Balance: August’s TIF

September 24, 2008

After my falling down the stairs design for the half way point in SharonB’s TIF challenge, it made me laugh when I found what Sharon had to say in her August TIF post. Her question for August was, what is balance to you? And her follow up question was, how do you balance aspects of your life? 

If one feel like she has just tumbled down the stairs, it should accenctuate her concern for balance. And it should be a easy design to come up with. Logical, right?

The next few photos are reflections on my difficulty to find balance in life. If smarter, I’d try putting this into a video slide show. In fact, I may have to take time out and learn how to do that. I wonder if I can photoshop in a sky or if I need to stitch it. Better yet why not make several skys to indicate the passage of time.


A well pruned life, the balanced life?

Now turning a corner…

Update: The link below is now working! Many thanks to Christine at Lady Jane’s Journal for very kindly pointing out the broken connection. If you aren’t already familiar with her blog please do swing by and acquaint yourself with it.

Every quarter when Jeanine sends her notice to the EGA list to about updates at the Italian needlework website, I say to myself, I won’t bother to mention it on my blog. Then I go see what they have put together in various pages and the downloadable antique books. I can’t help but say it is beautiful white work, please go see it. If you have special interest in hardanger (punto norvegese) or reticella, this quarterly update highlights these areas and there is much more.

Click the appropriate flag but don’t hesitate from going to the middle of the Italian page where the header says  “le novità in questo aggiornamento”. I only admire reticella and other needle laces but if I worked with them perhaps I’d find the lovely pages of work as instructive as beautiful. There are a variety of designs from intricate to simple that could be translated over into other needlework disciplines.  

As for the hardanger pages, I had my sketch book out because I was so impressed by the way I was seeing some of problem areas handled. I felt like I was staring at answers to some of my “how to” questions from older, wiser stitchers. And they were giving me new ideas about what solutions might be available.

Many thanks to Jeanine in Canada and others for work in translation at that site.

May and June TIF plus …

June 3, 2008

May TIF This is my design for the SharonB’s May TIF. Her question was roughly what do you call yourself and why. My answer is that I think of myself as an explorer. I wrote this is 2006 and my thinking is still close to this basic. How did I ever get pulled into counted thread needlework on a linen ground? The opportunity to explore some of God’s simple shapes with a needle and thread caught my attention and keeps my interest. Stitches, color, design, pattern, texture that all plays apart in it. Is it the most important thing in life or in my life? No! But it is a part shared here. When I read Sharon’s post the only image that came to mind was a compass such an might be on an old map. But it didn’t convey needlework to me. Finally I thought about the twin pointed needles that are made with the eye in the center so you don’t have to turn the needle around in going back and forth between the top and under side of the fabric. I had to stylize it to get it to work as a compass. The design means to convey that when I have a threaded needle in hand I’m prepared to explore in any direction. June TIF I don’t have the full image for June’s TIF challenge. I thought as I touch the fabric or thread and begin to work with it, a story begins to come out and talk to me. I can very easily do a lot of exercises to explore a stitch but when I begin to work on a piece it’s like an unfolding story. I’ve tried ten or fifteen small sketches so far everything is rejected. I have one image in my mind that I can’t seem to get drawn out in any reasonable way. I’ll have to see what happens as the month progresses. Plus… a response to a comment. I’m so thankful for all the comments I receive. They keep me encouraged and meeting more people whose work I’m not familiar with. Some time as with the comment I received yesterday from Leena, they send me exploring. Many thanks, Leena. As she mentioned the Indian embroidery called Kutch uses a pattern very similar to the English interlacing and Maltese cross. There is a video here. And very good instruction here. Many thanks to Bhavani Harikrishnan at Needlecraft.

Running stitch in ethnic embroidery

April 26, 2007

One of my favorite things about the running stitch is darning patterns. A couple of years ago that led me to a wonderful site by Phyllis Maurer, Ethnic Fiber Art. Two of the ethnic embroideries based on darning patterns are kogin and nyzynka, from Japan and the Ukraine respectively. Phyllis is a very good teacher and I was privileged to take her nyskynka class back then. I also purchased one of her kogin instruction books. Her work is beautiful and she teaches so many other ethnic embroideries as well. While I can only point you to her website, the pieces I saw in person at the CATS festival where she was teaching were breathtaking. Here are a couple of my samples based on some kogin patterns.



In some ways nyzynka is even more beautiful and I wish now that I’d pulled out my samples from that to photograph today also. But please do poke around Phyllis’ site if you haven’t visited it before. Her samples are far better than anything I can do in this discipline and well worth seeing, I think. She has links to many other interesting spots, too.

Ethnic embroidery is a favorite of mine and I’m so glad that it is drawing the attention and skills of many stitchers today. It’s a pleasure to know this type of needlework is being learned, used and preserved. Some very exciting news in this regard is that Phyllis is scheduled to teach classes in nyzynka and schwalm at the 2008 EGA National.

Macedonian Embroidery links at The Embroideress blog

January 16, 2007

Last Wednesday or Thursday morning I spent several happy hours at Linn Skinner’s (website: Skinner Sisters) blog The Embroideress . I was using links she posted January 10 from of some of her research on Macedonian Embroidery. There are wonderful pictures showing the details of the embroidery, some stitch diagrams as well as cultural details. If you are at all interested, please, check it out. I think you will find it is well worth a look and more! I loved digging around and could hardly tare myself away for work. I enjoy reading Linn’s blog and thank her very much for sharing the fruit of her labors with her readers.