Friday, September 13, 2019

An Ode to Sunflowers



These are the only types of sunflowers I have growing in my yard this summer, but their sunny faces were inspiring enough for me to decide to create a fast and fun quilt design that features the same type of small sunflowers -- I'm calling the new pattern "SUNFLOWER DAYS":



I wanted to incorporate that traditional sunflower star block with a few easy peasy borders (stripes and checkers, 'cuz how fun are those to stitch??), and then add in something a little different: lots of tiny sunflowers (or black-eyed susans, if you prefer) using Lazy Daisy Stitches and French Knots.  Here's what those different elements look like up close:



Doesn't that look fun to stitch?  Nothing difficult in this design.... just pure sunflower fun!  Can you spot the lovely variegated thread in the photo above?  It's Caron Watercolours' 251 - "Sunflower Seed", appropriately enough.... You can also see that while the main parts of the design are stitched with #5 pearl cotton colors, the itty bitty sunflowers are worked with 3 ply of DMC floss. I also added a touch of shimmer with a soft wavy border done in creamy yellow Ribbon Floss!

I decided to make this 8.25" x 10" design as a rectangular piece, mostly for a change from working squares, squares, and more squares (!), but also because one of my other rectangular designs, "SUMMER DAYS" (see photo below)...

 
has been so popular over the years, I thought this new SUNFLOWER DAYS would make a lovely companion piece to it, but in a different yellow colorway.  (These rectangular designs make lovely pillows, by the way...)

So if you're in the mood to stitch up an armful of sunflowers to celebrate the end of summer, please mosey on over to my website to see all the ordering information on this new SUNFLOWER DAYS pattern!  And as always, HAPPY FRIDAY, Stitchers!!

Monday, September 9, 2019

It's Pumpkin Time Again!!

Are you ready for Autumn to arrive? 
Craving some pumpkin spice latte??
Looking forward to wearing sweaters again???

Well...how about stitching your very own PUMPKIN PATCH to celebrate the changing seasons??

I just posted an encore cyber class on my website offering the popular PUMPKIN PATCH again!
If you missed it last year, now's the time to sign up for this colorful project:
 

 
Yup... It's chock full of small, medium and large pumpkins.  
And a lot more besides: crows, squash blossoms, leaves, crows, and even a smiling scarecrow! 
Here's a look at the octagonal centerpiece:


It's just bursting with Autumn's colorful bounty, isn't it?

You can read more about the class particulars over on my website... and  psssst:
I guarantee you that this sweet 8" x 8" piece is just the thing to get you in 
the mood for Autumn!!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Happy Summer Flowers!!


Here we are in the heart of hot summer days.... and while my outside garden is struggling under high 90+ weather, at least my inside stitchery gardens are doing great!

In between working on several new projects for the rest of the year, I've been reworking a design I originally did for a Nordic Needle Club several years ago.  It's taken a while to combine all the class lessons, color graphs and diagrams into a condensed but comprehensive pattern that I can finally share with all of you.   And TA DA: this new pattern is finally ready and available on my website, so you too can stitch up a summer garden that doesn't wilt in the heat.  It's called PRAIRIE FLOWER GARDEN:


Yup.... it's another long panel piece that is truly a joy to stitch, with lots of sunny floral patterns to work up, section by section.  The overall design size is 7.25" wide by 18.25" long, and it's stitched on 18 ct. eggshell canvas.  I stitched the above model in the PINK colorway, but the pattern also includes a thread palette for a BLUE colorway as well.  You can see the two basic colorways below:



There are a few other threads included in each palette - two Ribbon Floss threads, as well as a finer gold Kreinik #8 Braid - which gives this panel a subtle sparkle throughout the piece.

And the fun focal point of this piece is the fantasy flower garden you'll stitch -- oh, there are lots of bright, happy flowers for you to create!  The small Mill Hill bee button is not included in the pattern, but your favorite stitchery store can order the bee button for you.   I've also included a stitched bee version that is very fun to work and add to your piece...  And pssst: here's an up-close look at the garden section:



Pretty Cute, huh??
So if you love stitching gardens, this is a GREAT counted canvaswork piece to add to your collection.
Please buzz on over to my website to see all the threads needed, as well as ordering information..... then get a piece of long canvas and look forward to stitching a very happy summertime garden!!  Happy Weekend Stitching, Everyone...

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Cool Blue Pinwheels!

I've stitched lots and lots of needlepoint quilts over the years, and recently when I had an urge to stitch up another one, I had the idea to blend my usual satin stitch quilt design with a little bit of blackwork.....in the hopes that it might look somewhat like an appliqued quilt.  You don't know if you don't try it, right??  So here's what I came up with:


I call it PERIWINKLE PINWHEELS, since it uses the traditional pinwheel quilt design, and I also used a yummy variegated Watercolours 295 called "Mountain Haze" in soft periwinkle blues and sage greens.

Below is an up close look at some of the pinwheel triangles and the blackwork flowers worked inside some of the open spaces....can you spot the triangles with the softly variegated "Mountain Haze" thread??  The body of the actual quilt is stitched with #5 pearl cottons, but the floral blackwork motifs use 2-3 ply of DMC floss, which creates a lovely lacy look to the flower inserts.  And if you look again, you can see that the flower colors alternate between light and dark flowers...and pssssst: I've even added some cream beads (included in the pattern) just for extra texture and charm!


I have to say I REALLY enjoyed working on this easy 8" x 8" project, with the diagonal satin stitching blended with sections of delicate blackwork flowers (done in 2-3 ply of matching DMC floss).  It makes a refreshing change from stitching the whole quilt in diagonal satin stitch, let me tell you!  And I've even included a pink thread palette as well as the cover model above, done in periwinkle blue.  I stitched my piece on the sage green mono canvas for a soft vintage feel, but you could easily stitch it on eggshell or even white, for a brighter, more contemporary look.

Honestly, I had so much fun stitching this sweet piece, I've got a few others planned in the same style, and I hope I can get them stitched up later this year.  Until then, if you want a really fun no-brainer project, please visit my website and see the pattern particulars for this new PERIWINKLE PINWHEELS design!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Stitch Some Friendly Flowers!

Who doesn't like a friendly bouquet of daisies?
And what could be better than stitching up your own bouquet in your favorite colors, so you always have some daisies in your house!!

Here's DAISY CHAIN, my next summer cyber class offering (I haven't offered it since 2016, so I thought it was time to bring it out again...):






This sweet 9" x 9" design is stitched on 18 ct. sage green canvas and features lottsa daisies - small, medium and large!  All the stitches are quite easy, and you'll be stitching some fun borders as well, which creates the look of several types of daisy ribbons all rolled into one square piece that would make a terrific pillow!  Here's an up close look at the different borders and daisies you'll be stitching:


Can you spot the variegated Watercolours thread that runs through the piece above and creates the color palette background for all your daisies?

 And to make it extra special, each stitcher gets to choose their favorite daisy kit color - 
YELLOW, PINK or BLUE - for added fun: 


So if you're a daisy lover, or just love stitching flowers as much as I do, please tip toe through the daisy patch and visit my website to see all the class information....  Happy Summertime Stitching, Everyone!!

Friday, May 24, 2019

It's Sweet Pea Time!

Earlier this year I started learning how to crochet....specifically because I saw the lovely afghan my sister was stitching called the "Sweet Pea Afghan" designed by ATTIC24 (pssst: check out ATTIC24's blog for some truly delicious crochet inspiration and designs).  After a long grey winter, I was totally smitten by the colors and pattern, and right away wanted to learn how to make one....


As I was working on this springy afghan, it got me dreaming about a fragrant bouquet of sweet peas, and I realized, "Hey, it's been quite a while since I created a flower collage. Wouldn't a Sweet Pea Collage be fun to stitch?"  YOU BETCHA!!  So I immediately set aside my crochet project, cut a piece of sage green canvas (my favorite for doing floral pieces), pulled out a handful of pastel threads, and started working on a  new floral collage.  And TA DA -- here it is:



Oh, this SWEET PEA COLLAGE was such fun to stitch!  I loved stitching small blocks of different stitches with #5 pearl cottons, adding a few floral ribbons, tent stitching the sweet pea centerpiece in DMC floss, and finally filling in the variegated background with a simple four-way stitch, using a springy ThreadworX Overdyed Floss.  

Working with the variegated Watercolours 270 - "Easter Eggs" was perfect for this piece, since it has the soft pinks, purples, and greens that remind me of a patch of sweet peas.  And the particular challenge of this design was creating small flowers that looked like ruffly sweet peas, which are so different from most symmetrical-petaled flowers.  Here's an up-close look at a few of the stitch patterns I chose:


There are individual sweet pea flowers, bargello flowers, and even twisty sweet pea vines.  Neat, huh??

 So if you too are a fan of sweet peas, and would like to add this design to your stitchy garden, please run through the meadow and over the stream to my website to see more information about this new Spring pattern: SWEET PEA COLLAGE.

And HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, everyone!  I hope you get a lot of stitching done!!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Stitch Up A Spring Garden!


 
Here in Northern California, I'm seeing irises starting to bloom in the neighborhood gardens.

And that reminds me that it's time to release a design that's only been available as a cyber class project for the past few years.  The popular "FLEUR-DE-LIS" is a very sweet floral sampler measuring 8.5" x 8.5" on 18 ct. sage green canvas.  I love stitching these floral pieces, since they're not too large, not too small -- but JUST RIGHT for a pleasant bit of springtime stitching!


The woven borders and dappled variegated background evoke a latticed garden, with squares of irises done in fun composite patterns.  And the pattern has thread palettes for either a BLUE or PURPLE version, as shown by the main pearl cotton threads below:


I LOVE thinking up fun stitch patterns that mimic the flowers highlighted in each of my floral designs, so if you look closely at the photo below, you can see some of the irisey stitches I've created to use in the pattern squares.  You can also see a bit of the variegated Watercolours that is used in each of the four boxes, which provides a lovely wash of soft colors that compliments the main flower colors:

 
So, Stitchers, if you're in the mood to stitch up a quick spring garden, please tip toe through the iris beds and head on over to my website, and look under the Secret Garden Collection to see all the ordering information for this newly released "FLEUR-DE-LIS" pattern! 
And HAPPY SPRINGTIME STITCHING!!