May 3, 2015

The Queen

Greetings folks.  How did the weekend go?  We had wonderful weather and it's finally warming up.  I can't believe how many people already have annuals planted and hanging baskets.  The stores have had them for some time.  I remember when Memorial Day was the big shopping day for flowers but just as all seasonal items, they are out sooner every year.  I feel pressured to get what I need before they are gone but I didn't even think about a plan or colors yet.  I'm still working on that damn paint that is pink in the day and green in the night.  My moods have me crabby in the day and giddy at night.  Hot flashes have diminished but when I do get them, the mood goes from cold to hot and back to cold just as my body does.  Is there such thing as a happy crab?
 
Not much done on Sally.  The chain stitch row that took me forever is off and I may take it out and just do a regular cross.  The rice alphabet is down one row and not rice - I did the regular cross - which made the row beneath also down one.  That's OK because there is enough space.  So I thought this would be a good time to show you Ann's latest wallet project and a little note from her about it.  By the way, Ellen Chester (With My Needle) called her wallet of 7000 queen stitches "not for the faint of heart" when she created this historical adaptation of her original antique. This photo is from Silver Needle and they are offering the chart with finishing instructions for half price ($8) on this page.
 Ann originally avoided this stitch like most of us, but thought maybe she could inspire a few of you to give it a try.  I know that several specialty stitches I imagined to be a nightmare, ended up being fun to do once I got my rhythm and a nice break from the usual cross.  As always, watching videos from Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread are a tremendous help.  Here's Ann....
 
 "In all my years of stitching I have always shied away from doing designs that contain the Queen stitch (also known as the Renaissance or Rococo stitch).  I like my needlework to be neat and orderly and the dilemma for me was what tension, if any, should I use.  Do I apply no tension, do I pull a little or a lot and is the same tension applied to each part of the stitch.  I found different instruction/suggestion based on the places I looked.  As a result,  my Queen stitches were crooked, uneven, slanted, and just out of whack.  However, I saw two designs that made my hesitation of doing this stitch turn to a desire to resolve my issues and just do it.  The designs are A Work'd Pocketbook, by Ellen Chester and Mary Alsop 1774 Pocketbook from the Examplarery, Joanne Harvey. 


I have both designs but chose to do Ellen's first.  I am lucky to know Ellen since we are both members of the Queen City Sampler Guild in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I have taken a class from her.  I will tell you her directions are outstanding and are precise, complete and so easy to follow. Perfect choice for my adventure.

Although I used Ellen's design, I decided, as I seem to often do, to change the colors from the ones in her design.  I am using 32 count Wichelt Lambswool fabric and Needlepoint Silk thread, which has become a favorite of mine. 

I began my stitching with very little tension but as I did a row or two, I wasn't sure that the look was what I wanted.  I began "playing" with the tension and found that a more "pulled" stitch appeared more appealing to me.  It could be that this is going to be a wallet and there will be soooo many queen stitches all touching each other, it could be my choice of colors for the threads, or possibly just the way I stitch; however, I'm liking the look with more tension.  

I thought I might tire of doing so many queens but I find that I'm as excited about this piece as any I've done....right now I'm just loving doing reproduction wallets.  

Thanks Marly for inviting me to be a tiny part of your blog." - Thank you Ann for sharing your projects. 
 
You can see in the photo how she changed tension as she moved along in the project.  My tension would not be visible through the flames. 
Ann has great boards on Pinterest (here) featuring wallets, huswifs, bags, pouches, books, caskets, and of course, her fabulous finished stitchery.  Some of the antiques in her wallet album are these, also done in queen stitch.



 
And my favorite which is a needlecase.
 
 
I'm sure she will share the finish of her wallet of 7000 queens.  I've never constructed these reproduction wallets, doubt if they are easy, but Ann has also accomplished that task with perfection. 
When your needlework interest is in early pieces and reproductions, you're tiring of samplers, try one of these projects for a change and challenge.  The sweet bags, wallets, huswifs, and other similar needlework may create a new interest and collection, and no wall space is needed!
 
Thanks again Ann.  Can't wait to see it completed and what the next project will be.
 
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