Saturday, May 25, 2013

Arabella Reborn

I have become addicted to StitchPlay Designs classes through Shining Needle Society.  Michael Boren and Carole Lake have great designs - lots of geometrics, which just call to me.  And they always include lots of colorways so there is something for every mood.

Their current class is Arabella Reborn.  It was so much fun to stitch that I finished it ahead of time! The piece uses lots of Caron Collection threads and I stitched it in the Kelp colorway.

Arabella Reborn - Kelp Colorway
Designed  by StitchPlay Designs
5½” x 5 ½” on 18-count canvas

Today is such a gloomy day here in New Jersey.  It's in the mid-50s and raining.  I don't know exactly what happened to Spring; it feels more like October than the end of May.  I think I'll go stitch something.

Until next time, happy stitching!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Or Nue Star Lily Finished

Posting three times in as many days - that's certainly a record for me.

I finished Or Nué Star Lily last night.  I really like the way it turned out.  We used the "economy" style of laying the thread - coming up in the hole directly below the one that the thread went into.  My tension is not that even and the #16 braid was a little stiff to work with for this method, at least for me. So, I think I may try to either lay the metallic using a satin stitch so that it wraps around the back or lay it all on the top and couch at the end.  Sounds like a trip to the needlework store for some canvas!

Or Nué Star Lily
Designed by Brenda E. Kocher Designs
2" x 2" on 18-count black canvas
Until next time, happy stitching!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Or Nué Class

Yesterday I took an Or Nué class by Brenda Kocher.  The ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter hosted the event.  The day was somewhat gloomy - a perfect day for stitching.  We were all so excited to start on Brenda's Or Nué Star Lily design.

Or Nué means "nuance of gold" or "shaded gold".  In this technique, gold or silver threads are laid across the canvas and then held down with silk threads couched over the metallic.  The silk threads are couched in a pattern that forms a design.  At the ends, the metallic threads can either be "sunk" into the canvas, which is what we did in class, or turned on the surface.  There are some excellent references on the Internet, including Jane Zimmerman's Traditional Technique of Or Nué.  There is a magnificent collection of Or Nué embroideries in the Altar Room (Sala dell'Altare) in the Cathedral Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo) in Florence.  They were designed by Pollaiolo in the 15th Century and took 23 years to complete.  We were able to visit there two years ago and the embroideries are breathtaking!  Unfortunately, my attempts to photograph the embroideries were not successful.

Our efforts yesterday were very basic and gave us a first taste of the technique.  Brenda is a terrific teacher and the class was very enjoyable.  It was so much fun watching the design emerge as we couched the Kreinik #16 braid that we were using as the metallic.  Of course, we were all so absorbed in stitching that we had to be reminded to take a break every so often.

By the end of the class, I finished about half of the design of Or Nué Star Lily.  You can see that I have a number of needles going at once to avoid dragging threads across the back of the work.

Or Nué Star Lily
Progress as of May 18, 2013
And here is the what the design will look like when finished.

Or Nué Star Lily
Brenda E. Kocher Designs
Completed Piece
Since it's raining here today, I think I'll work on finishing this piece.

Until next time, happy stitching!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Stash Building

I should just change the name of my blog to I Don't Know Where the Time Goes.  I was thoroughly aghast at how long it has been since I've posted.  Oh, well, much like my diets, tomorrow is another day (channeling Scarlett O'Hara).

I have been quite busy with some stitching - and I hope to get the finishes posted soon.  Right now I'm in a hotel room in King of Prussia, PA, trying to blog on my iPad; a new experience for me.  I already miss my laptop because I don't type as fast on the virtual keyboard.  And I tend to edit a lot when I write.

So what has all that to do with stash building?  The reason I am here is that tomorrow I will be taking a class on Or Nue, which uses silk couching threads over laid gold thread to create the design.  Brenda Kocher is teaching at the ANG Main Line Stitchers Chapter.  I decided to come down a day early so that I wouldn't have to get up ridiculously early tomorrow to drive the 2 hours or so before class.  I want to be really awake since, in my usual contrary fashion, I chose the black canvas on which to stitch rather than the white.

Still wondering about the stash building?  There is a needlepoint shop nearby- Fireside Stitchery - that I was able to visit this afternoon.  I almost didn't make it before they closed because of traffic, the two-hour ride turned into three, but I got there with about 30 minutes to spare.  They have a fabulous selection of threads and beads and canvases.  I restrained myself (something to do with recently looking at all of the canvases, charts and projects already waiting to be stitched) and only purchased a few things.  But they are goodies!

With any luck I'll blog about the class tomorrow, but it may wait until I get home so that I can use the laptop and be able to format everything.