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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hannah Thornbush progress

Last week I mentioned that band 2 of Hannah Thornbush was complete.Both band 1 and band 2 had satin stitched areas. The instructions stated that the outlining around these areas should be completed before filling in the areas with satin stitching. This isn't the first repro or historic-style sampler I've seen with these instructions.

Is it just me? I find it incredibly difficult to get nice, even satin stitches if I outline first. I'm always fussing about how the satin stitching butts up to the outline. I don't want to cover or pierce the outline, but neither do I want to leave a gap between the satin stitches and the outline.

So I cheat, if you can call it that. I do the satin stitches first. Yes, you have to count very carefully to do this (especially if the design is over three threads like Hannah is), but it seems to make more sense to me. I can put my satin stitches right into the holes along the outline, without having to worry about piercing the outline threads.

Have any of you taken a really good, close-up look at old samplers? Can you tell how they were stitched? I'd be interested to learn about the order of the stitches. I expect the outlines were done first, simply to eliminate the detailed counting of the satin stitches.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wonderful class with Catherine Theron

You may recall that I took Catherine Theron's Examplar IV in 2007, and finally finished it this year. A couple of months ago, I posted about Catherine coming to town to teach her How Great the Blessing sampler. That class was this weekend, and while I wasn't able to attend for both full days, I enjoyed and appreciated the time I was able to be there!

Back in 2007, I described Catherine's teaching style:

She handled it wonderfully, going over a stitch or two and giving us lots of time to practice and add it to our sampler.
The same was true of this weekend, but it was even more relaxed, since this sampler was originally designed to be taught in a single day. We decided to make it more approachable to those less experienced in sampler stitches by having a two-day class. I'm very glad we did! It was a fun, relaxing class, with enough challenge for more experienced stitchers, but still do-able by everyone. The picture shows my (minimal) progress.

As the education chair of my EGA chapter, I was responsible for making all of the arrangements for the class. With everything that's gone on this year, I'm very grateful to a few ladies in my chapter for contributing some of their time to make this class a success. Thank you to Sharon and Rosemary for taking extensive notes for our "ghost" students, and a very big thank you to Annlouise and Nancy for hosting and entertaining Catherine and picking up the essentials for lunch. (And a big kiss to DH for taking such good care of Erin while I played this weekend!)

And, of course, thank you to Catherine for a fantastic class!

Erin update: Erin made it through the recasting without needing to be put under anesthesia. They just used Tylenol since she was only undergoing a little bit of manipulation. Immediately afterward she seemed quite sore, but a bit of codeine helped. She came home Thursday afternoon, and has been her cheerful self since, with minimal soreness. Right now she's sitting on my lap, with her hand halfway down her throat. I think she's hungry! :-) Gotta go!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good news and bad news

The good news is that I finished the first lesson (bands 1 & 2) of Hannah Thornbush. I'll share pictures sometime this weekend.

The bad news is that when the orthopedist looked at Erin's X-ray today, he found that her left hip had somehow slipped and is dislocated again. We're going back to the hospital tomorrow morning so they can fix it and recast her. Which means more anesthesia. Hopefully the anesthesiologist can do something different so she doesn't end up spending the night again.

Ugh. My poor baby doll. :-(

Friday, July 10, 2009

Beginning temari

In one of the odd coincidences of the needlework world, Mary of Needle 'N Thread posted about her purchase of a temari book today, and Jane of World Embroideries has been posting about temari lately, too. Allow me to contribute to the discussion!

In yet another online class through Shining Needle Society (can you tell I'm addicted to these classes?), I'm learning to make temari with Barb Suess. The class will have one main temari (Morning Glory) with two overlapping techniques, and two additional "challenge" temari, each with one of the two techniques, but with less instruction.

The first lesson came out this week. This week's lesson is all about making the thread-wrapped core and simple 8 division guidelines. Here you can see my three temari cores in different states. The far left is a part of a stocking filled with rice hulls. The middle ball is a little further along, having been wrapped with yarn. The ball on the right has the outer thread layer and the guidelines in metallic thread, waiting for next week's lesson.Mary, in case you were wondering, it took about 2-1/2 hours to make the core and put guidelines on it. I expect the next couple to be a little faster, now that I've done it once. I don't blame you for "cheating" by purchasing the mari already in this state, especially if you just want to try this technique out!

Erin update: 1 week down, 11 to go in the cast. She's adjusting well, and is slowly getting back to sleeping as well as she was pre-cast.

Check out the hot-pink knees on the little girl who looks a bit tired!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Dance: Floral Rondel

Hooray! Here is my completed Floral Rondel, designed by Judy Souliotis. It's my first finish since Erin was born 5 months ago, but then I started it after she was born.

As you can see, when you have the correct color silk to finish stitching what you've started, it works up beautifully. Fortunately, the nerve flare-up that was making it difficult to work the couching stitches has subsided, so I was able to finish this Friday night.

I'm very pleased with how this came out. I took the class primarily to try out the Sha fabric and to stitch one of Judy's projects. I didn't know I'd like the finished piece as much as I do!

Now to figure out where to put it after it's framed. It's a bit small to hang by itself, so I'm going to have to find some companion pieces in my collection of prior works.

Erin update: Aside from a bit of expected soreness, Erin is recovering well from her surgery. We're all still getting used to the cast, but she seems comfortable enough in it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Home again

Thanks again for all of the well wishes! Erin did fine overnight, and showed she was breathing well and eating well, so they let us go home. She's now laying on her play mat, enjoying being in a familiar place and playing with her familiar toys, without being hooked up to wires and tubes! The cast does not seem to be bothering her much, aside from when we have to do diaper changes and I need to clean near her incisions.

As for me, I hope to catch up on sleep and finish Floral Rondel over the next day or so.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An update...

Let me start by saying thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers sent our way today. We are grateful for all of the support.

Erin is fine, but she and I are not home as we'd hoped. I'm writing this entry on a cool internet/movies/TV setup in the cheldren's area of the hospital. Unfortunately,the screen in our room is VERY blurry, so I apologize for any missed key strokes!

When we went into the surgical center this morning, we'd been hoping that the doctor would be able to manipulate Erin's hips into position without surgery. It was not to be. The doctor found that there was too much muscle, etc. in the way, and he needed to operate.

The procedure went smoothly from that point, until they tried to bring her out of anesthesia. That didn't go so well.. It's a long story, but it ended up with oxygen blowing on her face, her finally waking up fully SIX hours after sergury, and staying in the hospital overnight for observation..

Right now she's sleeping, and aside from an occasional whimper, seems to not be in pain.. I'm going to try to get some sleep myself...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tomorrow is the day

I can't believe it's here already. Erin goes in for her procedure tomorrow (Thursday), and then she'll be in a cast from chest to toes for 12 weeks. :-( She's NOT going to be happy, especially since she's just recently figured out how to roll over (although then she gets mad because she hates tummy time!). Oh well. I'll try to post tomorrow night to let you all know how things went.

On the stitching front, I've been making rather slow progress on Hannah Thornbush. I'm still on band 2, and I apologize for the lack of pictures. The lesson for bands 3 and 4 came out on Monday. Only the second lesson, and I'm behind already. Sheesh!

After several emails back and forth with Denise from Threadneedle Street in Washington state, the correct color of silk I needed for Floral Rondel showed up today. Thank you, Denise! Now I can finally finish this!