The Tale of Three Sunflower

These three little sunflower canvases have been lying on my desk for a couple years and I guess I never blogged about the original design either.

About 2 years ago my guild asked me to stitch a free Laura Perin design. I thought it was a Rainbow Gallery freebie but when I went to look for it to give credit I could not find on either Rainbow Gallery webpage (https://www.rainbowgallery.com/) nor Laura Perin (http://www.laurajperindesigns.net/index.html) webpage.  And I’m sorry but I don’t even remember the title of the design.

The guild also wanted me to offer alternative ideas in beading for the center of the sunflower using beads; one guild member called it “messy beading.” Since I didn’t know what “messy beading” was I stitch the design as diagramed and then stitched three other center designs in the beading techniques I was familiar with. I liked all three methods of beading techniques; each technique creates its own look and I can see using in on different canvases for a special effect.

I use Miyuki beads whenever possible, Toho are also excellent beads too. I use mostly Miyuki because that is what I started with and although the beads may be intermixed, there is a very slight size difference. There are many seed beads on the market and they are not all equal; I would stick with Japanese seed bead Manufactures, Mill Hill or a source I knew I could trust. Beading is a whole blog(s) unto itself so I will just say if you are starting beading, buy one manufacturer and stick with them. I will also add an addendum to this if you buy a kit, don’t throw the beads away, use them. We will assume that whoever kits the project uses the best beads available for the project; if you find this to be untrue then substitute your favorite beads for the project.

The first sunflower used round 11/0 seed beads and made loops of beads. This is the technique I would call “messy beading” you string several beads on beading thread and make loops. I like this technique, but it will catch easily and so be careful where you use it. You could secure each loop so that if one loop breaks they all won’t come unraveled.

 

The next sunflower technique is similar to “French knots on a Stick” but they stand straight up; it could be considered another messy beading technique. It is another technique that will catch easily and so you might want to secure each spike so all will not unravel. Although you can’t see in this picture, nor can you see looking straight on the sunflower I stitched this using two different beads (see diagrams). On the four corners I used a small bugle bead topped with a seed bead. The rest of the beading was stitched using all seed beads. I didn’t think of this until just now but using different lengths of bugle beads would make an interesting effect.

Note: I did not secure either of the above but I am not using where they might be snagged.

And the last sunflower was stitched in basketweave using cylinder beads. It is just basketweave adding a bead to each stitch. What makes this technique special are the beads; they are cylinder seed beads; Miyuki names theirs Delica beads, Toho’s are Aiko, and Mill Hill are Magnifica. I guess you could use regular seed beads but I’m not sure the technique would stand out like it does with the cylinder beads.

I found this Basketweave technique from Associated Talents in their stitch guide section (http://www.atneedlepoint.com/CanvasLookup.asp?Category=Guides). I wrote and asked if I might use this and the owner graciously gave me permission. Since there was not a diagram of this technique I created one. Basketweave done with Delica beads (cylinder beads) is sooooo cool; the light refraction really looks woven.

 

 

 

 

 

Okay so that’s why and how I stitched the three little sunflowers….BUT since then these three beaded canvases have been on there little wooden stitching frames were just lying on my desk area gathering dust. The large one is put away waiting for the black box I haven’t found yet; and if all else fails I have a black frame in my stash that will work.  One day I did find a black shadow box frame that I thought would be great for them but I didn’t have a mat cut just bought the frame.

And then this January Kimberly Smith posted this fabulous finishing technique for pictures using beads and I knew that my sunflowers had just been waiting for this method. I am so excited about a new way of finishing I learned from Kimberly Smith; you can find the complete instructions here: http://akimberlydesign.blogspot.com/2019/01/sharing-techniques.html

I followed her instructions and the only things I would suggest are:

 

Start away from a corner; it seemed to make the corner beads lie smoother when you turn the canvas.

 

 

Watch for loops of unruly thread when beading…fix immediately! You don’t want unruly threads coming loose and have a hanging bead later.

 

 

I wanted no grin through or as little as possible…I didn’t think about this until I had already finished one canvas so I was very careful about marking that canvas. But with my trusty Copic black marker I darkened the canvas to minimize the white grin through. I also bought a piece of black core foam board since I didn’t want any white to be seen.

 

 

I thought the hardest part was getting the three little sunflowers in the frame evenly…But unless you have more than one canvas in a frame this should be no problem.

 

There are two questions I forgot to ask: (If you are reading this please comment or I’ll add an addendum later when I find answers.)

  1. Is there a limit to the size canvas you can use this method?
  2. My canvas was even count and so the corners came out even. How do you compensate for odd count canvas?

NOW I have another finished needlepoint…Yeah! One down many to go….

