Monday, June 3, 2013

Fantastic weekend with my Guild and Ellen Chester

Warning: Long post PLEASE gab something to drink and hope you enjoy all the photos. Especially the part that I wrote after the photo of Ellen and me.

This last weekend I got to take classes with Ellen Chester of With My Needle.  I joined Bay Area Sampler Guild and what a incredible, welcoming, and talented group of ladies. And I do mean talented. It was great to get to see what some of the members were working on. And these ladies LOVE specialty stitches worked into their works of art, their samplers. I was and still am in AWE of everything I got to see and learn from them. I look forward to spending more time and getting to know these gracious ladies. 

 "Flowers For my Friends" design by Ellen Chester, With my Needle
32ct Flax Linen
I stitched "Flowers for my Friends" onto a project pouch last week & completed it to take with me in time for Ellen's classes.  

 "Fruit of the Vine Sampler Huswif" - Ellen Chester, With my Needle
The first class on Saturday was Fruit of the Vine with Ellen. This class was remarkable. The colors are very rich and the threads are all silk, silk ribbons, and deep plum dupoini silk for the lining. All supplies are included for the kit. WOW! I absolutely love this project. I plan to stitch mine into a sampler (for now at least). Ellen spoke to us about how this sampler came about and was created. She shared with us  her inspiration and what her envision was for this project. When I first saw this design I loved it from the beginning. But after learning and hearing Ellen talk about it, I have a deeper love and appreciation for it. It really touched my soul. I will share more about that later in the future as I stitch my sampler and share my progress with you.

 This was my very first needlework class EVER! To get to meet all these wonderful and talented ladies was a dream come true for me. I was in AWE!!! You have to understand that I have not gotten to see anyone stitch on a sampler in person. Before class, during breaks and during class even, I got to see how to properly start a waste knot stitch and how to do a anchor stitch to start stitching. Watched how the one lady (Liz) used her needle while stitching. It was different than my up and down technique. She kept her needle on the top of the linen. I couldn't do it. I explained to her that I never got to see my mom or grandmothers stitch. That was why it was so interesting to me. My mom did needlepoint but I never saw her do it. I was at school or working. I only saw her work done but never the process. Well trust me I enjoyed my every moment there with these ladies.

Ellen is so extremely interesting, knowledgeable and detailed. AND let me tell you - she keeps you busy:))) She makes sure that she covers everything and her charts are fantastically detailed as well. 

 Ellen passed around these small examples of hornbooks.

 Ellen's guest book - I like her cover - too cute!

 AND the Ellen's TRUNK SHOW!!! Swoon....

 Oh yes. I took photos of sections you could see:)

 I did stitch and complete "Bunnies In the Garden" chart (it's on the left)

 And more wonderful charts

 And more:)

 And even more wonderful charts.....

.I brought some card bobbins and sure enough I started winding my floss ( I like my DMC floss on cards). And Liz who was sitting next to me, looked at me and said "OH NO"! I stopped, and I was thinking now what did I do wrong? She tells Kate who was sitting on the other side of me "Wind Annette's floss. Can you see what she's doing?"  I was still not getting it:) Kate takes my floss card away from me and unwinds it ALL. She starts to re-wind it from the beginning and I'm still holding the excess floss just watching her..............

 Do YOU do this PERFECT of a job winding your floss? WHO KNEW???
Yes all of Kate's flosses are PERFECTLY wound. Thank you Kate!


Beautiful  "Floral Needlerolls" - With my Needle
Women of my Guild (love how I can say that) brought their finished "With my Needle" projects and we all placed them on a table to share and for all to see.

 Inside of "Floral Needleroll"

 Another Gorgeous project "Quaker Needlework Treasures" - With my Needle"

 Inside of "Quaker Needleroll Treasures"

Spectacular -  "A Needleworker's Sampler Huswif" - With my Needle, class project
looks like the sampler was right along side of it but no time to photograph it. Break was over....

 Ellen had slides to share with us after Sunday's class. She showed us beautiful different types of workboxes and sewing tool boxes. They were amazing. This is a book that is available on Amazon.

