Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Almost” back to normal

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I finally took the plunge and took a needlework class, my first since Covid began. I held my breath (figuratively), masked up and went to Luv2Stitch in San Mateo, CA. Yes, yes, I know for me there is a lot more draw to CA than a needlework class! (Read that as time with the “little people”, aka grandchildren). However what could be better than combining one’s two loves?

The visiting nobility was Deborah Merrick-Wilson teaching two days of goldwork. The project is called “A Taste of Tudor”. With Deborah’s permission, I am publishing a photo of the finished project. The other photo is my attempt at goldwork. I made some progress, but with metal threads, it’s slower stitching than usual.

Deborah’s interest in gold work goes back to childhood when she fell in love with the “patch” of gold on an uncle’s blazer. She went on to become an expert in dimensional embroidery and traditional and interpretive goldwork. She has received numerous awards for her work. One can read more about Deborah’s numerous accomplishments on the EGA website under events (more about that later.)

Deborah’s style of teaching is what made me so excited. She breaks downs an area of the design into smaller chunks, so that the execution of that section of the design made total sense. Her pacing was spot on. We covered prep work, followed by execution of some of the stitches, but we did not rush. At the end of the second day, Deborah spent the last half hour going over the stitch guide and explaining in detail the areas of the design that had not been covered in class. I did not walk away thinking I will never be able to do this. Instead, I felt as if I had covered enough basics to help me through the remainder of the design. Of course, we shall see how I progress! One can’t leave a goldwork design to languish in the closet because the metals do start to change colors and one wants their piece to age at approximately the same rate.

So now on to why I mentioned EGA in an ANG sponsored blog. Deborah was in the process of retiring when the pandemic hit. This class was supposed to have been taught in 2020. Thankfully, Deborah did two make up sessions last week and this past weekend. That way the class was divided in half so that we had more room to social distance a bit. When Deborah was asked where else she might be teaching, she informed us that probably her last class taught would be as an extended study program for EGA early this spring. That event, which might be her last teaching gig, is to be held in March of 2022 in Alexandria, VA. One can find more information on that event on the EGA website.

So it is hard to tell whether all this excitement of mine is due to the fact that I was actually sitting in a classroom again. (I love, love taking classes) or because I was enthralled with the material. I suspect it is a little of both!

Seminar coming to our backyard in less than a year!

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I have spent the last few days at the EGA Seminar in Chicago and I have seen the classes being offered next year up close and personal with my white gloves on! Broadway Bound, the EGA Seminar for 2022 has some stunning needlepoint pieces as well as such a wide variety of other embroidery techniques.

Broadway Bound runs from August 24-28, 2022, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. There will be nine one day classes on Friday, 25 two day classes that run on Wednesday and Thursday and another 25 different two day classes offered on Saturday and Sunday. There are also 6 four day classes that are taught on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and one three day class on Appraising Needlework. The boutique will be run by a store we are very familiar with, Needleworker’s Delight! I cannot offer any photos but you will be able to see them soon.

The photos of all the classes will be posted on Sunday morning on the EGA website (egausa.org). You can find all the information about each class as well as the photos. The link for early registration will be operational as well. I am excited that this will be available so close to many of us offering an opportunity to take a class (or two or three!) from a national teacher. Plus it should fit the schedule of those who are working if you see and take a class offered on the weekend.

Take a look! I hope that you can join us there!

Sue

Celestial Twist

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March 7, 2021

Hi Everyone —

In January, Sue C, Linda and I decided to enroll in the ANG Workshop by Mail. The workshop was Celestial Twist by Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes. We had to write to Ann-Marie at Beautiful Stitches in Australia if we wanted a kit. So we looked at the website and found a treasure of silken threads and designs! (www.beautifulstitches.com.au)

Sue C showed you her threads in her January 27 post on this site. We’ve been combining our orders to save on postage from Australia. But the threads and colors are just luscious! At Ann-Marie’s suggestion, we have bought our canvas locally to save on postage. Another excuse for a visit to Needleworker’s Delight!

Today, I am pleased to share the finished results of our stitching. My goodness, what a difference a color can make!

If these stay static in the post, we have Linda’s, Rosie’s, and Sue C’s from left to right. Rosie did the original colorway and Linda and Sue chose other threads from Ann-Marie’s collection. In all cases, Ann-Marie chose the solid colors to coordinate with the over-dyed threads.

All three of us agree that this was such a fun piece to stitch with all the Amadeus, Crescent, Norwich, Ray, and Herringbone stitches. We discovered Wrapped Coils for the first time!

