Friday, December 31, 2010

Good News for Jim Wurth's Fans UPDATED

I am quoting Jim Wurth who posted this message on the NP Etc. Yahoo Group:

"Beginning Jan 2, all Jim Wurth designs (excluding teaching pieces) will be available from Threadneedle Street at This includes individual ornaments from the Dodecagon series. Kits are available. Contact Marianne at the Street. She is taking advanced orders this week."
Jim Wurth

I believe Jim is talking about Threadneedle Street in Palm Desert, California, not the shop of the same name in Washington State.  I think there is a Threadneedle Street shop in Mississippi, too.  Yes, the one in Mississippi specializes in charted designs from Walter Anderson.  But the one I think that will sell Jim's charts is in Palm Desert.  Their phone number used to be 760-340-0411 but I don't know if this is still the right number.

Jim Wurth doesn't have a website but you can see his Dodecagon series on Pierrette's blog.  She took the original cyberclass on these magnificent pieces and posted photos of the finished designs.

UPDATE:  Liz is stitching Jim's Xanadu with her guild this year.  I thought you'd like to see the photo as this is featured in Needle Pointers which means anyone with a copy can stitch it, too.  Actually, I think once I finish Stars, it'll be my next counted project.  (Many thanks to Liz who corrected me when I said the instructions were in NP Now.)

Today's Canvas/Chart of the Day project is another of Jim's designs.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Remember Stars?

Tony Minieri's Stars
Looking back through Blog's postings, I see I put Stars for the New Millennium away October 26 when I started Luna.  I am home for a few days before another trip so I think I'll pick up where I left off and see if I can get the middle block in the next to last row finished.  There's not enough time to do anything on Luna but I hope I can complete Marilyn Monroe before I am off again.

Counted canvaswork lovers should note that Nancy's Needle has updated their website with the new designs from this fall.  Most of the designs seem to be based on traditional quilt patterns.  Recently I've seen four of the NN designs stitched and they are magnificent. My favorite is a Desert Star in warm pinks and roses with touches of orange sherbet and pale blue, but Evening Star is magnificent in the original colorway.

Everyone have fun browsing while I pull out my Stars book, set up the floor stand and pull out the threads Tony wants me to use to stitch Marilyn.  Remember, my colors are violet (A), black (B), terracotta (C) and copper metallic (D).

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Prayers Have Been Answered UPDATED

 The fabulous painted canvas designer SharonG is writing a book!  It will be called SharonG’s Simply Essential Needlepoint Stitch Collection.  It's due out in February which means you'll start seeing it in the shops in the spring.  You probably have seen Sharon Garmize's canvases in your shop or online.  Here's her website.

You might not know Sharon herself is a fabulous stitcher.  I own several of her wonderful stitch guides, which are worth collecting even if you never plan to stitch the canvas the guide describes because they are full of great ideas and diagrammed stitches that can be used other places.  Lately she's been teaching in some of the larger shops and has distilled what her students want to know about stitching painted canvases into a book.

She tells me it will be a spiral-bound format with one stitch to a page in a 5x8 size.  Perfect to cart around with you in your stitching tote bag, in other words.  This first book will diagram sixty of the most useful and useable stitches she recommends to her students, plus include a little hint about each. There isn't going to be a lot of text. SharonG believes hardly anyone reads it. She thinks folks simply want a good diagram and a short explanation.  Sharon plans to publish more books with the later ones covering more oddball stitches, many of which she has created herself.)

So stay tuned.  I've seen the draft of the first book and it is going to be terrific for the painted canvas fanatic.  (Which would be me.  Wonder if I should buy two copies for when I wear the first one out?)

UPDATE:  The title of the new book has been changed to make the cover fit with the wire binding better.  The new book will be called SharonG’s Simply Essential Needlepoint Stitch Explanations. It is now subtitled "SharonG’s Needlepoint Sense" since this is the first in a series that will bear the same subtitle. I can't wait to have several volumes of SharonG's NP Sense on my bookshelves!

UPDATE #2:  SharonG has updated her blog with a description of the first book.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clubs for the Fireside

This morning's messages included one from Fireside Stitchery announcing their 2011 clubs.  There are candy canes, carolers and a cow--plus an acorn and corncob club to celebrate Autumn.  You can see the canvases and read more about each club on Fireside's website.

Fireside's email also mentioned their eBay sales program.  Got excess stash?  They will sell it for you and reimburse you via a shop credit or in cash.  Again, check their website for details.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Monday, December 27, 2010

The New Year Approaches

January 2011 is almost here.  For us stitchers, that means the TNNA trade show in less than two weeks is going to tempt our favorite shop owners with the latest things available.  A great many painted canvas designers are starting to post hints about their new designs.  Were you a fan of the Kelly Clark pear series last year?  It looks like this year she is doing a set of candy canes.

Teachers are showing off new things, too.  Terry Dryden is showing off her latest design which is called Sahara.  She does lovely abstracts full of color and pattern which are a delight when they are finished. She's going to post progress reports as she stitches the original, too.

Anne Stradal is continuing to design and then stitch her Nutcracker ornament series.  The next one has three little ballerinas in the Dance of the Flowers.  Even if you aren't interested in the ballet, you'll want to get this for the tiny dancer in your life, or just watch to see how Anne fixes the problem of making a pink background and pink skin look different.

Squiggee is bringing flamingos to Market!  If you are curious, there's a link to a slideshow of all the new items here.

Patt and Lee Designs are new to Market and are explaining all the things they have to do to get ready to go and sell themselves to the shops.  It's fascinating reading for anyone interested in the business of needlepoint.

There are other new products available.  Kreinik now has gold and silver paillettes.  Sequin lovers unite!

LilyStitch has new miniature travel scissors of a kind I've never seen before.  Your mom rocks.

Finally, Janet Perry has a review of the newest Carolyn Hedge Baird book.  If you are on the fence about this one, read the review and decide whether to ask your shop owner to pick up a copy for you.

On another topic entirely, I think you'll enjoy Plays With Needle's photo essay.  Good job capturing the moment, Susan.

Now Watson and I are going out to play in the snow....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Morning After

It's the day after Christmas and I'm sure we all ate too much.  So before we all take yet another nap, here are some fun holiday things to dance through your needlepoint dreams.  Robin has been decorating with stockings and with nutcrackers. How festive!

