Zesty Cross Stitch Pattern – Fun and Mysterious

This suggestive Zesty cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!zesty cross stitch pattern dark vast and zestyDark, Vast, and Zesty may sound somewhat like a double entendre, but it has a much more innocent origin. A family member got himself into an enormous financial mess that peaked when he had a life-threatening illness, and it took many of his friends and family to help dig him out of trouble (physically and financially). One person was entrusted to make an honest and extensive list of every debt and issue outstanding. When this person emailed the list to the others helping, he prefaced it by saying the list was “…dark, vast, and zesty,” which cracked me up!

Of course, “dark, vast, and zesty” could refer to a number of different situations, some more virtuous than others. I think it could add a fun air of mystery to greet your guests, with them thinking “just what the heck does that mean?” It remains a really funny line and a great reminder to find the humor in less than ideal circumstances whenever possible. [By the way, the family member is recovered and doing much better now.]

dmc coloris 24 new variegated flossesThe variegated floss used in this Zesty cross stitch pattern is the gorgeous and rich DMC Coloris 4507 Bougainvillea, available in my shop along with the entire range of DMC and Anchor variegated flosses (DMC’s newest colors, the Coloris collection, are shown at right). I also offer a selection of beautiful ThreadworX variegated flosses as well.

Variegated flosses are beautiful and by their very nature, they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure. See the my series of Variegated Floss Projects to see a wide variety of projects that would look great in these color combinations!

Lightning Cross Stitch Pattern – Crafty Empowerment

This new Lightning cross stitch pattern (now available in my shop) is inspired by Serena Ryder’s outstanding song “Got Your Number.” lightning cross stitch pattern see my lightning hear my thunder cross stitch patternThe song is an empowering kick-butt break-up rocker in a similar vein as the Eurythmics’ “Would I Lie To You?” According to some online song lyric websites, this line actually is “See my lightning in my bottle” but I may have mis-heard the second half as “hear my thunder” and to tell the truth, I like it better! [No disrespect to Serena as her song kicks serious ass!] This misunderstanding counts among my favorite personal Mondegreens

The project uses white, three shades of grey, and I stitched the lettering in DMC E940 glow in the dark floss (also available in my Etsy shop). The photo below shows the project in black light and I love how the lettering glows while the white floss core of the lightning bolt pops! lightning cross stitch pattern serena ryder lyric see my lightning hear my thunder glow in the dark blacklightThe photo below shows the lettering glowing in the dark – it actually glows brighter than that but it’s tough to photograph effectively. It’s still very cool, though…lightning cross stitch pattern serena ryder lyric see my lightning hear my thunder glow in the darkI considered using a cartoon-like lightning bolt for this project but it just didn’t feel right. This project really started to come together when I started working with a photo of a real lightning bolt. I’d be curious to see how this project would look stitched on a white canvas with color in the lightning and lettering. Hm…

I’m not sure if this song got much airplay in the States as I only heard it on Canadian Broadcasting when I was very near the western Canada/US border in January 2017. However, the song is available at least on Amazon (where I purchased it). Please check out her great song and stitch this empowering lightning cross stitch pattern!

Pop my Cork Cross Stitch Pattern

This “Big Spender” Pop my Cork cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!big spender I don't pop my cork cross stitch pattern shirley basseyShirley Bassey Big Spender German single coverThis suggestive project is a lyric from the song “Big Spender.” The song was written for the 1966 Broadway musical Sweet Charity. It was a big hit for Shirley Bassey in 1967 and it continues to be one of her signature songs. Although the song is hardly a feminist rallying cry, I’ve always liked the line “I don’t pop my cork for every man I see” as a great “nasty woman” sentiment.

For those of you unfamiliar with Shirley Bassey, you are probably familiar with her voice. Aside from “Big Spender,” in the States she is probably best known for the James Bond theme songs “Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” and “Moonraker.”

From her very humble beginnings in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales, Shirley Bassey’s career has spanned well over 60 years. In January 1959, she was the first Welsh person to gain a U.K. Number 1 single, and in the ensuing years her career was so remarkable that she was made a Dame for her “services to the performing arts.”

