Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A NEW Collage Design!

Last week I showed you some of my favorite flower collage for summer, including the ever popular CALIFORNIA POPPY COLLAGE:

 Well, I just finished a piece that perfectly compliments it, called CALIFORNIA QUAIL COLLAGE:

I've wanted to do a collage piece with a bird in the center for ages, but haven't been able to get around to it until this summer.  I realized a California Quail design would be a perfect summer-into-fall piece, so I got straight to work and stitched one up.  Instead of using the same "Woodlands" colorway that I used for the poppy piece, I went with the softer "Kelp" colorway, because the aquas, golds and browns have a Western pastoral feel, as well as a Southwestern desert feel.

And quail -- aren't they the cutest birds?  I was amazed as I was graphing him out, how many different colors there are in his body.  Lots of color changes as you stitch, but you're only using a few strands of each color, so it somehow gets stitched up pretty quickly....  Here's a close-up look at the quail, as well as a peek at the patterns in the boxes:

It's a fun one to stitch, with luscious squares of composite stitches, plus a handful of cheerful California Poppies!  So, if you're a California Quail lover, like me, this might be the next fun project for you.  Please fly over to my website and check out the new CALIFORNIA QUAIL COLLAGE information.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer Flowers

Summer is a fun time to stitch up some seasonal flowers.  What better way to spend some time outdoors on a hot day than stitching on a project filled with summertime flowers, colors and patterns!

Actually, I was doing some printing this morning of a few of my popular Secret Garden collages, and that reminded me how fun these were to stitch up, because they all have small blocks of stitches that are totally fun to work, but not so extensive that you have to spend lots of time on them.  And they're all built up around a luscious variegated Watercolors skein, so seeing the colors and patterns come alive on your canvas is a real delight.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some pictures of the ones that evoke the deep warm days of summer.  Here's CALIFORNIA POPPY COLLAGE:



And the very perky PANSY COLLAGE:

All have the look and feel of drowsy summer gardens, don't they?

So if you're interested in sitting in the shade and stitching up a garden, please mosey on over to my website and check out all the flowers growing in the Secret Garden Collection...

Friday, August 5, 2016



I just finished a new stitch guide this week, called "SNAPDRAGONS", to accompany Sandra Gilmore's painted canvas of the same name.  The minute I saw this smaller canvas (8"x 10" on 18 ct. canvas) I was smitten.  I love snapdragons and this lush bouquet had me grinning with pleasure.  Then there are all the different vases and dishes -- a china lovers delight! 

This was a pretty straight-forward canvas to figure out and stitch: the china is all tent stitched (or basketweave stitched where possible); the blue vase is also tent stitched in sparkly metallic ribbon threads; the cream vase uses shiny ribbon thread as well, but the ribs are slightly padded to create a more realistic raised texture.  For a satin sheen, I used more rayon ribbon thread for the chair fabric, as well as on the gold chair back.  I found a simple blackwork pattern to use on the wallpaper stripes, as well as a simple diagonal blackwork pattern for the table/tablecloth.  Here's look at the canvas up-close:

The last things I stitched were the bouquets of flowers.  The white roses gave me a chance to try a technique I used on the climbing roses on NANTUCKET: I used white Ribbon Floss and instead of laying each stitch flat, I deliberately twisted the thread and laid it with a soft twisting curl on the canvas, then couched the curve in place with a soft stitch of the same ribbon thread.  Working a bunch of those stitches created the effect of tightly furled roses, and overall I'm very pleased with the effect.

To tackle the masses of pink snapdragons, I  tent stitched practically the whole bouquet, from the darkest colors to the lightest; then went back around and added irregular diagonal satin stitched petals wherever I could figure out where to put them - concentrating mostly on the lightest pink colors, to give the illusion of depth in this shallow tablescape.

If you're smitten with this wonderful painted canvas by Sandra Gilmore, you might want to order it from your favorite needlepoint store, who can order the canvas and guide from FLEUR DE PARIS (Sandra's distributor).  I have just the stitch guide available on my website, if you already have the canvas and are inspired to start stitching! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Time Flies When You're Stitching!

I couldn't believe that it's been almost two years since I offered PATCHWORK PARFAIT as a cyber class!  I guess that's what happens when you've got your head down and fingers flying over multiple canvases month after month - grin...


Anyway, I think it's certainly time to offer this popular class again... so if you missed it the first time around, now's your chance to sign up!  It's a large piece - 11.5" x 11.5" on a 16" x 16" piece of 18 ct. eggshell canvas, stitched with a handful of gorgeous silk threads.   And to add extra spice to the color choices, I've taken out the two palest, spring colorways and added two bold, fall colorways - PURPLE and GREEN.  Here are the color choices for the October 2016 class stitcher:
Isn't that a yummy selection of colors to choose from?  And in case you're interested, the palettes are build around these variegated silk threads: 
TEAL =  Waterlilies 121 - "evergreen"
BLUE =  Waterlilies 229 - "oasis"
RED   =   Waterlilies 045 - "flame"
PURPLE = Waterlilies 231 - "ethiopia"
GREEN = Waterlilies 245 - "savannah"
And all of the colorways include matching Ribbon Floss and Kreinik 1/16th Ribbon threads as well. 

The nice thing about this project is that the stitches are NOT DIFFICULT, as you can tell from this detail photo:

Indeed, once you have the sections/borders counted out, filling in the boxes is very relaxing and quite a non-stressful project. A good project for working on over time, picking it up between other more demanding pieces.  I think of this piece as part geometric, part sampler....but totally fun to work up!

So if you want a gorgeous geometric sampler to work on this fall, please visit my website, and see all the other PATCHWORK PARFAIT class particulars and ordering information.