And fog at the beach! After a lot of heavy rain yesterday and last night, the view is very foggy this morning. Allegedly my flight status is still “on time,” but we will see. Carol started her drive home at 4am, so she is well with on her way by now.
Morning, October 3.
View from our hotel room without fog!
But I know what you are really interested in seeing is my progress on “Fog in the Mountains” by Gail Stafford. Well, here it is:
Day two progress.
Each section is at least partially stitched. Gail showed us how to ravel the Flair and attach it for the fog — yes, you PURPOSELY ravel the Flair! I can’t wait to get home and finish this really lovely piece. Gail talked about how she designed it, and made decisions about the design, threads, and stitches, and showed us photographs of her doodle cloth and notes, all of which I found immensely interesting and inspiring.
My third class at seminar this year is “Fog in the Mountains,” a wonderful jewel of a piece taught by Gail Stafford.
Day one progress
The piece is on Congress cloth, and much of what we’ve stitched so far has been with a single strand of overdyed floss. So the stitching is delicate, much of it over painted areas. Gail painted a couple of sections for us in advance, but we had to paint the others — after having two separate classes that involved painting, any intimidation I might have felt about it is gone. I’m hoping that this means that I will try my hand at designing and painting my own canvas at some point during the upcoming year. I already have a couple of ideas!
I’ve just finished my second class at seminar, Catherine Jordan’s “Quiet Garden.” This was my second choice when I didn’t get into the very popular “Radishes,” but it certainly was not a second-rate class! Catherine is an excellent teacher, and once again I learned many new things. The project is an embroidered knot garden on linen, attached to a faux-finished papier-mâché box in the form of a book. It’s always nice to learn a finishing method that is not the standard framing.
The stitching is almost entirely double running stitch and French knots on 32-count linen but we also had to do some painting on the fabric. Here is what mine looked like after I’d done some painting but before starting any French knots:
My progress, sideways.
And here it is with some French knot shrubs added:
End of day two.
The thing that was the scariest for most of us was painting the book. In the end everyone’s looked different, but they were all wonderful. And I think because it was the scariest part, it’s the part I’m most proud of. Take a look:
After this experience, I’m going to look into some of Catherine’s other projects, specifically the embroidered maps. One of the best things about seminar is having the opportunity to do things that are a little unusual for you, and learning that you like them!
This time I’m not going to show you pictures of one of my projects, but instead tell you about a cool stitching tool that Sue Reed found at Staples. They are called Magnetic Notes and come in a variety of sizes. They are kind of like Post-It notes, but instead of sticky stuff, they cling using static electricity. Sue handed out 8×4 rectangles for us to use to cover up the diagram we were NOT supposed to be looking at. Very cool!
This is my second geometric with Sue Reed, and it is a beauty. The original color way is red and green and gold, very rich and medieval-looking.
Here is mine, in the purple and lime green colorway, after day two. apologies for the bluish cast to the photo…I had a choice of bluish or yellowish, as my camera did not seem to want to cooperate. (I will post a better photo later if I can.)
At first I was a little taken aback at my colors…not the colors themselves, but where they were placed in the design. Somehow I had it in my mind that my purple would take the place of the red in the original, but in fact it is the lime green that takes center stage, with purple as an accent. As I stitched, though, I liked it more and more. We have some options in laying in the color in the knots, and so I think I will be able to make the piece emphasize the purple a little more in the end.
Sue Reed is a wonderful teacher, and one learns a tremendous amount from her in a class. She does a great job of showing how to improve our stitching by paying attention to details that we might not even think of on our own.
Today was a good day for stitching! We began with the background stitch which is a double running stitch that creates a hexagon design when completed. Three back and forth passes create the honeycomb. We worked a row across the top or bottom to create the frame work and will complete the background off of that section. The stitch is worked with a single strand of DMC Jewel Effects. The way that the light reflects off it makes a perfect simple background. We did start the last hexagon which will eventually use four different threads to complete it. Now it looks a bit like a smattering of mud on top. Once I established the design and completed the thread. I returned to complete the two smaller hexagons and to work on one of the large ones. The addition of the red thread, only a single line in each pattern made all the difference. It was a fun class and oh what I learned!
