Monday, September 17, 2018

Three's the charm

Stitching these little hearts is a lot like eating potato chips--you can't be satisfied with just one.

For my third heart, I chose a horizontal band design, "lifting" a couple of motifs from one of my Eggs for All Seasons.  I used peach tones of DMC floss--948, 754 and 758--that I'm more accustomed to using for skin tones, and combined them with DMC 712, an off-white, and Kreinik #12 braid 9192.  The stitching was kept simple:  basketweave and Smyrna crosses.

I could go on and on, filling in heart shapes with an almost infinite combination of designs and colors, but for now I think it best to get back to work!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

One more time

Stitching another heart for Greater Kansas City's Hearts for Hospice project, I chose pink, one of my favorite colors.

The background alternates floral stripes with panels of Nobuko stitch, separated by thin stripes of slanted Gobelin stitch, all using four strands of DMC floss 3326.  The rosebuds were worked in an encroaching Gobelin stitch with DMC floss 335, while the leaves were formed with satin stitches of DMC 367.

It's a pretty simple design, really, but pleasing to my eyes at least.  Hmmm....do I have time for just one more?  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

"Feel-good" stitching

Finding a little downtime between projects, I decided to do something for someone else for a change.  The Greater Kansas City Needlepoint Guild was seeking contributions to its Hearts for Hospice program, so this filled my window of time perfectly.

I found a heart template online, traced it onto graph paper, then played around with a suitable design for the center.  After transferring the design to some scrap canvas, I raided my stash for the threads you see here.

The blue diamonds were worked in an encroaching Gobelin stitch with four strands of DMC floss 3325.  The white diamonds were stitched in basketweave with three strands of DMC floss Blanc.  Outlining the diamonds are tent stitches of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 001, with Smyrna crosses in the intersections.

The whole project from start to finish took about four days, and I had such a warm, fuzzy feeling when it was completed that I decided to do another one!  I'll show this one, too, when I'm done.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Before and after


When Rebecca Wood's mini banner Winter was posted on Needlepoint Nation Stash Exchange some time ago, it was love at first sight for me.  Everything about it appealed:  the serenity of the scene, the warmth exuded from the lighted windows of the house, and the delicious blue-green with which it was painted.  Because of its size--half of it mounted on stretcher bars and the rest rolled up with clips--it became my traveling companion.  But I also had other canvases to stitch, so it's taken longer than normal to reach a TADA moment.

I decided to stitch all the background (except for the sky, done in basketweave) in an encroaching Gobelin stitch, with other design elements worked in a variety of decorative stitches to make them pop.  Why encroaching Gobelin?  It's a smooth stitch that's ideal for blending one shade into another and which supports the theme of serenity. 

Some folks give encroaching Gobelin a bad rap.  I had one person email me, saying she wanted to stitch a canvas I'd featured in a "Making It Simple" column in Needlepoint Now, but was looking for an alternative to encroaching Gobelin.  "It's a nasty stitch--I hate it and will never, ever do it," she added.  Wow--strong stuff!  I've found this stitch works up more easily if done on the diagonal--it makes it simpler for me, anyway, to see where the needle should nestle the thread inside the previous stitch.  Every time I do this stitch, I think back to when, as a kid, my mother served a dinner of fish.  When I complained that there were bones in the fish, my exasperated mother--a terrific cook--retorted, "That's why God gave you a tongue!"  Well, when it comes to the encroaching Gobelin stitch, that's why needle manufacturers give their product a pointed end.

The lovely blue-greens were provided by three values of Impressions and all the snow by Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 032.  The house was worked in a diagonal oblong cross stitch with #8 pearl cotton and the sled in more pearl cotton.  The red cardinals were stitched in basketweave with red Trio, with their wings added in a padded satin stitch.  The snowman's body was worked in a diagonal mosaic stitch, with a scarf created by red Trio and dark green Impressions in a slanted Gobelin stitch.

The finished canvas just makes me smile, and I hope my daughter-in-law, decorator extraordinaire, will like it, too!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Top of the Mornin!


The last two weeks have been hellish on the Cape.  Back-to-back Nor'easters socked us with snow and winds topping 80 m.p.h.  Two power outages later, we're back in business.  Today is St. Patrick's Day, the sun is shining, and all's well with the world!

Liam, that dapper Irish gent from my Savile Row series, and I wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day!