Friday, January 28, 2011

Sunshine!, and Friendship Samplers

So a week of gray days was catching up to me. I didn't have anything planned to post for today, I'm just forging ahead with HSTS.

When I got to work, a friend had thought about me and had brought some sunshine in a vase. Thank you so much!


The sun even came out this morning, so things are looking up.

While admiring my flowers, I noticed my friendship samplers hanging behind them, and started to wonder if I have ever talked about them here. I was not able to find a post about them, so here goes.

In 1997 the Needle Artisans of NW Indiana (also known as NANI, an EGA guild) where I am a charter member, decided to set up groups of people to stitch on friendship samplers. The Great Lakes Region of the EGA also offered friendship sampler groups, and being young and foolish, I joined both groups. Each month you would receive a package from another member in your group with her sampler, with themes, perhaps some fibers, and notes from everyone who had worked on the sampler up to then.

I thought a band sampler would be nice, and my theme was "seasons" based on the verses in Ecclesiastes 3. As you can see, they turned out beautiful! The one on the left was stitched by my local guild members, and covers Summer and Winter. The one on the right was done by the regional group, and covers Spring and Fall.


I was blown away by how beautiful they are and how they matched! With absolutely no contact between the two groups, there is a similar band of rhodes butterflies on each of them, and thanks to the final stitcher Carol, they ended up the same length.

I did the over 1 stitching of the verses, both in the middle, and between the bands.



I didn't get much else stitched that year besides the friendship samplers I was working on. When a package arrived, you would read the owner's requests, look at what else had been stitched on it, find a pattern that would fit theme and colors, and get it stitched. I did that for 2 samplers a month... for each of the people who stitched on mine. It is no wonder that I have not participated in another round since then. It was worth it though!

I also have to remember that dark winter is a season as well, and will soon pass. It is easier with an occasional sunny day, though.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Section 4

Sorry this picture is not very good, it was taken at 0'dark hundred this morning. This is the first of the 4 cartouches that frame Dutch scenes, a sail boat, a bridge, a lighthouse, and a windmill. On the left you can see the space where a tulip will be stitched, but that is where I need my missing floss.


This project is too big to take on vacation, and I am just afraid if I put it down for any length of time, it will languish and become an UFO (UnFinished Object). Although, the way I am feeling about this at the moment, it doesn't seem likely.

You can see the start of the "eastern" cartouche on the right, but I think I am going to stitch the "north" scene before I roll the scroll bars.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


This is the north pole of the temari I showed last week. We are doing a stitch along, so I waited for people to catch up before I showed this guy, isn't he cute? I thought a water lily flower was appropriate for him to sit on, even though it should have been a lily pad.


He still needs his eyes stitched.

I will take a picture tomorrow of the progress on my Holland Spring-time sampler. I cannot put that thing down, and I am loving it.

The HSTS (Holland Spring-time Sampler, I am getting tired of typing that!) uses 4 different types of silk embroidery floss, and I love working with them. I dipped my hand into a bag of silk floss the other day, after wearing wool mittens for a while, and the sensation was heavenly! I love working and playing with silk. But I was very surprised by one of the flosses. The Gloriana thread (2 or three different colors now) has shredded while I was stitching with it. The first time I thought maybe a cat had gotten into it over night, but the second time it happened without me taking a break. I will have to use much shorter lengths of that thread to prevent it happening again.

I have discovered (again!) that I am missing another skein/color for this project. There are no shops within reach during the winter months, so I will have to either mail-order again, paying, probably, more in shipping and handling than the floss costs, or I could go to Mesa, Arizona to pick up a skein.

I think I will do that! I am looking for Needlepoint Inc. Silk, color 941. It is a light pink.

Actually, we are going to Arizona in February to celebrate my mom's birthday, leaving in less than 2 weeks. I am so excited! Getting to go to Attic Needlework is just frosting on the cake. Planning for everything is reaching monumental proportions!