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Please keep in mind that, unless otherwise noted, everything on my blog is copyright material of some sort. Either by me (as picture taker, writer, creator) or more importantly by the designer of the needlework pieces I present. If you promise to be copyright mindful, my promise to you is to do my best to provide you enough information in my post for you to obtain your own legal copy. Please be respectful of these copyrights and not take business away from our wonderful designers. Thank you.
............. . ."She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight" Proverbs 31:13 NAS

Monday, November 26, 2012

Colcha Embroidery 2012 EGA Seminar Class

Since I can’t post much of my Christmas stitching – most are gifts, I will show you some progress I am making on one of my other Seminar classes, Colcha Embroidery.  I told you last about it in this blog post.

 Colcha is a Spanish word meaning bed covering or coverlet.  As early as 1598, the Spanish Colonial settlers brought colcha embroidery to New Mexico and Southern Colorado. Bed coverings were embroidered with this unique couched stitch and the stitch was named the colcha. Traditionally it would be worked on hand-woven wool called sabanilla using handspun and dyed wool yarns made from the Churro Sheep. Sabanilla is a loosely woven fabric approximately 12-22 threads per inch.

 The sabanilla were only 30 inches wide, limited by the size of the loom, and strips would be sewn together to make the bed cover. Then all of the fabric was embroidered, using the colcha stitch, to cover the seams and keep the top from puckering. In addition, the embroidery on the top is quite dense and created a double layer of wool making the bed covering that much warmer - which was needed before our gas furnaces!

Our class piece was done on an 11 inch square piece of silk/linen monk’s cloth using wool yarn from ordinary sheep. It is a surface stitch with very little on the back, and is quite fun to do once you get the hang of it! I am not sure whether I will frame this when done, or make a wall hanging or put it on a tote bag.  Time will tell!

Happy Stitching!

Monday Quote

"Dwell in possibility" - Emily Dickinson

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Echo Canyon Completed!

Well today I finished Echo Canyon. One of my 2012 EGA National Seminar Classes. I took the class Nov 1 & 2 and have been working on it ever since! So I finished it today, 24 days later. This is a new record, fasted completion of a Seminar Project taken home (I did take a one day punch embroidery class a few years back and finished the pin in class). It is on 11 inch by 13 inch stretcher bars.

If you want a bit of history of this project here is my last post on the subject. My husband has suggested he would pay for the framing (I want to have the mat the same shape as the boot) as a Christmas present. Not sure it is wise for him to know just how much it costs to frame stuff these days!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Pumpturkey & Happy Thanksgiving

For those of us in the States - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Everyone else, Happy Thursday!

Here is what I call a Pumpturkey on our front porch.

Happy Day All!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Quote

"Love is the opener as well as the closer of eyes"
- George MacDonald
George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister who lived from 1824 to 1905.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Echo Canyon Progress Report

When last seen, the horses were not running across the canyon floor, only one basket had been stitched and very little had been done in the area below the canyon (background). I have been stitching on this a little bit each night and took this last night before I added more of the background.

The stitching has not been hard, and the stitch choices of the designer really work well together. I can't tell you the name of the stitch I am doing now for the background, but will try to on my next post, (I am doing this post on my lunch break and the charts are at home). The horses are fabric that has been put on with the iron on interfacing and then floss tails added. She gave us three different brown batik fabrics and I made horses out of them all picking the three I liked best.
That about covers it for now, but I will add that Jeanette Rees was an excellent teacher and I would recommend a class from here if you get a chance.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TUSAL for November

Here is my Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long (TUSAL) for November's new moon. Most of the orts near the top (as if you can tell) are from Echo Canyon which I posted a bit about below.

Wondering what all the fuss is about Orts and the New moon? Check out this post by DaffyCat and learn more.

Until next time......

Loose Ends and Progress

Today I thought I'd post about some Seminar loose ends and my progress on Echo Canyon, one of my Seminar classes.

First I believe in my last post on Seminar, I mentioned a surprise gift from County Bumpkin. This cute hard sided scissor case. The top photo shows the case closed and the bottom shows it open. What you can't see is a small loop inside that the scissor slides into.

Here is my name tag, stitched and finished by Committee, not me, and a beautiful hand dyed silk scarf. The scarf was worn to help designate that we were on the Committee.
When I got home, I discovered one of my Christmas Cactus had bloomed. Also, that despite my hubby forgetting to water the plants, none died. A few looked a little sad, but all perked up with a good dose of water!

Finally, here is my progress with Echo Canyon. You can see the class piece in this post. This project is very fun and the canyon floor area below the mountains was great fun to stitch. You just did it using an overdye in patches and random, not back and forth or up and down. All tent stitch, but it did not get tedious like going back and forth might.
That about covers it for now. I think I have shown you all the Seminar stuff and from now on I will post stitching progress (and other interesting stuff). Have a great week!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Quote

"A mind grows by what it feeds on"
- J.G.Holland
J.G. Holland was an American novelist who lived from 1819 to 1881.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Pictures from Seminar 2012

When I last left you I was telling you about the wonderful Trading Post. As I said it was great and lots of room to maneuver in the aisles.

Thursday, November 1: I took a two day class. This one was much closer to the Seminar Office (Newsletter Central), the bookstore, boutique, exhibits and more of the action. The class I took was Echo Canyon by Jeannette Rees. It is a canvas piece using lots of different threads, fun stitches and padding techniques. Also fun was the creation of the Navajo women's hair and braid. She has her back to us while sitting on a Navajo rug to sell her baskets, so we see the back of her head which includes a braid. It was great fun to do. This piece is one I decided to keep working on and will have progress reports. Below are pictures of the class piece in case I needed a closer look while working on it at home. Sorry no full shot.

Friday, November 2:
I continued with class, had a lunch meeting and then we had the Closing Banquet. Here is the favor we got. It is a hand painted gourd  I got one with various sun symbols. The top one is Navajo and the bottom one is Mimbres. It was hand painted by Cathleen Kardas of Albuquerque, NM.

We also got a surprise gift from Country Bumpkin - a pink hard sided scissor holder with flap. Maybe I will get a picture of it sometime. I have not unpacked everything yet!

That about finishes my Seminar report. I hope you enjoyed it!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EGA Seminar 2012 Santa Fe Enchantment Report 1

FINALLY!! I can post a bit about the GREAT Seminar I attended last week. This could be a long post, so get your cuppa and relax.

I arrived at Buffalo Thunder Resort on Saturday, October 27 and settled into our room and the Seminar Office. I was the editor for the Seminar Newsletter, DrumBeat, and had a few extras to tote along. We were able to drive since Santa Fe is approximately 7 hours south. The resort was actually north of Santa Fe on the Pajoaque Reservation, so we sort of back tracked a bit, but not much.

 The hotel was FANTASTIC, eye candy everywhere. Native art all over the place, decor from floor to ceiling. Our room had two queen beds, and a balcony. It was much bigger than most hotel rooms I've had at a Seminar, with plenty of room to hold a stitch-in, if we had been so inclined.

Here is some of the art in the lobby area -called "Evening Star", sorry I did not get the artist's name.

Now for the view out our hotel room.

I planned the Newsletter in advance and was well organized so I was able to take classes at Seminar - hallelujah! So I will be able to tell you a bit about those along with other fun Seminar tid-bits. There is just so much to tell and show you, I will start in chronological order.

Sunday, Oct. 28: I took the Colcha Embroidery Class by Annette Turk. Here is the class piece.
This is my doodle cloth to learn how to do the stitch - box was done first to get used to the stitch. Then we learned how to do different shapes and wedge (allow for large stitched areas above narrower areas - see "duck foot" at lower right in photo below). We used a silk/linen blend monk's cloth and regular sheeps wool. Not the traditional Churro wool fabric or threads.

This is my progress so far with the piece. I did most of it in class and a little bit Wednesday night.

Boutique: Stitchville USA was the boutique host - what a great job they did. It was like they brought their shop straight from Minnesota. They had stitched models, gobs of fabric, trunk shows you name it! They even had more stuff delivered mid-week! I hear they are the Boutique for the 2013 and 2014 EGA National Seminars - well worth the trip! Makes me almost want to move to Minnesota, and for this Southern California girl, that is saying a lot!!

Book StoreRuth Kern Books did the bookstore and brought plenty of books on all the topics covered  in classes and more. Plus she was there in person and visited with Seminar attendees. Once again a wonderful bookstore for Seminar.

Exhibits: We had all the usual education exhibits, including a sneak peak at the new Group Correspondence Courses (GCC). Plus the Rocky Mountain Region (Seminar host) put on an exhibit of Prospectors, a retrospective of past Region Seminar displays. Prospectors is an exhibit of Region member's original work. Many years there is a theme, but following the theme is not necessary. The important thing is to step outside your comfort zone/box and create an original piece. It was so fun to see pieces from past years!

