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Posts Tagged ‘toychest’

Getting Back To Business

I haven’t made much of a dent in my needlework the past few months.  Since my last post, I’ve been to a quilting retreat, a needlework retreat, the EGA National Seminar, the Pacific International Quilt show, a trip to Iowa to visit family and a bunch of smaller events in between.  Last weekend was the first since August where I didn’t have any plans.  While I have enjoyed what has been keeping busy, it was nice to just stay home for a change.  It was also a good weekend to be home so I could watch the final games of the World Series.  I don’t normally watch baseball, or other sports for that matter.  But as someone who lives in the Bay Area, I got swept up in the excitement.   Way to go Giants!

I finally put some real time into my needlework this week, especially today because it was cold and wet out.  I pulled out an old UFO, my “Toy Chest Etui” by Betsy Morgan.

I finished most of the front and one side panel of the toy box.  I ended up having to rip out the two colors of arches above the horse on the side panel because I realized the chart was incorrect.  It was two threads lower than the same border on the front panel on the right.  I wish I would have notice before I stitched it the first time, but better to figure it out now.  If I hadn’t, I would have been frustrated and disappointed when I went to assemble the box and the two borders didn’t match up.  I’m going to have to let Betsy know so she make the correction, if she hasn’t done so already.  I took this class with my guild back in 2008 and we were the first class she taught this piece to.  Now that she’s been teaching the piece for a couple years, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else has mentioned it to her.

After she taught our class, Betsy designed another piece for the box after someone in our group suggested the toy box needed a doll.  She designed a scissor sheath that has an amish man on one side and an amish woman on the other…an adorable addition.  She gave us the pattern so we could add it to our Etui. I heard she also designed another companion piece, but I believe you have to purchase that one.  I’ll have to look into that later.  For now, I have plenty to do on what I already have.

To ensure I have enough linen to include the scissor sheath, I took the time to baste out the placement of all the pieces.  I don’t normally do this because it takes time that I’d rather spend stitching.  I’m sure glad I decided to this time.  To maximize my piece of linen, I spaced each piece an inch apart, so they all had a 1/2″ seam allowance for finishing.   And wouldn’t you know it, I have just enough linen to do them all.  Phew!  There’s no way I would have fit each piece on the linen without those basting lines.  Now I can stitch with some peace of mind.  The only thing I have to wonder about now is if I have enough thread from the kit.  Guess I’ll find out :^)

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Recent Classes

Last weekend, I attended two 2-day needlework classes. Yes, you read that correctly, but how did I manage 4 days of classes over one weekend?

Well, the first class, held by my guild (Bay Area Sampler Guild) , was “Toy Chest Etui” with Betsy Morgan.

This is a brand new design by Betsy and we were the first group to be taught it. It was a 2-day class (Friday & Saturday) held at Needle in a Haystack in Alameda, CA and the goal was to have one piece, the little drum (waxer holder), done by the end of the second day. Here’s how far I got with mine:

The plaid fabric under my linen is the silk lining for the box….pretty eh? As you can see, I didn’t complete my drum because I had also signed up for another 2-day needlework class (Saturday & Sunday) with Diane Clements which overlapped with Betsy’s class. I loved both pieces and chose to do them both 🙂 . So, I had to leave after lunch on the second day of this class and drive from Alameda all the way to Oakdale (aprox. 2 hrs away) where the local EGA there was hosting Diane. At this class, Diane was teaching her “Acorn Etui” piece:

Sorry, I couldn’t find a picture of it folded, nor one of the inside.

I had taken another class earlier this year (March) with Diane called “Strawberry Lace” (I’ll write a post sometime about that class), so the reticello technique was still fresh in my mind and I wasn’t worried about falling behind in this class. In fact, at the March class is when I found out from Diane that she’d be teaching this peace more local to me. I had flown to southern California to take the “Strawberry Lace” class with the local guild down there, but Oakdale is only a 1 1/2 hour drive. I mentioned to her at the time that it would overlap with another class I had already signed up for and she felt I would easily manage it, seeing how I progressed on my strawberries. I didn’t get to Oakdale in time on Saturday to really sit down and work on my piece, but I made sure I arrived in time to meet all the ladies in the guild (River Valley Stitchers EGA) and introduce myself. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I immediately felt at home with them and hope to return sometime for another class. I have really learned this year that you are not limited to the classes your local guilds hold, that most all other guilds/groups are very welcoming to you if you want to join them for a class. And so far for me, none of them have required that I be a member. They all really want to encourage stitcher’s to learn more about their craft.

So, as I said, I didn’t actually do any stitching Saturday afternoon, but just chatted with everyone and admired all their work. I have a friend who lives in Oakdale (hi Suzie), so it was a nice opportunity to visit with her also. We had dinner together (she made me home-made mac ‘n cheese…yum!) and I helped her to organize her craft room before heading to bead and we got to visit a little more in the morning before I headed out for part 2 of Diane’s class. I managed to get quite a bit done in one day:

I enjoy the reticello, but it is very time consuming. Once the acorns are filled, I will attach my linen, with a window cut out of it, around this piece and attach it to the linen with the cross bars and then the blue paper comes off. The blue paper is just the pattern to follow and a foundation to build it all. I’m a long way from finishing right now, but I plan to finish it So, look for future updates on this piece.

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