Mother’s day presents

Yesterday my Mother’s day Presents arrived, but it was late and so this morning with a cup of coffee I settled in to look at them

A new pair of tweezers, Pinkett Tweezer. I found out about them in a round about way; Toni Gerdes told another friend about them. And since I love needlework tools I ordered a pair too from A Stitching Shop (www.StitchingShop.com)…they had them in stock.

Pinzette Tweeter

And since I was on their website I checked out the books too. Christine has the best variety of books I have seen. And of course I found a book I have been wanting to see.

This 200 page book is lovely; there are 12 projects to stitch complete with patterns and instruction. The first 81 pages are the history of Blackstone Creamery, where these projects were photographed. There are also descriptions and artist statements for each of the 12 projects.

Description of projects

The rest of the 200 pages are complete instructions for each of the 12 projects.

Each project starts with a picture, requirements and preparations for the prject

Then there are complete instructions for the project; including stitch diagrams, any aids to help in completing project, and finishing instructions.

And included on inside back cover is a pattern book.

Patterns

I am over the moon about this book; it is a beautiful book! I wanted it because someday I am going to feel qualified to attempt Georgina Bellamy’s (thatembroiderygirl.com) Jewel of the Sea. I saw somewhere(hope I can find it again) where she made this as a needlecase. That would be perfect for me…since I love needlework tools.

Jewel of the Sea

But after looking at this book , there are several projects I would like to try…hope I live long enough. If you would like to see a glimpse of this book and the other two available go to Inspirations web site (Inspirationsstudios.com) and look at them. Then go ask A Stitching Shop (www.StitchingShop.com) if she has it…you’ll save postage from Australia.

I need to get back to my pumpkin. He’s coming along, I am half finished stitching and am really liking it. I will take time a blog about this soon.

I hope you find time to do whatever makes you happiest and creative. And I hope you have time to do it today and every day! ttfn…sue

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Another Goldwork Book & Lucky Shamrock

This post is going to be all about my goldwork class but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another goldwork book I just puchased. Goldwork and Silk Shading, Inspired by Nature by Hazel Everett. Hazel passed away in 2018 but friend and colleague , Jan Barsby and Hazel’s husband, Adrian Richards collaborated to publish this book in her memory. It is a terrific addition to her first book, Goldwork Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration. This book explains how silk work and stumpwork can go hand in hand with goldwork. I loved how the book shows many of the examples done in all gold, all silk, and a combination of the two. It is truly inspirational and will give you many ideas. Another thing I found especially interesting was that all the examples of silk work are stitched using DMC 6 strand floss.
I am going to add this book to my previous post about books too

Now about Goldwork Lucky Clover is a class taught by Clara Warschauer (clarastitchingstitching.com) and my first real adventure into goldwork. I have taken a couple other classes, I really just audited these classes and never stitched anthing.

This was a 2 session zoom class and I made up my mind to actually try and keep up. After enrolling Clara sent a kit with all the materials needed to complete this clover and looks like enough materials to complete a second. I was a little concerned that there were no written instructions but Clara assured me that everything would be covered in class and that we would have unlimited access to these videos.

As I mentioned before in my blog (sudukc.wordpress.com/2022/01/14/taking-a-goldwork-class/) Clare had a little prework . Before class we were to wrap our hoops and draw the clover design onto the ground fabric. we needed a light and stand and usual stitching tools. Clara had suggested several tools especially for goldwork and I had these already so I was ready. If you would like to learn about wrapping a embroidery hoop Clara has a video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFzYJPPcWlc&t=26s).

The first session Clara showed us exactly what to do and explained everything very well. In class Clara showed us two methods of padding, stuffing and layering felt. Then we use Supper Pearl Purl to outline the clover. She showed us how to make a lasso needle for helping to take our gold to backside of work and secure. She also has a video for making a lasso needle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejkiKjkKioI. She also showed how to stitch the stem and how to lay Japanese threads in the first petal.

I had begun stitching with here but by the time she had stitched all the felt in place and started on the outlines, I was still stitching the green clover (step one) to the ground. Needless to say I decided to stop what I was doing and to listen and take notes. I was glad we were going to have access to the viedo too because I was sure I probably missed a hint or two.

So during the first week between classes I diligently went to my stitching nest and stitched my clover, I wanted to keep up and not let the class get ahead of me. One of the major things I learned is that goldwork is not going to be a social stitching piece. You need concentration and and attention to detail for this technique. I imagine it is much like Japanese Embroidery with much attentions to technique and application of technique to truly master this media. I spent about 8-10 hours of stitch time just to complete the first part. But I liked the solace of the stitching time. I lost all sense of time and space.

I completed the homework and was waiting for the next class which took us through the rest of the stitching and how to finishing. This class I just took notes and knew I was in for another 8-10 hours of stitching before I was going to attempt the finishing. I was also happy this class was also taped for our reference too. I think I watched this tape a couple times just for the finishing .

