Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Expanding Our Minds and Our Skills

Hey folks, the rain seems to have finally let up in Texas.  As you may have heard, we have had an extremely wet spring here.  In fact, if you took the total rainfall for May and covered the state with the rain that has fallen, we would be standing in 8 inches of water.  That's a lot of water folks!  We will take the blessings of the rain and definitely enjoy our full lakes, ponds and waterways.  There are some lakes that have not been full for years that are now at capacity.  But not all of the rain has been good.  The area has had many tragedies and our thoughts and prayers go out to those of who have been adversely effected by the rains.  We hope that as the 
days go by, people will be able to get back to 
their normal daily routines.   

We have been busy as a Guild since our last post.  We were bound to learn something new from Ellen Chester of With My Needle when she presented two workshops, her brand new Kindred Spirits Shaker Basket and Long May She Wave.  

We had a great turnout for both full day workshops.  We had attendees from the local area as well as from Arizona, Wisconsin (Marie we miss you), and I believe I heard Georgia in the mix as well.  Also, to our Austin members, 
we enjoyed seeing you as well.

Ellen's workshop projects were very nicely packaged and organized and ready for us to pick up our needles and begin stitching.  Each project came with beautiful linens and our threads were attached to pre-printed hornbook shaped thread organizers (thank you Ellen).  The paper hornbooks even had the date for each of our workshops printed so we would not forget the dates.  Each participant for each project also had the opportunity to purchase the lovely scrimshaw pieces that accompanied the piece.  Ms. Chester also treated us to the opportunity to purchase charts of her other pieces.

Our classes covered numerous speciality stitches and many finishing techniques.  Ellen also gave us a great little mantra for working Smryna Crosses (you put pants on during your stitch so to speak - first put one leg on, then the next leg, then zip up and cinch your belt).  I have already found 
myself using it on another project. 

Ellen also shared with us a wonderful history on hornbooks and the legacy of the American flag.  This information was fascinating. 

Kindred Spirits Workshop

Long May She Wave

The With My Needle workshops gave us an opportunity to learn new stitches 
and great finishing techniques.  

Another great tip Ellen left us with had to do with finishing.  When you need to cut cardboard out for finishing, get comic book board.  Its thinner, easy to cut with scissors and best of all its acid free.  If you need a thicker piece, you cut two 
pieces out and glue them together. 
Thank you Ellen for such great workshops!

May 2015 Meeting

Wow, before I knew it, it was time for our May meeting.  This meeting was an opportunity to 
learn about the past in the form 
antique needlework tools.  

One of our members, Judy M., was very 
generous in sharing a sampling of 
her antique needlework collection in 
the form of various tools and lovely boxes.
But first, I must tell you about the 
table cloth on which she displayed 
her treasures.  This is a tatted 
table cloth passed on to her 
from her great grandmother.  
It was completed in WWI in around 1917.

As you can imagine, tatting shuttles 
became a part of her collection.  She 
currently has over 1,000 shuttles.
Her first large acquisition for her 
collection was this lovely Cantonese 
box that she found while traveling 
overseas in 1995.  It has 
been an adventure for her since.
She has found two books to be rather 
helpful throughout the years in adding 
to her collection, which includes 
bodkins, stilettos, knotting shuttles, 
tatting shuttles, chatelaines, and 
storage boxes.  These books are: 

Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries 
by Nerylla Taunton 
(I found this book available 
as new or used on Amazon)

An Illustrated History of Needlework Tools
by Gay Ann Rogers
(This book is available for those who 
search, used ones might be available 
through Amazon or Abebooks.com)

She also spoke about pieces that were marketed generations ago by Palais Royal in Paris (be on the lookout for the little french pansy - sorry - I truly thought I got a picture).  These pieces are generally the most sought after sets.  Check out 

Judy's oldest piece dates back to 1725.  She has added to her collection from all over the world during trips to London, Boston, South Africa, Paris and New Zealand.  Most incredibly, she purchased a sewing box of Indian origin (as in India) at an antique show in Tyler, Texas.  Even better, her husband enjoys helping her find new treasures!

Judy, thank you for the fantastic presentation.

May Show and Tell

Debbie H. - Hoppin' Hares Thread Keep
Island Cottage Needlearts
Pat M. - Blue Bird Cottage
Elizabeth's Designs
Holly L. - Forget-Me-Not Sampler
With Thy Needle & Thread

Shelly M. - Strawberry Fields Forever
Blackbird Designs
Finishing by Betty H. 
Suzette D. - Fish Needlepoint
Original design of "Dr. Stitch", Jane Sweeney, 
of Princeton, New Jersey EGA
Suzette D. - Dorset Button Pin
Suzette designed and taught a class 
on it at the Greater Dallas EGA 
Cyndi S. - Reina Brock Sampler
The Sunflower Seed
Cyndi S. - Lydia C. Eichelberger Sampler
Carriage House Samplings

Cyndi S. - A Needleworker's Sampler Huswife
With My Needle
Check out the antique stiletto!
 Adam B. - Spacious Skies
Priscilla's Pocket
This is Adam's first project.  He loved it. 
Jennifer G. - Cherry Hollow Farm
Stacy Nash Primitives
Michelle L. - Block 2 from Village 
of Hawk Run Hollow
Carriage House Samplings
Michelle stitched this piece to commemorate 
her 9th wedding anniversary - 
the Willow Anniversary
Codi M. - Roses in July
Adaptation from an 
Antique Sampler 
by Needlework Press
Stitched over one.  

Try to learn something about everything 
and everything about something.

~~Thomas Huxley~~

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