Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Simple Ornament Finishing

If you want to try simple ornament finishing for yourself, Needlepoint for Fun has just posted a tutorial that takes you through the process step by step.
http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/how-to-finish-a-needlepoint-ornament.htm

It's even interesting to read if you never plan to do any of your own finishing.  It helps you understand the ways a finisher does their magic to turn a piece of stitching into a completed object.  Of course this is just the basics.  Ornament finishing can be done without glue, finished flat, finished rounded like here, done with fancy trims or bows, or done with a boxed edge.  The possibilities are endless but this is a nice way to understand how it is done in a very basic fashion.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 28, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Needlepoint Fashion from Venus Williams

Although the print looks like cross stitch to me, it's still fun that Venus Williams' newest fashion line is called the Needlepoint Fashion Collection.
http://www.tennisidentity.com/2017/07/venus-williams-reveals-new-needlepoint-fashion-collection.html

Looks durn good on her, too!  If you are on the needlepoint tennis team, you can see more of the collection with the "needlepoint" floral patterns here.  Check out the backpack and tote!
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/EleVen_Womens_Tennis_Apparel/catpage-WAELEVEN.html?=fromtenid

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

A Summer Sale by Gay Ann Rogers

Today through Wednesday Gay Ann Rogers will have a small summer sale of some of her counted designs. It's small and won't last long, so make sure you don't miss out.
http://www.gayannrogers.com/coming-soon-summer-sale.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Gail Sirna's Mermaid Ornaments

Gail Sirna's website of her teaching and on-teaching pieces is always a fun browse.  She's added something I haven't noticed before—a gallery of her original mermaid designs she does for friends each year.  The bottom of the page has Gail's story about the ornaments and the top has the photos.  Click on the first mermaid, and then you can click on the next in the series using the link at this photo's bottom right corner.  Have fun dreaming about stitching your own mermaid!
http://www.gailsirna.com/non-teaching-pieces/mermaid-ornaments/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 27, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fiber Talk Interviews the Designers Behind the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat

This weekend's Fiber Talk podcast interviews the four designers (Pat Hartman, Mary Knapp, Linda K. Reinmiller and Debbie Rowley) behind the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat.
http://wetalkfiber.com/2017/08/20/fiber-talk-with-the-needle-arts-mystery-retreat-designers/

Follow the links on the home page to visit the various designers' individual websites and to check out the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat itself.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Looks Like Needlepoint To Me

Thanks to the Needlework Retailer, I have a link to a photo of a "sampler" stitched by Charlotte Bronte.  
http://thelongvictorian.tumblr.com/post/163220626103/a-needlework-sampler-by-english-novelist-and-poet

Here is more about the Bronte Sisters' samplers.
http://kleurrijkbrontesisters.blogspot.com/2010/05/samplers-of-bronte-sisters.html

http://kleurrijkbrontesisters.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-would-bronte-sisters-sew.html

Actually, I doubt this needlepoint floral was actually stitched by Charlotte but I did find that it came from a collection that now belongs to Duke University.
https://www.eomega.org/article/baskin-feminist-library

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 26, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Basketweave Turkeywork

Michele at Bristly Thistle has a tip for those who hate turkeywork but need some on one of their canvases—stitch it the Susan Portra way.  Basically you just do basketweave but leave big loops on top of the canvas.  I suspect this works best in smaller areas as I can see holding a ton of loops out of the way would get difficult if you were doing this in a big space.  Of course you could use non-tacky tape to hold the loops out of the way.
https://www.bristlythistle.com/blog/2017/7/24/the-easiest-turkey-work-ever

If you loathe turkeywork, this is something to try.  Thanks, Susan, Sally and Michele!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 24, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mandala Magnets

Fans of Eastern-themed designs will want to check out the Mandala magnets from Nancy Baha's Etsy shop.  The retro floral tile styles are lovely, but I can't take my eyes off the Mandalas!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/nancybaha?ref=l2-shop-info-name&section_id=21509286

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 23, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Computer Pixie Has a Frame

The Computer Pixie, Framed!

I finally got around to framing my Computer Pixie* by turning under the edges and adding a twisted cord I made from size 5 perle cotton, then attaching her with glue to the back of a shadow box frame I found on sale at Michael's.  She's off to the county fair to charm all the folks visiting the Needlework Exhibit.  She was a lot of fun, even though I went off the rails quite often when it came to following Sheena's fun stitch guide.  I do love stitching humorous canvases and people!

*Design by Ruth Schmuff, with a free Sheena James stitch guide.
https://bedeckedandbeadazzled.com/product/computer-pixie/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 14, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Twist and Select Needle Case

I absolutely adore my Twister, which is a lipstick-style magnetic needle storage case made by Pym.
http://www.needlepointtooltime.com/product/Twister

It holds all my current needles and keeps them safe when not in use.  Thanks to Brenda's Needlepoint Studio, I've discovered that Dritz has two different needle cases that are similar in style.
https://brendasneedlepointstudio.blogspot.com/2017/07/needle-storage-tubes-72317.html

Here is what Brenda found and chose to use.  It appears to hold needles up to two and a quarter inches long, which means it might not hold the longest beading needles but it'll handle tapestry needles just fine.
https://www.createforless.com/Dritz-Needle-Storage-Tubes-3-pc/pid281784.aspx

After a little more hunting I found Dritz's larger lipstick-twist case.  It also is the same length.
https://www.createforless.com/Dritz-Needle-Case-Twist-N-Select-Storage-Tube/pid270102.aspx

Thanks, Brenda.  Options are always good as no one product suits every needlepointer.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 23, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NAN's 2017 Winners

The National Academy of Needlearts has finally posted photographs of all the winners of their 2017 Exemplary on their website.  Click on each photo for a better look and a short summary of the piece.   If you have a Facebook account, you can see more photos at their NAN page.
https://needleart.org/assembly/2017-exemplary-ribbon-winners/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 18, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Want to Meet the Bad Bitches?