Lilystitch has wonderful Santas for us to delight in.

Nimble Needle's finished Kelly Clark pears are gorgeous.  Thank you for the beautiful items, ladies.

Peggi has a great idea for finishing next year's Christmas ornaments!  I bet you can pick up some holiday wine bags right now at a good price, too.

If you can't face another Christmas ornament right now but you do want something small to stitch, Squiggee has hats, sweaters and mittens that would make delightful ornaments.

And Barbara Bergsten has an idea how to avoid all the Christmas madness next year.  LOL

Laura Perin is creating new designs that are just perfect for the new colored canvases from Nature's Palette.

Finally, I have a wonderful story of a pair of rescued Christmas ornaments and a miracle for Christmas.

Watson says Merry Christmas to all.
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Saturday, December 25, 2010

By the Way

I'm not stitching a lot at Christmas since I'm going to be cooking while keeping track of the newest member of the Chilly Hollow family.

This is Watson....

He likes the fact that it is snowing outside.  We've been out to play in it four times since 6 a.m.

He is taking a nap.  I think I will, too.  Merry Christmas everybody!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Christmas Morning

It's Christmas morning in Chilly Hollow, the magical time when presents used to appear under our tree when I was a child.  Now that I am an adult, I can see behind the magic to all the work that creates the illusion of Santa, and to the real magic that is the birth of Christ.

Stitchers come in all sizes, shapes, nationalities and religions. The one thing that joins us is our love of handwork on needlepoint canvas.  To honor that link between us on this magical morning, I have many lovely needlepoint things to show you.  Let's start by visiting the slide show of customers' stitching.

Is your fireplace looking like Robin's?

Are there no packages under your tree?

Are you missing the company of other stitchers?  Perhaps you will enjoy reading about the Christmas Tea the Sampler Guild of the Rockies threw.  We can enjoy this vicariously without having to do all the work to throw such a party.

The Colorado Stitcher also made a tiny gingerbread house ornament that you'll enjoy.  It's on plastic canvas and she kindly posted a link to the instructions she used.  You know, this looks like fun!

How about adding Peace, Joy and a bit of Noel to your heart?

If you are tired of looking at painted canvases you haven't a clue how to stitch, PFOS has a display of finished ornaments from their ornament exchange to enjoy.

Do you just need a little time with Santa?  Marcy's newly finished Santa is a bit different but also traditional and he's ready to give you a big hug.

If you are a counted canvaswork person, this Santa is for you.

Do traditional Christmas themes set your teeth on edge?  Then this purse of Christmas fruits might be right up your alley.

Or you might be interested in NP slippers, backgammon sets or belts and dog themed needlepoint.  These items are already made up.

Whatever caught your eye, I hope you enjoyed the magic of Christmas morning here with me in Chilly Hollow.  I'm going to finish with a slide show of the Christmas items I've stitched over the years along with the Hospitality stocking Judie stitched for me and the little handmade Christmas card Beth sent.

I hope you enjoy it and that we all have a Happy New Year!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Friday, December 24, 2010

Turkey Backgrounds

Mary Lake Thompson Turkey
Nancy has sent me answers to yesterday's questions about her turkey canvas:

"I've been plumbing the depths of my stash again as I think about the background color inside the borders. In addition to the sage green Rainbow Linen #436 pictured, I also found Silk & Ivory Asparagus #84 (a very close match to the Rainbow Linen) and DMC floss #522 which is a touch more to the olive, less to the blue green. Color wise, I think any of the three would work. What do you think about the texture of the Silk & Ivory for the background? 

Personally, I think any of the three would look very nice as a background thread, especially the Silk and Ivory. You might mix two or three of threads, also. That might detract from the turkey a bit but maybe not if all the threads are similar in color, but different in texture.  That would give a complex background stitch texture without being very busy.

I've been thinking about a stitch for the background and personally, two paths occur to me.  The first is to use a simple quilt-like pattern.  The colors suggest a quilt to me so a quilt pattern in the background, particularly a simple one in calm colors, would look nice.  Rummage around the free patterns on Laura Perin's website and look at the March design (right under the Trick or Treat letters. Wouldn't that look pretty behind your turkey?  If you use Silk and Ivory, there would be a subtle sheen.  If you mixed the Silk and Ivory and the Rainbow Linen, doing the various sections in different threads, it might be very pretty.  However, you will have to test stitch to see how many plies of Rainbow Linen you'll need if you mix it with Silk and Ivory.  On second through, Silk and Ivory alone is probably better for this sort of quilt pattern.

By the way, there is a second free design here which you might use behind your turkey or perhaps as the border.  Scroll further down and look for the Happy Thanksgiving pattern called Playing with Color:  Wild Geese.  See the arrow shapes in the center of the design?  They look like feathers to me and are in three colors. You could add a touch of white or red or orange to the two sage greens you have. Would these make a good background?  The simple border with square corners could then work as an outside border beyond what you have painted.  

A second way to go would be with a slightly diagonal background that slanted from the upper right corner roughly to the lower left corner.  That is the way the turkey is walking.  I'm thinking something like the stitch behind Michele's Christmas March.

Except in one type of thread, not three.  Michele kindly diagrammed this stitch on her blog so you can see the sort of gentle sloped stitch I think would make for a good background.  Feel free to react negatively. These are my ideas and it is YOUR canvas!  A sort of country quilt pattern or a sloped diagonal background may not be your cup of tea, especially since I think the stitch Michele used will take a lot of thread.

I even thought about stitching Gobble on the background over and over again in a darning pattern but that takes some planning and graphing of letters or a free design.  We can talk about it if you like that idea later.  

About the added border: What the canvas as painted shows is a one stitch dark brown border, then a one stitch white border, followed by a four stitch rust border. I tried adding a two stitch white border (for consistency) then an eight stitch outer border. That just gets me two threads above the top tail and not quite below the bottom wing. So I may not have understood your suggestion about the secondary border. Did you mean to come down six threads below the tail and then start the eight stitch outer border? There will definitely be enough left for framing/finishing either way.
It sounds to me as if you need a 16 stitch outside border instead of an eight stitch one.  That would go past the tail a little.  Make sense?  Referring again to the Laura Perin Playing with Color: Wild Geese border, you could make that 16 threads wide by just lengthening the slants to cover 16 threads high.  The corners could also be made any size you need and the plain wide border wouldn't interfere with whatever background you choose.

