Sunday, 6 May 2012

A fine day here - and A Tour For Amy Part 4

Yesterday and today were fine and sunny but rather chilly -  typical golden autumn days.   I have had a horrible head cold so I was stuck indoors -  ah woe is me.   But I am feeling much better today.
My concerted effort to complete the back panel of Shelley's Jewellery Box came unstuck and I spent a lot of time reverse stitching and then with gritted teeth restitching the lattice work.   This afternoon there is one small medallion to complete and then the drawn thread panel in the centre.   The front of the box is identical and at the moment I cannot face a "repeat stitch" so this will go away in the box for a bit.  The designer of this piece has an interesting technique-  everything is stitched in cross stitch first and then extras are added later to make the specialty stitches -  this shot shows me turning cross stitches into smyrna crosses.   Interesting concept but I am not sure I will adopt this permanently.

I was going to do the next animal on Kelly's Growth Chart but I think I'd like a quick but complete finish so might try something smaller. 
Now for the next episode of The Tour.
On the wall of my dining room are these three pieces -

I can't remember the designer for this sampler but I do know that I sent to England for it and for the Stef Francis threads that were at that time unobtainable here.

This sampler was done in 2004 (as you can see) and was from the Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly magazine.  It was the first time I had stitched in silks and while I remember gasping at the cost I loved using silks!

This was stitched with some degree of pressure during the last three months of 1999.   I didn't manage to get the framing done but the stitching was all complete before the fireworks and celebrations for the new Millennium.   This was stitched from an English magazine whose name I have completely forgotten -  but it was Belfast linen and DMC threads.   And I remember the framing cost me $200!!
Don't you think that deserves a closer shot?

And now we reach the cabinet that sparked off this grand tour.  There are many many pieces in the cabinet so I will show only the top shelf here -  more to come I promise!

This one was from a DMC promotional chart -  showcasing their new (at the time) metallic threads.  I didn't pay for framing for this one as I never expected it to still be on display 12 years later.
And the lacy piece peeking out on the extreme left is this

Several years ago we had Jo Dixey as a member of our Embroiderer's Guild.   She had completed an apprenticeship at the Royal School of Needlework before falling in love with a New Zealander and coming to live here.   Our gain though, as she generously took classes and shared her skills.   This piece was called contemporary drawn thread work and was one of my unsuccessful forays in the world of creative stitching.  Not unsuccessful, in that I did complete the piece but I still feel that it is somehow not quite 'right' as I couldn't count it out and prove it to be correct :-)   Here's a close up -  you can see that there are layers of needle weaving, wrapping, beads etc.

Next a small Maarken mouse - this is made like a ring to put over your finger and use as a pin cushion.   Mighty bulky and far too cute for that.

And a Pear from Heritage Needlework -  the other side has a boring monogram M

This is the only complete piece of stumpwork I have.   Indeed the only other piece I attempted was discarded with sighs of disgust and failure.   While I truly admire this technique I do not find it satisfying - again it isn't counted and relys on latent artistic talent of which I have zilch. 

And that is enough for today.   There is still one piece on the top shelf but you will have to wait until next time for that.   I need to go and cook dinner for the HDHBEM.  


  1. I am thoroughly enjoying your tour Margaret!

  2. It's really a lovely tour. I like each peace very much. Congrats.

  3. I'm also enjoying your tour a great deal. We forget how many pieces we have dotted around the house until the time comes to photograph them!

    I like to move mine around so friends can spot a piece they haven't seen before.

    I love your Millenium piece.

  4. I love your millenium sampler, it's so detailed and so unusual.

  5. Love all your pieces--amazing eye candy. Wow!!