Monday, March 31, 2014

Things to Consider if You are Framing Your Work

We of the Needle's blog shares framing tips for a stitcher who plans on having their work framed.  Although they do a lot of cross stitch and counted thread framing, many of their tips also apply to counted canvaswork.
http://weoftheneedle.blogspot.com/2014/03/what-you-need-to-know-before-you-have.html

Here is the shop website.
http://www.weoftheneedle.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Stitching Stars: Diagrams from Needle Works

If you ever need to stitch stars and have run out of ideas, Colleen has diagrammed tons of star shapes for you.
http://www.stitchinginthetexashillcountry.com/the_needle_works/2014/03/march-9-share-a-stitch-it-is-all-about-the-stars.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 11, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Bead Queen

Vicky has been in class with The Bead Queen. That's Meredith Willet, if you didn't know. She's a master of gold work techniques as well, but Vicky shows off her mastery of beads with teaser photos from the class.   Don't you wish you'd been there?!
http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/what-i-learned-in-class/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 28, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Danielle's Tools. Totes and Tips

Danielle has posted a wonderful article on her Vera Bradley tote bag storage system, hints about using thumb tacks and the tack puller to attach canvas to stretcher bars, and how she labels her plastic thread bobbins.  She also talks about how she folds her pattern and uses a magnet to attach it to her canvas and more.  Great information!
http://stitcherista.blogspot.com/2014/03/embracing-my-madness.html

http://stitcherista.blogspot.com/2014/03/floss-organization.html

http://stitcherista.blogspot.com/2014/03/vera-bradley-bag-reviewand-progress.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 10, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Mad Miters Ride Again

No, Mad Miters isn't a rock band--it is Liz Morrow taking Bargello to new and modern heights.  Bookmark this and stay tuned!
http://lizartblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/octagon-in-square.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 26, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Backup, Backup, and Backup Again

To all needlepoint blog writers out there, let Debbie's message be a warning.  Back up your blog OFTEN!   (And don't forget the blog template, which is your customized layout.)
http://debbeesdesigns.com/DDWrdPrs/2014/03/11/recovering-from-disaster/

http://debbeesdesigns.com/DDWrdPrs/2014/03/25/living-on-line/

I'm doing my backups right now.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 11, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Discontinued Vineyard Silks Colors

Homestead Needle Arts's March newsletter is available on their website now and as always, Theresa has lots of important information to share.  Besides classes, she lists the colors in the Shimmer and Tone on Tone lines from Vineyard Silk that are going to be discontinued, they are introducing new colors, and the thread twist for the remaining Shimmer colors is changing.  This is important information for lovers of these threads, so check the list, note what you can 
http://www.homesteadneedlearts.com/thelatest.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 27, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Harvest the Pumpkins

It is obviously not spring outside--there is snow on the ground and temperatures in the 20s as I write this. And Ridgewood is busy harvesting pumpkins. 
http://ridgewoodneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2014/03/new-pumpkin-canvases-this-phantom-of.html

Just proves you can make it any season you want by picking the right project!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 26, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Finishing Friday: Baseball!

Opening Day for the baseball season is in a few days so I thought I'd feature Donna's Fenway canvas, just back from the finisher. Isn't it cute? 
http://majtravaux.blogspot.com/2014/02/fenway.html

Here's a Red Sox license plate. Bet they have those for all the teams.
http://ridgewoodneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2014/02/blog-post_19.html

Here's a Yankees piece, along with other great finishing.
http://ridgewoodneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2014/02/blog-post_21.html

My last piece of finishing isn't baseball related, but it IS round, so here it is--Katherine's New Orleans water meter ornament.  Isn't it cute?!
http://bootsandbeads.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-beautiful-finish.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
@ Copyright 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Serendipity UPDATED

Look what Don found!!
It's nearly March and you parents of high school students know what that means--college tours! It's the time of year to lug the offspring to various emporium of higher learning to try and find the best fit for their talents and interests (without bankrupting the homestead).  Don Lynch of Associated Talents just made such a trip to NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Look what he found while hunting for the on-campus Starbucks!



Closeup
There was a note saying the work was presented to the state by "The Youth of North Carolina" in 1976.

Another Section

Anyone know anything about the wall of needlepoint and how it came about?  It looks like there was one section for each county in the state.

Another Closeup
Thanks, Don!  I appreciate your sharing the photographs with Blog readers. Perhaps someone can add to the story you accidentally uncovered.  

UPDATE:  Marilyn did some research and this is what she found out about Don's mystery wall of needlepoint.


"I did a little follow-up, and received the following information from Louise and Linda.

Yes, I remember! I was a 4-Her when this state project took place. It was a bicentennial statewide project. It hangs in the Jane S. McKimmon Center on the wall outside of Room 2 near the snack bar. Each County 4-H program was to design and create a needlepoint square representing their county. The county squares were grouped by districts. I was an Onslow County 4-H member so our square had a sailboat representing Mitchell 4-H Camp, which was located in Swansboro, NC. The McKimmon Center was a new facility on campus at the time and this large Art is displayed very well there. I hope this help you.

Another point of interest may be that for the creation of bicentennial 4-H flags. the 4-H emblem which is protected by copyright was abandoned as a special flags were created. The major modification included 4 dark green leaves shaped like tear drops and the did not touch one another and the stem was straight. These tear drop leaves do not have the indention on the outer leaves and no "H's" on the leaves. These flags are still used during the Honor Club Tapping ceremony on stage. I recall seeing the same shaped flag with the top felt teardrop leaf with a blue background and white stars and the other 3 teardrop leaves were red and white striped with no "H's". Personally, I think it was special for that year that they should be never be used again."

Thanks, Marilyn!  Don and I and Blog's readers really appreciate your efforts!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
@ Copyright February 21, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Monthly Quail's Quill

The mid-March brief shop newsletter for Quail Run has gone live! 
http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=5c33fade-e6ce-4e41-b2aa-4273ccc9a2d1

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

How Does Orna's Stitching Grow?

Karen of Nimble Needle in New Jersey just took two Orna Willis classes and has posted photos of her work in progress with Orna's finished pieces. It is fascinating to see how Orna's designs grow on blank canvas or silk gauze! 
http://thenimbleneedle.blogspot.com/2014/03/color-magic.html

I don't know for a fact that these were pilot classes for the ANG Seminar in Chicago this year, but I bet that's the case.  I tried to look at the ANG Seminar information on their website but it isn't up yet. You might try later.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 11, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shop News

The Bedecked and Beaddazzled shop newsletter is ready for viewing!  Ruth talks about using Milanese, previews classes and mystery designs and announces their first designer retreat with Zecca's Karen Hennessey.
http://www.bedeckedandbeadazzled.com/content/uploads/bedeckednewsmarch2014.pdf

Speaking of retreats, Blue Bonnet Studio's retreat for 2015 is now up on their website.   Enjoy browsing the wonderful classes available at this terrific venue.
https://www.bluebonnetstudio.com/store

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 1, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Adjust-a-Frames

Adjust-a-Frames:  Two Half Frames 

A lot of folks don't like Evertite stretcher bars because of their expense and weight. For those who would like something along the same lines that is lighter and about two-thirds of the cost, there is the Adjust-a-Frame.  It is tightened using the same size hex wrench that Evertites use.  These wrenches can be picked up at the hardware store.  Just take one stretcher bar so you know which size to buy.  



Another View

Assembled 

From Anne Booher who has used the Adjust-a-Frames for years--

"Adjust-A-Frames do not have a web site. They are made by Mr. Coffman and 
it is strictly word of mouth as far as I know. You can reach the Coffmans 
at MCGC123@sbcglobal.net or (847) 639-4936. This is the information which comes on a sticker on each of his frames.

The frames are made out of light weight wood and are 1 1/2" wide and 
3/4" deep. You order them in half frame or whole frames sizes. In other 
words if I was ordering a set of 14 x 14,  I would get a full frame (4 sides) 14" 
long each. I email Mr. Coffman my order and he sends it 

out UPS, usually within a week. His wife sends the invoice out when the 
order is shipped and I send her a check."


Anne took photos of two pairs of Adjust-a-Frames for us so you can get a sense of what they look like and how they work.


Close Up of Screws and Holes
Many thanks to Anne and the other members of NP Etc. who provided the above information!  Also thanks to Canvases Be Gone for posting photos.
http://www.canvasesbegone.com/14470/Adjust-A-Frame+stretcher+bars+16%22+frame+section+needlepoint.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 9, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Reports from Classes and Retreats

Despite all this nasty weather, people have been on the road, going to classes and retreats.  Luckily for us, after they get home, unpack and rest up, they report on the experience.  For those of us whose only travel is to the grocery store, post office, drug store and bank, these are much treasured glimpses of great fun.  

Vicky shows off some of the teachers and projects at the annual Blue Bonnet Studio's retreat in Texas.  Good luck with the cast on bullions!
http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/blue-bonnet-needlearts-retreat/

Robin has been teaching at Nimble Needle Atlanta.  Look at all the threads she pulled for each canvas!  There are glimpses of some of the stitches she gave her students, too.    If you want to join in, she lists the class dates at the shop for 2014.
http://needlepointstudyhall.blogspot.com/2014/03/teaching-at-nimble-needle-atlanta-feb.html

Classes and retreats are delightful but so are the reports. Thanks, Robin and Vicky!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 5, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Think About It

Orna Willis takes us to task in this posting on her blog. No, I don't know who specifically she's talking about, and it really doesn't matter. We all need to think about how welcoming we are to new stitchers.   After all, we have an obligation to pass our love of needlepoint on.
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2014/03/im-furious-and-im-gonna-say-it.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 19, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Learn Needle Painting By Mail

Trish Burr has announced her newest classes--learning to needle paint by mail! The lesson is available at her Etsy shop. All you have to do is buy the lesson and learn. Trish is available for help if you get stuck via email. It's a great way to learn from a master of this technique!
http://trishburr.com/2014/03/05/new-needle-painting-lessons/

If you are interested, follow the links to the Etsy shop.  The lesson is available as a kit or digital download.  Pretty soon a thread pack will be available, too.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 5, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blue Russian: The Final Glimpse

Northern Light Santa Finished

This morning I have one final glimpse of my completed Blue Russian Santa for you before he disappears on his journey to the finisher.   In this photograph you can see how much sparkle is involved with his metallics, silks, beads and crystals.  Those of you who are shop owners can visit him in person at the May TNNA show at the Leigh Design booth.  By then he will be a stand up figure, courtesy of West Coast Finishing.


Kirstin's Santa has Snow
This isn't the last of the Russian Santas, though.  You guys may remember that Kirstin is creating her own background for her Blue Russian.  See the snowy ground under Santa's feet above?  That is Brian's Steppe Stitch, given to Kirstin by Brian Shaw, the manager of The Needlepointer in Everett, Washington.  Brian gave the stitch to Kirstin.


Susan's Blue Russian in the Snow
Kirstin passed the stitch along to Susan whose Santa is outside in the snow in daylight.


Carolyn's Santa in Grass

And Susan shared it with Carolyn whose Santa is outside in the spring grass with his bird friends.  Doesn't matter, Brian's Steppe Stitch does good grass, too!

A stitch that everyone finds just perfect is a stitch that deserves to be shared, so I asked Brian for permission to diagram and post Brian's Steppe Stitch here.  Brian gladly gave it because he is a really nice person.  He says to tell you it's a variation of Brick Stitch.



