Hearts

I haven’t been ignoring my blog but I have been busy designing needlepoint hearts and making beaded butterflies. But, I have been remiss in writing about my guild’s philanthropic project, Hearts For Hospice.

Guild members (really anyone who wants to help on this project, you do not have to be a guild member) stitch hearts; Sue and her 12 year old Grandson, Jon, make the twists (DMC #3 perle) to finish the hearts, Georgia and Sara (and sometimes we have a finishing day) finish these hearts at no cost and the hearts are donated to three (3) local Hospice Houses, one is a children’s home.

Maybe you saw the article in ANG NeedlePointers, Jan/Feb 2019 and May 2017; Needlepoint Now, January/February 2019, and on Facebook.

It all began when our friend Georgia went over to “The Home” at her retirement community to volunteer. They asked her if she had received her flu shot and of course she had not (doesn’t like them or maybe they don’t like her…can’t remember), so she could not volunteer. A staff member saw hearts Georgia was stitching and inquired about them and asked if she could make more.  Knowing she could stitch a heart, she returned home and started making hearts and that’s how it began…one heart at a time.

Within the month she had convinced several of her friends to join her and soon it became a project and another friend, Sue Hart organized us into a philanthropic group and offered the project to our guild as an ongoing philanthropic project.

Side note: did you know that all non-for-profit organizations need a philanthropic program to qualify as a 501(3)(c)? I didn’t but it makes sense if you are a non-for-profit organization that you would do something. I know our national bylaws state that our purpose is to teach, promote and preserve the art of needlepoint but I did not know you need to have an ongoing philanthropic project.

We have encouraged members to just try a stitch and variations. These hearts make great doodle canvases. Then if you take a picture of it you will have a permanent copy and a family will receive a lovely remembrance. We have also encouraged needlepointers to take the painted canvas they thought they couldn’t live without, but have now become less likely to finish and make a heart(s) out of the painted canvas. There are two hearts from a painted canvas in this picture.

Barbara Richardson; a friend of GKCNG members and past president of ANG adapted her heart design for us to use. We use it to teach groups of needlepointers how to start and some first time needlepointers. We even have a class that shows you how to finish these hearts.

 

Several months ago Colour Complements: https://colourcomplements.com/ embroidery threads sent me samples to hand out to guild members I had several left over and so I stitched hearts with  them and sent pictures to Colour Complements. The owner contacted me and I have designed a couple hearts for her use (soon to appear on her website, I think).

 

This summer, one of the bead groups I belong to posted a beaded butterfly and I stitched those for some hearts. I asked permission of the designer, Patricia Parker to stitch them for other hearts and she gladly gave her permission. So guild members that request butterflies for their hearts will get one and I have made several for the two finishers to use at their discretion.

We (I use this term loosely, because I am but a small part of this endeavor) have been doing this for the last four years and have completed over 1400 hearts. We have received hearts from 26 states and 2 countries. There are at least three other guilds that we know about who have started their own program.

If you or your guild would like the information, contact Sue Hart at Heartsforhospicegkcng@gmail.com

If you have any #5 or #3 perle cotton or #12-16 Kreinik Braid (Ribbons work too), or any thread suitable for cording laying around, it needs to be skeins not cut. And you don’t know what to do with it , Hearts For Hospice would be happy to use it. Just contact me or Sue Hart.

I have designed another heart in two colorways for our Hearts For Hospice program and I will PDF you the instructions for free These hearts used Colour Complements Overdye, DMC #5 perle cotton, and Kreinik #12 braid but any of your stash will work. All I ask is that you please stitch one for our Hearts For Hospice program and return to them. All the information to return to Hearts For Hospice are in the instructions. Thank you.

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

ttfn…sue

This week I played with Temari Balls.

I belong to a couple groups online and one is doing a beginning study. While I have been doing Temari Balls for a long time, I do not consider myself anything but a beginner. I think in order to advance you should work at the art regularly and I am sporadic at best.

I can do most of the simple divisions and some of the complex divisions. I am not at all familiar with the terminology, especially the Japanese terms that true Temari artists use. I call a ball stitched with spindles and “spindle Temari”; while a true Temari artist calls this “Tsumu kagari.”

But I like to keep my beginning skills up and so every now and then I join in rather than just lurk all the time. If you would like to explore the two sites I frequent most, here they are: they just recently changed web hosts and I think you have to ask permission to join but that should not be a problem.

Temari Challenge for Everyone: https://temarichallenge.groups.io/g/Main

Temari Talk Companion group to Temari Kai (see below)  https://talktemari.groups.io/g/main

 

And here are the Temari sites I explore most:

Barbara Suess: http://www.japanesetemari.com/index.html

Temari Kai: http://www.temarikai.com/

Temari Obsession: http://www.npcdesign.com/index.html

This study (Beginning Basics) appealed to me because it was the perfect opportunity to explore some concepts that I had been tossing around in my head while also honing my beginning skills and practicing stitching  a spindle.

In my Temari Ball mind I have wanted to play with DMC #3 and #5 perle cotton to see the differences in making a ball. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore this concept.  I learned that two rounds of stitching with #5 perle is about equivalent to 1 round with #3 perle. It is kind of an eyeball adjustment and a judgement call but at least I have an idea now.

 

In the past some of my spindles seem to pop out of place and now I know why. I was not allowing enough space between the stitches. I have decided that a good rule of thumb for stitching spindles is that there should be at least the diameter of the thread between stitches. And if you lay the thread where it should be placed you can see where to take the next stitch. Following these personal observations, my Temari spindles turned out very well.

 

Another thing I gleaned from this study is that if you are using more than two threads of the same color from one source, make sure they are the same or at least compatible. I used #3 and #5 perle in three colors: the white and dark blue were the same but the light blue was two different colors (even though they were the same number). When placed next to each other under a bright light, one had a blue-green cast while the other was a true blue tint.

 

I also experimented with stitches at the pole points. This one I used a Smooth Spider Web stitch.

I also tried using a double silver thread and twisting it in the needle before stitching. Both of these experiments worked fairly well.

This was a fun experiment and I considered it a great learning experience, so  I am going to try and continue following along and practicing…never know I might consider myself an intermediate Temari Ball stitcher when I get.

I am going to get back to needlepoint and I have been stitching. I’ve been stitching on a secret project but I did take pictures and so when it is completed and given as a gift I will post all about it. And as a matter of fact going to do another one as an experiment. More later.

Would also like to get back to finishing needlepoint as it is mounting up. And I haven’t told you everything I did last summer and this summer is already about half over. I made a list of things to write about and I don’t think I’ve covered more than a couple….see how I get distracted. Okay off to finish another non needlepoint project….but next week I will share needlepoint.

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

ttfn…sue

More on thread organization

Organizing threads is an on-going project…

My SplendoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAr, Watercolors, and DMC flosses and perles are sorted by number, the rest are mostly by color and then by number. If I found a chart for color families, I have a copy with the threads.  Splendor, Silk & Ivory, Vineyard silks (these are the ones that come to mind) also have color family lists that I think you can find on line at their websites…I keep a copy of these also with the thread.

I also have color cards for many of my threads and these are stored hanging, in my old wooden toy bucket, or in a notebook (these are all my Rainbow Gallery threads).  I need to update these too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me add a note here…I use and store my threads UNCUT, since I do some of my own finishing… I want to be able to pull the threads to use when making twists. I do not cut my Watercolours either but that is a post for another day. ThreadworX (http://threadworx.com/) is one of the few threads I have that are cut; the other two that come to mind are Dimin Epic and Rosebud Studio Felicity’s Garden and that is because they have such great animal fur colors. Epic and Felicity’s Garden are stored by color.

Back to storage…Some of the threads are stored on rings in sweater boxes; these are mostly stored by color, then number on large rings; the exception to this is ThreadworX and they are stored by number.

