Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Needlepoint

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had 40+ for the holiday so we were very grateful for many things. Now it’s time to get ready for the Christmas holidays. It seems like I’ve done nothing this fall but put up Halloween and take it down; put up Thanksgiving and now I’m taking that down to put up Christmas. I think the older I get time passes quicker and I move slower.

Since I have more than one project going at the same time I have finished some other smaller projects while I was working on the blue bird. I really had to be in the mood to stitch the blue bird and so there were days I did not touch him. I did another big project while I was doing the blue bird…I don’t know why but sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.

KC Needlepoint, our newest needlepoint shop opened in June. (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/no-stitching-todayjust-making-new-friends/) and they have local landmark painted canvases. And of course, one of them spoke to me right away and I had to have it. I could see it finished but was not sure how to stitch it but had an idea. So over the summer I looked at the canvas, made some decisions on what to do first and started on the canvas.

2015-12-08 KCAG1 unstitchI try to remember to take a picture of the unstitched canvas before I start stitching but I got ahead of myself on this one. I was so excited to stitch it I forgot. But I did get a picture before I had gone too far with my plans.

The other thing I try to do is research my projects if 2015-12-08 KCAG2 researchpossible. By this I mean if it is an actual place like the art gallery or a lighthouse I look them up on Google to see the actual place; this will give you a better sense of the actual colors of the area and the structure. I actually learned something about the shuttlecocks at the art gallery. There are three of them two on one side of the gallery and a third on the other side of the gallery; the gallery building is representing the badminton net (from the artist statement). I’m seldom on one side of the gallery and had not noticed it or did not remember it being there…but I thought it was an interesting bit of trivia…I’ll be good if I’m ever playing Kansas City Jeopardy.

First, I painted over the feathers on the birdie and let dry for several days. I stitched the background like there was no badminton birdie on the lawn leaving the ball of the birdie unstitched. Using one of the pictures I had I cut the birdie out and loosely basted an outline of the feathers. Then I stitched three feathers with Kreinik braid and then this project almost came to a screeching halt.

In my mind I had made three stumpwork feathers and attached them to the canvas. I had gotten some white wired braid and #12 and #16 braid from Kreinik and tried making a feather. My first attempt failed miserably and I decided maybe I should read about making wired stumpwork. Like I said before, sometimes I jump in with both feet and realize I have bitten off more than I can chew.

I kept mulling this idea over and over, and the canvas looked good with the three feathers I had already stitched on the canvas but I could see it with these three dimension feathers too. I knew I would not be happy until I figured it out. I took it to a gathering where a group of stitching friends were going to be and showed it to them. They all liked it just as it was but I told them what I saw…then one of them offered a piece of advice she had learned in a class…use a piece of voile or any light weight fabric to stabilize the stumpwork. Voilà, the light was flickering; I would mull this around and figure out what to do.

2015-12-08 KCAG3 ribbonI was heading for the fabric store when for a piece of voile when my daughter in law suggested voile ribbon (great idea then I will not have to buy 6 inches of fabric); and as a matter of fact we have some in the gift wrapping area of the basement… This turned out to be the lightbulb on moment I had been waiting

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for. The ribbon was perfect.

My next hurdle was all the needleweaving books said you needed to uses one piece of wire for the outside. I have no problem with this but I also wanted a piece down the center for stability. After one miserable failure I just kept playing around until I got what I had envisioned in my mind. I used Kreinik #16 wired braid and #12 braid for weaving. It worked great after I got the hang of what I wanted it to do.

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These are the finished pieces. Yes, I did Stitch a second one for the shop without the neddleweaving but with the same overstitching technique…they’re going to have to use a frame.

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Hope everyone is finding time to stitch this time of year…it is so relaxing .

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today and all through this holiday week-end.

ttfn…sue

My plate broke But I am back…Toppy too…

I am so sorry I have been gone for a couple weeks but my plate finally broke and I just had to let some things go. I have a huge project on my desk right now, but yesterday I felt like I had gotten a grip on it and I could breath.

And to compound things I also got an infection and the medicine almost did me in…this is truly a case of the cure was worse than the disease! I am allergic to penicillin but the doctor assured me it was a new variety and so I tried it. Gave me a shot in the office and I had no adverse reaction, so I took the prescription. Three days later I my stomach was churning and my head pounding so hard I thought some kid was sitting outside my house with his “bass woofers” turned up. Stopped that prescription, called the doctor, he sent a second prescription…took one pill and that was it. I was NOT going to die from the cure! No more meds…if the infection comes back I will deal with it then. This all happened the week-end of St. Patrick and last Saturday (March 24th ) was the first day I felt normal.

Needless to say, Torin Ailfred O’Patrick was not well rounded for St. Paddy’s day. He was finished stitching, BUT flat.  He  was finished before I hit rock bottom and was headed for the finishing table but only made it as far as the mantle to share his space proudly with the navy (one grandson) on the mantle). Toppy knows next year he will be a well-rounded leprechaun.

Toppy got His finishing touches; gold buckles and buttons …buttons were upright cross/French knots: Small horizontal straight stitch and vertical French knot,  a nice filling stitch.

Remember the marks I made at Toppy’s shoes? This was to remember where the shamrocks had been and I couched shamrock sequins.

Toppy’s bag of shamrocks is needleweaving. First I basketweaved his gold bag , then couched shamrocks and over that needleweaving using a buttonhole  stitch. Start at the bottom with straight stitches and then buttonhole up to desired size adding and reducing stitches as needed. This stitch is worked from left to right; just sink thread on right and carry back to left side. The detached buttonholed may be worked first and then the embellishments just placed in the buttonhole bag.

Toppy wanted his mustache and hair to be his crowning glory. I filled his beard with directional straight stitches and overstitched them to give a fuller appearance; I even filled in the mustache area. Over these stitches I did two very long bullion knots for his mustache and couched it into place.

And his crowning glory…over 1000 French Knots…TMI(too much info)?  That’s just the guess-tee-mate because I piled them on just to give him a thick set of curly locks.

This is my temporary desk piled high with 5 Fed EX envelopes delivered to me during my melt down…I worked when I could and had most completed in time but Tuesday was the first day I felt almost caught up .

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