Sunday, December 23, 2012

Assisi and Secret Stitcher

This is such a busy time of the year! I have been working on a Christmas gift for my 3 year old granddaughter. She likes to play dress up so I am sewing an ancient Egyptian costume to add to her collection. I am hoping it will still fit her as she seems to be growing like a weed right now. I’ll post a photo of her modeling it…if it fits!

When I’m not working on the Egyptian costume I have been working on one of my EGA Group Correspondence Courses in preparation for my next step in the Master Craftsman program. I have been learning quite a bit about Assisi work through the process. Most of the time we never see the backside of stitched pieces. Why would we? So I assumed that Assisi was simply cross stitching and backstitching. Well, not quite.

The method I have been using results in either vertical or horizontal lines on the back of your work. When you finish a row and begin a new one you jump up or down a row to retain that nice linear look on the back. This does require a little planning and sometimes you need to begin a new thread to avoid any diagonal stitches.

front side

back side

When stitching your motif and your border you do it so it is reversible. The course instructor, Marion Scoular, suggests using a chenille needle to pierce your stitches on the reverse path so your stitches lay nice and flat.

During this process I have found a couple of interesting sites. The first one is Tanja Berlin’s website. She offers free mini lessons in Assisi, blackwork and goldwork.

The second offers a free pattern for an Assisi needlecase and is from GPA designs. The link takes you right to the PDF download.

I designed a very simple scissor holder for my EGA chapter. We will be celebrating 30 years as a chapter in 2013. I stitched one up for our secret stitcher exchange a couple of weeks ago. We exchange our gifts at our annual December luncheon.

My gift was a lovely stitcher’s barbell to be used as a frame weight when stitching. This was a project that was taught at our chapter just before I joined the group. This particular one came from the stash of one of our longtime members who passed away and was stitched by a current member. The gift card was one that was designed by yet another member, so this was a very special gift indeed!