Saturday, October 31, 2020

Nothing Is More Inspiring

For me, nothing is more inspiring than listening to Kaffe Fassett talk about needlepoint.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 10, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Trish Burr's Free Needle Painting Stitch-A-Long

Trish Burr, who is famous for her classes and books on exquisite needle painting, is doing a free stitch-a-long for folks subscribed to her blog.  Even if you aren't interested in trying needle painting yourself, the instructions from a master of this technique are worth reading.  There are lots of tips that are interesting, even if this is being stitched on linen instead of needlepoint canvas.









Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 25, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Mr. Cat, Mr. Bat and Mr. Pumpkin Are Ready for Halloween~


My Debbie Mumm Halloween ornament is nearly done.  All that remains are the cat's features.  Since the face is three layers of satin stitch over four layers of felt, you need a sharp needle to add those.  I used a beading needle but an embroidery sharp or a crewel needle will also work as long as it will go through the bead holes.  (I used beads for the eyes.)

First I looked at my zerox of the canvas and the bits of orange I could see through the background stitching and placed the orange whiskers.  I used one ply of some orange Gloriana silk I had.  I copied the slant of the original painting as best as I could.  Next I did the nose and mouth.  I thought about using using three stitches for the nose/mouth, but I ended up breaking up each line a bit.  This area is the most raised and to get a smooth look over all that padding, I had to break up the two horizontal lines that make up the nose and mouth.  It is a little wonky but that suits Mr. Cat I think.  

If your first attempt doesn't go well and you have to rip out, you are going to disturb the smooth satin stitches that over the face a bit but that's not a big deal.  Rip out, add another layer of satin stitch with your black floss over the area you disturbed, and tray again.  




The eyes are entirely beaded with white pearls and black rounds that are all the same size, 15/0.  These are pretty tiny beads.  I used black floss to attach them as I was afraid the clear beading thread I used elsewhere might show against all that black.  I looked at my xerox again for reference.  The eyes are painted in five rows (top to bottom) of three white stitches, four white stitches with a black one in the middle, five white stitches, five white stitches and three white stitches.  

I copied that exactly.  In the top photo you can see the eyes underway.  I could have stopped right there but I wanted Mr. Cat to look like he was looking at Mr. Bat who had just landed on his head.  The moral is stitch this to suit yourself.  One stitch (or bead) can make a big difference in the expression.  The second photo shows my first attempt at the beading.  It's not easy to get beads to lay evenly over the curve of a heavily padded area.  I ended up taking them all out and trying again.  My second attempt worked much better.  

To make sure that both eyes were even, I did them at the same time, working the top row in both, then the second row in both, etc.  This helped me level the eyes as much as possible.  The photo at the top is me working both eyes simultaneously.





And here is the finished design again.  It was a lot of fun to work.  I hope you enjoyed it and will try some of these raised techniques on your own designs.

By the way, The Needleart Nut has also stitched her cat, bat and pumpkin.  Hilarious and different than mine.  I want to pet her cat.  I want to avoid being trapped on a desert island with mine.  LOL

Happy Halloween!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 3, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Self-Finishing for Ornaments: Three Inches Versus Four Inches

This fall I bet a lot of folks are thinking about self-finishing items for ornaments.  I'm just talking ornaments, now, either round or square, that fit inside three inch versus four inch self finishing items.  There are other self finishing items (purses, tissue boxes, snap trays) for larger pieces but I'm not considering those here.

If you have a three inch round item, your choices are the Lee purse, 

…the Lee leather needle box

…the Lee leather gift box…

…the Lee cosmetic bag (available in several finishes)…

…the Lee leather snap tray…

…or the Lee luggage tag.

If your item is three inches square, Planet Earth has square leather coasters.

Some coasters for the three inch square design come in sets of four.

Planet earth also has boxes that are for a three inch square design.

If your ornament is a four inch round, this Lee leather box might be just right.

I'm not sure which company offers these for four inch round designs.

These silk boxes are also for a four inch round design.

