May 19, 2013

Maps and Frames

It has been a busy week.  On Wednesday I picked up the newly framed Catharine McNeal from In Stitches.  It's gloomy, so a combination of chandelier light and perhaps flash has made this frame a little golder than it appears in real life:

Here's a close-up:

In the meantime, I've been stitching busily on Elizabeth Easdon, aka the T-Rex Sampler.  Here's where T-Rex stands now.  I'm hoping for a Memorial Day finish, but I've been a tad distracted.   Sorry for the wrinkles--I don't usually iron until the end.  You might notice that I stitch on a larger piece of linen than I need, generally.  I feel better with the extra fabric, and then at the end, I lop off the extra and use it for Christmas ornaments or smalls.  Nothing is wasted.  I am a New Englander, and even now, I can remember my father, a Vermonter, saying: "Waste not, want not" and "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  That was always good for an eyeroll from me, but the idea planted itself.

Today I took a class based on the Potomac River Needlework Map with Catherine Jordan.  Catherine is a subperb teacher, and if you have an opportunity to take her class, you should.   You can order her map kits, but she will also generously share her techniques so that you can design your own map for a place that's meaningful to you.  I missed a vintage map of Cape Cod on ebay last week--it got a bit pricey, so I bowed out.  But there will be another!  With a vintage map in hand, I plan to stitch a map of the Cape and then embellish it with fabric paint as I learned in class. Hint 1:  it certainly is quicker to fill in a body of water with blue paint than it is to fill it in with stitches.  Hint 2: restraint is key.  (But then, isn't it always?) Here are some photos of the class project (which came with a fully kitted Potomac River Needlework Map) seen here:

The students had a choice of these practice pieces as well:

Peaches:  "You're never home any more...."  Oh, Peaches, not true!

Happy week ahead!

May 12, 2013

Richmond Theatre Fire Sampler

I have been looking for the Scarlet Letter's Richmond Theatre Fire Sampler forever and finally spotted it on Ebay a couple of weeks ago. I was the only bidder, maybe because people aren't looking for a silk-screened sampler (stamped). Some years ago I had emailed Marsha about it--it has a 1987 copyright--and she emailed me back promptly and kindly to say that alas, it was permanently out of print. It may have appeared on Ebay a number of times, but if it did, I missed it. When I worked in downtown Richmond a few years ago, I ventured to the Valentine Museum; they had neither a kit (I was hoping that there might be one hanging around), nor the original displayed.
Working on a stamped sampler is interesting. Instead of a preoccupation with counting and the location of one element in relation to another...
...the goal is to cover the silkscreened ink so that the (in this case) orangey-red print doesn't peep out from under the floss. The kit came with DMC, but I did a conversion provided by the chart; I had most of the colors of AVAS in my stash, and those that were missing I subbed with close colors. Although I have a lot of Needlepoint Inc. silks that would have worked well on counted cross stitch, I think NPIs are just a bit thinner than AVAS and wouldn't have provided quite the same coverage. Seventy-two people died in the fire on December 26, 1811, which was sparked by an unattended lamp left too close to some paper scenery. They had been attending a play.
Here's my next out-of-print Scarlet Letter sampler, "The Product of My Needle." This is the second time I started this. The first time was years ago, and I was using 32 count fabric. When I stitched the black background, the fabric showed through, so I scrapped it and restarted it not too long ago on 40 count fabric. Much better! This is a close-up of the cover photo.
And my restart. I'm using AVAS. I love the colors and the design; the sheep's body is stitched in french knots, and the deer is either stem or satin stitch. I'll probably stitch the deer using stem stitch.
I also picked this up last week--I'd love to finish it, since it's been in a project bag for a few years. I'm stitching this on Lakeside 40 count (maybe maritime white?) using the called-for NPI silks.
Pink and Peaches send their greetings for a lovely week ahead.

May 05, 2013

Stitching Helpers

Hi, all! I took Friday off, so I had a little extra time for stitching this weekend--when I wasn't in the garden planting things, or at the garden center, or hauling things around in my little car, or back at the garden center, or hacking at weeds or planting rose bushes and peonies. I'm half dead tonight as well as sunburned, but I do have some progress to show on Anagram Diffusion's Sampler Tendresse. I had intended to stitch a block a month, and that idea's flown out the window--these blocks are LARGE.
I've done quite a lot on Liz Easdon. I call this image "Hoping the Borders Meet Up." I am hoping for a Memorial Day weekend finish. It has occurred to me--I should find some more projects! Fortunately, Maude & Mozart has provided me with plenty of ideas for what to stitch next!
See the look of horror on the cat's face? He has witnessed something disturbing...and I don't mean just the odd-looking little t-rex looking critter.
See the t-rex to the right of the little red chicken on the lawn in the above photo? T-rex borrowed from National Geographic's website.
I'm distracted here, photographing the over-one stitching that is taking me a long time to do on this sampler, for some reason.
And then! A marauder! An intruder with sharp claws! Yikes!
"Kitten-Kitten! Down! Kitten-Kitten! Off!" Kitten-Kitten: "It's on the bed, so it must be something to sleep on, right?"
Peaches: "I'm worried about the t-rex. And also, something has left butt prints on my towel. Was it you, Kitten-Kitten?"
Happy week ahead!