Thursday, December 31, 2015

Walking the Water's Edge FINISHED

Walking the Water's Edge by Diane Herrmann is finally finished.  I started this June 2014.  It was a class through Cyberpointers.  I managed to get all the Bargello done fairly quickly, but the eyelets - not so much!  I'm not a big fan of eyelets.  Oh, I like the way they look, just don't like stitching them.  Anyway, I pulled this out a month or so ago and decided I would finish it before the end of the year.  Whew, just made it.
A friend found the starfish charm for me, as I didn't plan on doing one in Bullions, since I've never been able to make one successfully.  Thank you!  Sure made the finishing easier!!
Someday I'll have it framed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mini Mystery Monday #6

One of my ongoing projects for 2016 is to stitch up some of the MANY patterns I have accumulated for small things.  When I get 6 or so done, I will ship them off to my finisher.  They will become ornaments, door hangers, standups, etc.  These small projects will give me something to work on when I just can't stand to handle one of the huge projects I have going!

This is the first.  It is one of Laura Perin's Mystery Monday projects from 2012.  I messed with the pattern and the colors quite a bit.  LOL!  I changed the corner and center stitches, left off a border, used more metallics, totally changed the colors.  It's OK, but not quite what I'd envisioned.  The Watercolours I used could have been more vibrant.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a very Stitchy Christmas.

Twelve Days of Christmas Bargello

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

J&M Bargello Pillow

The J&M Bargello pillow is back from my finisher and has been delivered to our friends.  Their response:  "Very awesome!!"

The pillow is about 12" square and my husband helped pick the backing fabric.  It is an upholstery "velvet" with some texture to it.  Side view below

Friday, December 18, 2015

Finished Letters

Of the Gardener's Alphabet letters that I have stitched, the S and 2 Rs are now finished!  The S is a box top (Sudberry House box). 
The aqua R is framed in an Aaron Bros. frame.
The red R is in a trivet from Herrschners (I think).
They are all Christmas gifts.
I'm now done with letters for awhile!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Gardener's Alphabet S

I think this is the last alphabet letter I will do.  This is the S from the Gardener's Alphabet.  These patterns are available on my website.  I have added this stitched S as an alternate colorway to the instructions for S. 

I used Threadworx for the S and background and the letter is outlined with Kreinik.  I also used the Kreinik for the cross stitches in the Criss Cross Hungarian.  The background balloon stitch is light coverage, only 2 strands of Threadworx.

This will be a box top.  A gift for my housekeeper.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

J&M Bargello Pattern

Merry Christmas!  Well, almost anyway.  I have just added a new Free Pattern to my website.  The J&M Bargello pattern from the previous post.  Just the basic pattern, not the whole project.  It can be used vertically or horizontally (as pictured), alone or repeated.  Even worked as a 4-way as I did.  Have fun.

Friday, December 4, 2015


Not quite a month ago, I realized I needed a special Xmas gift for a special couple that we care about.   In the past, I made them a box and when they were married I made a tray in the same colors as the box.  So I thought it would be a good time to make them a pillow in those same colors.  Of course it had to be Bargello if I was to get it done in time!  And it had to be an original design.  Yikes!

First I grabbed my file of Bargello Ideas and in a couple of days I had the design roughed out, canvas cut and some threads pulled.  Unfortunately, most of the thread is a nice wool tapestry thread that is no longer made

I just had the bare outlines worked out and set to stitching.  All went well until I got to the background.  I started with the parts in between the diamond shapes, using the Watercolours that I had used touches of already.  When I tried that for the interior background, it looked awful!!!!  Way too bright and in your face.

I spent several days trying to figure out a background, ripping out that interior at least 3 times, and finally settled on what you see.  Except I had not looked to see how much thread I had left.  I worked the top background, keeping track of my thread.  Oh boy, I discovered I only had enough to do the top and bottom sections.  Back to the yarn cupboard.  

I tried several things, including the browns (talk about bright!) and some other brands of thread (where did this blue come from anyway?!) and finally determined that I could do the diamond framework in a different shade in the same blue family, but would have to use something else for the fill.  Finally tried a darkish gray and decided it would have to do. 

In the end, I think it turned out pretty good.  I hope I can get a better picture when it comes back from the finisher.  Fortunately, my finisher is a good friend and she said she could get it back to me in time for Xmas.  Whew!!

Friday, November 27, 2015


The little Stitch-N-Zip bag is finished!  This is the second thing I decided to finish so I could start new things with a clear conscience!  
I'm pleased with the way it turned out, and I used up some stash.  
I just need to line the inside and I can use it.  Yay!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bargello Threads

Some time ago, Melita ( ) posted about threads that work well for Bargello (December 16, 2013) on 18-mesh.  Ever since I've been trying to get a larger sampling put together to post to my website.  

Well, the samples are done, but I've not been able to figure out a way to get them on my website without waaaay more work than I want to do!  So, I'm posting it here, FYI.  I hope this will be of use somewhere/somehow.  These samples are on 18-count canvas and are mostly threads that cannot be stranded.

Of course, there are many other threads that will work.  If you choose stranded threads, there are many more choices available, including all the cotton & silk flosses and crewel wools.  They must be laid carefully.  Number of strands needed will vary by brand and desired coverage.  Many of the ribbon type threads, such as Rainbow Gallery's FyreWerks and Neon Rays, and the ribbons by YLI work well.  They also need to be laid carefully, sometimes on the back as well as the front.  1/8 ribbon is generally too wide, 1/16 works well.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Lahaina Breezes, FINISHED

Lahaina Breezes, by Laura Perin, is finished.

I "need" to start a new Bargello and decided I had to finish a couple of things first.  Ha!  This one was close so I persevered.  I think the changes that I made work well.

I really need to get to the frame shop one of these days. There is a pretty big pile of things that need framing!  We won't hold our breath though.  No framing will get done at least until after Xmas.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bargello Information

This is an "information" post!  I have added a new page to my website:  "Bargello Information".  There is all kinds of stuff that is helpful to know for stitching Bargello needlepoint, some basics about threads, canvas, marking techniques, color, and a few miscellaneous odds & ends.
Take a look!  Maybe you'll find something useful.

The picture is of some greeting cards I made many years ago.  Just basic Bargello patterns.

Friday, November 6, 2015


One day, I thought I'd like to have a small zippered bag to use when I don't want a purse, but need something to hold a few necessities.  Not an evening bag.  I thought I had a plain Stitch-n-Zip bag that I could design something for.  When I went to pull it out, I discovered I had one with a printed design!  OK, I'll just stitch that.  No thinking!  Yay!

WRONG.  First I had to change the colors.  Of course.  I had to keep the blue because the zipper and backing are blue, but I changed the dark blue to Navy.  I changed the other colors to be more "me".  Because I have a lot of it, I pulled Silk & Ivory.  The gold is an old "chainette" type metallic that's been in stash forever, so I decided to use it.  It is pretty without overwhelming.

I started stitching.  Now, look at this design - nice diagonal lines, huh?  WRONG AGAIN!  All those "diagonal" lines are not on the true diagonal.  No way to get smooth lines.  If you follow the printed design, you will get jagged lines.  That will look stupid.  IMHO!!  You can see how much it gets off, quickly, if you look at the thin gold line that starts just to the left of top center.  I think by the time it gets to the other edge, it will be clear out of the painted printed gold.  But I can't stand it if the lines aren't smooth, so I will stick to the true diagonal no matter what.  Grrrrr.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Oh boy!  I'm doing a Happy Dance!  The Gardener's Alphabet is up and running on my website.  I'm so excited to see it published.
Each letter is a separate pattern, 10-11 pages, and sold separately.
Please take a look!  It is the first pattern on the (new) Counted Needlepoint page. 
I hope you will find a letter or two that you like!  They are fun to stitch and are great stash busters!  Except for the background, you don't need a whole skein of hardly any of the colors.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lahaina Breezes, Progress

 I started Lahaina Breezes, by Laura Perin, several months ago as something different to work on that didn't require a lot of me.  Well, it is still going on, but I have accomplished quite a lot.  

However, it has sometimes required more of me than I wanted!  Don't they always?

