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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Getting Back Home and Reflections

The Winterthur's Embroidery, the Language of Art Conference was great.  It was not like any other conference I have been to.  Great location, great facilities, no hassle lunch, great teachers.  It is only held every other year.  Would I go again?  Yes.  Next time I will try and talk my BFF's into going too.  It is always more fun to do things with friends.  I would also allow more time to see the museum and to shop.

Last Sunday was all about getting home.  I don't think I like the Philadelphia airport.  I spent half an hour driving around trying to find a place to fill up the car with gas.  Even with Matilda's help, I could not.  I drove through the airport three times until in frustration I just returned the car.  It all turned out fine in the end.  I had five hours to kill at the airport before my flight.  Au Bon Pain was a great place to eat.  I actually met someone that lives down the street from me waiting for her flight.

I stitched on Pioneer Girl's Book Etui most of the time.  It is good to do boring repetitive work while waiting.  This is how far I am:

I think I can finish the front soon.

While I was at the conference, I got to see some of Mary Lynn's stitching.  It was amazing.  She designed and made a stitch covered box.  Wow, was it ever gorgeous.

 She showed me a photo of a sampler she designed.  She says that she just starts in the middle and stitches what she likes.  Oh, man, I'd love to be able to do that.  I don't think she knows how talented she is.

It is great to be back home and back to regular stitching.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Embroidery, The Language of Art, Day Three

The second day of the conference was very similar to the first.  We had lectures in the morning and workshops in the afternoon.  I noticed several things about the lectures.  The boring lectures were when the lecturer read directly from her thesis.  Most of the lecturers started out stating about four or five points she intended to talk about.  The best lecturers were enthusiastic about the subject, and did not read from text but just spoke.  Two of the lecturers were from the UK and both talked instead of reading.  They were really enjoyable.  One lecturer went significantly over the time limit.  Unfortunately she was one of the thesis readers.  Ugh.  We all just wanted to go to lunch.  I clapped enthusiastically when she was done, I was so glad it was over!  I very much enjoyed hearing about May Morris as I am a fan of William Morris designs.  I learned a lot about some significant American embroidery pioneers that I hadn't heard of before.
Lunch was a buffet with a nice selection including a chicken dish and more cookies.  I ate quickly since I wanted to see the exhibit on embroidery at the museum before the workshops started.  I am proud to say that I never took the shuttle between the visitor's center and the museum, I always walked so I could get some steps in.

 The exhibit seemed sort of small but very interesting.  I also stopped off at the museum store to look for a souvenir.  I spotted a delft mug that I liked.  I knew I would have to carry home so it would get broken.

The workshop in the afternoon began with Tricia's class.  I was ready to cut the threads and begin the fancy stitching.

I learned several things.  We set up a sort of scaffolding for the Venetian stitch.  I admit I didn't really remember how to do it.  Amy Mitten's step by step usually gets me through it in her kits.  But there were very good photos and instructions in Tricia's kit.  My first attempt looked very messy but I think I can do it.

 I especially wanted to know how to do a picot.  I think I understand how to do one now.  Yesterday I wasn't sure I could tackle such a challenging design but today I think I can.  And that is half the battle.  I didn't realize that the design is reversible.  I don't think I'll stitch it that way though.  I brought my trinket box to show Tricia and she even took photos f it and said it was cute!

My second workshop is Joanne Harvey's Ann Flower's Pin Cushion.

 Until I saw the kit, I didn't know what the design was.  I only knew it was based on a book cover that I thought was pretty.  It is worked on 28 count linen but with wool and in a brick stitch that looks bargello like.

 Joanne had a slide presentation as well.

There were museum pieces utilizing bargello for us to see.

 Joanne prefers the term "embroidery" as opposed to "stitching" and "assemblage"  instead of "kit".  She worked for many years at the Ford Museum.
After this workshop, the conference was over.  Wow, it went so fast.  I drove back to the hotel.  Why Matilda takes me this back way with narrow roads and hills, I don't know.  But I made it!  My friends have invited me to go to dinner with them tonight.  We are going to an Italian place called Arugula.  I am not so fond of arugula so I'm hoping there are good choices.  We get picked up by an Uber driver.  He has a Jeep of some kind that is a challenge for four older ladies to climb into.  We need somebody to give us a boost.  The restaurant is very good and authentic Italian.  I have risotto balls, crab and shrimp pasta. and some cherry cream concoction for dessert.  It was all very good.  It was the best meal this trip.  What fun we had!
I go home tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Embroidery- The Language of Art, Day Two

I'm so excited for the conference to start.  I had a good night's sleep and I am ready to go.  No time for walking.  When I looked at Facebook this morning it said that one year ago today I was in Edinburgh. I think that is a good omen.

 My first hurdle is to drive out to Winterthur.  Matilda got me there.  I love the long drive into the museum.  It is just the most beautiful place.

 No wonder DuPont built his house there.  Having been to Winterthur before, I knew where to park and where the lobby is.  I'm just a bit early so registration hasn't started yet.  I'm looking for people I know.  After you go to a few retreats, you get to know the regulars.  I see my friend Dorothy and Claudia and Mary Lynn.  Registration opens and we get a folder with our schedule and various hand-outs in it along with a name tag.  There are pastries and coffee available.
We find out that the lecture hall is through the gift shop.
The screen is very nice and large.  I can see everything very well.  The sound was good too.  I had no trouble hearing the speakers.  The conference is set up for four or five lectures in the morning and two workshops in the afternoon.  The first speaker was Tricia Wilson Nguyen.  I enjoyed her talk very much.  The speakers were allotted 45 minutes to speak.  The other three speakers I didn't know.  Some of them were reading parts of their doctoral thesis.  We got a mid morning break but we should have taken a minutes or two between speakers to stand up and stretch.  Sitting in a dark, warm quiet room encourages people to nod off.  Lunch wasn't until 1:00 p.m.  Lunch was served in the cafeteria and it was good.  I was expecting sandwiches but it was much better than that.  And there were cookies.

 We had some time off until the first workshop at 2:30. I think all the workshops were based on embroidery in the Winterthur Museum.

  My first workshop was with Tricia.

  It is a small sampler that had some fancy stitching at the bottom of it.

 We are concentrating on the fancy stitching as the rest of the sampler is straight forward.  We have a doodle cloth and some special thread that I haven't used before.  We are to do a rectangle of four-sided stitches.  No problem, I can do that.  But we only have an hour and a half for the workshop, luckily we have this class again tomorrow.  I get my four sided stitches done but I am one thread off!  Oh well, this is a practice piece and it is okay.
My next workshop is called Vade Mecum.   Who knows what that is? We go to the library.  We get to see very old books of embroidery.  We find that vade mecum means "ready reference".  It is a book of embroidery designs for inspiration and patterns.  We are up close and personal with the books and they even let us turn the pages and take photos.

  I really enjoyed seeing the books.  It was very interesting even though it was making something.
After the last workshop there was a reception with wine and appetizers.  I stayed a little while but I wanted to drive back to the hotel while it was still light.  Yes, even with Matilda, I got a bit lost on the way back to the hotel.  I had to stop and make sure Matilda knew the right address.  I made it back but it was a harrowing trip through steep hills and narrow roads.  Whew.  The hotel was across the street from a TGI Fridays to I went and got some pot sitckers (another guilty pleasure) to eat in my room.  What a day!  I worked on the sampler to make sure I was ready for class the next day.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Embroidery, The Language of Art: Getting There

Last Thursday was all about getting to Wilmington Delaware.  I flew into Philadelphia, the closest airport to the Winterthur Museum.  It is only about half an hour away.  I rented a car to drive down there.  I liked the Chevy Cruze they gave me.  This time I made sure I the seat was adjusted so I could see out!  I had Matilda, my GPS.  I absolutely could not have gone on this trip without it.  I decided that my first stop would be The Strawberry Sampler.  I had ordered a couple of patterns from them but I had never been to the shop.  I missed turning into the strip mall on the first go round so had to try and turn around and go back - but I didn't realize I was on a one-way street.  I did finally make it to the shop without too much more trouble.  Don't you love the big red Cross Stitch sign?

There are rocking chairs out front. probably for husbands.
Good needlework shops always have lots of models on the wall.

I bought another Funky Bird pattern.  Why do I like funky birds?  I have no idea, but I do.

I got all the stuff so I could work on her if I wanted.  I only brought one (really) project to work on, Betsy's Pioneer Girl's Book Etui.  By the time I was done at The Strawberry Sampler, it was two in the afternoon.  There was a pizza place just a few doors down from the store.  So I went in there and indulged in my guilty pleasure, pizza and breadsticks.  Yum.

Now my next job was to find the hotel.  Matilda got me there just fine.  I saw a lady in the hotel lobby who introduced herself, I thought she said her name was Jane but I found out later that I didn't hear it correctly.  She said I looked like a stitcher.  (I wonder why she said that, because I'm old?)

I was pretty tired as I didn't sleep very well the night before, I was too excited.  Later a maid came to my door and gave me a slip of paper.  It said that a lady would be in the lobby at 6:30 to take people to another lady's house.  I was tired but thought I would be sociable.  So I went down to the lobby and was talking to another lady down there who was giving a workshop on Erica Wilson. A van came to pick people up.  A lady asked me if I was a teacher.  It turns out I was given the paper by mistake.  This was a dinner invitation for the teachers at the conference.  The lady who introduced herself in the lobby was there.  So I figured out who she was.  She hadn't said her name was Jane.  She was Joanne Harvey who is a very famous needlework teacher.  I have a class with her on Saturday.  So I just went back up to my room and relaxed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Near Disaster

I was working away on the Pioneer Girl's Book Etui when I realized I was running out of room.  Uh-oh.  Something's not right.  Turns out that the backstitching around the design was twenty threads too short!  Do I have to scrap everything I've stitched?!?!?  I hate to waste linen and I was very close to the edge.  I had my fingers crossed that I would have enough room and enough seam allowance.  So I took out the incorrect stitches and put in the right ones.  I am so happy, it fits - but just barely.

I should be more careful next time.

I glued the paper to the back of the trinket box stitching using the Yes glue.  You really have to be careful not to use too much of that glue.  I got a bit too much on in places even after smoothing it out with a credit card.  I've cut the edges of the box and wrapped it around checking the fit.  I've got rubber bands around it.

 The seam looks pretty good.

 The next step is to glue the paper to the paper covered box.  It is starting to take shape now.  I have some edging trim for the top edge.

 I think this is going to look good - fingers crossed!

I've printed my boarding passes and need to finish packing.  I'll be back next week with a full report.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Of a Tuesday

I finished the hem stitching on Mistress L.  Yeah!  It still needs the handkerchief linen on the back (to hide my messiness!).  So this sucker isn't really done-done.  I want to go by the quilt store and see if they have any options for hanging this up.

I got a kick out of Marilyn.  She is a faithful reader of this blog and always leaves a kind comment.  She thought my BAP might be ghosts.  That reminded me that I haven't shown the whole picture for a long time.  I'm stitching a John Singer Sargent painting called Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose.
I'm working on the top left corner and have a couple of lilies and a lantern done.

It would be a magnificent accomplishment to stitch this whole thing.
Yesterday's photo:
This is how much stitching can be accomplished in one evening.  Not much.
I finished putting in the blue lines on the front of Pioneer Girl.

I've run out of Claey's Root Beer Drops.  Horrors!  I'm off to Hobby Lobby to replenish my supply.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Busy Week

I have a busy week this week.  I'm leaving for a conference early on Thursday morning,  That means I have to pack and get ready.  BFF#2 will be back in town for a couple of days.  I hope we can get together and stitch.  The bathrooms are clean.  The sun is shining.

I have been putting in at least one long thread in the hemstitching for Mistress L.  I am just over half done.  Maybe I can finish that up today.   It looks so much smaller when it is hemmed.

 I am ready to put paper on the back of the trinket box parts.  I have to iron them and stretch them.  Ugh.  But I would love to have that done.

I've been seeing all these full coverage pieces on FlossTube.  I wanted to put some stitches in my BAP.  So I dug it out and tried to figure out where I was.  Not easy.

 How do you not get lost in this?  I have one chart page done.  I'm working on page two at the moment.  I don't know how to "park".   I tried watching a video (it was on diagonal parking) and it was so confusing.  I decided to let this marking tape be my friend and help me figure out where I am.  So I put tape on my chart and tape on my piece.  I'm putting a big X on the chart squares I have finished.  That's the only way to get a sense of accomplishment on this.  I don't think I could work on this and have anything to show on this blog.  Do I stop blogging?  Do I show it anyway?