Thursday, February 28, 2013

To Hungary With Love

On Tuesday evening I had the opportunity to share information and stories about my family history, Hövej embroidery, and a special lady, Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy, at a meeting for the Needlework Guild of Minnesota.  Now, I know you've already heard lots of stories and seen lots of pictures, but this is important to me and it is a topic that I am passionate about.  Not only is it a connection to my heritage, but when I visited last fall, they were so very kind to me - sharing their story enables me to give something back to Mrs. Szigethy and the other women from Hövej who are trying to keep this beautiful embroidery alive.

I brought nearly all of the pieces that my mother and I have collected over the years and displayed them for the ladies to see.  Tablecloths, doilies, handkerchiefs - some were done on fine cotton, others on organza.  The red tablecloth helped to accentuate the intricate filling stitches.

My story started at the beginning, with my grandparents, Hungarian immigrants who came to the US searching for a better way of life.

What's interesting is that our family here in the U.S. has maintained contact with the descendants of my grandparents siblings for almost 110 years.  Don't you think that is amazing?  My grandfather's father (my great-grandfather) was born in Hövej.

I also shared the story of Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy, a lady who has dedicated her life to God, to her family, and to her needlework.

Included in the display were these dolls dressed in Hungarian folk costumes.  These were gifted to me by Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy when I visited her last fall.

I also explained everything I had learned about the embroidery itself.

It was a wonderful evening.  A large group of ladies had come to hear my story.  I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share it with them!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Altar Cloth Progress Report #2

The last time I posted an update on the altar cloth that is being stitched by Mrs, Szigethy only a small section had been completed.  Look how much progress she has made since that last post!

I think that she is approaching the center; more than likely this chalice is the center front.

Isn't this floral medallion gorgeous?  Note how each circle and even the center circle has a different pattern woven in it.

I'm in awe of how much she has accomplished in the past 21 days. Many thanks to Mrs. Szigethy's daughter for sharing these photos with us!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Long Time No Post

My mother sent me an email today saying that she was disappointed that I hadn't updated my blog since February 15!  It's not that I don't have things to post, I just haven't had time.  We're going to fix that right now.

First up...I joined the Hardanger Accessories Club offered by the Nordic Needle this year.  I enjoy doing a little bit of Hardanger every now and then and the project appealed to me.  The first project on the agenda was the Hardanger design for the top of this beautiful box.

Do you like it?  I just received the next project in the club - it's a scissors keep.  As soon as it is stitched, I will share a photo with you.

Today I worked on some finishing.  Remember my cute little pattern book from the Attic Sampler Symposium?  My friend Judy asked me to finish hers.  They are so easy to put together and so cute when finished!

Well, I'm off to watch the Oscars!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Great Mail Week

Did you get yours yet?

It's always fun to get mail, especially when it is stitchy mail.  What do you think about the JCS Celebration Sampler?  I'm still debating whether I want to stitch it.  I like the thread colors.  I do like the Prairie Schooler Folk Eggs.  I bought the original pattern when it came out a year or two ago.  Maybe I should stitch some of them this time around.  They sure are cute.

I haven't looked too closely yet at SANQ, but I'm interested to read the article on The Norfolk Sampler Tradition...

Isn't it great that it is Friday?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gift for a Friend

My closest friends know that I am not always the most timely; in fact, I am generally "flying by the seat of my pants" with most things.  (I think it is a family trait.)  Eventually though, I always come around to getting the important things done.  One such important thing was a little gift for my friend Wendy Jo who celebrated a birthday back in January.  Wendy Jo has been a long time blogging friend, we've participated in many of the same exchanges together, and we've met a couple times, twice in Minnesota and then once last year at a retreat.

After returning from the Attic, I stitched up this little pattern book for Wendy Jo.  It says "A token of friendship and remembrance."  It has the fold out accordion pleated pattern pages on the inside.

Please say a little prayer for Wendy Jo if you would as she is going through a challenge right now while receiving radiation treatments for breast cancer.

