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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Leaving for Louisville

Here it is, o'dark o'clock on Saturday morning, and I'm packed and ready for the 10 hour drive to Louisville for EGA Seminar. Only those of us who are truly obsessed go to these lengths for our pastime! I am bringing the temperamental laptop, along with my camera and camera dock. Our hotel has free WiFi, so I'll try to post updates often!

Next time, I'll be posting from Louisville... Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A start on Peace Tree

Well, I haven't been blogging, but I have been stitching. I mentioned last week that the latest in Jim Wurth's dodecagon series had arrived. After finishing the notebook class samples that were on my 10" stretcher bars, I reused the bars to mount the canvas for Peace Tree.

The ornaments in this series have had a lot of variety in terms of their layout. Some have been four-way geometrics, some two-way, some completely abstract. This one has a different "feel" to it, though. It is a two-way geometric, but it's also trying to be an abstract representation of a real thing, in this case a Christmas tree. I don't think this is going to be one of my favorites in the series. It's interesting, and I love the way the crescent stitches come out when stitched with Rainbow Gallery's Flair (more on that in another post), but it's not really a pattern I would have picked out to stitch if it wasn't part of this ongoing series. I'll keep stitching to see if it tries to change my mind!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Strawberry Girl begins

Thanks for all of the wonderful comments on ScottLee. I certainly will share a picture of the finished tea tray, but first I have to find the right handles (drawer pulls) and frame. Since these aren't found in the same store, it might pose a bit of a challenge! (By the way, Jane, our mutual friend told me about your request to have the tea tray and her tote bag placed together somewhere from which they might easily be stolen by you. Keep trying!)

I have since moved on to a NEW project! Here is the beginning of Strawberry Girl by Gay Ann Rogers. I'm hoping that once the outlines are done, the worst of the counting will be over!

I'm also trying to finish up the final three stitches in the online notebook class The Sky's the Limit, authored by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson and sponsored by the Shining Needle Society. Once I get this canvas off of my 10" stretcher bars, I can move on to the latest in Jim Wurth's dodecagon series. The kit arrived this week.

As you can see, there's a lot going on here, and that's not even considering the fact that I leave for seminar in just 8 days!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Dance: ScottLee

Yes! It's done! I made one minor adjustment after finishing the waves. I changed the four little triangles (two on each side) that pointed into the middle from navy blue to the medium red. The blue just seemed a little distracting to me.

Here is ScottLee, designed by the amazing Jean Hilton, with some minor tweaks by me. Please click on the picture for a larger view.For any that were wondering, yes, I have offered the pattern to another stitcher. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.

Anyway, now I get to start Strawberry Girl from Gay Ann Rogers!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Choices, choices

After several of you commented about the center stitch in the last post, it seemed like a good idea to post a close-up picture of it. Here you go!

I had mentioned that I didn't know what to put in the areas above and below the center. In Jean Hilton's original ScottLee, she used a multicolored Amadeus stitch that ended up as a heart shape, with some crescents on either side. It seemed somewhat bulky to me in the picture, but I had to give it a try. I stitched only half of the motif, and then had to concur with my original thought. It's pretty, but it pulls the viewer's eye away from the focal point of the center.

Fortunately, Jean provided a couple of alternatives to this stitch. In one option, she used several waffle stitches with a very delicate eyelet on top of each. I played with several color combinations for these, but couldn't really find anything that really worked.

The last option used a motif that had already been used elsewhere in the piece: crescents that, when placed next to each other, look like waves. Since I really wanted the center motif to stand out, I thought that using a bit of repetition here would add a bit of calm and direct the eye to the center. I started with the greyish-blue pearl cotton and tried other adjacent colors. The upper of these two color combinations, with the bright red lower wave, reminded me of a mouth with two mustaches! The second combination didn't really improve things. I did like the waves, though.

It struck me as a bit odd that the waves would be oriented this way. The middle "bump" of all the waves is toward the center of the piece. I thought it might echo the shape of the center and the outline of smyrna crosses a bit better if the waves were oriented the other way. To get the placement right before I stitched it, I pulled out the graph paper. When I stitched this version, I tried yet another color combination. I also stitched a crescent variation in the Flair that is used in the corners of the inner-most border. I did briefly think of changing the center wave to the dark burgundy, but then decided that this piece had enough going on, and didn't need any more eye catchers. A consult with some fellow ANG members sealed the deal.

Just to be a tease, I'm going to hold off on showing the final picture until tomorrow! :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

The center

The center stitch was so much fun! After yet another jessica stitch (the last one, I think!!!!!) the other stitches are arranged around it in almost a "string art" fashion. The large open areas above and below the center will require some thinking on my part. Jean Hilton, who designed this beauty, used a fairly dense stitch, and I'm not sure I like the heaviness of it. She did, however, give two other options for these areas, but didn't specify colors. This will need some experimentation, and, no doubt, some ripping!

The good news is - the end is in sight!! :-)

To Ruth, who asked how I acquired this pattern: I was actually given the pattern by somebody who took Jean's class and finished the piece. It is not available on the market. Jean (to my knowledge) has only taught ScottLee twice - once at a national seminar, and last year to a group in Phoenix.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just a bit more to go

So much for an increase in my posting frequency because of the new computer. Progress on ScottLee seemed to be at a crawl because of the time it took to lay the threads in the 8 center crescents and the 22 jessicas around them, but I finally finished these yesterday!Stay tuned. I may have another post with more progress later today.

Thank you all for your comments. The thought of hosting an international stitchers' tea party made me smile! I love the fact that we can have fun with such ideas through the magic of the blog community!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A good stitching weekend

This weekend, especially Sunday, was a great weekend in terms of stitching progress. I'm almost done with all but the very center of ScottLee. To be honest, many of the newly-added stitches were done in a single strand of pearl cotton, so they took much less time than laid stitches. I only had to use my laying tool for a few areas.In answer to a few recent questions:

  • Mary & Cyn: I have no idea what I'm going to do with my Mystery in a Corner. The colors really are not my colors, and I chose them to step out of my comfort zone. I think it worked out really well, but the piece really doesn't work well in my house. Maybe I'll get it framed eventually if my tastes change, but for now it will sit with a pile of other unframed pieces in the old hope chest in my stitching room.
  • Jane: I DO know what I will be doing with ScottLee, and sending it to you is not on the list! :-) This one will be made up as a tea tray, simply by framing it with glass (a rarity for me) and adding drawer pulls to the frame. I have no idea where I'm going to display it, but I love the piece so much I really need to do something with it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

July recap & August goals

July didn't quite work out as I had planned, but I enjoyed my stitching anyway. My goals were:

  • Keep blogging, aiming for 3-4 posts per week. This was my worst month of the year! Only 7 posts in July!
  • Stick to my rotation. Ummm... No. The rotation went out the window!
  • Finish Cinders. Another no, though I made progress.
  • Finish Part 2 of Mystery in a Corner. Yes!
  • Work on WIPs. Yes! Both ScottLee and Examplar IV saw a lot of progress.
  • Start one of the GCC's (Victorian Bonnet) that will be due this fall. Nope. I really do want to finish Cinders first.
  • Start Strawberry Girl by Gay Ann Rogers. I was going to start this when I finished the mystery, and I put the congress cloth on stretcher bars, but I was short two threads and had to special order them at the LNS. By the time they came in, I was engrossed in ScottLee, so I think I'll finish it first.
I've gone back to the "focus piece" method of stitching, in which I work on a single piece as long as it keeps my interest. This really seems to work for me.

For August, here are my goals:
  • Keep blogging.
  • Enjoy my stitching!
  • Work on WIPs, and finish something!
  • Start Strawberry Girl by Gay Ann Rogers.
  • Make it to Louisville (for the EGA seminar) safely, and prepare for a great time the first week of September!!!! I'll be taking Chris Berry's Tudor Style Purse.
Is anyone else headed to Louisville? Please leave a comment!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The misnamed border, and an award!

Yes, apparently the never-ending blue border did have an end, and I reached it! The rest of this piece should go fairly quickly. There are complex stitches, but they are large stitches, so they should work up easily, especially since I love fiddly stitches. (OK, I'm weird, I admit it!) I will be changing a few things from Jean Hilton's original ScottLee. In a couple of places, she provided some options, and I think I like some of the options more than the original selections.

On another note, I'm very surprised and pleased that Joanie awarded me a "Kreativ Blogger" award! Thank you so much, Joanie!

Now, I'm supposed to pass this on to 5 additional blogs, but with over 100 blogs in my blog reader, I'm finding it very difficult to choose! I'd like to do some stitching tonight, so I'm going to take the easy way out. I may pass the award on later this weekend, if I can choose only five from all of the wonderful blogs!