Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Is Heating Up!

Whew!  It's 101 degrees today in Cloverdale, CA.... and we're expecting hotter weather over the next few days.  I ran my errands this morning, so I have plenty of drinks, munchies, fruits and salad fixin's for the weekend ahead.  And I'm planning to camp out under the ceiling fan and stitch and/or read most all weekend.  Sounds good, huh?

Here's one of the "work" projects I'm planning to (hopefully) finish:

One of the very first patterns I created over 20 years ago is a classic called LONE STAR.  But the black and white graphs are awkward by my standards today, so I thought it would be fun to revamp the pattern, and recreate the graph in color... and as long as I was doing that, I'd tinker with the original design and jazz it up a bit.  I'm using the same Watercolours 018 - "Peacock" that I originally used, since the blues and browns still look well with this quilt design.  I'm thinking to call this new, revised pattern "NEW LONE STAR."

I have to say, it's been really fun to go back and just do simple straight stitches and diagonal stitches... a real no-brainer project that is just the thing for watching tv in the evenings when you don't want to think about what you are doing -- know what I mean?!?

For a more summery project, I'm going to be working on a "fun" project as well; it's a Sandra Gilmore "HYDRANGEA" canvas I purchased many years ago at a local ANG's auction. 

It's one of those painted canvases I've been staring at on and off over the past few years, and I finally decided to start to work on it this summer.  I'm planning to do more tent stitching of the flowers and watering can; then maybe satin stitch the leaf sections.  Nothing too difficult, so I can stay calm and cool when the outside temperature rises!

Have you got your projects planned for the coming weekend?  Is it going to be a scorcher in your neck of the woods, too?  Well, stay cool and stay stitching!   HAPPY FRIDAY!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Need Magnets??

Do you remember a while ago I posted a picture of what I was stitching with a "bottle cap" magnet next to it?  Here's what I'm talking about:

Well, yesterday I got an email from a very nice Emilie at LittleEMbellishments on ETSY.  She was letting me know that she's created a special set of magnets for stitchers that says "KEEP CALM AND STITCH ON". 

When I ordered from her last time I explained to her how stitchers use their magnets -- not on the refrigerator, but to hold their needles on the canvas -- and she was kind enough to create some just for us!  Here's what the new magnets look like:

Aren't they great?  There are two different color sets.  You get a set of four magnets for $6.00, and she's also offering a set of backing magnets as well (5 for $1).  Is that a great deal or what!?!  And they are flat on top, so the needle rests securely on the magnet.  And while you're visiting her site, check out all her other cute magnets, like these:

Sooooo, if you happen to be the kind of stitcher that likes having a matching magnet for each/all of your stitching projects, ya gotta go visit Emilie's store to see her fun items!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A New Pattern for Summer

In my typical Gemini fashion, I've been fluttering between several new projects, flitting from stitching to graphing to sketching, but this one was the first one to actually get finished -- and just in time for the long sunny days of summer....  It's called BARGELLO AND BUTTERFLY, for obvious reasons:

I've used the same basic size and format as my previous BARGELLO AND VIOLETS, shown below:


which I enjoyed stitching so much, I got to wondering what other sorts of four-way bargello designs I could come up with.

BARGELLO AND BUTTERFLY is a larger piece - 10.5" by 10.5" on the Santa Fe Sage Green 18 ct. canvas.  I chose the sage green canvas because that cool green color is my favorite and I thought all the colors would pop against it  - and they do!  But if you want, you can certainly use the pale blue, grey, or eggshell canvas too.  I think the blue or grey canvas would give a much cooler feel to the piece, while the warmer eggshell canvas would be brighter and "sunnier" if you wanted that look instead.

I've altered the bargello pattern just a bit to create a different sized opening in the center.  And this time, I've place a big, shimmery blue butterfly in the center (and it was rather fun to tent stitch with #5 pearl cottons and a shimmery blue metallic, although you can always substitute DMC floss colors if you don't like tent stitching with pearl cottons.)  Here's the butterfly up-close:

And I wanted to create a different type of outer border for this piece, so I've laid blue metallic Ribbon Floss "in the ditches" and stitched over it with a "fan" or eyelet variation, which gives the border a more lacy, airy look (not to mention providing a neat place to add a few gold beads - grin) ...

And, although you can't see it very well in the photos, the background filling stitch is a plain four-way "lattice" stitch that has itty bitty upright crosses on top of the intersections.  For something different, I also mixed the background colors a bit; using blue metallic #4 braid on the north and south sections (see the blue arrows) and then a teal #4 braid in the east and west sections (where the green arrows are pointing).  Just a subtle color change that adds a bit more mystery and interest to the design.  (You can see the two different colors behind the butterfly as well, if you look closely in the previous photo...)

So if you're thoughts are turning to butterflies and bargello this summer, please visit my website to read more about this new BARGELLO AND BUTTERFLY design.

And of course.... HAPPY FRIDAY!!