Catching up

Been a long time since I blogged and I have no excuses. All I can say is until this awful Covid shut down I was having the time of my life trying new things. I think I have mentioned I was learning to crochet again and learned to knit too. I will probably never be an expert at either of these crafts but I do enjoy them and wish I had more time to do everything I would like to accomplish.

Lily of Valley Necklace

I have discovered I really like beading. I’m not much into jewelry but have

Spinning Star

made a few necklaces and will continue to make an occasional piece BUT the 3D pieces are so interesting to me. I love the boxes that are available to make and want to be able to design my own. I like the stars, but you can only have so many stars. Although the spinning stars designed by Franklin Martin Jr (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2700808173532468)  are very  cool. I took his Zoom class and  I made one (wrong of course); mine has eight points, should have ten points. But I made it work and I love to spin it.

 

shapes

Franklin Martin Jr  is also part of the group CGB: Contemporary Geometric Beading (https://beadmobile.wordpress.com/). I have long been fascinated by this group but I’m not sure I understand it all …yet it is fascinating stuff. I bought their first two books years ago and love to look at them but am not an experienced enough beader to understand this concept yet.

 

Last week I spent a week taking or participating in International Bead Week. This is probably one of the few good things to come out of Covid shut down. The Beadworkers Guild of UK (http://www.beadworkersguild.org.uk/) holds an International Bead Week the first of August and this year they were offering it online since the world is in quarantine. What a lovely break for the beading world…several times we met online just to chat about beading; there were beading classes online and many free patterns to stitch. It was truly an international event and I met people from all over the world who love to bead.

 

I also heard about The Johnson Solid projects. Diane Fitzgerald has been heading a project where 92 beaders are making a Johnson solid in bead: See Facebook: Johnson Solid Project for more information (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2265910877041556/)  These fascinate me and now the beadworkers Guild are also doing their own project for display at their International beadwork  meeting hopefully next year.

I participated in the Black and White Together project (https://www.nationalbeadingweek.co.uk/

Black & White Together

Black-and-White-Together-Project.php). I stitched 8 warped squares that have been sent to South Carolina where they will be stitched into a yet unknown artwork.

 

 

Heart For Hospice

And of course there is my first love needlepoint. I still enjoy needlepoint but you can only have so many pillows and stand ups. And truthfully I’m not convinced my sons or their wives appreciate the love, work and $$ involved in needlepoint.

Right now I am working on the thimble figures from Melissa Shirley’s nativity. I’ve had

MS Nativity

these pieces forever and just never got around to stitching them. But during shut down I decided it was a good project. I also decided that I was going to stitch them all in silk with a little Kreinik for glitz and they are all stitched in Basketweave. No pressure to pick threads or stitches, just a relaxing time. I can finish one every two days if I keep my beading to a minimum…I have been trying to get one done every week or so. (that beading really has me hooked)

And since my beading library is growing I have been thinking that I need to reduce my needlepoint, quilting, color and design libraries and to that end have been separating the books into keep and sell shelves. I will keep the books that I love to look through and those that pertain to subjects I am still interested in stitching …i.e. goldwork, some ribbonwork stumpwork and a few others. I do not need the extensive library I acquired when I was studying to for teacher certification and when I was designing, so in the next few weeks I am going to begin to offer some of my library for sale.

Each book is like an old friend; see my blog about my book friends: ( https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/books-are-friends/ )  So this has turned out to be a more difficult project than I anticipated as I have been going through each book and it has brought back many memories. My mother purchased many of the books when I first started, I bought many at my first national needlepoint convention, and I met a very dear bookseller that invited me to his home to search for more books. I love the color pictures, you can see the changes in our color choices and pattern tastes over the years.  This is becoming a real trip down memory lane and more difficult than I imagined it would be.

I was looking in a Maggie Lane book and I love her reference to stitches to use: “…two basic flat stitches , and three bump, or lump stitches.” We’ve come a long way since the 70’s. Out charts are computerized now and I must say some old photography is pretty comical now. But the one constant is the love of stitching, color and design. Tastes change but basic color and design rules are the same.

