Dec 26, 2013

Guide to a Silly Elf

Just in time for Christmas, Santa brought Ruth the stitch guide for her Silly Elf canvas.  You can see the elf in his twisted peppermint stockings here.   I don't know who wrote the guide--Ruth doesn't say--but they love threads and if you love Santa and threads as well, it's worth talking to Bedecked and Beadazzled about having Santa bring you the kit.

Dec 21, 2013

The Enriched Stitch Does Roosters

Patti Filshie Hoffmann is going to do a stitch guide for this amazing Liz/Tapestry Tent rooster canvas for Enriched Stitch in Connecticut.

Contact the shop for details. Since Patti just finished it, I expect the guide won't be ready until early 2014.

Dec 16, 2013

Kimberly Does Painted Canvases--And Guides!

Kimberly Crum was well known for her wonderful counted canvaswork designs but the industry changed some, painted canvases became The Thing, and Kimberly became Kimberly Smith.  Time marches on, you know!

But yesterday Ruth Schmuff announced that she and Kimberly have created a new partnership.  Kimberly is going to do painted canvas designs and Ruth is going to distribute them.

AND Kimberly is doing stitch guides for the canvases!  What could be better!!?!  (The guides aren't quite ready yet but soon, very soon....)

Here is Kimberly's space on Ruth's website.  Keep an eye on this as new designs are added.

There's nothing else quite like Kimberly's whimsical and colorful small pieces.  I can't wait to see more!

Dec 14, 2013

Laura Perin and the Pink Nutcracker UPDATED AGAIN

Laura Perin is working on her third stitch guide, this time for Sandra Gilmore's pink nutcracker.

I think it is going to be spectacular!  This should be available to order at the January 2014 TNNA trade show.  Stay tuned!

UPDATE:  Here are some closeups of the model at the TNNA Winter 2014 show.

Here is a good photo of Emily's finished version.

Dec 5, 2013

The Woodland Santa (Melissa Shirley Designs)

Enriched Stitch's Becki Gebhardt has created a wonderful version of the Melissa Shirley Woodland Santa that the shop is selling a guide for now.  Woodland Santa shows the man in red carrying a cut Christmas tree, wreath, pine cones, etc. through the snowy forest, a fox and deer walking by his side.  There is a rabbit riding his pack and a bird in the air, watching for the decorating that is about to begin.  You can also buy the canvas from the shop.  If you pick up the threads at the same time, they will throw in the guide for free.

It's never too late to order a special Christmas present for yourself or to get started on a beautiful Christmas piece for 2014.

UPDATE:  Melissa Shirley Designs posted the official cover for this guide on their Facebook page.

Nov 26, 2013

Teeny Tiny Nativity

I love Nativity sets and some day I'll stitch one--if I ever settled on just one that's my favorite!  In the meantime, Enriched Stitch is feeding my addiction with photos of the first of a series from Melissa Shirley the shops calls the Teeny Tiny Nativity.  The shop is writing stitch guides for the series for a stitching group in Texas but if you want to join the fun, they are happy to sell you the guide, threads, the canvas--whatever!

Stay tuned for more from this series.  Here is the Thimble Nativity entire set, just in case the link on the Enriched Stitch breaks.

Nov 20, 2013

The Harvest Moon Shines

Enriched Stitch has finished stitching the class model of Ewe and Eye's Harvest Moon.  The shop will sell the stitch guide as part of a kit for long distance customers.  However, if you own the canvas already, they will sell the stitch guide only to you.  The second link has the purchase details for the kit, the canvas or threads or guide alone, or some combination of these three items.

Nov 16, 2013

Robin Went to Texas UPDATED ALREADY

Robin went to Texas to visit Pocket Full of Stitches and lead their annual retreat.  Doesn't this sound like FUN?!  There were twenty students which means Robin has added twenty new stitch guides to her catalogue.  You can see the designs and get glimpses of Robin's magic underway on her blog.

UPDATE:  Patricia, the winner of the Turbo Needle Award this week, has finished her Autumn Blossoms piece from Labors of Love using Robin's guide from the retreat.  Isn't she beautifully dressed?!

Nov 14, 2013

Acorns Fall from the Trees

Turkeys Eat While Deer Watches Enviously
Chilly Hollow is covered in mature oak trees so soon the forest floor will be covered in acorns with deer and turkey squabbling over who gets to eat the tastiest ones.  If you would like some tasty acorns of your own without the territorial fighting, Nimble Needle in Georgia has just released stitch guides for six Associated Talents acorns.  Buy the canvas or the threads and your guide is free.

Your own deer or turkey canvases are extra.

Nov 12, 2013

Two New Chillyhollow Stitch Guides UPDATED

I've finished writing two more stitch guides (Leigh Designs Water Baby Fantine and the Japanese Tea House) for your reading pleasure.  I posted about them at Blog, so rather than repeating myself, here is the link.  If you are interested in any of my guides, click on the How To Buy tab above.

UPDATE:  Nimble Needle said some very nice things about the Japanese Tea House.  Thanks!

Nov 7, 2013

Nimble Needle has Melissa Shirley Seasonal Baskets

Nimble Needle has announced the David McCaskill stitch guide for the Melissa Shirley California Basket is now available.   It costs $65 but only $49 if you buy the canvas, too. Here are the details.

The shop says the Melissa Shirley Halloween basket is still available as well if you want to start stitching for next October now.  I don't know if there is a stitch guide for this beauty or if there is, who wrote it, but a quick email to the shop should answer that question for you.

Melissa Shirley has a series of basket canvases.  Right now her Thanksgiving basket is on her home page.  If you type "basket" in the search box at the home page, you will see a great many choices, and a lot of them have stitch guides (check the second link below or more information).

Nov 6, 2013

The Witch Coven Arrives At Enriched Stitch

Melissa Shirley's Fairy Tale Witches are going to be classes at Enriched Stitch over the next year.  Becki Gebhart just finished Ethelfirth, the last of the four she stitched.  Only Helowise and Gunilda are on the shop website now, but their sisters will join them soon.

If you aren't familiar with the series, and haven't seen them as Becki posted them to Needlepoint Nation on Facebook, you can see them unstitched on Melissa Shirley's website.

Note that Gunilda has a stitch guide by Jan Ayeroff of Aristeia, just in case you can't wait for Becki's coven.

