Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More purse progress

Still working from my stash, I finished off the last of the Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #033 (royal blue) inserting the "spokes" inside the jade octagons.  I then moved to the royal blue octagons, stitching the spokes in these with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #014, a watery blue.

My stash yielded enough of this thread to finish off the entire canvas--front and back of the purse.  I also finished stitching the small intersections between the octagons with Vineyard Silk Classic Spray.  Two less threads that I need to buy!

I'll work on the centers of the octagons to gauge how much thread I'll need before my shopping trip.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Purse progress - 1

This past week was a busy one, with a Needlepoint Now deadline to meet, some canvases to paint, and more than one project to stitch.  But a good start has been made on the purse project!

It's being stitched in basketweave in sea glass colors with Vineyard Silk Classic and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #033 so far.  The larger octagons were worked in VSC Celestial (royal blue) and Cascade (light jade) with the smaller intersections in Spray.  The top of the canvas to the bottom line of completed octagons represents one side of the purse.

Working from my stash, the  Celestial and Cascade threads  have been exhausted, but I at least know how much more I'll need to buy on my next trip to my LNS.  There are more sea glass colors in my stash that will be added later

Friday, April 10, 2015

While I'm still waiting....

I know--this doesn't look like much--but it's the beginning of an evening purse I'm stitching for a wedding in the fall.  When it's finished, it will be folded in half to form a soft purse approximately six inches square.

The pattern is a variation on one I found in Chinese Rugs Designed for Needlepoint by Maggie Lane, one of my all-time favorite designers.  I've lost count of the number of pillows I've stitched using center medallions and corner motifs from the rug designs in some of her books.

I'm pretty handy at counting--after all, I'm a stitch painter--but I prefer to have the piece I'm going to work on already painted on the canvas so I can sit back and leisurely stitch.  It's a lot easier to paint over a mistake made in transferring the design to canvas than it is to rip out a bunch of stitches!

I'll be back from time to time to show my progress on this piece!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A downtime project

Wouldn't you know it?--the canvas I've been waiting for is back-ordered.  Nuts!  So I pulled out the last angel canvas gifted to me by a now-retired stitcher.  It's an "angel bulb" designed by Joan Thomasson, originally painted with a red dress, white background behind the halo, and blonde hair.

As you can see, I've changed the colors to customize it for the recipient.  The overdress was worked in purple Petite Very Velvet in basketweave.  The dress itself was stitched in basketweave using three strands of DMC floss to accomodate a blackwork pattern using Kreinik #4 very fine braid #023.

To make the angel stand out a little more, I needle-blended the background, starting with DMC floss #3325 at the top and ending at the top of the wings with DMC floss #3841.

The cap of the ornament was worked in a diagonal oblong cross stitch with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #102, while the same thread provided the halo in a woven stitch.  The angel's hair was worked in a satin stitch with two strands of "vintage" DMC Medici wool, with one strand used over three canvas threads for eyebrows.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finally--a finish!

My Amanda Lawford Santa is finally finished, after working on it for more than a year.  It's by no means my first finish of 2015, but the other completed projects were for my Needlepoint Now column.  This Santa is my very own, so he had to take a back seat from time to time  so I could make a magazine deadline working someone else's canvas!

One small detail needs to be attended to before I can send him to a finisher:  he needs a real bell dangling from the end of his cap.  It's probably easier to find a jingle bell in November than it is in March, but I'll do a little hunting and hopefully find one soon.  Then I need to decide on a finisher, one who knows the meaning of the word "simple" and resists the temptation to slap a bunch of bows on him and hide all my stitching.

I'm waiting for a canvas that I've ordered to arrive--another project that will take some time but one I'm really looking forward to.  So stay tuned!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Getting ready for St. Patrick's Day

It's hard to believe I actually stitched this piece more than four years ago.  Designer Judy Harper had created an Irish Angel for me, since I'm 100% Irish, and then repainted it without wings to produce "Maureen."  I stitched her for Judy's last Possibilities column in the March/April 2011 issue of Needlepoint Now.

Some of my favorite threads were incorporated in this piece:  Petite Very Velvet for her green dress, Sheep's Silk by The Thread Gatherer in a diagonal oblong cross stitch for her shawl, and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V for the Celtic cross.

Just remember:  everyone's a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day, so have a happy one!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Decorating Santa's tree

It's been way too long since blog readers have seen this jolly fellow:  an Amanda Lawford Santa.  I started stitching him well over a year ago and had made great progress until I came to a screeching halt.  Not for lack of enthusiasm about the project, mind you, but overwhelmed by the size of it.  I had previously finished two very large projects, the Peaceable Kingdom angel and the Toyland Rocking Horse, when I picked up Santa.

All but the tree and the bow on a present was completed when Santa got sidelined in my office/studio.  I just plain ran out of steam!  Feeling incredibly guilty, I picked him up again recently in hopes of finishing him this year.

The bottom photo shows the tree as it was painted.  It's now been worked with four shades of Impressions in a combination of satin and long/short stitches.  Two strands of Impressions were used throughout to let the tree hold its own against Santa's substantial beard.

French knots of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 032 form the garland.  Hot pink, purple, and royal blue Kreinik braid were worked in Smyrna crosses and a Leviathan variation for the ornaments.  And yes, Virginia, those little sparkles of gold really are beads!