Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Been to Santa Fe

Since my last post, I've been quite busy. I did not finish the Spooky Halloween Mantle so it went back into the UFO pile for awhile. I finished up another project I can't talk about yet (Christmas gift). I've also been working on a local EGA chapter project. But most of my time has been taken by my trip to Santa Fe for the EGA national seminar.

I took a four-day class taught by Marnie Ritter called "To Honor Elsa." When Elsa Williams ran her needlework school many years ago, Marnie started first as a student and then became a teacher for Elsa. Marnie received permission to redesign one of Elsa's classic crewel designs for silk. I really enjoyed the class! Here is a photo of the model over my partially-finished piece. The twill Marnie used for this project is wonderful for needlework.

 Here is a close-up of the top flower. The petals are outlined in chain stitch, a big irregular cross stitch is used to fill in the outer part of each petal, and then straight stitches are used for the center of each petal. Fishbone stitch is used to make the two pink and the green center of the flower. See how I've left just a little bit of stitching detached at the top of the center stem? One of the elements Marnie talked about was keeping things open, even a little detached.
 Here is my partially finished bottom flower. You can see some of the satin shading stitches for the pink petals. That line around the orange petals is a buttonhole satin stitch, as is the multicolored metallic on the right.I really like that effect.
Then these fun little guys were worth the class alone. They're whipped spider web flowers with a bead in the middle. The droop is french knots, some wrapped twice and some wrapped only once. All these stitches (except the metallics) were done with a single strand of silk floss. I thought it would take a long time but it actually went surprisingly fast.

I'm more comfortable with counted thread work but overall was pleased with how this project progressed. Now that I'm caught up on my EGA chapter basket band, I need to finish this up while the techniques are fresh in my mind. Between the class, meeting with other stitchers, and the merchandise night I really enjoyed the seminar. I'd never been to Santa Fe before and I thought it was a beautiful little city. I had great green chile stew and sopapillas, bought a turquoise necklace from a native artisan at the governor's palace and did a little Christmas shopping. Overall it was a great trip.


  1. The colours are gorgeous in this piece and the embroidery stitches are so pretty, looks like a lot of fun. hugs, Amamanda

  2. That embroidery is really beautiful! You're so amazingly talented, Ruth!