Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What I've been doing lately

Not much, really. Here's the partially complete sampler from Plimoth. It's so-so, imho. It's been a real learning experience, I can say that. And I'm really pleased with each bit I complete. The instructions are amazing--clear and detailed. They are by Tricia Wilson Nguyen.

I've learned how to rip out each of the stitches, which is kind of my gauge for having learned something--if you can rip it, then you know it. I have the round circle on the right to fill in and two wings on the bottom to do. I may still rip that braid stitch out again and have another go. It's as curvey and uneven as my spine! (lower right) It's waiting for the weekend and quiet time.

This piece is the beginning of a Hardanger piece my EGA chapter will be teaching for Indiana State Day in a couple of years. I'm one of many testing out the pattern. Of course, I'm not using the color or size of linen specified--I had 24 count pale gray linen in my stash and didn't have 28 count beige linen.

I'm also not using some of the recommended fibers. And I've already begun changing where some minor elements are placed because I disagree with the designer (who is a good friend of mine). For me this is part of the process of testing directions--I hope my friend agrees!

I did something similar with the last State Day project we did about ten years ago. It was a pulled thread sampler. I finally did a model on the recommended linen with the recommended fibers but looking at it closely recently I realized I made a number of changes in color placement and added a couple of elements. I just can't leave it alone. The first piece I did testing this long-ago design used totally different materials and I made a lot of changes.

It's fun now that I'm stitching--I spent an entire evening basting the guidelines! None of this hard work showed up in the photo. I learned long ago to use a basting thread close to the color of the fabric--too much contrast and it can be hard to get rid of all traces of the basting when you remove it.

My tip for Hardanger--watch the back. For some reason it is much easier to see where your stitches are--and whey they go astray--when you look the back. This is especially true with buttonhole stitches--it's much easier to see what's what without the buttonhole edging in the way.

I won't be showing this again as we want to keep it a surprise, at least for now that's the plan. Web in an Autumn Garden is the name and if you're in an Indiana EGA chapter, watch for our announcements.

Saturday we went to a local gallery, Tallgrass, in Park Forest, IL. They have a very nice show of landscapes called This Good Earth. While there we bought a small oil and encaustic painting and a watercolor and encaustic miniscreen. The artist is Jenny Learner and you can see more of her very interesting work here.

On Sunday we went to a British car show out near Palos. Old and new, big and little cars made in the United Kingdom. Our friends brought a Hillman Imp. MGs, Triumphs, Jaguars and Rolls Royces. It was pretty cool but I'm not big into the car thing (a nice stroll on a sunny day is the appeal for me). But I did spot this lovely crazing and rust on a car in a "before" display for a restoration company.


Anonymous said...

Are the shapes on the sampler detached buttonhole/needlelace? I have been thinking about trying this, but it looks so fiddly.
Im with you on changing the threads etc with patterns - I never can do it the same as instructed. Im also with you on car shows (yawn)

Lelia said...

two questions:
1) think it was worth donating to the jacket-plimoth project? is the sample fun?
2) for your eyelets - are you putting threads in EVERY hole - or every other? That part confuses me. My eyelets are every other & maybe I should change that.

your test pieces look great IMO

after I get the marking sampler done, I plan to pick up the EGA project again.