Asian Collage Update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast week I showed you my Asian  Collage Class and I have been working on it. Since no one decided to give me their input I decided that I would work what I thought were the more difficult patterns first and let me tell you there is a whole bunch of couching in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthis piece…I happen to like couching but it is time consuming….As you can see I am making progress…

s   l   o   w   l   y .

Saturday I am taking it to a stitch-in with guild friends, we will see how much stitching I get completed there…

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


Before I forget I want to thank everyone and especially Tapestry Fair ( for taking the time to look and respond to the pictures I posted here and on Facebook. The elephant has been identified and does he look cute. If you want to see him just click on the elephant on the home page and all these cute 3-D animals will tempt you.

Do you still take classes? If so what kind: mail order, correspondence, online, local shops, national teachers brought in to shops…to guilds; local, regional or national seminar? I still take classes. I sometimes take them because they are educational, a technique I do not know, and sometime just because the design is fun,  but I also take a class just for the experience of having the teacher. Why do you take a class?

13-11-08 Asian_Collage class picRecently I had the chance to take a Debbie Stiehler ( class, Asian Collage. Debbie and I have known each other a long time and I have always wanted to take a class from her. Two of my all-time favorite pieces are her Lily (Lily and the Ladybug) and her tomato (Timeless Tomato). Debbie has this upbeat, magnetic personality that makes every student feel like she is Debbie’s new best friend.  Her classes are fun and she has a way of making the most difficult or mundane pattern fun.

I sometimes get what I like to refer to as “brain block”, where no matter what I do it is not the right thing or I just don’t see the pattern, stitch sequence whatever,,, And it has taken me a long time but I know now when these “brain blocks” happen just stop…go back to a previous area and work quietly until the next area is taught. Don’t fight the “brain block”, it will only get worse. Hopefully your brain block does not happen in an area that will keep you from moving on.

If it is more than a one day class, do you go back to your room, home wherever you are and finish the areas that have “spaghetti” hanging; or do you just leave it until after class is over and deal with it then? I have to get as much of the “spaghetti” taken care of as possible and I even try to catch up on the areas I just left blank because of “brain block”. Sometimes if it is not an area that will be affected by other areas I just leave it for a quieter time. At the end of each class removing “spaghetti” is my mission, catching up my goal. Usually make the mission, the goal is sometimes too much for my brain tired fingers and head.

And once class is over, if you are not one of those turbo stitchers who walks out of class with the piece almost finished how do you finish the piece? Do you finish the piece? I must confess that when I first started on this needlepoint journey I though everyone finished every class they took…even those notebook classes. I remember one time showing a teacher the design notebook class I finished (Yes, I even stitched a piece to go with the class) and she very politely looked at it and then told me she didn’t think she’d ever seen a completed notebook of this class before. (I know she taught this class at least a half dozen times). Well no one ever told me that notebook classes usually don’t have a final goal/piece. And I am proud to say that there are only two classes that I have ever taken that I just knew I was never going to finish stitching and broke the kit up and put the supplies in my stash; and I only have three class pieces (including this one) in my “to be finished stash.”

And what about those project or technique class pieces, do you finish them? When I first started taking classes I took the class because of the piece and the teacher, I’m not which was more important, I usually liked both. And then one day the piece was not as important to me as experiencing the teacher…it is sometimes the little nuggets of information that these wonderful needlepoint teachers share, their life experiences and just their wealth of knowledge that are better than which class piece they are teaching. Why do you take classes?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd if you plan on finishing the piece,  how do you finish stitching the class piece once you are in your own stitching nest? I usually start at the beginning of the instructions and follow thru to the last page. I am working on this piece but I am thinking about skipping around and doing what I consider most difficult first. I know the closer I get to finishing a piece the more anxious I get to have the piece completed. So I figure if I’m down to the no brain areas I can whiz right through to the finish.  I’ll keep you posted.

And of course I had to order one of my two other favorite pieces and so I want to start the other Debbie piece that arrived in my mail box last week…like I didn’t have enough to do so I ordered one of my two favorites. I’ll just keep you in suspense until I decide to start it.

