Just completed a finishing job for repeat client Gayle K from CA. Gayle’s mom was a member/student of White Pines Michigan Embroiderer’s Guild, and she chose some really complicated patterns to attempt! I’m impressed. The needle artist and instructor for this project was Ann Strite-Kurz: who was certified by the National Academy of Needle Arts, Levels 1 and 11. Not sure what that means, but having completed two of her pieces, I can tell you that she knows how to stitch and design like few do! Here is a bio I found online:
Ann Strite-Kurz has been an active teacher and designer for seventeen years. She is certified in canvas embroidery by the National Academy of Needlearts (NAN) and teaches regularly at seminars sponsored by the Embroiderers’ Guild of America and the American Needlepoint Guild. She is available for workshops and programs for local chapters of these groups and taught three group correspondence courses for EGA for over a decade. She also holds a Master Craftsman certificate in canvas from the Connecticut River Valley Chapter of EGA. In 1992 she published her first book, The Heart of Blackwork. Her second book, Potpourri of Pattern, was published in June, 1995. Both of these books explore innovative styles of open patterning which have become the hallmark of Ann’s recent work. Ann continues to teach and to publish a line of commercial designs and pamphlets and is a regular vendor at both the TNNA and INRG tradeshows. She has recently published three additional books on pattern which include CDs to display the illustrations in full color. These titles are Backgrounds: The Finishing Touch (2003), Creative Canvas Couching (2005) and Diaper Patterns (2007). An expanded resumé on education background, teaching experience, and noteworthy needlework accomplishments follows.
Here is an example of her patterns and instructions:
Here’s the first area I did finishing work in Area 3, combining alternating diamond and cross units:
(Diamond Eyelet Variation with Double Straight Cross Tiedown + Four-way Tied Oblong Cross Cluster with Double Straight Cross Variation Tiedown)
Second area: Area 4 (turquoise) with Combo of Double Straight Cross and Diagonal Hungarian Units in a Cluster, followed by Double Straight Cross Units in Two Colors:
The next step was Blackwork (not always done in black thread on white, but always a colored thread in white background) which I’ve never done before, but enjoyed very much. That’s the red part above that looks lacy. It was used on cuffs and collars back in the 1600’s in Europe. Fancied things up a bit! Spain and England were fond of it.
Here are a few historical examples :
And here is how my blackwork took shape:
Here is the finished piece. Wish you could see it close-up. The colors are richer, like in the photos above.