Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Deck Those Halls!!

I'm guessing that all you stitchers have started decorating your homes for the holiday seasons.
And getting out all your favorite holiday stitched pieces, too.

Well, I've got a new one for you to add to your collection -- it's called the CHRISTMAS PANEL.  Yes, you guessed it, it's a panel filled with all thing Christmasy!  I've been working on this piece for the last month and TA DA, just last week finished the pattern so I could release it to you now:

It's a beautiful heirloom piece (if I do say so myself!) and something I'm going to enjoy hanging in my home every year.  I had lots of fun thinking up Christmas things that could fit in the tiny spaces of the panel patterns -- itty bitty stockings, candles, ornaments, garlands, and packages.

The fully decorated Christmas tree with loads of packages underneath was the last thing I stitched, and I'm so pleased with the way it turned out:

I stitched this piece on 18 ct. canvas in the Santa Fe Sage Green color, although the brightness of the photo doesn't really show that, but the soft green canvas allows all the white and metallic threads to pop a bit better than if it had been stitched on eggshell.... but you certainly could use eggshell if you want a warmer look to your version!

And this is one of the few pieces I've stitched that DOESN'T have any variegated Watercolours in it. Shocking, huh?  It's all done in DMC #5 pearl cottons and assorted metallics in red, green, and white. (And just a bit of variegated ThreadworX #5 Pearl for the evergreen tree!)

Anyway, if you're looking for a fun project to get you in the holiday spirit, this may be the one for you!  Jump in your sleigh and jingle on over to my website to see all the ordering info on this new CHRISTMAS PANEL pattern. Ho, Ho, Ho, Stitchers!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fall Is In The Air

The hills and valleys of Sonoma County are ablaze with autumn color....

 Especially this week, everywhere you look the trees are bursting out in riotous colors...

Even the majestic old oaks are burnished in golds and yellow greens,
like this one I saw today when we went for our morning walk....

 Which reminded me to post this fun little Autumn ornament for you to stitch up
from threads in your stash:

Have fun with this cutie...
and Happy Fall Friday, Everyone!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fast, Fun, and Festive!

Now that the holiday season is fast approaching, maybe you're in the mood to stitch something that's filled with red and green and lots of glitzy gold metallic.  I had a holiday idea that I've been madly stitching on these last few weeks and can now share it with you: a new American Quilt Collection design called "HOLIDAY GIFTS":

Oh, boy, this festive quilt design was so much fun to stitch up!
I grabbed a skein of Watercolours 025 - "Holiday" as well as a handful of reds, greens,
and golds in #5 pearl cottons and metallic Ribbon Floss -- then started stitching
some happy little packages.

I'm thinking about turning this cutie into a sofa pillow for holiday display, 
instead of framing it on the wall....

And I've also included alternate thread colors (blues) for a Hanukkah version.

So if you want to stitch yourself into a holiday mood this year, just jingle on over
to my website and get all the ordering info on this new HOLIDAY GIFTS pattern!
Ho, Ho, Ho and Happy Friday, Everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Little Friday Fun

Are you happy to see Fall creeping into your neighborhood?
I sure am!
Bring on the colored leaves, the crisp cool days, and 
those fat bright pumpkins!!

And to celebrate the changing of the seasons, I've designed
a cute little autumn ornament for you to whip up....


You can use whatever fall colors you have in your thread stash - 
solid colors or try mixing in some variegated threads
for a dash of excitement!

Have fun playing around with this little project...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Some Wicked Fun This Way Comes

Ooooooooh, Stitchers....
Are you itchin' to start something Halloweeny
 right about now?

Something with cats and bats and witches' hats, gummy worms and candy??

Well, my spooktacular new HALLOWEEN WREATH is
 now available on my website for all you Halloween lovers!

It's loaded with lots of fun stitching treats for you, since I put everything I could think of
that relates to that scariest of holidays on this wreath.

