I found a treasure!

Recently my daughter, granddaughter and I took a girls’ weekend and went to Pawhuska, OK. For those who don’t know, Pawhuska is a major attraction for fans of The Pioneer Woman. My daughter has wanted to go for quite some time, so we took a weekend and went.

In addition to all the Pioneer Woman attractions, we prowled around all the shops in Pawhuska. It’s a neat little town, and as you can imagine The Pioneer Woman is a VERY BIG DEAL in the town. We ate at The Mercantile (Ree Drummond’s shop, restaurant and bakery), got ice cream at Charley’s Sweet Shop (named for Ree’s late Bassett hound), and took a tour of the lodge (where they film The Pioneer Woman television show).

But this blog post isn’t about cooking or The Pioneer Woman. It’s about something I found in an antique shop in Pawhuska. Now you should know right off that I’m not a fan of antique shops, especially not the ones where it’s divided into several small booths. But, I was looking for something specific, a cut glass candy dish with a lid, so we did some prowling. I did find two candy dishes of the right size and character, so I was happy about that.

The main treasure that I found, though, was this American Needlework collection.

It doesn’t look like much, does it? But it was only $2 and I decided I needed to rescue it. When I picked it up, I discovered that it wasn’t a book.

It was a box slid into the cover, and oh my!

First of all there was a general instruction book.

It’s not a great big thick book, but it’s very small type so pretty dense, with a few illustrations.

The rest of the box contained several folded sheets.

This isn’t all of them, but a sampling of what was inside. Each sheet was folded several times, and printed on both sides.

This one isn’t unfolded all the way and only shows one side! As you can see, these are some pretty large illustrations.

Here’s the same sheet unfolded more, and it’s so large I can’t get a good picture of the whole thing. You can see, though, why I was so excited by this $2 treasure!

What will I do with this? I have no idea. But, I’m glad I saw it, glad I bought it, and will spend some time going through everything. There’s instruction in embroidery, crewel work, cross-stitch, needlepoint, patchwork, applique’, Hawaiian quilts, quilting, hooking, crochet and knitting, weaving, candlewicking and rugmaking. This collection was printed in 1963, so for something that’s almost 6 decades old it’s in pretty good shape.

Will I spend more time browsing through antique stores? Probably not. This was a one time thing, looking for something specific which I now have, so I really have no need to go through more. But, should I have occasion to do so again, you can bet I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more needlework treasures!

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Quarantine discoveries – Mandarin Floss

Like most of you I’m stitching from my stash, and I decided to use some of my Mandarin Floss collection for a new project (sorry, can’t show the project).

Mandarin Floss is a stranded thread made from bamboo fibers, distributed by Rainbow Gallery. Some of you may already be familiar with it, but this is my first time stitching with this thread. As you can see there are some nummy colors!

I’m stitching this project with just two colors:

As you can see, it’s a 6-strand floss, 20 yards on the cards, which should be ample for the project I’m stitching.

When I first took it off the card to strand I thought it might not cover well. The thread looks thinner than regular cotton floss.

In this picture, the upper thread is the entire thread, and the lower shows 4 strands separated and ready for the needle. They seem to stand apart pretty well, which means they should lay pretty easily.

To separate I tapped the cut end of the thread. The picture is a bit blurry but you can see how the thread separates.

Rainbow Gallery recommends 4 strands for 18 ct. canvas, so I thought I’d start with that. It seemed a bit much, but as you can see it covers the canvas well.

Here I’ve combined the Brighton stitches with upright cross in Kreinik #8 5760. I’m pleased with the coverage.

So, you may have undiscovered treasures in your stash as well. I bought the entire collection of Mandarin Floss when it was introduced, but have never had opportunity to use it in a project until now. I’m pleased with it and will probably use it more!

Happy stitching!

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Teaching projects continued


Last project I’ll be teaching for ANG National in Tucson – Fandango! I happen to love fans, double fans, double fan doubleds and variations, but some people find them challenging. This class is designed to take the challenge out of these lovely stitches, so you can stitch them with confidence when you encounter them. They really aren’t hard when you understand the construction of the stitch.

