Friday, January 28, 2011

Show And Tell Time

This week I received a few emails from stitchers showing off their finished LJP Design projects, and I thought you'd enjoy seeing them too.

Here's my CHRISTMAS FOREST blackwork pattern, stitched up by Joyce DeMattei in California. Instead of framing her piece, she had it finished as a banner or mini-tapestry hanging. Isn't that clever? I would have never thought of doing that, but I sure like the look of it!

And Susan Allanson, also from California, sent these photos of the four pieces she stitched from my "Playing With Borders" series published in NEEDLEPOINT NOW magazine last year:

I LOVE the way these are all finished, with matching cording to boot! All of these pieces are apprx. 6" x 6" in finished size, so they'll look awfully cute hanging from a drawer pull or doornob, don't you think?

And thanks so much for sharing your work to inspire all of us!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Little Post-Holiday Stitching

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I'm usually still in a Christmasy mood and want to keep working in those cheerful red and green colors. So as a relief from working on larger pieces, I decided to to whip out a few Prairie Schooler ornaments - just for fun...

I stitched all of these designs with plain ol' DMC floss on 18 ct. mono canvas, so that made stitching them up all the quicker!

And I have to say, the fact that they stitched up so fast (it took me 1-2 days for each of them, under no kind of time or stitching pressure) was an additional delight. As any stitcher knows, instant stitching gratification is ALWAYS a welcome treat!

And while I love all these ornaments, I must confess that this one is my very favorite:

I'll worry about making their rustic twig frames later... for now, I'll just go back to finding something else that's fast and fun to stitch!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rise And Shine!

I was rotating some of my stitchery stuff on the walls around the house and decided to bring this old blackwork ROOSTER WEATHERVANE out to enjoy for awhile.

One of the great things about blackwork is you don't usually need much in the way of thread. This large project (apprx. 10" by 10") used just one skein of DMC floss, one skein of a rust-colored Kreinik Blending Filament and one skein of #5 pearl cotton (for the couched outline). Here's the rooster head up-close so you can see the subtle sparkle in the stitch patterns:

And while I love blackwork, I have a hard time finding just the right images to use to showcase the different blackwork stitch patterns. I think blackwork requires large chunks of space to fill - to show off the dazzling patternwork. I think you need to see the repeats of each pattern to get a really good look at all the different stitch patterns. So I try to think of things that have lots of big areas to fill. I remember I had fun choosing the rooster's different patterns and trying to find ones that suggested feathers. This photo of the rooster's body shows how well the different patterns look against each other:

The way I learned to do blackwork (from class lessons at a now-vanished stitching store in the Bay Area) was to DRAW the line drawing on the fabric (taping your drawing and fabric up on a window, then using a water-soluable pen that would be erased at the end) and then just start stitching the geometric repeats in each section. You only had to refer to a graph when you started stitching each pattern. After you had the pattern started on your fabric, you didn't need the graphs anymore, so you could stitch freely from then on.

I stitched this design many years ago, and now when I look at it I think it would sure look terrific stitched with a variegated thread of rusty browns. How antiquey THAT would look!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Welcome to Winter, Stitchers!

Is it cold and blustery where you are?
Are you cozy at home, with a warm drink close at hand and your stitchery projects clustered around you?
I certainly am.

This morning, I thought I'd take a look thru my design collection and find whatever patterns have a wintery theme to them. Here's the first one that came to mind, a quilt pattern called SNOWFLAKE STAR:

Here's a close-up of the snowflake blocks, with just a hint of icy sparkle in the little white squares (which doesn't show up in the photos, alas):

Here's another design I think of as wintry, and it's an Impressionist Collection piece called POLARIS:

I designed this with the bright night sky in mind, with the silvery rays coming off the large center star. This always strikes me as a cooler, more masculine abstract than most of my other designs in this series. (Although I must tell you that one stitcher commented to me that this piece reminded her of busy freeways - and I can see what she means - can you?)

Stay warm and as always - keep stitching, too!