Dec 22, 2012

Stitch Guide for Christmas Death Ray Design Available

I had to laugh when Michele from the Bristly Thistle renamed this piece the Death Ray because of the way the elegant Christmas ornaments look from certain angles.  It is actually a beautiful Christmas design from Alice Peterson.  The kit including threads and stitch guide is available from Bristly Thistle in case you need a Christmas pillow with a hidden SciFi message in your holiday life.

Dec 18, 2012

The History of the Caswell Stitch

Robin King just checked in at the Needlepoint Study Hall blog, reporting on progress on several custom stitch guides she just finished.  Note that any guide Robin has written is for sale and she promises to organize them better so you know just what is available in 2013.

She also shows off a diagram for the Caswell Stitch plus some history of who created and named it and for what.  Very interesting!

Dec 12, 2012

Eye Candy Stitch Guides Summary

Ada Hayden just posted a listing of her designs that are kitted out with a stitch guide and threads, or that were featured in Needlepoint Now magazine.  If you love cheerful, colorful pattern, you'll want to take notes on just where to find your favorites.

Dec 9, 2012

Halloween Collage Guide UPDATED

Julia Snyder has done a stitch guide for the Eye Candy Halloween collage.  All those threads look so tempting and you know Julia is a genius....

Ruth Schmuff distributes Eye Candy canvases so you can call her shop Bedecked and Beadazzled to order the guide or kit.  Happy Halloween!

UPDATE:  Ruth has also done a stitch guide for the Eye Candy Halloween Garden collage.  It's the same except different.  LOL

Dec 6, 2012

Absolutely Needlepoint Exclusive Stitch Guides

Absolutely Needlepoint, located in Miami, has a page on their newly redesigned website that lists all the stitch guides Holly Crook has written for their customers.

Some of the canvases are exclusive to their shop, as well.  Sadly there are no photographs.  I did find some links, though.  Here is the Mad Hatters Class from Leigh Designs.

This is the Spooky Ghost.  I wish I had more eye candy for you, but as the website redesign continues, perhaps the shop will post them for you.

Dec 4, 2012

Santa and His Sleigh (Sandy Arthur)

Sandy Arthur, whom you know as the author of the Shapes of Needlepoint series of books, also teaches and does stitch guides occasionally.  She has just added two new designs--"Delivering Dreams Santa" and the companion piece called "Sleigh Full of Dreams"-- to her website.  You can see them on the home page right now, but they also live in her Online Shop in case you don't find this article right away.  The designs are line drawn and come with Sandy's guide to recreating the finished pieces.  Apply threads and you will be ready for next Christmas!

Dec 1, 2012

Charley Harper Stitch Guides From Bedecked and Beadazzled

Bedecked and Beadazzled has a new stitch guide, this time for Charley Harper's A Good World canvas, which shows a turtle, cardinal, butterfly and chipmunk, all coexisting happily among a ripening blackberry branch.  Sadly, there isn't a finished photo but you can see all the supplies laid out and enjoy this piece as another of Ruth's mysteries.

UPDATE:  With Julia Snyder writing the guide, Ruth Schmuff also offers a kit for Charley's "Biodiversity in the Burgs."  This huge piece is chockfull of the critters who lurk unseen in our yards.

Nov 19, 2012

Nov 16, 2012

The Holiday March Series (with Guide) on Sale

Fans of Ashley Dillon's Holiday March series (stitched models in slide show at the link below) will be thrilled to hear that Bristly Thistle has all five canvases on sale at fifteen percent off if you purchase the thread kit at the same time.   The thread kit comes with Michele's stitch guide, too.  This is a nice sale if you are a fan of Michele's stitching (which I am) and love the series Ashley (Liz of Tapestry Tent's daughter) created.  Note that the sale ends November 24, so act quickly if you are interested.

Nov 14, 2012

Stitch Guides for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Just Because

A whole slew of new stitch guides have been announced, so I thought I'd do a quick roundup.  Vicky DeAngelis has finished the First Thanksgiving set.  This will be a club offered to multiple shops by Needle Deeva.  Two characters also will be featured in the December 2012 issue of Needlepoint Now magazine, which is beginning to be mailed to subscribers.  Some shops carry extra copies of the magazine if you are curious.  Since monthly clubs and stitch guides are merging, I thought I would mention this here.

Michele at the Bristly Thistle is stitching this gorgeous Alice Peterson design featuring traditional glass Christmas tree ornaments.  I don't know about you, but my parents had similar ornaments on their tree each year, so this one has a special nostalgic pull.  When Michele finishes stitching, you will be able to buy the stitch guide as part of the thread kit for the design from her shop.

