Monday, May 21, 2018

New Source for Backing Boards--Who Knew - 5/21/18

May 21, 2018--A member of Delaware's Seashore Chapter of ANG introduced us to a type of backing board she uses when "finishing" her needlepoint into ornaments and the like.   It's relatively thin (24 point board weight), making it easy to cut with scissors or a rotary blade; is certified acid free; and conveniently sized at 8.5" x 11" (each sheet is large enough to cut front and back of two ornaments).  There are 100 boards per package and it's reasonably priced (found mine on

Of course, its original purpose is for use as backing to comic books and similarly sized magazines.  Who knew.

Thanks Linda C. for sharing this information.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Floral Ribbons - Updated 5/20/18

May 20, 2018--This is now "finished" as a hanging ornament.  The cording was made with 1/8" ribbons on my Kumihimo disk.  The lettering sewn on the back fabric turned out a little crooked.  Next time I'll baste a straight line on the fabric as a guide for the letters.  Still learning how to "finish".  All in all, it's cute.

Floral Ribbons Finished Front
Floral Ribbons Finished Back

November 7, 2017--Just completed the stitching of a Delaware's Seashore Chapter project led by Pat vdA taken from the March 2009 issue of NeedlePointers Magazine.  It's a pretty Laura Perrin design and I love needlepointed ribbons.

However, the canvas is too dark for the blue threads used, so it's not easy to see where one ribbon ends and another begins.  I'll just make this a quick hang-up piece and display it in my "throne room".  LOL.

Floral Ribbons Completed

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

SOTM 2018 - Updated 5/2/2018

May 2, 2018--A month later and the fifth lesson is done for May.  Another fast section with only 3 motifs.  It'll look so much better once the borders are stitched, hiding the "turning" threads.

SOTM 2018-05 Front
SOTM 2018-05 Back
SOTM 2018-05 Close Up

April 2, 2018--The April instructions are up on the ANG website, and like last month, the stitching of this easy diagonal darning pattern took about a half hour to finish (looks like a herringbone pattern to me).  Looking forward to the more complicated lessons coming up.

SOTM 2018-04 Front

SOTM 2018-04 Back

March 2, 2018--The stitching for March's portion of this cute project took about 30 minutes to do.  Am ready for the next installment, but must wait until April 1st.

PS.  If the color for March's section looks is.  I'm using some old cotton perle threads given to me by my mother and will place the different dye lots around the canvas.

SOTM 2018-03 Front

SOTM 2018-03 Front Closeup

SOTM 2018-03 Back

SOTM 2018-03 Back Closeup
February 2, 2018--The February instructions for this darning project are so easy and quick--was able to get the stitching done in about an hour.  This is going to be so cute as a box cover.  In fact, I'm going to try and enclose the back with glass so that the reverse or negative side will shown when the box top is opened.

SOTM 2018-02 Completed

SOTM 2018-02 Front

Add caption Back

January 11, 2018--The section for the month of  January is stitched.  I love how the back looks like a negative of the front.  Cool.

SOTM 2018 - through January

SOTM 2018 January Closeup Front

SOTM 2018 January Closeup Back
January 2, 2018--Yay!  The January installment of ANG's 2018 Stitch of the Month project called Darned Good Sampler by Toni Gerdes is now up on their website (click here).   This is a year long project featuring darning patterns and it's right up my alley.  I've already picked out my color (true blue) on white 24 count Congress Cloth.  This will produce a final size of 5" x 5" which will fit perfectly in a box I already own.  Below is a picture of this year's project.

ANG Stitch of the Month 2018 Project Photo

Monday, April 30, 2018

Imperial Rubies Heart - Updated 4/30/18

April 30, 2018--Finished!  Again, this is "do it yourself" finishing and continues to be a learning process.  Love the hearts designed by Gay Ann Rogers.   The cording around the heart was made using my kumihimo disk.

Imperial Rubies Heart Finished Front
Imperial Rubies Heart Finished Back

December 21, 2015-- Was so eager to complete this beautiful heart that I sat down and worked all the beading yesterday.   The side views show the dimensions and beauty of the beadwork.

Almost couldn't finish--discovered I didn't have a needle small enough to fit through the tiny pearl beads, and there were 22 of them on the two necklaces.  Fortunately I remembered purchasing a new type of beading thread from Louise's Needlework shop in Ohio while there for a class last April.  It's a very fine, strong braid and stiff enough to manually thread through the itty, bitty, teeny, tiny pearls. They are so small that I couldn't hold them with my fingers--had to use a pair of tweezers.   Of course, I had to continuously thread up and unthread the needle to pick up the crystal beads.  Took a bit longer than anticipated, but now that it's done, I'm very pleased.

Imperial Rubies Heart Completed

Left Side View

Right Side View

Beading Thread - Braided and Strong
Manually inserting Thread into Pearl Bead (no needle)

December 20, 2015--All the stitching has been done and ready for beading.

Progress through 12-20-15

November 24, 2015--This is my work so far on this lovely heart.  Almost finished with the needlepointing.  The beading will add the beautiful dimensions.   See the In Process Tab above for a project photograph.

Stitching through 11/24/2015

October 17, 2015--For the very first time, I participated in Gay Ann Rogers' sale of her royal hearts and was able to purchase the Imperial Rubies Heart.   Looking forward to getting the kit in the mail--these hearts are so beautiful.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg - Updated 4/25/18

April 25, 2018--The Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg is now "finished" into an ornament. This one was a real challenge to put together--had to remove some extra beads that were hanging over the edge, then had to deal with the white beading thread that was showing.  Took my cue from the couture houses--when you make an error, cover it up, cut it out, or incorporate it into the design.  In my case, I used the "cover it up" principle.  Won't say where (LOL).

I love the plaid fabric on the back.  In person, the color is a lot more intense and shiny.  BTW, the dark lines on both sides of the backing fabric are part of the design, not gaps between the edge and cording.

All in all, I think it looks nice.  

Ornament Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg Finished Front
Ornament Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg Finished Bsvk

February 17, 2017--Completed the stitching, beading and thread couching on this beautiful needlepoint version of Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg.  The multi-colored beads really sparkle.

Ornament Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg
Ornament Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg Side View

January 27, 2017--Finished laying the gold ribbon and am beginning the beadwork.  The first picture below shows how the egg looks with the canvas threads running true vertival.  The second picture shows it slightly tilted to have more of an egg shape.  This is how it will hang when finished.  The purpose is to visually reduce the slant of the gold ribbon diagonal lines while making the beads look like they are coiling sideways around the egg.

Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg at 1-27-17

Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg at 1-27-17 Tilted

January 15, 2017--This is one of the classes I took while at ANG's 2016 National Seminar in New Orleans, LA.  It's called Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg and is designed by Michele Roberts, known for beautiful goldwork projects.

I haven't had an opportunity until today to resume working on this piece.  Here's what I accomplished in class.

Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg at 1-15-17

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Rozashi Baby Iris - Updated April 24, 2018

April 24, 2018.  On a roll with finishing ornaments.  This is the third and last of the recent rozashi projects, but there will be more to come, that's for sure. 

Tried to make cording by twisting 1/8" ribbons--not a total success.  Should have made the twist tighter.  Also needed to make the mounting board a little smaller so that the stitches would wrap around to the back OR for future projects, will need to add a row or two of tent stitches so that the canvas won't show if I have a mounting board size issue.  Hmmm....

Rozashi Baby Iris Finished Closeup

Rozashi Baby Iris Finished Back
December 7, 2017--This little Rozashi Study called Baby Iris by Margaret Kinsey was a CyberPointers class in 2013.  I ordered the kit, then put it aside, not comfortable with the style and method.   Well, that problem ended after completing the recent Rozashi Imari Study class, a recent CyberPointers offering.  I was able to stitch this up in a few days and really like the technique using all vertical stitches on a Japanese canvas called "ro".

The next step is to block the piece by spreading a thin layer of Yamato nori stitcking paste (a type of glue) all over the stitches in the back, then while still damp after an hour, hold an iron above the canvas and steam the devil out of it until it is dried, then do it all over again.  At least that's how I interpret the instructions.  Once that's done, I'll make a little egg shaped ornament out of it and hang it on a drawer knob in my dressing closet.

I found some rozashi projects in the 2005, 2006 and 2009 NeedlePointers Magazine, so will have to find a source for "ro" canvas and work on those.

Rozashi Baby Iris Completed Closeup

Rozashi Baby Iris Completed

Monday, April 23, 2018

Rozashi Ornament East Meets West - Updated 4/23/18

April 23, 2018--Finished this lovely rozashi project into an ornament.   For the most part, I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I kept the shape of the ornament as it was drawn on the "ro" canvas by the designer, Margaret Kinsey, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have redrawn the shape as a proper circle.  As it is, it looks a little out of kilter, but not the end of the world.
Rozashi Ornament East Meets West Finished Front
Rozashi Ornament East Meets West Finished Back
The bow on the top of the ornament was made with a special ribbon I found online.  The ribbon is about 1/8" wide with a string running through it.  To make a bow, all you need do is pull the string to make as many loops in the ribbon you would like.  Cut, secure, and voila--done.  I now want to find this in all the colors I use a lot of.

Diagram to Make a Ribbon Bow 

This is what the ribbon looks like with string running through it.
February 11, 2018--After stitching Margaret Kinsey's Imari Sampler and Baby Iris Rozashi projects, I just had to stitch another.  Found this delightful ornament in the September/October 2005 Needlepoint Now Magazine and just had to stitch it--but first, to find the "ro" canvas.  I learned that Margaret Kinsey is the only US distributor of this canvas, so  I emailed her letting her know I wanted to purchase some ro for the ornament project she designed for the magazine.  Well, she wrote to let me know she had a pre-made up kit and would I like to purchase it.  Yes, yes--the kit not only included the line drawing on ro, but it was already mounted on the special frame and included the sumptuous silk threads used in rozashi.  Happy dance.

Once the kit arrived, I dropped everything and got working on it.  It was so easy to do, and now that it's stitched, need to get this, and the other two rozashi projects, made into hanging ornaments.

I did learn something while stitching this piece--Margaret's instructions on which direction to stitch initially confused me until I finally figured out she uses the economic method instead of the "wrap" method for the bargello like stitches--duh (hand hitting head--LOL).  This makes for half stitches on the back, but does save a lot of thread.  A good thing considering how expensive the silk threads are.

I recenty found a You Tube video of Margaret talking about rozashi and showcasing many of her beautiful projects.  Saw two or three I'd like to tackle.

Here's the completed Rozashi East Meets West Ornament.

Rozashi Ornament East Meets West Designed by Margaret Kinsey