When ANG posted this piece as a Workshop by Mail last fall, I knew that wanted to stitch it. I loved the design as well as the flow of exciting colors. Reading a description I realized that you could also get it kitted with the threads by the designer Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes of Australia. I looked at her website, Beautiful Stitches, and along with several other members of NJNA, ordered some threads. I ordered two complete kits of threads and picked the most vibrant of the two. Yesterday I started to stitch. Oh, what fun and what beautiful threads to work with and what clear true colors.
Here is my beginning with the threads I am using. Isn’t the overdye beautiful?
The first lesson of the ANG virtual Seminar class began last Monday. We already had our kit and instructions; what arrived on Monday in my computer mailbox was the additional notes that usually are verbal when a class begins. The instructions for the first week covered the land portion of the piece. The written instructions were very complete, what was added in the notes was icing on the cake! The stitching was fun to do because the picture unfolded quickly (at least where Needlepoint is involved)!
Here is the land portion.
The Bargello on the left establishes the hillside. Above that you can see the sunflowers stitched as eyelets with their green stems, a diagonal satin stitch. Below the Bargello, you can see the wildflowers which are stitched as a composite stitch made as a diagonal Gobelin . Separating the wildflowers and the Bargello is the soil stitched as free-form eyelets.
On the right side you can see pine trees, a slanted Gobelin, with trunks, a VanDyke stitch over a Fyre Werks for some glisten. Above the trees for the mountainside is an overdye Diagonal Roumanian (fun to stitch but a bear to remove!). The base is a Sprat’s Head to anchor that side.
I am ready for Lesson 2 on Monday! (Can you tell this is a delight to stitch??)
ANG decided to postpone the seminar this year in Tucson for two years, but offered a virtual seminar instead. I signed up for two classes and the kit for one of my classes arrived in the mail yesterday. I knew it would arrive any day so I kept checking for the mail to see if it had come. It finally arrived at its usual time, just before 3:00, and there was a package!
Our instruction via email from Wendy Moore was to let her know when the package arrived and the contents checked. I opened the package and saw this beautiful turquoise painted canvas with slight variations in color–she had said that there would slight differences but it takes a careful eye to see that. Then this large package of threads divided into smaller bags, a bag with four needles and a needle threader–do you ever have enough needle threaders?
Wendy Moore’s class, Sunrise Reflections, will be taught in four sessions separated by a week. Each session addresses an area of the design. The threads are separated into bags for each section of the canvas which is in one session. There are numerous threads used and since many of these are more expensive threads, they are cut to the amount needed and put on thread drops. The Land section has 15 threads on green drop cards in a bag. The Sun has 8 threads on yellow cards. There are 9 threads on blue cards for the Water section and the bag for the Sky has 4 threads on lavender cards.
The direction sheets already had holes punched in the, so I immediately put them in a binder and double checked that all the pages were there. Today I will attach my canvas to the stretcher bars and be ready for the first session on September 7! I love this virtual seminar since traveling at this time is not what I am comfortable doing!
Threads and canvas
Yesterday I stopped in Bay Head Needlepoint which has just opened this summer in Bay Head. (bayheadneedlepoint.com)
The address is on Bridge Street, but the entrance is on the side of the building on Lake Street. It is a magical little shop with lots of light showing off a beautiful display of threads. The painted canvases they have are from some well known designers and many are perfect for shore vacationers. Right now you must wear a mask as well as use the hand sanitizer provided as you enter.
The shop is owned by four friends who all Needlepoint and have been friends for years having spent summers in the area for a long time. The threads are beautifully displayed which would make it easy to purchase a canvas and select the threads to stitch it all at one time.
Did you see the brick covers? Perfect to stitch for a shore home where the ocean breeze always tries to slams doors shut!
The threads that they carry include Vineyard Silk Silk and Vineyard Silk Merino, Silk and Ivory, Pepper Pot Variegated, Fyre Werks Soft Sheen Minis and Tili Thomas Essential minis (50/50 Silk/wool). I was impressed with their thread inventory and happy that they limited the lines but carried so many colors of each. When you want to match the color on a painted canvas, you need that. At this point the accessories are limited, the stitching bags you can see hanging on the checkout counter, small finished boxes only needing the stitched insert to complete a perfect gift, and the perfect book for painted canvas people, Stitches to Go. The shop consists of two small rooms and a hallway where they have set up a taping machine to get your project ready to go!
For those of you making a shore stop this summer, make a side trip here, you won’t be disappointed in what you see. I am looking forward to stopping in again next time I am down that way.
The June SOTM was the last section stitched in Color family 1. I noticed that in all the sections, I had put the darker of the very light shades I was using in the middle triangle of each parallelogram. This time I used the darkest shade of all. When I finished the section, I realized that it was much darker than anything I had used before and I had no chance of using that thread in the future. It had to go.
Of course it wasn’t as easy of removing only that stitch, the whole section had to come out. I replaced the offending thread, a Splendor, with a DMC floss that fit well with the other threads used, even if it would only be used in one place in the piece.
Did I make the right call?
I have been working on a WIP but it is not something I can stitch on in the evening when I watch tv. So I was looking for something to do in the evening that didn’t take as much concentration. I found an overdye from Artfabrik that I can not imagine ever using and used that as my base. From there I found several bright perle 5 threads to use with the overdye.
I decided to make a smaller heart and took the Valentine candy box I purchased in February just for its heart shape and used that for my guide to trace.
I was going to do a Bargello using the pattern in an earlier NeedlePointers, but, obviously got too involved in the show and forgot all about skipping a thread between stitches! That meant a much compressed wave of Bargello. I loved it! The only problem was that I was stitching on this during the day as well. I have barely moved forward on the WIP!
I think I need to set up another heart to keep my evenings full.
As a present to myself on Christmas Day, I was all set to begin The Neighborhood, a counted design that Sue R introduced me to in 2018. When I saw her completed piece, I knew I wanted to build, errr, stitch, my own Neighborhood. At first I thought that I would change the house colors but then decided not to mess with an already good blend of colors. As I finished each house, I felt as though I had actually built it myself and imagined a family living there. Linda M found a roof stitch in this design that you will see in the May June issue of Needlepointers. This piece was finished and in the hands of Rob at Framed Image by the end of February. With Rosie and Rob’s help in selecting the materials and Rob’s excellent work it is now ready to pick up…eventually. It brought joy while stitching it as well as the joy I will have seeing the completed piece hanging at home.
The Neighborhood by Susan Jones of Finger Step Designs
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.
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.
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.
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!