Petit Point Kazak Rug is Off the Frame

Dollhouse Miniature Petit Point KAZAK rug is finished and here it is that moment of triumph laying down last stitch.

The rug was finished a few days ago, but I had an opportunity to stretch it on the blocking board only today. Usually I was using a bass wood board for blocking. Recently I went to an antique store in Cedar Rapids, IA and saw this blocking board used for stretching doilies. I knew I would have enjoyed it. Love the size! I am going to add a couple more of finished stitching projects on it soon. Also thought that now it will be much easier to stretch the round rugs.

It looks soo tiny on this big board! The rug will be resting on the blocking board for about a week. Meanwhile I picked up another ongoing project – miniature Petit Point rug VESNA that I am stitching on 50 count silk gauze with Gloriana silks.

This is it for today.

Happy weekend stitching!

Natalia Frank

What’s on my Needlework Frame in November 2022

I spend more and more time at my desk lately, doing everything from working on new designs, preparing the kits, proceeding the orders, preparing for the on-line classes, etc… Because of this, my workspace is constantly changing: printing the designs, moving the paper around, cutting the silk gauze, winding the thread on spools, sorting the needles. Holding the clutter at bay is challenging. I am glad I have my stitching station far from the office and rushing to it each time when I feel I am done at the desk for a day.

I am entering the month of November with several projects. The first one is a commissioned dollhouse miniature carpet Kazak on 40 count silk gauze, that will measure approx. 9″ x 6″. I am stitching with overdyed Gloriana silk.

At the end of a day I pick up another project that helps me to go through the evening. I tried to stitch a letter a day working on this reproduction of an antique Spanish sampler by Dolores Serra, but not always have enough time or desire, making a stitching process slower.

Another two cross-stitch projects are not finished pincushions. One is in three shades of red

and another is a reproduction of an antique Victorian pincushion

And at least but not last some miniature embroidery

I hope at the end of November I’ll be able to show them off finished. I am ready to start stitching my new designs I’ve been working on for a while.

Happy stitching!

Natalia Frank

Art of The Needle Show

I had a privilege to display my Petit Point work at the Art of the Needle Show that was organized by the Madison EGA chapter October 22-23, 2022 in Madison, WI. I presented 5 pieces of my work. It was not allowed taking the pictures at the show and, unfortunately, I can’t show off the work of many talented stitchers that was displayed at the show. However, I would like to use an opportunity to spread a word about a wonderful organization EGA (Embroiderers’ Guild of America), Madison EGA chapter, and an Annual needlework Art of the Needle Show that the chapter holds each year in Madison, WI. See you there next year.

Happy stitching,

Natalia Frank

On-Line Course Petit Point Miniature Christmas Stocking HO-HO-HO!

I would like to invite to sign up for my new on-line course “Petit Point Miniature Christmas Stocking HO-HO-HO!”. This course is for those who wants to learn Petit Point and stitching on silk gauze.

As a project I chose a miniature Christmas stocking. I thought you might like an idea to make a Christmas stocking and decorate your miniature scene just in time for Christmas. If you are not a dollhouse miniature fan, a series of finished miniature Christmas stockings could serve as a decoration for your mini table Christmas tree.

This is a beautiful and simple at the same time design that uses only 5 colors. You will learn how to frame the silk gauze, practice the stitches, learn the finishing techniques, and much much more.

The kit contains all sufficient supplies to finish the project: 40 count framed silk gauze, DMC floss, needle, chart with color symbols, trim and backing.

The registration for the on-line course starts on the 17th, October, 2022 and ends next Monday, October 24th, 2022.

Purchasing the kit for this course is not required in the case if you have supplies (the list of supplies will be offered).

You can sign up for the course HERE and buy the kit HERE.

Happy stitching!

Natalia Frank

Mississippi Annual Showcase 2022

The Mississippi Annual Showcase 2022 was organized by the Mississippi River EGA Chapter and was held on the 1st October, 2022. It was my first attendance. I’ve been plesantly impressed with all different types of needlework displayed at the show and left the exhibition inspired and lifted up.

