Thursday, June 05, 2008

Virtual Book Tour: Janet M. Perry, Guest blogger (An Article about Janet's life in Bargello


VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR - JANET M. PERRY AS MY GUEST telling us about her latest book called BARGELLO REVISITED

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For some of you who may be wondering what exactly is a Virtual Book Tour, it is simply the equivalent of an author visiting book stores to promote her or his latest book, but instead of visiting book stores the author is visiting websites or blogs. No planes to catch, no driving, we all stay in the comfort of our own home :-)
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Janet has just recently published her latest book entitled Bargello Revisited and she is making her first stop of her Virtual Book Tour today on this blog and for this occasion Janet will be sharing with us her love of Bargello. During the coming month(s) she will be visiting other blogs and doing some fun activities there. You can read more about all this by visiting her blog and her website, links well indicated at the end of Janet's article.
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Without any further delays, here is the article written by Janet M. Perry about her life in Bargello.
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Enjoy :-)
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Pierrette =^..^=

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MY LIFE IN BARGELLO (written by Janet M. Perry)
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Janet says:
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My love affair with Bargello probably started in about 1971 with a book. The book was Elsa Williams' Bargello. I found it at my local needlepoint store. I was entranced by the lovely shading and the wonderful patterns. I bought it and immediately started to study.
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Back in those days, I hadn't really done much needlepoint, so this was completely new. The book had pictures of the finished needlepoint, but no charts, and the yarn colors didn't match the Paternayan my shop carried. But I loved it, so I bought several shades in the same color family, some canvas and I started to decipher the patterns.
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It only took one and I became hooked. Almost immediately I decided to make covers for our dining room chairs (I was 14). My dad made a frame, my mom and I picked out thread colors (rust, dark green, and ivory) and I picked patterns from the book. I didn't get very far as chair covers are big, really big. It's a dream project to this day.
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The next Bargello pieces I remember were a pair of evening purses in shades of turquoise I made while I was in college. Doing needlepoint kept me sane in the intense environment of St John's College. I was about the only student who needlepointed, endearing me to the older women there.
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This pillow, a not very well counted version of an Elsa Williams pattern, was made around that time. If you look closely, you will see the count is off and not all the diamonds are even, but 30 years later, I still love the colors.


I also became fascinated by the idea of a solid color Bargello as a background. Being self-taught is not always a good thing as you don't know when something is hard. So my first attempt at this was a Hungarianpoint pattern and I didn't know how to count it properly. I still have the piece and it pains me to look at it.
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Shortly after I got married, I started to branch out in my Bargello, making the pillow you see here. I became fascinated to use different threads, which was revolutionary in needlepoint in the early 80's. This one is of another classic pattern.


I explored the idea of making what I call Op Art Bargello (there's a pattern like this in the book) where there are only a few lines of color against a solid background. I still love the graphic impact of these designs. This project from Bargello Revisited is my latest Op Art Bargello.

I kept exploring ideas like single color Bargello using different threads, making a lovely Bargello scallop shell (my Mom and DD have my versions of this one) and an all-white pillow. I also kept reading every book on Bargello I could find, getting them from the library over and over again.
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In the 90's my life got extremely busy with kids, big house, nanny and a high-pressure job, so my needlepoint changed too. I started to look for small projects, which were easily portable and fast to make. That's when I started doing the Bargello mini-socks. By my estimate I've made close to 40, every one different. I would find a pattern I liked in a book or magazine and I would buy some threads or raid the stash and make a mini-sock. The first ones I finished myself. Now I have them finished or they languish in my stash. Some of my favorites are in the book. Others I've given to friends.
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Here are pictures of some I've done recently. The first one, still unfinished, is a Hungarianpoint medallion design. I haven't done this before and I made sort of a random outline and started to fill in. I'm not happy with it becauce the center doesn't look good. I think I'm going to try it again working from the center out.



This one, which has the charted line below it, is a scallop pattern I call swag because it looks like swags in drapes. With this I'm also trying to break out of my color rut. Orchids are not my favorite colors, but I do like this. That's a good thing about mini-socks, you can try colors here with no risk. You might not make an orchid pillow, but an orchid ornament is OK.




As a gift to you, here's the line for this pattern.




So what's next? I like the idea of trying out color schemes in mini-socks, so I think I'm going to do a series based on the colors paint companies come up with for painting a room. I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of proportions in Bargello design, so I'm going to explore changing the proportions of the colors and see what happens. I'm going off to the paint store tomorrow to get some inspiration (I also need to find paint for several rooms in my house).
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Keep Stitching
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Janet M. Perry
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Like Janet, I have always loved Bargello too as it has always had an hypnotic effect on me with all these ups and downs, making me stitch for far longer periods of time that I would normally have done.
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I am presently working on Desire which is a Susan Portra Design, have completed Bargello Symphony designed by Loretta Spears, design that I absolutely love, Gem Storm, a Marianne Frost design (had so much fun with this one) and my very first Bargello project which was a little scissor case.
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Pierrette =^..^=

3 comments:

harini said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Terry said...

I agree Bargello is just so pretty and I also had lots of fun when I stitched Bargello Symphony along side you with your excellent teaching skills as it was the first ever needlepoint for me and then I went and did the other one of Loretta Spears Bargello Fantasy

SockPixie said...

This a very nice post. I enjoyed reading Janet;s history in Bargello. Thanks for the lovely swag pattern.