While wandering around the newly designed website for Old World Designs, I stumbled across a new designer, Bad Bitch Needlepoint.  
https://www.badbitchneedlepoint.com/about/

I thought you'd love to hear the story behind the designs and watch the portrait of Kate Moss being put on needlepoint canvas.  Here's the canvas that started my hunt for the company, by the way.
https://www.oldworlddesigns.com/shop/c/p/Take-Out-from-Bad-Bitch-Designs-x28315000.htm

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Smart Cookie Award for August Goes to Sue

Sue just posted a video on Facebook of how she stores cut skeins so that they don't make a mess and are easy to take one thread from.
https://www.facebook.com/sue.m.cimino/videos/10155551975157363/

Genius!  This clever idea and her kindness in sharing have won her the Smart Cookie Award this month.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The New Days of California

Old World Designs has added to their Days of California series of ornaments with a whole new set for 2017.  These exclusive designs are perfect souvenirs of a trip to the San Francisco area or a lovely gift for the California resident.  Fans of travel ornaments will want to check these out, particularly if you love Chinese themes.
https://www.oldworlddesigns.com/shop/Canvases/Series/Days-of-California--2017.htm

You can see the earlier ones in the set here.
https://www.oldworlddesigns.com/shop/Canvases/Series/Days-of-California.htm

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Melita Made the Cover!

One of Melita's award winning original designs has made the cover of the July 2017 Needle Pointers!  Congratulations!
https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/festive-fireworks-published-and-on-the-cover-of-needle-pointers-july-2017/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 11, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 11, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Ruth Schmuff's Books Now Available on Android Devices

It's a good day for those who use mobile devices powered by Android systems—Ruth Schmuff's books are now available for both Android and Apple devices!
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/08

I like Ruth's books a lot and keep them on my Apple mobile devices for quick reference.  I highly recommend them.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 11, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Etsy Fun

I ran across two fun Etsy stores of interest to needlepointers this week, so I thought all my stitching friends might like to browse there, too.  First, Mountain Laurel Design has a new sampler full of Bargello stitches for download on their Etsy store.  If you aren't a counted canvas worker, don't worry—they sell elegant and charming beaded scissor fobs there also, plus there are a few needle minders. Don't miss the lamp work bead owl scissor fob!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/MtnLaurelDesign/items

Speaking of needle minders, Designs by Lisa has a slew of cheerful and happy needle minders made from old Scrabble tiles.  There's something for every taste if you want a needle magnet unlike anyone else's.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/MixingItUpWithDBL/items?ref=pagination&section_id=14931933&page=1

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 17, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Word to the Wise

The Stitch Style blog has a word to the wise about dye lots—and how to use the extra stitching to best effect. A matching key fob will be fab, won't it?
http://stitchstyleblog.com/2017/07/voila-needlepoint-shark-belt/

Does your dog hide your threads?  Mine don't, but I think they have people over when we aren't home.  I am constantly cleaning bathrooms here in Chilly Hollow!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 13, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Blog Housekeeping

I've been rearranging things at Blog this last few weeks, adding new tabs under the header title and sorting things a bit differently.   I've got sections for the three main trade shows each year so you can check out the latest designs, the Monthly Clubs section has been updated recently with the clubs starting this fall, I have a section now for Interviews I've done on Blog so you can read those if you missed them earlier, there is a section of Tutorials and Tips to help you with tricky stitches like bullions or to understand how to use a laying tool or what stitches to use for hair or skin, Needle Felting and Beading have their own separate tabs as does Needle Painting, there is a list of painted canvases I've Blog-Stitched so you can look at those to understand how I approach choosing my threads and stitches, plus information about Canvas Embellishment,  I've listed Counted Thread Designers and their websites (if any),  there are sections about highly recommended Shops including ones that cater to international stitchers and shops that have a large selection of counted charts, and sections that answer the most frequent questions I see online—Where to Donate Unwanted Stash, Where to Have Designs Put on Needlepoint Canvas and How to Paint Your Own Design.

Hopefully this will help you find useful information, especially since very few people use the search box at the upper left corner of Blog to find things.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 8, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The New (and Old) Painters Threads

Robin King is a big fan of ribbon floss as am I. This blog entry talks about YLI's ribbon floss types and how Painters Threads uses it for overdoing, then shows off the newest colors of Painters Threads ribbon floss.
http://needlepointstudyhall.blogspot.com/2017/07/new-pastel-painters-threads_9.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 9, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Twisted Stitcher Teaches Finishing

Vonna Pfieffer, also known as the Twisted Stitcher, has a blog that teaches finishing.
http://tts-learntofinish.blogspot.com

Some of her tutorials are on flat finished or puffy ornaments, some are for stand ups, there is a tutorial on how to make a bow, etc.  Not everything here applies to needlepoint since Vonna stitches cross stitch items on linens and similar fabrics, but this is still a great place to learn how to finish small pieces yourself.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 9, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Fiber Talk: Interviewing New Shop Owners UPDATED

Gary and Christine interview Melissa, the new owner of The Wool and the Floss and Kim of Sassy Jack's Stitchery about starting your own stitching shop.  Follow the links to the shop websites if you want to explore more.
http://wetalkfiber.com/2017/08/06/fiber-talk-with-melissa-macleod-and-kim-young/

UPDATE:  Donna visited Sassy Jack's during the EGA seminar in Asheville, NC.  Here's her mini review.
http://majtravaux.blogspot.com/2017/08/tuesday.html

If you are a little curious about Marnie Ritter--one of my stitching heroes!—visit her website.
http://www.mritter.com

And if you want to know more about Michael Boren—a fabulous guy and a fellow Threadaholic—check out his website.
http://www.stitchplay.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Display Challenge

Needlepoint For Fun Shows Off


Needlepoint for Fun just posted this image of a stitched piece they found at a local store and display in their powder room.  I grabbed the photo for those who can't view Facebook images.
https://www.facebook.com/125313707511380/photos/a.157371940972223.28096.125313707511380/1611108428931893/?type=3&theater

The shop challenges folks to post photos of their needlework on display, particularly if it is in an unusual or striking place.  Here is my entry—


Petei's Flying Angel

This is my Petei "Flying Angel" shown in my laundry room.  It's the only place in the house dark enough to take a photo of the lights that surround the angel.

Lights on!
Finishing by West Coast Finishing.  They did a superb job.  Ok, your turn.  Post your own unusual or striking setting for your needlepoint on Facebook, your blog, or send me a photo and I'll post it here.


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 9,  2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.







Sunday, August 6, 2017

Visiting Needleworks in Birmingham UPDATED

Needleworks in Birmingham, Alabama just had a profile of its owner published in the local newspaper website.  What fun!
UPDATE:  The link broke but Wendy found a replacement.  Thanks, Wendy!
http://thehomewoodstar.com/businesses/women-of-homewood/judith-carter630/
You can visit the shop online here if a trip to Alabama (I highly recommend a trip there, it's a wonderful state with wonderful people but don't go in the heat of summer) isn't on your agenda.
http://www.gritsneedlepoint.com

Many thanks to Needlework Retailer for finding this and mentioning it.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 8, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Pat Van Cleve's Stitching

The latest edition of NeedlePointers (May 2017) is now arriving in our mailboxes.*    The standout article in this issue to me is the profile of Pat Van Cleve.  Whether you are a member of ANG or not, you should check out the online show of Pat's needlework, primarily needlepoint and her original designs.  Once you arrive, use the password "thesalemchapter" all run together.  Then click on Open.
https://client.vesic.com/patvancleve/

*I know it is July but the May issue was delayed as ANG has a new publisher and the transition has taken time.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 8, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Basic Theory of Embellishment

If you are looking for simple guidelines to follow when you start to embellish a needlepoint canvas, this article from Needlepoint for Fun is just what the doctor ordered.
http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/basic-theory-for-how-to-choose-needlepoint-stitches.htm

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wellesley Needlepoint's Learning Center

Wellesley Needlepoint has added a page called the Learning Center to their website.   Right now there are free videos, including a two-part introduction to needlepoint and a video about basketweave.  Later on the shop will add videos that are part of online workshops.  You will have to belong to the class to get access to those.
https://www.wellesleyneedlepoint.com/learning/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 2, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Zorro Guards the Books

Diane shows off her Zorro bookend on her Facebook page.  There are six photographs plus information about where she had it finished on her August 1, 2017 posting.
https://www.facebook.com/Dianes-Stitchin-In-The-Mitten-1439608229635844/


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 1, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Au Ver A Soie Goes Metallic

I had no idea that Au Ver A Soie has metallic braids, but Mary Corbet talks about them here.
https://www.needlenthread.com/2017/06/thread-talk-the-metallics-you-want-to-use.html

There's not much available to us but Needle in a Haystack has a few colors.
http://www.needlestack.com/WebStore/Thread/AVAS_Metallic.html

Threadnuts appears to have the overdyed metallics in size 8 braid. I am not clear if these are straight from Au Ver A Soie or their overdyed versions.
http://shop.threadnut.com/8-Metallic-Braid_c35.htm?page=all

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beading the Robin King Way UPDATED AGAIN

Anyone who has ever attempted (or plans to attempt) to add beads to their needlepoint canvas will want to read Robin King's latest blog entry. It's all (and I mean ALL) about beading!
http://needlepointstudyhall.blogspot.com/2017/07/stitch-beading-with-robin.html

Thank you for sharing your hard-won expertise, Robin!

UPDATE:  Robin has done a lesson on brick stitch beading in her next blog posting.  What fun!
http://needlepointstudyhall.blogspot.com/2017/08/bricked-beading-aka-beaded-brick-stitch.html

UPDATE #2:  The last beading lesson from Robin talks about messy beading, beaded fringe, a line of beads, a stack of beads, lasso beading. and piggy backing beads to make dots.
http://needlepointstudyhall.blogspot.com/2017/08/beading-wrap-up.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 31, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Fiber Talk Interviews Melissa Beck

The latest podcast from Gary and Christine at Fiber Talk is with a restoration expert, Melissa Beck.  I haven't had time to listen to this yet but I expect it will be very interesting.  We all have needlepoint we want to clean and some of us have restoration projects we would like to do.
http://wetalkfiber.com/2017/07/30/fiber-talk-with-melissa-beck/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 31, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Needle Size Guide

Serendipity Needleworks kindly posted this needle guide chart on their Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/SerendipityNeedleworks/photos/rpp.99087023055/10156362002818056/?type=3&theater

Remember, it is only a guide.  The thickness of the thread and the stitch you are creating also effect what size needle you need.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 29, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

New Treats for the British Needlepointer

FlossCandy is an Etsy store with lots of girlish magnets, "grime guards" to cover Q Snaps, scissor fobs, "thread tidy" gadgets to hold threads, little notions cases and more.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/flosscandy

It's located in the UK, which means overseas stitchers can easily buy instead of importing from the States.  If you like pink and green, like unicorns and ice cream, or enjoy FlossCandy's cheerful pastel style, this is a great place to browse.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 1, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Choosing a Canvas for Embellishment

A lot of folks want to know just how to embellish a painted canvas. How do you know what stitch or thread to choose?   It all depends on the canvas and what it tells you.  Given that, picking the "right" canvas that will be easy to embellish is key, so I thought I'd talk about how I go about picking a canvas that I intend to embellish.

First of all, you have to like the canvas.  Even when you are stitching something that is a gift for someone else, at least pick a canvas that appeals to you.  That makes it more likely you'll finish the piece and enjoy the stitching journey. But besides liking the canvas, how do you proceed?  Let me illustrate what I am about to say with three similar canvases from Melissa Shirley Designs.  These are all Christmas ornaments in a pear shape.  First up is "White Bird Pear."
http://melissashirleydesigns.com/galsearch/index.cgi?index=1292528544_10218&col=

Secondly we have "Snowflake Pear."
http://melissashirleydesigns.com/galsearch/index.cgi?index=1292527427_7244&col=

And the last canvas is "Stripes and Dots Pear."  All three canvases are on 18 count and are 3 1/2 inches by 4 inches.  So what makes one a better candidate for embellishment than another?
http://melissashirleydesigns.com/galsearch/index.cgi?index=1292526564_5063&col=

To some extent that depends on how experienced a stitcher you are.  Many stitchers find birds difficult to stitch.  White Bird Pear is darling but it is a bird so I would not suggest this as a good first embellishment choice.  Think about what you find easy to stitch.  If canvases of people are hard for you, pick something without people.  If fur and feathers give you pause, go for another canvas.  I consider this a canvas for someone who is not a beginner at embellishment.

Now let's look at Snowflake Pear.  It is only two colors but the snowflakes are quite elaborate.  Stitching them is not for a beginner either.  The snowflakes scream BEADS to me but beads can be tricky to master as they are wiggly little things. The spaces between the snowflake areas mean a lot of compensation for the stitch used with the red background as well.   Why make your first embellishment canvas harder than it has to be?   So once again I'd pass on this canvas, even though it would be gorgeous embellished.

Stripes and Dots Pear is going to be a much simpler piece to stitch and embellish.  It is just stripes of various widths with some circles on the widest stripes.  Stripes can be done in cross stitches, tent stitches, herringbone, and many many many other stitches.  So you have a lot of simple stitches to choose from for this part.  The circles could be beaded, covered with buttons or sequins, or just stitches in a Round Rhodes stitch in a sparkly thread.  This is a much more basic design with only two elements.  This is the canvas I'd choose for a first embellishment effort.

To sum up, avoid animals or people in your first embellishment attempt, look for a design that is easy to compensate and try for simple shapes.  Of course beginners can embellish much more elaborate canvases successfully at their first attempt but why not start out easy and warm up your embellishment muscles?  Quick and easy, that's my motto for the first embellishment canvas!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 28, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Getting to Know Rachel Donley

Lycette Designs has posted their latest interview on their blog and this time they are talking to Rachel Donley about how she started as a designer.  Fun!
http://lycettedesigns.com/women-point-rachel-donley/

If you want to see more of Rachel's work, visit her website.
http://www.racheldonleyneedlepointdesigns.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 28, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fiber Talk and the Two Sisters

This week's Fiber Talk interviews Preston and Grace Lynch, the siblings behind Two Sisters Needlepoint.
http://wetalkfiber.com/2017/07/24/fiber-talk-with-preston-and-grace-of-two-sisters-needlepoint/

Their ideas about what it takes to interest folks, especially younger folks, in needlepoint are thought-provoking,  plus it's interesting to hear how they got interested themselves and how their company was born.  Here is their website.  Have fun browsing and watching the palm tree sway!
https://www.2sistersneedlepoint.com/about

