Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bermuda Bags UPDATED

Whitney just posed an interesting question in the comments section.  She asked me where to find Bermuda bags.  Here is what I replied, in case you too want one of the bags that were the rage in the late 1960s.

Whitney, you mean the oval canvases that button onto the bag? Like these?

NP in Paradise has examples of finished Bermuda bags on their website, so they might be able to help.

I also found kits for sale at Busy Needle in Tuscon.

Sudberry House used to have a kit that included the wooden handles, a template for your canvas (the trend was to monogram your canvas then) and instructions for assembly. I don't see it on their website now, but you might find an old kit on eBay.

There are several sellers who offer already made Bermuda bags on Etsy.com but these are all fabric, not needlepoint. You might be able to get an Etsy seller to furnish a template and then finish a NP version once you get it stitched, though.

What is the saying?  "Everything old is new again"?  Perhaps Whitney is the start of a building wave of interest in the Bermuda bag.

UPDATE:  Robin King certainly thinks Bermuda bags are on the rise again.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Turkey Progress

Nancy's Turkey with Background Finished
Nancy has sent photos and a progress report on her large turkey from Mary Lake Thompson/Melissa Shirley.  She says, "I am nearly done with the breast area, having finished the head, back and upright tail earlier. I have struggled with getting the overstitching done on the yellow parts of the breast. The look of the painted canvas can not be duplicated with thread. (This canvas has made me appreciate stitch-painted canvases more!) Where I am now is doing some top-stitching over the yellow and evaluating that. You will note that for the bulk of the lower breast I have simply stitched it in Continental/basketweave.

Ray Stitches on Top of Careful Shading
I am also working on the lower long feathers, trying several options. I'm currently trying padded vertical satin, though I think of feathers as flat, so I'm not sure that's where I'll end up. I was hoping to do some light stitching there to show the undercolors painted on the canvas, but that didn't seem to work for me.  

After a day or two, Nancy wrote again:
"I'm close to finishing the lower tail feathers after last night's stitching and I like it. 

Beady Eye
I used #5 perle cotton for the padding and some variegated Silk and Colors (Chocolate Caramel) for the satin stitches on top. Though I'm not sure about using Silk and Colors much - have you had any issues with it? I've tended to use Gloriana and never had any problem with it. I found the Silk and Colors a challenge to lay nicely. I dampened it which helped, but I never had to dampen a silk thread before.

Adding to the fun, I had two male turkeys challenging each other for supremacy this morning in the yard. They went at it pushing and shoving for 30 minutes at least. It was fun to watch."

Nancy, I don't have trouble with Silk N Colors but various brands of silk give different people problems. I have two things to suggest--if you use a laying tool, try another one made from something else.  I find that I like metal and bone laying tools best for silk but you might like the wooden ones better depending on the finish and weight of the tool.  Also, dampen the silk.  Silk likes high humidity and behaves better when there is more moisture in the air.  Get a paper towel wet, ring it out and let it dry some, then run your plies of silk through the paper towel.  I've ever used fairly wet silk on a piece (although you run the risk of the color running these days since eco-friendly dyes are not always truly colorfast).  Hope this helps!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Let’s Hear A Big Round of Applause...

Erica's Lee Kimono
...for the five volunteers who happily let me put their problem canvases under the spotlight on Blog since last November.  There was Erica’s small Lee kimono,

The D.C. Metro Map (Ruth Schmuff)
Barbara’s D.C. Subway Map from Ruth Schmuff,
European Dragon (Leigh Designs)
the Leigh dragon that Sandy is stitching,
Large Turkey (Mary Lake Thompson)
Nancy’s Mary Lake Thompson/Melissa Shirley turkey, and
Gold Fish (Lillian Chermor)
Carol’s Gold Fish from Lillian Chermor.

You ladies both stretched my stitching skills and gave me plenty of things to blog about when my life was too hectic for me to blog-stitch my own pieces. I appreciate it very very much and I know that Blog readers are equally appreciative. Thank you!

Remember to send us photos of the finished pieces when you are done, ok? We want to see the final chapter when you stitch it.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com