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

Monday, December 2, 2013

Back from vacation...

I'm back from two weeks vacation and have had to drag myself back to the computer to work again.

I spent the first week of vacation in Shipshewana, Indiana at the Dear Jane quilt retreat. I missed going last fall so it was especially wonderful to see old friends and meet some delightful new ones as well. The weather was interesting the last day we were there - these two photos were taken 10 minutes apart! It was fun to see snow the last day we were there and a relief to not see too much of it on our drive home the next day!

I stitched all the way up on the drive but spent the rest of the past two weeks doing hand applique. I'm hoping to put a quilt in our local guild's quilt show in April and was able to get a lot accomplished but I still have to stay on task the next few months! I finished up the 40 applique blocks for the quilt - here are the last ones I finished up at the retreat - I'm not sure what I was thinking when I picked out the brown flowers in the middle one...there's red in them but it sure doesn't show up in the photo. My background fabric is fun - it looks like an overdyed fabric with tints of blue and green. It's more subtle in person than this photo shows.

 Here is a border that I finished last week (it's 72 inches!) - three more to go! After finishing this, I think I can finally say I'm comfortable with hand applique. It has been a long time coming...
and a close-up of part of it...
This is a fun quilt but I'll be glad to get it done, mostly so I can start something else. I've been working on it since March to the exclusion of everything else in my sewing room and am looking forward to getting back to my machine.
I celebrated Thanksgiving and my birthday (same day) with my family in North Carolina - since it was a big birthday (you know, the ones with a zero at the end), mom made a cake and even put candles on it. By the time they were blown out, wax had to be scraped off the frosting, giving everyone present a great laugh. It's always fun to have my birthday fall on Thanksgiving, especially as I was born on Thanksgiving as well.
Will write again soon with photos of stitching in progress...until then, keep the needles moving and pause to enjoy the holidays... I'm still trying to decide if I want to take the time to put up a tree...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Back from California...

I've been home for a week and am just about caught up! It's a good thing since I'm leaving again next Sunday! This time I'm going to Shipshewana for a quilting retreat with my mom - we go every year but missed last year because we were in Santa Fe. We're so looking forward to seeing our friends, quilting, relaxing, and of course, shopping and eating! This is one of my favorite weeks of the year and is total ME time - no work although I will check emails sporadically.

I had the most fabulous time in California - I taught two classes at Needle in a Haystack in Alameda. My students were wonderful and came from all over - east coast, Phoenix, Canada, and even England! Here's Annie from England - I had a special connection with her as we share the same birthday!
Here are a couple of fairly new canvas stitchers - they caught on quickly and were a teacher's dream!
Here's some of the class on the 2nd day - such fun ladies!

Several people brought things to show me and I wanted to share them with you! Here is my Galaxy design done in colors she picked out herself - we put it up in the middle of the trunk show and it goes great with Autumn Logs! She will be making it into a pillow and did a fab job picking out the colors. She shared her thread choices with me so if you'd like them, just let me know.
Here it is by itself right side up (I put it up upside down on the wall and we just left it that way!)
She also stitched Rainforest Revisited but stitched half on one canvas and the other half on a separate canvas to have two square pillows. She'd also done Rainforest Crunch so will have a trio of square pillows along with the larger Galaxy pillow on her sofa. Here's one of the Rainforest Revisited pieces.

Another of Cathe's customers used one of my Double Delights patterns (Charbleu) for the center of a design for a tallit bag she'd worked out herself. She also changed the colors to suit her preference. I love seeing people take the small designs and use them in alternative ways!
Amy drove in from Phoenix with a load of canvases of my designs - she may have stitched everything I've designed! It was most impressive especially since she'd done all 12 of the Double Delights not only in the original colors, but also in the alternate colorways listed on the patterns! I'd not even seen all of them done! Here's my favorite alternate - I challenge you to figure out which design it is!
 There's lots more but I'll save it for another day...
Until then,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My bags are packed...

Boots wanted to come but I didn't pack him!

I'm leaving on a jet plane early in the morning and will land in Oakland tomorrow night (my time). I'm gaining two hours going so I'm thinking it will be good stitching time! Friday, I'll be spending the day oogling threads at Needle in a Haystack and then giving a lecture on color. Saturday and Sunday I'll be teaching two classes and am especially looking forward to meeting one of my online students who is coming from Canada. She sent me a photo of her framed "Inchies" and it's fabulous! The framing and adding the black sashing makes it look very dramatic and elegant!

