I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Very Stitchy Weekend

Hey Blog Buddies,

Yesterday was Indiana State Day.  "What the heck is that?" many of you may be wondering.  Once a year, the various chapters of the Embroidery Guild of America (the Mothership)  in each state get together for a workshop, lunch, prizes and various other stitchy festivities.  So yesterday, the ladies of the Indianapolis chapter were the hosts for Indiana State Day.  You don't have to be a resident of the state to participate (which I'm not), or even a member of one of the state's chapters (which I happen to be), just a member of the Mothership.

My festivities started on Friday when Averyclaire and I began our Indiana road trip/shop hop.  Our first stop was Persnickety Stitchers in Zionsville, IN.  What a great little shop!  It sells supplies for both canvaswork and linen, and it's well worth a visit if you're anywhere in the area.  Zionsville is also a very pleasant artsy-craftsy little town, so we had lunch there with Linda, another member of our Guild who we ran into (where else?) at Persnickety Stitchers. 

My Haul from Persnickety Stitchers
The top photo shows two charts from The Prairie Schooler.
Bottom photo is a canvaswork piece
from Needle Delights Originals.

Our next stop was Needle Fever which is more of a counted-cross-stitch-type place.  They have tons of merchandise (many items of which actually seemed to know me by name--but I somehow managed to restrain myself).  This is another recommended stop if you're in Indianapolis.  Our last stop before the hotel was Quilts Plus, on the same street as Needle Fever and not too far down.  This shop was another winner, and I recommend it if you're into quilty stuff.  After we got to the hotel for a short rest after our journey, we went to the stitch-in hosted by the Indianapolis Guild.

Saturday morning bright and early at 9:00am (8:00am Illinois time) the workshop started.  It was a class in stumpwork ("dimensional stitching") taught by Marsha Papay Gomola.  I can't say enough good things about Marsha:  her instructions are clear and informative, and she's funny and very encouraging to all her students.  Our project was a little cardinal, the state bird of Indiana.  (What a coincidence:  it's also the state bird of Illinois!)

Here is the stitched example that Marsha brought which illustrates how to get the dimension in the cardinal.  First you tack three pieces of felt onto the design, one on top of the other and each one slightly bigger than the last.  Then you stitch the design on top of the felt, being careful not to pull the stitches too tightly, which would mash the felt down.  The stitch we used on the cardinal was the long-and-short stitch.

The following are some examples of Marsha's beautiful work:

After everyone got a good start on their bird, it was time for lunch.

Eight gals from our Guild attended State Day. 
Karol, Linda, Renee and Joyce were at one table.

Sue, her mom Jackie, Karen and I were at another table.

Why did we split up?  Well, I try to avoid complaining on this blog, but I'm going to do it now.  All of the people with "special diets" (vegetarians, gluten intolerance, carb intolerance) were segregated from the general population (and their friends) and had to sit at this one table.  It was in the far corner of the room.  The Special-Diet Ghetto.  I've never run into this policy before (probably the brainchild of someone on the hotel's management team).  I felt a little like some sort of freakazoid.  If my other "weirdo" friends hadn't been at the table with me, I would have rebelled, and it wouldn't have been pretty.  Just sayin.'  I should add here that everyone at lunch got a door prize, courtesy of the Indianapolis Guild, and we all got cute little goodie bags made by the members of the Indianapolis Guild, filled with stitchy stuff, to-wit:

Clockwise, from top left:
Mill Hill Autumn Harvest ornament (door prize)
Goodie Bag with needle
Stitch markers
Scissor fob
Paper ort container
Pinkeep to match goodie bag
Embroidery floss

After lunch, we had time to go back to the classroom and stitch and get more tips from Marsha about finishing our piece, etc.  Many of the workshop participants brought completed projects for show and tell.  Below is the eye candy.

Here is what our Guild brought...

If you have stuck with me this far,
you may be wondering
"When is this post going to end?"
"How did Southpaw's cardinal turn out?"

(I prefer to believe the latter.)

So here is my progress on the cardinal, my newest WIP.
I've lost count of how many I have now....

Averyclaire was the only one from our Guild
who finished the whole bird (minus beak).
I didn't get a photo.
I know, it's not a race.

Hope you're doing fun things this weekend.

Thanks for visiting!



Jackie said...

The special diet ghetto idea is a weird one. I've never heard of an event doing that. Your cardinal looks fantastic- very realistic.

I also had no idea you and AveryClaire were friends! She is so sweet! Lucky you!

Moonsilk Stitches said...

What a lovely day--it sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing it with those of us who couldn't make it. Your cardinal is coming out great. At least you had very good company in the lunch ghetto!

geeky Heather said...

I am so jealous of your class with Marsha...I would love to take a class with her. Her things are sooo beautiful...I nearly fell over when I scrolled down to your picture of that fluffy-tailed squirrel! Good luck with your cardinal; it looks like he is coming along quite well.

Karen said...

There are some beautiful pieces in your pictures! I've always wanted to learn stump-work because I think it is so unique and beautiful. Your cardinal is going to be gorgeous!

Laura said...

So glad you had a great stitching weekend too!!!! Lots of great pictures!

I would love to meet up at Inspired Needle sometime! Cathy has stitching once a month on Sundays....ask her to put you on the email list for it so you know when it is. It has been getting pretty popular and so is a bit crowded; but worth it!!!