Another added note: I use the Floss Keys; I got mine from YarnTree (http://yarntree.com/) and Floss Pak bags to store yarns that I have begun to use on these rings.  If the skein or put-up  hasn’t been opened it hangs on the ring as is, but once I go to use it I wind it on a card.: I try to buy threads I know that have changes in their dye lots in pairs, so I will have two skeins of most colors. Once I wind one of these skeins on a floss Key I will store both in a Floss Pak bag. Once one of the skeins is completely or almost completely used I will buy two more hang them on the ring next to floss bag.

I also use the storage boxes I get at Hobby Lobby with my coupons; each box is labeled to the contents. Kreinik, DMC, Trebizond, Kreinik silks, Painter’s threads. Some others that I have limited colors are stored in these boxes too one for cool colors V-B-G and one for warm colors Y-O-R. These threads are stored by company , then by color, then by number;  I usually have less than two dozen of these threads per company…otherwise they would rate a box.  I always keep the label with the thread!  I make a template to store in the lid with number info for all these boxes.

All the DMC floss, #3 and #5 perle are stored in Hobby Lobby boxes. I use floss keys to wind the threads; each is specifically marked and is stored with the labels as well (I wind the thread over the labels.) The Floss Keys are marked not only with the color number on the top right but the type of thread on the top left: i.e. DMC (floss), DMC#3 or DMC#5.

 

I have some threads hanging on a wall but the sun does not hit them and they are mostly threads I have made samples of myself and some are discontinued or threads I do not use. I would not store threads here I plan to stitch with, there is too much of a chance they would fade or get dusty.

 

When I started this re-organization, I decided I also needed to update my inventory sheets. I have kept (and I use this term very loosely) a spread sheet of the different threads in my stash for years. I am not very good at remembering to update these files and so as I started the physical re-organization of my threads, I also took the time to update and re list threads in the spread sheets. DMC was the file I had semi kept the best and it was fairly easy to update. Some of the other threads I had listed all their colors even though I only had a partial inventory; so I made a second sheet within the spread sheet for the thread and called it “my threads” and the complete list is “master.” I moved the color info for only the threads I have in inventory to the “my threads” sheet. Now when I go to use threads I will be able to see if I need to fill in families (if info was available).

It took me a while to set up but it keeps me on track. I have been a poor record keeper and so I have some threads that I have kept buying because I was not sure I had them. I have 7 cards of #820 red Splendor; since this is a Christmas red I think several of these are probably from classes I have taken but I probably bought several too. I am from the school when in doubt, buy two. I have a few others of these and I did notice they are all in my comfort palette so I know I have purchased them more than once.

I have promised myself now that I am pretty thread organized both in storage and on paper I am going to keep it up. Will let you know at the end of the year how I feel I did. I have also bought a small loose leaf notebook (5.5×8.5″) that I am going to adapt the spreadsheets to fit, so when I am shopping I have it with me. Probably won’t work as well as I envision but we’ll see.

Storage and record keeping of threads is an ongoing thing and a personal thing. I think you have to look and listen to how others do theirs and then incorporate what works for you. AND then you have to be diligent about using your method.  I have a friend who gives or throws her threads away after every class or piece she stitches…she says it is more trouble and aggravation to remember where the threads are, to get them, and she never has all the right ones. There is too much Scotch blood in me for that…

Now that I have my threads in 85% order…it’s never completely finished, I am starting on all the stitch diagrams and stitch patterns I have collected and want to put in my computer. I know there are a great many stitch books out there and this is just for my benefit, don’t plan on writing a stitch book. But I have lots of stitches I have written down that I think could be developed into quick little designs.

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

ttfn…sue

Needed to reorganize

 

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My office and threads got away from me last year and even though I DO NOT make New Year’s resolutions, I decided reorganization was needed. I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to do this and nothing jumped out at me, so I decided to just jump in and start.