If your round is a bit larger than four inches in diameter, this Lee leather coaster that has a magnetic back and a loop to hang might be just the thing.  

This large snap tray will also handle a four inch round or even one that is four and a half inches round.

If your piece is four inches square, Vallerie Needlepoint Gallery has two styles of coasters, both with a glass insert to protect your stitching.

Whether your ornament is three inches or four (or even a bit larger), shop around once you settle on your preferred style.  

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 9, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Free Halloween Design from SJ Designs

Susan Johnson of SJ Designs has released a free Halloween ornament chart that is totally beaded.

If you aren't a bead person, though, rummage in your stash and pick threads in the right colors and use those in tent stitches instead.  You'll need black, white, gold, purple, green and orange.  

Thanks, Susan!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 20, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Stretcher Bars Versus Stitching in Hand

Megan and Melissa talk about using stretcher bars versus stitching in hand.  It's a fun discussion that also touches upon using tacks versus staplers to put canvases on stretcher bars, speciality tools you might want to consider and tips that help keep your canvas clean.

The magnetic wrist band that Megan and Melissa show is called a Maker's Keep magnetic slap bracelet.  If your favorite shop doesn't carry them, you can talk to The Wool and the Floss in Michigan or to Needlepoint Club House in St. Louis to order.  You can see the five colors available here.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 27, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sue Hawkin's Dimensional Needlepoint

Looking for something a little different?  How about browsing Sue Hawkin's website to admire her dimensional houses, camper vans and beach shacks?

Sue's in the United Kingdom, so the little houses are all English-style sheds and cottages.  They are worked from charts.  I'm told Sue ships very quickly so you can have a camper van ornament ready to hang on your Christmas tree by early December if you raid your stash.  Her sewing box with fobs is a little more elaborate but it's charming.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 7, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Shadow Stitching Cyberclass

Registration has just opened this week for Laura Perin's latest cyberclass, "Daylily."  It is a class on shadow stitching, which means light coverage stitching over a design printed on needlepoint canvas.  The printing will show, creating an interesting interplay between the light coverage stitches and the pattern you won't quite cover.

You can sign up for this at Laura's website with a choice of two color ways, making this an interesting way to learn this technique on a small design.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 23, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Substitutes for Memory Thread

It's debatable whether DMC's memory thread (a thin copper wire wrapped with their floss) is discontinued or not.  Lots of people say it is but it is easy to find online.  DMC is notorious for discontinuing a line in one country but not another and I can't find out for certain.  

But given that a lot of people are looking for a substitute, you might consider Kreinik's Hot Wire, now called Wired Braid, which is their size 16 metallic braid with wire down the middle.  It comes in 18 colors.  You can also make your own, although this is easier to do with the larger sizes of Kreinik than the smaller ones.

Painters Threads carries gimp, which is a thick, non-wired thread that you couch into position.  It may be easier to use than a wired thread in some situations, too.

Their gimp comes in all the Painter Thread overdyed colors, too.  You can order directly from the distributor if your local shop doesn't carry this.

I've also couched size 5 perle cotton and Kreinik's metallics when I needed a raised line.  Where there's a will, there is a thread for this!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 3, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Cat in Stumpwork: A Tutorial

The final area of my Debbie Mumm Halloween ornament was the cat.  I decided I'd heavily pad the cat's face and its hind leg with layers of felt to raise it off the canvas.  I briefly considered padding the tail by doing satin stitches over some perle cotton or perhaps using repousse to make the tail very prominent but eventually I decided to let the tail be just in tent stitches. 

Before doing padding you have to do items around that area.  My cat ears and the collar were done first, as was the background around these areas and the tent stitches on the parts of the cat's body that weren't going to be padded.  I did check the body tent stitches after the padding was done to see if there were any stitches that needed to be done that the padding didn't cover.  I found several bare spots I had to cover.  It can be hard to judge this so always check later on to see if there are places you need to stitch.