I’ve been told that before Covid the showcase was displayed in different location and it took 5 rooms to fill up with needlework. Can you imagine? Five rooms of needlework paradise to be in and enjoy! This year the showcase took place in the Mouline public library.

When you enter the showroom you are welcomed by friendly members of the Mississippi River EGA chapter and explained some details about the show. The main goal of such kind of shows is, first, of course to present the talented stitchers, their work, designers, and, second, to recruite new members, followers, needlework fans, to remind to some stitchers that they have some UFOs they abondoned years ago and it is a perfect time to finish them.

It is much appreciated that the organizers of the showcase displayed the needlework accordingly to its types. Each kind of needlework, for example, cross stitch, goldwork, blackwork, etc., was displayed separetly and an explanation of each was printed and displayed. It allowed to everyone, including the newcomers to read and get understanding what each kind of needlework is about. I am, personally, greatful for the Needlepoint explanation where as I’ve noticed there is a lot of confusion in terminology and understanding what Needlepoint is.

I apologize for some not high quality images, I tried to avoid taking the pictures with light reflexation and my shadow on the glass of the framed work. Believe me, the pictures do not give justice. You need to see all displayed work alive to appreciate it. Next time, when you see there is a local needlework showcase in the area you are, do not miss an opportunity to bring yourself a little joy of colors, techniques and happiness in your world.

All images are published with the permission of the organizers of the showcase with a condition the stitchers, their work, designers are mentioned.

Enjoy it!

Happy stitching!

Natalia Frank

Antique Sampler Dolores Serra

I started stitching a reproduction of an antique Alphabet sampler finished by Dolores Serra back in June trying to finish at least one letter a day each evening. In spite of a fact that I spent 10 days out of the June month in Castine miniaturing, I managed to finish 1 set of the Alphabet in Blue last month.

This sampler attracts my attention with its simplicity and purity. It is very enjoyable letter by letter, evening by evening to fill out the white space on 32 count Belfast linen with Au Ver a Soie silk.

Coming into July I am still trying to work on one letter each evening of the next set of the Alphabet but now in Red. The letters of this alphabet set are much bigger and take more time to finish, but very rewarding.

Happy stitching!

Natalia Frank

Back To The Studio

I have been absent for a while. Life has kept testing me and my well being. Now I am back to the studio and it is time to do some serious stitching.

Last April at the Bishop Chicago International show, surprisingly for myself, I was sold out. Everything what I have made: pillows, slippers, Christmas stockings, rugs I have had, was sold. I had to cancel the upcoming shows in Dallas and the IGMA show (shows that I signed up a year ago) due to the absence and inability to re-stock my inventory in the short period of time due to my specialization in miniature – needlework.

If you follow my Instagram blog you probably saw me making last 9 posts about working on my UFO’s projects that were started decades ago. I am working on them with double energy and can’t wait to finish all of them some day. At the end of each month I’ll post a progress on each of those 9 projects. I have more than 9 started frames in progress and will add a new to the list each time I finish one I am working on currently.

I have one more show this year – The Needlework Expo 2022 on-line show – and I am preparing new designs, some original and some reproductions of antique samplers for it.

I am planning to re-open my shop-studio for public without the appointments at the 1st of July this year.

These are all my plans for the rest of the year (stitching, stitching and stitching) and it is time to schedule the events for 2023. What about you? Are you vacationing? Are you stitching? What are your big plans left for 2022?

EGA National Seminar 2021 Magnificent Stitch

It is a little bit late but I can’t not to tell you about EGA National Seminar 2021 Magnificent Stitch that was held at the beginning of last month.

First of all, it was my first EGA National Seminar I have ever attended. I have been EGA’s member on and off for last 8 years, and only this year I had an opportunity to finally be able to be a part of this huge stitching community and enjoy the inspiring work of many very talented stitchers.

For those who doesn’t know, EGA is Embroiderer’s Guild of America, the organization that deeply dedicated to needlework and where needle art lives (www.egausa.org).

