Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Two ornaments and a full head of hair

The Nutcracker/Packages stocking took a back seat while I finished another project but is now back on track.

The largest nutcracker now has eyebrows, a mustache and hair worked in French knots with white Trio.

The red and blue ornaments were worked in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch with Silk Lame Braid for 18 ct.  It's hard to catch all the twinkle in a photo but it's certainly there in person!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Another "behind the scenes" finale

Patchwork Snowman, designed by Liz Goodrick-Dillon, was the subject of my column in the November/December issue of Needlepoint Now.  Here it is, in its two-foot-plus splendor, as finished by Needle Nicely in Vero Beach, Florida.

This was a fun and challenging canvas:  there are a lot of little details and a tremendous amount of fur trim in this design!  But a lot of different threads were used--Petite Very Velvet, Silk Lame Braid, Impressions, Burmilana, Felicity's Garden, Kreinik metallics and DMC cotton floss--which made it easier to sustain momentum in stitching.

The stocking is a companion to Nutcracker Christmas and will be a Christmas present for my darling new daughter-in-law.  Another family wedding is scheduled for 2016, so I need to get cracking on another set of stockings!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The full effect

The Nutcracker Christmas stocking, designed by Liz Goodrick-Dillon, is ready to go!  The fabulous finishing was done by Needle Nicely in Vero Beach, Florida (

It's edged and backed with a dark green velveteen to match the background behind the nutcracker and lined with dark green cotton.

I'm so pleased with the way this project turned out and hope the recipient will be, too!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Santa arrived early!

The postman delivered a special treat on Halloween:  my Amanda Lawford stand-up Santa, all ready for the holidays!

This 15-inch-tall Santa was blog-stitched a year ago, but languished with other completed projects for lack of a bell to adorn the tassel of his hat.  I finally found the right size and sent him off to Needle Nicely ( in Vero Beach, Florida, for finishing.

His seam cording and velveteen back were perfectly matched to the DMC perle cotton background and he stands straight and tall on a level base.  It's a simple yet elegant finish--just the kind I like!  Thank you, Needle Nicely!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Filling in the blanks

Now that the cuff is finished, I'm going back to the body of the stocking to work areas I skipped before.  I'd been working from my stash, but a trip to my LNS, Town-Ho Needleworks in Brewster, MA, yielded cards of Petite Very Velvet.

The same blue PVV I'd used for the name on the cuff and the dome of the largest nutcracker's crown was added for his belt and jacket cuff, trimmed with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002.

The helmet of the middle nutcracker was stitched in basketweave with white PVV.  Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 102 was worked in a diagonal oblong cross stitch for the knob at the top of the helmet and in tent stitches for the center design.  Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 033 provided the blue accents.

The caps of the ornaments were worked in a satin stitch with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 3221.  The "chops" of the largest nutcracker were worked in DMC floss in basketweave and satin stitches, in preparation for stitching a lot of hair!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cuffed again

It took a lot longer than expected to finish the cuff on the Nutcracker/Packages stocking, but here it is finally!

Once again, I turned to Needle Nicely ( in Vero Beach, Florida, for an alphabet for the name.  The shop provided me with a graphed chart that I used to transfer the letters to the canvas with a permanent marker.

The background was worked in a Nobuko stitch with Vineyard Silk Classic Bright White.  The letters were formed with blue Petite Very Velvet, which I also used to stitch the dome of the nutcracker's crown in basketweave.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A completed background!

This past week, the weather here has been pretty dismal, making it difficult to distinguish the colors of the foliage in the background of the Nutcracker/Packages stocking.  But hooray!--the background is finally done, and the rest of the stitching should be fairly easy.

Ornament hooks were added in tent stitches with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #001.  The largest nutcracker's crown was worked in diagonal oblong cross stitches with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002.

There's a three-inch cuff that needs to be stitched, so I'll work on that next in between wrapping up another column for Needlepoint Now.