Monday, October 6, 2014

And...I'm back!

Had you thought I disappeared? No, I'm still here!

I've made my move to my new home and over the last few months have had family visiting. Remember how I was trying to really go through my stash and get rid of things? I had the builder recreate the sewing room from my old house, shelves and all. Funny, but even with a slightly wider closet and getting rid of what I thought was a lot of stash, I still find that my shelves are brim full.

In addition to moving and enjoying family visits, I was able to finish a model for Northern Expressions. This is the link to her blog post when it was released this summer. Just scroll down to read about Shades of Red. Here's a quick photo I took before sending her off to the designer:

I've also been keeping very busy as the chair of the EGA Heartland Region 2015 Spring Seminar. We just announced our classes this weekend. You can see photos of the class projects and download registration information on the St. Paul Needleworkers website. Just follow this link.

Here are a few photos of just some of the ten projects:

Abalorios Azul taught by Deanna Powell

Black Magic taught by Celeste Chalasani

Grace taught by Terri Bay

Dresden Doodle taught by Marion Scoular

Jasper taught by Toni Gerdes

Next time I will finish my update on Sampler Symposium, though I imagine at this point it is more of a historical piece than an update!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sampler Symposium 2014: Part 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the opportunity to attend The Attic's Sampler Symposium in January. The Attic was my LNS when I lived in Mesa many years ago. Over the years it has moved a couple of times and morphed into what I consider to be the premier shop for samplers and high count stitching.

This year's symposium began on Friday evening and continued until Sunday afternoon. We were treated to wonderful lectures and also had some great instruction on a couple of special projects.

One of our presenters was Claudia Dutcher of Dutch Treat Designs. She is the proud owner of  a sampler from the Bristol Orphan House in England. She lovingly charted a reproduction of the Emma Sanford 1867 sampler which can be purchased through your local shop or at The Attic. As participants in the symposium we received a copy of the chart. I then purchased the 52/60 fabric and Tudor silk to stitch it. I like the way the ladies at The Attic mark your purchase so you can remember exactly why you have that particular piece of linen. My piece has not only the name of the sampler I will be stitching, but it also indicates which side is the 52 count and which side should be vertical.

Below is the original Emma sampler along with the start of  a stitched reproduction using Tudor silks on the same linen I purchased.

I find the story behind these "orphanage" samplers to be quite fascinating. The orphanage was started by George Muller who never asked for payments or donations to care for the children, but rather prayed for the money to come in. The girls needed to learn a variety of skills that would help them in their likely future in domestic service. The boys learned a trade but still were required to knit 3 pairs of socks before they left the orphanage. These samplers were done mostly in red, but you can find some stitched in blue. There are rare examples completed in multiple colors. You can read much more about the Bristol samplers history on the Fitzwilliam Museum website by clicking this link.

One interesting tidbit Claudia shared is that sometimes you will see numbers on the Bristol samplers. These numbers represent the bed number and orphan number of the stitcher. There were hundreds of children who lived at the orphanage. It makes you wonder where all those samplers ended up.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Well into a new year...

Yes, it has been some time since my last post. Between getting our current home ready to sell and all of the appointments needed for the home we are building, I have had barely a spare moment.

I want to share with you a couple of things that I've found while looking for other, completely different things. Funny how that happens!

First, there is a new  blackwork stitch-a-long project over on Elizabeth Almond's site. Follow this link to her page of freebies which includes the Save the Stitches project. Once there you will be able to download all of the information for the project directly from her site. Looks like a good one for all of you blackwork fans!

As you know, I am a fan of Craftsy. Because of that I get their emails and those sidebar ads for new classes. One that I just signed up for is FREE and might have some appeal to those of you who aren't confident in your color theory skills. It is called Block of the Month 2014:Craftsy Color Theory. Follow this link and sign up for FREE! You will need a Craftsy account, which is also free.

The class is sponsored by Michael Miller Fabrics so you will see an option to purchase a fabric bundle from them, but it isn't required. There are nine video lessons that cover various color theory topics. It isn't an exhaustive study but a nice introduction.

Now, to whet your appetite a little... I was at The Attic's Sampler Symposium recently and have a lot to share with you!