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Monday, June 30, 2008

New Polls have been posted

I am taking a couple of polls. Take a look at the left hand side toward the top of the page to find them. Take a moment to fill out one or both of them. Your views are important.

Northwind Owl Counted Cross Stitch Kit

I have to admit that I've always loved owls. Follow the link below to find this cross stitch pattern to work on:
Friday, June 27, 2008

Make it easy to travel with cross stitch

It’s summer and that means vacations. Needlepoint can be a wonderful and relaxing activity during long hours waiting in airports and riding in a car. Here are some tips, adapted from my book, NEEDLEPOINT TRADE SECRETS to help make stitching on vacation more enjoyable.

Needlepoint in the Car

Car trips are great times for doing needlepoint! The needlepoint you pick should either be worked "in hand" (not on stretcher bars) or small.

Make sure you pack in your project bag scissors, a zipper bag to clean up your orts, threads, instructions, and many extra needles. I can't tell you how many projects got delayed because I lost my only needle.

A car trip is a great place to stitch large areas which use familiar stitches. I often reserve projects like this for trips.

Needlepoint in Hotel Rooms

Hotel rooms usually use lower wattage bulbs and this can make it hard to see. You can pack a 100 watt bulb in your luggage and change it when you get to the room.

Many hotels now have special fixtures which use fluorescent bulbs and you can't do this. If this happens to you, sit near the window during the day to stitch. Using lighter colors or larger mesh also helps.

But to be sure you have enough light, no matter what, get a small project lamp which is battery operated. If you're going on a long trip, be sure to pack extra batteries -- they can be hard to find n foreign countries.

Needlepoint in your Luggage

Don't leave your needlepoint on stretcher bars in your luggage. Take it off the bars and store it with the threads. Group the bars with a rubber band and pack them. Your tacks will have to go into you checked luggage.

I always pack an extra project in my suitcase to work on if I finish my current project.

Before you leave be sure you have ALL the threads you need and all instructions. You may not be near a place to buy more.

Needlepoint on Airplanes

It's OK to take needlepoint on board planes, although the regulations about scissors and cutters change often. In 2007, scissors are OK, but round cutters are not. The safest bet is to have a pair of bunt-tipped child's scissors you use just for traveling.

Put your name and address in any project bag you have. If you lose it, this might bring it back to you.

I always pack an extra small project (my airplane project) in my tote bag. Having this to do keeps me happy and busy even when the flight from SF is delayed 3 hours because of fog.

The light in airplanes, especially at night, is poor, the battery-operated project light is perfect for planes.

Since newer planes don't have ashtrays, getting rid of orts is a problem. Use you empty glass or bring on a small zipper bag you can throw away.

Janet M. Perry is one of the leading writers of needlepoint stitch guides in the world. She writes innovative guides for needlepoint canvases from over 20 designers. She puts into practice her motto to make needlepoint fast, fun and affordable.

She is an expert in needlepoint, both on the Web and through her writing as the Needlepoint Pro for Cross-Stitch & Needlework magazine. She works with designers, shops, and thread manufacturers on new products and regularly reports on trends in needlepoint.

Her newest book, Needlepoint Trade Secrets, will be available in the summer of 2007 on Amazon. Visit her website ( or blog ( to learn about my newest products.

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Needlepoint and Focal Point

With the many different threads and stitches available to us as needlepointers, it is easy to agree with the saying “This is not your Grandmother’s needlepoint!” We’ve come a long way from the days where endless streams of continental were done by dignified ladies. This is a very good thing.

Having so many threads to choose from, and so many stitches at our disposal makes making lovely needle art easy — or is it?

It is all too easy for a canvas to get overwhelmed by too many textures, colors, threads and stitches, so that the piece loses it’s focus and looks like a mishmash instead of something worth the work you put into it.

When you get a new canvas and are thinking about how to stitch it, decide which things in the piece will be your focal points. There should be one major focal point and there may be a very few additional focal points. The focal point is the most important area of the design and all the stitching everywhere in the piece needs to support it.

Next chose the threads (and maybe the stitches) for your focal point. These should be threads and stitches which make the focal point come towards the viewer. So for example, if your background is going to be wool, make the focal point silk or pearl. Use a more textured stitch, or a lighter color.

You can pick and chose stitches for your design as you go, adding some texture here, picking a different thread there.

1-3-5 Rule for Great Needlepoint Pieces
But keep in mind while you work what I call “Mary Shipp’s Rule.” Mary is an amazing stitcher and teacher and one of my mentors. She says that there are three aspects of needlepoint — thread, color and stitches. The line between lovely needleart and confusion is in how many of each of these you use.