I have come to the conclusion this is going to be a long, difficult task for me; so I have decided to do it in stages maybe 10-15 books at a time. I will write the description, take the pictures and place them online and monitor them. But I have also decided should any of  my blog readers be interested, if you send me and email at sudu@kc.rr.com I will send you my lists as they became available. I will send the list to blog participants a week ahead of posting online and I will update the lists as I go. It will be strictly a first come, first serve bases.

And so that’s what I have been up to for the last year…beading, needlepointing with an occasional try at crochet or knitting.  I still help out with a few teachers and shops that need graphs. I plan on continuing to writing my blog. I want to document some more finishing for anyone interested.

And I am now on path to simplify my footprint.

I just found this in my notes; I have no idea how old it is or where it came from but it is such good advice in this strange time.

Creative Dry Spell remedies:

  1. Spend some time with your stash
  2. Finish a UFO or several
  3. Practice a stitch/technique you haven’t mastered or would like to learn
  4. Look ahead to projects you must finish
  5. Just keep active.

Thank You for stopping by again.

I hope you have time to stitch today and every day…no matter what media you chose.

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

A new book: Raised Embroidery by Kelley Aldridge

So last week I spent sorting books and the same week received a new book.

I love books. They are like friends to me; some are close friends and I wouldn’t part with them and some are acquaintances. And like friends they have different interests; some friends like goldwork, some like stumpwork, some ribbonwork, others like beading and color or design. But even with their differences, they all have creativity in common.

And my newest friend is from the Royal School of Needlework (http://www.royal-needlework.org.uk/) libraries, Raised Embroidery by Kelley Aldridge.  Kelley’s first statement in this new book is: “There are already a number if excellent books available on this subject, written by some very talented embroidery artists, but this book is about exploring new possibilities.”  I like that!

While the material in this book is basic, the inspiration just jumps off the pages. The photographs are clear and concise and the information is presented in a clear and orderly fashion.  I learned how to wrap an embroidery hoop which I have never seen in any other book and I love the little blue boxes with hints…hints always make a task so much easier. And I have always referred to this technique as stumpwork but Raised Embroidery is more accurate as it incorporates more techniques to give a three dimensional look to your needlework.

But my favorite thing about the book is the new needle artists she introduces with pictures of their work, and in one area she mentioned a ceramic artist that inspired her.  I spent some time google-ing these artists and was introduced to more artists that will inspire me to continue my study of Raised Embroidery.

 

I have toyed with Raised Embroidery over the years; my first attempt was my stitching doll. She has all sorts of techniques on her: her hair is couched doll hair that I added after I put her together. Her apron is needlelace and her hands are stumpwork and I added sewing embellishments for her to hold.

 

 

 

Many years later I did leaves for the cherries on my heart (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/a-heart-for-all/), the feathers on my shuttlecock on my Nelson Art Gallery piece (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/nelson-atkins-museum-of-art-needlepoint/) and most recently several different areas on the Wicked piece (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/melissa-shirley-wicked-fun-stuff/) were raised work.

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So with my new book and new ideas fermenting in my brain (Thanks Kelley for the idea of small projects in a large glass bowl) I will pursue one of the techniques on my thimble (instead of bucket) list.

And if you would also like to add a book to your library for inspiration I recommend Kelley Aldridge’s Raised Embroidery. It has techniques and projects but the pure inspiration is the best! The title says so and it’s true. And be sure and Google the people mentioned in the book too; they have more inspiration to share.

 

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

ttfn…sue

Books, not worth the effort

Don’t you hate to waste time? I do. I spent the morning sorting books, taking pictures, cataloging them, and researching them; only to find that 1/3 of them are worth my time to list online and that is no guarantee they will sell. I’m thinking about just putting them in a neighborhood garage sale this weekend and then what’s left taking to Half Priced Books for credit…I can always spend money here.

Since I have the list assembled, if you are interested in seeing just drop me an email (sudu@kc.rr.com) and I’ll shoot a PDF list back to you. I am not going to put a lot of effort into this but if there is something you can’t live without, let me know. BTW, this is first come, first serve and after Thursday they are garage sale bound.

