Saturday, August 29, 2015

Shop stitching, RUSH job 2

Well, periodically Blogger slaps you just to remind you who's in charge.  I had just completed this entry when it disappeared.  Ugh!  
This week I have put the stocking on a frame.  I've discovered a new favorite stitch--slanted gobelin over 2 threads accompanied by a single row of continental.  I've used it for the background as well as  for one of the stockings, the houses, and the candles.  Diagonal mosaic is the stitch of choice for the stars, both on the miniature trees and the stars in the flower pots.  I've used French knots for the ornaments on the miniature trees.  Another of the stockings is done in checkerboard Scotch stitch.  The stitching is done in impressions, DMC perle 5 and Balger metallic #12.   

On another topic, Needle Nicely has several hundred canvases on sale on the shelf in the shop's front window.  During the entire month of September, they will be on sale, Buy one get the second of lesser value for half price.  This sale does not apply to the $5 sale basket.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Needlepoint portrait

Years ago (about 45 or so), there was a company in California who made charts from photographs.  This was in the late 70s into the 80s.  Needle Nicely sent many photographs for customers; and I, also, did many needlepoints from their designs.  I did a German Shepherd for my then best friend; another item was a photograph of Trubey as an infant with her mother which I stitched and gave to her mother one year.  Another was done from the etching design of the logo of my brother's then lodge in the Southwestern mountains of North Carolina.  But, as far as I am concerned, the piece de resistance was the needlepoint portrait of me at 25 (my graduate degree photo from Appalachian).
The chart maker had a computer program that keyed 8 DMC floss colors or 8 DMC tapestry yarn colors.  I have the gold-leaf oval frame for this--I must take it to my framer.  In the upper right-hand corner, I have cut off where I have started a background stitch.  I'm going to ignore all that and have Donna put it into the oval frame without the background stitched. Maybe with some gold metallic placed behind so it shimmers through the unstitched areas.

Both the stitch portrait and the frame were uncovered when Needle Nicely unpacked the storage unit we had kept in Vero for the last 10 years.  Previous to that, they had traveled with us in boxes for years after we closed the Blowing Rock location of Needle Nicely.  I'm proud of how well we have managed to keep them because there are no signs of mildew, a miracle in Southern Florida!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Shop stitching, RUSH job

As I mentioned Wednesday, earlier that day a customer came in and selected an 18-mesh Rebecca Wood Christmas stocking for Needle Nicely to stitch for her new granddaughter.  It is 210 square inches and I estimate that I will have to stitch at least 35 square inches a week until my finisher's Christmas deadline (I am planning to ask for a special dispensation to be a week or two late, partially because of the time required for shipping to the finisher).
 I've been stitching the basketweave on the tree using impressions.  Here you can see my first progress.  I haven't put the canvas on a frame yet, since stitching in hand is so much faster.  However, I have the frame ready for when I start the pattern stitches.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Silver and Pearls Needlepoint Ornament

Several years ago, I signed up for a cyberclass from Sandy Arthur.  It was a delight to stitch--until I had to stop working on it to stitch a stocking for a customer.  I put it in the back room with the paperwork and fibers resting on top of the framed needlepoint.  This past winter, with all the uproar from trying to find homes for all the items from the Needle Nicely storage unit, somehow the fibers got separated from the other elements.  I've been rooting through boxes trying to find a quart-sized zip lock bag containing the fibers--like looking for a needle in a haystack.  But, surprise, surprise, yesterday while I was checking for some leftover fiber that might help another shop's customer, I stumbled across the fibers.  I'm so happy that I can finish stitching it.  Here's how far I have gotten:
But it will have to stay at that point for a while because today I sold a Christmas stocking for a customer that has to be stitched by October 1.  So I  won't be stitching this ornament or the silent night, because I'm a harlot for money and I'll be stitching that stocking night and day.  I'll be posting my stitching progress on the stocking, so stay tuned.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Grey flannel needlepoint vest circa 1979

Wearable needlepoint is usually confined to belts, cummerbunds, and shoes.  Years ago there was a company that did skirts with needlepoint panels and another that did circle inserts of needlepoint.  The former company also did vests that were sized small, medium, and large with no darting.  The first vest I stitched for myself was a painted design by Trubey (of course!) in the late 1970s.  It was stitched in DMC embroidery floss using the entire 6-ply on 18mesh canvas.  It was darted--the darts were indicated, but I did not needlepoint those areas.  In assembling the vest, I machine sewed the darts, clipping them so the blank canvas would lie flat behind the stitching.

The basis for this was a Vogue pattern.  I can still remember using a tailor's mallet to compress the Pendleton wool flannel fabric around all those curves.  I look at it today and marvel that I was ever that small--those were the days when I was a size 7.  The lining fabric makes me chuckle--Hardy Amies was a British clothing designer for Queen Elizabeth II.  I have never been label-conscious, but this was the only matching gray lining I could find.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Silent Night redo, 3

January 12, 2014 is the blog entry for when I first started stitching this 13-mesh version of a canvas that Trubey originally designed 40 years ago on 10-mesh canvas.  I got bored and put it aside.  Then, on 4/11/15, I resurrected it, only to ignore it again while I worked on other things.  This summer I have been stitching old WIPs and silent night's turn just arrived.  As I've mentioned before, I made the mistake of stitching the entire outer border before starting on the center background.  That way exreme boredom lies, and I have put it down repeatedly.  I am determined now.  This is the progress that I have made thus far.  Think positive thoughts for my being able to persevere long enough to finish this beauty!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Clara Wells, 7 finished

This afternoon I finished stitching the 2nd of the two sides of a Clara Wells purse to the sounds of much jubilation on my part.  I'll be sending it to the finisher this week and already I'm anxious to see the finished purse.

If I had them to stitch again, I would still do the Byzantine mosaic for the red area; but I would stitch the black and white flowers in basketweave.  Trying to maintain the diagonal mosaic consistently through the design was a pain and time consuming.  Life is too short, I have decided.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Business in the dead of summer

Talk about Christmas in August!  I received shipments from 4 finishers yesterday and today.  I spent today wrapping up pillows, ornaments, a doorstop, and a satchel purse to ship to their owners.  I borrowed a shopping cart from the Health food store two doors down so I could take the seven packages to the post office just around the corner.  Tomorrow I get to deal with the Christmas stockings and blocking belts in preparation to sending them to the finisher.  Then I must reorder some fibers--I keep walking by the racks and saying tomorrow.  When I'm out of white and black, it is more than time to reorder!

In my stitching, I'm on the home stretch on the Clara Wells purse.  One side is stitched and I'm almost finished the 2nd side.  That will be cause for much celebration.  I've received some new canvases that managed to sneak in from early orders this year.

These are two stockings from Pippin Studio.

These ministockings are from Kathy Schenkel.  They all look like they'd be so much fun to stitch.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

5" tree, XII

When I stopped stitching on Susan Roberts' 5"standing tree, I had completed six sections out of the eight comprising the tree.  I originally stopped because I had run out of some needed fibers.  Of course, by the time Needle Nicely received them, I had moved on to a new project.  Now I'm trying to fulfill my stitching expectations that I stated at the beginning of the off-season (05/06/15).  Note:  I still can't post links!

This is one of the 4 pieces of Susan's tree.  The circles were to be filled with four different stitches utilizing flair/rachel and gold Coronet braid.  As I soon discovered, some of the stitches were slightly smaller than the drawn circles.  After I stitched the rachel and before stitching the gold, I went back with the Splendor and stitched in some filling stitches.

Here you can see the missing stitches:
 This shows the completed stitches.  If you look closely, the 3rd round differs from the bottom round.  They should be identical.  Truthfully, I ain't going back to change it.  It looks good at a glance.
 And the finished section of the design:
Now I have one more piece to complete.  I hope that will be a blog entry in the near future.