Sunday, September 10, 2017

Choices when Stitching

Last month while on vacation, I was working on my stitch-along panel and realized that I was making a series of natural choices that resulted in the piece looking a great deal like an unfinished panel I had seen before.

Partially finished panel for Five Senses Tent Stitch Casket
What hit me was that I had made many of the easy choices first.  It was obvious that the clouds would be the same cream colors I had used in the friezes.  And the sun in yellows.  The sky is blue and then an iris is either purple or blue - blue being harder as there is so much sky.  So it was the easy choices that I chose to do and stitch.  The bug, lady and snail have many more choices so I kept putting it off, letting the easy choices help me visually realize what colors were missing or out of balance.  


Then I return to looking at this piece of embroidery and think about how the person approached the piece, it was much easier to think about the ground, animals and flowers which had far fewer choices for each and would allow progress to go forward before the more open ended figures and canopy was attacked.  This is almost counterintuitive as in many embroideries, you start with the main elements and work out to the supporting elements.  But when faced with making the color decisions yourself with a piece piece that only has black and while outlines on it -- it is far easier to work in this reverse.

And once you have this much completed it becomes much easier to push yourself to commit to a choice and get working on the harder elements - because it is almost already half done!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Website - Take care Floridians and our Caribbean friends!!

Just a note to let everyone know that the class website - www.thistle-threads.com - is hosted on servers in Florida in the path of Irma.  I expect that over the weekend and early next week that the site will likely go down for some period of time.  Hopefully just short - which would mean things aren't bad for the people local to the site.

My 'system' is hosted by several different providers around the country- so the NING site is separate from the blog, the teaching site and the shop site.  As far as I know - the teaching site is the only one in jeopardy and we are taking steps to back it all up right now in case of the worst.  Our server farm provider has already alerted us to their plans for the hurricane.

So if you haven't downloaded your lessons this month and you have time tomorrow - take advantage of it and grab a few pages to enjoy.  If things go down - it might take a bit for it to come up again or for me to get the site re-hosted and the domain rerouted to new servers.

Tricia

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Small Running of the Lacet Peacock Class

If you weren't able to take the Lacet Peacock Class last year because one of the colors had run out, I got a new manufacturing run of the blue (277) lacet and now can run it again.  But of course, the yellow ran out so I was only able to make up 38 kits.  Hopefully we can get some more of that made!

There are 18 spots left - I hadn't even promoted it yet and people found the class available.  So if you want to join in to make this little wonder, it is a 2-month class showing how to stitch together the flat braids to make the feathers for this peacock.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Janet Brandt's Casket Video

I am excited to say that I will be seeing Janet Brandt's casket in a week and I really can't wait!!  She will be in the area for an event and we are going to be taking full advantage of the time, with casketeers in the region invited already to join us.

So you don't feel left out - enjoy the video Janet made to celebrate the finishing of her casket.  It is quite the treat!

Tricia


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Back from Vacation - Thistle Threads Opened

I am writing this at 4 am - hate jet lag on the way back!  We landed yesterday during the solar eclipse in Boston (ominous?) and I am back to getting the house up and running as well as the business back to work as well.  So if you have been holding off on orders, know that they will be shipped this week if made.

Tricia

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today was a Good Day

Just some of the velvets I fell in love with
I know I am on vacation, but I had to tell you that today was a good day.  We have been sad due to some personal news on the Brainstormer front from home for the last few days.  But today was a good day.  A full day in Venice and much of it for myself.  I bolted around the town with a hard-fought list of artisans I wanted to visit.  It is rare to find a store, find it open during the European vacation (and a Catholic holiday to boot) and then in the store to find the actual craftspeople!!  YEA!

One was a famous paper marbler and the other was one of the family owners of the last handweavers of Venitian velvets - Luigi Bevilacqua.  The person I met was their - 'me'.  The technical guy who investigates the old velvets under the microscope, figures out the patterns, sets up the looms, and all things technical.  To say we had a great discussion is a understatement!  Watch this space for more yummy discussions and pictures of how things are made.  I loved it as learned soooo much!

 


Monday, August 7, 2017

Stitch Along Going Well

So the Casket Stitch Along is going very well!  There are about sixty people using the graphs to work a casket and I have gotten to the point where I have seven out of the 18 panels done for my casket and am working on number eight right now.  This is the newest piece for the casket below.

Right Frieze for all the Casket Types
I was just searching for the pictures of all the other sides and couldn't find them on my hard disk!  So I will have to wait until this next piece is done and post all the panels that have been done for fun!

This latest panel is for two months - September and October, but as the teacher...I have to be done with it Sept 1st so I can have the graph done and up for those waiting for it.  So as I am working on two caskets at the same time - about a panel a month - I had to take it with me on vacation.

Quite a deal to figure out how to do that!  The entire right side of the casket (friezes included) are mounted on one large slate frame.  As we were getting closer to the date to leave, it was becoming obvious that I wouldn't be able to stuff four months of stitching into one and get the Frostings shipment shipped at the same time?  REALLY??  (no I don't have a legion of little mice that come out at night and stitch for me!)  Ok, my husband started insisting that I go to bed by midnight and started saying obviously dumb things like ''why can't you take that with you?'

Easily said than done.  A 26" x 18" slate frame doesn't easily travel on flights.  And this trip - well I will be in eight countries and no less than nine flights.  You can imagine the horror of being told in some small Greek airport that my frame would have to be put in the hold at the gate.  I would freak out.

Reframed and ready to go with a few hours of
added work in Stockholm.
So I finally bit the bullet the night before our leaving and decided to do 'it'.  IT was to cut the piece out of the slate frame and reframe it onto a smaller slate frame, but that meant it would be kinda tight as there is only about 3/4 of an inch between the pieces and two of them were all done and fully stitched (and nicely in square).  So I decided to paste the paper for the finishing process onto the two finished pieces before I removed the tension from the frame.  So off to mix up a bit of the wheat paste, find some of the paper and carefully spread the glue on the back of the paper.  After a minute when the glue was more tacky than wet, I placed the embroidery face down onto a stack of books that had a light towel on them and placed the glue wetted paper over the finished embroidery parts.  Then I pressed them hard into the embroidery with my fingers.  Then again with a light towel on top and a few books for overnight drying.

I was then able to cut off the finished works without them raveling and right at the line I would cut them to paste onto the casket.  That gave me about one half inch of linen to fold over and use to attach the panel to a smaller slate frame.  I happened to have a variety of frames that were made decades ago and lucky... one just the right size for this issue.  Kinda travel sized.

So I have been working this piece daily when I get a chance and have made quite a bit of progress.  It is pretty clear to me that I would never have been able to get it done along with the stump work panel that is waiting for me at home in a 10-day period (plus instructions).  So good thing I was able to figure out a way to 'bring it with me'.

About a week of work in the hot sun (heat wave here)