The three of us all have additional Beautiful Stitches projects in our stash (or current project pile). I am doing the 2021 Block of the Month piece called “Long Time Gone Stitching” which features an array of well-known quilt patterns interpreted in needlepoint!

We owe ANG a huge thanks for introducing us to Ann-Marie. Just another benefit of guild membership!

Cheers, Rosie

Ahwahnee!

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Hi Everyone —

A few months ago, I signed up for “Ahwahnee” by Lorene Salt which was being offered as a workshop by EGA. I thought the design looked balanced and interesting; I ordered the PDF and skipped the kit because I wasn’t fond of the color. The design was supposedly based upon a stained glass window at Yosemite Lodge. So, I was thinking of using shades of green, redwood bark, and blue sky to evoke the feeling of the Yosemite National Park. So when I got the material list, I started combing my stash.

Ahwahnee by Lorene Salt in the original colorway.

The class instructions came in six lessons spaced about a month apart. With the first lesson, Lorene sent a picture of the window that had inspired the design and I immediately knew that I would try to emulate that window instead of following my original plan.

This is the Ahwahnee window in Yosemite Lodge! So gorgeous!

Now came the hard part! I was determined to use my stash so that I didn’t have to shop during Covid. Needless to say, that didn’t work out so well. The only red in my stash was bright Christmas red. I had a nice green, but adjusted when I didn’t have a Kreinik that would work with it. I had lots of bright yellow, but only a few strands of gold that might work. So I stitched and ripped and stitched and ripped until I finally went to Needleworkers Delight and just bit the bullet!

My version of Ahwahnee!

You will note that I took a few liberties with the design. I didn’t like the Chilly Hollows around the center motif — they felt too large, so I changed them to emulate the little triangles in the stained glass. I think it is too busy now, but I’ve stitched this area too many times to count. I’m also not completely happy with the middle side panels — they need more red, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it. Those areas have been stitched at least three times!

My base colors were DMC 815 for the red, 704 for the green, 783 for the gold, and 310 for the black. When I was almost finished, someone told me about this nifty program on Stitch Palette where you could upload a picture and it would convert it to DMC colors. So I uploaded the picture of the Ahwahnee window. Stitch Palette converter recommended DMC 355 for the red, 904/906 for the green, 832 for the gold, and 3371 for the frame and dividers. So epic fail on my part!

No, I don’t plan to stitch it again — but it was interesting to stitch and a real challenge for colors!

Cheers, Rosie

Celestial Event, beginning

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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?

Sue

Week 1 of Sunrise Reflection

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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??)

Sue

Christmas morning arrives in my mailbox

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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

Another Finish

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For the past month I’ve been working on Toni Gerdes’s “Klimt Kimono” through CyberPointers, and I finished it yesterday! It was fun to stitch…the most difficult part was keeping track of the floss threader, the re-purposed tool for getting the gold gimp thread used for the tree branches through enlarged holes in the canvas. 🙂 I dropped it several times and thought I was in trouble, until I discovered that a flashlight helped to locate it against the dark tweedy background of the carpet where I was stitching.

I have a partially-finished Wright Kimono in my stash, and I’m going to be doing the O’Keeffe Kimono as part of the virtual ANG Seminar, so I guess I have to stop saying that “I’m not really a kimono person”!

jill-finished

Another Heart for Hospice

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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.

Sue

Sharing with Friends!

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Hi Everyone —

I’ve decided to post new pictures at the end of each day instead of as they come in.

So, I have this wonderful little piece from Tina F to share tonight.

 

Tina (2)

Tina writes:

This is a Laura Perin Design from Needlepointers magazine, March 2009.  I am suppose to teach this at my Wisconsin Guild.  But with Covid-19, I am not sure that will happen.  But I am ready to go, if the meeting isn’t cancelled. It was a quick stitch as there is a minimal laying of threads.

I also realized that I had three pictures of finished pieces from Janice M.  I took these when we were stitching at the Edwardian Needle (an era ago) and I had planned to put them into the March meeting summary.  But, I figure there’s no time like the present!

Janice NACWS

This is an ANG Correspondence Course called “Not a Creature Was Stirring” by Joni Stevenson.  Janice had it finished as a stand-up.  It looks wonderful!

Janice Pillow

Janice found someone on ETSY (in Germany, I think) who charted the names and dates and everything!  Janice finished it as a pillow for the new couple’s home!

Janice The Wave (2)

Last, but not least, is Joni Stevenson’s “The Wave” which was done as a regional workshop with Metropolitan Region EGA.  This one was also finished as a stand-up!

Kudos to both Tina and Janice!  Who’s next???

Cheers, Rosie