To see the list of materials for this design, as well as ordering information, 
please grab your broomsticks and fly on over to my website and 
check out this very fun HALLOWEEN WREATH!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Splish Splash...

One of the best ways I know to stay cool on a hot summer's day is to sit under a ceiling fan and work on a project that has cool blues and greens in it -- which is my idea of color therapy!

One of my favorite blue and green designs is REFLECTING POOLS, done many years ago...

It was the first piece I created for my "Impressionist Collection" because it was such an asymmetrical abstract, it really didn't fit with my other more traditional samplers.  It was also the first piece I created using a technique that still fascinates me today: mixing "heavy" #5 pearl cotton variegated threads with "light" stranded silk or cotton threads in the same colorways, just to see what happens when you put them side by side.  Here's an example of what I mean:

The border areas in REFLECTING POOLS are stitched with 1 ply of a 3-ply #5 Caron Watercolours thread; and the same stitch pattern is worked "on the other side of the border line" but using 1 or 2 ply of a finer cotton or silk thread (in this case, Caron Waterlilies).  You're making the same stitch pattern, but all of a sudden it looks different - paler, softer, farther away.  Here's another example:

While the thicker #5 version has a richer, more solid look to it, the thinner version looks totally different, doesn't it?   I love the lacy-ness of those inner patterns, although the variegated colors really pop in the heavier border areas.  When comparing the two versions I rather think those "light" versions would make terrific background patterns for painted canvas pieces.   And notice how different the plain ol' Basketweave Stitch looks when done with 1-2 ply of a stranded silk, against the more solid chunk of Basketweave done with the #5 Watercolours.  Interesting, huh?

NOTE: I used a family of Caron Watercolours, Wildflowers, and Waterlilies in 068 - "Mediterranean" for this piece, and yes, the thread colors between the different thread types are different.  But you know, that's one of the things I like about using variegated threads -- every stitched piece will look slightly (or even greatly) different, since dye lots can change drastically over the years -- because that makes every stitched piece unique.... 

Anyway, this piece was stitched over 10 years ago, but I love it just as much now, and it is still refreshing to look at, especially on a hot summer's day. The darker border areas remind me of mosaic tiles around the edge of a swimming pool, while the inner patterns are a softer, paler reflection of those same tiles, only seen under the shimmer of an imaginary pool..... Ooooooh, very cool!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Oh, Lovely Summer Days!

Today we had cool foggy morning, burning off to blue skies with none of the hazy smoke from northern fires.  The blue skies make me think of a favorite quilt design I created several years ago, for a store that requested a design that used a piece of rectangular canvas (for the leftover strip of canvas stores get from cutting many squares).  That design is called SUMMER DAYS, and looks like this:

I loved working with the variegated Watercolours 214 - "St. Tropez" because of it's muted blues, aquas and yellows.  I've always think it has a very French Provincial look, n'est pas??

And this was one of the first designs I used a "shiny" rayon Ribbon Floss in the background areas, to give it a different look and texture.  Here's an up-close look at the rest of the fun borders I enjoyed stitching around the central blocks:

Looking at this happy piece gave me the idea of quickly graphing a small freebie project for you today that uses the classic star block, as seen in the quilt above.... then adding a fun little border around it.  I'm calling it  A LITTLE SUMMER FUN:

I've graphed it in a fun red, white and blue color scheme, but you can use any handful of threads you want to play around with.  And I've given you two different border treatments to choose from: a striped one or a wavy one.  I've put them both in the graph, but you can just pick your favorite and stitch it on all four sides. Also, although I've graphed the borders in red and white, you could also stitch the red sections with your variegated thread, to spread the color out from the center motif and to give it a more monochromatic look....

Anyway, I hope this fun little project puts a smile on your face and helps you enjoy your own sweet summer days.   And, HAPPY FRIDAY!

