Sunday, August 21, 2011

Check out those floor tiles!

Between loud crashing thunderstorms today was the third mystery class for our tree.

It took a little experimenting but I am finally happy with the floor tiles under the tree.  I needed to invent a stitch that followed the same angle as the painted tiles and allowed us to change colors as needed.

I did consider changing thread as we moved from the tiles in the front of the design to those in the back, but I thought that might have been just a tad excessive and cause some of you to roll your eyes at me.  We used Kreinik Very Fine (#4) Braid through out, but we could have used Fine Braid for the first row of tiles, Very Fine Braid for the center two rows of tiles and then Blending Filament for the final row.  This would have added to the illusion of the tiles moving back through space.

The other thing I really like about the floor tiles as I chose to stitch them is that they now look like blocks of a quilt.  Since the stitches were not compensated and flow from one color tile to the next those stitches look like sewn stitches on a quilt.

The bottom border was great fun and adds a graphic element to the design.  This went quickly even if we did have to use a little Tent Stitch between the medallions.

The borders have been started so all that remains for our final lesson are two small borders and the leaves.  We know that's where the drama will kick in.

Until next time....  Maybe I will surprise you with a post about the ladies, our Mystery with a Twist Class.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What says Halloween more than Robin King?

This has been a whirlwind weekend.  We had a cash and carry tradeshow in town which brought a bunch of our favorite people with it.

Robin King was at the shop yesterday teaching Bones!  He is the 10th Creepy Character designed exclusively for us.  How cool is that?

Even if you couldn't attend class, you can still stitch this little guy as we are happy to kit him up and send him off to you.  He's super quick to stitch!  He can be your only Creepy Character, or you can realize what we did. You can't stop with just one; you need the entire Creepy Character Series!

Don't they look great on the tree? I'm actually thinking about finishing mine as standups.  They are big enough to be cute that way too.

Robin is a very sweet and patient teacher.  She prepares her lesson plans and has the timing down just perfectly.  We spent 3 wonderful hours with her.  She showed how to straighten Neon Rays with a flat iron and how to plunge the Kreinik Hot Wire Metallics through canvas without a hitch.

She even took time to demonstrate Twisted Lazy Daisy Stitches that make Frankenstein's hair sooooo cool.

And of course at the end of class we had Robin sign our autograph board.  This is such a fun moment in the day where we can remember old and new friends and fun canvases we have stitched.  (ummm, started.)

Bye Robin, we miss you already.  We're looking forward to the next class!  Thank you for coming to Balitmore and thank you everyone who braved the rain and joined us in class. 

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Now it's a book

First it was a cd with 481 repeat patterns for needlepoint. 

Now it's a book!  Everything has it's day....

Have you ever had an area of a canvas where you want a little extra detail but a textured stitch is too much.  What about a stripe? That could work.  What about a pattern of dots.  That has possibilities. 

Backgrounds CD Volume One was conceived as a source of inspiration.  Inspiration for looking at patterns and repeats that can be used in a needlepoint project.  Look at the area you wish to fill.  A large area can handle a larger repeat.  A small area needs a smaller repeat.

Here's a tiny project -- a Wooly Dreams Design canvas that had a plain white background.  Two shades of Silk Serica and a 6 x 6 repeat of stitches and suddenly the background is a little richer and more interesting.

Here's the stitch I used. 

Two different tones as I used on the cat's background will give you a subtle design.  Two different colors will give you a bold pattern. 

Another fun idea is to work with two different finishes in the same color.  One matte, one shiny - instant brocade!

Some of the patterns in the book have alternatives for those who don't love Tent Stitch or who want to add a little more texture.  Part of the pattern is worked in Long Stitches.

Now, several years and many requests later the CD is available as a real book.  481 repeat patterns each on their own page.  All patterns are sorted by size of repeat.  The book will be back from the printer on Friday so if you want a copy, let us know. CDs are still available if you prefer the Green version.
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