Until next time...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Shamrock Surprise...and more

I received this photo from Gretchen at Threads, LLC in Charlottesville, VA (http://www.threadsinva.com/) - she took Color Delights "Shamrock" and modified and enlarged the design by repeating it and changing the colors. I think she made it fabulous. She told me they're also stitching it in a jewel tone colorway and will be offering it as a future class. I love what she did with it - it made me think "Shamrock Garden"! I can't wait to see the jewel tone version!

Before I went left for National Seminar, my mom made a quick visit and brought some finishing she'd done for Marilyn H. in Texas to show me. She made BlackJack into a fabulous tote bag and here are a few photos of it. I wish I could have kept it!
She also had finished Spring Logs and Summer Logs into pillows - this is the best photo of Spring I've been able to get...
Below is a photo of Winter Logs stitched by Marilyn - she added a border with Ticking Watercolours - mom has to make it into a pillow as well! I saw this while visiting my mom in NC between my Knoxville and Louisville excursions!
I stayed with my friend Donna in Knoxville on my way to Louisville while I was taking a class from Gary Clarke and she showed me the Rainforest Crunch she'd finished in the Winter colorway. The seasonal colorways I developed especially for the Rainforest Crunch class two summers ago led to my designing the seasonal log series just completed with Autumn's release. Very serendipitous indeed! Several years ago, I took a quilting class from Karen Stone (a national quilt teacher) and one of the things she said was a good palette of fabric would work for any design or pattern. You don't have to know what design you're going to quilt (or stitch!) before you choose fabrics (or threads). If the choices work well together, whatever you do with them will probably look great. I'd never quite thought of it that way before but it was definitely a light bulb moment for me and has served me well!
I had great fun at National Seminar - spent just a day there and shopped in the boutique, viewed the exhibits, and perused next year's class offerings - they are wonderful and I am looking forward to registering and going to Phoenix next year! I'll actually be visiting Phoenix twice as I'm in the process of finalizing a contract to teach in March.
Merchandise Night at seminar was a wild blur - most fun was meeting people in person who have stitched my designs and are taking my online classes. I had a lot of help from great friends and couldn't have done it without them and the wonderfully helpful bellhop who got everything safely from the car and back into the car after the event - he was most pleased (as was I!) to not have as much to load back into the car!
I'm happy to be home for a couple of weeks and then off to San Francisco to teach. I'm most excited to be getting together with a college friend in San Fran after I teach - we haven't seen each other in over 20 years. I then go straight to Houston for the International Quilt Festival - I've only been once before and I'm looking forward to what seems to be a special treat! Friends from here are meeting me there and it should be a blast.
There's more travel scheduled for November but I'll save it for another day. I have instructions to proof!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pictures of former Mystery pieces and more

I've received a few photos lately and like to share them with you. First up is Burst of Stars from Jody D. I like the use of triple matting!
Next up is Pandora's Boxes from Chris D. He (yes, he!) has stitched several of my designs.
This next photo comes from Anne Marek who is the proprietor of Mrs. Stitches  http://www.mrsstitches.com/ in New Jersey. I met in person at a tradeshow last year and she was delightful! She helped one of her customers change all the colors for Rainforest Revisited and sent this photo of the finished piece. It's very colorful compared to the original and it was fun to see something completely different! It sort of makes my design juices start flowing...
My mom finished her Autumn Logs and made this pillow within minutes of putting in the last stitch! It looks great on my dad's brown leather recliner but I doubt that's its home!
Here's a sneak peek of what I'm working on right now - the working title is "Stained Glass Stars" and it will be a teaching piece for 2014. 
And for the cat lovers, an obligatory cute photo of Boots - he loves plastic bags is begging me not take it away from him!
Next week I'm headed to Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky! I'm looking forward to taking a class from Gary Clark with the Knoxville EGA. From there I'll go to mom's for the weekend and the John Campbell Folk Art School's Fall Festival. Last stop on the trip is the EGA National Seminar where I'll have a table at Merchandise night, see the exhibits, and shopping the Boutique (probably the best part!). Hope to see some of you there...


