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.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February Kumihimo Bracelet

Linda DaValle did a great February program on making Kumihimo braids. She designed bracelets for us to make.  By the end of the evening several people already had bracelets. We all had lots of fun.

The Coif is Home at Last.

On Saturday, February 15 we finally presented the finished polychrome coif to Agecroft Hall. It has been fun working on it over the last 3 years, but now it is ready to be part of the interpretive program at Agecroft.  First it will be on exhibit with the other coifs held in the Agecroft collection.  Be sure to go and see the coif and of course Agecroft Hall.

Here is the Saturday turnover with Gentle Pursuits members and two Agecroft representatives.

And here is one of the professional photographs taken on the head form Agecroft Hall had ready for the coif.

Next up, a blackwork coif for another interpreter!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Stitch in Public - Today - February 1

Hope to see you at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts café, where members of Gentle Pursuits will be stitching on all sorts of lovely things to encourage people to learn more about embroidery. We'll have the coif there if you want to see it before it goes to Agecroft Hall.

We'll be stitching until 1 pm.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Bevy of Bookmarks

Our Saturday meeting for January was very successful.  After several hours of stitching we have lots of bookmarks for The READ Center in Richmond, but we can always use more so please keep on making more bookmarks and bringing them in to meetings.
Thanks to Diana there were lots of threads and patterns to choose from to make the bookmark inserts.


We had the coif modeled by a visitor to our meeting.

And she won our monthly opportunity drawing.  Thanks to Dee for bringing in the bag of goodies.

Lots of lovely things on our Ta-Da table - as usual.

Brenda Rosseau came to tell us about the Pocahontas jacket being recreated at Colonial Williamsburg’s Costume Design Center for Preservation Virginia’s Historic Jamestowne. Several group members signed up for sample kits and hope to join in the project which starts this week.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 2014 Meeting

Our first meeting of 2014 will be held on Saturday, January 18th at 9AM.

This is an Outreach meeting and we will stitch bookmarks to benefit the READ Center (see last year's bookmarks above). The chapter is providing the bookmarks, needles, threads, silk ribbon, some idea books, charts and embellishments to make our bookmarks. Bring along your usual stitching supplies. Because these bookmarks are so fast and easy to do, it's a good way to stitch and catch up with your friends. We will be providing a light morning snack and a pizza lunch - as always, please provide your own drink.   

During our bookmark stitching, Brenda Roseau from Colonial Williamsburg costuming will be talking about the Pocahontas embroidered waistcoat that is being stitched for Historic Jamestowne.

Sample kits to make the bird shown above will be available for those wanting to stitch a sample and help with the jacket.

Clear Your Stash Any Time
This year we are trying a new way of stash busting/fundraising for our chapter. Rather than waiting until June to bring in any books, charts, kits, supplies, etc., for a silent auction, you are invited to donate a bag or box of items at any meeting.

Clear Your Stash items will be set out and anyone who wants something can write a check to donate what they think is a fair amount.

Each month we will try to have a goodie bag of donated items. You will be able to purchase opportunity tickets for a drawing at the end of the meeting.

Tickets will cost 50 cents; we will not have change available. Please bring exact change if you wish to use cash. 

You need to be present to win or give your ticket to a friend to pick up at the end of the meeting.