The final stitch guides are by Tony Minieri for Needle Deeva again.  The theme isn't holiday related.  Instead, you have a garden with a black cat lurking.  Vicky DeAngelis is stitching it beautifully and showed it off on her blog as well as another Tony Minieri stitch guide for another Needle Deeva canvas, this time a vase of flowers. If you are a Tony fan or just want to stretch your skills, these stitch guides are something to consider.  To order them from Mr. Minieri, take note of the Needle Deeva canvas numbers and email him at or call Edwardian Needle at (973) 743-9833, which is his home shop and leave a message for him.

However you try to reach Tony, remember he is on the road a lot so you may not get an answer right away.  Edwardian Needle's hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Nov 9, 2012

Sherry's Pocito Guide is Ready

Sherry Bray's Pocito Finished But Unframed

Sherry Bray has finished her version of one of Manuel Salas' Day of the Dead ladies and the stitch guide is now available.  Sherry choose to work Pocito, whose full name translates to a Little Bit of Color.  (If the piece looks familiar, I am stitching Pocito's sister Belleza.)  You can see Manuel's artwork translated onto needlepoint canvas at the Tapestry Fair website.

One Day of the Dead lady canvas is so new she's not on the website yet but you can see her on Tapestry Fair's blog.

Tony Minieri has done guides for Pocito and Belleza.  You can see them here.  If you are interested, email him at the address listed.

BeStitched has done classes for both Pocito and Belleza so you might be able to buy class materials from them, but ask if everything needed to stitch the canvases their way is included in the guide.  I've been told that class materials sold as stitch guides later don't allow access to the videos that class members get to help them with unusual stitches.  Just be sure you know what you are getting before you buy, ok?

If you are interested in Sherry's stitch guide, talk to Queen Anne Stitches Needlepoint via their Facebook page of the exact same name.  This was a class that Sherry taught for them.  The shop is in Santa Clara, CA and their phone number is 661/286-1248.  I believe they are open in the afternoons except for Sunday but they don't have a website so I am not certain.

Nov 3, 2012

A Change at Bedecked and Beadazzled

The November shop newsletter for Bedecked and Beadazzled is up on their website, with big news!

Their website makeover has gone live and the shop now has a Stitch Guide section.  The top of the new section has the latest releases while the bottom half has all our old favorites.  This is perfect for those who are looking for a stitch guide!  Many of these guides are for Ruth's own canvases or those she distributes so they may be harder to find elsewhere, which means we'd all better bookmark this page.  After all, Santa is coming and he might need to know about one of these guides....

Please note that the prices are sometimes for the canvas and stitch guide both, and sometimes the stitch guide is sold separately.  To be absolutely sure of your costs and to be certain who wrote the guide, email the shop for help.

This is a great service for stitch guide customers.  Thanks, Ruth!

UPDATE:  Ruth has posted about her latest stitch guide, the Swirls of Snow Snowman, on her blog just this morning.  The second link shows him finished.

Nov 2, 2012

Stitch By Stitch's New Stitch Guide

Stitch By Stitch in Larchmont just posted their latest stitch guide which is for one of Sandra Gilmore's window view canvases.  The canvas shows Manhattan which is appropriate as Larchmont is nearby.

You can contact the shop via their website but remember, more than half of the town lost power during Sandy and Con Edison is saying it might take another week to get everyone's power back on.  It might be better to wait a little before contacting the shop, ok?

Nov 1, 2012

Robin Shows Off Stitch Guides from Stacy Brown

Robin King has been teaching at the Nimble Needle in Atlanta and posted lots of photograph from her class there, many of which show off projects with stitch guides by Stacy Brown who owns the shop.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing the work of a very talented stitcher whose guides are not well known.  If you want something a little different, this is a good place to shop.

Oct 31, 2012

A Free Stitch Guide from Palma for Halloween

Palma's Halloween Cracker

To celebrate Halloween, Palma Seljan posted this free stitch guide for one of Melissa Shirley's Halloween cracker canvases on Facebook's Needlepoint Group.  With Palma's permission, I am sharing the guide here for folks who don't "do" FB.  Here's the link to the entire set of Halloween Crackers.

Happy Halloween!