Initially, I wanted to get started right away, so I tried to use threads from stash.  I was mostly successful.  I changed some threads, but nothing especially earth shattering.  I used FyreWerks instead of Ribbon Floss.  I had to buy a couple of skeins of pearl cotton.  I changed one of the Watercolours.  Once I got going, I decided I do not care for the flowers and the feathers in this design.  Soooooo, I redesigned those sections.  Here's what it looks like right now:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Purrfect Spring Finished

Purrfect Spring is finished.  The final pieces were the top part of the wall and the window sill.  I'm glad to have this done.  I don't know what I'll do with it, but for now it will just go in the Finished pile.
Now I have 2 months to decide if I want to do the Stitching Games again next year!  I'm leaning towards NOT.  While it is a good way to get something done, I don't really like having to jump around stitching from the clues.  I prefer a more orderly style.

Friday, October 9, 2015

It's my blog and I'll rant if I want to!

Yup, I'm gonna rant.  Don't know if I've ever done that before here, but now's the time.

As most of you know, I sell my designs on my website.  Each design has two prices shown, one for the pdf version delivered via email, and one for the printed version shipped via USPS.  Printed has to be more:  paper, ink, plastic bag, hello?

I recently received an order and PayPal payment for a Bargello Techniques book and 2 of my patterns.  I carefully checked to make sure the amount paid was for the pdf version of the patterns (the book has to be mailed as it is too big to email).  I emailed the customer with the two patterns attached and told her I would be mailing the book via Priority Mail (she had paid for the shipping).  

A couple of days later, I received an email reply asking if I could send the patterns with the book because she didn't have a printer or Adobe.  Ok, right off I thought, no printer?  And no Adobe?  Adobe is a free download and is used for all sorts of things.  Hmmmm. 
Well, I emailed her again right away pointing out that in order to send the patterns with the book there would be a balance due for the printed versions plus a little bit additional shipping and sent her a PayPal invoice to make payment easy.  I also suggested that perhaps she had a friend who could print them for her.

A WEEK later, she emailed me with "What balance due?  I already paid for the patterns." 

I explained again and requested payment, again.  Well, we were getting ready to go on a short trip, so a few days later I sent her a PayPal reminder with a note to that effect.  Nada.

I decided to go ahead and send the book and the patterns, hoping that she would send the additional funds.  Nada.

So, OK, $5 isn't much.  It's the principle of the thing!  Yes, this is the first negative experience I've had selling my patterns online.  I'm very sorry there had to be even one.  

Thanks for listening.  I feel better now.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Gardener's Alphabet

Back in the 80s I used to do charting for Needlepoint News.  One of the big projects I did was Jim Williams' Gardener's Alphabet Rug.  All 26 letters, each with a flower starting with that letter.  Each was a square of a rug.

Recently, I got in touch with Williams and he gave me permission to redo the charts on the computer, color coded to DMC (instead of Paternayan), for 18-count, and to offer the designs for sale on my website.  Each letter will be a separate pattern.  (I'm not doing it as a rug.)  This is counted, so it is suitable for cross stitch as well as needlepoint.

Well, this turned out to be quite a big job, but it is nearly finished.  I have an army of stitchers piloting for me and I hope to have all of the letters ready and up on my website by the end of October.  When they are ready, I'll announce it here on blog.

This H is one that I did on 20-count canvas with DMC floss and a few stitches of Kreinik.

Friday, September 25, 2015

2012 Mystery Retreat FINISHED!

Finally, the 2012 Mystery Retreat piece is finished.  I added a cabachon to the center and surrounded it with a large Jessica in Kreinik braid.  Then I just did some random stitches to fill in the areas on the sides of the cabachon.  It turned out pretty good.
Then I finished the bottom section.  Once I got the parts that use tulle and the memory thread, I wasn't happy with the amount of open space.  It seemed there was much more in that section which made it out of balance.  So I added some odd squares of Skip Tent in a shade just slightly darker than the canvas.  I think it helped.
I don't know when I'll get around to framing it, but I'll show you when I do!

