Wishful Thinking!

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Hi Everyone —

Despite the NJ weather last week, Sue C and I were able to get to Ontario, California in time to take Ann Strite-Kurz’s class “Wishful Thinking”.   Thankfully, we had scheduled to fly early and ended up arriving just in time!

The class is planned as a four-day class at seminar, but we were part of a three-day pilot class sponsored by SBCANG chapter of ANG.  We had a small amount of pre-work to set up the dog outline and the border, but Ann told us that we could do as much of the border as we wanted if we had time.

Ann’s design shows a stack of Christmas presents with a Scotty dog trying to reach a bone on the top of the stack!  Sue is doing the piece in this original Christmas colorway.  Another woman did her own Hanukah colorway and we saw her stitched model in class — it was lovely.  I had asked Ann for a girl’s birthday colorway, but she had trouble finding the right threads, so she did a boy’s birthday colorway for me instead.  I am stitching the sample for this colorway (which Ann plans to also offer) so I am under a self-imposed deadline to get this done!

The following picture shows our progress after the second day of class.

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It’s hard to believe, but we did the bottom four packages on the first day and the “top” two on the second day.  Ann walked us through all of the intermediary packages which did not introduce any new techniques, but we still had a number of questions.  The top red package was an interesting pattern and Ann used it to discuss how she comes up with new pattern ideas!

SBCANG workshops meet in the community room of a bank in Ontario, CA.  It is large, well-lit and Pat Correz provides an awesome set up of coffee and pastries for our breaks.  There is a wonderful “Local Baker” about three miles away in Upland, CA that is a favorite lunch place for sandwiches and salads.  Sue and I ate there on two of the three days.  The middle day we walked to an individual fast-fired make-your-own pizza place about two blocks from the venue.   Sue and I ate wherever the teacher went — that way we were never late to class!

The  following picture shows our progress at the end of the workshop on Day 3.

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We spent most of the third day on the dog and the dog’s shading.  Sadly, a number of our classmates missed the morning session while they attended a memorial service for a local chapter member.  Ann walked all of us through the rest of the design and we spent most of the afternoon stitching what we wanted while Ann walked through the dog again.  I actually learned quite a bit — while adding the “whiskers” to the dog.  Ann showed me (and a few others) how to do the stem stitch and the outline stitch which were required for the whiskers.  She also showed us a ruche technique for adding a few of the bows.

After the conclusion of the workshop, Sue and I had been invited to dinner with several of the local members at an Italian restaurant a few miles from the venue.  We had a wonderful time and I feel like I have more and more connections to this guild!  SBCANG often has a workshop teacher stay and do a chapter program on the evening of the last day of the workshop.  So, after dinner, we all went back to the community room.  After a brief business meeting, Ann provided a slide lecture with fifty (?) or more of her designs with close-ups of unusual stitch variations.

Luckily, Sue and I have a few days to continue stitching at my brother’s house before we head home.  My goal is to finish the piece, but that too is “Wishful Thinking!”

Cheers!  Rosie

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A visit to the Needlework Exhibit at Woodlawn

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Today Rosie and I went to Woodlawn as we have been doing for the past few years. We now have a system of going through the house once, having lunch in Nelly’s Cafe and then a second go around of the exhibit. At lunch we talk about what we have seen and what warrants a second visit. This year during our second trip around we picked our People’s Choice vote for a silk ribbon design that had special touches of embroidered felted wool small birds and tiny 3 D butterflies that had a shadow of the butterfly stitched behind it as well as all the beautiful silk ribbon flowers! We missed those details the first time around.

As usual we found some needlepoint counted designs that we particularly liked and wanted to know the designer. My job is to fill out a question sheet to be given to the stitcher requesting the name of the designer. Rosie’s job was expanded this year as photographs of rooms were permitted–not close ups where a design could be repeated by another stitcher without purchasing the design. So to entice you to come, here are a few room photos.

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An entry from Sue R and the silk embroidery with the butterflies!

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Joan S’s two ribbon-winning pieces were displayed on the same wall.

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Diane B’s and Barbara L’s SOTM along with Sue R’s second piece.

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Two pieces by Andrea B as well as Cathryn C’s and Ellen B’s entries.