It took me about ten days to complete this project, not because it took me longer to stitch but because I had a couple other commitments and I wanted to have blocks of time to stitch. Once my clover was completed I knew there were quite a few faults but it is my first piece and I will keep practicing. I am going to make another and I know that I overstuffed the first clover and my stem left much to be desired. And I really need practice cutting purl, I had lots of little tags on my chipping that I needed to clip off. And a couple chippings were unusable but I’m going to save them, never know when you might need a pulled purl. But as my friend says; “If you are close enough to my stitching to see my mistakes , you are too close.”

And that’s about it for today. I am working on a new sewing project that I’ll share later, I have loads of finishing needlepoint to do and I’m going to make another clover soon before I start another project. I also need to start a solcial needlepoint I can take to sitch-ins and other places. I did get out a guild project I thought I could do but as I read the instructions I realized this was not a project that I wanted to do, so I will keep the golds and make another clover before I attempt one of the other kits I have in waiting.

Thank You for stopping by again.
Hope you find time to do whatever makes you happiest and creative AND I hope you have time to do it today and every day…

ttfn…sue

Down the Rabbit Holes

My mother should have named me Alice because I can fall in a rabbit hole in a nano second. I can wander so deep into that rabbit hole that I am never sure where I started nor what my original destination was and I have no concept of time either. . I can go from Apples to Zebras with a click of the mouse and the day is gone.

In fact while exploring a subject I even came up with a design I want to design and stitch. I’ll tell you more about it later…Yes I wrote it down so I won’t forget.

My latest rabbit hole has been Goldwork…and I guess you should add silk work and stumpwork too, but mainly goldwork. Here are some great sites to visit and if you want to fall way down the rabbit hole check out some of the sites and blogs these artists like… and I will see you next month.

Some of these sites allow you to follow their blog; they may have mailing lists, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and You Tube viedos you can join. They sometimes also list other sites and people they like or follow…let your rabbit hole adventure begin.

I used to belong to a site that let me know when a new blog had been posted to my favorites list but it got to be too much and I would be 2 hours just reading new posts. I still belong I just don’t have them tell everyday how good some people are about writing their blogs, that depressed me. And in my defense WordPress has changed their format on me and I am still trying to sort this out. And I inadvertently changed my blog format and mine was so old that I can’t get it back. So I am not only trying to figure out what I am doing but also how I want it to look.

Okay back to goldwork…here are some great sites to visit and explore if you don’t already…just remember I am not responsible for the rabbit holes you may fall into exploring these wonderful places.

Jenny Adin-Christie: http://www.jennyadin-christieembroidery.com

Kathy Andrews: http://www.theunbrokenthread.com

Georgina Bellamy: http://www.theembroiderygirl.com

Tanja Berlin: http://www.berlinembroidery.com
Also check out her PDF on metal threads very good

Alison Cole: http://www.alisoncoleembroidery.com.au

Mary Corbet: http://www.Needlenthread.com

Kathlrine Diuguid: http://www.kathrinediuguid.squarespace.com

Natalee Dupuis: www dupuisnatalie.wixsite.com/mysite

Tracy Franklin: http://www.tracyfrankin.com

Dr. Jessica Grimm: http://www.jessicagrimm.com

Becky Hogg: http://www.beckyhogg.com

Sarah Homfray: http://www.sarahhomfray.com

Hannah Newton: http://www.hannynewton.co.uk

Sara Rickards: http://www.wellembroidered.co.uk

Sarah Rakestraw: http://www.golden-hinde.co.uk

Saves9: http://www.saves9embroidery.blogspot.com/

Clara Warschauer: http://www.clarastitching.com
** This is who taught Lucky Clover

These are other sites for great eye candy as well as information
Inspirations: http://www.inspirationsstudios.com

London Embroidery School: http://www.londonembroideryschool.com

Royal School of Needlework: http://www.royal-needlework.org.uk

San Francisco School of Needlework and Design: http://www.sfnneedleworkanddesign.com

Textile Research Center: http://www.trc-leiden.nl/trc-needles/

Victoria and Albert Museum: http://www.vam.ac.uk

This is a shop but they have beautiful things
Embroidery Den: http://www.theembroideryden.com.au

And them further down the rabbit hole you can Google these just for the images…
Lucy Barter
Margaret Light Embroidery
Karen Newbrook
Merrilyn Whittle Designs

I didn’t list all the places I visited, you need to explore for yourself, just enough to get you started. The whole world is out there just waiting to be explored. I keep a trail of my visits so I can go back to the original…bread crumbs if you like. I write down original site Artist A: then if its from her list of favorite blogs I list Fav-blos ‘artist name….and so on because that artist may have a list too…
See what I mean about falling down a rabbit hole.

In a couple days I’ll be back and show you my Lucky Clover it is complete and I ws going to start another goldwork project, but the one I thought I would start turned out not to be what I thought it was so I am rethinking my project. And at some point have to figure get comfortable with WordPress again.

