Author Archives: dmbstitch

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!

New Glory Day 3

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Today is the last day of seminar. I will definitely miss my morning walks around the Woodly Park/Adams Morgan section of DC,.  Unlike at home where I only have 2 directions to walk, i had so many options around the seminar hotel that I was able to walk in a different direction each day.  This is one of the big differences between urban versus rural living about which I have mixed feelings.  While today was much warmer and definitely more humid, I still enjoyed the morning walk and know i need to continue it at home!

Today was day 3 of New Glory.  Since today’s stitches were the least complicated, we were able to cover the remaining 8 sections so we had touched on all the sections. If we wanted to put in the star in the top white box, we had to basketweave the 24 x 24 section last night after the banquet.  I managed to get about half done in an hour and a half since i was laying the stranded silk. Since i did have half done, i decided i could put in the gold overlay star on that half to get an idea of how it would look even though you don’t get the full idea of the star.  Here’s my progress at the end of today.  I have quite a bit to do so hopefully I’ll get back to this before too long as I really love the piece.

The camaraderie in this class was wonderful. I met many stitchers that i hope to reconnect with at future seminars.  While we all had some trouble at various times, we were all at the appropriate stitching level for this class and willingly helped each other when we couldn’t figure out something.

Since the exhibit was closing at noon today, i took a bit longer break this morning to go through it and to check out next year’s seminar offerings.  There are quite a few im very interested in taking. I did think there were less items in the exhibit so i think NJNA members need to think about submitting finished pieces for the exhibit. Perhaps we could arrange a bulk mailing next year.  I did see at least 2 possibilities for our 2019 SOTM.

After class, it was time to pack my belongings, say goodbye, and take the metro to Union Station for the train ride home.  I allowed plenty of time to figure out the metro (very easy), get a salad for dinner on the train (delicious), explore Union Station a bit (very fun), and find my train (again very easy).

I enjoyed my time at seminar even though it was very busy. I learned a lot and hope to finish both pieces in a reasonable amount of time. For now, I have several other projects with deadlines that take precedence!

#NewGlory #ToniGerdes #ANGseminar

New Glory Day Two

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I was fortunate once again to start my day with a walk around the area before class.  The weather is getting more humid but it was still quite nice out this morning.

Today we started working on an additional 6 sections.  Each section has multiple steps so we attempted to get at least 2 of the steps done in these sections to begin to see the patterns.  Keeping the FyreWerks and NeonRays+ straight on both front and back was tough but necessary when working with ribbon threads.

Toni is very good about providing details of exactly where to place stitches and in what order when necessary.  She also provides options when the order is not critical.  There seems to be enough details to be able to complete these sections once class is over. Toni suggested we try to complete the white basketweave section in the top row tonight so we can work on an overlay stitch tomorrow. I think her estimate of an hour and a half to complete it is about half of what I need since I’m such a slow stitcher.

Here’s my progress at the end of day 2 before the closing banquet.

 

#ToniGerdes #NewGlory #ANGseminar

New Glory Day 1 (Day 3 of Seminar)

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Saturday was another beautiful morning for a walk before class, especially since I knew it would be a busy day.  We have been very fortunate with the weather here even though most of the day is inside the hotel. Hence it is so nice to get out and explore when I have the chance.

Saturday was the start of my second class at seminar – New Glory with Toni Gerdes.  Yes, I ended up with two patriotic classes -there was no particular reason; I just liked both pieces!  Toni handed out the canvases with the lines drawn for all the borders and sections. We started the morning painting the borders with blue Copic markers so the white doesn’t show through as much. We then played with various fabric samples to place in the 3 fabric sections.  There was lots of discussion and camraderie as we discussed each other’s selections and sought other’s opinions.  We then applied wool felt to those sections and then applied the fabric using fusible web.  The challenge was making them fit exactly, overlapping the borders part way but not too much!  Toni then taught us how to use the border thread to tie down the fabric so it doesn’t fray and puffs up a bit from the felt but keeping the stitching lines straight even though we’re going through the fabric so you can’t see the holes!  It’s very slow going!

We then worked a few more sections, including doing a burden stitch usng a new thread Stardust as the base and couching it with Accentuate.  Here is my progress at the end of the first day.

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I had bid at the silent auction on a cute witch canvas and won it for $10.  I could have done a lot more damage but only had 5 minutes to swing through and bid!  Think of how much fun this canvas will be once I get to it!

Saturday evening was Expo! and Sue C and I had volunteered to help Trish Vine.  What an experience from the other side of the table!  At least I didn’t mind the crowds as I wasn’t trying to fight through them to shop.  I can only hope I recorded everything correctly for Trish.

A bit exhausted after packing up what was left of Trish’s inventory, we headed down to the bar for a glass of wine and some apps.  There we were treated to a fascinating fashion show of people attending the Black Community Supports Breast Cancer Research Pink and White Ball.  It was great fun to watch people coming in elegantly dressed in pink and white, especially the men.  There was a man with pink and white spats and another with shoes that sparkled with LO and VE.  While there were a few questionable outfits, most were stunning.  It was a great end to a long day.

