Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trapunto With A Twist 

I've recently received some very nice ATCs (Artist's Trading Cards) from fiber artists. After I transport my entire stash of cards to California for a class on ATCs at Always Quilting.

I hope to see some west coast friends and friends to be at the classes I will be teaching in November.

One of the cards I'm holding at the moment is one stitched up by Kathy Peterson. Although I've not met Kathy "up close and personal" I appreciate her sense of whimsy as well as her needlework skills.

She has produced a monochromatic ATC by tucking all sorts of things under the top ground fabric (buttons, fluffy stuff and something long I can't identify) and then stitched around them, couched other fibers and added embellishing stitches. This ATC will surely inspire my students in a few weeks.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Precious Gift 

I received a precious gift this week. Catherine K. sent me a beautiful overtunic to wear to a feast as Robin and Will's guest while I'm on the western side of the nation.

Not only is it beautifully tailored - but also exquisitely embroidered. And although the garment is a treasured gift, the most precious gift is the time Catherine spent making it for me. She is more than a little busy but made a special effort to please me.

I promise I will stand still long enough beside Will and Robin for someone to take our picture.

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It is always a pleasure to stitch for friends :).
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Watch Their Space 

What has that woman been doing you ask? Nose very much to grindstone printing up an order for Nordic Needle. You'll soon be able to buy my latest books along with other fine items on their space.

Thank you ladies for ordering up Alphabets from a Little Red Book and Hans Hofer Bands. I think they might have despaired that I'd ever manage any new work, but we're back in creative mode now.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Little Souveniers 

I come back from trips with small, inexpensive treasures. As they say in England "rubbers" and in the US "erasers".

Museum shops with sections to appeal to young visitors (and white haired old ladies) usually have an eraser or two lurking about for a very modest cost. Friends often gift me with some as well.

Thanks to Libby and Judy, my recent London visit netted some very nice additions, including a rather tacky rendition of an Imperial Warrior. Oh well, great art they are not. Great fun they are.

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I think they're fun, too!
No doubt you had a good time.
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Queens Sampler 

Here we are, home again from London. I did accomplish some design work while away. After some hours at the V&A I was inspired by several 17th century samplers to finish charting the whitework bands on a long standing UFO - a thistle sampler in 17th century style which is a companion piece to our Beds of Roses sampler. I only have to finish up the model, write a few instructions and Bob's Your Uncle -- a new sampler for everyone to stitch.

By popular demand, I'm working on a sampler honoring the long suffering wives of that Royal Scamp, Henry VIII. All the bands done save one and then it's model stitching time and putting all the history together for the pattern booklet. Watch this space. Only Katherine Parr to finish up.

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Absolutely cannot wait to see the Queens of Henry sampler!!! Hurry up and finish it, won't you!?
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Monday, October 15, 2007

West Coast Journey 

Just back to the hotel after a visit to the First Emperor exhibit at the British Museum. Although I've had the luck to see the warriors in situ in China, the exhibit is very well done and the labeling and projections as well as maps are a real plus.

Home tomorrow and then fast preparation for West Coast journey and a good visit with my friend Robin. To the classes I will be teaching during the visit, it seems we will be adding a beginning goldwork class. Contact Robin for further information.

For descriptions of the other three classes I will be teaching, visit Robin's blog.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

V&A Again 

Yesterday morning offered a few hours to sit in the textile study room and thoroughly examine some Stuart era whitework bands. Two of our tour participants tore themselves away from Portobello Road and other assorted shopping delights to stop by the museum and have a lively discussion about early blackwork.

It is always a joy to talk about embroidery when there are original examples to put before students.

Then on to Covent Garden for a little visit to the performance artists and a last meal together.

Today to be spent transcribing museum notes and contemplating a visit to the British Museum tomorrow.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Beautiful Uniforms 

After a morning at the V&A some of us were off to the National Army Museum for a look at uniforms through history. How decorative the British were when it comes to military splendor.

Heaps and heaps of metal embroidery and silk embroidered pennants and banners. Also a charming bead and cross stitch sampler stitched in memory of a beloved brother killed in battle.

The beads on the sampler were much smaller than commercially available today and were used liberally throughout.

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Dashing About -- Embroidery Everywhere 

Hello there from London. We are experiencing marvelous weather with the exception of the one day we went further afield to Witney.

Witney Antiques is just now in the midst of their annual exhibit and the theme this year is 18th century samplers and embroideries. Joy Jarret's collection is very strong in this period and the exhibit and catalog reflected this abundance.

Back to the V&A on Wednesday for a look at the British Galleries and a talk about British Samplers through the ages. Then out to Woods Green and Ally Pally for the Knitting and Stitching Show. Lovely to see old friends Felicity Warnes and Dorothy Gibbs. Especially wonderful to see Dorothy on her feet and assisting in a booth. Gone are the days when she could not even attend the show due to wonky knees.

Felicity gave me a peek at the new book researching Henry VIII wardrobe and it is a real winner on the wish list folks.

Lots of fibers at Oliver Twist, Steff Francis, Mulberry Silks, Texere -- you get the picture. Thousands of women, med and lots of young folks as well --- lusting for needlework and crafts supplies.

Back to the V&A and the NAL today. And then in the afternoon, the Army Museum to look at historic uniforms dripping with goldwork.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

More London 

London remains one of the most diverse, sensory overwhelming cities in the world.

All our tour group arrived by Thursday. Friday was filled with a visit to the National Art Library, the National Archives and a walk about Kew. Libby took several members on an alternate tour of the reopened Kew Palace and everyone caught up on news and gossip in general.

Saturday was a trip to Hampton Court for some and the Art and Design Library and British Library for others. Sunday was filled by a visit to Harrow Bead Show by one group and the Tower by another.

Tomorrow is the V&A, the National Portrait Gallery and a browse down Charing Cross Road.

The weather has been great and only minor tube frustrations have plagued us.

Signing off for now.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

V&A Update 

Hmmmm. As predicted much of the textile study area is closed but the main frames room for European embroidery is open. The larger textile room has been populated with a good deal of the American objects from the former sub-1 level gallery.

The last of our tour group arrives tomorrow - then the real fun begins.

We'll see how our book buying goes. Depends on how many orders go through our PayPal site in the next week. You can do your share. Go over to the catalog and order up some books. We'll throw in some nice English thread as a prezzie when you get your order.


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London at Last 

Moline was wonderful. I did miss meeting up with my friend Kim McCool but I'm sure I'll be back that way again. There is much to see in the area and I barely got a whiff of the history that abounds in the Quad Cities Area.

Again, many thanks to the chapter members for their hospitality and to Cindy Valentine for a preview of her upcoming designs. When designers who are truly professional get together, they throw aside the issues of competition and freely exchange excitement, ideas, inspiration and encouragement. I came away with a good dose of enthusiasm administered (and fond membories of one of the best hamburgers I have ever tasted).

It was home to Nashville to meet my longtime friend Judy B. at the Nashville airport and drive home. It was a mad, mad day putting together orders on Sunday and putting them out for "the guy in brown" to take to Cindy for distribution.

Then back on the plane to Newark and a rather long wait for the London flight. Judy B. found one of those rare treats in airports these days ---- a block of seats without arms. That means I can stretch my creaky back out and catch a snooze between flights.

Good flight to London and an incredible wheelchair pilot at Heathrow. Michael is a US Civil War re-enactor (in a Confederate artillery unit made up of Brits). He informs me there were over 200 British volunteers fighting for the Confederacy during the conflict. We have only to remember England's trade ties in the cotton industry to see why. He has visited the US several time to participate in events and will be at Gettysburg next summer for the entire battle.

Then on to our hotel, the Byron and crashing for recovery. Judy B. is a gem and after she walked over for a visit to Kensington Palace laid in food for me and then crashed. She is undoubtedly dreaming of all the geocaching she is going to accomplish while here. I guess the GeoCoins with travel bugs amused the TSA folks as well as her GPS unit.

Off to the V&A tomorrow to see what is closed, what is open and what has been transformed. We'll report tomorrow on the good the bad and the ugly on that scene.

Signing off from London

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