Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Holiday Gift Copper Ornament - 4/25/17

April 25, 2017--I've wanted to stitch Susan Portra's Holiday Ornaments ever since they began being published in Needlepoint Now Magazine in 2013, and at last, I've completed the first one--the Holiday Copper Gift.  All that's missing is the beautiful ribbon bow which gets applied after it's finished into a hanging ornament.  The photo doesn't do it justice--it has a lot of shine and glimmer to it.  For more information about the series, click here.

Holiday Gift Copper Ornament




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Purse "Let The Good Times Roll" - Updated 4/11/17

April 11,2017--Steadily working away on this project.  Finished stitching the outline of the diamond shapes in silver Kreinik, painted in the black diamonds so that white canvas won't peek though the stitches (no stitches done yet), AND, beaded the Fleur de Lis in "brick stitch" pattern.  I'll wait until the end to add the black "tie down" beads on the Fleur de Lis.

Let the Good Times Roll Purse as of 2017-04-11
Beaded Fleur de Lis Side View

April 5, 2017--I started stitching this purse at the ANG 2016 Seminar in New Orleans, LA in a class taught by Janet Zickler Casey called "Let The Good Times Roll.  This is a very large piece which will be made into an envelope clutch with a beaded handle. I spent much of the class time making the handle since my beading experience for items such as this is practically nil.  It came out well and I hope some day to do more in the way of beading bracelets, necklaces, etc.

Janet offered two colorways for this purse--black and white like the one I'm doing; Mardi Gras colors in green, purple and gold.

Here's my progress to date and a picture of the handle.

Purse Let The Good Times Roll at 2017-04-05

Purse Let The Good Times Roll Beaded Handle
Here's the project photo.  This picture shows the red beaded Fleur de Lis positioned on the back of the purse.  Mine will be on the front.

Purse Let The Good Times Roll Project Photo

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Nutcracker Santa - Updated 4/2/17

April 2, 2017--Lesson 4 and the nutcracker is done.  He's a cutie.  The instructions said to leave the space between the red shoulder epulets and hair blank, but I couldn't do that, so filled it in with an ecru colored thread T stitch--a very faint shading of color.

Nutcracker Santa Completed
February 25, 2017--Here's the Nutcracker Santa through Lesson 3.  Love all the shine.  Due to the working threads rubbing against his nose, I'll have to stitch over some of the worn areas.  Will do that at the very end.

Nucracker Santa Through Lesson 3

Nutcracker Through Lesson 3 Side View
February 21, 2017--Last Fall I signed up to take another Janet Zickler Casey online class through the Shining Needle Society (SNS) called Nutcracker Santa.  This is my fourth santa class taken through SNS and I love how clear and easy Janet's instructions are.  Below is a picture of my progress through Lesson 2 (out of 4 lessons).  You've got to love the nose.  It's satin stitches over a shortened cotton swab (like a Q-Tip).  Click on "In Process Projects" on the right side of the blog page to see a picture of the project as it should look when done.

Nutcracker Santa through Lesson 2

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Holiday Ornaments by Susan Portra - Updated 3/28/17

March 28, 2017--Here's another Holiday Ornament in the collection by Susan Portra called Pink Holiday Gift.  It's found in the March, 2017 issue of Needlepoint Now Magazine and is number 15 in the series.  Here's a photo of the project.

Holiday Gift Pink - NPN 2017 Vol XIX, 2
January 20, 2016--The January, 2017 issue of Needlepoint Now Magazine has another new ornament by Susan Portra, number 14 in the Holiday Ornaments collection.  This one is called Yellow Holiday Light.  Below is the project photo.

Holiday Light Yellow - NPN 2017 Vol XIX, 1
November 9, 2016--The December, 2016 issue of Needlepoint Now Magazine has a new ornament by Susan Portra, number 13 in the Holiday Ornaments collection called Fuchsia Holiday Bell.

Holiday Bell Fuchsia - NPN 2016 Vol XVIII, 6
July 20, 2015--Ever since I first read about Susan Portra's holiday ornaments in the Needlepoint Now magazine beginning with the November, 2013 issue, I decided I would stitch them all.  There will be a total of 24 ornaments altogether and so far 12 have been published in the magazine through July, 2015:  3 bells, 5 gifts, and 4 lights (pictures below *).  Today I sat down to determine what threads need to be purchased and what can be used out of my stash and am planning a shopping trip to my closest LNS, a 3 hour drive from my home.  The trip will include an overnight stay at a dear friend's home and, of course, I'll bring wine.  Life is sooo good!

Holiday Bell Blue - NPN 2015 Vol XVII, 1

Holiday Bell Brass Antique - NPN 2013 Vol XV, 6

Holiday Bell Green - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 6

Holiday Gift  Copper- NPN 2013 Vol XV, 6

Holiday Gift Blue - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 3

Holiday Gift Green - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 6

Holiday Gift Red - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 4

Holiday Gift White  - NPN 2015 Vol XVII, 4

Holiday Light  Copper- NPN 2014 Vol XVI,  2

Holiday Light Red - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 6

Holiday Light Turquoise - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 3

Holiday Light White - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 4

*  I received permission from the editor of Needlepoint Now magazine to publish these pictures in this blog post.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Still Traveling--No Stitching - 3/23/17

March 23, 2017--Having a lot of fun this month, but haven't been able to do any stitching.   In the meantime, enjoy this mini video of the Blue Angels practicing in Pensacola, FL.  Was fortunate to see them while cruising the bay.


video

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Knitting--Exercise for Needlepoint Fingers - 3/12/17

March 12, 2017--Have been traveling for the last 2 weeks and find it difficult to needlepoint in the car--too many little tools and bits to get lost under the seat, etc.  So thought I would knit some dish clothes--they are fast and easy.  However, I wanted a challenge and what better way to do that than to learn a new technique--continental or left handed knitting.   The beginning was a bit tedious--kept dropping stitches, couldn't figure out yarn tension around my left hand, had to continuously look at You Tube videos to check my technique, etc.   But the results are below and am very confident that everything I knit going forward will be done using this style.  Of course, my needlepoint will be resumed shortly, but doing something different with my fingers is great exercise.

Dish Clothes Knitted Using Continental Technique

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rehoboth Beach Museum's 7th Annual Needlework Exhibit - 2/22/17

February 22, 2017--It's time again for Rehoboth Beach Museum's Annual Needlework Exhibit.  This is the 7th year that the Delaware museum has put on a needlework exhibit and it's a big hit for those who reside in the state as well as for visitors to the beach.  It runs from March 18 through May 21, 2017 and all are invited to submit entries using the form which can be found here,   Hope to see you there.



Friday, February 17, 2017

Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg - Updated 2/17/17

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


Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Star in the Meadow Stocking - 2/9/17

February 9, 2017--My ANG chapter, Delaware's Seashore Chapter, had a class led by our incomparable Geri W. on stitching Pat Mazu's stocking called A Star in the Meadow.   This was a free download (click here) made available by ANG Needle Pointers Magazine.  Due to the bargello or florentine stitches over multiple threads, this was a very quick finish.  Too bad the shiny Swarovski Bicones don't show well in the photo.  This is the third Pat Mazu project I have ready to finish into a stocking.  They make darling ornaments.

A Star in the Meadow Stocking

Thursday, February 2, 2017

American Beauty Rose - Updated 2/2/17

February 2, 2017--Made this beautiful rose into a piped knife-edge pillow.  I like the way it looks more like a rose now that the padding rounds out the center.   And the fabric color adds a nice "frame".  All in all, very happy with the results.  My Bernina sewing machine has programming for simple numbers and letters, so I added the following to the back since it's a gift for my mother.

Happy 90th Birthday Mom

Marie-Rose Irene Cote

With Love From

Yours Truly

February 15, 2017

I added her name so the staff at the nursing home where she resides will know it's hers if it happens to "walk".