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 26, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Kaffe Talks Needlepoint

You can't miss this—Kaffe Fassett talks needlepoint.
http://www.kaffefassett.com/gallery/needlepoint/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 27, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bags from Bohicket Road

Bohicket Road has a nice travel bag for carrying needlepoint threads and tools.  It's called the Threefold Happiness Bag.
https://needlepoint.com/bohicket-road-organizational-bag-coral-on-navy-24362.html

These come in a variety of fabrics. You can browse more patterns here.,,
https://needlepoint.com/shop/accessories.html

…and on the company's Facebook page.  They are also introducing a tote bag that would be lovely for your canvas, a book, the travel bag, etc.
https://www.facebook.com/Bohicket-Road-Bags-193309120838458/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 26, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Breaking News: Carolyn Hedge Baird Book

Breaking News! Carolyn Hedge Baird just mentioned she has finished a new book on Facebook!  The new book should be out in September but Carolyn won't tell us the title yet.  Stay tuned.  And while you wait, you can browse Carolyn's earlier books to see if there are any you missed.
http://www.ndlpt.com/html/access.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 24, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Raised Embroidery: A Book Review

Jessica Grimm has written an interesting review of the latest book from the Royal School of Needlework—Raised Embroidery by Kelley Aldridge.
http://www.jessicagrimm.com/blog/book-review-rsn-raised-embroidery

Although this book is written for those interested in embroidery, not needlepoint, the raised and dimensional techniques can be adapted to needlepoint canvas with a little ingenuity (and often using a sharp needle instead of a tapestry needle to pierce the canvas threads to place a stitch just where you need it instead of just in the holes).

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 26, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's Shark Week!!!!! UPDATED AGAIN

My Pink Sugar Life Does Shark Week

It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, so stay out of the water and stitch this cutie from My Pink Sugar Life.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/545941781/hand-painted-shark-needlepoint-canvas-by?ref=shop_home_active_1

UPDATE:  Suzie celebrates Big Time.
http://astheneedleturns.com/sharkpacolypse/

UPDATE #2:  Here's a new shark from Barefoot Needlepoint, for those who need A Collection.  LOL
https://www.facebook.com/BarefootNeedlepointDesign/photos/a.252009018284116.1073741826.158026027682416/865948516890160/?type=3&theater

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 24, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Visiting the Needlepoint Joint

You'll love the photos in this report on a vista to the Needlepoint Joint in Utah.
http://www.jeanoshima.com/needlepoint-joint/

There is even more fun to be had at the shop's website.  Go to Needlework and then Painted Canvas to browse the highlighted goodies on offer.  It's a great stop for vacationers.
https://needlepointjoint.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 26, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Stick of Doublemint Gum

John Glenn's daughter needlepoints Doublemint Gum ornaments for special people in her life (as you can see in this YouTube video).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp57qG58WTU&feature=youtu.be

The story behind her choice of needlepoint ornament is told by Needlework Retailer.

"To honor Defense Secretary Mattis, John Glenn's daughter gave him a NEEDLEPOINT she had made. Her father used to give her mother and the kids a stick of Doublemint gum before he would leave on missions, she told the audience, and tell them, "I'm just going down to the store. I'll be back."

"Dad gave each of us in the family a stick of Doublemint when he went back into space when he was 77," she said. She makes the needlepoint Doublemint gum sticks for people who were helpful to her family, pivotal to her dad's service in Ohio and who brought meaning to her dad's life, she explained."


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 23, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ariadne's New Colors

Lorraine, the owner of Colour Complements, has used her hand dyed threads to stitch an original version of StitchPlay's "Ariadne." AND if you happen to have the chart, you can order the thread kit from Lorraine.
http://colourcomplements.com/2017/06/ariadne.html

"Ariadne" isn't listed on the StitchPlay website right now, but Michael says he and Carole have copies to sell.  Just email carole@stitchplay.com and ask. There are plenty of other fun things to stitch available to see on the website in case you want to browse.
http://www.stitchplay.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 23, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Another Clever Floss Storage Idea UPDATED

One of Mary Corbet's readers sent her photos of the floss storage solution she came up with. It's very clever, repurposing file storage boxes and those combs that are used to bind papers together.
https://www.needlenthread.com/2017/06/floss-organization-comb-binding-hack.html

If you have a lot of these materials around your home office, perhaps this storage solution will work for you.  Thanks, Brenda!

UPDATE:  Shannon says we should check out the organizational plan that Lolli and Grace came up with.  Thanks, Shanon!  Bet this works very well for some folks.
http://www.lolliandgrace.com/how-to-organize-embroidery-thread/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Comparing DMC and Kreinik's Glow in the Dark Threads

Freudian Stitch has written up a nice comparison of DMC's Light Effects and Kreinik's braids, looking at both companies' glow-in-the-dark threads and trying to decide which is best.
https://freudianstitch.com/blog/2017/5/16/test-post

Of course what you use is probably down to what is easily available to you, what sort of stitching you do (the comparison was done on a cross stitch project by a cross stitcher), and how much disposable income you have for threads.  You also might prefer the strandable DMC thread to the non-strandable Kreinik.  It all depends on what you are doing.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Breaking News: Needle Arts Mystery Retreat Reveal Live