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Rosie’s two collages by Debbie Stiehler, Imari collage won a ribbon!

We did not get photos of all the entries from NJNA, hopefully there will be a later post including others.

What we always enjoy is trying to identify the designer of pieces that we see. This year we identified eighteen different designers whose work we have either stitched or are familiar with! See what spending time with NJNA members will do! This year several members, who had stitched former president of NJNA Susan Hoekstra’s Stitch of the Month design for ANG in 2016, exhibited their completed piece either framed or as a pillow. Unfortunately for those of us who find the different color ways as well as variations of the design a great study of both design effect and color relationships, these pieces were exhibited in several different rooms. Another two (that I counted) exhibitors stitched this design with a very different center. One was at eye level so that we could see the center was beaded and three dimensional. That was one of the question sheets I filled out, who had designed the center. It made for a very different piece!

I felt that in this year’s exhibit there were many more original designs than I have ever seen exhibited before! Several were by teachers but most were not (or at least I don’t believe they are designers!). This seems to me to be a good sign that needlework is expanding and more people are creating their own work.

Each year I come away inspired to stitch more and a plan of what I want to complete for exhibit next year! If you have not come, plan a day in March–not a Tuesday–to come see the beautiful pieces and be inspired! If you have not yet exhibited, consider exhibiting next year to inspire others in this great hobby!

Sue

2018 SOTM – March

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Despite the two nor’easters in less than a week, 10 intrepid stitchers gathered on Saturday for our Stitch-of-the-Month session. As always, it was great to get together for a few hours of stitching, chatting, laughter, and food. Several of our group are stitching Lorene Salt’s Autumn Kaleidoscope in the original colorway while even more are developing their own colorways.

We’ve found that seeing one design in different colorways is the most fascinating part of our SOTM sessions. Regardless of what colorway any of us is stitching, seeing the interplay of colors and making (or helping with) those decisions about color are truly educational. With all of us stitching together we are also able to share tips/thoughts about how best to tackle an area. It is truly a wonderful day together.

Here is our progress so far:

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Clockwise from top right: Joan, Rosie, Mally, Sue R, Nancy, Sue C, Janet, Linda M

Mally, Nancy, and Linda M all chose the same original colorway on black, while Janet is stitching the original colorway on beige (and making some thread adjustments along the way). Joan is stitching the optional blue colorway on black. Sue C and Sue R are stitching their own colorways and both opted for the same overdye for the interior borders with Sue C’s on pewter canvas and Sue R’s on mushroom canvas. Rosie selected her own colorway and is heading more towards purple than the pink she thought it would be.

Amy had to leave before the group photo was taken, but we didn’t let her escape without a photo. She had planned to stitch the original colorway but then she decided to experiment and chose this variation.

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Isn’t it fascinating how the same design looks so different depending on threads and even canvas color?

Tina is also stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope in her own colorway as a “distance stitcher” now that she has moved out of our area. We are so happy that she is able to set aside time to stitch along with us. We will post a photo soon!

Dee will be stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope once she has finished a previous SOTM project. We’re glad she decided to complete this piece as it is absolutely stunning! This is Kurdy Biggs’ A Different View in the “Black” colorway.

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We’re looking forward to our next session in April!

Happy Stitching!

Woodlawn Report

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At last I have a few moments to write about our trip to the 55th Annual Needlework Show & Sale at Woodlawn.  The last few days have been quite an adventure – no power until Monday morning, followed by a scheduled loss of power Monday night into Tuesday morning, and then yet another storm!

We drove down on Friday through the nor’easter that pummeled the East Coast.  It was slow going along the New Jersey and Delaware Turnpikes with pelting rain and, at time, some wet snow.  We finally caught a break in Maryland when the precipitation stopped but by then the winds had picked up and we were buffeted as we drove, particularly on the bridges.

We stopped in Falls Church for lunch at the Mad Fox Brewing Company.  They have quite a variety of sandwiches and salads, and Mr. M enjoyed the beer. And, it is only 15 minutes from Waste Knot Needlepoint in Arlington. I had emailed Lori, the owner, before our trip to get some threads I needed.  Of course, Mr. M managed to pick out two new canvases to add to the inventory!  So I now have Santa’s Workshop from CH Designs and Easter Bunny from Robbyn’s Nest Designs to add to my list.

