Friday, October 31, 2014

Creative Festival 2014 Day 3

On Day three of the festival I only had one class called Autumn Leaves Needle Roll with Kim Beamish. The colors of this pattern are gorgeous, I love the reds and the oranges. The fabric is also very seasonal and fits the pattern, but it was a little hard to stitch on with the lighting in the room.

This is what it will look like once it's stitched. The leaves are stitched over one thread of fabric.

Once the stitching is done, it's finished into a needle roll. I love the ribbon it comes with.

It's supposed to be an advanced Hardanger class, I took it to get some tips. But it was only a three hour class, and most of us didn't progress past the buttonhole stitch at the top. It actually took me a while to remember how to do the buttonhole stitch (can't believe I forgot so soon, I did so many of them), but after a while I got into the rhythm of it. The pattern has some interesting stitches in it that I've never done, so I'm looking forward to working on this again.

My progress

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Creative Festival 2014 Day 2

I had my third and fourth class on the second day which was also the first day of the festival. The third class was the Silk Ribbon Sampler with Erla Wilson. I've always wanted to try this type of embroidery, but silk ribbon is not cheap, so when I saw this class listed I figured this would be the best opportunity.

The kit came with a lot of ribbon (two sheets like the one seen below) considering the low cost of the kit. They were donated by N. Jefferson LTD. who was sponsoring Erla Wilson.

I found that the class wasn't long enough for this. It was only 3 hours, but there are five types of flowers in the sampler. The same amount as Maragaret Vant Erve's sampler, but her class was 6 hours long. So you can see that I only did enough to try the stitch, but none of the squares are done. One thing to note, I wish I had my needle trolley with me or a laying tool. It's very hard to lay the ribbon just right with your finger.

Completed Sampler
Erla was also teaching a smocking class this year. I took a look at it and it's gorgeous. Maybe next year, if it's still being offered :)

My fourth class was with Kathryn Drummond again. It's another punto antico class called Cupcake Delight. Again, her kit comes with everything we need to make these adorable cupcakes (including the box and stuffing). She took time during the class to show us how to make the bottom part of the cupcake as well as how to make a cord with two thread colors. The box by the way is from Michaels

The kit comes with three different patterns that we got to choose from. The one I picked is the one you see below, but my thread color is purple.

My progress so far. By the end of the class I had all the satin stitches done ( I loooove satin stitches) and started the second whipped stitch. We had time before our flight so I stitched on it while waiting. I think this will most likely be my first finish. Now I just have to make sure i don't balk at the finishing. I'll make sure to buy the glue tonight so I don't have an excuse to stall.

Almost done
For anyone interested in the patterns Gelato al Cioccolato and Cupcake Delight, she has designs very similar to these on her website called Gelati and Delizioso.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Creative Festival 2014 Day 1

My First class was with Margaret Vant Erve called A Small Sampler of Flowers. It was a very fun class. Margaret was an excellent teacher and very easy going. She's a painter specializing in landscapes, who paints her fabric first and then embroiders details onto it with thread. I don't usually enjoy embroidery classes like this because the teacher is usually so exacting. But with Margaret, nothing is a mistake, anything can be blended in and made a part of the design.

Here's what I did so far. Each flower uses a different stitch which made it fun and interesting. I got to finally try some stitches I've been seeing online and learned some new ones. The fabric by the way is to die for. It's a silk wool blend by G & S Dye a Canadian company.

The class kit comes with instructions for five flowers. Here is what it will look like at the end. It's very pretty. The flowers are very textured even fuzzy.

Margaret's Sampler
She had a copy of her book at the exhibition and I decided to buy it. It shows you how to stitch the window on the cover and some of the other flowers in her sampler. My sister took the class with me and we both enjoyed it so much we want to take another class with her. She offers both online courses and classes (list of workshops). We're going to see if we can plan something this summer. My sister and I could possibly drive down to Ottawa to see her.

My second class was with Kathryn Drummond (another Canadian designer, from Manitoba this time). She designs Blackwork, Canvaswork, Cross stitch, Hardanger, and Italian embroider (Punto Antico and Casalguidi Embroidery) under the name Gingerbread Girl. I was looking forward to this class because I've been very interested in white work embroidery. This class is about Punto Antico, an Italian form of embroidery, which involves white work embroidery and cut work. The design is called Gelati al Cioccolato and looks absolutely delicious.

First off Kathryn's kit contains everything you need to both stitch AND finish the design exactly as you see it in the image. She even showed us how to make the cord. I was able to use her equipment to make my very first cord.
Gelati al Cioccolato kit
The final result is an ornament with a nice brown background so you can see the cut work.

Final Product
I got far enough that I was able to try the cut work part of the design. I can't wait to get back to stitching it.

Two stitches that came up during the workshops has been Whipped stitch and Bullion stitch. It seems like everyone is using them in their designs. I'll post the rest of the classes in the next few days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stash from Gitta's

As planned for my first day in Toronto, I took the train to go out of the downtown area to visit Gitta's. I got lost a few times getting to the train platform, but after that it was pretty easy. I came in with a list of things I wanted to get, but still left with something that just fell into my basket. I had a lot of fun picking out fabric and looking around the store. They had framed pieces all over the store (I saw Mirabilia's Ring Around the Rose Tree and decided I don't want it after all).

Stash from Gitta's

I ended up getting the fabric for Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons. I had fun picking out this fabric. The fabric is called Gothic and it's a 28 ct Cashel Linen by Picture This Plus. It's actually a very dark blue (think midnight blue) with some hint of purple and there is a small area where it's lighter (click on this link for a better picture).

I also got the fabric and special threads and beads for Dimple Designs Enchantment of Winter. I'm still missing the treasure bead, which they will send to me later. The fabric is amazing in person (again pictures don't make it justice). It's a 32 ct Belfast Linen in Ivory.

This is what I bought as an extra. It was between this and a Sweetheart Tree kit. But after seeing the finished piece in person it was an easy decision.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October TUSAL

My TUSAL report is very late this month on account of my being in Toronto for the Creative Festival. So here it is.

I had a lot of fun at the Creative Festival and am a little tired now. It was an intense four days of classes and shopping. I also met a lot of very interesting ladies, that I hope to see again for many years to come. I'll try to publish posts on the classes I took (and stash I bought) in the next few days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting Ready

I'll be packing my suitcase tonight for my trip to Toronto. I will be attending the Creative Festival again this year. I enjoyed the experience so much last year, that I decided to splurge this time and get a Gold pass which gives me 21 hours of workshops.

I will be taking:

I'm really looking forward to starting classes. It's fun being in a room surrounded by other stitchers. Last year I learned how to properly knot a thread and that I didn't like Sashiko. I wonder what I'll learn this year. I'm hoping to learn some useful tips in the pulled thread class to help me with M'Lady's Treasures.

Classes start Thursday but I'm flying in Wednesday morning to pass by Gitta's (I wasn't able to go last year) for a mega stash enhancement (I already have a list prepared). I'm also meeting a friend to go to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) for an exhibit on Michelangelo.

Anyone know the area and has recommendations for other places to visit?

Friday, October 17, 2014

New Books

I love books and I can't seem to stop buying them. I especially love embroidery technique books. I don't always post pictures of them on the blog when I buy them. But I bought so many this months that I had to share :)

The first one is a book that Mary Corbett reviewed on her website (you can click the link for a review). I was attracted to the colors and the geometric designs.

Il manuale completo del ricamo estense

They remind me of the plates my parents brought back from Turkey. Here is an example of what they look like.

The next book I found at a flea market for $8. It's an old copy of Therese de Dillmont "Encyclopédie des ouvrages de dames". I already own a copy that was published in 2013, but this one was published in 1946 by DMC.

You can see the inside of the book is nicely covered.

Printed by DMC
A while back, I registered for a shuttle tatting class that ended up getting cancelled. The owner told me that he would call when the class gets rescheduled but never did. I had payed a deposit and kept going back to ask about the class to see when it would take place. I've finally given up on that and asked for a refund, which I was given. But then I spent that money on books :P 

One book on shuttle tatting (I was always better at learning when I had a specific project in my mind) and the other is beaded embroidery. I've been eyeing the second book for a long while, the pictures are yummy :). You can look through the book by clicking this link and selecting "Feuilleter".