The first step of heavily padding areas on a canvas is to make a copy of the canvas via your xerox machine to use as a pattern.  In the photo on the left you see the paper pattern of the cat's face and the four pieces of felt I cut out using the paper pattern.  I did this for the cat's hind leg, too, but I didn't show that for clarity's sake.  The process is the same.  I choose to make four layers of felt.  You will work from the small layer to the largest, attaching the tiny piece first, then the next largest, etc., ending with the biggest piece of felt on top.



Here you see the smallest piece of felt tacked into position.  Each layer of felt is larger and the last is slightly larger than the space you are covering.  The top layer has to be a tad larger because it'll be raised by the underlying layers of felt.  Normally you'd use the same color of felt as the thread that will go over it as the top layer, but I choose red for demonstration purposes so you could see what I'm doing.



You should baste each layer of felt into position, then go around the perimeter with tiny stitches to secure it.  As you can see, it's all too easy for this to get wonky!  I did better with the hind leg since I learned if you baste a layer first, it's easier to make it all stay where you want while you add the outside stitches that secure the felt over the previous layers.  Mary Corbet has a nice tutorial about beading over a felt pumpkin that shows the basting stitches and stab stitches around the perimeter well.  She's only doing one layer of felt but the principal is the same.




Here all four layers of felt are in position over both the cat's face and its hind leg.  Note that I used black felt for the top layers.  The next step is to cover the felt with black satin stitches.  Start by doing a layer of \ and / stitches that cover the area in an X shape.  (I used two plies of DMC cotton floss for my layers of satin stitch.  A laying tool is mandatory to keep the satin stitches smooth.)  

Once the first layer of satin stitch is done, do a vertical layer of satin stitches.  I worked from the middle out to one side, then worked from the middle to the other side, always using my laying tool.  





The final layer is a horizontal layer of satin stitches.  I worked these the same way, starting in the middle and working to the top, then from the middle toward the bottom, always using my laying tool.  In the above photo, the cat's hind leg is covered with satin stitches but the face hasn't been covered with DMC cotton floss yet.

Next time we'll talk about the final touches to give Mr. Cat personality.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 29, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Kreinik's Help with Older Threads

With everyone stitching from older projects that have been in their stash a while, Kreinik is getting lots of questions about Balger braid.  They explain what you likely need if your instructions call for Balger braid and link to a list of discontinued colors.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 12, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tissue Toppers

Over at Needlepoint Nation, someone asked if there were tissue toppers for needlepoint.  The answer is yes!  If you are interested in the long rectangle tissue box covers, Leigh Designs has eight that are lovely.

There are stitch guides for three of these.  I'm sorry the photos aren't better.  They are fabulous stitched! West Coast Finishing made these up and says they aren't hard to do.

Lee's Needle Arts has a long rectangular leather box with room for a needlepoint insert that is 2 3/4 inches wide by 6 inches long.  This is self-finishing.

Lee also has a small tissue box cover in leather with a round insert that is about 2 3/4 inches.  Both styles of Lee tissue box covers come in a variety of leather colors.  This is also self-finishing.

For a while Needlepoint.com had acrylic tissue boxes with a space for a canvas insert but they don't seem to have these any more and I can't find them elsewhere.  Regardless, your tissues can be just as pretty as the rest of your home in this unusual way to showcase your needlepoint.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 13, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Getting to Know Blue Ridge Stitchery

Needlepoint.com has a nice little interview with Paige of Blue Ridge Stitchery on their blog to go with their trunk show of Blue Ridge Stitchery designs.
https://needlepoint.com/blogs/needlepoint-know-how/meet-paige-from-blue-ridge-stitchery


Since I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this designer is special to me but she does some lovely florals and designs that aren't really about the Appalachian mountains.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 3, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Horse Country Chic Loves Christmas Ornaments UPDATED

Horse Country Chic is in love with these Christmas ornaments.  Most are horse-themed but all are perfect for the elegant country house even if you don't ride.  

UPDATE:  She's added a new series of ornaments, many brand new, and a recommendation to get yourself a copy of Mary Legallet's book.

