Tagged ‘Tricia’

Snippets

November 16th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Sorry about that bad link – I’ve fixed it in the last post and here’s the link Tricia suggested, straight to the book in the mail order shop.

I had an exciting day Friday. I turned on the office computer and it, well, it didn’t exactly swear, but it definitely thumbed its circuits at me. Dennis the IT guy didn’t have good news. “Hmmm,” he said. “That means it can’t find the hard drive.” “Can’t or WON’T?” was my response, not that it helped any.

The bottom line is that my documents are on the server (since last year, when the previous computer was gathered to its reward) but my email may not be. I may very well have lost my emails, including the address updates of Sharon G, Ann B, and two others whom, sadly, my feeble brain cannot recall. As well as anything anyone has asked me to do from before last Wednesday. BUT WAIT, don’t re-send me anything yet. Dennis promised to let me know by the end of next week what he could save, and THEN you can send me updates. And I promise to figure out a better computer filing system. Grrrr.

As this happened on a Friday morning, I took it as a sign to jettison all efforts at correspondence and Just Sew. Sometimes that’s a nice thing. I’m working hard to finish up a few things for the interpreters before they’re done for the season.

Here are a few pictures of what we’ve been up to sewing-wise. The first picture up at the top is Penny and the Stays From Hades. These are hand-sewn, but the real problem was that they were cut out for someone other than Elise, the person she finished them for. She thought they were close enough, and it would be good to finish them and get them in use, but she had to alteration after alteration so that by the end, she could have made three pairs of stays. She says she’ll never do that again. The good news is that, after all that, Elise is happy with them. They look great on her.

I finished Beth L’s sandy-pink gown a while ago and here are the pictures to prove it. In the closer picture you can see just a little gap; Beth and I decided to see if it relaxes in the wearing. If not I can put a hook & eye closure there. I finished the gown in the morning and brought it to her on her lunch break. She went right away and changed into it and I took these, so it hadn’t been worn more than a couple of minutes.

I think she likes it.

Now I’m working on a pink waistcoat for Whitney. Arianna’s already made her a brown petticoat to go with. The weekend after Thanksgiving there’ll be a wedding in the Village – not a real wedding, a pretend 1627 wedding. Whitney’s going to be the bride and I’ve promised her this outfit for early next week. Arianna’s making a canvas suit for Austin. Penny just finished a gold wool waistcoat for Kelley, which I need to photograph. At this point in the season she probably won’t start something else new, but move on to a little housecleaning to get us ready for the Big Piles of Dirty Stuff which will arrive the Monday after Thanksgiving.

I owe you all a mess of pictures from the show & tell portions of the last several embroidery sessions. I’m thinking to save them for the last half of December. It seems appropriate viewing for the season of celebrating treasures.

Birds Next

November 9th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Mary asked a couple of days ago if she saw the beginning of a bird in the middle of the back piece.

Tricia started that bird ages ago, but before she got any further she realized we needed better pictures before she could really decipher what was happening there. We moved on to other things, and then when she had better pictures she was already planning her UK trip and thought to wait until she could see the motifs herself, in person.

Well, that has happened too, and last I heard she was almost ready to start work on the instructions for the birds. The original stitching in black may have to come out, I don’t know. As soon as we have something to show I’ll take pictures and share them.

One of the other items on Tricia’s plate right now is preparing to teach on December 12th in NYC. This class is one of the programs associated with the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit of embroidery at the Bard Graduate Center for the Arts. The full description isn’t posted on the Bard College website yet, but you know it’ll be fabulous. Tricia’s going to do a gallery tour and then a hands-on class. You can get more information from wilson@bgc.bard.edu This exhibit is only scheduled to be up from December 11, 2008 to April 12, 2009, so plan your trip to New York now.

And while you’re planning, I’ve got three intrepid embroiderers signed up for another gold-blitz weekend 11/21 – 24; if you can get to Plymouth for even part of that weekend send me a note: jhall@plimoth.org

Thank You Judy!

November 6th, 2008 by Tricia

We have to thank Judy Laning for her week of Indentured Servitude to the Jacket (or Waistcoat). We have given her a ‘certificate’ as the human who has worked the most plaited braid to my knowledge. Well, that title will last until at least Friday when the next Indentured Servant might upstage her. We will let you know on that.

Judy did beautiful work. She is looking a bit tired in this photo as it was about 11pm and we had handed out a bunch of candy and the house was buzzing with little kids with costumes on. Judy worked through the whole Halloween thing and had driven back from Plimoth where we had gotten a group working for the long weekend on plaited braid, handing down our experience from the week. We learned a lot from plowing through a bunch of plaited braid. Some of which I will have to do some detailed blogs on next week. We noted an important maneuver that allowed us to pick up incredible speed in working the stitch and gave me new insights on these gold stitches. Let me take a series of photos to try to illustrate this for you. When you work only a few inches for a sampler here and there – you never get proficient enough to make statements and conclusions.


I also learned an important thing. The indentured servant will go crazy after three straight days of working on plaited braid from 8am – 11pm. We took a mental health break on Thursday at lunch to see a bunch of samplers at Skinner that were being auctioned off. That was enough and then back to work!

Tricia

All that Glitters

November 5th, 2008 by Jill Hall

really IS gold, in this case.

The gold thread for the coiling vines is real gold, and, like the gilt sylke twist, was purpose-made for this project by Bill Barnes of Golden Threads in the UK. It is a gold wire wrapped around two ends of yellow silk thread. I know the next question is whether any is available for sale, and the answer is, maybe. Right now we’re tracking how much thread it takes to embroider the coils and counting spools of thread. If there’s any left over, it will certainly be made available. If there isn’t, and there is huge demand, well, look what happened with the GST. Every time I check, new colors have been added to the line, and two sessions ago there was great excitement when Tricia brought out spools for sale. Not one person around the table said “I want this color”, or “I’d like to have this one”; it was all “I need this one. And this one. And … this one.”

So.

This past weekend’s experiment was exceedingly successful. Judy, who worked mostly at Tricia’s last week, arrived on Friday not babbling incoherently from too much gold work. She was still smiling and stitching and enjoying. Lyn J from Canada, Debbie A and Carli D from the NYC area all stepped up to the guinea pig table and took instruction from Tricia before practicing, comparing, and practicing some more.

Debbie reported that the gold is Not a pain to work with, in fact it is quite durable. She used one length for practice and was able to pick out mistakes several times and reuse the same length without trouble. The end you have to thread through the needle frays a bit, but Wendy reports that if you chew on it a little you can shape it up to re-thread.

Even after four days of coiling vine after coiling vine, Lyn, Carli and Debbie were still enjoying the work. I asked them if it seemed to take forever, because just watching them, to me, it seemed to go much more quickly than I’d thought (feared). They said that in the working it seemed to go slowly, but whenever they sat back to look, more was done than they expected, and less time expired. Lyn claimed to be Princess Slow-poke, but she accomplished several coils and none of the rest of us thought she was going slowly. I think she’s just accustomed to working more quickly than most and so this felt slow.

Here are pictures of Debbie and Carli’s pieces. Lyn was working well past the final bell on Monday, and Wendy didn’t remember to photograph her piece before we put it away. We will take a photo to post on Thursday, when we’re taking some studio photos of individual motifs. I think Carli was working on the right front and Debbie on the back.

Do you want to work some of the coiling vines? Our test group did so well we’re going to do it again. If you’re free the weekend of 11/21-24 (this is the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving – I offered to run a session over Thanksgiving, pointing out that Pen and I will be here anyway, but got no takers), either have practiced the plaited braid according to Leon Conrad’s instructions as amplified and illustrated by Linda Connors, and are willing to work on matching gauge and stitch density, send me a note jhall@plimoth.org We can take 3-4 people to work vines, and a couple more to work silk or GST on the coif & forehead cloth.

We are “pushing” the jacket to completion this winter, in time for display at the beginning of May. I am worried about the winter weather too, look at last year! but look for more sessions in January and February. If you want to suggest dates, send me a note.

In addition to the gold workers, we had three lace makers this weekend. Sue, Linda and Colleen nearly finished the last short piece – the second cuff, as well as the long piece. Colleen also managed to do some embroidery on the coif. There are two new plans afoot – to develop some patterns for white lace to adorn the smocks, coifs, cuffs, and collars of certain characters on our living history sites, and to develop a smaller spangled lace suitable for trimming the coif and forehead cloth. If you’re a lacer and weren’t interested in working metal but might want to do some white lace, let me know and I’ll keep you apprised of progress.