It is not only that it was my first time attending this kind of seminar, it was first time exhibiting my own work there. I entered one of a kind Micro Petit Point Carpet Tree of Life into The Golden Needle Awards. The rug measures 7 5/8″ x 9″ with fringe. It is stitched on 56 count silk gauze with fine over dyed Tudor Gloriana silk floss, 89 colors, 93 skeins. Total of 180,600 tiny stitches, 468 ends form the fringes on 2 sides of the rug. It took 11 weeks and one day to stitch the miniature Tree of Life carpet, 7 days went for blocking, finishing he sides and fringing. This miniature carpet has a long story and may be one day I’ll tell you more about it.

Miniature Tree of Life carpet in 1/12th scale earned three ribbons: The Viewers’ Choice, The Judge’s Choice and 3rd place in Canvas Category.

Unfortunately, following the policy of the EGA Seminar, the pictures and videos to take was not allowed. That is why I won’t be able to spoil you with all eye candy images of tremendously gorgeous work that was presented at the Seminar, and you know what, even if I would have posted the images, they do not do justice of how detailed and amazing the displayed work was in the exhibition room. So, I was just playing with my camera taking the pictures of Chicago at night.

Don’t be upset! There is a way for you to enjoy the glimpse of what was exhibited at the seminar if you watch the videos that were recorded by Gary Parr and Beth Ellicott from Fiber Talks https://wetalkfiber.com. Here is the link following which you can find all videos about EGA National Seminar 2021 Magnificent Stitch (https://wetalkfiber.com/2021/09/page/3/).

I am thinking about my first experience at the EGA National Seminar with a big gratitude to everyone who liked my work and voted for it; to the teachers; and of course to the organizers of this wonderful event in the time that is not easy. I already can’t wait to join the fun at the next EGA National Seminar in New York next Fall.

Hope to see you there,

Natalia Frank

The Next Year of The jubilee is 2037

The main reason why I love reproducing antique samplers is that each sampler, doesn’t matter of its size, year, condition, or theme carries a story, a little piece of history. My work on reproducing a sampler starts with a careful research. I study the name, year, stitches, the verses and its source. Some times one is lucky, some times – no luck at all. This is what happened when I picked up this 1887 sampler by W Beckwith. Searching by name didn’t bring any results.

The late 19th century original sampler worked in wool on even weave gauze and is absolutely charming. The following verse is stitched in the upper section of the sampler:

There is a little narrow way

Which is so very strait

That few the Bible say are they

Who enter at the gate

and finished with the words at the bottom

The Year of Jubilee 1887

I am not a religious person, but I do have Faith. I have never heard about the year of the Jubilee. I was curious to read and learn more about what the year of the Jubilee is. The first thing I have learnt that the word “jubilee” is derived from the Hebrew word j o b e l and means “ram’s horn”, the horn which was used as a trumpet, whose sound indicated to everybody the beginning of the jubilee year. The book of Leviticus is the source that tells us of the significance of the year of the jubilee, which is at the end of seven weeks of years, the fiftieth year.

So why did this happen at the end of the fiftieth year? The Bible places special emphasis on the number 7.

After all, there are seven days in a week, and the seventh day is supposed to be the Sabbath, a day dedicated to rest and worship: 7 x 7 = 49 years.

So, after seven years of Sabbaths, we reach the 50th year. A year dedicated to rest, to restoration of property, and to freeing people from debts, servitude, and slavery. Everyone got to rest during this year and was able to start off the next year with a clean slate.

The next year of the Jubilee is 2037. Do you think it is possible to have the year of the Jubilee in the modern world? I am not sure I’ll be there, but definitely would love to see.

A reproduction of an antique sampler by W Beckwith, 1887 is stitched on 40 count Zweigart Newcastle Silvery Moon linen with Treenway Silks and Classic Colorworks Belle Soie silk.

141 x 131 stitches

The stitched area measures approx. 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

The middle section of the sampler is stitched with a central crown which has a heart above, a floral motif flanked by two birds to its left and right and W. Beckwith’s name beneath which has a heart on either side. The lower section of the sampler is stitched with a central floral motif which has a dog standing on each side followed by a fruit basket and tree, each fruit basket with a heart and crown above. The whole piece is then surrounded by a strawberry border.

