Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gentle Pursuits and the EGA Master Craftsman Program

We had some news at the start of our October meeting. Catherine Jordan, our chapter president, has been appointed as National Coordinator for the EGA Master Craftsman Program. And one of her first duties was to give Jean Connelly a certificate for the completion of the sixth and final step in her Counted Thread Master Crafstman certification. Congratulations to both of you!

The outfit for this doll is Jean's final project. It was absolutely beautiful - the colors and the stitching and the pattern. The photo doesn't do it justice, but you may see a better one later.

Here are some of the finished bookmarks from September's hem stitching class. Many thanks to Catherine Jordan for teaching this special free program to our chapter. Our free September programs are annual thank you programs from members in good standing, and every one has been enjoyable.

October's program was an apron lecture by Sharon Spradlin Barrett. She had an amazing array of aprons going way back in time, including some she has made for her costuming work. Some were quite beautiful and obviously not meant for use in the kitchen! Thanks for the great lecture Sharon.
Don't forget to bring your December luncheon coupons to the November meeting. Have you started your Christmas ornament?

Monday, October 11, 2010

October update - August to November info for all

August 2010 Program Our Christmas in August program on finishing with Joan Hippen was very well attended and enjoyed by all. September 2010 Many thanks to Catherine Jordan for the chapter members free program in September - Hemstitching. Hopefully there will be some finished pieces in October to show in the blog. Thanks to everyone who brought in work for display at the Fairfield Library in September. These displays are always well received and it is a great way to show people the variety of needlework we do, and maybe even get new members.

Jean Connelly has been working on the coif since August. It has been wonderful to see the coif slowly show all its colors. Can't wait to see how it will look in October after another month with Jean. The Holiday Luncheon is scheduled for December 4 (check your newsletter for more details). If you plan on participating in the optional ornament exchange, it is time to start planning. Here are some of last year's ornaments for inspiration. October 19 Meeting Join us for a talk about aprons by Sharon Spradlin Barrett - come with a tea cup and wear an apron if you have one you'd like to show off. It is also time to sign up for this year's President's Challenge. Join in October using the coupon in the newsletter and get the metal form and instructions you will need to participate.

November 16 Meeting Kathy G will be teaching us how to work the crewel piece 'Heart of the Shenandoah' designed by Michele Chavez. Check the newsletter for the registration coupon which is due at the October meeting.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coif progress

Our July meeting was an informal stitch-in. Catherine Jordan, our chapter president, had been working on the coif for a month and brought it to the meeting to show us the progress. She has done all the strawberries and 1 1/2 cornflowers and 1 and a bit roses.What an accomplishment. She has the coif for another month, plus more silk. We may be ordering more soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

June meeting - auction and notebook challenge

Every other year, our June meeting is the election of officers and a pot-luck dinner. The June meeting in alternate years, like this year, is a silent auction and salad & dessert potluck. Every year, we have a display of the president's challenge.

So here is what we did. The busy table at the auction was the 2 for $1 table of patterns. Several people cleared out their stash of finished patterns ( and some unfinished, we all can change our minds) and rather than bid on every one or create groupings that might only have one wanted pattern, we let everyone just pick and choose. It was a great success.

We also had lots of stash of various sorts - materials, threads, kits, stands, frames, and more.

Any items that weren't auctioned off were given to various charities. And everyone was happy with their new stash.
The salad and dessert pot-luck was great. We had an incredible assortment of foods and everyone enjoyed the meal.
Finally the members who finished the president's challenge to create a cover for a small notebook told the group about their work. Catherine reminded everyone that you can still finish your cover over the summer and bring it in for your bookmark prize.

May meeting and exhbit

We had an excellent meeting in May - Holly taught us motifs from the Wilton House sampler and created a project to use them, and as usual Kathy and Laurie made up amazing kits for those who participated. There are no photos of the class to post but I hope to post some finished items soon (hint to those who participated).

Also during May was our exhibit at the Tuckahoe Library. Thanks to all who contributed items. While it is a bit of a challenge to find items to fit into these cases, it really does create an exciting exhibit with many 3-D embroidery items, and shows everyone how exciting embroidery can be.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April meeting and coif update

Thanks to all of our generous members, Diana was able to send 3 boxes of supplies to Haiti by Hand for distribution to craftswomen in Haiti. Take a look at the blog to see what the group is doing.
We've had some fun programs making needlecases, silk strawberries, and leaning to mount and frame needlework. Our May program is based on a cross-stitch sampler at Wilton House, an historical site in Richmond. June will be our silent auction. Members can bring in needlework related materials (books, stash, etc.) and it will be auctioned off to other members to benefit the chapter (things like paying for the instructor for our Christmas in August program and our free September program). Out with the old stash and in with some new!

Don't forget ALL EGA members renew at the same time this year. Dues must be received by our May meeting.

And for those following along with the coif, here is the latest.
Two new motifs have been stitched and added to the instruction book. This daffodil is based on a motif on the purse in Agecroft Hall.
This cornflower is a traditional design, although the base and shape are adapted to fit into this particular coif pattern.

Gentle Pursuits members, if you have any photos to add to our blog, please send them to Margaret.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Coif Progress - March 2010

Here are a couple of the coif motif tests that have helped with the colour choices. The honeysuckle is a common motif on jackets and coifs - there is even one on the demi-lune purse in Agecroft Hall. There are a couple of adjustments on this one, the side flowers are smaller than the center flower and two buds are missing. Also, in order to fit into the design, it has to sit on the heart. The spider web circle will be done with faux gold after all the silk stitching is done, so progress photos might look a bit odd for any of the motifs that need gold.

The pansy and strawberry. The pansy is from the original pattern. We will try to save leaves, strawberries and buds for people who only want to work a meetings, rather than taking the whole coif home for a month. So members, even if you don't want to carry the frame around, you can still put your name on a strawberry or a leaf.

Here is the mounted coif, thanks to Sharon. She had to add a strip of fabric because of some shrinkage, but you can tell by all the tacks it is securely mounted (Evertight frames for those who are interested)

And here is the first motif stitched on the coif - a tudor rose, which is another common motif.

And here is the coif as of March 22, 2010.

The coif and threads and a binder with instructions and photos will be ready for the next stitcher at April's meeting. Be sure and let Diana Paisley know if you want to take it home or if you want to stitch during a meeting - remember the room at Christ Church is open to us at 5 pm so there is an hour and a half to stitch before the meeting even starts!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Coif is Started

Our January meeting marked the beginning of our Coif Project. Before the meeting we met to go over the logistics of the actual coif. Then after the business meeting. Margaret Henderson taught reverse chain and detatched buttonhole and how to use freezer paper to transfer patterns. Hopefully next month we will have some of the member motifs to post, but there will be some more test motifs, used for planning a silk order, to post in a week or so.

Margaret, Holly, and Sharon are looking over the coif pattern on linen and the motif tests before the January meeting. Here is the traced pattern. Sharon will take it home with the frame and set things up - can't thank her enough for that. She has costuming and embroidery experience so she is the perfect person to start the ball rolling. She will do some roses. It is exciting to see the pattern on the linen, looking quite different from the pattern on paper somehow, and imagine what it will look like when complete.

For those who are interested in working on the coif, please join us before our regular meetings, at 5 pm. Members who take the coif home for the month will need to get it to the next meeting, so the next member can take it home.
Thanks to Cheryl Christian for the photos.
Contact Diana Paisley for more information

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Testing threads for the coif

Our next meeting, Tuesday, January 19, 2010, will be the beginning of our Agecroft Hall outreach program. We will be practicing reverse chain and detatached buttonhole stitch and starting on the first coif.

The coifs we are making for Agecroft Hall will be worn during interpretive programs held during hot, humid Virginia summers, so we need to use materials that can be washed if necessary. So thread testing was in order, and it also did duty as detatched buttonhole practice and ease of motif stitching testing. Gilt Sylke Twist and real gold thread were out because of washing and expense.

This pomegranate was done in cotton perle 5 and while it fills nicely, it is just too thick - the detatched buttonhole doesn't look quite right. The gold is Nordic Gold very fine - a gold braid - and it isn't shiny enough. But the French knot center seems good in concept. It will add some variety. We really wanted this motif on the coif since there are pomegranates on the coif and a purse in the Agecroft Hall collection, plus in the plaster decoration in the dining room.

This cornflower is done in cotton perle 8. Better than the 5, but still too bulky. The gold is faux gold from Thistle Threads and it works up easily and looks very good
This carnation tested a few things. The pink and white are two strands of silk floss. The dark pink is the detatched buttonhole and seems a bit sparse. The light pink and white are trellis stitch and it is alot of work to fill with plus it doesn't seem to really add anything, plus it is hard IMHO. The green is 3 strands of cotton floss, which fills nicely but doesn't have the sheen of the silk. The gold is the Nordic Gold again, just not shiny enough.
Here is the Soie Perlee and faux gold. We sort of knew this would be our choice, but we had to see for sure. The petals of the rose are nicely filled and even and shiny - all in all, a wonderful thread to work with (but don't use too long a piece or it will unravel). The gold on the strawberry is really lovely in person. There was no green silk to test with yet, so the leaf is an overdyed cotton floss from Catherine Jordan. The center of the rose is a spiral trellis, which is easier to do that the regular trellis and the look is worth it.

The pattern we decided on was 'Mary', made by Laura Mellin and purchased from Reconstructing History. But several of the motifs were complex and since this is our first try at this sort of thing, a few easier motifs were in order. The replacement motifs are based on a couple from the Plimoth Jacket and a couple from the demi-lune purse in the Agecroft Hall collection. They will appear on the blog as we get going.

The test colours have come in from Hedgehog Handworks (they are having a sale until the end of the month). Not only do we need to decide on which colours to use for each motif, but we also need to measure how much for a motif and then calculate our final amounts to order.