Tuesday, 13 November 2007

I hope it is the right orange!

After consulting my favourite colour book and going through my favourite Hungarian pattern book I've added this row to Christine's band sampler. It seems to have the right mix of fine lines and blocks of colour to go with the rows above (or below depending on how it is used).

FYI my colour book is "Color Play:Easy Steps to Imaginative Color in Quilts" by Joen Wolfrom. The colour combinations in this book are based on the Ives colour wheel which I find much more pleasing that the usual wheel. The colour combinations are based on nature so the book is filled with photographs of flowers and such, and real quilts, as well as the usual colour palates. I love just looking through the book for inspiration.


Thursday, 1 November 2007

Happy Hallowen and Australia in Virginia

Happy Halloween. These were created by my DH and DDs at a pumpkin carving party (the birdhouse is not ours). On the left is the traumatic brain injury pumpkin, in the middle is the picking his nose with his tongue pumpkin, and on the right is the cannibal pumpkin. They were a hit in the neighbourhood. On to the stitching.
Here is Christine's sampler.

And here is Jenny's.

I've been staring at them regularly thinking about what I shall do. I'm teaching an Assisi work class on Nov. 13 and I've been having so much fun researching the history and finding patterns for the information and pattern brochure that will go with the class, so at first I was thinking only of Assisi bands, but now I'm not sure. And I was contemplating moving outside the starting colour schemes, but again, I'm not sure yet. I won't decide until after I've taught my class, but in the meantime, I've been pulling out various skeins and laying them over the samplers to decide on colours. I think that has shown me that a traditional Assisi band won't really work but an overdyed thread might. The think is, I've found this really great pomegranate pattern in an old book from my grandmother that I am dying to use, so I'll have to contemplate further.

Don't you find that contemplation is a big part of the process. I've had projects change completely during the contemplation phase, which is usually a good thing. I've thought out problems and colours and stitches and generally I'm happy with the final product. Case in point for not thinking things through is the stumpwork thistle I'm working on now which I'll add to my blog shortly but here it is for you- and I welcome comments. I picked a person for the December ornament exchange who like thistles and so I based this on the design on a scissor fob I stitched a couple of years ago. The problem is, not only have I not quite got it balanced, but this is a 5 inch hoop and I think even 4 inches is too big for an ornament. But except for the balance, I do like it so far, I just think a bud needs to be added.

So, do I keep this as a box top for myself, or as a gift, and try to stitch something smaller? Or do I try something completely different? Or do I just go for a big ornament?
BTW, as I've mentioned before, please excuse my lack of posting. I am keeping up with reading your blogs and messages, and I'm keeping up with my stitching, but my out of the house workload has increased considerably this fall. I'm actually quite excited by the work challenges and my projects have been well received professionally, but I do find it cuts into my computer time. I'm also finding that getting up every day before 6 am to get my older DD to high school before going to work means that I'm quite tired by 10 pm, so right now (10:40 pm) I'm seeing sort of fuzzy type. I've never been one to work well with less than 8 hours of sleep.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Busy Times

Life in my little space has been hectic to say the least! So much so that I have only put needle to fabric twice this past week. Anyone who knows me knows that this is not normal for me. I stitch every day! DH & I have had to make the mad dash up the coast to a funeral, (an elderly neighbour of my parents & Mum to an old school friend). We did try to have a few days R&R but the weather was not kind. I came back to Sydney to full on work & socializing, only to get sick with some dreaded gastric bug. Definately not nice!

As to the RR, I would really like to see some response from some of the others that promised to contribute. I have no piece at the moment & have had nothing since February. I sent my own piece & Christine's piece off to Ktj months ago & last I heard, which was way back in March, Ktj was sending both pieces on soon. Nothing has been heard of since. I have e-mailed her a few times, only to be ignored. I thought perhaps that my e-mail was not working properly so I even tried using a different address, but that has also been ignored. I know she has received her own piece back so I think it only fair that that the two other pieces be sent on. It is interesting that M is also being ignored.

This whole thing is destroying my faith in some people. I feel so dissapointed when people say they will do something and then don't.

I entered this RR to to share my stitching with other people from around the world. I would really like it to continue. So if anybody wants to send me a band to work on, I promise I will.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Going fine in Central VA

Glad to hear you are feeling better Christine. There is nothing more frustrating to me than feeling too ill to stitch or read. I hope your recovery continues despite your sewing commissions. Your Beetlejuice costume looked great though.