Friday, September 18, 2015

18th Century Sampler, Progress #1

Here we go, into the sampler unknown!  
I received the instruction book and couldn't wait to get started!  The book is terrific, with great diagrams and photos of everything.  It will be a wonderful resource to have.
I have completed 2 squares in the center section.  The one on the right was supposed to have some pulled work, but I don't like to do pulled work.  So I just stitched the little squares without pulling, and then put a bead in each one.  I like it!
Here's another view of that square.  That detail photo is more accurate for color.  It is aquamarina canvas and DMC 959.

Friday, September 11, 2015

2012 Mystery Retreat Progress #6

The major WIP I've been working on is from the 2012 Mystery Retreat.  I know, but it's not the oldest one by a long shot!

I have now completed the top section, and left and right sections.  The center section is done except for the very center, where I was not successful with the stitches used in the pattern.  I have to go back and do something there.  I found a cabachon to go there that is the right color, but it is oval and I don't know if I can make it work.

The bottom section is nearly done.  There are a couple more steps to do that involve using tulle.  That's next on my list and I hope I can do it right!  Or at least close.....  LOL

Friday, September 4, 2015

I am doing SJ Design's 18th Century Sampler, an online class.  This is a real departure for me.  I don't do projects like this!  But from the moment I saw it, I was obsessed with it. Go figure!  I finally just decided to do it.

I have completed all the prework I intend to do, which is the middle row of boxes. It is a reach on this large piece, but I manage!  Some are using Congress Cloth but I'm using 18-count, so it's big (21x22 frame!).  Only a few of us are using color I think.  It is all one color, uses 3 sizes of pearl cotton.   Most folks are using white or ecru.  Looking forward to filling in the boxes.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lahaina Breezes

I have started a new project:  Laura Perin's Lahaina Breezes.  

I don't usually stitch Laura Perin's designs in the sequence that she suggests, and this one is no exception.  

Typically, it is fun to stitch and not too demanding.  I'm working the dividing lines as I go, instead of all at once.  Less counting!

I had most of the required threads in stash and only changed one or two.  It is still basically Perin's colors.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Marbled Circle Finished

Good, the Marbled Circle is finished.  It was kinda fun to stitch, although I got bored with it at the end.  Partly because I just find painted canvases tedious to stitch.  Anyway, I don't know what I'll do with it.  It needs to be blocked, but I'll just file it in the finished file for now.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bad Bargello, Bad Mad Miters

Sometimes a good idea just goes bad; everything does NOT always turn out the way you planned!  

I started this piece to have something "easy" to work on after cataract surgery & before I got my new Rx glasses.  I had already planned it out and chosen the colors.  Well, I can't blame this mess on anything but bad luck and bad choices.

Ok, so learning experience!  What's wrong with this piece?  Several things.  
1) The Bargello pattern I chose for the background is much too large.  2) The triangle is too small for the size of the rectangle in which it rests.  3) The overall color scheme of the background is much too dark.

1) This Mad Miters has 5 centers in the background and 3 in the triangle.  I have used this pattern many times, but in this case it doesn't work.  Because there are 5 centers, the spaces are too small to get enough of the pattern in except in 2 sections.  I had to use a different pattern in the triangle because those spaces were waaaaay too small to even consider that pattern.  
2) In order to work well in a Mad Miters, the triangle must be equilateral, that part is OK.  But it is much too small.  I think it should have been at least an inch taller and an inch wider, 2" would be better, but then it may be too much triangle.  Perhaps a square would work better.
3)  The Watercolours I used as the basis for the background was a lousy choice!  In the skein it appears to be navy and aqua, however, it turns out there is very little aqua, making it mostly navy.  Also, as often happens with very dark shades, it is too thin to cover well on 18.  I originally had planned for the triangle to be more of a chartreuse base, but that looked really terrible and I had to find another Watercolours to work in there.  It isn't too bad, but it is definitely NOT what I was looking for.

Back to the drawing board for a Mad Miters with a triangle in a square or rectangle!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Purrfect Spring, August

August's stitching for Purrfect Spring only took me 2 stitching sessions.  For the Slanted Gobelin window pane dividers.  Used #3 perle cotton.  
I really need a good clue next month to do gray kitty!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Marbled Circle, Progress Report

Here's a progress report on this odd little canvas.  This is an actual photo, better than the scan.  Now that I can work on harder stuff, this project has become "that which I work on when I'm tired of everything else!"

