November 27, 2007

Have you Met Mary Beale?

When I posted on Sunday, I mentioned that I made a discovery at my LNS. When I was poking around the sale charts and fabrics in In Stitches' back room, I noticed a number of completed needlework projects clipped to hangers, waiting to be framed. In Stitches has a wonderful framer, and you never have to wonder if they're going to do something freaky like glue your precious finished object! Anyway, after admiring the various works hanging there, my jaw dropped to see one of the most unbelievably complex (stitched over 1 on a fairly high count fabric) and beatiful project I've ever seen. Now, it takes a lot to knock me over like that. The framer told me it was a Mary Beale project, and although I pride myself on my in-depth knowledge of what's out there, I confess I'd never seen one of her projects. Here's the project that I saw on Sunday, and bear in mind, these pictures don't begin to do justice to the design.


The stitcher had laid her blocks out differently, running 12 over 12 horizontally on the fabric. I joked with the framer that I'd be glad to quit my job and stitch full time on it, and the framer remarked that she knew the stitcher had a full-time job and still managed to get it all done!
Mary's website is MaryBeale.com, and she sells her designs exclusively from her website. The first thing I did was purchase a small design called--darn, I don't remember exactly what it's called, but it's essentially a Boston Tea Party historical design, and the project is finished as a tea cosy! This picture is tiny--sorry. But if you go to her website, you'll be able to see in in greater detail I think. Look in the Gallery section to see some finished projects by stitchers who answer a series of questions, all of which makes for fascinating reading and viewing. Anyway, I paid for my order with paypal, and the digitized design came to my computer within about 10 seconds. I printed it off, and I can't wait to start it (I think I'll make it a Christmas weekend start). After I got my design, I contacted Mary Beale herself via email and asked to show you these pictures, copied from her website. She responded within an hour (I love it when a designer does that) and very graciously gave me permission to show her pictures.

Needless to say, I want to stitch all of her designs! I plan to purchase Days of Advent, Book of Common Prayer and I'd love to do all the historical stockings as well. My discovery of her incredible designs comes at a time when I find myself gravitating more and more to religious themes in sampler stitching. I have recently purchased most of the new Plum Street Samplers (I'll show them in another post), including the Sunday School lesson of Jonah, as well as Still Waters and Rejoice (and a couple whose names escape me now). And interestingly, my own Book of Common Prayer is an illuminated edition; I've always thought it a shame that someone didn't make a sampler out of those illuminations.
In the meantime, The Ark is coming along--it's an extremely quick stitch. Of course it helped to have another day of jury duty where I showed up at court only to be paid $30 (I guess we know what I'll do with that) and then sent away when the lawyers for the defendant plea bargained their client out of having to face a jury. So today I stitched, put some Christmas lights up outside and even made dinner!

15 comments:

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Wow that is stunning! Your ark project is getting cuter by the day!

Barbara said...

Yes, Mary Beale's designs are eye-popping, aren't they? VERY detailed. Can't wait to see you get started on them!

Mindi said...

You're right about In Stitches having fantastic framers. Every project I've taken in has ended up looking stunning. There's even a couple of framed pieces I have I want them to re-frame.

Good luck with the Mary Beale project, the tea cosy looks very interesting.

Anna van Schurman said...

I have a Mary Beale chart--the Angelic Heraldry. I haven't stitched it, but they are so different that I really noticed it when I was in a shop with thousands of charts. Looking forward to watching you stitch the advent sampler!

Wendy said...

Thanks! I haven't seen Mary Beale's designs before but I just purchased Still Waters and I'm dying to start it! Now I'm wondering dare I visit her website or not, because I'm afraid of what I might do once I get there!

Annemarie said...

I don't really know why and how I heard of Mary Beale before you did, but I've seen these fabulous designs before! Oooh, I can imagine you're chuckling at the thought of starting the Boston Tea Party design over Christmas!

Katrina said...

I love Mary Beale's pieces. I have the advent piece just haven't had a chance to work on it. It's gorgeous.

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Hi, Glenna, I've purchased all of Mary Beale's designs; including the Advent Calendar. I'm dying to start it in 2008. They are just unbelievable. I'm so jealous that you got to see it up close and irl!!! Katrina has it to stitch, too! Hugs, Deb

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Oops, there's Katrina saying she has it, too! LOL
Deb

Vonna said...

Isn't it gorgeous?! I've seen it before too...and I like you have taken a complete love to religious designs of late.....I've seen this one stitched (top one) and it IS glorious...thanks for the link....as so many other times after reading your blog...I do believe I'm on a quest! LOL!

nutmeg5 said...

Mary Beale has some beautiful designs. Some of the Christmas ornaments look stunning. I do not need more stash...I do not need more stash...I do not need more stash...

June said...

I must confess that I have never heard of Mary Beale before - going to have a look on her website now! :)

Michelle said...

I have only recently run across Mary Beale as well. I saw someone's stockings they had made and then went over to Mary's website. I LOVE that advent calendar. What a beauty! I may have to have another look at her site - that tea party piece is cute!

RockyMtnStitcher said...

I ordered this and can't wait to do it. I am waiting to get a list of NIP threads from her to start getting them together. Thsi is just gorgeous! I just finished And They Sinned and swore off another large one but this I have to do!!

Anonymous said...

I am looking for the chart of Christmas stocking #'s 11 and 12. How may I obtain them? Please help. Family is expanding and I wish to continue the tradition. thanks. elsie Craig, 614 Loveville Rd. Hockessin, DE 19707
Mutti806@msn.com