Friday, March 29, 2019

Something Different for Easter....

I've always had a special fascination with hand-dyed Ukrainian eggs, with their exquisite detail and unique craftsmanship. Many years ago, I worked with a woman who dyed Ukrainian eggs every year, and she shared many of her egg books and pictures with me.  I was so inspired, I designed and started stitching up a project that featured Ukrainian eggs, but eventually I reached an invisible design wall, and stopped - because I was stumped and couldn't think up a good border for the piece.

Recently, I dug around in my project vault to find that original piece.... then used it to graph it and stitch it anew, and also figure out a border that pleased me!  Here's the design I stitched and now offer as a new 2019 spring pattern for you - my UKRAINIAN EGGS:

I wanted my piece to have a vintage or folk art feel to it, so I stitched it with traditional primary colors on 18 ct. brown canvas.  I think it would look brighter and much more contemporary if it were stitched on eggshell or sandstone canvas.  And if you are REALLY brave, you could even stitch it on black canvas for a truly traditional folk art look!!

This piece uses just a handful of #5 DMC pearl cottons - and there are no variegated threads in this piece - gasp!!  And while I considered adding a bit of gold metallic, I ultimately decided that the folk art eggs don't have gold on them, so mine should just have traditional colors and no metallic on the eggs.  Although I did add a sprinkling of translucent gold beads around the wrapped roses in the corners of the borders - just for a festive surprise element.

Working interesting geometric patterns with #5 pearl cottons and then placing them into the curving egg shapes was the real challenge.  The stitches themselves are not difficult at all, but counting and fitting them into the egg shapes require close attention to counting and using the graphs.  I even created a larger Main Graph (as I always do) but decided that each egg needed a separate and larger graph so you can easily see all the stitches.  Here's the Top Egg up close: 

Pretty different from my usual pastel springy stuff, huh??  Using these bolder colors was fun, actually.... and I created the golden lattice and the green boughs in the border to be motifs that are reminiscent of Faberge eggs.  As you can see, the outer scalloped border was the one I finally chose to finish off the piece, with tiny bits of primary egg colors peeking out around the border.  The scalloped border softens the piece and adds a bit of lacework to compliment the folk art theme.

If you are a fan of Ukrainian Eggs like I am, please gather up your egg basket and skip on over to my website, which has all the information about this new UKRAINIAN EGGS design.
........ and Happy Weekend Stitching, Everyone!! 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Another Springy Thing!

Craving a new geometric project that gets you celebrating the spring season in soft pastel colors?
How about my encore SPRING PATCHWORK cyber class??  I offered this fun class several years ago, and it was so popular I decided to offer it again this year, for those of you who might have missed it.... or maybe would like to stitch it in another colorway:

It's a 8.75" x 8.75" design stitched on 18 ct. eggshell mono canvas, with a handful of luscious threads that include a variegated Waterlilies, a few Splendor silks and a soft metallic ribbon.  Each stitcher gets to choose between these kit color palettes:

All of these lovely floral colorways are mixed with a soft green border that create a patchwork design that reminds me of a traditional quilt block, as well as a stylized knot garden.  The stitch patterns really aren't difficult, and as with so many geometric pieces, once you set up the borders all you need to do is fill in the spaces with the appropriate repeating pattern....something that can be done at a leisurely pace and in your own good time -- perfect for a soft and sweet spring afternoon!

If you're in the mood for a new counted canvaswork design that celebrates the heart-lifting colors of spring, please skip on over to my website to the SPRING PATCKWORK cyber class registration information.  And I hope your first spring weekend is filled with lots of sunshine, flowers, and stitching!!