Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One of My Favorite Stitches.....

Basketweave Twill is one of my favorite stitches. 

Here's the diagram so you can see what it looks like.

Why is this such a fascinating stitch to me? Why don't I just do Basketweave?  The beauty of this stitch lies in the light coverage.  Whatever is painted behind the stitches will show through.  The stitch recedes into the background allowing all the fun and crazy stuff I love to do jump to the foreground grabbing your attention.

Now, here's the magic of the stitch.  There are a million, zillion things you can do to change this up.  Fill in the open spaces with French Knots or beads.  Perhaps those knots or beads are the same color as the Twill stitches, perhaps they contrast.

If you are using beads between the Twill stitches, consider the angle at which you attach the beads.  If the bead is attached over an intersection with the thread going in the same direction as the Twill stitches, your beads will sit at the opposite angle creating polka dots.  If you turn your canvas 1/4 turn and attach your beads, the beads will form diagonal stripes across the canvas.

Basketweave Twill can be a little tough to see at the beginning.  We are going for light coverage.  I will use one or two ply of silk, or Kreinik Very Fine (#4) Braid.  Whatever you use, these are tiny stitches that sit low to the canvas.  They are just hard to see.

Look at your canvas. Place your first stitch.  Does it cover a horizontal or a vertical canvas intersection?  Whatever this stitch covers, all the rest of your stitches will cover the same intersection.  Once you can see this, don't think so much about the pattern, just work in diagonal rows covering either horizontal or vertical stitches.

As you become comfortable with which canvas intersection you are covering you could in theory stitch an entire canvas in Basketweave Twill jumping from area to area, color to color and all of your sections would align. 

Note to my students in the Watering Can Lady Mystery:  I hope you have read this far in the post.  Please make sure as you are stitching the flowers in the background of the Watering Can Lady that all of your Twill stitches cover the same canvas intersection.  They will need to for what is coming next.  We're almost there!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Light and Shadows

Today was our third class for the Watering Can Lady.  We had a lot of fun and I had a few surprises for everyone in class.

You see, I had another inspiration..... See all that empty space to the left of our lady. 

What should we do with it?  What if there were big flowers there, sort of like the ones in the foreground....  What if there was a light causing shadows to be cast on the background?  Hmmmm.

So that's what I did.  I copied the flower shape and traced it onto the background with a disappearing marker.  Then I stitched those new flowers with a light coverage Basketweave Twill.  2 ply of silk for the darker shadows and 1 ply of silk for the lighter shadows.

Looks pretty cool.  Well, I'm pleased :-)

Think about the possibilities here for adding depth to a canvas or filling a large empty space. Oooooh!  I'm liking this idea.

If you have issues with tracing the flowers on the background you could trace the flowers on tissue paper, lay that on top of the canvas and stitch an outline through the tissue.  Once the outline is in place simply tear away the tissue and fill the flowers with Basketweave Twill.

A side note to anyone actually stitching this from my guide.  The pattern in the stitch guide matches my canvas. It doesn't match the other canvases with quite the same accuracy.  You may need to trace each flower independent of the others, moving the pattern as you go.

Only one more class until we are finished, I better get busy.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Oh My!  Aren't these just the cutest ever Halloween pails.  They are modeled after vintage halloween pails.  Each one is approximately 5" and so quick to stitch.

EyeCandy Needleart designed the canvases and Cynthia Thomas worked her magic choosing stitches and threads to bring them to life. Just a couple of nights of stitching and you are done!

I just had to share!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Good Morning

Well, here we are again.  Oh so much to share.  I'm running around buying just as fast as I can.  New threads, new canvases,  geez, there's so much.

Today is a short day so I better get finished.

First up, Maggie.  For some zany reason, I keep buying game boards.  First it was the zecca chessboard, then the zecca backgammon board and now check this out.  Is this not just the coolest chessboard??????  Straight from the talented hands of Maggie and Lisa Kraus, framer extraordinaire.  Sorry, bad photo, but the chess pieces are salt and pepper shakers!!!!!

If you have been following my progress on the latest mystery class you know I had to come order new pieces by the same artist.  Downward facing Dog and the Poinsettia Lady are two of my favs.

Leigh has done it again with the waterbabies.  Too cute.  But not sappy cute.  Just less overwhelming than the full size mermaids.  You can also see in the bottom of the first photo 2 of the floozies!

Now for the view from our booth.  Barbara Russel is catty corner from us and wow, let me just say when you are tired this is a wacky thing to be looking at.  But boy are they beautifully painted!!!!  If I wasn't afraid of them, I might need to own one.