Thank You for stopping by again.
Hope you find time to do whatever makes you happiest and creative AND I hope you have time to do it today and every day…

ttfn…sue

Goldwork Books

Well! My goldwork class does not begin until Today. At first I was bummed out but then I decided to take Monday and write up my goldwork books. And yes I have read all these listed. I take notes and put them in the book for reference. Then on Tuesday tried to upload to my computer but WordPress has changed so much since I last used that there is a whole new learning curve. But I hope to have up before class begins on Wednesday. After several hours, this is as good as it is going to get until I have more time to become user friedly with WordPress…

I have more than 20 goldwork books but some I never use or even look through, so I am only going to list the ones I keep handy and together on the bookshelf. Some books that are less used are designated to top hard to reach shelves. It also pleases me that books are still being written about this technique, not only teaching the basics but in some cases “pushing the envelope.” If art is to succeed and grow it must not only adhere to the basics but also reach to the future.

Goldwork is not always a technique unto itself. Sometimes other embroidery techniques complement goldwork like silk embroidery, blackwork, stumpwork and even canvaswork (my first love). Some of the techniques and threads used in goldwork may be used in these other stitching disciplines also.

At first I was going to list the books in the order I like them best but then I realized I like all of these for different reasons, some I just like the eye-candy ideas/designs, some I lust over and hope maybe someday will live long enough to accomplish.

Also some books I prefer the layout to others and that’s not so say that the information in one book isn’t just as good as an other’s information. How I use these books is if for example: I am looking up how to use card in a project. I will look at all these books and mark with a post-it note all those that have information on how to use card. I will review each and decide which is best for my application and proceed. It’s like choosing which stitch to use where in canvaswork, there is no one perfect answer, only the one you chose…It’s a personal preference, like I like blue more than orange. This is true of the projects given in each book, some I like better than other and my choices may different from yours. So with this in mind and not to show personal preferences, I have decided to list my go-to goldwork books in alphabetical order by author.

I also tried to contact several of the authors with more recent publication dates to get their permission to use pictures of the covers and a page layout inside. I am a firm believer in copyright laws and anyway it is just common courtesy to ask permission. Some of the books are older and I did not try to contact these authors as there is a educational exemption in the copyright law. The authors I sent and received permission to use are noted with an asterisk (*), and Thank you again. (I will update if I receive others.)

Chamberlin

Chamberline, Ruth; Beginners Guide to Goldwork; Search Press; 2007. A study of the sampler featured on the cover of the book. The book covers materials, equipment, designing, getting started, stitches and techniques used in sampler. There is also an acorn project at the end of book with instructions.

*Cole, Alison; All That Glitters; Search Press; 2006. This book is written in two parts; the first are the stitches and techniques used to complete the stumpwork and goldwork projects in the second part of the book. The second part of the book are ten (10) projects, each with a color picture, a list of requirements (materials and tools), line drawings to include master drawing and templates for felt and leather as required. There are also complete instructions with cross references to part 1 for techniques and methods. A lovely book and truly eye-candy for any goldwork enthusiast.

*Cole, Alison; The Midas Touch; Allison Cole Embroidery; 2008. Second project book published for stumpwork and goldword. This book is a similar format to the first. It has two parts; the first includes the threads and techniques used to complete the projects in second half of book. In the second half of the book eleven (11) projects are featured; each with a list of requirements (materials and tools), line drawings to include master drawing and templates and complete instructions with cross references to part 1 for techniques and methods. Another lovely book and more eye-candy for any stitcher.

*Cole, Alison; The Goldwork Masterclass; 2019 This book was written as Allison Cole’s Masterclass for the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria (Australia). It is reference book with glorious pictures. Each chapter has a stitched sampler plate at the beginning (sudu note: I think these are worthy of framing) and that same plate at the end with a key reference to the sampler. And in between these two plates is an overview of the methods and techniques used in the chapter each showing the technique. A beautiful book, truly inspirational.

Dawson, Barbara; The Techniques of Metal Thread Embroidery; B.T.Batsford Ltd.; 1985 A refence book with extensive history and discussion of metal thread technique. The book has all blank and white pictures, buy is a handy reference book.

Everett, Hazel; Goldwork Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration; Search Press; 2011. The title says it all; thus book covers a brief history,equipment, translating images to designs, order of working, metal threads, techniques and methods. It has projects with color pictures, line drawings, materials list techniques listed and order of working design.

Everett, Hazel; Goldwork and Silk Shading, Inspired by Nature; Search Press; 2022. Hazel Everett passed away in 2018 but friend and colleague, Jan Barsby and Hazel’s husband, Adrian Richards collaborated to publish this book in her memory. It is a terrific addition to her first book, Goldwork Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration. This book explains how silk work and stumpwork can go hand in hand with goldwork. I loved how the book shows many of the examples done in all gold, all silk, and a combination of the two. It is truly inspirational and will give you many ideas. Another thing I found especially interesting was that all the examples of silk work are stitched using DMC 6 strand floss.

