Sunday, October 20, 2019

Brown Wren and Mossy Hillock

Several months ago I got a most wonderful kit in the mail, it was the brown wren kit from Jenny Adin-Christie. It was a lovely box with a host of bags full of threads, fabric, trims and lots of other good stuff. I finished the wren last week and this week worked on the mossy hillock.
The wren has a number of bits and pieces that you stitch and couch and lace and well the list goes on but it is so much fun. Nothing is very big but lots of stitches are packed into those small areas. I thought that I might never finish adding all of the layers  to her wings.

After all of the stitching you take scissors and glue pot in hand to assemble that cute little wren. She is such a wee thing but most precious on her tiny brass feet.

I then started the green hill for the wren and figured that it would not take too long. Wrong.. I should have known from the number of bags that this was not a simple grassy knoll. With plenty of stitch directions but not too many  pictures of where to put what, I followed the diagrams to  make my own green hill. Creating it is really part of the fun, my hill is unique with curls of trim, beads and tufts of thread.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Lake Marie and challenge stitching

A very long time ago, about the time that I started teaching needlework to groups away from home  our region of The Embroiderers' Guild of America would have challenges for us to stitch. I can't remember the theme of the challenges but I stitched several pieces for the exhibits. The first one that I stitched was called M'Lady's Fancies and had three fans of different kinds of surface embroidery. Well it won first prize. I was amazed but quite pleased with the embroidery and the result.

Over the next bunch of years I did more challenge stitching for different groups. Some pieces were more complicated than others but they all allowed me to explore techniques that I usually don't teach.
Exhibiting your work, especially those that you have designed is scary and can be rather crushing if it is not well received.  To exhibit things in a juried show is not the faint of heart or ego. My results have usually been good but I did have one judge that did not like the titles of my work, my artists statements and accused me of copying  the designs. That was tough to take - after all how can you tell the artist that the title of their work is wrong. Oh well.... a ribbon or two always makes you feel better
Anyway one of the pieces was called Lake Marie in honor of my mother, it won a best of show. It was later purchased by the Embroiderers' Guild for their collections. I saw it at national headquarters from time to time when I was in Louisville and it always made me smile to know that others enjoy it also. I was looking at pictures of the new exhibit space and what did I see....along the edge of the photo was Lake Marie.
Here is a photo of Lake Marie but it is not a very good one. It was taken before digital pictures and I can't tell you how many rolls of film that I took came out so bad!

 Anyway you can see Lake Marie to the left of this photo.

Some of the other pieces that I did as challenges were in magazines, sold as retail patterns, or were taught to groups

This is Silken Glory
 I went a bit overboard on this one. I made the doll, dressed her in hand embroidered and sewn clothes. Made the tiny baby dress with antique lace in French hand sewing techniques and then wrote the verse and designed and stitched the sampler.

Red Queen
This is what happens when an embroiderer designs needlepoint.

The life cycle of a Monarch butterfly in dimensional embroidery.

Triangle Challenge
The challenge on this one was to pick 5 things and create a stitched piece.
This is a list of the five things and my choices.
1. color - celadon green
2. shape - triangle
3. technique - needlepoint
4. flower - hibiscus
5. stitch - satin stitch
So... this is what a green, triangle, satin stitched needlepoint hibiscus looks like.

I also did small needlepoint boxes but the pictures are long lost in drawer but if I ever run across then I will scan them in so I can share them.
Found a photo of the boxes. They are needlepoint on congress cloth. The idea was to make a jeweled jade box, a silver southwestern box and a cloisonne box.