Friday, March 23, 2018

Indian Pot, Almost Done

Yes, it's almost done.  Just have to add beads.  I searched my stash this morning and may have found ones that will work.  If not, I'll be shopping at my LNS next week sometime.  I'm still really liking this piece!

I've reached a point on ALL of my WIPs where I need something from the shop!  Very annoying and I can't go until mid next week.  ☹

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Needlepoint Journey, Part 2

Those of you who have been around as long as I have will remember that the early 70s were a needlepoint wasteland, especially as far as materials were concerned.  We had tapestry yarn, crewel wool, floss, and maybe Persian yarn.  Most canvas was 10-count mono or 10/20 penelope.  Metallics?  Not so much.  Overdyes?  Unheard of.  Silk?  I don’t think so.  I discovered smaller meshes fairly early on and began to use 22-count quite a bit, with crewel wool and/or floss.  I desired metallics and would use anything I could find – usually in the “craft” section, not the needlework section.  I still have some “unknown” metallic threads!  Approximately 1975 I discovered Elsa Williams tapestry yarn, crewel wools and metallics (only gold & silver). The tapestry wool and metallic worked beautifully on 13-14 mesh and on 18 for Bargello. The crewel wool for 22.  Those were my go-to threads for awhile, along with floss.

One of my more ambitious projects covered 1971-1974.  I saw an ad in a magazine for a kit for a floor pillow.  The design consisted of 4 squares, each one a different geometric design, all in the same colors, but a different color predominated in each square.  I loved the designs, but did not want a huge floor pillow.  Here goes the crazy part:  I charted out the designs by counting the stitches using a magnifying glass!  It’s not quite as bad as it sounds; the designs are 4-way symmetrical so I only had to chart ¼ of each!  These 4 designs became the seats on 4 dining room chairs!   All in tent stitches using wool tapestry yarn (I don’t remember the brand, but it was not DMC) on 10-count mono.  I still have two of the chairs and they still look great, with just a little wear at the corners.  By the way, those chairs are folding chairs too, which I got with Blue Chip Stamps.  Remember those??

Here they are in order of stitching.  I took the pix of the first 2 just now, the other 2 were scanned from snapshots.
71 & 72


73 & 74

I was very adventuresome at that time.  Mom got a pair of needlepoint slippers.  My husband got a Bargello vest (he wore it for many years).  I tried jewelry – petit point brooches.  And then,  I discovered Needlepoint News, ANG (joined),  and perforated paper, among other adventures.  More about that in the next installment!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Indian Pot Progress

I have gotten quite a bit done on the Indian Pot.  I am VERY PLEASED with this so far!! 

I was stuck for awhile when I got to the brown band.  I did not care for what the pattern called for.  I looked at it and fiddled around with stitches for days (weeks?).  Then I started researching Indian pots and I began to get ideas.  The diamonds are a Jessica variation from Carole Lake's book, Twisty Stitches (thanks Carole!!).  The zig zag is Smyrna crosses. Then I agonized over what color and stitch for the background of this strip.  That took several days...  I ended up blending 2 shades of floss and basketweaved it, then backstitched the dark brown lines with Kreinik.  I love it!

Now for the borders and background.  All I'll be changing of them is the colors.  I think!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

My Needlepoint Journey

From time to time, I am asked how I got started needlepointing, how did I start designing, etc.  So I have decided to write it all down and post it here on Blog.  It will be fun for me.  You will just have to suffer through it and/or skip it altogether!  It won’t be all at once, but in irregular installments.
To begin, my mother and both grandmothers did lots of needlework, but not needlepoint.  Mom sewed and tried many different crafts and needleworks, finally settling mostly on quilting.  Nana sewed, embroidered, crocheted and tatted.  Grandma sewed, knitted, crocheted and embroidered.  I was taught all of these but only sewing and knitting really “took”. 

One day on my lunch hour, approximately 1969-1970, I was browsing in the craft department of a Department Store In West L.A.  I saw a QuickPoint kit which was a geometric design in shades of brown.  I liked the look of it and decided to give it a try.  I started it that night and was instantly hooked!  I think that project was finished in a few days.

While working that very first kit, my mind was racing.  I could needlepoint anything!  Just draw something on a canvas and go!  Oh my!  About that same time McCalls published a new edition of “McCalls Needlepoint with step-by-step instructions for beginners”.  I was sunk.  Here I found out about different sizes of canvas, threads, stitches, and… wait for it… charting!!  (It was $1.25 and I still have it.)
I don’t remember what my second piece was, but my third piece was a lion.  A good friend was a Leo and had a nice decal of a Leo lion that we enlarged and drew onto canvas.  I then needlepointed it into a cover for the stool in his VW van.  Those were the days, huh?

So, I was off & running.  That first year or so I also stitched seats & backs for 2 folding chairs, one of which was a sampler of stitches.  The photo was taken years later when they were well worn!  The sampler didn’t wear well – I think I used knitting yarn that I had around.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

River Dance Progress

River Dance is coming along nicely.  The left side is done and I'm pleased with it so far.  This picture is better than the last one, but I wasn't able to bring the color up as much as needed to be accurate. 

I'm still thinking about the right side.  Having a hard time deciding on vertical or horizontal stitches!  Vertical is much easier to shade, but horizontal would (I think) bring the right side forward, which I'd like.  I also have to decide on the colors.  The colors I had pulled are too dark.  Workin' on it....

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Window Seat Cushion 4

Working on it - sometimes, when the mood strikes and the sun shines!  It is now ready to have the ends sewn and then I will make the casing for the inner cushion and buy the stuffing, which will be a piece of foam rubber.  There is a store here that will cut it to your measurements. Hard to photograph now, it is so big!  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Indian Pot

This canvas is a line drawn design from Danji Designs and it came with a stitch guide.  I've had it in stash for at least 5 years.  Recently I decided to give it a try.  It is a nice size to work on and not too demanding.  (Famous last words!)

Of course, I have to change all the colors to my usual aquas and coppers.  Which creates the very challenge I was trying to avoid!  I may also change some of the stitches.  Sigh.....

Here's my progress so far: