Thursday, 14 February 2019

Atlantic Crossing

This post is NOT about the Rod Stewart album of the same name, though I must admit to having owned a copy of it.

In August 2001 Jane-Beth and I attended our first ANG Annual Seminar, held that year in Washington DC, well actually on the other side of the Potomac in Alexandria.

Mind-blowing? Well, I had never seen so many stitchers or so much floss in one place, and then there were the needlework shops! I was overwhelmed (and probably overspent). There were threads and flosses I'd never heard of, canvas in different sizes and colours. I fell in love with the USA within the first few days!
Seminar was an experience I'll never forget. I think I was in awe of just about everything I saw and everyone was kind to the two strange speaking foreigners. I was able to take design and colour classes with some of the most respected teachers, and of course I had to take one class with a project.

This is Tony Minieri's La Torre Teapot, based on the La Torre clock tower in Kansas City. It is stitched on Congress Cloth using Silk ' Colours, Fiore and Kreinik Bijoux. I learned a number of new stitches and discovered that UK English and US English can be two different languages.

Being in foreign parts, I had to wear my kilt. It was a great ice-breaker, but it did lead to one amusing 'phone conversation. I overheard one of the ladies calling her friend, and in answer to an unheard question, reply, "There are four guys here, three of them are Gay and the other one's wearing a skirt!" Was I offended? Not in the least. I'm not that easily offended.
And it's an amusing story to share with fellow embroiderers, guaranteed to get a laugh if I use it when I gave a talk.

We had time for a little sightseeing too, including a walk up The National Mall and a visit to part of the Smithsonian. I'm not sure whether the highlight of the day was seeing Oscar The Grouch or the apple pie in the cafeteria.

Seminar ended, we came home and we knew we'd go back again.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Chalet School Goes To It

I'm not quite sure what they were going to, but judging by the cover it may have been a vegetable market.

Having sold a few charts of the first Chalet School cover for The National Osteoporosis Society, I thought I'd have another shot. This one did not go so well. I couldn't get the detail right and the faces just wouldn't do what I wanted them to.

Lesson learned?
If you are going to go for detail either go big on the finished size of your design or small in the count of your canvas. Or do I mean that the other way round? I think what I'm saying is that if it's a very detailed piece you need more holes to the inch. If I was doing this again, which I will not, I would have made it larger and I would have done it on Congress Cloth. Knowing what I know now, and with 20-20 hindsight, I'd also have looked at threads other than DMC Medici. This was designed to be simple for a beginner (not sure I achieve that either) and if I had been more experienced and doing it for myself I might have considered using other stitches for effect.

We stitch and learn.