 This was Ellen's class I had on Sunday. Called "A Lady's Worke Box" - With My Needle"
It is unbelievable how gorgeous a project it is. Again I had another spectacular day learning from Ellen. We got to stitch on the needlebook. Lots of beautiful specialty stitches and techniques. And she has the best instructions for ALL the finishing for every project. It was great and Both classes were GREAT.
I will share more about "A Lady's Worke Box" as I stitch it and have some progress to show. Again I couldn't believe how generous Ellen's kits are. For this class the spectacular special made box was included in our kit. It's so beautifully made. And its all mine:)))))))

When I arrived and pulled into the parking lot, the door to the community room was open and I could see inside. I saw Ellen thru the door. I still had to park my car, get out and go inside. As I walked thru the door, there was a table right there and a lady sitting down, and Ellen is right there at the same table too, but she was busy getting stuff out for class. To the lady sitting down I said "Hello I'm a new member" and I was cut right off. Ellen looks up, smiles at me and said "Are you Annette?" I couldn't help but BEEM smiling and I managed to say "Yes I am" with tears in my eyes (I told myself I was not going to cry). And Ellen said "Oh I got 2 emails telling me that you were coming today. One from Lisa and one from Jackie". I was soo surprised and HAPPY! I told Ellen that I have been waiting to meet her. Then I asked her if I could give her a hug and she said "Yes" and she was laughing and smiling. OH MY GOODNESS! In the first few moments there I got to HUG Ellen. Thank you Lisa and Jackie for helping with such an incredible Welcome for me:))))))) Amazing!!! And that was the beginning of my remarkable weekend with Ellen and all the ladies in the guild.

On Sunday at he very end of class and just about everyone had left, I asked Ellen if I could have my photo taken with her. And you know what she said? "You want to prove to Jackie you met me?" LOL. This is the only photo of me and Ellen (I can't believe I get to say that) and my eyes are closed....But I still cherish and love this photo:) So Jackie yes here is my proof I got to meet Ellen.

 Here is some of the lovely charts that came home with me.

 And these too have been added to my stash. But I keep reading and looking at them.

 This project I love. The hornbook is included with the chart.

This wraps up my Fantastic weekend. Thank you for staying with me this long of a post and I hope you enjoyed it. I could go on and on of what I experienced but this is looooong enough. All I can say is I hope you get to take a class with Ellen Chester at least once in this lifetime. Because the knowledge and FUN that she shares with you will be worth it.
With my love and Appreciation - Annette

30 comments:

Margaret said...

I am pleased you enjoyed what was obviously a wonderful weekend.

Lee said...


Glad it was a great weekend.I hope you get to do more projects with the ladies from the Guild as they will be able to show you so much that will help with your work.

Chris said...

What a great experience! Ellen is so kind and gracious.
I can't wait to see your progress on these pieces.

Jackie said...

I'm SO glad you had a great time - there was no doubt that you would!!! Her materials are top quality, her teaching superb, and her instructions are beyond anything you'll see elsewhere. She is also so very warm and welcoming - seems like you've known her forever, right? The picture of you and Ellen is wonderful!

Annie said...

What an experience! I would have been totally intimidated at a class like that. I can't even imagine someone demanding perfection in floss-winding! Seems to have been just the ticket for you though. I think that's cause your work is in that league too!

Beautiful projects and a great photo to have as a memento!

Catherine said...

What fun!!

Simply Victoria said...

Sounds like a fantastic weekend for you! Lots of learning and meeting some terrific people all doing what they enjoy. What a neat experience!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Wow it looks like an awesome experience and I'm glad you had an amazing time!

I think I would of been a little offended or at least flustered by the floss winding thing. You have to realize there is not right or wrong way to do a lot of things there is my way and your way neither is wrong. I think I'd rather get my needle in the fabric than worry about how straight my thread is wound onto the bobbin!

To me its all about the needle time not making my supplies look perfect.

Margaret said...

What a wonderful wonderful time!!! Welcome to the world of retreats and classes. lol! I've been to a few, and they are always fun. I so want to take a class from Ellen someday -- you are so lucky! I love the story of how you came in and met Ellen. So wonderful! Love all the pictures of the goodies and beautiful stitching too! And to see a pic of you as well!! (Your eyes are fine, not quite closed. lol!)

