Monday, April 8, 2013

What's New, You Ask?

It's been a while, so I won't try to recap everything that's come out since Scarlet Thread closed its doors. I'll start off with the latest designs from Kurdy Biggs at Threedles Needleart Design, and you won't be disappointed.

First, you may recall that I teased you with a new design that she was working on when Dawn and I were at the TNNA tradeshow in Baltimore last fall. She brought her frame out of the back and tantalized us with something fresh and exciting, but we could say no more. The cat's out of the bag now, direct from the horse's mouth (how many animal clichés can I pile up here), and it's the bees knees!

Presenting, Pangea, in three delectable colorways:

This is Autumn Leaves, on Santa Fe Sage canvas. I love the warmth of those threads!

Tranquil Seas has two of my favorite colors and is stitched on Lilac canvas. Delicious!

Finally, Desert Twilight is stitched on either Rose Blush canvas or Nature's Palette's Rose Quartz canvas. It's a lighter pink ground than is showing up in this picture, but I couldn't seem to lighten the background without lightening everything else.

I have to admit, I'm quite taken with this design. Just look at it. The opportunities for making it one's own are numerous.

First, you can just toss all the colorways and easily come up with your own, using your two favorite color families (provided you can make them work together). Basically, there are light and dark shades of the two primary colors for each of the types of thread used. You could even decide to stitch it from your stash and make each of the diamonds a different color, sort of a crazy quilt approach. I couldn't resist and pulled threads for my own colorway, thus making this my very first Threedles project. (I've never had the time to even think of trying to stitch one of Kurdy's intricate designs.) Here's what I came up with:

I was inspired by that overdyed thread at the bottom, Silk 'N Colors Spotted Cobra. I may try to work that overdye in somehow. There's also a bit of purple in it that I may try to sneak in as well. I have more threads than I actually need here (I think) because I'm not sure how they'll all be used and play together. I'm planning on stitching it on a brown canvas (that's a brown piece of paper I picked up from Michael's, or was it AC Moore?), which means I may dabble in painting my own canvas for stitching. Yikes!

Another way to make it your own is by choosing how many of the diamond tiles you're going to stitch. You may want to do one, two, three, or all of them! I haven't decided yet, but I think I'll go whole hog (to add one more animal cliché) and do all of them. One would make a nice insert for a trivet or tray. All four would make a nice bolster pillow, because there's always room for one more pillow on one's bed.

I haven't mentioned all the beads used in this design. Kurdy doesn't disappoint, using her trademark nearly-300 beads to embellish Pangea. Here's another place to switch things up. Me, I'm not a bead person. Among the suggestions I've received for a substitute for beads is knots. You could do a knot in one of the metallics for a bit of bling. I doubt I'll do that though, because I don't really like knots either. Try as I might, I can't get them to work. So my solution? I may just do a cross stitch using a metallic thread. If you use the right size thread, it can look like a bead. Really.

You're probably asking, "Well, where can I get this divine chart and instructions?" So glad you asked. You can find stores that carry Kurdy's designs on her website. Easy-peasy. Now for the threads and canvas. I found all of my threads at two local shops: Needlewoman East in Falls Church, VA, and Bedecked and Beadazzled in Lutherville, MD (outside Baltimore and a better-than-an-hour drive away). If you don't have a shop nearby, there are several shops that have online stores as well with huge selections of threads. I always check Needle in a Haystack first because of their extensive inventory, and they also carry Zweigart canvas. Fireside Stitchery also has lots and lots of threads and canvas. I mention these because there's a good chance that you'll find everything you need to complete this project at either one of them. They may even carry Threedles patterns. It's worth a look.

So I'm happy as a clam, ready to try my hand at customizing my canvas, then getting down to stitching. I'll let you know how it's coming along, but it may be a while before I actually place the first stitch. I have a lot of projects waiting for me to finish them up. But that's the subject for another post.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What have I been up to?

I posted this as a reply to a comment on my last post before closing Scarlet Thread, then decided that it would make a good update on the status of "It's a Stitchy Thing" and what I've been doing with myself.

First, I miss the give and take I had with all of Scarlet Thread's customers. Sigh.

On to the update.

I've been reflecting, mulling over my options, trying to discern my next pathway. I'll be back to blogging in the very near future. One of the things I've been contemplating is how to handle Jeff Kulick's designs (consulting with Jeff himself). I've had orders that need to be filled, and just how I'm going to do that ongoing is the sticking point.

I plan to feature what's new in the counted/charted needlepoint world and have in my hot little hands Kurdy Biggs's newest, "Pangea," which is quite lovely. I've collected the threads for the colorways and even made up my own. (That would make this design my very first Threedles project!) So look for that very soon.

I hope that I can convince designers to send me information on their new designs so that I can pass that news along to you with as many pictures as possible of all the pretties you need to create them yourself.

I'm thinking of merging my "Confessions of a Remedial Stitcher" blog with this one, so it will also be a report on my progress (sometimes lack of progress) on the assorted WIPs and UFOs I've accumulated while being a shopowner. I hope to finish several projects this year that have been languishing. And of course, I've signed up for two cyber classes, one of which I'm already behind on ("Mystique" beckons me from across the room). Hahahaha.

So it appears that I'll be very busy, doesn't it? Who has time for work with all that on my plate? Which means retirement from the treadmill of a daily job. I won't miss the pressures that always seem to go along with that. Since I've worked from home for most of my life, that just means that the computer is no longer the office but back to being a window on the world and a source of entertainment and learning. I may even finally get around to designing some needlework again. Wait, now I've added something else to my list of things I want to do. Yes, I'll be very busy, won't I.

All good, I believe. And to close, I just have to say: