Willing Hands Needlework Design

"She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands"
Proverbs 31:13

Welcome to my blog! I created this blog to keep you updated on my teaching schedule, designs, new designs, kit availability,
works in progress and other stitching related activities. From time to time I'll also be adding extra info about goings-on in my life.

To see my current teaching schedule, teaching pieces and retired designs, click on "older posts" at the bottom of each page.

Thank you for visiting!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Wrap-up

It's New Year's Eve and we're getting ready to honor our Southern roots by feasting on black eyed peas and greens, to bring prosperity in the coming year.  But first I wanted to post a few more photos...

The first is a stumpwork panel I stitched on for the Northwest Sampler Guild.  The guild has taken on the extremely ambitious project of reproducing Martha Edlin's casket ( in the V&A's permanent collection along with several other pieces of Martha's exquisite needlework ) in actual size.  I volunteered to work on this panel and stitched on it, off and on, for two years.  It isn't complete because the missing flower motifs are worked in detached buttonhole stitch on wire and that is one stitch I've never come close to mastering.  It was a very humbling experience trying to reproduce Martha's work - she was 11 years old when she made this casket!  The theme of her casket is "The Seven Virtues" and this panel illustrates Justice and Temperance.  The whole project is being coordinated by my soul sister, Marianne Adler, who also came up with the wonderful idea for the Jack in the Box in my Toy Chest Etui.

Martha Edlin reproduction panel

I've made another finial pin cushion, this one especially for the above mentioned Marianne.  It was a Christmas gift and I held off posting photos so that she wouldn't see it here before opening it on Christmas morning.  The colors are much more bold than my first finial and they were inspired by Marianne's blue and yellow kitchen and the red pillows in her living room.  The stitching is actually a line drawing of the design painted on the finial.  When I used to make Ukrainian eggs I always worked out a design on graph paper first, using colored pencils to choose the palette.  If the design on the finial was unwrapped and laid flat, it would look like the line drawing stitched on the pin cushion.

Happy, healthy, prosperous and blessed 2012, everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oops, I did it again!

After swearing twice before that I was done adding toys to my Toy Chest Etui, I've gone back on my word again.  But I REALLY mean it this time - this is the LAST new toy!  ( If I add any more we'll each have to stitch a second chest - the original is full! )

As a child I loved water color paint boxes and as an adult I still paint in my very rare spare time, except that now I use oils.  For some time now it has bothered me that the Toy Chest Etui didn't have a paint box, even though it does have a basket of colored pencils.  I just had to rectify that, so here it is.  Hope that you like it!

Paint Box, closed

Paint Box, open

The paint box holds a needle threader which is embellished with a painter's palette enameled charm fob.  The needle threader fits into a pocket inside the lid of the paint box, and the opening of the pocket is the sawtooth motif just to the right of my initials and the date in the photo above.  The bottom of the paint box is made from the same plaid silk Dupioni which lines the other Toy Chest pieces and there are pockets in both the top and bottom of the box, on the reverse side, for holding packets of needles.  I planned the size of the design to hold a packet of Bohin tapestry needles and a packet will be included in the kit in size #26, along with the needle threader and the charm.

I've ordered all of the supplies to make kits, but the needle threaders are currently back-ordered until "early next year" whenever that happens to be.  I'm hoping to have kits available by the end of February and the price will be $35.  Any guild or chapter which has hosted a Toy Chest Etui class in the past or has one coming up can contact me about making a group order.