I made some basic decisions: If a thread is discontinued, I was getting rid of them: Good-bye Marlitt; Rainbow Gallery has discontinued threads over the years and I still have them, good-bye discontinued threads.  I had a complete set of JP Coats and I don’t think they make it anymore and if they do, I never used it.  There are two exceptions to this rule: Orange Needle Necessities (now ThreadworX) Overdyed Rachel. ThreadworX does not produce this thread and I love it for carrots and carrot noses so I horded several skeins for my own personal use. And another Needle Necessities thread, an overdyed Madras in blues was perfect for my Peter Rabbit coats; so I horded it too. I have been to the ThreadworX website (http://threadworx.com/) and have noted a few choices to replace these threads. ThreadworX if you are reading this: would love a #5 perle cotton in Trick or Treat orange.

I also decided that if any of my DMC floss or perle cotton was cut I would get rid of it. If I use perle cotton for stitching a Temari ball, it cannot be precut because I use very long lengths when stitching Temari Balls. I did keep my Anchor perle cotton, although I have heard it had been discontinued (Anyone know anything about this?). And I do know that Colonial Needle (http://colonialneedle.com/) carries a full line of Finca floss and perle cotton thread (sizes: 3-5-8-12-16) in a great color range, so I’ll start adding that to my stash. 😉

My old threads are going to a friend who uses odds and end of threads and canvas to stitch hearts for a Hospice Home near her. A heart is placed on a patient’s door after they have passed away. This alerts staff and visitors to be respectful and quiet around this patient’s room. The family is then given the heart when they leave. If there are any threads she doesn’t want she will send them to a prison in Ohio that used them.

So I began. Then I had to decide if after I separated all the threads I was going to sort by number or color. I finally decided on using both and seeing if I prefer one method over the other. All the DMC is stored by number and I will continue to do this since I have a great color card. If I stored a thread by color then within that color I stores in numeric order. Watercolours overdyes I stored by number but others I stored by alpha name. I guess you just have to find a method that works best for YOU.

I also decided to wrap all my threads on large floss winder cards and so I ordered 1000 floss Keys and 200 Floss Pak bags from YarnTree (http://yarntree.com/) so I can start this process. I also purchased some storage containers from Hobby Lobby to store the floss keys. I have begun a slow wrapping process…as I need a new thread I will wrap it on large floss winder cards. I also use these floss winders for any thread that is skeined, even overdyes. This will be an ongoing process; otherwise I will not get anything else accomplished this year.
I finished my reorganization this week-end by labeling all the containers. I feel so accomplished. I have two boxes and a bag for my friend who stitches hearts. I got rid of 4 large sweater boxes from my closet and I still have a closet full of threads! And of course, we all know that when I go to stitch, I will not have all the right threads….Stitcher’s Law. 😉

I don’t know if this is the final reorganization or whether I’ll redo as I go, but it is sure a lot better than it was last year. And I am still looking for an answer to whether Anchor is doing away with their pearl cotton? I would love to hear from you on how you store your threads. Do you store by color by manufacturer, a combination? I think when we share , we learn and that’s what this is all about and having fun stitching of course.

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

ttfn…sue

P.S. Someone asked me this week what “ttfn” means.  So for those of you who don’t know it is from Winnie the Pooh; Tigger says it all the time. It means “ta-ta for now” or “ttfn”. Winnie the Pooh books were my favorite growing up and my grandmother used to say this to me. So if Carol Burnett can pull her earlobe for her grandmother, I can ttfn for mine. It just makes me smile and we need to smile and make the world a nicer place.

Pi Day

We are going to a wedding reception this afternoon and were asked to bring our favorite pie…I really didn’t think anything of it  (the host is a great pie lover) until this week and the news media started taking about Pi Day. Then it hit me…they are just waiting to see who bites (pardon the pun).

In case you don’t know, today is Pi Day.

What is Pi Day you ask?

Saturday, March 14 is a very special Pi Day that comes but once in a century. That’s right, it’s 3-14-15, the only time before 2115 that the date reflects five digits of the magical, infinite number, 3.141592653…from the Washington Post

15 used instructionsSo I had to make a pi/pie. Only kind that I knew would be successful was the kind I stitch. So I charted one and stitched it. I have included the chart and finishing instructions as a PDF in case anyone else wants to do one. Pi day is every year; this year just is special because it is 3-14-15

15-03-14 Pi ornament aBUT my little creative mind did not stop here… We had  bought the lucky couple a pie plate and were going to give them cash (not very creative but wait…last night I had this great inspiration…we are going to get $1 and 2 bills to line the pie plate (representing 3). and then fill with 14 dimes and nickels (representing.1415) and cover with cling wrap.  Our pi pie.