Waste Knot Needlepoint has a wonderful inventory of canvases and threads, and they are always a pleasure to visit. The shop will be moving this month – their last day at the current location is March 17 and they are hoping to reopen at their new location on April 2. They will be just around the corner at 2100 N. Glebe Road in Arlington.  I’m already looking forward to visiting!

We arranged to meet Nora in Bethesda on Friday evening (she took the bus from Pittsburgh). I made a wrong turn heading from the hotel in Alexandria to Bethesda and had quite the time getting corrected. The Nav System didn’t know about the winds and all the downed trees/closed roads, so I had to keep diverting off the route. Usually we get to the drop-off location about 40 minutes early but the diversions resulted in us arriving at about the time the bus was due (7:15 pm). Wouldn’t you know – the bus was actually 30 minutes early! Fortunately the bus waited for all the students to meet their rides.

Saturday was clear but windy and chilly. Our first order of business was to head over to Woodlawn for the exhibit. This year there are a few local artisans set up in the reception area, which made for a nice entrance. There are about 410 entries this year (not 660 as I previously reported as the numbering started from 100 and not 1, and numbers were skipped). I found last year’s program and it looks like there were about 390 entries, so a slight increase.

As usual the pieces were outstanding. I think there are less samplers this year and more stumpwork, but that may just be how everything is displayed.  I was disappointed that all of our Feuilles d’Ananas arenot displayed together but that may be because two of the four are finished as pillows.  There are a few exhibitors from other areas who submitted the same piece with a completely different center! It would have been interesting to see all of the pieces together.

I was very pleased to see five of the 19 entries from NJNA earned awards! While we all know that NJNA is home to outstanding stitchers it is gratifying to know that the judges recognize our members’ skills.

In addition to the submitted pieces one can wander through “exhibits within the Exhibit”. One room contains absolutely stunning Japanese embroidery pieces, entitled “Exploring the Art of Japanese Embroidery”, which showcases pieces by Antonia Evans, an instructor from Silver Spring, and her students. I was awestruck by the beauty of these pieces.

A second exhibit entitled “Snakes & Ladders” includes embroidered photographs of Dawn Whitmore, a Virginia-based documentary photographer and visual artist. According to the program, the pieces are “a modern musing based on her fear of snakes.”

The third exhibit includes the works of Mary Duckworth, who was a longstanding member of Nelly’s Needlers as well as a designer, teacher, judge, and shop owner. Many of the pieces that she designed and stitched are exhibited along with some of the awards she received. Interestingly, one stitcher submitted two pieces based on a Mary Duckworth design for this year’s Exhibit. The exhibit includes the original piece as well as the later interpretations. Make sure you take a look at Mary’s Survival Kit!

I urge all of you to visit Woodlawn if you have the chance. There are so many wonderful stitchers who share their work. And, let’s continue to show NJNA’s support for this wonderful Exhibit.

 

 

Winter Retreat at Sturbridge

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Hi Everyone —

This week, Sue C and I joined several other members of our chapter (Sue R, Janice, Ada, Jill) as well as friends from the local EGA chapter to attend Winter Escape sponsored by Stitcher’s Hideaway in Sturbridge Village, MA.

We drove to MA on Saturday.  On the way we stopped at the Enriched Stitch in Wilton, CT.  What a lovely shop!  I bought the following canvas with all threads and a stitch guide — won’t that be a lovely way to remember my upcoming vacation in Paris?  I’m happy to report that I was not the only person who did some serious damage on their credit card!

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The Publick House in Sturbridge offers us a lovely room for stitching.

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Guess who I found lurking in the rafters above our stitching table?

 

We can stitch from early morning until about 9:30 PM.  Lunch is at noon and Dinner is at 5:00 — and there is more than ample food, including some glorious sticky buns!  Sue C won a door prize on the first day — a gift certificate to an online needlework store.

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Janice finished her Kaleidoscope through February in a Chocolate and Cherries colorway.  Bravo!

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I was able to finish Razzle Dazzle after several years of stitching at every SOTM meeting!

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A great time is being had by all!

Cheers!

Rosie