Author Archives: jawilliams4

Touring Biltmore House

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Today Carol and I went on a tour of the Biltmore Estate, the Vanderbilt home in Asheville that has been open to the public since the 1930s. The day included a self-guided audio tour of the interior of the house (think Downton Abbey), a little stroll through some of the gardens, a buffet lunch at a restaurant in a building that used to be the cowsheds, and then a visit to the Biltmore Winery for some wine-tasting and, of course, some wine purchases.


The views from the house are spectacular, across acres of forest to the Blue Ridge. We were told how Mr. Vanderbilt had a large scaffold constructed in the precise spot where the house would be to determine if the views were going to be captured as he wanted…I think he succeeded!


My favorite part of the tour (aside from the view) was the basement–the kitchens and pantries, laundry rooms and so forth, where the work of keeping the house running was done. It was easy to imagine all the servants bustling around keeping things on an even keel, enabling the Vanderbilts and their guests to live the life of ease that they did. 

SOTM 5/13

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We didn’t manage to take photos of all our pieces yesterday for a variety of reasons, so here is my “My Way.” I’ve finished four of the six squares — but don’t think I’m a speed demon, I had all the borders done as well as two of the squares before NJNA started this SOTM. (It was offered through CyberPointers a couple of years ago, and I started it then.) I’ve also bought threads to do “Stars,” so I need to get “My Way” done so I can catch up to the Stars stitchers!

Here are photos of the square I just finished along with the whole piece in its current state.

Square B small

 

four done small

Jill’s Way (The Monster Walnetto)

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The SOTM group met yesterday, but we didn’t manage to take a progress photo at the end of the day. Partly because almost everybody was just starting, and there wasn’t a whole lot to photograph.

I actually started “My Way” two years ago with CyberPointers, so I had a head start. Here’s what my piece looked like before yesterday.

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And here is that unfinished square after an afternoon and evening of stitching.

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Not entirely successful — at least not that final very dark brown walnetto stitch. It almost completely hides the very beautiful smaller gold walnetto that you can barely see peaking out — and looks like some kind of sea creature that might suck you in. So I suspect it is coming out, to be replaced by something else, still to be determined.

Alternative SOTM

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Although I am missing the actual get-together today for this month’s SOTM, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on the piece.

I was somewhat surprised when I saw the instructions — “daisies” seem pretty far afield from the all the other very geometric stitches. And I have to say, I’m not sure that I like them. And I admit to finding them pretty boring to stitch. But I’ve finished two sides, and here they are:

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And a close-up:

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And in case you’re wondering where I am, it’s here:

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Beets!

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The first day of Beets taught by Jennifer Riefenberg was very successful…look how much I accomplished! (I’m hoping my photo shows up here, I’m using a different app to post and am not 100% certain what is happening.)

The red-violet color of the beets (they get beads added at the end) is luscious compared with the other threads, many of which are greens and shades of violet-gray. Jennifer talked about how she thought about the colors in all three root vegetable pieces (Carrots, Radishes, and Beets) as she was designing them, at the same time. It always interests me when teachers talk about the process of designing–especially since everybody seems to do it differently!

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