Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday History Lesson

Article in the Litchfield News (Oct. 1, 2010) about a class at the Litchfield Historical Society by Missy Stevens on punchneedle embroidery (Oct. 16, 2010):

The technique uses yarn or embroidery thread attached to a hollow needle that is "punched" back and forth through a fabric to create a surface of thread loops. It was practiced by the ancient Egyptians using hollow bones of bird wings as needles. In the Middle Ages it was called the "punch stitch" and was used for decorating ecclesiastical clothing. In the 17th to 19th centuries it was popular with sailors who would use their spare time to make what look like miniature hooked rugs. Also known as Russian embroidery, the technique continues to be used by a conservative Russian Orthodox splinter group known as the Old Believers, who broke with the church in the 17th century.

Most are familiar with the resurgence in the past few years with punch needle. Some remember punch needle's popularity back in the 70's when it was commonly known as Russian Embroidery (think Igolochkoy needles). But this technique really has an interesting past. It would be nice to find a source that offered patterns from its Egyptian roots or when it was practiced in the Middle Ages. All I ever see is the prim look, and frankly I've seen enough of it. Today the punch needle technique has been used quite successfully as faux turkeywork on canvas. I recommend the Igolochkoy or CTR needles for anyone interested in giving it a whirl. It works up fast and uses up tons of left over thread. Also, don't limit yourself to cotton floss, anything you can get through the needle will work. Wildflowers (or any pearl 12) , Kreinik, Whisper, Renaissance Crewel wool.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fleur-de-Lis Collectors

There are several examples of Fleur -de- Lis pieces in the CanvasWork line. Below are two smaller pieces and two larger pieces. All are on 13 count and come in various color combinations although all are of the same palette: golden yellow, bright blues and intense red. In each case the motif is shaded in two tones. Any combination would make a lovely pillow grouping. Hex canvas $48.00, small sq. 48.00. Large with fleur -e-lis insert 176.00 and repeating fleur-de-lis is $144.00 All prices reflect the Trunk Show discount of 20% off. More questions or you like to purchase one? Please call (856) 234 4848 or send email.

According to Wikipedia:

In North America, the fleur-de-lis is often associated with areas formerly settled by France, such as Quebec, St. Louis, Louisville and Louisiana, and with French-speaking people in other Canadian provinces.

While the fleur-de-lis has appeared on countless European coats of arms and flags over the centuries, it is particularly associated with the French monarchy in a historical context, and continues to appear in the arms of the King of Spain and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, members of the House of Bourbon. It remains an enduring symbol of France that appears on French postage stamps, although it has never been adopted officially by any of the French republics. According to French historian Georges Duby, the three leaves represent the medieval social classes: those who worked, those who fought and those who prayed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Who are you?

Three very different elephants, which type best describes you? Simon is exchanging flowers with his birdfriend. 13" sq, on 13 count canvas, cost $94. Mother and Child are from the CanvasWorks trunk show. Also on 13 count, trunk show price at 20% off is $144.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Before and After

Sent these wonderfully stitched crackers to a well established industry finisher. I requested beaded ribbon trim (see earlier blog post on finishing of another cracker) I got back sheer polyester with cotton twill trim (to finish off raw edge) and overscaled plastic beads. Totally unacceptable. So after much searching I ended up having to hand bead organza ribbon myself. Does anyone know of a source for beaded ribbon that is beaded with seed beads or similar size beads? I would so appreciate knowing about it. Thank you!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Best of Show

Here are two magnificent pieces included in the CanvasWorks trunk show. The pink and aqua (also available in blue and gold) is of a Kirman or Kerman style rug. This one is 18" sq on 18 count. There is a 13 count version which includes a border, and is 25" sq. overall.

The red and bright blue (also comes in a brown, orange and green colorway) is reminiscent of a Heriz pattern. On 18 count it is 18" sq, on 13 count it is 24" sq.

All canvas's mentioned in all sizes are of the same price. Show price 320.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bean Bag Bears

2010 Phillies Fever. Don't you wish all baseball fans were this cute?

Friday, October 8, 2010

CanvasWorks and Textiles

On today's blog from Kathy she posts pictures of some of her favorite textiles in her collection. I was surprised how much they looked like CanvasWorks canvas's. Are you a textile lover? CanvasWorks may have the perfect canvas.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Attention all Flamingo Lovers

CanvasWorks isn't all "structured", Dorothy also has animals and birds too. I'll be posting animals in the next week or so but in the meantime she has these amazing new flamingo's. I'm sorry that these are not in my hands as part of the trunk show but placing an order with her is oh so easy and yes these also are 20% off too. Flamingos are 16" x 16" on 13 count at 176.00 Her original No Name chicken is 15" x 15", on 13 and is 144.00. Prices above reflect the 20% trade show discount. They may be special ordered on 18 count, not sure if overall size remains the same. Pictures came direct from representatives email, Please Note "the colors of the Flamingoes vary in these pictures because of differences in Adobe Software. Both birds are the same color."

CanvasWorks Trunk Show!

The CanvasWorks Trunk Show has arrived! As always trunk show canvas's are 20% including threads if bought for the piece. Canvasworks does not have a website so I will try to post as many as I can, I think they sent well over a 200 pieces. Their pieces are mostly geometric in nature, many reminiscent of oriental and turkish style rugs. Colors are saturated and rich and they are impeccably stitch painted. Collection includes pillows (14 x 14 and up), pillow inserts (under 14 x 14); several brick covers and more brick covers, belts, coaster sets, picture frames and a few rugs too. Pieces below are all on 13 count and price reflects 20% discount. Christmas tree 29.00, Turkoman 104.00 Venice 96.00. Shipping is free. Canvasworks lends itself to just about any thread depending on your preference but my first choice would be silk 'n ivory or splendor, vineyards for those on 18 count. Metalics......Kreinik vintage gold comes to mind. I'm happy to select threads for anyone long distance.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Healing Sutra's

A customer of mine just introduced me to the artist Erin Endicott. Aside from Erin being an artist she is a fine embroiderer too. I admire her work because it is technically outstanding, beautiful and meaningful. I am usually more than satisfied meeting the first two; thoughtful and meaningful makes it extraordinary. From her web site:

To stitch; a thread or line that holds things together - this is the literal translation of the ancient Sanskrit word "sutra". In the "Healing Sutras" I use contemporary embroidery on antique fabric as a canvas to explore the common threads that bind countless generations of women. Wounds - both physical and psychological - are given life using delicate, meditative stitches. Traditionally thought of as "woman's work", sewing is a time consuming and contemplative process, each thoughtfully considered stitch becoming integral to the whole. join me on Facebook @ Erin Endicott Contemporary Embroidery

Healing Sutra #9 (detail) of hand embroidery on antique infant dress

Healing Sutra #10 (detail) hand embroidered antique fabric stained with walnut ink

Healing Sutra #11 (detail) hand embroidered antique baby bib stained with walnut ink