UPDATE #2:  More!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 1, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Another Source for Ultrasuede

Someone on Facebook recommended the Etsy shop Suedeshop as a good source for Ultrasuede for finishing.

Note that Suedeshop sells three types of Ultrasuede:  LT, HT and Sensuede.  LT is light weight, HT is upholstery weight, and Sensuede is microfiber made from recycled plastic.  I know HT is hard to sew though unless you have a heavy duty sewing machine, so I always prefer the light weight LT Ultrasuede.  I don't know how easy Sensuede is to sew through either by hand or with a regular sewing machine but I'm sure the shop owner can guide you.  

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 30, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Francophile and Templeton Dean

Templeton Dean Hancock has moved to France where he's purchased a chateau he's renovating.  He's decided to raise funds for the renovation through his needlepoint hobby by selling kits.  

Are you on the hunt for a 12 count kit with Appleton crewel wool that expresses your Francophile urges?  Templeton Dean's designs are for you!  Right now Templeton's website isn't ready so he's selling his designs via Etsy.  Have fun exploring these unique and colorful and VERY French designs.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 30, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Cat Needs a Name Tag and Ears Tutorial


Moon Name Tag in Or Nue'

The next part of my Debbie Mumm Halloween ornament is the cat, which has a lot of interesting techniques.  I decided that I wanted the cat's name tag to be in Or Nue' which is a technique of couching a metallic thread using silk  Jane Zimmerman has a good tutorial for doing Or Nue' on needlepoint canvas but before you read it, you should know this technique is essentially couching metallic thread (often in pairs) in a spiral from the center of a focal point out using a colored silk to add a pattern.  


If you want to see more, Rachel Wright has a great series of videos on Vimeo that shows her stitching a whole piece on linen using Or Nue.

The way I worked the name tag was to basketweave the area around the name tag first.  Then using a strand of Kreinik gold in size 4 braid in my needle, I came up in the center of the name tag.  Then I started to spiral the thread around the center.  I used clear beading thread to couch the thread in the moon area because the clear thread didn't show.  I used two plies of purple Splendor silk to couch the Kreinik in the purple areas.  It's easy to do but fiddly as you have to park the couching thread you aren't using out of the way and keep the gold metallic spiraling tightly as you couch it.  I used magnets a lot to keep tension on the gold thread and to keep the needles I wasn't using out of the way.  It's not easy to get a smooth curve where the purple area covers the gold to make the background of the name tag but if you do multiple stitches in areas, it works.  


Needle Weaving Wire

Once I had a name tag, I could work the cat's ears. I wanted dimension in the ears, more dimension than the name tag, because I plan to use felt padding on the cat's face and hind leg to raise them quite a bit.  So the ears have to be prominent. I decided to use needle weaving to create ears with wire and thread.  In the photo above you see my 28 gauge black wire.  I cut off a three inch length (DON'T use your good embroidery scissors to cut wire!) and bent it in a sort of hairpin shape.  That's the basis for one ear.

Poke the ends of the wire into a canvas hole at the base of the painted ear on your canvas.  Secure on the back.  It doesn't have to be really secure, just enough that it won't wiggle as you weave your ears.  I used a little brightly colored thread to tack the tip of the ear to the canvas.  You cut this later so the ear can stand up.  It just makes it easier to weave the thread around the wire if it's not moving so much.  

I used black Pepperpot silk to create my ear.  Come up at the base of the ear with your needle, then you start to weave the thread around the wire in a figure 8 shape.   Go under the wire with the needle pointing left, then point the needle right.  You will go over the wire on the left side and under the wire on the right.  Point the needle left.  Go over the wire on the right and under the wire on the left.  Repeat endlessly, working left to right, right to left, and the weaving will start to create your ear.  You'll have to push the thread down toward the ear's base with the needle periodically.  When your weaving is close to the tip of the ear, cut the thread that secures the tip of the ear to the canvas to finish it.  To end the thread you are weaving with, run it down behind the ear to the base where you can take the thread to the back side and secure it.  Then bend the loose ends of the wire into a curve and secure to the back side well.

This is hard to visualize but Ruth of Bedecked and Beadazzled has a great video on needle weaving.  Note that Ruth is doing a long feather shape that's flat to the canvas so she used thread instead of wire and she needed three supports, not two.  My ears are TINY so I couldn't use three supports.  I just used two.  What she's doing is very similar to what I did.  She started at the tip; I started at the base.  The procedure is very similar but using wire means the my ears are dimensional.



My cat's ears were painted with orange centers so I used a ply of orange Gloriana silk in a straight stitch to create the inside.  Note that the ears don't quite match.  I could have removed the left ear and made it a little narrower but I decided I liked the cat having ears that weren't exactly the same.  You can bend the ears a bit to position them as you like.  I stitched over the painted ears with my background stitch so that any bit of the paint that shows looks like a shadow, by the way.

No laughing at the red clown nose on Mr. Cat—that's next week's lesson.  

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Gay Ann Roger's Sale Starts Tomorrow

Gay Ann Rogers' annual sale of her counted charts and kits will start tomorrow, October 15, at 8 a.m. California time.  

Most everything will be patriotic themed except on Saturday, when her surprise windows will have antique tools and geometric designs, including a new Downton Abby-themed chart.

If you are interested, buy now.  Gay Ann will probably end her sale in 3-4 days so she doesn't have to spend months trying to ship kits during a pandemic.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 8 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Need Button Embellishments?

If you are looking for buttons to embellish a canvas, Toby recommends you try Embellishment Buttons on Etsy.

If you want to go higher end, this vintage button shop has some real beauties.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnieFrazier?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=868959853

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 29, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Needlepoint.com Interviews Anne Fisher Needlepoint

I love designer interviews!  I learn something about the artist behind the canvases and sometimes meet someone whose work I didn't know.  If you are like me, you'll enjoy reading this brief interview with Anne Fisher.  

Here's the Anne Fisher Needlepoint website if you want to browse more designs than those that Needlepoint.com has in stock.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 29, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Carmen Shows Basketweave with Tails on the Front

Carmen made a video demonstrating how she learned to basketweave.  She's working on the diagonal from the upper left corner, leaving the thread for each color on the front until she needs it.  Interesting!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 28, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pointing It Out with Carolyn Hedge Baird

Melissa interviews Carolyn Hedge Baird for the Pointing It Out podcast.  It's great fun!

If you want to contact Carolyn about a virtual class, want to buy some ribbons for finishing, or want one of Carolyn's books, contact Chaparral Needlework.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 26, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Wellesley Needlepoint Talks French Knots Versus Colonial Knots: The Movie UPDATED

Wellesley Needlepoint has a nice video on YouTube that shows how to create French knots, how to make Colonial knots, and how to make French knots on a stick.  The tutorial shows what happens when you use different threads, vary the number of wraps for your French knot, etc.

UPDATE:  By coincidence, the latest Needlepoint Academy video from Needlepoint.com demonstrates Colonial Knots.

Last year they did a video on French knots.

With this help I think you can easily master both knot types but if you are still having trouble, try switching to a crewel wool.  For some reason, knots are easier in some types of threads.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 26, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Bat Needs a Body: Needle Felting Tutorial




Last week I talked about my Debbie Mumm Halloween ornament.  I'm working from the background forward, playing with various dimensional techniques and trying to balance the elements of the design.  Mr. Pumpkin is beaded so he draws the eye, but the bat who has just landed on the cat's head needs to be prominent, too.  I decided I would needle felt Mr. Bat.

Needle felting is quite easy but you do need special supplies.  In the photo above you see a felting needle, a felting block (it's just a square of heavy foam), and some purple wool roving.  If you need to buy supplies, your local big box crafts store may have what you need but I recommend you buy from Sandy Arthur's Etsy shop.  She teaches a lot of needle felting on needlepoint canvas and likes the Clover brand of needle felting tools and felting blocks.

When I wrote this Sandy was temporarily out of the Clover tools.  Here is what they are like—

It doesn't matter what brand of felting needle and block you buy in my opinion.  You can get single needles, multiple needles in a handle, two different kinds of blocks.  The important thing is to use only a wisp of roving.  Put the felting block on a table (with some sort of protection), put your canvas on top of the block, pull a tiny tiny wisp of roving from the mass of wool, and use the needle perpendicular to the canvas to poke the roving through the holes of the canvas.  Go slowly and be careful.  The needles are SHARP and they are barbed.  You don't want to poke yourself by mistake.  In the photo below you see how much roving I used—and it was nearly too much for this small a space.




You don't need much wool roving.  The bat's purple head and body are smaller than my smallest fingernail and my thumbnail, after all.  Cover up his eyes, mouth and fang with roving.  Keep poking it.  On the back side the roving will start to show through and you'll have fuzz front and back.  Keep poking it, remembering to keep the needle perpendicular to the canvas.  Don't worry about damaging the canvas.  As long as you work slowly you won't.  



Here I'm working on the bat's face.  The needle is slanted a bit to show you how this is done, but remember to keep your needle perpendicular to the canvas as you work.  The body isn't finished but I worked body-face-body-face alternatively, just trying to shape the two round areas so that there was a little gap between them.  

I ended up with this—



Doesn't look like much but it's featureless right now.  I added a long bullion for his ears, I padded the wings with long stitches in perle cotton that I covered with black Flair, and I gave the bat two red Swarovski crystals for eyes and a silk ribbon orange bow tie since I decided (the bat's head is tiny, remember?) I didn't have room for eyes/mouth/fangs.





Here is Mr. Bat, all finished.  Next time I'll talk about Mr. Cat who is going to be heavily padded in a stumpwork technique using layers of felt covered with satin stitches.

By the way, if you want to try needle felting on your own canvas, I have more information about it in a separate tab.  

 
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 22, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Erica Wilson Exhibit at Winterthur Museum Fall 2020 UPDATED

The opening date is a little vague but Winterthur will have an exhibit about the needlework of Erica Wilson in the Fall of 2020.
http://www.winterthur.org/exhibitions-events/exhibitions/future-exhibitions/erica-wilson-a-life-in-stitches/

If you aren't going to be in the area this fall, you might enjoy this YouTube video of a symposium on Nantucket about her embroideries and teaching.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8DW84_AHiA

UPDATE:  The virtual exhibit is now open!
https://www.winterthur.org/exhibitions-events/exhibitions/erica-wilson-a-life-in-stitches/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 2, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Breaking News: Tacky Bobs Discontinued

Needle Nook of La Jolla says that the Tacky Bobs are being discontinued.    If you are a fan of these little boxes made to hold beads on their sticky surfaces, better pick one up now while you still can.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 4, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tricia Nguyen Talks

Want to spend some time listening to a fascinating discussion?  Go listen to Gary talk to Tricia Nguyen about her work in the world of embroidery.
https://wetalkfiber.com/2020/09/13/fiber-talk-with-patricia-wilson-nguyen/

Once you get finished, Gary and Tricia also did a video that shows off her 17th Century reproduction stumpwork caskets.   It's two hours long and is fascinating.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlkX3iJV6M4&frags=pl%2Cwn

You might also like Tricia's video explaining how the tiny bottles for the caskets were designed and made if you haven't watched it already.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuMlUTmGeaU&feature=youtu.be

If you are now curious about Tricia's casket classes or just want to buy some amazing reproduction threads, here is her website.  Note that she only ships periodically so you'll have to wait a bit but if you like unusual threads, it'll be worth it.
https://www.thistle-threads.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 13, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Stash Sales Tutorial

SuDu has written a fun article about how she sells stash online.  I've seen more interest in stash sales sites since the summer started since the shops are having problems stocking items because of the pandemic.  The canvas painting companies are taking 5-6 months to ship an order, and shops are having trouble getting threads at times.  All this makes it a good time to sell the stash you'll never stitch.

I think if you have a bunch of things you'd like to sell now, or if you plan to sell quite a bit over the next year or so, her tips will really help you.
https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/how-i-sell-needlework-online/

Remember, I have a list of places to sell and also a list of places to donate stash in the tabs at the top of Blog.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright Sept. 1, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Coffman Adjust-a-Frame Stretcher Bars

Cathy loves her Coffman stretcher bars (Adjust-a-Frame) and has posted photos on Facebook that show them.  They slide together using dowel rods.  You attach the canvas with staples or tacks as usual, then use an Allen wrench to tighten them.  

Email Mr. Coffman at mcgc123@sbcglobal.net for a price list.  They only take checks in payment.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 17, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Carol Eix Demonstrates Frame Weights: The Movie

Recently Creative Stitches and Gifts in Houston has started a series of short videos for their Facebook page.  These videos are interviews with local designers.  This particular video is of Carol Eix, who creates frame weights, snap trays and who also owns Creative Stitches and Gifts.  

The video always shows how to use a snap tray (or a bead snap tray), a button snap magnet, pincushions, etc.  

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 16, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Breaking News; Burmilana Has a New Home

Amy Bunger's shop newsletter is out and it has great news!  Burmilana, a great acrylic-wool blend fiber that is perfect for fur, clothing, anything that needs a somewhat wool-like look, has a new home at Needle Works in Austin.  Amy's starting to wind down her business so Burmilana which she has distributed for a long time, has found a new distributor.

Your favorite shop can now order straight from Needle Works.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright October 2, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Planet Earth Self-Finishing Box Tutorial

Ever worried about how to attach a canvas to the lid of one of those Planet Earth Fiber self-finishing boxes?  Someone asked on Needlepoint Nation and got lots of help.

In case you've never seen these, they look like this and also come in lime green, orange and pink.

The Pointing It Out podcast (available on YouTube) has a whole series about self-finishing items if you want to see more options.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com 
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com 
© Copyright September 15, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Cat, The Bat and the Pumpkin



The above design is what I've been working on during the last month.  This is Debbie Mumm's "Cat and Bat."  It's on 18 count and the ornament is three inches in diameter.  

I choose it as Halloween and autumn are in the air here in Chilly Hollow and I wanted something to try various stumpwork techniques on.  Can you tell how raised the cat's face and leg are?




Stumpwork techniques are becoming more popular in needlepoint.  Kimberly's "Dragon and Son" design is a great example.

So is what Kelly Clark is doing with her canvases.  Click on Stumpwork to see closeups.

These techniques can be used on any type of canvas whither it is painted, line drawn or charted.  All you need is a little imagination and some idea how to go about it.  You have to supply the imagination but I can tell you how I did this, to help you get started.

Using several raised elements on one design is always a challenge because some things need to be more prominent than others.  The first thing you have to decide is what is most prominent, what is less so, and what is receding into the background?  For me, the cat is the most prominent thing, then the bat, and finally the pumpkin.  Not every canvas has such obvious focal points, though.  





The first item I want to talk about is Mr. Pumpkin.  I decided to bead him.  I like brick stitch beading for solid areas.  It's fast and easy and works well for size 11 beads.  Luckily I had just the right shade of orange beads in my stash.  Unluckily, I only had black in size 14.  So the eyes and nose and mouth of Mr. Pumpkin were also brick stitch beaded with black beads, then I added beads here and there in the somewhat empty black spaces to fill in.  It's easy to just add a bead with a tent stitch if necessary.   I suggest if you have to mix sizes like I did, that you check after each new bead to see what you think.  It's easy to remove a bead if it's not working after each stitch.  The pumpkin stem is stem stitch using Straw Silk, by the way.  

I like the subtle sparkle of the pumpkin.  He doesn't overwhelm but you won't overlook him, either.

Next time, I'll talk about creating Mr. Bat.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 20, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.