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I design needlepoint AKA canvaswork or counted needlepoint - it's all done from charts and diagrams!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A creative finish!

This is a brick cover created by Kelsey's Needle KraftsSue was nice enough to send me a photo after she told me about it on the phone! They took the Color Delights - Aqua chart and did it in three different colors (orange, purple, and turquoise - great combination of colors, by the way!) for this fun block.

I was out of town this past week and had an opportunity to visit a few needlework shops. It was great to put my hands on threads and pick out some colorways for future projects!

I'm working on my new series Double Delights. The first in the series will be released next week for auto customers and will be introduced at market next month. I'll show a photo soon!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bad news....good news...

The bad news is I've been sick with  a bad cold/sinus thingy. The good news is I did a lot of stitching over the weekend because I didn't have the energy to do anything else. My colorful piece is coming along nicely although I wish I knew what I'm going to call it! Here's a little more for you to see...this piece will be released towards the end of February. The unstitched area between the larger and smaller squares is what I call an "inside border". I'm not completely certain of what I'm doing here...still considering a few options.

I took a photo of my finished piece I'm calling Sugilite and cropped it to show you a peek before it will be released next month. This was a fun piece to do and is mostly all the purple Watercolours I could put in it!

Tonight I'll leave you with one last word about drawing on canvas. Always have a white artist's eraser on hand - it erases mishaps "cleanly" and doesn't leave any marks on the canavas like a regular pencil eraser will. I've used several brands over the years and they all seem to work just fine. Don't ask me what "Mars plastic" is...I don't know and never really thought one thing about it until I took this photo!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

About drawing the lines...

Robin asked, "After you've drawn the line in the groove, is your first thread to the right, say, No. 1, and the last thread, No. 36, adjacent to the groove? This would mean, I believe, that the holes in the groove are shared by two squares. Do I have that right?"

Yes, Robin is correct. The drawn line and the holes it covers are shared by two squares. Also, where the lines intersect, that hole is shared by four squares (above & below and left & right). I hope this will motivate you to try canvas if you haven't already!

I've been putting together my Mystery kits...am waiting on a few threads and mainly the canvas to arrive so I can get them off in the mail. More info about the Mystery Project is on my website. You can still sign up...Besides the Peacock colorway (my original colors), the "bestsellers" so far are Appalachia & Sherwood Forest. I'm actually thinking about using the Sherwood Forest threads for a new design - it's one of the latest threads Caron released (yes, about a year ago!) and I've been wanting to do something with it.

Here's another look at my current "WIP"! It's moving along and I've already decided to make some changes! What else is new?

Work is done for the day and now I get to play with a needle and thread! Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A few more squares...

I thought I'd show a little progress. This is really fun to work on! I've been working all day today mailing out orders and am looking forward to a quiet evening of stitching with a flannel quilt and cat on my lap - it's colder than usual here in northwest Florida!
Hope you're stitching too!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year...New Project...

Happy New Year! I always select a "Word for the Year" and this year I decided on CREATE. I considered Creative & Creativity but finally decided on create because so many words can come after. For example, Create a design, Create a new life, workspace, garage, Create a healthier lifestyle, etc, etc.

Along these lines, I started a new design and took some photos to show you the beginning...this will be somewhat of a "tutorial" on how I begin to stitch a project on canvas. Once I've decided on the "bones" of the design, I draw the outline on the canvas.

You may wonder why I always draw the outlines on my canvas and strongly recommend in most of my patterns that the lines be drawn on the canvas before stitching. After all, isn't it "counted" canvas?! Well...if you take the few extra minutes to draw the outline on the canvas before you begin stitching, it will save you hours of time (which you can use to stitch!) because you won't have to count as much and you will have lots of places where you are double-checking to be sure you're stitching the right thing in the right place. I often have students tell me that having the lines makes it a lot easier and much more fun to stitch. I recently had a friend visit who told me that she'd gotten very frustrated with one of my pieces. I asked why and she said it was because she'd gotten off somewhere and couldn't figure it out. I was quite dismayed until she sheepishly admitted she didn't draw the lines and that contributed greatly to her trouble. She said she wasn't going to ever tell me but decided it would be okay. We had a little lesson on drawing outlines on canvas and she'll probably never not draw the lines again, especially when I write "I Strongly Encourage Drawing the Lines" at the beginning of the pattern!

 For this new piece, I decided on large squares 36 by 36 threads. There will be six squares across and six squares down. First, I find the center of the canvas (I use a long ruler) and make a cross where the intersection is the center of the canvas.

Here's a close up of a line being drawn. I place the pencil in the "groove" between two threads so the line is actually drawn on the holes and not on a long thread. I place the pencil and then drag it along the canvas (very lightly). Ideally, I'd use a hard #3 pencil but in reality I am very careful and use a mechanical pencil. There needs to be 36 threads between the drawn lines so you need to be able to see a thread directly on each side of the line.

I then count 36 threads and draw a short line and continue across until I have three blocks. I then turn the canvas upside down and mark the other side the same way. I do it like this because I find working in one direction is more comfortable than the other.

At this point I extend the vertical center line closer to the top and bottom of the design. I then turn the canvas and mark the canvas just as I did from side to side. Before drawing the lines all the way across, I recount to make 100% sure I counted correctly the first time - this is the "Measure twice, cut once" theory! (I didn't take a photo at this point - sorry).
Next up is a photo of a closeup of one 36x36 thread square - note how the lines are "on the holes".

Here's the canvas, completely drawn. After I took the photo, I realized there was a red Sharpie and a yellow highlighter on the counter next to the canvas - they were there because I'd been using them earlier for something else. DO NOT ever use either of these to mark your canvas!

I love a new canvas! The last step before stitching is to attach the canvas to wood stretcher bars with rust-proof tacks. Now I'm ready to stitch - yeah! The picture is crooked, not the canvas!

And...here's the first square...I'll post my progress as I continue...I'm using Vineyard silks and Threadworx overdyed silks again - I just love them!

And...what post would be complete without a photo of the animals...my faithful stitching companions. They don't usually lie on this table together but this day they were so I grabbed the camera. Sammi is in the front and Boots in the back - they like to "sun" themselves under the lamp!

Happy New Year to all! May you have many happy hours of stitching in 2012!