#NewGlory #ToniGerdes #ANGseminar

Liberty Day 2 – Seminar 2018

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I once again started the day with a short walk.  The weather is beautiful and his is a great area to walk around.

Then it was time to start again on Liberty.  We continued through the various sections and made a lot of progress despite more frogging!  At the end of the day, Dawn described how we would add the swirls and the fire works at the top of the “cake”.  Hopefully I listened well enough to do it once I get home and have time to finish is piece.  As you can see, I made a lot of progress.  This was a very enjoyable class with a fun project that I look to finish.

Then it was off to a quick run through the auction where I bid on a halloween piece, a Cyberpointers meeting, a Cyberpointers Board meeing, and then to the tail end of Teacher’s Showcase.  Sue C, Rosie, and I went down the street for a wonderful dinner where we met a delightful local couple and their 7-month old daughter.  We talked them into checking out the exhibit so hopefully they will.

Tomorrow starts a new class!

Liberty – Seminar 2018

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After an easy train ride from Trenton to Union Station followed by a Lyft ride to the hotel, I arrived at ANG Seminar 2018 in Washington, DC.  After checking into the hotel and seminar, I walked up Connecticut Avenue to the National Zoo since it was such a beuatiful day. I was somewhat familiar with the area since my son had lived in this neighborhood for a year so it was fun to explore it again.  The Zoo had been a favorite stop for us, especially the elephants!

After dinner at the hotel and bisiting with several NJNA members, it was nice to settle into my room to get ready for today’s class.  I started the day with a morning walk as I knew I’d be sitting inside all day.

Liberty by Dawn Donnelly is a really fun project.  While it is not a challenging piece, I ended up ripping out quite a bit today of 3 of the 4 sections we did.  You can see where I ripped out what I’d done in the 2nd tier and didn’t get a chance yet to redo!  This is a very fast stitch so hopefully I will finish it sooner rather than later!  Dawn is a wonderful, fun teacher with a relaxed teaching style.  The room is very bright for stitching although a bit chilly so I’m glad to have my fleece.  Here’s my progress at the end of class today.

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Tonight was the opening banquet and it was great to at least quickly catch up with various stitching friends. The welcome gift is a Trish Vine project bag – well worth the cost of the dinner!

Summer Salad Supper Recipes on website

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What a wonderful appetizer, salad, dessert supper we had at last week’s NJNA meeting.  There were an amazing number of wonderful dishes and I certainly did not go away hungry!

I have added 3 of the recipes to the Members Only portion of the NJNA website (njneedleartists.org) – Dee’s Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones, Mally’s Orzo Salad, and Diane’s Warm Crab Dip.  Members can and should check out all the  great recipes on the site.   Please contact Heidi if you have forgotten the password for the Members Only section!

 

SOTM – July 2018 – My Progress

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As we decided to come up to the lake this weekend, i was able to get this month’s SOTM directions from Linda to work on remotely at the same time as our regular SOTM.  Since we had rain off and on Saturday, i was able to do the stitching in between outside chores and the rain. I was amazed how quickly it went and that i was able to finish all the sections on Saturday. I love being able to complete the work on this project within a few days, see the progress, put it away for the month, and work on all my other projects!

While starting on the herringbone, i really missed being with the group to figure out what went where! In addition to the camraderie and discussions, getting each other’s thoughts and ideas on the same project is the real benefit of our SOTM group.

Working with the original colorway, i changed the overdye and threads to pick up more yellow/gold and merlot/burgundy instead of the teal and purple pop colors, while keeping the original autumn colors as the base.  I kept all the main threads the same and continued with the black canvas and changed the pop color threads but kept the same type of thread. It is interesting to compare it to those doing the original colorway since it is so similar yet different.  Here’s my progress through yesterday.

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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.

Autumn Kaleidoscope

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I finished Stars so that I could start on Autumn Kaleidoscope! I knew John and I were heading to the lake for a few days of skiing and relaxing, so I wanted to be able to start stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope this weekend. Since I didn't like the purple and blue highlights in the original but liked the base colors, I changed the overdye to use 2 colors from ArtFabrik – Fall Maple and Pumpkin Patch. They have similar colors but each was missing at least one color I wanted but combined, they were exactly what I wanted. I'm alternating which color I use as I stitch the inner border and it seems to be working. For my “pop” colors, I changed the purple to cranberry and the blue to yellow/gold.

When I went to start stitching, I realized I did not have any of my #8 Pearl Cotton so I was extremely disappointed thinking maybe I couldn't start after all. Then I realized I could baste the outline so I would have the proper counts to do the inner borders. No problem, right?! What I didn't realize as I started the inner border was that I had basted the outer part of the outer border Smyrnas. I thought I'd checked my counts of Star stitches but apparently mis-counted on the first diagonal row. I was going to start in the Chilly Hollows in section 1, but my counts weren't t working. Aha! Fortunately, I mostly counted from the top border and I'd only stitched the top quadrant so I only had a few stitches on the left border and one vertical row of Star stitches to take out.

So here I am at this point. January sections done! Lots of Smyrnas and Star stitches to go! I'm really enjoying the piece – other than the borders, it seems to be a quick workup. Another great choice for our SOTM!

Diane's with January sections