Monday, January 22, 2007

Orange Coast Sampler Guild Scrimshaw Fold

Say you have four rows of large stitch diagrams on a page. Each one is labeled. Everything has the same amount of space above and below it. Would you expect the title/name of the stitch and short comment to be above the diagram, or under it?

Why?




I went to my Orange Coast Sampler Guild meeting tonight. I wasn't going to do the project. We didn't get to see a picture ahead of time and I didn't think I would want to do it. I thought that it might be a canvas piece as the designer does do a lot of canvas work, nothing wrong with that, but I thought I'd pass on this one. Once I saw it, I wished I had signed up. Lucky me, they had extras on hand, so I went for it. $45 bucks is pretty "cheap" when it comes to any project for this guild.

A local designer, Margaret Bendig, designed Scrimshaw Fold, A Stitching Accessory, especially for our guild. It's the 15th anniversary of the guild, so she included the guild logo, a basket of oranges, and it has a significant 15 oranges in it. The colors of silks and dupioni are really pretty. She commented on how she is not an "orange person". Neither am I, but I do like the pallet she came up with, and the orange part is really a soft clove almost salmon color which is quite tolerable. Anyway, that's just for the logo part. The project was designed to hold all the various pieces of the logoed scrimshaw made available to guild members. A new piece is added each year. I only have one piece of the collection and I really don't intend on purchasing the whole set. Scrimshaw is quite expensive and I don't think ours is especially pretty, just cool if you're a guild member. Anyway, it's nicely constructed beautiful fold with silk pockets and such and I thought I should have it. Margaret likes to encourage stitcher's to make modifications and gives other options to the design and finishing, and I intend on doing just that. On with the lecture, or rather, instruction of the piece. This guild has done some fairly formidable projects a la CA Wells, Merry Cox, etc. Since Margaret is also a member of the guild, perhaps the fact that she knows what they've tackled before had something to do with the speed. I'll tell you what, you gotta have it going on when it comes to these "classes". I find most classes are like that. Fortunately, it does look like her instructions are pretty good. I'll let you know if/when I ever get to the finishing part. I'd love to start it right away but my plate is too full right now. I think when I complete this project I should treat myself to another piece of the scrimshaw set. It's by Marcy Pumphret and she actually uses old piano keys.

Oh, about that diagram stuff. LOL.. I was embarrassed at myself when I finally figured out at home tonight that the diagram I was looking at for the Two-Sided Italian Cross Stitch was actually the diagram for Reversible Cross Stitch. In my defense, I was not the only person confused by the placing of the title of the stitch. Besides that, I've never seen the Reversible Cross Stitch diagramed this way, so it was new to me, too. LOL. It's cool. Now, I know a new way to do reversible cross stitch.
And... to me,
the logical place for a title/description to go is above it, not below it, since we read from left to right, top to bottom.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Quaker Exchange Stitching

You know, there's mail, mostly junk mail, and then there's "Royal Mail". Any day you get a package from the UK is going to be a good day. That's a given. Look at this fabulous piece I received from Helen! You may recognize it. It's the Needleworker's Pocket from the ornament series by With My Needle featured in the yearly JCS Ornament issues, only it's blue instead of the deep red. Ellen Chester is one of my favorite designers. She's getting to be so prolific too. I have quite a few of them in my collection and I am looking forward to adding the newest releases that will be out after Nashville. Helen did an excellent finishing job- totally professional looking. I loved that she wrapped the tassels in their own little protective sleeve to keep them nice in transit. Now, that is attention to detail, wouldn't you say? She spoiled me with a lot of extra goodies too - fabrics, ribbons, lace, and pins- and I'm all set up to do a finish of my own now. Love it. Plus, I got a darling little beeswax bear for my needlework basket.