*Franklyn, Tracy; New Ideas in Goldwork; B.T.Batsford Ltd.; 2002. This book not only explores traditional goldwork techniques and methods but also explores some “Out of the box” methods and techniques. It is nice to see the exploration of this technique being pushed to new levels after first understanding the basics of the goldwork techniques. It also has other artists designs with their artist statements. A true eye candy book for any goldwork enthusiast.

Kreinik, Jacqueline Freidman; Metallic Thread Embroidery; David & Charles; 2000 A look at Kreinik metallic threads with color chart at the time of publication (sudu note: some threads have been discontinued and others added). It has over a dozen designs incorporating Kreinik threads to stitch. It is a useful reference for using Kreinik threads.

Lemon, Jane; Metal Thread Embroidery; B.T.Batsford Ltd; 2004. A Reference book in Alphabetical order of tools , materials, techniques and places to visit around the world. A great reference tool for anyone specializing in metal embroidery.

Lomny, Anthony; The Art and Craft of Goldwork; Simon & Schuster; 2004 There are fifteen (15) goldwork projects in this book. Each project has a color picture, materials list, line drawings and description of the methods used.

McCook, Helen; Goldwork Royal School of Needlework Stitch Guides; Search Press; 2012 This is the smaller edition of the RSN books. Small compact study of goldwork with clear and concise pictures and text. There are no projects in this book.

Nimura,Emi; RSN Book Goldwork, Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration;; 2021 This is the larger edition of the RSN books. There are two parts to this book: the first covers materials, tools, method of stitching, framing up, order of working, methods and techniques of goldwork. The second part of the book are projects and a gallery of inspiration. Projects are complete with materials list, templates, color pictures as well as the+ order and method of stitching the project.

*Pye, Lizzy; Goldwork Embroidery Techniques and Projects; Crowood Press; 2020. A complete study of goldwork from materials to techniques and even finishing suggestions. The pictures and instructions are great. There are six (6) projects complete with materials list, equipment needed, line drawings for project, felt and leather templates’ and step by step instructions. Another truly beautiful book.

Pyman, Kit-editor; The Maderia Book of Gold and Silver; Search Press; 1988 This book covers Goldwork, Machine /embroidery, Lettering, Church Embroidery, Beadwork, and Tambour Beading by many different well known embroidery artists This book uses ,mainly Maderia threads but is full of design ideas and inspiration.

Goldwork Revised and Expanded; Search Press; 1995 This is a condensed book of Goldwork portion of The Maderia Book of Gold and Silver edited by Kit Pyman (see above)

*Rakestraw, Sarah and Susan Hinde; Glorious Goldwork; Golden Hinde; 2018. Complete book of Goldwork studies with pictures from tools & Materials to techniques and methods. Each technique or method is explained step by step with pictures. Nine (9) projects are included in this book with requirements, line tracing (drawings, leather, felt & card tracings, and the method of stitching. I liked the corners of the pages that give you an idea of the method or technique on that page.

Saunders, Sally-text by; Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques; 1998. This book is an introduction to silk shading, crewel work, Blackwork and goldwork. It is published by the Royal School of Needlework and all these techniques can be used with goldwork. Designs in this book are well thought out and inspiring.

Scott, Anna; A-Z of Goldwork with Silk Embroidery; Country Bumpkin Publications; 2008. This book has 2 parts: The first being the technical part including materials, methods and techniques and the second part is seven (7) projects complete with materials and techniques used.This is an A-Z book and they are always good.

These books are good too but not strictly goldwork…

Ashby, Daphne and Jackie Woolsey; Creative Embroidery Techniques Using Colour Through Gold; 1998. This is not a goldwork book but does use gold threads stitched on needlepoint canvas. I included this book because I am at heart an Needlepoint person who loves geometries. This book is eye candy for my passion.

Jane Nicholas; Stumpwork & Goldwork inspired by Turkish, Syrian & Persian Tiles. Stumpwork, Goldwork and surface Embroidery Beetle Collection Any Jane Nicholas book is eye candy for a needlework person. These two just happen to have goldwork in their titles and use goldwork in their designs.

I have other books that include goldwork but are mainly other needlework techniques but are still eye candy for the soul. I am cursed or gifted with a memory of most of my books and by just looking through my library can spot books that might have eye candy for the technique I am researching. I did not include them here as I felt this list should include mostly books that were methods and techniques of goldwork.

Thank You for stopping by again.

Hope you find time to do whatever makes you happiest and creative AND I hope you have time to do it today and every day…

ttfn…sue

Taking a goldwork class

My first new adventure for 2022 is a goldwork class. I have several goldwork projects and ideas I would like to do but have had very little instructions in this media.

I audited a class from a local guild teacher, but didn’t do any actual goldwork. Our guild also had a teacher come for a class but it was more of a design class in goldwork than an actual hands on class. And I did computer work for a goldwork class (Golden Petals) taught by  Toni Gerdes (www.tonigerdes.com) but I didn’t have time to stitch this one either.