One last thing…Debbie is going to retire from circuit teaching ;-(; it will be a great loss to the needlepoint community. She wants to spend more time with her family…and I understand this completely. But if you are one of those lucky ones who will be on her final teaching schedule enjoy and if you want a great piece to stitch visit her website and order a great piece.

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

More on the classes

My desk is looking better but still has lots of projects to complete; four down four to go and that is the computer work.  Stitching projects are still holding at four, well maybe five in the nest…millions in the wings (I’m going to live forever if my needlework round-toit projects are any indication.)  I think I will refrain from signing up for another class for awhile but I won’t make any promises.

Many of you are heading for San Antonio and the national ANG seminar ( … have a great time and keep us posted about all the good times. I’ve always thought they should call it the “Great American Stitch-in.” When I did attend, there was always a place where everyone could gather and stitch into the wee hours of the morning. I learned lots of new ideas, new techniques, found new threads and met many great friends here…I do hope they still have this area…that’s what we are all really about…stitching, learning and sharing. So all you wonderful stitchers have a great time, stay cool and keep us posted on what’s happening.

Here are my first two Christmas presents completed; now if I can just remember where I stash them and to whom I plan to give them. There was one small hitch with the finishing but the framer made it worth the mi$take ; one was suppose to have a blue mat, but two pictures framed for under $100 is very rare (one would be rare), so I’m not complaining.

Here’s the progress on my class, Laura Perin’s, One Long Panel ( I am keeping up with the class and this week I have two weeks to complete the area (our instructor is headed forSan Antonio). I try to make every class or even just a project I do learning experience.

First I started stitching the border, I always pay attention to the where and how I going to anchor my threads, so I sometimes change the stitch order, especially if it does not affect the appearance of the stitch. I did this for the Overlapping Cross stitches in the border. Our instructor for the class suggested we stitch the sides of the border as we go because there has been a discrepancy in the count (more about that later) so I just stitch far enough to complete the next session but I do make sure I have places to hid travel threads and bury threads starts and stops.

I happened to notice while stitching the first panel that I did not care for the green in this overdye with the other thread choices, so I removed it. Yes, I added to my ort jar…gone. Now you might ask why I just didn’t choice another thread with no green…remember this is a class and the threads were in a kit. Purchasing a new thread was an option, but I also could purchase one more overdye with the same dyelot number in case I will need it (and it looks like I will).  So I am manipulating the thread by removing a portion of the thread…

And I am also watching the placement of these stitches. Before stitching areas of the piece, I am really thinking about the order/ direction I am placing the stitches.  I am not only watching where the colors may be placed but I am watching how I place the stitches. I noticed when doing the first panel I could see the travel threads being carried from one stitch area to the next, but if I thought about the placement these travel threads were not so visible. So I made a decision to take the time to plan my stitch order while I was still trying to place the color in a pleasing placement. You can see when I hold the canvas up to the light  the open areas and when you look at the front close up you can see it too.  It may have been unnecessary but it was an interesting study and I will know.

On panel 1 and 2 when stitching with the overdye I placed the center stitch of these areas first and then placed the outside stitches next. I did not pre-plan panel 1 (LP Area 2) this way; the instructor/ moderator suggested this placement to get the stitch in the correct place. So after panel 1 was done this way I decided to repeat it for panel 2(LP Area 4)

 On panel three (LP Area 6) I stitched both sides of the area (Herringbone) at the same time so the overdye was symmetrical, others in the class stitched up one side and down the other (I’ll try and take a picture of this and show next time.) I also tried not the have the overdye cross the open areas where the Rhodes Stars were to be placed. And when I stitched these Rhodes Stars I buried my travel threads.

The rest will have to wait for another day, must get back to the computer.

Those of you heading for San Antonio have a stitching good time and if you have a blog don’t forget to write!

 Thank you for stopping by and spending a few moments with me; hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

My plate and table run-n-n-nth over

If I don’t post this today, it may never get posted.