The last three aren't books but patterns. I got these three from stitchingdestashing. They were sold as a bundle, but the one I really wanted was M'Lady's Treasures. The M design and Just Nan (my first one!) are Christmas patterns and I don't think I'll ever stitch them. So if anyone is interested in a swap, please let me know. The Just Nan pattern comes with the beads and charm. The pictures are not very clear, here are links to their product page: Just Nan's Lady Scarlet's Christmas and M Designs Christmas Tree.

Now let's talk about the one I really wanted. I really liked the look of it, and thought it was a pulled thread pattern. When I got it I read through the instructions and realized there is more to it than that. First of all I have to transfer the pattern by hand on the fabric (which I've never done), then there's pulled thread, Hardanger, cut work, needlepoint, surface embroidery,... When I saw the instructions my jaw dropped. I'll still do it, but I think I need to time to prepare and research lol.

I only wanted this one
Six more days till the Creative Festival! Did I forget to mention I'm going again this year :D

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Octagons E & F Completed

So last week I had started Octagon E and was able to finish it on the weekend. I took pictures and since it was the weekend (I don't usually post on weekends) I just kept going and started on Octagon F. Things went so fast that by Sunday it was almost done and I figured I'll just wait till F was done to post both together.

So the first one is Octagon E. It started off fun (I love those "hearts" in the corners), but then I had to pull out the Rayon thread. The eyelets look OK, but I just couldn't get the thread tight enough. I still feel like it's too loose in some areas (the thread kept slipping).

Eyelets in Rayon thread, that green is so bright
 After stitching the eyelets things just fell into place. The next part was long diagonal stitches. I love the effect, it looks so soft.

This was followed by more diagonal stitches in ThreadworX. I'm really glad how this turned out, I was worried the colors wouldn't match in each quadrant.

More diagonal stitching with tent stitches in between them and the eyelets. I think the lower right tent stitches look out of place. These are in the blue shades from the ThreadworX, while the others are all green.

Octagon E completed
Octagon E was finished early in the evening Saturday and I didn't feel like stopping. I almost did when I saw that F starts off with Rayon thread, but I convinced myself to get it out of the way so that I can do the fun stuff the next day ;)

This is the second time I stitch with this particular thread (it was used in Octagon D as the first layer), I guess I learned how to stitch with it because the stitching went much faster this time around. In the center it's the Scottish Reverse Stitch surrounded by more tent stitches and a layer of backstitch.

This was followed by more long stitches to form a helix(?). This is stitched first in #5 Perle Cotton and then in #8 Perle Cotton of the same color. The tent stitch at the tip of each wing was also supposed to be in the same color, but I decided to change it to the other #5 Perle Cotton which is a darker shade. I decided to do that after looking at the Octagon in another colorway (something I wish I had done while stitching Octagon D).

The next step was to form a grid and then anchor them with little X's

The end result gives you a nice grid with little stars. It's very nice in person, the pictures don't do it justice. I'll have to ask my sister to take nicer pictures with her camera at the end.

Octagon F Completed
Here it is, only 3 Octagons to go :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Octagon D Completed

Yesterday I put in the final stitch on Octagon D. This is my favorite to date (probably because there were no French Knots lol).

It started off with the dreaded Rayon thread, but things picked up really fast once I got through them. The plus sign in the middle is surrounded by long stitched.

This was followed by more long stitches that form what looks like a feather. The final effect is really nice, except the two threads are the exactly the same. Because of the thread conversion (not sure if it's because I'm doing the Deep Blue Sea colorway), I ended up with both stitches being in the same color. It still looks nice in person anyways.

This was followed by the fastest stitching I've ever done. It starts off with more diagonal stitches to form a "lattice" which are then tethered by tent stitches over 2 threads (I'm probably not using the right words).

And here it is all done!

Here it is all together. Seeing how fast this is going, I'm wondering if I can finish Spirit of the Southwest before the end of the year. That's something to think about.

4 down, 5 to go

I've started looking at the patterns for Octagons E and F and they are really complex. I have sticky-notes everywhere on the pattern lol. So many that you can't even see the pattern itself anymore.