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!

ThreadworX Variegated Floss – New Arrivals in the Shop!

ThreadworX variegated floss has just been added to my Etsy shop!threadworx variegated floss

Just look at these gorgeous combinations of color – and they’re even better looking in person. ThreadworX creates these brilliant flosses in their Southern California facility. As I live relatively close by, I’ve been lucky enough to meet the creative talent behind these combinations. These flosses truly are hand-dyed – I was greeted with a green handshake the day I visited.

The manufacturing process for DMC and Anchor variegated threads, I believe, limits the number of different colors on one skein to four. While those flosses are gorgeous in their own right, the hand-dyed process at ThreadworX allows for more than four colors on one skein. This is best evidenced by the true rainbow of floss number 1154 – Bradley’s Balloons.threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons

When unraveled, these are 20-yard skeins composed of 20 pieces of one-yard long floss as you can see below. This is different than the 8.7 yard long skeins of DMC and Anchor that many of us are accustomed to. However, this is a similar top-quality six-strand floss that stitches up exactly the same as a DMC or Anchor floss.

threadworx skein is many one-yard piecesBelow is a sample of this floss stitched on 18-count Aida cloth in a variety of directions. The top three (diagonal, serpentine vertical, and spiral) used two strands, and the bottom (serpentine horizontal) used just one strand. threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons on 18 count aida

Here’s the same floss again stitched on 14-count Aida cloth. The left sample used one strand, and the right used two. threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons on 14 count aida

This floss has great quality, it was easy to handle, and it was really fun to see how the colors changed with every stitch.

At the moment, I’m just carrying the 24 flosses you see in the photo at top, however if these start to sell well, I can easily see my shop adding more colors very soon!

Here are a few of my favorites thus far:

threadworx 1039 variegated floss autumn leavesAbove is ThreadworX 1039 – Autumn Leaves. It’s a gorgeous mix of browns, gold, rust, and dark gray. I can only hope that this photos does it justice, as it is stunning!threadworx 1039 variegated floss pastel bouquet

This subtle mix of pink, yellow, gray-green, and purple is ThreadworX 1078 – Pastel Bouquet.threadworx 1068 variegated floss hawaiian flowers

This combination of greens and purple is 1068 – Hawaiian Flowers, although it really reminds me of the beautiful Jacaranda trees that bloom in Southern California in the late spring. threadworx 1044 variegated floss chili peppers

ThreadworX variegated floss 1044 is a spicy blend of greens, dark red, and rust named “Chili Peppers.”threadworx 1032 variegated floss brown sugar and spice

1032 – Brown Sugar and Spice is a subtle mix of light browns – from white chocolate through milk chocolate and dark chocolate shades. It reminds me of seeing timeless geologic strata in bright desert light. Once again, I hope the photo does this floss justice as I really adore this one! threadworx 1053 variegated floss dreamscape

The last one I’ll highlight for now is this ThreadworX 1053 – Dreamscape. It is indeed a dreamy combination of purple, greens and light blue. Lovely!

I hope you check out the ThreadworX variegated floss and all of the variegated flosses I carry in my Etsy shop. Also check out my six-part series on a million different ways to use variegated floss in craft projects from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, home decor and much more!

Compass Needlepoint Finished

Here’s my compass needlepoint project finished and framed!compass needlepoint project compass rose finished

persian needlepoint kit and pattern ancora imparoI’m absolutely thrilled with the result. It’s just gorgeous, and as good or better than I even imagined. I designed this compass rose project in 2013, hoping it would be a quicker project than my earlier Ancora Imparo needlepoint. However, once I got into the design of this compass, I realized that the number of stitches necessary would be roughly the same as in Ancora Imparo. So much for being quicker!

I started stitching this compass project in January 2014 and finished up in February 2016. It didn’t take up all of my crafting time during that period as I was working on other, mostly cross stitch, projects concurrently. This compass needlepoint even crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice! I have vivid memories of working on this project while sitting on the patio of a house in the mountains of Asturias, Spain.

This project was inspired while we were traveling in Europe; it is based on a compass rose made of tile pieces on the patio of the charming Cuq en Terrasses hotel in France. The hotel is in the countryside near Toulouse, and it’s one of our favorite places to stay in the world.