Nov 5, 2013

Kiersten is A Blonde--OR a Redhead!

Needle Deeva Hand Painted Canvases just posted a photo of a Nashville Needleworks ad in Needlepoint Now on their Facebook page.  The advertisement features Needle Deeva's Kiersten with both blonde and red hair!  The shop sells the kit with the stitch guide to have the right shade of flowing tresses for your preference.  The second link shows Kiersten for those who can't access the Facebook link and the third is Nashville Needleworks' online shop.

Nov 3, 2013

Keep an Eye on Raymond

Raymond Crawford Designs has started to post photos of finished designs that have stitch guides on their Facebook page.   If you are a fan, make sure you keep an eye on his Facebook account so you see things like Joan Lohr's stitch guide model for his acorn sampler.

Nov 2, 2013

New Maggie Stitch Guide

Maggie's "From Us To You" Stitched By SuZy Murphy
Maggie Co. just announced on their Facebook page that their Peter Adderly canvas called "From Us To You" now has a stitch guide by SuZy Murphy available.  Yes, THAT SuZy Murphy who wrote all those great books!  I think it is marvelous!

Contact Maggie for details.

Oct 31, 2013

Patty Paints Nutcrackers

The designer Patty Paints has a wonderful series of monthly nutcrackers, each with their own stitch guide.  I stumbled across them on the Fireside Stitchery website.  The series starts at the link below and continues on the next page.  (By the way, Fireside changes around their pages a lot so if this link doesn't work, try a search for Patty Paints designs, then look through all the results.)

The nutcrackers are also on the Patty Paints website.  Click on the thumbnail photos to see a larger photo of each stitched.

Oct 28, 2013

Just in Time for Halloween

Ruth Schmuff has done a stitch guide for her Silly Witch, just in time for Halloween 2013 (and just in case you need a holiday project to stitch while awaiting trick or treaters).

This is the small version of Silly Witch.

If you want Big & Silly Witch, ask Ruth if the stitch guide for the smaller piece will work for her big sister who has a border, a cat and a quarter moon.

The Needlepointer's Kits-To-Go

The Needlepointer in Washington State has lovely classes and retreats, which always make me drool. While browsing their newly revamped website, I realized that they are now making kits (which include stitch guides, the canvas and the supplies) available from past classes for those who live thousands of miles away like me.  They call these Kit-to-Go projects.  The range currently available are listed here.  I feel that I need to warn you that some class pieces are harder to follow when the teacher isn't present than others, so ask before you buy if you can get help if something isn't clear in the stitch guide.

Oct 27, 2013


Now that I have your attention, let me assure you that this is just a heads up for stitch guide writers who use Apple's Pages word processing to create their stitch guides and stitch diagrams.  As many Mac owners know, Apple has released a new operating system called Mavericks 10.9 in October 2013.  This is an upgrade to the Mountain Lion operating system from last year.

When you upgrade your computer or laptop, there is a new version of Pages and it is totally different from Pages 09.  Many of the commands have been renamed and the toolbar has been totally changed.  It means learning to use Pages all over again and it's not going to be a quick and easy process.  HOWEVER, it appears that on many computers the new Pages doesn't delete the old Pages. I  think that we can still use the old version of the word processor.

To try this, go to Applications and look for a folder labelled iWork 09.  Open that folder and you will find the old Pages.  Drag that icon to your toolbar and I think you can continue to use the older software.  YOU WILL BE ASKED if you want to upgrade to the new version.  If you click yes, the new Pages will be loaded instead.

I have icons for both versions of Pages on my toolbar and plan to use the old Pages 09 for my stitch diagrams while I try to learn the new Mavericks Pages for stitch guides.  Stay tuned to see if this works!

By the way, some of us are using older versions of Pages than Pages 09 so your word processor software will be somewhere other than a folder called iWorks 09.  I don't know if this will work for you preferred word processor, but it is worth a try if you have upgraded your machine to the Mavericks operating system.  You can always not download the new Pages.  I think it is not part of the Mavericks upgrade if I remember correctly.

UPDATE:  I have discovered that I cannot edit any documents created under Pages 09 any more.  They have to be opened and edited with the new Pages.  However, I can create stitch diagrams in Pages 09 which is what I will continue to do as I try and learn how to use the new version of the word processing software.  Wish me luck!

Oct 24, 2013

Another Lady of the Night (UPDATED with More!)

Pat Miller (The Needleart Nut) has just released the stitch guide for Morgana, one of Leigh Designs' Ladies of the Night series.  Are they vampires?  Or just very very odd?  I am not sure except I know she likes candles and spiders and wine!

AND Pat has done three other stitch guides.  One is for Painted Pony's Sand Castles and Seashells Angel, one for Patty Paint's ABC Schoolhouse (and its cute sheep), and the last is also from Patty Paints. This one is the Princess Sleeping design with the cute little girl napping on her bed.

Pat has been busy, hasn't she?

Oct 18, 2013

Guides for Christmas Stockings

Ruth Schmuff thinks Christmas is in the air.  She is busy creating stitch guides and fixing up kits for Christmas stockings from Melissa Shirley and  Rebecca Wood for her customers.  I don't think these are exclusives, so a phone call or email can add one of these beauties to your Christmas stitching for 2014.

Oct 16, 2013

Swirly Flower Stitch Guides

Hilary Jean Designs has been busy stitching Swirling Flowers.  They look great!  The guide for the first flower will work for all the others, but Robin has promised a guide for each of the series.

You can see the entire flock of flowers on the Hilary Jean website.  Pick your favorite colors and threads and start stitching!

Oct 12, 2013

Just in Time for Halloween...

Just in time for Halloween, Sharon Quick has finished a stitch guide for Esme from Leigh Designs.  Esme is one of the Ladies of the Night series (second link).

Hopefully Sharon will make this guide available through Leigh Designs.

Oct 11, 2013

Cupcakes and Topiaries from Melissa Shirley Designs

Melissa Shirley just announced on her Facebook page that now that the monthly clubs for her Sweetheart Cupcake club and her Fancy Forest Topiary are over, they are available as stitch guides.  Laurie Walden created the guide for the Valentine-themed cupcakes while Rebecca Booth of the Knotted Needle created the topiaries.

Oct 6, 2013

The Pink Santa Stocking

Ruth Schmuff of Bedecked and Beadazzled has collaborated with Julia Snyder on a stitch guide for the Magic Santa from Tapestry Tent/Susan Roberts.

I think of this as the Pink Santa because of the pink ribbons, the pink castle in his toy sack, and of course the pink rose trim on his robe and at the top of the stocking.  Have you seen what Jane Williams did with her version?  It's lovely and beautifully finished, too.

If you need a feminine Santa stocking in your life, this might be perfect.

Oct 4, 2013

A Geisha Named Sakura

Sandra Vargas' newest design is a geisha piece, distributed by Ruth Schmuff.  There's a stitch guide (writer unknown) for this design in case the big eyed figure tugs at your heart.

Oct 3, 2013

Just in Time for Halloween...

Just in time for Halloween, Kirk and Bradley has announced a Ruth Dilts stitch guide for their Spider Hallowe'en Cupcake.  Here's the design.  To see the finished piece, check Kirk and Bradley's Facebook page.

Oct 1, 2013

Susan Portra Stitch Guides

Susan Portra's new website has a section that lists stitch guides she's written that have been published in Needlepoint Now.  Susan is a very talented teacher and along with Brenda Hart and SharonG, one of my stitching heroes.  I just love her stitching style and her ideas!  But unless you are lucky enough to live in California and Florida where she teaches regularly, her classes are too far to travel to.  Published guides from her work are a real treat!

Sep 24, 2013

BeStitched Now Has Stitch Guides UPDATED

Well, the shop always sold stitch guides but they have a new online store and have a section called "Stitch Guides."  Hurrah!  This is a new venture so for now only two guides (by Lani and Robin King) are listed.  I imagine this will grow as the online store itself grows.

Remember, BeStitched also has a section called "Pax" which are kits:  canvases, stitch guides and threads.  If you need the entire package (usually from their classes) this is the place to look.  But buyer beware--I am told that classes usually include access to videos illustrating stitches and techniques and these are not part of their kits.  It also is wide to read the descriptions carefully as some kits seem to have more than others.

UPDATE:  The shop also has video stitch guides for their retreat projects.  These are short and demonstrate sections of the canvas to help those working the project.

UPDATE #2:  BeStitched has added PDF download stitch guides to their Needlepoint Fix Marketplace.  Right now guides are available for canvases from dede Odgen, Ewe and Eye, Kelly Clark, Maggie, Melissa Shirley, Tapestry Fair and Zecca.

Sep 14, 2013

It's All About the Shoes (and Guides) UPDATED

Recently I received an inquiry about whether a stitch guide for Share One's Ideas' "It's All About the Shoes" design was available anywhere.  This is the canvas.

As you can see, M's Canvashouse had a class on this piece two years ago.  They will sell you the stitch guide if you have the canvas already, or you can get the full kit there.  It's not on their website so you will have to inquire about pricing and availablity.

About the same time (great minds thinking alike and all that) Needlenook of La Jolla also had a class on this canvas.  The details are there.  See the DVD?  David McCaskill who taught the class and who is the manager of the shop, says that it will function well as a stitch guide and folks who buy it who have questions can always email him with questions. Of course you can get the full kit from this shop as well.

So there are plenty of options if you don't want to decorate your own Halloween shoes!

Many thanks to L for asking about this!

UPDATE:  Apparently M's Canvashouse is planning a followup to their All About the Shoes class.

UPDATE #2: Here is the canvas, stitched using Robin King's stitch guide.  Fun!

Sep 12, 2013

A Stitch Guide For Every Experience Level

Nimble Needle reminds us that not everyone wants an advanced stitch guide by highlighting the Just Add Threads series of canvases from Shear Creations.  They come with a stitch guide and use only a few threads so they are perfect for travel or for someone just starting to dabble in needlepoint.  They are also fine gifts if you want to tempt someone who already stitches to start to needlepoint.

Shear Creations is actually Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson--the geniuses behind the Stitches for Effect series--and is distributed by Artists Collection if you want your local shop to order one or more of these for you.

Sep 10, 2013

Keep an Eye on Facebook

The ease of updating Facebook pages has started a new trend--stitch guide writers are now updating their personal FB pages with photo albums listing all the guides they have written or post an announcement when they start a new guide.  Here are the stitch guide writers who have embraced this trend:

Carolyn Hedge Baird - Look for the Facebook account Needlepointing in My Nest, then check out the "Stitch Guides Available For Sale Written By Moi" photo album.

Robin King - Robin's Facebook account is Robin King.  She posts a photo of her canvas and supplies when she starts a project and sometimes posts the cover page of the finished stitch guide when it is done.  Note that class projects are posted the same way, so read what Robin says about something before assuming it is a stitch guide that is available.  Probably you will be able to get the class materials once the class is over but you will have to ask Robin about that.

I'll update the list as more stitch guide writers start using Facebook as a way of keeping their fans up to date on their newest guides.

Sep 8, 2013

The New Sandy Arthur Stitch Guide Page

Sandy Arthur has added a new section to her website--her stitch guides!  Now you can visit her site and see all the stitch guides she has written.  This is not complete yet and Sandy is always stitching new things, so don't hesitate to come back again and again to see what she's been up to.

Sep 5, 2013

The Stitch Guide Rumor Mill

SharonG is considering a monthly club of small canvases, perhaps perfume bottles, ball gowns or tea cups....

Stay tuned!  If you aren't familiar with Sharon's work, do visit her website!

Sep 4, 2013

CH Designs Debut (with Stitch Guides)

There's another new designer appearing at the trade shows!  It's CH Designs, which will be distributed by Danji.  You may have seen the darling candy cane Santas on eBay at the CH Designs store, which will be closing.

Cheryl will be adding to her website as the line grows.  The designs you see there now all have stitch guides by Cynthia Thomas!  This is a great collaboration as Cynthia has added great detail to a small, quick to stitch design which will be easy to stitch up for the holidays.

Sep 3, 2013

Another Laura Perin Stitch Guide Finished

Laura Perin has finished her second stitch guide, this time for Sandra Gilmore/Once in a Blue Moon's Statue of Liberty.  It's a lovely piece, not too fancy or difficult, but a perfect interpretation of Liberty in all her majesty and glory.  Congratulations, Laura!  What's next?  A third Sandra Gilmore?'

By the way, any shop can order Laura's stitch guides from her distributor Fleur de Paris.

Sep 2, 2013

Stitch Guides for Rogue's Queens of Henry VIII UPDATED AGAIN

Amy Bunger just announced in her September 2013 newsletter that Lori Carter is writing stitch guides for all the Tudor queens of Henry VIII canvases created by Rogue Needlepoint.  (Scroll down to the last third of the newsletter to see the four canvases designed to date.)  The first canvas, Anne of Cleves, almost has the guide finished.  Keep an eye on Amy Bunger's Facebook page for updates and photos of each queen as they are finished.

UPDATE:  Lori Carter has finished four of the Queens and posted photos on Facebook.  The original designs are the figures only, but Lori adds backgrounds to each.  Remember, the guides are available exclusively from Amy's Golden Strand.  They cost $25 with the purchase of either the canvas or the thread kit (or both).  Amy's doesn't sell guides except as a package deal.

Here is Katherine Parr.

Catherine Aragon

Anne Boleyn

Ann of Cleves

Jane Seymour

Katherine Howard

Henry VIII Himself

More Henry. Use the right side arrow for a closeup.

Aug 31, 2013

Errata and Other Help for Joan Eidman's St. Nicholas Series

Joan Eidman has found a typo in the list of threads for her Holly St. Nicholas.

If you have this in your stash, please correct the thread number and note that you can use another Kreinik braid since the one Joan used is no longer available.   If you aren't certain that you have the Holly St. Nicholas (Joan has three St. Nick canvases), here is a photo of him with his two brothers.

Thanks, Joan!

UPDATE:  Joan also is willing to help folks find beads and such for her Byzantine St. Nicholas. I think that is very nice of her.

Aug 26, 2013

Big Brother is Watching You


The St. Charles trade show is over and my latest project for Leigh Designs is now public.   As traditional, Leigh has done a Halloween-themed series called Familiars for the fall.  Familiars are cat companions to witches and each of the eight Familiars designs has black cats galore!

Three Cats Eye Background Stitches

I stitched Watchers, three cats gathered in the center of the design to keep an eye on all the glow in the dark skulls surrounding them.  When I was starting to stitch the model for Leigh, the news broke about the NSA and our government spying on Americans, monitoring our emails, watching who we call and where we are when we use our cell phones, taking photographs of our license plates, and generally being Big Brother.  So I took the theme of this canvas from the cat eyes to repeat watchful cat eyes in three different stitches all over the background.  I also took full advantage of some of the newest threads available to us stitchers to add green glow-in-the dark eyes to the cats, create a glow in the dark full yellow moon with a pattern and crystal sequins scattered across it, and to make the skulls all glow.


Sandy Arthur also stitched a model for Leigh from the Familiars series.  She did Listeners, all sitting on a fence with their scarecrow, listening to the wind blow and waiting for a cloud to cross their moon.  You can see both finished pieces in more detail at the Leigh website (link above).

Your shop can order any of the Familiars for you from Leigh Designs.  The stitch guides from Sandy and myself are also available for your shop to order from Leigh Designs, or you can get your stitch guide directly from me.

Everyone needs a black cat companion, after all!

Aug 24, 2013

Easter Bunny Approved

The latest Julia Snyder stitch guide for one of the Eye Candy collages from Ruth Schmuff is available now.  Sadly, I don't have a finished model to show you but Ruth has set out all the goodies Julia uses for this fun piece for the Easter Bunny to approve.

Aug 21, 2013

Sources for Stitch Guides for Moonlight Tea Party

Moonlight Tea Party Courtesy of 2 the Point

Recently I got a message from someone who was hoping to find a stitch guide for Tapestry Tent's Moonlight Tea Party (pictured above).  I did a little online research and checked with the stitching mavens at Needlepoint Nation on Facebook and discovered several sources.  I thought since this was a popular canvas, I would list all the places that have guides here to help out other folks who want to stitch this with the help of a stitch guide.

Terry Christopher Costillo did a stitch guide for this piece.  You can contact Terry at her shop, 2 the Point, to inquire about the guide.  Actually, the photo above is courtesy of Terry. It shows the stitched version done by a customer at 2 the Point following Terry's instructions.

Pocket Full of Stitches probably has done a stitch guide for this canvas.  You can inquire at the shop or email them at  No one at the shop has stitched this, they've just written a guide, according to my informant.

BeStitched is working on a stitch guide for this right now.  If you want a copy as well, inquire at the shop.

Tony Minieri has done a guide for this piece, too.  You can reach him at The Edwardian Needle but since the shop is moving to a new location now, it is closed.  You will have to call and hope that they can help you despite being surrounded by moving boxes!  The shop should be in their new place in early September 2013, by the way.

Both Amy Bunger and Robin King have done stitch guides for other designs in this series.  You probably can reuse parts of those guides to stitch Moonlight Tea Party.  To see Amy's pricing on Witch Reading, scroll down toward the bottom of this page from her shop stitch guide catalogue.  You will have to buy this canvas or the thread kit for it to be able to buy the stitch guide from Amy, however.

You can see more about Robin King's Halloween March by looking at her catalogue of available stitch guides here.

Hope this helps fans of the little witch series stitch their Moonlight Tea Party.

Aug 20, 2013

We've Gone to the Dogs

The world is shot to heck and so it's appropriate we've all gone to the dogs, guided by the incomparable Robin King!  All these stitch guides are available from Robin.  Just email and ask.

Aug 19, 2013

Introducing the First Stitch Guide You Can Dance To

Just watch.

More details here.  Excuse me while I go yell at Anne Stradal and Whitney for not cluing me into this gem!

P.S.  Erin McGrath does other stitch guides.  How about one for JP's owl?  I know she does others, I just don't know what they are or whether you can dance to them....

Aug 14, 2013

Stitch Guides for Andrea Brisben/Changing Woman Designs

"Sailboats," Stitch Guide by Brenda Hart
The gorgeous original designs and the painting reproductions from Andrea Brisben of Changing Woman Designs come with stitch guides in some instances.  If you browse her website, check for titles with an asterisk.  Move your cursor over those tiny photos and you'll get a glimpse of the artistry available in guides for that piece.  I'm just sorry the photos are small because some of these guides are out of this world.  Take Peg's stitching of Toffoli's Sailboats above, following the stitch guide by the incomparable Brenda Hart.  Magnificent!