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

 

Catagories: Books, etc,  life in general, needlepoint

Tags: books, needlepoint,

Kumihimo Braiding

Let’s begin to catch up…

My friends and I love a shop in Weston, MO; Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/). The owner Gretchen is wonderful and so creative. You just want to spend time with her hoping that the excess creativity will fall off onto you. And Cathy the shop manager is the sweetest person on earth; she always has a smile on her face and never seems to get rattled when we all descend on her at once.  It is the most fun, creative, relaxing place on earth! Go explore the website and you will get a feel for the place. But like I’ve said before…If you fly into Kansas City airport, make sure you have a three hour layover and make the trip to Weston (maybe 30 minutes north of the airport)…maybe you should just spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast in Weston…there is so much to do there but Florilegium will captivate your heart if you are a needlework person or just a creative soul. Also make sure you are here the later part of the week…I don’t think they are open on Monday-Tuesday and maybe Wednesday…but you can call and if someone is going to be at the shop, they will let you in.

But back to the catch up…My friend Nancy and I drove up one day for something to do and Gretchen taught us her method of Kumihimo braid. It is really an old technique, and of course many cultures have a braiding techniques also . Kumihimo braiding can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. Like any technique the more you practice the technique, the more proficient you become. I have seen people who do these braids and never look at the pattern. They are really good and get the count down perfectly; they can start and stop anywhere while making their pattern and never mess up. There is a rhythmic method to the patterns you make and can be very relaxing once you get that rhythm in your head.  I have to really concentrate if I am doing a pattern design; I have to stop at the end of a round so when I pick it up again I don’t mess up the pattern. I think that is why I like the Gretchen methods of Kumihimo best, but I will always be a novice.

KumiSq01b
But of course, Gretchen had made it fun and easy and we were hooked. We came home and taught it to all our friends (One person even made a cording to use to finish a piece of needlepoint.)

 

Nancy collected supplies for us, we had round and square Kumihmo boards; you use the round disk for round braids and the square disk makes flat braids, they also come in different sizes for small and large braids.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou need bobbins to roll your looooong lengths of yarn on (save bath tissue cardboards…they make good bobbins for large yearns and large amounts of yarn).  So we have bobbins

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We collected yarns of all types and have a bag of these too.

I had books (surprise, surprise, surprise) in my library and so I did a study of Kumihimo and even took yarn and stitched different braid patterns for everyone to see. Books in my library: (NOTE- all my books are without beads, but if you check Amazon.com there are lots with beading…it seems to be a big thing right now)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kumihimo Japanese Silk Braiding Technique by Catherine Martin,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACreative Kumihimo by Jacqui Carey,

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and Braids by Roderick Owens.

 

I like them all but the last two are my favorites because they have color pictures of the braids.

 

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Nancy even indulged me with and authentic Kumihimo stand. It is beautiful and I use it when I am not braiding to hold my current project or it just sits in my studio to remind me of the fun times friends have together and are always pushing our creativity to learn new techniques.

And even though I am a novice and will OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAprobably never be a more than dabbler in this technique, I knew I was hooked when I had a lunch box and bag for my supplies. In my lunch box I keep a pair of working scissors, a tape measure, weights, the different disks I have and my current project. In my bag are different sized bobbins, some sample braids I have made to see patterns and the yarn for these sample braids.

I enjoy making the braids for projects, but I will tell you this method takes more yarn and time than making a twisted cord. The advantage to this is you can make a pattern braid or just a braid using many of the threads used in a project. Remember when you are planning this that you will need threads that are available in skeins; cut threads will not work. And if it is a large project you may have to make a couple braids to complete project.

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I made a braid for a Christmas present and it turned out to be too large for the project. So saved it, and I am planning on using it for cording on a pillow I just finished stitching.

 

Here are some other braids I’ve played with:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the one I finally made for gift I made last year. It is just #5 perle cotton.

 

This is my pink flat braid I started with Gretchen at Florilegium.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I am not sure what I will do with this when complete but it would be cool appliqued to a jacket or used in a crazy quilt design some way.

These are samples I have made of design patterns using suggested colors so I could follow the pattern.

I have my bag and supplies and when inspiration strikes I will be ready to begin. I think it would be interesting to make several Kumihimo braids and then braid these braids together to make an thicker Kumihimo braid to use and a garland or intertwine in a wreath…I can even see making a Kumihimo braid to use at a lanyard for a cool bead or even a beading project. I even see making a braid to couch in needlepoint…oh so many ideas so little time.

