Monthly Archives: January 2015

Baby Elephant Needlepoint

Clearly we have a thing for circus animals in the Barney family…

I gave my sister Bella this adorable baby elephant canvas by Kate Dickerson for Christmas. Isn’t he just precious, holding a little flag and standing up on that cute floral stool? It’s no wonder I couldn’t resist buying him for her…

Baby Elephant
Bella is becoming quite the little stitcher. Look at how nice and even her basketweave is, and look at her away knots! I guess needlepoint runs in the family…

I think I’m going to teach her to do some lazy daisies in pink ribbon, with little yellow beaded centers. Plus, I think the Petite Silk Lamé Braid she has picked out will add just the right amount of sparkle to this canvas.

I don’t know how she wants to have him finished off… maybe an ornament, maybe a standing weighted… anyone have any thoughts?

Either way, I think she’s doing a wonderful job! I’m obviously a proud big sis!

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Top Tips for New Stitchers

Good morning everyone!

I mentioned in a post a few days ago that I was planning on sharing my top tips for new stitchers with you all.

Here are my eight easy things to do, that will hopefully simplify and improve a new stitching experience:

1. There are two different sizes of holes that most canvases are painted on now a days- 13 and 18 mesh. (13 mesh canvas has 13 holes to a linear inch of canvas, and 18 has 18… )

Larger holes are sometimes easier on the eyes for new stitchers- so selecting a design on 13 mesh canvas a good option, especially if you have any vision trouble.

There are a lot of great companies with designs on 13 mesh, but Elizabeth Turner Collection seems to have an exceptionally large selection.

Top tips for new stitchers

2. Most needlepoint canvases do not come with threads included. This is because there is such an incredible selection of fun fibers to play with… everyone wants to pick something different!

When selecting threads for your piece, single strand threads are your friend! (These are threads that don’t need to be plied and laid).

I recommend Planet Earth’s Pepper Pot, or Vineyard Silk for 18 mesh canvas, and Planet Earth Silk for 13. All three of these options are beautiful 100% silk fibers. No they aren’t as cheap as DMC, but they are easy to stitch with and will give you a lovely finished product.
Cut one thread for yourself- and you’re ready to go.

No fuss necessary!

3. In my opinion, it’s important to learn to basketweave, rather than continental from the get-go…
(Basketweave entails working on the diagonal (usually) beginning in the upper right hand corner of the canvas, rather than stitching horizontally.

It’s well worth the extra little bit of work to learn this stitch in the beginning- your canvas won’t be so easily distorted!

Here’s a video explaining how to basketweave from Stitch-for-Fun

http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/basketweave-stitch.htm


4.
Work on stretcher bars… Please! In my book, this is a must. It makes your canvas much easier to hold, and helps maintain the tension and original shape.
I find it makes a huge difference in the quality of your finished project. They are very inexpensive, and even come in light weight mini-sizes too!


5.
Pick a piece that is a manageable size, so you feel like you’re making good progress. You don’t want to start with something too big overwhelm yourself.


6.
Designs with big areas of color are great too- you don’t have to stop and change the color thread you are using as often.


7.
If you wear glasses or contacts, consider upping the magnification of your reading glasses. I’m fortunate that I don’t have eye problems myself (yet), but I have friends who do this and tell me it makes a big difference.


8.
Above all, pick a piece that you LOVE! If you don’t love it, you’ll never stitch it… believe me… that’s the truth!

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Welcome to the club!

I was so thrilled when I received a text message from my dear friend Megan the other day, telling me how much she was enjoying reading Stitch Style. Although she had never really been exposed to needlepoint before, she told me she was inspired by all the finished projects I had shared online.

It will totally embarrass her that I’m writing this, but, she told me that she had gone to buy her first piece of needlepoint last weekend while I was at market.

I’m beyond excited for her!

Look at the wonderful canvas she chose:

Welcome to the club

I don’t know what store she went to, or who helped her, but I think she picked a great piece!
13 mesh (larger holes- making it easier to count) and a simple pattern, so it’s not too overwhelming. Plus blue and white geometrics are very trendy these days!

I’ve been asked several times recently to post on my top tips for beginner needlepointers. For any other readers who are not already avid stitchers, you all can expect to be able to read them on the blog soon.

I’m just delighted Megan has decided to try her hand at needlepoint. This is one of the main reasons I started a blog- not only to share my projects with others, but to inspire new stitchers and welcome them into the community! There’s nothing more rewarding to me about my job, than helping people unlock their own creativity!

Kirk and Bradley Ring Master

Good morning everyone! Happy Martin Luther King day.

I hope you all are enjoying a relaxing morning like I am. It’s nice to be home, and have some time to get some things checked off my to do list!

I was so excited when I woke up to a text message today from a friend, telling me that my Kirk and Bradley Circus Animals had been featured on Chilly Hollow Blog in a lovely article entitled “Life’s a Circus at Virginia’s House.”
(You may remember when I posted about my Giraffe and Zebra, here).

Sadly this series has been discontinued, so get them now if you can find them! We have a few available in stock at The Enriched Stitch, and I think Needlepoint.com may have some left too.

Kirk and Bradley released an adorable updated version of the lion and elephant at January Market:

Kirk and Bradley Ring Master-New Lion

Look at how cute his little circus tent is!

This morning I’ve decided to share the progress I’ve made on the ring master. I’m really looking forward to finishing him up… look… I even bought leather garniture the other day to give him a real leather whip!
He’s no where near being done, but it’s always fun to share a work in progress too.

Kirk and Bradley Ring Master in Progress

Festive Owls

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Some of you may remember that I was given these beautiful festive owls by Vicki Sawyer (Melissa Shirley Designs) for Christmas…

I just wanted to share a quick update on the progress I’ve made on my festive owls…. look! Last night I finally got almost all of my background in. Once I had started stitching, I had wished I had picked a simpler background… but these tent stitch patterns are so effective, I’m glad I stuck with it!

Festive Owls

Now it’s almost time for the fun stuff…. feathers, faces and their hats!

I promise to post more pictures soon.

In the mean time, I hope you all have a relaxing weekend, filled with lots of stitching!

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Scott Church Stitch Along

Morning everyone!

What isn’t there to love about this little Scott Church zebra? He’s all bundled up in his snow gear, ready for a chilly winter’s day.

I have been a huge fan of Scott Church’s work ever since CBK first started distributing it. With lots of open areas of color, I find his artwork especially well suited for needlepoint.

Scott Church Stitch Along

That’s why I’ve finally decided to try my hand at bringing this whimsical Zebra to life…

But I have a fun idea!

In the next few weeks I will be starting a series of posts called “Stitch Along Sunday.”

I’ll be sharing my stitch guide for the zebra as I stitch him (diagrams, fiber lists, close up pictures… the works!) Don’t worry about the difficulty level… it’s nothing we can’t handle together. I promise to take you step by step through everything I do!

I have lots of ideas for this little guy, and I’m excited to share them with all of you.

Everyone who stitches along with me (and completes their piece!) will have their finished project featured on Stitch Style.

So, order your canvas from your local needlepoint store, or pull him out of your stash… I’d love to have you all join me!