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

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!

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) 




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,






 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!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Spookiest Day of the Year

Are you ready for Trick or Treat tonight?

Got all your pumpkins carved?

Got lots of candy? (All your favorites, of course...)

Watch out for those spooky black cats;

And keep an eye out for low-flying owls, too.

But most of all, 
be sure to have a really sweet and safe



Thursday, October 23, 2014

WHOOOOO Loves Halloween???

Do you??
Have you been working on any Halloween projects this month?
I've been super busy stitching on several autumn designs and painted canvases this season.  I showed you my new HALLOWEEN RIBBONS in my last post; it was soooo fun to sneak in some counted canvaswork in-between all these delicious new Sandra Gilmore canvases I've been playing with.

And now I'm delighted to share my next stitch guide with you --  he's called OLIVER, by Sandra Gilmore.

What a HOOT!!  And isn't he cute?  I mean, really...  He's a smallish canvas (10" x 10") , with a handful of easy stitches, so it worked up pretty fast.  I really, really wanted a variegated background for Oliver, so I changed the plain green stripes to a woodsy variegated thread with a woven brown border (although the stitch guide also gives solid color options as well).

Oliver's body and feathers are also done in variegated threads, to give him a more realistic look to his feathers. His eyes and beak are padded (although they got a bit smushed in the scanner!).  And the "Happy Halloween" text is tent stitched with one of those yummy variegated Painter's Threads I've been eager to try; here it gives a nice rich shimmer of greens and browns to the sign.

I like OLIVER a lot.... especially because his Halloween message will be nice to display around the house all autumn, and not just for that big purple & orange day!  If you love owls and Halloween, this could be your next fun project...  Please visit my website for more information on this new OLIVER stitch guide!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Time to Stitch Up Some Spooky Fun

Hey, Stitchers: are you buying some pumpkins and setting out your Halloween decorations this weekend? 

Are you itchin' to stitch up one more Halloween project?
                How about my newest design, HALLOWEEN RIBBONS??

I had a blast designing and stitching this fun piece.  I tried to fit in as many Halloweeny treats as I could, so you can stitch some cats, bats, hats, ghosts, pumpkins, candy corn and spiders.  And oh yeah, there are some fun ribbon bands to stitch, with lots of purple and orange chrysanthemums (or asters, if you prefer). 

You can make your pumpkins with or without faces - or alternate them, like I did.  The falling candy corns and sour balls are fun to create, and should put a smile on everybody's face!

This piece is truly over-the-top, I know.... but hey, where else can you have so much fun with lots of purple and orange threads?!?

Please visit my website for all the ordering information on this new, spooky fun HALLOWEEN RIBBONS design.           Happy Friday, Everyone!