Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Amazing Collaboration Among Friends

Here's a late addition to our haul from the TNNA Baltimore market a few weeks ago. We were excited to come upon a couple of complementary designs created by a needlepoint supergroup: Suzanne Howren, Anthony Minieri, Beth Robertson, and Meredith Willett. Does it get any better than this?

They tell how they came up with these two charted needlepoint designs in a very entertaining story on the first page of the pattern. The gist of it is, they created 24 layered stitch patterns round-robin style, with each designer adding on to each other's base stitches. Then they put them together in two crazy-quilt canvaswork pieces that turned into remarkable stitch samplers. Just look!

This is Creek Music.

And this is St. Leonard's Dance.

Both designs include eight colorways based on an overdyed silk floss: Silk N' Colors, Gloriana Silk, or Waterlilies. The other threads include Bella Lusso, Felicity's Garden, Needlepoint Inc. Silk, Planet Earth Stranded, Silk Lamé Braid, Silk Lamé Braid Petite, Splendor, Treasure Braid, and Vineyard Silk (Impressions if you're doing it on Congress Cloth). They embellished it with either Mill Hill Magnifica Beads or Sundance Size 14 beads.

When done on 18-ct canvas, the design size is 14" x 14". On 24-ct Congress Cloth, it's 11.5" x 11.5". They've included a design outline to be enlarged and transferred to your cloth.

So what are you waiting for? Check them out by clicking on the links above!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Summer's Last Fling!

Kathy Rees has been designing up a storm this summer and released several beautiful new designs in Baltimore last weekend.

First up is "Summer Logs," her take on a log cabin quilt design in charted needlepoint, using the bright colors of summer's bounty.

This really does look like a quilt to me. Do you need a closer look at those thread colors? Here you go!

What's even better than all those luscious colors? They're all Caron Collection Watercolours! I just love stitching with these threads. They're so easy to use. And the size of this design makes it perfect to take along with you in your travels. At 9.25" x 9.25" and stitched on a 13" x 13" piece of 18-ct mono canvas, it's easy to tuck into your tote bag as you dash out the door.

I think Kathy has outdone herself with "Pandora's Boxes." This fascinating stitch sampler is in the style of her Rainforest designs. It's also a whopping 16" x 20" on 18-ct mono canvas.

Kathy used Caron Collection Watercolours and Waterlilies, DMC #5 Perle Coton, Gentle Art Sampler Threads, ThreadworX Overdyed #8 Metallic Braid, and Crescent Colours Belle Soie to great effect. And she's provided eight colorways in addition to the original Peacock shown above.

We've just shown the four Watercolours threads on which Kathy based each colorway, and the canvas is sandstone, white, or eggshell, depending on the colorway (we just shot them all on the same piece of canvas for convenience). The Waterlilies in each matches the colorway name and the rest of the threads are all pulled from these threads. Scarlet Thread is offering this as a Kit on Demand, so shipping follows in 2 to 3 weeks. I'm torn between Appalachia and Sherwood Forest, two of my favorite Watercolours.

Rounding out our harvest from the show in Baltimore is "Carnival."

This design is the third in Kathy's Rio Trio of the Destination Series, which includes "Rio" and "Samba." Like "Summer Logs," it's a fairly portable project for the stitcher on the go. The design is 5.5" x 10" on a 10" x 14" piece of 18-ct mono canvas. This one uses many of the same ThreadworX Overdyed Vineyard Silks as its compatriots, with some new ones spicing it up, and uses the same white and black Vineyard Silk Classics for the border.

So what do you find calling to you? Be sure to check out the Needle Delights section of scarletthread.com to see what other temptations you can find.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's Another Tequila Sunrise

Sing along with us! I just know that's what Debbie Rowley sang while she was stitching her newest release, "Happy Hour." We picked this one up in Baltimore on Saturday and had a lovely chat with her about her work and her busy, busy life. She seems to be on the go all the time, at shows, at her mystery retreat, and next at EGA's National Seminar in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Phew! I'm exhausted just thinking about it. But she says she has some well-deserved time off coming up after that. Plus, she gets to be one of the crowd at Seminar and can just stitch, learn, relax, and catch up with old friends.

So I guess you want to see this "Happy Hour"?

Doesn't this just make you smile? Wait, look at the threads now.

Are you smiling now? You just have to be! I took the threads to my stitching group last night, and everyone just oohed and ahhed when they saw them. Stitch this tasty charted needlepoint design, and it will always be 5 o'clock wherever you display it in your home. Debbie used a wide variety of threads: cottons, silks, metallics, rayons, and more!

But that's not all we picked up while we were visiting Debbie. She recently released "Red Herring," the latest design in her series of stitch variation studies suitable for beginners.

This time she's putting the herringbone stitch through its paces in a band sampler. We were struck by the possibilities to make this your own through color choice. We could see it in any number of monochromatic colorways with contrasting canvas colors. I think I might choose to make it a rainbow-colored sampler, or maybe just a couple of coordinated, extremely variegated overdyes.

Be sure to look at all of Debbie's canvaswork designs in our DebBee's Designs section on scarletthread.com. I think she has something there with your name on it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Threedles at TNNA Market

TNNA's Fall Needlework Market brought Kurdy Biggs to the East Coast, and we're so glad she came! It was great to meet her in person, and me without my camera. Dawn and I had a great visit with her, talking about the success she's had in such a short time, her new releases, and what she's working on now.

It's hard to believe that it's been less than two years since we first came across Threedles Needlework Design while perusing the online Needlework Show in the fall of 2010. Kurdy has produced so many stunning designs and attracted what seem to be legions of fans. She's won awards for all of her designs at needlework shows throughout the country. And she topped these off by winning the Hilton Stitch Award at ANG's National Seminar in Philadelphia the last week of August (along with another, I think; I really need to ask Kurdy).

Speaking of fans, we were bowled over by her latest design, released in Baltimore.

Introducing "Log Cabin Fan" in the Marseille colorway. This beautiful piece is just 6.5" x 6.5" and is stitched on a 12" x 12" piece of 18-ct mono canvas. The monochromatic color scheme is lovely, and the photo just doesn't do it justice. We've ordered the supplies and will have a picture of all the threads and canvas up soon. If you haven't tried one of Kurdy's designs, you might want to take the plunge with this one. It uses a couple of Kreinik #8 Braids, a couple of Caron Collection Soie Cristales, a Gloriana 4mm silk ribbon, and a Rainbow Gallery Sparkle! Braid. That's it. No beads! Kurdy decided to get her certification from NAN, and this is an alternative colorway of the piece she submitted (and doesn't have back yet).

This striking bag displays the Andalusia colorway of "Log Cabin Fan." I really love these colors! Once again, Kurdy's achieved a stunning effect using just a few threads: a Carrie's Creation Silk Floss, a couple of Kreinik #4 Braids, a Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays, and a Thread Gatherer Silk 'n Colors. We have the threads ordered and will have a picture up as soon as everything gets here.

Finally, the original colorway, Tuscany, which we didn't get to see. Have you noticed that Kurdy's use of color makes each of these pieces so different, yet the design is the same? This colorway uses a couple of Kreinik #16 Braids, a couple of Planet Earth Silk Flosses, and a Silk & Ivory. At this time, we're not offering this as a kit. But you never know; it may turn up at a later date.

While we were admiring all her beautifully finished pieces, we were quite taken with the bags that were made for a couple. The "Log Cabin Fan" above is one. The other was a large tote bag showcasing one of the "Sands of Time" colorways. (I'm not sure which one, but I think Calypso. Gee, I wish I had taken my camera along.) I'll be asking Kurdy to send me a picture of it. It was a great alternative to framing a piece; and I think in this case, it showed the design off much better.

In time for the holiday stitching season, Kurdy released her "Christmas 2012" ornament.

This is cleverly executed and seems easy to finish. Kurdy set it up so that it's stitched as one piece, folded on the borders, and then stitched closed on the outside of the ornament. She gives complete instructions on how to do this. What makes this ornament even better? It's a great way to use up your stash. Kurdy provides three colorways, each of which uses one Kreinik #4 Braid and one floss, either cotton or silk. That's it! The canvas size is 12" x 14". I was thinking of maybe even just making flat ornaments, using a different square for the front and the back. I think the possibilities are endless.

Before we left, Kurdy went into the back and came out with the design she's working on now. We fell in love! We can't reveal much, but just let me say it's very different and will allow the stitcher to make it her or his own in so many, many ways.

So check out all those links and see what you just can't live without! And check back tomorrow to see what else we found at the Baltimore Market.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Purple, Diamonds, and Butterflies

After what's seemed like an awfully long time, we've received a bounty of new canvaswork designs for you. Laura Perin, Debbie Rowley, and Kurdy Biggs have been very busy this summer, and we're delighted with the results.

First up is "Royal Pavillion," by Laura J. Perin, a regal addition to her Sampler Collection.

We just love the colors. Laura has based the color of this design on Watercolours Sheherezade, pulling out the light, medium, and dark shades of purple and accenting it with gold braid and ribbon floss. She's also suggested four other colorways: blue, aqua, red, and green that use alternative colors of the Watercolours and #5 Perle Coton. Here are the threads for her original colorway as shown:

Debbie Rowley cools things down with her "Diamond Delight 10," which she has said is the last of this series! And what a lovely design:

Aren't those icy blues beautiful? Debbie's added an optional flourish of tulle illusion to this design that gives it a special look if you're so inclined. Here's what you'll get in your kit:

We like that dash of pale green from the metallics and the Watercolours.

Last, but certainly not least, is Kurdy Biggs's "Mariposa," a striking butterfly design that's captured our interest.

As you may have anticipated, Kurdy's offering this design in two additional colorways:

Each one is stunning! We're kitting up the Black and Rose Blush colorways. The photos show most of the threads but not Kurdy's trademark beads, expected any day now.

Phew! I hope you'll agree, the wait has been worth it.

But this isn't all! We'll be adding the new items we got at this past weekend's Baltimore show all week long. So check back every day to see what's new and exciting from Threedles (yes, there's more!), DebBee's Designs (more here too!), Needle Delights, and four fabulous designers who've collaborated on a couple of crazy-quilt stitch samplers.