I diagrammed this stitch turned upright in vertical lines.   If you use it for snow or grass, turn your canvas on its side and stitch it that way for a smoother line.  When you turn your canvas back upright, you will have nice long horizontal stitches.  This is a trick I learned from Brenda Hart who says long horizontal stitches lay better if you turn your canvas to stitch them vertically.

Each stitch covers 8 threads except for the black stitches which are compensation stitches.  Each stitch is a back stitch, which means you come up far away from you and go down next to you.*  Work from right to left for the first row, starting with a red stitch.  The second red stitch is three lines up from the first.  The third red stitch is also three lines up above the second stitch, but the fourth stitch (in blue) is TWO LINES above the third stitch.  In other words, you don't always come up three threads higher.  This is a little tricky, but it offsets the row to make a pretty pattern.  Because these stitches are back stitches, Brian's Steppe Stitch will put a lot of thread on the back as well as the front so make sure you have enough thread to cover the area you are using this stitch in.

Once you do the first row and are sure it is counted correctly, then you just add rows of stitches over eight following the pattern, except where you don't have enough room and have to compensate.

Enjoy the diagram and the pictures.  I hope to have photographs of more finished Russian Santas for you as spring dawns and folks start to complete their Santa stitching.

Once again, many thanks to Kirstin, Susan, Carolyn and most especially Brian Shaw!

*If you are not familiar with back stitches, this will help.
http://www.holiday-crafts-and-creations.com/backstitch.html

Questions? Email me at chillyhollow @ hotmail.com and I'll get back to you by the next day.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 20, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Doorstop Canvases and More

With the advent of air conditioning, fewer of us need door stops to keep the screen door from banging in the wind, but brick covers make great bookends. so I thought you'd like to see the new door stop canvases and more that Needle Nicely has in stock.  After all, how many pillows and pictures does one house need?
http://needlenicely.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-doorstop-or-two.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 14, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Morning Garden Stars

Ridgewood has posted their latest version of Stars for the New Millennium. It is called Morning Garden, although I am not sure if that's the overdyed thread the colors were taken from or whether that is what the stitcher calls it. Very pretty, regardless, especially in the depths of winter.
http://ridgewoodneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2014/03/blog-post_4.html

By the way, Ridgewood did Tony Minieri's Stars as a class three-four years back and some photos of the various finished pieces are still on their website.
http://www.ridgewoodneedlepoint.com/needlepoint-classes.htm

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 4, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Through a Judge's Eye

With Woodlawn winding down, I thought folks thinking about exhibiting there next year, or who are planning to send something to the ANG Seminar this fall, would enjoy reading what Brenda learned by being a docent and watching the judging at the Rehobeth Beach exhibit.
http://brendasneedlepointstudio.blogspot.com/2014/03/exhibitions-and-judging.html

If you happen to live near enough to Rehobeth Beach, Delaware to see the exhibit before it closes on May 11, here are the details.
http://www.rehobothbeachmuseum.org/jos/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=128&Itemid=198

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 13, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Scissors Anyone?

If you have the itch for a new pair of scissors and you are willing to spend $500 or more, do I have the website for you!   The French Needle specializes in hand made scissors.  They cost the earth but you get what you pay for, after all.
http://www.frenchneedle.com/collections/scissors

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
@ Copyright 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Eye Candy on the Cover

Ada Hayden just posted that one of her designs is on the cover of Cross Stitch and Needlework!  Congratulations, Ada.  It's a beauty and fully deserving of that honor.
http://eyecandyneedleart.blogspot.com/2014/03/new-eyecandy-on-your-newsstand-flower.html

Look for the May 2014 issue at your local newsstand or bookstore, assuming you have one of these.  It should be there shortly.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 19, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Attention Nativity Fans

Nativity fans like me are going to be thrilled that Stephanie has posted photographs of a fellow SWAN member's finished Petei Nativity set. She stitched the entire set! It is cute as a bug and now that Petei's designs are available from Painted Pony, their new distributor, it is doable, too. 
http://stephsstitching.blogspot.com/2014/03/we-interrupt-at-green-heart-for-major.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 13, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Comparing Stands

Mary Corbet talks about the various needlework stands she owns and why they work well for her. As we all know, what stand is perfect for you is a very personal thing. Hopefully Mary's descriptions, photos and videos will help those who can't try out a stand to decide what might work best for their stitching nest. 
http://www.needlenthread.com/2014/02/embroidery-stands-videos-reviews.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 2, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Texture Queen

The Queen of Texture arrived in the Baltimore area over the weekend and began to work her magic in class at Bedecked and Beadazzled. There are a lot of great ideas here, all documented by Ruth Schmuff, shop owner and our local spy. Thanks, Ruth!
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2014/03/embellishing-differently.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 10, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday Finishing: Perfect Fabrics and a Perfect Frame

These hearts and Queen of Hearts are all beautifully finished but the coordinating fabrics are what caught my eye. I think Stephanie herself came up with most of them. 
http://stephsstitching.blogspot.com/2014/02/fantastic-finishing.html

Suzie worked with her framer to come up with the perfect custom frame for this Enriched Stitch retreat piece.  Isn't it lovely!?
http://astheneedleturns.com/back-from-the-framer/

By the way, Absolutely Needlepoint's tote bags from their Stitch of the Month program are starting to return from the finisher.  Aren't these lovely?  If you happen to be in Miami, watch for these out and about with their proud owners.
http://absolutelyneedlepoint.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/wowee-our-bags-are-arriving-back/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
@ Copyright Feb. 21, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oh My Gosh! More Blue Russian News! UPDATED

Gold Maiden

Look at that! There's a new Maiden companion to the Russian Santas set from Leigh Designs, exclusive to the Enriched Stitch which is doing a monthly club with four of the Russian Santas! 
http://astheneedleturns.com/exclusive-snow-maiden/

I want hair like that!

