Monday, December 31, 2012

Mini Mystery Monday, January 2013

Well it's almost the start of a New Year, so doesn't it seem like a good time to start another small mystery piece that will kick off our new stitching year? 

To get in the proper mood, let's think about January and the winter season....  What colors do you associate with winter?  What colors make you think of swirling snow and chilly skies?  Okay... now go to your stash and grab a handful of threads that give you a feel for this time of year, and be sure to pick:

- one variegated #5 pearl cotton
- one dark (or medium) solid color #5 pearl cotton
- one metallic ribbon thread that matches your variegated thread
- one thin metallic, like Kreinik #8 Braid, in a base metal color (silver, gold, copper, etc.)
- a 7" x 7" piece of 18 ct. mono canvas in any color you want to play with

[Pssst": the finished piece will be stitched "on point" (in a diamond shape) and will end up as a 6" by 6" design.]

And here's your first graph, which is a quarter graph that only shows one quadrant of the design:

First things first!  Find your center point of your canvas and make a tiny hole as a visual reference point, using your needle tip (you'll cover it up later when you add more elements).

From there, begin working the zig zag rows with 1 ply of the 3-ply variegated #5 pearl cotton, making Straight Stitches that go over 4 canvas threads. Remember to skip the right number of threads between each row, as indicated in the graph.  Easy peasy, right?  (And remember: turn the graph around to complete the other three sections of this design.)

Once you have the zig zag rows stitched (or at least the first quadrant) you can start to add the outer border.  I've shown you this border before (in one of our fall 2012 mystery pieces) and I think it's really fun to create.  I call it my "Woven Border."  Start by laying the long diagonal stitches, using 1 strand of your dark pearl cotton, like this:

Then add the rest of the horizontal trios, so it looks like this:

Lastly, add the remaining "woven" stitches, with the trios of vertical stitches on top:

Continue working the other three sides of your border, turning the graph around to match your canvas area as you stitch.  Now if you get your foundation pattern in place and the outer border done, you'll be ready for next Monday when we'll start filling in with fast, fun elements that add some sparkle and zing!

 See ya then.... and have a Happy New Year's Eve tonight! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays

May All Your Holidays be Merry and Bright!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

First Cyber Class for 2013

Hey, Stitchers!  I've decided to try something a little bit different for my next cyber class.... 

I'm calling this one "FLOATING PANELS" since it's got lots of interesting geometric elements floating within a larger geometric area.

The wonderful thing about this design is that it features a variegated silk thread (Waterlilies) with a palette of silk threads that are mixed and matched in such a way as to change the look and color of each rectangular box.  I love experimenting with variegated threads, and this design plays around with how the variegated colors change throughout the piece, depending on which solid colors you mix with it.

I've created four different colorways, to broaden the interest in this piece: AMETHYST (shown above, in purples and blues with Waterlilies 06-Amethyst), SAPPHIRE (blues and aquas with Waterlilies 289-Lexi's Blues), RUBY (reds and purples with Waterlilies 290-Mystery Mix), and AMBER (golds and browns with Waterlilies 251-Sunflower Seed):

In the photos above, the first skein on the left is the color used for the borders; the next three skeins are the main color group; and the final two skeins on the right are the accent colors.  There's also a handful of matching metallic threads from thick to thin (not shown), just to add extra texture and sparkle.

There will also be a few Swarovski crystals, a sprinkling of beads, and a handmade fused glass jewel that will match each of the color groups.  All of the groups are worked on the sage green 18 ct. canvas, except for the RUBY colorway, which will get sandstone canvas. (If you want sandstone canvas for the other colorways, please let me know and I can adjust your kit.)  By the way, the finished size of this piece is 6.25" wide by 11.25" tall...not super big or complex, but the nice thing about this abstract is it can be framed/displayed vertically OR horizontally!

If this abstract geometric appeals to you, and you'd like to start the New Year with something totally different, please visit my website, Laura J. Perin Designs, for more information regarding this 2013 cyber class.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Time to Trim the Tree!

I just finished another holiday design called BARGELLO CHRISTMAS TREE.  The idea came to me rather late, and I spent a week stitching to get the model done and then the pattern completed, so I could share it with you this season.  Here's what it looks like (and boy, is it a festive, colorful piece!):

I stitched it on the eggshell canvas with gold metallic flecks, which makes the whole thing very sparkly, let me tell you, and it easily relieves the whole "how do I finish the background" question very nicely.

I chose four different bargello patterns - two roundish or curly ones, alternating with two sharpish zig zag ones - just to make stitching fun and provide visual interest.  The colors are the traditional red and green, with LOTS of metallic in red, green and gold... plus some round gold beads sprinkled on the tree wherever you can fit them. Here's a closer look at the tree patterns:

And if you've ever done any bargello, you know how fast it can go, once you get your main pattern line stitched. The stitches are easy - all straight stitches, plus a few diagonal satin stitches, and that's it!  I hung some large, easy ornaments in the background and even added some simple "bows" on top for extra texture.  I really enjoyed stitching this  - especially how fast it worked up, so I could have it hanging in my house this season!

If you want more information on this new BARGELLO CHRISTMAS TREE design, please visit my website (listed in CAPITAL LETTERS on the list at right) to see more details... and get ready to have some holiday fun trimming your own tree!