In good needleart, one of these should be dominant, another should be “just an accent” and the third should be somewhere in the middle. In fact she uses the proportions 1-3-5 to demonstrate this.

For example, if you are doing a piece in all wool, you could have lots of colors (say a bouquet of flowers) and relatively few stitches (maybe one stitch for the leaves and another for flower center). But you could also have lots of stitches (maybe all the different furs of animals in a Noah’s Ark piece). And in that case your colors would mostly be browns and tans.

But what if you made every flower a different stitch or every animal a fanciful color? You can probably imagine how confused this would look.

When you are planning to stitch a canvas, start with the focal point and then move on as you stitch (which is what I do) or as you plan, keeping in mind Mary’s rule.

And if you start to feel as if you have gone too far — evaluate the piece according to the rule, and make adjustments. Don’t be afraid to rip things out if the piece is not working. a piece which you will finish is much better than one which will languish in your stash.

Janet M. Perry is one of the leading writers of needlepoint stitch guides in the world. She writes innovative guides for needlepoint canvases from over 20 designers. She puts into practice her motto to make needlepoint fast, fun and affordable.

She is an expert in needlepoint, both on the Web and through her writing as the Needlepoint Pro for Cross-Stitch & Needlework magazine. She works with deigners, shops, and thread manufacturers on new products and regularly reports on trends in needlepoint.

Her newest book, Needlepoint Trade Secrets, will be available in the summer of 2007 on Amazon. Visit her website ( or blog ( to learn about my newest products.

Article Source:
Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I can't say that I have ever tried to cross stitch a mug but it does look like a lot of fun here is the link to buy the mug to stitch:
Thursday, June 19, 2008

Memories of a lifetime

I love to do this kind of cross stitch every so often

Memories of a Lifetime: Family History
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Adding Interest With Cross Stitch

Contrary to popular belief, cross stitching can be interesting. Cross stitching can also add interest to a room in several ways. One way is to repeat elements that are found in a detailed cross stitch pattern and place these elements throughout the room. Another way is to set up part of a room to look exactly like a pattern. Finally, a third way is to have a picture converted to a cross stitch pattern and then display both the picture and the finished cross stitched piece.

One way you can add interest to a room is by building upon a pattern that you like. Once you find a cross stitch pattern you like, take several smaller images found within the pattern and cross stitch each image as a separate piece. You have two options of how to treat these separate pieces. One option is to frame each piece and hang the frames around the original cross stitched pattern. For example, in a pattern that has several different flowers, each flower could be cross stitched and framed individually. The second option is use the separate pieces as accent pieces, such as pillow cushions, drawstring bags, or miniature wall hangings. For example, if the pattern has several phrases or sentences in it, each phrase or sentence could be cross stitched on its own pillow cushion and placed on chairs in the same room as the original design. Both options will make the room more interesting because people will want to look around to find where the smaller images have been placed. Make it a game and see who can correctly guess how many smaller images there are in the room!

A second way to add interest is to take your favourite design and repeat it in real life. For example, if the design has a white blanket draped over a wooden rocking chair, then choose a room and place a white blanket over a wooden rocking chair. Next, cross stitch this design, frame it and place it in the same room as the rocking chair and blanket. The design doesn't have to be complicated; it can be something as simple as a flower. When the design is simple, or small, just remember to place the finished cross stitch design beside the real life object. To add even more interest, repeat this idea for several small designs in the same room, or throughout the house. Have fun decorating!

A third way to add interest is to have a picture converted to a cross stitch pattern. There are several businesses that offer this service or you can buy software and create your own pattern. When you are finished cross stitching, frame the finished piece and hang it beside the actual picture. A good quality pattern will make the cross stitching look exactly like your picture. Plus, it's a simple way to get people talking!

I hope you have found these ideas interesting and helpful. Not only will they help to make a room more interesting, but they are also conversation starters.

Visit to see unique and interesting patterns, plus check out our free newsletter, project ideas and cross stitch tips!

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The Five Basic Types Of Needlepoint Stitches

One of most confusing aspects of learning needlepoint is deciphering the many stitches that are available. If you are working from a kit, it generally isn't a problem. Each kit will specify which stitches should be used and where. However, if you are creating your own project from scratch, where do you go to get help? The following is a breakdown of the types of stitches available:

Cross Stithes are probably the most popular type of stitch used today. Crossed Stitches are a principal stitch used in needlepoint tapestry. They are exactly what the name implies - stitches that are created by crossing the threads over each other. The size of the crossed stitch can vary, depending on the thickness of the thread and the gauge of the canvas. It is important, however, to make sure that each crossed stitch covers the canvas. A few examples of crossed stitches are the cross stitch (obviously), fishbone stitch, herringbone stitch and waffle stitch. There are, however, many, many more...

Straight Stitches, again, are exactly what the name implies - straight stitches! These stitches are worked either vertically or horizontally on canvas. They look best when worked on single canvas. They are a great stitch for working large pieces of canvas. However, do not create a stitch that is too long. Some of the more popular straight stitches are the long stitch (aka straight stitch), the florentine stitch (aka bargello), and the back stitch.

Diagonal Stitches are stitches that are worked, yes you guessed it, diagonally (at a slant). It is especially important to maintain an even tension when working diagonal stitches. This will help prevent your canvas from warping. Some of the more popular diagonal stitches include: the diagonal stitch (you probably saw that one coming), the basketweave stitch (aka tent stitch) and the continental stitch. Again there are many, many more diagonal stitches available.

Composite Stitches are stitches that use more than one type of stitch. Composite stitches are generally large. Because of this, the yarn may not always cover the canvas completely. To help remedy this, try not to pull the yarn too tight when making the stitches. Some composite stitches include the star stitch (aka the algerian eye stitch), the leaf stitch, and the triangle stitch, plus many more.

Looped Stitches are also called "Pile Stitches". All of these stitches create a texture with a 3-D look. The pile surface is created by the loops contained in the stitches. Some stitches remain with the loops intact, some require the loops be cut. Although looped stitches are generally used in rug making, they may also be used in any needlepoint project that requires a 3-D or "pile" look. Some of the more interesting looped stitches include the loop stitch, the shell stitch (a very exciting stitch) and the velvet stitch. Again, there are many more available.

These are the main types of stitches available today. The final decision of which stitches to incorporate into your piece will depend on the gauge of the canvas/material you are working on and the type of yarn/thread you are working with. However, we can discuss that subject at another time...

http://www.stitchopedia.comCarolyn McNeil

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Learn How To Cross Stitch – Fast!

Speak to most people who cross stitch and they will be the first to tell you that they love cross stitching because it is so relaxing. It also gives you a great sense of accomplishment and pride to show off your finished pieces. Best of all – it is so easy to learn.

There are two types of cross stitching – one type is called counted cross stitch (where you work from a pattern) and the other type is called stamped cross stitch (where the design has been pre-printed onto fabric). Stamped cross stitch is also called “no count cross stitch” because you do not have to count the squares on the fabric to figure out where a stitch should be placed.

Counted cross stitch transfers a design from a printed pattern onto evenweave fabric. One square in the fabric represents one square on the pattern. Each square on the pattern, which contains a symbol, represents a stitch. The different symbols on the pattern represent different colors of floss. The stitcher uses embroidery floss to place X's on the fabric corresponding to the symbols on the pattern.

To Begin, find the center of the graph. For most patterns this is shown with arrows or a bold line. Next, find the center of your fabric. An easy way to do this is to fold the fabric in half vertically and "pinch" with your finger to make a small crease. Open the fabric, fold in half horizontally and make another "pinch". Open the fabric up. The two creases will mark the center of the fabric. Most stitchers like to start cross stitching close to the center of the design in order to keep the design centered on the fabric. This makes it easier to frame the finished piece. Another benefit by starting at the center is that you know you will have enough material. It would be an absolute nightmare if you started on one side, only to get to the other side and find out that after all your hard work, you don’t have enough material to finish your design on.

To begin stitching, bring the threaded needle up from the back of the fabric leaving about a 1" tail of thread behind the fabric. Stitch the next 5 or 6 stitches over the tail. Clip off extra thread. To end off, weave your needle back through the last 5 or 6 stitches and clip the thread short so as not to leave a loose tail. Do not make knots on the back of the fabric when starting or ending your stitching, as the knots will make lumps on the fabric and will not allow the piece to lie flat.

When stitching your little X’s, first work a row of half stitches (////) one way, then work backwards to complete the X's. It is important that all the X's are crossed in the same direction. That is, the top thread of the X should always slant in the same direction (for example, "/"). It does not matter which way they slant, but if they are mixed the finished piece will look uneven.

Remember to relax as you stitch and do not pull the thread too tight. Your stitches should lie flat on your fabric and not distort the holes or the fabric.

When your stitching is complete, wash in cool water using a mild liquid detergent. Rinse well. Do not wring, but roll in a clean towel to absorb most of the water. While still damp, place face down on a terry towel. Place another cloth on top of the needlework and press lightly with a warm iron. Let dry. Then frame or finish as desired.

To see more information on cross stitching, including free patterns and framing ideas, please visit

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