I have 3 or four goldwork kits I’ve purchased and a couple projects on my drawing board I really want to stitch. So although I’m familiar with the technique I have never actually been in hands on class until now.

I am signed up to take a  goldwork class with Clara Warschauer (www.clarastitching.com) . It is a small Shamrock and I can hardly wait, class starts Jan 17th.

Before my mother started a new project she would gather up every conceivable supply, tool, book, whatever she thought she might need to successfully complete the project. I am my mother’s daughter in some ways and I have been gathering up supplies for some time. My mother always had everything meticulously organized and although I fight organization I find myself being exactly like she was sometimes. So..

My class project has its own little box with every thing that came in the kit plus I have print off pre-workout instructions, wrapped my hoop and marked my pattern.

I wrapped my hoop with bias tape and drew my Shamrock on the fabric. Both hoop rings are supposed to be wrapped with woven tape ( I bought my tape when I bought my frames), cotton strips of cloth or bias tape. I did this but first one was so tight didn’t think I would get fabric on the frame and be able to tighten screw. So I only wrapped inner hoop on second frame as a back up; but fabric did fit…wonder of wonders.

Clara asked that we have cutting board to cut metals. I happen to have one from one of those guild class I audited. It is a computer disk holder, a polishing bag (you used to get these free in hotel rooms to buff your shoes or some high-end make- up companies put some of there products in these soft bags. And my bank gives away eyeglass cleaner cloths that work.) and a piece of card cut to fit box. You also can make on by just cutting a piece of velvet or felt to go around card…or if you are handy with sewing machine, make a bag. Put card in bag and place in tin.. and you have a cutting board with lid …this will be handy if you have extra gold cut and have to stop stitching (heaven forbid.)when you have a box with a lid, just put a lid on it and when you return everything is where it should be. Handy tip for those who have little friend around.

Clara also asked for goldwork scissors. I am covered here, I have every type of scissors imaginable. From top down: double curve, curved blade, snippet scissors,  goldwork scissors (serrated edge), new embroidery scissors and surgery scissors ( one blunt tip). I have others types8 handy in my sewing room too.

She also said a mellor and a light box would be nice but optional. I have a mellor and I made my light box. I use a plexiglass see though ruler (made for quilters and used with rotary cutters), fabric weights but four of  anything of same height would work and my phone with a white image and full brightness on the screen or a small flashlight to fit under board. Or use window; tape design on window and tape fabric over…nature’s own light box.

A stand is needed and I have stands…floor stand, lap stand and a clamp. Don’t know which I will use yet, but will let you know and why.

But that’s not all I’ve collected for my class, after all I am my mother’s daugter. I have this carrying case with most all my goldwork tools in one place.

Extra needles… the container holding needles is a Q-tip travel container. You can get them at discount stores or drug stores, they cost about a dollar and you get q-tips too (I think I had quite a supply of q-tips for a while)

I have gold thread( silver thread in drawer), extra felt with spare needles,, a thread bobbin,  a thimble, needle threaders (because one does not always work), and beeswax.

Tweezers: read you should learn to use and not touch gold much. The oil from your had may tarnish gold. Also have read to wash hands but don’t use hand lotion…oils again. I have blunt tweezers, pointed tweezers , very pointed tweezers, and bent tweezers.

And miscellaneous stuff that I usually always have when I’m stitching. A light and dark lap cloth; if you use this under your needlepoint makes holes easier to see. I thought it might be useful under cutting board in case some gold pops. My extra eyes…don’t go anywhere to stitch without them. A ruler with metric measurements.  And an ort box, although I don’t think any gold will be thrown away. And a good light source. I have several choices plus windows. And finally my stitching buddy; Jiminy has been with me for a long time.

So as you can see I am ready and waiting …can you tell I am excited? I’m going to bring my computer, notebook and phone up to my sewing room this week end to make sure I have good zoom reception otherwise will have to stitch in my office…guess I better clean a spot…it’s still a mess.

I’m also going to read more of the goldwork books I have collected this week-end. I’ll report on these later..

Thank You for stopping by again.

Hope you find time to do whatever makes you happiest today. Used to say stitch but whatever makes you creative, hope you have time to do it today and every day…

ttfn…sue

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

Burrrrrrrrr: Ann Strite-Kurz More catching up…

ED Note: I was out of my blogging phase when I stitched this and so pictures are incomplete…I am trying to be better now that I am back to blogging about taking pictures as I stitch. But sometimes I get carried away and forget…

After I finished Mr & Mrs I took a couple weeks off and just did knitting or Kumihimo…anything without beads. But one day I was looking through my stash and came across this piece. I have always loved it, it is an adaptation of a Charlie Harper print and I love Charlie Harper prints.

Ann-Strite Kurz (https://www.annstritekurz.com/ ) has always been one of my favorite teachers. If you read Ann’s resume it is very impressive…she is one of those teachers who has forgotten more than some of us will ever learn.

I own many of her books and I follow her article every month, Using Common Stitches in Uncommon Ways, in Needlepoint Now (https://www.needlepointnow.com/). Our guild had her teach an applique class one time and I loved it; I still use the techniques I learned in this class.

I love her work but was never able to get into one of her classes at ANG national seminars…My luck of the draw never seemed to work and most of her classes seemed to go to lottery.

Somewhere along my stitching path I had acquired one of Ann’s teaching pieces, Br-r-r-r-rdbath, (probably a stash sale or someone gave this to me). It has been one of my favorite pieces for a long time and had been waiting it’s turn in my stash, so I pulled it out…time to do an Ann piece.

Ann’s books are so well written that I knew her instructions would be no less and they were everything I expected them to be…excellent. Ann’s instructions and diagrams are some of the best. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into…I was looking for a fun easy stitch but this was going to be a learning piece. But you know what I have always loved this piece so it became my at home project.

First you basted guide lines on the canvas and then I started the design…

First you stitch the Smyrna outlines (dotted lines in picture)…then you started the border designs. The borders (A & B in picture) are truly a lesson in “Using Common Stitches in Uncommon Ways”! If I remember correctly, there were at least four steps to each border and then BEADING. Remember I said I was trying to avoid another beading project? Well at least you waited until the design was completed to add beading maybe I would recover from the Mr & Mrs beading.

 

Then I started the design part of the piece and every area was a review of a previously learned skill or an adaptation Ann has created to enhance this design (area C the birdbath.)  I loved stitching this piece…okay maybe love is a strong word but I liked the challenge it presented. The leaves (D in picture) became a challenge for me and then I decided, this was my piece and I was stitching it for me and so if the leaves were giving me a fit I needed to adapt and overcome. The leaves became my change to the piece; I had stitched the first two (D in picture) as instructed and was having a devil of a time, so the rest of the leaves are my adaptation of the instructions. This was my fun relaxing piece and I was keeping it that way. I’m the only one (and now you too) that notices that the leaves are a bit different …but then aren’t all leaves in nature different?!

 

The body of the bird was a relaxing stitch, nothing I didn’t know how to do. But the wings were my next challenge. I love the look of Blackwork but it is really a technique you have to study to be really good at it. Ann’s instructions were wonderful and easy to follow. I made a couple mistakes but Blackwork is a technique some spend a lifetime perfecting. If you would like to pursue this technique, there are several books written about this technique. Here are the ones I have in my library:

Ilse Altherr; Reversible Blackwork, Book 1 and Blackwork & Holbein, Book 2

Becky Hogg; Blackwork RSN Essential Sitch Guide.

Marion Scoular; Why Call It Blackwork?, Folio of Blackwork Patterns

Ann Strite-Kurz; The Heart of Blackwork

Leslie Wilkens; Blackwork Made Easy;

Jane Zimmerman; Blackwork Embriodery Patterns, The Art of English Blackwork

By the time this piece was completed and I was ready to start the beading, I had decided that I would add the sequins (you use a bead here to attach the sequins) but the border was going to be sans beading. I liked the look and I was not into that much beading again.

So here is another project under my belt and it is also in a ready-made frame. I really do like framing  pieces when I can do it myself, and then they don’t end up in my to finish later pile. So another project is completed but I still have more to catch up and then maybe by summer I will be back to finishing projects or sewing.

BTW, if you really love Charlie Harper designs, the Meredith Collection (http://themeredithcollection.com/) has them in needlepoint;  you can see them at The Meredith Collection: http://themeredithcollection.com/collection/charley-harper/needlepoint.

When I get caught up on some of my stash, I will add to my collection here.

 

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

 

ttfn…sue

More on 1st Communion crosses

I have done three 1st Communion Crosses, each is a bit different, but I still planned them all out on graph paper before stitching.

 

 

 

 

 

I plan out on graph paper the name and design before I begin stitching. I use an alphabet that is 9 stitches high for uppercase and 5 stitches high for lowercase letters. Whatever method of framing you decide to use, your design MUST be planned on graph paper.  Plan your design out first on graph paper, remember to allow for open space around the design area I usually figure 5 threads on each side for this type of design….although you usually are going to get extra space by choosing a standard mat..

I count the lines of the graph paper (each line represents a thread of canvas)  and divide by the needlepoint canvas thread count to see what type of design I might be able to use; i.e. square or rectangle. This will also let you know if you can use a pre-cut mat and frame (my favorite). If I had a long name  I might consider making a rectangular piece from the start

For example: a name like Christopher Robin is long…by my quick calculations this rectangle stitching would need minimum 87 by 105 threads. This translates to 87 divided by 18 count canvas equals 4.8333 inches of 5 inch opening and 105 threads divided by 18 count canvas equals 5.833333 opening or 6 inch opening , Since standard mats usually are 5 x 7 inch openings. I would be look for a shadow box frame with a precut mat with a 5×7 inch opening or find a frame I liked and have a 5 x 7 inch mat cut to fit the frame.

