Author Archives: lindam55

SOTM – July 2018

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It was a warm day but that didn’t stop nine of our SOTM members from gathering to continue with our projects. Eight of us worked on Autumn Kaleidoscope by Lorene Salt and Dee continued her considerable progress on A Different View from Kurdy Biggs.

This is picture-intense; we’ve decided to take individual pictures each month as it is difficult to get a good photo of all the canvases together. So, here goes.

Dee is continuing her work on A Different View, which was our SOTM a few years ago. This is one of the suggested colorways although it is up to the stitcher to choose the elements. Isn’t this just gorgeous and so rich-looking on the black canvas?

July 2018 - Dee

Several stitchers are working Autumn Kaleidoscope in the original colorway, or a slight variation thereof, while others have chosen their own colorways. Even the pieces being stitched in the same colorway look different depending on how the variegated threads are placed.

Janice is stitching her own colorway, dubbed “Cherries and Chocolate”. She started with a variegated thread from Colour Complements and then picked other threads to go with the colors in the base thread. Interestingly, her concept is based on the colors and not on the type of threads, so she makes choices in each box. This really does look like chocolate cherries!

July 2018 - Janice

Rosie is also stitching her own colorway. While she started with a concept of substituting colors one-for-one, she has improvised along the way depending on how she thinks the areas work in relation to each other. The colors are really vibrant.

July 2018 - Rosie

Marge has been traveling a lot this year so she is just starting out. As a result she’ll get the benefit of the group’s experience. Her colors feature pinks and magentas, with some “pop” colors (apologies for not taking a picture of her threads). But she is off to a good start.

July 2018 - Marge

Robin and Janet started with the original colorway for threads but changed the canvas colors (the original was stitched on black). Janet is stitching on ecru and Robin is stitching on a darker beige.

Janet changed out some of the “pop” threads and made some other adjustments in colors. It is really interesting to see how the threads look on the ecru canvas.

July 2018 - Janet

Robin went rogue and used the solid pearl cotton on the inside borders, rather than the variegated thread, as well as changing the canvas color. The result is more of a stained class look. She also changed out some of the purples and blues.

July 2018 - Robin

Mally, Nancy, and I are all stitching the original colorway on the black canvas. However, even though we are stitching the same colors, our pieces look different due to placement of variegated threads.

Here is Mally’s piece – note that herringbone stitch in the lower right quadrant. That was our “challenge” stitch this month!

July 2018 - Mally

Here is Nancy’s stitched piece.  Look at how different the center bargello section looks (and it’s not due to the quality of the photography).

July 2018 - Nancy

Finally, here is my piece. Again, it’s in the original colorway on the black canvas.

July 2018 - Linda

Please don’t think that I finished all of this month’s sections in one sitting. I finished stitching after everyone left, so I waited to take the picture until then. I lost some time during the afternoon session – I had to leave to rescue Mr. M who was in a car accident. Fortunately, he is okay although the car didn’t fare too well.

It’s hard to believe that we are more than halfway through this project. Everyone is enjoying this project immensely, and I think we are all in agreement that each month’s “assignment” is a manageable amount of stitching that doesn’t consume us, enabling us to stitch on all those other projects. We love getting together each month to chat, stitch, and enjoy each other’s company. And, we are really thrilled with being able to talk through stitches and colors and techniques with each other. Perhaps that is the most valuable part of our SOTM group.

We encourage those SOTM members who weren’t able to attend this month to share photos of their progress as well.

Happy Stitching!

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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.

May - Mally-Joan-Nancy

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.

May - Group Photo Autumn Kaleidoscope

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.

May - Stars

Happy Stitching!

2018 SOTM – March

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Despite the two nor’easters in less than a week, 10 intrepid stitchers gathered on Saturday for our Stitch-of-the-Month session. As always, it was great to get together for a few hours of stitching, chatting, laughter, and food. Several of our group are stitching Lorene Salt’s Autumn Kaleidoscope in the original colorway while even more are developing their own colorways.

