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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

River Silks Kits

These kits are now available in the shop, along with some other kits by River Silks. And the RIversilk technique book, and their ribbons too! I'm finishing up a Patti Mann pineapple standup myself using predominately silk ribbon so stitchers can see its easy and versatile. Nimble Needle also has silk ribbon by Gloriana. Both offer 4mm, 7mm, and 13mm. River Silks come solid and varigated while Gloriana's tend to be shaded due to the hand dying process. Rainbow Gallery offers limited selection of silk ribbon now too including some that are 2mm.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Indie Arts

I have a feeling crewel work as we know it is dead. There is some amazingly creative stuff coming from many textile artists in the UK. Artists, yes, but they are just like us with "real" jobs and families but have taken stitching into the 21st century. Much is done by machine but much is also on a much smaller scale and could easily be done in hand. I think its time to leave being so stuck in the past with the "prim" look. Many of the techniques used could be translated onto linen or canvas using charted or painted pieces. We have the raw materials, it just takes some time and imagination. Take a look:


Inspired by Hungarian Embroidery. Hand made l o n g book. By Jackie or aka Dog Daisy Chain.


Embellished Pin by Chris Gray


Tree Brooches by Kayla Coo

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fractals

My husband thought it was so cool that you can actually stitch a fractal, so I thought I would blog about it and see if anyone else was equally excited. For me its too painful to think about actually stitching. Though they make bookmark size ones these are very large averaging around 350 stitches square. To make it even more "challenging" it is suggested they be stitched on black. Next thing they'll recommend that you stitch these holding the needle between your toes, or maybe stitch by the light of a candle? All kidding aside they must be popular because there are dozens to choose from. . I'm currently stitching on 40 count gauze so I'm sure by some standards this is kind of crazy but it is only 75 stitches square (a lovely piece by Ute Senkel Weinberg). Actually maybe I'm just a stitching wimp, as it only has 2 different threads. Most of the fractals approach 100 different thread colors. Anyone up for a fractal?
Fractal definition for geeks: A fractal is generally "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole,"[1] a property called self-similarity. Roots of mathematical interest on fractals can be traced back to the late 19th Century; however, the term "fractal" was coined by BenoƮt Mandelbrot in 1975 and was derived from the Latin fractus meaning "broken" or "fractured." A mathematical fractal is based on an equation that undergoes iteration, a form of feedback based on recursion.[2]
Fractal Trivia for us simpletons: Fractal patterns have been found in the paintings of American artist Jackson Pollock. While Pollock's paintings appear to be composed of chaotic dripping and splattering, computer analysis has found fractal patterns in his work.[7]
Decalcomania, a technique used by artists such as Max Ernst, can produce fractal-like patterns.[8] It involves pressing paint between two surfaces and pulling them apart.
Fractals are also prevalent in African art and architecture. Circular houses appear in circles of circles, rectangular houses in rectangles of rectangles, and so on. Such scaling patterns can also be found in African textiles, sculpture, and even cornrow hairstyles.[9]
Approximately 350 x 350 stitches

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lee Needle Arts Anew!

Its really happened, a done deal and Lee Needle Arts has a new owner! I'm especially pleased to announce that Nimble Needle was the First Customer under the new owner Colonial Needle. I think its a good thing and we're all eager to see how it plays out over time. Best wishes to everyone on both sides of the transition.

seasons coming up

Two fun and small canvas's to stitch up for the season. The Spooky Cat is small and can be finished as a small beanbag similar to Lee ladybugs. The Witch Kitty can be finished as an adorable stand-up. I think the cat doesn't even mind being dressed up, must have had a good dose of catnip. Spooky is $29. And Witchie is $48. Both on 18 count.