My partner in this Blue/White Winter Quaker Exchange on the Stitching Bloggers Exchange Board was Myrna. This is the pinkeep I stitched for her. It's stitched one over one on 30ct Cadet Blue Murano which I dug out of my stash. (High five!) Don't look too close. I'm afraid stitching in white on dark isn't very forgiving. The swan is one of my favorite quaker motifs, and this one in particular is from the Sarah Tatum sampler. For me, swans evoke grace and serenity. Don't I wish I had more of that!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

She's Flying (again)

The hard part about having the dear-sweet-darling-wonderful daughter home from college is the part when you have to say "good-bye". I am a big fat cry baby. The whole airport thing is the worst. The drive coming home from the airport is the worst. It's just all the worst, and tomorrow will still be "the worst". I missed her before she even boarded the plane. She is such a joy to me, to us all, I can't imagine how I'm going to get along without her. Yet, I know I will. Just right now, my heart is torn apart. :...( But this is how it's supposed to be. You grow them up and then they fly, and you're happy that they're flying. I'd just like to go flying with her! boo-hoo-hoo... Aghhh!!! Really, I am the biggest crybaby anytime there's this separation thing. It happened every single time our other daughter left from a weekend at home (which wasn't nearly often enough). Now the other one is on the other side of the country, so no weekend visits with this one, not even once in a while. I am so thankful for the last four glorious weeks with her. Most students only have a two week break, but at least this semester, it worked out for her to leave a couple of weeks before most.

Here she is, Boston Girl. Might I add.. she is modelling the scarf I made her. I hurriedly added the fringe to it today and I did a lousy job of it, but it's my first completed knitting project. (Insert loud cheers) A dear friend gave me a knitting lesson a couple of years ago during my recovery time. For some reason, I am bound and determined to knit socks. Of all things.. I must knit socks. I have no idea why it's such a strong desire, but there it is. This scarf was my first real, albeit super easy, project so that I may proclaim to the world, "I knit". I am quite amused with myself. I had to relearn what I'd been taught but I was happy it came back to me with a little practice. Anyway, that was one of her Christmas gifts. I've also begun my first pair of socks. I got as far as the heel and had to set it aside, but I'll get back to it this month. Guess what I did yesterday though? I knit a dishcloth. I finished it today. Here it is! My second completed knitting project. I don't use dishcloths but I thought it would be a good practice project. It's got a couple of goofs but I still like it. It was a KAL. That's knit talk.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

American Sampler

My New Year's Day start turned out to be American Sampler by Sandy Orton. I have been wanting to stitch this sampler since the first time I saw it. I almost can't believe I've finally begun! I struggle so much with decisions about what linen to use, what count, what color, cottons or silks, etc. This is why I nearly always simply follow exactly what was used for the model. Way back when, the one decision I did come to was that I really wanted to stitch it with silk. I could see that this was going to be an intensive project, and I felt it warranted the extra cost of silk. That decision made, it was easiest to just stick with the AVS conversion that was supplied. I have been collecting the silk for it for literally years. See, I knew I wasn't going to be starting it for a long while and I didn't want to sink money into it all at once just to shelve it. (How sensible of me LOL...) Now that I've begun, I discovered I left one color off of my check list. I also discovered that I need more of some of the colors than I have now. I remember now that I had found a place, that you could buy silk by the yard/meter. I had taken advantage of a sale and sent them my list. Anything they had full skeins of they sent; if all they had was lengths, then they sent lengths, and anything not in stock I just kept on my list to buy elsewhere. I figured I at least had what I needed to get started, so it was much to my chagrin when I found I was completely missing one of the colors needed for the flower I'm working on. One of the reasons I like this sampler is that it employs other stitches besides cross stitch. The border is done in rice stitch which is done with two colors. It's a cool layered stitch. The bottom layer is done in one color and then the top layer is in another color. There's quite a bit of queen stitches too. I never did decide on what fabric to use. I know someone who stitched it on 40ct and I had toyed with that idea but decided against it because of the large amount of queen stitches. The final fabric choice is one I pulled from my stash, a European linen, natural 35ct Weddigen. It has a very nice hand and is what I would call a dense linen. I got it for a great price and now I wish I had bought more of it. I'm patting myself on the back for using something from my stash. (pat pat pat)

By the way, I have a duplicate of the magazine this was published in. If anyone would like to buy it just send me an email.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!



Can you believe it is 2007?!
I'm looking forward to it! How about you?