Thursday, November 29, 2012

Presenting... "Crazy Patch Boo-Nanza!"

My newest club series, available starting April 2013 at fine needlework retailers nationwide

Remember when I started this blog back in March?  I teased you with this pile of orts:

These were the leftovers of this pile of threads, from yet another teaser photo that I posted on Stitcherie and Facebook:

I think I even posted a teeny little close up of one of the Candy Corns-- look familiar?

Well, thank goodness the time for teasing is finally over and I can actually show off the finished work!  I have had to keep these under my hat for months now so it's great to be able to share.  I'll post more pictures over the next few weeks so you can see more of the fun details on each piece.  Until then, Happy Stitching! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Skipping Ahead a Season

My last post being Halloween-related but posted on the cusp of Thanksgiving was at least still somewhat seasonal, but now I'm moving way on ahead and showing you something very Spring-y!  This is my latest design, now appearing in the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Needlepoint Now:

Spring Garden Biscornu

These little oddly-shaped pincushions became all the rage with cross stitchers a couple years back.  I thought they would be very adaptable to needlepoint as well, either as a needlework accessory or as a three dimensional hanging ornament, as they look good from both sides.  Here is the back side of the biscornu:

I stitched the design on one of the hand-dyed mono canvases distributed by Zweigart-- this color is called Cherry Cordial.  It's a very pretty shade that looks great on its own but plays well with the thread colors too!  The softer texture of the hand dyed canvas (since it's lacking some of the starch sizing present in regular mono) makes it especially good for self-finishing projects like this one.  This is the front side, flat, before finishing:

The back side in an all-over floral pattern using Waterlilies and Kreinik metallic:

Step one of the finishing process.  The biscornu would be an ordinary square pillow-shaped pincushion if it were not for the innovative way the two square shapes are connected together.  Instead of matching corner to corner, you whip stitch one corner to the center line of the other square.  The "hedgerow" framework on the top side makes for an easy way to see your center line.  The whip stitching goes under two rows of chain stitch that makes the outermost border around the design.

And a quick jump back in time, when the design was still in the development process, here is the original batch of threads that I started with.  Most of these did make it into the final version:

I hope you'll enjoy seeing the whole project when your copy of Needlepoint Now reaches your mailbox.  As always, if you have any questions regarding this design, just email me here at the blog or on my website,  And if you do wind up stitching this project, be sure to hold on to your leftovers, as there is a companion piece coming along in the next issue that will use all these same materials, plus a couple of new additions too!  Until then, Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just a Little More Halloween...

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I always have a hard time letting go of it.  I always keep my decorations out until Thanksgiving, and on that same weekend, I start with the Christmas decorating while simultaneously putting away the Halloween.  It is a little like working in a retail store where you have mountains of Christmas stuff to put out while you are still trying to deal with the Halloween and Fall stuff!  One of these days I'll make it easier on myself by starting to at least put the Halloween stuff away on the weekend before turkey day, but not this year!   

I do have a good and valid reason to still be working on a Halloween needlepoint, though.  Over on Stitcherie, we set up a Counted Canvas Challenge for the Fall season.  The idea for this project came from this fabulous design by Susan Kerndt and stitched by Carolyn Stolhand:  

I fell in love with the idea of making a collage-type design that could be built around a theme using great fabrics and embellishments from my stash, plus fun stitches and threads that I've never found a perfect place for.  So thus came the Challenge rules: pick a theme, a thread or color scheme and then hit the stash for fabrics and embellishments and put it all together with your favorite stitches.  

Since my stash has a LOT of Halloween goodies, of course that was the theme I picked.  Here is what I  came up with:

Not nearly as elaborate as I had hoped it would be, but not bad considering the amount of distractions and obstacles I have been faced with lately!  I'm just happy to have managed to participate somehow.  I  started out the design plan with the main thread, Thread Gatherer's "Halloween Confetti":

This color being one of my all-time favorites, I knew when I decided on a Halloween theme that this was going to be my thread!

The next step would have been some cute Halloween fabrics, but I will admit publicly here that my fabric stash is STILL packed and I just couldn't make the time to start trying to break into it.  But, my ribbon collection was relatively handy, so I pulled out these two spools:

Moving on to embellishments, my button and bead stash remains in a shambles as well, but I regrouped by simply going out and buying more! :)  I found a couple of fun Halloween-themed packs from Dress It Up and put them together with some more coordinating threads:

I realized if I had any chance at all of completing this challenge, it was going to have to be simple, so I did not make my collage grid very elaborate and I did not use any mind-boggling stitches.  I am relatively pleased with the final project, however.  I did employ a little fun detail in the border, which is a modified Ashley stitch that couches over four different colors of Fyre Werks.  I reversed the color placement of the Fyre Werks on each side and corner for the most varied effect.  The inner borders are Caesar with a #8 Kreinik braid underneath.  I knew that I definitely wanted to do some Bargello stitches too, so I picked a simple zig-zag pattern and stitched it in candy corn colors.  It made a really good background for the candy buttons I think:

As I said, I am in love with the concept behind this design, because the possibilities are endless and it allows the stitcher the opportunity to be able to use the embellishments and stitches that have been waiting for that perfect project that never seems to arrive.  If you have a thread/stitch/button that you have been wanting to use but never found the right canvas for, then just create your own opportunity to showcase said goodies.  I am hoping to do at least one more of these collages, the next one in a Mermaid theme as I have the most gorgeous fabric I want to use, plus I have an idea for a Bargello border that will look like waves.  But first, I do have to finish up my canvas painting as the next TNNA show is coming up fast, then I still have more "excavating" to do in my sewing room to get to that cool mermaid fabric.  So maybe next year, if all goes well!  Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November's Trunk Shows

Starting tomorrow and ending November 26th, the EyeCandy Needleart trunk shows will be hosted at two great Texas needlework stores, Creative Stitches and Gifts in Dallas and the newly re-opened Yarn Barn of San Antonio.  

If you are in the Dallas area, be sure to come by to see the canvases and stitched models in person, and whether you are shopping in person or over the phone, be sure to take advantage of the 20% off trunk show sale, which includes special-order items!

The Yarn Barn of San Antonio has the distinction of being a needlework destination for over 40 years, although they did have a close call earlier this year before being reopened under new ownership.  Be sure to stop by or give them a call to help keep them around for another 40!

This will be it for trunk shows this year, so if you have some Christmas shopping to do, now is the time.  Check back in January for next year's schedule and until then, Happy Stitching!