Sunday, December 16, 2012

Anne Depauw finished

I finished one of my oldest UFOs this weekend.  I first got bogged down with all of the over one stitching in the verse, then again in the satin stitch rows at the bottom.  After Nicola announced her Scarlet Letter Year, I decided that I should stop making excuses and finish Anne before the end of the year.  So here she is:

My next Scarlet Letter is the Jennings Band Sampler.  It is similar to Anne but it does not have as many pattern rows.  I started it last night.  Hopefully I will finish in less than 22 years.


I finished Marilyn Owen's Ornament Quartet, one of the projects in the ANG Chapter Project book.  It was the education program for a Cyberpointers meeting.  I even finished the individual pieces as ornaments.

 I also finished all of the lesson 1 stitching for Terry Dryden's Moroccan Sands, offered as a Cyberworkshop through ANG.  I love the colors in this piece and I like working on counted geometric designs.
Finally, I continue to work on my kimono.  It was involved in an accident with a cup of coffee and a cat, but none of the stitched areas were damaged.  Here it is half done.  I love the way that the stitch textures and colors work together and in the individual sections.  Many of them look like brocades or patterned fabrics.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I have been trying to finish pieces and I have two completed pieces to share.  The first is a small bargello box.  This was the September meeting topic for the Lake Michigan Sampler Guild.  I started the piece in the meeting and finished it Sunday evening at home.  I had a choice of colors but picked purple so I could give it to my daughter.

The second finish is Eve by Lori Markovic of La-D-Da.  I used Needlepoint Silk on a piece of 40 count linen.  The colors are beautiful on the green background.  I love samplers with Adam and Eve on them or depictions of the Garden of Eden.  This Eve and Eden remind me of C.S. Lewis's descriptions of Venus in his book Perelandra rather than a Biblical description of Eden.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Finished needlepoint

I finished my Mad Miters piece yesterday.  I learned quite a bit from this on-line class presented by Liz Morrow through Cyberpointers.  I would like to stitch another Mad Miters piece but I think I will chart the next one out more carefully and use brighter colors.

I have continued to finish older pieces.  Here are three variations of Orna Willis's piece Making Memories from the ANG Seminar in Milwaukee, WI.  I finished them two different ways -- as an insert on a book cover and as a pendant -- in two different colorways.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

More finished knitting

I finally blocked my Glam Shells shawl.  It is made out of a Debbie Bliss silk in a lime green color.  It is beautiful on the dress form and beautiful on me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another finished shawl and some better pictures

Dinner at the Eiffel Tower is finished and blocking.  I knit this shawl using most of two skeins of Caron Simply Soft.  It is a gift for a co-worker who is having a baby.  She can wear it herself or use it as a baby blanket.

I took some better pictures of Afternoon Tea this afternoon.  It looks much better on the dress form than it did draped over the back of a chair.  People who see me wear it covet one of their own which I think is quite a complement.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Another Finish

I am continuing to work on older pieces and finished a second version of Orna Willis's Creating Memories last night.  This was a class at the ANG Seminar in Milwaukee in 2009. I finished one at the Seminar and  I put it on the cover of a book.  This one is a pendant.  I have the materials to make two in the brown colorway.  I will make one book cover inset and one into a pendant.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Space for all Species

I started cleaning the spare bedroom that I use as a sewing room yesterday and went through my books and collections of needlework projects.  I pulled out a few that were mostly done but had not been completed and put them in a basket that I set downstairs next to my armchair so that I would work on them.  Last night I finished this one.  It is Space for all Species, an adaptation of a KD Harper poster.  The adaptation was published by KD Artistry.

The piece was a 2006 Round Robin from the Cross Stitch Pals board on EZ Board.  It was returned to me incomplete several months after the round robin should have ended and was missing some of the threads needed to complete it when it came back.  It took a while for me to purchase the missing thread and unite it with the project.  Then it took me more time to take the project out and finish it.  I thought I was done last night until I noticed that the bows on the kite string weren't thread, they were yellow satin ribbon.  I bought the ribbon while I was out running errands this morning, and added it when I got home.  Now the piece is finished. Tomorrow, I will clean it and iron it and maybe take some better pictures.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 Chicago Yarn Crawl and some bargello

This year, I participated in the Chicago Yarn Crawl.  I visited 5 knitting stores:  I'd Rather Be Knitting and Knit Happens in Buffalo Grove, Mosaic in Des Plaines, Fuzzy Wuzzy in Arlington Heights, and Three Bags Full in Northbrook.  I would have stopped in at Gene Ann's Yarns in Barrington, but I did not plan that portion of my trip well enough and arrived after she had closed.   It was fun to see the different types of knitted models in the different shops and to look at all of the yarn.   I bought yarn for three shawls in varying weights and for two pairs of socks or more lace shawl knitting.  I also bought some more small stitch markers to use on lace projects and some new cable needles to replace the ones that have disappeared.  Friday, I also went to Stitches Midwest and looked around the Marketplace.  I some beautiful sweater kits and lots of yarn by independent dyers.  I took my Afternoon Tea Shawl to the Zen Yarn Garden booth to show off what I had made out of their yarn.

