Monday, December 15, 2014

Shakin' Up a Little Snow


Woo Hoo!!  I've just finished working on a new holiday stitch guide, called SNOWGLOBE 1, by Sandra Gilmore.  After the large FALL SPLENDOR piece I stitched last month, this was very, very fun because it was small (8"x 9") and didn't require any fancy stitches!  Here's a peek up close:


I used a blackwork pattern for the table area, using a subtle variegated Watercolours thread; and I also padded some of the pedestal rows stitched with DMC #8 pearl cotton to add a bit more dimension.  As for everything else, I used lots of metallics for lots of sparkle (which, alas, you can't see in any of the photos).  The snowglobe area was all done in tent stitch, but with a blended needle of floss and opalescent Kreinik blending filament.  The globe really does sparkle like a snowy snowglobe should!  And while my model has a more antique-y gold look, I've also included thread options for a pure snow white effect...


If you love snowglobes (and let's face it, who doesn't?) and want a fun little project to keep you merry and bright throughout the holiday season, this may be the canvas for you.  I left my model flat for framing, but it sure would be cute to have it finished as a standup piece, don't you think?

 Please contact your local stitchery store for ordering the Sandra Gilmore canvas called SNOWGLOBE 1, along with my stitch guide, from our distributor, FLEUR DE PARIS.  And just so you know, the stitch guide is available on my website, too....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A New (Encore) Cyber Class for 2015

Bonjour, Stitchers!  Recently, I was browsing through my file of past cyber classes and decided it was time to do "Ribbons with Monogram" again, for those of you who may have missed it the first time around (a year ago).  It's such a sweet, romantic piece that looks like this:


It's a small project, 7" x 8.5", done on the old-fashioned brown mono canvas, just to give it an antique look.
There are three elaborate ribbon patterns, but each one is different and equally fun to stitch.  I've also designed a special alphabet that is a little bit Victorian, a little bit French, n'est pas?  If you enjoy stitching up fantasy ribbons, this is a fun way to try your hand at these three ribbons:


This design makes a perfect piece to stitch for yourself and/or for friends & family; the smaller size is great to make into a stylish accent pillow, too!  And because I couldn't narrow it down to just one colorway, I thought I'd offer the stitcher several color options (each one equally yummy):


The cyber class registration runs from now until mid-January 2015, and the class will start in February 2015, after the hectic holiday season winds down.  So if you're looking for a special treat for yourself, or a fun project to kick off  the new year, why not visit my website and see more of the particulars regarding this new "Ribbons with Monogram" cyber class -- including the specific Watercolours threads and #5 pearl cottons used in each of the colorways.  And if you'd like to play with your own thread colors, you can always get just the pattern and create your own unique version from threads in your stash!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Celebrate the Bounty

Here are more of my designs that share the colors and feel of the Autumn season. 
(They are all available at my website,  in the Sampler Collection and Impressionist Collection,
if you are interested.)
 Anway, I love designing things that can be displayed for longer times during the year; so 
I've amassed quite a collection by now....

Rusty O'Toole

Prairie Star

 Long Autumn Panel

 Red Poppy Collage

 Turning Leaves

My latest stitched painted canvas, Fall Splendor

and last but not least, Pumpkin Harvest 
 

Have a lovely Thankgiving weekend, and I hope you manage to sneak in a bit of stitching, too!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fall Splendor

Well, here it is.... my largest finished painted canvas piece to date, FALL SPLENDOR by Sandra Gilmore.


It's been painted on the darker sandstone canvas, so it has a lovely aged parchment look to it; and with the "zig zag" border I designed for this piece, it measures 15" x 15".  Here's a peek at the variegated outer border:


What the photo doesn't really show you is that the entire floral pattern in the background is worked in simple Tent Stitch, using a glitzy Kreinik #8 Braid (6 spools, to be exact!), while the rest of the sandstone canvas is left unstitched.  Then for the leaves, I wanted something very simple (to show off all the colors) and decided to use long Straight Stitches.  Surprisingly fast, fun and non-stressful (well, if you don't count concentrating on keeping the long stitches flat, smooth and untwisted), it really was a joy to stitch all the different types of leaves in 5 ply of Splendor silks.


As this big leaf photo shows, just by changing the stitch directions in certain areas of the leaves, you can create surprising color changes, because the light hits the stitches in different ways....


Those red berries and fat acorns are padded and stitched with a shiny rayon ribbon, just to provide additional texture and surprise to the piece. (The padded elements are a bit smushed in the photos, since they're smack up against the scanner bed, but trust me, they are nice and poofy in real life.)

This canvas was an absolute joy to stitch, and I plan to enjoy looking at it all autumn long.

If you are hankering for an elegant fall piece, please contact your favorite stitchery store so they can order you both the FALL SPLENDOR painted canvas and stitch guide from my friends at FLEUR DE PARIS.  The stitch guide is also available on my website
HAPPY FALL FRIDAY!






Friday, November 14, 2014

My Current Fall Project

After finishing Sandra Gilmore's OLIVER last month, I was eager to get back to work on this very large piece (another Sandra Gilmore beauty) called FALL SPLENDOR.  It is such an elegant piece that I have been enjoying working on it every night while I watch (ahem, listen) to tv....



Whew!  It's a large piece - 15" x 15" with my added border work - but the sandstone background isn't solidly stitched, so only the gold floral work needs to be done, which I'm doing in plain old Tent Stitch with a Kreinik #8 Braid. I'm making progress, one leaf at a time...

It's rather restful, doing lots of tent stitching with metallic thread; then switching over to long Straight Stitches for the leaves. I've never done any of those old "longpoint" kits that Dimensions used to sell, but I've certainly enjoyed creating my long-stitched leaves, using 5 ply of Splendor silks. It's a simple but effective way to showcase all the luscious fall colors in this piece.


I've already padded the acorns, but still have to finish the red berries at the bottom -- they'll be padded too, with a shiny rayon ribbon, I think.


Anyway, I'm hoping to have this finished shortly (one leaf and five berries to go, woo hoo!), and then I should have the FALL SPLENDOR stitch guide done and mailed off to Fleur de Paris in the next week or so.  Stay tuned for further stitching adventures!
HAPPY FALL FRIDAY!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More Fall Favorites

After I stitched a few fall quilt designs, I decided to broaden my approach and do some sampler-type designs that would be appropriate for displaying for a longer time in the fall,  and didn't depend on Halloween elements for their continued enjoyment.  They range from traditional designs to more
abstract or impressionistic pieces....

Here are some of my all-time favorites:   PUMPKIN HARVEST (which is basically a cross-stitch graph that is stitched on the plain brown 18 ct. canvas -- simple but elegant) 


RUSTY O'TOOLE 
 
 
AMBER WAVES

        
PRAIRIE STAR

 
and TURNING LEAVES


As the days and nights get cooler, it's delicious to stitch with these warm, rich colors, plus working lots of elegant patterns is another fun way to transition into the season of long dark nights -- now we'll have lots more time for stitching at the end of the day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall Color

Over the years I've designed many pieces for the autumn season. 
 The first ones were quilts, such as FALLING LEAVES,

  

 CHEROKEE STAR,

 
MAPLE LEAF,

  
INDIAN AUTUMN
   

 and FOUR WINDS


 They are all built around traditional quilt blocks that stitch up fairly quickly and easily, and provide an excuse to play with lots of rich reds and golds and greens in a satisfying geometric design.  So if you're looking for an autumn design that is fun to work while sitting in the evenings watching tv, 
these fall quilts are just the thing!!