Monday, December 30, 2013

Samplers & Margret Gatis 1711 - Day 2

As the New Year approaches I am currently focusing on what and which needlework areas and  projects I want to concentrate on.
Samplers are always 'fun' to have in the works - they provide a good break from other complicated projects and I do have a good collection of reproduction samplers in my stash that I have always wanted to stitch/finish.
I have decided that both Ann Scutt and Margret Gatis will be two of the 'new' Scarlet Letter samplers I will be working on besides finishing Elizabeth Harborne and two other samplers (still have to decide which ones) in 2014.

Still have to decide which projects will be on my list in other areas... good things to keep my brain occupied while I stitch on these samplers.
To make things more accessible to me and to decrease the pile of frames in my needlework area downstairs I decided to frame both Ann Scutt and Margaret Gatis together - this will give me a chance to work on both of them at the same time.  This is what they look like together :
Ann Scutt (left side) and Margret Gatis (right side)
- Framed together - hope this will work
The Song of my Needle

I was most intrigued by Band 5 of Margaret Gatis  and skipped over to that band and work on that yesterday - spent a glorious afternoon stitching after a very long time!  It felt really good to take some time out...
Here are some of the pictures of my progress so far - I decided to change the gold colored silk from the lighter color specified for the blackwork area to one of the others - I felt that the lighter color was hardly visible from afar.  So even though I thought I would work this exactly as charted I've made a change right from the start.  The stitch direction of the central flower is not specified nor is it very clear on the photograph provided with the chart so this is my interpretation of it... it was an interesting and time consuming area but fun.  I would have loved to have seen close ups of the original sampler though - it may have given me more insights into what the thought processes of stitchers in those times were.  I stitched this flower from the outside in but if stitched differently there would be a different profile/dimension... in this interpretation the central area is foreground and the outermost red petal satin stitch area is receding/background.  While I was stitching it I was tempted to use other stitches (fly stitch for example) but decided to stick with just satin stitch as specified and not make it too complicated.

Progress on Marget Gatis so far :

Margret Gatis - Day 2/Band 5
The Song of my Needle

Margret Gatis - Day 2/Band 5
The Song of my Needle

Margret Gatis - Day 2/Band 5
The Song of my Needle

Margret Gatis - Day 2/Band 5
The Song of my Needle

mj - if this is the band/flower you were referring to let me know - perhaps this closeup above will help you figure it out (if you like my interpretation that is) ... these are just some of the pictures and I would be glad to send you others if you feel it helps.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ann Scutt 1675 - Day 4 - & another new start : Margret Gatis 1711

Only had a little time to stitch on Thursday, Dec. 26.  I have been thinking about all the needlework projects I would like to tackle in the New Year as well as what I would like to focus on most.... still trying to sort through things in my mind.
          Anyway, here is the progress as of Thursday night...
Ann Scutt - Day 4

I have been thinking about all the stuff I would like to do in 2014 and after the past week of non stop activity and late nights I was too exhausted to do much else ... my plan had been to start Margret Gatis on Christmas Day because of the colors but then did not do so .... so I started just about an hour ago on a whim.   So here are the first few stitches into that sampler...   

Margret Gatis - a new start!

Margret Gatis
40 ct. Sandstone, AVAS silks 

 Hope to finalize my thoughts on my 'major' projects soon and also decide what new needlework adventures lie ahead in 2014!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ann Scutt 1675 - Day 3

So here is the progress after stitching for a little while this morning :

Ann Scutt 1675- Day 3 AM

And then tonight :

Ann Scutt 1675- Day 3 PM

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A New Beginning - Ann Scutt, c. 1675 ... started on Dec.20,2013

Hi Everyone!
It has been a while since I have posted - things have been busy on all fronts.  My intention was to finish Elizabeth Harborne by Christmas but an error in packing things for the holidays necessitated a
change in plans.  I packed Elizabeth's linen and threads but forgot to pack the instructions... but I successfully packed all of Ann Scutt and Margret Gatis! 
So, I decided to start Ann Scutt ... got things ready and have stitched for just about an hour on Dec. 20 and then this morning.  I am using 35 ct. ivory linen, AVAS silks and at present Bohin Tapestry needle #28 (but I switch needles in different areas depending on the stitch and what 'feels' right).  Luckily I had packed all that along with a 'junky pair' of scissors and my Dovo foldable ones.
I know that all of you who know me also know of my love for my Dovo scissors (3set Anniversary model) - I am now not taking them along when I travel.  I am most pleased to report that the foldable Dovo scissors do not disappoint... I have used them now for a variety of techniques and so far so good... the 'junky pair' is for all purpose use (paper, metallic etc.)... so I now have a good TSA approved set for travel again.  The only other scissors that I love are the handmade professional Japanese embroidery scissors... there is such a big difference between machine made scissors and hand forged/ hand honed scissors.

Anyway, here is the progress so far...

As of Dec.20

Ann Scutt - 35 ct. Ivory linen, AVAS silks
The Song of my Needle 

Ann Scutt - The Scarlet Letter
The Song of my Needle
 As of Dec 23 night....
Ann Scutt - The Scarlet Letter
The Song of my Needle
 As of this morning, Dec. 24...

Ann Scutt - The Scarlet Letter
The Song of my Needle

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Taking a break ... or gettting something off my 'to do' list....

Stash thanks to Elizabeth and adding to it "my own" birthday present

After receiving some of the items that have been on my wish list for a long time the other day
I have spent some time today looking at all the things I want to stitch "in the future".... reading/rather looking at the new books, looking at all the threads and possibilities and ideas in my sketch book makes me fully aware of the fact that no matter how much I try I will always have more ideas and stash for many lifetimes!

 So, after much deliberation
and putzing about, trying to be logical and practical and staying on my well thought out path....

AND even kitting one of the new samplers up (yesterday) .... but not starting :)

Margret Gatis - kitted with 40ct. Sandstone linen
and  trying to resist the urge to start something new all day -  I finally gave in about thirty minutes ago, got some threads together, a piece of linen and with lots of 'ideas ' just decided that it is time to start making one of the ideas a reality

a new start !!!!

..... this will be a project that hopefully will be a quick one (plan to work on it for the next week or two in the evenings) and will result in a good old fashioned "huswife" ... one that I can then use to tote my threads for Margret Gatis and Ann Scutt around in one place .... I will be taking bands from various places, inventing a few, adapting some, perhaps adding some  drawn thread, pulled thread, reticella... who knows make this "happen"....and I will continue working on Elizabeth Harborne also... not too much more to go on that one anyway - just a bit boring when all the new ideas and stuff are flooding in again!   So, here goes... it will hopefully finally result in a huswife - I could just follow one of the charts I have but designing this is more fun ....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Elizabeth Harborne - Stitch direction and texture

I was quite surprised at all the interest my last posts on texture and stitch direction generated.
I am a bit short on time at the moment - too many other deadlines closing in again on me - most of these are this time self imposed ones - and it feels good to be back on track again.  I will try and take more pictures of my work and expand on this topic more in the next few months and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic too.

For now, I took a few quick pictures of some of the things I have stitched that happened to be close by.... stitch direction is important...and I know I am way too particular and critical of my own work... I know that that makes some of you who know me chuckle!  I enjoy thinking about these things and studying my stitching, books and photographs etc ... and I love to challenge myself ... critiquing my own work is a way for me to learn more on a topic.  Please do not get me wrong though,  I love to see other people's work and enjoy seeing their progress, hearing about their accomplishments and problems while they work through a project and I do not look at their work critically but rather supportively.  We all learn from sharing and I have learned a lot from others who have shared their feelings with me about a teacher, a project, a stitch or technique. 
Anyway, here are just a few examples of stitch direction and how it affects the piece... stitch direction lends movement (see free form petals in my last post), it can influence the flow of a piece (look at the Eliz. Harborne band below with the base petals stitched horizontally or vertically), it can emphasize a shape (see the acorns in the second picture below from another sampler) and it is all important in working realistic technique (last picture below of my pansies)

Elizabeth Harborne - stitch direction discussion - white petals
The Song of my Needle 

Acorns - stitch direction discussion -  Sampler : Bands of many Colors by Eileen Bennett (?)
The Song of my Needle 

My Pansies - Japanese Embroidery - realistic technique
The Song of my Needle

THE main thing in all of this is that we enjoy this great journey and our hobby... so thanks to all of you for your interest and/or tolerance of my quirkiness! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Elizabeth Harborne - Day 28

Continuing on with finishing the bands I had not fully completed yet...
Thanks to all of you who scrutinized my stitching and assessed the bullions... as  I was stitching them in hand they seemed a bit looser and more raised to me.  After seeing your comments and polling family I decided to hold off with a decision on this and just move to another area... I am so glad I did because after looking at them today I have decided that I will not take them all out and stitch them again in hand  etc. - I will just get all the other areas finished and then do the bullions last.

Now on to other areas that had given me reasons to pause - there were no notes on stitch direction so I wanted to revisit this issue after getting a feel for the whole sampler.  Notice how the stitch direction affects the reflections of the silk (this will also happen with cotton floss)... added different diagonals in the petals to lend the rather free form flower some whimsy in this band and I am not so sure about the smaller flower (charted in Double running all in white which barely shows up) - blue and white version on the right and just white with chain outline on left:

Elizabeth Harborne - Day 28
The Song of my Needle

Elizabeth Harborne - Day 28
The Song of my Needle

More on the topic of stitch direction in this band also... will continue with this later... too tired tonight to add all the pictures and details

Elizabeth Harborne - Day 28
The Song of my Needle