Friday, July 24, 2015

Diamond Delight III Finished

Finally - cataract surgery recovery is complete and I have new glasses.  It was a long haul.  It's so great to be able to see properly again!

Diamond Delight III is finished.  I changed one color and thread, I changed the center.  Otherwise it is as designed by Debbie Rowley.  Oh, I think I changed the bead color too.  There are a lot of beads, but they don't show up very well in the picture.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Purrfect Spring, July

The Stitcherie challenge for July is finished.  Got a lot done this month as they used a new type of clue, which had an option of being 3 clues!  I took that option and completed the wall beneath the cats and the multicolored cat.  Cat is all Very Velvet and the wall is Sleepy Oblong Cross (I think, something like that) in Rennaisance Designs Plain & Fancy, which is a thread I will NOT use again - it is polyester, but it came with the canvas and there was lots of it.  Lesson learned.

Friday, July 10, 2015


I finally got some things framed:

Twister, finished 2012, this piece will hang in our entryway along with other black/white/red things.

Mystery Retreat, Las Vegas, 2009, this huge project has been finished for 5 years!.  I had it stuck on my wall with tacks in Vegas, but now it is finally properly framed.  I actually use this piece as a stitch sampler and refer to it often!

My version of Jean Hilton's Puzzle Purse, my "Puzzle Piece".  The Puzzle Purse was a Cyberpointers' SAL in 2013.  I did not want a purse, so reworked the design area into a square.  It was quite a challenge, which was Jean Hilton's intention!  I'm pleased to have it framed now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Marbled Circle

About a month ago, I had cataract surgery and after a few days I decided I HAD to stitch even though my vision wasn't very good!  So I looked for something in my stash that would be "easy" as I didn't want to work on any of my "important" projects.  

This painted canvas marbled circle I bought in Australia, so it has to have been in my stash 4-5 years.  The label says it is "Individual Marbled Canvas by Alison Snepp and Karma Bains and I bought it at Mosman Needlecraft in Mosman, which is a suburb of Sydney.  I think it is painted, but it could be printed, I can't tell for sure.

First I realized it was on interlock canvas - which I hate!  Then I noticed that the circle wasn't really round, which is one of my pet peeves, so I counted it out and basted a more accurate circle.  There is no such thing as a perfect circle in needlepoint (or cross stitch), but it must at least be symmetrical for me to be able to stand it!  

Since it is interlock canvas (18-count), I decided I'd better stick with floss as just about anything else would be too heavy for the lightweight canvas.  So I'm using almost all overdyed cotton flosses from my stash.  I did have to use some regular DMC floss cause I ran out of the rust overdye and I refuse to buy anything for this canvas.  I am also putting in a little bit of Kreinik metallic to spark it up a bit,  also from stash.

Sorry about the quality of the photo.  It is just a scan and my scanner doesn't really like it when the canvas is on a frame - it just won't sit flat enough so it comes out a bit blurry around the edges.  I am fairly pleased with the piece though.  I only hope I don't find too many missing stitches once I can see again.  I get my new glasses in a week or so.  Hurray!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Pink Bargello, Finished

The pink bargello is finished!
DH cut the back off of the pin I had so it would sit flat on the canvas and I tacked it on with some Kreinik #4 braid.

I just happened to have a pretty little silver frame and it fit perfectly!  Threw away the glass, trimmed the canvas to fit (left about 5 blank threads all around) and stuck it in there.  DONE!

How easy is that?!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Purrfect Spring, May & June

Purrfect Spring got lots of stitching for May & June.  
For May I stitched all of the sky - acres of basketweave in wool..  
For June I did the flowers & grass outside the window.  The flowers are little French knots in pearl cotton and the grass is my version of a slanted, encroaching gobelin with just 2 strands of floss in 2 colors of green. 
Now I have to hope for clues that I can make work for the window frame, the other 2 cats and the ledge & wall they are sitting on.
What are these cats looking at anyway?!.  If they're anything like my cats, they once saw a bird or squirrel out there and are hopeful forevermore.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Studio

Finally, my studio is more or less finished.  There's still some organizing to do, such as arranging books properly and organizing the credenza, but at least there's now a place for everything!  The canvas rolls on top of the chest under the big window will be sold.  The canvas rolls I will be using are IN the chest!
This room was intended to be the living room when the house was built, but we use the family room and so this room became my Studio/office.  It is very large, but no closet, so I had to come up with lots of storage solutions.  I think it's working now!
I have 4 DMC cabinets & they hold all of my DMC floss.
I have 3 white cabinets that hold most of the rest of my threads.  These cabinets are by Chandler Creations and are intended for the scrapbooking market.  The 1" drawers are perfect for Kreinik spools and the 3.5" drawers are just right for Rainbow Gallery cards.  There are also 2" drawers.  I have all 3 sizes.  They can be mixed & matched between the cabinets, so it is pretty easy to get the configuration you need.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bees for Denise

We have a friend who is a beekeeper.  She helped us sooooo much during our several moves, packing & unpacking, so I made her a tray.  I was finally able to give it to her last weekend, so now I can post about it.
18-count canvas, mostly Silk & Ivory & 2 Watercolours.  The bees are Kreinik, Very Velvet & FyreWerks.  The initial is Kreinik.  Mostly basketweave.
I am very pleased with how it turned out, and she liked it too!!

Here it is in the tray:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Pink Bargello

I needed something small and easy to work on when company was here, so I started a 5" square Bargello.  
The center will have a silver & pink pin on it, so I first basketweaved a pad for it.
The Bargello pattern is a new one (to me) that I found on line and adapted.  The original was over 6 and I wanted it over 4.  Surprise, that changed the whole thing and it doesn't look much like the original.  
You can't tell very well, but there are 2 shades of the dark pinks.  The centers that I have started are 2 shades of pink plus silver.
I was going to use those same colors, but reversed, to fill the "in between" centers as well, but it made them too prominent.  So, back to the computer to try some other ideas!

Friday, June 5, 2015

2012 Mystery Retreat Progress #5

You have surely forgotten all about this piece!  This year I am trying to finish some WIPs and I decided to pull this one out.  I haven't worked on it much since right after the retreat!

There's still a little "spaghetti" from the parts I worked on at retreat, but most of that is gone.  I have completed the center section except for the very center which I will do later.  The right side section is complete.

Now I'm working on the bottom.  I won't do much more there until the end.  This section has some parts that I don't like and may change; those will have to be done later when I can see the piece as a whole.

It is much prettier in person!  The darkest turquoise is quite intense, but it doesn't photograph well and the metallics don't really show up.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Diamond Delight III - Progress 2

DebBee's Designs "Diamond Delight III".  Started last summer or fall.  
It took me forever to complete all the eyelets, but once that was done it has moved along nicely.  Originally I did not plan to change any of the threads/colors, but that hasn't quite worked out!  
The stitch that was supposed to be in the center didn't work for me.  So I changed it, but used the called for thread.  I plan to put a jewel or beads of some sort in the center of it.
Then the Sprats Heads that fill the box out to the rust color.  Well, I had the proper thread, but I hated it.  The color didn't work for me and it was rayon and that didn't work for me either.  So I changed it to a Kreinik braid and now I like it.  Now to get those corners done!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Linda is Finished

Finally, Linda (by Orna Willis) is finished!  It needed a lot of beads, and I added to it by deciding to do a bead cluster in each of the outside Jessicas.  I also found (in my box of odd things) a crystal bead with an aurora borealis finish to one side - so I put that in the very center.  I like it!  It's very different from any of the colorways shown on the pattern.
Another one to go in the to be framed pile.

Here is a detail so you can better see the beads.  I'm not totally thrilled with the photo, but at least I tried!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New items on website

I have added several new Bargello  items to my website on the Bargello 2 page.  Please take a look!

First up is Bargello Techniques.  This is a 100+ page, spiral bound book.  It was a correspondence course for ANG, but is now available.  

Next is Tulip Tree, which some of you have been asking for.
This is a lovely little 4-way Bargello just right for Spring.  There are 3 colorways given.

Finally, there is Small Diamond, which is a very simple beginner project.