Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Inspiring Work

So many of you have commented on how inspiring it is to see how other stitchers have interpreted my designs, so I thought I'd share some more photos that stitchers have sent me....

Nancy Curran has stitched these flower collage pieces, then framed them all the same to create this impressive grouping:

Lori Wahl took my California Poppy class in Placerville last year, and she changed the colors of the bright orange poppies into a darker rust orange color, then finished the small 8" x 8" design into a luscious pillow:

Judy Gehman worked the Sawtooth Sampler in much bolder colors, which turns this traditional pattern into a more contemporary-looking piece:

Lisa Balbes sent me this photo of her rendition of my little freebie piece of Grandma's Garden:

And Tanna Parker has stitched this patriotic version of Summer Days (which kind of reminds me of whirling Fourth of July pinwheels)...

as well as transforming the blue Hydrangea House into a sweet little green house to match her own home:

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your finished pieces and inspiring all of us!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At the Local Meet & Greet

Howdy, Y'All!
Last weekend I spent an afternoon at Needle in a Haystack, in Alameda, California meeting and chatting with stitchers who were visiting the store and checking out my trunk show. It's always inspiring for ME to meet fellow stitchers who enjoy the same things I do. And I definitely enjoyed chatting with stitchers one-on-one and getting to hear about their favorite projects.

I had a lovely talk with a stitcher who is collecting stitchery projects she can take with her when she and her husband take their boat (currently being restored) on an around-the-world cruise. She specifically was collecting smaller pieces that would be portable and easier to work in a compact environment. (Yes, she did buy a few of my designs.)

I also was able to help a visiting stitcher, Carol, pick out different colors for one of my designs, so she could stitch my JEWEL BOX in her favorite peach and green colors.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the finished pieces that some stitchers brought in to show me. Here's one that stitcher Bev brought in.... She has worked several of my southwestern designs, and enjoys changing the thread colors to match her decor. She stitched this one - TURQUOISE BEAR COLLAGE - in soft pastel colors:

(Sorry for the poor image quality - I used my cell phone to take these pictures and they're not the best, but at least you get the general idea...)

Doesn't this bear look different in pastel colors with purple accents? What a switch from the original turquoise & brown version I stitched, as shown above. I'm always fascinated to see my designs stitched in different color combinations. I can't tell you how many times I've seen stitchers' work in combinations I would never have thought of and how I've loved them all.

Here's another of my pieces - BEARDED IRIS COLLAGE - that Susan stitched up as a store model:

This blurry and over-greened photo doesn't do the piece justice, but you can get the general idea of the purple and green colorway. Trust me, this was truly GORGEOUS! I asked Susan what variegated Watercolours she used and she said it was 060 - Slate. My original iris model (see below) was done in apricots and greens, but I've always wanted to see it stitched as a lavender iris - and now I have. Thank you, Susan!

In any event, I had a lovely time at Needle in a Haystack and came away re-enthused and re-energized to get back to stitching and designing....

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Flowers

I thought I'd better share these spring scenes with you now, because here in Northern California, spring is quickly disappearing and summer is fast approaching.(You can tell because the hills are already turning gold.)

These photos were taken in April while walking around Healdsburg...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Look Familiar?

I found this photograph in the March issue of COUNTRY LIVING.
It's such a happy picture with all that sunny yellow, you can't help but stop and smile.

But then I noticed the quilted pillow on the bed. That's the same LONE STAR block that I shared with you back in March. Here's the block pattern I'm talking about:

Can you see the Lone Star block in the yellow quilt version? And then see how the blocks are put together slightly differently - there's an additional block in the center which creates more white spaces. (In my purple version, the stars "share" the same center arms as the four corner blocks, which condenses the pattern and eliminates all that white space).

But as I look at the yellow pillow, I can't help wondering what a variegated yellow STITCHED version would look like. And how fun it would be to stitch it leaving the background unstitched, then put something different in the white open spaces - maybe some big eyelet flowers or even large Rhodes diamonds....

That's the beauty of those traditional Lone Star blocks - they sure are versatile and can be stitched (or quilted) in about a million different ways.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Love Color!

I think I can safely say that the main reason people get involved with stitching is because they love color. Sure, there's also composition, pattern, and texture to consider - but the main attraction has to be COLOR.

Color is the thing that grabs our attention when we walk into a stitchery store and see a wall of hand-painted canvases....or a wall of threads.

And when you lock eyes on a canvas that makes your heart race and you practically start drooling -- isn't it the colors that make you fall in love with it? Well, sure, the subject is primary too.... but what if it's an abstract geometric? Isn't it the color that sways you into purchasing it?

Or here's another scenario I'll bet you're familiar with: you spot a stitchery piece on the wall and you love the design but you immediately start thinking," Wow, I really love that piece, but I'd like to do it in purples...or greens...or turquoise...." (Have you done that once or twice, or maybe a zillion times?!?)

Well then, I rest my case. You're a color lover, just like me.

One of my favorite stitched pieces is this Genny Morrow design, WHEELS OF COLOR:

This is really one of those masterpiece designs that unabashedly celebrates color. As you can see, each wheel is a different color. In addition, each wheel is stitched in a different pattern, which also makes this design a clever sampler of many types of stitches as well. So not only is it pleasing to look at, it's also instructional as well - a stitched reference guide, if you will.

Every time I look at this piece, hanging in my hallway, it reminds me how much I love color....and stitching!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Flowers

Here's a photo bouquet of all different kinds of pretty pink flowers:

Happy Friday and Happy Mother's Day, too!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Smalls are BIG!

Are you a fan of SMALLS? I am.

I have a stitching friend who has quite a collection of those delectable little projects, and her enthusiasm for them has rubbed off on me. (That's one of the nicest things about sharing your love of stitching with other stitchers - you gain an appreciation of projects you otherwise might not even have been aware of.)

The same applies for reading the blogs of other stitchers: you gain an appreciation of projects you might not have seen before. Case in point: I stitched this little La de Da bunny sampler after catching a glimpse of it on someone's blog (visit Contemplating my Needle and Thread at right to see some lovely smalls.) I decided I just HAD to stitch him for Easter, and he just barely fits in this hinged frame I had...

(NOTE: My version of "smalls" is to stitch on 24 ct. Congress Cloth, using a half-cross stitch or a basic tent/basketweave stitch, instead of full cross stitches.)

I also enjoy browsing thru the small finished projects shown on the blogsite: The World's Largest Collection of Smalls. All of the projects are finished so beautifully, they are truly inspiring for all stitchers - whether you stitch those kind of objects or not.

So....although I haven't stitched any of the small matching accessories that are available from a variety of amazing teachers around the country, I certainly can appreciate all the work and dedication that goes into making them. And I must confess that they really do inspire me to stitch SMALL now and again!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Flowers

I thought I'd share with you a "bouquet of flowers" - ranging from the palest to darkest yellow: