Monday, April 25, 2016

Springy Things


Are the flowers blooming where you live?
Does it get you in the mood to stitch some springy things??

One of my favorite spring pieces is LONG SPRING PANEL, which I originally stitched
in cool pinks and greens:

Then I loved this design so much I stitched it again in warm pinks and greens:

Both versions are yummy and I STILL can't decide which I like better!!

Then there is the fresh and airy SPRINGTIME BOUQUET, that reminds me
of a garden gazebo, covered in vines and climbing roses:

For a springy blue piece, I created this SPRING BOUQUET SAMPLER below, which is stitched 
on 24 ct. Congress Cloth with delicious Waterlilies 110 - "Hyacinth".  The stitched patterns
are a combination of "composite stitches" and "blackwork stitches" done in color.
The fun thing about this design is that it can be stitched in ANY color palette, if you first
choose a variegated Waterlilies thread you adore, then pick your solid colors to coordinate:

And for another light-filled springtime piece, here's BLUE RIBBON SAMPLER
which sneaks in a bit of hardanger amongst the blackwork flowers for a lovely lacy feel:

I stitched the above piece in blues and apricots - using variegated 
Wildflowers 147 - "Winter Sky",but again, 
you can change the colors in this piece just by choosing another variegated thread,
then matching the DMC #8 and #12 pearl cottons to it.

Just looking at these pieces creates the illusion of walking through a springtime garden, 
filled with colorful flowers waving in the soft breeze.  So if any of these pieces 
strike your fancy, please skip on over to my website and look under my
"SAMPLER COLLECTION" to peruse these and other springy designs! 

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Over the years, one of my most popular quilt designs has been INDIAN SUMMER, with its muted fall colors (using Watercolours 168 - "Rainforest") and complex star blocks:

INDIAN AUTUMN is another favorite, with more Southwestern/Indian blanket motifs, and using the same color palette as the previous INDIAN SUMMER design:

A year or two ago, I added INDIAN WINTER to the set (using a blue & brown color palette with Watercolours 279 - "Martinique", although it would be equally lovely in the same "Rainforest" colorway used in the other quilts):

And since then, I've had lots of queries from stitchers asking if I was going to do an INDIAN SPRING design to complete the four season set.  Of course I had always planned to do a spring design, once I could figure out a quilt design that
     1)  had an Southwestern/Indian blanket kind of motif in it;
     2)  had a floral look to it as well;
     3)  could evoke a springtime feel; and
     4)  would fit in with the other three designs in the series.
And that was harder to find that you can imagine...

But -- TA DA!  I finally found a quilt block that met all those requirements and once I had it partially graphed out, boy-oh-boy, I did some marathon stitching.  Here's what the new INDIAN SPRING quilt design looks like:

I just love how it turned out!  Especially since it hits all my design targets, PLUS I think it has a rather contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright look to it as well!  For a spring design, I wanted brighter colors, but not I used Watercolours 093 - "Painted Desert" for the variegated thread, and picked a vibrant mix of pearl cottons from that.  [BTW: while the lower half of the dark green border looks like a different color, it's not - the stitches go in a different direction and the scanner reads it as a lighter color!]

And, again, although I stitched the model in spring-like colors, it would be equally impressive done in the fall "Rainforest" palette.... or how about a traditional Indian blanket color scheme of black/grey/red??  Something to think about, huh?

So if you're one of those stitchers who's been waiting to complete the Indian quilt series, now you can stitch up your INDIAN SPRING!!   Please gallop on over to my website for ordering information....

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Color Possibilities: ARIZONA STAR

Playing with color is always a fun thing for me, so I've been exploring other colorways that might work for some of my older quilt designs.  A very popular design in the past has been ARIZONA STAR, which I stitched in soft sage greens and pinks.  I love how this design has a Southwestern feel, but also is very geometric and could be more modern, if the color palettes were different.

So how would it look in other colorways?   Playing on the computer gave me these possibilities:



Or how about more masculine BROWNS....wouldn't that make a great pillow for an office?

So many more stitching possibilities to consider!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Color Possibilities: SUMMER DAYS

Out of the blue this week, I had a handful of orders for an older quilt design called SUMMER DAYS:

As I'm printing, I always have to wonder if someone out there in Blogville is stitching up my design and inspiring other stitchers, or perhaps a store has a model stitched up...  In any event, this design came about after a store asked me to design something rectangular, to use up the 12" strip of canvas that always seems to get left over, after other square pieces of canvas are cut.  Well, that was a unique challenge for me!  Anyway, the rectangular design is a fun one to stitch, with several fun and easy borders to keep things interesting  Plus, I always think this would make a terrific bolster pillow....

I stitched the original model (shown above) in peppy blues and yellows, which reminded me of traditional french Provencal fabrics.

Now I wonder how it might look in other colorways, and - TA DA! - thanks to modern computer magic, I was able to play around and create some other fun colorways to share with you.   Such as...... a PINK & GREEN version!! (very Lily Pulitzer, don't you think?!)

Or how about a BLUE & CHOCOLATE version -- YUM!

And look at this GREEN & PEACH version...dreamy, n'est pas?

It's certainly an eye-opener to see how different a design looks and feels in another color scheme.  And it also gives you some idea of the endless possibilities within each quilt design.  The trick to stitching any of these new colorways would be to find a variegated thread that has those colors in it, then find matching solid colors: one dark hue for the borders, one or two medium hues for the accent colors, perhaps one or two soft metallic ribbons for a bit of shimmer, and a very pale color for the background.      Gets me itchin' to go stitchin'.... how 'bout you?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Old-Fashioned Quilts

I was doing some printing this week of older quilt designs and came across some favorites that evoke old-fashioned quilts that are softened and faded with time.  I pulled out a few of the models so I could look at them and reminisce about stitching them many years ago.  sigh... I still love these traditional quilt designs....

SAWTOOTH SAMPLER, originally stitched in soft pastels, but great for working from your stash:

I also stitched it in slightly BRIGHTER colors, and list those threads on the pattern as well:

Then there's FLOWER BASKET, a soothing geometric quilt, which I love for its scalloped borders:

And this is FLOWER GARDEN, which has a slightly stained glass look to it, I think, and looks good in lots of different spring color combinations... The first model I stitched in greens and pinks:

...then I stitched it again in cool greens and apricots (another yummy combination!):

Then there's GRANDMOTHER'S GARDEN, which has such a lovely old-fashioned feel to it
(and LOTS of little squares to stitch!!):

So if you're in a soft pastel, old-fashioned quilt kind of mood, please check out these quilts, along with many others, in my American Quilt Collection, over on my website....

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bunnies & Eggs For Your Easter Basket

Are you looking forward to celebrating Easter this weekend?
Do you have plenty of springtime projects to help you enjoy the season?

Here are some of my favorite Easter pieces that feature eggs and bunnies:




my most recent SPRING SURPRISES




 and last, but not least, HAPPY EASTER, HAPPY SPRING!

Enjoy your weekend, Stitchers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Re-Teaching a Favorite Class Project!

Stitchers, have you heard about "messy beading"?  
      Have you been curious about it, but didn't know where to use it?
                  Well I've got a great little project for you to try your own messing beading on.....

Basically, instead of attaching beads one at a time, you scoop up several beads and then attach them in loops or strings or however you want...creating a very fun 3-D textural look to your canvas.  I decided to create a small printed canvas with a simple flower that had the right type of center that could take some "messy beading" on it.  Here's the initial drawing I created on my ipad, from a purple daisy photo:

Then after I printed in on 18 ct. canvas, I stitched it up with some zippy checkered (and padded) borders, some easy petal stitches, a fast "shadow stitched" background, and of course, the messy beading.  Here's how it turned out:

It was soooo fun to stitch up!  I've used DMC flosses in the 333 periwinkle blue family, so the colors are that lovely purpley blue; and I craved a lime green background just for the fun of it,which also makes the purple flower POP.  And I thoroughly enjoyed using the messy beading technique -- it was much easier than I expected - and certainly adds a lot of BLING to the piece!

When I got done I thought, "You know, this would make the perfect cyber class -- not too big, not too hard, and not too long - for stitchers like me who want to try some messy beading, but don't want a really big project."

And since I've had several requests to offer this fast and fun class again.... TA DA:
Here it is again, folks, my next Cyber Class called "Purple Daisy: A Messy Beading Project".  Registration starts today, March 23rd and runs thru April 30th.  The cyber class will start the beginning of end of May 2016, and have four emailed lessons.  Check out the details on my website!