Monday, September 16, 2013

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

I finished a new design last week, and was able to get the patterns shipped out to my distributors on Friday -- which means I can share it with you now.  And I think you're really gonna love this one...

So, are you feeling a little BATTY?

Yearning for a bright smiling face?

Starting to crave some purple and orange??

Well then, this is the next canvaswork project for YOU:

It's my new HALLOWEEN BARGELLO design -- just in time for the upcoming Halloween season!

I've stitched this 10.5" x 10.5" piece on brown 18 ct. canvas, but you can also do it on the lighter sandstone color as well. (But I think the darker canvas really makes the oranges and purples POP!) 

I've stitched the model in the Purple & Orange version - which uses Watercolours 231 - "Ethiopia" - but I also give thread options for a Green & Orange version (if you prefer more traditional fall colors) that uses Watercolours 285 -"Sherwood Forest" and a handful of green threads instead of purple ones.  And it uses a bunch of different types of metallic threads, which you can't ever see in photos, but trust me, this piece shimmers with metallics, including the pumpkin face which is stitched with a black metallic ribbon with confetti flecks of gold/green/red, so it looks very happy and sparkly!

Go fly over to my website and check out the details on this new HALLOWEEN BARGELLO design.  You'll have a great time whipping up this fun four-way bargello design!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Southwest Style

 If any of you stitchers happen to be in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, please mosey over to OLD TOWN NEEDLEWORK (, 480-990-2270) and visit my trunk show, which will be there through the month of September. 

I've sent a bunch of my latest models, as well as oodles of all types of patterns.  If you're in the mood for something Southwesty... or just want to look for a new counted canvas design, please stop by and view all the delicious goodies at Old Town Needlework.  And please say "Hi" to Janice for me!

P.S.:  The boot pattern on top is called "FANCY BOOTS" and the second design can be found in my Impressionist Collection, titled "TURQUOISE TRAIL."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Warm Winds Are Blowing

Brilliant blue skies, and warm breezy days -- that's what September is like around here. 

And it brings to mind another quilt design that is similar to the WYOMING STAR I showed you last week, but this time the colors are definitely from an autumn palette.  It's called COLOR STUDY: FOUR WINDS, which is suggested by the four directional arms of this large lone star motif:

The color palette is built around Watercolours 010 - "Fiesta", which is a very versatile color, because it contains browns, rusts, greens, blues and golds -- something for every taste!  Anyway, I stitched the model with a green border, but the pattern also offers threads for a dark blue border and blue central star, with a lighter blue background accent as well.... because blue, rust and brown is such a rich, westerny color combination it would look equally stunning in this piece. 

The quilt body has lots of fun and easy stitches, as shown in this up-close photo:

The stitching is not difficult... but just fun enough to create a bit of a challenge!  And creating the arrow borders is very fast and fun and adds such a rustic touch to this design.  So if you're in the mood for a September project that definitely has an autumn feel to it, please consider my COLOR STUDY: FOUR WINDS!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Goodbye, Summer...

It's the beginning of September already, and the skies in Northern California are a vibrant blue.  Amongst the masses of green trees that carpet the hills and shade the streets there are hints of gold and orange -- a coming attraction of the next season, while we enjoy the remaining days of summer.

Those blue/green/gold colors remind me of this quilt I designed, called WYOMING STAR:

In this quilt, I decided to try something different and instead of doing the whole quilt in Diagonal Satin Stitch I added some easy stitch variations that would look like fabric patterns. Here's an up-close look at the design that shows you the stitches that give the effect of fabric swatches:

And I also decided to use DMC floss for the background colors, instead of my usual ecru #5 pearl cotton.  DMC floss is much easier on the fingers when pulling the needle through the canvas, don't you agree?  So once all the pearl cotton areas are stitched, it's fun to relax and just fill in the background sections with the finer, stranded floss.  And that makes WYOMING STAR a great project for the last lazy days of summer!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cut Glass Dishes


I've been printing patterns this week, and one of my favorites, CUT GLASS DISHES, brought a smile to my face.  I love the intricacy of this design (and yes, there really is a quilt block called Cut Glass Dishes) with all its tiny triangles turning this way and that.   Very much like the triangular cut edges of the pressed glass dishes popular in the '20s and '30s.  Do you have some of them in your dish cupboard?  Dishes that were handed down from relatives in your family?  (You know... the ones that hold the pickle relish or stuffed olives for holiday dinners.)

Anyway, I pulled out the model of this design, and was studying it again.  Here's what the triangles look like up close; rather confusing in all their twists and turns (so you have to concentrate row by row) but so very pleasing when completed:

I love, love, love the colors of this piece - using Watercolours 139 - "Kelp" with buttery yellows and soft sea greens.  Looking at this piece also reminded me of some of my favorite books, the "Darling Dahlia" series by Susan Wittig Albert.

If you haven't read them (and you really must!), the Darling Dahlias are a women's gardening group in Darling, Alabama in the 1930s.  In this fun "cozy" mystery series, the author beautifully recreates the atmosphere of those Great Depression times, and I especially enjoy reading her descriptions of the clothes, gardens, and recipes of those days.  To me, reading these books are sort of like jumping into a tiny time machine, and revisiting old friends...

And something else you may find interesting:  the author, Susan Albert, is herself a stitcher and often finds time to stitch in the evenings, when the workday is done -- just like so many of us!  So if you're looking for a charming series of books to read and enjoy, I highly recommend Susan Albert's Darling Dahlia books.... and if you want a nostalgic project to work on while you read them, please consider my CUT GLASS DISHES!