Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Festival of Broken Needles (and some stitching photos)

Today is Hari Kuyo (the Festival of Broken Needle) in Japan. As best I understand, this is an ancient tradition where women lay their broken needles to rest in ceremonies at Buddhist temples. They take the time to thank their needles for the service they have given, and reflect on the importance of the little things in life. After all, where would we stitchers be without our needles? I don't have any broken needles, so I took the above picture of some of my needles in honor of today.
I also have a finish!

I put the last stitches in my North Wind project on Sunday. I love how it looks on this brighter blue fabric. Now to get it framed (which usually takes me a verrrry long time to do). For the rest of the week, I'm working on stitching together a pillow I stitched up a few months ago. Pictures will come as soon as it's finished!
This weekend, I went to Jeanine's Gathering of Embroiderers . I had signed up for the "Glittering Floral Lattice" class with Tricia Wilson Nguyen, and I was really looking forward to the experience. I wasn't sure I was going to make it, because I was sick all week, but with a little help from Alton, I managed to slog my way through the weekend. This is the project that we were given:

And this is what I accomplished in class:

Not much, huh? We spent the entire class learning new stitches, and looking at slides of the antique clothing that inspired the piece. Can I just say, "wow." I've never tackled anything like this before. I need to get a few supplies together before I start working on my actual project, but I very much want to finish this piece this year. I have to say, I don't think that I will become a dedicated goldwork stitcher. The finished pieces are truly swoon-worthy, but I don't see myself relaxing while I'm working on this piece, and I think relaxing is a big part of what I love about stitching. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sad to have taken the class. I love learning new things. I just don't think I've found a new lifetime love.
Alton and I spent the rest of the weekend enjoying some great dining, including dinner at Chownings Tavern (peanut soup, anybody?), and exploring the colonial Williamsburg site. We visited the Folk and Decorative arts museums, and toured the Palace, Capitol, magazine, and Charleton's Coffeehouse. It was a pretty miserable weekend, weatherwise, but we still enjoyed our time away. The only non-stitching photo I snapped was of this cow:

The cows were hanging out in a field near the museum. I was excited that they were still there when we left the museum, and Alton was sizing the poor thing up for a steak! (never fear, the fence kept the cows safe from both Alton's fork and my desire to pet them).
Well, off to work on my pin pillow. Happy stitching (or scrapping) everyone!


Chris said...

Hi Robin,
It sounds like you had a great weekend! That is some project!

ScrappnBee said...

Sorry that you were feeling poorly! The festival of the broken needle seems pretty cool. glad that you were able to make your class. That project looks really ambitious! Your other...finished...project looks FABulous!!!

Tracy said...

Your stitching is beautiful. I haven't done that in a while. But agree that it is relaxing. Even if working with the gold is beautiful (done it myself) you really have to stay focused.
Your work is beautiful

my4blessings said...

Haven't stitched in ages but I love your work! I hope to see more of your new project.

Sue, a.k.a. midwestgirl said...

Beautiful needlework! What wonderful stitching. I've never broken a needle, wonder how you would do that? Enjoying your comments on my blog and looking at your blog, so I just became a follower!

Stephanie said...

Such beautiful work!! Thanks for sharing!!