Friday, December 18, 2020

A Festive New Pattern

 The holiday season is upon us..... are you ready?

I'm not sure I am, but I was able to sneak in a new holiday design that makes me happy every time I look at it.  It's called "WINTER POINSETTIAS" (which is sort of a companion piece to my earlier "SUMMER MAGNOLIAS") and it such a holly jolly piece, I couldn't wait to get it finished and share it with you:

This piece is 9.5" x 9.5" on 18 ct. canvas and I chose sandstone canvas so the ecru borders would "pop" a bit with the reds and greens and golds.   It's done with mostly #5 pearl cotton threads, with a gold metallic ribbon and a variegated green thread used for the "pine tree" outer border.  There are lots of different types of stitches and borders, and things move pretty fast so you don't get bored.  The stitches aren't at all difficult and really, I enjoyed stitching every part of this piece!

The challenge I set for myself in designing this piece was seeing if I could create a geometric version of a poinsettia flower, and I am truly pleased with the large center flower, shown below in an up-close photo:
Amidst all those jolly reds and greens and golds, those big poinsettia petals are fun to stitch... and when you're all done you have the fun of adding red and gold beads in the center, so it REALLY looks a lot like the poinsettias we see this time of year.

So if you'd like to work on a festive holiday project that is equally appropriate and totally pleasing for those dark gloomy days AFTER the holidays, here's a fun one for you!  Please put on your skis and ski on over to my website and see the WINTER POINSETTIAS ordering information -- you'll find it on the main page, as well as under the "Secret Garden Collection" page! 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Time to Harvest Some Grapes!



Last month it was all about the pumpkins -- and this month it's all about GRAPES!  (These photos show what the vineyard hills look like right now in northern Sonoma County, in the Alexander Valley wine region around little Cloverdale, where I live.)


And that means it's time to release my very popular "HARVEST TIME" piece that I used for a cyber class for several years and somehow never got around to offering it as a pattern on my website.  SO HERE IT IS NOW for all you wine lovers out there...

HARVEST TIME is a small design - 7.5" x 7.5" on the earthy sandstone 18 ct. canvas, or you can also stitch it on eggshell canvas if you want a brighter look.  The thread palette is so very luscious with deep green, burgundy, gold and rose.  If you look closely, you can see that the outer border grapevine is worked in #5 pearl cottons, while the inner grapevine is worked with thinner DMC floss, to create a bit of dimension within the small piece.  The stitches aren't at all difficult and that makes it very fun to stitch.  And wouldn't this make a terrific pillow center or even a square tray insert??

Here's a look up close at the padded center grape cluster, as well as the smaller grapes on the inner "lattice" (which you can see are made with simple cross stitches):

Does this sweet project look appealing to you??  

Well, just mosey on over to my website to see the ordering information for HARVEST TIME and get ready to start salivating about stitching this with a glass of your favorite wine at your side....SALUT!

Friday, October 23, 2020

DAYLILY: A Shadow Stitch Cyber Class!


Sometimes it's fun to work on something small, isn't it?  I tend to do so many large and involved pieces that every now and then it's a sheer relief to have a smaller, easier, and more manageable project!  And this small cyber class project definitely fits the bill.....


It's my DAYLILY: a  shadow stitch project, which is a small 6" x 6.5"piece that can be done in either ORANGE or YELLOW. As a bit of a splurge, I've used Splendor silk threads for the piece, as well as #5 pearl cottons for the padded outer border.

If you've ever wondered about applying shadow stitching to a canvas, this is the perfect project to try working a few simple stitches on a flower image that has been printed onto 18 ct. white mono canvas.  The stitches that are done on top of the canvas are designed to create a bit of texture and pattern, but also to let the canvas colors to show through and blend with the stitching.  It's great fun to work on - not too easy, not too hard - especially in this compact design. Here's a look at the yellow version as well:


And once you've done all your flat stitching, there's a fun padded border to add around the edges to give it more color and texture.  Finally, a bit of stitch embellishment on the central daylily adds definition and detail with bullion and outline stitches to make that big daylily POP!  Here's a look up close, where you can see some of the simple stitch patterns, as well as the border work: 

So if you've ever been curious to try shadow stitching, this might just be a fun beginner's piece for you!  Please visit my website to see all the class information....

Saturday, October 10, 2020




Oooooh, the air is getting cooler and the nights are getting longer... Fall has arrived and that means it's time for pumpkins....   Hooray!!

So I figured it's the perfect time to release this popular design I've only offered as a cyber class for the past two years -- PUMPKIN PATCH:

Yup.  It's got everything fun about this time of year - a festive pumpkin patch surrounded by a split rail fence, filled with loads and loads of pumpkins, black birds, and a cute smiling scarecrow.  It's a small piece, only 8" x 8" on sandstone 18 ct. canvas, but it packs a LOT of fun threads and stitches inside.   Here's a look up close at the central scene, plus you get a glimpse at the easy-to-stitch pumpkins, blossoms, and leaves that fill the squares around the center:


I've listed several different types of variegated threads like Gentle Art Sampler threads and #5 Painter's Threads (used for the brick walkway and the green/gold/brown foundation grids) but you can definitely pull threads from your stash to use instead, in whatever Halloweeny colors you have on hand.

So Stitchers, if you LOVE working on Halloween projects, this is definitely one for your stash.... and hey, it's also a fun piece to keep hanging up through Thanksgiving, until you start decorating for the next big holiday!

If this little piece of pumpkin heaven calls to you, please hitch up your wagon and drive on over to my website to see the information for this fun PUMPKIN PATCH design. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Fall Poppies

 I don't know about you, but I'm sooooo ready for fall this year!

Too much heat, too much fire danger, too much worry about everything around me....I can't WAIT for some cooling rain to calm things down and get us into a quieter, safer season. 

To get ready for the fall, I spent the late summer stitching up a new cyber class project called "RED POPPY SQUARE":

This is a small 8" x 8" piece worked on 18 ct. sandstone canvas.  I really enjoyed working in the warm greens, golds and reds (with a splash of lavender as well) which are drawn from the variegated Watercolours thread 290 - "Mystery Mix".  The thread colors reminded me of a wild autumn meadow growing with a vibrant mix of red poppies and other wildflowers.... I had lots of fun creating the four boxes of stitch patterns that include small red poppy motifs  - very fun stitching!

I also wanted to try to recreate the center red poppy with Splendor Silk Ribbons (actually a mix of solid red and variegated red silks).  I laid the darker sections of the variegated red silk down first, where the "shadows" might be in the petals, then overlaid the rest of the regular red stitches on top; then a simple outline stitch to define the petals... Just a fun, new technique to add to your ribbon skills!  Here's a peek up close:

So if you feel like creating a new piece that celebrates the changing of the seasons, please take a walk over to my website and see all the cyber class information on this brand new RED POPPY SQUARE....

Friday, August 7, 2020

Something Cool & Summery

During the hot days of summer, I really want something light and easy to work on.  Nothing hard or too complex with multiple layers of stitches that will get me frustrated and sweaty.  Do you know that feeling??

Anyway, I grabbed a handful of serene, cool threads - Watercolours 257, "Spearmint" in soft blues and greens, a few matching #5 pearl cottons, and a soft gold metallic ribbon thread.  And then I started playing around with some fun stitches and borders, centering around a flower center that reminds me of a creamy white magnolia bloom.   And here it is, my new "SUMMER MAGNOLIAS":I've stitched my 9.5" x 9.5" piece on the slightly tanned sandstone 18 ct. canvas, so the creamy magnolia flowers show up better than on the paler eggshell canvas (they'd also look lovely stitched on the sage green or light blue canvas).  I loved using the variegated Watercolours for the various borders, then stitching the sweet flower rows. Lots of soft gold accent stitches give it an elegant feel; and I especially enjoyed creating the "woven triangles" that fit inside the zig zag borders and give the piece a white wicker or white trellis look.  Lots of summery fun in this design!

And while I was craving something blue, green and gold to stitch this summer, I also thought it would look lovely in a mauve version... so I've also included a soft pink colorway on the pattern, that uses Watercolours 020 - "Autumn Leaves" as its foundation.

Here's a look at "SUMMER MAGNOLIAS" up close, and although you can't really see them, there are small gold seed beads in the flower centers, for a bit more fun and texture:

Does this design appeal to you in these last hot days of summer?  Something to work on that reminds you of sitting on a porch swing under a shady magnolia tree, sipping iced tea?

If so, please pick up your lacy parasol and sashay on over to my website to see all the pattern information on my new "SUMMER MAGNOLIAS"....

Have a cool and restful weekend, Y'all!

Friday, July 17, 2020

A Summery New Cyber Class

TA DA -- Announcing a fun new cyber class that's currently on my website,
called "FLOWER BOXES":

I was craving something light and airy for this summer....something easy to stitch on hot summer days with pleasant motifs (with a bit of blackwork thrown in)... and what better than flowers arranged in a knot garden layout!

FLOWER BOXES is a 9.5" x 9.5" design stitched on 18 ct. canvas in eggshell.  And each stitcher gets to choose between the BLUE/AQUA version (shown above with a cool thread palette) and the ROSE/CORAL version (shown below with a warm thread palette):

But WAIT, it gets even more fun.....  I've always wanted to create a class where each stitcher gets to choose the elements they like best for each section.  In this design, you'll get to choose between two different wide borders (blue arrows below), two different narrow border rows (pink arrows below), and best of all, choose which flower clusters you want to stitch (yellow arrows, plus lower boxes, too)! Or, you can stitch the "sampler" version with all of them combined as shown in my cover model.  Below is the cover model with arrows pointing to the different stitching options:

Does that tickle your designing fancy?!?  I hope so!  If this class seems like something you'd like to work on during these long hot summer days, please sashay on over to my website to read all the class information.   STAY SAFE And HAPPY WEEKEND STITCHING, everyone!!

Monday, June 15, 2020

It's Red, White & Blue Time!!

Hey, Stitchers:
I'm dee-lighted to share my latest design with you.... 
and it's something dee-cidedly red, white & blue... 
Hooray!  It's my new RED, WHITE & BLUE RIBBONS pattern:

I was in the mood to create something fun for the Fourth of July coming up next month.  So I pulled a handful of threads, including a variegated red and variegated blue Watercolours to use as the border bunting, as well as the wavy patriotic heart in the center.  Then I started playing with patriotic patterns - of course, stars and hearts came to mind - that could be woven into the overlapping ribbons.  I did my stitching on a piece of eggshell canvas with the sparkly gold flecks in it, which you can sorta see below:

The stitches themselves are easy enough to do (nothing difficult, except the counting, grin!) and they are just plain fun to work into the red, white and blue ribbon borders, as shown above.. 

There's a sprinkling of beads throughout the piece, as well as some gold sequin stars you can't see in the photo, unfortunately....and a gold star jewel to add to the center heart.   But you know, if you are a button/embellishment collector, I also realized this would be a great piece to add a few patriotic beads, buttons and charms  -- just to give it some extra pizazz and dimension! 

So if you want a fun new project to get you in the mood for our next summer holiday, please march on over to my website and see the pattern information for this super-fun
                                     RED, WHITE & BLUE RIBBONS pattern! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Cool Design for Spring!

Spring is in full bloom these days, and nothing smells as delicious as frothy lilac bushes.

Which prompted me to pull out a favorite design that I've only offered as a cyber class -- until NOW,  so everyone can enjoy the stitching process of creating your own sweet-smelling lilac piece!

This is a small piece (7.5" x 7.5") done on Santa Fe Sage Green 18 ct. mono canvas to give it a cool feel that makes all those luscious lavender blossoms POP.   Watercolours 064 "Pale Lilac" is used for the variegated "lattice" that forms the background grid and you can see what a soft, lovely watercolory wash it gives to the piece...

What's really fun about stitching this project is making lots of small, medium, and large lilac blossoms - all done with simple stitches, but using different types of threads (floss and pearl cotton with a dash of metallic ribbon).  Here's what the piece looks like up close... and see if you can pick out all the different size flowers:

Sweet, huh?  So if you love lilacs and want to have them hanging on your wall (or on a pillow) year round, please mosey on over to my website to see all the ordering information for this sweet-smelling LILAC TIME design...  And don't forget to stop and smell ALL the beautiful flowers growing around you, wherever you are these days!!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Time for Easter Treats!

When you were a child, did you ever receive one of those magical sugar eggs, with a small Easter panorama inside?  I did... and it was always the highlight of my Easter basket!

For years I've wanted to stitch up one of those old-fashioned eggs, but could never think up a good border treatment that would work with the egg, so I never continued on the egg design.  Then this year, it occurred to me that a sugar egg would make a perfect centerpiece for another four-way bargello piece.  Eureka!  That was all I needed to get stitching.....  and here's what I came up with -- my new SUGAR EGG BARGELLO design:

This design is on the large size, 10.5" x 10.5", so it's hard to see all the fun details in the full photo above.  The rows of four-way bargello is truly fun to stitch; nothing difficult about that except counting correctly and changing between lots of bright pastel threads mixed with one variegated thread and two soft metallic Ribbon Floss colors.

Here's an up-close look at some of the springy motifs, starting with the flower bouquets in the corner.  Those sweet flowers remind me of the special candy eggs we kids received (from See's Candy) with pastel sugar flowers on top - Yum!  For my model, I stitched each corner bouquet in a different pastel color, but you could also stitch them all in your same favorite color.....

And here's a peek at the sugar egg itself, stitched with Wrapped Spider Webs for the egg icing, and filled in with regular Tent Stitch, using 1 strand of a sparkly white/opal Ribbon Floss thread:

And yes, of course, there's an Easter Bunny surrounded by tiny eggs as the inside scene!

I've stitched the model on rose blush pink canvas, just for something different...but you can certainly stitch yours on eggshell or sage green or any other springy color you fancy!  As you can see, I worked the outside background in a four-way stitch using a soft variegated green floss from ThreadworX, then on the inside, around the egg, I chose a sweet Dotted Swiss pattern that wouldn't distract from the egg itself.

So if you're in the mood to stitch up an Easter treat that brings a smile to your face, please hop on over to my website and see all the pattern information for my new SUGAR EGG BARGELLO!
Stay safe and keep on stitching, Everyone!!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Something Sunny for These Gloomy Days

Spring is in full bloom here in Northern California....
Lots of blossoming trees and flowering bushes are busting out all over, as well as handfuls of daffodils planted here and there in the neighborhood.

And nothing can lift your spirits as much as starting a new stitching project, don't you agree?? -- especially if it's a happy piece with daffodils!   So here's the latest pattern on my website, DAFFODIL TIME:

It's a prior cyber class project that is now available to all you stitchers who enjoy stitching
springtime flowers.  I love it because it's a small piece, 8.5" x 8.5"on my favorite Santa Fe Sage Green canvas (you could also do it on eggshell canvas if you wanted a brighter look), bursting with lively yellow and green patterns that are fun and easy to stitch.  Here's a peek at some of the patterns close up:

 It uses Watercolours 297 - "Goldenrod" as the foundation thread, with a handful of bright #5 pearl cottons and soft ribbon metallics, as well as a variegated ThreadworX floss for the background stitching. There's a handful of beads in a few of the stitched blocks, and if you wanted, you could add more beads in the center of the daffodil (I used french knots).

So if you're looking for a springy new project to lift your spirits and bring a smile to your face, please tip toe through the tulips on your way over to my website and check out my new DAFFODIL TIME ordering information.   Stay safe and cozy, Stitchers.... and keep those needles flying!!

Friday, January 17, 2020

A New Cyber Class for the New Year

I've wanted to do a project with soft winter pastels for a long time now, and finally got the time to pull some wintry threads together and start stitching!  Here's the piece I came up with for my next cyber class, and it's called "WINTER CARNIVAL." 

The stitches aren't hard at all, so it's a very serene geometric design to stitch up.  Honestly, the hardest part of this piece is counting out all the borders (but then, that's usually the most challenging part of ANY counted canvaswork design!) I've incorporated small snowflake motifs throughout the design, with lots of shimmery metallics, gold beads, and two snowflake charms for extra fun! If you look closely to the whole design shown above, you can see that while the four center blocks are similar and symmetrical in design, their details are different, which makes them more fun to stitch.  Here's a close-up of one of the blocks:

Since pink and green is my favorite color combination, I wanted to do the model in the softest pinks and greens I could find.  But I know pink is not everyone's favorite color, so I also offer the stitcher a choice of either AQUA or BLUE, shown below...Both are truly yummy and have that soft wintery feel I was hoping to create with this design.

All of the color palettes have a variegated Watercolours: PINK uses 031 - "rose quartz", AQUA uses 241 - "shenandoah" and BLUE uses 303 - "ticking", along with a handful of soft pastel #5 pearl cottons and two shimmery Ribbon Flosses.  And the whole 9.5" x 9.5" design is stitched on 18 ct. canvas that is eggshell with flecks of gold, giving it a magical wintry feel to the unstitched background.

So if you'd like to start the New Year with a relaxing geometric piece that will transition you from winter into spring, please mosey on over to my website and check out all the cyber class details.
Happy Friday, Everyone!