I have also been doing needlepoint and have been working on Liz Morrow's Mad Miters.   I decided that I did not want to have to lay threads in this project.  To select the colors, I started with a skein of Caron Collection Watercolors in Bark and selected Silk and Ivory shades that would compliment the colors in the Watercolors.  The instructions recommend using a metallic accent color but I am very happy with the plum Silk and Ivory.  

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Lace Knitting

I have gone back to lace knitting and have finished two projects.  The only one that is blocked and ready for photographs is my Afternoon Tea Shawl.  I used two Zen Yarn Garden sock club yarns.  The top is in a two ply merino from the Art Walk Sock Club in color Giverny.  The lower portion is in a superwash merino/nylon blend from one of the semi-solid clubs.

The shawl is light weight, soft and beautiful.  Both my teenage daughter and my calico cat like it so much that they don't want to give it back to me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Copper River Canyon completed

I completed Mary K. Campbell's piece Copper River Canyon last month and am finally posting pictures. The design is based on an interpretation of the topography of a desert canyon presented in thread and beads on canvas. The beads add dimension and texture to the piece. The black work adds depth.   It was taught as a class through Cyberpointers a few years ago.

I added the stitched border around the edges which makes the piece look more finished and complete.  I have not decided how to finish the piece.  I could add it to a bag or make it into a purse, but it would also be attractive inset into a pillow.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Talaquepaque finished

I have mixed feelings about posting this finish.  It is a canvas from Sundance Designs with a stitch guide.  I bought it as a kit when a local needlepoint store wet out of business a decade ago.

The piece is my local ANG chapter challenge from last year.  When I first purchased it, it was intended to be an anniversary present for my husband.  I went to Sedona as a child, and remember when Talaquepaque was first built, my father still owns a print I remember them purchasing there one summer.  I became engaged in Sedona, and probably visited Teaaquepaque on that trip.  I also think I visited it on a family trip to the Grand Canyon with the kids.

The piece itself was kind of a pain to stitch.  I am not a fan of chain stitch on canvas, I would prefer to work that type of stitch in hand but that is why the tree trunks are made of.  The rayon boucle for the leaves o the trees shredded and I had to buy more.  There were too many lines on the line drawn canvas and the windows and wall above the door don't match the photo of the original piece.  But it actually looks very good and is a very pretty piece.

Sedona itself  is now so built up that the remote Oak Creek Canyon paradise where I caught frogs and picked up pieces of sand stone is now gone, and the marriage is ending.  In any case it is finished.

John Waddell Kimono part 3

I have completed Part 3 of the Kimono.  I am not sure if I am happy with two dark green patches next to each other and there is a mistake in the compensation on one of them.  I didn't want to fix it until I have stitched part 4 and see how the two dark sections fit in with the rest.  Other than that, this project is fantastic and a lot of fun to stitch.

TAST Week 18: Crossed Buttonhole

I was out of town this week and not terribly inspired by this stitch so my two samples are a random effort layering the stitch in different orientations and different threads and a simple border.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

TAST Week 17: Wheat Ear Stitch

The Take a Stitch Tuesday stitch this week is Wheat Ear Stitch.  I stitched two Wheat ear stitch samples this week.  The first one is a collection of wheat ears like an emblem on a crest or a flag.

The second is more experimental, it is made up of wheat ear stitches in different threads layered on each other.  I used the threads left over from my Cobblefield Road needlepoint project giving it an undersea coral garden feel.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

TAST Week 16: French Knots

French knots are a familiar stitch.  I have used hundreds of them to make a sheep, added them to other TAST pieces as embellishments and played with different numbers of threads and tightness of knots.  I used them to create some cattails and a dragon fly, common sights in the Forest Preserves in the area.

I also used French knots to illustrate some elements of the natural world -- the constellation Orion that I have been observing in the night sky for many years, a caffeine molecule, and one of George Gamow's illustrations of the cosmic big bang.  I have been thinking about cosmology, physics, and bio-chemistry recently as I read Ordinary Geniuses by Gino Segre.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

TAST Week 15: Stem Stitch

This week I was inspired by the 18th and early 19th century needlework that I saw in the Fabric of a New Nation exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute and the birds that have been checking out my yard, the bird feeder and the various flowering plants.  I even got a picture of one of my visitors before the dogs chased it away.

The branch is stem stitch and so is the bird, the flowers are made up of detached chain.  All of it is stitched in rayon Edmar threads on green cotton.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

TAST Week 14: Satin Stitch

 I chose to demonstrate the use of Satin Stitch by adding a group of bargello variations to my evenweave stitch sampler.  They are taken from Margaret Boyles' book Bargello: An Explosion in Color.  The fiber and color selections are my own.  These complete my stitch sampler.  I am rather pleased with the result.  

