Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Catherine Coleman "January" Ornament finished.

by Catherine Coleman

Catherine is a talented charted canvaswork designer.  This piece, called "January", was still available at Stitcher's Paradise at the time of this writing.   I've worked several of her designs and always learn something new as I work each one.  She layers the stitches in a unique way with interesting threads and stitch orientations.  

I finished this ornament with a hard, flat back and a padded front.  The model was finished as a kissing ball ornament with a styrofoam form inside but I find that those take up a lot of space in storage.  Since I need more space for more ornaments I like to finish most of mine flat.  However, while I was stretching the canvas around the matboard form the blending filament used for the beading popped and *pop* *pop* *pop* off came a bunch of beads.  I rebeaded it with a stronger thread but note to self - blending filament for beading does not work if the piece is going to need to be blocked or stretched later.  Had I matched the model and finished it as a kissing ball it would not have been an issue.  Oops!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shelly Tribbey "Snowman" Ornament finished.

by Shelly Tribbey

Shelly does some of the cutest needlepoint ornaments I've seen.  Hand-painted canvases are super-fun to stitch because there is no chart - you just pick threads you like and get stitching.  I stitched this canvas in November/December 2006 and did the finishing in October 2012.  

The scarf and hat are Rainbow Gallery Fuzzy Stuff and the ornament is backed in blue silk dupioni.   I made the twisted cording from red and white cotton thread and blue Fuzzy Stuff.  I love the velvet rick-rack ribbon  bow from Pacific Fabrics in Bellevue, Washington.  I wanted to accent the hat and pick up the red in the twisted cording I made and I think the waviness of the ribbon suits the piece better than a straight ribbon would have done.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

"The Gift" by Darlene O'Steen of Needle's Prayse

"The Gift"
by Darlene O'Steen of The Needle's Prayse

This ornament was published in the 1998 Just Cross-Stitch Ornament issue.  This magazine became very hard to find by the year 2000 and still usually sells at a premium on the internet.  Darlene wrote an incredible book called "The Proper Stitch" which includes two samplers: "Our English Heritage Sampler" and "The Proper Stitch Sampler".  I made her Cranberry Sampler in 2007 and plan on making the other two someday as well.  

I finished the ornament in October 2012 with a silk dupioni back and cotton twisted cording.  I may keep the bows or remove them later... I tend to be very traditional in my own finishing and am trying to get to like bows.  

Sorry for the water drop in the photo - it was raining here in Washington when I took the picture!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Teresa Wentzler's "Father Winter Ornament" finished.

"Father Winter Ornament" by Teresa Wentzler

I have always been a huge Teresa Wenztler fan.  I've stitched several of her designs over the years and enjoyed them immensely.  Her sense of color and balance are masterful.  Plus, she's super nice and incredibly generous with her craft.  This pattern is free on her website.  You can see her other wonderful pieces on her website as well.  

I originally stitched this ornament in July 2006 on 28 count green evenweave fabric using DMC cotton threads and Mill Hill seed beads.  I finished it in October 2012 with a silk dupioni backing and white trim with pink seed beads.  I love the beads!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Royal Santa by Amanda Lawford #12

In which I learn I shouldn't always follow the stitch guide.

I must first note, I have loved this stitch guide.  So many fun stitches and threads and it is turning out beautifully.

The feathers are worked in basketweave with three strands of Anchor cotton floss.  I blended the colors a bit, being cognizant that they are going to get stitched over with a long fiber.  The stitch guide said to stitch the Bernat Boa in the last bit... a long fiber couched diagonally.  Well, when I needed to basketweave the edges of the feather I needed to pin back the Boa fiber.  Poor planning on my part, although it turned out well in the end.  The edges of the feather were then worked in wrapped stem stitch, which I find easier to curve than wrapped backstitch.

The white fiber is was then couched along the center of each feather vein.  Love it!

My thread minder.  

Plume on the cap was done the same as the green.

I'm now working on the purple cap.  I couldn't actually find *anything* about that in the stitch guide so I'm working it in the same nobuko variation as the sleeve caps on the robe.  Next up are the eyes and then the cap brim.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Royal Santa by Amanda Lawford #11

Today I finished up the "fur" on the robe cuff and color.  It is stitched by couching Bernat Boa knitting fiber (color 81013) onto the canvas in long diagonal rows using cotton floss.  I used about 35 yards of the Boa fiber.  I've given the rows a little brushing and after all of the canvas is stitched and finished I will probably trim it up a bit, particularly around the fleur-de-lis.  

I don't know why, but the canvas has a long vertical crease in it.  It's always been kept on long stretcher bars but perhaps it was folded before it came to me?  When it's completed I will try hitting it with some steam during the blocking and hope that makes it come out.  

He's certainly more fun to work on now that I'm not stitching all white background all the time.