Here is my progress on my needlepoint piece. Progress seems to be made somewhat. The issue that I have always had with needlepoint canvas, particularly those in kits is that the canvas itself can look quite lovely, but discerning which color goes over which thread can be difficult. This is particularly so when the color falls in between crossed threads. You want to capture the color subtlety and not miss a color but it can be a little confusing.
I have never done this before but I think I have a case of startitis. I usually just have one project going at any given time. However, since needlepoint can get a little frustrating I am thinking I need an alternate projects for evenings when I am just not feeling it. I am thinking of maybe stitching one of the MLI angel freebies as a bit of an homage to her.
I was deeply saddened to hear about Margaret Leavitt-Imblum's passing last week. I knew that she had been ill for a long time but she was so young and her work was just amazing. For a long time, she was my very favorite designer. I have always loved angels and many of her angels are what I picture in my head look like. You can see my stitched pieces on the sidebar there. My very first angel was Angel of Hope. I bought the pattern about twenty years ago in Michaels (when they actually had a cross stitch section.) It was $10 and the most that I had ever spent on a pattern at that point. (Oh, how this makes me laugh now.) However, the angel was so lovely and I just had to have her.
About 10 years ago as I started finding cross stitch message boards and designer web pages, I joined one of her Yahoo groups and sent Margaret an email telling her how much I admired her work. I also shared that her angels look like what I imagine they look like and that I really appreciated her use of color, etc. I felt like I was writing a fan letter to a movie star. I was absolutely floored when I received an email back that same day from her, thanking me for my comments. She was absolutely lovely and her words were full of such kindness.
Her work really sort of stands alone as being so different. While I like her daughter's designs as well, MLI had such a maturity about her designs and she really seemed to understand as a cross stitcher the need for those large blocks of color. Her designs looked far more difficult and sophisticated, but were actually quite easy to stitch. She will be missed.
If you are interested in stitching any of her beautiful annual (free) Christmas designs, you can find them here: http://www.tiag.com/otherproducts/xmasangels.html