Needlepoint will always be my first and main love but I think in order to expand or creativity we need to explore other techniques. It doesn’t mean we will ever be as adapt as the person who loves their chosen technique; but at least we will be able to recognize it when we see it and we will have at least a passing knowledge of how it is done. And sometimes in just knowing the method, inspiration will strike and we will be able to adapt one technique to our chosen method of stitching and make something really creative.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today or do whatever your chosen technique is!

ttfn…sue

More on ribbon books

I am venting…

In my research of Ribbon work I found a couple books I did not own and so I purchased them (they were less than $10 and there was free shipping.) When they arrived I was happy I had not paid more for them. One was nothing but projects and the description did not say that, but I did not send it back,,, more trouble than it was worth and any way when you are a bookaholic , what’s one more book.  (Although I do promise that one of these days I am going to downsize when I find that round tuit again)

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Left book best: The Complete Book of Ribbon Embroidery

The other book was pretty interesting Creative Ribbon Embroidery (book on right) and as I was going though it I keep thinking it looked familiar. The pictures and layout were enough different that I had to read a few pages before I realized I had read this before. That’s when I realized I had another book by this same author. And what do you know two books, same stuff one is just ten times better than the other.

And this does bother me!

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Color pictures of stitches vs b&w

These two books are night and day. One is full of color pictures and the other is not…all the stitches are in black in white and in fact most of the book is in black and white. The projects in the second book  have been condensed and are not shown to their best advantage. But the cover picture is new to the second book as well as the title is different

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projects

suggesting different content. Then I went back and checked. Some pictures had been turned, some made smaller but it was the same book printed less expensively.  I guess both books are good, because I do like the first one (The Complete Book of Ribbon Embroidery ) but if you are investing (even though both were inexpensive, less than $10) purchased the better one. How do you know, I guess I would purchase the older copy in this case first

Don’t get me wrong, I have bought the same book more than once for a couple reasons”

I have about worn the first one out from use. I usually buy a second one to have for back up or if I have sentimental attachment to the first so I can keep it. My very first two needlepoint books I did this. I think I’ve told this story but it is worth repeating.

My mother gave me a needlepoint book in the 1972’s for Christmas. I was not a stitcher of any kind. I was an only child raising three little boys all under the age of 5 years…I was a mother in a foreign male kindom and did not speak a word of male.   I asked her what she was thinking and her response was, “I got it from my book club.  I forgot to send the card back that I was not interested, so I’m giving it to you.”  Thanks Mother. I put it with my cookbooks in the kitchen. WWho had time for needlepoint?  But the following spring a magazine ran an article on learning to needlepoint with six stitches. And that same month our youngest ended up in the hospital with an unknown ailment (turned out to be cutting teeth…my diagnoses that the pediatrician finally agreed after ten years was probably true). And I needed something to do to keep my sanity. So rather than learn just six stitches I had my friend go pick up my book and go  by the needlepoint shop to  buy me three colors of wool a piece of canvas. I had learned to needlepoint from my Grandmother and Mother but now I could do all these stitches too. The rest is history.  My first needlepoint book is still one of my favorites and my go to book when looking for a stitch.

And another  reason I have bought the same book twice is because I publisher changed the cover on the second printing. Not nice. So from that experience I Ann Coxcheck as well as I can before I purchase. My Ann Cox ribbon book states it is combined material from two of her other books and I happened to come across one of them and sure enough it has some of the material and enough not to warrant the second purchase. Thank you Ann because I think my book is the best of the other  two.

Sorry that this is my post of the week but I am venting.

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

ttfn…sue

Books on Ribbon Embroidery, Bullions and other creative stitches:

Here is a list of some of the books I am consulting. Some I have had just for the different embroidery stitches used to make flowers, some are specific to bullions and others are all about ribbons. And there are others, these are just the ones I pulled for the Blue Bird project.

I have three Hard to Find Book stores in my area and I never go by one that I don’t stop…never know what you will find (and I usually do too.)  I like to see the book before I purchase it. I want technique instructions rather than project books. I check several online sources for needlework books too and I price compare:

Abe Bookseller: http://www.abebooks.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com

Hard-to-Find Needlework Books: http://www.needleworkbooks.com

Ruth Kern Books: http://www.ruthkernbooks.com

The books in my library: I wouldn’t list them here if I didn’t like them but some are better than others.