Here you can see the needlepoint early in it’s execution, next to it’s model.Compass Tile WIP #3

You can see that I made the project a little more colorful than the original, but stayed true to it’s earth tones. At that point I had outlined and partially filled in nearly all of the first row of tiles except for the four gray tiles of the primary compass directions (north, south, east, west).

One of the reasons I stitched the primary direction tiles last is that, as I did in the center circle, I wanted to use the double stitch in that area. As I discovered through this project, double stitch works great on a square area; however, in an irregular shape, it can turn into quite a challenge. To conquer that challenge, I created a helpful tutorial on how to tackle the double stitch.compass needlepoint compass rose close up 1 double stitch

Above, you can see the two colors I used in the double stitch. The long cross stitches are in dark grey, while the short cross stitches are in a dark grey-blue. When I was choosing colors for this project, I thought the blue would make a nice visual compliment to all the earth tones without contrasting too much.

compass needlepoint compass rose close up 2Above you can see that with the all of the brown flosses, I slightly blended the colors, mixing 5 strands of one color with one strand of a contrasting color. I did this to better represent the speckled color and texture of the original tiles and to add a little visual interest.

You can also see the Tent stitch used in the radiating tiles of the center square, the Hungarian stitch used in the background of the center square, and three of the stitches used in the border blocks. In total, I used 20 different needlepoint stitches. The reference book I used for the stitches is an old favorite of mine, 101 Needlepoint Stitches and How to Use Them by Hope Hanley.

To read more about the execution of this compass needlepoint, here are my posts over time: Getting Started, Update 1, Update 2, and Update 3.

The pattern for this project is now available in my Etsy shop, and it could also be made into a custom needlepoint kit as well. While I love the earth tones in the stitched example, I think this project would look great in lots of color combinations. Please contact me if you would be interested in seeing some other color options with this project.

My husband and I may not be able to spend all our time at Cuq-en-Terrasses, but now we have this compass needlepoint project as a beautiful reminder of our wonderful stays there. There are also a few more of their patio tile patterns that would make great needlepoint projects… stay tuned!

Glow in the Dark Thread Review

I’ve created this glow in the dark thread review as I was genuinely curious about two things: how to use the Kreinik’s line of glow in the dark (GITD) threads and the difference between the Kreinik and DMC’s E940 GITD floss. I carry the DMC floss in my Etsy shop and it has proved to be very popular. However, DMC has only the one color of GITD floss where Kreinik has seven colors and eight different sizes/types of thread.

The participants:glow in the dark thread review - all the threads I tested

Clockwise from top left you see Kreinik Blending Filament in Grapefruit, #4 Braid in Watermelon, #8 Braid in Lime, #16 Braid in Lemon Lime, #32 Braid in Tangerine, 1/16″ Ribbon in Blueberry, #8 Braid in Grapefruit, and the DMC E940 floss.

Kreinik also has #12 Braid, #24 Braid, and a 1/8″ Ribbon, but I decided against trying them out in lieu of the 4-8-16-32 progression you see above. Kreinik also has a seventh color, Grape, but it is only available in 1/16″ and 1/8″ Ribbons.

I used the Kreinik threads in cross stitch on 18 and 14 count Aida fabrics. I also used the Kreinik threads in tent or basketweave stitch on 18 and 14 count needlepoint canvases and in 7 count plastic canvas. I didn’t necessarily use every thread on every canvas – as you’ll see below, some of the combinations of thread and fabric were impractical.

With that in mind, let’s see how these Kreinik threads stitched up on a variety of cross stitch fabrics and needlepoint canvases. Let’s get started with the 18 count Aida…
18 ct aida light

The Blending Filament is interesting stuff – it’s a bit like stitching with very fine fishing line. It is composed of lots of extremely thin filaments that love to fray at the ends of the strand. I was able to thread it in a #26 tapestry needle pretty well. Using this color filament on white material took supreme concentration to make sure that all the stitches were done correctly. You can barely tell that the filament is there – it just adds a little plastic-y shimmer to the fabric.

The only issue I had with the Blending Filament itself on this 18 count Aida was that the strand frayed pretty badly while I was stitching. This didn’t happen with the filament as prominently on any of the other fabrics or canvases I tested. Below left you see the back of the Aida, and on the right you see the front. Keep in mind this filament was not necessarily designed to be used like this, so this is not a big deal. I just wouldn’t recommend using it in this exact same way.
18 ct aida issue with blending filament18 ct aida issue with blbf1ending filament

 

 

 

 

 

The Watermelon pink #4 Braid provided great coverage on this 18 count Aida, where the Lime green #8 Braid was a little too heavy (you’ll see how I made a few cross stitches crossing two at top just for fun). Using these Braids is like stitching with a heavy waxed dental floss. Rather than form knots, the threads tend to kink like a garden hose and they like to fray at the ends of the strand. I could not thread either Braid into my #26 tapestry needle. Unlike cotton floss that can “squish” into a needle eye, the #4, #8, and #16 Braids have no ability to compress whatsoever and needles with bigger eyes are necessary.

Stitching with the #4 and #8 plastic Braids produces an interesting texture on the fabric that I’ll call “crunchy.” You’re stitching with plastic, so “crunchy” is to be expected! It’s just different than the more soft and pillowy stitches that result from using cotton and wool.

Ah! But how do they glow? Well, they glow great!
18 ct aida dark

You can see the light coverage of the Blending Filament, the good coverage of the #4 Braid, and the lumpy coverage of the #8 Braid.

Up next is the 14 count Aida…
14 ct aida light

Again, you can hardly see the Blending Filament. The #4 Braid has some coverage, but the #8 Braid is about perfect on this 14 count Aida. I tried a little of the Lemon Lime #16 Braid, but it proved to be just too thick, distorting the fabric and holes pretty badly.

Stitching with the #16 Braid is like stitching with a very tiny paracord, so it doesn’t kink up quite like the #4 and #8 Braids. Finding a needle with an eye big enough to accommodate this Braid that won’t distort the fabric can be tough. And in the dark…
14 ct aida dark

the results are similar. The Blending Filament and the #4 Braid don’t quite cover the Aida effectively. The #8 Braid is about perfect, and the #16 Braid looks lumpy. Also, there’s not much difference in color between the Lime #8 and the Lemon-Lime #16 Braids.

On to the needlepoint canvases! First up, 18 count…
18 ct needlepoint canvas light

In tent stitch, the Blending Filament is hardly visible, the #4 Braid doesn’t quite cover, the #8 Braid gives a little more cover, but the #16 Braid is the one that effectively fills in the canvas.

Here I used the 1/16″ Ribbon in both tent stitch and backstich. The ribbon is flat, so it is quite easy to thread through a needle and it doesn’t tend to fray much. It does require constant untwisting and manipulation to keep flat. In tent stitch, it covers well but looks a little crowded. Ah, but in backstitch it really looks great! You can easily see the light color and the shimmery texture. The slight difference in the brightness between the tent stitch and the backstitch is true-to-life – the tent stitched portion really is a bit darker than it’s backstitched counterpart.

In the dark…
18 ct needlepoint canvas dark

the results are similar. The Blending Filament and #4 Braid are definitely visible but don’t cover at all, the #8 Braid is better, but the #16 Braid and the 1/16″ Ribbon cover well. The ribbon in tent stitch glows a little brighter than the backstitched section, but it’s not a huge difference. There’s also not much difference in color between the Lime #8, the Lemon Lime #16, and the Blueberry 1/16″ ribbon, whereas the Blending Filament in Grapefruit definitely looks more blueish. Interesting!

In 14 count needlepoint canvas,14 ct needlepoint canvas light

almost identical results as the 18 point canvas. The Blending Filament, #4 Braid, and #8 Braid aren’t enough to cover, while the #16 Braid and the 1/16 Ribbon covers nicely. The Ribbon looks better and less crowded in tent stitch than it did on the 18 count canvas, and again the backstitch looks nice.

In the dark, again similar results as the 18 point canvas:
14 ct needlepoint canvas dark

Nice coverage by the #16 Braid and the 1/16″ Ribbon.

The last material I tried was 7 count plastic canvas.
7 ct plastic canvas whiteI started with the #4 Braid, and here you can see that it, the #8 Braid, the #16 Braid and the 1/16″ Ribbon don’t cover the canvas at all. The Ribbon in cross stitch is enough to cover the plastic canvas grid but leaves the holes completely open.

Here I tried the #32 Braid for the first time. This braid, unlike it’s smaller siblings, does flatten out. It seems to be somewhat hollow in the middle – the closest comparison I can offer is that it’s like stitching with a tiny Chinese finger trap – and it has a bit of spongy give to it. Like using the ribbon, it does require some manipulation to get it to lay flat. Even the #32 Braid in tent stitch doesn’t fully fill all of the holes in the canvas (the photo shows the coverage as being a little more generous than it is in real life). However, the #32 Braid in cross stitch completely covers the canvas and fills the holes.

In the dark…
7 ct plastic canvas dark

the #4 and #8 Braids are barely visible, the #16 braid and 1/16″ ribbon are bright but don’t cover well. The #32 Braid glows great, but the full coverage is only in cross stitch. Here you can see better the difference between the color of the Blueberry Ribbon and the Lemon Lime #16 Braid, and the Tangerine orange of the #32 Braid is clear.

Thus far, this review has been all about using the Kreinik threads. Now here’s how the DMC floss compares with it’s closest Kreinik counterpart.
14 ct aida comparison light

On the left is Kreinik #8 Brain in Grapefruit, and on the right is two strands of DMC E940 Floss. I chose the #8 Braid as it provided the best coverage on 14 count aida, and I chose Grapefruit as it was the closest in color to the near white of the E940.

On the top, I did a few backstitches of varying lengths, and then I stitched six rows of cross stitch. It’s pretty clear to see that when it comes to behaving like regular six strand cotton embroidery floss, DMC has a clear advantage. It is soft and pillowy, whereas the Kreinik Braid has the “crunchy” texture I talked of above. The Kreinik produces a noticeably thicker and more sparkly stitch rather than the lower profile and matte finish of the DMC. The backstitches in DMC lie flat and behave well, and the Kreinik backstitches are a little more unruly.

And how do they glow?
14 ct aida comparison dark 0 seconds

They both glow well, but I’ll give the edge to the Kreinik, especially when it comes to the backstitching.

How well does the glow last over time? Here’s the glow after approximately 30 seconds:
14 ct aida comparison dark 30 seconds later

and again after approximately 60 seconds:
14 ct aida comparison dark after 60 seconds

The two are just about equally effective. Please keep in mind that the glow after a minute is more detectable by the human eye than by my camera. The glow is easily seen for much longer than just one minute!

So, after all this review, what would I use? Well, if the white color of the thread in daylight was fine, and I was doing cross stitch or needlepoint in 14-18 count, I’d use the DMC. It really is that much easier to use in those applications. However, if I wanted the stitching to be a color other than white or I was using plastic canvas, I think the Kreinik would be my choice. I would also use the #8 and larger Kreinik Braids and Ribbons in embroidery as couched threads (you can read more about couching here and here).

The DMC is definitely designed to act like six-strand embroidery floss, whereas the Kreinik is designed for a wider range of applications. How both of them are used is up to your creative talents!

Have you used any of these DMC or Kreinik glow in the dark threads? How did you use them and what are your impressions?

Compass Needlepoint Update 3

Once again I’m happy to share more progress on my compass needlepoint project!

compass needlepoint update 2In the last update, I had finished all of the radiating tiles and was ready to start filling in the background and the borders.

 

 

 

Here’s my latest photo – she’s looking gorgeous!compass needlepoint update 3

All of the border tiles are outlined, and I’ve started filling them in as well as the background. The four corners will be the same double stitch as the center circle and the four primary direction tiles. All of the other border blocks will have a different needlepoint stitch.

Compass Needlepoint Project WIP #6aHere you can see a bit more detail of the individual stitches. At the top, I’ve used Cashmere stitch worked diagonally. Next one down on the left is the Parisian stitch, and the Fern stitch below that.

I’m using the Hungarian stitch with ivory thread in the background of the center. It’s lovely, but it is really challenging to keep the pattern flowing in the tight areas between the blocks of color!

