Saturday, June 29, 2013

Favorite Apps

June 29, 2013--I've added a new section on the right called Favorite Apps.  It's wonderful having access to stitches on my iPhone.

My favorite is an Access type app called HanDBase.  I use it to inventory my threads, projects, books, beads, etc.  In future posts, I'll give details about each database and how they are set up.  I chose this type of app so that I could have as much or as little detail I wanted in each database.  Also, I can enter data on my iPhone or on my PC and sync the two.  It's great to have my thread inventory with me when shopping.   Yes, it did take some time to set up, but it was worth it.  Now, when I start a new project, I get to "play" with my new threads by entering each one in the database.  To me it's all part of the fun of doing needlepoint.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kissing Pillows

January, 2013--While attending an ANG CyberPointers meeting at Seminar in Philadelphia last year, I picked up some "kissing pillows" to stitch.  These are done using very simple stitches. then returned to a group who sew a backing to the front, and stuff them.  I understand these little pillows are given to men and women in the miliary who are deployed to areas of combat.  The family members about to be left behind "kiss" the pillow for the militia to have with them.  Also, military personnel will kiss a pillow for each child to keep with him or her as a reminder that their parent will return.  I'm told the demand is great for these little keepsakes.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mt. Vernon, VA Seat Cushion

June 17, 2010--I was so pleased to be chosen to participate in a volunteer project for Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, VA (George Washington's home).  About 10 of us were invited to cross-stitch dining room chair covers (after submitting test samples of our work), copying a pattern used by Martha Washington in the 18th century.  There are records of when, how much and the color of the yarns she purchased for these covers.  Because they had deteriorated over the years, they were being redone to restore the room they'll reside in to its original beauty.  It was a pleasure to be a small part of history in the remaking of these beautiful covers.  Below is the pattern from which we worked (designed by the wonderful ladies at Mt. Vernon Estates and Gardens).

August 2, 2010--Completed the first row of the Martha Washington seat cushion cover. Very brilliant colors. This portion is the back of the cushion cover as it sits against a curved back Windsor chair (very colonial, of course).  I outlined the design on the canvas before stitching so I didn't have to continuously count each step.

August 18, 2010--Completed the second of five rows on the Martha Washington Mt. Vernon chair cushion needlepoint project. The third row was about one-fourth done. I calculated there were another 100 hours required to complete it.

September 30, 2010--Completed the third and longest row of the Mt. Vernon seat cushion. At this point I was over one-half done with only two more rows to finish.

January 8, 2011--Next to the last row completed.  Just had the 5th and final row to do consisting of 3 shells. Almost done!

January 26, 2011--It's done! After 7 months and nearly 200 hours later, I finished the Martha Washington seat cushion. I was proud to be one of 10 to stitch these seat cushions for placement in the newly renovated parlor at Mt. Vernon, VA. I was looking forward to seeing the chairs with the new cushions in place.

Below is a picture of the full seat cover.  I made two very small errors which I now consider to be my "fingerprint".  I can very easily identify the cover I stitched.  

I placed my name and date of completion in the seam allowance for posterity.

This is the original seat cushion as done by Martha Washington.  We understand she stitched a total of 12 cushions, but only 11 of them can be accounted for....Mt. Vernon has 10 and the family of L'Enfant was given one as a gift by Martha's niece.  The 12th is lost to history.

Here is a picture of the completed seat cover made into a cushion.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Brenda's Needlepoint Studio Updated 3/20/14

March 20, 2014--Won 3rd Place Ribbon for Canvaswork at the Rehoboth Beach Museum 4th Annual Needlework Exhibit.

February, 2012--I named my blog after this piece.  The Delaware's Seashore Chapter took this on as a group project in March, 2011.  It's designed by Louise S. Meier.  We personalized our studios by changing the name, colors, etc.  For some this was a great stash buster, but for me, not having much in the way of stash, had to purchase many of the wools, silks and cotton floss required in the instructions.  This project taught us a lot about color schemes--monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split complementary and triadic.  They are all in this design.  It was fun to stitch this as a group and learning from each other.  One of the stitchers located "shisha" mirrors to use in the magnifying glass.  My mother's housemate, who makes up beaded jewelry, gave me just the right copper beads to use as drawer pulls.  I'm thinking of making the bag smaller, or, at a minimum, shorten the corded strap.  What do you think?

BTW, the lettering was very easy to do.  I was able to "write" it up and center it on graph paper, all on my PC, by using's alphabet generator at the site below:

March, 2012--Removed the stone from the bag and had it framed.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

To The Beach

February, 2012--This was a 4 day class taught by Sandy Arthur at the 2011 ANG Seminar in San Antonio, TX.  Much of the classroom time was taken up with getting the hair just right.  Those yellow banana curls were a lot of fun to make but definitely fell under the title "crafts".  I was glad to get that done while in the class--it never would have happened left to my own devices at home.   This project was chosen by the Rehoboth Beach Museum as a marketing piece for their Annual Needlework Exhibit, published in their brochures and in local newspapers (such as the Cape Gazette).  Sandy Arthur was credited as the designer and my name shown as the stitcher.

March, 2012--Framed

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Planned Projects

June 19, 2013--I just added a section (on right) to this blog called Planned Projects.  These are projects that are on stretcher bars with full instructions and all the threads needed to get started.  OMG, there's enough here to keep me busy and happily stitching for years. I haven't included the few painted canvases that are also in my stash that I may get to someday.  I know there are others out there who also have a lifetime worth of projects to stitch--are you one of them?

Sweet Valentine Hearts (Two)

February, 2013--This delightful pair of sweet valentines designed by Laura J. Perin,  instructions printed in the Needlepointers May, 2010 magazine, were a Seashore Chapter led class.  I mounted them in clear acrylic trivets.

PS...The trivets were very difficult to find or very expensive.  Found mine at  Best price and didn't gouge me for shipping (no affiliation).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Heart Sampler for ANG Seminar Auction

October, 2012--When I attended my first ANG seminar in San Antonio, TX in 2011, I was given a piece of blue canvas and a stitch guide written by Janet Perry to needlepoint a heart sampler, then to return the completed heart to ANG.  The heart would then be made into an ornament and offered as an auction item at the Philadelphia seminar in 2012.   So I did that, thoroughly enjoying the process of choosing my own threads, colors and some stitches (the stitch guide was very helpful).

When I went to seminar, I had every intent of bidding on my own heart so I could take it home, thinking it would go for $25 or so.  Ha!  What I saw was not only my heart up for auction, but the hearts of others who also worked on this "first timer" project.  There were a total of 6 beautiful heart ornaments up for auction as a GROUP.  I could see this was going to cost me a bit more than $25.  Well it did.... $300 later, I not only got my heart, but the other 5 as well.  Oh well, it does go for a good cause and the other hearts are pretty.  Here's mine:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Forever In My Heart Ornament

December, 2011--This was a chapter led project designed by Sally London for Rainbow Gallery.  This is entitled Forever In My Heart and is one of twelve designs.  A fast project to work up and gave me a little more practice on finishing ornaments myself.

Hardanger Doily

January, 2012--Our local ANG chapter brought in an instructor to teach us some basic hardanger stitches on linen which would result in a small square doily.  The first step was to run basting stitches from corner to corner on our fabric.  Here was our first problem--we as a group of needlepointers didn't have a clue of what was required of the basting stitches in the center of the fabric.  We spent hours just getting this right.  Too funny.  But once we settled down, the stitches were easy with beautiful results.  I also loved the fact that I could do this type of stitching "in hand" without stretcher bars or hoops.   This proves that once again you can teach an old dog new tricks.  I now look longingly at some beautiful hardanger projects out there.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Casalguidi Tin Box Cover

February, 2012--The Shining Needle Society (SNS) offered this project as an online class taught by Jane Ellen Balzuweit to cover Casalguidi techniques of needlework.  This was new to me and I thought it was beautiful and something I'd like to try.  In fact, I had enrolled to take a Casalguidi class at the ANG 2011 Seminar in San Antonio, but due to lack of interest, the class was cancelled.  Then SNS offered this course--yay! As pretty as it is, I won't be doing any more like this--it's very tedious.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bargello Egg

February, 2012--This was my first Laura J. Perin Design project and I'm hooked.  Taught at a Seashore Chapter meeting.  Love working with perle threads and the Easter Egg colors are scrumptuous.  Had this framed with a stand-up easel in the back so it could either be hung on a wall or stand up on a table.  Then I gave it to my DGDs (Ashley and Casey) as an Easter "card".  It's so much fun to give needlepoint as gifts.

March, 2012-- Framed

Anasazi Trio

May, 2013--I put the three Anasazi projects together (Dream, Song and Spirit) and entered them as an exhibit to the Rehoboth Beach Museum's Annual Needlework Exhibit...and won a First Prize Ribbon.  What a thrill.

Anasazi Spirit

April, 2012--This is the third in the Anasazi series taken as an online class from Carole Lake and Michael Boren through the Shining Needle Society.  I worked this one together with Anasazi Song since both have similar stitches.  Love the results.

Anasazi Song

April, 2012--This is the second in the Anasazi series by Carole Lake.  I purchased the kit immediately after complete Anasazi Dream and was finally able to complete it at the same time I worked on Anasazi Spirit.  Love it.

Sudoko Serendipity

August 13, 2013--Framed

June, 2013--I have a love/hate relationship with this project designed by Marilyn Owen and published in ANG's Needlepointers Magazine, September, 2010.  I love the patterns and how it works, but I made a mistake of choosing threads that are thicker than recommended, so it looks a little too heavy.  Oh well, it's not enough of a reason to redo it.  I think it would look wonderful in a baby's room with the "just right" frame.

Irresistible Iridescents

August 13, 2013--Framed

May, 2013--The Seashore Chapter piloted this class for Nancy Cucci.  She is offering it at the ANG Seminar 2013, Anaheim, CA.  We loved having her for two full days while again learning many new techniques from her.  The joy of stitching never stops!

City Walk Updated 3/18/15

March 18, 2015--Won 3rd Place Ribbon in the Canvaswork-Multi category at Woodlawn's 52 Annual Needlework Exhibition in Alexandria, VA.

March 20, 2014--Won 2nd Place Ribbon for Canvaswork at the Rehoboth Beach Museum 4th Annual Needlework Exhibit.

August 13, 2013--Framed

October, 2012--This was an ANG CyberPointers Correspondence Course taught by Linda Reinmiller.  For me this was an extremely ambitious project, but once I received Linda's instruction manual, I was immediately put at ease.  I learned a lot of new stitches and techniques, all of which were detailed in her instructions.   This being a CC, I was able to mail my completed project to Linda for review.  I was very impressed with how she was able to catch the smallest thing that should have been done differently.  Another wonderful learning experience.  I so much enjoyed this project that I signed up to do her Garden Walk.

SOTM 2011

January, 2012--My second ANG Stitch of the Month mystery project taught by Ro Pace.  This one was a real challenge, consisting of Jean Hilton stitches.  They always seemed to be highly engineered stitches which take some concentration to follow, but so worth the effort.

March, 2012--Framed

May, 2012--Won Third Place Ribbon for Mixed Techniques and Peoples Choice Award at the Rehoboth Beach Museum's Annual Needlework Exhibit.  This second ribbon so surprised me that I asked the museum's director, Nancy Alexander, about this and she explained that most of the visitors to the exhibit were fellow needleworkers and could see the work involved.  Gotta love our fellow stitchers!

Stitches in Sterling

December, 2011--The Seashore Chapter brought in Nancy Cucci to teach this piece at a two-day class.   Learned a lot more about beading doing this project than on anything before.  Loved the technique she gave us for stitching our initials and date.  Will try to incorporate this in many more projects.

March, 2012--Framed

May, 2012--Won Third Place Ribbon for Mixed Techniques at the Rehoboth Beach Museum's Annual Needlework Exhibit.

Box of Chocolates

June, 2012--A friend placed this project into a square tray and it looks beautiful.  This pretty project from Laura J. Perin Designs was given as a chapter project.  Lots of fun to complete.

March, 2013--Framed

SOTM 2012

January, 2013--This is the third time I've followed ANG's annual mystery projects.  Love doing them. Each section of the heart was designed by a different instructor.  Love the darning pattern of the background stitch.

March, 2013--Framed

Journey - David McCaskill

December, 2011--This was an online Cyberworkshop Class through ANG taught by David McCaskill.  Jumped at the opportunity to take this class and learned lots about composite stitches, correctly using a laying tool, etc.

May, 2012--Won Second Place Ribbon for Mixed Techniques at the Rehoboth Beach Museum's Annual Needlework Exhibit

March, 2012--Framed

Folding Ort Box Number 3, Pink, Black and White

October, 2011--Volunteered to lead this class at two ANG Seashore Chapter meetings, so had to work up another box to use as an example.  My sister Catherine was visiting at the time from Dallas, TX, and I asked if she would like one, and if so, in what colors.  Of course, she said yes and we had fun going through the stash my mother had given me, making this a more personal item.  She chose pinks and I suggested black for the "blackwork" (softened with 1 strand of pink thread).   Love the raspberry colors on this one.

St. Margaret's Star

September, 2011--This was a class offered online through the Shining Needle Society by Michael Boren and Carole Lake to benefit one of three charities.  I choose the Ovarian Cancer National

October, 2011--Framed