I've been stitching and reading all your blogs the last couple of weeks but unable to blog much myself because I've been going out to work while the kids have been in a full day art camp. In fact I'm taking a break at work now and catching up on stitching blogs. I've discovered it is hard to get back to a full day at work. Not that I wasn't working hard - I've had three big part-time consultant jobs at the same time I've been doing my EGA chapter newsletter and embroidery with a kids group - but somehow the whole day at one thing is very tiring. Plus, we've had barn work afterwards on four days this week! I'll be glad when I finish today. The girls have nothing definite as far as camp goes during August so I'll be at home. And in September I'm back to 5 hours at work which is enough for me.

As for the RR, I too would like to see things continue since it is my first RR group. Maybe if we could find out where everyone's piece is and then find out who feels they can do a band right now, then we can send thing to the appropriate person. Things can always be sent back to a person who is busy right now.

For example, I have no band right now, but I can work on at least a couple during August - I'll have 3 nights alone up in Plymouth when I go to work on the embroidered jacket.

I know ktj has 2 pieces and I've emailed to let her know sending them to me is fine (saving the postage to Australia) but I haven't heard back yet.

Take care everyone,

Friday, 27 July 2007

Hello everyone, how are we all going?

I've been very quiet lately, recovering from the worst cold / flu I've had in over 20 years. It's been nearly a month since I felt well enough to stitch anything, but finally I'm feeling a little better. I've been surfing the net though when I felt up to it, keeping tabs on everyone on various groups and their personal blogs. Very glad to see Misa has finally posted to her blog, and with a very nice self-portrait photo too! Do I detect a hair cut? Sarah has been busy with beaded items, and Norma has been doing TAST and now Sharron B.'s Sumptuous Surfaces course, and I think I saw another of our Sisters mention it also. I haven't completed her Personal Library of Stitches yet, so thought I'd wait and see if she offers SS again in the future. I'm trying not to take on too many things at once (yeah, right, who am I kidding?)
I had to fit in some Eistedfodd sewing recently despite being off colour, and now I have a wedding outfit needed in 4 weeks! I finally did one sample for TAST and posted it on my personal blog and Flickr group. And I discovered a really neat locator map to put on my blog, it's really nice to see where the visitors are coming from, especially if they don't leave a comment. Well, that's all my news, still hoping for a parcel from overseas in the near future with some Counted Thread stitching in it. I'd love to see the RR continue if possible, it's my first RR and I've told everyone about it at my EG group and they are intrigued.
Hooroo for now,

Friday, 22 June 2007

A WISP finally finished

While waiting for the next portion of our counted thread band round robin, I pulled out this quilt to finish. It has only been in the making for 15 years, but at least it is finally finished. Can't hurry these things now can we? Third quilt I ever started, eighth one I have finished, first one I have tried FMQing on. I take my hat off to people who FMQ their quilts. It is hard yakka & my aching arms keep telling me! On to make quilt number nine now, which is bigger than this one, so will have to think about how it will be quilted before I go too far. Just while I wait for the next round of this Counted Thread Band RR to arrive.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Ktj's band.

This has just arrived in the USA and so I can now post the photos.

The Band here was started by Ktj, whose work you can see at the top. The second section was added by Margaret. My addition is the bottom section.

Ktj's graceful design has been beautifully complimented by the exquisite knot garden design added by Margaret. The details she has been able to incorporate are truly awe-inspiring. I knew I could not follow with a design as complex. Indeed, it took me some while to feel brave enough to feel I could add to it.
Luckily, the cherry trees in the gardens around my house had all started to come into flower. So my design took the form of a postbox shaped picture taken across a cherry tree's bark showing some blossom and opening leaves. The following picture shows my initial sketch.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Prepped and Ready...

Well, I'm a bit past this stage now, but I thought you'd like to see how I prepped Norma's piece. Everyone's work is just lovely, and that pumpkin color that Norma chose is just luscious! I'm so thrilled to be able to be a part of this group.