Monday, August 17, 2015

A New Autumn Cyber Class

Here in Northern California, the skies are very hazy with smoke from fires raging further up north.  Added to the hot temperatures we've been having this week, it's feeling more and more like fall is on its way.  I've even found some small acorns on the ground under the oak trees lining the (pathetically dry) creek we walk along each day. 

Which got me to thinking, then designing, and finally stitching a new fall cyber class project that I'm calling AUTUMN LEAVES:

It's 8" x 8" on sandstone 18 ct. canvas, done as a companion to my earlier CORSAGE and FLEUR-DE-LIS pieces that many of you have stitched.  I stitched the model with greens and golds - using Watercolours 285 "Sherwood Forest"  with DMC #5 pearls 934 & 936 for my green version....

But for those of you who aren't as crazy in love with green as I am, you may prefer the teal version, which uses Watercolours 010 - "Fiesta" and uses DMC #5 pearls 500 & 501.  Below are the basic threads used for both versions:

I had a really fun time creating four different leaf patterns, with four different itty bitty leaf stitches in each of the stitch boxes.  Then there's a large central leaf that is easily stitched with irregular diagonal stitches.  Pretty easy stitching overall, with LOTS of fall colors woven throughout the design...

So if you're starting to crave those bright fall colors, you might like to sign up now for my new cyber class, that won't start until late fall - November 2015.  For more information on this new AUTUMN LEAVES cyber class, please jog on over to my website and see all the additional information.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Vacation Retreat

Hey, Counted Canvas Stitchers:
Do you need a secret summer hideout?
 A vacation retreat in the mountains or by the water?
A sweet little cabin you can relax in,
 reading and stitching and watching the clouds roll by?

Well, why not STITCH UP you own little country cabin, with my brand new

I've been itching to create another panel project for some time now (using the same format
as the long NORDIC PANEL I did last year as an exclusive Nordic Needle project),
because it really was a lot of fun to stitch, with interesting patterns divided by
a handful of cheerful borders.  And I wanted to add a cute little cabin surrounded
by tall trees, just to give it a summertime feel. 
 I also mixed in some of my favorite design elements from 
American quilts, Indian blankets, and country style to give it a real rustic feel.

 Here's a close-up look at the middle cabin section:

This 7.25" x 18.5" piece was stitched on 18 ct. canvas in eggshell,
 but sandstone could also work for a more woodsy look.... 
I stitched my model in greens and browns (the Mountain Cabin version), but
the pattern also includes an alternate thread palette with blues and browns
 (the Lakeside Cabin version).
Either way, it's a darn fun piece to stitch up, let me tell ya!!

So if you'd like to stitch up your own country retreat,
 please mosey on over to my website and
 check out the thread lists and ordering information....

Friday, July 31, 2015

Last Call...

Just a reminder, Stitchers: 
 This weekend is the last opportunity to register for my
juicy new cyber class, ORANGE BLOSSOM TIME.

Please visit my website:
to see more about the class and register online.


Friday, July 24, 2015

A Little Free Friday Fun

Happy Friday, Stitchers!

I thought I'd surprise you with a fun new freebie design
 you can use with bits and pieces from your stash. 
(and yeah, I'll be sharing others as I have time to whip up the graphs!).

 Anyway, this little cutie can be worked on 18 ct. canvas with #5 pearl cottons
and the design will be approximately 3.5" x 3.5".
If you want to stitch it on 24 ct. Congress Cloth with 3-4 stranded silks or cottons,
your design size will be approximately 2.5" x 2.5". 

I've graphed it with a minimum of threads, but feel free to play around with it --
stitch some variegated colors in the flowers or basket; add more beads
in all the flower centers; place a fancy charm or button on the center flower;
tie a small bow at the top of the basket; or work on colored canvas and omit all
 the ecru background stitches (super fast stitching!).

This would be a fast and easy hand-held project for those lazy summer days of 
sitting by the lake or beach, chatting with friends, or watching golf or a baseball game...


