Sunday, November 5, 2017

Summer travels, Flowers and Stitching

This has been a very busy summer. In the space of six weeks I have been to Asheville North Carolina in the east, and have driven  up to Kalispell, Montana and down to Mesa, Arizona. We got caught in a six hour traffic jam around Las Vegas, Nevada. By the time all of it was over I was ready for a rest and some stitching time. We figured that we have driven enough distance that would have taken us from Los Angeles to New York
I took some pictures that I was going to post of flowers around the yard during the year. So now fall is upon us, I am going to post them so I can look forward to seeing them again next year.

Spring started with the Japanese Iris

  Then came the hibiscus in the summer

Finally the colors of fall

During the summer my ground cover strawberries bloomed. The blossoms are a deep pink but the fruit is tiny and mostly seeds. Just seeing them makes me smile

Although this is not a flower from my garden - oh, how I wish we could grow them here. Janie, the daughter of my niece picked them for me, the fragrance of the plumeria was fabulous.

More about stitching later of current pieces but I thought that I would post my most recent progress on the forever project - Faith Hope and Charity.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Finishing - of several sorts

Since I last posted we have been busy finishing a few things. We have painted rooms and chairs, made valances, and worked on finishing some of the pieces from embroidery classes that I have taken.
I had fun painting a chair. It is an antique that I picked up somewhere. It has always been in rather bad shape and so it was perfect for painting in fun colors to match the room it is in.

Here is the unfinished chair

And here is the finished chair. I love the way that it turned out.

This is TEN from Amy Mitten. She does mystery stories that are explained in her embroidered sampler.

Nan Tyson Euler has always been one of my favorite friends and embroidery teachers.This is the last piece that I took from her. It is named Katherine for Katherine Swynford.  Nan always tells the story about the life of the woman that the sampler is named for. Katherine (born in 1350, died 1403) was a larger than life historical character who was first the mistress and finally the wife of John of Gaunt. Her descendants were  players on both sides of the War of the Roses and all modern British Royalty is related to her.
I did change the bird near the top but it was adapted from an illuminated letter from the same historical period.

This is a small snippet of the next one of the American Coverlet series of cross stitch patterns that are retail patterns released through Kelmscott Designs. It is called Flowers and Trees. I have one more designed that should be out in the fall.

Also here is a long overdue update on Faith, Hope and Charity. I picked it up and am nearly finished with the bottom row of pages. I have a plan for consistently working on it.   I hope to work a page a month. Here's hoping that I can hold that that plan.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Elizabethan Casket Etui

Although this etui is not part of the Cabinet of Curosities, it fits in with the general theme of the school girl embroideries.
It was designed by Betsy Morgan as modern etui that uses the form of the original caskets. It is of course much smaller but delightful none the less.
Betsy used techniques from many different eras and types of samplers to create her box with its toys. I loved the concept and most of the pieces but after having taken the Cabinet of Curiosites class from Tricia, part of the designs didn't fit my idea of how it should look, so I changed them.
The bottom part of the box used the original design but I changed all of the designs for the lid of the box. I borrowed from several different samplers and adapted the designs to fit the area to be stitched. The top features two stumpwork flowers, I love daffodils so played until I got one that I like and then I couldn't resist a pink Mariposa lily. They come in a few colors and live in the arid desert west in the wild.

Betsy added some toys to her etui that I stitched as designed except for adding a second design to the scissors sheath. They are a pin cube, a bag for buttons or other small stuff, a needle book with an Aztec stitch side and a scissors fob and sheath.

I just couldn't resist adding a few more toys to my box. I did a flame stitch holder for a stiletto, a Lacis lace piece for the thimble bag and an emery with a gold work band. I dyed ribbon for the tape measure that features a blackwork design  and some semi-precious stone beads.
It was a fun piece to stitch and adds one more thing to get me ready to stitch my big casket.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tape Measure Toy for my needlework casket

When Tricia from Thistle Threads announced a contest to create a toy for our Cabinet of Curiosities, I just had to play. She encouraged us to use some of our threads from the Frosting Club box in the toy. I love tape measures (among the other sewing things that I enjoy) and I loved one of the examples that she posted so I decided to see if I could recreate it as much as possible..I named it the partridge in a pear tree.  I tried to use historical techniques as far as I could puzzle them out.  One of the fun parts is the fact that many parts of it move as it turns to unroll and re-roll the tape measure. I marked the tape in nails which is  an older form of measuring length.  I added all sorts of hanging treasures that I thought a young girl might want to do.
I have downloaded a video of the tape being pulled out and rolled back in so you can see the fun way that it moves.
It's hard to see the detail in the video so I have also posted a few pictures that show things better.

 I love the silk covered walnut that holds the tape. The writing on the tape is a quote from John Taylor the Water Poet written in 1631. It is called The Praise of the Needle and I only used this part of it
Flowers, Plants, and Fishes, Beasts, Birds, Flyes, & Bees, 
Hils, Dales, Plaines, Pastures, Skies, Seas, Rivers, Trees: 
There’s nothing neere at hand, or farthest sought, 
But with the Needle, may be shap’d and wrought .

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Teaching classes that I offer to groups of students

This past year or two has brought changes to all us but one of the changes that I have made is that I am not traveling and teaching as much. I am not proposing for seminars and the only teaching that I am doing is when a group contacts me and I will go teach for them. It really is much more relaxed and I am having fun working on some past projects and designing new ones. I have been able to design some custom pieces for groups that I visit.
Because of all of the above and the expense, I decided to close down my web site. I have never been really good at keeping it up anyway. I kept the original domain names so that I could use them if I wanted to but for now I will be putting things on the blog. I do want to start some cyber classes but that is still in my imagination and the future. Contact me at if you are interested and I will send you the details and prices.
Also design samplers and needle work boxes and smalls. If you want a piece just for your group we can talk about it. Perhaps the best way to see some of the thing that I have done is just to google my name and look on images.
I mostly teach blackwork and pulled thread but there are a number of other pieces that I have taught also. Most of the things that I teach are scheduled for two day classes. For blackwork, I use silk on linen with touches of gold thread. Usually they are black on white but a couple do have color.
The pulled thread is usually cotton thread on linen.

This first one called Basket of Gold is a four day class but it could be done in three days.

Cherry Blossom


Floral Explosion



Dyeing for Blackwork
In this one you dye your own silk threads and fabric in class so it can be almost any color.

Pulled Thread

Belle Fleur


Lady Jane's Lace Sampler

Lucy's Pocket

Moon Flower Bag

If you have questions let me know. I love to design and teach so please contact me so I can come and visit you.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Owls, teaching and a yarnbowl

Last week I traveled to Minnesota to teach. It was at the retreat for the   Needlework Guild of Minnesota. They hold it at a retreat center that works really well but does give you a lot of exercise. The center is a long series of buildings and the sleeping rooms, teaching rooms and cafeteria can be quite a distance from each other. The view and the students make it worth wile however. I have been working on the pieces for this retreat for quite some time and kept adding owl things.
Here is photo of the retreat center.

There were 23 students in the Feather Your Nest class.. It was a big class and we started with random long and short stitches which was certainly outside of the comfort zone of most the women in the class since most of them do counted work. They really did a great job as we worked together to stitch the feathers of the owl in the tree. Most of them finished the brown feathers and have only to put in the light colored feathers around the eyes.
Here is the owl that we worked on.

This is the whole set.

The other class was a pulled thread class called Ivory and since it was small with only 6 students we were able to have lots of stitching time in class.

I did a couple of small pieces that I sold to the members and now have to figure a way to teach them at home.
This owl is from the set but it was a big hit. I borrowed the idea from Pintrest for the owl and so many people loved it that I made some patterns just for the owl.
Zen Owl is a mix-up of zentangles and blackwork that created this fun stitched piece.

I love celadon porcelain and have been wanting yarn bowl so when they came together I could not resist. A yarn bowl lets you put a ball of yarn in  the bowl so that it stays put and doesn't roll across the floor as you knit.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Just a darling litte garden

I have been busily working on the Hidden Magnolia Sampler. I had finished stitching this darling little garden that I changed because I wanted my garden to grow different flowers than those that were charted. I also added the fountain and changed the urn and the fence and a few other things.
I thought that I would then put it away and work on one of my other unfinished pieces or even (gasp)design something new to stitch, but the large bunch of silk thread was just setting there and not available for other things so....... here I am working on other parts so that I can finish and put the threads away so that they are ready for the next project.

I did finish one small piece. I had charted an antique alphabet for Feather Your Nest and thought that I would stitch one of the letters. We were cleaning out the fabric scraps at work and I found one that I really liked so I grabbed the Elizabethan Green silk and stitch the letter C on it and finished it with a piece of panne velvet and turned it into a frame weight. It felt good to accomplish something even if it was not very big.