Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ho, Ho, Ho: New Miniature Holiday Quilts!

Hey, Stitchers: I've got some sweet new MINIATURE HOLIDAY QUILTS for you, and they look just like traditional American quilts with fun, festive centers:

I had so much fun stitching these cuties up -- I worked the set shown below on 18 ct. canvas in eggshell with the gold flecks.   What's fun about using the shimmery gold canvas is you don't really need to stitch the background because the canvas is so sparkly, it adds an extra elegance to the small quilts (and it also makes them faster to finish!)  As you can see below, I stitched two of the quilts WITH the quilted background and two of them WITHOUT the background, so you can see the different versions and decide which you like best....

And please note that I couldn't decide which color border I liked best - red or green - so I did two of each!  You can stitch all the quilts with one color border, or alternate them like I did.   I also couldn't decide if the little quilts would look better on 18 ct. (5" x 5") or 24 ct. Congress Cloth (3.75" x 3.75") so I stitched up one of the quilts on Congress Cloth just to see how cute they would look on the finer canvas:

For the smaller quilts, I used Gentle Arts Simply Shaker Sampler Threads, which gives them a slightly vintage look.  By the way, the pattern includes the complete thread list for either size of the miniature quilts, as well as a bead pack with red, green and gold seed beads.

Super cute, super fun, super easy!!!   And these quilts would also be great way to highlight a large holiday charm, button or bead in the center -- wouldn't that be eye-catching??

So if you're in the mood for stitching up some quick holiday pieces, you might want to add this new MINIATURE HOLIDAY QUILTS pattern to your stash.... Please visit my website to see the thread list and complete ordering information.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

An Elegant New Cyber Class for the New Year!

Over this past year I've printed and mailed out lots of my large pink ARABESQUE patterns, and at one point, I stopped and wondered what a small version of that piece would look like.  Once I had the idea, I simply couldn't rest until I stitched up a smaller version, and I must say.... I totally enjoyed working on the small 8" x 8" piece, especially since I was able to use Watercolours' Bark (in subtle browns and purples) with DMC 333 and 340 (that yummy periwinkle family).  And Oooh, La, La -- here's what the whole piece of the new PETITE ARABESQUE looks like, stitched on Santa Fe Sage Green 18 ct. canvas:

This smaller piece has all the same elements as the larger one, but it's not so intimidating to stitch; and because it's smaller, it's easier to stitch, too, since you don't have to bend and stretch across a large canvas to work into the middle!   To make the cyber class piece even more enticing, I've created several different color palettes (all equally luscious) for the class stitcher to choose from:

All of the colorways use the same antique greens for the borders, as well as the same vintage gold Kreinik and Ribbon Floss metallics (including chunky gold Hot Wire to make the curleques).  An additional soft metallic Ribbon Floss thread will match the main color of each palette.

So, Stitchers, to kick off the beginning of 2018, I thought PETITE ARABESQUE would make the perfect new cyber class for the New Year.  If you're intrigued by this unusual geometric piece, and want something different to stitch after the hectic holiday season has ended, please stroll on over to my website and see all the color choices and cyber class information... Pssst: Think of it as a pre-season present for yourself, to enjoy in the New Year!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Odd Fellows' Cross, revisited & revamped

Dear Stitchers: Can I just confess to you that I've been enjoying a quilt-stitching renaissance this season??  After working lots of projects with varying composite stitches and complex compositions this past year, it's been so very relaxing to return to the joys of stitching geometric quilt designs with simple diagonal satin stitches!

One of my favorite quilt blocks is called "Odd Fellows' Cross" with a combination of lone star and wild geese motifs. (I don't know what it is, but I just LOVE making those stars and triangles!!) Anyway, I thought it would be fun to revisit this old pattern of mine, revise it with color graphs, changed "quilting" background patterns and newer, fresher colors, and then reissue it as the new, improved ODD FELLOWS' CROSS.

For the cover model, I decided to use Watercolours 120 - "Forest Fire" (ironically, I was stitching this model while the wildfires raged all around me in Sonoma County, getting uncomfortably close at times).... along with a handful of vibrant fall colors (red, orange, teal and rust) and a splash of gold metallic Ribbon Floss.  Here's a close-up look at the different elements in the piece:

I stitched the main elements in the variegated Watercolours and DMC #5 pearl cottons, but worked the background areas in 4 ply DMC floss.  I love that this particular colorway has a distinct autumnal feel to it, but also a more masculine and western/southwestern flair as well....

