Thursday, July 20, 2017

Comparing DMC and Kreinik's Glow in the Dark Threads

Freudian Stitch has written up a nice comparison of DMC's Light Effects and Kreinik's braids, looking at both companies' glow-in-the-dark threads and trying to decide which is best.
https://freudianstitch.com/blog/2017/5/16/test-post

Of course what you use is probably down to what is easily available to you, what sort of stitching you do (the comparison was done on a cross stitch project by a cross stitcher), and how much disposable income you have for threads.  You also might prefer the strandable DMC thread to the non-strandable Kreinik.  It all depends on what you are doing.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Breaking News: Needle Arts Mystery Retreat Reveal Live

Needle Arts Mystery Retreat is going to reveal this year's mystery project live on Facebook this evening in Chicago about 7:30 p.m.  Check in to see what the mystery project looks like this year then, or later.  The video will stay up for latecomers to see.
https://www.facebook.com/Needle-Arts-Mystery-Retreat-LLC-126832707361178/?hc_location=ufi

You can visit the yearly retreat's website for information on how their retreat works and see photos of past projects.
http://www.needleartsmysteryretreat.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

"How to Plan the Stitches on Your Needlepoint Canvas"

Needlepoint for Fun is offering a free downloadable e-booklet called "How to Plan the Stitches on Your Needlepoint Canvas" if you sign up for their weekend e-newsletter.  The information and sign up link is at the bottom of this article.
http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/needlepoint-kalem-stitch.htm

I have not seen this booklet so I cannot comment on it, but the newsletter is a fun read and well worth the sign up.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Taking a Mistake and Running With It

Michelle of Bristly Thistle goofed on a stitch diagram for a class-and her students made something beautiful!  It's proof that mistakes are sometimes better than the "right" way.
https://www.bristlythistle.com/blog/2017/5/16/do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do

That's my Thought for the Day.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Paint a Needlepoint Canvas

Folks ask over and over what paints or markers to use to paint a needlepoint canvas.   So I thought I'd provide a link to ANG's website where several professional designers explain how they do it, and…
http://www.needlepoint.org/FAQ/designing.php

…then provide a link to the late Lula Chang's website (the designer behind Wooly Dreams) for more information.
http://www.woolydream.com/WDtextpaintcanv.html

Now!  That doesn't sound too hard, does it?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Mighty Bright Orchestra Light and More

ANG has just announced that starting in 2018, folks will not be able to use plug in lights at Seminar due to hotel regulations.  I guess they are afraid we are going to burn the place down with all the extension cords and plugs!  So the hunt for a good portable light source is on.

This orchestra light from Mighty Bright has been recommended. I can tell from the photo that this won't fit over stretcher bars but it can still be useful as I bet it is very very bright.
http://www.mightybright.com/Music-Lights/LED-Orchestra-Light/

Although these piano stand lights are more expensive, one of these might be a better idea for a stitching table.
https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Adjustable-Gooseneck-Aluminum-Orchestra/dp/B01N2BDOFM/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1500122798&sr=8-6&keywords=orchestra+lamp

The Flexilens from Daylight is a light and magnifier that clamps or stands on the legs that extend from the base.  I'm told the clamp opens enough to go over Evertites, which are wider than most stretcher bars.
https://www.nordicneedle.com/6809A

Ott has a small fold up lamp.  It is more expensive but you can use coupons and sales at the big box crafts stores to reduce the price.
https://www.nordicneedle.com/6872

This very bright portable light is inexpensive and folds up for travel.
https://www.createforless.com/Ideaworks-Light-Super-Bright-Portable-LED-Lamp-With-USB/pid244765.aspx

The MagniFlex Pro is larger and heavier but is a light and magnifier combination.  It also has a magnetic base.
https://www.nordicneedle.com/6861

The Fancii is also a light/magnifier that operates on batteries or a USB cable.  It clamps onto a table, although the clamp doesn't seem that it will open wide.
https://www.amazon.com/Fancii-Daylight-Magnifying-Rechargeable-Metal/dp/B01MRJ5HU4/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1500475344&sr=8-18-spons&keywords=task+board&psc=1

Needlepoint Tool Time has several small portable lights.  Click on the name of each for further details and ask Tisha for help if you have special requirements.  She specializes in stitching tools so is familiar with many lights and magnifiers.
http://www.needlepointtooltime.com/category/75021

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 15, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Traveling with Anna (with Floor Frame Travel Tips)

Anna Pearson's latest blog posting talks about her retreat to Tuscany this year and plans for next year's trip.  A special bonus for travelers is the tips she gives for traveling with a floor frame.
http://anna-pearson-needlepoint.blogspot.com/2017/06/our-italian-adventure-2017.html

For further information on the upcoming retreats, visit Anna's website.  (And if you click on "Store" you can browse Anna's designs.)
http://www.anna-needlepoint-pearson.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 12, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Blue Bird: A Mystery Class

Ruth Schmuff has announced her mystery class for Summer 2017—Ellen Giggenbach's "Blue Bird."
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/07/its-bird-its-plane-its-bird.html

Class is in late July and early August although anyone can join in via mail if they won't be in the Baltimore area then.  I'll update this as Ruth posts progress reports on how the class unfolds.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 5, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Stretcher Bar Dilemna

Recently I started a painted canvas project (this is "Fuchsia" from Barbara Elmore, distributed by Sundance Needlepoint) that presented a problem when I was ready to put it on stretcher bars.  The outside dimensions of the canvas are 16 1/4 inches tall by 13 5/8 inches wide.  Needless to say, this isn't going to fit on stretcher bars which are sold in one inch increments!

