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:     http://www.ornadesign.com/v2/shop/notions/ultrasuede/

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.

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!