Monday, July 20, 2015

Design Quiz

Hiya, Stitchers!

I was playing around with photos of my designs this weekend, 
and was having fun arranging them into color groups. 
 (It was too hot to stitch, so I decided to mix and match
 some of my cooler blue and aqua pieces,
 to see how they'd look next to each other...)  
Then I got even fancier and created a "four-patch" photo 
with four designs of the same or similar colors. 
This one highlights those serene blues and teals.

So I thought I'd share my first DESIGN QUIZ with you savvy stitchers.

Can you name the four Laura J. Perin Designs I used 
to create the BLUE FOUR-PATCH below??

And, if you're a lover of all things BLUE, how many of them 
do you have in your stash??

ANSWERS, clockwise from top left:
Bargello and Butterfly  (Samper Collection)
Color Study: Flying Geese  (American Quilt Collection)
Blue Butterfly  (Sampler Collection)
Moorish Tiles  (American Quilt Collection)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Stitchin' The Blues

When the summer days are long and hot, I always seem to gravitate towards those projects that have cooling blues and greens.  I've done a lot of designs that use those serene colors, and I find them the perfect antidote for sticky, sweltering hot days (especially if you can sit stitching under a nice ceiling fan, or better yet, by cool ocean breezes).  Anyway, here are a few of my favorites:

REFLECTING POOLS (from my Impressionist Collection:

 EBB TIDE (in my Sampler Collection):

BARGELLO & BUTTERFLY (also in the Sampler Collection):

And some very fun American Quilt Collection designs... super cool FLYING GEESE:

and ultra serene OCEAN WAVES:

If you're eager to dive into any of these summery projects, please visit MY WEBSITE for more ordering information.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Beachy Blues!

I was in the mood to stitch something fun and easy and colorful.... so I sat down and created a perfect project for a summery day at the beach; I call it SEASIDE BLUES.

Of course, the first thing I had to do was find just the right Watercolours variegated thread to build my palette from, and I chose 207 - "Bermuda Reef", which is absolutely perfect for this design, don't you agree?  Add in a handful of cool blues and aquas in #5 pearl cottons and my fav Ribbon Flosses (Yum) and you have a really fun design to work on this summer!

Here's a look at the easily stitched blocks in the center area, with their slightly shimmery metallic centers:

I hadn't stitched a quilt design in quite a while, so it was a pleasure to work with easy diagonal satin stitches that moved quickly over the canvas; these quilt designs are definitely "no-stress" projects!
 I also wanted to add a bit of beachy bling as well, so I snuck in some shimmery Ribbon Floss colors for cool accent touches.  (Although, this design would work well in other colors as well: how about bright primary colors for a pillow in a child's room?  Maybe warm fall colors for the upcoming Autumn months.... Or even soft pastels for a springy look?)

Anyway, if you're in the mood for a summer project you can take to the beach for a fun "no-brainer" project, please check out my new SEASIDE BLUES pattern that is available on my website under the AMERICAN QUILT COLLECTION.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth!

Hope you find time to stitch during this festive Fourth of July weekend!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Juicy New Cyber Class

Summer can be hot...
Summer can be cool...
Summer can be bright...
Summer can be sweet...

And to celebrate all of those things, I'm sharing a brand new cyber class with you, called

Oh, YUM!!
This is a sweet little counted canvaswork piece (apprx. 8" x 8") done on 18 ct. eggshell canvas.
I think of these small projects as mini samplers of fun and easy stitches:
 nothing too hard or too big,
but just right for something to stitch outside on the patio, on the beach, or by the pool.

ORANGE BLOSSOM TIME uses a variegated Watercolours (076 - "Woodlands") with
a handful of vibrant #5 pearl cottons, a few soft Floche threads, and two different types
of metallic threads (one thick and one thin).  

Creating the padded oranges in the center and corners is such fun 
and an easy technique to add to your stitching skills.  Plus, stitching with
all the bright-colored threads is a pure delight!

