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.


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