American Beauty Rose Finished Front

American Beauty Rose Finished Bac

January 8, 2017--Done, and in plenty of time to make this rose into a pillow to give my mother on her 90th birthday next month.  It's an unusual piece--you need to stand far back to actually see a rose.  Once it is piped with a dark purple fabric, the rose should be easier to view.

American Beauty Rose Competed on Stretcher Bars

American Beauty Rose Completed
December 15, 2016--Wow, it's been over 2 years since I last worked on this project.  And work on it I must now do!  This is going to be a gift for my mother's 90th birthday in February and I have a lot yet to stitch.  I have a small suspicion that it won't get done in time.  If that happens, I'll show her the project and explain it'll be a beautiful pillow when done--and promise she'll get it ASAP.   In the meantime, however, I'll stitch on it furiously and see if I can make the finish happen in time.

American Beauty Rose as of 12/14/16
November 30, 2014--Status to date.  Thought I would do as Liz Morrow has done with her rose (she's stitching hers in neutral tones) and complete a full quadrant.  Still am unable to see the rose yet.  Will now go back to working on one color/stitch at a time.


American Beauty Rose Upper Left Quadrant
American Beauty Rose Upper Left Quadrant Completed
10/13/14--This project has 8 different stitches done in 8 different colors.  The picture below shows the first color and stitch done, and a little of the 2nd one started (the canvas color is Lavendula/Lilac).

Not doing a lot of stitching these days--have been traveling and more trips are planned.

Stitch and Color One
8/11/14--While at the 2012 ANG Seminar in San Antonio, TX, I purchased instructions for DebBee's Designs American Beauty Rose with the intent of stitching this project for my mother's 90th birthday, using her favorite colors in the violet/lilac range.  Well, she'll be 90 in a little over 2 years and I figure I better get this started sooner, rather than later.

Since I'm not really good at making color substitutions--in this case from reds (listed in the directions) to violets, I wrote Debbie Rowley of DebBee's Designs for help.  Wow, she really was very helpful.  Debbie went to her LNS, The Stitcher's Garden in Conway, AR and worked with Lynda Bass Gaiser, first gathering the red colorway, then finding the perfect violet/lilac threads.  Debbie sent me the first picture below and asked if the colors they chose would work.  I immediately responded with YES! and ordered her suggestions from Lynda.  The second picture is a closeup of the violet threads that came in the mail yesterday.   Cannot wait to begin stitching.  Soon.......
Thread Comparisons--Reds to Violets

Violet Colorway


DebBee's Designs American Beauty Project Photo

Thursday, January 19, 2017

SOTM 2016 - Updated 1/19/2017

January 19, 2017--December's instructions covered couching Kreinik thread across the dividing lines of each section.  Lots and lots of couching.  It's now done and ready to be finished into a pillow.  It's a really lovely design.

PS:  Decided at the last minute to fill in the very center of the design with the lightest shade of blue using T-Stitch.  Ahhh, much better.

SOTM 2016 Completed
November 15, 2016--November's blocks, the last ones, are stitched.  Something tells me December's instructions will be to couch Kreinik thread around each section.  Plan on making a pillow out of this pretty SOTM.

It's visually interesting how the corners look like dog ears even though they are even with the other areas.  I also like the way the center recedes into the background as if you're looking down into a box.  Cool.

SOTM 2016 November Section 11 Completed
November 2, 2016--Block 10 for October is complete.  Chose beads from my stash which are in the mid-range of the blue colors.  Like how they look.

SOTM 2016 October Section 10 Completed
September 15, 2016--Finished stitching blocks 8 and 9.  Started block 8 in August, but ran out of thread and time before seminar, so now that I've been back for almost two weeks, had some time to work on this project.  The last color seems to jump from medium blue to a very pale blue, but I believe it's because the prior color has a darker blue laid on top of the lighter one.  The next two months should make the colors look different again.

SOTM 2016 August and September Section 8 and 9 Completed
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


SOTM 2016 Thread Selection