Charley Harper is a huge hit so...... here you go.  Lots and lots of Charley!

Off to get into more trouble!  Whatelse is a girl to do?

See you soon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some of my favorite things......

Good Morning... Here we are on Day 2 of the Columbus show and we have been busy busy busy.  I've been bopping around placing orders here and there for all kinds of fabulous things.

Technology failed me yesterday and I have less pictures than I woul like, but this is a start.

Melissa Shirley's booth is always a must see.  She has new wild women.  The Red Queen, Coco Channel, Mae West and Glinda the Good Witch.  Oh so fun.

There are great new small madonnas that are just so sweet and charming.

Talk about a great finishing idea, check this out.  Melissa Shirley's pilgrm man and woman framed in a super thick box with the addition of big bows, fruit and flowers on top.

Now let's wander over to Patti Mann's booth for what I think is just the cutest darn baby sampler.  Available for both girls in pink and boys in blue.  Hello My Name Is

Pat  and Lee Designs are new to us.  I had only seen a few pieces in the past.  Let me tell you, they are delightful.  She does the funniest cats!  There's one in the shower complete with shower cap that is just hysterical.

Last but not least for this mornings post are the cutest ornament pairs from Canvas Candy.  Each canvas comes with a matching hand blown glass ornament.  What's really great is that they aren't all Chrstimas.  The ones that are the most fun are the food, hamburgers, fires, subs, ice cream sundaes, cheese cakes and pizza!

Perhaps you want a baby gift. Duckies and pigs abound.

Or maybe you want a cute oriental boy or girl. Orientals abound this year at the show.

Last but by no means least for this post was the vespa!

Will take more pictures today.  You have to see what's new from Maggie and Leigh and so many others.  Have a great day!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Columbus 2010 is off and running

Well, here we are in Columbus at one of our two largest tradeshows of the year.  Columbus is in June and California market is in January.

Our booth is crammed, yes, crammed with canvases.  Honey, they shrunk the booth!  Wow, there's  alot of canvases. That's a good thing, I know but again, WOW!  Might need to think about showing a few less.

For your morning amusement here are a few photos of sensory overload.  Brace yourself

Okay, gotta run.  Off to sell some of this stuff and buy all kinds of fun stuff for the store!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

It must be lace

Well, if she's wearing formal beaded denim and a big fancy hat, then she must have lace too! Right?

Today was the second class of our Maggie Watering Can Lady project.  We not only finished her hat, but we stitched her jacket.  The jacket is mostly Tent Stitch, really the only way to get all those wonderful stripes in position. 

The real fun of class was the collar.  It's pulled thread on canvas!  I've always loved pulled thread, there just aren't a lot of places to use it.  So, if you find one; go for it.  Pulled Thread is exactly what it sounds like, you are pulling the threads of the canvas, squishing them and moving them together to form a new pattern.  It looks like lace.

A few things to remember if you try this on another canvas; you can't pull an area of a canvas that's painted.  Paint doesn't penetrate the canvas, so if you try to pull it, you will see the white canvas show through.

It's also much easier to pull canvas threads when the canvas is wet.  The wetter the better. Now, that I've said that, think about it.  Wet yes, damp yes, but look at what's around it.  Make sure there aren't any adjoining areas that have threads that could run.

We also started the watering can.  It's worked in Woven Brick Stitch.  I used 4 ply Mandarin Floss for the Brick Stitch and Panache for the weaving.  Very cool effect.  As an alternative, you could stitch the watering can in Burden Stitch, same look, you are just working with 2 needles.  So many choices......

More to follow when we resume class in 3 weeks.  Next weekend is the TNNA Columbus show;  there will be lots to report!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bestest Kitty

I'm an animal person. 

That whole unconditional love thing.  They are generally so loving and trusting and bring joy to my world.

Tigger was one of those special babies. One of my rescues.  He'd meet me at the door before I left for work and be waiting when I came home.  Okay, that lasted for a little while until he had to come inside where I could keep him safe.  He loved me and no one else.  He was the bestest and I miss him still.

This canvas is my tribute to him.  He had a sweet round face and unlike most cats he loved for me to play with his paws.

A very talented friend and needlepointer, Vicky De Angelis took on the challenge of stitching him.  Wow did she do a beautiful job! I love every stitch of him. 

Can you see the fish in the red area in the foreground? Tigger would have loved them too.
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