 I wanted to have a miniature version of this absolutely little charming sampler in my collection and stitched it on 72 count silk gauze with my favorite Au Ver A Soie Surfine silk making some changes though in the design. The stitching area measures 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″

Here are some pictures of the stitching process

Both patterns/kits could be purchased at www.artofpetitpoint.com

Happy stitching,

Natalia Frank

Sources: https://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/magazine/documents/ju_mag_01051997_p-78_en.html

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/bible/what-was-the-year-of-jubilee.html

Petit Point. What Is It?

You are always a student, never a master

My knowledge of Petit Point is not built on googling the terms from different sources on-line, especially those that do not relate to needlework at all. My knowledge is based on researching, reading old needlework, embroidery books, visiting the museums, observing the items, studying the stitches, collecting antique and vintage textile.

Holding a degree in Linguistics, proper terminology is essential for me. I think it is important to learn to talk clearly when it comes to any terminology, needlework is not an exception. Let us say simpler:  different terminology means different things.

You might ask me WHY?

Undoubtedly, proper terminology helps to fully understand specific topics.

It helps people to communicate more efficiently.

It increases clarity of the topic of conversation.

It stops from bringing false statements about a subject of discussion.

For a long time, since the 16th century, Petit Point has been identified as a separate type of Needlework. Many historic needlework pieces are done in Petit Point.

I do not know any other types of needlework that has so many controversial opinions than Petit Point.

People are giving different definitions to Petit Point, its stitches, ground fabric and use.

The art of Petit Point is sometimes wrongly referred to as Needlepoint. Someone calls it Embroidery, someone says that Petit Point is Needlepoint, someone simply refer Petit Point to small stitches of needlepoint. Another opinion is that Petit Point could be done only on silk gauze and it is another wrong statement; or that Petit Point is used only for stitching miniature pillows, carpets, etc. for a doll house. Petit Point is not a name of a stitch either, as many are confused.

So, what is Petit Point?

Petit Point is one of the types of counted needlework.

THIS IS HOW SIMPLE IT IS

Needlework term covers counted thread (needlepoint, petit point, cross stitch, black work, etc.), and surface embroidery techniques (for instance, stumpwork, ribbon work, bead work, crewelwork, needle painting, etc.). 

Then what is the difference between Needlepoint and Petit Point?, you will ask me.

Let me tell you it is not a type of canvas that determines a type of needlework.

It is the stitches and techniques that tell us what type of work it is.

The difference between Needlepoint and Petit Point lays in stitches that are used in these 2 related to each other but different types of needlework.

Needlepoint is the common name for the technique of covering a canvas ground with counted or decorative stitches. Therefore, there is a counted needlepoint and needlepoint on canvas.

The counted technique is also used in Petit Point. However, historically correct to say that Petit Point is done with Tent Continental stitch, a stitch that belongs to the family of Tent stitches (Basketweave, also called Tent Diagonal; Tent Continental; and Half Cross Stitch), stitches that are used in Needlepoint as well.

All confusion arises when it comes to the family of Tent stitches now.

The family of Tent stitches are:

Basketweave stitch (also referred to as Tent Diagonal)

Tent Continental stitch

Half Cross Stitch

All 3 stitches look the same on the surface ground,

but due to the different techniques they are executed, the backside of a stitched piece with a different stitch from the Family of Tent stitches does look different.

Now let us go back to terminology. Why is the group of these stitches called “Tent”?

It derives its name from the old word “tenture”, or “tenter”, the frame on which the material was stretched.

Why is Basketweave stitch called so?

Basketweave stitch is called so, because due to its technique and a stitch executed diagonally, the backside of a stitched piece with basketweave stitch resembles a woven basket.

Why is a Tent stitch for Petit Point given Continental name? Based on entomology of an old French word continent (adj.) the word “continental” referring to a needlework stitch means “holding together, continuous” due to the technique of a Tent Continental stitch when a stitch is taken across the intersection of each warp and weft thread on canvas (that is different from executing a half cross stitch). In this way of laying the stitches the closest rows of small stitches thus formed conceal completely material and produce short slanted stitches on the surface and long slanted stitches on the back side.

Happy petit pointing!

Natalia