Last night was the event that many of the attendees were waiting all week for. In our area a needlework shop is relatively close by. (Maybe not as close as Rosie, but close enough!). Some of the women I have spoken with are hundreds of miles from a needlework shop. Just imagine being able to see so many painted canvases and charts live! There were other things there as well, including beads, jewelry, notions of all types. Susan H. found another vendor for the Needlefest next spring who has some great project bags in vinyl and at a reasonable price. (I bought one so can give you an evaluation by then!).
There were 35 vendors listed in the brochure, but since the printing the list must have grown by half again! Orna Willis was there with all the things that she has been showing on her blog and a beautiful display of her stitched pieces. There was a table of Genny Morrow designs and one of Jean Hilton. There was more magnet bling than I would know what to do with. I bumped into a number of friends–some new from this seminar and some long time.
Rosie, meanwhile was out with Meg so her inspiring writing about the event was left to me without pictures!
Hi, Everyone —
Another great day at seminar!
Today and tomorrow I am enrolled in a Ro Pace class called “Illusions.” It is called illusions because it acts like an optical illusion with cubes ebbing and flowing into three dimensions. This piece consists mostly of Jean Hilton stitches and (!) there is no need for thread laying! This allows the stitching to move along quickly. I would have said that there were about thirty people in the class, but Sue tells me that the maximum is 24. All I know is that this is a BIG class.
Unfortunately this piece doesn’t photograph very well, so I will post two pictures — one showing the overall progress and the other a close-up to try to show the vibrant colors.
Day 1 Progress on “Illusions”
Close-up of a section of “Illusions”
(Well, maybe you just have to wait to see it in person!) It may appear that we do not have much done, but Ro said she wanted to start with the two hardest stitches — a Sprat’s Head and a Walnetto. It appears that we will start to move at warp speed tomorrow.
After class, I did my 45 minute swim. Luckily, today there were not many children in the pool and I got most of my swim in without “company”! I have to say that the daily swim helps to work out the kinks in my back and neck after stitching all day.
By far, the highlight of the day was my daughter Meg’s driving down from Plainsboro, NJ to have dinner with me.
Meg arriving at the hotel — photo credit to Sue C.
Meg had researched restaurants within walking distance of the hotel and made a reservation using the “Open Table” app at a restaurant called “RAW.” Many of you know that sake is my beverage of choice, so she picked this because it had an extensive sake menu. We were seated in an outdoor area, that was private and beautifully decorated. We had a fun meal together despite mediocre (or possibly worse) service. We did talk the waiter into taking a picture:
Doesn’t that sushi look yummy?
Now I’m off to beddy so that I can be ready for stitching in the morning!
Today started with a 10 minute wait for the elevator along with a number of other stitchers. We did make it to class on time. And what a great class it is. Carlene Hardwick is a very relaxed teacher who is constantly on the move around the classroom helping and guiding as needed. We worked primarily on the butterflies today and have a portion of each stitch in one section or another. That will be the first part that I complete when I get home. Several women had trouble finding the correct “body part” to place the new stitch and put it in the wrong section. Instead of removing what was done, she just suggested they exchange places for the stitches. I like someone who can be flexible. I know that I will enjoy the piece!
Close-up of Butterfly Mosaic after Day 1
There was one marking on the diagram that a stitcher asked why it was there and her reply was “George forgot to remove it”. George is her husband/editor. I am looking forward to tomorrow.
Hi, Everyone —
Well, today I lived up to my slacker reputation and went on a wonderful tour of the Winterthur museum and grounds. Heidi has already posted some of the details of the tour. For me, the remarkable thing about Winterthur is that it was a home that was designed around the concept of being a museum. When I visited Biltmore in Asheville last year, I found I could just stand in the rooms and imagine what it would have been like to be a visitor in the heyday of Biltmore. The views to the outside, the coziness of the guest rooms, the dining rooms, and all allowed you to dream of the good life. Unlike Biltmore, Winterthur tried to be both a home and a museum and wasn’t really successful at either. That said — the needlework collection that we viewed was amazing.
A Fishing Lady Canvas
The reason that I chose to show you this picture is that a canvas called “The Fishing Lady on Boston Commons” won a prize at the ANG Exhibits this year. Apparently this used to be a very romantic notion and so all the young girls wanted to stitch a canvas like this. There were two others in the Winterthur room where this one was displayed! (Another intricate sampler was signed by the stitcher, aged 14.)
For me, the charm of Winterthur was the grounds. Several vistas reminded me so much of the area around Eighty Four, PA where I grew up.
I was also very impressed with this multistory “flying” staircase. A staircase is considered to be flying if it is not attached to the wall. I’m including this picture because I thought I might impress my daughter Marisa with my artistic abilities!