The 16 1/4 inch dimension can be easily fixed by cutting off that extra quarter inch, or mounting it on 16 inch stretcher bars and letting the extra canvas stick out at the top where it won't be in the way (unless you count catching your threads on that protruding excess as "in the way").  I could also trim the width to 13 inches but the excess canvas margins are not that large and I might need that extra 5/8 inches in width in finishing.  I am not certain at this point if this will be framed or made into a pillow.

There is another way to handle the issue besides taking scissors to the excess and cutting the canvas down to a 16x13 stretcher bar size.  I can lace the canvas.  To understand what I mean, check Susan Roberts' first photo in her "Mounting on Stretcher Bars" article from her NeedlepointTeacher.com website.
http://needlepointteacher.com/mounting-on-stretcher-bars/

Yes, she has laced the canvas to the right side of her too large stretcher bars.  Here is how you lace a canvas.


Two Sets of Stretcher Bars

I rummaged around in my supplies and pulled out a set of 16 inch stretcher bars and a set of 15 inch stretcher bars and slotted them together.  Then I attached my canvas at the top, bottom and left side as usual with staples.  (I personally don't like thumbtacks as they constantly fall out, presenting a danger to feet and paws.)  Then I cut a long length of perle cotton (I think I used about 7 feet) and secured it in the margin outside the design at the top right corner of my canvas.  I began to lace the unsecured right edge by wrapping the perle cotton around the stretcher bars, coming up through the canvas perhaps 7 threads from the raw edge, going over the stretcher bar and taking the needle down again in the same channel, then coming up again through the canvas.  Repeat until you get to the bottom of the canvas.  To tighten the wraps, start at the top right corner again near your knot and pull on the perle cotton until the hole is only slightly distorted, working a wrap at a time, all the way down the side until you get to the bottom.


Right Side Laced


See the little thumbtack in the lower right corner?  I wrapped my perle cotton around that 6-7 times to secure the thread.  I can always unwrap the thread end and retighten the canvas if it starts to loosen a bit as I stitch.  This technique is used with slate frames and scroll bars more often than with stretcher bars since buying a set of cheap stretcher bars is much less work, but if you don't have easy access to a shop that carries stretcher bars and don't want to trim the canvas to fit the bars you have, lacing is the way to go.

If my explanation is totally confusing, Sarah Homfrey has a lovely video about attaching fabric to roller bars (that's what we Americans call scroll bars) that illustrates the lacing technique on the sides.    You won't need to add herringbone tape to the top or sides since needlepoint canvas is stronger.  Plus you probably are not seeking to have your canvas drum tight and you won't need a bracing needle to lace, but the technique is the same, even if the materials are not.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We36DVdCDCg

Hope my explanation helps you cope when you have an odd-sized canvas to put on stretcher bars.  Please note you can lace either (or both) sides or the top/bottom, but lacing on the side (or sides) is the traditional way to go.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 4, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Breaking News: Chandail is Moving

Chandail has announced they are moving to a new location. Work is underway on the new shop right now. The current location is still open, however. Check the Chandail website (right side) for the latest on the move, the new address and when it will happen.
http://www.chandailneedlework.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 13, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Smart Cookie Award For July Goes to...

The Smart Cookie Award for July goes to Carolyn who advises a quick trip to the Dollar Store. The steering wheel covers make good covers for your stretcher bars.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1490183621044637&set=gm.1420606611349826&type=3&theater

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 10, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New Bags from Vintage Needlepoint Canvases

Etsy has a nice vintage needlepoint tote shop, with plenty of unwanted old French canvases turned into stylish and useful purses and tote bags.  Have fun browsing!
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/LeShoPdeMoZ?ref=l2-shopheader-name&zanpid=2308744421543588864&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=zanox&utm_campaign=au_buyer&utm_content=2163030

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 10, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In the Market for Waterfront Property?

While looking for something else, I stumbled across this listing for waterfront land in Michigan.
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Needlepoint-Dr_Curtis_MI_49820_M40834-11962

Note the address.

It isn't for sale right now but if I win the lottery I might try to buy it and put a little house with a big stitching porch on it for retreats.  Wouldn't that be fun?!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 10, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Ghost, the Embroidery Video

"Ghost" is a music video from the indie band Husky that features a computer-generated ethnic embroidery style that looks like a mix of cross stitch, needlepoint and Day of the Dead imagery.
https://vimeo.com/216098603

Clemstamation did the animation.  I don't see any more work done in this style but animation that copies hand embroidery is both fun for us stitchers to see and a hopeful sign that younger people are interested in doing thing with needles.
http://www.clemstamation.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Smoothing Threads: Kreinik's Introduction to Laying Tools

The Kreinik blog has a terrific article on laying tools and using them to smooth threads.  It explains why you would want to smooth a thread and shows you how to turn items you already have into inexpensive laying tools.  There are links to further information at the bottom of the article as well.
http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-easiest-way-to-make-prettier.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Birthstone Santas

Now here's something new and fun—Birthstone Santas!  I think they'd make a fun holiday display using the birthdays of your family or special friends.
http://www.redroosterstitchery.com

These are exclusive to the shop.  Contact them for further information.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 8, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Straw Silk, the Lists

Straw Hat in Straw Silk

Silk Road Fibers has created a color list of all their available Straw Silk threads. This ribbon-like flat thread is a mix of silk and paper.  It looks like raffia, and can be used on either 13 or 18 count, depending on the stitch you want.  For tent stitches or long stitches on 18 count, you can split it down the middle to get a thinner thread.  Use a needle to get the split going at a cut end, then pull the two parts apart slowly and carefully.
http://silkroadfiber.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Silk-Road-Fiber-Color-List-6.2017.pdf

I used a lot of Straw Silk on Leigh Designs "Japanese Tea House."  The tree bark and the lower layer of leaves are in Straw Silk.  So is the mass of bushes in the lower right corner.  I've used it in places on many other designs but not in such profusion as here.  It was perfect for the plants on this piece.
https://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2013/11/tantalizing-glimpses.html

I also used it for the straw hat worn by the "Miami Gold Digger," again from Leigh Designs.  The photo of the hat is above.  Once again it was the absolutely perfect thread for this section of my canvas.

If you prefer a look at the color card, here it is.
http://silkroadfiber.com/straw-silk-fiber/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Color Inspiration

Lorraine of Colour Complements has written an interesting article about where she finds inspiration for the color combination she creates for her line of oerdyed threads.
http://colourcomplements.com/2017/06/inspiration.html

If your mouth starts watering at the descriptions, check her thread lines by clicking on "Shop" in the choices just under the header on her website.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 5, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Garden Screen, Stitched by the Assistance League of San Mateo

The Assistance League of San Mateo stitched this fabulous screen on display at the Filoli Flower Show in California. Use the right side arrow to scroll through all the photographs.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214207459446633&set=pcb.1411805618896592&type=3&theater

Many thanks to Cynthia for posting this on Facebook.  Here's a bit about Filoli, in case you are close enough to visit.
http://filoli.org

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 2, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Summer Sips Backgrounds

The newest series from Leigh Designs is a set of 4x5 inch ovals called "Summer Sips."   As you would expect, they show eight different summer drinks, all the sort of thing I associate with a trip to the beach.  Six of the series have stitch guides, and you can see photos of those on the Leigh Designs website.
http://www.leighdesigns.com/Grp811x.html

It's those stitched models I want to talk about today since they all have fabulous backgrounds and backgrounds are things many stitchers struggle with.  So why not visit the masters of the art and see what they came up with?  First, let's look at Carolyn Taggart's "Hurricane" and  "Pina Colada."

Hurricane Stitched by Carolyn Taggart

Pina Colada Stitched by Carolyn Taggart


Hurricane has a simple upright stitch that skips a channel. It's small scale and effective since it doesn't fight with the central motif but it does echo the upright shape of the tall drinks glass that is elongated even more by the fruit on the flamingo toothpick.  Pina Colada's background is a simple trellis pattern.  The diamonds formed by the lines crossing look a bit like the paper umbrella, unifying the background with a main part of the design.


Strawberry Daiquiri Stitched by Pat Miller


Pat Miller's "Strawberry Daiquiri" has a very unobtrusive background which appears to be skip tent stitch.  Because the color of the thread is almost exactly the same as the pink canvas in the background, all you see is a little texture, allowing the string of diamonds and pearls to be prominent and setting off the drink with its huge strawberry very nicely.  If you compare the unstitched needlepoint canvas outside the red oval with the stitched background inside the oval, you will see just how much the texture adds to the canvas without really making a loud statement.


Lemon Drop Stitched by Sandy Arthur

Sandy Arthur's "Lemon Drop" also has a very unobtrusive background, a darning stitch that slants / to echo the flow of the lemon slice and flower that decorate her drink.  Sandy use a quiet background stitch that copies the direction the main elements slant.



Cuba Libre Stitched by Sharon Quick

Bloody Mary Stitched by Sharon Quick

Sharon Quick's "Cuba Libre" and "Bloody Mary" have use the same pale pink color in their threads as the background canvas and both have decorative stitches in the background.  The Cuba Libre has a wave stitch which is neutral despite its horizontal orientation because of the up and down movement of the stitch.  This is a nice choice because of the seahorse and the fact that Cuba itself is an island, suggesting waves and a drink to be enjoyed with an ocean view.  The Bloody Mary also has a decorative stitch, this time an eyelet stitch that give the background the sense of oval petaled flowers. Since the Bloody Mary has peppers, celery leaves and an olive as garnishes, it makes sense to have a plant-themed background.  

So all the backgrounds relate in some way to the main theme of the design or echo the direction of the main motifs and all are light coverage.  One last thing I noticed was that all the Summer Sips except the Pina Colada have pink backgrounds that are very close to the background canvas color.  This helps keep the background in the background, even when it is quite fancy like Sharon Quick's wave and floral eyelet backgrounds.

Hopefully this gives you ideas for your next backgrounds.  Thanks very much to the extremely talented team at Leigh Designs!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 2, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Easy Hair

Needlepoint For Fun has posted an article on several easy ways to stitch hair.  Their diagram on how to gather a thread to make it bunch up into a mass of curls is worth a visit just by itself.
https://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/how-to-needlepoint-curly-hair.htm

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 2, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Free Design—"Heart of the USA"

Laura Perin has released a little free chart to celebrate the 4th of July. It's darling!
http://two-handedstitcher.blogspot.com/2017/07/a-little-red-white-blue-ornament.html

If you want a little something to stitch while you are waiting, this would be perfect!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 4, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

A Paterna Ad from 1976

Charlene found this 1976 advertisement for Paterna Persian wool and posted it to Facebook. Takes me back….
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=452283535135034&set=gm.1432040666873087&type=3&theater

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 22, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Louise's Tips for Neon Rays without Tears

The latest e-newsletter from Louise's Needlepoint has a great section on Neon Rays, the flat, ribbon-like thread from Rainbow Gallery. Jill gives lots of tips to make stitching with this somewhat fussy thread much easier.
https://siterepository.s3.amazonaws.com/530/news_blast_june_2017.pdf

I just love shop newsletters!  You never know what you will learn.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 1, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Author Needlepoints

While wandering the Internet I stumbled across this interesting interview with Lillian Stewart Carl, who writes cozy mysteries, fantasy and romantic suspense novels.
http://mayhemandmagic2.blogspot.com/2010/04/interview-with-lillian-stewart-carl.html

I know everyone is looking for a good summer read, so here is Lillian's website.  After all, she's one of us needlepointers and we support each other.
http://www.lillianstewartcarl.com/a.books.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 1, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Needlepaint.com's First Four Days Guided

Peggy at Needlepaint.com is  writing blog articlse about the stitches she choose (and why) for the company's Twelve Days of Christmas pieces.  It's a fun article to read and has some nice stitches for birds and backgrounds.  Enjoy!
http://www.needlepaint.com/blog/2017/05/30/partridge-turtle-dove-christmas-needlepoint/

Here are Days Three and Four.
http://www.needlepaint.com/blog/2017/06/14/four-calling-birds-and-three-french-hens-needlepoint-guides/

To be continued….

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 30, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Kreinik Talks Scissors

Today's blog posting from Kreinik features the cross stitch designer Lord Libidan, who specializes in designs based on video games and science fiction books and television shows.  He's talking about scissors, something all of us use, even if we don't cross stitch.
http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2017/05/finding-best-cross-stitch-scissors.html

Of course Kreinik sells all the above, but it's still a useful discussion, full of ideas of scissor types that might work for you.
http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Premax-R-Scissors/?sort=

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Learning a Fine Raised Line from Anna Scott

Anna Scott teaches how to create a fine raised line for a stem in this blog posting.  Anna is working on a crewel design which means to recreate what she does you'll need to use a sharp needle so you can pierce the needlepoint canvas threads, but this technique will work nicely for plant stems, lettering or any fine line you want to emphasize in your needlepoint.
http://annascottembroidery.blogspot.com/2017/05/fine-raised-stems.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 30, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Organizing DMC Cotton Floss in Photo Storage Boxes

Now here's a neat storage idea—using photo storage boxes to organize your DMC cotton floss in color card order.  I owe this link to Mary Corbet who mentioned it on her blog today.
http://wildolive.blogspot.com/2017/05/organizing-embroidery-floss-without.html

I think these are the boxes that Mollie used.
http://www.michaels.com/iris-color-photo-craft-keeper/10468242.html?productsource=PDPZ1

It's a clever idea, isn't it?  Note that my local Michael's doesn't carry the larger box to put the smaller colored ones in, just the small colored boxes. You may need to order this from the online Michael's to get exactly what Mollie used.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 13,  2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Melita Organizes with IKEA UPDATED

Melita has purchased three sets of small filing cabinets from IKEA for her threads organization.  
https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/new-thread-drawers/

https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/7937/

https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/threads-tote-for-tools/

https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/drawers-filled/

These are the Helmer drawer units.  The photos here help you see just how big they are.
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-many-uses-of-ikeas-mighty-128851

They are not too expensive but some assembly is required.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40107872/#/10251045

You'll also need some sort of drawer insert to help organize the threads further in my opinion.  IKEA's Antonius basket insert is highly recommended and it looks like it will fit inside the Helmer unit drawers.
http://craftstorageideas.com/product-review-ikeas-antonius-insert/

UPDATE:  Tisha of NeedlepointTooltime.com says "IKEA has a divided plastic tray that just fits in the Helmer drawers. #500.435.73 18929. The Rainbow cards fit perfectly! As I remember, it's in the kitchen department but not in the Market Place. Photo on request."

Thanks, Tisha!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 27, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Breaking News: BeStitched is Moving

BeStitched is moving! You can read more here.  Watch their blog or newsletter for more details as this unfolds.
https://bestitchedneedlepointshop.com/blogs/bestitched/we-are-moving

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 27, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Future of Commercial Needlepoint Workshops in China

Here's a bit about the Shanghai Yangjing Woolen Embroidery Workshop, which is facing a grim future.  Innovation appears to be their only hope but it doesn't sound likely to me.
http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1000257/without-young-embroiderers%2C-artisanal-crafts-future-remains-frayed 

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 25, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Perfect Stitch for Tire Tracks

Kaleen Stitch for Santa's Blue Sweater

This week's article from Needlepoint for Fun is about Kalem Stitch, which we most often use for knitted effects.  In fact, I think I used Kalem Stitch for Santa's sweater on the right above.  But the shop points out what great tire tracks it makes!  That's a good reminder that we need to keep an open mind about what stitches to use for things.
http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/needlepoint-kalem-stitch.htm

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Abigail Cecile's Introduction to Needlepoint

The British designer Abigail Cecile talks about needlepoint for beginners.  This is the first of a series that is an introduction to needlepoint. I'll update this article as Abigail writes more.  The links will also be in the tab "Teach Yourself Needlepoint and Emblishment," which is full of great introductory information.
http://www.abigailcecile.com/blog/2017/5/18/what-is-needlepoint

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 24, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bargello is Back

According to this blogger, Bargello is back. Of course we needlepointers are always in style and we always did Bargello.
http://cdiannezweig.blogspot.com/2017/03/bargello-needlepoint-popular-in-1970s.html

If you want to try some new Bargello patterns, New Needlepoint has a lot of wonderful vintage (and newer) Bargello books…
http://www.newneedlepoint.com

…and Liz Morrow has some lovely Bargello patterns for sale as PDF downloads.  Instant fun!
http://www.lizartneedlepoint.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 23, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Father B Talks Orna

If you've ever wondered what studying under a master of color is like, read what Father B* says here.
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2017/05/a-special-treat-guest-blog-by-father-b.html

*By the way, this isn't the Father B who wrote wonderful stitch compilations. We are lucky to have a second Father B among us now that we've lost the first.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 21, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why We Need To Borrow Sandy's Husband

If I didn't already envy Sandy Arthur her stitching talent and her energy, her latest blog posting has me envying her spouse as well.  Scroll down nearly to the bottom to admire her new storage unit—and he built her TWO of these!
http://sandyarthur.blogspot.com/2017/05/always-moving-forward.html

I'm staring at Beloved but since he is renovating the main bathroom here from the plumbing up, I guess I won't attempt a trade.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Making a Presentation Box

Were you charmed by Shannon Grearson's little jewelry set in the May-June 2017 issue of Needlepoint Now?   If so, you are in luck as Shannon has posted instructions for making a presentation box coordinated to the jewelry set on her blog, Sewing with Bobbin and Fred.
https://sewingwithbobbinandfred.blogspot.com/2017/05/how-to-make-large-presentation-gift-box.html

The box would work for all sorts of gifts so have fun checking out the instructions and then planning how to box up those Christmas ornaments you made for the grandkids…

By the way, Shannon talks about how she got her designs into Needlepoint Now magazine.
https://sewingwithbobbinandfred.blogspot.com/2017/05/how-i-designed-and-got-my-sewing_31.html

If the French knitting bobbin caught your eye, here are more.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/289493813/vintage-wooden-french-knitting-doll?ref=market

https://www.etsy.com/listing/251824650/vintage-wooden-french-knitting-dolls?ref=market

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Wooden-Toy-french-knitting-Doll-/332006116816?hash=item4d4d1b4dd0:g:RnoAAOSwmLlYBZb3

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Orna Willis' Work Purchased by Philadelphia

Orna Willis just revealed that three of her designs have been purchased by the City of Philadelphia for display in the Philadelphia convention center. What an honor!
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2017/06/news-i-have-waited-patiently-to-tell-you.html

It is much deserved.  Needlepoint is art, after all.  Congratulations to Orna!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Adjustable Stretcher Bars

Needlepoint Tool Time is stocking something new to me-adjustable stretcher bars.
http://www.needlepointtooltime.com/product/FAE-4008

These come in several sizes.  The size given is the maximum size the bars will adjust to.  The manufacturer's website explains how they work and that they are made in China for Frank A. Edmunds Company.
http://www.faedmunds.com/stretcher-bars.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 18, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Favorite Background Stitches

Charlotte over at Sweet Sundays has three favorite background stitches and she's willing to share!
http://www.sweet-sundays.com/home-main/my-3-favorite-needlepoint-background-stitches

A lot of folks seem to like Nobuko Stitch and t-stitch for backgrounds as well.  Here are diagrams I found online.  Nobuko is first.
http://rittenhouseneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2011/10/stitch-of-week-nobuko.html

And here is t-stitch.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2017/02/t-stitch.html

I don't have a favorite background stitch myself.  I use a different one with each canvas as they all seem to need something different.  Still, if you are stumped for a background, the stitches above all work well.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 18, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Boston Needlepoint Panels

The Patriot Ledger just published this article online about a series of needlepoint panels depicting Boston scenes that have been donated to the Commonwealth Museum at the Massachusetts State Archives.
http://www.patriotledger.com/news/20170515/good-age-needlepoint-finds-its-place-in-history

These aren't the entire set but you can see the ones that are being donated by Nancy Roman by playing the video and then looking at the slide show below the article by clicking on the arrows.  There is a second video further down the page that is a brief interview with Ms. Roman that tells her needlepoint story of Boston in her own words.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Wool and The Floss Reopens

Michigan stitchers (and folks who are going to be in Michigan soon) will be thrilled to hear that The Wool and The Floss in Grosse Pointe has reopened after a construction makeover under a new owner.
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/jocelynn-brown/2017/06/15/wool-floss-gets-new-owner/102897846/

Here is the shop contact information and a map in case you are driving by.
http://www.thewoolandthefloss.net

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 17, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Stories, A Stitch at a Time

Connie Pickering Stover shows off some of her original work and explains how she uses needlepoint to tell stories, one stitch at a time.
http://www.boredpanda.com/i-tell-stories-one-tiny-stitch-at-a-time/?utm_source=author&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=AuthorShare

If you aren't familiar with Connie's work, you can visit her website.  It's a fun browse.
http://conniepickeringstover.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright December 31, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Opening a Box Of Beads (and More Tips)

Since I've been posting about beads this week, I thought I'd send you over to Mary Corbet's blog to read her message about opening Mill Hill beads, with bead tips and recommendations on places she buys beads as a bonus.
https://www.needlenthread.com/2017/06/beads-for-embroidery-packaging-is-almost-everything.html

Warning:  Put your favorite beverage down when reading the above.  You also might like to know that I open my Mill Hill bead containers inside a gallon plastic storage bag….

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 14, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: EZ Stitch Scroll Frames Maker Closing

American Dream Products, the maker of EZ Stitch scroll frames, is going to close. Needle in a Haystack put out a news flash so their customers who use this frame brand can stock up.
http://needlestack.typepad.com/whats_new/2017/06/american-dream-products-ez-stitch-to-close.html

I personally loathe and despise scroll frames for needlepoint, but that's just my opinion. It's a perfectly good product.  So if you use these or want to, act now.

Many thanks to NIAH for the alert.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 15, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

A Bead Problem Analysis with Potential Fixes

Yesterday I talked about my beading problem and how I fixed it. I thought today I would explain how to analyze bead problems and come up with solutions.

Bead problems generally come in two types:  either they won't stay put—beads are wiggly things!—or they don't seem to look "right."

Let's talk about the second problem first—beads that just don't seem to work on a canvas.  I think this is usually because a bead is too large or too small for the design.  Sometimes it is because a bead is the wrong shape.  Beads come in a variety of sizes but size 11 and size 14s or 15s are the normal bead sizes for 18 count canvases.  (Of course you can put a HUGE size 6 bead on a canvas for the center of a flower but you need to experiment to see what size will work in that case.)  If you are trying to solidly bead an area using tent stitches (come up like a regular tent stitch, toss a bead on the needle, go down as if doing a tent stitch) and the beads look crowded, use a smaller bead.  You will also find that Delica beads (which are barrel shaped) or a hex bead (which is six sided) will sometimes fit in an area better than a round bead.  Very occasionally a bead just doesn't give you the right feel for a canvas—it may just be sticking up too much.  Try a sequin or a French knot instead.  Sequins are very flat and French knots look more organic because they are hand made and vary a bit in shape, no matter how careful you are.  On some canvases this will matter, particularly a canvas that is a folk art design where very regular items just look out of place.  Not that all beads are identical in shape—they are not--but there is a difference between handmade French knots and machine-made beads.

Now for fixing bead wiggle!  For beads that aren't straight as soldiers, this can be because you've chosen the wrong size.  You can do what I did in yesterday's article and space the beads out on every other thread intersection if you like the bead color and shape. Or you can switch to smaller beads that won't be so crowded if you are covering every thread intersection of your needlepoint canvas with a bead.

If you think the beads appear to be the right size but they are still not straight in line, then use another stitch to attach them.  Instead of a tent stitch through the bead, use a cross stitch.  Or if the beads are touching and their holes aren't too tiny, take a long stitch through the entire row to see if that tidies them up.  This doesn't always work if you have a small bead because there may not be room to go through a bead's hole a second (or third) time.  You can corral groups of beads that are in a circle instead of a line by working a stem stitch around the perimeter.  You also can attach the outside of the circle of beads with cross stitches and use tent stitches in the inside of the circle.  Work from the middle out and when you get to the perimeter, switch from tent to cross stitches to secure the beads.  The more securely attached outside beads will often push the inner ones into shape.

If your wiggly beads are in a square or rectangle, you can do straight lines of single stitches outside the beaded shape to help corral them.  I would try going through the beads a second time myself but sometimes that's not possible because the holes are too small.  If you match the thread you use to the background color, that row of straight stitches will be hard to see even though it helps keep the beads in order.

If you have just one bead and it will not stay in position, see if you can position the bead in a hole on the canvas instead of on top of the canvas thread intersection. A single bead that is precariously sitting on top of a thread intersection will tend to "fall" to one side.  Having the threads of the canvas on all four sides will help secure a bead.  You may still want to go through it a second time, making a + over the four canvas threads that are the "wall" around the bead.

If you are attempting Don Lynch's basketweave beading technique, this works best with hex beads which are size 14 or 15s and that will cover only a small area on the canvas.  The more basketweaving beads you add, the more they will move a tad out of position because beads are not all exactly the same size.  If you are working more than a half inch of space, this difference in bead size starts to become obvious as the beads shove each other out of the way,  This looks messy.

To fix a bead problem, you need to try various things to see what will give you the look you want.  I hope the above helps!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 16, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When Beads Go Bad

Wiggly Beads Make Horrible Fringe!


Last fall I stitched Leigh Design's "Portal to Immortality" from her new Illuminations series.
http://www.leighdesigns.com/Grp633x.html

The piece has fringe under the tiger screen that I wanted to bead.  I used size 11/0 round gold beads in a row packed tightly together and attached with tent stitches to create the fringe.  It looked so bad I didn't even take a photograph!  I decided the beads were too large so I removed them and tried again with size 14/0 hex beads.  This time I attached the beads with cross stitches every other stitch to space them out and keep them in line.  As you can tell, the "keeping them in line" part failed miserably!  I even went back through the vertical row of beads with one long thread to try and pull them into shape.  It didn't help.

Sigh.

Looking at the beads again I decided that they were the right size but that I needed to use something other than cross stitches to tame them.  For my next attempt I attached the beads with tent stitches, again skipping every other thread.  They were much straighter but I still went through the entire row again with one long thread to straighten them.  Success!


Third Try's a  Charm
The moral of the story is that you must have the right size of beads for the effect you want and if you cannot keep them straight, try another stitch to attach them.  For beads, persistence pays off. By the way, here's the finished Tiger Illuminations.
http://www.leighdesigns.com/Mdl6333.html

Good luck with your bad beads!


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright December 29, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Brief History of Canvas Copy Painting Companies

Mary Agnes of Needle Nicely produced a brief history of the companies that painted needlepoint canvases for designers on her blog.  I'm going to expand on what she said, for those who are interested in the business side of needlepoint.
http://needlenicely.blogspot.com/2017/05/canvases-from-copy-painting-services.html

Many needlepoint design companies (and some shops) paint their own canvases.  Leigh Designs has in-house painters for theirs, for example.  Leigh says this has given them a lot of control of their product.  Theresa Lee of Lee's Needle Arts also had in-house artists.  More on this in a minute.*

There are several large painting companies now. I think the first was Americanvas, which contracts with nuns in the Philippines to reproduce needlepoint painted canvases for the designers who wish to use the service.

*The Collingsworth family which owns Colonial Needle also got into the canvas painting business when they purchased Lee's Needle Arts several years ago as Lee's painters came with the business.  Now Colonial Needle distributes Lee's canvases, the line of Lee leather goods and runs a painting business as well as the needles they are well known for.  They also now own the Kelly Clark line of canvases, distribute the fabulous Finca perle cotton and floss line, etc.  I understand the painting service that Colonial runs has grown enough that they also contract with overseas painters.

I've also heard that DC Designs (that's Amanda Lawford's son, Derek Clark, for those who are keeping score) has opened a canvas painting service.  See a theme here?  Needlepoint companies for the most part are family businesses.

All this explains why it can take a while for canvases to arrive after you order from your favorite shop.  The overseas shipping can take a while as things have to clear customs.  And of course the various painting companies can get backed up with all the needlepoint designers wanting everything at the same time for the January show, for example.   So the next time you order a canvas and have to wait three months for it, think of the magic fingers of elves painting your canvas and many others in various far-flung places!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 10, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Stitching a Supernova

Thanks to Jane, I have an article on Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and her life as an astronomer and needlepointer for you to enjoy.  Like so many of us, she needlepointed each morning….
https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/05/10/cecilia-payne-supernova-needlepoint/

Liz Morrow posted a photo of a similar design she worked from perhaps the same Scientific American cover on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1212937988833140&set=p.1212937988833140&type=3&theater

Are there other needlepointed stars (or needlepointing astronomers) out there?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 10, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The End of My Path (Angel with Tree)

The Angel with Tree Finished
As I continued stitching Melissa Shirley's Angel with Tree, I did a little editing of the design and of stitches chosen for it.  The photo above is the finished Angel, with her jacket, apron, skirt, petticoat, shoes and stockings and of course her little Christmas tree stitched.  If you compare my version with Melissa Shirley's unstitched canvas here,
http://melissashirleydesigns.com/galsearch/index.cgi?index=1430178336_7822&col=

…you will see that my version has the gray line of the skirt and petticoats stitched from left to right, although the original has the gray lines only on the left side.  As I worked I just felt that the line needed to extend all the way across.  So I did took it all the way across the bottom of the skirt.



When it came to choosing the jacket stitch (I used Combination Scotch and Inverse Mosaic Stitch) I decided that I would only do the first two steps in the stitch.  Adding beads as shown in the diagram above just seemed Too Much.  So I didn't.

You are stitching to a mental image that is informed by your own taste.  Sometimes the original design will need a bit added or taken away to fit what you are trying to do.  One of the problems people have in coming up with their own ideas for a painted canvas is that they do not trust either their instincts or their ability to figure out what is right and wrong with something they are working.

You just have to be brave and try it.  You can always rip out.  I audition a lot of stitches before choosing what I think works.  And if something that I start isn't working, I try something else.  It takes self-confidence and experience to do this but it is the only way to up your stitching game to the next level.  Learn to look critically at what you have done (most people are very critical of their own stitching so this will be easy) and then analyze what you don't like and how to fix it (which is much harder but you can learn).

The stitch guide moral here is to trust your own judgement.  You don't have to stitch a design exactly how it is painted or use a stitch exactly the way it is diagrammed.

Thanks again to Melissa Shirley Designs for allowing me to blog-stitch Angel with Tree.  Hope you enjoyed peeking over my shoulder to see her develop.  Her stitch guide is available for purchase from me, by the way.  Your favorite shop can pick up the canvas for you from Melissa herself.
http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com/2017/05/angel-with-tree-melissa-shirley-and.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 28, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Writing Needlepoint Mysteries with Lea Wait

Thanks to Needlepoint Retailer, I have a link to a bit about Lea Wait's mystery series set in a needlepoint store in Maine.  This little blurb explains how to write a book proposal.
http://southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com/2017/04/about-that-proposal.html

If you love mysteries, you'll want to visit Lea's website.  Her Mainely Needlepoint series is set in the State of Maine.  So far there are four books; Dangling By a Thread just came out.  
http://www.leawait.com/mysteries.html

Here's an interview with Lea.
https://wickedcozyauthors.com/2015/09/04/the-mainely-needlepoint-mystery-series-continues-with-threads-of-evidence/

You can read the prequel of Tightening the Threads online here.  Sounds like a good read!
http://www.leawait.com/prequels/Prequel_Tightening_the_Threads.pdf

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 12, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Poore Girl Paints Needlepoint Designs

We have a new designer! Check out A Poore Girl Paints Needlepoint Designs' website.
https://apooregirlpaintsneedlepointdesigns.com

You can ask your favorite shop to order one of these cuties for you or talk to Leigh at Needle Bug in Montgomery, Alabama.
http://www.theneedlebug.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 11, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Clever Scissor Minder

Besides hanks of silk and needle minders, Silks4U has something unique—a scissors minder!  Because it is magnetic, it will stick to your metal floor stand or on your canvas if you choose.  You can also park needles there as you work.  These come in a variety of colors but only one Celtic style.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/501525528/scissor-and-needle-minder-enamel-celtic?ref=shop_home_active_4

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 15, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Recycling that Old Belt

Needle Nicely has a lovely show-and-tell on their blog today, featuring old belts that have a new use as basket purse decorations.  I'm beginning to think that needlepoint belts are the most versatile thing we can stitch….
http://needlenicely.blogspot.com/2017/04/one-familys-use-of-basket-purses.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making Bookmarks

Jan Sprague is having fun working on an original Bargello design, but when she gets stuck, she makes a bookmark from leftover threads and canvas pieces. It's a nice way to keep one's hands busy with something useful while thinking through a design problem.
https://stitchlady.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/bookmarks-3/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 8, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Needlepoint.com's A La Carte Retreat Report

I thought you'd love to hear about the annual retreat that Needlepoint.com holds each year.  This year the retreat was held in Raleigh close to Needlepoint.com's shop.  The canvases taught are from the Burnet and Bradley, Kirk and Bradley and Elizabeth Bradley lines, which are owned by the company that also owns the shop, by the way.  The designers are all different, so there is a lot of variety on offer and plenty of classes you can mix and match to suit your own desires.
http://stitchstyleblog.com/2017/03/kicking-off-retreat/

http://stitchstyleblog.com/2017/03/day-two/

Planning for the 2018 retreat is already underway.  Check Needlepoint.com's website for the latest information.
https://needlepoint.com/retreat.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 19, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Following the Path to a Background and More (Angel with Tree)

Last time I choose stitches and materials for the Angel with Tree's hair, skirt and jacket, skin, and snowflakes.  I promised to talk about where I started stitching, what choices I made, what worked and what didn't, and how I altered my path as I worked on this design.


Face and Hair
The easiest part of stitching people is to work their faces.  There are pitfalls to make a face look right, but those probably are generally related to stitching the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth.  I tent stitched my face using various shades of cotton floss.  Then I added the features with bits of brown wool, black Kreink and burgundy floss.  I suggest that after you work an eye, you carefully consider what you have done, then rip out if necessary.  Even one stitch will make a huge difference.  I often add either a reverse tent stitch or a straight vertical or horizontal stitch to an eye or mouth to make it look right.  In this case the nose paint showed through the pale pink floss so I didn't bother to stitch the nose.  The eyebrows were done in stem stitches using the lighter brown thread I used for my hair.

I like wool and wool-like stitches for hair.  Because my godmother had gentle curls in her brown hair I altered the angel's hair to match.  I found two shades of Medici wool, a Felicity's Garden silk/wool blend, and Vineyard Silk Shimmer (silk with metallic woven in) in my stash and created hair using French Knots and Colonial Knots.  I wanted big, irregular curls so a mix of threads and stitches served to create the look I had in mind.  Some of my French Knots were one wrap, some were two.  All were placed roughly to match the four shades of hair painted.  I particularly like the fact that the Vineyard Silk Shimmer has a bit of metallic in it. That added highlights to the angel's hair.

Next I wanted to tackle my background.  I had a lovely blue Splendor silk matching the background paint and wanted a light coverage stitch that looked like snow.  I chose to make up a stitch around each of the white snowflakes to emphasize the dots of white.


First Background Attempt
But once I had the little diamond motifs in, I was stuck.  What do I do next?  Open stitches?  Solid tent?  Everything seemed WRONG.  I had to face the fact that a fancy background was going to be the star of the show instead of the angel herself.  So I ripped it all out and went with the calmest of backgrounds—brick stitch.


Second Background Attempt
I did compensate around the white dots.  Luckily brick stitch over two is very easy to compensate.  And as you can see, the little tree worked up nicely using leaf stitches dotted with small round gold beads and Swarovski crystal sequins.  Three good ideas out of four ain't bad!  It is all too easy to fall in love with an idea that doesn't work.  Then you are stuck with a piece you can't finish because you cannot bear to rip out that one part that you love--but that doesn't work.  Don't be that stitcher!  Be ruthless when you must!

Today's Stitch Guide Moral:  Don't be afraid to change directions. Staying committed to the wrong path doesn't work.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.