The best method is to have your piece stitched when you go to look for the frame. If you are lucky you will find a precut mat and frame; otherwise you may have to have a mat cut to fit a premade frame. But remember sometimes this still does not work and you are going to have to bite the bullet and the piece custom framed. EDNOTE: If you are planning to  enter a piece to be judged, then you MUST have the piece custom framed. …There are framing rules too, maybe not rules but guidelines or ratios of mat size to frame size…Your framer will know these, I don’t; I just know if I like the way it looks matted and framed.

 

Other things I did to make stitching easier for me:

I tent stitch the grape areas first. This gives me an idea how they will look and it is easier to remove tent stitches than it is French or Colonial knots. Then when I stitch the grapes if I am using an overdye I use the puddle stitch technique to stitch the knots. I learned this from John Waddle years ago and blogged about it once but I will repeat it since it was years ago that I wrote about puddle stitching.

Puddle stitch method:  

I do not cut the overdye thread in this instance (some overdyes are pre-cut but the method is the same.)

Here is a graphic of a length of an overdye thread; I have numbered each segment with an arbitrary number of stitiches (10-8-12-6-etc…). Notice that there are three circled 10’s; these are the beginning of the repeat. The numbering has no significance in puddle stitching other than to show the repeat and the number of stitches I arbitrarily assigned to each area.

The next graphic shows this overdye thread stitched in Continental Horizontal rows (top left), Basketweave (bottom left) and then puddle stitching on the right. I attached the sequence numbering to all these so you could compare to the first graphic and follow he sequence of stitching. The puddle stitching is a bit hard to follow but you can and there is no method to this it is just a random thing.
Puddle stitching is nothing but a group of stitches randomly placed together to form a puddle of color. You could call this method a glob, blob, whatever you choose to call it…but then it would have to be glob stitching, blob stitching and I like puddle stitching best. Remember this is not my technique I learned it from John Waddell (http://johnwaddellneedlepoint.com/index.html)  in his Fun with Overdye class.

If this has confused you more I am sorry but just drop me note and I’ll see if I can do better or take a class from John, he’s really good or maybe your local shop can help you.

Making a twist:

I sometimes make a tiny twist of usually 2 ply floss to be the stem of my flowers or in this case wheat.

I showed how to make a twist here: (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/all-twisted-up-making-cording/) and this twist is the same but it is only an 18 inch length of thread so I usually just twist between my fingers.

Once the twist is make I use a larger needle. I thread the twist into this needle to start stitching. I bring the twist to the front of the canvas leaving the knot on the backside…I know the rule about knots and needlepoint but there are exceptions to every rule.

I’m showing you the back of the my stitching because that’s where all the work can be seen! The free form shape in picture is my beginning knot. The rectangle is the line I couched the twist on the front with second needle using 1 ply floss. And the circle is a picture of how I end this twist.

Ending the twist depends on if there is enough twist to use again. If there is enough twist to use again make two overhang knots as shown in picture and cut between them. This will help keep the stitched twist from becoming lose and it also keeps the remaining twist, twisted. If there is not enough twist to use again just make an overhand knot and clip, leaving the knot on your canvas.

 

Over the years I have stitched three 1st Communnion Crosses and I have a PDF version of the first cross instructions but have also included information on all three in this newly revised edition. If you are interested, email me (sudu@kc.rr.com) your email and I will send to you a copy; be sure and put 1st communion in subject line or it might go to my junk mail.

I think that’s it for today…but I did score a major coup this week and I’ll tell you more about that next week…

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

ttfn…sue

Mr & Mrs canvas designed by Raymond Crawford

Today is March 30 National Stitching-In Day so what a better way than to talk about my last big needlepoint project. I started this project last spring March 2017 but could not share because it was a present for my grandson and his bride on their first anniversary. I had seen this Raymond Crawford (http://www.raymondcrawford.com/) canvas before they were married and with my new love of beading I knew I would have to bead this project. I would guess it took me six months to completely finish this canvas. Beading needlepoint is a long process and why I chose 18 count when 13 count was available I’ll never know.

First I had to find the right beads and I first purchased 11/0 beads for the project but they were too big so back to square one and size 15/0.

 

I stitched every bead twice in Basketweave style. Why Basketweave? I did not want to stitch Continental and have the canvas warp; I knew blocking would have been impossible. So I took the extra time to stitch Basketweave beading. I used a double strand of beading thread that I had stretched and waxed. If you don’t stretch your beading thread over time it can become loose and your beads will droop; also strech thread before waxing. I stitched every bead twice to secure each bead in place (see diagram). I also started every letter on the right side so my basketweave was always being stitched into a previously work hole. I did this for two reasons: I wanted all the beads to slant same direction and  I was very careful not to pierce thread from previous row. Here are two or more days of stitching on the &, some days I only got in 10 to 15 beads. Beading is a long arduous process for me;  it was tiring on the eyes and also just a slow, labor intensive process.

