Sunday, January 15, 2012

I've been led astray---again!!

Last Tuesday I finished Ann Rayner from Threads Through Time.  I certainly enjoyed every minute I spent with Ann.  I just wish my photo would show you better the pretty colors.  Don't you love all the red?


 On Friday, my friend Judy and I went to see our friend Carol who is a professional framer.  After choosing frames for our pieces, we all went out for lunch.  What a great time we had catching up on things!

Having finished Ann Rayner, I needed a new project for my early morning stitching sessions. I pulled out two WIPs (works in progress): Janet Gibson, a reproduction sampler, and Catherine Theron's Examplar III.



 Well, that seemed like a good idea at the time.  There's not much left on Janet--mainly buttonhole stitches on the swan and two sheep.  However, I decided I wasn't in the mood to do those right now, so I put poor Janet aside once again, but I do plan to finish her this year.

Then it was on to Examplar III.  Looking at it, I thought it wouldn't take very long to complete this piece.  After all, I had already stitched the lovely border and most of the tent stitch motif in the lower right corner.  Wrong again!  The motif in progress is all petite queen stitches (queen stitches over two linen threads). Each petite queen stitch has only two long legs versus the typical queen stitch, which is over four linen threads and has four long legs to be tacked down.  After three morning stitching sessions, you can see my progress.  It was very slow, plus I was having a hard time both counting and seeing where to put the stitches.  So this poor project is now also back in my basket for another day.

Now the dilemma...what to stitch during my morning stitching sessions.  (Long time readers of my blog know that I usually wake up several hours before Tom does, and I use that time to stitch.)  I wanted a relaxing piece.  Should I chose another WIP or ????

Well, I decided that life is too short, and therefore I shouldn't fret between completing a WIP or starting a new sampler.  The latter is what I did.  For years I've loved the Hannah Lancaster sampler.  Here's a picture from Mary, the designer.


I don't know exactly what it is that attracts me so strongly to this piece. Perhaps it's the very large girl in the bottom section.  The stitch count for this sampler is 277 wide by 382 high.  Yes, it's another biggie! Luckily, I had a large piece of linen on hand.   I'm using the DMC threads that are listed on the chart.  I figured if they were good enough for the model, then they should be okay for me.  Do you ever rationalize choices like that?

This morning I began work on Hannah, and I'm pleased with my progress so far.  I've completed only the the dark green part of the vine across the top, so I'm anxious to add some more colors soon. Perhaps tomorrow I'll stitch some of the flowers on the vine.

I imagine it will take me quite some time to finish Hannah because I have other stitching and designing commitments.  However, I hope to spend most of my early morning time with her.  We should be great friends by the time I'm through stitching her.

Here's some news on upcoming classes: 
  • The Delaware Valley Historic Sampler Guild is now taking registrations for the April classes, A Needleworker's Sampler Huswif and Long May She Wave.  More information is here.
  • We hope to soon post photos of my new class, A Lady's Worke Box.  This class will premier in May in Canton, Ohio. Contact information is here.
  • Sue of Stitcher's Hideaway has opened registrations for her Sturbridge retreat in early July.  I'll be teaching the Fruit of the Vine Sampler Huswif.  Having taught before at one of Sue's retreats, I know it will be a great time for all.  Sue has timed her retreat this year to coincide with the 4th of July celebrations at historic Sturbridge Village.  The class begins on July 5, so you can come a day early and enjoy the festivities at the village on the 4th.  Sue has also arranged a special program entitled Celebrating Patriotism for the afternoon of July 6.  The program will be presented by Sturbridge Village staff members.  It certainly sounds interesting.  And if that is not enough enticement, Sue has also timed her seminar to be near the enormous Brimfield Antiques Show.  WOW!!  I can hardly wait.  If you want to learn more about Stitcher's Hideaway, click here.

16 comments:

Margaret said...

Congratulations on finishing Ann Raynor! You're right -- the reds are wonderful! I so need to stitch her someday. Love your WIPS -- I have poor Janet Gibson languishing away too. The swan got me down. lol! And Hannah -- she is a pleasure to stitch! I hope you enjoy her!

I'm not a happy camper. We had to have drains put in the basement, which means paying off that work. Which means no retreats for me for the foreseeable future. :( I was really hoping to go to Sturbridge for your class too. But the house comes first so no fun for me this year. Sigh.

virtuegrace@aol.com said...

Congratulations: Your Ann Raynor is equisite. Now on to another beautiful sampler, Janet Gibson. I don't know when you find the time to do all the stitching you accomplish with designing and traveling. Wow, you are one busy lady.

Enjoy Hannah Lancaster. She's a fun stitch. JoAnn

Michele said...

Ann Rayner looks beautiful! Every time I glance at my WIP basket I seem to start a new project instead! LOL

krayolakris said...

Hannah is a great choice Ellen, but I love your other projects too!

Anne said...

Gorgeous samplers!! I love Ann and the colours are splendid!! I really like that piece with the strawberries framing the inner design. I love that Hannah piece too! It's kinda neat to see the girl as the main focus in a sampler!!

Deb said...

Your post is like eye candy. Love your Ann Raynor finish and all the other pieces that you've picked out. I think I started all but Janet Gibson during the crazy January challenge year and didn't finish one. I'm going to really enjoy watching your progress on all of these.

Laurie in Iowa said...

Congrats on finishing Ann R. She looks fabulous and I do love the reds. Enjoy stitching Hannah.

Elizabeth said...

I love seeing the finish of your Ann Rayner - it was your blog that inspired me to get it, but sadly I've been side-tracked from her. I think seeing your work will get me back on the train again! Love all of your work!

Nancy said...

Ann Raynor is beautiful, love those reds! Good choice for your new start!

Mouse said...

ooooo well done on finishing Ann :) and had to giggle on the decisions on what to stitch ... I can't imagine Queen stitches that small would be relaxing ..lol and fancy not finishing the swan ..lol but well done on the new start heheheh ... and as you say why fret :) love mouse xxxx

Sheila said...

Ann Raynor looks wonderful and I like your new start too.
What a lot you accomplish in the early hours - wish I could do that, but I love my bed!
Your 2012 classes sound fabulous - as ever.

woolwoman said...

Hi Ellen - what a great finish on Ann - beautiful!! Love Hannah Lancaster - have always loved that "big" girl - glad to hear you are busy with lots of great teaching assignments this year. Hugs Mel

Katrina said...

Congratulations, Ann Raynor is wonderful!!!! And I love your new sampler. I think we all make those choices when we are stitching, LOL. Looking forward to watching your progress.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Another fan of the reds in Ann Raynor here!
I love the third sampler too but it does look like alot of tiny work.

Teri said...

I love the Ann Rayner finish! But I was even more excited to read about your start on Hannah Lancaster. I love everything about that sampler - the colors, the symmetry, etc. I started working on Hannah a number of years ago, and I think of her often. I look forward to watching your progress!

Karoline said...

Congratulations on finishing Ann, she's gorgeous