Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Friday, April 1, 2022
Hey, Stitchers, are you in the mood for something sweetly seasonal?
With bunnies, Easter eggs, flowers, and pastel colors?
How about stitching your own Springtime patch for a miniature EASTER EGG HUNT?
I designed this sweet piece for a cyber class project last year, and it's definitely time to share it with you all on my website!
This small 8" x 8" design done on eggshell or ivory 18 ct. canvas is filled with pastel goodness and just plain fun to stitch! As you can see, the layout mimics a small knot garden with the Easter Bunny and his basket of eggs in the center, surrounded with floral stitch patterns done in happy pastel colors. Hidden throughout the piece are small colored eggs, some tucked in the corners and others hidden in the flower beds. You can see some of the details in the photo below....
So if you love working with lots of pastel colors and are looking for a fun Spring project, please hop on over to my website and see all the EASTER EGG HUNT particulars and ordering information.
Happy Springtime Stitching!!
Friday, March 4, 2022
This week, I needed something calming to stitch while watching the horrors of war unfolding in Ukraine. I pulled out my UKRAINIAN EGGS pattern and took one of the individual eggs and regraphed it using blue and gold threads I had in my stash. I used #5 pearl cottons on a small piece of 18 ct. eggshell canvas. These individual eggs are approximately 2" wide by 2.75" tall, and while they use basic stitches, they are stuffed into a tiny area, so you need to count and stitch carefully!
Below is the pattern I used to stitch both of the above eggs. I started with the blue version first, and that's what the graph shows below. But then I created the second golden version by switching around all the blue and gold sections, just to see how different it might look.
I'm offering this ornament design here as a free pattern for any stitcher who wants to make their own version of these traditional Ukrainian eggs.
Please print out this blog post to use it for your pattern. OR you can take a screenshot of the graph image above using your smart phone or tablet - those are both good ways to capture the image and have it handy to use for stitching. Cut a small piece of canvas and grab a handful of blue and gold threads in your stash....
By the way, I'm planning to make both of these eggs into small ornaments that I can hang in my house, to remind me to send prayers to all the brave men and women fighting for Ukrainian freedom. I hope these small ornaments will help you do the same, since this week has shown that as our world gets smaller and more interconnected, we are truly ALL Ukrainians!
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
I've been working on a different kind of project for my first 2022 cyber class. It's a collage piece that uses warm western colors and has a definite Western theme -- I'm calling it "CARVED ANIMAL COLLAGE" because it features the carved animal fetishes created over the ages by Native American artists. Here's the class piece I'm talking about:
It's 9.5" x 9.5" on 18 ct. sandstone canvas, created with a palette of serene western colors. AND each stitcher gets to choose between a TEAL & BROWN palette (shown above, using Watercolors 010 - "Fiesta") or a BLUE & BROWN palette (detail shown below, using Watercolours 260 - "Sticks & Stones").
As a fun bonus in this new class, the pattern includes several animal graphs, so each stitcher gets to decide which animal to stitch as their centerpiece: a HORSE, a WOLF, or a BEAR -- and of course, all three animals carry stones and beads on their backs in the traditional fetish manner:
Don't you think this piece has a masculine feel to it? I can definitely see it made up as a pillow or framed piece for a den or office....
And, honestly, all the different stitch patterns are not hard - just lots of fun to create - while the collage layout is perfect for playing around with a variety of threads, unusual color combinations, and easy stitches. Add in a handful of round silver beads, rustic stones, plus two copper feathers, and you have a fun textural piece as well!
So if you love Western styles, themes and colors, you may want to gallop on over to my website and check out all the information on this new CARVED ANIMAL COLLAGE cyber class .... and treat yourself to a fun new project for 2022!
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
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
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
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....