UPDATE:  Enriched Stitch has posted photographs of the two finished Russian Santas in their Leigh Designs club which they are about to ship to club members.  They call them The Ivans.  LOL
http://astheneedleturns.com/birdland-santa/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

March 21-25 Exemplary

The National Academy of Needle Arts's seminar and exhibit is in Troy, Michigan from March 21-25. If you are in the area, please go see some outstanding needlework! 
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2014/03/swanky-cute.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 17, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Best Needlework Shops 2014

This article is over two years old, but is receiving a lot of visitors recently, so I thought I would republish it so that folks can add more shops to the list if they so desire. After all, there are new shops Out There, and I know I didn't include all that are fabulous. So please add your favorites in the Comments section.  If the Comments section doesn't work, please email me at chilly hollow athotmaildotcom and I will post for you. Thanks!

Welcome to the list of the best needlework shops as recommended by readers of Blog.  My list is by state (and alphabetically within state) to help folks who stumble across this posting locate a shop as close to them as possible. After all, who wants to stand at the mailbox waiting for a package any longer than necessary?

***********************************

Alabama:  The Needle Bug in Montgomery is updating their website right now so you can't see what a terrific shop they are, but trust me,  this is a shop you want to visit for their terrific inventory and even better classes.  The customer service is first rate as well.
https://www.theneedlebug.com

Arizona:  The West in Tucson donates all their profits to charity.  The volunteers who run the shop are extremely knowledgable and helpful!
http://www.thewestinc.com

Arizona:  BeStitched in Scottsdale is one of the newest shops on this list.  Folks rave about their shop.
http://bestitchedneedlepoint.com

Arizona:   Old Town Needlework (also in Scottsdale) is a classic shop that specializes in Southwestern themed needlepoint and cross stitch.    I can tell I need to schedule a Scottsdale and Tucson vacation to check everything out!
http://www.oldtownneedlework.com/shop/Needlepoint/Southwest.htm

Arizona:  Quail Run Needlework (also in Scottsdale) has one of the best newsletters you will ever read.  They do wonderful classes, have great finishers, and also have a terrific stock of canvases.
http://quailrunneedlework.com

Arizona:  Family Arts Needlework Shop in Phoenix has a wonderful selection of painted canvases and every type of thread you could imagine or want. They have been in existence since 1967, are staffed by volunteers (plus paid professional Director) and donate their profits to charities that assist women and children.
http://www.familyartsneedlework.com

California:  Aristeia is the home of amazing teachers and amazing stitch guides, particularly for Melissa Shirley designs.  They also do a fabulous yearly retreat.
http://www.aristeianeedlepoint.com

California:  2 the Point in Pleasonton, CA is run by Terry Christopher who does amazing guides for her customers and for her monthly clubs.  Terry's tastes in canvases is much like mine, so I can't wait for her website update so I can browse her lovely selection of canvases again.
http://www.topoint.com

California: Come to the Point in San Rafael is a tiny shop run by Michelle who sends out a fantastic shop e-newsletter full of fascinating information, and who specializes in great customer service.  If you are a guild member, there's a ten percent discount.  Michelle treats you right.
http://www.cometothepoint.com

California: Needle in a Haystack in Alameda is a fabulous source for unusual threads and counted thread supplies. I use their online thread listing constantly and order anything exotic from them. They ship once a week and they are a long way from me, so mail orders from them take 2-4 weeks to get to me, but it's always worth the wait. Note their new address as they just moved.
http://www.needlestack.com/

California: Needle Nook of La Jolla always has the latest canvases, and their sale prices and trunk show discounts are fabulous. They also have a very good stock of books and tools of various kinds. I visit their photo galleries a lot to see the latest thing that isn't up on a designer website yet. Note that their hours as they are not open weekdays for after-work visitors.
http://www.needlenookoflajolla.com/

California:  Queen Anne Stitches in Santa Clarita doesn't have a website, just a Facebook page, but they carry wonderful canvases and Sherry Bray teaches there.  Definitely stop in if you are in the area.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Queen-Anne-Stitches-Needlepoint/150442344989761

Connecticut: Alex Paras NeedleArts is my go-to site for canvases from Leigh Designs as they always have the latest designs from her plus exclusives that you can't get anywhere else. They have a nice little selection of tools, many charts, and some great photos of stitched models scattered throughout the website. If you plan to visit in person, you'll actually be visiting Thistle Needleworks in Glastonbury. AP NeedleArts is their online presence but in person they are Thistle Needleworks. Wherever you go, you'll find lovely stuff and knowledgeable staff ready to help.
http://store.apneedlearts.com/

Connecticut:  Enriched Stitch is a newer shop, distinguished by their very talented staff and amazing classes and stitch guides.  They have a wonderful annual retreat.
http://enrichedstitch.com

Florida:  Absolutely Needlepoint is Miami's needlepoint shop.  They do really great classes and are enough to bring any stitching tourist off the beach and indoors.
http://absolutelyneedlepoint.com

Florida:  Bristly Thistle is where I want to retire.  Michele does terrific stitch guides and classes but throw in a beach and wonderful trunk shows, and this is the place to settle in.
http://www.bristlythistle.com

Florida:  Needle Nicely in Vero Beach has a lot to offer, from custom designs made specifically to your needs, expert help with color matching for kits, a gigantic inventory of every type of canvas you could want, plus a big stock of Paternayan for those who can't find it elsewhere, finishers who can do anything! and of course an extremely helpful staff to work with you on anything from picking the perfect design and threads to stitching it.  If you need it, Mary Agnes has it.  If you need help, Mary Agnes will provide it.  Oh, don't miss the sale pages on Mary Agnes' blog (second link).
http://www.needlenicely.com

http://needlenicely.blogspot.com

Florida:  Needlepoint in Paradise is in Naples, Florida.  They have a terrific sales section called Almost Paradise on their website and a wonderful stock of canvases to admire.
http://www.needlepointinparadise.com

Florida:  Stitches By the Sea is in Delray Beach, Florida.  They are in a resort community and ship everywhere to customers who visit only during "the season."
http://www.stitchesbytheseainc.com

Georgia:  In Stitches (Atlanta) has two great shops, one in Buckhead and the otherin Newnan. Both have an incredible selection of threads, canvases and accessories! The staff is very experienced and is always willing to help with stitch and thread suggestions. They also offer classes from many fun and creative teachers - nationally known as well as "hidden treasures". Another great perk to this shop is the fabulous in-house finishing!
http://www.institchesatlanta.com

Illinois: Designers Desk is the place to find discontinued charts, threads or canvases plus amazing customer service. They moved to a renovated three story house in Geneva about four years ago and filled every inch with what a needleworker needs. They will rush it out to you, too. There's never any waiting unless they actually don't have something and have to track it down from their gigantic contact list. Believe me, Pat knows everyone! You need it, she'll find it.
http://www.designersdeskusa.com/

Kentucky:  Beth's Needlepoint Nook not only has a big website and usually two trunk shows a month, they have a Cash for Stash program, many monthly clubs for their customers' mail order fun, and will do a free stitch guide for any canvas purchased with fibers from the shop.  I can vouch for their superb customer service myself.   If you are ever in Louisville, make sure you don't miss Beth's!
http://www.bethsneedlepoint.com

Kentucky:  M's Canvashouse is owned by Meredith Willet, who also owns Elizabeth Turner Designs. So you know this is going to be good!  The shop has two locations;  in Louisville and in Lexington.
http://www.mscanvashouse.com

Maryland:  Bedecked and Beaddazzled is Ruth Schmuff's shop, full of amazing bling and fun canvases that Ruth distributes that you can't find anywhere else.  Ruth is known for her mystery classes by mail.  Bookmark her blog and watch her dazzle us with her incredible stitching!
http://www.bedeckedandbeadazzled.com

Massachusetts:  Good Harbot Needlepoint is a brand new (2015) shop in Topsfield, MA.  WWD writes: "I haven't shopped there in person, but I recently had excellent mail order service from Susan at Good Harbor Needlepoint in Topsfield.  We communicated via email and over the phone and everything was seamless.  She even contacted me after I received the package to make sure everything was to my liking."
http://www.goodharborneedlepoint.com

Michigan:  Homestead Needle Arts isn't flashy.  They don't have a grand website or big sales, but concentrate on a wonderful newsletter, canvases that you can't find anywhere else, and the best customer service you will ever find.
http://www.homesteadneedlearts.com

Michigan:  Peacock Alley Needlepoint is a fun shop that specializes in customer service and has a amazing shop window every month.  Follow them on Facebook to see the latest goodies.
http://www.peacockalleyneedlepoint.com

Michigan:  The Wool and the Floss in Grosse Pointe has been around for twenty plus years and is a great resource.  The shop offers a nice selection of canvases and threads, classes 3-4 times a week, and great finishing. They are also happy to help with any questions or problems that arise and also offer knitting supplies.
http://thewoolandthefloss.net/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=the-wool-the-floss&type=2879

Minnesota:  3 Kittens Needle Arts is located in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.  My spy says it carries both needlepoint and knitting and is known for its outstanding customer service, a thread inventory of many, many different kinds of threads, a wonderful book selection and a large inventory of canvases. They have frequent and great classes for all levels of stitchers and knitters. The stitch guides available from their in-house instructors are spectacular. The finishing done is classic, modern, creative, and innovative. Custom acrylics and other custom finishing is a specialty.
http://3kittensneedlearts.com

Missouri:  Needlepoint Club House in St. Louis is owned and operated by a very talented group of stitchers.  Their classes with nationally known teachers such as Susan Portra, Sandy Arthur, Brenda Hart, David McCaskill and Julia Snyder are wonderful!
http://www.theneedlepointclubhouse.com

Nevada:  Most people go to Las Vegas to gamble but needlepointers go there because that's where Stitcher's Paradise is located!  I've heard great things about this shop.
http://www.stitchersparadiseinc.com

Nevada:  If you happen to be in Reno, don't miss Stitch in Time at 5000 Smithridge Dr., Suite A-15, Reno, NV 89502. 775-829-9222. Email RenoSIT@att.net  The shop is small but choice and the owner Vicky Miller has classes and stitch in days.  They also carry cross stitch.

New York City:  Annie and Company is in Manhattan and everyone raves about it.   (Yes, I know I should have typed NY State but I used to live in The City, so bear with me here.  And no, Annie's wasn't there yet so I've never been.)
http://www.annieandco.com

Ohio:  Absolutely Needlepoint got a rave review from a customer who says she spends way too much money there but it is worth every penny.  The shop doesn't have a website, but you can find them at 7117 Miami Avenue, Cincinnati, OH  45243, phone 513/561-7999, or you can follow them on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Absolutely-Needlepoint/158497660847322

Ohio:  What's the Point? Needlepoint is in Dublin, a suburb of Columbus.  This shop offers wonderful clubs and classes, stocks a lot of great canvases and is always surprising us with great sales via their Facebook page.  Don't miss the videos of the shop interior on FB!
http://www.whatsthepoint.biz

Oregon:  Mindy's Needlepoint Factory in Eugene isn't only a great shop with a fabulous selection of trims, buttons and canvases, it is the home of the designer Mindy.  There's a wonderful video on the Mindy website but don't forget to peruse her designs as well when you visit the webstore.
http://www.mindysneedlepoint.com/about-us/

Pennsylvania: Fireside Stitchery is the closest out-of-state shop to me so when I need it NOW and the local shops don't have it,  I order from them. They have a fabulous stock of threads and charts and some lovely wooden tools and also have constant trunk shows.
http://www.firesidestitchery.com/FS/about/index.cfm