Vickie said...

Oh Annette! I could just cry! I have never stitched with a woman either. EVER. I taught myself to stitch. I have NEVER been to a class either, just like you, well, before. Good for you Annette. And I am so happy to SEE you! =)

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Oh Annette, I'm so glad you had a wonderful time! You will love being a part of a guild. I've been enriched so much by mine. I'm also glad Ellen made the connection too. I knew you'd love her!

SoCal Debbie said...

What a wonderful weekend, Annette! Thanks for sharing all the details and lots of photos for us. I'm looking forward to seeing your finishes on the new items you started this weekend, especially the Lady's Worke Box!

Patti-Rocky Mtn Stitcher said...

Was my favorite seminar ever with her when she was here. Wasn't she just a joy! And a wonderful teacher. I love your sampler you guys choose also.

Karoline said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend. I was lucky enough to get to take the fruits of the vine class a couple of years ago, it's a wonderful project (not of course that I've finished it yet!)
Looking forward to seeing your progress on the workbox

Penny said...

Sounds like an absolutely heavenly time!! And so many beautiful projects to look at! A Lady's Worke Box is going to be so pretty - can't wait to see it come along! I'm so happy you had a wonderful time!

Linda said...

What great pics Annette. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Linda

valerie said...

So glad you had a great time at Ellen's class. So funny. I am a member of the Sampler Guild but didn't make it to the class last weekend. The ladies in the guild are awesome!

Fiona said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic weekend. It is always so nice to meet the designers of the wonderful projects we get to stitch.

Giovanna said...

Great post! So glad you had a good time, and I'm looking forward to seeing your work on that *wonderful!!!* box.

Akila said...

What a lovely post and great details of some wonderful time spent with such lovely people. I felt like I was there experiencing everything.
Looking forward to seeing your progress

Teresa S. said...

I love that Work box project!

I keep hinting to our local guild to get Ellen up here in Seattle.

Your stash looks excellent!

Carol said...

Such a fun-filled post, Annette! No wonder you were beaming when you had your photo taken with Ellen :) I loved the goodies you came home with and am so happy that you learned so much--sounds like a truly inspiring group of stitchers :)

Lynn said...

An absolutely wonderful post Annette. I can feel your excitement! It sounds like a great group of woman and I'm glad you learned some new things. Like you, I stab in and out when I stitch. I have tried to stitch the other way and I can't do it either. Heck I can't even stitch in hand. I have to have tension of some sort. I am always in awe so such talented ladies. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself with them.

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

whouaaaa beautiful pictures ! thank

marylin from FRANCE

Brigitte said...

Oh my, Annette, what an adventure this must have been. I think I would have been as emotional as you were when meeting such a wonderful designer for the first time. These tables were really full with Ellen's designs, and the finished pieces that the ladies brought are pur eye candy. That makes me think that I have several of Ellen's charts in my stash and that it's been a long while since I stitched one of her designs. Maybe I'll pull out the hornbook that I bought many years ago and finally stitch it.
Thanks for sharing your great weekend.

Hetti said...

Ohhhh Annette, I am sooooo very glad for you that is was a WONDERFUL weekend with Ellen and the girls from the Guild!
Thank you so much for sharing your lovely story and photos it was a real adventure in Samplerworld ;-))

XXXX Hetti

Patty C. said...

What a great post - looks like you had a wonderful time !!!

Karen K said...

Wow, wow wow what a post, wonderful, so many interesting and beautiful things.

k xx

Cut Thru Lighthouse

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Oh wow, your excitement just leaps off the screen! It sounds like a truly wonderful event, you had so much fun.
Ellen seems like a genuinely lovely person too, isn't it great when our idols live up to our expectations?
The floss is so perfectly wound but I'm afraid that "Life is too short to bobbinate" LOL.

Linda F said...

Loved hearing about your very first class! I've been blessed to have taken some classes with Ellen - her charts are always great, class kits are done with plenty of top notch materials, and Ellen is so very gracious. She always makes everyone feel welcome. If you haven't joined EGA or found a group to stitch with, do try. I have learned so much from both and made friends with ladies of all ages that if it were not for stitching our paths would never have crossed - both a joy and a blessing!