I basted using red thread because that's easiest for me to see on all colors of fabric. It's a five-count baste from top (underneath that beautiful beading) to bottom, because my design is oriented more vertically. As I work, I can clip the red thread and pull it from the areas I've worked, leaving it in place for the next segment of the Pattern. However (gives a cheeky little grin), I'm going to let Christine post pix of both Norma's and my samplers when she gets them...!

Monday, 30 April 2007

A Northern Queensland vacation

I returned to Sydney last night after 5 days/4 nights in tropical Palm Cove not far from Cairns. 6 of my husband's workmates and their partners joined us for a retreat to do a little work, socialize and plan the next 12 months. We ladies were pampered in the day spa, we ate delicious food every meal, and we cruised out to the Great Barrier Reef for a day of snorkeling and relaxation. The surroundings were very luxurious, and the lap pool in the photo was the view during alfresco lunches. Visit my personal blog at http://missmuffettwo.blogspot.com/
for more photos. I could have stayed on another week quite easily, it was a real wrench to have to leave such a lovely part of Australia.
Christine, aka Missmuffett and Lady Jane.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Needlework photos from England

Hi all, I'm home.
I just had to share these photos with somebody, but for copyright reasons, I prefer not to put them on my regular blog. But since I'm just sharing with a few special friends, here are some pieces from the Victoria &Albert Museum.

On the day we went the Textile collection was closed and I was very upset. The worst thing was, I thought I'd missed Martha Edlin's casket. http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/textiles/video_casket/index.html

But then we started looking through the museum and in the English 1500-1760 section I found the casket and more.

This piece is only about 5x5 and wonderful, although my photo is a bit blurry.

This is maybe about 3x6 and they call it a pincushion.

The next two are small purses.

It was all wondeful. I'll write some more on my regular blog this week, but I had to share these photos with you.


Monday, 2 April 2007

Margaret's Band RR.

This is Margaret's Band Robin. She stitched the gorgeous tulips you can see at the top of this piece. I have added the piece underneath.

The design is based on some wonderful Amaryllis I had flowering on my kitchen windowsill during December and January this year.

After putting in the outlines of the flowers and leaves, I have filled in the shapes with patterns based on blackwork designs. The whole piece is stitched in YLI silk thread. The close-up below shows details of the stitching and beading I have used. The colours on this photo are more yellow than in life. The colours are portrayed more accurately on the top photograph.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Jenny's First Band

Just renewing one of our lost pics back to our new blog. This is the first band that I worked on my own sampler. It is one of my own designs and it is the first time I have done one of the filling stitches. It also gave me a chance to practice my doves eyes that I learnt last year and made me realize that I need to practice my picots. The threads are also some of my own hand dyed ones.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Misa's Band

To continue the saga of our International Sampler Band Round Robin - here is Misa's band in which she used #5 perle cotton red, white and blues. She included long-arm cross-stitch in her design. My design is just a simple cross-stitch using three strands DMC overdyed floss in a red/blue/purple burst of color. Misa's journal mentioned one of her favorite colors is purple but my purples did not go favorably with her color scheme. I had been wanting to try some of the overdyed floss .... so, as you can see, the color I chose makes Misa's design glow and that is what I intended. On my own sampler I used four DMC colors in my design which worked out quite well. Here in the overdyed coloration I think the design takes on the look of ante bellum ironwork. The band is now winging its way to the next stitcher.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Counted Thread Band Round Robin - Christine's band

8 stitchers from around the world are participating in a Counted Thread Band Round Robin which was started as part of a now-defunct group, and here we plan to share the experience with those folk who were following us on that group and others who may be interested.

Here is my band with 2 rows of stitching completed, my own and Jenny B's. My multicoloured band is Wessex Stitchery, a style developed by a Mrs Foster in Bath, U.K. in the late 1800's. I'm a great fan of traditional, antique and vintage styles of needlework. New Zealander Gay Eaton published a lovely book titled "Wessex Stitchery" in 2001 and the patterns are adapted from that book. I choose my favourite colours at the moment, purple of course, and some colours to go with that which just pleased my eye. The fabric is 25 count Lugana evenweave linen, and my threads are stranded DMC cottons.

Jenny's band is withdrawn thread work using a perle thread which she had in her stash, although at the time she did comment that she felt it needed some orange but didn't have anything suitable to hand. I heartily agree, and hopefully someone else during the rotation will choose to add it somewhere.