Aug 11, 2013

The Wizard of Paws

Sandy Arthur has revealed her latest project--the Wizard of Paws from Brenda Stofft Designs.

Sandy will teach this project to guilds and also sell a stitch guide if you want to order the canvas and her guide through your local shop.  If you can, I'd take the class from Sandy as she includes a lot of interesting and new techniques.

Aug 2, 2013

Prancing and Parading Around Chilly Hollow

I'm A Cover Girl!

I now officially have The Big Head.  The July-August issue of Needlework Retailer* features my Caribe' Bermuda canvas (and Sandy Arthur's Caribe' Montego box top) on the cover!

This is a big deal for Leigh Designs and for Sandy and myself.  We are in the big time now!

I am even trying to convince Sandy we should have a booth at the next trade show and sell autographs for a quarter.  Each.

So far, Sandy has said No.

(Guess she heard I was planning to hand out autographed photos of Watson and myself as well.)

Sandy stitched the large version of Jamaica for the Columbus trade show.  Here you see it on display on the right.  My small Trinidad pillow is in the center and Sandy's small Montego is on the right.  The smiling redhead in the back is Leigh Richardson herself, the creator of these charmers.

I understand that the large versions of Martinique and Barbados have stitch guides now and so do the small versions of Bermuda, Trinidad and Jamaica.  You can see all the available large Caribe' guides in the link below.   Click on any photo with a stitch guide noted to see the finished model.  The available guides for the small Caribe' coaster sized versions are shown in the second link.

Will you excuse me?  I need to go check to see if the star on my new dressing room's door is large enough, pink enough and sparkly enough....

*Needlework Retailer is the trade magazine for shops that sell needlework in the United States.  It showcases the newest product ads and has a few brief articles about industry news.

Jul 31, 2013

Robin King's Updated List of Available Stitch Guides

Robin has updated the list of available stitch guides on her blog, with the list sorted by designer to make it easier to find the one you want.  She also explains the difference between stitch guides for canvases she has stitched personally and those she has drawn up a road map for without actually doing the stitching.  There's a difference!

Have a fun little browse and see if a canvas of your dreams is on the list so you can stitch along with her.

P.S.  Robin's stitch guides done at Amy Bunger's shop are also listed with little thumbnail photos on Amy's website.  This is a very handy place to browse if you want a quick visual search of some of Robin's guides instead of reading the list.

Jul 30, 2013

Have You Ever Deviated From a Stitch Guide?

Have you ever deviated from a stitch guide and then felt guilty about doing so?  DON'T!  Sheena explains why in this delightful essay on Zecca, taking classes from Ruth Schmuff and how to display those ornaments we are busy stitching.

Jul 29, 2013

Laura Perin's First Stitch Guide UPDATED

Laura Peri's First Stitch Guide
Laura Perin who is one of the most prolific charted designers working today, has crossed over to the Dark Side!  She has created her first stitch guide for a painted canvas!  The stitch guide you see above is for Sandra Gilmore's Hydrangeas.  Isn't it lovely?  A second Sandra Gilmore/Once in a Blue Moon guide is underway.

Shops can buy Laura's guides from Fleur de Paris who are the distributors of Sandra Gilmore's canvases.  Congratulations, Laura!  We can't wait to see what you do with your next painted canvas!

UPDATE:   Laura explains how this all evolved.

UPDATE #2:  Laura has finished her second stitch guide, this time for Sandra Gilmore's Statue of Liberty.

UPDATE #3:  Laura is working on a Sandra Gilmore/Once in a Blue Moon nutcracker.

Jul 28, 2013

Robin is a Nutcracker Fiend

And so is 3 Kittens Needle Arts in Minnesota.  So they got together over a dede Odgen nutcrackers design and the rest is history!  Lucky us, we can get the shop exclusive stitch guide from 3 Kittens and have our own nutcracker madness!  Whether you are interested in nutcrackers or not, you have to see the amazing beards and mustaches, the uniforms and of course the lovely background stitch on this beautiful canvas.  Great job, Robin!

Jul 23, 2013

Assocated Talents Guides Page Updated

Fans of Associated Talents will be pleased to hear the company has updated their stitch guide listing on their website.  Here's the link to see if your canvas has a free guide to download--

Remember, if you are accessing the page via your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, you can download the guides to iBooks.  Go to iBooks and then swipe to the right to switch to the PDF files vertual bookcase and there it will be.

Jul 17, 2013

BeStitched Introduces PAX

BeStitched just announced a new concept called PAX, which stands for painted canvas plus accoutrements plus an "excellent guide."  In other words, you can purchase a canvas, the stitch guide for it plus a kit of goodies to help you stitch using the guide.  I am not certain of the accoutrements are just embellishments or if each kits includes the threads, however.  They are probably included in at least some of the kits, but perhaps not all, so check before you buy.  The PAX available currently are shown at the bottom of this announcement.  Their online PAX website page is the second link below.

Jun 24, 2013

Inspired by Grant Leier

Leigh Designs' Trinidad (small)
My latest model and stitch guide for Leigh Designs was a departure from my normal style of stitching.  Last winter --models are stitched way ahead of a trade show because they have to go to the finisher well in advance of the trade show date-- Leigh asked me to stitch one of the small versions of her Caribe' series that came out in April in the larger size at the Destination Dallas show.  The smaller "coaster" sizes are now available, too.

This enables folks who love the big designs but who are short of time to pick up a smaller version to stitch when they have free time.  We all love those quick smaller projects as they are so very satisfying.

I choose to work on the tiny version of Trinidad.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect for trying something new.   I wanted to recreate one of Grant Leier's paintings on needlepoint canvas.  Can you guess which painting I took for inspiration?

Tiny Trinidad Stitched
The stitch guide for my "Leier-inspired" Trinidad uses the new Swarovski flat backed sew on crystal sequins, Swarovski bicones, beads and metallic threads on tulle.   In person the sparkle is amazing if I do say so myself.  The guide itself is five pages long, plus a cover page, materials list and large colored photo of my finished stitching.   This technique can be used successfully on any needlepoint canvas that gives the impression you are looking out a window into a landscape.  All you have to do is add the fancy embroidered sheer curtains.  Rummage in your stash, pull out all your bling and invest $10 in my guide to set your fancy free!