A-Z Ribbon WorkA-Z of Ribbon Embroidery. Country Bumkin Publications. Susan Gardner, Editor-at Large, Quilter’s Resourses, Inc.; 2003 Illinois.

This book is out of print but if you are patient and check often you can get a deal on Amazon or Abe Books and I understand they are going to update and reissue this soon. But it is a staple for learning  Ifa picture is worth a 1000 words then this book is worth every penny you pay for it. There are pictures for every stitch and technique. Excellent Book

A-Z BullionsA-Z of Bullions. Country Bumkin Publications. Inspirations Magazine Publishers. Country Bumpkin Publications. 1999. Australia.

The instructions are clear and the pictures are wonderful. This book is strictly bullions, bullions of every kind. Again the pictures make the directions clear and concise. How can you go wrong with a book published by Inspirations Magazine?

American School of NeedleworkAmerican School of Needlework. ASN Publishing. California.

An Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs #3409. 1997.

An Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery Holiday Designs #3410. 1997.

The Big Book of Little Ribbon Embroidery Designs #3411. 1998.

Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery Borders #3412. 1999.

All these books are nice and they all have pictures to help.

 

Bradford Book Jenny Bradford. Textured Embroidery. Milner Craft Series. England. 1994.

A  book on Decorative stitching, it has nice drawings and projects.

 

Victoria Brown BooksVictoria Adams Brown. Watson-Guptill Publications. New York.

The Complete Guide to Silk Ribbon Embroidery. 1996.

It is a basic Ribbon work book,  full of how to pictures and projects.

The New Ribbon Embroidery. 1997.

This book takes ribbon work to the next level. Dying ribbons, making ribbons, etc. Plenty of eye candy but not for the beginner. I like it but I like to push the envelop too.

book cableSheena Cable. Silk Ribbon Embroidery. A Reader’s Digest Book. NY. 1996.

Mostly projects with pictures and diagrams.

 

Ann CoxAnn Cox. The Handbook of Sik Emroidery. Search Press. England. 2010.

This is a small book (same size as the new Royal School of Needlework books) and it is material from Ann’s two other books: Beginner’s Guide to Ribbon Embroidery and Silk Ribbon Embroidery Designs & Techniques (neither of these do I have). This book  is full of pictures and instructions for ribbon work techniques. I would recommend it.

Heather JoynesHeather Joynes. The Complete Book of Ribbon Embroidery. Kangaroo Press. Australia.1993.

Another book on ribbon work. Has pictures and clear instuctions. Ms Joynes is one of the experts on this subjecy and her books are reccomended in many bibliographies.

River SilksPaul E Krynicki. “OOOOOH”. The Essentials of Ribbon Needlepoint with River Silks 100% Silk Ribbon.Self published.  2006.

If you are using River Silk Ribbons you may want to read this book. It explains how to use RiverSilk Ribbons. It was written for RiverSilk ribbons only. When you order this book you will also receive a spool of Ribbon Silk and a doodle canvas to play.

Lampe Diana Lampe. Sally Milner Publishing. Austrailia.

Embroider A Garden. 1995.

Embroidered Garden Flowers. 1997. with Jane Fisk.

            Embroidery from the garden. 1997.

Diana Lampe’s books are decorative stitches…Any of these books are nice if you are doing a lot of decorative flowers.

Montano silkJudith Baker Montano. C & T Publishing. California

Silk Ribbon Embroidery. 1993

This is eye candy for the ribbon world. Judith knows the rules, bends the rules and does inovative things. I have all the books listed her and look at them for information and inspiration.  Some of Judith other books… these are either inspiration and or quilting techniques.

Montao othersCrazy Quilt Odyssey. 1991.

The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery. 1993.

Elegant Stitches. 1995.

Free-Form Embroidery. 2012.

TrottPat.Trott. Three Dimensional  Embroidery Stitches. Search Press. England. 2005.

This book is similar to Diana Lampe’s books but with more and different techniques explored. I like it but it may not be for the beginner to decorative stitching.

AnchorSue Whiting. The Anchor Book of Ribbon Embroidery. David & Charles. England. 1997.

