Monday, June 19, 2017

Crooked

I didn't get much stitching Saturday as we were invited to a friend's wedding. This meant I had a busy morning and then my evening was full. It was a lovely reception. We lost power half-way through which gave a lovely atmosphere for the couple with all the candles.


I woke up the next day ready to tackle Foxy again. The first order of business was ironing on the cotton interfacing Natalie sent me. I really like the quality of it (much better than the other one I previously used for Hana). I will have to find out where I can buy more.


The next step on Foxy was couching the passing on the head.


Unfortunately, my first go was really crooked. It's really important to get that first one right because otherwise the rest of the lines will look wrong.


While I was waiting for advice in Instagram, I decided to take out Hedebo Enchantment and work on setting up the smaller squares. I got so engrossed in getting them all done, I never stopped stitching and completely forgot about Foxy.


This means that I will have to get the head done this week in order to be able to catch up for this weekend.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Introducing Foxy

A while ago I showed this kit by Becky Hogg that my sister brought back for me from the RSN. My friend Natalie from Sew by Hand asked if I would be interested in a stitch along with her and Catherine from Hillview Embroidery. We each had a kit from Becky Hogg's; I have fox and Natalie and Catherine both have the owl. We settled on a June first start but things got in the way.


We decided to start this weekend and to at least take out the pamphlet to read and stitch the felt. The kit comes with everything needed to start stitching.


I only had to provide a hoop, this one is 6", and scissors. You can use the hoop that comes with the kit, but it could get cramped.


I didn't line the back of the fabric for now. Natalie is sending me some cotton interfacing to try out. I will probably put that in before I start on any of the metalwork.


It turns out that the felt included in the kit is polyester and not wool. It's not as bad as the polyester felt I stitched with before but it would be better to switched it out for wool if you have it on hand. I decided not to bother switching it out as the pattern is already printed on the felt and I just wanted to jump into stitching.


Here's an animation of the felt being applied. I really enjoy this process. I enjoy it so much, I tend to put way more stitches on the lower layers :P

click on the post to view the video

Here is my fox all felted. All the different pieces were the right size except the head. I had a hard time covering the markings with the felt. It should be fine though as these will be covered later with the purl pearl.


For this project, I took the opportunity to test out the seat frame my sister got me. I didn't use it as a seat frame, instead I just put it on my desk and placed my puffin from seminar on the base as a frame weight. He's heavy enough for it, so the setup was really great :)


The next step will be starting metalwork embroidery on the head which involve a lot of couching.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Progress So Far

Since coming back from Seminar I've been taking it easy. Not that I'm not stitching, I'm just not doing anything that's too complicated.


My center is finished as I'd decided I won't add the needlelace flower at the center. The center is mainly composed of satin stitch, diagonal half cross stitch and reverse faggot stitch.


I've since moved onto the border. There are four rows of satin stitch going all around the piece. I'm finally at the last one and will be very glad to move onto something else soon :)


I think once I've finished the satin stitching, I will work on getting the smaller diamonds ready for stitching. This actually involves more satin stitching but it has to be done.

Monday, June 5, 2017

EAC Seminar 2017 - Rock, Needle, Scissors - Part 4


Saturday was our third day into our Hedebo class. We all came in very early as usual to catch up on homework.


For this class we concentrated on the needle lace portion of the piece. I don't normally use doodle clothes, but I used one this time to practice as I'm not a 100% sold on having it at the center of Hedebo Enchantment. I'm thinking I want to leave the center area blank and do the needle lace petals on a smaller doily. We'll see. All in all I'm glad I did use a doodle clothe anyways because my buttonholes didn't look that great. They were very loose, I will have to practice some more.


That night we had our banquet. They always hold it on the Saturday as many people end up leaving on Sunday to return home. I missed last year's as I was flying off to Paris, but it was really great to attend. Since we were all dressed up, I took the opportunity to take pictures with my teacher Jette.

with Jette Roy Finlay Heath
Since Alison Cole was also there and she was my teacher this year (although online), I made sure to take one with her as well.

with Alison Cole
During the banquet, the committee for next year's seminar always has a presentation to show off what is planned for the following year. In 2018, Seminar will be hosted by my guild Virtual Threads in Prince Edwards Island. Really excited to go! As favors, we received a parting gift from the hosting guild. It's an adorable puffin (click the link to see the puffin army). He's weighted down so I can use him as a paper weight or even a frame weight. From next year's host we received a needle threader and a booklet containing the list of classes for the coming seminar.


After the banquet, we returned back to the residence to find that there were many stitchers staying up later to finish homework. I was completely out of it and there was no way I was going to do any stitching but I did go around to see what they were all working on and spotted this lovely bargello scissor case and fob. I just loved the colors. 


The morning of day 4 found us in class again catching up on homework. We were supposed to finish cutting and weaving the ends on this square the day before but there was no way we were going to do that after the banquet. It would be stitching suicide! It was very hard to do as well as we were anchoring two fabric threads (that have slugs!!) under a four sided stitch that is tiny. Normally four sided stitches are done over four threads but in this case they're stitched over two.


After this we moved on to some needle weaving demonstrations in the border. I spent most of the rest of the class just watching the demonstrations Jette was giving and stitching easy stuff (we were all very tired). Check out this awesome teaching tool Jette has.


This year's class was really large despite the fact that it was a really big piece. If you'll remember, my class last year was almost cancelled because the amount of pre-work scared people away. This didn't deter the group this year. There was actually a large number of students from Ontario that are part of a whitework group. The reason why they didn't take Fandango last year even though it was so close to home? They were the teacher's, Barbara Kershaw, test students. It does explain a lot doesn't it :)


My certificate with my piece in progress. It has since progressed much more than this as I've been working on it steadily. I will post an updated picture soon.


Our little group from Montreal. There was quite a few of us this year. I hope we will have an even bigger group next year in Prince Edwards Island.


Friday, June 2, 2017

EAC Seminar 2017 - Rock, Needle, Scissors - Part 3


During seminar week, Fridays are always a free day. It's a day to relax and catch up with friends class work, some take a one day class and others take tour around the city we are visiting. Since I'd never been to Newfoundland, I decided to do a half day tour.

It was freezing cold but the view was amazing.

Cape Spear (video)

During the tour we stopped by an old house that was turned into a museum. I spotted this needlepoint firescreen.


We had a surprise waiting for us there: a lady demonstrating bobbin lace. Even bigger surprise, her name is Joyce and she is one of the seminar attendees. We'd all been seeing her around but none of us recognized her in her costume as the lady in the wheelchair always looking for a quiet spot to read.


Here is a video of her working (You need to open the post to play). That's Louise in the background talking about the different types of lace.


After the tour ended we went for lunch and my friend Louise mentioned she wanted to see Bunty's Umbrellas. We were all up for it, so away we went to the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador. On the way there I noticed a bakery with a funny name: Rocket Bakery. I jokingly told Louise we should stop by there on the way back to pick up some food for supper. So anyways, we finally get to the craft council and start looking around their gallery, they had some really nice pieces.





But no umbrellas! We ask around and it turns out that Bunty's umbrellas were currently being exhibited at a bakery called the Rocket Bakery lol So we turned back around and walked back to the bakery. The umbrellas were really quite pretty. I only took pictures of my favorites, but I really wish we could have gotten a closer look.



We went back to the residence and since we played hooky that day we had a massive amount of homework to finish for next day. Someone forgot to tell the teachers that Friday was a day of rest :P But more on that later...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

EAC Seminar 2017 - Rock, Needle, Scissors - Part 2


Today's post is all about stash :)

First off! The EAC was selling some old books from their library. They were 2$ each! It wasn't exactly advertised. While on our way back to the residence I spotted a lady carrying the book in the middle and asked her where she got it from. She said she got it from Seminar Central where the EAC had a table selling swag (I got a fold-able bag). We quickly got ourselves there and I was lucky enough to get my own copy of that same book. I found a second book on pulled thread embroidery and the one at the top is a Japanese book on Kogin embroidery. It's very similar to Swedish weaving.


Patricia from L'Atelier de Penelope was using merchant night to launch the addition of Giuliana Ricama magazine to her shop. She allowed me the chance to pick out the ones I wanted, I got three of them. Now I'm really antsy to get my hands on the fabric to start stitching.


So merchant night comes and we're all eager to get in and start shopping. But when the doors finally open and I start making my rounds, it didn't look like they had a lot of things that interested me. There were a lot of local artisans selling wool and ceramics and there were booths from designer that specialize in canvas embroidery. This isn't exactly a bad thing as it meant I won't overspend, but still. Alison Cole had a table as always and she had my order all ready to be picked up, but it was madness actually reaching her. I made three turns of the room stopping to chat here and there, and still had to wait a good 15 minutes in front of her table before I could speak to her.

This order is staying closed until the fall. It's fabric and metal threads for some goldwork projects I plan on stitching this year.


I ended up adding a goldwork kit to my bag from her and a kit from my teacher Jette Roy Finlay-Heath. I wasn't planning on buying an Hedebo kit as hers are quite expensive, but I fell in love with the design and since nothing else caught my eye I decided to splurge.


With what was leftover of my money I got some Au Ver à Soie silks to play with. The green and purple pack are soie ovale which is a flat silk while the other two are soie perlee.


It's not as impressive a haul as last year's but it will still keep me busy. Next post will be about my last two days at seminar.

Monday, May 29, 2017

EAC Seminar 2017 - Rock, Needle, Scissors - Part 1


Seminar was a blast! Last year everything was new and I was very nervous going in, but this year it was all about meeting friends again and also making new ones.

My class kit all ready to start
I flew out on Monday so we would be there a day before registration day. We find that it worked out quite well last year. It gave us the chance to unpack and relax. Many people come in even earlier for meetings, but there is an even bigger crowd that comes in on the Tuesday and they all want to get checked-in and settled.


We booked a two bedroom suite again this year. It comes with a private bath. Unfortunately, no kitchen. Instead every floor had a shared kitchen area as well as a study lounge. So lots of sitting area to meet up in.


The lovely view from my room! The sun comes out early in St-John's waking us up. Not to mention the birds that you can hear outside. I've woken up many a morning at 5:30. It's no wonder I came home exhausted.


Tuesday morning we woke up early to get some breakfast. After wards, my roommate Fran had to go to an ACRAM meeting. It's a three hour meeting where the Atlantic and Central region chapters of EAC meet. I didn't have to go as there were representatives from both of my guilds attending but it was very interesting all the same. They went around the table and each guild representative had to give two good points that happened to them this year as well as one thing they would like to improve. The one point to improve that kept coming back was how guilds can attract young members. Which was very funny since they had what is most probably the youngest seminar attendee actually sitting in on the meeting; namely me :) I was sitting, quietly stitching on Roses and the Bramble.


After the meeting, it was registration and a rush to submit our exhibition pieces. This years seminar packet contained a lot of goodies: an origami ORT box (purple chevron), a needle-book made from a paint sample card (mine's blue), flower beeswax, some threads, a fob, needle threader, some patterns and the seminar pins. I love the puffin one!


After wards, I don't have pictures, I spent the rest of my afternoon helping Patricia the owner of l'Atelier de Penelope setup her boutique. I did it last year and it was a lot of hard work, but also fun to get a peek at all the products she brought with her. I always enjoy spending time with her, we talk about the latest products and books. We even went shopping for table clothes and baskets. Later that night we had the opening reception. We had a harpist entertaining us. (you need to open the post in your browser to watch the video).


The very next day, we woke up early eager to start our class. We were in the science building and it took a while to get used to the campus and how to get to each location. This year classes were scattered among 3 buildings so we couldn't exactly visit each other during breaks. this was a HUGE bummer. Anyways, I picked a spot somewhere in the middle right of the classroom right next to the window. I brought a lamp with me, but I much prefer natural light. Turns out I picked right, since our teacher, Jetta Roy Finlay Heath, was using the projector and was constantly turning the lights on and off.

Fran, Clare, Pauline and I were all taking the same class together again. The biggest surprise was meeting our teacher from last year's seminar Barbara Kershaw, this time as a fellow student.

The rest of my kit
Jetta had a display at the back with some of her designs. They were all so pretty.


This is the piece that we were working on. It's called Hedebo Enchantment.



Day one was all about satin stitches and the square stitch. We ended the day with a TON of homework to do for the next day. Most of it was needed to be able to do the cut work in the border. The entire time we were there, I don't think any of us ever finished our homework the day before. We were always staying up late to stitch and then coming in an hour before class started to finish in time for the day's lesson. It wasn't just us either, you went on any floor at the residence (we took over about five floors) and chances are you would find a group of stitchers sitting together and working on their assignments. It was very fun because even if we couldn't see each other during the day, we could catch up at night.


Day two, we took out our scissors to do the cutwork. I got the chance to try out some of my new tools which I brought with me. The pineapple pin is a stitch marker made by Floss Candy. The pineapple is just the right size to hold in hand to remove fabric threads. I also got the chance to test out the tweezers my sister bought me. They are so much better than my old ones. You don't have to exert a lot of force when you are pulling and the grip is very comfortable. I'm looking forward to using them more.


At the end of day two, we had Merchant night, a night we were all very much looking forward to. You will just have to wait till the next post to see what I bought ;)