Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Melita Organizes with IKEA

Melita has purchased three sets of small filing cabinets from IKEA for her threads organization.  
https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/new-thread-drawers/

https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/7937/

https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/threads-tote-for-tools/

https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/drawers-filled/

These are the Helmer drawer unit.  The photos here help you see just how big they are.
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-many-uses-of-ikeas-mighty-128851

These are not too expensive but some assembly is required.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40107872/#/10251045

You'll also need some sort of drawer insert to help organize the threads further in my opinion.  IKEA's Antonius basket insert is highly recommended and it looks like it will fit inside the Helmer unit drawers.
http://craftstorageideas.com/product-review-ikeas-antonius-insert/

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Breaking News: BeStitched is Moving

BeStitched is moving! You can read more here.  Watch their blog or newsletter for more details as this unfolds.
https://bestitchedneedlepointshop.com/blogs/bestitched/we-are-moving

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.

The Future of Commercial Needlepoint Workshops in China

Here's a bit about the Shanghai Yangjing Woolen Embroidery Workshop, which is facing a grim future.  Innovation appears to be their only hope but it doesn't sound likely to me.
http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1000257/without-young-embroiderers%2C-artisanal-crafts-future-remains-frayed 

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 25, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Perfect Stitch for Tire Tracks

Kaleen Stitch for Santa's Blue Sweater

This week's article from Needlepoint for Fun is about Kalem Stitch, which we most often use for knitted effects.  In fact, I think I used Kalem Stitch for Santa's sweater on the right above.  But the shop points out what great tire tracks it makes!  That's a good reminder that we need to keep an open mind about what stitches to use for things.
http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/needlepoint-kalem-stitch.htm

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.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Abigail Cecile's Introduction to Needlepoint

The British designer Abigail Cecile talks about needlepoint for beginners.  This is the first of a series that is an introduction to needlepoint. I'll update this article as Abigail writes more.  The links will also be in the tab "Teach Yourself Needlepoint and Emblishment," which is full of great introductory information.
http://www.abigailcecile.com/blog/2017/5/18/what-is-needlepoint

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

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bargello is Back

According to this blogger, Bargello is back. Of course we needlepointers are always in style and we always did Bargello.
http://cdiannezweig.blogspot.com/2017/03/bargello-needlepoint-popular-in-1970s.html

If you want to try some new Bargello patterns, New Needlepoint has a lot of wonderful vintage (and newer) Bargello books…
http://www.newneedlepoint.com

…and Liz Morrow has some lovely Bargello patterns for sale as PDF downloads.  Instant fun!
http://www.lizartneedlepoint.com

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

Friday, June 23, 2017

Father B Talks Orna

If you've ever wondered what studying under a master of color is like, read what Father B* says here.
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2017/05/a-special-treat-guest-blog-by-father-b.html

*By the way, this isn't the Father B who wrote wonderful stitch compilations. We are lucky to have a second Father B among us now that we've lost the first.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 21, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why We Need To Borrow Sandy's Husband

If I didn't already envy Sandy Arthur her stitching talent and her energy, her latest blog posting has me envying her spouse as well.  Scroll down nearly to the bottom to admire her new storage unit—and he built her TWO of these!
http://sandyarthur.blogspot.com/2017/05/always-moving-forward.html

I'm staring at Beloved but since he is renovating the main bathroom here from the plumbing up, I guess I won't attempt a trade.

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Making a Presentation Box

Were you charmed by Shannon Grearson's little jewelry set in the May-June 2017 issue of Needlepoint Now?   If so, you are in luck as Shannon has posted instructions for making a presentation box coordinated to the jewelry set on her blog, Sewing with Bobbin and Fred.
https://sewingwithbobbinandfred.blogspot.com/2017/05/how-to-make-large-presentation-gift-box.html

The box would work for all sorts of gifts so have fun checking out the instructions and then planning how to box up those Christmas ornaments you made for the grandkids…

By the way, Shannon talks about how she got her designs into Needlepoint Now magazine.
https://sewingwithbobbinandfred.blogspot.com/2017/05/how-i-designed-and-got-my-sewing_31.html

If the French knitting bobbin caught your eye, here are more.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/289493813/vintage-wooden-french-knitting-doll?ref=market

https://www.etsy.com/listing/251824650/vintage-wooden-french-knitting-dolls?ref=market

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Wooden-Toy-french-knitting-Doll-/332006116816?hash=item4d4d1b4dd0:g:RnoAAOSwmLlYBZb3

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Orna Willis' Work Purchased by Philadelphia

Orna Willis just revealed that three of her designs have been purchased by the City of Philadelphia for display in the Philadelphia convention center. What an honor!
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2017/06/news-i-have-waited-patiently-to-tell-you.html

It is much deserved.  Needlepoint is art, after all.  Congratulations to Orna!

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.

Adjustable Stretcher Bars

Needlepoint Tool Time is stocking something new to me-adjustable stretcher bars.
http://www.needlepointtooltime.com/product/FAE-4008

These come in several sizes.  The size given is the maximum size the bars will adjust to.  The manufacturer's website explains how they work and that they are made in China for Frank A. Edmunds Company.
http://www.faedmunds.com/stretcher-bars.html

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Favorite Background Stitches

Charlotte over at Sweet Sundays has three favorite background stitches and she's willing to share!
http://www.sweet-sundays.com/home-main/my-3-favorite-needlepoint-background-stitches

A lot of folks seem to like Nobuko Stitch and t-stitch for backgrounds as well.  Here are diagrams I found online.  Nobuko is first.
http://rittenhouseneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2011/10/stitch-of-week-nobuko.html

And here is t-stitch.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/02/t-stitch.html

I don't have a favorite background stitch myself.  I use a different one with each canvas as they all seem to need something different.  Still, if you are stumped for a background, the stitches above all work well.

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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Boston Needlepoint Panels

The Patriot Ledger just published this article online about a series of needlepoint panels depicting Boston scenes that have been donated to the Commonwealth Museum at the Massachusetts State Archives.
http://www.patriotledger.com/news/20170515/good-age-needlepoint-finds-its-place-in-history

These aren't the entire set but you can see the ones that are being donated by Nancy Roman by playing the video and then looking at the slide show below the article by clicking on the arrows.  There is a second video further down the page that is a brief interview with Ms. Roman that tells her needlepoint story of Boston in her own words.

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.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Wool and The Floss Reopens

Michigan stitchers (and folks who are going to be in Michigan soon) will be thrilled to hear that The Wool and The Floss in Grosse Pointe has reopened after a construction makeover under a new owner.
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/jocelynn-brown/2017/06/15/wool-floss-gets-new-owner/102897846/

Here is the shop contact information and a map in case you are driving by.
http://www.thewoolandthefloss.net

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

Stories, A Stitch at a Time

Connie Pickering Stover shows off some of her original work and explains how she uses needlepoint to tell stories, one stitch at a time.
http://www.boredpanda.com/i-tell-stories-one-tiny-stitch-at-a-time/?utm_source=author&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=AuthorShare

If you aren't familiar with Connie's work, you can visit her website.  It's a fun browse.
http://conniepickeringstover.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright December 31, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Opening a Box Of Beads (and More Tips)

Since I've been posting about beads this week, I thought I'd send you over to Mary Corbet's blog to read her message about opening Mill Hill beads, with bead tips and recommendations on places she buys beads as a bonus.
https://www.needlenthread.com/2017/06/beads-for-embroidery-packaging-is-almost-everything.html

Warning:  Put your favorite beverage down when reading the above.  You also might like to know that I open my Mill Hill bead containers inside a gallon plastic storage bag….

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: EZ Stitch Scroll Frames Maker Closing

American Dream Products, the maker of EZ Stitch scroll frames, is going to close. Needle in a Haystack put out a news flash so their customers who use this frame brand can stock up.
http://needlestack.typepad.com/whats_new/2017/06/american-dream-products-ez-stitch-to-close.html

I personally loathe and despise scroll frames for needlepoint, but that's just my opinion. It's a perfectly good product.  So if you use these or want to, act now.

Many thanks to NIAH for the alert.

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

A Bead Problem Analysis with Potential Fixes

Yesterday I talked about my beading problem and how I fixed it. I thought today I would explain how to analyze bead problems and come up with solutions.

Bead problems generally come in two types:  either they won't stay put—beads are wiggly things!—or they don't seem to look "right."

Let's talk about the second problem first—beads that just don't seem to work on a canvas.  I think this is usually because a bead is too large or too small for the design.  Sometimes it is because a bead is the wrong shape.  Beads come in a variety of sizes but size 11 and size 14s or 15s are the normal bead sizes for 18 count canvases.  (Of course you can put a HUGE size 6 bead on a canvas for the center of a flower but you need to experiment to see what size will work in that case.)  If you are trying to solidly bead an area using tent stitches (come up like a regular tent stitch, toss a bead on the needle, go down as if doing a tent stitch) and the beads look crowded, use a smaller bead.  You will also find that Delica beads (which are barrel shaped) or a hex bead (which is six sided) will sometimes fit in an area better than a round bead.  Very occasionally a bead just doesn't give you the right feel for a canvas—it may just be sticking up too much.  Try a sequin or a French knot instead.  Sequins are very flat and French knots look more organic because they are hand made and vary a bit in shape, no matter how careful you are.  On some canvases this will matter, particularly a canvas that is a folk art design where very regular items just look out of place.  Not that all beads are identical in shape—they are not--but there is a difference between handmade French knots and machine-made beads.

Now for fixing bead wiggle!  For beads that aren't straight as soldiers, this can be because you've chosen the wrong size.  You can do what I did in yesterday's article and space the beads out on every other thread intersection if you like the bead color and shape. Or you can switch to smaller beads that won't be so crowded if you are covering every thread intersection of your needlepoint canvas with a bead.

If you think the beads appear to be the right size but they are still not straight in line, then use another stitch to attach them.  Instead of a tent stitch through the bead, use a cross stitch.  Or if the beads are touching and their holes aren't too tiny, take a long stitch through the entire row to see if that tidies them up.  This doesn't always work if you have a small bead because there may not be room to go through a bead's hole a second (or third) time.  You can corral groups of beads that are in a circle instead of a line by working a stem stitch around the perimeter.  You also can attach the outside of the circle of beads with cross stitches and use tent stitches in the inside of the circle.  Work from the middle out and when you get to the perimeter, switch from tent to cross stitches to secure the beads.  The more securely attached outside beads will often push the inner ones into shape.

If your wiggly beads are in a square or rectangle, you can do straight lines of single stitches outside the beaded shape to help corral them.  I would try going through the beads a second time myself but sometimes that's not possible because the holes are too small.  If you match the thread you use to the background color, that row of straight stitches will be hard to see even though it helps keep the beads in order.

If you have just one bead and it will not stay in position, see if you can position the bead in a hole on the canvas instead of on top of the canvas thread intersection. A single bead that is precariously sitting on top of a thread intersection will tend to "fall" to one side.  Having the threads of the canvas on all four sides will help secure a bead.  You may still want to go through it a second time, making a + over the four canvas threads that are the "wall" around the bead.

