Wednesday, September 8, 2010

EGA Report from San Francisco Four

Vicky is back, with more about EGA and San Francisco:

"Today was not so sunny and the temperature was about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday with winds and drizzle. What happened? Summer is not over yet! Well it was warm and inviting in the classroom as today was the day to paint my linen. I was hoping that I could get someone to paint for me as being out of my comfort zone, I get a little uneasy. But the painting was much easier than I thought! After stitching in the California coastline, we need to paint in the ocean and the land. Everyones' looked totally different and just as beautiful as the next one. Some people of course stitch much faster than others, and some not so! We spent the rest of the morning adding the letters and the ship. I am planning on framing mine, so I am doing it a little bit different.

Lunch time came and it was out the door to walk to Marlene's Custom Finishing about 2 miles away. I figured that since I have been enjoying the local adult beverages at night, I thought that the walk would do me good. But what Mapquest didn't tell me that they sent me through a very different neighborhood! I arrived at Marlenes and walked up the stairs and introduced myself. I was amazed at the organized chaos that produces all these beautiful pieces. Lots of finishing ready to go home to happy stitchers. A magnificent pillow marked for Needlepoint of La Jolla, Melissa Shirley's large Halloween witch on its way to A Stitch in Time, beautiful pillows, magnificient stocking, darling ornaments and on and on. If your shop sends finishing to Marlene, you should really have yours sent there! Piles of fabrics and literally miles and miles of cording. Up & down the walls as far as the eye could see, rolls of cording, most of which is hand dyed by them for the perfect color. It was a wonderful visit and I so enjoyed my time spent with Marlene and her girls. Well worth the walk! Marlene did send me back a different way, which was much better.

Back to class to finish up my day. It is so great to see everybody's pieces coming along and many with quite a bit done on theirs. I know that I will finish mine, so that I can have a wonderful tribute to my time in San Francisco, Class ended and it is always sad to see it come to an end, but I guess all things must come to and end sooner or later! Quickly back to my room to drop off my stuff and head over to Needlepoint Inc. This was a much shorter walk and it took me through the trendy Union Square area, which is a shoppers delight with very high end spots to spend your hard-earned money. But I was on a mission and that was to get to Needlepoint Inc, which is located on the 3rd floor on Post Street in a beautiful older building. A quick ride up the elevator and the doors opened to the most amazing shop! Like walking into a candy store, but for needlepointers.  Literally floor to ceiling models, canvases and threads all so tastefully displayed with some Asian antiques intermingled. Spent a good hour in there, checking out every nook and cranny. I did buy a charted design of San Francisco that was designed just for the EGA Seminar in San Francisco. I probably could have bought a lot more, but then there is the wine tour tomorrow and the merchandise night and I am saving myself..."

I think I've found a photograph of the Catherine Jordan class piece Vicky is working on.  I am not sure, though!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

New to Painted Canvas?

Patt and Lee Designs' Pirate Cat
Because I know several folks who are new to stitching painted canvases are reading Blog right now, I'm going to try to explain how I stitch a painted canvas in detail with the beginner in mind.  If you are about to go on vacation or something and can't read tidbits over the several weeks it will take me to stitch the Pirate Cat, you can read a good summary at the link below.  I wrote this several years ago but all the information is current and it lays out how to embellish canvases quite well.

The Pirate Cat canvas above is the one I'll be stitching while I talk about how to choose threads and stitches (and sometimes colors) for painted and printed canvases.  Pirate Cat is on 18 count canvas and is six inches long and 3 3/4 inches high.  This is a good canvas to start with as a beginner because it isn't too detailed and there isn't too much shading.  Some canvases, like this Kaffee Fassett design for Ehrman Tapestry, has too much shading, detail and color changes for it to be easy for a beginner. It is easier to do in all tent stitches, although it can be embellished with fancy threads and stitches.  It is just much harder when you are first starting out. Stick to the simpler canvases for your first attempt.

The first step I always take when I start with a new canvas is to make one color copy and two black and white copies of the design.  See the skull on the cat's pirate hat?  With a color copy I know exactly where the skull is located, even if I cover it up with hat stitches and then go back and put the skull in on top.  The same thing might happen with the Trick or Treat sign--I might want to cover the lettering with my background sign stitches, then put the lettering in on top.  The black and white copies I use for paper patterns and to help pick colors.  More on that later.

Once I have my copies made, I mount my canvas on stretcher bars. You don't have to do this, but over the years I've become a convert to mounting my canvas on stretcher bars.  It really helps with the distortion you can get if you stitch in hand.  Of course some folks have great stitch tension and never pull their canvas into a parallelogram, but I'm not one of them.

I use a staple gun to mount my canvas but thumbtacks are preferred by lots of stitchers.  Whichever way you go, pull the canvas as tightly as you can.  I normally attach one side at each end and then the middle, then pull tightly to attach the opposite side.  Then I switch to the other ends and attach them in three places.  Once every side is secure, I pull and staple the empty spots on all four sides.

This is enough for today.  Tomorrow we'll talk about choosing stitches and the principals I use when I pick my stitches.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Remember This?

Back on August 13th I posted this photo of my rabbit geisha tote bag that I'd just received in the mail from Summer Truswell who made it up into a tote bag for me.  Elaine asked if Summer's Needlework from Stitch to Finish finishing book had instructions for making similar tote bags in it.  I didn't know so I asked Summer.  Unfortunately, I asked when she was away on vacation so I am just now getting an answer.  The book does not have tote bag finishing instructions in it BUT Summer has just published (in book and in digital download formats) tote bag finishing instructions.   Here's a bit about her new publications, with links for purchasing.

Note that Summer is packing to move so if you have questions for her, get them in quick before she is too busy to answer.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at