Hope you all had a Bang up 4th of July.

Thank You for stopping by.  I hope you have time to stitch today and every day.

ttfn…sue

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Today’s Road Trip: The Quilt Show

2015-06-20 Quilt Show entranceToday I went to the 1st Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival (http://kcrqf.com/)and about walked myself to death (next time I am buying a week-end pass and doing the expo in stages). I love quilts and have a great appreciation for the work that goes into these works of art.

I have made a quilt or two in my younger life but none as 2015-06-20 Quilt one block alovely as the ones I say today. I made each of my sons a simple nine patch. The material for these patches were old shirt samples my mother had saved from her days working in a retail men’s store; each sample was about 4inches by 5 inches so I just used them as 2015-06-20 Quilt one block bthey were to make the blocks. I used a flat twin sheet to join them together into a quilt top and then I backed with another twin sheet. I hand quilted one and after infecting a finger had the other two machine quilted.  Later I tried my hand at a quilt as you go log cabin pattern using the denim from my sons’ jeans. This was a better effort even if it took me forever to complete them; and not to mention that each quilt weighed a 2015-06-20 Quilt hankiehefty amount. I had a console sewing machine at the time and would have one of the boys sit under my machine and hold the table part up so the machine would not tip over while I was sewing the strips together. I think parts of these six quilts live still today…the shirt quilts surprise me but the jeans quilts were like iron.

2015-06-20 Quilt hankie blockBut the quilts I saw today were magnificent, works of art. You really wanted to have an artist statement with all of them. You know each of those quilts has a story to tell. All the quilts in the expo were either entered in the judging or were quilt guild displaying their members work. Then on the first floor of the 2015-06-20 Quilt hand quiltedexpo were the challenge pieces, the theme was the Beatles. These were small wall hanging quilts. And then the Texas quilters sent some of their quilts for a special exhibit…the face was really an eye catcher.

I wanted to see Janet Stones new alphabet quilts, both won a first prize ribbons. I wrote about Janet a few 2015-06-20 Quilt A Little Bit of Baltimoreyears ago when I went to another quilt show (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/the-art-of-machine-quilted-quilts/). Her first quilt A Letter Bit of Baaltimore, yes with two “a”s… a tribute to her love of sheep. I had no trouble finding the first sheep but the second one took me a minute. Truthfully I was not looking for the obvious and first checked the letters S and  B (also took a picture of the D, well sd are my initials) thinking she hid the sheep here. I was so convinced Janet had hidden the second sheep I didn’t even think to look for the obvious…but obvious he was. This quilt also won a NQA Award of Merit ribbon ( I think it is the same as an ANG Judge’s Choice ribbon)

2015-06-20 Quilt No LHer second quilt is No L and this one I got right away. I liked the traditional blocks combined with the modern border…Janet’s quilts are stunning and all have the alphabet.

It is very tempting to get caught up in the moment and think about taking on a new endeavor…especially when you hear one lady telling another “Oh, I just decided to try something new last year…I made this quilt in a couple weeks.”  But I restrained myself, I remembered my crochet fiasco from a few posts back (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/no-vacation-only-pitfalls/). So no I did not succumb to the temptation to buy patterns, books and other quilting supplies…. I did take the two needlepoint pieces I am stitching to see if I could find material or embellishments I might want to use, but did by the time I got to the shopping part of the expo I was 2015-06-20 needlesgetting tired and so not a lot appealed to me. BUT, not to leave empty handed, I did find these needles from Japen. They are called Hiroshima needles and are made in Hiroshima Japan by Tulip. More about these later after I have time to read about them and try them out.

Here are more quilts…I took over 100 pictures but these are some of my favorites.

2015-06-20 Quilt God Calls Us to Peace 2015-06-20 Quilt hand quilted2015-06-20 quilt texas2015-06-20 quilt Beatles 2 2015-06-20 quilt Beatles

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so tired I am going to my stitching nest and I hope that I get some stitching accomplished but if not the nap I take will be well deserved.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Magazine

Do you read magazines in different ways? I had never thought about this until the other day when I had a stack of magazines sitting together and I noticed I treat my magazines differently.

Most new magazine arriving at our house get a quick once over, I peruse each issue to see if there is something I must read immediately and then I usually set it aside for evening enjoyment. If there has been an article that I can’t wait to read, I flag it (and this is different depending on the magazine…more about this later) to read in the evening.

15-01-29 mag aBut all my magazines are not created equally. Some magazines are family magazines and they will eventually end up in the family room for everyone to see. Midwest Living, Missouri Life, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, etc…are all in this category. If there is a recipe or creative idea that I wish to keep in these magazines, I have dog-eared a corner of the page. So when a new issue arrives, I quickly look the old issue over to see if I have dog-eared a page to keep, I tear it out and out goes the old issue.

15-01-29 mag bOther magazines like Flee Market Finds, Vintage Collectibles, Ornaments, FiberArts Now do not get dog-eared and may stay around longer that some of the other monthly/ quarterly issues and they live in the family room too. But when these magazines begin to pile up the older ones get one last look for inspirational ideas that I tear out and then out they go too.

15-01-29 mag cAnd then there are what I call the inspirational issues: Needlepoint Now, Cloth Paper Scissors, NeedlePointers, Inspirations… They are treated with tender loving care and I even read these differently that the previous magazines. I don’t give them a quick once over but rather keep them for my evening reading.  The first pass through this magazine is to look at every page (wouldn’t want to miss that special canvas, new product, or technique); then I start at the front cover again and while I may not read every word I spend time on every page. I love the ads; they are colorful and give lots of color combination ideas, not to mention the stash enhancement opportunities. I always read the editors notes; she has labored over this magazine to bring the best of articles to each issue and she usually highlights why some articles have been included. Sometimes, when the editor mentions a specific article I will take a sneak peak at the article, but mostly I try to read the magazine from front to back just like a good book. I look at the stitch diagrams very closely, and if there is a numbering of a stitch or stitch sequence different from the norm then I will read to find out if this is an author preference or if there is a specific reason for the new numbering I try not to mark up these magazines (although I think older issues I was not so careful about this), if I want to mark an article I use a post-it note. Sometimes I will write on the post-it note what I have flagged (i.e.: goldwork, new product, stitch…)

And here-in lies a big problem…I have inspirational magazines from years ago. I have Cross-stitch magazines from my days of working for a cross stitch company and I subscribed to these for business references. I have needlepoint magazines stacked by year; I have a complete set of the Mary Engelbreit magazine, Home Companion (this magazine was so great…it was full of creative ideas and the color combinations were wonderful.) And I have needlepoint magazines that are no longer published. The magazines are taking over… and I have finally decided that I have to do something about this. One of my goals for the year is to look at these magazines and decide the best thing to do with them. Any ideas? I am open to any and all suggestions, it just seems a shame to send them to recycling but I need to do something.

But until I make a decision…I will keep on reading and stitching.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

My name in Print

14-08-13 Thistle 1

14-08-13 Thistle 2

14-08-13 Thistle 3In the mail today I received my current ANG magazine and low and behold my diagrams are featured in The Thistle by Carole Lake and Michael Boren. Someone had written me an email to tell me they had seen it, but it is always a pleasant surprise to see one’s name in print. Thank you Carole Lake, Michael Boren (http://www.stitchplay.com/index.html) and ANG (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php).

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Asian Collage Completed and an inspirational day

Happy Dance… a very happy dance!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAsian Collage is quilted and finally finished, framed and almost hung…Oh did I luck into a deal. Took piece to a Hobby Lobby looking for black bamboo frame (I had been several other places too). I hate it when I get an idea in my head how I want something OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfinished and I can’t find it. Well anyway, here I am at Hobby Lobby, they had a wide bamboo (about 1.5 inches) black molding.  The lovely lady in the frame shop is measuring my piece for the matting and frame when all of a sudden she says, “Honey, you know if I make these mat just a bit smaller you could use a premade frame and I think there is a black one over there that would look very nice, but it’s not bamboo.” So over she goes and back she comes with this frame and lays it on the mats and needlework. Then she says, ‘Honey, this frame will save you over a hundred dollars.”…well bamboo was my choice and “Honey” is not my name or favorite term of address; but a bargain is a bargain. So I asked her how long it would take to get my mattings cut (thinking minimum one week) and when she said 15 minutes and I could take everything home.  I was sold, a quick turn around and a bargain too, who could ask for anything more and you can call me “Honey.” So this is my under $50.00 finish!

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And then this week end my local guild held their Christmas Party and it was wonderful! The program was Victoria Crowder Payne. She is one of those talented, inspirational, creative people who, if you are luck, will pass through your life more than once. She shared the store of her creative and personal life with us and shared her work as well as her project and sketch books. If you have a few hours, grab a cuppa tea and visit: http://freedomofstitch.com/ AND http://www.fearlessstudio.com/. I am off to grab my cuppa(s) and visit these again to see if I missed anything on my first visit.