This one is a companion to Mostly Crescents (also teaching at ANG National 2020), Mostly Amadeus, Mostly Jessicas and Mostly Walnetos. And, it’s available in the same four color ways – grayscale with red accents as shown, monochromatic beiges/brown as pictured in Mostly Crescents, Bold shown in Mostly Jessicas, and Pastel shown in Mostly Walnetos (from the previous post).

If you’ve always struggled with these type of stitches, this is the class for you! It will be fun, I promise, and you’ll never have trouble with these again, no matter the design or who wrote the instructions. In fact, some of my previous students have gained so much confidence stitching double fan doubleds that they make them into quick ornaments!

I’m looking forward to seminar in Tucson, and hope you’ll be able to join us!

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Mostly Crescents for ANG 2020 National Seminar

Last time I showed you Indie Pop, one of my classes for ANG National Seminar 2020 in Tucson. Today I’ll show you Mostly Crescents.

Mostly Crescents is part of a series I’ve designed based on a single Jean Hilton stitch. In this case, crescents! The “mostly” part is because I’ve used a few stitches to complete the design.

This is a one day class, and the piece when finished is about 4″ x 12″. It’s got friends – Mostly Amadeus, Mostly Walnetos, Mostly Jessicas and Fandango (more about this one next time).

If you look at the monochromatic color scheme and think “ewww – beige”, don’t worry, all in the series are available in four color ways. Choose grayscale with red, bold (orange, purple and turquoise) or pastel (lavender, pink, yellow, blue).

Here are pictures of some of the others in the series so you can see the color ways:

Mostly Amadeus
Mostly Jessicas

Mostly Walnetos

I had so much fun with this series! I’ve taught Mostly Amadeus and the class seemed to have a great time. So I’m really looking forward to sharing this in Tucson!

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What I’m Teaching for ANG 2020

I’m always thankful for the privilege of teaching at ANG National Seminar, and am pleased to have been selected for three classes this year.

For those who don’t know, ANG is the American Needlepoint Guild, and every year we have a seminar. This year we’re in Tucson, one of my favorite places, August 6-10.

What can you do at seminar? Well, you can take classes like the ones I’m offering, from the best teachers in the industry. There are two banquets, an opening and a farewell. You can view the exhibit of outstanding needlework from our members. There’s a merchandise night, where you can enhance your stash. A teacher’s showcase allows you to meet teachers and discuss bringing them to your local chapter. And there’s lots more activities, always more to do every day of seminar than time to do it.

Mostly, you’ll meet other people who share our passion. The very first seminar I went to, Nashville 2005, was an eye-opening experience! I only ate alone if I wanted to, because usually people waiting to eat were eager to share their table. There’s always a stitching area open 24 hours a day to sit and stitch with other stitchers. ANG seminar has always been the highlight of my calendar, even before I began teaching for them. So if you haven’t been to a seminar, I encourage you to come. The exhibit and some other activities are open to anyone, whether you’re attending seminar or not. If you’re in the area, drop by and see what’s happening!

I’ll be teaching three classes: Indie Pop, Mostly Crescents and Fandango. For the next couple of days I’ll use the blog to show pictures and describe the classes I’ll be teaching.

Indie Pop Coral

Indie Pop is a three day class. Students will be making a lot of choices in this class!

Indie Pop Neutral

First students will have to select the colors they want to use. I have stitched models in the coral/lilac and Neutral color ways, but there are also Tropical and Autumn options:

Autumn threads
Tropical threads

The center of the design, and the layered ribbons extending from the center, are the same for everyone. But that’s where the similarities stop and the choices begin. There are 8 interior borders surrounding the motif squares, 8 large motifs and 8 background stitches. Students will have to decide which four of the eight they want to stitch, which threads they want to use to stitch them, how many strands for the background stitches, how much metallic to use. Every project will be different! It should be fun to see things develop!

Next time I’ll talk about the other classes. For now, if you want more info about ANG National Seminar 2020, go to http://www.needlepoint.org and click on the 2020 Annual Seminar button.

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