Sunday, February 22, 2004

Stitching makes even having a cold better

Why is it that having a cold makes the brain function like it is slogging through a fog? The cold finally hit this weekend. We didn't go dancing - something about trying to do a waltz when the head is already spinning.

Have spent most of Friday and Saturday working on my Bargello Crazy Quilt piece. Spent time pouring over books of patterns. Spent time playing with color combinations. Spent a little time stitching last night. We put in Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean. Husband has also come down with a mild version of this nasty cold so we sat and stitched. I on my bargello piece and husband on his shirt - the cuffs are now done! Of course Pete, the cat had to provide his contribution to the efforts as well. Nothing is ever complete in this house without cat fur -- very fine white or black fur.

Now to spend some time combining colors and patterns as I plan out my next moves on the piece. My head is spinning with ideas. Think I will use purple and rose as the primary colors to compliment the guest bedroom. Have almost decided to do only 4:2 patterns as I'm feeling that doing a Hungarian Point pattern in it will make it too busy. I am thinking of doing a couple small areas and repeating the pattern, but maybe not the colors. This is supposed to be a sampler and it will give me an idea of how the pattern works with different color schemes, but still provide some continuity. Ideas. Lots of them.... Now off to make some decisions and stitch.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Lots Going On - little stitching

Haven't been blogging lately. Too much running around. Some fun. Some not so fun. Went to the Antique Show with a girl friend - good time and spent too much money. Well I really neeeeeeddddded the 2 19th C Vernis fans.

The SUV died when we were going to the war practice last weekend. 3rd time is the charm. Spent lots of time researching options. So went this weekend and bought another. I hate car shopping!

Its tax time......lots of paperwork prep (sigh). It is nice that I have it too worry about, but sometimes it is a pain in the ....

Had an idea for a voided work (not just Assisi) bookmark. Found a pattern that was the right size - 9" at 14ct and the right number of squares wide. It charted like a dream. Began stitching it. At 14ct to get adequate coverage you need 3 threads. It looses too much detail. Back to the drawing board.

Today was brain candy day. Class with Susan Hulme and Beth Gardner - Crazy Patch Bargello - see example. I understand bargello, but we really got into color theory. Now some of the things I do or have problem with make sense. It was lots of fun. I will have to post pics soon.

Tired now. Set up for the Craft Expo this evening with the wonderful husband and will "man" the booth for the first shift tomorrow am early. The basket people are back and can pick up an oval upright basket in the same style as the round ones I like. Happy stitching.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Do a little each day

I once read a series of suggestions of how to get oneself motivated to stitch daily. The one that appealed to me has 3 parts: (1) you don't need to do more than one thread length each day, (2) always leave your needle prepared to do the next thread length (ie finish and then prepare the needle for the next time), and (3) don't beat yourself up if you don't do it.

With that in mind, I've been playing with the threads and beads of the Sandra Murray velvet piece. I have one pillow done and the better part of 3 to go - someday. Maybe today - maybe not.

In the back of my mind I've been puttering with doing a voided work bookmark. Something simple that can be done on a commercially prepared bookmark. Linn got me started on Voided Work and I've decided that I really like the simplicity of the presentation. Think I've chosen a lily pattern that appears in several model books. I've charted the pattern and will stitch it later this week. I'm thinking about using an overdyed thread - a twist on the classic, but maybe not. Will play with colors tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

on strike! at least as far as historical embroidery - for the moment

Decided to give myself permission to have fun with my stitching. I've been much too serious lately with my stitching and research. When something is not longer fun then it is time to stop and take a break.

I finished the smocked needlecase from the EGA meeting class. Cute. Doesn't work well as a needlecase as the top is tooooooo top heavy. The lining and felt bit for the inside were also cut too small for the final piece. It was nice that they were provided, but since everyone smocks to different tightness (especially beginners), the lining and the felt should not have been cut to "match". Oh well, we all learn as teachers over time what works and what doesn't. I'm thinking that I should not say anything as the woman's feelings may be hurt (she is that type), but the teacher in me says if no one says anything, how can we learn our mistakes.

Am working on a Sandra Murray piece - Scrumptious Stitches - Kalidoscope. Took the class at CATS a year or so ago. It is silk embroidery on velvet. All really modern interpretation although the techniques are classic. Working with Trebizond and the Kreinik metallics are a real pain in the .... The kit has patterns for 2 "mini-pillows", with suggests for the remaining 2. We shall see what develops. I have one almost done. Guess I'll have to set up a page of pics of my "modern" stuff soon.

It is really nice to know that I can control the persnickity threads and fabrics. This is a major realization. In the last year or so, I seem to have passed through a major "ability" level. I can do stuff. I can get the worst threads and fabrics to work for me. It may take a few tries, but I CAN!!!!!!! Even more, I can look at something that isn't working, whether my stuff or someone else's, and diagnosis the problem AND find solutions. In giving feedback to people in my Guild, I am really pleased that people are coming to me to ask for help and they feel that I've given them quality help. Feels really good.