Needle Arts Mystery Retreat is going to reveal this year's mystery project live on Facebook this evening in Chicago about 7:30 p.m.  Check in to see what the mystery project looks like this year then, or later.  The video will stay up for latecomers to see.
https://www.facebook.com/Needle-Arts-Mystery-Retreat-LLC-126832707361178/?hc_location=ufi

You can visit the yearly retreat's website for information on how their retreat works and see photos of past projects.
http://www.needleartsmysteryretreat.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

"How to Plan the Stitches on Your Needlepoint Canvas"

Needlepoint for Fun is offering a free downloadable e-booklet called "How to Plan the Stitches on Your Needlepoint Canvas" if you sign up for their weekend e-newsletter.  The information and sign up link is at the bottom of this article.
http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/needlepoint-kalem-stitch.htm

I have not seen this booklet so I cannot comment on it, but the newsletter is a fun read and well worth the sign up.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Taking a Mistake and Running With It

Michelle of Bristly Thistle goofed on a stitch diagram for a class-and her students made something beautiful!  It's proof that mistakes are sometimes better than the "right" way.
https://www.bristlythistle.com/blog/2017/5/16/do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do

That's my Thought for the Day.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Paint a Needlepoint Canvas UPDATED

Folks ask over and over what paints or markers to use to paint a needlepoint canvas.   So I thought I'd provide a link to ANG's website where several professional designers explain how they do it, and…
http://www.needlepoint.org/FAQ/designing.php

…then provide a link to the late Lula Chang's website (the designer behind Wooly Dreams) for more information.
http://www.woolydream.com/WDtextpaintcanv.html

Now!  That doesn't sound too hard, does it?

UPDATE:  I just found a video by Susan Roberts on how to transfer a line drawing to needlepoint canvas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjA9giTC2t0

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Mighty Bright Orchestra Light and More

ANG has just announced that starting in 2018, folks will not be able to use plug in lights at Seminar due to hotel regulations.  I guess they are afraid we are going to burn the place down with all the extension cords and plugs!  So the hunt for a good portable light source is on.

This orchestra light from Mighty Bright has been recommended. I can tell from the photo that this won't fit over stretcher bars but it can still be useful as I bet it is very very bright.
http://www.mightybright.com/Music-Lights/LED-Orchestra-Light/

Although these piano stand lights are more expensive, one of these might be a better idea for a stitching table.
https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Adjustable-Gooseneck-Aluminum-Orchestra/dp/B01N2BDOFM/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1500122798&sr=8-6&keywords=orchestra+lamp

The Flexilens from Daylight is a light and magnifier that clamps or stands on the legs that extend from the base.  I'm told the clamp opens enough to go over Evertites, which are wider than most stretcher bars.
https://www.nordicneedle.com/6809A

Ott has a small fold up lamp.  It is more expensive but you can use coupons and sales at the big box crafts stores to reduce the price.
https://www.nordicneedle.com/6872

This very bright portable light is inexpensive and folds up for travel.
https://www.createforless.com/Ideaworks-Light-Super-Bright-Portable-LED-Lamp-With-USB/pid244765.aspx

The MagniFlex Pro is larger and heavier but is a light and magnifier combination.  It also has a magnetic base.
https://www.nordicneedle.com/6861

The Fancii is also a light/magnifier that operates on batteries or a USB cable.  It clamps onto a table, although the clamp doesn't seem that it will open wide.
https://www.amazon.com/Fancii-Daylight-Magnifying-Rechargeable-Metal/dp/B01MRJ5HU4/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1500475344&sr=8-18-spons&keywords=task+board&psc=1

Needlepoint Tool Time has several small portable lights.  Click on the name of each for further details and ask Tisha for help if you have special requirements.  She specializes in stitching tools so is familiar with many lights and magnifiers.
http://www.needlepointtooltime.com/category/75021

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 15, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Traveling with Anna (with Floor Frame Travel Tips)

Anna Pearson's latest blog posting talks about her retreat to Tuscany this year and plans for next year's trip.  A special bonus for travelers is the tips she gives for traveling with a floor frame.
http://anna-pearson-needlepoint.blogspot.com/2017/06/our-italian-adventure-2017.html

For further information on the upcoming retreats, visit Anna's website.  (And if you click on "Store" you can browse Anna's designs.)
http://www.anna-needlepoint-pearson.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 12, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Blue Bird: A Mystery Class UPDATED

Ruth Schmuff has announced her mystery class for Summer 2017—Ellen Giggenbach's "Blue Bird."
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/07/its-bird-its-plane-its-bird.html

Class is in late July and early August although anyone can join in via mail if they won't be in the Baltimore area then.  I'll update this as Ruth posts progress reports on how the class unfolds.

UPDATE:  Ruth plays with the background, adding to the background stitch and switching colors, then creates the bird's body.  If you are curious about layers of stitching on needlepoint, this is your kind of project.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/07/the-blue-bird-of-happiness.html

UPDATE #2:  Ruth adds flowers, leaves, a bit of sky and a wing. And she's done!
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/08/a-finished-blue-bird.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 5, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Stretcher Bar Dilemna

Recently I started a painted canvas project (this is "Fuchsia" from Barbara Elmore, distributed by Sundance Needlepoint) that presented a problem when I was ready to put it on stretcher bars.  The outside dimensions of the canvas are 16 1/4 inches tall by 13 5/8 inches wide.  Needless to say, this isn't going to fit on stretcher bars which are sold in one inch increments!