That's all for today.  Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to work I go.....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Challenge Project

Popping online to show you the design that i have selected for my challenge project at needlework guild this year.  Remember this one?

Carriage House Samplings - Alphabet Blocks

This was my New Year start in 2010.  It was also included in my Crazy Challenge list of 15 projects in 2011.  Sadly, it has not been finished and I haven't stitched on it since 2011.  We're going to fix that this year!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Hillside School of Handworke

It's nice to have this piece finished!  I had good intentions to finish it in 2012, but just plain ran out of stitching time.  I'm keeping the year "2012" as stitched; the majority of it was stitched in 2012 anyway!

Hillside School of Handworke
Hillside Samplings
36 ct PTP Legacy

Sounds like it is going to be a wild weekend for weather.  To my stitching friends on the East Coast, stay warm and stay safe.  We are expecting our own storm here in Minnesota on Sunday into Monday.  Hopefully we will only receive about six inches of snow, but it will still make for a messy commute to work on Monday.

Thanks all for your kind comments on Mrs. Szigethy's embroidery.  Her daughter promises to send us more pictures next week!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Altar Cloth Progress Report

Last week I shared with you some pictures of a project that Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy is working on at her home in Hungary.  Please visit my January 28 post for the background information if you haven't read it already seen it.  
I received some updated photos yesterday from Mrs. Szigethy's daughter showing the progress she is making on the altar cloth.

It's beautiful, isn't it?  I know that she works on it everyday; she's anxious to get it finished.  She has a long way to go.  I'm looking forward to watching her progress!

I know many of you are enjoying these posts.  I was thinking this morning about how technology has helped to make our world a smaller, friendlier place.  Through the use of email and the internet, we have the opportunity to watch Mrs. Szigethy create this beautiful work of art.  

Thank you for your comments too.  I know that her daughter checks my blog and shares your comments with her.  It is very exciting for this lovely old woman to know that there are  stitchers in the U.S. and other parts of the world who are interested in what she does.  It brings her great joy!

Thank you Mrs. Szigethy for sharing your talent with us.  We're anxious to see more!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

My Focus This Week

This work in progress is very close to being finished, so I've decided to give it my full attention this week.

Hillside School of Handworke from Hillside Samplings

It's a bit wrinkled, but you get the idea.  All that's left is the inside border, the personalization in the middle section (above the roof of the house), and the brickwork (backstitching - ugh!)

Many of you are going to notice the date - 2012.  I had good intentions to finish this piece last year.  Will the stitching police come get me if I decide to leave the date and don't change it to 2013?

Enjoy your day!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Be My Valentine

Be My Valentine
With Thy Needle and Thread
35ct linen (pink substitute)
WDW Fibers

There should be a heart-shaped box in this photo too, but I didn't like the box when I was finished with it! Partly due to the color - had I used the original linen called for in the fabric it would have been fine, but the barn red and the pink kind of clashed.  I may try to make another box, or maybe not....

I put a piece of wool on the inside of the envelope and a button to close it.  It's supposed to be a little envelope, but mine is a needlebook.  

And so begins another week...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Hövej Embroidery: Step One

It's been nearly two months since I returned from Hungary.  My purpose in going there was to learn more about the embroidery and hopefully learn how to do it.  Mrs. Szigethy sent me home with a doily already stretched onto it's frame.  I just couldn't find time in December or January to pick it up and work on it again, but today I had time.

Here's the doily on the frame all ready to stitch.  Perhaps you can see the design traced onto the fabric.

Step One:  Baste the outer circles twice around.  The stitches will not be seen, their purpose is to stabilize the buttonhole stitch and the wrapped stitches that go around the outside and inside of the circles.  The basting stitches you see in the photo above were done in Hungary.

Here's what my piece looks like now, with the basting for these outer circles complete:

I think you can see the design better in these two photos; the fabric is very thin!

That's all I am going to do today.  Next time I will work on the buttonhole edge on the outer part of the circle.

Off to watch the football game!