Monday, September 16, 2013

Autumn Logs pillow

Just a quick post to show my finished Autumn Logs made into a pillow. The center looks washed out in the photo but I can't take another because I sent the pillow up to Fireside Stitchery - they're having a Needle Delights Originals trunk show right now and have over a dozen of my pieces - check them out if you're in the northeast! http://www.firesidestitchery.com/
Today is the first day of my online class "Inchies" - here's the Confetti colorway - one of my students already finished it and sent a photo!
I'm working on something new and will show you a peek soon!

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Class, New Releases & More

I'm excited to announce I am offering a new class through Shining Needle Society. Enrollment is now open. The Official Announcement has all the details and photos of the additional colorways I created. Here is my completed piece.
It was so fun I've started another in the Confetti colorway - I haven't gotten too far yet. I've just been stitching it during my breaks from instruction writing because I can't think about designing anything new yet!
Patterns for my new releases are at the printer - WooHoo! Now onto the instructions for class pieces! I'm now taking pre-orders for the three designs I'm releasing later this month - Autumn Logs, Bora Bora, and Color Delights - Mint. Here are photos in case you missed them!  Order Now to be the first to receive them!
Autumn Logs
Bora Bora
Color Delights - Mint
Do you know about the Color Delights Club? You can join anytime. As a member of the Color Delights Club, you automatically receive Color Delights kits as new designs are released. There are two options - Option 1: New Titles Only (1 per quarter) or Option 2: Get one kit per month (Colors Previously released; your choice or mine) will be sent in the months there are not a new Color. Members of the Club receive a complete kit (pattern, canvas, and threads) for $28 plus S&H. This is a savings of $4-7 per kit. This is a great way to try new stitches, get a fun pattern which can be used in a multitude of ways, and collect a fantastic assortment of different threads. If you already have some of the patterns, we will make sure you don't get duplicates.
Speaking of Color Delights...DeAnn from Louisiana sent me a couple of photos - here's 12 of the Color Delights framed together in one frame (Rose, Violet, Bubblegum, Wisteria, Cobalt, Aqua, Chartreuse, Sunshine, Shamrock, Tangerine, Magenta, & Fire). I love seeing combinations of them!
She also sent her version of Rainforest Crunch which hangs in her beach house - don't you love the starfish on it?! What a great addition! Love her color choices too...
If you have photos you'd like to share on my blog, send them to me and I'll happily post them here!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

August Logs - Finished!!

I'm so happy to have this piece done! It completes my Seasonal Log series. The pattern will be released August 23rd! I'll also be releasing another Color Delights - it's Mint and I'll show it to you when it's finished - probably one more night of stitching...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Inchies is finished!

Inchies is now available as a class through Shining Needle - registration started today. I also chose threads for four additional colorways. The great thing about choosing threads for these choices is I now have four great palettes to choose from when I'm ready to start something new!
Confetti Colorway

Earthy Colorway

Martinique Colorway

Pretty Pastels Colorway
Read all the info about signing up here - hope to see you in class!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My latest obsession...

I've started a new teaching design and have hardly been able to put it down - I'm almost done! I think it will be my next offering through Shining Needle Society and it's called "Inchies" because the squares are an inch big. I can't wait to pick out some additional colorways and maybe even stitch another - after I get back to Autumn Logs and finishing it! Here's a part of Inchies...
I picked up the frame for Mint Julep and it will be in the mail to Needle in a Haystack in a few days after I finish writing the instructions... it's better in person than the photo, of course. Green is one of the most difficult colors to capture correctly in photographs according to a professional photographer we've used and I find it to be true for me.

I'll post a photo of Autumn Logs soon...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!

Here's Williamsburg, a design in my Destinations series to celebrate the 4th! It's raining here in northwest Florida but it will still be a great day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Framing & Finishing Ideas

Here are a couple of photos sent to me this week - I love getting them and being able to share them with you! The ladies who sent these are quite creative!
First up is the Rio Trio - all framed together with 2 wires on the back so they can be hung either way. From left to right, the designs are Carnival, Rio, and Samba. She took a little license and changed the orientation - what fun to have them all in the same frame! Lynne says, "The Trio hangs in our bedroom...first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning...an invigorating way to start my day ;-)."

Next up, all the way from England, is Rainforest Crunch. Ann finished it into a bag - what a fun idea!
Autumn Logs is moving along - I'll share another peek soon!