West Coast Finishing's Magic

Rear View of Lovely Pillow

Leigh choose West Coast Finishing to make her model up into a pillow. It looks magnificent!  Sue Parsons picked the right colors and fabrics to give Trinidad a tropical sun porch feel, then put it all together beautifully.  I am very proud to introduce Trinidad here as it is the end result of Grant Leier's art, Leigh Richardson's artistry, Sue Parson's magic sewing fingers and my imagination.

Pull up your wicker chair, pour a glass of iced lemonade, and enjoy!

New Barbara Bergsten Stitch Guides (Free!)

Barbara Bergsten has added new free stitch guides to her website.

Most of the new guides are for new designs.  Here's the direct link if you have one of these beauties and want to print out Barbara's guide for it.

Jun 16, 2013

New from Sharon Quick

Sharon Quick has just completed stitching one of Lani's fairy dolls.  Sharon created a wonderful version of Tasha.  Here is the full series, unstitched.

Sharon posted a photograph on Facebook.   Here's the link.

Interested in the stitch guide?  Email Sharon at bg4458 for the details.  She's started posting images of canvases which she has done guides for on her Facebook page.

Jun 11, 2013

The iPad and Associated Talents Stitch Guides

Associated Talents just mentioned a new feature of their Stitch Guides page on Facebook.  If you use iPads and open a guide, there will be an option to save a guide as an iBook.  Neat!

This also works for iPhones and the iPod Touch if you happen to own them instead of an iPad.  Many thanks to Donn Lynch for the heads up on this new feature.

Jun 7, 2013

Zecca Dips a Toe Into Stitch Guides

Zecca has a new website!  The update includes a page of five stitch guides available for their canvases. Robin King tells me that Karen Hennessy stitched and wrote the guides for "4 Birds", Cynthia Thomas stitched and wrote the guide for "5 Fishes" and Robin King stitched and wrote the guides for "Lotus Squared", "Thistle" and "Early Bird."  Thanks for the clarification, Robin!

These aren't the only guides for Zecca canvases available (Robin has done three guides that I know about) but these are on the designer website.

Robin King herself worked on Thistle,

on Lotus Squared, and...

...on the Bird and Worm canvas.

Jun 1, 2013

Halloween Stitch Guides

I've been thinking about Halloween designs lately since I plan to finish up my stitch guide for the Ladies of the Night series for Leigh Designs shortly.  Apparently Halloween is in the air--Robin King has written an article listing all the Halloween stitch guides she has in her collection of guides for sale.  If you are need a guide for a Halloween project for the summer so you'll be ready when the ghosts and goblins begin to gather, here's the place to start looking--

Robin has guides for Halloween canvases from Artists Collection, Brenda Stofft, Kelly Clark, Leigh Designs. Maggie, Melissa Shirley, Needle Deeva, Renaissance Designs, Shelly Tribbey, and Susan Roberts/Tapestry Tent.  In other words, all the spooky stitching you could ever want!

May 16, 2013

Bedecked and Beadazzled Guide to Stitch Guides

Ruth Schmuff has updated her shop website with a page devoted to stitch guides available from her store.  The newest guides are at the top of the page.  Classics are down lower.  Please note that some guides are for past mystery classes that Ruth has done in her teacher role, some are designer club guides, and some are for canvases that Ruth distributes in her painted canvas distributor role.  In other words, some guides are available at other shops and some are exclusive to Ruth.  Some listings are for the painted canvas with the guide included.  Some are just for the guide or for one month's installment in a club.  Click on the thumbnail portrait of anything you find interesting to get the details.

May 11, 2013

LOVE (Threads)

Robin King is stitching the perfect canvas to celebrate Mother's Day--Raymond Crawford's LOVE.

This piece is a threadaholic's delight!  Robin used a different palette of threads for each letter and I bet she uses a lot of other stitches, too.  Robin has issued a challenge to readers of her blog--she posted a stitch diagram she is using somewhere in the design.  Guess which thread and area she put it in and win a prize!

Truly anyone who stitches one of Robin's guides has won a prize anyway but it is fun to try and decide just where Robin put the Triple Windows stitch.

Apr 30, 2013

Hibiscus Flowers, Palm Fronds, a Mai Tai and Me UPDATED

The Paper Umbrella, Closeup of Bermuda

The latest series from Leigh Designs was just announced at Destination Dallas--the Caribe' series.

These sunny florals are all inspired by motifs from the various Caribbean islands.  I stitched Bermuda as a model for Leigh and have done a stitch guide for both the large and small versions of this canvas.  Your local shop can order a canvas and guide for you from Leigh or you can ask me for a PDF version of the guide if you happen to have the canvas already or just want to add it to your reference library.

You can see the entire set of the bigger Caribe' designs at the Leigh Designs website.  The smaller "coaster" size will be released for the Columbus TNNA show in June although some of them are already public.

The photo above is a closeup from my large Bermuda model.  It is full of the new Swarovski flat back crystal sequins and beads.  These decorate the organdy ribbon umbrella, grace the black shutters, and float like pineapple bits in the glass. The hibiscus blossoms are covered in beads instead.  My favorite part of the design are the palm fronds and green coconuts, however.  They just give peace to this fun Caribbean piece.

Bermuda In All Her Sunny Glory!

I understand that there will be other stitch guides done for this series (I have done one for the small version of Trinidad to be shown off in June) and Sandy Arthur will teach a class on one of the set as well.  Stay tuned until the June trade show in Columbus for more!

UPDATE:  Sharon Quick is working the large version of Martinique;

Pat Miller is working on the large version of Barbados;

and Sandy Arthur is stitching the large version of Jamacia which she will teach at the June 2013 Columbus trade show. There will be stitch guides available for all three canvases this summer sometime.

Apr 27, 2013

The Stitch Guide Crew in Action

Folks who write stitch guides and designers who come up with the painted canvas work very closely together.  Robin King just illustrated this beautifully in her brief article about the evolution of the Tapestry Fair stitch guide for Hooter Owl.  Peggi of Tapestry Fair designed and stitched this 3-D charmer (plus came up with a non-holiday version), Robin worked up the stitch guide diagrams, and Carolyn Hedge Baird contributed photographs.  The NP Nation (designer/stitch guide writer clan) really came together on this!

