Category Archives: Myrtle Beach 2015 Seminar

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon!

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For the stitch retreat before Seminar, I started a nightlight for my cousin's first grandchild expected in January 2016. Well, the little girl arrived January 25 so …. The pressure was on to finish the project. The stitching was finished so I had to tackle turning the canvas into a shade.

The canvas was sold as a package with the light so I had the major parts. I had a consult with a kind and generous expert (Sue C.) and some input from the internet – what did we ever do before?

Here is the finished nightlight which I will send to the new parents. Hope they like it.

 

 

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Fog in the Mountains

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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.

Morning, October 3.

View from our hotel room without fog!

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.

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.

Empire of the Sun

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Toni Gerdes designed a beautiful kimono filled with rays similar to the rays on the Japanese rising sun flag. When I first saw it last year, it was the rays that impressed me. I selected to do this on the pewter canvas with the accent color teal. The remaining threads are shades of grey as well as an almost white. Aside from some blue Bijoux for glitz the other threads are all silk. As usual, Toni has a visual table of contents–a drawing of the piece with the area and page in each section. This makes it fast and easy to select what page you are looking for. We worked today primarily on learning the stitches for all the rays in the bottom portion of the kimono and one ray in the sleeve. We had lots of stitching time to work on each portion. For me that means I can get all the loose threads completed and tied off at least at same point in class.

By the time that class had finished today, we had worked on each of the different rays making sure we understood how each stitch would fit in the ray. The only portion that we did not begin was the beading for the color. Toni's explanation was so clear that it should not be difficult. The kimono has some beads trailing done the rays in a random pattern. We all know that asking needlepointers to do something random places a heavy load on us. Toni showed us random: imagine a playground with second graders out there playing and you are watching from above. Here are three girls giggling together over here. Further away is the new girl standing alone watching everyone. Over there are two boys kicking a ball and in another area a group of kids are playing softball with several clustered around home plate and others a bit scattered. That explanation made random clear to me! Thank you, Toni, for that story and visualization!

Empire of the Sun

 

One of the women in class had a neat Ott light that was not available at one of our favorite stores for Ott lights. She purchased it at an electronic store. It weighed less than three pounds, folded flat, with a power cord. It had three kinds of lights and different intensities. On the arm it had a clock, calendar and thermometer–our classroom was 70 degrees.

Ott light

This class was a perfect ending for the seminar. New Orleans, here we come!

Sue

 

Stitch of the Month, 2016

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Those of us from NJNA who are attending the seminar were delighted with next year's offering. It is designed by our own Susan Hoekstra! (We still claim ownership although Susan has moved to Maine.). The design is called “Feuilles d'ananas, a Study in Values”. The layout is similar to a pineapple quilt block and the title means pineapple leaves. Susan stitched hers in different values of gold ranging from very light to very dark. The threads look like they would be floss or silk, (maybe Splendor would have the range needed) with some Kreinik and a few beads. It appears as though you would be working out from the center of the design and adding layers each month. I think it would be a fun piece to stitch and to see what happens as different stitchers use a different family of thread values. (Pictures are not permitted in the display area.)

Sue

Patches Day 2

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We had a great time stitching on Patches, the Patchwork Penguin. He will be beautiful done in shades of blue, purple and black. Debbie Fourney has little hats to dress him for different seasons – could be fun to see what I can come up with.

He now has two blue eyes so he doesn’t look so blank.

Sadly, today is our last day in Myrtle Beach. The time has flown by with three classes, shopping, feasting and beach time (before the storms). I will be leaving tomorrow morning at a very early hour so I can get back to NJ by the evening. My hope is that the rain will not be too bad and that it will keep some of the crazies off the road. Well, I can hope!

Fog in the Mountains, Day One

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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

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!

Creative Collage – Day 2

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We started day 2 of Creative Collage this morning with a discussion of threads (which are made up of fibers) by Suzanne Howren. What a wealth of knowledge she has in terms of different types of threads and the full range of available threads for needlepoint.

She and Tony Minieri then turned us over to our canvases to begin stitching. While they each provided us with a stitch guide, the goal of this class was to figure out for ourselves what stitches to use in different areas to make it our own. They gave us a wide variety of threads in our kits so we had a lot of flexibility in what we did.

Using the many ideas and techniques they discussed with us over the 2 days, it was still difficult for me to decide what to do. I realized I still think in terms of rather simple stitches and do not always think about breaking some areas into smaller blocks that could use some combination stitches. However, I’m realizing more of what I need to do and, of course, practice makes perfect.

Tony and Susan were both extremely helpful in getting me to flesh out my ideas and to help me better understand how to see an area as well as decide what weight thread was appropriate.

While it doesn’t look like I accomplished much, I did flesh out lots of ideas, ripped out a bit, and experimented a bit on the doodle canvas.

Creative Collage – Day 2 progress

I wish I’d taken pictures of Suzanne’s and Tony’s stitched canvases in case i need ideas in the future!

Overall, this was a wonderful class where I learned a lot, got outside my comfort zone, and expanded my needlepoint skill set. Suzanne Howren and Tony Minieri are excellent teachers with a lot of brilliant ideas and needlework knowledge.

This evening, I decided I wasn’t very hungry and wanted to see the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which is supposedly rated #2 or #3 in the country, so I took a long walk up and along the boardwalk. Having grown up spending summers on south Jersey beaches, I’m not sure I’d even begin to compare it to them! Still it was fun to see it, although I was definitely feeling the humidity on my way back.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Tomorrow I’ll be heading home, hopefully after visiting Pawley’s Island in the morning.

Diane