I was picking up the house yesterday, my nests seemed to be spilling over into other areas, so I decided to put the current projects and business on the table to sort and prioritize it. Hum-m, my plate seems to be pretty full right now, but then my life seems to be that way… feast or famine; all or nothing; too much, too little. Oh well, it is the nature of the beast! After I felt I had the house back at a manageable level of messydom, I started to sort through the table (after all, we do use this table to eat off of several times a day.)

Here’s the rundown of this mess…looks kinda like the 12 Days of something….

#1-5 are needlepoint stitching projects:

#1 (two pieces) are the class I told the guild I would do for them. Trust me I have stitched and restitched this several times in different ways. Not that the project is difficult, it is not; I just keep making stupid mistakes. But the research is all completed and I have several of the areas charted so I am not in panic mode over this project…yet.

#2 is another shop project/class I wanted to do. I am doing it in afternoon class at the shop, it is my two hours, once a week to socialize with other stitchers and allows me inhance my stash all in one trip. The class is Laura Perin’s, One Long Panel ( and as soon as we get a bit further I’ll take pictures to how all the color choices look. The evening group has some cool combinations also, will try and get back and take pictures of theirs too. I was current after week one, but with the looks of my table I may be behind after week two. Hopefully I can find time to keep current.

#3 The Eagle…poor guy seems to have gotten pushed to the back of the list…But I do have several years before I need to have it completed. Although, my 6 year old Grandson, to whom this eagle is intended to be given, informed me the other day; “Grandma, my eagle is not making a lot of stitching progress, I would like to have it finished before I am an Eagle Scout. And you know Grandma 10 years will just fly by.” From the mouths of babes or maybe just too big for his britches.

#4 These are 3 painted canvases I just could not live without. Now I have them, stitching is another story. Someday…

#5 is another project I started (must have had a slow day), maybe I’ll put this one in the car…It’s a small one and I could work it when I’m waiting on someone or stuck in traffic. This is a Just Nan kit, Sunny Summer Happy Garden ( that I am doing on canvas instead of linen. I just love the sunflower pin that came with this design; I’m a sucker for do-dads! And I love all the little pins and charms she adds to her kits.

And of course I must not be able to count above #5 because I missed #6, but I’m sure there is something in this heap of to do’s there must be a six.

#7-10 are projects in various states of completion for other people. Some have minor rework, some are wait pilot classes to finish, others have not even been begun. I’m sure #6 is here and probably a couple more.

And one of those included in #7-10 is the paperwork for my #1. I have that one about 75% complete.

#11 are two uniform skirts for one of my granddaughters…they need to be shortened. I don’t get why the uniform company does just not make these shirts shorter; since time began (or at least since uniforms were introduced) girls have shortened these skirts. They are pleated skirts that have had the folds set in cement and so no matter how many times you press them before and after you hem the skirt those folds are set and so the skirts flare at the bottom…Been this way since before my boys went to the same parochial school. One down,one to go but it is pined.

#12 And see that bit of gray metal shinning through at the bottom of the pile on the left? That is my new computer that I have had little time to do anything but register. System 7 is going to take some looking at, I may even see a Dummy book in my future.

And speaking of books, I have two of those I am trying to read also. One is stitching related, not to any project I’m doing but just to read and the other is “The Help.” Would like to read the book before I see the movie (when I don’t know…do you think I could stitch with a small light in the theater?) Maybe, if I’m lucky,  I’ll get the book read before it comes up on my Netflix list. 😉

Okay, now that I have spent time blogging I guess I best get back to work and conquer some of these to-dos.

Thank you for stopping by and spending a few moments with me; hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Final visit to The Neigborhood (s)…almost

Well, maybe one more…Will take them to the framer in the next couple weeks and show you when I get them back.

Well, it is still very very warm but the weatherman has promised relief the next two days…I think these weather people should take up needlepoint, maybe they would get better results.

I have been working on “The Neighborhood”, the classes are over and I did finish stitching the houses, but I saved all the windows to do last…BIG Mistake! I had forgotten how much I dislike Marlitt. For those of you, who have never had the misfortune to use this thread, let me explain…Marlitt is a 4 ply rayon floss with a mind of its own. You can dampen the ply, use a laying tool and it still acts up. And when you have over 34 + places you stitch with this stuff it really becomes a labor of love or hate. But as you can tell from the pictures I have completed “The Neighborhood.”

Hey notice by the windows I stitched this piece twice…68+ places to use Marlitt…such fun. But as luck would I ran out of Marlitt and did not have a back up skein. I did have DMC Satin Floss; looks like Marlit, same color, 6 ply instead of 4 ply…I’ll  try it. Now call me crazy, but I dampened it used 4 ply instead of the 3 Marlit and I really thought it laid nicer, I didn’t think I had to fight it as much and I can’t tell the difference. Notice I did not say, I’m in love with this thread but I did think DMC Satin Floss handled better than Marlitt.

And yes, I stitched this twice. My DH loves everything I stitch, but seldom says more than this is nice, but he did say this piece would look great on our family room wall. Humm-m-m justifying finishing…a gift for DH!;-) And I like this piece too… it truly is a sampler of architectural stitches. If you want a fun piece to stitch, this would be one.

Oh yes, remember the last time I blogged about “The Neighborhood” ( ), I was going to compare pictures from my old standby camera to that of my Droid phone. The Olympus are on the left, the Droid pictures on the right;  I thought the quality was pretty much the same. My phone pictures were large files for whatever reason because size-wise they were the same. I liked the brown roof of one better and the red roof of the other. I have noticed I do better with non antimated subject matter on my Droid…people seem to blur quicker. Maybe I just need to learn my phone/camera better (I’ll put this on my tuit list.) But now I can take look for new camera off my tuit list until the next time I get a bee in my bonnet. My old friend will work for me and I know just how she works, so for now my trusty Olympus Camedia C-5500 with its 5.1 megapixels is safe.

I’d like to stay and gab but I barely am going to get this blog posted. I have two other projects for other people on my desk and I am suppose to be writing a project for my guild…gotta go…work this week-end.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today and this week-end too!  ttfn…sue

More to the neighborhood

The Neighborhood is getting larger. Another two houses were pretty easy stitching besides the fact that someone in class thinks we should put a sign on the green house that says, “Paint me!” I love the red roof stitch and think it will become one of my favorites. It adds texture and direction…

Remember last time, “this roof was a challenge.”…the brown roof?  In the close up picture you can see it very well. I think that stitch was the challenge of the piece. It might be a toss up between the brown roof and the green roof, both were different but effective. I forgot to include it in the last post but here it is…Susan Jones called it a Byzantine but I thought it was a small Milanese. What’s interesting about this stitch is that depending on how you chose to stitch it the effect with an overdye will be quite different. I chose the method on the left. 





I was reading Consumer Reports Magazine (August issue) this week, an article about phone cameras. I think next time I take pictures of this canvas I am going to us my phone Verizon Droid X and my trusty Olympus Camedia C-5500 with its 5.1 megapixels to see the differences. I have looked at purchasing a new camera but I haven’t been able to justify the expense in my mind when this one works and I like it. But we will compare pictures next time to see if I see any differences.

We are having a Heat Warning or Advisory this week-end. I really hope it lets up, I do worry about the elderly and those without air conditioning. No matter what the weatherman calls it, the weather is just plain HOT! So I guess I will be forced to sit in my air-conditioned house and stitch…Oh no, such a burden!

Stay cool and…Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

The Neighborhood part 3

The Neighborhood is growing. Two more houses have been completed. I really am enjoying this piece, it is a sampler of stitches for architecture.

See the top house…this roof was a challenge. I liked it but it was a stitch to take care with and then of course it changed direction at the hip of the house. The siding of this house was a 4 way continental but for me was a challenge as I normally stitch on the diagonal and this was stitched row by row so the thread on the back side would not show when viewed from the front. See the difference in the diagrams? I would catch myself trying to revert to “my way” but with the exception of maybe one or two miss-steps I think I did pretty well.

My photo is a bit off, but then I’m a bit off this week too. Holidays always throw me off…I never know what day of the week it is until we have a full 5 day work week. I’m better with Monday holidays than Friday holidays too, so next week I’ll be back on track.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue