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Relax The Back

Storage Solutions for your Needlepoint Stash

There are  (surely) needlepointers out there who work each project from start to finish before starting another – can’t say I’ve ever met one, but it stands to reason that such people exist.  Most of us have a number of projects, ranging from two or three to “never-mind-you-wouldn’t-believe-it”.  My own approach is to have several underway simultaneously so that there will be a choice appropriate to my mood of the moment….. and, I subscribe to the theory that when you see a canvas you love, you better buy it – the artist may wake  up tomorrow no longer interested in creating these wonders for us and fly off to Tahiti or some other exotic place (not a bad idea, see picture below).

Looks like heaven to me!

Having now been around my elbow, so to speak, on to the subject for today: how shall we store all those fabulous threads, canvases, books, stitch guides, tools, etc. in such a way as to have them readily available, yet organized and out of the way?

You may have noticed that there are links both at top and bottom of my page to the Original Scrapbox .  It purports to be a storage solution for scrapbooking; however, it seems to me that you could adapt it for almost any craft or artistic pursuit. It has an amazing number of spaces in myriad shapes and sizes – including some clear plastic bags that could be grabbed and used as “go bags” for projects.  It’s not an inexpensive piece of furniture, but it does come in a number of sizes and finishes, and would be fairly unobtrusive when closed.  Have a look for yourself – it might be just what you’re looking for.  My plan is to ask Santa to throw one in the sleigh for me……………..

How do you sort your thread stash – by color? by thread type?  some other way?  Would love to hear suggestions for sorting and storing – please add them to comments to share, and keep on stitching!  NPQ

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Needlepoint Stitch of the Week

Wow, my trip to Amy’s was so fun, it completely threw me off track – sorry ’bout the lack of posts, but here goes a stitch for ya – this one is a variation of the Parisian Stitch, completed in two steps, and is another very versatile, non-directional stitch that affords one a number of options to alter the look with color and thread selection.  If using one color, try Ribbon Floss for Step 1 together with Vineyard Silk for Step 2. That creates a great texture, gives you some nice “light play” off the threads, is easy to execute, and pretty fast – not bad, huh?  Step 1 is numbered to remind us that the direction of each individual stitch should be opposite to the direction the stitches are flowing (diagonal rows, here) on the canvas (i.e., when moving from top to bottom of canvas, work the thread from bottom to top of the stitch).  If you need a hardcore basis for that, we’ll have to ask Tony Minieri (taught me this) because the exact  reason escapes my memory……suffice to say, it has to do with the path of the thread on the back of your canvas lining up what comes next on the front.  Anyway, you may want to experiment with different sorts of threads, as well as the use of more than one color thread, depending upon the effect you wish to achieve.  Here’s the diagram:

You could use this as a background (be sure to use light-weight threads for a background so that it doesn’t “upstage” your subject), for clothing, wallpaper,  sky (how about using one of the fabulous Gloriana Silk, Silk ‘n Colors or Threadworx overdyes with a solid shade found in that overdye),  – again, possibilities are unlimited.  Have fun with it, and keep on stitching!  NPQ

Fun and Games with Amy Bunger

Well, our class started this morning at 10:00 sharp – three friends from Atlanta and another from New Jersey/New York are there, too – we’re all having a great time.  Class members spent a few minutes getting acquainted, settling in our “spots”, looking over the thread kits and Stitch Guides, and admiring each other’s projects.  There is a terrific assortment in this class – everything from a carousal horse, kimonos,  a Kelly Clark Santa, Victorian perfume seller, Washington, DC scene, adorable “Bad Habits” canvas from Maggie Co., a 3-D cottage, lots more – the class room is filled. The most spectacular project is the Octopus Chandelier by Barbara  Elmore – and Amy’s stitch guide for that is out of this world.  Layered stitches, Blackwork patterns, Flair Applique, ruffled ribbons, and simply delicious colors.  Amy has already taught me two new techniques – tri-color overhand braid (makes a fab chevron pattern), and a Colonial Knot ribbon rose to die for!  Forgot my camera (naturally), so can’t add pix til back home, but will do so on Monday next.

Being in Amy’s Golden Strand (her shop in Memphis) presents a “golden” opportunity to see up-close-and-personal the many beautiful items she has stitched through the years – more than may be assimilated in a short time.  you need to keep walking through the shop’s rooms

Kelly Clark's Baby Jesus

staring (often open-mouthed!) and discovering things like the Baby Jesus pictured here – he is one of twelve pieces for a nativity collection available from Amy with Stitch Guides and kitted threads.  Don’t cha just wanna hug him?  If you can’t find inspiration here, take up another hobby (or art form, if you will)!  More on class later, keep on stitching!  NPQ

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