Day 2of Color Play
She is the designer of the Carrots, the Radishes , and the Beets! This piece is fascinating in the way that the underlay of paint on the canvas changes the thread and the thread changes what you see. Add onto that the use of variegated thread, Wildflowers, and it is amazing. I should have taken a picture of the unstitched canvas.
Note the canvas colors
If you just look at the small top hexagon, you get an idea of what we are doing to the colors you see. When you realize that the area it is covering was once the same color as the other hexagons, it seems as though you might be looking through smoked glass.
Today we began the stitching on four of the hexagons with the more difficult (read careful counting required) before lunch and the easier stitching after lunch. Later this morning we will begin the last hexagon as well as the background stitching and learn about the outline stitch we will do. Jennifer loves explaining about color and the various features of what we see as well as the why and how of what we are perceiving.
Robin is also taking this class and enjoying it. I am sitting next to a woman that Rosie and I spent much of an afternoon with when we were in. Phoenix. It took us about half the morning to recall how/where we met, but it was long enough to recall a number of facts about each other. She is a pleasant stitch ing neighbor as is the woman on the other side of me. Once I returned in the afternoon wearing my winter weight sweatshirt jacket, I was comfortable!
End Day One
Hi Everyone —
We had a small group attend the 2015 stitch and pitch, but it was a merry time — just like last year! It was a gorgeous night for a ball game — not too hot and hot too cold.
It threatened to rain, but our luck held.
The Patriot’s Mascot really seemed to like our group! He was flirting terribly with Rona and tried to sit on her lap! I’ve never heard Rona laugh so hard — and of course, they featured it on the Jumbotron!
A group was giving out yarn and knitting and crochet patterns so that we could make chemo hats to donate. Not being a knitter, I couldn’t believe how many women started AND finished the hats during the ball game.
Our luck didn’t extend to the Patriots. But, no worries, there were fireworks either way!
Hi Everyone —
Last weekend I had the privilege to stay with friends on the beautiful Georgia island of St. Simon’s. On our way to sightseeing on Friday morning, we passed a shop that just called out to me.
The Stitchery on St. Simon’s Island.
The store was lovely and inviting on the outside. The owner was off and so I wasn’t able to take a picture on the inside. The stock was mostly yarn for knitting, but there were a number of painted canvasses. I asked about stitch guides and was told that I was supposed to do those myself! I found one needlepoint of the lighthouse on St. Simon’s, but that appeared to be the only local interest canvas — so I bought it!
St. Simon’s Island Lighthouse!
What do you think? I thought it was pretty realistic.
St. Simon’s Lighthouse — the real deal!
My recommendation for stitchers going to SSI? BYOS — Bring your own stash!
My apologies for taking so long to post this last installment. It has been a very hectic two weeks culminating in graduation last night. But that is a different story …
Our last needlepoint stop in Pittsburgh was Beehive Needle Arts in Mt. Lebanon, a southwest suburb of Pittsburgh. This was by far the largest of the three shops we visited. Situated on Washington Road, a busy commercial street, Beehive carries both needlepoint and cross stitch supplies.
I must say that Beehive is probably one of the most organized shops I have seen. They have an extensive inventory of painted canvases and threads, all arranged in beautiful displays. The shop has little alcoves with tables to lay out a canvas and threads for matching. And I noticed that multiple canvases of the same design were all clipped together. What a pleasure to browse in this bright and sunny shop!
Beehive Needle Arts is located at 650 Washington Road, on Facebook and on the internet at www.beehiveneedlearts.com. They are open Monday, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. There is convenient on-street parking as well as a large parking garage across the street.
I did manage to find a few canvases to take home with me. And I ordered a University of Pittsburgh Santa – we all had a laugh that the in-stock canvases were from schools in neighboring states but not a single canvas from UPitt.
A few more canvases …
I will be visiting all three shops in future trips to Pittsburgh. If you have the opportunity to either visit the city (and it has much to see aside from these shops) or just pass through, I would encourage you to make a point to visit at least one of the needlepoint shops.