And after I finished the ORANGE version, I wondered how it would look as a BLUE version, and couldn't rest until I threaded up my needle again and whipped this up:

Totally different feel to it, done in blues -- very wintery, actually!  For this version, I used Watercolours 281, "Hudson Bay" with matching #5 DMC blues and a blue metallic Ribbon Floss.  Very Cool!!  So for all you blue lovers, I've included the BLUE version thread list on the pattern as well.

But I have to tell you, if you like creating your own color palettes, you will have a ball working with this quilt design.  It's endlessly fascinating to mix and match colors!  I suggest finding a variegated skein you really like - and if you can match up four different solid colors to it, you can replicate the ORANGE quilt in your own colorway.  Or, for another option, this design can be stitched in just ONE color - say RED - using one variegated color and one solid color, for a more monochromatic and dramatic effect.  All I can say is: this one is Fun, Fun, Fun!!  And to give you a sense of the metallic shine that isn't seen in the flat scanned images, here's a tilted look at the ORANGE version:

So, if you're craving a soothing, seasonal stitching project, please shuffle through the falling leaves to my website and see all the ordering particulars for my new ODD FELLOWS' CROSS!
And Happy Weekend Stitching, everyone....

Friday, September 29, 2017

A NEW QUILT: Sagebrush Stars!

Are you feeling the arrival of Autumn where you live?  Are you enjoying the cooler weather and getting out your flannels and sweaters?   Is it also time to start some fun Autumn Stitching Projects??

I'm so happy to share my latest quilt design, SAGEBRUSH STARS, as a fabulous new fall piece:

Woo Hoo, was this a fun stitch! I deliberately chose to use the same thread/color palette as my popular INDIAN SUMMER and INDIAN AUTUMN patterns show below:

This counted canvaswork piece is done on sandstone 18 ct. canvas (you can also use eggshell, since you fully cover the canvas with your stitching), and the finished size is 10" x 10".  There's just something about that Watercolours 168, "Rainforest" in combination with the muted blue, green, lavender and terra cotta colors that makes me happy.  And while the colored elements are done in #5 pearl cottons, the background is stitched with 4 ply DMC floss, which is a nice change and easy on your hands - I love that, too! 

And then there are the stars.... don't you love stitching stars?  I had fun making different star centers in each of the smaller stars, which added a bit of surprise "scrappiness" to the overall look of this piece.  Here's a close-up look at the stars, plus the various triangles (or flying geese motifs, as I like to think of them):

 So, if you're itchin' to do some Autumn Stitchin', please saddle up your pony and trot on over to my website and check out the rest of the information on this new SAGEBRUSH STARS pattern!  And Happy Weekend Stitching, Everyone....

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Some Early Autumn Fun

With all the crazy hot summer weather we've had in Northern California, I'm soooo looking forward to fall!  Acorns are starting to fall from the oak trees in the area, and some of the first Chinese pistache trees are turning red and gold.  So I got into the early autumn mood and stitched up some fun HALLOWEEN ORNAMENTS:

Well, they're a little larger than ornaments - 5" x 5" on 18 ct canvas - but they make cute little squares that I'm planning to hang around the house or maybe insert one in an accent pillow.  You could also stitch them in a long row, to create a festive banner, or stitch all four of them on one piece of canvas as a combined pillow top. 

As you can see in the photo above, I stitched two of the designs on orange canvas and two of them on the old-fashioned looking brown canvas; but you can stitch them up on any color canvas you want.  Zweigart no longer makes the lavender-colored canvas, but if you can find a piece of it, they would certainly be fun to stitch on that, as well.

I used Watercolours 231 - "Ethiopia" for my foundation variegated thread (it has a great mix of orange, purple and pink) with a handful of #5pearl cotton solid colors, plus some zingy metallics.
And the pattern includes a bead pack of gold and dark rainbow seed beads, that you can use interchangeably around the borders.  Oh, and for an optional thread, I used a bit of black Fuzzy Stuff for the black cat's tail!!  Here's a close- up look:

And honestly, they were all a blast to stitch - especially since I used four different colorful borders and ribbon edges to keep the stitching interesting.  Actually, they are ALL fun to stitch, and they offer so many opportunities for extra fun embellishments -- such as adding Halloween ceramic beads, charms, or buttons.... What a fun way to show off those cute little Halloween buttons so everyone can enjoy them!  (Or if you're a real Halloween enthusiast, you can stitch them on black canvas with glow-in-the-dark threads!!)

So if you're itchin' to get started on some Halloween stitchin', mosey on over to my website and check out my new HALLOWEEN ORNAMENTS pattern.  And I hope you all enjoy the long last weekend of Summer with good friends, good food, and good stitching!

Friday, August 18, 2017

It's Harvest Time!

Just this morning when I was walking my dog Katie, I stopped to look at the first tree in the neighborhood that is starting to turn color -- wow, is Autumn already sneaking up on us?

Which got me thinking about which project I would offer as my next cyber class.  One of my class stitchers recently asked me about HARVEST TIME, and I was shocked to discover that I hadn't offered it in several years!  (My, how the time keeps flying by, huh??)

Anyway, I decided that HARVEST TIME is a terrific class piece to offer right now, so here it is:

It's a small (7.5" x 7.5" on 18 ct. canvas), elegant piece in green and burgundy, with LOTS of grapes - small, medium and large!  Here's a peek at the various sizes of grape clusters:

It's another one of my "tapestry" designs, since I seem to keep finding fun flowers and such to fill into the sweet lattice that forms the tapestry of this layout.  I am endlessly fascinated by how various variegated threads look when you work the heavier #5 pearl cottons against the finer stranded cottons, and how it creates an illusion of depth and complexity.

This design uses a favorite Watercolours thread of mine - 047 - "Camouflage" with a handful of #5 pearl cottons, as well as two metallic threads.   The stitches aren't difficult; I would rate this project as a "beginner-to-intermediate" piece, but you definitely need experience in working from a graph!

So, if you're a lover of grapes, vineyards, wine, or all things autumn, you might like to join this fun Fall class!  Please visit my website and see the particular details of this next HARVEST TIME cyber class....

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Totally Cool Classics

I always find that on hot summer days working on projects that have lots of blues, greens and purples are especially pleasing.  Here are a few of the coolest American Quilt Collection patterns that are truly classics, in that they are my versions of traditional Amish quilt designs.  With their rich, deep jewel colors, Amish quilts never fail to please and never seem to be outdated....

Here's one of my absolute favorites, SHINING STAR, because the complex variegated thread palette makes this look difficult but really, the stitching is quite easy once you work the rows of diamonds and set up one quarter of the design, then use that first section as a reference to work the other three sections:

Another cool classic is SNAIL'S TRAIL, which is more of a stitching optical illusion where you really have to focus on which color of whirling "snail" you're stitching on, because of the confusing interlocking arms.  I used a variegated #5 pearl cotton for the background color, which further complicates things, but you could definitely stitch a pale solid color background so your main swirly snails would stand out!

You can change the color palette on this one by first picking out a variegated Watercolours thread you love; then use it to pick out four different solid colors of #5 pearl cotton that coordinate.  The tricky part is finding a variegated thread that actually has four different colors in it -- sometimes that's the most challenging part of pulling/changing threads in a design!

Another classic quilt pattern called Tumbling Blocks prompted me many years ago to create a small wall quilt in an assortment of jewel-tone colors.  After staring at the small quilt (which looks exactly like the pattern below) it occurred to me that it would make a terrific geometric design as well, so I designed and stitched up this TUMBLING BLOCKS beauty:

I just recently revamped the pattern a bit (enlarging the color graph so you can see it better) and then added it to my website, under the American Quilt Collection (scroll down the sidebar on the left).  I originally stitched it on light blue canvas with the darkest navy blue thread I could find, and alas, you can see the canvas peeking through a bit.... but working it on a darker canvas with dark blue (or even black, if you're a purist) pearl cotton would eliminate the canvas "dandruff" you see in the photo.

So if you're in the mood to create your own American classic, please put on your bonnet, hitch up your buggy, and trot on over to my website to see these traditional quilt beauties!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Time for a New Cyber Class!

When I decide which projects to offer for cyber classes, I try to alternate a new class with an old/encore class.  Since the last RIBBONS & MONOGRAM class was an encore presentation, I thought I'd bring out a new design that I haven't shared with you before, "CALIFORNIA GOLD":

I actually taught this as a class 'way back in 2008 up in the Gold Country at Kelsey's Needle Krafts in Placerville, California.  Since then I've MEANT to offer it as a cyber class for other stitchers, but other projects and other classes took up most of my time while the piece languished away in my closet, and the years have just galloped along.  So now, finally, I'm offering it as a class, and you can have the fun of working on a bunch of really bright flowers that bring a smile to your face just looking at them!

What gave me the most pleasure in designing this piece was creating small, medium and large poppies that frankly, were a blast to stitch!  And the large, center poppies are slightly padded for additional texture and surprise... (and yeah, those are bullion knots in the poppy centers!)
Here's a close-up of the different sizes of flowers so you can see how cute those mini poppies are:

This brilliant tapestry piece measures 7.5" x 7.5" on 18 ct. canvas in my favorite Santa Fe Sage green -- which I love to use for floral pieces so the colors really "pop"-- which is certainly the case with this piece and those bright yellows and golds.  The thread palette of this piece uses Watercolours & Waterlilies 076, "Woodlands" another of my favorite green/gold/yellow variegated thread combinations.  A handful of #5 pearl cottons and two metallic threads (one a thick coppery ribbon and one a fine gold braid) make up the rest of the threads. 

So if California poppies are a favorite flower of yours (as they are mine) and you want a fun new project for late summer/early fall, please sashay on over to my website and see the cyber class information.... Happy Weekend Stitching, Folks!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Cool Summertime Quilt

Aloha, Summertime Stitchers!
During our California heat wave this summer I was really craving something cool and breezy to stitch.  Not too hard or too complicated. Something fun and bright and tropical....

And I decided to play around with the traditional "pineapple" quilt block and see if I could create a modern looking design using more contemporary colors.  Here's what I came up with - the TROPICAL PINEAPPLE QUILT, using happy turquoise and tangerine colors:

Boy, was this fun to stitch!!
I've stitched a zillion quilts with traditional colors and ecru backgrounds, but it struck me recently that I have never worked a quilt pattern on white 18 ct. canvas with a WHITE background - Sheesh!! So this summer seemed the perfect time to try something new.... and the pineapple block is a perfect way to play with these tropical colors.  I used two variegated threads for the quilt blocks - Watercolours 208, "Tangerine" for the oranges, and Watercolours 331, "Summer Fields" for the tropical mix; then I added a few cool solid color #5 pearls, with two metallic ribbons in blue and orange for a sassy bit of stitchy bling!   Here's another view of those fun and easy pineapple blocks, showing how the interlocking blocks create a dazzling graphic look that's surprisingly modern, especially with the white background:

And as I was stitching with these happy beachy colors, I also was imagining how gorgeous this would look in other colors. Doing it all in reds and whites would be wonderful for a Christmas pillow.  Or how about all in beachy blues, for yet another summertime look?  Lime green and sky blue?  Purple and green??  The possibilities are endless with this cutie, and if you're interested in picking out your own colors, I recommend finding a variegated thread (or two) that you love, then building your thread palette around them.

So, Stitchers, if you're sweltering in your own heat wave summer, and looking for something to keep you cool, please splash on over to my website and see the ordering information on this refreshing new TROPICAL PINEAPPLE QUILT

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Grand & Glorious Fourth!

Hooray for the red, white and blue today!
I hope you're celebrating Independence Day with a little stitchin  -- mixed in with 
parade-watching, good-food eating,
not to mention just plain lazing, laughing, and fireworks oogling. 

Here are some of my favorite Fourth of July pieces that I bring out every year
 to celebrate our nation's illustrious birthday:

 Sandra Gilmore's LIBERTY



  Sandra Gilmore's PATRIOTIC



And this year I'll add the new PATRIOT'S WREATH to the collection:

Enjoy your Fouth of July celebrations, everyone!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

A Little Red, White & Blue Ornament!

I whipped up a little U.S.A. ornament as a free Independence Day treat for you:

Yessiree.... It's fast and fun and
you can use ANY red, white, blue and gold threads
you have available in your stash.... beads, too,
if you are a beading fan.


Friday, June 23, 2017

A Festive New Wreath!!

Are you getting in the mood to hang out some flags and CELEBRATE with lots of
Red, White & Blue?  Then you need to see my new PATRIOT'S WREATH:

Boy, is it fun to stitch, with a whole lotta red, white and blue things to create!!
There are flags, and stars, and hearts, and medallions, and snazzy fireworks, too.  The pattern includes gold beads, gold star sequins, and three acrylic stars to place in your larger stars.
Here's a section of it up-close:

So, ATTENTION, STITCHERS: do you wanna start a new wreath for July?  
Well then, jump up and march on over to my website and see all the ordering particulars 
for my new PATRIOT'S WREATH.... 
And of course, have a Happy, Stitch-Filled Weekend, too.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sneak Peek: Fireworks are Coming....

Can you guess what I've been working on lately, based on the sneak peek below?

(Hint: it's a new piece that celebrates our nation's birthday next month...)
And this week is especially timely to stitch something red, white and blue
while watching all the goings on in Washington D.C.
 So grab a project to stitch and get comfortable watching
history unfold before our eyes....

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time to Hit the Stitchin' Trail!

This past year I've worked on such a variety of painted canvases, complex geometrics and composite stitch collages that I've started to crave the simplicity of a good ol' stitched quilt! So I sat down and designed a new quilt called "CALIFORNIA TRAILS" which uses Watercolours 244 - "Olive Garden" as its base, with a handful of blue and green #5 pearl cottons and a splash of gold metallic Ribbon Floss for good measure.

How blissful it is to work up simple geometric shapes using diagonal satin stitches and straight stitches - and that's it - no fancy stitches here!!  Yeah, I could add Rhodes Stitches, Waffle Stitches, beads and buttons, but I truly think of these as miniature quilts.... so I design them as if they were flat pieced quilts with traditional blocks and motifs.

 In CALIFORNIA TRAILS, the central block definitely has a traditional feel, but adding the multi-colored diamond border kicks it into an art quilt look, I think.  So this design is equally traditional AND modern/contemporary at the same time.  Also, I've wanted to use the blue/green combo of Watercolours' "Olive Garden" for a long time now, and this quilt certainly seemed like the best way to show it off.  And the colors remind me so much of the colors of the rugged Pacific coastline or the mountains of the High Sierra:

I like the rather masculine look of this piece and could see it as a pillow for a comfy leather chair - can't you?   And just the other day I had a query from a stitcher asking for a good design for a pillow for a church bench and this design sang out as a good choice....

So if you're hankering for a simple but satisfying new project, please consider my new CALIFORNIA TRAILS pattern, which you can read more about over on my website: www.laurajperindesigns.net.   Happy Stitchin' Trails, everyone!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Do You Love Stitching Ribbons?

I do!
And recently, I realized I hadn't offered my sweet RIBBONS & MONOGRAM class for several years, so it seems like a good time to offer it now as the next cyber class:

It's definitely a fun project!  And the perfect size, too: just 7.5" by 8" on 18 ct. brown canvas (which creates a vintage feel that shows off the yummy colors).  You get to create three different ribbons (stitching just enough of the patterns to be fun, but not overwhelming), plus you have a central initial to tent stitch as a focal point - which makes this piece a terrific small project for yourself or as a gift for a friend.   I originally stitched up the pink model for myself, and now I'm working on a purple version for a purple-lovin' friend of mine.  I'm hoping to make them into pillow insets sometime this year.

And this class offers several color options, so the stitcher gets to choose between these springy color palettes:

Pretty sweet, huh??

So if you'd like to stitch up this sweet RIBBONS & MONOGRAM piece for an easy springtime project, please skip on over to my website and check out the class details! 

Pssst, just so you know: I'm offering this encore class now, so I can finish up a few new cyber class designs I'll be offering later this year - stay tuned for more stitching adventures!!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Just a Reminder....

This is the last weekend to sign up for my new DAFFODIL TIME cyber class.

So if you want to hang some cherry daffodils in your home, this is definitely a project you want to stitch.

Skip on over to my website for all the class registration particulars.... and HAPPY WEEKEND!!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Time for a New Wreath!

Are you itchin' to do some fun spring stitchin'?
How about creating a new wreath to display in your home?
Recently, I had a hankering to design and stitch a wreath
 that displays lots of different birdhouses,
because I thought it would be a fun one to stitch, 
as well as have hanging in my house all through the spring and summer seasons....

So, TA DA -- here's the brand-new BIRDHOUSE WREATH

I had a blast thinking up unique birdhouses that would fit snugly inside a circular wreath space.  And of course, I had to include a pair of birds and their own "natural" nest!  (I made my birds sparrow brown, but you could make them bluebirds or goldfinches, if you prefer.)   Here's a peek at a corner of the wreath (and I'm rather smitten with the tiny log cabin house!):

One of my favorite birdhouses is the little red barn:

Too cute, huh?!?
Anyway, the order in which I stitched this design was: first, the velvet bow; then all the birdhouses; then the birds and their nest; then the assorted flowers; and finally, the wreath's variegated greenery.   On this wreath, I stitched pretty much everything with #5 pearl cottons, but not until I was finished did it occur to me that I COULD have stitched all the flowers with silk or cotton ribbons - DUH, how fresh and springy would that look??  Anyway, that's just one of many ideas you can play around with on this wreath.  Adding cute bird, bee, flower buttons and charms is another way to personalize this wreath.  So I offer it up to you, and hope you will enjoy building your own BIRDHOUSE WREATH!

Please flutter on over to my website to see all the particulars about purchasing this fun new BIRDHOUSE WREATH design.  And Happy Springtime Stitching!!