Here are a few additional random question that have occurred to me, which you may choose to address or not as we progress:

Are there threads or stitches which would work for the hardness/scaliness of the beak and foot? 

I think I'd use a metallic thread (perhaps a Kreinik #16 ribbon) in rows of stem stitches for the feet and beak.  Metallics in the right shade of dull brown would look realistic. You don't want a bright shiny brown.  No Kreinik holographic thread, for example.  

Should I try to needleblend the transitions in colors (red to blue in the head, red to yellow in the breast, brown to orange in tail and wing feathers)? 

Maybe.  You certainly could do this but I'm postponing talking about stitching the bird himself until we settle on a background and borders.  Once we have those picked out, then I'll move on to the turkey himself.  That'll be after Christmas of course.  I know you are getting ready to head out for holiday fun.

There are lots of curved lines throughout the body for the feathers. Most are heavy enough for stitching as such. But the ones on the upper yellow breast/shoulder are very fine and gray. Should I try to stitch those as is or topstitch them after stitching the yellow solidly?"

You can do either, or you can use light coverage stitches when the banding shows.  But we'll worry about that later.  I'll remember these are questions we have to handle a bit later next week.

Everyone have lots of holiday fun today!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Talking Turkey: Threads and Borders

Mary Lake Thompson's Turkey with Threads
To recap, Nancy’s turkey is the 13 count design (12 inches wide by 9 high on an 18x15 inch piece of canvas) shown here.  There are two other sizes of the turkey with slightly different layouts in the Melissa Shirley line.

I asked Nancy about finishing her turkey 
canvas and she responded as follows:

I think it will be finished either with a simple frame which could be stood up on a table or buffet or as a wall hanging. A pillow is not on my radar for this turkey.

About the border areas: There are 26 threads between the turkey's lower tail and the lettering at the bottom of the canvas, 34 if I count all the way to the tape. There are 30 threads between the bottom toe and the top of the lettering, 39 if I count all the way to the tape. There are 34 threads between the top of the tail and the tape at the top of the canvas. I would guess that I'll want an inch left for the finishing. The border, by the way is rust, rather than red.

You asked about a color for the new outside border. If I were to pick a color from the ones used in the turkey and given the rust already in the original border, I like the lighter of the blues in his head or an orange that shows up in the tail and breast feathers. As to a color for the background behind the bird, it doesn't need to be white. I'm open to your ideas, as long as it doesn't detract from the turkey himself. The green is what I would call sage and might work there. But ecru or tan have appeal too.

On to the metallics: Here's what I have on hand: in Kreinik Blending filament I have Orange (027) and Copper (021). I have an unlabeled metallic filament in very dark copper. And I have Bijoux in Smoky Topaz (426), a dark brown. From my exploration on the Needle in a Haystack website I found lots of Bijoux and Accentuate that would work: Bijoux 460 Water Sapphire, 465 Turquoise, 466 Blue Zircon, a likely red in 414 Rubasse and 427 Copper Leaf. In Accentuate: 014 Burnt Orange, 255 Orange, 015 Red, 114 Brick Gold, 254 Green, 303 Opal Yellow and 023 Yellow Gold. Should I only be thinking of using one brand or the other? Or can I mix the two types?

I think I've answered your current questions. I'll be around more tomorrow. By the way, thanks for reminding me about the color copy! I always forget that. I took Tom off the stretcher bars and made the copy today. Now we're off to celebrate our 41st anniversary with dinner out!

Nancy, congratulations on your wedding anniversary. I hope you had a lovely dinner.  Thanks very much for sending more photos of your canvas with the threads you are considering.  All that helps me visualize what you have in mind and helps with the colors.

When it comes to picking a background color, ecru or ivory is the safe choice for your turkey.  (Personally I think white is too stark but this is your decision.)  The sage green you mentioned would be my personal choice as I love this color, but I think you need to look at where the turkey will live as a picture or wall hanging during the holidays and find a color that harmonizes with that area or that will make the turkey pop against that background.  You also need to think about the blue or orange colors you thought might look good as an additional border when thinking about the background color.

While we are talking color, I looked at the metallics you already have and those are copper, bronze, black and brown.  I think if you are going to buy more metallics, I'd pick up a green and a gold.  You can easily mix Accentuate and Bijoux.  They are about the same weight, so you can put a strand of either in your needle with your main thread to add a bit of sparkle or you can easily stitch with 6-8 strands of metallic alone.

About adding a border, can you come down about 6 threads below the turkey's leg and bottom tail feathers and still have plenty of room on the bottom for finishing?  I think I'd add six threads all the way around for an additional border if you have that space.  You may want to count the painted rust border and double that count to make the new border a size that looks like it is in proportion.  It might help you to cut out paper in the width you think will work and lay it around the canvas and step back to see how it looks to you.  If it looks ok to you, it is.

I was going to talk about background stitches but this is getting long so I'll wait until tomorrow for that.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Stuck for Christmas Ideas?

Are your friends and family at a loss when it comes to choose a stitching gift for you?  Send them over to LilyStitch for some great ideas!

And of course we all love a sale....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Canvas of the Month: Jane's Geisha

Kirk and Hamilton Geisha Glasses Case - Side Two
For this Canvas of the Month, Bonnie and I are doing something a little different than what we did in the past. We are working on a canvas set instead of coming up with ideas for the same canvas. Bonnie is doing one side of a glasses case and I'm doing the other, using two glasses case designs from Kirk and Hamilton. Here is the set. We don't know what dimensions are for these canvases so we assumed they were roughly 7 x 3 1/2 inches on 18 count canvas.

My canvas is pictured above. Here is what I came up with for this design, based on Bonnie's threads. I thought since this was a set, I ought to mirror what she was doing on one side of the case by reusing the same threads and stitches as much as possible on the other side.  Bonnie used Splendor silk for her geisha's kimono, cotton floss for the skin, wool for the hair, beads or metallics for hair sticks, silk or metallics for hair ornament, metallic for sunglasses, Mandarin floss for the background.  I'll try to match what she's done if possible.

I like to start with the background.  Since Bonnie used Mandarin floss here, I think I'll do the same, especially since Mandarin floss has some lovely shades of green.  For the wave pattern, I would stitch simple vertical stitches over the the pale yellow interiors and then cross stitch the green outlines.  Next I'd tent stitch her face, neck and hand in 3 plies of cotton floss (except for the lips) followed by stem stitch outlines for the ear, eyebrow and nose put right on top of the tent stitches.

Her lips can be stitched in two shades of pink Splendor silk in long stitches.  Using the same medium pink shade of Splendor, stitch the medium pink collar of her kimono in diagonal oblong upright cross stitch.  Couch the dark red outline in a matching darker pink metallic.

Now stitch the lighter blue edge of the kimono (also in Splendor silk) using diagonal cashmere.  Edge with couched medium blue perle, either silk or cotton.

I am not quite sure what the geisha has in her hand but it might be a hagoita paddle.  Regardless, I think it would be lovely stitched in  Nobuko stitch using a gold metallic.

Stitch the hair sticks using the same gold thread.  Tent stitch the smallest areas, then lay long horizontal or slanting stitches and pad over them with the same metallic in long vertical stitches.  Bead the rounded tips with gold beads, preferable faceted ones that match the gold metallic thread.

Turning to the geisha's hair, I'd use Burmilana in long and short stitch, being careful to follow the flow of real Japanese wigs and keeping the stitches shorter than usual.  This will look like the "thin wool" that Bonnie used, be durable and is also easy to stitch with.  DO NOT stitch the hair visible behind the half moon shaped hair ornament.  Instead, stitch the half moon in skip tent stitches with a dark brown/gold metallic in something light weight like #4 Kreinik braid or even Accentuate.  This will allow the black hair to show a bit just like it does the way it was painted.

Tent stitch the glasses using Kreinik's new holographic black thread.  You will get SHINE.  

The final area of the glasses case is the main floral pattern of the kimono.  I would totally bead the leaf and fruit patterns, both the white leaf and the blue veins and the white of the stems and round fruits.  Match the blue beads to a blue Splendor silk and tent stitch the background of the kimono.

This will add up to a durable set of geishas glamorous enough to contain your best sunglasses!

Many thanks to Bonnie for helping me with this project.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Turkey Preliminaries

Mary Lake Thompson's Turkey 
To recap, Nancy’s turkey is the 13 count design (12 inches wide by 9 high on an 18x15 inch piece of canvas) shown here.

Nancy wrote:
I have looked through my threads and have several that could work in the piece, mostly Splendor and Needlepoint and Impressions silk/wool with some additional random threads pulled because they are in the color range. And Wow! there are a LOT of colors in this piece!

The first thing I wondered when looking at this design is how you want to finish it, Nancy. Are you thinking about making it into a pillow or framing it or something else entirely (like a serving tray for the holidays)? Choosing how you want to finish it (and making a color copy of the canvas for later reference as you stitch) is the first step.

I personally love silks and using Caron’s Impressions. They are good choices for almost any design in my opinion, and since you mention the iridescent sheen on turkey feathers in real life, it’ll be easy to mix a strand of two of thin metallics in your needle (like Kreinik’s blending filament, Accentuate, Bijoux, etc.) with the threads you have in your stash. I personally like Accentuate but Bijoux has the advantage of being slightly striped which looks like feathers to me and blending filament is often easily available to most stitchers. I suggest you visit Needle in a Haystack’s online thread catalogue as they carry both Accentuate and Bijoux and have color photos. That’ll help you narrow down colors if you want to pick up some new threads for this piece. Remember to push Next to see more choices. 

It looks like you have 3 inches of bare canvas all around the outside of your design. This will be useful when it comes to planning outside borders (if any). Why don’t you count the number of threads between the outside of the red border painted on the canvas and the turkey’s feet, wings and tail? Once we know how much space there is, we can think about adding a border outside the red border. (How you plan to finish this will also play into any additional borders. How much bare space do you like to have around a piece for framing or pillow-making? Does your finisher have a preference?)

While you are thinking about borders and finishing and metallics, think about colors. Is there one color in your turkey that you particularly like? We could use that if we add a new outside border. Are you committed to having a white background behind the turkey? You could have anything from white to ecru to tan or even use a shade of green or blue from the colors in the turkey. I expect that you won’t want a white background if this is going to be a pillow.

Please think about all this and respond and then we’ll start talking backgrounds and borders.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Canvas of the Month: Bonnie's Geisha

Kirk & Hamilton Geisha Glasses Case - Side One
For this Canvas of the Month, Bonnie and I are doing something a little different than what we did in the past.  We are working on a canvas set instead of coming up with ideas for the same canvas.  Bonnie is doing one side of a glasses case and I'm doing the other, using two glasses case designs from Kirk and Hamilton.  Here is the set.  We don't know what dimensions are for these canvases so we assumed they were roughly 7 x 3 1/2 inches on 18 count canvas.

Bonnie's canvas is pictured above.  Here is what she came up with for this design--

"This piece is designed to be used as an eye case, so in that respect I am keeping it a bit more simple/durable than if it was to be used for something else. So I am using lots of simple stitches with a few changes in texture with the thread choices. The stitches are found in Ruth Schmuff’s Stitches Vol. 1 and 2 and probably other places as well, that is just what I was using today!

Kimono (yellow and black) – cross stitch in a strandable silk like Splendor. If this wasn’t an eye case, it would look really lovely done with long stitches in a silk perle, but this wouldn’t hold up for an piece that is heavily used

Kimono (red) – I would play with something like a continuous woven scotch stitch in the same type of silk used for the yellow part. Since it woven it would add some height to this part to help define it as part of the edging. May want to modify so that the length of the stitches follow the edges of the red exactly – something to play with to see what works.

Kimono (purple) – again, I would use the same type of silk that was used in the rest of the kimono and use a stitch like the beaty of diagonal beaty that continues the diagonal flow of the edging making sure to change direction as needed. 

Skin – tent stitch with a cotton floss. I would normally use silk for faces, but since the kimono is silk, I feel it needs to be a different texture, thus the cotton floss.

Hair – long and short stitch in finer wool following the hair directions. Again a silk would look lovely, but I am going for a third texture so the hair/face/dress are all distinct. I am not sure what the white is in the left of the upper hair – since I need to make a decision on it, I would probably just color it black with a textile marker and make it part of the hair.

Hair sticks – here is where I would be tempted to add some beads. If you are concerned about durability, you could switch to French knots in a metallic thread. Or a padded satin stitch with a strandable cotton or silk would really give the appearance of the rounded sticks.

Hair ornament – flat silk laid in the direction of the piece so it forms a fan of sorts. Since the stitches would be long you could couch it done in places with a matching metallic or a silk thread so it is table.

Sunglasses – Alicia lace in a light-weight metallic thread. I would not go for complete coverage here, just light coverage so it appears like a reflection. Another possible choice for thread is prisms.

Background – double brick or maybe a stitch to imitate bamboo in a bamboo floss like Mandarin floss. I would try more for a light to medium coverage so that the background stays in the background, but keep in mind adding the thread will make the case wear better so don’t go too light! The white flowers in a simple satin stitch with bamboo floss making sure you keep the stitch length short and change directions as go around the flowers.

That’s it! This would be a fun, quick stitch that could easily be made into a portable project to do while you are waiting at activities for your kids, sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, riding the bus or whatever.

Thanks very much, Bonnie.  I'll post my ideas for the other side of the glasses case with the other geisha tomorrow.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stitch a Snail for Storage

Tricia Nguyen (she of the fabulous reproduction 17th Century jacket) has a new fund raiser going.  Stitch a Snail for Storage allows you to purchase a kit for a reproduction 17th Century motif (a snail if you haven't guessed) using reproduction threads and Tricia's instructions.  You can see the snail and start reading about it here.

Part of the kit price will be donated to the Fashion Museum in Bath.  They will use the funds to buy boxes with special acrylic mounts to display their collection of embroidered gloves on so that they can be handled safely when shown to costume and embroidery researchers.

If you are more curious, click on the header at the blog link above and start scrolling through blog entries until you reach the one above.  You'll see more details from the glove the snail motif was taken from and also see the reproduction thread that Tricia uses for this project.

Here's where you can buy the kit and find the link to the instructions for making it up.  It isn't a lot of money but this might be the perfect small gift for a stitcher in your life and has the bonus of helping a fantastic glove collection available to those who would see, admire and understand it.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Monthly Club News

With January approaching, shops that start their monthly clubs the first month of the year are announcing their new design series.

Needlenook of La Jolla has Twinkle Toes, A Collection of Designs stockings with guides from Julia Snyder.  To me they look like jeweled mini stockings that will be great on a Christmas tree or hung in a row on your fireplace mantel.  I'm not sure about the size, however.  These are not shown on the ACOD website (second link), but you might find a single stocking there that charms you if you don't want to commit to a whole year of socks.

The Needlepointer has announced that their 2011 monthly clubs will be Ribbon Candy (designer unspecified but I think these canvases are by Melissa Shirley), Thanksgiving letters featuring gourds, pumpkins and squashes (Melissa Shirley) and Peppermint Patty, a series of eight two sided candies (designer unknown).  Sadly, there's nothing on their website yet about the new clubs or their current trunk show by Raymond Crawford, but The Needlepointer promises great prices for Raymond's delights and I'm sure things will go up on their website soon.

Little Shoppe of Stitches has some wonderful clubs, including the Christmas wreath club, their 3-D cupcakes and of course the Twelve Days of Christmas pear ornaments which are also 3-D.  These are ready for any one who doesn't have clubs available in their local shop or who, like me, has a "local" shop that is too far to visit all that often.

In Do It Yourself club news, if you want something very different for a personal club (or your shop is looking for recommendations), why not check out the landscape club from Julie Mar Designs?  She does wonderful vingettes of the Great Smoky Mountains and of the beach, too.  After all, her home of North Carolina has both mountains and ocean views.

And finally, don't forget to browse all the Petei Santa kits available from The French Knot in Texas.  If this doesn't put you in a Christmas mood, nothing will!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Introducing the Turkey Canvas

Mary Lake Thompson Turkey
Nancy is my next volunteer. She writes:

Thanks for the opportunity to seek your guidance on a canvas. Mine is a large turkey by Mary Lake Thompson [published by Melissa Shirley Designs].

Here are the specifics:
Design size: 12" wide x 9" high
Canvas size: 18" x 15"
Canvas gauge: 13

Issues:  Design exceeds the painted border, requiring further stitching decisions.  Design elements are very detailed. I look at it and can't figure out what to do beyond basketweave. Would light coverage work here? If so, which areas?

We have lots of wild turkeys around our property, and I'd love to have this one inside! But I'm having trouble getting started.

I answered Nancy this way:

Jane: Heck, yeah light coverage would work on this canvas. Do you have any problems with doing a white border outside the red border so it looks like the turkey is stepping outside of a mat in a framed canvas?

Nancy: I have no problem with doing a white border outside the red border - something of that nature is almost necessary. I don't know quite how to plan it.

Nancy:  I have no LNS in the area. I've been trying to add to my stash, but no real way to see all the thread possibilities out there. So your suggestions from what you are aware of will be so welcome. I happily order from several stores that do mail and Internet orders.

I have looked through my threads and have several that could work in the piece, mostly Splendor and Needlepoint and Impressions silk/wool with some additional random threads pulled because they are in the color range. And Wow! there are a LOT of colors in this piece!

I don't know if you're familiar with wild turkey, but they do have a touch of iridescence to their feathers, if that helps to put you in mind of threads.

We have a herd that roams Chilly Hollow (photo from last week above).

It's funny, but normally the males only display in the spring at mating season. This year they've been in full strut for a couple of weeks now. I don't know if it's climate change or what. Maybe they're trying to inspire me to get going on this canvas! They come up and knock their beaks on the patio door, trying to communicate with their reflections. This can go on for an hour or more in the mornings!

I'm going to go now and see if I have the right stretcher bars and get Mr. Turkey taped and stapled.

I have been enjoying the work you are doing on the first reader canvases and really look forward to our work together. My family is primed for this adventure and all want links to your blog when we get started!

Jane: The first thing I want to know is if there are any threads and/or stitches you already know you do or do not want to use on this piece.

Nancy: You asked about threads and/or stitches I know I want to avoid. I'm game for trying any stitches you want to suggest. The only threads I know I'd like to avoid: I have trouble with Vineyard Shimmer getting all bunchy on the surface. And I really prefer to avoid rayons! I could live the rest of my stitching life without Patina and Fiesta.

Jane: I don’t like nylon threads either, although I have to say Rainbow Gallery’s Panache isn’t half bad as nylon threads go. Ok, we have the preliminaries in place, so let’s start talking turkey.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

A Book Lover's Delights

I have a treat this morning for folks who adore stitching books.  I've found great new books (well, they are new to me) on the Alex Paras Needle Arts website.

Thistle Needleworks has a nifty small Quick Stitch Reference book that is perfect for travel.  I haven't seen this in person but I've seen Judie's stitching (your stocking is decorating my car rear view mirror this year, Judie) and I know this will be a useful little book.  If you travel, this might be the perfect gift for yourself.

Counted canvaswork folks love playing around with colors and patterns, so I think they might be interested in Stitching Inside the Box, which is from Finger Step Designs.  The book is about creating your own band sampler and can be used for both cross stitch and needlepoint samplers.

There is lots more here, but I think the Magazine section is of particular interest since AP Needlearts is selling old copies of Needlepoint Now and Embroidery and Cross Stitch at discount.  If you are missing issues or just want to explore these magazines at a lower than usual price, check them out.

There are many other great books listed here but anyone who wanted the out of print Knots, Fur and Turkeywork can pick a first edition up here.

Ridgewood Needlepoint Blog has posted photos of the new book versions of Ruth Schmuff's Stitches, Volumes One and Two.  Ruth's books originally were only on CD and as smart phone apps, but since many of us don't have computer or Internet access when we are stitching, hard copies were made available.  These are great books, by the way.  I have these CDs (but not the Backgrounds one, are you listening, Santa?) and adore them!

If you are love reading about books as well as reading them, then you will want to visit Marianne's blog where she talks about how the books she sells go in and out of fashion.  As usual, you can tell how much Marianne loves the books she describes in loving detail. I imagine what is happening is that the folks who love her books buy and more on, without new buyers finding out about books they might really enjoy.  So make a habit of visiting Marianne's website to keep up with books before they go out of style and disappear again.  Like me, you will find books you never heard of that tempt you to add them to your bookshelves.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm iPhone Mobile Now

In my march into the 21st Century (dragging my needlepoint behind me in a little red wagon borrowed from Beloved's grandson) I have made Blog "mobile enabled."  This means that if you want to read Blog on your smart phone, it is in a format made specifically for mobile devices.

I actually prefer the usual format when reading blogs on mobile devices.  If you are like me, scroll down to the bottom of the page when using your smart phone and click on "View Web Version" and you'll be back at a regular computer view that shows the column on the right hand side of the page.  You can toggle back to "View Mobile Version" if you change your mind.

For those who blog via Blogger, Google seems to be rolling out this feature to those who use their Blogger in Draft setting.  When it is available for your blog, you'll get a message from Blogger when you log into your account that allows you to turn on the mobile view if you wish.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Art Interpretation (Revolution Included)

Paris Bottman Cat Stocking from Maggie Designs
The Dangerous Mezzo mentioned in a Comment that she adored the Maggie cat stocking in the header photo.  (Thanks, DM.)  This photo shows a Paris Bottman design that was adapted by Maggie to needlepoint that I stitched several years back as a Christmas present for my mother.  When DM mentioned it, I started thinking idly about artwork that various needlepoint designers have licensed.    Melissa Shirley regularly published various designers' work besides her own and of course Maggie Designs is all licensed art.  I don't believe Maggie does any designing herself.  While I was thinking about this and wondering if there was a Blog entry to be written on the topic, I discovered this on the Sundance Needlework website.

The article she mentions by the artist Jane LaFazio is here.  It's quite interesting to see needlepoint through the eyes of an artist whose work is being reproduced this way.  If you go back to the Sundance blog link above and scroll back some, you'll see close ups of various parts of the Tree of Life design as they were worked.

If all this art talk is duller than dishwater for you, then you might want to go over to the Spinster Stitcher's blog where she is fomenting revolution.   I plan to sign right up.  After all, who doesn't want to be involved when SS is leading the charge?  A good time is guaranteed to be had by all.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Dragon Itself (Part Nine)

Leigh Designs' European Dragon
Continuing the discussion about Sandy's dragon, we will pick up with
The Head and Eye - The eye is the most important part of the head. Stitch it first with tent stitches and use silk floss or a thin metallic. I think I would stitch the eye color in metallics to contrast with the pupil in silks. Perhaps add a bead for the pupil. Backstitch or stem stitch around the eye with your silk. These areas need the detail of a floss instead of the heavier look you would get from your Opal or Silk Lame Braid. Experiment until you are happy and don’t be afraid to rip out. You want your dragon to have the proper expression. Once the eye is mastered, then tent stitch with careful shading the rest of the face. You may wish to backstitch or stem stitch the outline around his mouth, the continuation of the eyeliner over the top of his head, the line at the corner of his mouth and of course the forked tongue and chin hairs. Treat his tiny head spines the way you did the small spines on his lower body and tail.

The Smoke and Flame - I’d leave these to the end (along with beads on the tummy scales if you indeed use them). Let’s talk about the flame first. I know you want to use something like Flair for these areas. Because you are going to have the background stitched already before you get to these, some test stitching in the margins of the canvas or on scrap will serve you well in determining what you do. You may find the color of Flair you chose doesn’t work. Testing will help you decide on the right color. I would not stitch the Sundance Eye Wave background stitch over the smoke and flame areas. Leave them bare and stitch right up to them with the background stitch. When it comes to the flame, look at what Cassie did for her hummingbird tail in the link below. I think once you lay down long lengths of Flair, you could (using a sharp needle and one ply of a silk so it won’t catch on the Flair) do stem or outline stitches right on top to highlight this area. Note Cassie did a long straight stitch but stem or outline stitches are less likely to snag on a pillow.

I’d bunch up my Flair for the smoke and tack it down using a darker gray thread. You can probably stitch long stitches along the bottom of the Flair with a sharp needle, then gather the Flair by pulling on the threads. This is how ruffles are attached to pillows, etc. This tutorial is for using a sewing machine but you can use the same technique and won’t have to have two lines of running stitch. Just put your row of running stitches close to the bottom of the Flair and use long stitches. Probably silk will work best as thin metallics might snag the Flair.

I hope I didn’t forget any areas on this large, complex piece! Please ask questions where things aren’t clear. Have fun with this. We all are eager to have a photograph when you finish so don’t forget us!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Dragon Itself (Part Eight)

Leigh Designs' European Dragon
Continuing my posting about Sandy's dragon canvas, I'll start with 
The Wings - These are the most prominent part of the dragon but you don’t want them to overwhelm the head, eye and flame, so I took a lot of time to think this over. The wings also have a special problem--the lightest shade of golden brown at the top edge of the wings may blend into your background color. With that problem in mind, I think the best way to stitch the wings is with a stitch that is non-directional. Try Interlocking Gobelin but skip stitching the ribs between sections You may find you need to cross stitch the lightest golden brown edge of the wings to raise it a bit as it is the most important part of the wing instead of using the Interlocking Gobelin there. Once the sections are finished, stem stitch a line or three for the ribs, letting the stem stitch narrow to the points. Use one row of stem stitch for the thinnest parts and 2-3 for the fatter part of the line. You may want to play around with thin metallics for this outlining of the wings. Kreink has a huge range of colors and also sizes, so that you could even couch the thickest lines with #16 braid, then work your way down to #8 and then #4 at the tips. If that is too much sparkle, try using perle cotton. I am not sure that your Opal or Silk Lame braid will work for the ribs. I think you want contrast. Regardless, once you finish put a line along the outside edge of the top of both wings. This helps “lift” the front wing away from the back wing and also divides the area from the background.

Note: Interlocking Gobelin comes in several sizes: Over two threads, over three, etc. Experiment a bit and see which seems to fit the scale of your dragon. I think you will want to stitch this over three or four threads, not over two as diagrammed here, but this is up to you. Do some test stitches and see what you think. You can do some very nice shading with Interlocking Gobelin.

The Body and Tail - The body has several distinct areas. There is the body under the wings, the back with those big spines, and the turn of the neck before the throat and head. Then there is the tail that narrows down to almost nothing. (Note that the body has an upper and lower area in some sections.) The important thing you want to convey here are the shadings of color and the fact that this is a scaly dragon. If you haven’t made a color copy of your canvas yet, do so before starting to stitch the body. You’ll need it to place the scale outlines and beads by looking at the copy since you will have stitched over some areas already by the time you get to the outlines and beads. We’ve already talked about using tiny beads for the belly. The beading should wait until everything else is done. I find beads catch threads in neighboring areas as you try to stitch next to a beaded area, so I wait until The End most times before I add beads. I think to convey the sense of scales I would use cross stitches along the scale lines and then Dotted Swiss stitch for the upper body (not the area where the beads will go) and the back of the neck under those big spines. (Stitch the spines along his backbone the same way as the teeth and claws but in browns and golds instead of grays and silvers The largest spines on his upper back may need cross stitches instead of tent to make them appear more prominent.) Dotted Swiss is simply cross stitches every other thread, staggering them in the next row so that the cross stitch in the current row is below a skipped thread on the previous row. Once all that is done, fill in the skipped intersections with tent stitches. Because of the intricate shading you may need 2-3 needles threaded with different colors to work the body. You may find you want to couch the dividing line between the upper and lower body. It curves quite a bit and that may be hard to do in solid cross stitches. You can also use stem stitches for the dividing lines of the scales but that again will be harder to do in tight curves. However you decide, do the same thing for the tail. Use stem stitches again to do the narrow tip of the tail. The tiny spines on top of the tail and body should be done in small slanting stitches. Just follow the paint job with your brown thread. If the spines are larger, you may need to do a tent stitch flanked by two slanting lines for the spine- / \ to make it look ok. Once the upper tail and body is done. tent stitch the lower body and tail before adding the beads. Nestle the beads in among the tent stitches, referring to your color copy. You might want to mix sizes of beads and perhaps colors, too. A range of sizes in gold, crystal beads and tan ones would be lovely. Attach them with a doubled long ply of DMC floss in a color that matches your main threads. Whatever color of thread inside the crystal clear beads you use will show a bit so you can shade that way, also.

I'll finish up my discussion of Sandy's dragon canvas tomorrow.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Dragon Itself - Part Seven

Leigh Designs' European Dragon
The European Dragon canvas is easily broken up into sections: there are the two wings, the feet and claws, the head and neck, the smoke and flame near the head, and the body. You’ll have to do some playing around with your threads, Sandy, to see how they stitch up in the stitches I recommend below. There’s no way for me to know if things will work if I have not stitched it myself. But drawing on my experience with threads and stitches, I can make recommendations for you to test. Whether you like them or not, well, at least you will have starting points. Sometimes just knowing you hate a certain stitch gives you a place to start since it is much easier to react than to start with a blank slate yourself.

In no particular order, here are my impressions for each area.

Special Background Thoughts - Some areas of the background have to have a lot of compensation. I’m thinking about the area of the dragon’s open mouth where the teeth stick up and where the smoke and flame are, the hole shape the tail coils around, the small spaces between the claws, the area above the neck where the spines stick up, etc. In general, I think you will want to tent stitch these areas with your background thread. You may find you can put some compensated background in areas that are larger (like the background above the long neck) but I think in most cases that’ll look odd. I’d start stitching the background first and just see how well compensated small areas look. If you haven’t stitched the dragon yet, you can more easily count across the dragon to finish the row. You can also stitch right over the dragon with some DMC cotton floss in a bright color to keep the stitch flow going. Once you reach the other side to finish that row of background stitches, you can pull the brightly colored DMC stitches out.

By now I hope you’ve chosen the “framing” border to stitch but you may want to do a single row of background and then some test stitches. You’ll have to play with the threads you’d chosen to see which looks best as a stitched frame for the piece, though.

The Feet and Claws (and Teeth) - These are pretty easy. I would tent stitch the feet section by section, skipping the lines around each segment. You can go back and do cross stitches over the outlines once the sections are done to set off each area. The claws I would do the same way in three shades of silver and gray. Use a pale non-metallic gray for the inside of each claw in tent stitches, then switch to a dark gray non-metallic for the bottom outline. You may want to switch to tent stitches for this. The final touch should be a metallic silver outline for each claw, probably also in tent stitches. You want the claws a little recessed compared to the feet. I think I’d stitch the dragon’s teeth the same way as the claws. I would also stitch the gray inside of his open mouth in tent stitches so that the teeth aren’t overwhelmed by a fancier stitch.

I'll continue talking about stitches for the dragon itself tomorrow.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Overnight Blogger restored Blog, which was deleted yesterday morning, either by a hacker (as part of the Gawker hack which I was effected by) or by a change in Blogger code.  Blogger says it was a bug but a lot of those effected were also hit by the Gawker hack.   So I don't know what happened but I am very grateful Google (which owns Blogger) acted quickly to restore Blog.