An old book but a goody. Small, 4 x 4 inches, will fit in your stitching bag. Has a complete list of stitches with explanation, drawing and picture. It is really inexpensive and I would recommend for beginning study of ribbon work and library.
Brazilian Embroidery Books: I have had these for years. Brazilian Embroidery Chapman was basically small embroidery (decorative stitches) flowers done with rayon floss. I used them to stitch on denim shirts in the 1980’s.


Floss Flowers, Book 1
. Virginia Chapman. !mpact Presentations. Oregon. 1988 This book was created basically for Brazilian Embroidery and covers a multitude of ways to use bullions as the cover photo attests.

Brazilian booksThe Bossa Nova rose and Friends. Mary Clark and Vee Wedoo. self published, Colorado. 1980.

Hand drawings , project book, a nice book if you can find it but not a necessary one.

Brazilian Stitchery, Instruction Book 1, Janice Gerst Levine and Patricia Von Coelln. American Crewel and Canvas Studio. New York. 1985. Another project book with photos  and line drawings.

Dimensional Embroidery, Book 2&3. Zeann Aguilar. self Published. Utah, 1980. Basic stitches and patterns.

Brazilian Embroidery Instructions. Barbara Demke Johnson. Hawkes Publishing. Utah. 1980. Basic stitches and patterns.

By the way, while I am reading I may not be back too soon…but I hope to have other things to share while I read.

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

ttfn…sue

The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen

2015-04-10 Needlepoint book aLast week-end I received an advance preview copy of the new edition of Jo Ippolito Christensen’s The Needlepoint Book direct from the publisher, Simon & Schuster (simonand Schuster.com). I had received an email asking if I was interested a few months ago and I replied, “Yes.” (What needlepoint and book-o-holic wouldn’t want a book about needlepoint and the Black Bible at that.) I never thought much about it until last week in my mail box I received a package.

2015-04-10 kalidascope & scissorsI had ordered an Easter gift for myself and thought Come to the Point Needlepoint Shop in California (www.cometothepoint.com) had packed my gift very well. Wasn’t I surprised when I opened the package and there in front of me was the new “Black Bible?” BTW, the other package came the next day and was well packaged too…it was a very Happy Easter to me!

Since this was a gift, I decided I should read it from cover to cover and really study the book. So for the last five days I have read every word in Parts One –Two and Three and compared every stitch in Part 4 to the previous edition. Although I found much of the material similar; to my mind the material is presented in a concise and logical manner.

Overall I liked the book. I, like Amy Bunger (she wrote the foreword), will not replace my other copies of “The Bible” but this new edition will share space with 2015-04-10 Needlepoint book bthem in my needlework library. The book is printed on nice paper and the diagrams are clear and easy to read. There are 130 new color pictures and many of these are canvases we see people stitching today.

But the truth be told most of us are looking for stitches and this book has stitches, I counted 435 stitches (yes 2015-04-10 Needlepoint book cBev, I counted them) which included 50 new stitches in the different categories (Straight, diagonal, box, cross, tied, eyelet, leaf, line, decorative, ribbon and open stitches). Yes, I compared this edition to the last…section by section, page by page.  There is a new section of ribbon stitches. I like that the chart at the beginning of the stitch sections (i.e. straight, diagonal …); in the new edition has them listed in alphabetical order. I have used these sections in the previous additions and found it a pain to look for a stitch name in the section.

And of course I compared the bibliography (135 books listed) with the last edition and with mine (I have over 1000 books in my library). There are 49 new additional books listed and I only have 16 of them not to mention the ones I don’t have from previous editions. I will be adding some wishes to my wish list soon.

Here were only two things I thought might hinder the purchase of this book:

One: the cost. It seems like a very expensive book, but I think I have spent more for a book on a specific technique.  With the purchase of the hardcover book you are going to receive a free download app for you tablet (either ios or android.) These apps was not available this week (I asked the publisher), but they are going to try and get me a version soon. If I get one I will add a post here about the app. I’m sure relative to what I paid for my other two copies at the time, this price is comparable. I have also heard that there will be an e-book, but I am old school and this would not appeal to me.

Two: I personally would have preferred that the book be a softcover edition…but I do think a hard back will wear better and last longer. My first book is a hard back and is in much better shape than my second book

Keep in mind, we all process things differently and this book may not be something you need in your library today. BUT if you are a new or beginning needlepointer I recommend you take a long look at this book. It will serve you well over the years, mine is still the first book I grab when looking for a specific stitch. And I know some shops that use the previous addition when choosing stitches for painted canvases.