If I were a single person, I could easily see this Pop my Cork cross stitch pattern displayed in my house as a subtle challenge to potential suitors. I consider it’s essence to be “if you don’t treat me well, don’t expect much in return” which is a good philosophy for everyone!

Modern Tumbling Blocks Quilt – New to my Shop

My new modern tumbling blocks quilt turned out wonderfully! The 3D effect looks great and it’s even better in person. The colors are just as rich and vibrant as I had hoped. If you’re interested in purchasing this pattern, it is now available in my Etsy shop!modern tumbling blocks quilt
Plate Tectonics : Core Deco 2015.The inspiration for the quilt comes mainly from the works of graphic artist Matt W. Moore. I am absolutely enamored with his use of color and his eye for pattern.

As my quilting expertise is limited, I would not yet try to create quilts as complex as some of his pieces. Even if I were a great quilter, I would never infringe on one of his copyrights. However, his work is a great place to find seeds for other creative expressions.

At right is a woven throw blanket from his Core Deco line. I love the colors and design so much I just had to buy one! It looks great in the same room as my modern tumbling blocks quilt.

Modern Tumbling Block Quilt – Fabrics

I used all solids for this quilt, trying to maximize the three-dimensional effect. I started with a jelly roll of bright Kona solids, and then added fat quarters of deep purples, teal, jet black, and a ombre collection of royal blues. Here are all of my blues – at top the royal blues, in the middle are navy blues, and at the bottom are a sky blue and a blue with a touch of purple in it. modern tumbling blocks quilt - blue fabricsYou can see I certainly shied away from using many pastels. A few light pinks, blues, and greens worked fine but I tried a lemony yellow for some of the orange blocks and it was just too light to stand up to the other bright colors.

Here are the series of plum pinks I used:modern tumbling blocks quilt - plum fabrics

I used two types of green – a kelly green and a celery green. If you look above the kelly green blocks are fine. However, if I were to do this project again, I would find a darker celery green for the “dark” side of the block.

Below are the series of teal colors I used:modern tumbling blocks quilt - teal fabrics

Modern Tumbling Block Quilt – Techniques

I used English Paper Piecing (EPP) to put this quilt together, and for guidance, I used and recommend the excellent book All Points Patchwork by my friend Diane Gilleland.

Before I started this project I had only used EPP once before, on my hexagon table runner project. When you read that blog post, you’ll see how valuable her book can be, as I share lots of things-I-would-have-done-differently-if-I-had-read-her-book-FIRST.hexagon table runner projectOne of Diane’s recommendations is to use pre-cut paper templates, and for the sheer volume of templates necessary for this bigger quilt project I gladly took her advice. I purchased my templates from PaperPieces.com. If you’re not too familiar with EPP, you will be BLOWN AWAY by the variety of pre-cut paper template shapes they offer.

If you’re interested in purchasing the pattern for my modern tumbling blocks pattern, please be aware that it is a pattern only. It includes the chart, how many pieces of each color you may need, and some ideas on the order in which I put the quilt top together, but it does not include any cutting, assembly, quilting, or finishing instructions. Diane’s book and many others have excellent instructions on these topics that I need not try to re-create.

Below you can see my new modern tumbling blocks quilt in it’s new habitat near my Persian Flower project. I never get tired of looking at it – it’s visually enticing and very contemplative. I love it with the colors I used and I’d also enjoy seeing it in other color combinations as well. I think a version in earth tones like rust, gold, brown, green, and red would be very striking.modern tumbling blocks quilt at home

Kansas Sunflower Cross Stitch Pattern

This Kansas sunflower cross stitch pattern and kit of a state highway sign is now available in my Etsy shop!kansas highway road sign sunflower cross stitch pattern

The stitched example, Kansas Highway 7, is part of the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway also designated as part of the official route of the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail.kansas sunflower cross stitch pattern state highway sign

The sunflower pattern is easily one of the most interesting state highway signs in the United States. Many state highway signs feature plain squares or circles, but the folks in Kansas showed a little creativity when they generated this design.
Southbound K-99 near Alma, 4 May 2017

[Southbound K-99 near Alma by John Roever via Flickr]

Whether you’re a Jayhawker, a frequent visitor, or just a fan of the state, this Kansas sunflower cross stitch pattern and kit would be a great way to create a reminder of a favorite drive or place in “The Sunflower State.”

Kansas is just the latest in my series of State Highway signs! Thus far, there’s Colorado, Alaska, California, Texas, Washington, Michigan, Florida, New Mexico, Georgia, Utah, Montana, Louisiana, an Interstate sign, a US highway sign, and more are in the works. Until then, I hope you check out all the states and the other road sign patterns I’ve created – they’re a lot of fun!

Louisiana Highway Cross Stitch Pattern

This Louisiana Highway cross stitch pattern and kit are now available in my Etsy shop!

louisiana highway cross stitch pattern

The stitched example, Highway 182, is a part of the Louisiana Bayou Byway, a scenic route between New Orleans and Lafayette. The website MyScenicDrives describes the Byway as “bayous, birds, and beignets.”

Stretches of Highway 182 were part of the “Old Spanish Trail,” an auto trail that stretched from St. Augustine, Florida, to San Diego, California. There is an Old Spanish Trail 100 association that is organizing a cross-country motorcade in 2029 to celebrate the route’s one hundredth birthday. Their charter is to “locate, revitalize, and preserve the roadway, businesses, and historic sites of the original 1920’s Old Spanish Trail auto highway.” louisiana highway cross stitch pattern old spanish trail map

Whether you’re a Louisianan, a frequent visitor, or just a fan of the state, this Louisiana Highway cross stitch pattern and kit would be a great way to create a reminder of a favorite drive or place in “The Pelican State.”

Louisiana is just the latest in my series of State Highway signs! Thus far, there’s Colorado, Alaska, California, Texas, Washington, Michigan, Florida, New Mexico, Georgia, Utah, Montana, an Interstate sign, a US highway sign, and more are in the works. Until then, I hope you check out all the states and the other road sign patterns I’ve created – they’re a lot of fun!

Deeds Not Words Cross Stitch Pattern

This Deeds Not Words cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!deeds not words cross stitch pattern suffragette bannerThis was one of the mottoes of the women’s suffrage movement, as seen on the massive banner in this photo:deeds not words cross stitch example suffragette banner

Although the image is black and white, I imagine that the banner was in the purple, white, and green colors of the British suffrage movement. The three colors symbolized loyalty, purity, and hope.

Women worked so hard for the right to vote. They were jailed, went on hunger strikes, and even died for the suffrage rights women hold today. This right is something no woman should take for granted. I was encouraged recently to see women in the House of Representatives and Senate wearing white in honor of the suffragettes (in other photos and articles you’ll see some women wore purple as well).deeds not words cross stitch democratic women wearing whiteWhile “Deeds not Words” was a rallying cry for the more militaristic suffragists, I am by no means advocating violence. Instead, I hope this pattern will inspire us to demand action from ourselves, others, and our elected officials. Anyone can talk about “what needs to happen” while it’s a precious few who actually take steps to create positive change. I hope this Deeds Not Words project may serve as a reminder to do just that.

Bill Hicks Cross Stitch Pattern “Life is Only a Dream…”

This Bill Hicks cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!bill hicks cross stitch life is only a dream and we are the imaginations of ourselves

Bill Hicks was a comedian who died in 1994 of pancreatic cancer. You might not expect such a metaphysical quote from a comedian… only if you’re not familiar with Bill Hicks’ work. He was controversial, biting, and certainly not for those with delicate ears. At the same time, he was often spiritual, philosophical, and personal.

This project is only a part of a longer quotation of Hicks. Although he stopped using drugs in 1988, he still espoused their use, saying ““I’ve had some killer times on drugs.” He railed against the war on drugs and on the media focusing only on negative stories about drugs. Hicks instead hop[ed] for a different perspective:

[As if giving a news cast] “Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration—that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imaginations of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.”

anchor 1345 variegated flossOn a more superficial note, I filled the stars in border with seven different variegated flosses. The one I had really been wanting to try is Anchor 1345, called “Blue Hawaii,” and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s gorgeous and you can see it in the star in the upper left corner of the pattern.

I stitched some of the stars filling in a serpentine way and some in a spiral way, and it was interesting to see how differently the colors pooled. For example, all three were the same color, Anchor 1345, but the star in the upper left corner was stitched serpentine in horizontal rows, while the fourth one below it and the first one from top right were stitched in a spiral.

This Bill Hicks cross stitch pattern is perfect for everyone who appreciates counter-culture ideas, alternative spiritual philosophies, variegated embroidery floss, and of course, Bill Hicks.

If you’re interested in seeing some of his work, below is a clip from The Late Show with David Letterman. At the taping in 1993, Letterman and CBS decided that his material was too controversial and his performance was not aired. However, in 2009, Bill’s mother was a guest on Letterman and they aired his set in it’s entirety. [Warning: this is not for the easily offended]

Think for Yourself and Question Authority Cross Stitch Pattern

My Think for Yourself and Question Authority cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!think for yourself and question authority cross stitch pattern

The inspiration for the pattern comes from a famous quote from Dr. Timothy Leary. He was a psychiatrist who advocated the use of LSD for therapeutic uses, and he was a counter culture icon from the 1960’s until his death in 1996. In fact, Richard Nixon considered Leary one of the most dangerous men in America. In the 60’s he popularized the phrases “turn on, tune in, drop out” and “think for yourself and question authority”.

The pattern features a mirrored pair of fun 1960’s pop art style flowers that I intended to bring a little color and flair in juxtaposition to the more serious nature of the quote. Pop art started in the 1950’s, bloomed in the 1960’s, and the style of these flowers could easily be seen in the works of artists such as Peter Max and the animation team behind the Beatles‘ movie Yellow Submarine.

Of course, I don’t advocate that we all drop acid and form our own psychedelic religions while skipping in and out of jail. However, the idea that we read, research, and think for ourselves and question all kinds of authority (political, religious, economic, et al.) is certainly valid. And if the political culture of 2016 is any indication, it appears that a little 1960’s-style peaceful counterculture would be a welcome change.

Let this think for yourself and question authority cross stitch pattern be a good reminder to have some healthy skepticism of authority.

MST3K Patrick Swayze Christmas Cross Stitch Pattern

This MST3K Patrick Swayze Christmas cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!mst3k patrick swayze christmas cross stitch pattern

The inspiration comes from the the classic Episode 321 – Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. The lyrics are from Crow’s song “A Patrick Swayze Christmas,” performed by Joel and the ‘bots during one of the host segments. It was inspired by Crow’s favorite movie, Road House, starring Patrick Swayze. With it’s references to barstools, action sequences, and Santa drafting his will, it’s a modern holiday tradition!

In 2013 Reddit and Joel worked with acapella group The Lost Keys to create this version of the song:

Joel’s reaction at end of the video is a funny reference to another outstanding MST3K episode, Pod People.

mst3k patrick swayze christmas cross stitch patternThe cross stitch captures their usual silhouettes, plus with Crow’s red nose, Joel’s ivory scarf, and Tom’s blue and white snow globe noggin from the sketch. It also has the draped gold garland and the Christmas tree from the set, and I added a colorful string of lights around the border. This project was a lot of fun to put together!

 

I know that for many MSTies (fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000), including myself, the holiday season is not quite complete without a viewing of this hilarious episode.

mst3k turn down your lights cross stitch patternI have two other MST3K themed patterns available. One is the “Turn down your lights…” pattern you see at right. This image unfurled at the beginning of Mystery Science Theater 3000 from Episodes 201 – Rocketship XM to 404 – Teenagers from Outer Space. It’s a welcome and happy sight to the fans of the show.

 

mst3k cross stitch pattern the answer my friend is blow it out your assThe other pattern is this “The answer my friend, is blow it…” which is a funny quote from Episode 614 – San Francisco International.

 

 

 

 

For those of you who have read this far and don’t have a clue as to what MST3K is, read this Wikipedia article. A MST3K revival just became the biggest Film and Video category Kickstarter project of all time, raising $6.3 Million for 14 new episodes in 2016. Can’t wait…

This MST3K Patrick Swayze Christmas cross stitch pattern is perfect for all MSTies past, present, and future.

Keep circulating the tapes!