Plugging away

     I'm still working away on "Florentine Fancywork," hoping to get it in the mail by the end of the week to meet the August 31 deadline. I'll refrain from more pictures of the endless border stitching until it's completely finished. After I send it off, I'll have a while to figure out how I want to finish it.

     Speaking of finishing, I'll be heading over to the Brit's Gallery to get a couple of things framed. One is the Panamanian mola I received for Christmas last year. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, frame it, pillowfy it, or incorporate it into something wearable. What a dilemma! I finally decided to go with framing. I think. It would make a nice pillow for my bed. Gah! (Make up your mind!)

     The other isn't needlework at all. I was doing some decluttering over the weekend and discovered the portfolio of artwork from a couple of drawing classes I took in my 30s. Buried in them was a drawing I had done of the house I grew up in, which I later redid on a larger scale for my parents. I've decided this will make a nice birthday present for my elder sister if I get it framed simply. It's got a nice "aged" look to it now. (Don't know what that blue flare is in the lower left corner. I didn't use a flash or my FisherPrice pop-up photo box, just available light.)

     To get back to stitchy things, here are some pics I and Donna took at last Thursday's stitching group. I'm pretty sure I've talked about this group before, but I don't think I've ever introduced any of the Thursday Morning Irregulars, AKA Midtown Stitchers. We have way too much fun. There must be something illegal about the whole thing. This is only a segment of the group. We're missing one member who's been in Australia for months and won't return till November, one who's been in Greece for a while and is returning in September, as well as some others who've been absent for much of the summer because, well, it's summer.

Joan and Donna
Karla, Taryn, and Ellice
Bonnie and me

     So there you have us, previously the wild stitchers of Scarlet Thread. The shop may be closed but the ties remain. Both the Tuesday night group and this morning group found new places where they could meet regularly by the time the shop closed its doors for the last time in June of last year. I still miss it.



Getting antsy

     My legs are beginning to twitch in anticipation. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. All my trials, Lord, soon be over.

     Sorry. Somehow I always seem to get around to breaking into song. (Just ask the Thursday morning stitching group.) I know you can't hear me. Trust me. Joan Baez I'm not. The sentiment's not quite the same either. My trial is, as if you haven't guessed, "Florentine Fancywork." I'm back to the border once again, having finished up the main design area earlier this week. Hallelujah!

     At the stitching group last night, I finished the purple on the right and started moving left along the bottom. Then I had to stop due to ennui. I'm sure that if I hadn't had to rip the border out and restitch it more than once, I wouldn't feel this way. I just don't recommend stitching it more than once and a half.

     I zoomed in (somewhat) on the main elements so you can get a better idea of the thread textures and the (also somewhat) uneven quality of my stitching.

     I still have the backstitching to do after the border is completed, so I'm hopeful that some of the canvas that shows will get covered by that. Some, however, will remain, and I'm not happy about it. I don't think I'll use Splendor for bargello ever again. If I want silk, I'll try Vineyard Silk. I realize the texture is different, but I like working with Vineyard Silk on canvas better than with Splendor.

     When it comes to stranded floss and bargello, I think I would use at least one or two more strands if I had no other thread that would work with the design. Four strands just doesn't satisfy my filling standards. I don't really like the added difficulty of threading the needle and tugging it through the canvas, though, so I'll try to avoid it at all costs.

     Why am I going on so about what type of thread to use for bargello? Well, I'm planning to design a couple of things. Originally, it was a small footstool and Victorian side chair. Then I received my mother's art deco dressing table and chair and decided the chair seat would be lovely in an art deco bargello! I mean, how hard can it be? It's only HUGE. So I'll start with the little footstool to see just how hard. Both of these items, though, require threads that will withstand wear. I use the little footstool when I'm stitching, and I do use the dressing table chair. So a delicate thread won't do. I'm not fond of wool and am allergic to it to boot, so I'm not likely to try to stitch a sizable piece in it. What a dilemma. I'm leaning toward the Vineyard Silk, which means it will be a priceless treasure if I ever get it done.

     Stay tuned.

     Suggestions welcomed.



Okay, July's gone.

     Another month has flown by, and I'm still working on "Florentine Fancywork." I'm well into the next to the last area to be stitched before it's back to the border and the final backstitching.

     The area I've been working on is called "Little Hearts," and it's turning out quite pretty. This is a pattern I've been able to get into a rhythm on, so it's actually going quickly. I just haven't had much time for stitching.I like the alternating threads: Overture, Kreinik, Mandarin, and Neon Rays. Now that I look at a close-up, I see that I missed a small bit of green at the top and have some compensating still to do next to the startburst. Sigh.

     I've gotten an extension to the end of August, and I will finish on time!

     My work on "Stars for a New Millennium" is painfully slow. At the last meeting, at the end of July, I made very little progress, despite stitching for the entire time.

     At this rate, I'll still be working on this through 2011 and into 2012.