I hope that this book and app will help educate the new needlepointers much in the same way the other two editions have helped many of us grow from novice stitchers to better stitchers. (I would like to say expert but I am no expert. I am just learning and having fun along the needlepoint path with you.) I do think there is a new and growing interest in needlepoint and I hope these new stitchers will learn the basics before they venture into breaking the rules. Please learn Basketweave first, it will serve you well. I always tell new stitchers it is the first step before the fun of stitching.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

It is COLD!!!! but I have been reading …

Oh will this cold weather ever let up? The first 12 days of 2015 have been spent reading and keeping warm…I am in a historical fiction phase. Everything I am reading is fiction based on some facts; none of which I knew much about. I have become very interested in history again; because if my nose hasn’t been in a book, I have been on the internet finding out more about the Romanov’s and World War I.
I saw the book Romanov Bride at the library when I went to see the Jason Pollen show (http://www.jasonpollen.com/ or http://www.kclibrary.org/event/jason-pollen-unfurled) and (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/creative-week-but-no-photos/) I 15-01-12 Bk Romanov Brodewas going to pick it up on my way out of the library but forgot, so I requested it online and had it sent to closer library. The book just sitting there on the shelf in the library must have become a popular book because it took almost 8 weeks before I could pick it up. That was right in the middle of the Christmas rush and so I just put it aside for later (also had to renew due date).

But January 1 brought cold weather and the desire to do nothing but keep warm and read. I wasn’t 25 pages into the book (and of course because I read the back of the book first) I already knew this was a historical fiction book and that Robert Alexander had written two others based on the Romanov Family. I ordered these to be picked up when I returned Romanov Bride.

Romanov Bride is the story Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna. She was the sister to Alexander Romanov and wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia. After The Grand Dukes assassination she founded a convent, Convent of Saints Martha and Mary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marfo-Mariinsky_Convent and http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/marthamary.html). Until I read this book I had thought that only the immediate family of Nicholas and Alexandria had been assassinated. And I never knew about this convent.

15-01-12 Bk Kitchen BoyKitchen Boy was my next read and I thought it was a very interesting read. Since somehow I missed in history that Nicholas and Alexandria and their children had not been imprisoned and executed quickly; it was interesting to read this historical fiction account of their lives in exile and imprisonment before their execution. And of course there is a twist to this tale, but I won’t spoil it for anyone that wants to read Kitchen Boy.

My least favorite of the trilogy of
15-01-12 Bk Rasputins DaughterRussian historical fiction was Rasputin’s Daughter. Rasputin was a dark figure in history and this book reveals this and more. It is a daughter’s view of her father and what he did, how he lived his live and her love for him through it all.

And my last book April Smith’s A Star for Mrs. Blake is another historical fiction based on journals kept by Colonel
15-01-12 Bk Star for Mrs BlakeThomas Hammond. His first deployment after graduating West Point was the liaison officer for a party of Gold Star Mothers to France after WWI. I knew of the Gold Star Mothers organization (http://www.goldstarmoms.com/), it exists to this day but I did not realize their history. And since I live right here in Kansas City where the World War I National Museum (https://theworldwar.org/) is located I plan to do some more studying. And I want to see these medals…15-01-12 Tiffany Gold Star medalwouldn’t it be fun to find these somewhere? I have several 15-01-12 Gold Star Mother's badgeantiques from WWI and WWII; a blue star flag and an embroidered post card and a beautiful photo album my father put together after WWII; I even have my own blue star flag from when my second son served in the first Iraq War.

And, I did not know that the last Sunday in September is Gold Star Mother’s Day, but this year I will remember those mother’s and wives who have sacrificed their precious sons and husbands for the freedoms we enjoy today.

And now that the weather is supposed to warm later this week, maybe I can un-cocoon from my pile of blankets and get some needlepoint stitching or finishing completed. But I do have a reserve of needlework related books in case the weather takes another cold dip.