If you are attempting Don Lynch's basketweave beading technique, this works best with hex beads which are size 14 or 15s and that will cover only a small area on the canvas.  The more basketweaving beads you add, the more they will move a tad out of position because beads are not all exactly the same size.  If you are working more than a half inch of space, this difference in bead size starts to become obvious as the beads shove each other out of the way,  This looks messy.

To fix a bead problem, you need to try various things to see what will give you the look you want.  I hope the above helps!

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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When Beads Go Bad

Wiggly Beads Make Horrible Fringe!


Last fall I stitched Leigh Design's "Portal to Immortality" from her new Illuminations series.
http://www.leighdesigns.com/Grp633x.html

The piece has fringe under the tiger screen that I wanted to bead.  I used size 11/0 round gold beads in a row packed tightly together and attached with tent stitches to create the fringe.  It looked so bad I didn't even take a photograph!  I decided the beads were too large so I removed them and tried again with size 14/0 hex beads.  This time I attached the beads with cross stitches every other stitch to space them out and keep them in line.  As you can tell, the "keeping them in line" part failed miserably!  I even went back through the vertical row of beads with one long thread to try and pull them into shape.  It didn't help.

Sigh.

Looking at the beads again I decided that they were the right size but that I needed to use something other than cross stitches to tame them.  For my next attempt I attached the beads with tent stitches, again skipping every other thread.  They were much straighter but I still went through the entire row again with one long thread to straighten them.  Success!


Third Try's a  Charm
The moral of the story is that you must have the right size of beads for the effect you want and if you cannot keep them straight, try another stitch to attach them.  For beads, persistence pays off. By the way, here's the finished Tiger Illuminations.
http://www.leighdesigns.com/Mdl6333.html

Good luck with your bad beads!


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright December 29, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Brief History of Canvas Copy Painting Companies

Mary Agnes of Needle Nicely produced a brief history of the companies that painted needlepoint canvases for designers on her blog.  I'm going to expand on what she said, for those who are interested in the business side of needlepoint.
http://needlenicely.blogspot.com/2017/05/canvases-from-copy-painting-services.html

Many needlepoint design companies (and some shops) paint their own canvases.  Leigh Designs has in-house painters for theirs, for example.  Leigh says this has given them a lot of control of their product.  Theresa Lee of Lee's Needle Arts also had in-house artists.  More on this in a minute.*

There are several large painting companies now. I think the first was Americanvas, which contracts with nuns in the Philippines to reproduce needlepoint painted canvases for the designers who wish to use the service.

*The Collingsworth family which owns Colonial Needle also got into the canvas painting business when they purchased Lee's Needle Arts several years ago as Lee's painters came with the business.  Now Colonial Needle distributes Lee's canvases, the line of Lee leather goods and runs a painting business as well as the needles they are well known for.  They also now own the Kelly Clark line of canvases, distribute the fabulous Finca perle cotton and floss line, etc.  I understand the painting service that Colonial runs has grown enough that they also contract with overseas painters.

I've also heard that DC Designs (that's Amanda Lawford's son, Derek Clark, for those who are keeping score) has opened a canvas painting service.  See a theme here?  Needlepoint companies for the most part are family businesses.

All this explains why it can take a while for canvases to arrive after you order from your favorite shop.  The overseas shipping can take a while as things have to clear customs.  And of course the various painting companies can get backed up with all the needlepoint designers wanting everything at the same time for the January show, for example.   So the next time you order a canvas and have to wait three months for it, think of the magic fingers of elves painting your canvas and many others in various far-flung places!

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Stitching a Supernova

Thanks to Jane, I have an article on Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and her life as an astronomer and needlepointer for you to enjoy.  Like so many of us, she needlepointed each morning….
https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/05/10/cecilia-payne-supernova-needlepoint/

Liz Morrow posted a photo of a similar design she worked from perhaps the same Scientific American cover on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1212937988833140&set=p.1212937988833140&type=3&theater

Are there other needlepointed stars (or needlepointing astronomers) out there?

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

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The End of My Path (Angel with Tree)

The Angel with Tree Finished
As I continued stitching Melissa Shirley's Angel with Tree, I did a little editing of the design and of stitches chosen for it.  The photo above is the finished Angel, with her jacket, apron, skirt, petticoat, shoes and stockings and of course her little Christmas tree stitched.  If you compare my version with Melissa Shirley's unstitched canvas here,
http://melissashirleydesigns.com/galsearch/index.cgi?index=1430178336_7822&col=

…you will see that my version has the gray line of the skirt and petticoats stitched from left to right, although the original has the gray lines only on the left side.  As I worked I just felt that the line needed to extend all the way across.  So I did took it all the way across the bottom of the skirt.



When it came to choosing the jacket stitch (I used Combination Scotch and Inverse Mosaic Stitch) I decided that I would only do the first two steps in the stitch.  Adding beads as shown in the diagram above just seemed Too Much.  So I didn't.

You are stitching to a mental image that is informed by your own taste.  Sometimes the original design will need a bit added or taken away to fit what you are trying to do.  One of the problems people have in coming up with their own ideas for a painted canvas is that they do not trust either their instincts or their ability to figure out what is right and wrong with something they are working.

You just have to be brave and try it.  You can always rip out.  I audition a lot of stitches before choosing what I think works.  And if something that I start isn't working, I try something else.  It takes self-confidence and experience to do this but it is the only way to up your stitching game to the next level.  Learn to look critically at what you have done (most people are very critical of their own stitching so this will be easy) and then analyze what you don't like and how to fix it (which is much harder but you can learn).

The stitch guide moral here is to trust your own judgement.  You don't have to stitch a design exactly how it is painted or use a stitch exactly the way it is diagrammed.

Thanks again to Melissa Shirley Designs for allowing me to blog-stitch Angel with Tree.  Hope you enjoyed peeking over my shoulder to see her develop.  Her stitch guide is available for purchase from me, by the way.  Your favorite shop can pick up the canvas for you from Melissa herself.
http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com/2017/05/angel-with-tree-melissa-shirley-and.html

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

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Writing Needlepoint Mysteries with Lea Wait

Thanks to Needlepoint Retailer, I have a link to a bit about Lea Wait's mystery series set in a needlepoint store in Maine.  This little blurb explains how to write a book proposal.
http://southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com/2017/04/about-that-proposal.html

If you love mysteries, you'll want to visit Lea's website.  Her Mainely Needlepoint series is set in the State of Maine.  So far there are four books; Dangling By a Thread just came out.  
http://www.leawait.com/mysteries.html

Here's an interview with Lea.
https://wickedcozyauthors.com/2015/09/04/the-mainely-needlepoint-mystery-series-continues-with-threads-of-evidence/

You can read the prequel of Tightening the Threads online here.  Sounds like a good read!
http://www.leawait.com/prequels/Prequel_Tightening_the_Threads.pdf

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Poore Girl Paints Needlepoint Designs

We have a new designer! Check out A Poore Girl Paints Needlepoint Designs' website.
https://apooregirlpaintsneedlepointdesigns.com

You can ask your favorite shop to order one of these cuties for you or talk to Leigh at Needle Bug in Montgomery, Alabama.
http://www.theneedlebug.com

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

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Clever Scissor Minder

Besides hanks of silk and needle minders, Silks4U has something unique—a scissors minder!  Because it is magnetic, it will stick to your metal floor stand or on your canvas if you choose.  You can also park needles there as you work.  These come in a variety of colors but only one Celtic style.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/501525528/scissor-and-needle-minder-enamel-celtic?ref=shop_home_active_4

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

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Recycling that Old Belt

Needle Nicely has a lovely show-and-tell on their blog today, featuring old belts that have a new use as basket purse decorations.  I'm beginning to think that needlepoint belts are the most versatile thing we can stitch….
http://needlenicely.blogspot.com/2017/04/one-familys-use-of-basket-purses.html

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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making Bookmarks

Jan Sprague is having fun working on an original Bargello design, but when she gets stuck, she makes a bookmark from leftover threads and canvas pieces. It's a nice way to keep one's hands busy with something useful while thinking through a design problem.
https://stitchlady.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/bookmarks-3/

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

Monday, June 5, 2017

Needlepoint.com's A La Carte Retreat Report

I thought you'd love to hear about the annual retreat that Needlepoint.com holds each year.  This year the retreat was held in Raleigh close to Needlepoint.com's shop.  The canvases taught are from the Burnet and Bradley, Kirk and Bradley and Elizabeth Bradley lines, which are owned by the company that also owns the shop, by the way.  The designers are all different, so there is a lot of variety on offer and plenty of classes you can mix and match to suit your own desires.
http://stitchstyleblog.com/2017/03/kicking-off-retreat/

http://stitchstyleblog.com/2017/03/day-two/

Planning for the 2018 retreat is already underway.  Check Needlepoint.com's website for the latest information.
https://needlepoint.com/retreat.html

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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Following the Path to a Background and More (Angel with Tree)

Last time I choose stitches and materials for the Angel with Tree's hair, skirt and jacket, skin, and snowflakes.  I promised to talk about where I started stitching, what choices I made, what worked and what didn't, and how I altered my path as I worked on this design.


Face and Hair
The easiest part of stitching people is to work their faces.  There are pitfalls to make a face look right, but those probably are generally related to stitching the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth.  I tent stitched my face using various shades of cotton floss.  Then I added the features with bits of brown wool, black Kreink and burgundy floss.  I suggest that after you work an eye, you carefully consider what you have done, then rip out if necessary.  Even one stitch will make a huge difference.  I often add either a reverse tent stitch or a straight vertical or horizontal stitch to an eye or mouth to make it look right.  In this case the nose paint showed through the pale pink floss so I didn't bother to stitch the nose.  The eyebrows were done in stem stitches using the lighter brown thread I used for my hair.

I like wool and wool-like stitches for hair.  Because my godmother had gentle curls in her brown hair I altered the angel's hair to match.  I found two shades of Medici wool, a Felicity's Garden silk/wool blend, and Vineyard Silk Shimmer (silk with metallic woven in) in my stash and created hair using French Knots and Colonial Knots.  I wanted big, irregular curls so a mix of threads and stitches served to create the look I had in mind.  Some of my French Knots were one wrap, some were two.  All were placed roughly to match the four shades of hair painted.  I particularly like the fact that the Vineyard Silk Shimmer has a bit of metallic in it. That added highlights to the angel's hair.

Next I wanted to tackle my background.  I had a lovely blue Splendor silk matching the background paint and wanted a light coverage stitch that looked like snow.  I chose to make up a stitch around each of the white snowflakes to emphasize the dots of white.


First Background Attempt
But once I had the little diamond motifs in, I was stuck.  What do I do next?  Open stitches?  Solid tent?  Everything seemed WRONG.  I had to face the fact that a fancy background was going to be the star of the show instead of the angel herself.  So I ripped it all out and went with the calmest of backgrounds—brick stitch.


Second Background Attempt
I did compensate around the white dots.  Luckily brick stitch over two is very easy to compensate.  And as you can see, the little tree worked up nicely using leaf stitches dotted with small round gold beads and Swarovski crystal sequins.  Three good ideas out of four ain't bad!  It is all too easy to fall in love with an idea that doesn't work.  Then you are stuck with a piece you can't finish because you cannot bear to rip out that one part that you love--but that doesn't work.  Don't be that stitcher!  Be ruthless when you must!

Today's Stitch Guide Moral:  Don't be afraid to change directions. Staying committed to the wrong path doesn't work.

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.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Revisiting Wooly Dreams UPDATED

I imagine a lot of needlepointers aren't familiar with the lovely whimsical designs from Lula Chang of Wooly Dreams..   It's a shame that they aren't more widely available!   Look at these—
http://www.oldworlddesigns.com/artists/WoolyDreams.html

Annie and Company has some pieces in stock…
https://www.annieandco.com/collections/wooly-dreams-design

…and so does Needle Works.  I also see pieces on eBay a lot. They are worth looking for as they are lovingly painted little jewels.
http://www.theneedleworks.com/catalog/index.php?manufacturers_id=161

But this morning I want you to visit Lula Chang's website and read about her designs, and how she got into needlepoint design.  Start here and read one page a morning, then click on the arrow at the bottom to go to the next.  Lula is great company over your favorite beverage!
http://www.woolydream.com/WDtextHowdesign.html

UPDATE:  I have been told that Lula Chang died in 2014.  What a loss!  My condolences to her family and friends.  Her needlepoint designs are charming. I will have to pick up one while I still can to stitch in her honor.

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.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Turning the Fat Cat into B.B. King the Cat

Louise's Needlework has released a new shop newsletter, complete with the story of how the fat cat canvas from Vicky Mount turned into B.B. King.  If you've ever hesitated to change a canvas to suit yourself, read this.
https://siterepository.s3.amazonaws.com/530/newsblastmay2017.pdf

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

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Stitching for the June Wedding

June is a traditional wedding month so Needle Paint just showcased some of the original designs they created for wedding ring bearer pillows and wedding memorial framing.
http://www.needlepaint.com/blog/2017/05/03/glamorous-needlepoint-wedding-gifts/

Happy wedding whenever your wedding stitching happens!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 3, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

If You've Ever Taken a Cyber Class….

If you have ever taken a cyber class and stood impatiently by your mailbox, waiting for the supplies to arrive, you need to read this peek behind the scenes of how these things are organized, packed and shipped.
http://thistle-threads.blogspot.com/2017/05/frostings-2-19500-items.html

Now go email your teacher and say thanks for all that work!

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

More About Niki McDonald, Tapestry Girl

Textile Curator has a brief profile of Niki McDonald, the Australian stitcher known as Tapestry Girl.
http://www.textilecurator.com/niki-mcdonald/

Needlepoint for Fun is in Australia and had a fun visit with Niki.  Here's a video.
https://www.facebook.com/Needlepoint-For-Fun-125313707511380/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf

And here is an interview.  NP For Fun did a good one, since they understand needlepoint and know what to ask.
http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/tapestry-girl-makes-art-from-needle-and-thread.htm

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

Monday, May 29, 2017

Fiber Talk Interviews Abigail Cecile (Abby Timmis)

This week Fiber Talk interviews Abby of Abigail Cecile, a new designer of both needlepoint and embroidery designs.  Follow the links to learn more about Abby, the Royal School of Needlework and more.
http://wetalkfiber.com/2017/05/28/fiber-talk-with-abigail-timmis/

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

Needlepoint Cats from MAP Designs

Kreinik's latest blog showcases the cat artwork series of canvases from MAP Designs.  Check out the Hot Wire whiskers on the last cat!
http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-art-of-needlepoint-cats.html

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

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Choosing A Stitch Path for Angel with Tree

Inspired by Orna Willis' essay yesterday on the types of stitches one can choose, I thought I'd walk through my stitch choices on this darling Christmas angel. This is Angel with Tree, one of Melissa Shirley's angel series from a year or so back.  This design is 7 inches high by 4 1/2 wide on 18 count canvas.  She is one of a series of six angels which are also available as round ornaments and small stockings.
http://melissashirleydesigns.com/galsearch/index.cgi?index=1430178336_7822&col=

As Orna Willis made clear in her essay yesterday, there are a variety of paths one can take when picking stitches on a canvas that will be embellished in various ways.
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2017/05/how-i-make-my-stitch-choices-on-painted.html

I rarely know exactly where my path will take me when I start a canvas.  I tend to like realistic pieces (if you can call a portrait of an angel "realistic") and this one appealed because the angel reminds me of my godmother and a good friend.  I also liked the little white dots in the background which remind me of the tiny snow balls we often get here in the wintertime instead of lacy snowflakes.  So already I know two things:  I want pearls in the background instead of snowflake sequins to resemble the snow we get and I want a hairstyle and color that looks like my godmother and my friend's hair.  See?  Two choices have been made already!  If you simply look at the canvas you bought and think about what you liked about it, that will give you stitching ideas.

Of course knowing I want hard little balls for snowflakes is an easy choice—beads, specifically white pearls.  My godmother had lovely brown hair that she wore in soft curves and curls.  I happen to really like wool and wool-like threads for hair so now I know I want to look through my stash for wool appearing threads that I will use in French knots and Colonial knots.  See?  Making these choices is easy.

I like tent stitches for faces so that's another choice down.  The white outfit the angel wears I want in something that looks lacy.  So that narrows down my stitch choices to something rather lace-like, perhaps eyelets?  I like leaf stitches for trees, so there's another narrowing of the path forward.

So far we have something for the hair, skirt and jacket, skin, and snowflakes.  That's enough to get started.  You'll discover as you experiment with embellishing painted canvases that each choice you make narrows down the following choices.  One you are set for a hair stitch, you probably will use the same thread for eyebrows, for example.

Next time I'll talk about where I started stitching, what choices I made, what worked and what didn't, and how I altered my path as I worked on this design.

Today's Stitch Guide Moral:  Make a few choices and the path starts to unfold before you.

Many thanks to Melissa Shirley for allowing me to stitch this for you!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 3, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

How I Make Stitch Choices (Orna Willis)

Orna Willis talks about how she categorizes stitch choices and explains how she chose the stitches for one of her bird designs in this interesting article on her blog.
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2017/05/how-i-make-my-stitch-choices-on-painted.html

By the way, Orna is going to offer a new class about her design choices.  You will stitch along as Orna designs a new piece.  This class is meant to offer insights into what she does and how.  If you are curious about design or you just want to stitch a geometric with a color genius, this class is for you.  Details on her website.
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2017/05/my-design-process-how-and-why.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 3, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Studying Sunset and Water

Rachel pulled out an older piece of needlepoint and talked about what stitches she used on it and why in this interesting blog posting.
http://www.blog.virtuosewadventures.co.uk/wordpress/2017/05/02/sunset-study/

Got any ideas for her for the unstitched areas?

Rachel also posted a finished piece, with information about the threads, stitches and canvas to help you learn to analyze what you see and use some of the ideas on your own canvases.
http://www.blog.virtuosewadventures.co.uk/wordpress/2017/05/09/canvaswork-again-the-lady-by-the-lake/

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

SuDu Talks Stitch Guides and Backgrounds and Embellishing and Finishing UPDATED

Sue Dulle's recent blog posting talks about how she uses a stitch guide. It's full of good tips on how to get the most of a guide and how to customize it to your own likes and dislikes. 
https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/melisssa-shirley-wicked/

Sue also talks about stitching her background and why she stitched the letters on her canvas differently than the guide. There are some great tips for stitching darning stitches, too.
https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/melissa-shirley-wicked-background-letters/

She also gives us tips on how to work large projects without forgetting areas.
https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/melissa-shirley-wicked-fun-stuff/

Now she embellishes!
https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/melissa-shirley-wicked-embellishing/

UPDATE:
Finally, Sue writes about finishing. This article alone is worth its weight in gold!  There's more than just finishing in this article, but it's the main focus.
https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/melissa-shirley-wicked-final-thought/

Thanks for writing down your thoughts, Sue.  It's very valuable information.

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Needlepoint Shadbelly Points

I had no idea what shadbelly points were as I don't ride horses.  Very interesting and very chic, too! The examples Horse Country Chic shows are all custom designs from Hingham Square Needlepoint.
http://horsecountrychic.blogspot.com/2017/04/needlepoint-shadbelly-points.html

If you are curious about shadbelly points, this site has lots of photos of their custom designs. None are needlepointed but it give you a good idea of what the needlepoint ones will be compared to.
https://www.tacknrider.com/custom-equiline-shadbelly-gallery/

And here is where you wear such outfits.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKQgTiqhPbw

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 30, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

DMC Has Been Sold

Thanks to the Needlework Retailer, I found that DMC has been sold to a private equity group which bought a British yarn and pattern company at the same time.  At the bottom of the article is mentioned a photograph to chart service that DMC is apparently going to offer in the near future.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/06/liberty-owner-sews-needle-market-wool-gang-deal/

This isn't exactly breaking news as the acquisition happened last June.
http://uk.fashionnetwork.com/news/DMC-to-fly-the-British-flag,699966.html#.WQNo1RSldjc

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Royal School Tackles Raised Embroidery

The Royal School of Needlework has a new book out, this time on raised embroidery techniques, including stumpwork, raised stitches, padding and more techniques that make an embroidery more 3-D looking. Mary Corbet has done a review here to give you a flavor of this book and help you decide if it is something you might be interested in.
https://www.needlenthread.com/2017/04/raised-embroidery-techniques-projects-pure-inspiration.html

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fiber Talk Interviews Sandy Arthur UPDATED

Have you seen Sandy Arthur's Shapes books, or lusted after one of her cyber classes? Then you will enjoy her interview on Fiber Talk.
http://wetalkfiber.com/2017/05/21/fiber-talk-with-sandra-arthur/

If you aren't familiar with Sandy's classes, stitch guides, apps or books, here is where you can get acquainted.
http://duodesignsinc.com/wpsite/

UPDATE:  The thimble dots that Sandy mentioned from Colonial Needle can be seen here…
https://www.overstock.com/Crafts-Sewing/Colonial-Needle-ThimblePad-Pack-of-12/6203865/product.html

and here.
https://www.createforless.com/Colonial-Needle-Thimble-Crown/pid230119.aspx?utm_source=bingProdAds&utm_medium=cse&CAWELAID=530001980000096533&catargetid=530001980000165791&cadevice=c

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 21, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Stitcher's Accessory Pack

Needlepoint.com has a nice little accessory pack that is perfect for travel or as a present for a new stitcher.  Of course it is a lot of fun to create your own tool pouch by picking up a nice zip container and filling it with spare scissors, a package of needles, a threader and magnet and anything else you use often.
http://needlepoint.com/stitcher-s-accessory-pack.html

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

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Michele's 3-2-1 Rule

Michele Herron of The Bristly Thistle has a neat way to keep her stock of unstitched canvases under control.   She calls it the 3-2-1 Rule.  Now all I have to do is find some self-control buried under the boxes of threads and canvases….
https://www.bristlythistle.com/blog/2017/4/26/sticking-to-the-3-2-1-rule

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Winterthur Museum Acquires Erica Wilson Collection

Apparenty the Winterthur Museum has been given many of Erica Wilson's stitched pieces. Isn't that lovely?  This article talks about the impact Erica Wilson had on many types of needlework in the 1970s and beyond.
http://museumblog.winterthur.org/2017/03/10/the-julia-child-of-needlework/

The Erica Wilson television programs mentioned in the Winterthur article can be accessed by following the instructions here.
https://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2016/10/wgbhs-open-vault-erica-wilson.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 25, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Breaking News: Death of Jean Candler

The staff at The Wool and The Floss in Gross Pointe, Michigan have announced the death of the shop owner, Jean Candler.
https://www.facebook.com/thewoolandthefloss/photos/a.147926451927833.34901.133538180033327/1281145478605919/?type=3&theater&notif_t=notify_me_page&notif_id=1494959958250652

Our condolences to the shop staff and the customers.  She will be greatly missed.
http://www.thewoolandthefloss.net

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

The History of Needlepoint

Nordic Needle has posted a quick history of needlepoint in their latest newsletter.
https://sendy.nordicneedle.com/sendy/w/Ms763rEz7ISjJcVJerZDpxCw/cnYPGf1UY29qb763KiNfi6zg/r763Ho5ALtxTS8M892mxp6julA#.WPyOGi1b7xE.facebook

I can't say that I agree with everything they say—Medieval stitchers were creating wall hangings, rugs and a sort of table cover, not upholstery as we think of it today plus I think basketweave wears much better than continental—but it's still interesting, with lots of great photographs.

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Whimsy and Grace Tote Bag

So many blogs showcase finishing now that I rarely do so, but this tote bag stitched by a customer at The Needlepointer is really well done.
http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2b1a4dafdf1ba6e29e773aa79&id=5a935c03c7&e=73961ee0ea

The design is from Whimsy and Grace and The Needlepointer arranged the finishing.

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sunday Morning Profiles A Daughter's Profile of Love and Loss

CBS's Sunday Morning program profiled A Daughter's Profile of Love and Loss, a new book about her parents' fight with cancer by Nancy Borowick.  This is of interest to needlepointers because the cover of the book is a needlepoint sampler Nancy's father designed and stitched to commemorate their marriage in 1979.
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/a-family-album-of-love-and-cancer/

Many thanks to the folks who mentioned this on Needlepoint Nation!

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

Meet Laura Hawley

The Needlework Retailer just found this great profile of a stitcher on a local newspaper website.
https://duboiscountyherald.com/b/laura-hawley-painting-with-thread

Hope some of you live close enough to go stitch with Laura!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 22, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 15, 2017

DIY Framing Tutorial

Needlepoint for Fun has posted a framing tutorial using big box craft emporium frames and mats. It's really easy.  There is also a video for those who need to see something to understand it.
http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/frame-needlepoint.htm

Which reminds me—I need to buy a shadowbox frame for the Computer Pixie!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 21, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Owl With Key, A Mystery with Ruth Schmuff UPDATED

The Summer Mystery class from Ruth Schmuff has been revealed—it is Sandra Vargas' "Owl with Key."  Lessons will be held at Ruth's company headquarters in June and July but ghost stitchers who participate via mail are welcome.  As always, I will update this article as Ruth posts after class reports.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/04/the-eyes-tell-story.html

First, Ruth does a charming background and gives the owl the key to perch on.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/06/a-new-mystery-new-owl.html

Now the owl has feathers and a tail!
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/06/owls-and-birds-birds-and-owls-owls-and.html


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 3,  2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

New Website for Trish Burr

The new website for Trish Burr is open!  You can now buy her needle painting (or whitework) kits or patterns or books or classes, watch videos and read her tutorials—all in one place.
https://trishbembroidery.com

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

Bead Patterns

This week two different folks posted blog articles about using beads for surface pattern in backgrounds or on special areas of a canvas.  The first blog is by Mary Legallet and it showcases a vase on a Melissa Shirley design stitched by Melissa herself.  (Yes, she stitches, too and she does a beautiful job!)  Beads are used to create a lovely glassy pattern on a vase, with a touch of thread to highlight the zigzag pattern and add more texture.
http://www.whimsicalstitch.com/whimsicalwednesdays/2017/04/19/beyond-bling

The second blog is from Vicky DeAngelis who is working on a Penny MacLeod design from The Collection using a guide by Meredith Willett.  If you can tear yourself away from the cute cat in the photos, look at the background of Vicky's canvas.  There are bead patterns making up the raindrops in the background stitches.  It's subtle due to Vicky's thread choices but the pattern is definitely there.
http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/a-big-finish-for-me/

Beads aren't just scattered here and there on these canvases—they make up substantial portions of each design.  The vase and the background would not be the same without them.

As Mary points out, if you are on TeamFullCoverage, this may not be for you, but if you want to be subtle in your patterns, beads might be a fabulous choice.

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ruth (and Sandy) Updated Their Apps UPDATED

The apps for Ruth Schmuff's iStitches, volumes one through four, now are updated in iTunes so you no longer get the error message "this app may no longer work with future versions of the Apple operating system and that it may slow down your phone" when you open them.  The apps themselves work fine. Apple is trying to get older apps to update to be compatible with their newest operating system using this message.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/05/updated-apps-yay.html

These four book apps are really worth having if you own Apple tablets, iPod Touches or smart phones.  I refer to mine all the time.

UPDATE:  Sandy Arthur's updated hers, too.
http://duodesignsinc.com/wpsite/apple-app/shapes-of-needlepoint-series-1-is-an-apple-app.php

http://sandyarthur.blogspot.com/2017/05/always-moving-forward.html

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

Teeny Tiny Needlepoint Stitches: A Review

I just bought a copy of Carolyn Hedge Baird's latest (2015) book, Teeny Tiny Needlepoint Stitches.  If you click on this link, Nimble Needle in New Jersey shows off the cover and several of the inside pages.  As you can see this is a small spiral bound book.
http://nimbleneedlenj.com/product/teeny-tiny-needlepoint-stitches/

The cover (designed by Brenda Stofft, by the way) is protected by a sheet of plastic.  The pages are nearly 5 1/2 inches high by 8 1/2 inches wide but it's pretty hefty as it is nearly 3/4 inch thick.  It's small enough to go in a project bag but it'll add weight to your purse if you are taking it on an airplane.

Inside there are 150 pages of stitches,  a few pages of plain graph paper to sketch out your own ideas, and indexes that divide the stitches in the book into groups:  all the stitches in (mostly) alphabetical order, four-way stitches, stitches for baskets, stitches that include beads, stitches for birds, borders and striped stitches that are only 1 canvas thread high, combination stitches that look good in two kinds of threads, and cross stitches to make bumps in your canvas.

A really nice touch in the front is a list of books by other authors that have great small stitch sections.

Each page usually has 2 diagrams on it, although some pages have only 1 and some have 4.  I found a few of the diagrams a little hard to puzzle out since they are in black and white (with occasional gray) and not really large.   A few diagrams have a plain white background instead of a grid, which may make it difficult to know how many threads a stitch goes over. Some of the grids are very faint as well.

Most—but not all—of the diagrams have the stitching path numbered in the traditional up at one, down at two, etc. format. The stitches seem to be listed in alphabetical order.  It's a great way to browse for ideas but if you find a stitch you sort of like, it'll be hard to find similar stitches that might work better for you unless they have a very similar name (and are thus nearby in the alphabetical listing).

Carolyn will usually explain what she has used each stitch for and often suggests variations or threads she's used successfully in this stitch.  Once again this isn't done for each stitch, but it is there for most of them.

A fun touch is the little line drawings scattered here and there in the book.  They serve no purpose but they do bring Carolyn's light-hearted personality to life as you skip around, looking at the stitches and waiting for inspiration to strike.

Except for books that are only tent stitches laid out in patterns (like many of Finger Step Designs' books) and Stitchplay's Desert Island Stitches Vol. 1,  this is the only book I know of that is especially dedicated to stitches that work well in small areas.   If you are constantly searching for a stitch to put in a tiny area, this is a book you'll want to add to your stitching library.

Thanks, Carolyn.  I'm going to have fun with this!

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Stella Two Reviewed

Mary Corbet has done one of her outstanding reviews, this time of the new version of the Stella lamp, called the Stella Two.
https://www.needlenthread.com/2017/05/stella-two-you-little-beauty.html

By the way, NeedlepointUS appears to have the original Stella table lamp on sale.
https://needlepointus.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Stella001W

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Needle Dames Contest Winner Announced

Time to announce the winner of the contest for the Needle Dames magnet called Phoenix!*
https://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2017/04/introducing-needle-dames.html

I collected all the names of folks who entered the contest in a list and asked Ginny Stapleton, the owner of Needle Dames, to pick a number at random, then the winner was that number on the list.  Ginny picked the number of Pat Murray!  Pat, can you email your mailing address to me at chillyhollow at hot mail dot com so I can get Phoenix in the mail to you?  Thanks!

If Phoenix wasn't your style or you didn't happen to be the winner, you can always shop for the perfect person to mind your needles at Ginny's Etsy store.  New personalities were added this week, giving you 42 faces to browse for the perfect person to hang out with you while you stitch.  Currently "Fantasy" is my favorite.  Which one is yours?
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NeedleDames?ref=l2-shop-info-name

*Actually it is past time but we have two new puppies and I lost track of time trying to herd them.  Sorry!

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

A Stocking Tale (with Rattlesnake)

Another Christmas stocking tale posted by Past Times Needlepoint….
https://www.pasttimesneedlepoint.com

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Heirlooms for the Family

Louise's Needlework talks stitching family heirlooms in their latest shop newsletter.  It's wonderful to hear her family appreciates the wonderful pieces created for them.
https://siterepository.s3.amazonaws.com/530/newsblastaprilfinal.pdf

You don't have to stitch for blood relatives, you know.  How about dear friends or co-workers?  Anyone who loves our art is worthy of a heirloom.

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

Monday, May 8, 2017

Chic Needlepoint Recommendations from Needlepoint of La Jolla

The online news page Blue Book of La Jolla has a fun visit with Needlepoint of La Jolla.  
http://www.lajollabluebook.com/blog/9-chic-creations-that-will-get-you-excited-about-needlepoint/

If anything especially chic catches your eye, visit the shop website.
http://www.needlepointoflajolla.com

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