Gay Ann Rogers
Goodbye to my era of Queens.
When my last kit sold last night, I decided to close my sale early. Reason was simple: I have nothing more to sell.
Thank you, thank you to all of you for coming, and thank you too for the supportive and kind notes.
It pleases me so much that you have enjoyed my Queens.
June 19, 2019
Q & A about my Queens.
Wrapping up my Decade of Royalty with some comments.
To Contact Me
Wrapping Up a Decade of Queens
Here are some of the questions people have asked me, and the time has come to answer.
Q. Did I have a favorite queen?
A. Not really, but I always thought Eleanor was the prettiest for a handful of reasons.
Her face is my favorite. It was a bit of serendipity: it came out looking closest to the way I saw it in my mind.
I like the colors in Eleanor.
I loved the beautiful English gold thread that came from Access. I waited a long long time for it. It is wonderful to use and I loved the effect. I liked Eleanors bead caps; I enjoyed turning them both ways, concave and convex. And I like her border.
Above is the map of how far Queendom Website has traveled,
nice for MacSoph and me, but doubly nice because it shows that needlework is indeed alive and well right round the world.
Click here to visit
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Q. Overall which was the most difficult Queen for me?
A Victoria's face was the most difficult by far because I had to try and make her look like the real Victoria. But overall, I would say that Catherine was the most difficult. I had to invent ways to pull off the places where the design elements met. Most of these were very unconventional joins, and I'm not sure the needlepoint police would approve, but they worked.
Q. Are you sure the Queens aren't very difficult to stitch?
A. I didn't think they were difficult. I mean my job was challenging, but once I worked out the designs, they are not difficult. Most of the stitches are just basic needlepoint stitches, true they are bent and warped a bit and not always conventional in the way I used them, but difficult, no. You just have to watch your tension and count accurately.
I can't think of anything really difficult, maybe the beading on Elizabeth because of the turns you make (the two sides aren't equal.
My followers might say the most difficult is Eleanor's hair, but I thought it was easy to do. To read as hair it had to be a bit messy, so it wasn't very precise. I thought that made it easy, but I know people who thought it was super difficult. I know there are a lot of bald Eleanors out in stitcherland. I hope to fix that this summer.
Q. Am I proud of any parts in particular?
A. My proudest moments were both on Elizabeth: I made the veil look translucent. It was a happy accident and it is so simple, but it worked! It is really nothing but a bunch of baldish Tent Stitch where the dark color doesn't cover sufficiently. The effect is brought out by the gold braid and ribbon and the tiny pearls. It was probably my best moment in stitching. Funny how a happy accident of something so simple can be my proudest stitching moment.
Second to the veil, I would have to say, the blacwork sleeve on the left, as you look at Elizabeth (it is actually her right arm. I remember foreshortening in drawing classes when I was yound, and bingo, I think I nailed the foreshortening of Elizabeth's arm. It looks like it comes out at you.
I have to tell you, I am no champion blackworker; that sleeve was my only moment of blackwork brilliance (if you can call it that.
Q. So both your best moments were on Elizabeth? None on the others?
A. If I had to choose a third moment, it would be Eleanor's face. I see a design in my mind and it is exciting to see if I can make in reality what I see in my mind. When I manage, it is special, and so it was with Eleanor's face. I would say it just came together and looked like I hoped it would look. A moment of serendipity.
I am proud of Victoria's face also because I managed to make her look a tad like Victoria, all in 32 stitches wide.
Speaking of Victoria, I confess, I like how the Honiton lace came out. Transposing Honiton lace onto canvas took some experimenting. I love to play with whitework and create its shadows. Au Ver a Soie gives me the most beautiful colors for those shadows.
I have written about this before, but will mention it once again. The colors of Victoria were so difficult! Here were the problems: a brunette bride in a white wedding dress. Ask any wedding photographer (Arlene, are you out there?). Here's the problem: the dress is so white, the brunette is so dark, how do you get some harmony in the two? These are the answers: highlights on the hair, shadows on the dress, and just the right background color.
If the background is too light, all you will see is the brunette hair; if the background is too dark, you lose the bride and all you see is the dress.
Q. You haven't mentioned Catherine, yet you said she was the most difficult.
A. Over all, Catherine was indeed the most difficult. It wasn't really the compensation per se (I don't find compensation itself difficult), it was how far do I take the compensation? The needlepoint police say that you must compensate one area right up to the line where the pattern changes. This has never worked for me.
Compensation is one of the best tools for creating foregrounds and backgrounds, ie the art of making something come forward and something fade backward. It has to do with layers and the scale of patterns. Thechallenge of Catherine, every step of the way, was one of depth.
As the summer winds on, I would like to write more about this.
Q. Any particular challenges for the stitchers just starting the Queens?
A. Yes. I would like you to think of this:
Most of the things I write about here aren't stitching problems per se, they're design problems and there is never any easy answer. I made the decisions as I saw fit at the time. Here is a challenge for those of you about to start stitching the Queens. You may discover you don't like some of my decisions. It is up to you to discover and fix them to suit you.
I would wish that you think about what you are stitching and make decisions for yourselves, not just blindly accept my solutions. There are no rights and wrongs, just preferences, and your prefernces may be different from mine.
Q. One more comment of great importance
A. There is nothing I hate more than worrying about running out of thread. I don't want to think, as I am stitching, whether I have enough thread, I want it just to be there for me. Some people are thread misers. My wonderful proofer Carol C. is a thread miser if ever there was one. I sometimes wonder how she can get so much stitched with one ply of silk. Most good stitchers, I have found over the years, are thread misers, that is, they make thread go a long way. The great needlewoman, Carol Algie Higginbotham, if I recall is a great thread miser.
I am a terrible thread squanderer. I stitch and rip, stitch and rip, and toss with great regularity, partially used lengths of silk.
In short, I have tried to give you a minimum of 20% more thread in your kits than you will use, closer to 25% to 30% if the area is large. I'm hoping even if you are a bit of a thread squanderer like me, you will still have plenty.
What to do if you run out of thread? (The Dreaded Dye Lot Problem)
I'll save that for the summer.
Enjoy the Queens, and thank you for coming to my Last Queens Sale.