Friday, September 23, 2022

Buttons, Buttons, Who Loves Buttons?

Hey, Stitchers.... Are you captivated by all the different kinds of buttons there are out in the world?  Are you a secret button collector because you can't resist all their history and variety?  Ever wanted some kind of stitching project that incorporates buttons in the design?

Well, have I got a great project for you: my newest cyber class, called "BUTTON BOX".  And I designed it specifically to use with a handful of assorted buttons that you might have in your stash -- maybe in a hand-me-down button bag from your family or just buttons you've collected over the years.

I wanted something fun and easy to stitch.... with ribbon borders and four floral patterns that fill the four different squares of the design.  Then there are holes left along the outer border, as well as in the four corners and centerpiece, to place your collected buttons.   And I offer two colorways for the class: a coral PINK (shown above) and a periwinkle BLUE (shown below in part):

Each colorway is built around a variegated Caron Watercolours skein, with two matching solid colors of #5 DMC, two green #5 DMC colors, a soft ivory #5 for the ribbon work, two soft metallic ribbon threads, and a handful of gold or silver seed beads. And please note that the (warm) pink kit is stitched on the Santa Fe Sage green 18ct. canvas, while the (cool) blue kit is worked on a pale blue (almost grey) 18 ct. canvas.

The kit DOES NOT include any buttons: that's YOUR part of the artistic process, finding the buttons!  

You can see in the photos above that I mixed and matched different types of buttons on my models.  I originally planned to use all ivory/pearl type buttons but realized that putting colored buttons on the piece really added a lot more color and texture to the design - as well as some unexpected pizazz!  And notice on the blue model, I chose a few silver buttons to accent the cooler feel of the piece.

And just a bit of creative brainstorming: you don't have to stick with buttons for your piece.... you could also use charms, cameos, fimo-type buttons, and even larger pieces of jewelry as the main centerpiece!   You can really have a lot of fun embellishing your finished project in this class project.

So, if you'd like to create something a little bit different in a not-very-difficult canvaswork design, please hop/skip/jump on over to my website to see all the cyber class information for this fun new "BUTTON BOX" design.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Four Floral Squares

 Do you enjoy working on smaller projects in between large pieces?  I do!  I have soooo many large pieces to work on these days that's it's a nice break to stitch on smaller designs that are easier to finish and provide a little bit of instant gratification.  And of course, if those smaller projects have a flower in their design, I'm on it!!

Here's a new design I'm releasing this month called "FOUR FLORAL SQUARES":

As you can see, there are four different flowers, done in four different color palettes, surrounded in four different border patterns.  Each design is approximately 5.5" x 5.5" and each features a different flower in the center -- a rose, violet, sunflower, and anemone.

And you know how I love to play with borders, right??  Well, that was my challenge here: create four pieces with completely different borders, each one built around a variegated ThreadworX Overdyed Floss skein, along with matching #5 pearl cottons and 1-2 metallic ribbons for a bit of sparkle.

Here's what they look like up close:





These designs use simple stitches - nothing too elaborate or intimidating - and honestly, I found all the different borders relaxing to stitch, the variegated floss creating a delightful surprise, leaving the fun central flower last to stitch as the final centerpiece. 

So if you'd enjoy working a few smaller pieces between your larger projects, please gambol on over to my website and see for yourself my newest pattern, "FOUR FLORAL SQUARES." 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

PETITE ARABESQUE Returns!!



I've had so many requests recently for this popular design, that I'm offering it again as a springtime Cyber Class.... So, if you missed the class before, now's the time to sign up and enjoy creating something truly unique!

PETITE ARABESQUE is a very elegant geometric design, that is small in size (8.25" x 8.25") but packs a lot of interesting stitches and threads within its borders.  It's definitely a challenging piece -- I rate it for intermediate-to-advanced stitchers.  Here's a look at a section up close, so you can see some of the different stitches used:


You may not see it, but the actual background canvas color is Santa Fe Sage green, and you'll be stitching a pale colored background within the piece (the purple background shown above).  Also, you'll get to choose your color palette from several options - all of them luscious and rather exotic combinations:


Sooooo, if you're up to a counted geometric challenge, please skip on over to my website, to see all the particular class details for PETITE ARABESQUE.....

Happy Springtime Stitching, Everyone!

Oh, by the way: the photo at the top of my blog is a detail from the pink version of the larger 12" x 12" design called "ARABESQUE", which is available on my website as a pattern.  It's the larger, original piece I designed to highlight a bunch of interesting stitches.  But it's much larger, and took MUCH LONGER to stitch.  Stitching the smaller "petite" version was much more enjoyable, in my opinion!

Friday, April 1, 2022

Feeling Springy??

 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

Sharing This Ukrainian Egg Ornament With You....

 


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

A New Cyber Class for the New Year

 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

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!