Thursday, January 21, 2016

Colorful New Quilt Design!

I can't wait to share this new quilt design with you -- it's CALICO STARS, and boy, is it a fun and colorful project!  It combines traditional quilt blocks with fun colors and easy stitch patterns to create a very special counted canvaswork piece:


 It's larger than most of my other quilts, being 12.5" x 12.5", but that just makes it a bigger feast for the eyes (and fingers).  And speaking of your stitchy fingers, I decided to combine #5 pearl cottons (which make up the main textured sections of the quilt) with the easier-on-the-fingers DMC floss colors that are used for the background areas.  I don't know about you, but as I get older, and after having stitched dozens and dozens and DOZENS of pieces with #5 pearl cotton, my fingers are getting a bit tired of pulling it through the 18 ct. canvas.  So I've found mixing in cotton floss offers a nice break for my hands!

Anyway, this was a very happy piece to stitch up.  I built the PINK palette around the pastel colored Watercolours thread 048 - "Far Horizons."



Then I decided to include a BLUE palette as well, featuring Watercolours thread 236 -"Appalachia", shown below.


Both colorways are equally yummy, but for those of you who love blue, I hope you'll enjoy the threads I've picked out.

My philosophy for designing these small quilts is to make them look as if they were real quilts.  I love the idea of stitching precisely pieced miniature quilts (much easier to me than sewing itty bitty snips of fabric!), and for that reason I avoid using stitching "gimmicks" like beads or fancy composite patterns in my quilt designs.  The most I'll do is add some metallic ribbon, if I want a bit of sparkle. And as you can see in the detail photo below, just using a few easy stitches can create quite a bit of textural variety:


So if you'd like to stitch up your own miniature quilt for the new year, please skip on over to my website and get all the ordering info on this new CALICO STARS pattern! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Flowers: Stitched Nasturtiums

One wonderful way to keep summer in your heart all year long is to stitch a bouquet of your favorite flowers.  A Sandra Gilmore canvas I fell in love with last year was the absolutely stunning FLEUR FETE, which features a huge bouquet of spicy nasturtiums.  The canvas celebrates Fleur de Paris' 40th anniversary, with nasturtiums (the 40th flower) and a ruby (the 40th stone)....


 It's a large canvas - 15" x 17" - and ahem, it took awhile to get it completely stitched.  Not that the stitching was hard; the stitches were actually very easy, but there was so much canvas to fill!  Lots of wooden table (done with blended threads), lots of background (done in a large, variegated blackwork pattern), and LOTS of different colored nasturtiums to stitch!  Here's a look at the flowers up close:


I decided to work all the leaves in matte DMC Floche, and all the flowers are done with DMC Floss.  I selectively chose some of the petals to pad, while most of them were done in simple diagonal satin stitch.


The antique vase, shown above, was stitched in simple tent/basketweave stitch, but worked entirely with metallic ribbon threads (Ribbon Floss and Neon Rays+)  to replicate a shimmery antique vase.  Then I went back on top and padded just a few of the vase lines to delineate the sunflower motif.

The last thing I stitched was the big ruby jewel in the lower left corner of the vase.  I debated whether to attempt it in beads, but there were soooo many colors in the ruby I chickened out decided against it, and instead worked it all in plain tent stitch, but using extra sparkly Kreinik 1/16th Ribbons.  And I'm glad I did -- it ended up looking surprisingly sparkly and remarkably like beads, so it turned out great!

So if you love nasturtiums as much as I do, and would like to have a bouquet hanging in your house all year round, please consider Sandra Gilmore's gorgeous FLEUR FETE painted canvas, as well as my new stitch guide (which is now available on my website).  In any event, both of those items can be ordered for you from your local stitchery store, so call them to get more information!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sneak Peak at a New Quilt Design

I've been busy this week polishing up my next quilt design in the AMERICAN QUILT COLLECTION.  This one is a rather large design (12.5" x 12.5") done on my usual 18 ct. canvas.  I'm calling this new design CALICO STARS, which seems appropriate, as you can see below:



It's been fun working on snippets of patterns that replicate calico fabric
 (all done in #5 pearl cottons),
then adding the background colors in DMC floss.  I stitched the model shown above 
with a PINK palette using Caron Watercolours 048 - Far Horizons as the foundation,
 but the Materials List also includes a thread list for  a luscious BLUE palette
 that features Watercolours 236 - Appalachia as well! 

IN any event, I'm sending out the patterns to my distributors this week, 
and you'll be able to view the whole CALICO STARS piece and purchase it next week 
on my website. 
 So stay tuned, Stitchers, for more quilty fun for 2016!!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Springy Cyber Class!

Deep in the dreary wintry days of rain and snow, it's nice to dream of spring.  With that in mind, I've chosen LILAC TIME as my next cyber class, to begin in March 2016.



It's a sweet 8" x 8" counted canvaswork design, done on santa fe green 18 ct. canvas.
The palette is based on yummy Watercolours 064 - "Pale Lilac" and has a nice range of different types of threads, with #5 pearl cottons, floss, a bit of floche, and metallic ribbons making up the rest of the thread palette.

The stitches are easy and fun, using a handful of soft pastel colors....


And you get to dream about sweetly scented lilacs while you stitch -- how nice is that?!?

So if you're in the mood to start thinking about springtime flowers, please snowshoe on over to my website for ordering information on LILAC TIME!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Deck Those Halls!!

I'm guessing that all you stitchers have started decorating your homes for the holiday seasons.
And getting out all your favorite holiday stitched pieces, too.

Well, I've got a new one for you to add to your collection -- it's called the CHRISTMAS PANEL.  Yes, you guessed it, it's a panel filled with all thing Christmasy!  I've been working on this piece for the last month and TA DA, just last week finished the pattern so I could release it to you now:

 
 
It's a beautiful heirloom piece (if I do say so myself!) and something I'm going to enjoy hanging in my home every year.  I had lots of fun thinking up Christmas things that could fit in the tiny spaces of the panel patterns -- itty bitty stockings, candles, ornaments, garlands, and packages.

The fully decorated Christmas tree with loads of packages underneath was the last thing I stitched, and I'm so pleased with the way it turned out:



I stitched this piece on 18 ct. canvas in the Santa Fe Sage Green color, although the brightness of the photo doesn't really show that, but the soft green canvas allows all the white and metallic threads to pop a bit better than if it had been stitched on eggshell.... but you certainly could use eggshell if you want a warmer look to your version!

And this is one of the few pieces I've stitched that DOESN'T have any variegated Watercolours in it. Shocking, huh?  It's all done in DMC #5 pearl cottons and assorted metallics in red, green, and white. (And just a bit of variegated ThreadworX #5 Pearl for the evergreen tree!)

Anyway, if you're looking for a fun project to get you in the holiday spirit, this may be the one for you!  Jump in your sleigh and jingle on over to my website to see all the ordering info on this new CHRISTMAS PANEL pattern. Ho, Ho, Ho, Stitchers!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fall Is In The Air

The hills and valleys of Sonoma County are ablaze with autumn color....


 Especially this week, everywhere you look the trees are bursting out in riotous colors...


Even the majestic old oaks are burnished in golds and yellow greens,
like this one I saw today when we went for our morning walk....


 Which reminded me to post this fun little Autumn ornament for you to stitch up
from threads in your stash:


Have fun with this cutie...
and Happy Fall Friday, Everyone!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fast, Fun, and Festive!

Now that the holiday season is fast approaching, maybe you're in the mood to stitch something that's filled with red and green and lots of glitzy gold metallic.  I had a holiday idea that I've been madly stitching on these last few weeks and can now share it with you: a new American Quilt Collection design called "HOLIDAY GIFTS":


Oh, boy, this festive quilt design was so much fun to stitch up!
I grabbed a skein of Watercolours 025 - "Holiday" as well as a handful of reds, greens,
and golds in #5 pearl cottons and metallic Ribbon Floss -- then started stitching
some happy little packages.

I'm thinking about turning this cutie into a sofa pillow for holiday display, 
instead of framing it on the wall....

And I've also included alternate thread colors (blues) for a Hanukkah version.

So if you want to stitch yourself into a holiday mood this year, just jingle on over
to my website and get all the ordering info on this new HOLIDAY GIFTS pattern!
Ho, Ho, Ho and Happy Friday, Everyone!