I have also been using decorative stitches based on satin stitch on Menagerie, the progressive canvas piece that Cyberpointers is working on this year.  A sample is shown below.  For those who are seeing it for the first time, I am using a bag of red, white and blue threads as the basis for this design on 18 count brown canvas.

Cobblefield Road Completed

I finished stitching Jean Hilton's Cobblefield Road toady.  It was offered as a cyber workshop through the American Needlepoint Guild in 2007.  Ro Pace updated the color selections and the instructions.  I used her color selections and the suggested sparkly canvas.  It is the second Hilton stitch piece that I have completed this year.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

TAST Week 13 Minichallenge

I have been working on small abstract or representative pieces each week during the TAST Challenge.  They are stitched on small pieces of hand dyed cotton fabric in a variety of threads and colors.  Later in the challenge, I plan to combine these pieces into a quilted wall hanging.  The photograph shows the pieces I have completed to date together, in random order.  The images and the pieces of fabric vary in size so I need to complete more of them before I decide how to place them in a larger piece.  All of the designs are original and all were stitched free hand.

I have also been working on two other, more traditional stitch samplers.  Both are on evenweave fabric.  The first one contains 9 sections each of which focuses on variations on a specific stitch.  The first two, arrowhead and back stitch, were completed before this challenge starts.  The rest have been stitched as part of the challenge.  They use a variety of threads, colors and some beads.  Some of the stitch variations have been taken from books or from on-line stitch dictionaries.  Others are my own creations.

The final sampler is one that I started two decades ago.  It is on a large piece of linen in twisted Walsh silks. The design lends itself to smaller experiments with individual stitches, patterns and shapes or to stitches that don't fit the linear model of the previous evenweave piece.

I am enjoying this challenge.  The evenweave samplers allow me to test my stitching skills and to try out combinations of stitches and colors.  The free embroidery pieces are a creative as well as a technical challenge each week.  In some cases, inspiration comes quickly and the pieces are easy to stitch, in other cases they take a long time.  It took me a week to decide that my random attempts at a pebble covered with whipped wheel variations was actually the shell of a turtle, but only a few hours to decide that barred chain was the perfect stitch for a desert scene.  I work full time and have a long commute.  I treasure the opportunity to spend an hour or so three or more evenings a week working on a stitching project.  I also like the social aspect of this challenge as we share our work and our comments with each other.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menagerie Parts 5 and 6

I have finished the next two parts of the 2012 Cyberpointers Mystery Project.  It is called Menagerie and is based on a series of instructions and design suggestions from Karen Anthony.  Block 5 is a group of Box Stitches stitched in two colors of Medici wool.  A white rayon is used for the small dividing bands between the sections.  The stitches in this block look very delicate.

Block 6 is a group of Diagonal Stitches.  I used a variety of threads in different color patterns and textures including cotton, silk and wool, rayon, and nylon to make up the different sections.  These threads and pattern stitches look bolder than the ones in Block 5.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TAST Week 12: Barbed Chain

Barbed chain got me thinking about desert plants so I started with an ocotilo and added a barrel cactus, a sun and a desert hare.  The stitches are a combination of alternating and single barbed chain, chain stitch, french knots and detached chain.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

TAST Week 11: Whipped Wheel

I could not get excited about this week's challenge stitch and tried several different versions of it before settling on filling in a random shape.  As I continued to work on it, I decided it would make a good turtle shell so here you have my cartoon of a turtle worked in  whipped wheel, chain, stem and straight stitch.

John Waddell Kimono Part 2

I have finished sections 14 through 26 of John Waddell's Kimono.  The colors continue to come together.  I have about ten threads left that I have not used yet; they are different shades of colors that already appear on the kimono.  I have included a photo of the kimono so far and a picture of the sections from the second lesson.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

TAST Week 10: Running Stitch

Before I share this week's samples, I have one more example of couching to share.  It is a small snail that is made out of silk and metal threads from Thistle Threads.  I have had it for a while and finally sat down and worked on it this weekend.

I completed two pieces using running stitch.  One is a section of my even weave sampler that contains a variety of darning samples taken from  Darned Easy: A Collection of Darning Patterns by Sally Simon.  They are stitched in Soy Silks on 28 count linen.

The second is made of layers of running stitch in random directions using Soy Silk and metallic threads.  The base stitches are vertical, horizontal and diagonal.  Toward the top there is a spiral layer.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TAST Week 9: Couching

The TAST stitch for this week is couching.  I couched a small snail using Edmar boucle and soy silk.  I added pearl cotton flower stems, detached chain flowers and seed stitches in ribbon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menagerie parts 3 and 4

I completed two more squares in the Menagerie sampler.  One is eyelet stitches, the other is herringbone and tied stitches.  I am enjoying making up the patterns in the squares as I go along and trying out different combinations of red white and blue threads.