Friday, July 29, 2011

Summertime Stitching

I was thinking about what stitching in the summertime means to me. Do you ever think about things like that when you are sitting quietly and stitching on your latest project?

I think about how nice it is to sit outside and stitch and listen to the birds and the outside traffic.... sipping a favorite cool drink and feel the soft summer breezes on your face while you focus on your stitching.

(Now I'm not going to mention all those pesky bugs or triple-digit heat or the phone that rings just as you get comfortable or the barking dog next door that won't shut up.... well, you know those summer irritations well enough, don't you? This is a nostalgic look at how summertime stitching is SUPPOSED to be.)

And I think about certain colors that seem "summery" to me. Now that it's "high summer" I think of bright yellows - and what could be better than pairing yellow with sky blue? Just like my SUMMER DAYS quilt design, shown above.

Or how about sunflowers? Aren't they the perfect summer flower? Tall and sturdy, big, bright and cheerful, faces always optimistically turned towards the sun... Here's another yellow quilt design of mine called SUNFLOWER STAR, which is could be a stylized version of a field of sunflowers, don't you think?

When I look at this design I imagine a group of midwest quilters working around a large quilt that depicts the farmland all around them. Maybe they're making it for a friend who's getting married soon or as a raffle quilt for the county fair.... and speaking of county fairs, what about this golden design called STATE FAIR that has lots of red/blue/gold ribbon motifs woven throughout the pattern:

(I don't know about you, but thinking about fairs makes me think about corn dogs and cotton candy and ice cold lemonade...)

But my all-time favorite summertime design is AMBER WAVES, with the rippling patterns throughout the piece in rich golds and greens and a hint of rose as well. I have this piece hanging in my hallway and when I look at it as I walk by, I remember how much I enjoyed stitching each of the patterns in this piece:

I hope when you're stitching this summer, you give some thought to what your favorite summer pieces are. Do you have them hanging in your house? Did you stitch them for friends? And what colors do YOU associate with summer? Do you crave certain colors when you pick your projects for summer? Anyway, I hope you are able to get outside and do some summertime stitching real soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oh, My -- It's Christmas In July!

I'm celebrating the finish of a new Christmas Tree design that I've completed far in advance of the actual holiday (which is something I'm not usually very good at) and I thought I'd share it with you early -- hence my CHRISTMAS IN JULY celebration... Woo Hoo!!
And here it is, my new CHRISTMAS TREE 2011:

I got the inspiration for the colors on this tree from a photo in a christmas magazine that had a tree with red and gold and PURPLE ornaments. And I thought, "Wow, that's different... Wouldn't that be a fun color combination to try on a stitched tree?" So I played around with some fun, big, composite patterns and just went to town. I enjoyed each of the "patchwork" patterns in this tree. Here's a few up-close:

The big ol' Rhodes Stars are all stitched with soft metallic Ribbon Floss threads (although I also list Kreinik 1/16th Ribbons). And the variegated green thread that makes up the tree body is a lovely evergreen ThreadworX Overdyed #5 Pearl (51048). It's a nice BIG tree too (finished size is 11" x 12"). With BIG hanging ornaments, like those shown at the top of the post. And at the bottom of the tree is a row of "patchwork" packages to complete the scene:

I stitched my tree on a 16" x 16" piece of 18 ct. canvas in sandstone, but you could surely stitch it on any color canvas that tickles your holiday fancy!

So.... if you're in the mood to get some holiday stitching done early, please visit my website for more information on my CHRISTMAS TREE 2011.