Saturday, January 16, 2021

ROAD TRIP!!

 Are you tired of staying at home and staring at the same four walls these days?

Are you itching to get in the car and do some traveling right about now?

Well, how about taking a stitching vacation using your needle and thread and stitching a road trip up in the mountains??

I've finished a really fun new piece that let's you do some exploring in the mountains without even leaving home.  I'm calling it "MOUNTAIN TRAILS" (as a fun companion piece to my "COUNTRY ROADS" I released a few years ago).

 

 I had sooo much fun sketching this out and then working it up with my needle and thread.  I tried to think of all the fun things I'd like to see on a mountain trip - tents and cabins, and plenty of animals....  The design blocks are not difficult -- easy stitch patterns are combined with fun threads so you should really enjoy the trip.  As with most counted canvaswork, the most difficult thing is counting out the sections; but just go slow, count carefully and you'll soon have all your stitch blocks lined up and ready to fill!

Here's a closeup of one of the sections with a campsite:

And here's a peek at the local General Store (complete with hay-filled pick up truck):

 And while I've splurged and stitched this in Splendor Silk threads, I've also included a list of DMC floss substitutes, if you have those on hand.  I've stitched this on 24. ct. Congress Cloth with 2-3 ply of silk and yes, I used my light and magnifier to see everything - grin! .... but hey, it could also be done on 18 ct. canvas -- just get two skeins of all the listed threads, and use 3-4 ply of thread for your stitching.

So if you're yearning to see some green fields and mountain streams, why not hike on over to my website and see all the ordering information for this new MOUNTAIN TRAILS design....

Happy Stay-At-Home Stitching, Everyone!!




Friday, December 18, 2020

A Festive New Pattern

 The holiday season is upon us..... are you ready?

I'm not sure I am, but I was able to sneak in a new holiday design that makes me happy every time I look at it.  It's called "WINTER POINSETTIAS" (which is sort of a companion piece to my earlier "SUMMER MAGNOLIAS") and it such a holly jolly piece, I couldn't wait to get it finished and share it with you:

 
This piece is 9.5" x 9.5" on 18 ct. canvas and I chose sandstone canvas so the ecru borders would "pop" a bit with the reds and greens and golds.   It's done with mostly #5 pearl cotton threads, with a gold metallic ribbon and a variegated green thread used for the "pine tree" outer border.  There are lots of different types of stitches and borders, and things move pretty fast so you don't get bored.  The stitches aren't at all difficult and really, I enjoyed stitching every part of this piece!

The challenge I set for myself in designing this piece was seeing if I could create a geometric version of a poinsettia flower, and I am truly pleased with the large center flower, shown below in an up-close photo:
 
 
Amidst all those jolly reds and greens and golds, those big poinsettia petals are fun to stitch... and when you're all done you have the fun of adding red and gold beads in the center, so it REALLY looks a lot like the poinsettias we see this time of year.

So if you'd like to work on a festive holiday project that is equally appropriate and totally pleasing for those dark gloomy days AFTER the holidays, here's a fun one for you!  Please put on your skis and ski on over to my website and see the WINTER POINSETTIAS ordering information -- you'll find it on the main page, as well as under the "Secret Garden Collection" page! 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Time to Harvest Some Grapes!

 

 

Last month it was all about the pumpkins -- and this month it's all about GRAPES!  (These photos show what the vineyard hills look like right now in northern Sonoma County, in the Alexander Valley wine region around little Cloverdale, where I live.)

 

And that means it's time to release my very popular "HARVEST TIME" piece that I used for a cyber class for several years and somehow never got around to offering it as a pattern on my website.  SO HERE IT IS NOW for all you wine lovers out there...


HARVEST TIME is a small design - 7.5" x 7.5" on the earthy sandstone 18 ct. canvas, or you can also stitch it on eggshell canvas if you want a brighter look.  The thread palette is so very luscious with deep green, burgundy, gold and rose.  If you look closely, you can see that the outer border grapevine is worked in #5 pearl cottons, while the inner grapevine is worked with thinner DMC floss, to create a bit of dimension within the small piece.  The stitches aren't at all difficult and that makes it very fun to stitch.  And wouldn't this make a terrific pillow center or even a square tray insert??

Here's a look up close at the padded center grape cluster, as well as the smaller grapes on the inner "lattice" (which you can see are made with simple cross stitches):

Does this sweet project look appealing to you??  

Well, just mosey on over to my website to see the ordering information for HARVEST TIME and get ready to start salivating about stitching this with a glass of your favorite wine at your side....SALUT!

Friday, October 23, 2020

DAYLILY: A Shadow Stitch Cyber Class!

 


Sometimes it's fun to work on something small, isn't it?  I tend to do so many large and involved pieces that every now and then it's a sheer relief to have a smaller, easier, and more manageable project!  And this small cyber class project definitely fits the bill.....

 


It's my DAYLILY: a  shadow stitch project, which is a small 6" x 6.5"piece that can be done in either ORANGE or YELLOW. As a bit of a splurge, I've used Splendor silk threads for the piece, as well as #5 pearl cottons for the padded outer border.

If you've ever wondered about applying shadow stitching to a canvas, this is the perfect project to try working a few simple stitches on a flower image that has been printed onto 18 ct. white mono canvas.  The stitches that are done on top of the canvas are designed to create a bit of texture and pattern, but also to let the canvas colors to show through and blend with the stitching.  It's great fun to work on - not too easy, not too hard - especially in this compact design. Here's a look at the yellow version as well:

 

And once you've done all your flat stitching, there's a fun padded border to add around the edges to give it more color and texture.  Finally, a bit of stitch embellishment on the central daylily adds definition and detail with bullion and outline stitches to make that big daylily POP!  Here's a look up close, where you can see some of the simple stitch patterns, as well as the border work: 

So if you've ever been curious to try shadow stitching, this might just be a fun beginner's piece for you!  Please visit my website to see all the class information....

Saturday, October 10, 2020

It's PUMPKIN PATCH Time!!

 

 

Oooooh, the air is getting cooler and the nights are getting longer... Fall has arrived and that means it's time for pumpkins....   Hooray!!

So I figured it's the perfect time to release this popular design I've only offered as a cyber class for the past two years -- PUMPKIN PATCH:

Yup.  It's got everything fun about this time of year - a festive pumpkin patch surrounded by a split rail fence, filled with loads and loads of pumpkins, black birds, and a cute smiling scarecrow.  It's a small piece, only 8" x 8" on sandstone 18 ct. canvas, but it packs a LOT of fun threads and stitches inside.   Here's a look up close at the central scene, plus you get a glimpse at the easy-to-stitch pumpkins, blossoms, and leaves that fill the squares around the center:

 

I've listed several different types of variegated threads like Gentle Art Sampler threads and #5 Painter's Threads (used for the brick walkway and the green/gold/brown foundation grids) but you can definitely pull threads from your stash to use instead, in whatever Halloweeny colors you have on hand.

So Stitchers, if you LOVE working on Halloween projects, this is definitely one for your stash.... and hey, it's also a fun piece to keep hanging up through Thanksgiving, until you start decorating for the next big holiday!

If this little piece of pumpkin heaven calls to you, please hitch up your wagon and drive on over to my website to see the information for this fun PUMPKIN PATCH design. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Fall Poppies


 I don't know about you, but I'm sooooo ready for fall this year!

Too much heat, too much fire danger, too much worry about everything around me....I can't WAIT for some cooling rain to calm things down and get us into a quieter, safer season. 

To get ready for the fall, I spent the late summer stitching up a new cyber class project called "RED POPPY SQUARE":

This is a small 8" x 8" piece worked on 18 ct. sandstone canvas.  I really enjoyed working in the warm greens, golds and reds (with a splash of lavender as well) which are drawn from the variegated Watercolours thread 290 - "Mystery Mix".  The thread colors reminded me of a wild autumn meadow growing with a vibrant mix of red poppies and other wildflowers.... I had lots of fun creating the four boxes of stitch patterns that include small red poppy motifs  - very fun stitching!

I also wanted to try to recreate the center red poppy with Splendor Silk Ribbons (actually a mix of solid red and variegated red silks).  I laid the darker sections of the variegated red silk down first, where the "shadows" might be in the petals, then overlaid the rest of the regular red stitches on top; then a simple outline stitch to define the petals... Just a fun, new technique to add to your ribbon skills!  Here's a peek up close:

So if you feel like creating a new piece that celebrates the changing of the seasons, please take a walk over to my website and see all the cyber class information on this brand new RED POPPY SQUARE....

Friday, August 7, 2020

Something Cool & Summery

During the hot days of summer, I really want something light and easy to work on.  Nothing hard or too complex with multiple layers of stitches that will get me frustrated and sweaty.  Do you know that feeling??

Anyway, I grabbed a handful of serene, cool threads - Watercolours 257, "Spearmint" in soft blues and greens, a few matching #5 pearl cottons, and a soft gold metallic ribbon thread.  And then I started playing around with some fun stitches and borders, centering around a flower center that reminds me of a creamy white magnolia bloom.   And here it is, my new "SUMMER MAGNOLIAS":I've stitched my 9.5" x 9.5" piece on the slightly tanned sandstone 18 ct. canvas, so the creamy magnolia flowers show up better than on the paler eggshell canvas (they'd also look lovely stitched on the sage green or light blue canvas).  I loved using the variegated Watercolours for the various borders, then stitching the sweet flower rows. Lots of soft gold accent stitches give it an elegant feel; and I especially enjoyed creating the "woven triangles" that fit inside the zig zag borders and give the piece a white wicker or white trellis look.  Lots of summery fun in this design!

And while I was craving something blue, green and gold to stitch this summer, I also thought it would look lovely in a mauve version... so I've also included a soft pink colorway on the pattern, that uses Watercolours 020 - "Autumn Leaves" as its foundation.

Here's a look at "SUMMER MAGNOLIAS" up close, and although you can't really see them, there are small gold seed beads in the flower centers, for a bit more fun and texture:

Does this design appeal to you in these last hot days of summer?  Something to work on that reminds you of sitting on a porch swing under a shady magnolia tree, sipping iced tea?

If so, please pick up your lacy parasol and sashay on over to my website to see all the pattern information on my new "SUMMER MAGNOLIAS"....

Have a cool and restful weekend, Y'all!