I signed up for "The Sweetest Tree" because I really wanted the chance to take a class from Sandy Arthur (and because I love any class that Sundance sponsors). Sandy is an ANG certified Senior Master Teacher and the author of the wonderful series of needlepoint books "Shapes of Needlepoint".
You have to love a teacher who starts a class by saying "If you don't enjoy this class, it's your fault." And then the fun began....
My new favorite thing is stitching the stem stitch with beads. Following a stitch guide from Melissa Shirley, I have successfully used beads in the Jessica stitch. Now, armed with the stem and Jessica stitches using beads, I am going to look at my many books ad search for other ways to add beads to a stitch.
Other favorite things I learned in class today:
1) Those small twisted beading needles make excellent needle threaders.
2) A pincushion under the canvas holds your needle while you re-thread it for the drizzle stitch.
3) Start the first row of your darning stitch in the center of the canvas, with enough thread coming out toward the two sides to stitch the row completely. Stitch the pattern toward the left edge first. Then go back to the center and take the right length of the thread and stitch the right side of the pattern. This can alleviate the need for many swear words. (Clear as mud? I'll be demonstrating in my shop for our Friday stitch-in.)
My next class is also with Sandy--the canvas is a Sundance heart canvas and she promises to use beads, sequins, ribbons and Sparkles, oh my!