Apr 23, 2013

The Flower Market UPDATED

Needle Works just had a fabulous class using Sundance's Flower Market.  The class was taught by Laura Taylor and a stitch guide will be created so that long distance stitchers don't need Laura to understand the directions. Stay tuned!

UPDATE:  Laura now has a website that lists her upcoming classes and available stitch guides.

Apr 17, 2013

New Guides from Robin King UPDATED

Robin has been very busy teaching at The Nimble Needle in Atlanta.  You can join in the fun by visiting her report on the trip.

UPDATE:  Robin's also providing the diagrams and guides for a club for Nimble Needle Atlanta that is pumpkin-themed.  Stacy Brown stitched the pumpkins and Robin wrote up her original ideas in guide form.  Three sizes, three guides, three sets of fun!

UPDATE #2:  More new guides from Robin!

The reason this is posted here instead of at the Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure is that Robin's embellishment guides for her students are available as stitch guides for folks who happen to have these canvases in their hot little hands.  Robin's included contact information so you can let her know you are interested in one of her beauties.

Wish we'd all been there but there wouldn't be room for Robin with all of us in the shop!

Apr 16, 2013

New Guides for Melissa Shirley Canvases

Guide by Melissa Herself, Lots of Beads!
Melissa Shirley has announced quite a few new stitch guides on her Melissa Shirley Designs Facebook page.  I gathered all the photos and have posted them here since most are not on Melissa's website yet.

Apr 10, 2013

Brenda Stofft's Rabbit Geisha Stitch Guide UPDATED

Brenda Stofft's Rabbit Geisha (top)
Fans of Brenda Stofft's art will be happy to hear I have finally written up a stitch guide for my version of her Rabbit Geisha.  The guide is now available in PDF form for $25 retail.  (A hard copy costs $10 more so I can cover the costs of paper, ink and mailing.)  If you are a shop, wholesale pricing is available.  Just email me at to order.

Now, which Brenda Stofft piece should I stitch next?  Here are three that have caught my eye--
The Ready for Takeoff piece is charming.  Hold on to your hat before you jump off a cliff!

I love the Meditating Buddha Cat.  So serene....

How about Red Riding Hood and the little wolf?  Perfect for the child who is a little frightened of the Big Bad Wolf.

How about the Mermaid and her Pet Seahorse?  Walking the seahorse sounds like fun.

Sigh.  There are too many choices.  What would YOU choose?

UPDATE:  Tony Minieri has done a stitch guide for this canvas as well.  Harriet posted her finished piece on Facebook.

Apr 7, 2013

Leigh Designs' New Stitch Guides Section

Leigh Designs has started to organize a stitch guide section for their website.  You can go there to see if your favorite Leigh canvas has a guide.  You can also browse guides just for fun or to learn more about a stitch guide writer's style.  Click on a guide and you'll be taken to a photo of the finished piece.

I'm told that this section will be expanded to include a summary page for each stitch guide writer but that's in the future.  For now we can just explore all the wonderful work Leigh's designs are.

Apr 6, 2013

Robin The Stitch Diagram Queen UPDATED ALL OVER AGAIN

Tapestry Fair's Halloween Hooter
You all probably know Robin King from her stitch guides for Amy Bunger's shop or her classes she teaches all over the United States.  What you might not know is just how talented a stitch diagram illustrator she is.

But word is getting around.  This year Robin's been working on the charting and stitch guide layout for the Labors of Love pumpkin club that Stacy Brown has stitched for Nimble Needle in Atlanta.  You can see the finished models at the Nimble Needle website (link below).  The April stitch guide for the smallest pumpkin is almost ready.  Robin says Stacy used really different stitches which she can't wait to try out on other canvases.

Robin also charted diagrams for Halloween Hooter, the new 3-D Halloween bird from Tapestry Fair. Here's the unstitched canvas.  Robin says this is an amazing piece.  I posted a photo of the finished owl above.  I am not usually a fan of 3-D stuffed animals but this is amazing.  This is a set of eleven canvases that are cleverly assembled into a wonderful display piece.  Peggi says she's found the perfect feather trim to put about the owl's neck, so stay tuned!

UPDATE on Hooter Owl:

UPDATE:  By the way, Sue Dulle also diagrams and edits stitch guides for teachers and stitch guide writers.  Here's what she has to say on the topic.  Very appropriate as I'm about to go check over the stitch guide I finished last night for omissions and typos!

Apr 5, 2013

Julia's Needleworks Guides Listing

Julia's Needleworks has started a page of available stitch guides for their designs available from various shops.  First on the list is a sled from Beth's Needlepoint Nook.  I think you'll need to contact Beth's to pick up the guide, so the second link is to the Beth's website.

Julia's also has a lot of free stitch guides available on their website.  Here's the direct link to that area.

Apr 4, 2013

Owl Sightings UPDATED

Ruth Schmuff just announced a stitch guide is available for Sandra Vargas's Midnight Owl through Ruth's store, Bedecked and Beadazzled.  If you like pattern and owls, you'll over this. (I swear that tree branch is made from one of my husband's ties!)  Ruth distributes Sandra's designs so your shop can order the canvas for you from there.

UPDATE:  A second owl has a stitch guide, writer unknown.  This is the Midnight Crescent owl also from Sandra Vargas.  Choices are always good!

Apr 3, 2013

Tailoring a Perfect Jacket

When I ran across this wonderful little nutcracker done from a Robin King stitch guide, I had to show it off.  I agree with Denise--that jacket is terrific.

Sorry, I don't know the canvas designer's name.

Mar 27, 2013

Nimble Fingers and Stitch Guides

Nimble Fingers in Houston has a gallery page on their website with photos of finished pieces.  Many of these are still available in the shop with stitch guides.  There seem to be several Labors of Love canvases but there is a nice selection of work from many designers.  Happy browsing!

Mar 22, 2013

Ruth Schmuff Garden Series with Snyder Guides

Ruth Schmuff and Julia Snyder have collaborated on another series of Ruth's canvases' guides, this time for her "garden" series.  You can see the Garden Girls and then the Cafe Girls designs at the links below, followed by Up on the Rooftop.  Sadly, I don't have finished photos of a model of any of them for you.

Mar 21, 2013

The Stitch Guide Writer's Best Friend

One of the biggest problems I have as a stitch guide writer is having threads for a guide I just finished go out of production.  My favorite Kreinik metallic is no longer made.  The perfect thread for my current project is also not available any more.  What's a stitch guide writer to do?

Are you familiar with the (now closed) Regal Rabbit?  The owner has closed the shop and is semi-retired but her website is still open for business.  Head over there now and look at the bottom of the threads page.  There's a tool for finding threads built in!

The database's only weakness is that Kreinik metallics don't seem to be included.  For that, visit Kreinik's online color card.

Just type in a thread color and you'll see lots and lots of alternatives to that red cotton perle you are overusing.  Type in the closest DMC color number to that discontinued thread and there will be plenty of substitutes to choose from.  It's a stitch guide writer's best friend!  (Besides their copy editor, of course.)

Mar 18, 2013

There's a New Girl (or Two) in Town UPDATED AGAIN

There's a new stitch guide writer in town and she's hanging out with Floozies!  Don't believe me?  Check out Sloe Gin Sadie.

Over at the other side of the bar is Champagne Corliss.

These Floozies are both from Leigh Designs, stitched by Pat Miller who is creating stitch guides for your stitching pleasure.  If you are a shop you can order one of Pat's guides when you order your canvas from Leigh, or if you have one of these canvases lurking in your bar, you can email Pat directly and get a guide to help you stitch the slightly shady lady of your dreams.

Rumor has it that the next lady to undergo Pat's makeover will be Kitty from the Femme Fatale series.

You know, I think I've seen that platinum blonde before....

UPDATE:  The Needleart Nut has added a Stitch Guide page to her blog so that fans of her style can read about all the guides she's completed in one place.

UPDATE #2:  Kitty from Leigh Designs is done.  A guide will be ready shortly (second link).   Aren't that gown and stole fabulous!?!

UPDATE #3:  Morgana of the Ladies of the Night series is framed.  A stitch guide from the Needleart Nut will be in the works shortly.

Mar 13, 2013

Repurposing a Stitch Guide

Enriched Stitch did a lovely stitch guide for Ewe and Eye's Swirly Snowmen (it shows an overhead view of three snowmen twirling in the snow to make their scarves fly out around them), and had a customer ask if the guide could be used for the smaller single snowman ornaments that Ewe and Eye produced. Yes!  Quite a few designers do a large painted canvas and then reuse elements from the large design in a smaller version.   If I've done a model for a larger or smaller piece and the guide can be reused in that canvas' other versions, I will note what you need to do in the stitch guide.  When it comes to other stitch guide writers, any shop or the stitch guide writer him- or herself can tell you if you can reuse a guide on another canvas.

Of course I collect guides for their ideas and reuse them other places all the time, but this is really about using a guide for another version of the same design.

Mar 12, 2013

New Stitch Guides for New Melissa Shirley Canvases

Melissa Shirley must keep very busy designing new things.  Even though some of her designs are licensed from fellow artists, most of the new things that come from her studio are created by her.  So she keeps a lot of stitch guide writers very busy creating guides to enhancing and stitching these beauties.  Here's a roundup of the latest guides for the latest canvases, with the guide writer's name in parantheses.

Berry Basket (Carolyn Hedge Baird of Chaparral)

Rosy Cupcake (Cynthia Thomas)

Sweet Hearts - small pink heart ornaments (Laurie Walden)

Texas Basket (Carolyn Hedge Baird of Chaparral)

Valentine House- three dimensional design (Jan Ayeroff of Aristeia)

Stitch guides are underway for the Easter and Valentine crackers (Palma Seljan) but they aren't ready yet.

Enriched Stitch has finished their guide for Melissa's Peacock Ginger Jar.  They are teaching this as a class (which you can take via Skype if you wish) but the guide should be available separately as well.

Mar 10, 2013

Everyone Loves Raymond (and Halloween)

Everyone loves a fun Halloween canvas as they are always so happy and give us permission to do all sorts of wild things.  Vicky DeAngelis has obviously loved working on this fun Trick or Treat design from Raymond Crawford.  Her stitch guide for Raymond will be available very soon.

Mar 5, 2013

Facebook Announcements of New Stitch Guides

A. Bradley Needle Arts has just announced a new canvas with stitch guide by Cynthia Thomas on their Facebook page.  It's one of those leg lamps, hilariously (and elegantly) stitched.  If you have a FB account you'll be able to see it here.

Patt and Lee Designs has a new photo albums up on their Facebook page. It's called "Designs with Stitch Guides."  You can get a good look at their stitched models here if you have a FB account.

Feb 28, 2013

Halloween Beauty UPDATED

Halloween Beauty, Going Out on the Town?

Manuel Salas' "Belleza de Halloween" is finished and the stitch guide is ready for distribution!  This is a Tapestry Fair canvas (11x14 inches on 18 count), part of a series of adaptations of Mr. Salas' Day of the Dead paintings.  You can see them all here on the Tapestry Fair website.

The guide itself is sixteen pages long with an extra three pages of materials and a full color photo of the finished piece.  The guide covers needle felting, 3-D needle weaving and two kinds of beading (basketweave and brick stitch).  It costs $30 retail with wholesale pricing available for shops.  Just email me at to add a bit of Halloween Beauty to your stitching!

Quite a few folks have done guides for these Tapestry Fair canvases.  Tony Minieri has done "Rosa" and "Lupe."  Contact him via Edwardian Needle (second link) to purchase.

Sherry Bray has done "Un Pocito de Color" which is the more traditional Mexican version of Belleza above.  You can reach Sherry via Queen Anne Stitches' Facebook page to order.  

BeStitched Needlepointhas stitched both Pocito and Belleza in shop classes.  I believe the class notes are available as a stitch guide but you will have to ask.  

Whichever guide you wish to follow for any of these Manuel Salas Day of the Dead pieces, I can assure you of a great time stitching a Day of the Dead masterpiece.

UPDATE:  Brenda Hart and Ruth Schmuff helped a stitcher work on another version of Belleza in classes.  Here's the end result--a mirror of fabric and trim!