Last month, I decided to enter my Rosie: Oyster Shucker piece into the local needlework show held at a historical site called Woodlawn Plantation. It’s an event that I mean to go to every year (this year is the 51st year of the exhibition), but have never made it to… until today. My mother came down (she also put in a mini quilt) and we were more or less the first people there today. We walked in to the first room, and the first thing I see is my piece hanging there on the wall, with a blue ribbon.
It was completely an unexpected surprise, and it caught me a little off-guard. Frankly, my first thought was that I must have had no competition! But the women working the show assured me that no one is awarded a ribbon if they don’t deserve one. My mother also received a 2nd place ribbon for her mini-quilt. Not too shabby for a couple of first-timers!
I wish that I could have taken photos of many other pieces as they were really very stunning. The Best In Show winner was this amazing blackwork (with touches of purple and gold) and there were some very inventive canvas work samplers.
If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, I highly recommend the show.
Earlier this week, my department went to a lunch and had a tour of this amazing place, The Mansion on O Street, and while there I happened upon this amazing Algebra book (among other things: like hidden doors and a bathroom with a chess table set up inside of it!)
While I am not ready to tackle one of the pages with amazing typography, I did feel ready to play with one of the end pages — full of problem-solving. This particular page happens to be very sturdy, so it will hold up to having a lot of holes put into it. I’ve also been longing to put together organic embroidery stitching and geometric stitching into one piece. I find it helpful to take photos of my pieces as I go along when I only sort of have a direction. It’s easier for me to look at a piece in its entirety in a photo than in person for some reason. Here’s a look at how it progressed.
This piece in particular doesn’t quite feel done just yet, but I’m sleeping on it for now.
If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Flickr, then you’ve been seeing some photos of this large burlap sack I’ve been working on. The above photo doesn’t show the full thing even, it’s a big sack. I’ve been using this thick string, my big plastic needle and various motifs from some books I have collected over the past year or so. The idea is to make it sampler-like. I’m working without a real plan, just with some patterns in mind that I’ve liked and wanted to use. And I am trying to stay roughly on-center. There’s also a second side to this sack, and I have plans to do that as well. At the moment, I really like the idea of keeping the bag in-tact. Though I reserve the right to change my mind!
A little extra bonus: the bag smells like coffee beans still.
Fair warning, this post is going to be photo-heavy.
I frequent our quarterly library book sales and am always finding cross stitch patterns and this time I found a (falling apart) 1978 Better Homes and Gardens embroidery book. It’s got some interesting projects (like this blanket and pillow that I tweeted about earlier in the week), but most intriguing was this stitch diagram in the back:
A quick google around convinced me that I wasn’t really going crazy, this was something that I actually hadn’t seen anywhere else before.
I had to try it, and frankly, that diagram left me with a few questions on how it was supposed to work. I know I haven’t technically done a closed herringbone, but I really like it open (and it seems easier to describe and show), but basically the more closed the herringbone stitch, the feather stitch gets more closed as well.
So here we go. I will show you the stitch worked in a single color, and then again worked in two colors.
Really, it makes sense while doing it.
I’ve been working the last few days on this little piece (it’s less than 7″ wide) featuring my paternal grandparents. There are some parts that I am really happy with — my grandfathers’ hair and hand — and other parts that I wish were better. I don’t normally do things twice, but I am thinking I might be more satisfied if I go a bit bigger.
Eventually, I can see myself collecting all my little family-based pieces into something bigger. Still not sure what exactly, but something.