Thursday, June 25, 2009

La Broderie Bayou '09

I hit the road running so fast and hard when I got home that I didn't get a chance to tell you about my trip to Avery Island. Above is another shot of the live oak tree out of my window in the morning. Have I mentioned I love live oaks dripping with Spanish moss? Yea, I've lost count too. But I do love it. La Broderie Bayou is held at the old Marsh House, one of the original homes of the McIlhenny family. The breeze is often still, the air heavy and fragrant. In less genteel language that means, hotter the hell, humid as a sauna and you can smell the marshes and bayous close by. I love it, those generations of Cajun genes just rise straight to the top.

I spent each night with this old girl. I wonder if I would look as good when I get to be 150. I'm thinking not.

The school is hosted by Wendy Schoen Design. I don't remember how many years she has held the school here but this was my second time to go. Like SAGA convention, you spend several days with other stitcher's laughing, learning, stitching and eating. Can life get any better?

Suzette teaching on her knees.

The first night was a pre day class taught by Suzette Wink on crocheted edgings. It was fun and Suzette did a great job. It is nice for a quick, easy and inexpensive baby gift.

I finished my bib. There is also a matching burp cloth in the kit.

The first two days for my group were spent at the Great Louisiana Thread Pull otherwise known as class with the awesome Mirella Arroyo. If you ever have a chance to take classes with Mirella, I urge you to do so. Her work is exquisite and she has the patience of Job. I didn't get a picture of the whole gown, I was trying so hard to get a picture of the details. It is of course a linen daygown with diamond netting with dove's eyes. Truly beautiful. I can't wait to get back to it.

It is double breasted but off center opening. Very classy for a young man.

A close up up the left front, just above the hem. It took two days of 12 hour days to get one diamond done. Now I am sure it would have been much quicker if I had not screwed up and had to fix my screw up. The diamond shape is much more challenging than pulling the threads for the square shape as in the project from last year. I will not let it defeat me! Of course we know I love linen anyway. I have said so many times.

The second 2 days were spent on vacation it felt like. Wendy taught the second class which is a precious organdy pinafore with Madeira appliques with linen.

The bodice with the hand stitched scallops. I am thinking they are going to get what Jane Briscoe calls, "machine assisted" scallops. Where you stitch the scallop shape by machine and then come back and do the hand buttonhole stitch.

Here is the skirt with the madeira applique hem band. I plan to smock my skirt as well so I can put it in the fair.

And here is the back. Don't you love that bow? I can just see a pair of ruffle bottom panties under it.

While working on this piece I did discover a new "must have." I love my wooden hoops that attach to the sit on seat. But Sarah, my table partner,

Sarah the only two seconds she wasn't laughing. She is always laughing.

discovered at the on site shop (Aren't they clever? Captured audience and all.) a floor stand for the nice wooden hoops.

Here is my work in progress using it. I LOVE it!!!!!! So guess what was delivered to my house today?

My own floor stand. I do most of my hand stitching in my chair in the living room. With the sit on stand, I could never get it positioned just right. In a straight chair or a class room chair that isn't an issue. But in my comfy chair it is. So this is going to be great. And as you can see in the picture I can attach my magnifier to the hoop as well.

Just a couple of pics of some of my other stitching friends. I am bad, once I get to stitching I forget to take pictures. There were lots more people there than this. On the left is Vicki K, Vicki is in my SAGA chapter but we drive twelve hours to see each other. In the picture on the right is Brenda F, owner of Its Sew Heavenly in Youngsville LA, talking with Mirella.

One of the other thing we get to do is paw through and drool over so many of Mirella's and Wendy's samples.

This is a linen sundress of Mirella's. Love the shaped hem and of course the drawn thread work and embroidery are gorgeous.

I can't remember the Spanish name of this set, it begins with an "F" but whatever it is called it is exquisite. It is two pieces, though you can't see the top very well in the pic on the right. Mirella called the top a camisole. Which is a totally different thing than what I would call a camisole. But the purpose of the set just appeals to my "presentation is everything" sensibility. The skirt is a one size fits all, that you put on baby over the pram or stroller straps. It lays on top and looks gorgeous. In the winter time you use a knit skirt with the same camisole when it is a bit cooler so you don't need to cover baby with a blanket. I don't know how cool it gets in the winter in Cuba or Puerto Rica. The picture on the left shows the beautiful drawn thread work on the skirt panels. Can't you just see a beautiful baby sitting up in a pram dressed in this gorgeous linen with silk satin ribbons?

These pics are of a gorgeous linen christening gown. I haven't done a cg out of linen yet, maybe that will be next. It will have to be one of my OWN grandchildren to be out of Ulster 1400 linen though. That yummy stuff runs at about $75 a yard.

Wendy had so many samples they were too many to go through. It is wonderful though being able to see all of the embroidery club pieces and garments featured in the magazines.
I was struck by these two. Of course one is a christening gown.

I like the bodice detail on this gown. I wouldn't do the roses in pink, I would do them either in pale ecru or white, but I love the tailored look of the lace shaping.

And I loved the shadow work on this sundress. Just looks so summery to me.

One of the benefits or drawbacks of staying in the same building as the classes in such a relaxed atmosphere is that you can stitch as late as you like. I did. Though I didn't stitch as late into the night as I sometimes have a tendency to do. I think I was asleep every night by 10:30. For me that is EARLY. Of course I didn't have a computer with me, or a TV. For me that was good. Not everyone stays on the island. Some opted to stay at nearby hotels in New Iberia, LA or at home for those that lived close enough.

And I didn't even mention the fact that meals are prepared for you by a chef and someone else does the dishes! Of course the on site shop has supplies as well as all of Wendy's kits and several books on drawn thread work, white work, monograms and general embroidery. There were also behind the scenes factory tours at the Tabasco Co, tours of Jungle Gardens, island tours of Avery Island (visitors are not normally allowed past the entrance to the Jungle Gardens to the area of private residences, the salt mine and the original pepper fields), as well as a presentation by Shane Bernard, historian for the McIlhenny Company and Avery Island.

So if you want 5 days of good times and good classes stitching with new and old friends alike; be on the lookout for La Broderie Bayou '10 at Wendy Schoen Design.


  1. Hi Martha
    Beautiful work!!!! as always.
    Can you give us a picture of your floorstand in use at your chair?
    Looks very good but I'm having a hard time figuring how one would use it.


  2. What an incredible event! You did an excellent job of bringing it home to the rest of us. I felt like I was right there with you. Maybe one day......

  3. What gorgeous work! Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. OMG I want to go to this event! When and where is it held each year, month, etc...?
    The oak tree is gorgeous. I lvoe spanish moss.

  5. LOL, thanks guys. Rose I will take a picture of it in front of my chair.

  6. what an exquisite class. I am so envious. I would love to go to this. thanks for the tour!!!

  7. You’re a sauna guru. Handy tips and sights. Sauna routine?


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