Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Finish!

I finally finished the red scarf. The colors are actually darker/richer. I took this outside in the shade, the colors are much different in daylight than indoor lighting. But it's still not quite right. It's shorter than I hoped--the model must have used two skeins. But it's plenty wide and may work better than a longer scarf. Ready for winter!
I completed the final leg of the Hardanger tablecloth border and began cutting and wrapping. I'm alreay at the first corner. Since I began in the middle of a side, I'm 1/8 done! This is going fairly quickly, as I expected. I've made some progress on the other projects, too, but not enough to show.

 Back to work next week, so the push is on to get as much done as I can now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Working on UFOs

This has been a challenging summer, in more ways than my knee. I completed the Homewood Guild Challenge and the EGA Stitch like a Painter challenge and I'm still working on my local EGA chapter's summer challenge. I don't think this one will be done by the deadline, but I also don't expect to make the meeting (it is right when I start back to work). Now that the first two are done, I've been rotating some random UFOs to WIP status.
World Embroideries and I visited a local yarn shop during my recuperation from Knee #1 and I purchased yarn for this project. It took me a while to get the pattern sorted. You can see quite a lot of variation in the hexagons, but I think these all should work.  I plan to assemble the hexagons to fit a small clasp purse frame.
I've rounded the final corner on the Hardanger tablecloth.  I completed all of the faggot stitches on the final 1/8th of the cloth and have the ships (or half flowers) well underway. 
I completed all of the embroidery on this set of pillowcases.  I bought them with the embroidery partially completed at an antique shop years ago. They are old fashioned 100% cotton cases, woven in a tube shape so no side seams. 

No threads came with them so I dug through my stash for coordinating colors.  I also stitched the end seams (hand stitch French seams) while at Outlander (Starz TV) viewing parties. Now I'm looking for crochet cotton in a color I like to do the edging.
I've done a lot of knitting on the red faggot stitch scarf. You can see the skein of wool is dwindling. It's now over 36". I've been working on this one too long and I want it done so I can wear it this winter.
The last in the rotation is a purse my friend Renee began for her sister.  I took it after Renee's passing to complete.  It's basic basketweave stitch.   Since it's painted canvas, it's hard to see. Most of the motifs are completed and about half the brown background. I have white to complete the background to the edges of the leather.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Getting Back to Normal

I saw the doctor this week and he's pleased with my progress.  I'm heading back to work in two weeks--October 6. Yikes!

This past week was also our 38th Wedding Anniversary.  Big Yikes!
We celebrated with a new home phone (ours was a 1980s vintage dial phone) and a rousing game of minigolf--me with no cane!  The weather was beautiful and we had fun.
Today we beat the rain and went to the Park Forest Art Fair early. It was nice but it's sad to see it shrinking each year. We always enjoy it.
I made a small crochet basket to contain the felt acorns. They still tend to jump out and roll around, but hopefully they'll get used to their new basket home.
Fall feels imminent...trees are starting to change, birds are flocking. My husband encountered swarming dragonflies this week while on his bike ride. Apparently it's not rare, but people rarely see it. They were either relishing the plentiful mosquitoes or getting ready to head south together.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Other Stitching

I've been doing a lot of random stitching while I'm recuperating.  I've been working on my Hardanger tablecloth, the Needle Artisan's EGA chapter summer challenge, a pair of pillowcases are nearly done, a purse with a needlepoint insert that was begun by a friend who passed away earlier this year. She'd begun it for her sister and I'm finishing it. 

At the International Quilt Festival this spring, I splurged on some Just Another Button Company kits, that I thought would be simple and fun recuperation projects. They were.

The kits were very complete and had great ideas. I had drawn the patterns and ironed them onto the felt before surgery, so all that was left was handwork. 
The acorns should, I think, be in a basket, but I didn't have one. They kept wandering around and hiding, so I stitched them together until I get something to contain them.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Final EGA Challenge Piece

Judith Baker Montano responded to my challenge piece very quickly with a wonderful long and detailed letter, including drawings!  Mostly, she was very positive about it, but she also provided really helpful feedback about ways in which it could be improved. I spent some time this week adding a bit more detail, mostly shadows and a few highlights, to enhance the final piece.
Here's a detail of some of the shadows I added. I backed the final piece with #14 needlepoint canvas, so I could stitch through the holes and not have to disassemble the framing. I also used a curved needle for some of the final stitches.
So, here's the final piece. I'm very happy with it and it's been a very rewarding experience.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Homewood Guild Summer Challenge

Back in May, I posted about organizing a Summer Challenge, here. I'd gotten the idea from posts on Under the Topaz Sky's blog.  We had our reveal last Monday at our annual dinner meeting. Nearly half of our group participated and the embroideries were varied and wonderful.

Everyone brought the set of design parameters they received and explained how their piece fit them. It was really fun to hear about everones' planning and thought processes. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More EGA Challenge

This is a closer view of the foreground with the log pinned in place. I took these wip photos with the fabric propped in my lap (hence the iffy lighting).  I cropped my feet out.  Fabrics include a loosely woven cotton, dyed cheesecloth, tulle, netting, needlepoint canvas, evenweave linen, hand-dyed cotton, and mesh vegetable bag.  The rocks are cut carefully from mottled handyed cotton so they look shaped and shadowed.  The shadows are violet and black tulle.  The threads are mostly perle cottons and some crochet cotton, but there were some other random stash fibers, too.
Here's the final embroidery, as sent for review to Judith Baker Montano. I framed it over stretcher bars and backed it with some needlepoint canvas.
This angle shot shows how the embroidery wraps around the sides of the stretcher bars. I sent it off for review by the September 1 deadline.

It's back with her review already, so more to come...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Back at Last

It's been a month now since my surgery and I'm doing well. I've graduated to a cane.  I can definitely vouch for the pain-relieving benefits of needlework--it helped a lot those first weeks to have the EGA challenge to work on. That and good friends who visited and Outlander viewing parties at the home of World Embroideries.
Here's a photo of the completed water.  Mostly running stitches through the net layers in varied silks, with some metallics.  The waves were stitched with strips of netting as thread, some stem stitch and some detached buttonhole toward the front. Some were whipped with metallics.  I added some very subtle clouds, a brilliant suggestion by World Embroideries.
Here are some of the first foreground elements laid in and tacked down. 
And here are more of the foreground fabrics tacked in place. 

Tonight is Homewood Embroiderer's Guild's first meeting for the year. I'm excited.