January - as per the title of this blog - the time of year that I LOVE!!
Especially the first two weeks of it and the time between Christmas and New Year. It is a time when "time" can be disregarded - no pressure to open the doors of the Needlework Gallery, no weekly commitments, no meetings, no group get-togethers, etc. It truly is a time to relax and recoup and let the energy levels be replenished and do whatever one pleases - when they please. Quite selfish really - but sometimes one needs to think of oneself.
As per tradition, I always begin a jigsaw puzzle on Boxing Day and Boxing Day of 2016 was no exception - except that I began the first of two jigsaw puzzles that I had been given as Christmas gifts from Keith. (Perhaps he thought I needed twice as much rest and relaxation). Especially loved one of them - Christmas in the Parlour - as hidden in the picture were objects from 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' song. The challenge was to find each days objects when the puzzle was finished. Fun!!
Here is a pic of 'Christmas in the Parlour' -
and here is a pic of the second jigsaw, 'Carriage Marriage' -
During this time I also spent many hours stitching in my big armchair.
It's no wonder that it is so threadbare!
I finished stitching the piece that I have designed for the class that I am to be taking at
- 'Celebration of Needlework' -
the needlework retreat at Nashua, New Hampshire, in the USA
(about 45 minutes from the Boston airport).
This is to be at the beginning of May.
Here is a sneak peek at it -
And almost finished the scissors fob that will also be taught in the class.
Pictured below is a sneak peek at it -
As yet not made up - but the twisted cord for the edging and the tassel are made.
My intention is to have several fobs finished before the retreat
- each fob being made with a different thread colour -
so that the class attendees can see and then choose their favourite colour of thread
for the fob they are to be making.
Also I plan to make up several extra fob kits for sale in my exhibition booth.
Consequently, I need to make several fobs before April so that I can have lots of models on display.
The chart for this design - Josephine's Fob - is available for purchase
but I will write details of that in another blog.
I also stitched the initials of my children and grandchildren on to my second
'Family Quaker Sampler' pictured below.
This sampler has been stitched with just one colour
(over one thread of fabric with one strand of thread)
on the following fabric and with the following thread -
Fabric: Permin Linen - 35 count - Lambswool
Thread: Simply Shaker Sampler Thread by 'The Gentle Art' - Grape Arbor
The 'Family Quaker Sampler' is our 2016 Mystery Sampler project and the addition of initials to the sampler is Part Four of the project. The sampler features Quaker motifs that were taught at the Ackworth School in England for Quaker children. The distinctive Quaker medallions form a border and inside this border one has to place the initials (or names) of their family members. Smaller distinctive styled motifs are then to be placed between/amongst the initials or names.
Motifs, initials or names, family members (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, etc.) and the placement of them was to be the stitcher's choice.
This project began on the 1st of September, but anyone can still begin at any time.
In total, there are six parts and Part Five was released on the 1st of January.
This is how my original sampler looked after completing Part Four -
Fabric: Belfast Linen - 32 count - Platinum
Threads: Sampler Thread by 'The Gentle Art' - Soot
DMC Stranded Cotton - 902 & 814
DMC Stranded Cotton - 936 & 3051
I worked this sampler over two fabric threads with one strand of thread.
When this design has finished as a Mystery Sampler project,
it will be available for purchase as a complete design.
To date costings and date for release have not been finalised.
When these decisions have been made,
they will be related in a blog, announced on Facebook and added to the website.
That's all for the moment and so will say ...