I don’t have much news on the symposium, mostly because I’ve been focusing on getting the interpreters what they need to finish the season. I have a couple of firm commitments from speakers, one probable yes, and I have to get back to the couple I haven’t heard from; the biggest news is that the registration will open first to those who have worked on the piece. They’ll get a 5-week headstart to register and then we will open the registration to everyone. We plan to start this in December, and of course news will appear here and in an email blast to the stitchers/lacers. SO please update your contact information. I know there are some who have changed email/moved etc since coming. If you know someone in that situation, please ask him/her to contact us in order to stay informed. You can update by sending me or Kathy an email or calling 508-746-1622 X 8248 (Penny), X 8119 (me), or X 8114 (Kathy).

Indentured Servants

November 2nd, 2008 by Tricia

As we have moved into the gold work phase of this project we must sometimes evaluate our methods of getting work done.  We had been working with an apprentice system which has served us well.  But now with the vast amounts of plaited braid in front of us, we need to consider learning more from the past.

I propose a new means – Indentured Servitude to the almighty PLAITED BRAID.  Yes, I am joking.  I think that after two full days of working this monster stitch from 8 am to 11 pm, Judy was getting a little punchy last night.  She quipped to her husband on the phone that she was now an indentured servant to the jacket.  We giggled at what an ad would look like for this.

Judy has been embroidering at my house instead of the work room. Sometimes I bring a frame home to work on the instructions and since I had offered her a room for the week if she would stitch solid, it made more sense to have her work here while I worked beside her.  It saves about 3 hours of driving to Plimoth a day and I can make her work even later!  Thus an Indentured Servant!

Of course, working in my house has its perks.  Such as food, water, a couch and DVDs.  But it has some major detractions.  They are called the “Heathens” and these little children like to get up at 5:30 am and have more energy than comes from an atomic bomb.  Hard to sleep through the little tornados.

Hopefully Judy will get a nice night of sleep once she returns home. But for now she is making amazing progress on the plaited braid.  I’m thrilled.

Tricia

Plan D

November 1st, 2008 by Tricia

This post was written on Tuesday, October 29.

Some have asked what our plan is for the gold work.  We have had many plans.  Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.  Mostly every time someone asked me this important question, I would put my fingers in my ears and sing “La la la la -  I can’t hear you!”.

And thus Plan D was born.  We had originally hoped that funding would come through and allow us to hire some fast needles to work the gold. That was Plan A.  Now we are drafting a smaller group of volunteers
and training them.  We are having them work every other coil so the variation of people will be less easy to see.  By the end of next week we will know how that plan is working out as two people are going to work on this one piece for a week each.  Hopefully we don’t have to implement Plan Q.  That’s the one where Tricia does all the plaited braid.

I will also let you know by Friday if Judy is a babbling idiot from too much plaited braid.  Here is her day 2 progress.  You can see how she is skipping every other coil to let another person work in between. We also learned an important piece of data.  About 3 to 3 1/2 coils per spool of gold thread.  I will be counting spools on Friday to see if we will need to order more or if our original estimate is holding.

Tricia

It Doesn’t Matter

October 31st, 2008 by Tricia

Judy Laning is here working this week on plaited braid.  We choose one of the jacket fronts to work on. She started Monday and worked one whole coil of plaited braid.  Then she started on the second one.

That is when the questions started.  Some of the coils start from another coil in a very shallow angle and some at a very deep angle. So the question was how to do that very tapered area.  And do we start there or from the base of the flower and then finish and taper at the end.  A great excuse to open up the photos and look into it.  The plaited braid forms  a “V” and so you can see where the coil was started and where it ended. We fired up the computer and started going coil to coil.  Towards the flower, away from the flower, away from the flower, towards the flower….

We had our answer. Where you start the plaited braid didn’t matter. So either at the coil base or at the flower, which ever was easier and allowed the tapered coils to be worked.  I have included pictures of both types of intersections of the coils and how Judy worked them. She is doing lovely work.

Tricia

Hampton Court

October 30th, 2008 by Tricia

The Embroiderers’ Guild is housed in an apartment in Hampton Court, one of Henry VIII’s favorite palaces.  If you ever have the chance to visit, take it.  It is a lovely place.  The Royal School of Embroidery also is located there.  Call ahead, each has a little store with wonderful goodies and books to buy.

Once we were done viewing the panel, we took the rest of the day walking around the palace and viewing the inner rooms that are open to the public.  It became fun to imagine people with embroidered clothing walking through these halls.  I love when I can get closer to the context of the real situation.  Even the gardens reminded me of the embroideries we see.  There was also a few portraits in one hall, one we all recognize with one of the long versions of the jackets.

Tricia

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