Friday, October 21, 2016

Trio Complete

The Mermaid is finished, completing the trio.   I used some odds and ends pf floss and fabric to stitch this: a little Needle Necessities, a little Splendor, a little Threadworx and a scrap of evenweave.  I like to have a few small designs stitched and ready to finish up for exchanges.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


The arthritis is still troublesome so I chose to work on some very easy charts from Rainbow Gallery.

The Geisha: stitched in the traditional black and gold on white of true Blackwork.

A Victorian Lady: stitched in pink, gold and black.

And a Mermaid

PS:  A number of you didn't realize the mermaid was a work in progress and thought she was afflicted with sagging breasts.  That would be a sad case of confusing the stitcher with the stitchee.  See the next post for the finished lady.

This is not the first time I've stitched these.  They make wonderful exchange pieces finished as  bookmarks or needle books or pin cushions. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Revisiting Martha

I've worked on a few more bands since my last post.  The Blackwork is done but I am delaying stitching the Queen's Stitch pineapples until an arthritis flare up abates.  I love Queen stitches but they require a delicate touch.  Pineapples symbolized hospitality in colonial America.

The next divider is another pink on pink band: the Crossed Cushion.

The following band is a fan stitch representing Martha's love of dancing and balls and entertaining.  I've just started the top sritching that shapes the bottom of the fan.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Small Finish

The Thanksgiving Heart is done, complete with Half Rhodes Stitches for the corn sheaves in the foreground.  I regret that I can not give the provenance of this lovely free chart since no copyright or trademark data was included on either the chart or the symbol page.  But if any reader who has been following my progress on the piece would like to have the chart - I'll mail it to the first person to e-mail me.  See the contact info in my profile.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Little Progress

I've added a bit more Fall color to the piece.  The chart calls for DMC but I have substituted some over dyed cotton flosses.  I have been using some partial cards of Catherine Jordan and GAST floss as well as just a wee bit if DMC Color Infusion for a highlight.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Out of Patience With Pink

It's official.  I am at the end of my tether.  Quite out of patience with pink.  I finished the shell band and even pushed my way through the next band, a divider band made of  triple cross stitches.

But I need to refresh myself with some crisp autumnal colors.  Leafing through a binder of Halloween and Autumn charts, I pulled out five or six to add to my "Up Next" basket.  I haven't stitched a Thanksgiving chart in a quite while so this will be my new start: a heart of wheat sheaves enclosing a harvest scene with the motto Give Thanks.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Filling in the shells with one over one tent stitches is an experience I would not care to repeat.  The fact that the floss colors very nearly blend into the linen color is not helping. Furthermore, the soft hand of the cashel linen means the uncovered warp and woof threads of the linen bear a striking resemblance to the covered ones.  If I lift my eyes for a mere second, I lose my place.  Aging eyes start to burn and lose focus after an hour of this sort of thing. Pink has never been a favorite color of mine and, after this band, it is even less so. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Few More Bands

Band 5: Florentine Stitch - Martha's bridal colors.

Band 6: Captive Rice- representing Martha's fear of imprisonment while George commanded the Continental Army.

Band 7: Cross Stitch - Chinese motifs adapted from Martha's china used in her home at Mt. Vernon.

Band 8: Divider - Trellis Stitch.

Band 9: Tent Stitch Over One - Shell motifs adapted from a needlepoint chair found at Mt. Vernon.  I still need to stitch two more shades of pink to fill in the shapes.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Lady Washington Update

Band 1 : The Martha Washington Geranium.  Cross Stitch, Cross Stitch with Bar, Diagonal Criss Stitch, Foliage Stitch, Smyrna Cross Stitch.

 Band 2:  Divider.  Half Rhodes Stitch.and Upright Cross Stitch.

Band 3: Forget Me Nots, representing the deaths of Martha's son, Francis and Daniel Custis.  Cross Stitch over Four, Satin Stitch and Rice Stitch.

Band 4: Divider.  Rapid Stitch.

Band 5:  Florentine Stitch using the colors of Martha's gown worn at her wedding to George Washington: a Golden Olive [WDW Schneckly],  yellow [WDW Buttercup], and purple [WDW Royal Purple].  Clearly, this band isn't done yet but it was getting a little too late for such delicate stitching.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Lady Washington Progress

Band 1 which features the Martha Washington geranium is complete.  I spent the last 30 minutes browsing horticultural websites trying to discover how this old-fashioned flower came to be named after Martha Washington.  I did learn that it was quite popular in the early 1900s but has since been eclipsed by showier varieties.  But as to its connection with Lady Washington - not a word.

Moving on to Band 2 with its Half Rhodes and Upright Cross stitches presented a few problems at first.  The chart calls for the Rhodes to be stitched with 2 strands of floss.  But that produced a nubby mess.  After just three Half Rhodes, I frogged and re-stitched with one strand and am much happier with the definition of the stitches.  The Upright  Crosses will be stitched tomorrow in Buttercup.  I expect they will look better in one strand as well.