Only 15 days left until Christmas, I think I should start my shopping. I just hope it warms up, single digit temperatures just make me want to snuggle in and stitch.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

A 2fer: Raymond Crawford Acorn piece and local guide needs help

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI just finished Raymond Crawford’s Acorn piece it was fun to stitch. I had a slow start with it but then all of a sudden the stitches and threads just spoke to me and I was off and stitching,  I felt padded the lower part of the acorns and stitch padded the tops. I really like the curly things and I thought it was fun to experiment doing Shaped Crescent stitches. I got my inspiration for these stitches from Jean Hilton’s book, Stimulating Stitches. I think you can still get it from Stitcher’s Paradise (http://www.stitchers-paradise.com/index.htm). I think the hardest things on the piece were the green border areas and that was because I used Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays and laid both front and back…pain in the backside but oh so beautiful. Now it off to the finisher and then I’ll post a picture even though it is next years fall decoration.

I sent a copy of the stitch guide to Raymond and was thrilled that he posted a picture on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raymond-Crawford-Designs/190891389362) .

But now it is back to reality…my desk is a mess and I did something I don’t ever think I’ve done before….I sent a designer back her finished instructions and they were not completed. She had given me another design to do and I went for it; just completely blocked out the fact that the other was not finished. I hope to finish this new one today and send it to her and get the other to complete.

And yes I am still working on My Value of Gray book. Since it is technically a color/design book there is more than just stitching to this, but I wanted some stitching to be included because I think stitchers like stitching…I know I do. I’ve been trying to keep the projects small so anyone wanting to try these could have ornaments or small projects to just take along.

13-10-30 elephant parts 1And before I forget this too…a lovely lady, Norma Gamble from my local guild downsized her stash and trust me it was a substantial down-size and I’m sure she still has plenty to keep her fingers busy. Anyway in this stash reduction were about 5 to 6 good sized canvases for a 3 dimensional piece. Our local finisher, Pat concluded that she thought this was a 3D circus elephant but we are not sure who painted it; it’s only 13-10-30 elephant parts 2identifying mark is the 309 on one of the canvases. The GKCNG has decided to use it as one of our philanthropic projects. We will stitch it, finish it, have a case made to donate as an art display piece to either to a local Ronald McDonald home or one of the two children’s hospitals here. The guild would like to know the designer and maybe there is a picture available for finishing…Does anyone recognize any of these 13-10-30 elephant parts 3pieces and if so who do you think was the designer. The GKCNG thanks you for your assistance.

And now I need to straighten up my desk before it swallows me up computer and all.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

More stitching and contemplating…

While I am researching bows I am stitching on a guild project.

My guild has a couple projects they are stitching and finishing to donate to the American Needlepoint auction (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php). These projects were donated to our guild by a member who was moving.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI like Halloween and Janet Zickler Casey (https://www.jzcdesigns.com/) canvases…so I took Bone Jangles (https://www.jzcdesigns.com/Bone%20Jangles.htm) to get started. I donated the stretcher bars, tacks, magnet, bag and placed the instructions in plastic pages.

First I completed all the dangling threads…when you take a class you usually end up with partial areas stitched and dangling threads.  Then I balloonstarted at the beginning and am stitching until the guild meeting (next Monday)and then I will pass it on to the next member. Probably won’t see again until stitching is completed.

I loved the face stitch and untilI started him had not given much thought to stitching this on the diagonal but it was so easy. Sometimes I just get brain freezes and can’t see the 13 jzc Bones w stith outlinediagonal method…now I can.

I also outlined the eyes and the teeth but the rest of the face I marked on picture with dotted line because I wouldn’t outlne the face until the jacket and bow tie are completed.

This and another project I did this month has made me think more about my stash and library. I had two other friends who downsized and moved this last year and I helped them dispose of some of their things. We had a sale online and at a guide meeting, the profits from these sales have gone to charities of their choice. I have downsized my canvas and threads with the combining of households (see: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/re-storage/) but I still have large collections of stash and a library that takes up a room.

I have a several pieces of needlework that need to be returned to the family of the person who has stitched them when something happens to me. I love these pieces but I did not stitch them and I think their families would love to have them back. I have taken pictures of these pieces and written down whom to contact.

I also have written down several stitching friends to contact should something happen to me; they will be able to help my family dispose of my collection if I am not here to help.

One of these days I am going to go through my library and downsize this also. But it will be one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I really love my books; they are like old dear friends. But there are some old friends that I do not visit often and maybe someone out there is looking for this book to add to their library. I am not looking forward to this day but books keep coming in and I have run out of space.

How about you? Does your family know how important needlework is to you? Does your family know what to do with one of your most valued (not only $$ but personal favorite) collections? Have you given any thought to what is to become of an important part of you…because our needlework is part of us,  an expression of who we are and how we want to be remembered.

Okay, now that I have depressed myself it is time to move on…I think I will go stitch.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue