Thursday, February 28, 2013

Another Heads Up, Stitchers!

Even though I'm guessing you are all stitching on springtime projects now, I need to let you know:
 If any of you stitchers have purchased my BARGELLO CHRISTMAS TREE in the last few months, please print out this revised graph and stick it inside your pattern, so when you go to stitch your tree you'll have the newly revised graph symbols.  Somehow, someway, one of the green DMC #5 pearl cottons (DMC 987) got left off the graph as well as the Materials List page. (Oh, Major Pooey!!)

So here's the legend with the CORRECT SYMBOLS for you to use:

My abject apologies... and I'm so very, very sorry for the graphing mistake, as well as any resulting stitching confusion!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A New Old-Fashioned Valentine!

It's been awhile since I released a ribbon sampler, so I thought it was time to unveil this new piece, called VICTORIAN BOUQUET

It's a 10" by 10" design, done on 18 ct. brown canvas, and features one of my favorite variegated threads, Watercolours 047, "Camouflage."  I've chosen a rich palette of dark reds and golds that evoke the feel of an old-fashioned valentine. Other threads include a handful of #5 pearl cottons, a handful of metallics, and even one Very Velvet thread for the edges of each ribbon.  (You can, of course, select another color palette; the pattern tells you what threads you need to get if you want to create a different colorway.)

The four different ribbon patterns are built up with a combination of stitches.  Here's a closeup of two of the ribbons:

 Those fat roses, by the way, are done with a rather fun "wrapped rose" stitch that is the opposite of the "wrapped spider web" stitch, if you've ever done any of those unique stitches.

And of course, in the center is the "Victorian Bouquet" that gives this piece its name:

 You can see that it's a yummy combination of  freeform stitches that are not hard, but require a bit of concentration to work them all together -- and yes, that's a big bullion rose in the center!!  If you don't want to create my bouquet in the center, I think a large monogram would look really lovely (go looking through some graphed cross stitch alphabets for examples).  Or perhaps you'd prefer to cluster some beads and a few antique buttons in your center area... or a large, lovely cameo that can be found on ebay or etsy would look very elegant in the center, don't you think? ..... or how about those little fabric roses you can get at craft stores? 

In any event, if you're in the mood to stitch some really rich overlapping ribbons, please visit my website for more information on ordering this new VICTORIAN BOUQUET design.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Heads Up, Panel Stitchers!

If any of you stitchers have recently purchased my LONG WINTER PANEL, or are currently in the midst of stitching it, I need to alert you to a major error in the Main Graph.  On page 3 of the Main Graph, the pattern at the bottom of the panel (Pattern 6) has the YELLOW and GREEN symbols REVERSED. Big Whoops!!

The rest of the Main Graph is fine, and you should continue to follow the colors/symbols shown there,
but the revised Pattern 6 should be stitched like this:

Please accept my apologies for any inconveniences/delays/frustrations this error may have caused you in stitching the LONG WINTER PANEL.  If you have any further questions, please email me and I'll send you back a revised graph of the Main Graph, pt. 3.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mini Mystery Monday, February, pt. 2

Happy Presidents' Day Weekend, Stitchers!  I hope you've found some extra stitching time today!
Right now, we're going to finish up this little cutie with some fun stitches, so let's get to it...

Did you wonder if there would be a place for hearts in this month's mystery?  Oh, yeah....
Well, here they are in the quarter graph:

Time to add a few rows of satin stitch hearts.  I've alternated the rows by color, but you can alternate the colors within each row if you want.... or you can even try padding some of the hearts by laying a few under-stitches going in the opposite direction, then putting the final diagonal stitches on top, as shown above. 

Add the small smyrna crosses in the crooks of the zig zag rows using 1 strand of your metallic thread. And finally, work another layer of the "fan" stitches around the center diamond area, using 1 strand of your metallic thread, and stitching in every other empty hole that remains on your canvas. 

And pssst, if you want a preview of how the whole piece looks, here's the full graph for you:

When you get all your stitching done, you can add as many (or as few) beads as you want.
And, hey.... how about adding a sweet fimo heart or porcelain heart button in the center -- wouldn't that make an extra-special valentine surprise?!?

So, TA DA, there's this month's short and sweet mystery piece. This would definitely be fun to try on different colored canvases in all sorts of colorways (how about pale pinks or creams? or pastel colors, so it looks like those fun candy hearts?), or maybe on plain white canvas, using all red threads.... However you stitch it, have fun playing with it!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Flowers: A Camellia Unfolds

Just this week, the big camellia bush by the front door has started to unfurl its flowers.  I captured one of the first flowers as it opened, in a lovely, asymetrical way that caught my eye and make me check on it every day....

And here's a pair of them... and by the way, this is the REAL color of these flowers:

 HAPPY FRIDAY... and have a lovely stitch-filled weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Delectable Update

This month I've chosen another favorite old quilt design, called DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS, to revamp/update and create much better color graphs to stitch from.  Here's what it looks like:

This pattern and its teal/blue/green colors always reminds me of a hand-knitted ski sweater..... and so it seems an appropriate one to share with you this month! 

This one's rather unusual because it has a dark outer border, but doesn't it create an interesting "snowflakey" look to the whole piece?  By the way, that dark green color used throughout the piece is a variegated Watercolours - 083, "Pine Forest" to be exact....

If you're interested in this fun quilt design, please visit my website and get more information on the new improved DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mini Mystery Monday, A February Valentine, pt. 1

Here's a little ornament that can be stitched quickly (there will only be two parts to this design) so you can have it finished by next week -- easy peasy!

You'll need just a few threads:
-  a variegated Watercolours thread (pick something valentiney);
-  a #5 pearl cotton solid color that is dark (for the borders);
-  two #5 pearl cotton solid colors that are accent colors - one medium and one light;
-  a metallic thread that matches the medium accent color (it can be a ribbon metallic like Ribbon Floss, Neon Rays+, Kreinik 1/16th Ribbon or a braid like Kreinik #8 Braid);
-  an 8" x 8" piece of canvas - white, eggshell, or any other color you want to play with (you'll see  some of the background when you're done stitching). 

Here's the beginning graph to follow, and again, it's a quarter graph so you can stitch the first quadrant, as shown below, and then turn the graph around to stitch each of the remaining quadrants.

To start stitching, make a hole in the center of your canvas, and then count up 20 threads, to stitch the first diagonal row of triangles (shown in red).  Once you have that first row in place, you can use it to stitch the remaining rows on the graph.

It's much easier to get that first row of triangles in place BEFORE STITCHING THE CENTER EYELET FAN.  Trust me, you want to leave that big center eyelet diamond until LAST.... it's much easier to fill it in AFTER the other rows are in place.  If you want, wait until next week, when the rest of the graph will appear, and you can stitch everything else, before finishing with the center space.

An by the way, when you do stitch the eyelet, place all your stitches going DOWN into the center hole (which you should enlarge as much as possible, because there are going to be a LOT of threads going down into the hole - this graph just shows the first layer!)  And your first stitch should be the VERTICAL ONE.  Then go in every other hole. All the way around the diamond-shaped center. 

Well, go run and get some threads and a piece of canvas.... you'll have this one done in no time at all!  See you next Monday....