Pennsylvania:  The Porcupine is located in Sewickley, right outside of Pittsburgh. It has a lovely selection of fibers and painted canvases according to my informant.  Judging from their website, they do lots of classes and clubs, too.
http://www.theporcupineneedlepointshop.com

Pennsylvania:  Rittenhouse Needlepoint is right in the heart of Philadelphia.  The shop has great finishing, does stitch guides and charity works and is just a fun place to hang out.  Personally, I love to search their online shop.
http://rittenhouseneedlepoint.com

South Carolina:  It's a Stitch in Charleston (technically St. Johns Island) is full of talented staff and some very fun clubs with a regional flavor.  Check out that alligator club!  LOL  They also bring in national renowned teachers and keep a stock of great canvases to satisfy their discriminating stitchers and the visitors to their lovely vacation spots.  If you need a little Southern charm and a souvenir of a trip to Charleston, this is the place to visit.
http://www.itsastitch.net

South Carolina:  Two's Company in Rock Hill is worth a visit just for their full selection of threads.  It's been described to me as a threadaholic's dream!  The owner will create any custom canvas you want, too.
http://www.twoscompanyneedlepoint.com

Tennessee:  Amy Bunger's shop, Amy's Golden Strand, is the home of amazing Home Study classes, great threads and the incredible Amy herself.  If you are in Memphis, call to see if you can arrange a visit.  Last I heard the shop is open by appointment only.
http://www.amybunger.com/home.html

Texas:  Chaparral Needlepoint in Houston is one of the original shops to start offering monthly clubs. The shop has a huge stock of canvases and all sorts of trims, thanks to Carolyn Hedge Baird who manages a ribbon/beads/trims shop within-a-shop for the stitcher who wants a huge selection of finishing materials for their canvases.  They do wonderful classes, too.   Of course this is also a good place to pick up one of Carolyn's books if your local is sold out.  Bet if you ask nicely Carolyn will also autograph it for you!
http://www.ndlpt.com

Texas:  Creative Stitches in Dallas carries both needlepoint and cross stitch and a lot of different fibers, not to mention great classes.  My spy says it is a great place to spend both time and money!
http://www.creativestitchesandgifts.com

Texas:  Fancy Stitches in Cleburne carries unique Texas items, has great classes and does superb finishing.
http://fancystitches.com

Texas:  Needle Works in Austin has one of the largest selections of threads you could ever want and always have the latest canvases and the greatest teachers visiting.  They ship quickly and are always helpful with ideas.  I use them a lot to match thread colors because of their wide selection.  Tell them you need DMC color #whatever in a silk and wool and they will find you imaginative choices to choose from.  Don't miss their blog, which always has great information.
http://theneedleworks.com

Texas:  Pocket Full of Stitches in Lubbock are the creators of the monthly clubs that every shop offers now.  They have a great selection of them, wonderful sales and terrific customer service.
http://www.pfos.com

Virginia: Waste Knot is my local shop. It is fabulous, especially when it comes to painted canvases and books!  I salute you, Lori! (Good thing I don't live close by or I'd be bankrupt.)  They don't carry counted charts, though.
http://www.wasteknotneedlepoint.com/directions.html

South Dakota:  Barbara's Needlepoint doesn't have a website but they do have great in-house designers, a wonderful limited edition Santa canvas each year, and terrific finishing.  Follow them on Facebook and stop in if you are ever in Sioux Falls.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbaras-Needlepoint/107558659287177

Washington State:  The Needlepointer in Everett is known for their clubs, classes and designer events when they pair a trunk show with a personal visit from the designer, often with a reception and lecture.  My spies add that the shop is known for its colorful thread room, excellent instruction, beautiful finishing, monthly trunk shows as well as in-house inventory canvases, and retreats held three times per year.
http://www.theneedlepointer.com

Washington State: Threadneedle Street has a great selection of books, silks and silk gauze supplies. I visit their site to just read the book reviews!
http://www.threadneedlestreet.com/

Many thanks to all the shops who cater to us so very well!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com © Copyright 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

I'm Hungry Now

Thanks to the Kreinik blog, I discovered the UK teacher and counted canvaswork designer Yvonne Close.
http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2014/03/everlasting-cupcakes.html

Her designs are available under the West End Designs name on her website. And yes, I've updated the Counted Canvaswork Designs tab with Yvonne's information.
http://www.westendembroidery.com/West_End_Designs.html

Those cupcakes are making me hungry!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 12, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Melita Goes to Woodlawn

Melita has reported in from her road trip to see the Woodlawn exhibit.  Her report is fantastic!
http://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/woodlawn-roadtrip-2014/

I think the large saint canvases by Joan she mentioned are Joan Eidman's being featured in Needlepoint Now magazine.  You can see a photograph on Joan's blog.
http://joaneidman.com/tnna/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 15, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Kelly and Spider Webs

Kelly Clark talks about creating spider webs on her designs.
http://kellyclarkneedlepointhandbook.blogspot.com/2014/02/webs-i-have-woven.html

She has finished the background stitching and now the crazy quilting will begin!
http://kellyclarkneedlepointhandbook.blogspot.com/2014/03/background-stitches-all-completed-on.html

http://kellyclarkneedlepointhandbook.blogspot.com/2014/03/halloween-crazy-quilt-is-done.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
@ Copyright March 10, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Color Cards

One of the best tools anyone who has to mail order threads can own is a set of color cards for your favorite thread. I treasure my DMC color card and use it often when I need a certain color.  (All I have to do is tell the shop I want to mail order a pink silk floss as close to DMC #3713 as possible.  They will pull out their DMC color card and inspect their wares for a match.)  So I was thrilled to see very reasonably priced color cards for sale at Fireside Stitchery.
http://www.firesidestitchery.com/fs/threads/index.cfm?fuseaction=getThreadList&CategoryId=16

This got me hunting for more color cards.  Here's what I dug up.
http://store.apneedlearts.com/krmecoca.html

http://store.apneedlearts.com/cacosocothgu.html

http://store.apneedlearts.com/cacovathcoca.html

http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Kreinik-Silk-Thread-Color-Card.html

http://www.needlestack.com/WebStore/Accessories/ColorCards.html

http://www.threadneedlestreet.com/cardbody.htm

http://www.stitchers-paradise.com/threads/Kreinik.html

http://www.lacis.com/catalog/data/AA_CordsThreadsSilk.html

By the way, EPiC yarn has an online color selector.  Kreinik also has online color cards as does Rainbow Gallery and Caron but these all are a bit chancy to choose colors from, so I am only listing the EPiC tool since it's brand new to me.
http://www.epicyarn.com/Pages_Yarn/ColourSelection.html

I'm sure other shops carry color cards.  I just ran out of time to hunt.  If you are a shop owner who has these in stock, please let me know in the Comments below or by emailing me at chillyhollow at hotmail dot com. I'll add your contact information or website or Facebook page to the list.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright Feb. 24, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

File This Under "Learn Something New Every Day"

Brenda is taking Judy Soulitis' cyber class "Asian Journey"which I've always liked.   (This is available through Shining Needle Society, second link.)
http://brendasneedlepointstudio.blogspot.com/2014/03/asian-journey.html

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SNS_Home_Room/info

What's news to me is that there is an alternative version of this design.  AND IT IS GORGEOUS!  I like it even more than the original.  Now might be a good time to revisit Judy's website and do a little browsing....
http://judysouliotis.com/Judys_Needlework/Sale_Items_details.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Theadaholic Alert: SO PRETTY!

Kreinik has new metallic colors in their line of threads. Wait'll you see these! 
http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2014/03/six-new-kreinik-metallic-thread-colors.html

Two colors are similar to Easter Grass but in blue and yellow.  The remaining four are blends of gold with plum, red, yellow or olive, making for rich brocade colors.  I think I might need all of these in the stash!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 7, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

i'll Take Mine Without Sesame Seeds

In this charming article, Renee explains why her challah cover doesn't have sesame seeds.  
http://needlepointofview.com/2014/02/24/why-i-didnt-stitch-the-sesame-seeds/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-i-didnt-stitch-the-sesame-seeds

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright Feb. 25, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 17, 2014

More Russian Santas--Birdland Santa

I have a special treat this morning, courtesy of Carolyn Taggart who has been stitching another of the Russian Santa series from Leigh Designs.

Carolyn's Birdland Santa

Let me introduce Carolyn Taggart's Birdland Santa!  Luckily, Carolyn was happy to outline exactly what she did for us.  Please note Carolyn has one of the first runs of Birdland Santa.  Leigh has edited the design slightly so you may have a slight variation on the original compared to Carolyn's canvas.  Here is her description--

"Most of the threads came out of my "stash" so if I don't have a number, I will try to add a describe the color
Upper Background - 3 cards Silk Lame Braid for 18 count - SL17 - Double Hungarian stitch -Turn canvas on its side and work horizontal rows--when you return canvas to its upright position the pattern will be vertical.

Lower Background - 1 pkg Shimmer Ribbon Floss #148-37 Mint Green - This is a flat Stitch that Susan McPherson used on her Blue Russian Santa and she shared the count in the Blue Russian Group.   [ Note from Jane:  The background stitch was created by Brian Shaw of The Needlepointer for Kirstin Thompson who shared it with Susan who shared with Carolyn.  I will have a charted version for you shortly, courtesy of Brian Himself.]  There are 9 rows of stitches below the Santa, then I angled the pattern around the Santa to "ground" him on the grass.

Gold Robe - #8 Kreinik Gold-002J, Au Ver A Soie (AVAS) Silk Floss (from Soie de Alger) #2235 and Size 14 Sundance Beads #465--Double Trellis foundation, first horizontally --leave 2 canvas threads between each horizontal line and then vertically (leave 2 canvas threads between each line) in #8 002J. Then I tied down the foundation with 4 strands AVAS #2235 work 4-Way Continental over the intersections. I placed the gold bead in the opening using the "brick" method, sewing each bead twice to secure it.

Red & Gold Sash - AVAS 2532 & 3815 (but you could use the rest of 2235) plus #16 Kreinik 203 and 061. I made a Xerox copy of area.  Then using Main color AVAS 2532 Basketweave entire sash using AVAS 3815 or 2235 for darker areas--covering up red using 4 strands of silk. Then I couched the bright red areas with #16 Kreinik Braid 203 and used #16-061 to make the design over the darker silk areas. I strung Size 14 Sundance gold Beads at base of the sash--my fringe is long, but I note that the current canvas shows a shorter fringe or you could use your silk and make fringe using a Half-hitch knot for the silk fringe. I also had some Michelle Roberts' Red-Gold I Cording (by Benton and Johnson) which I placed above the beads."
[Note from Jane:  The tiny stiff metal twisted braid suitable for couching that Carolyn used is often referred to as British coloured twist.  You can see a sample in the link below.]

"Red and Black Undergarment - I used a Tomato Red Silk (AVAS) I had (no number) plus Splendor 801 (Black). The entire area is stitched with 4 strands in Basketweave. My canvas did not have any gold or green bead in the curlicue.  The current edition of the Birdland Santa canvas does.

Hat- Used same Tomato Red Silk used on undergarment for Hat--Used black Splendor #801 for design--Worked Basketweave. Placed 4 size 11 Sundance Gold #465 beads on top of hat, then added one size 11 Sundance Red Bead #11 on top and in the middle of these 4 gold beads for ornamentation on hat.

Blue Bird and  Cardinal - 2 shades blue silk for bluebird. red and black silk for Cardinal. I had some orange Flair which I used for the beaks. I placed a size 14 Black Bead on each bird for eye. Birds were stitched in Basketweave with 4 strands of thread.

Owl - Two Size 11 Black Beads, Yellow Accentuate, Dark Brown Silk--darker than silk you will stitch Santa'a fur trim in. I placed the eyes on first. stitching the bead in both directions. Then with 2 strands of Yellow Accentuate doubled through the needle, I stitched a small Jessica around the bead. I used the Dark Brown Silk (4 strands) and worked Encroaching Gobelin over 2 slanted TO THE LEFT. My owl had no black separating bird from fur--use your black Splendor 801 for this area.

Crozier - I used a softer color of gold here size #12 Kreinik 003. I padded the staff portion and then work Slanted Gobelin over 2 vertically. Using same Kreinik, I worked Buttonhole Stitch around the Face of the Crozier. The Landscape pattern was worked in Accentuate--2 strands double thru needle--all areas stitched in Basketweave. The top pointed area (where the Blue bird is sitting) I stitched with #8 002J in Four-Way Continental over one canvas thread.

Fur Areas - 2 cards Splendor 1104 and Wisper W-117
Hat- using 4 strands I did 2 rows of Basketweave at lower edge so that the Turkey Tufting would not cover up Santa's eyebrows. Then I made small loops using the "Jump thru the Loop" Turkey Work. Again, I used 4 strands of Silk. IF you want it to have a more "whispy" look, reduce silk to 3 strands and add I strand of Rainbow Gallery Wisper 117. I strongly suggest you wait to stitch this area until Upper Background has been completed. Cut, trim and brush fur.
Cuffs - I used 4 strands of Splendor 1104 and worked French Knots over each cuff area. Then I added an extra strand of Silk and used a #22 needle and scattered a second layer of French Knots over the cuff area to give area more depth and more definition.
Fur on lower part of Robe - I used one strand of Silk and one strand of Wisper W-117 and worked Stem Stitch, then I carefully brushed it to raise the nape to give it a more furry look.

Beard - Burmilana #3600 - 2 strands - Stem/Outline Stitch. I am not happy with Mustache. I am going to try to remove it and use 1 strand of 3600 and 1 strand of pale gray Burmilana, without destroying the beard--if that is not possible, it will stay as is and the rest of the Santas will have mustaches that are not as prominent.
Shoes - Splendor black #801 - pad vertically and horizontally, then work Vertical Satin Stitch using four strands.

Mittens - Splendor #801 - Read Jane Wood's section of the Russian Blue Santa dealing with the mittens so that you will understand how to make the mitten on the Crozier surrounds the area and make a thumb--these mittens are also padded numerous times before final satin stitch completes each mitten."


Thank you for sharing this fabulous Santa, Carolyn, and for writing a stitch guide for those who would love a Birdland Santa just like yours!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 12, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Blue Russian: Finishing Up

I've been stitching background on Blue Russian this week, trying to get that finished so I can get him off to the finisher.  The final touch will be to stitch one row of tent stitches all around the outside edge to aid in finishing. You may or may not want to do this as different finishers and different styles of finishing have different requirements.  Always ask the finisher before you send off your masterpiece what their requirements are.

I started adding my tent stitch outline at the bottom under the border with a row of silver tent stitches.  It looked so nice and added so much to the border, that I decided to add that to the stitch guide.  I put in a second row of silver for finishing so that the first row will show a bit and add to the look of the border.  So if you are adding the snowflake border, make sure you add a row of silver tent stitches at the bottom.

The row of tent stitches finishes my Blue Russian stitching except for the background I must still complete.  I always look back when I finish a piece, trying to think what I would do differently or better.  I would really have liked to have had silver star sequins to scatter on the canvas (see photo below for my test of this idea) but I couldn't find the right size in the right color.  I could have created snowflakes out of beads but there are a lot of beads on the background already, which makes that much harder.  I abandoned this idea.


Testing Sequins

If I had it to stitch all over again, I might try stitching a flame outline in the lantern before covering the area with Water N Ice.  I also had the idea to create eyes with small Swarovski blue crystal sequins but I couldn't make that work with the Water N Ice I stitched his face with.  However, it might work nicely for another Santa with a silk tent stitched face.  Padding the top of his staff a lot might have made the ermine stitching easier but since I was blog-stitching this piece, I couldn't go back and change what I had done.   Otherwise I am pretty satisfied with how Blue Russian turned out.

I like doing unusual things on pieces, particularly since I am stitching this in public. (Yes, I'm a showoff!)  So using Water N Ice for the face, Or Nue' for the snowflake robe and glow-in-the-dark white Petite Silk Lame Braid in many parts of the design made me happy.  I have to credit 3 Kittens for the idea of a bottom border. I have not seen theirs yet but I thought it was a very nice touch when I heard they planned one.   Once I worked out how to space the snowflakes in an irregularly spaced area, I was very happy with the bottom border.  I probably would use 1/16 inch Kreinik silver ribbon for the silver parts of the bottom border next time.  The size 4 fine braid is a little too thin.

By the way, Vicky DeAngelis is working away on her Holly Hills Santa.  Keep an eye on her blog for more stitching fun with Russian Santas!
http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/leighs-russian-santa/

Now I need to continue stitching background and outlining it with tent stitches.  See you next week when I should have a finished photo!

Questions? Email me at chillyhollow @ hotmail.com and I'll get back to you by the next day.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 14, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

A Glimpse of Catherine's Works at Woodlawn

Catherine Jordan has posted a group photo of the pieces she entered at Woodlawn. Each piece won a ribbon: two first places, two second places and a third!
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=744021642275331&set=a.107432302600938.13420.100000025059624&type=1&theater

You can see which won what on Catherine's website.  Some of us may be lucky enough to take classes from Catherine and learn how to make this magic!
http://www.catherinesdesigns.net

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 6, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.