Compass Needlepoint Project WIP #6bFrom the top of this photo you can see the Brick Cashmere stitch, the Oblique Slav stitch and the Byzantine stitch. I had to add an extra element to the Oblique Slav section as the stitch with the thread I’m using didn’t cover the canvas quite enough. It still looks great, though!

 

 

 

 

I’m still very happy that I have slightly blended the colors, mixing 5 strands of the main colors with one strand of contrasting colors. I did this to better represent the speckled color and texture of the original tiles and to add a little visual interest. This looks good in the radiating tiles, but I think it looks even better in these border blocks.

The next step is to just keep filling in the background and occasionally take a break to have some fun filling in the border blocks with interesting stitches. I would LOVE to have her done by the end of this year (2015) as I have some other very cool needlepoint projects ready to stitch. However, this one has to get finished first!

The previous updates (Update 1 and Update 2) have info on the inspiration for this pattern – a patio tile pattern at the beautiful Cuq en Terrasses hotel near Toulouse, France. Take a look!

Double Stitch Needlepoint Tutorial

couching doneDouble stitch needlepoint is very attractive for filling areas in both needlepoint and cross stitch projects. I’ve used it in two projects thus far, my fun (and free!) Denver Broncos cross stitch tutorial,

 

 



Compass Tile WIP #4aand again in my Compass Needlepoint project.

 

 

 

 

It’s a lovely stitch and it can be executed horizontally (as I will present below and as in the photos above) or vertically – it makes no difference as the stitches are worked the same. However, executing it presents some interesting challenges – challenges that this tutorial will address. Let’s start at the beginning…

In diagrams, you’ll see the basic instructions for the double stitch as follows:

double stitch needlepoint tutorial - figure 1Work the long cross stitches (in blue) first as shown in Figure 1b, up through the canvas at 1, down through the canvas at 2, up at 3, down at 4, etc.

Then go back and fill in the small cross stitches (in pink) as shown in Figure 1c, again up at 1, down at 2, up at 3, down at 4, etc.

 

fig2The second column will be worked from bottom to top, and the third column will be worked from top to bottom again. With that in mind, the first three columns of long cross stitches will be stitched in the order shown in Figure 2.

 

 

 

fig3Then the first three columns of small cross stitch will be stitched in the order shown in Figure 3.

 

 

 

 

 

In a square or rectangular area, there will be areas on the edges of the rows that will need coverage (shown in yellow).

fig4If it’s one stitch, depending on the weight of floss or wool used, these can be covered either with one stitch (in blue) in Figure 4a
or a small cross stitch in Figure 4b (in the diagrams that follow below, you’ll see that I chose to show the single stitch in Figure 4a purely for simplicity’s sake).

If the area on the edge that needs coverage is two stitches, create a two stitch long stitch as shown in Figure 4c.

The double stitch gets more challenging in areas that are not square or rectangular.

fig5Use the area in Figure 5 as an example. It’s similar to some of the areas in my Compass Tile project. I had a heck of a time wrapping my brain around how to tackle this, and I even put the project on hold for a while until I figured out this approach.

 

 

fig6On your pattern, draw the location of the small cross stitches as I did in pink in Figure 6. This will be an invaluable guide. Go ahead and stitch these small cross stitches using the same order of stitching as shown in Figure 3 above.

 

 

 

[What follows is especially important when the small cross stitch and long cross stitch are different colors.]

fig7From here, you need to consider the long stitches column by column, AND define what makes a column. With the double stitch, columns look like they do in Figure 7, shown in alternating in gold and gray. Essentially, the long stitches will play hopscotch over the existing small cross stitches while also filling in the extra one stitch and two stitch long stitches on the edges at the same time.

This will make more sense as you work through the next few Figures below.

fig8Let’s say we approach this area working from the left to the right. Then if we stitch the first column from top to bottom, the second column will be stitched from bottom to top, third column top to bottom, etc.

Starting from the left, the first column (gold) will only needs one stitch (in blue) as shown in Figure 8.

fig9The second column (gray), worked from bottom to top, will need a single stitch, two full long cross stitches and a two stitch long stitch as shown in Figure 9. Stitch the full long cross stitches and two stitch long stitch in the same order as they were shown above in Figure 2.

 

 

fig10The third (gold) column, worked from top to bottom, will need a single stitch, three full long cross stitches, and another single stitch as shown in Figure 10.

 

 

 

 

fig11The fourth (grey) column, worked from bottom to top, will need a single stitch, three full long cross stitches, and another single stitch as shown in Figure 11.

 

 

 

 

fig12Continue working your long stitches, serpentine-ing up and down as you work from left to right until your area is filled in as shown in Figure 12.

You’ll notice that the directions of the single stitches at the top and bottom and left and right are different. That’s just my preference – you could have them all go the same direction, or make them cross stitches as shown above in Figure 4b.

I hope this helps you use this beautiful double stitch in future needlepoint and cross stitch projects!

Compass Needlepoint Update 2

I’m happy to share more progress on my compass needlepoint project!

compass needlepoint update 1On the last update, I had outlined and partially filled in all of the first ring of radiating tiles and had completed the double stitch in the primary direction (NSEW) tiles.

 

 

 

After finishing up our travels last summer, I was able to start working on this project again, and I’m SO pleased with the progress thus far:compass needlepoint update 2

All of the radiating tiles are complete! Here you can see the first, innermost ring in the three darkest colors, the second ring in three medium colors, and the third, outermost ring in the two lightest colors.compass needlepoint update 2 detail

Now you can see all of the colors that will be used in this project. There is the dark grey and dark greyish blue color of the primary direction tiles. Then there are the chocolate brown, rusty brown, and muddy brown of the first ring. The second ring has lighter shades of the chocolate brown and the rusty brown plus a dark gold. The third ring has a lighter gold color and a very light rust, nearly peach color.

You can also see that I have slightly blended the colors, mixing 5 strands of the main colors with one strand of contrasting colors. I did this to better represent the speckled color and texture of the original tiles and to add a little visual interest. I must admit that this looks better than I had originally imagined – it’s really wonderful in this project.

The next step in this compass needlepoint is to define the edge of this center part of the project and the surrounding border tiles with what I’ll call a “grout line.” After that, I’ll fill in the border tiles using some fun and interesting needlepoint stitches, and then I’ll fill in the entire background of this center section. I can’t wait to see how this tribute to one of our favorite hotels, Cuq-en-Terrasses, turns out – stay tuned!

Update: Progress Update 3 is here!

Persian Needlepoint Kit Ancora Imparo

This Persian needlepoint kit is now available in my Etsy shop!persian needlepoint kit and pattern ancora imparo

“Ancora Imparo” is a quote attributed to Michelangelo, the Italian architect, painter, poet, and sculptor while he was in his 80’s. Roughly translated, it means “I am still learning,” which, in my opinion, is a darn good philosophy, especially from someone as brilliant as Michelangelo.

Ancora Imparo WIP #1I started sketching my first ideas for this pattern back in 2008. I started with the alphabet pattern which is based on the letters in a William Morris tapestry. I really dove into the detailed design of all the other elements in the summer of 2010, and I finally started stitching in August of 2012 [photo to the right is of my first tiny stitch].

 

I had to take several breaks from Ancora Imparo to work on some other, smaller and simpler projects, but finished the stitching on a very happy day in December 2013.Ancora Imparo Framed Detail

Her details are gorgeous – from tiny three stitch flowers up to the big floral elements. Then the green backstitch pulls all the pieces together. I’m just thrilled with how she turned out.

ancora imparo needlepoint hangingShe hangs gracefully over our front door as a reminder to keep learning.

 

 

 

 

 

For those who like the Persian needlepoint design but may not be so keen on the quote, it is also available as a rug design that features a diamond grid in the center with a few floral elements. Both the “Ancora Imparo” design and the rug design are available as patterns onlypersian needlepoint kit and pattern rug design

To anyone interested in this project, I will say that it is challenging and probably better suited to more experienced needlepointers and cross stitchers. In my previous posts on this project (first update, second update, third update, fourth update) you can see more information on how I tackled my “lovely monster at 22-to-the-inch.” She required a lot of persistence, especially with filling in the backgrounds. However, all that persistence paid off, and she’s just amazing.

Now I look forward to seeing who else appreciates a good challenge like this!

New DMC Floss Colors Pattern – Geometric Sampler

This new DMC floss colors pattern is a fun and quick-to-stitch geometric pattern, although it would look great with any of your favorite floss color combinations.new dmc floss colors pattern

At this time, these new flosses can only be purchased in a pack with all 16 colors. I am eagerly awaiting the day when they make them available to purchase separately, but that could be a few years away. The pack is accompanied by a few attractive botanical-themed patterns, but I wanted to make a project where I could see how the colors interact with each other a little more.

I wrote a thorough review of the new colors shortly after the pack was released in 2013. In it, I discuss the colors individually and how the colors fall into the DMC palette.DMC Floss New October 2013

If you read my post, you’ll find that my favorite additions are the purples 3886 and 3887, blues 3890 and 3891, green 3894, and yellow 3889. Within the confines of just this one pattern, my favorites to stitch with were the blues 3890 and 3891, purple 3887, yellow 3889, and, interestingly enough, the beige 3890.

One of the nice things about this project is that it uses about 10% of each skein, leaving plenty of floss to use on other patterns.

This pattern can also be used with any of your favorite color combinations. I have imagined this project with 16 colors of reds, pinks, raspberry, and orange, or exclusively in shades of blue and purple. It would make a stunning little needlepoint project, possibly stitched in petit point and finished into a pincushion. This new DMC floss colors pattern is very fun and could be used in any number of ways!

Have you purchased these new flosses? If so, have you used them in some projects? If so, let me know in the comments – I’d love to see some ways that others have utilized some of these lovely colors…

Compass Needlepoint Update 1

I’m happy to say that I’ve made some great progress on my compass needlepoint project! Last time I posted about this was in January, shortly after I started stitching. Well, despite being on the road since May, I have managed to work on it quite a bit.

The pattern is based on a compass rose made of tile pieces on the patio of a charming hotel in France. The hotel is Cuq en Terrasses in the countryside near Toulouse, and it’s one of our favorite places to stay in the world. I find that one of the great benefits of travel is the nearly endless sources of inspiration for future projects.

Compass Tile WIP #1bIn the last update, I had just begun the double stitched center tile of the pattern.

 

 

 

 

This photo shows the center tile in progress, along with the early stages of the first row of radiating tiles. The double stitch used in the center tile combines a long cross stitch and a small cross stitch, so in this photo you can see I’ve completed all the long XS and have started filling in the small XS.

Compass Tile WIP #2

I outlined each of the radiating tiles and then used whatever floss I had remaining in the needle to start filling in. Once I ran out of floss, I moved on to the next tile. I will go back and fill in the remainder of each tile sometime later.

Here, you get to see the project next to it’s original inspiration!Compass Tile WIP #3

Earlier this summer we were lucky enough to spend a few nights at Cuq en Terrasses. It, as always, was beautiful and charming. I managed to snap a few photos of the project with it’s model in situ.

You can see that I have made the project a little more colorful than the original, but have stayed true to it’s earth tones. At this point I had completed nearly all of the first row of tiles except for the four gray tiles of the primary compass directions.

One of the reasons I stitched the primary direction tiles last is that I was having a tough time trying to figure out how to do the double stitch on them. As I have discovered through this project, double stitch works great on a square area. However, in a slightly irregular shape, it turned into quite a challenge. At some point I will write an entire separate post about how I tackled the situation…

Although once I did tackle those primary direction tiles, WOW!compass needlepoint update 1

The first ring of radiating tiles are all outlined and partially filled in, except for the NSEW tiles which are completed.Compass Tile WIP #4a

Here you can see the three colorways of brown flosses I chose for this first ring. There’s a chocolate brown, a rusty brown, and a muddy brown. You can also see that I have slightly blended the colors, mixing 5 strands of the darker colors with one strand of lighter colors. I did this to better represent the speckled color and texture of the original tiles and to add a little visual interest. The lighter colors will show up again in the outer rings of tiles as well.

You can also see the two colors I used in the primary directional tiles. The long XS are in a dark grey, while the short XS are in a dark greyish blue color. When I was choosing colors for this project, I thought the blue would make a nice visual compliment to all the earth tones without contrasting too much.

Because of our travel, I have put this project aside for a little while. However, I really look forward to continuing my work on this compass needlepoint!

[Update: More progress as of May 2015!]

[Another update: How to tackle the double stitch!]