Thursday, 9 July 2015

Blog #35 - Quaker Inspired Sampler Designs

Good Friday - 3 April 2015
The beginning of a time of relaxation - and, oh, how I need it!
Over the past six weeks its been going from this, to that, to the next thing.

How wonderful it is to have needlework to calm the mind and soul!

It all began
the second week of February - 

news that one of Keith’s sisters
(Mavis - Mave for short) 
was unwell after surgery 
and had been readmitted
to hospital into Intensive Care.

Monday, 16th of February  -  extra cleaning of the house, baking & preparing meals.
Tuesday, 17th - 19th  -  Keith’s brother and his wife, Carol, came to stay.
Most of these days were spent at the hospital and with other family members.
Mave’s life was hanging by a thread.
Friday, 20th  -  Mavis was flown to Wellington for specialist surgery.  A VERY anxious time.

Sunday, 22nd  -  our lovely stitching day together known as NATTER : the old English word
meaning “idle chatter”.
And this is what we do whilst stitching.  


The one rule is the same
as what Thumper’s mother
had to remind him that his father 
had said to him that morning 
in the movie, “Bambi”, 
which was, 
"If you can’t say something nice,
don’t say nothing at all”.

The other definition of the word NATTER
for us is -
N  =  Needle
A  =  And
T  =  Thread
T  =  Together
E  =  Equal
R  =  Relaxation
Wednesday, 25th  -  spent a couple of hours having lung tests to see how they were
after being so sick before Christmas.
Friday, 27th  -  a cousin who now lives in Feilding (Sandrea, my bridesmaid) came
and spent the day with us as her husband was here in the Hawkes Bay on business.
A lovely day.

Sunday, 1st of March  -  spent the afternoon with other fig growers - locals and non-locals -
at one of the local growers properties.  Good to discuss issues, concerns and problems
together, especially as this is a new enterprise for NZers.
We lost almost two-thirds of our plants with the severe frosts that we had over
Labour Weekend of last year.

Monday, 2nd  -  travelled to Auckland to attend the Retailers Gift Fair.

Tuesday, 3rd -

the whole day
at the Gift Fair sourcing, 
and ordering
stock for the 
Needlework Gallery.

Wednesday, 4th   -  did some buying of fixtures for the new Gallery, then travelled home
to the Hawkes Bay.  A VERY expensive time away.  Keith got a speeding ticket
on the way to Auckland and another on the way home!

Sunday, 8th  -  travelled to Upper Hutt to stay with Keith’s sister, Glen and her husband,
for a few days so that we could see and visit Mave at the Wellington Hospital 
and spend time with his family members in that area.
During this time I also visited a wholesale supplier to order Christmas products
for the Gallery and visited several “top” shops in Wellington for inspiration
as to layout, display ideas, etc.  Also spend some time with a very special cousin,
Kevin and his wife, Merrill.
You may recall seeing a photo of Merrill as my Matron-of-Honour in Blog #32.
Wednesday, 11th  -  travelled back home to Napier.
Thursday, 12th  -  a customer from Coromandel came for a special visit to the Gallery.

Tuesday, 24th  -  another busy day of extra cleaning, baking and preparing meals.
Wednesday, 25th - 27th  -  Allan & Carol came to stay again as Mave finally back at home.
Wednesday, 25th  -  out for dinner to celebrate Keith’s birthday which was the following day.

Sunday, 29th  -  another monthly NATTER get-together stitching day.
Tuesday, 31st  -  baking for the next day.
Wednesday, 1st of April  -  morning at my place - as it was my turn - to host
the patchwork group that I get together with as and when I have the time.  
I’m the only one that doesn’t patchwork or quilt - I stitch instead.  A lovely group of ladies.

In between and throughout all of these days listed until today, the Needlework Gallery
has been open every Friday, needlework orders have had to be dispatched, 
dozens of replies written to various Emails, 20th cheques written in February and March,
end of month accounting reports and statements for February & March, stocktake taken
and recorded of all needlework stock on hand as at the 2015 End-of-the-Year, 
three appointments with the optician for new glasses, a visit to the Solicitor
re my mother’s estate, typed up the instructions and drew stitch diagrams
for Part One of the new mystery sampler project (The Butterfly Sampler).

And too, every spare moment was taken up with the writing up of the books and compiling
all the relevant information for the accountant so that our overdue 2014 Tax Return
could be completed and submitted to the Inland Revenue Department.
They were pestering me because I hadn’t filed the 2014 return.

Don’t they know that stitching is far more important!!

As I began this blog - how wonderful it is to have needlework to calm the mind and soul!

Despite all the comings and goings I did manage to sit and enjoy some stitching time.

After finishing the stitching of the Frances Mary Jones sampler, I began the larger
of the two Quaker inspired sampler designs that Sandie of The Sweetheart Tree
had designed and published as ‘Olde Quaker Flowers’
and which I wrote about in my last blog.

As mentioned in that blog, I decided to stitch these samplers in blues
rather than in burgundy as originally designed.

For the larger of the two designs, chose the following -
Thread:  ‘Blue Jay’  -  Sampler Thread   by  The Gentle Art
Fabric:  Belfast Linen  (32 count) -  ‘Platinum’ colour

By the 8th of March, this is how it looked.
Almost finished.

Only the
bottom line

of Backstitch
to be completed
and my
initials worked

to the left
of the vase
and date
to the right.

Isn’t it pretty!

Here is a pic of the design chart to remind you.

This design is available
for purchase from Heirlooms.

Design Title:  Olde Quaker Flowers

Code:  SWT 069

Design:  $30.00
(includes embellishments
of the tiniest little burgundy buttons)

When I had finished the larger piece I began the smaller design.

However, this time decided to stitch it on the same colour and count of fabric
but with a different colour / shade of blue.

This time chose, ‘Presidential Blue’  -  Sampler Thread  by  The Gentle Art.

The other decision I made was that I chose to stitch the design over one thread
and make the finished piece into an ornamental.

This decision meant that the tiny little blue buttons were too large for the ornamental
and so opted for petite beads instead.


(My apologies 
that I did not
that they were 
standing upright
when I took
the photograph.)

I also decided to create the back of the ornamental with linen
rather than with a piece of printed cotton fabric.

Consequently after finishing stitching the complete little design, 
I stitched the central motif onto another piece of linen and worked
a Backstitch border on both the front and back pieces around each motif -
the same distance from the motif.

I then whip stitched
the backstitches 
of the front and back pieces
together, stuffed it with 
lambswool stuffing,
made a twisted cord
with DMC 
stranded cotton (#3750) 
and attached this cord 
over top of the joined
front/back seam
and then made a looped tassel,
using the ’Presidential Blue’ 
Sampler Thread
threaded with beads, 
and attached it at the centre
to the bottom of the ornamental.

 Rather pleased with the end result.

I sincerely hope this little note has encouraged you to set aside some time to stitch
and therefore recharge and replenish your energy levels, and revitalise, replenish,
and refresh  your mind and soul.