Sunday, August 21, 2016

Updated Name Tag - 08/21/16

August 21, 2016--Leaving on Monday for ANG's Seminar in New Orleans.  DH is coming with me and we're driving, taking three days for a little sight seeing along the way.

Anywho, I took a look at my pathetic chapter name tag that I sloppily put together 5 years ago and decided it needed an upgrade, a remake, a total makeover, so to speak.  So here it is, before and after.  Amazing what a little cording can do, and some ribbon, white lining, etc.

Name Tag Before

Name Tag After
Now I'm ready for seminar.  Hope to see you there.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Frankie - Updated 8/20/16

August 20, 2016--Working on Lesson 7 consisting of the background stitches.  There are three parts to this lesson:  Bokhara Couching Pattern for the narrow horizontal and vertical bands, Burden Stitch for the wide vertical bands and lastly the outer border area.  The first of the three parts is done and here's a picture.

Frankie through Lesson 7.33
August 12, 2016--Lesson 6 is completed.  This lesson covered the Walnetos with Jessicas and Eight Point Stars.  Love those stars--they are quick to stitch and the results are beautiful.  The color difference in the stars is due to the fact that in one, the gold is stitched first, while in the other it is stitched last.

The last lesson covers the background or filling stitches, and the braided border.  There's a lot to do here, but now this is a good TV watching project.

Frankie through Lesson 6
August 9, 2016--Lesson 5 covering the Double Fans Doubled and Chilly Hollow stitches is done.  Only four more "diamonds" to fill in, then all that's left are the background stitches.  Rounding the bend to the finish.

Frankie Through Lesson 5
July 24, 2016--Back from traveling in New England and Canada and have finished Lesson 4.   This lesson covered stitches for the Diagonal Padded Waffle and Mini Double Fans (these remind me of pinwheels).  The colors are blending nicely.

Frankie Through Lesson 4
July 11, 2016--Lesson 3 is now complete.  This lesson included the filling for the Diamond Jessicas (which I had already stitched before wrapping up Lesson 2), the Amadeus Stitch on the upper and lower bands and the Wheat Sheafs along the outer edges.  Now on to the really fun stuff--those highly engineered Jean Hilton stitches.

Frankie Through Lesson 3
July 5, 2016--Happily stitching along and have finished Lessons 1 and 2, and half of Lesson 3 (out of a total of 7 lessons).

The instructions call for stitching each of the Diamond Jessicas (DJs) before doing the Waffle Stitches and Circular Jessicas that fit inside the DJs.  I changed this by stitching the Waffle Stitches and Circular Jessicas BEFORE stitching the Diamond Jessicas.  This made it a lot easier for me to properly execute the last stitches that go behind the first section.  So here's my progress todate:

Through Lesson 1 - Plaited Stitch Columns

Through Lessons 2 and Half of 3 - Diamond Jessicas
Filled with Waffle Stitches and Circular Jessicas
June 29, 2016--Three years ago I signed up to stitch Frankie, a project by Michael Boren and Carole Lake of StitchPlay Designs (project photo below).  It was being offered through Shining Needle Society and I was very excited to find it available as an online class.  I had planned to stitch this as a gift for my sister whose home has a bit of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Frank Lloyd Wright styling. When I visited her that year in 2013, she even helped me to choose threads to go with her decor.

Move forward to 2016 and I've finally begun working on this piece.  The instruction manual along with all the online class materials have a 1.5" width and are quite heavy.  Just reading the pre-work portion of the instructions took some time to wade through.  Well all that's behind me now and below is a picture of the pre-work completed.  It looks a little wonky, so imagine vertical bars with stitching to cover all the traveling threads and bar tacks.

There's a reason for starting this project now--I'm visiting my sister in October to see her new home in Florida (she moved from Dallas, TX) and would like to have this project finished by the end of the visit so I can leave it with her for framing.  I plan on getting at least 75% of it done before I leave.  It's a 19 hour train ride from Delaware to Florida, so should be able to get more stitching done while traveling.

This is a beautiful project and am looking forward to putting color on the canvas.

Frankie Pre-Work Completed
Frankie by Michael Boren and Carole Lake of StitchPlay Designs Project Photo

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sisters by Nancy Cucci Pilot Class - Updated 8/4/16

Apugust 4, 2016--This project is now completely stitched, including the "sisters" box on the bottom.  My sister's initials are CW and are placed with mine (BC) inside the turquoise square.  I love the feeling of connectedness this piece conveys even though we are separated by many miles.  Now to have it framed.

Sisters Completed
June 26, 2016--Block 3 in turquoise is done.  This is the last block with beading.  The five smaller ones should go a lot faster.

Really like how the stitches in the three blocks look different from one another even though they are the same.  The difference is in the placement, angle and rotation.

Sisters Block 3 Completed
June 22, 2016--Block 2 (the gray one) is now stitched and am starting another.  This is really pretty.

Sisters Block 2 Completed
May 6, 2016--Happily stitching on this lovely project.  Here's my progress so far....block 1 is completely done.

Sisters through Block 1
April 27, 2016--Just completed a two day pilot class taught by Nancy Cucci for her "Sisters" project, held in Georgetown, DE.  One of ANG Delaware's Seashore Chapter members organized the whole thing.  Wow, another success for sure!  One of the pictures below shows how much, or how little, I accomplished over the last two days, but I really learned a lot.  Click on the In Process page on the right for a view of the project photo.

PS  I believe this is the fifth class Nancy has come to Delaware to teach and I've been lucky enough to participate in two other of her classes:  Stitches in Sterling and Irrisistible Iridescents.

