I am finally getting over the cruddy head-cold and the 9-hour jet lag from flying back from Norway a couple of days ago. The flight back, with a squirmy 3-year old, and me completely congested and unable to get my ears to pop, sucked – there is no other way to describe it. However, it was totally worth it since I got to spend lots of nice time with my family and watch Maya charm her grandparents into submission.
I had two workshops and one talk while there. The sampler workshop was exciting because sampler making and counted thread needlework at a high level is almost dead in Norway so I felt like the savior showing up with charts, silk floss, and gorgeously dyed linen for my students.
I really would like this to be an annual event, going to Norway in the winter to teach needlework and quilting. Here are some pictures of my eager sampler embroidery students. Over the two-day workshop they got to practice normal cross-stitch, cross-stitch over one thread, four-sided stitch, double running stitch, queen (rococo) stitch, Algerian eyelets, normal eyelets, smyrna cross, rice stitches, and counted satin stitch.
We also talked about sampler history world wide and how it relates to the Norwegian samplers. What was interesting to me was that my participants all had expertise in areas of weaving and the making of traditional Norwegian Bunads (folk costumes that have strong regional variations across the country). So they could relate the history we talked about to what they knew about embroidery on clothing, and the kind of wool the Norwegian samplers were sometimes embroidered on. Very cool.
I also found time to visit a new art exhibit in Oslo about contemporary Norwegian Emboidery. Some of the pieces there were really interesting artistically and a couple of them I wish I had on my wall at home. The curators had also included four samplers form their collections and they were absolutely exquisite. The linen was ridiculously fine – 50-55 count by my estimate and stitched mostly over one thread. Ahhhhh….I could have stood there all day looking at them.