Hi Everyone —
Just wanted to post my first finish of the COVID-19 era!
Lady with Mandala II
This was one of the classes that I took at the ANG seminar in Houston last year. It’s a canvas by Brenda Stofft with stitch guide and thread suggestions from Cynthia Thomas, the instructor.
I made some thread changes with Janice’s help to tone down the make-up. I lost one bead which is somewhere in the house here. Luckily I had a suitable substitute in my stash. I needed additional tutoring on attaching the beads with glue. They are sort of a mess and gluing will never be in my skill set! I also lost two needles (one with thread attached), but my husband is sure to find them when he walks around in his stocking feet!
I’d like to suggest that we all share our quarantine finishes with each other via the blog. Many of you already have author privileges. But I invite any of you to e-mail me a picture of your finishes along with some interesting tidbits about the designer, who it’s for, what you thought about while stitching, or anything else that might be of interest to our members. I’ll be happy to post. It won’t be as comprehensive as the meeting summaries, but it might help us to feel less isolated from each other.
On Monday, the last day of Seminar, I took Cynthia Thomas’ Thread and Stitch Manipulation class. The main purpose of this class was to look at basic stitches we all know and see how you can manipulate it. For each stitch, we were to look at changing/adding one element at a time – color, orientation (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, oblique), spacing, size, etc. to see what effect we could have. While a relatively simple concept you would think, this was difficult for me to see on paper. I was able to create some potentially interesting stitches that I can play with. It was fun to look at what others were creating.
While I expected this to be just a notebook class, she did include canvas and threads for 2 ornaments – either Christmas or Halloween – and I chose Halloween. However, I decided to play with trying to modify stitches rather than actually stitching one of the ornaments, especially since all the stitches I was coming up with did not work with the threads in my kit. What a challenge it was thinking not only of the effect you want but what threads you need to create that effect as you design the stitches for a particular area.
I am very glad I took this class even though it meant 5 days of classes. It is triggering me to look at stitches differently and think about how I can really make a piece my own.
Overall, I had a great experience at this seminar, even though 5 days of classes in 5 days is very tiring In addition to the other seminar activities. I thought the hotel had great amenities and was well situated to find restaurants and a grocery store and talk walks in the evening. I loved the lazy river and hot tub and tried to enjoy them each day after class to work out the sore muscles from sitting in class stitching.
After leaving Seminar on Monday, I caught a bus to Austin to spend a day with my newest grandson before heading home. A win-win week for me!
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.
Hi Everyone —
I don’t really have much to report today. I quite enjoyed the remainder of my class and I am awed that we discussed every single stitched area, bead, and thread on this piece. Cynthia was an energetic and supportive teacher, but we all would have liked more time to stitch. I have a free morning tomorrow, so I may try to put a few more stitches in.
My progress at the end of day 2.
Tonight was the closing banquet. We had a table of 7 NJNA members and Donna F from San Francisco area who happens to be a California stitching buddy of Barbara L! Small world! Hello’s all around!
Tomorrow afternoon I have to pack up all of the correspondence pieces for shipment back to the teachers. Surprisingly, Houston was a great choice for seminar and this is one of the best hotels we have ever had in terms of lighting, distances, and amenities.
Next year in Tucson!
As many of you know, I struggle with picking colors and understanding color value. Thus, I was eager to take Jennifer Riefenberg’s More Color Play. We did a lot of stitching today – mostly Scotch Frame – all with the same thread, while Jennifer explained how the background and thread colors appear to vary as they interact with each other. Add in a Woven Stitch in the middle of some of the Scotches in a different thread with a different color value and you get even more differences. I chose the warm (blue) colorway and it was interesting to compare the same canvas with those doing the cool (pink/red) colorway. The biggest stitching challenge was all the compensation as the kites are on different oblique angles. I am enjoying the simplicity of the stitching along with getting a better understanding of color and its interactions on a canvas. Here’s my Day 1 progress.
August 17, 2019
Today I started a new class — a painted canvas by Brenda Stofft Designs — with Cynthia Thomas who designed the stitch guide and is teaching the class. It is called Lady with Mandala II.
The painted canvas!
I started the class by asking what a mandala was — I had thought that they were the crystals hanging behind the lady — but no — they are the disks in the upper right quadrant of the design. So — here’s what Webster’s had to say:
Mandala, (Sanskrit: “circle”) in Hindu and Buddhist Tantrism, a symbolic diagram used in the performance of sacred rites and as an instrument of meditation.
We have four students in the class. I am the only one who does not usually do painted canvas, but I explained that I needed to get back to stitching on my Lombard Street and I hoped that the course would provide some inspiration. I also asked Cynthia to explain how and why she picked the various stitches and it’s been great!
The kit has hundreds of threads, beads, and crystals and was beautifully kitted by Chandail Needlepoint. We mostly worked on the lady’s hair today — I think this class could easily have been a three or four day class, so we have to hurry to get through everything in two days!
My Progress at the End of Day One!
After class I walked the perimeter of Texas a few more times and then attended the Seminar Expo! after dinner.
I discovered my picture on Facebook today — ANG had taken a picture of me hawking the correspondence courses last night!
Time is flying by. I spent some time this afternoon looking at the classes that will be offered next year in Tucson. I think I found some interesting options!
I’m looking forward to getting some uninterrupted stitching time!
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!
My first class ever with Lois Kershner, and it was wonderful! The piece is a photograph she took of a waterfall at Mt. Whitney, transferred to Congress cloth, and then stitched. LOTS of detail, and choices to be made about where stitched areas start and stop, and a fair amount of the dreaded random placement of things…think I’m getting over the all-too-common fear of random!
Lois is a wonderful teacher and her directions are wonderful, some of the best I’ve ever seen. I wish there had been more than two days for this class so I could have kept on stitching…it always seems like you get such a tiny amount done in class! But I have no doubt that I’ll be finishing this one. She also demonstrated the process of doing the photos transfer onto the canvas, so that we might try it with our own photos.
Here’s what my piece looks like after two days…
After a fun Fiesta banquet last night, i had day 2 of Toni Gerdes’ Abyss. Toni is an excellent teacher explaining each section, allocating time to practice the stitches in that section, letting the class know when there was about 5 minutes left on a section to allow time to finish a thread, double checking that everyone was in the correct place, answering questions,etc. i was impressed with how much progress I made on the piece even though when i look ati the photo, it doesn’t look like much. We focused on the right side today. The crescents were interesting shifting the focus of what was the inside as i moved from the left to right crescents. Toni spent a lot of time explaining howto do Bargello to get maximum thread pull and coverage. I think i may finally get it! At the end of the day we went over the background but i decided to wait until i could see where it really goes.
I enjoyed this class and love the piece. It is great to see how designers put stitches together and use colors and threads to create an effect as well as how different stitches can go together. While i have a bunch of other projects in progress, I’m hoping to get this one high on my list to finish!
After class, i worked at the Exhibit. There are some impressive pieces even though there seems to be fewer entries.
Tomorrow i start More Color Play.