We’ve found that seeing one design in different colorways is the most fascinating part of our SOTM sessions. Regardless of what colorway any of us is stitching, seeing the interplay of colors and making (or helping with) those decisions about color are truly educational. With all of us stitching together we are also able to share tips/thoughts about how best to tackle an area. It is truly a wonderful day together.

Here is our progress so far:

March - Group Photo

Clockwise from top right: Joan, Rosie, Mally, Sue R, Nancy, Sue C, Janet, Linda M

Mally, Nancy, and Linda M all chose the same original colorway on black, while Janet is stitching the original colorway on beige (and making some thread adjustments along the way). Joan is stitching the optional blue colorway on black. Sue C and Sue R are stitching their own colorways and both opted for the same overdye for the interior borders with Sue C’s on pewter canvas and Sue R’s on mushroom canvas. Rosie selected her own colorway and is heading more towards purple than the pink she thought it would be.

Amy had to leave before the group photo was taken, but we didn’t let her escape without a photo. She had planned to stitch the original colorway but then she decided to experiment and chose this variation.

March - Amy Autumn Kaleidoscope

Isn’t it fascinating how the same design looks so different depending on threads and even canvas color?

Tina is also stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope in her own colorway as a “distance stitcher” now that she has moved out of our area. We are so happy that she is able to set aside time to stitch along with us. We will post a photo soon!

Dee will be stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope once she has finished a previous SOTM project. We’re glad she decided to complete this piece as it is absolutely stunning! This is Kurdy Biggs’ A Different View in the “Black” colorway.

March - A Different View

We’re looking forward to our next session in April!

Happy Stitching!

Woodlawn Report

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At last I have a few moments to write about our trip to the 55th Annual Needlework Show & Sale at Woodlawn.  The last few days have been quite an adventure – no power until Monday morning, followed by a scheduled loss of power Monday night into Tuesday morning, and then yet another storm!

We drove down on Friday through the nor’easter that pummeled the East Coast.  It was slow going along the New Jersey and Delaware Turnpikes with pelting rain and, at time, some wet snow.  We finally caught a break in Maryland when the precipitation stopped but by then the winds had picked up and we were buffeted as we drove, particularly on the bridges.

We stopped in Falls Church for lunch at the Mad Fox Brewing Company.  They have quite a variety of sandwiches and salads, and Mr. M enjoyed the beer. And, it is only 15 minutes from Waste Knot Needlepoint in Arlington. I had emailed Lori, the owner, before our trip to get some threads I needed.  Of course, Mr. M managed to pick out two new canvases to add to the inventory!  So I now have Santa’s Workshop from CH Designs and Easter Bunny from Robbyn’s Nest Designs to add to my list.

Waste Knot Needlepoint has a wonderful inventory of canvases and threads, and they are always a pleasure to visit. The shop will be moving this month – their last day at the current location is March 17 and they are hoping to reopen at their new location on April 2. They will be just around the corner at 2100 N. Glebe Road in Arlington.  I’m already looking forward to visiting!

We arranged to meet Nora in Bethesda on Friday evening (she took the bus from Pittsburgh). I made a wrong turn heading from the hotel in Alexandria to Bethesda and had quite the time getting corrected. The Nav System didn’t know about the winds and all the downed trees/closed roads, so I had to keep diverting off the route. Usually we get to the drop-off location about 40 minutes early but the diversions resulted in us arriving at about the time the bus was due (7:15 pm). Wouldn’t you know – the bus was actually 30 minutes early! Fortunately the bus waited for all the students to meet their rides.

Saturday was clear but windy and chilly. Our first order of business was to head over to Woodlawn for the exhibit. This year there are a few local artisans set up in the reception area, which made for a nice entrance. There are about 410 entries this year (not 660 as I previously reported as the numbering started from 100 and not 1, and numbers were skipped). I found last year’s program and it looks like there were about 390 entries, so a slight increase.

As usual the pieces were outstanding. I think there are less samplers this year and more stumpwork, but that may just be how everything is displayed.  I was disappointed that all of our Feuilles d’Ananas arenot displayed together but that may be because two of the four are finished as pillows.  There are a few exhibitors from other areas who submitted the same piece with a completely different center! It would have been interesting to see all of the pieces together.

I was very pleased to see five of the 19 entries from NJNA earned awards! While we all know that NJNA is home to outstanding stitchers it is gratifying to know that the judges recognize our members’ skills.

In addition to the submitted pieces one can wander through “exhibits within the Exhibit”. One room contains absolutely stunning Japanese embroidery pieces, entitled “Exploring the Art of Japanese Embroidery”, which showcases pieces by Antonia Evans, an instructor from Silver Spring, and her students. I was awestruck by the beauty of these pieces.

A second exhibit entitled “Snakes & Ladders” includes embroidered photographs of Dawn Whitmore, a Virginia-based documentary photographer and visual artist. According to the program, the pieces are “a modern musing based on her fear of snakes.”

The third exhibit includes the works of Mary Duckworth, who was a longstanding member of Nelly’s Needlers as well as a designer, teacher, judge, and shop owner. Many of the pieces that she designed and stitched are exhibited along with some of the awards she received. Interestingly, one stitcher submitted two pieces based on a Mary Duckworth design for this year’s Exhibit. The exhibit includes the original piece as well as the later interpretations. Make sure you take a look at Mary’s Survival Kit!

I urge all of you to visit Woodlawn if you have the chance. There are so many wonderful stitchers who share their work. And, let’s continue to show NJNA’s support for this wonderful Exhibit.

 

 

Woodlawn Delivery 2018

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Mr. M and I made the trip down to Alexandria, VA on Friday.  We loaded up the intrepid Mazda 3 with 17 (count ’em) pieces from our Chapter! Huge thanks to Diane, Sue C., Ellen, Andrea, Joan, Sue R., Marge, Rosie, Cathryn, and Barbara for contributing to this wonderful exhibit. And, if those weren’t enough, we stopped in Mt. Laurel to meet up with Melita whose pieces hitched a ride with us. In all, NJNA is represented by 19 pieces at the Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit this year! Woo Hoo!

For those of you who will make the trip to the exhibit in March – and I encourage you all to do so – we are #400 to 418 in the program.

We stopped in Stevenson, MD at Hillside Needlepoint. They have greatly expanded both the canvases and the threads that they carry. I picked up quite a bit of thread (I’m kitting another new project) as well as a small canvas. As I was checking out I was asked if I had been there before as I would already be in the system (and of course I had been). Mr. M started rolling his eyes when he heard Leslie mention that she knew my name through Facebook posts! Needlework is such a wonderful welcoming community.

Lunch was at Ellicott Mills Brewing in nearby (you guessed it) Ellicott City. This is one of Mr. M’s favorites for the beer and the food is really great.

The drop-off this morning went fairly smoothly although the ladies checking in the pieces did not know I had pre-arranged the time. But, as usual, they quickly got it sorted out and we were checked in with their usual efficiency. Once again NJNA was thanked profusely for our support of the exhibition and our pieces garnered lots of “oohs” and “aahs”.

Fortunately, we had the car unloaded before the torrential rains started. The local news reported that the rains were needed but there are areas that could see 2 to 4 inches over the weekend! Given the rain we did not make our usual trip into DC as we were not about to walk around during a monsoon. Instead I had a leisurely shop at In Stitches, near to Woodlawn. I added to the threads needed for my project and resisted with great difficulty purchasing any more projects. We then traveled up to Bethesda to have lunch at Rock Bottom and a quick visit to The Point of It All.

By then I was itching to get back to the room and work on some stitching so we spent the rest of the afternoon watching Olympic curling, which I am enjoying tremendously. I’m thinking of taking up the sport in retirement!

Tonight we’ll watch more Olympics and I’ll hopefully finish up Shell Game. Tomorrow will be the ride back to New Jersey.

And, for those who might be curious, my latest project to be started (along with the multitude already in the works) is Alice Peterson’s Winter Wonderland with a stitch guide by Laura Taylor. My wonderful friends Randi and Renee at Gone Stitching picked up the canvas for me at the TNNA in Las Vegas and I was able to get Laura’s stitch guide from Aristeia Needlepoint in Santa Monica.

Winter Wonderland.png

Happy Stitching!

Linda