So now I have two blogs, one at (the original) and the clone at  I'm eventually going to remove the clone but I'd like it if as many folks as possible can check out the new look of the clone and let me know if they can view it successfully.  Eventually I'm going to have to switch to the new templates and I'd like to know in advance if they mean some Blog readers can't view things when I am forced to switch.

Anyway, here is the clone address which I created yesterday.  Please check it out and let me know in the Comments if you can read it and if you like the new look.  Thanks!

For those of you who use Blogger for your blog and are now nervously trying to figure out how to do backups, log into your blog, go to the Dashboard, then click on Settings.  You'll see at the top of the main section commands for Export and Import and Delete.  Ignore Delete!

If you click on Export a file of your blog postings will be downloaded to your computer.  If you click on Import, you can load that file back into Blogger and your postings will be restored to the point of the last backup.  Note that you will have to reload the template that sets up the look of your blog and add the header photo, title and any widgets you have manually.  For Blog, all the contents of the right column had to be manually redone except for the archive of postings which is generated automatically.  So keep a file of the photos you use with the backup file you download periodically.  I backed up once a month but I think I'll change that to once a week.  As often as I post, restoring a lost month's worth of material is a big chore, bigger than I realized.

Hope this helps everyone.  Thanks a lot to all those who emailed me that something was wrong with Blog.  I appreciate your concern and support greatly, whether it was a hacker who deleted Blog or a bug that wiped it out.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Christmas Treats (with Stirling Bag Tutorial)

This time of year usually means Christmas trees and lots of Christmas treats for me.  In order to avoid adding more pounds, I think this year I'll just admire the treats that Pocket Full of Stitches has in their shop.

They have trees, too, and needlepoint trees aren't heavy, crooked, shedding needles and an endless temptation to the dogs and cat.

Robin King has a treat for us on the Needlepoint Study Hall blog--a tutorial on inserting a canvas in the Stirling bags!  Robin recently fixed up a canvas for Vicky DeAngelis recently and took photos of the steps.   Now I have an idea of how to do it when I insert a new canvas into the new Stirling bag that arrived here last November.  But more on that after Luna is finished and I have some time with Stars.

Finally, I have a lovely Peace Angel from Nimble Needle.  I know she's supposed to be a holiday angel but this time of year, I always long for peace for all.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Monday Morning Treat

Are you interested in food?  Do you like reading about history?  Is period clothing your thing?  Are you a fan of British fiction?  Do you adore (and re-read annually) Jane Austen?  Whichever of these things caught your eye, this is the website for you!  Erudite without being dull, I find this site a great escape from the pressures of holiday prep.  Even reading the list of recently read books is a delight!  My only quarrel is that many of the TV program links don't work for those outside Britain and that's the fault of the BBC, not the author.

Jane, exiting to look at the boxes of Jello in the pantry in CH

UPDATE: Due to the kindness of a friend, I learned about this movie, which sounds interesting to a stitcher.

My friend was charmed by a shrug in the movie (she says the costumes are fabulous) that resembles one Sophie Digard has created. This is for the crocheters out there. Isn't it lovely? I'd adore one of those myself!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Curious About Metal Threads? UPDATED

We aren't exactly ignorant of the beauty of metal threads used in goldwork here in Chilly Hollow but we haven't taken a class ever so it is great fun to learn more about how these threads are used.  Kathy is making a sachet and using metal thread embroidery for the holly leaves at the base.  It's fun to watch her use a piece of check like a flexible bead to make the holly outline.  She gives us tips on working with Benton and Johnson's check, too.

If you are curious about Benton and Johnson threads, here is their website.  Check is listed under Wire Threads, but don't skip Embroidery Threads.  That's where coloured twist lives and coloured twist is one of my favorite threads EVER!

One of the mysterious topics related to goldwork is the use of beeswax to condition the thread that is used to attach the metal threads (or beads for that matter).  I've never known exactly how to properly wax my threads but Mary Corbet Tells All right here.

On another topic altogether, the end of December marks the end of the tax year for Americans.  Whichever side of the debate on extending the Bush tax cuts you are on, most of us can reduce our tax burden by charitable donations.  These have to be done by the end of December to count toward the 2010 tax return we'll be filling out in early 2011.  If you want to make a charitable donation but have no idea where, Tricia Nguyen has an idea.  Give money, even a little money, to museums so they won't be placed in the position of having to sell off important parts of their collection to keep their doors open.  Let me turn Blog over to Tricia so she can explain this better than I ever could--

UPDATE:  Here is a series of articles about the Benton and Johnson factory and how their metal threads are made.  Fascinating!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

The Dragon - Part Six

Leigh Designs' European Dragon
Once Sandy narrowed down the background choices and picked the major threads for her dragon, it is time to talk about the final touch to the background.  As a reminder, the European dragon is on 13 count canvas that is roughly 20x24 inches in the outside dimensions with a dragon that is about 15 inches wide and roughly 18 inches tall. Sandy bought Rainbow Gallery's Silk Lame for the wings and Plant Earth Fiber's Silk Opal for the body of the dragon, and is thinking about using Flair for the smoke and flame. Sandy likes full coverage on her designs and is stitching this for her son.

If you want to look at the background stitches Sandy considered, here's the link.

Before we talk about possible stitches for the dragon itself, Sandy liked the idea of stitched a "frame" around the border.  In this blog entry I showed Sandy three different types of stitched frames.  Now that we know she is leaning toward using Sundance's Eye Wave stitch, we can look at the borders again.  Personally, I think I would use SharonG's Favorite Border for this piece.  That's the one with the black and gold colors with the diamond shape in each corner.  If Sandy switches the colors to use some of the green and browns that she bought to stitch the dragon, I think it would look beautiful. It's also fairly simple so it won't compete with the dragon for attention, just frame the piece.  She could also add a bead to the center of each diamond to further set it off.

If Sandy chooses this border, she'll have to play with the threads she has to find the correct number of plies needed for the effect but SharonG lists the threads she used here, so it'll be easy to compare using 2 plies of Silk Lame Braid with using #16 or #12 Kreinik braid.

Ok, Sandy, now it is your turn to pick a border and play around with using the threads you already have for it.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at