Background in small box
Silk and Colors 1029
Diagonal Mosaic
you can use any yellow and orange threads you may have  I used Kreinik 
Tent stitch
Ultra-suede (got mine from a pack from Orna Willis and it is a really good one). Got it from her website
Cotton Perle 310
River Silks 204 7 mm ribbon

I had a copy made of the canvas and cut the outline of the boot. Place it on a ultra-suede piece and tacked it in place. I padded the area before tacking the suede with some frenck Knots with Cotton Perle to raise it a bit. I added 2 beads but you can also use sequins; whatever you have home as you only will need 2.
Make a bow with the River Silks and tack it in place
Gold line around central box
FyreWerks FT15
Tent over 2 horizontally and one vertically
Purple area around central box
Pearl Cotton 553
Side Panels:
Orange area 
Purple area 
Yellow area
Black area 

Sparkles, orange
Painters Thread ribbon 126
Petite Very Velvet 246
Ribbon Floss Metallic 007
Pearl Cotton 301

Couch the Sparkles in place
Satin Stitch
Interlocking gobelin
Padded satin (I padded the area with the Pearl Cotton)
Green border
Bead chain (from Soronan Beads, link below)
Before I couched it in place I stitched the area with a matching green that I had which was Burmilana 3908 but you can use something you may have at home
Ribbon Floss metallic 007 and 104
Pearl Cotton 301 and 553
Delica Duracoat, DB1835-TB beads (chattreuse)
Padded Satin (padded with the Pearl Cotton)
String the beads and attach to the border

Links: For Orna’s ultra-suede:

Oct 30, 2012

Monsters for You

Brenda Hart has put her considerable talents to work on a stitch guide for a Shelly Comiskey portrait of the three classic Halloween monsters--Dracula, The Mummy and Frankenstein himself.

To pick up the canvas, threads and the guide to have it ready for next Halloween, visit Bedecked and Beadazzled.  The canvas is called "Frank Friends."

Oct 17, 2012

Palma and the Day of the Dead

Brenda Stofft Day of the Dead Cat

Fireside Stitchery has announced their latest monthly club, a series of six Day of the Dead cat designs from Brenda Stofft.  The club will start in January 2013 but what makes it worthy of notice here is that the stitch guides will be done by Palma Seljan, who is extremely talented at mixing various threads and ribbons and beads and more.  Take a look at the first cat, which features a (mother of pearl?) button for the nose and beaded eyes.  The full series of cats are shown on Brenda Stofft's website.!home/mainPage

I'm hoping this is just the first in a long series of stitch guides by Palma!

Oct 10, 2012

Need a Needlepoint Fairy in Your Life?

If you need a needlepoint fairy godmother to help you over those rough spots in your stitching, Ruth Schmuff has one ready for you, complete with a Sheena James stitch guide.

I've seen the guide and it's wonderful.  It has lots of diagrams to help you stitch your own fairy godmother just like Sheena's, a thread list on the back of the guide so you can shop for supplies without even taking the guide out of its protective plastic envelope, and the diagram that is your road map to all the tiny areas is laminated so you can handle it for a long time without damage.  Throw in some unique stitches, cute little pedal pushers covered in sequins, perfect red shoes,  a hairstyle to die for and of course the tiny charms that come with the kit (for a limited time), and this is a fairy you need in your life.

Best of all, she has sisters in case what you really need is a garden fairy instead.  Sadly, Sheena hasn't done guides for the Needlepoint Fairy's kin but I bet you can have a lot of fun creating a fairy perfect for your life regardless.

Oct 1, 2012

The Stitch Guide Writer As Teacher

Many folks who write stitch guides are affiliated with a shop and often teach there, so there are a goodly number of stitch guide writers who are using a stitch guide as class material, and there are quite a few shops that sell class material as stitch guides now.  Robin King shows how she uses a stitch guide as a jumping off point for a lesson plan.

Seeing this reminded me of something I meant to mention.  The difference between class materials and stitch guides is getting smaller, but there is still the issue of class guides being written to be taught in person by the writer.  For example, links might have been provided to the purchaser to videos that were used in class but sometimes those are not available. There might have been handouts in class illustrating a point that never made it into the stitch guide, or the teacher might have spent extra time going over something that students found confusing, but never updated the guide with further information.   I would suggest you find out if a mail order class guide has all the material that was provided in the actual classroom unless you are feeling particularly adventuresome.  The teacher obviously won't be there with you, but if there are items that were used in class that aren't part of the mail order class guide, you will want to know before you buy!

Sep 15, 2012

Linda Lahm Guides from What's the Point?

What's the Point's Linda Lahm has a new series of Sports Santas available from the shop.  There are eight Santas who play golf, go skiing, etc.  They are perfect for the stitcher who loves sports, or who loves someone who loves sports.

They are also offering a fun Eat Your Carrots canvas as a class or with threads and stitch guide for you to do yourself.  I don't know if the teacher wrote the guide.  Sorry.

Sep 10, 2012

Introducing Night Rider

Night Rider, from the Old Crows Series

This is my latest project for Leigh Designs.  It is called "Night Rider" and is from the Old Crows series. All of the Old Crows are on 18 count custom sage green marbled canvas and are 10x10 inches square. (Since my scanner bed is only 9x11, the top and bottom are cut off slightly in the picture above.  Sorry!)  The entire series of Leigh's elegant Halloween set for 2012, just introduced at the Baltimore TNNA Market, is on the Leigh Designs website at this link.

Night Cap from the Old Crows also has a stitch guide by Sandy Arthur of the Shapes of Needlepoint series fame which you can get from Leigh Designs.  Night Rider's guide is available directly from me or can be ordered from Leigh Designs when your shop orders the canvas.

I'm sorry you can't see the beads on the leaves or the metallics in the background, the bird and the witch's ball on the photo above.  They don't photograph well but in person they all a lovely gleam that is dear to the heart of any crow!

My stitch guide is fifteen pages long, including a two page list of the threads and beads needed to stitch this project exactly like I did, nine diagrammed stitches, and includes an essay on light coverage stitching techniques.  The retail price is $25 with wholesale pricing available.  Email me at for more information or if you wish to purchase the Night Rider guide.

Sep 5, 2012

Flowers in a Vase UPDATED AGAIN

A closeup of Robin King's Flowers in a Vase
The line between stitch guide and class instructions continues to blur as Needle Deeva and Robin King collaborate on Flowers in a Vase, which will be a class once Robin finishes stitching the piece and writes up the stitch guide.  Needle Deeva will also sell the guides once the class has run its course.

The photo above is a glimpse of what Robin's been doing with this canvas.  I see beads, turkeywork loops, fancy stitches and a light coverage background!  You can see a thumbnail of the entire canvas (ND 311) at the Needle Deeva website.

But otherwise we are going to have to wait and see what else Robin does with this fun design.

UPDATE:  Bristly Thistle ran into Robin at the TNNA show in Baltimore and took this photograph of the almost finished piece.

UPDATE #2:  Here is the piece, all finished and about ready to go for framing.  Lovely!

Finished and Framed!
Here is the finished and framed model. Wonderful!

Aug 26, 2012

The Rebecca Wood Camel

This should be subtitled "Why We Buy Stitch Guides."  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll see a camel from a Rebecca Wood Nativity set stitched using Diana Bosworth's stitch guide.  Diana is a master.

Rebecca Wood sells several different Nativity sets, all of which you can see on The French Knot's website.  The bottom set seems to be the one the new camel came from.  Since Diana Bosworth works at The French Knot, you can contact them to purchase the guides.

Many thanks to Karen at Nimble Needle for posting such a lovely photo for us to admire!

Stitching Chaos UPDATED

No, my stitching world isn't chaotic.  It's bland.  (I really really LIKE boring, don't you?)  However, if you want a small and fun project that memorializes the chaos that is all around you, Ruth Schmuff has a great little Ryn canvas with a Sheena James stitch guide that'll knock your socks off!

This uses the new tiny cube beads.  They are almost 2mm square, which means that they are around the size of an 11 bead (sometimes written 11/0).  Since they are cubes, they lay perfectly flat.  Ruth now stocks a large range of colors of the baby cubes.  From what I can tell, the Miyuki 3mm and 4mm cubes are mostly what bead shops carry, so with the baby cubes you can have three sizes of cubes.  Sheena did us all a service by finding a source for these so Ruth can stock them at her shop, Bedecked and Beadazzled!

If you are living in the State of Love or State of Wonder instead, not to worry. Sheena's done guides for the entire license plate series from the creative mind of Ryn.

UPDATE:  Here is Chaos finished.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing the model.

Aug 25, 2012

Debbie Bowers Stitch Guides

I wanted to showcase the stitching of Debbie Bowers, who has done quite a few Needle Deeva guides. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you can see some of her work.

Debbie owns Needle Orts in Florida.  I suspect the clubs are her work, although I don't know that for sure, of course.  Have fun browsing the sale items, the classes listed in Upcoming Events, and of course the clubs and stitch guide section.

Aug 19, 2012

Black Cats and Stitch Guides

Vicky DeAngelis is packing for ANG's Seminar.  She's going to be working on a stitch guide for Tapestry Fair in her class with four of the main talents of the needlepoint world today (Suzanne Howren, Tony Minieri, Beth Robertson and Meredith Willett)  This is going to be a stitch guide to remember!

Aug 9, 2012

Don't Forget Amy and Robin!

This is just a reminder that Amy's Golden Strand updates the pages of recent stitch guides by Amy Bunger and Robin King often.  Just this morning I discovered that Robin has done a guide for the Kindness Buddha by Sandra Gilmore, which is a canvas I own.  I am seriously tempted to order the guide and threads and spend a little quality time with Robin....

Want to see if one of your recent purchases has a guide by the Golden Strand team?  Amy's list is here and Robin's is the second link.  Of course older guides are already in the main stitch guide catalogue, which is link #3 but I bet you've already browsed that over and over again.

Aug 8, 2012

Vicky Goes Egyptian

Vicky De Angelis is starting to pack for the American Needlework Guild's Seminar in a couple of weeks.  She is taking the Egyptian cat goddess to Philadelphia to have help developing a stitch guide.  Interested?  Here's the canvas and a pile of goodies Vicky has assembled to work it with.  Now we have to wait and see what Vicky does to bring Bastet to life....

Aug 7, 2012

Not All Stitch Guides Are Alike

Some have block diagrams!  Follow Robin King as she talks about the latest stitch guide she helped with for a Linda Corirossi class at Family Arts Needlework in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jul 25, 2012

Stitch Guides From Your Favorite Guide Writers

Bristly Thistle has added a new section to their website--a section that eventually will list stitch guides from your favorite stitch guide writers.  There's nothing listed yet, but that's just a matter of time!

Red Geisha, Large and Small

Small Version of Red Geisha as Purse Front
Melissa Shirley has three sizes of the Red Geisha pattern.  I wrote a stitch guide for the smaller piece (seen above as a Stirling bag insert) which will work as well for the larger pieces although you'll need more threads.  It's a lovely piece, and perfectly Asian!

Jul 17, 2012

Mellissa Shirley and the Crackers

If you read The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure religiously, you know that Melissa Shirley is a good stitcher as well as being the creator of one of the most popular lines of painted canvases today.  Melissa herself has stitched the golden Christmas cracker series that shops will be offering soon.

Robin King is collaborating on her to create the stitch guides. You know how great Robin's guides are for her own stitching, right?    Melissa + Robin + Christmas is bound to equal a wonderful stitching experience.

Jul 10, 2012

Barbara Bergsten is My Hero UPDATED

Quite a few stitch guide writers use Macs and many of them have been using Canvas X as their graphics program--you know, the nifty program that draws diagrams of stitches.  However, ACD Systems is no longer updating their Canvas X system for Macs, only for PCs. You can't even buy a copy of Canvas X any more.  (I know, I've been trying for over a year!)  To compound the problem, now that Apple has introduced the new Lion software, Canvas X won't work for an updated or new system.  This means that stitch guide writers who use Macs and Canvas X are up the creek without a paddle.

Some folks are sticking with the out-of-date Snow Leopard operating system so they can continue to use Canvas X.  Some folks have used specialty software to run PC programs on their Macs so that they can use some of the many graphing programs written for PCs.  Some folks are thinking of partitioning their hard drives and running Snow Leopard and Canvas X on one part of their system while running Lion on another part.  Some are even considering investing time and money in Adobe's Illustrator or maybe buying a cheap PC to run PC graphics software on.   All of these are less than desirable solutions.

But Barbara Bergsten has come to the rescue with a way to use Pages (the Macintosh word processing program) to graph stitches.  Here's what Barbara and her Apple tutor worked out--

This is very good news indeed for people with Macs who can no longer use Canvas X.  Thanks, Barbara!

UPDATE:  Here are two examples of a PC stitch diagram and a Mac stitch diagram so you can see the difference and help Jan decide if the one done in Pages is up to snuff.

Jun 25, 2012

Introducing Barcelona

Barcelona, from Leigh Designs
Above you see my latest model for Leigh Designs. This lovely little 6x6 design is the small (or "coaster") version of Barcelona from Leigh Design's ESPANA series.   It premiered at the Columbus trade show over the weekend.  Inspired by sunny Spain, these designs are all lace and stylized flowers with a touch of beautiful pottery thrown in.  You can see the larger versions of ESPANA at Leigh's website.

The 10 inch square and the 6 inch square smaller pieces are  both on 18 count yellow canvas.

Barcelona, Coaster Size
As usual, I've also written a Barcelona stitch guide that you can order directly from me, or that your shop can pick up for you from Leigh Designs when they get the canvas.  The guide will also work for the large version of Barcelona if you increase some of the supplies.  I've listed what you need to buy extras of in the stitch guide if you choose the 10x10 Barcelona.

A Closer View of Barcelona
Here's a closer view of the finished piece.   It took me about a month to stitch, working a little each night.  If it were mine instead of living with Leigh Designs and traveling to meet shops, I would appliqué it to a summer straw purse and take it to the beach, then put it on my closet shelf during the winter months to smile at me and bring sunshine into my heart when it is cold outside.

Jun 9, 2012

Robin Goes 3D

Robin King updates us on her latest stitch guide project, one of Melissa Shirley's 3D Christmas boots.

Robin shows how she starts a stitch guide with a notebook full of ideas, pulls threads and then works her magic.  It's a fun way to peek behind the curtain of stitch guide writing and see how one master of the process works to give you the best custom stitch guide possible.

Jun 1, 2012

Amy Plus Tony Equals Stitch Guide

Amy Bunger isn't just an amazing stitch guide writer--she also is a shop owner.  Her Amy's Golden Strand offers wonderful canvases, charts and threads, plus all the wonderful little extras from magnets to classes that we all enjoy.  Recently Amy brought Tony Minieri to her stop for classes, but its what they got up to when they were on break that will interest stitch guide collectors.  The story is in Amy's June 2012 newsletter.

May 27, 2012

Tony Minieri and Lizards

Peggi has been working from a Tony Miniri stitch guide for this Tapestry Fair design called Leapin' Lizards.  The painted canvas can be ordered from Tapestry Fair and the stitch guide from Tony himself through Edwardian Needle (second link).

I think Leapin' Lizards is an Anne Jerlow design.  Tapestry Fair owns the right to distribute this piece now.

May 24, 2012

Sandy Grossman-Morris' Latest Design

The latest canvas with stitch guide from Sandy Grossman-Morris is on her site.  It's a happy ghost and his pumpkin with letters that spell out BOO.

May 8, 2012

I Did Not Know That... UPDATED

I did not know that DMC has free stitch guides for painted canvases on their website.  What a treat!

UPDATE:  Robin King talks about the guides she wrote for the DMC site, with plenty of great photographs.

Here's a direct link to the page with the PDF files for you to download.  The canvases shown are all from Maggie or Associated Talents as of now, but I'm sure more will be added as they are available.

Apr 19, 2012

Introducing Kristine

I just met Kristine Kingston of Baltimore Needleworks on Facebook.  Kristine is a finisher, a designer of painted canvases, and also writes custom stitch guides for Needles and Threads of Ruxton.  She can do it all!  If you need a custom stitch guide, you can contact Kristine via Baltimore Needleworks.  By the way, don't miss her new blog!

Apr 6, 2012

Carolyn Hedge Baird Stitch Guides (and Books!) UPDATED

Please note the article below was written in 2012.  For the latest news on guides from Carolyn, check the Contact Information.  There are lots of individual articles on Carolyn's guides here, too.  Use the search box in the upper left corner to find them all.

The author of Merry Needlepoint, Needlepointing in Your Nest, and other needlepoint books, Carolyn Baird also sells stitch guides for various canvases.  These can be purchased through Chaparral Needlepoint in Texas which is where Carolyn teaches six times a week. Look under "Accessories and Books" on the Chaparral website to see the guides and prices they have and under "About Us" to see a short bio of Carolyn.  UPDATE:  Carolyn has a photo album of her available stitch guides on her Facebook page.  Look for Needlepointing in Your Nest, then open the photo albums and look for "Stitches Guides Available for Sale Written by Moi."

I asked Carolyn about whether she did custom stitch guides for folks.  She tells me when a customer buys the thread from The Chaparral, she can do a stitch guide for $10/hour.  If the customer bought the canvas from the shop, the guide is free with the purchase of the threads.  The stitch guides are handwritten with page number references from her books, so it is very helpful if the customer has Carolyn's books in their stitching library.

Carolyn has posted images of pieces she has stitch guides written for on her Facebook page.  Search for "Needlepoint in Your Nest" and then look at the photo albums entitled Stitch Guides Available for Sale to see the latest.  Please note that Carolyn has multiple albums that show her guides.  Facebook won't let her consolidate all the pieces she's done stitch guides for in one place, sadly.

UPDATE:  Stephanie posted photos of some of the Melissa Shirley Victorian Valentine Kids that Carolyn did stitch guides for on her blog.  If you own this series and are interested in Carolyn's guide for them this will give you great photos to see how they turn out.

Stephanie also posted photos of Melissa's Fourth of July kids, all done using Carolyn's guides.

UPDATE:  Melissa Shirley just announced the latest series of stitch guides by Carolyn on the Melissa Shirley Designs Facebook page:  the Little Witch series.  Don't miss Carolyn's comments below as to prices for her guides.

Here is a profile of Carolyn written by Janet Perry in 2006.

Melissa Shirley has added a brief profile of Carolyn to her stitch guides page on her MSD website.

A complete (as of March 2012) list of canvases that have Baird guides is below.  Any pricing is what Carolyn says that guide costs at Chaparral.  Retail prices vary slightly according to the shop, but Carolyn says $20 is the average cost of one of her guides. The general stitch books are more expensive.

General Stitch Books:
Merry Easter Eggs
Merry Needlepoint
Needlepointing in Your Nest

 1)  A Rainbow of Stitches for Melissa Shirley's Noah's Ark and Animals
 2)  Wacky Stitches for Melissa Shirley's Wacky Halloween House and the Goofies
 3)  Melissa Shirley Thanksgiving Children
 4)  Melissa Shirley Circus Dogs
 5)  Melissa Shirley's Valentine Victorian Children ($10 each)
 6)  Melissa Shirley's Pilgrim Kids
 7)  Melissa Shirley's Little Witch series
 8)  Melissa Shirley's 4th of July Pig ($25)
 9)  Melissa Shirley's 4th of July Victorian Children
10)  Melissa Shirley's Texas Hearts
11)  Melissa Shirley Blue and Yellow Boot

Individual Stitch Guides
 1)  Melissa Shirley Victorian Christmas Children
 2)  Melissa Shirley Halloween Little Witches
 3)  Melissa Shirley Halloween Cat and Crow
 4)  Melissa Shirley Halloween Roll Up Candies
 5)  Melissa Shirley Vintage Blue Love Letter
 6)  Melissa Shirley Folk Art Bee Skip
 7)  Melissa Shirley Girl with Dove (14 count)
 8)  Melissa Shirley Mini Witch Hat
 9)  Barbara Bergsten Staffordshire Cottages
10)  CanvasWorks Political Animals (elephant and donkey)
11)  Cheryl Schaefer Love Letter CP7
12)  Denise DeRusha Cowgirl Snowman
13)  Denise DeRusha Texas Star Sampler
14)  Denise DeRusha American Flag Sampler
15)  Denise DeRusha Billy's Boot
16)  Ewe and Eye Pumpkin, Sunflowers and Roses
17)  Ewe and Eye Pear or Gourd with Flowers
18)  Elizabeth Turner Red Blob Frame
19)  Elizabeth Turner Paisley Frame
20)  Elizabeth Turner Sunflowers and Crow Frame
21)  Elizabeth Turner Patchwork Pumpkins Frame
22)  Elizabeth Turner Candy Frame
23)  Fiori Love Letter F3618
24)  Fiori Love Letter F3639
25)  Fiori Love Letter F3641
26)  Julia Love Letter Heart
27)  Kathy Schenkel TX Mini Sock
28)  Kirk and Hamilton Tiny Love Letter
29)  Lani Vintage Santa Collage
30)  Lani Damask and Leopard Skin Picture Frame
31)  Once in a Blue Moon Heart
32)  Once in a Blue Moon Messenger
33)  Once in a Blue Moon SWAK
34)  Patty Paints Lone Star Folk Art Flag
35)  Patty Paints Witch H012
36)  Patty Paints Witch H013
37)  Susan Roberts Candy Houses (18 count)
38)  Zecca Feather Frame on Dark Burgundy

To reach Carolyn herself about her guides, email her at

Mar 14, 2012

A Sunflower is Born UPDATED

Robin King creates wonderful stitch guides for canvases for Amy Bunger, Needle Deeva, and other designers.  She also often posts about the stitch guide creation process on the Needlepoint Study Hall blog.  I've got a special treat--Robin talking about her newest sunflower canvas, with side trips into giant rhinestone needle magnets, orange dots, stumpwork, and well, MORE!

UPDATE:  Robin shows how she lifted the sunflower center to make it look realistic and also work well with the petals with a very clever beading technique.

Then she adds silk ribbon petals.

I don't think this story is over, so Stay Tuned for MORE.

Mar 9, 2012

Susan's Painted Pony Stitch Guides

When someone mentions Painted Pony Designs, I think of their little themed angels.  They do a lot of designs but those angels are really popular.

However, I should be thinking Stitch Guides.  Painted Pony has posted a list of guides for their canvases on their website.  There are plans for Susan Burris who stitches their models and who is writing the guides, to gather several guides together into a book.  I can't wait!

You can see some of the stitched models that Susan has created on the Painted Pony Designs blog.

Feb 2, 2012

Southwestern Design Exclusives UPDATED

Quail Run has a series of exclusive canvases with stitch guides that exemplify the spirit of the Southwest.  If you are looking for such a design and want a guide, this is the place to start browsing.

UPDATE:  Make sure you read the Comment from Quail Run, then we can all go over and read their newsletter which has a free stitch guide (or part of one for a larger canvas) in each issue!

Jan 24, 2012

All Kitted Out

BeStitched in Arizona is starting to offer kits that come with the canvas, threads and a Julia Snyder stitch guide.  To see what they have available now (January 2012) head to their blog.

New Things are appearing all the time.

Jan 23, 2012

Watch Out! Shoguns!!! UPDATED

Yoritomo, the First Shogun of Japan (Leigh Designs)
My latest stitch guide is for the newest of Leigh Designs--the Shogun series.  I stitched Yoritomo, the first Shogun of Japan, to act as a model for the January 2012 TNNA show in Phoenix.

Three Backgrounds, All in Two Shades of Perle Cotton
He set up the Shogunate in 12th Century Japan but his descendants didn't rule for long.  Other samurai families took over to rule shortly for seven hundred years.  You can see some of the most famous of them in Leigh's series depicting this warlike but cultured ruling class.  By the way, the symbols in the background are all mons, or the family crests for each Shogun.

Then There Is Fabulous Armor--And BEADS!
The stitch guide for Yoritomo is available from Leigh Designs or directly from me.  Click on the CLICK HERE TO BUY STITCH GUIDES link above for more details.

UPDATE:  I'm not the only one who has done a stitch guide for one of Leigh's Shogun series.  Ruth Schmuff has one available for Otomaro.

Jan 14, 2012

Free Stitch Guides For Barbara Bergsten Canvases UPDATED

Barbara Bergsten Designs offers free stitch guides for all her canvases on her website.  The site also has free charted alphabets, diagrams of the stitches used in her guides, and a project sheet to print out and use for your own notes as you stitch.

UPDATE:  Barbara explains a bit about her free guides on her blog.

UPDATE #2:  A glimpse at the stitch diagrams and instructions in one of Barbara's guides.

UPDATE #3:  Barbara's updated her stitch diagrams and repositioned them to make them easier to find.

Jan 11, 2012

Ewe and Eye Stitch Guides

I don't often see Ewe and Eye canvases that come with a stitch guide, so I thought The Lawn Mowers canvas that has a stitch guide available from Amy Bunger would be a great posting here.  Many thanks to Stephanie for talking about this and providing great photos on her blog!

Stephanie says this is a Karen Cruden design.  Here it is on the Ewe and Eye website.

You can find pricing for the canvas, thread kit and stitch guide on Amy's stitch guide catalogue.

Remember, this was published in 2012 so there are more guides available now.  Use the search function at the upper left corner to find what I've seen and listed here.

Jan 6, 2012

Marching Right Along With More Holiday Marches (Tapestry Tent)

If you are a fan of the Tapestry Tent holiday march canvases (designed by Liz's daughter Ashley), you'll be thrilled to hear that two new holidays have been added to the mix--Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.  (These canvases will be released at the January 2012 TNNA trade show by Susan Roberts Needlepoint.)  You can see the canvases here, as well as Michele's announcement that she is going to do stitch guides for both canvases.

Amy Bunger is going to do guides for both canvases, too.  So now you can choose the style that matches your own style best when picking a stitch guide.

These canvases are distributed by Susan Roberts but their website is undergoing changes.  That makes the best place to see the designs (and buy Michele's stitch guide) the Bristly Thistle shop which carries all the earlier pieces and has guides for them.

Amy Bunger has done a stitch guide for all three of the earlier canvases, too.  I found them in her stitch guide catalogue.  So now you have no excuse to not sit down and start marching with your needle!

UPDATE:  Patricia Sone has done a stitch guide for Thanksgiving March.  Joan posted a photo of her piece done using it on Facebook.