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

New Book: finishing

I have my father to thank for my love of books; I never remember him not having a book to read in his position. Somewhere I have a bookmark where he wrote; “a good book is sometimes the best company to keep.”  AND, I have procrastination down to an art…but I learned this from my mother. She had to own every book, magazine and all the tools and supplies on a subject before she tried doing it. I remember tole painting…I didn’t think she would ever get around to putting brush to paint. After reading and taking several classes she tole painted a few pieces…she was really rather good at it too.

14-06-12_finishing101So, I stopped the finishing and read Pat’s book and it is a good one. Great advice and it is more than a finishing book, it has thoughts on the whole process of stitching. I loved that she said to read all the finishing instructions before starting and to adapt your own style of finishing. I think that’s great advice, what I might do to my piece you might not like on yours and I am not opposed to glue in certain instances and Pat doesn’t use glue.

The first third of the book is general information about needlework and finishing. I found it very interesting and also thought provoking. She takes about everything from clean hands; how to make a blocking board and how to make trims. She gives you suggestions for where to obtain or make those little things that will make finishing easier.

The major part of the book Pat walks you through how she finished several different pieces of needlework. I had a “AH-Ha” moment while reading one of these instructions for a finishing idea I’ve been mulling around in my head. And another I wish I had read before I did the Henny Penny Eyeglass case (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/henny-penny/) last year…would have made finishing much easier.

This has long been the advice of needlepoint books to know what your needlepoint will be after it is stitched and if it requires fabric then purchase it and then pick your threads. This is great advice but we seldom do this, we just expect our finisher to find just the perfect match. And like Pat said you’re not likely to find much apple green when hunter green is all the rage.

Another thing we never think about when we take our stuff to the finisher is her costs. She has to buy fabric, remember decorator fabrics are 55 inches wide and the finisher has to buy the whole width; dress fabrics are only 44-45 inches wide but she still has to buy the width. And your green may not be my green even if we were in a class together and I may want my pillow 15 inches while 12 inches is your size. And in some decorator shops there is a yardage minimum unless you happen to find a remnant, but if you order that special fabric there is a minimum.  This drives the cost of your pillow up…finishers have to figure they may never use the rest of the fabric purchased for your pillow. And we haven’t even talked about the trims, ribbons and do-dads that make you needlework special. So please remember this the next time you wince at the cost of finishing what really goes into the cost of finishing that ornament, pillow or whatever…and it’s not just the cost of the materials but also the time and cost it took to look for that special fabric, ribbon, do-dad.

Pat also suggests you start a notebook with your own finishing hints; I have a 3 inch binder that I keep all sorts of finishing notes from ideas that appeal to me; helpful hints I have garnered from other needlework teachers; to finishing instructions I have written for other needlework projects. I’m sure I will need a larger notebook before I am finished.

Pat’s Bibliography and Sources is very good. She has far more books in her finishing library than I have in mine…but she finishes professionally and I am but a dabbler. This book also has possible design patterns with information on how to use.

I am not indorsing any one book but I will tell you I am glad I have the books I have in my library (See 2 posts back for list: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/ufbsunfinished-but-stitched-becomes-pandoras-box/).  From Pat’s book, my newest addition, through Edie Weilemann, Sandy Higgins and Summer Truswell’s books (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/ufbsunfinished-but-stitched-becomes-pandoras-box/), I will be reading the how to’s before I start a project. I also hope to take lots of pictures and do lots of notes and drawings for my notebook. I glad I have my old books too ( Pat calls them her: “Classic Books”) by Dorothy Burchette and  Katharine Ireys, they have some unusual finishing items that I may want to try , plus some helpful timeless hints.  And I am going to look through my Singer books for ideas, not to mention the interne.  And next time I am at the fabric sore I am going to look at the pattern books for ideas too, maybe someone has already invented my wheel… and of course the book section (this girl can never have too many  books…my family would disagree but they are wrong.) .

Reading Pat’s book has affirmed for me that I can do my own finishing; I may not be as fast or as good as the finisher who does this all the time, but I can do this. And it does not mean that I am not going to send needlepoint to the finisher, it just means I can do this and I can share my ideas with others.

So it is back to the sewing table; summer is here and I want to make lots of progress.

I’ll be back later in the week I finished stitching Betsy and I had some issues; not with the canvas Anne Stradal ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/ or http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) paints a great canvas. I had a problem with a thread. Later this week.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! I’ll be stitching some finishing. ttfn…sue