Opening Banquet: Seating was by Region. Tables were marked with signs with the Region initials and a Fetish Symbol. The Rocky Mountain Region (RMR) had the Buffalo Fetish Symbol. Region members took up quite a few tables too with 170 members registered! At our seat was a list of all the Fetish symbols and their meanings. The favor we received was a nice bronze pair of scissors and beaded scissor fob.
The Banquet started with the Buffalo Dancers! They were fantastic.

Monday, Oct. 29: I started a two day class called Yei-bi-chei by Victoria Nessel. It was a wonderful class except it was about as far away as you could get from the Seminar Office (aka Newsletter Central), unless it had been in the Golf Course Clubhouse or Homewood Suites - those classes required the shuttle to get there and back. I got plenty of exercise and ate well. I worked on the next days Newsletter and distributed the current days Newsletter during the lunch hour. I had FANTASTIC volunteers, and can't thank them enough. Class newsletters were counted out and filed within 5 minutes each time!!

Back to the mask. When I signed up I was not aware that it would be on two canvases (we actually had 4 if you count the pieces to practice the applique)! The mask is done on an ecru with various stitches and threads. It is then cut out and appliqued onto a terra cotta colored canvas that we have stitched a corn stalk design and painted on it a bit too. Feathers are stitched on the terra cotta at the top of the mask and real feathers added. The mask is padded before placement. Beads added at various places and cording around the edges. It was a lot of fun and and added benefit was one of my friends from Raleigh, NC was in class! I had not seen her in 5 years. Also two ladies from my local chapters were in class, so I have plenty of help if needed. I did have to leave class a tad early each day and returned late from lunch, so they may prove invaluable!

Here is the class piece.

Wednesday, October 31: I did not take class, so my roommate and I drove into Santa Fe to check out the Native artisans on the plaza and eat lunch. We ate at a little place in the La Fonda Hotel. I wish we could have stayed longer, but I had to get back to take care of the next days Newsletter. Santa Fe is defiantly a place to return too, and being so close I think my hubby and I will make a trip or two back!

Here is a picture of the Plaza with some of the artisans still lined up along the wall under the portico. Beautiful blue skies too.

The merchandise event for Seminar was called Trading Post. It was open from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. It was WONDERFUL. Tons of vendors with lots of variety. I purchased some Churro wool woven fabric and dyed Churro yarns for Colcha Embroidery from my Sunday class teacher, who was a vendor, along with some charts from some of the other vendors.

I think I will give you a bit of a break now, and time to digest all the wonderfulness that was Seminar and end this report. Look for Part 2 on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Some Interesting Facts About New Mexico

While researching facts and trivia about New Mexico I found it very interesting that their history is extremely old, yet they are a young State in the Union. The recorded history of the area goes back well over 900 years, yet they became a state in 1912, just 100 years ago.
  • When you take a tour of The Governor's Palace in Santa Fe you will hear them boast that it is the oldest seat of Government in the United States, having been built in 1610, and one of the oldest continuously occupied public buildings in the United States.
  • The State Flag was adopted in 1925.
  • Taos Pueblo is located 2 miles north of the city of Taos. It is one of the oldest continuously occupied communities on the United States. People still live in some of the 900 year-old buildings.
  • In 1950 the town of Hot Springs changed it's name to Truth or Consequences, after the popular radio program.
  • Santa Fe claims the oldest house in the United States, Barrio Analco. Tree rings used for the roof date it ti 1647, but no one knows for sure. 
  • Then there is all the atomic age stuff.
New Mexico is a unique blending of ancient and modern, it makes it well worth exploring.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails

I thought I'd share some things I learned while conducting research for filler for the 2012 EGA National Seminar's Newsletter. Not all could be used, since "Breaking News" took priority, but that is what filler is all about!

New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails
Through collaboration between a grassroots network of fiber artists, New Mexico Arts (the state arts  agency) and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, these trails were developed in 2006 and 2007 to focus on the fiber artists of New Mexico. You can visit various fiber artists throughout New Mexico along one of the three loops; the North Central Loop, the Northwest Loop and the Southern Loop.

One day I hope to have time to take a trip along the trails, they sound wonderful!! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Quote

"A man who does not think for himself does not think at all"
--Oscar Wilde