November 27 - First Steps
November 29 - Towards Perfection

November 28 - New World

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The Amish Quilt Block needlepoint was first class I took and it has to be one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever stitched. Each square represents a different quilt block pattern, any you might recognize, especially if you are a quilter. I remember Flying Geese, Shadow, Log Cabin, Sunshine and Shadow, Nine Patch, and Tree of Life, to name a few.

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This is when a whole new world of stitching opened up. Everything I learned was new. We had to stretch the canvas onto bars that held it in place tautly. The basic line drawing was on the canvas, no design, just lines and we were to fill each square by counting from a chart. The thread we used was embroidery floss, but we took a strand, separated the six threads and put three of them back together to thread into a needle. AND THEN, we used a tool, something with a pointed tip (I had never seen such a tool) and used it to lay each of the three threads side by side, creating a smooth flat stitch that caught the light.

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Using a "laying" tool, as I learned it was called, was more eye opening than anything else I learned in that class and I learn plenty. Seeing the effect of laying stitches hooked me into the world of "art embroidery" as it was called. I couldn't get enough. As large as this piece was, I had it stitched in record time. I worked on it every chance I got and every stitch I took helped my technique. I could lay threads as smooth as glass and get the sheen that created the play of light, which is hard to detect in my photographs. 

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The next step was the discovered of silk thread and the ease of laying the strands, as well as the enhanced sheen and beauty. Each teacher had more tips and ideas that made the process more interesting, sometimes easier, but always added to my building blocks of learning. I loved learning. At the same time I was taking correspondence classes, classes from local teachers, working from purchased charts, and also building my library. 

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As I traveled through the world of art needlepoint I became acquainted with some of the best teachers in the country. They saw potential in me and encouraged me to take harder classes and learn from better teachers. 

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This orchid was created with one strand of silk stitched in long and short technique. The shading is from light at the edge to dark in the center, always one thin thread at a time. Betty Chen Louis, the designer and teacher,  was one of my favorites, but many amazing women mentored my progress. Judy Souliotis taught me to stitch my favorite piece (below) and Shay Pendray was the sensei I who built my confidence and who took me on the most amazing journey. 

UnnamedThe Basket Man was stitched using many different techniques of goldwork and metal thread techniques. I consider it my most adventurous piece and it was certainly the most fun to do. The pictures are highly inadequate, but they can all be clicked to enlarge and you might see more detail. I am also willing to answers any questions you may have. 

Believe it or not, there is more to come, as I spent 20 years immersed in the world of needlework. 

Comments

these are just beautiful - thanks for taking me on this tour of your stitching life

These are amazing. Thank you for sharing them with us! (Rudi remembers the downtown embroidery shop, but his memories are more fond of the ice creams he got to eat afterwards for putting up with excursions there.)

This is fascinating -- and so beautiful! I never ventured further than counted cross stitch (interestingly, it was the designs based on quilts that first grabbed me), but traveled once to Williamsburg, VA, for a sampler workshop by Darlene O'Steen. That was a long time agoooo! I have found myself enjoying our local embroidery guild's annual show the last few years, and everyone is always so generous and helpful. Yippee! I'm so glad there's more of your journey to come!

These pieces are beautiful, Margene. They show an obvious skill and patience. I don't think I ever produced a piece to rival any of these. I'm waiting for the next installment!

Such beautiful work!

Incredibly beautiful. I wish I could see the Basket Man in "person".

I'm pretty much speechless as there aren't words to express how beautiful your pieces are. They are stunning in photographs, and I'm sure even more so in person. I love the "woven stitch" areas on the Amish quilt (and that framing is also perfect!), along with the blue white, and gold piece. Really, I love them all, and am so glad there is more to come!

Beautiful!

WOW! WOW! Years ago I dabbled in needlepoint...never ever got close to your works...I imagine that you must just sit and gaze at these pieces... they are so lovely and masterful . Thanks ever so much for sharing this. Brightens my day, considerably.
Cheers~

Your work is stunning and I'm thrilled to have seen it in person. Thank you for taking the time to describe the different stitches and techniques.

Margene - your art is beautiful - I've done just enough needlepoint to appreciate the time and talent you stitched into each piece. and how wonderful you had good, inspiring teachers. Thank you for sharing!

Okay . . . I thought the orchid was real. Like 3-dimensional! Just lovely, Margene. I love hearing about your journey -- and I love seeing your beautiful work. XO

Oh, Margene. You have no idea (or perhaps you do) how much I want to see these and hold them in my hands! They are stunning!! So stunning. I am sitting here in awe and wonder at the beauty you have created with simple threads and a needle. Thank you so much for sharing!

Absolutely amazing Margene. I'm taking it all in slowly so as to not miss a single detail.

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