The “Flying” Staircase at Winterthur
It was about at this point that my camera was prohibited. (I had to download sixty pictures — so obviously there are many more vistas and artifacts to share.)
When I got back to the hotel, I decided to go for my daily swim. I was able to do my full 45 minutes in the one lane lap pool. The challenge was sharing it with 14 kids between the ages of 18 months and 14 years!
Sue and I had dinner with Diane and Robin at Opa, a Greek restaurant about four blocks from the hotel. It was a noisy, happening place, but we had a delicious ethnic dinner, including baklava for dessert.
Dinner at Opa!
Now it’s time to shift gears and get ready for my new class “Illusions” tomorrow morning.
A whole new project, a whole new experience. Today I worked with the teacher that Rosie enjoyed for the past 4 days. And I DID enjoy both her and the cupcake! She has a very relaxed approach and manages to make everyone feel comfortable. I was very comfortable because her directions tell you where to put the needle for each stitch, each stitch that we did was one I was familiar with and the project made you smile just to look at it. This was a perfect break following a more exacting class.
Diane was here today for a one day class, Susan’s Ben’s Kites. We got time to exchange information both at lunch–RTM–and dinner at a loud Greek restaurant, Opa,where the food was delicious, conversation difficult, but we persevered! All in all a great day.
Long day teaching today. Meeting after the class, teachers showcase after that and a celebratory party after that.
A whirl wind of a day. It was a great day. Great students- very talented stitches!
Tomorrow I am in Sue Reeds class and am looking forward to a restful day of sitting and stitching with Ellen.
What a whirlwind last day at Seminar. I had to get my suitcase to the car and check out of the hotel before heading off on the tour of Winterthur with Rosie. As I am sitting on the bus, I questioned if I had pack my jewelry pouch from the safe or if it was in the room still. There was nothing I could do about it until I returned to Philly. Rosie and I talked needlepoint and canvases almost the entire way out to Winterthur. I reflected that on my canvas, pictured yesterday that it looked like I had covered a lot of canvas, but, as I said to Rosie, I only did maybe two of the 4 to 6 stitches that are layered in each area. That’s why I’m taking it with me to Sanibel. I’m excited by the piece which is such a welcome response after that Orna Willis, Grace. It is also why I am so eager to see everyone else’s canvases at the Sept. meeting. I can tell that pictures just don’t capture the visual well enough. I am also dying to learn from Sue about her vinyl covered Leaves of Autumn. And that is only the beginning. There will be Carol, Robin, Ellen and Diane’s canvases to pour over. I’ll be checking the blog each day to see how everyone is doing! What fun.
On to Winterthur. Wow, what a man Harry DuPont was! The grounds are beautiful, and we were seeing them in the green period of summer instead of the colors of spring and fall. First we went to the home which was turned into a museum when the DuPonts moved out in 1951. He had added about 100 rooms in the 1930’s not to show off his wealth, but to house his huge collection of American furishings from 1780 to 1860 which he collected from all over the USA. His intent was to turn his home into a museum, which is exactly what he did. I can’t begin to rave about the beautiful furniture, rugs, wall hangings of all sorts, linens, china, and art. It is remarkable. There is a gallery with wings for furniture, fabrics, and metals/glass, which I breezed through since we had such little time. I took a shuttle to the visitor’s center, ran through the book store and then grabbed some lunch, so I could be ready for the garden tour back up to the home/museum. ANG had lined up a special tour of the private quarters of the home on the 7th and 6th floors. We had to lock up all bags (including purses), cameras, etc. We were in groups of 5 since the elevators were so small. We zipped from room to room with our docent pointing out needlework. 2 of the 5 of us were taking the courses for judging needlework, and just off four full days of classes, they were a wealth of information. We were allowed into the bowels of the basement where all the fabrics were stored and the museum curator had 8 boxes open where we could look at “bedrugs” (we call bedspreads) from the early 1800’s. It was awesome. We also were allowed to look at the storage drawers of fabrics which are mostly only seen by researchers, working on degrees in fabric restoration and research.
Heidi at the entrance to the Winterthur Museum
On the bus ride home I filled out the evaluation form for Seminar. Once back at the hotel I went to the desk to ask if any jewelry from my room had been turned in. The hotel security came and took the info and then went up to the room (which had already been rebooked) while I handed in my evaluation. He found me in the lobby and told me the safe was empty and open. I must have packed them. I thanked him and went immediately to my car 5 blocks away and took out my suitcase opened it and there was my jewelry pouch. What a relief. I left Philly at 4:45 and was home at 6:15. I have unpacked and repacked my carry-on and started a load of laundry. Only this blog remains and then I can stitch some on my canvas before I hit the sack. I said to Rosie that these 4 days at seminar were my vacation for the year. What a joy those days were. Have fun ladies and keep stitching!