Class Members

Our illustrious instructor Nancy Cucci

What I Stitched in Two Days

Thursday, July 7, 2016

SOTM 2016 - Updated 7/7/16

July 7, 2016--Block 7 for July is done.  The corner units stitch up quickly and they are all the same size except for the ones on the last row.  It looks so much better in person.

SOTM 2016 July Section 7 Completed
June 21, 2016--June's Section 6 is stitched.  It took longer than it should have because I ran out of thread.  Got it in time to finish up in June.

Moving into the pale blues now.  Like how it's developing.

SOTM 2016 June Section 6 Completed
May 4, 2016--Section 5 for May is done.  It's interesting how different the colors are when placed next to others.  For example, the dark color used in this latest grouping is the same thread used in the very center, but it appears a bit bluer.  Also, the light blue color in this section appears darker than the one used last month, but it is in fact a bit lighter.  Must be that they're different threads and reflect light differently.

SOTM 2016 May Section 5 Completed
April 18, 2016--Section 4 for April is done.  Was able to do most of the stitching while attending the 6th Annual NJ Needle Festival last weekend.

SOTM 2016 April Section 4 Completed

March 7, 2016--Completed the stitching for March, Section 3.  A quick and easy section.  The photo was taken late in the afternoon with the sun low in the sky.  Makes a difference in how the blues appear.

SOTM 2016 March Section 3 Completed

February 6, 2016--Section 2 for February is done.  The two blues seem to be fighting each other right now, but I suspect that as more sections are completed, they'll meld together nicely.

SOTM 2016 February Section 2 Stitched
January 30, 2016--January's Block 1 is stitched.  I made some changes to the Amedeus stitch because I used perle thread instead of multiple strands of thread.

SOTM 2016 January Block 1
Below is a photo of what the Amadeus stitch looked like before I added a long thread down the middle to hide the "open area".   The two arms on the right and left side have a long stitch down the middle to cover the open area while the upper arm does not.  I also diverted from Susan's instructions by stitching the right side first, then the left.  I found it difficult to work left, right, left, right--could not see the holes in the middle.  Also, did not want to "pierce" the perle thread like you can do with stranded.  I'm pleased with the result.   Can't wait to start February's Block 2.

PS  The light threads you can barely see on the canvas are basting lines.

Block 1 with and without long center stitch
January 23, 2016--A few days ago some members of the ANG Delaware's Seashore Chapter and I drove up to Fireside Stitchery in Pennsylvania to purchase the necessary threads to stitch this year's ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project.  This beautiful design by Susan Hoekstra, called Feuilles d'Ananas (Pineapple Leaves), is a study in values requiring 11 different threads from dark to light.  What fun we had comparing our color choices to Susan's dark golds/topaz to light straw colors (see project photo below).    I love blues, so naturally migrated to those colors and below is a picture of my thread selections.

Those of us in the guild who are stitching this year-long project plan on meeting once a month at each other's home to help with any challenges we may have.   Looking forward to stitching the first block this month.

ANG SOTM 2016 Designed by Susan Koekstra

See my Page (on right) called SOTM 2016 Thread List for more details.
SOTM 2016 Thread Selection

Saturday, June 18, 2016

18th Century Sampler by SJ Designs - 6/18/16

June 18, 2016--Have been wanting to stitch this beautiful sampler ever since I read about it on other needlepoint blogs.  It has all the elements I love--beautiful design, challenging stitches, perle threads, etc.   So I ordered it from SJ Designs and a few days ago received the kit and prework instructions.  I managed to stitch the middle section and that's all that will get done until the class starts July 1st, or whenever I receive the instruction manual in the mail, whichever comes first.  I hope to keep up with the class, but with all the traveling DH and I will be doing (most of July, lots of August, September and October), it looks dubious.

I chose to stitch this with ecru perle on 24 ct. eggshell canvas.   Susan has set up a Facebook page for those participating in this project to share their progress and ask questions.

18th Century Sampler through 6/18/16

18th Century Sampler by SJ Designs Project Photo

Monday, June 6, 2016

New App from Ruth Schmuff - 6/6/2016

June 6, 2016--Just purchased the latest app from Ruth Schmuff called "iStitches Vol Four".  I love having these little books with me at all times, on both my iPhone and iPad.  In fact, I probably would purchase every needlepoint book out there if it were made available as an app, or at a minimum, a Kindle book.   My Favorite Apps and Tools Page has been updated to add this new guide.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Orange Grove - Updated 6/8/16

June 8, 2016--Found the perfect frame, and this lovely piece now sits on the night stand in my guest bedroom.

Orange Grove Finished
May 31, 2016--Have just returned from two weeks out West (brief itinerary below), and while traveling around by car, was able to complete the stitching on this delightful little project.

However, please don't look at the stitching too closely.  Some of the roads were quite rough and bumpy. and trying to get an even tension while laying two threads proved to be a challenge.   Also was distracted by the beautiful scenery along the way.

The places we visited:

Badlands National Park, SD
Mt. Rushmore, SD
Devil's Tower, WY
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Grand Tetons, WY
Grand Canyon North Rim, AZ
Snow Canyon, UT
Zion National Park, UT
Death Valley, CA
Las Vegas, NV

Orange Grove Completed

May 14, 2016--Orange Grove, otherwise called Introduction to Paradise, is a pretty little project by Lois Caron and taught to our ANG chapter in March 2014 by one of our members, Pat vd A.

My husband and I are traveling for the next few weeks and I wanted to work on something I could easily hold while riding in a car.  This piece is perfect.  I started working on it to be sure it wasn't too complicated and believe I can complete it while on the road--it's that easy.  So here's a picture of what's been done to date and hopefully the next picture will be of a completed project.

Orange Grove as of 5/13/16

Orange Grove Project Photo