Author Archives: suesci

EGA National Seminar In St. Louis

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Ellen and Janice wanted you to see the class that they are enjoying. In St. Louis. It is a class inn Rozashi taught by Margaret Kinsey called Mums Water, a two day class. They said that they are having a great time and that Margaret is a great teacher!

And the other.

A Livelier Iris

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This two day class was the first national seminar for my teacher, Wendy Moore, and she was ready for us! Her directions were a stitcher’s dream–great diagrams with lots of little extras to help you along the way, as well as a heading on each page with the thread used, the number of strands, the stitch and where it is on the canvas. The iris is stitched with straw silk which was fun to use once it was ironed flat. There are enough shades of the silk to make the soft shade changes. On day one we worked on the iris and day two on the stalk and frame that will go around it.

Look at the top portion of the frame (only part stitched yet). The corner motif idea came from the design on a ceiling tile Wendy sees when she is at the hair dressers and having her hair washed! (Rosie often takes architectural photos for stitching ideas!). Then the frame is two parts with one being a longer scotch stitch and the other laid threads tied down with spaced Gobelin stitches. When you see the completed piece, it really looks like a wood frame! This piece is quite large and is currently going home with Dee as she kindly agreed to carry it in her car back to NJ! If you see a design that you like at a class or seminar with Wendy as a teacher, sign up. I think you will enjoy being in her class.

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A few notes about this place as a seminar location. I loved it! The rooms are more spacious than ones we have had at other seminars with adequate drawer space and floor space for all the things needlepointers need to have on hand. The staff has been very friendly and accommodating and always with a smile. The lazy river has been a perfect way to loosen up tired muscles after a day of stitching. There were several days when we “walked the perimeter of Texas” a few times against the current for a bit more exercise! The surrounding area had open space which a suburb gal needs, places to eat within walking distance, and a great specialty grocery store. The seminar committee did a great job in their selection of location in my opinion.

Beaded Bermuda Reef

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This three day class was taught be Kathy Rees and I am so happy that I signed up for this class! Her directions are so clear. The colors do make you think of exotic seas.

The first two days we spent stitching various sections in a variety of textures, Splendor, Silk Lamé, Neon Rays, Petite Very Velvet. After break this morning we began the beaded fringe which will be added after the stitching has been completed. This technique was all new to me, but I did manage to complete my fringe before class ended. To add a new thread you had to make a slip knot, capture the old thread in the knot and tighten the slip knot. Good thing forming the slip knot can be found on YouTube!

This shows three days of stitching and the completed fringe. Below is the placement of the fringe when all the stitching is completed.

Because of the various NJNA workshops and the pieces that we have done through the years with the Stitch of the Month, it was easy to stitch the Spratt’s heads and tied crosses! I can see this being finished at one of my stitching retreats coming up!

A new tool for me

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Before the ANG Seminar began in Washington, DC, last month, I was working on a piece called Two Haunted Houses. Just before it was time to get ready for seminar, I realized that I had made a major counting error and a big section needed to be taken out. I put it aside. Today I knew it was time to take out that section so I could work on it again.

When I had removed the completed house and fence posts, there were some fuzzies that stayed behind.

Note the orange and dark blue fuzzies.

And after I had used a sewing tool often used by quilters called Seam Fix, you can see the canvas is clean.

Now I am back on track with a clean canvas. I bought my Seam Fix in the quilting section at JoAnns. I believe that it could be found in any quilt shop.

Sue

Day 3 of Diamond City Lights

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Although I missed posting yesterday, I will post photos of beginning of class and end at the end. We have been working totally on buildings until break time this morning. Then we moved on to the highway below the buildings. We are saying this is Lake Shore Drive and that it is raining lightly making the roadway wet. Can you see the glistening of the road with the Neon Rays+ and the Capri threads? The lights, both headlights and brake lights, are created by the rayon floss. We lay the Neon Rays+ and couch it with the other threads. The lights are random which is not difficult in the first line of lights, but may become more difficult.

After lunch we began on the sunset. Diane had used many photos of the sunset behind the skyline. This gave her not only colors but also where the sun sets in relation to the Sears Tower so that this is realistic. To do the various sky colors, we are blending threads and using an encroaching Gobelin to make the color changes more subtle.

Two things that Diane does that I love. She writes the threads that we will be using for each am and each pm of class. So when we arrive, we can get them out and ready. When we start a new section, she tells us how long she will give us to work on this section. This means that five minutes before we move on, I am not starting a new thread with 4-6 strands of floss threaded in my needle. I use the time to work on another section where I have loose threads.

It is a great class!

Beginning of class, end of class

Diamond City Lights Day 1

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This design by Diane Herrmann is the sky line of Chicago from Lake Michigan at night. When we got to class this morning, we each got a line drawn canvas of the entire piece and a bag of fibers most of which are DMC. Diane told us in our teacher letter that she would show us an easy way to store all these threads if we brought a kitchen towel with us to class. Here is what she showed us to do.

We placed all our threads on the towel in whatever arrangement we wished. Folded the sides over the threads and rolled it up into a small bundle! How neat is that for the number of threads we are using! There are also some other threads such as rayon floss, Twinkle, Kreinik and others.

We began stitching the Sears Tower. The open spaces will be in a lighter color for the lights. The top of the tower has no lights because there are no windows. It stores water to be used in case of fire. The second building we worked on to the right is the John Hancock building–the roof top bar would be well lit at night, wouldn’t it? Then we began on the diamond in the Diamond building. This is where the rayon floss came in with the yellow outline. Diane gave us two tips which made working with the floss so much easier. She had us cut a length of about one yard, strand it, and dampen each strand then laying it out to dry. We threaded two strands in the needle, put the needle in the middle and knotted the four ends together. We used an away waste knot to secure it. We had a diagram to follow to make the outline and three small hash lines on the canvas indicating where we should go. It really worked! And what life it gives the outline. The inside is being filled in with basketweave using the thread Twinkle–rayon with a filament. I am loving the class. There are eleven of us with ten tables for students and excellent lighting. Couldn’t ask for a better setup. We shouldn’t be interrupted either as our classroom. Is one of the most remote.

Diamond City Lights

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