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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Friends and Fancywork in Fargo

Hey Blog Buddies,

My friend Joyce and I are back from our trip to the Nordic Needle Retreat in Fargo, North Dakota, and we had a great time!  I'll try not to blather on too much, because I have lots of photos to show you.  Let's start with the classes:
The theme of the retreat was "Tea and Friends."
We both took the redwork class on Thursday morning.
Hope to finish this one up in the next few days.
I do like the piece, but I'm afraid if I don't finish it now,
it may find its way into the UFO pile.

My second class was a whitework notebook class.
We got a doodle cloth and instructions for 70 stitches,
so nothing really to show for that.
But I can tell you that I will not be doing any projects
that call for the Mountmellick stitch!

Joyce took beginning hardanger,
and she was almost done with her piece by the time we left.

This will be put into a cute coaster,
which was provided with the kit.

My third class was intermediate hardanger.
Here's my start on the bullion bag:

The filling stitches are 14 wrapped bars and 8 bullion knots.
The piece will cover a dark blue zippered bag
which came with the kit.

I didn't get a photo of Joyce's beginning
pulled/drawn thread project.  (drat)

Our last class was kumihimo braiding.

We both finished our braided necklaces
with about an hour to spare.
I'm still looking for the right pendant for it.
But, yay, a finish!!

There were various exchanges throughout the Retreat.
We both participated in the teacup exchange.
Here is the teacup which I got:

How cute is that?

This is the one Joyce received.
(I didn't get a photo of the one she brought...)

Here is the "teacup" I brought to the exchange.

I know, it's a teapot!
I tucked some silk floss inside because I didn't stitch anything,
and the recipient seemed happy with her exchange gift.

Here are some more teacups:

On Saturday night there was a Stitcher's Showcase.
The projects that the attendees brought were just stunning:

There was hardanger...



...more hardanger...

...and a wall hanging made of neckties,
just to name a few.

We went sightseeing one morning.
Did you know that,
in addition to the wood chipper used in the move "Fargo,"
they have a Walk of Fame?
That's the block for the band Aerosmith in the photo above.
Unfortunately, most of the other blocks were covered with snow!  Tee-hee.
(The weather was like January the whole time we were there,
complete with 1-2 inches of new snow on the first day!)

We saw some wild turkeys crossing the road.
You can see a toll booth a little further on.
We had to pay 75 cents just to get back into Fargo!
(I don't think this road is used by the locals.)

Oh, did you want to see the Chipper?
Well....   OK
Joyce is on the right.
The "foot", of course, belonged to Steve Buscemi's character.

Last but not least, let's not forget the swag.
Celebrities get swag all the time when they go to events.
Stitchers need swag, too!

Nordic Needle's vendors are very generous!

We did go to the store, too, because...well...
we needed more stuff!
Each attendee gets a sheet of Nordic Needle 30%-off coupons,
and I got a few things, including an LED floor lamp
with a large magnifier in the middle.
"How was all this stuff transported home?" you might wonder.
We came prepared--we drove to Fargo in a station wagon!

..and you thought I was kidding about the snow, didn't you!

Despite the wintry conditions,
everyone truly did have a fantastic time.

That's it for now.
Better get back to my redwork!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Finish and a Start

Hey Blog Buddies,

Hope your weekend was fun.  Winter returned here on Saturday, complete with tiny ice pellets, and early summer made an appearance on Sunday (70 degrees--a gorgeous day).  And I did finish one of my ongoing projects this weekend, to-wit:

Variations on a Theme of Rhodes
by Freda's Fancy Stitching

This was a class I took in January.
Rhodes stitches aren't really that difficult
and they're actually fun, except when you
have instructions that call for extra-long lengths of thread
for stitches such as the corner triangles.
Those weren't too bad because the triangles were stitched with
just one strand of Carol Watercolours (Flagstone)
even though the length recommended was
"double the length of your outstretched arms."
What drove me nuts (just ask DH about my language)
were the Jessicas that called for 3 strands of DMC floss
which were not quite as long but had to be laid.

For those of you not familiar with the Jessica,
it is the round stitch, middle left.
I realize that the more I do this technique
(laying multiple strands of thread)
the better I will get at it,
but I guarantee that I will never enjoy doing it.
The smaller triangles you see pictured
were also stitched with three strands of DMC.
Eight of each needed to be stitched.

I'm very happy to be done with this one,
but I don't regret doing it because
the design is so eye-catching.

Having finished my Rhodes piece,
I'm feeling less guilty about starting a new project,
Rosewood Manor's A Tree by Itself.

Here is what the project will look like (one day):

It calls for 56 colors, 31 of which are shades of green!
The saying at the top reads:
"Hold on to what is good, even if it is a handful of earth.
And hold on to what you believe,
even if it is a tree which stands by itself."
According to the booklet,
the saying is from the Pueblo nation.

Here is my modest start:

The colors are a little on the dark side
because it's a cloudy day here.
The linen is 36-count lamb's wool,
and I'm using the recommended DMC threads,
except for the saying, which I'm stitching in
CC German Chocolate instead of 310.
(Yes, my lovelies, the color of that first "Hold" will be changed.)

Well, the excitement for this week will be
a 630-mile road trip to Fargo, ND with my friend Joyce (no blog).
We'll be attending Nordic Needle's annual stitching retreat.
They have quite a bit of snow up there, with more predicted.  Oy!!
We're leaving on Wednesday, and will be back
the following Monday--with four new WIPs for each of us.
Stay tuned for photos and a retreat recap!

That's it for now.
Have a wonderful, stitchy week and
thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring has Arrived

Hey Blog Buddies,
Spring has arrived, at least here in the Chicago area.  We had a sunny, mild day yesterday, which prompted me to finish-finish Erica Michaels' Random Thoughts of Spring.  I did get the piece mounted and framed, but...
...the black color on the frame has got to go!
It looks a little funereal to me for a spring piece.
I got some green acrylic paint yesterday,
so the black will be just a memory soon.
The changes I made to the design were:
I omitted the bottom row of shamrocks,
and I changed the word "blarney" to "showers."
I love the way the name of the season
is done in Assisi embroidery on these designs.
The fabric is a 30-count springy green overdye
which you can see a little bit from the photo.

I recently entered a giveaway that Chris was having at
I wasn't the grand prize winner,
but she drew two extra names out of the goodness of her heart,
and I won a bunch of goodies from Market:

Clockwise from top right:
DMC coffee/tea mug, 4 of the newest WDW floss colors,
an easel floss keeper, a lovely card,
small notebook and, last but not least,
a small Whitman sampler full of cho-o-ocolates!
Thanks again, Chris!

And speaking of the Nashville Market,
Linda from The House of Stitches was invited to
our guild meeting this week.
Alarmed because I was running low on stash -- :p
I bought a couple of things:

Lizzie*Kate's Flowers Limited Edition Kit and
Tiramisu from Glendon Place.

She also brought the La-D-Da trunk show,
and since I have almost no Halloween charts (cough, cough)
I got:
There was only one of these charts left--what can I say?
This one will probably be displayed all year long...
...once I get a moment to stitch it.

I think Linda should come to all the meetings!

Well, that's it from here.
Hope you have a grand spring (or fall) stitchy weekend!
Thanks, as always, for visiting!