 

 

 

 

When I went to stitch the border I noticed on the left there was one empty thread between the M in Mrs and the start of the border, but on the right the & was right next to the border (no empty thread.) This bothered me so I just decided to I stitched the border one thread further out. It wouldn’t show because I planned on stitching all the background with silk. I also changed the direction of the border stitches at the center of the design area; this allowed me to stitch around the corner without compensation. As I recall, it was not an even count divide , so I always try and make the

odd count to the right of center and/or lower of center. I don’t remember if both counts were off or just the left –right borders (top & bottom)   I used Kreinik #12 braid in 3 colors: 221, 202HL and 102 and the stitch was a Diagonal Gobelin over 2 threads.

I stitched the background last in basketweave with 4 ply Rainbow Gallery Splendor S800.

It seemed like it took me forever to stitch, but I love they way it looks finished. I had a mat made and   framed it myself and it now is safely residing in Michigan.

When I gather up another project I did for my guild I will share the different methods of beading needlepoint with you.

After I finished this project, I thought I would swear off beading forever…but forever is a long long time. 😉

Have a blessed Passover or Happy Easter.

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

ttfn…sue

 

 

Finished UFO – Catherine Jordan class

Last week I was suffering from creative dry spell…it usually hits when I am overwhelmed, just finished a project or am putting off something. I was/am suffering from all the above.

Overwhelmed:

  • I have enough projects to complete or start to last several lifetimes (but I add to my stash, never know when you will need that one thing you do not have.)
  • I have so many things I need to finish…remember my desk
  • And then there are the pieces I need to stitch…deadlines
  • And the ideas that are floating around in my head and in my idea notebook

Finished a project, but more about that later

Putting off: Not that I’m putting off I just spent the last couple weeks taking pictures of projects I have not shared and I am still deciding how to present

BUT while going through my stash for something to do I found a UFO that fit 4 0f the five suggestions for wetting my stitching fingers…

  1. 1. Spend some time with your stash. That’s where I found this UFO
  2. Finish a UFO. Need I say more…it’s a UFO
  3. Practice a stitch/technique you haven’t mastered or would like to learn. This project is right up that alley
  4. Look ahead to projects you must finish. Okay, I am procrastinating on this one.
  5. Just keep active. That’s what I’m doing.

So I decided to work on my Contemporary Forrest Necklaces by Catherine Jordan. I have always loved this piece and when it was offered online several years ago (2014 I think) I enrolled. I don’t know whether I got overwhelmed by the class or it was a time constraint issue but I only  got as far as painting the canvas/felt and cutting it out. I think I may have even tried putting some tree trunks in because one of the felts  has marks that look like I may have taken a needle through it.

 

Anyway I had kept all the instructions and even the online comments and some of the pictures so I thought I’d give it a try. First, I re-read the instructions and all the online comments and then I picked one of the sets (I have five sets to stitch)

 

 

I started the tree trunks; they are wrapped thread technique using DMC Floss. Pretty simple but I still took them out once because I did not like them and when I re-stitched the trunks could not tell much difference so I thought maybe I was being overly critical of myself or maybe just trying to put off the next step.

Side A

Side B

I decided to go with my tree trunks and see where I ended up. The tree leaves were a challenge. Not the method, I understood that. Where to place them, where to attach them and how many was the challenge.

I decided to follow Catherine Jordan’s instructions to the letter and so the first tree on each side of the canvas is stitched according to her directions; Buttonhole stitch using more DMC Floss. By the time I got to Side B,  I may have gotten carried away doing the red one but by then I had done the first set of trees and was feeling both confident and overwhelmed at the same time.

Instructions for leaves

First tree

 

Side A with Leaves

Let me give you insight into my thought process… When I revisited this UFO I had decided I could make several sets of these to represent the seasons…In my mind I would just whip them out one after another. In reality, the trunks for one canvas took me the better part of two days and the leaves for one tree another half day. By the time I had finished the one felt with leaves, I knew that four sets of canvas was not going to happen. This was supposed to be a fun project to get my creative juices flowing and while it was doing just that, I did not want it to turn into a project that I felt compelled to complete all four seasons.

So on the Side B felts, that could also be used as the front,  I stitched the leaves with an autumn color pallet.

joined

I joined all the canvas together and placed them in the frame, and fluffed the leaves. Now I have two completed projects: Side A and Side B. I love the piece and now have my very own. I also think I want to bead a chain to use with this, but for now a simple gold chain will work…Just goes to show you, once the creative genes get to flowing…one thing leads to another.

Fluffed

Both sides

 

I have saved the felts, threads and instructions for another day and maybe I will revisit or find something new to try with the felt…never know.

This project also gave me another blog post…my thoughts on written instructions. So over the week-end I am going to put my thoughts together and write a quick post on this for the beginning of next week.  Until then…

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

ttfn…sue