I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

I Love Charley

Harper, that is.  In case you're not familiar with him, Charley Harper was an American Modernist artist, best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints.  Luckily for me, many of those prints are available as painted needlepoint canvases, and I have two of them.  I have a finish on my first one...

This is called Rainforest Birds.  Painted canvases alone can be quite pricey.  I saved a little money by doing this piece almost entirely in DMC #3 Pearl Cotton, which I like to work with.  Some needlepointers may look down their noses at that, but I don't care.   Rainbow Gallery specialty threads can add a lot to the cost, and there are a few of them that I avoid like the plague (or should I say Covid-19, hah!), such as Neon Rays, a rayon ribbon. I did the eyes in black #12 Kreinik, but the sparkle doesn't show up on the photos.

Here are some close-ups:

Some canvases have stitch guides, but if this one did, I wasn't aware of it, so I wound up choosing which stitches to use.  At first, it was a very daunting task, but I had a little book called "Stitches to Go" by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson that has diagrams for hundreds of stitches.  I relied on it a lot.

I decided to do a different stitch for each color.  In retrospect, that may have been overkill.  I did the background all in basketweave.  A lot of needlepointers avoid basketweave because it takes a long time to stitch and can be boring, but I view it as zen.  When I couldn't decide on a stitch to use, I did a bunch of basketweave, a no-brainer.  That worked out well because once I was done with the birds and flowers, I had only a little corner of basketweave to finish.

Some of the stitches I used were:  brick, byzantine, milanese,  French knots, jacquard, diagonal mosaic, scotch, reverse scotch, kalem, nobuko and serendipity.  Don't you love those names!  I did the little guy at the top in basketweave because he was so small and far in the background, and probably because I didn't want to make any more stitch decisions, if I'm being honest.

Well, that's it from here.
Thanks for listening to my blatherings.
And thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Pandora's Box

We have a finish!

Pandora's Box,
a freebie from the very generous Elizabeth Almond
of Blackwork Journey.

You know how you notice things
after you take a photograph
that you didn't notice
while stitching a piece for months on end?
Well, I've just noticed that
the first and last whitework squares in the top row
are not outlined like all the rest are.
So I think I'll outline them before
this piece is framed.
I'll have lots of time to do that
since who knows when "nonessential" businesses
like my framer will be allowed to open.

Anyway, here are some close-ups...

I do love this piece, but I had to do a lot of
thinking with each new square.
I will be happy to get back to some
good old mindless cross stitch!
And there's nothing wrong with that!

That's it for now.
Thanks for dropping by...
and hang in there!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Stitching While S.I.P.

Hello, My Fellow Shut-Ins!

Of course, the S.I.P. in the title refers to sheltering in place, which most of us are doing right now.  So while I have a captive audience, I'll take this opportunity to show you some finishes and also what I've been working on lately.  Let's start with the finishes...

I love the robins on this pillow.
March is the month when you start to see them again
around these parts.
From Heart in Hand's Square Dance series.

Jeanette Douglas taught this class last year
at a retreat in Bloomington, Indiana.
I just recently got these two pieces back from the finisher.

About five years ago, Plum Street Samplers 
came out with a series of Sampler Lesson bowl fillers.
I, of course, bought all the charts (with thread).
This is the second one that's completed.

And yet another March pillow.
This is from the Little Dove's Year leaflet.
In the chart, the fourth sheep was on a hill
that was floating above the ground.
I decided to extend the hill downward
and backstitch the month over the cross stitching.

Now for the WIPs...

I'm close to a finish on this Charley Harper piece.
Just a couple of sections on the large bird and
a small piece of the background need to be stitched.
The name of the piece is Rainforest Birds.

I'm getting close on this one as well.
This is a freebie (!) from Blackwork Journey
entitled Pandora's Box.
In addition to the blackwork motifs,
there are boxes with cross stitch,
pulled work and pattern darning.

This book is from 1995,
and I came across the cover piece on Instagram.
It was love at first sight.
There are a lot of enablers on Instagram!
I found the book for sale on Etsy,
and started kitting it up right away.

Here is my start.
It was somewhat of a challenge.
The book was in perfect condition,
but the printed chart was so small
as to be unreadable.
So I enlarged it on my copier/printer.
The model was stitched with Anchor yarn,
which doesn't necessarily correspond to DMC colors.
I matched colors from my fairly large stash
of DMC floss to the photo as best I could.
Finally, the chart did not have every tenth
line bolded, and no stitch count was given.
So, after manually counting and
marking every tenth line, I was ready to go.
I know that two empty boxes
are not very exciting, but just wait.

Here is my final WIP, Spring Robin
from Widgets and Wool Primitives.
The chart was gifted to me by Averyclaire
a couple of years ago.  Thanks, K!
The fabric is 20-count "Summer Sunset" Lugana.

So what is on my staying-at-home horizon?
More small pillows, of course.
I have a very fun painted canvas
that I plan on starting when
Rainforest Birds is completed.
And after that, who knows?

Thanks, as always, for visiting.
Stay well.

Monday, February 17, 2020


It's been a while, so Happy New Year and Happy Ground Hog's Day as well.

My large sampler project has been finished for a while, so I thought it was about time that I showed it here.

The saying at the bottom of the project
(which I love)
is the rather long name of this piece
by Needle Work Press.
The size is 406 by 95 stitches!

My awesome framer finished it
in record time.
It's hard to tell from the photo,
but the frame is a dark blue,
which matches the DMC 939
that probably looks like black in this photo.
I'm extremely happy with the
way this piece was finished!

Here are some close-ups...

The gold used for the three leaves in the dark blue bars
and also the filling in the bottom "chain"
was recommended for many of the motifs.
As you can see, it wouldn't have shown up,
so I substituted some of the brighter colors instead.

I have some smaller finishes, too...

The Prairie Schooler start that I showed
at the end of last year.

A freebie from Bent Creek.

Last but not least,
another Prairie Schooler design
from the Stars and Stripes leaflet.

Well, I'm all caught up on finishes.
Next time, we'll take a look at
what I've got going for WIPs.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by.