to take a long bike ride and explore south to Bethany Beach, which has a lovely shopping area and boardwalk. While looking on Google Maps for the needlepoint shop in Rehoboth, I had noticed a needlework shop in Bethany kept coming up as well. Sea Needles is about a mile in from the beach in a small strip mall on the main east/west road out of Bethany Beach. The GPS, which I was following blindly, took me right by the shop and around the back of the building! The shop was a wonderful surprise. They’ve been there 30 years and have lots of knitting, cross stitch, and needlepoint as well as framing. For needlepoint, they had lots of great painted canvases, blank canvas, tons of Paternayan, some Rainbow Gallery threads, DMC pearl cotton in at least size 3 and 5, DMC floss, Silk and Ivory, and Stardust. The threads seemed more geared towards 13-mesh canvases than 18-mesh, which was fine for me as I needed some threads specifically for a 13-mesh canvas. Their prices seemed very reasonable. I couldn’t get a good picture inside that would do it justice. The store is very full but I didn’t feel like it was cluttered – I could easily browse and find what I wanted. The ladies in the shop were very nice even though they were very busy so I only got to talk to them at checkout. They took a lot of time with each customer so don’t expect to dash in and out! Here’s a picture of the outside of the shop with a big sign that you can’t miss if you are paying attention!
Due to lots of babysitting duty, i did not get a chance to check out Stitch-Stash in Rehoboth until we were leaving on Saturday. It took me an extra 20 minutes to find it as the GPS directions when you put in the store name do nt take you to the store address. It is clearly stated on their website to put in the street address but I hadn’t paid attention to that detail. The nice part is they have free 30 minute parking right in front of the store. The store has been open just a year and the owner is very nice – she let me browse but also let me know she was available if i needed anything. The store is very bright with lots of nooks and crannies so it is fun to explore. She has lots of threads mostly for 18-count canvases. There were 2 trunk shows when i was there. I did find a cute Christmas sled canvas and some threads I wanted, although i could have bought a whole lot more as there were some wonderful canvases.
Definitely check out both stores if you are in the Rehoboth/Dewey/Bethany area.
I decided I have too many projects in progress and needed to catch up with this year’s SOTM. I had been way behind since i needed to finish Autumn Kaleidoscope from last year and wasn’t going to start this year’s until I finished last year’s. I was Only a few months behind for our July session and decided to work a few of the June pinwheels and then start the July Amadeuses. I thought I needed more grey around the pinwheels and stars but did not like the way the grey Amadeus looked. I then realized I was off in my pinwheel counts so i got to do a bit of frogging! At that point, I decided to stitch each of the months in order and catch up.
Meanwhile i was doing some cleaning up while looking for a particular thread for another project (no I didn’t find it!) and found a red/white/blue overdyed floss in my stash. I decided to try it for the Amadeus and was amazed at how it pulled the colors together as well as how the overdye flowed with the Amadeus. So now I’m ready for our August session, once i download and print the instructions!
My progress to date: