Friday, February 26, 2010


Someone announced on the ANG email list that Pocket Full of Stitches in Texas is going to stay open.  There were no details in the message but I assume this means the retiring owners have found a buyer for the shop.  Keep your fingers crossed!

UPDATE:  See Monica's comment below for the latest.  Thank you, Monica!

By the way, here is the Pocket Full of Stitches website.  If you are not familiar with the shop, you'll enjoy a browse.  It has many many happy customers!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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Stars: Beading Marilyn Monroe

Since my last posting, I have finished the parallelograms in Stitch Five, laid long slanting lines for Stitch Six, and built the bottom layer of the lattice-like Stitch Seven.  You can see all that in the above photo.

Stitch Six introduced a new thread:  black B2 which is Gold Rush 18 in color GD31C.  It's a woven chainette type metallic thread but the cut end of Gold Rush doesn't unravel the way many chain woven threads do.  It's a very nice thread that covers in long lines on 18 count well, but then it is Gold Rush EIGHTEEN.  Of course it is perfect for 18 count!  It introduces a lot of drama to the Marilyn Monroe block, doesn't it?

Stitch Seven's bottom layer is in the violet A2 which in my case is J.L. Walsh's silk-wool #1074.  This is a strand of soft silk and wool which is slightly variable in color which can be separated into 5 plies.  I used two of the plies for the foundation of Stitch Seven.  Some J. L. Walsh silk/wool blends are solid in color and some are overdyed.  1074 is the latter.

The middle step in Stitch Seven is to put what Tony calls Strap Cross on top of the latticework.  For this I am supposed to use a strand of violet A1 which is Impressions #6042, also a silk/wool blend.  I was a little skeptical that the Impressions called for in the instructions would work together without Impressions hiding the J. L. Walsh underneath it.  So I moved to Plan B.  I used 2 plies of my A3 thread (which is the violet Splendor silk floss in color S1086) instead.  Interestingly enough, this silk looks more blue when laid on top of the bluish violet J. L. Walsh silk than it does when laid on top of the terra cotta DMC floss it is paired with in the squares that surround the center star in this block.

The final step of Stitch Seven is to add accent stitches in black B1 which in my case is 2 plies of Soie Crystale black silk floss #0020.  When I completed the last of Stitch Seven, the design was officially finished but I thought the holes at the top and bottom of each center black cross leg were too prominent (probably because I lightened the thread for Stitch Seven) so I put beads in them.  In the above photo you can see half the block beaded and half not beaded, so you can compare the two looks.  I am using Mill Hill's Magnifica beads # 10120 which are a dark terra cotta color similar to the same color in the overdyed Silk N Colors that tops the center star of Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe is not quite finished.  Once I finish the beading, she will be and then I will turn my attention to the sashing blocks tomorrow and reveal what I have decided to do. there.  Once the sashing is done, I will only need to do the outside border on the top and can put Stars away for a little while.

While you wait, you will certainly want to visit the designer Laura Perin's blog to see her pink/green/lavender/apricot version of Stars, which is magnificent!  Laura has been working on this a while and is much further along than I am.  Ignore all her praise of me for talking her into picking this up again.  I just wanted to see her lovely colors develop!  I think this is my favorite colorways of all the Stars I have seen, so I can't take credit for selfishly wanting to see more.

If you are tired of watching Stars versions, then go see the Needle Works' blog to see wonderful photographs of an upcoming Tony Minieri piece, some spectacular finished stitching from customers, see the new store under construction and of course proof that it does occasionally snow in Texas!

In Blog news, I've adjusted all my titles' color to be deep black instead of charcoal and made the header title deep plum to help things be clearer.  I am also still rebuilding my blog list but still can't move it from the bottom of the page.  So I am reducing the number of blog entries on the first page to three so you don't have to scroll down past five entries to find it.  I hope all these little cosmetic changes help make Blog more readable for you, Dear Reader!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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