Wednesday, December 30, 2015
The middle nutcracker's hair and beard were stitched in basketweave with Burmilana, then "roughed up" with a nap brush until he looked a little like Doc Brown in the movie Back to the Future. The smallest nutcracker's hair and beard were stitched in French knots with Silk & Ivory Pearl Gray.
The smaller package was worked with three values of gold DMC floss in a diagonal oblong cross stitch and trimmed with a bow of Silk Lame Braid in an interlocking Gobelin stitch. The larger package was worked in Scotch stitches over four threads with ecru Silk Lame Braid. Its bow was stitched in basketweave with two shades of Petite Very Velvet with highlights created by Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V in tent stitches.
I exceeded my goal by squeezing in one more stocking finish for this year and am now waiting patiently for another stocking canvas to arrive that I can tackle in 2016. Happy New Year to all!
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The camera with the most recent progress photo of the Nutcracker/Packages stocking is refusing to play nicely with the computer! I've been working on the canvas a little every day, though, and have actually made it to the bottom of the design area in a couple of spots. Tech support is due in for a visit this weekend, so hopefully I'll have something to show for myself soon. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
All three nutcrackers have pedestals stitched in various shades of DMC #5 perle cotton. The tops of the pedestals were worked in a satin stitch, the edges in either a slanted Gobelin or satin stitch, and the bases in slanted Gobelin stitch.
Friday, December 4, 2015
Now that the Nutcracker/Packages stocking canvas has been transferred to stretcher bars, the end is definitely in sight!
I've been concentrating on the smallest nutcracker, who now has a tunic stitched in basketweave with Vineyard Silk Classic Berry and a darker burgundy Burmilana for shading. It's trimmed with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V in tent stitches and Smyrna crosses. The cuffs on the sleeves were worked in interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitches with gold Sheep's Silk. A royal blue Impressions was worked in a satin stitch for his hands and a Kalem stitch for his trousers.
His boots were stitched with black Petite Very Velvet, covering the painted laces that will be added on top of the worked areas. Taking advantage of early morning light, I moved to the middle nutcracker, who at least has one leg to stand on so far.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
The largest nutcracker now has a full beard as well, worked in French knots with white Trio. And the third ornament is finished, using Silk Lame Braid in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch just like the other ornaments.
The largest nutcracker's boots were stitched in basketweave with DMC #5 perle cotton 310 and trimmed with Kreinik #8 fine braid 5760 in tent stitches and Smyrna crosses.
The smallest nutcracker's helmet was decorated in tent stitches and Smyrna crosses with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V.
I'm making a list of the threads I need to purchase from my LNS--for the hair and beard of the second nutcracker, among others--but I still have threads from my stash I can use once I take the canvas off scroll bars and mount it on stretcher bars for the final push.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
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
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 Nutcracker Christmas stocking, designed by Liz Goodrick-Dillon, is ready to go! The fabulous finishing was done by Needle Nicely in Vero Beach, Florida (www.needlenicely.com).
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
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 (www.needlenicely.com) 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
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
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 (www.needlenicely.com) 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
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.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
I've been away for a week, attending the last and most special September wedding--that of my oldest son. The darling guy who 15 years ago brought home a puppy one night, asking "Ma, can we keep her?" finally brought me a daughter. And she is a keeper!
Obviously, I couldn't take Nutcracker/Packages on the plane with me. In fact, I didn't take any stitching, just a book. But it sure was good to feel a needle in my hand when we returned home.
The largest nutcracker's tunic is now completed, trimmed with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002 in tent stitches and Smyrna crosses. Sheep's Silk Old Gold was used in satin stitches for the epaulets and diagonal mosaic and reverse diagonal mosaic for the collar. The red arches and band on his crown were worked in tent and slanted Gobelin stitches with red Petite Very Velvet.
More progress has been made on the background, with the section between the two brown branches at the top left almost finished. And that lovely white line at the top of the photo marks the outside edge of the painted design!
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
It was just a matter of time before the largest nutcracker got his face--or part of one, anyway. His eyebrows and mustache will be added later, but at least there are a pair of twinkling blue eyes looking at me!
Work continues on his red tunic, with only one sleeve left to go. The bottom of his tunic now has a little trim in tent stitches and Smyrna crosses using Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002.
The background on the right now reaches the middle of the red ornament, with the left side almost at the same level. With one more scroll, I'll actually be able to see the top of the painted design area!
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Daytime stitching enabled more work on the background, which now reaches to the middle of the blue ornament on the left and just above the hook for the gold ornament on the right.
The middle nutcracker now has cuffs on his sleeves, worked in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch with vintage red DMC Medici wool. Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 102 and 080HL were added to complete his belt.
The section between the largest nutcracker's tunic and pants was filled in with a woven stitch with Sheep's Silk Old Gold. The bottom of his tunic and his glove were worked in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch with two values of red Impressions. There's a lot of red in his tunic, so I've started on the sleeve on the right in hopes there's enough thread in my stash to finish this area.
I'm making a shopping list of threads I'll need to finish the areas I've skipped as I make my way up to the top of the canvas!
Friday, September 11, 2015
A couple of glorious, sunny mornings made it possible to work some more on the background of the Nutcracker/Packages stocking. The foliage now reaches a little above the brim of the middle nutcracker's helmet on both sides of the stocking.
The trim on the front of the middle nutcracker's tunic was added in tent and Smyrna crosses with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 102. His belt was started with Sheep's Silk Old Gold in satin stitches, with more Kreinik metallic added in the buckle.
Sheep's Silk Old Gold was also used for the top of hit boots in a Double stitch, and for the epaulets of the smallest nutcracker in satin stitches. The little nutcracker has a helmet and belt now, stitched in basketweave with black Petite Very Velvet.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
The face of the middle nutcracker is finished, using DMC floss in satin stitch for the nose and cheeks and vintage black DMC Medici wool in satin stitch for the eyebrows and mustache.
Next up was his tunic, stitched with Vineyard Silk Classic Celestial in basketweave so it was easier to compensate around the gold frogs down the front. His epaulets were worked in a satin stitch with Sheep's Silk Old Gold and trimmed with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 102.
His pants were worked with Vineyard Silk Classic Pewter in alternating rows of tent stitches and slanted Gobelin stitches over two threads. The pant leg of the largest nutcracker was stitched with Felicity's Garden Baby Squirrel in rows of slanted Gobelin stitches over three threads.
Rummaging in my stash, I found three shades of green that would be suitable for the foliage in the background: Burmilana for the darkest green and two shades of Impressions. I popped a few stitches in around the middle nutcracker and will add to these when stitching light is at its best. There's plenty to stitch in this area of the canvas alone, so I'll continue to raid my stash and fill in larger design elements before moving on.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
When folks start to stitch a canvas, they generally start at the top and work down. But that practice isn't chiseled in stone--some stitchers start in the middle and work their way out to the sides. On the Nutcracker/Packages stocking, I started stitching at the bottom where the expanse of solid background is largest.
Three strands of DMC floss 3760 in basketweave covers the canvas nicely and creates a lower profile to highlight decorative stitches which will be placed next to it.
With this much background done, I stitched the face of the smallest nutcracker so I'd have a happy face to look at. More DMC floss was stitched in basketweave, with the cheeks and nose worked in a satin stitch. Eyebrows and mustache were created with an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch using some vintage DMC Medici wool.
I've started in on the face of the middle nutcracker, and when it's finished, will probably move around a little using threads from my stash.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
My next personal stitching project is--you guessed it--another Christmas stocking! Nutcracker/Packages is another design by Liz Goodrick-Dillon but much different from Nutcracker Christmas, which I recently finished.
Since the new stocking isn't destined for the 2015 holiday, I can take my time stitching it. And it's going to take quite some time, since I can already tell that differentiating the colors in the background is going to be difficult.
But starting in on the background is my plan of attack--no bright colors for this stitcher until I've made considerable headway on the less exciting parts!
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
The purse I blog-stitched sometime back has arrived from the finisher! Needle Nicely in Vero Beach. Florida (www.needlenicely.com), worked its magic to create a soft shoulder bag for me to wear to some September weddings. The purse is pictured here against the dress it will accessorize.
The design was adapted from one by needlepoint icon Maggie Lane and stitched in basketweave with Vineyard Silk Classic and Kreinik metallic threads. The purse is lined in blue with a hidden snap closure.
I'm so thrilled with the way it turned out!
Sunday, August 2, 2015
My labor of love is finished--all two feet of it!
Moving the canvas on the stretcher bars one last time, I worked the nutcracker's mustache and beard in French knots. Three strands of Burmilana were used with one wrap around the needle to create a higher profile against his face and tunic.
The final touch--a plume for his helmet! This was worked in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch with white Peluche. When the stitching was completed, I roughed up the surface with the tip of my needle to release all the little "feathers" inherent in the thread.
I'm very pleased with the way this handsome fellow turned out, and hope the recipient will be, too!
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Despite my being in paint-by-day, stitch-at-night mode, the floor is finally finished!
By the time I finished the last stripe, the canvas was badly racked on the scroll bars. The thickness of the stitched canvas wadded up on the bars on the left side of the canvas created a bubble on the right side of the canvas at the level with the toe of the stocking. So I took the canvas off the scroll bars and mounted the bottom on stretcher bars to regain a taut stitching surface.
The squares were stitched in basketweave with off-white and deep forest green Silk Lame Braid to simulate the look of marble tiles. The flowers were worked in Smyrna cross stitches using red Impressions, with satin stitches of medium green Impressions forming the leaves.
I'll need to move the canvas up on the stretcher bars to finish some stitching that I didn't want to get crushed, and then the stocking will be completed. Stay tuned!
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Inching my way down to the bottom of the stocking!
For the last stripe, I used medium green and red Impressions in a diagonal mosaic stitch. Intersecting the two colors is Vineyard Silk Classic Edwardian Gold in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch.
I've started in on the floor, but there's a lot of floor to stitch!
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
How I love Petite Very Velvet, especially in black!
The boots were worked in basketweave, stitching over the painted laces. Red and gray Petite Very Velvet were added for the toes.
The hooks and laces were stitched with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 in one ridiculously long strand for each boot. Beginning at the top right with a Smyrna cross, I came up at the bottom left of the cross to the front of the canvas and carried the thread across to the second hook down on the right. Zigzagging along in this fashion, I crossed over to the other side at the bottom hooks and made my way back up to the top.
I've started work on the last stripe across the canvas and can almost see the bottom of the design area!
Friday, July 17, 2015
The next stripe is the largest, and took quite some time to stitch!
The light green section was worked in basketweave with Impressions and dotted with single cross stitches using the same dark green Impressions as that behind the nutcracker. The looping arches were worked in interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitches with two strands of vintage red DMC Medici wool.
The background behind the trees was stitched in basketweave with off-white Impressions. The trees were worked in a diagonal oblong cross stitch with dark green Impressions and the trunks added in a satin stitch with the DMC Medici wool. The decorative stitches used for the arches and trees gives these areas a higher profile against the basketweave background.
I've started stitching one boot, using black Petite Very Velvet in basketweave. I'm stitching over the laces, but will add those back in later.
Friday, July 10, 2015
The canvas area is getting wider as I make my way down to the toe of the stocking!
The stripes have been outlined in a slanted Gobelin stitch with Wildflowers Golden Grains and stem stitches with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002.
The top stripe was stitched in basketweave with off-white Impressions and some vintage red DMC Medici wool. The second stripe was also stitched in basketweave with the same dark green Impressions used behind the nutcracker and medium blue/green Burmilana for the holly. More red Medici wool in Smyrna crosses formed the berries.
The boot tops were worked in basketweave with Vineyard Silk Classic and accented with Kreinik braid. A single Scotch stitch of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #003HL formed the top of the tassels and two shades of Vineyard Silk Classic in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch created the tassels themselves.
Monday, July 6, 2015
The nutcracker's ascot and tunic are now finished, worked in basketweave and tent stitches with DMC cotton floss and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002.
His leggings were worked in a Kalem stitch, using white and gray Burmilana.
Time to scroll down and attack some stripes behind the nutcracker!
Friday, July 3, 2015
A safe and happy July 4th to everyone! I'll be stitching--what else is new?--and hoping the weather holds so we can have a barbequed dinner.
This design was created from a photo of an actual doorway. Stitchery Square in Camden, Maine, had a brick-and-mortar shop at the time, and sponsored a yearly island stitching retreat. The shop invited participants to submit photos of their doorways, and I adapted the images to canvas.
I was so pleased with this doorway that I asked the homeowner for permission to use the design going forward, and she said yes!
Monday, June 29, 2015
Do you ever get carried away with your stitching? I certainly did when I started work on the nutcracker's red coat!
Vineyard Silk Classic Holiday with Bonfire for shading were stitched in basketweave to achieve a lower profile and make all the tassels stand out. Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #009 formed the tops of the tassels with a Leviathan stitch variation.
The frogs on the coat were stitched with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 in braided knitting, anchored with cross stitches that were studded by Smyrna crosses. The nutcracker's fancy belt buckle was worked in a satin stitch. Inside the buckle a Leviathan stitch variation was outlined in stem stitch.
In order to finish the bottom of the coat, I needed to stitch his white gloves. White and gray Burmilana were used here in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch. I love how that red coat stands out against the dark green background!
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
A lot of little details needed to be attended to before I can start work on the nutcracker's red coat.
His epaulets were worked in a satin stitch with Vineyard Silk Classic Natural and Tea. They were trimmed with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 in a stem stitch and oblong cross stitches for the tassel hangers.
The trim on his sleeves was stitched in basketweave with more VSC Natural and Tea and Kreinik braid. The tassels were worked in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch with VSC Natural and Edwardian Gold.
Just for fun, I added his belt using black Petite Very Velvet in a slanted Gobelin stitch. Now I'm ready to stitch the coat!
Friday, June 19, 2015
The cuff on this stocking is about 10-1/2 inches wide and three inches deep. The background was done with Vineyard Silk Classic Natural in a Nobuko stitch, which works up quickly and compensates easily around the letters.
For the name, I sought the advice of the in-house calligrapher at Needle Nicely in Vero Beach, Florida (www.needlenicely.com). Owner Mary Agnes Rhudy Cussen sent me samples of a large assortment of styles--serifed, sans-serifed, straight, italic and script. I chose the "Andrew" font, which is 22 canvas threads high and a perfect fit for the intended space.
Using the chart created by the calligrapher, I transferred the letters to the canvas with a permanent marker. The name was stitched in basketweave using Silk & Ivory Holly. While a bit of a tight fit on 18-ct. canvas, S & I stands up well against the VSC background and the color blends with the dark green surrounding the nutcracker.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
With all the stripes of Vineyard Silk Classic Holiday and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 finished, I moved to the gold outside area of the scroll.
My choice of Vineyard Silk Classic Edwardian Gold for this area brightens the canopy considerably, just the look I was aiming for. It was worked in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch, just like the red area, which raises the outside border above the VSC Natural in basketweave and the dark green Impressions background.
Now that the background and canopy are finished, there's one more substantial area that needs to be tackled before I can start in on all the juicy little details. On to the cuff!
Monday, June 8, 2015
The canopy above the nutcracker is still under construction, working this time on the red inside the scroll. Vineyard Silk Classic Holiday and Lipstick were used in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch to make this area stand a little higher than the VSC Natural surrounding it.
I've gone back to the striped area, working the gold stripes in tent stitch with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 and the red stripes with VSC Holiday in a stem stitch.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
With the off-white scroll completed on both sides of the canopy over the nutcracker's head, I started on the stripes using Vineyard Silk Classic Tea in a slanted Gobelin stitch.
The nutcracker now has hair and eyebrows, done in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch using two strands of brown Burmilana.
And because the threads were still laying on my work table, I stitched the lapel of his jacket using VSC Natural and Tea and accented with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
The solid dark green background behind the nutcracker is now finished on both sides, and the white scroll on the right is completed. Reward time!
Black Petite Very Velvet was used on his helmet, accented with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 and #003HL in tent stitches and a Leviathan variation stitch in the center. Two Leviathan stitches form the buttons on either side of the brim.
The band across the helmet was outlined in a slanted Gobelin stitch with Vineyard Silk Classic Tea and filled in with VSC Natural in basketweave. The zigzags were added with more Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #003 HL in tent stitches.
The nutcracker's face and "chops" are finished--I'll save the hair and eyebrows for my next reward. The plume on the helmet and his mustache and beard will have to wait for later so the stitches don't get "smooshed" as I scroll back and forth.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Where do you begin stitching on a new canvas? There are plenty of choices with Nutcracker Christmas. If you believe in "taking it from the top," you'd start in with the canopy above the nutcracker. Or maybe you just can't resist all the little details that comprise the nutcracker's uniform.
I've started with the dark green background behind the nutcracker. This is a fairly large area, and I know if I left it for later, I'd get too bogged down. So far, the right side has been stitched with Impressions #5060 in basketweave, covering the random leaf-like motif. I'm working from my stash, and want to get a better idea of the additional threads I'll need in the next trip to my LNS.
Working with the dark thread on the dark background by day, I switch to the swirl area of the canopy at night, working it in basketweave with Vineyard Silk Classic Natural. When I reached the top of the striped area, I treated myself by starting the nutcracker's face, using four strands of DMC cotton floss.
Time to scroll back to the top of the canvas to work the left side of the background!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
With the evening purse canvas safely at the finisher and another project out of the way, it's finally time to tackle the project I've been wanting to do for some time. Liz Goodrick-Dillon's Nutcracker Christmas stocking arrived at my LNS, and I'm itching to get started.
The design area is about 10-1/2 inches wide by 21-1/2 inches long, so it's going to take quite a while to stitch this piece. But I've admired it for a long time and it's perfect for its future recipient.
I'll be back with a progress report when I have some significant stitching to show for myself!
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!
The inspiration for this design was my own mother, who raised shopping to an art. She once spent three hours cruising a mall, finally emerging with a single pair of stockings. The only person who could match her shop-for-shop was my youngest son, who inherited the shopping gene that had eluded me.
This piece was stitched in DMC cotton floss, Kreinik metallics and DMC Medici wool in French knots for the hair.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Why this photo showed up sideways, I don't really know. What matters is, I've completed stitching on the evening purse and it's ready for the finisher!
The pattern, a variation of a Maggie Lane design, was worked in five colors of Vineyard Silk Classic and two colors of Kreinik metallic braid on 18-ct. canvas. It was stitched completely in basketweave to keep the snag factor to a minimum.
I'll be sure to show a photo of the finished purse when I get it back!
Thursday, April 30, 2015
On a trip to my LNS last weekend, I hit the jackpot: every thread I needed to finish this project was in stock!
All of the colors are now in play. Vineyard Silk Classic Ocean Wave has been added to the center of the royal blue octagons, while VSC Reef Waters is at the center of the jade octagons.
The top six horizontal rows represent one side of the purse. Slowly but surely, I'm making my way to the bottom of the canvas!
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
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
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
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
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
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
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!