Wednesday, November 17, 2021

MAPLE LEAF Time!

 


 It's full on Fall in my neck of the woods.... How about where you live?

All the color on the leaves (and now mostly on the ground) remind me of a favorite quilt design I did many, many years ago when I was stitching up lots and lots of different quilt patterns for counted canvas designs.  MAPLE LEAF was one of the first designs where I used diagonal borders to create "on point" diamond spaces that would allow me to insert stitched maple leaves.  Here's what I'm talking about:

The original model was done in full fall colors of rich greens, reds, golds -- using Watercolours 010, "Fiesta", one of the very first variegated threads dyed by Lois Caron.  The small 8" x 8" piece is worked on 18 ct canvas (eggshell, soft ivory or even sandstone would work fine).  One of the fun things about stitching this piece is how limited the thread palette is (one variegated thread, two solid color #5 pearl cottons, and one neutral background color) but how rich and complex it looks when you've finished stitching it!  Which is one of the best reasons to work with a variegated thread - no need to switch threads.... just keep stitching and let the colors unfold and surprise you!!

 I loved this MAPLE LEAF pattern so much that later I stitched it in a different wine country colorway - green and wine - using Watercolours 047 "Camouflage" which has luscious greens, golds and burgundies.  Here's what that version of MAPLE LEAF looks like, although please know that thread dyelots have changed a LOT over the years and today's threads are not exactly the same as those done many years ago:

 


I've put both colorways in this revised new pattern, so you can select which version you prefer.... or you may have another fall thread you'd like to try, since there are now so many more variegated pearl cotton threads on the market.  And for the first time, this revised, revamped and reissued MAPLE LEAF design is now available on my website, under the American Quilt Collection page....

 

So if you are a lover of all things FALL and are interested in this fun pattern, please shuffle your way through the leaf piles to reach my website and see all the ordering information for MAPLE LEAF...

Happy Autumn Stitching, Everyone!




Thursday, October 7, 2021

Another Fun "Garden" to Stitch

 A few months ago, I was printing up a batch of LAVENDER FIELDS, and thinking how much I enjoyed designing and stitching that geometric lavender and green piece.  Here's a look at that design:

 

 And I got to thinking about doing another similar piece, but maybe using reds (a color I don't typically use, except for Christmas stuff).  And then "Strawberry Fields" popped into my head, and I got to figuring out how to design a geometric piece that featured strawberries.

Hmmm....the first challenge was to see if I could create a realistic strawberry (that was also easy to stitch, ahem), since they would be the focal points of the design.  I spent an afternoon fiddling around with stitches and threads and came up with a fun-to-stitch padded strawberry, as well as a pale pink blossom:

 

So once I had the berries and blossoms figured out, I could work on the rest of the design, which had a similar layout as my previous LAVENDER FIELDS, but changing the patterns and colors so it looked more like a strawberry patch!   And here's the 10.5" x 10.5" finished result done on 18 ct. santa fe sage green canvas:

 

The new STRAWBERRY FIELDS was stitched with a yummy red and green thread palette built around Watercolours 055 - "Cerise", but after I had stitched up the red model, it occurred to me that maybe some stitchers would like to see a bit of blue in the piece, to make a change from all that red....

So I pulled Watercolours 008 - "Nefertiti" (which is a variegated red/green/blue thread) that would fit right in with the reds and greens of the rest of the threads.  So if you want a bit of blue worked into your piece, you can add the bluer variegated thread, along with one #5 pearl 312 (blue) to use instead of the lighter red color (shown above on one side of the metallic squares border).  Of course the strawberries and blossoms and border lines all stay the same colors as in the red version, but adding a bit of blue will make a very cheerful combination, too!

The stitches aren't difficult, and both the strawberries and pale blossoms are fun to stitch.  Here's a look up-close, so you can see some of the stitch patterns used in this new piece:

 

So if you love strawberries, and would like to work on a piece that gives you a taste of those sweet summer days just gone by, please mosey on over to my website and see the materials list and ordering information for this new STRAWBERRY FIELDS pattern.   Happy Stitching!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

A Bee-utiful Garden To Stitch

 Hey, Bee Lovers.....

If you didn't get the opportunity to take my BEE-UTIFUL GARDEN cyber class last year, now you can purchase the pattern for your bee-lovin' collection! 

It's a fun 8" x 8" knot-garden design, with brick walkways leading into the center with a flowery meadow filled with busy bees working around their bee skep.  Here's what the centerpiece vignette looks like up close:

 

The four surrounding flower patches are filled with fun floral patterns, with a bee buzzing in each square!  The pattern is worked on 18 ct. mono canvas - either eggshell or the similar soft ivory work well for a soft golden glow.

The pattern also offers two colorways: BLUE or LAVENDER, will the differing threads shown below:

 

So, if you want a really fun project for these last weeks of summer, please buzz on over to my website and check out all the design information for this BEE-UTIFUL GARDEN pattern....




Thursday, July 15, 2021

A Serene Geometric Design

 I recently had a request for a pattern from a cyber class I had several years ago, called PATCHWORK PARFAIT.  I realized it was way past time to release it on my website, for those stitchers who enjoy working pure geometric designs.

It's truly one of the most tranquil and pleasant geometrics to stitch, since the stitch patterns are pretty basic and all that's required is creating the diagonal satin stitched borders, then filling the squares with those same few patterns, but going in different directions in each quadrant.  Here's a closer look at some of those repeated stitch patterns:

See?  Nothing difficult at all..... And it's worked on 18 ct. mono canvas which is cut at 15" x 15", with the finished design size is actually 11.5" x 11.5".

Another enjoyable thing about this piece is how easy it is to change the colors in the limited thread palette.  The pattern provides five different colorways: teal (shown above), blue, green, purple, or red.  But you can definitely make up your own version, starting with your favorite variegated Caron silk Waterlilies.  

The thread palette includes two Splendor silks,one  Kreinik 1/16th Ribbon and one YLI Ribbon Floss. 

 So if you're in the mood for a serene geometric piece, why not meander on over to my website, and see PATCHWORK PARFAIT's pattern information.   And.... Happy Summertime Stitching!!

Monday, June 14, 2021

A Sweet Shadow Stitching Class

 

 

Here come the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, everyone!  (And in Northern California this week we'll be seeing high triple-digit temperatures -- with 107 in Sonoma, and 109 in Sacramento -- yikes.)  Which makes it excellent stitching weather - preferably under a ceiling fan with a cool drink close at hand...

With that in mind, I thought a small floral piece would be perfect for my next cyber class.  Something  easy, not too big, but still full of fun stitches, with one of the perkiest flowers around: pansies!  So here it is, my next cyber class, "LITTLE PANSIES: a shadow stitch project":

I offered this fun piece 'way back in 2012, and it seems a good time to teach it again, for all of you who are curious about "shadow stitching" and how you apply it to a canvas.  Here's what some of the stitch patterns look like up close:

The finished size of this piece is apprx. 5.5" x 6.5" with the pansy image printed on an 8" x 10" white piece of 18 ct. canvas.  Using a handful of DMC floss, and one green #5 pearl cotton (for the padded borders) you get to fill in the pansy petals with different easy stitches that also allow the colors of the canvas to show through, because you're only stitching with 1 ply of the 6-ply floss.  And as you can see, once the petals are filled, you get to use some easy embellishment stitches on top for extra texture and interest.  Of course there's a fun checked border to finish the piece (you know how I love those borders!)....

So if you'd like to learn some easy shadow stitching techniques, please saunter on over to my website and see all the LITTLE PANSIES class particulars.

Happy Summer Stitching, Everyone!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

California Gold

 

 

California poppies are one of my favorite flowers.  Their brilliant orange petals swaying in the breeze always bring a smile to my face, whether they grow by the hundreds on rolling hills or all alone by the railroad tracks.  Just LOVE 'EM!

So I thought I'd release a previous cyber class I taught called "CALIFORNIA GOLD", since it's another floral in the tapestry series I've done over the years, in the same format as the popular LILAC TIME and HARVEST TIME.

 Here's what CALIFORNIA GOLD looks like in all it's golden glory:

 

This piece is so dang fun because you get to stitch poppies in small, medium, and large sizes, with a variety of thread types (floss and #5 pearl).  Here's a look up close at the different poppies sizes (and oh, they are truly fun to stitch!):


Then there is a richly elegant double border to create with an extra bit of metallic sparkle..(you know how I love a good border, don't you?) ....


And I especially love the way the variegated Watercolours and Waterlilies (076, Woodlands) spreads a warm wash of greens and golds all over the design - just like a rippling field of real poppies!

 So if you are a poppy lover like me, please skip on over to my website to see the ordering information for this new floral design, CALIFORNIA GOLD.... 

Friday, April 23, 2021

A Serene New Cyber Class

Several years ago, I was playing around with a very soft pink and green thread palette and came up with a very enjoyable geometric that I stitched almost to a finish, then set it aside to work on something else.  Here's the project I had started:


 Recently, when I was going through my project stash I ran across it and thought, "Hey, I should finish this up!"  So I did.  And I liked it so much, I wondered how how the same design would look in soft blues and greens as well..... So I stitched up another one in a dreamy blue thread palette:

 

 

And I liked it equally as well as the pink one!  "Hey, this would make a fun cyber class project," I thought to myself.  So that's what I'm presenting to you today.... My totally serene "SPRING FLING".

 And I must tell you, none of the stitches are difficult; indeed, they are basic stitches done in easy repeat rows, which are fun to stitch just to see the soft colors unfurl themselves....  Here's what the assorted stitch patterns look like up close:

See?  Nothing difficult at all!  Straight stitches, zig zag rows, triangles, diagonal laid ribbons, and even a little bit of a lacy filling stitch.... And aren't those colors yummy?   This 10" x 10" design is stitched on 18 ct. eggshell canvas, with one variegated Watercolours, a handful of DMC #5 pearl cottons, a few flosses, and a couple of metallic ribbon colors.  And the piece includes silver round beads and a silver diamond jewel for the center.  But it occurs to me now, that this piece would also be a terrific way to show off an heirloom button or unique charm (oooh, how about a small cameo?).... I'm sure you can find something fun in your own stash of buttons, charms, and beads, if you like that idea.

Here are the basic color choices for the class, either BLUE or PINK:

 The BLUE palette is built around Watercolors 336 - "cool waters" and the PINK palette is built around Watercolours 053 - "coral blush".  So if you think you might enjoy a relaxing geometric project for those warm and lazy summer days that are quickly approaching, please mosey on over to my website and see all the relevant cyber class information.

Happy Weekend Stitching, Everyone!