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I took 8 pieces (most but not all stitched in 2015) to the framer before Christmas. Linda helped me pick out frames along with Jim the owner of Repenning Fine Arts in Audubon, NJ. I’m very happy that Karen at Nimble Needle recommended him. Nice selection of frames, he has a good eye, and is reasonably priced. We had a lot of fun – it took some time too with 8 pieces! But, it was a successful group experience. Three pieces I can’t show yet – they were framed as a single. It was tough to get good pictures of the dark frames. But, they look really great.
Patchwork Quilt by Pat Donaldson
And, Tootsiebubbles: Pinwheels and Whirligigs by Brenda Kocher
Color Inspirations by Orna Willis
Three Leaves by Margaret Kinsey
Gilded Acorns by Deborah Wilson
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Thanks to everyone from 88 countries who took the time to come and read my blog in 2015 (especially Brenda & Sue). According to WordPress, I had a total of 20,000 views with 370 hits in a single day! Read all about it at https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2015/annual-report/
I followed my 2015 mantra, VISION, by using some of what I had in my stash but I brought in more new pieces some of which were finished & others were added to my stash. But, I’m happy looking back at what was accomplished. I finished 13 projects including 4 of my own designs (2 are not going to be shown here until they appear somewhere else which is very exciting), 2 goldwork pieces (1 ANG seminar class project and 1 ANG Main Line Stitchers class project which were with great teachers and I learned a lot) & 7 charted designs. I finished Walking the Water’s Edge with just 12 hours left before we rang in 2016! That’s more pieces than I realized I had done. Not only did I enjoy stitching them but also learned a lot.
Now, I am getting back to Spirit of Jean (hope to finish in Jan). And, I will spend time on another of my own designs and a small painted canvas. Since each one needs a particular mindset in order to do it correctly, I think I’ll go back to FOCUS as my stitching mantra in 2016. I think that has been a guiding principle since 2014 anyway. And, I don’t have to focus on the same piece every day until it is done. Rather, I look at focusing on finishing a particular section when I sit to stitch. That way I am accomplishing exactly what I want to do on a given day.
I did have to rest my hands for a couple of days because I was getting quite a bit of pain from too much stitching. So I spent the time cleaning up my camera & computer folders. And, I see I have been remiss in posting various stitching related items. So, the next couple of weeks will be catching up – starting with scissors. If you don’t have the proper tools, stitching is more difficult. I’ve been using the Friskar scissors for a couple years now (since Marilyn O recommended them). And, I have given them as gifts. But, I love the curved Gingham scissors I picked up using part of the gift certificate I got this year from my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter for my efforts on projects & newsletters. It feels safer clipping closer with the curved blade. Both scissors are so sharp.
By ordering earlier and having my husband put them away, I had totally forgotten about the first two needlepoint gifts shown below.
This is a Mindy canvas called Hearts in Color.
I’m sure that I’ll learn a lot from this color tool.
And, I’m finally getting a subscription to this magazine. I resisted for years because I didn’t want to be tempted by more projects. But, it’s fun to read anyway!
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This beautiful black, gray, and white scarf was from a fund raiser in Naples, NY. Each table paid a fee towards the fire department & proceeds from what each table sold they kept. In this case, the money went towards the Narcissa Prentiss House in Prattsburgh, NY – her birthplace. She was a pioneer, missionary, and teacher who traveled with her husband, a minister, from the East Coast to Oregon. Narcissa rode sidesaddled and one of the first two white women to cross the Continental Divide. The house would be interesting to see with artifacts, quilts, antique clothing, a room dedicated to the Pratt family, founders of Prattsburgh.
With the lure of crabs on a crisp fall day, my husband & I hit the road for a 2-hour drive to see the 20th year of Needle Art 2015 – a needlepoint exhibit at Montpelier Mansion in Laurel, MD. It is hosted by “Stitching Pretty” (they have a website) who describe themselves as “an eclectic collection of talented needlework designers. To include hardanger, samplers, reproduction samplers, whimsey, bold, fun designs!”
It was interesting to see that the judges (a panel of regionally known needle art professionals) awarded 1st place and honorable mention awards (no 2nd/3rd place). They also awarded 2 Judges Choice, a Special Category Award for Celebrate with Needle & Thread, and Best in Show. The exhibit & venue reminded Bill & I of Woodlawn. The pieces approximately 115 pieces were located throughout the house and lighting was not always great. But, you could get a lot closer. They were mostly counted cross stitch on various grounds (Aida, linen, Congress Cloth, etc), a lot of samplers, 12 categorized as counted canvas, goldwork, embroidery, beading, crochet, Romanian Point Lace, and other miscellaneous (including children stitching felted pieces). Signs were out “Do not touch” & the only reference to photography was not to use a flash in the Mansion booklet. So, I am not sharing all the photos on my blog – I will show them to the people in my chapter’s meeting next month.
In addition, there was a non-judged category – Heirloom – for older pieces as related to subject, history and stitches. They do not have to be made by the exhibitor nor does the stitcher have to still be living. That may be something I contribute to next year with my grandmother’s work. I’ll think about that!
The Judges Choices went to Margaret S (#199) for a 4-panel elaborate case to hold needles/scissors/threads with I think a pin cushion (all beautifully assembled) and to Sherri B for a sampler (the one that most impressed my husband – it was impressive – basically 4 samplers stitched as one). The Special Category Award went to a counted cross stitch design of a woman sitting in front of her ironing board taking a break doing some embroidery with a basket of clothes at her feet and a kitten playing. I thought it was blackwork at first because the outlined areas are filled with a pattern but up close, I could see the crosses. The Best in Show went to a chair categorized as embroidery/thread painting but I have always called it crewel. I can’t imagine ever allowing anyone to sit on it!!
Deborah Merrick-Wilson had 2 first place winners. One was traditional English goldwork of a monogram – I only saw a really fancy M but Deborah pointed out the V (now I see it) that she stitched years ago for her good friend and a past member of my ANG Main Line Chapter, Mae V-D who passed away recently. The other piece is a flower and leaves of goldwork with thread stitched on counted canvas. With Deborah’s permission, I can share these photos. Congrats to Deborah! And, either of her 2 small goldwork flowers would be great for another class next year!!
I had loads of fun going through the 2 grab bags & I found a combination of threads that may just have to be my next project!
The canvases are cute. They are probably 14 count but that’s ok. Why aren’t there more hours in the day?
We arrived at Myrtle Beach yesterday in the rain. But, that didn’t bother us. Marilyn & I set up the Distance Learning Programs in the exhibit area. I checked in for seminar and here are the goodies.
Then, Bill & I headed to dinner at Angus Steakhouse & a movie, Black Mass. Great dinner and movie. No rain to start today. That’s nice!