Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 2015 Meeting

We had a great meeting on St. Patrick's Day. Lots to chat about since our February meeting was snowed out.
We are gearing up for our 10th anniversary in September by trying to get as many members as possible to 'sign' our member roll. Members have been stitching their name and some sort of sampler row or small picture or motif on the roll. Each person also add their name to a paper list and describes what they stitched. It is an amazing record of our group. Please talk with Jean Connelly, our chapter president, if you haven't had your chance to stitch yet. 

As always, lots of lovely items on our Ta-Da table. The pot holders are too pretty to be used and have been made up beautifully.
 Lots of bookmarks for Outreach.  Diana sent some up to a group in Alaska. And their are plans to leave bookmarks in random places, with our group information attached, to encourage membership. If you know of a good spot to leave one, let Diana Paisley know.
There were beautiful samplers and smalls, and even some smocking.
Our program was twining with artist Jan Hodges.  Jan (in dark blue) showed us a neat way to twist just about anything into a cord without the need of any gadgets or really long arms. Everyone played with the various materials, and as Gladys pointed out, you could tell when people figure out the technique because the room went from quite to filled with talking.
Thanks Jan for a great evening. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Is It 2015 Already?

This fall will be the 10th anniversary of Gentle Pursuits! Can you believe it? We've lots of fun over the last 10 years and this great group of active members is ready to move into another 10 year, and more. You might even see a few throwback Thursday photos here.  And if you have one, be sure to post it to Facebook or send it in to be posted on this blog.

In the meantime, on to current activities.

On March 17, there will be a twining class with Jan Hodges, with kits for those who signed up.
Our April program will be a beaded dragonfly French wire, taught by Cathy Keith.  Coupons and the $10 kit fee are due at the March meeting.

Our Outreach Projects for this year are similar to past years but a little different. We have a new style of bookmark for our reading outreach project.

And we are working on a blackwork coif for Agecroft Hall. 

Everyone's help is appreciated. Be sure to talk with Diana Paisley if you want to join in the stitching fun for either project.

Monday, July 7, 2014

June 2014 Pot luck and President's challenge

Our June meeting was a pot-luck and the reveal of the Presidential Challenge pieces. As usual, our Ta-Da table was filled with lovely things.
And we had our first look at the next coif we are making for Agecroft Hall.  This one will be blackwork. It was inspired by the Pocahontas jacket that several of us worked on earlier this year. Be sure to let Margaret or Diana know if you want to take the coif home to work on for a month or two.  Or you can add a few stitches during a meeting if you prefer.

The President's challenge this year was to create a berlingot shaped pin cushion using a 3" x 3" piece of linen (although a couple of people adjusted the size a bit.)  Everyone had a different idea for design and finishing.  If you want to try one, you can find instructions here.

May 2014 Super Meeting!

Our May program, Silk Gauze Cipher Pendant, was taught by Holly Rison. Holly taught us how to make a one inch square monogrammed pendant on 40 count silk gauze.  Thanks Holly for a wonderful class.

Thanks to the organizing efforts of Dee Ragsdale and Mona Cecil, we had extra excitement for our May meeting. Tracy Franklin and Nicola Jarvis, who were teaching RSN classes in Williamsburg, came up to Richmond to visit our group and have a Southern style covered dish dinner. Thanks to everyone who brought food.

And as always, there were lots of beautiful pieces by group members to inspire us to try new things or finish up UFOs.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Needle Painting Class April 2014

Our April meeting was a wonderful class on needle painting taught by Carolyn Porter. Not only was she a patient instructor but she created detailed kits to help us learn about this beautiful technique. As you can see from the photo above, there are tricks to getting the right color combinations for needle painting and Carolyn gave us lots of idea for finding the right combination.

In the near(?) future, you will see quite a few of these beautiful flowers on our Ta-Da table.

As usual, we had lots of fun and there were many wonderful pieces on our Ta-Da table.

Hope to see you all in May for silk gauze stitching and a pot luck with Royal School of Needlework instructors.

Monday, April 7, 2014

March 2014 Ackworth Sampler Lecture

Dee Ragsdale gave us a wonderful lecture on Ackworth School samplers for our March meeting.  Dee has visited the school in England and gave us a history of the founding of the school and the evolution of the sampler styles over the years. To accompany the lecture, Holly Rison brought part of her collection of framed, in progress, and kit Ackworth Samplers. Everyone was impressed with the sampler designs and Holly's wonderful stitching.

For those who couldn't attend the lecture, one of the best sites online to see Ackworth Samplers and order patterns is Needleprint. Both Dee and Holly agreed that the best book is Quaker School Girl Samplers from Ackworth by Carol Humphrey           

The breadth and scope of Holly's collection is very impressive!

We had a large selection of items in our Clear Your Stash display this month.  Not everything was scooped up, so come to the April meeting with your cash or check and see if something appeals to you.  Or if you have stash to donate, bring it in for Margaret to put on display. And don't forget to buy a ticket for the secret stash bag that will be available.

The Ta-Da table had some lovely  items, including a couple of Kumihimo bracelets from Linda's February program and some dyed fabric and floss from Catherine's dying workshop.

For our Meeting on April 15:

Don't forget to bring in your needle work for the chapter display that will be in the Tuckahoe Library in May.  Large pieces will not fit in the display cases, but any smaller embroidered or beaded items would be wonderful. Exhibits are one way we encourage others to join our group.

If you have signed up for the Needle Painting class with Carolyn Porter, don't forget to bring:
  • 4 inch hoop (must be able to hold fabric drum tight).
  • Scissors and regular stitching supplies.
  • Light / Magnification: Needle painting with good lighting and magnification will provide a better experience and result.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dyeing Workshop with Catherine Jordan

A small group of stitchers from Gentle Pursuits and the Virginia Guild of Needlewomen, and a couple of guests, learned how to use Cushing Direct Dyes to overdye threads, linen, and silk. As well as overdying various shades of Anchor and DMC threads, we had linen and silk fabric, ribbon, and chenille thread. We also had a chance to use cutch dye, alone or in combination with the Cushing Dyes.  Catherine did a great job and we had hours of fun.  You can get the same dyes and fabrics from Catherine's website if you want to try it at home.

First we tried the Cushing Dyes.

Catherine had cards showing other natural dyes.  Who knew the dirt around here could be used to make nice fabric colors instead of just making it hard to clean the kids' laundry.

 The cutch was simmering on the stove so we had to be careful when using it.
 I'm sure you haven't though of using your rice steamer to heat set dyes.  Catherine uses this only for dying - no rice is cooked in this!
Lots of color fun creating dyed fabrics.
Here is a small selection of some of the overdyed threads.