Well I must be more of a nerd than I though but this just appealled to me.

 

15-0314 Pi ornament bAnd my real pie…coming from the store of course!

If you have trouble downloading the Pi instructions just email me and I will send you the PDF version. I may not get to it until later today or tomorrow as I am on my way to a St. Patrick’s Parade and then I am going to the wedding reception.

 

 

BTW here are some pretty cool places to visit today …all about PI:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/14/pi-day-kids-videos/24753169/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/14/10-stunning-images-show-the-beauty-hidden-in-pi/

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

ttfn…sue

PS if you hold up 3.14 (have to have pointed 4) it is this: 🙂

15-03-14 pie reverse

Stitching updates

15-02-24 temari aSorry about last week but the week got away from me and before I knew it this week is almost halfway over too.

15-02-24 temari bI have been trying to finish up a heart and move on to St Pat and Easter and poor Mardi Gras just blew by like a cold breeze (hummm it was cold.)  But I did make two Temari for the occasion,  just didn’t get them posted.  Used Kreinik blending filament in purple gold and green togive color to base of ball and stitched with #5 DMC Perle in Green Gold and 15-02-24 temari cPurple and a Kreinik braid. Simple 6 division but the Obi bands are different.

My creative juices are keeping me awake; I even got up one night to stitch…What can I say…didn’t have a pencil and I was awake so it seemed logical to me. I don’t think dog and DH had the same thoughts… and 15-02-24 heartsall I did was play with the Kreinik wire braid for a few minutes, okay maybe 30 but in an eight to ten hour night that’s only a few minutes. Didn’t even stitch it down during that time…and the light was only on my stitching.

15-02-24 stitches aAnd then Jane at Chilly Hollow (http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2015/02/lets-make-ribbon-flower.html)  posted this new type of knot that was taught at TNNA winter show (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=656298941158846&set=o.108537025890131&type=2&theater ) and I had to try it, seemed perfect for this design. Colonial Knot, French Knot and Ruching. Plus the flowers are another decision I haven’t decided on yet either: Ribbon flowers, beads…decisions decisions!?!?!?!?!

15-02-24 stitches bAnd before I stitched the leaves on the heart I wanted to play with stitching picots. Needed to decide whether I wanted to use wired braid or just braid; whether I wanted two, three or four legged picots;  would one work better than another and did I want more than one style? You get the idea questions, questions and more questions.

But last week I did get this playing accomplished and this week I am really putting effort into finishing up the heart. Should get some great stitching time in as it is supposed to be cold, cold, cold and only have only a couple outings planned.

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

ttfn…sue

Finished Lighthouse on National Lighthouse Day

I’m still on dogie-watch schedule; I can’t seem to get back in the grove of things.

14-08-07 desk beforeMary Corbet (http://www.needlenthread.com/2014/08/embroidery-work-space-or-where-is-waldo.html) and I have something in common this week…I came back to a desk piled high with things that needed attention and all I wanted to do was stitch and let the dogs out. But I did tackle my desk and made a dent to put some order into my desk; now instead of a heap of mess, I have organized piles of mess.

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But since I finished stitching my first light house and Vicki De Angelis over at Mostly Needlepoint (http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/did-you-know/) pointed out it was National Lighthouse Day…I figured it was an omen and I should share this with everyone today.

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My first lighthouse from ABS designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/)is Portland Head Lighthouse and is destined for Sudberry’s (http://www.sudberry.com/) black box. My box is like the one shown on Anne’s website (I think it was called the pen box) but I think it is out of stock and unless you find it in a shop somewhere, you may have to frame this piece.  I needleblended the sky (post: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/hiding-out-is-such-fun/) and will share with you my email from Anne, MNS (master of Needleblended skies):

You’d think that counting the number of threads in the depth of your sky, then dividing it by the number of “blends” you’ll be using, would give you the right number of lines deep for each “blend.”  But every time you cut in a new “blend,” it encroaches on the one before it.  So….

 Try turning the canvas upside down, working the lightest value of blue at the horizon.  Keep going until you run out of “blends.”  In the case of the box insert, you then have the option of going to DMC 3755 to cut into the 3325, so the darkest shade is at the top of the canvas.  That makes for a more dramatic effect, and the lightest shade at the horizon doesn’t overpower the shades above.

That makes sense to me…I started at the top and worked down but next time I’ll work up from the horizon line.

This was one of those pieces that no matter how hard I tried to place more decorative stitches, my friend Virginia’s words kept rattling around in my head. Virginia is a guild member, who has tried more techniques than anyone I know; she stitches till the wee hours of the morning and until recently (last year or two) stitched on 40 count canvas without extra light or magnification. Oh yes, and did I tell you she is 80+ years young. I always say Virginia has forgotten more than I am ever going to learn. Anyway one time, I was trying very hard to put decorative stitches on a canvas and it was not working out at all. Virginia said; “Honey, when it’s screaming Basketweave, just stitch Basketweave. Sometimes Basketweave is best and every needlepoint should have some…it’s a place to rest your eyes. ”

Well, every time I would try to think of a different stitch I would hear Virginia, “Basketweave” So much of this piece has Basketweave. The sky is Basketweave, but I did get to play around with the needleblending technique. And after I was completely finished with the sky I thought I could have used Nobuko or Diagonal Mosaic for the clouds…but I was lucky to get the clouds in there anyway. And I love the rocks, Alternating Padded Satin with overdyed threads just jumped off the canvas. And the Diagonal Gobelin for the water was good too. The foreground green and shoreline could be nothing else but Continental and Basketweave.

The buildings: I tried my best to stitch the siding of the large building in a small decorative stitch but nothing seemed to work for me…Okay Virginia, Basketweave it is. I did get the windows and doors stitched in Cashmere and variations of Cashmere. The brown building did lend itself to a decorative stitch and so the siding is worked in Diagonal Mosaic, the shutters are Oblong cross, and yes, the windows are basketweave. And all the red roofs are a Gobelin stitched diagonally, horizontally or vertically.

The green background I couldn’t decide whether that was grass or trees and I wanted it to be trees, but they had to stay on the back. I used 2 ply green overdyed floss and did French Knots. They were small enough that they did not overpower the little brown house but added a texture to the right side of the canvas to help balance the decorative stitches used in the rock.

The lighthouse did give me pause…I thought since it was behind the main house it should be Basketweave too, but then I decided that lighthouses are round and so this was probably a bit further behind the house than I originally thought and maybe if I did Alternating Diagonal Gobelins it would make the light house the focal point (as it should be) and still not overpower the house  or the whole canvas. It worked, gave the lighthouse a bit of definition and the illusion of roundness yet stayed behind the house. The top is mostly Continental stitched in black perle cotton and Kreinik black braid with the lights in yellow Kreinik braid cross stitches.

But my favorite is the fence, I was afraid it might get lost against the white house but it didn’t (even if the picture doesn’t show this. I wanted to stitch the fence in a whiter white but could not find DMC B5200 in & 8 perle and did not want to use floss. I stitched small horizontal  (2 threads x 1 thread) Overlapping Oblong Crosses for the rails and then when I had cleared the area for a post I went back and stitch an upright Oblong Cross (4 threads x 1 thread)…see diagram.

14-08-07 overlapping oblong cross

My first lighthouse is completed and as much as I would like to keep stitching new canvases I have a box full of canvases I need to stitch so I have decided one PPC (previously purchased canvas) before new canvases. And I haven’t decided what that will be yet…but I have to find a small one for my carry along project.

In a couple days I’ll show you how much progress I made on my Debbie Stiehler Tomato too. I really did get some serious stitching done last week. BUT I have to get back to my finishing…Christmas is a coming!

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

ttfn…sue