The 16 1/4 inch dimension can be easily fixed by cutting off that extra quarter inch, or mounting it on 16 inch stretcher bars and letting the extra canvas stick out at the top where it won't be in the way (unless you count catching your threads on that protruding excess as "in the way").  I could also trim the width to 13 inches but the excess canvas margins are not that large and I might need that extra 5/8 inches in width in finishing.  I am not certain at this point if this will be framed or made into a pillow.

There is another way to handle the issue besides taking scissors to the excess and cutting the canvas down to a 16x13 stretcher bar size.  I can lace the canvas.  To understand what I mean, check Susan Roberts' first photo in her "Mounting on Stretcher Bars" article from her NeedlepointTeacher.com website.
http://needlepointteacher.com/mounting-on-stretcher-bars/

Yes, she has laced the canvas to the right side of her too large stretcher bars.  Here is how you lace a canvas.


Two Sets of Stretcher Bars

I rummaged around in my supplies and pulled out a set of 16 inch stretcher bars and a set of 15 inch stretcher bars and slotted them together.  Then I attached my canvas at the top, bottom and left side as usual with staples.  (I personally don't like thumbtacks as they constantly fall out, presenting a danger to feet and paws.)  Then I cut a long length of perle cotton (I think I used about 7 feet) and secured it in the margin outside the design at the top right corner of my canvas.  I began to lace the unsecured right edge by wrapping the perle cotton around the stretcher bars, coming up through the canvas perhaps 7 threads from the raw edge, going over the stretcher bar and taking the needle down again in the same channel, then coming up again through the canvas.  Repeat until you get to the bottom of the canvas.  To tighten the wraps, start at the top right corner again near your knot and pull on the perle cotton until the hole is only slightly distorted, working a wrap at a time, all the way down the side until you get to the bottom.


Right Side Laced


See the little thumbtack in the lower right corner?  I wrapped my perle cotton around that 6-7 times to secure the thread.  I can always unwrap the thread end and retighten the canvas if it starts to loosen a bit as I stitch.  This technique is used with slate frames and scroll bars more often than with stretcher bars since buying a set of cheap stretcher bars is much less work, but if you don't have easy access to a shop that carries stretcher bars and don't want to trim the canvas to fit the bars you have, lacing is the way to go.

If my explanation is totally confusing, Sarah Homfrey has a lovely video about attaching fabric to roller bars (that's what we Americans call scroll bars) that illustrates the lacing technique on the sides.    You won't need to add herringbone tape to the top or sides since needlepoint canvas is stronger.  Plus you probably are not seeking to have your canvas drum tight and you won't need a bracing needle to lace, but the technique is the same, even if the materials are not.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We36DVdCDCg

Hope my explanation helps you cope when you have an odd-sized canvas to put on stretcher bars.  Please note you can lace either (or both) sides or the top/bottom, but lacing on the side (or sides) is the traditional way to go.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 4, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Breaking News: Chandail is Moving

Chandail has announced they are moving to a new location. Work is underway on the new shop right now. The current location is still open, however. Check the Chandail website (right side) for the latest on the move, the new address and when it will happen.
http://www.chandailneedlework.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 13, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Smart Cookie Award For July Goes to...

The Smart Cookie Award for July goes to Carolyn who advises a quick trip to the Dollar Store. The steering wheel covers make good covers for your stretcher bars.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1490183621044637&set=gm.1420606611349826&type=3&theater

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 10, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New Bags from Vintage Needlepoint Canvases

Etsy has a nice vintage needlepoint tote shop, with plenty of unwanted old French canvases turned into stylish and useful purses and tote bags.  Have fun browsing!
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/LeShoPdeMoZ?ref=l2-shopheader-name&zanpid=2308744421543588864&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=zanox&utm_campaign=au_buyer&utm_content=2163030

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 10, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In the Market for Waterfront Property?

While looking for something else, I stumbled across this listing for waterfront land in Michigan.
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Needlepoint-Dr_Curtis_MI_49820_M40834-11962

Note the address.

It isn't for sale right now but if I win the lottery I might try to buy it and put a little house with a big stitching porch on it for retreats.  Wouldn't that be fun?!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 10, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Ghost, the Embroidery Video

"Ghost" is a music video from the indie band Husky that features a computer-generated ethnic embroidery style that looks like a mix of cross stitch, needlepoint and Day of the Dead imagery.
https://vimeo.com/216098603

Clemstamation did the animation.  I don't see any more work done in this style but animation that copies hand embroidery is both fun for us stitchers to see and a hopeful sign that younger people are interested in doing thing with needles.
http://www.clemstamation.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Smoothing Threads: Kreinik's Introduction to Laying Tools

The Kreinik blog has a terrific article on laying tools and using them to smooth threads.  It explains why you would want to smooth a thread and shows you how to turn items you already have into inexpensive laying tools.  There are links to further information at the bottom of the article as well.
http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-easiest-way-to-make-prettier.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Birthstone Santas

Now here's something new and fun—Birthstone Santas!  I think they'd make a fun holiday display using the birthdays of your family or special friends.
http://www.redroosterstitchery.com

These are exclusive to the shop.  Contact them for further information.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 8, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Straw Silk, the Lists

Straw Hat in Straw Silk

Silk Road Fibers has created a color list of all their available Straw Silk threads. This ribbon-like flat thread is a mix of silk and paper.  It looks like raffia, and can be used on either 13 or 18 count, depending on the stitch you want.  For tent stitches or long stitches on 18 count, you can split it down the middle to get a thinner thread.  Use a needle to get the split going at a cut end, then pull the two parts apart slowly and carefully.
http://silkroadfiber.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Silk-Road-Fiber-Color-List-6.2017.pdf

I used a lot of Straw Silk on Leigh Designs "Japanese Tea House."  The tree bark and the lower layer of leaves are in Straw Silk.  So is the mass of bushes in the lower right corner.  I've used it in places on many other designs but not in such profusion as here.  It was perfect for the plants on this piece.
https://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2013/11/tantalizing-glimpses.html

I also used it for the straw hat worn by the "Miami Gold Digger," again from Leigh Designs.  The photo of the hat is above.  Once again it was the absolutely perfect thread for this section of my canvas.

If you prefer a look at the color card, here it is.
http://silkroadfiber.com/straw-silk-fiber/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Color Inspiration

Lorraine of Colour Complements has written an interesting article about where she finds inspiration for the color combination she creates for her line of oerdyed threads.
http://colourcomplements.com/2017/06/inspiration.html

If your mouth starts watering at the descriptions, check her thread lines by clicking on "Shop" in the choices just under the header on her website.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 5, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Garden Screen, Stitched by the Assistance League of San Mateo

The Assistance League of San Mateo stitched this fabulous screen on display at the Filoli Flower Show in California. Use the right side arrow to scroll through all the photographs.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214207459446633&set=pcb.1411805618896592&type=3&theater

Many thanks to Cynthia for posting this on Facebook.  Here's a bit about Filoli, in case you are close enough to visit.
http://filoli.org

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 2, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Summer Sips Backgrounds

The newest series from Leigh Designs is a set of 4x5 inch ovals called "Summer Sips."   As you would expect, they show eight different summer drinks, all the sort of thing I associate with a trip to the beach.  Six of the series have stitch guides, and you can see photos of those on the Leigh Designs website.
http://www.leighdesigns.com/Grp811x.html

It's those stitched models I want to talk about today since they all have fabulous backgrounds and backgrounds are things many stitchers struggle with.  So why not visit the masters of the art and see what they came up with?  First, let's look at Carolyn Taggart's "Hurricane" and  "Pina Colada."

Hurricane Stitched by Carolyn Taggart

Pina Colada Stitched by Carolyn Taggart


Hurricane has a simple upright stitch that skips a channel. It's small scale and effective since it doesn't fight with the central motif but it does echo the upright shape of the tall drinks glass that is elongated even more by the fruit on the flamingo toothpick.  Pina Colada's background is a simple trellis pattern.  The diamonds formed by the lines crossing look a bit like the paper umbrella, unifying the background with a main part of the design.


Strawberry Daiquiri Stitched by Pat Miller


Pat Miller's "Strawberry Daiquiri" has a very unobtrusive background which appears to be skip tent stitch.  Because the color of the thread is almost exactly the same as the pink canvas in the background, all you see is a little texture, allowing the string of diamonds and pearls to be prominent and setting off the drink with its huge strawberry very nicely.  If you compare the unstitched needlepoint canvas outside the red oval with the stitched background inside the oval, you will see just how much the texture adds to the canvas without really making a loud statement.


Lemon Drop Stitched by Sandy Arthur

Sandy Arthur's "Lemon Drop" also has a very unobtrusive background, a darning stitch that slants / to echo the flow of the lemon slice and flower that decorate her drink.  Sandy use a quiet background stitch that copies the direction the main elements slant.



Cuba Libre Stitched by Sharon Quick

Bloody Mary Stitched by Sharon Quick

Sharon Quick's "Cuba Libre" and "Bloody Mary" have use the same pale pink color in their threads as the background canvas and both have decorative stitches in the background.  The Cuba Libre has a wave stitch which is neutral despite its horizontal orientation because of the up and down movement of the stitch.  This is a nice choice because of the seahorse and the fact that Cuba itself is an island, suggesting waves and a drink to be enjoyed with an ocean view.  The Bloody Mary also has a decorative stitch, this time an eyelet stitch that give the background the sense of oval petaled flowers. Since the Bloody Mary has peppers, celery leaves and an olive as garnishes, it makes sense to have a plant-themed background.  

So all the backgrounds relate in some way to the main theme of the design or echo the direction of the main motifs and all are light coverage.  One last thing I noticed was that all the Summer Sips except the Pina Colada have pink backgrounds that are very close to the background canvas color.  This helps keep the background in the background, even when it is quite fancy like Sharon Quick's wave and floral eyelet backgrounds.

Hopefully this gives you ideas for your next backgrounds.  Thanks very much to the extremely talented team at Leigh Designs!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 2, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.