Registration for this new class runs through the end of July, with the class starting
sometime in mid-September....

So if you'd like to add the citrus-y piece to your collection, please visit 
my website: to see all of the cyber class details.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Curves (and Curliques) Ahead

Last year I had fun exploring the wonderful world of painted canvases and creating stitch guides for some of them.  But this year, I resolved to get back to work on new counted canvaswork designs, and try harder to balance my time and energy between painted canvases and counted geometric designs. 

I pulled out a piece I've had on stretcher bars for quite a while, and determined to FINALLY GET IT FINISHED!  As it sometimes happens when I'm working on a totally new and complex piece, I will stitch myself into a corner and not know how to proceed.  With the pink project shown above, I had stitched all the fancy corners and centers (and lots of Jessicas), but was left with a wide background border area that I didn't know quite how to finish.  So the piece sat for a long time, and I moved on to other projects.  Then Kreinik came out with a new thread - a #16 Braid that had WIRE in it, so it can be bent into fun shapes and spirals for a lovely dimensional effect.  AHA!  Just the thing to make some simple curlicues and couch onto my pink background.   So I went back to stitching on this piece (which I decided to name ARABESQUE) and once the curliques were in place, I was able to stitch on to the end and finish the piece. 

Oh, and there was one other dilemma: what kind of unusual jewels could I use to add bling to this design?  I decided to try some gold oblong beads - just for something different... And it was also a challenge to find a crystal jewel large enough to stand out in the center, but I finally found one. (Both the beads and the large jewel are included in the pattern).

And, TA DA!!! Once I found my beads and jewels, I was all set.   Time to get the pattern finished so  I could release this brand new design and share it with you.  And here it finally is: ARABESQUE.

I stitched the model in my favorite "Pink & Green" combination with gold accents, although the pinks are very muted and more like the mauve "ashes of roses" color so popular at the end of the last century.  But this is such an elegant piece, it would definitely be fun to stitch in lots of other colors, don't you think?   (I wish I could stitch this up in other colors, but I've got other projects to finish, more threads to try, new pieces to design, still more cyber classes to create!!).... But I've gone ahead and included other thread suggestions in the pattern for a handful of other colorways such as BLUE, PURPLE, PEACH, and TURQUOISE.

As in most of my designs, the color palette starts with a variegated Watercolours thread (the pink version uses 022 - "smoke") and a handful of DMC #5 pearl cotton colors.  Mix in two Ribbon Floss threads (one mauve, one gold), and accent with a few Kreinik metallics..... The finished piece is apprx. 12" x 12", and is stitched on a 16" x 16" piece of 18 ct. mono canvas.  I used my favorite Santa Fe Sage Green canvas, but you can do it on any color canvas you prefer.  If you'd like to try your hand at a totally new type of geometric design, please visit my website and see the ordering information for my curvacious ARABESQUE.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Need a Guardian Wolf??

 Everyone needs a furry guardian to watch over them now and then, don't they?

Well, here's one that's watching over me in my office now, and he's called THE SENTINEL, by Sandra Gilmore.  I was asked by the owner of FLEUR DE PARIS, the distributor of Sandra Gilmore painted canvases, if I'd be interested in creating a stitch guide for this canvas.  And of course I said, "YES, YOU BETCHA!"

Here's what the whole finished piece looks like:

The most daunting task with this piece was choosing the threads.  I mean, look at all those greys -- Ai Yi Yi!!!  It was tough deciding whether to go with cool greys or warm greys... and then making them match the soft merino wool Bella Lusso threads I used for the wolf's coat.  I can't tell you how long it took me a while to narrow down my options, but once I did, I was able to start stitching.  And in this case, I worked from the bottom up to the top: starting with the snowy ground (all done in sparkly Ribbon Floss ribbons); then working the birch trees (tent stitching the outlines and colored bits, then long stitching the remaining areas), which were tedious but not hard at all; and then tent stitching the background sky with diagonal stitched branches.

As you can imagine, I was a bit anxious to tackle all that fur, but again, I started at the bottom by the snow, and worked my way upwards, following the colors on the painted canvas and angling my longish diagonal stitches to follow the lines of the wolf's body.  Here's an up-close look:

Actually, it was easier to do than I expected, and once I got going, working each color at a time, from darkest to lightest, I really enjoyed it.  I left the face for last....and then carefully stitched each of the facial features.  Also, before I started stitching I googled "wolf" to get some reference photos to work from, which helped a great deal.

All in all, I really enjoyed the challenge of figuring out this beautiful canvas and bringing THE SENTINEL to life (the finished size is 12" x 12" on an 18 ct. painted canvas).  If you are a wolf lover, or just need your own guardian wolf, please check out my new stitch guide for THE SENTINEL by Sandra Gilmore on my website, or order it and the canvas from your favorite stitchery store!

P.S.: If any of you are going to the TNNA trade show in Columbus this week, you can see my model at the FLEUR DE PARIS booth.  So please stop by and say hello to my furry SENTINEL!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Flowers: Azaleas

Azaleas!  It's all about the azaleas this weekend of The Masters in Augusta!
I've been busy running errands, plus printing and mailing lots of my new 
SPRINGTIME WREATH pattern this week.... all in hopes of clearing my desk
and looking forward to a Masters Marathon, watching tv and stitching this weekend. 

But seeing those luscious pink flowers reminded me to pull out my AZALEA COLLAGE
and hang it in my hallway, to enjoy my stitched version of these elegant flowers.

Well, YUM,,, Love, love, love these springy pinks and greens!
What better way to enjoy these bright blooms than to stitch them so they never fade;
that's my way of thinking, anyway.
But for one of this weekend's projects, I'm gonna finish up my small "R is for Rabbit" piece,
from Prairie Schooler's Alphabet (oooh, and it's got  more pink & green, imagine that):
I'm stitching this 4" x 6" cross-stitch design on eggshell 18 ct. mono canvas, using 
4 ply of DMC floss in plain ol' Tent Stitch.  Easy peasy, really, and something
I find very tranquil to do in-between other large, complex projects.
I'm almost done.... so I'll certainly be hopping over to another project in my stack.
hope you have a restful and stitchful weekend, too!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Egg-cell-ent New Wreath!

Oh, all you Springtime Lovers.... have I got a new pattern for you!
It's my new SPRINGTIME WREATH, that is filled with all the happiest things of Spring --
pastel flowers, decorated eggs, and a soft chick and bunny.

There's so much going on with this wreath, that it's hard to take it all in, isn't it?  
When I started stitching it up, I began counting out from the center point,
working the velvet ribbons and bow first; then adding all the eggs, doing them one by one. 
 The bunny and chick came next (done in touchable-softBella Lusso merino wool);
 then I wove the small basket and filled it with plump eggs.  

Adding lots of pastel flowers came next - 
daffodils, pansies, open tulips, and tiny pink blossoms were fitted between all the larger items
 on the wreath.  I selected a variegated ThreadworX #5 pearl thread for the wreath foliage, 
that is worked in an easy Pavilion Diamond variation to fill the background 
behind all the wreath items.  

After everything was stitched, I finished my wreath by adding a handful of beads (included with the pattern).  I also went back and outlined each egg with a simple Stem Stitch, using the softly variegated ThreadworX, to make each egg stand out a bit from the wreath greenery.

Like any stitchery project,
 if you break down this SPRINGTIME WREATH into manageable steps, and 
focus on each step at a time, it really isn't so difficult.... and as the piece begins to take shape
right before your eyes, you can celebrate the process (as well as the joys of spring) -- 
and take pride in creating something that you'll enjoy displaying every year!  

So if you're up for a new wreath to display in your house, please hop on over 
to my website and see the thread list and other information for ordering