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Monthly Archives: May 2017
Hey everyone. Happy Friday! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned with friends and family. I wanted to share a 2018 Needlepoint.Com Retreat Sneak Peek with you all! You may remember how much fun we had from the pictures on my blog I posted last year. I’ve been working on this nativity for the last few weeks, and am truly having the best time. I thought I’d share my progress with you all! Isn’t it gorgeous? The colors are so fun and the design is unlike anything I’ve ever stitched before.
I will be teaching this class at Needlepoint.Com’s 2018 Raleigh A La Carte Retreat from March 16th-18th, 2018. I would love to have you join me. We are still working on specifics on pricing as the canvas is not 100% done, but feel free to call the shop for more information or to sign up. A $100 deposit will hold your spot, and the classes are filling up quickly!
I really love that Vernon made the entire nativity scene one piece. No reason to pay to finish eight different characters, when you can just stitch one piece instead. As you can tell from my pictures, there are going to be a ton of fun techniques covered in class!
Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!
PS. Only a few more days to shop the kit sale before it’s all over for this year!
Hey everyone! Hope you all are having a great week! I wanted to let you know, Staffordshire Dog Kits are back in stock! We sold out of the pink and green and the blue and white so quickly when our first shipment came in, that we had to ask Jessica to ship us some more!
I will be teaching a class on these little guys next Wednesday (June 31) from 10-11:30 at Needlepoint.Com. Staffordshire Dog class will be held at our retail shop in Raleigh, NC. It is $95. I would love to see you all there!
Happy Thursday, everyone! Just wanted to let you all know that Kirk & Bradley Travel and Sporting Rounds are all on sale 20% off this month in the K&B Trunk Show at Needlepoint.Com. We can hardly keep them all in stock right now!
This series has been one of their most successful ever. I am so obsessed with them! Just the cutest! I love to commemorate trips that we’ve taken and places we’ve lived using needlepoint, and this is the perfect way to do it. Each purchase includes the stitch guide, and we have thread packs kitted to the guide that are ready to go. Simply select pick your favorites as you check out to have it included.
What other destinations would you like to see added to the line?!
This May is the perfect time to brush up on your stitching techniques as our must have online classes are on sale now. Our Kit Sale only happens once a year! Whether you’re looking to learn a brand new stitching technique such as beading or Turkey Work, or want to expand your vocabulary of decorative stitches, there are tons of classes to help take your stitching to the next level.
I often get asked how our online classes work at Needlepoint.Com, and the answer is incredibly easy. Rather than requiring you to make yourself available at a particular time for a Skype session or video conference (super impractical!), our kits come with 24-7 video access in our online educational portal. Once you log in to your class, you will find all the videos you need, and will be able to watch them as many times you would like. We are also in the process of moving to a brand new system where your online classes will NEVER expire. Simply purchase the class, and you will have access to that resource for the rest of your life!
I’ve listed all of our online technique classes below, and given you all a quick breakdown of each one.
Frosty Stitches class teaches all sorts of stitches for snow. Plus you end up with six of the cutest snowman faces ever when you’re all done!
Our Santa’s Beard Class teaches lots of fun stitches, and includes tons of fun, fuzzy, fluffy threads for effect!
Our Haunted Halloween Stitches Class is the best way to learn spooky stitches for your halloween canvases. Lots of fun glow in the dark threads to play with in here!
Perfectly Tailored Stitches talks all about different ways to bring clothing to life on your needlepoint projects. This class covers everything from knitted scarves and mittens, to jewelry and fancy dresses!
Our beading class is one of our most popular ever. If you want to learn how to add embellishments, sequins and other bling to your canvas, this is the class for you!
Our Turkey Work Workshop literally FLEW off the shelves when we launched it. This stitch can be so tricky to learn without good visual tools. In this class we cover seven variations on Turkey Work and other tufted stitches.
What else would you all like to see in our online classes?
Leave a comment in the box below, and don’t forget. The sale is over at the end of the month!
It was such a wonderful surprise to get a phone call at Needlepoint.Com last week from Abigail Cecile, the newest canvas designer being represented by Fleur de Paris! I had been following her on Instagram ever since January Market earlier this year when her pieces debuted. Just like Lycette Designs and Tess and Thorn, Abby is part of a new young generation of designers taking the needlepoint industry by storm. She is a recent graduate of the Royal School of Needlework in the UK and her work puts a beautiful, fresh spin on a more traditional style of design. She is insanely talented- I know you all are going to love her work as much as I do!
First of all, tell us about yourself Abby! Where did you grow up, and how did that experience lead you to where you are today?
I grew up on a small hobby farm in the middle of Michigan. My childhood was full of freedom, adventure, and creativity, especially creativity. My parents indulged my love for arts and crafts with materials, tools, classes and books. I learned weaving, wool felting, fiber dying, photography, screen printing – whatever sparked my interest. By the time I graduated from high school, I knew that I wanted to make beautiful things for the rest of my life. Soon after, I discovered the Royal School of Needlework and the next thing I knew, I was on a plane to London to learn hand embroidery in a palace.
How did you end up at the Royal School of Needlework?
At a library book sale I discovered an old embroidery book by Erica Wilson. She writes about her education at a school called “The Royal School of Needlework.” I was fascinated. To me the idea of a school dedicated to hand embroidery was magical! I found that not only was the school still around but it was esteemed and well known in the UK. It seemed perfect and I enrolled a few months later. Everything just fell into place!
What was your first experience with needlepoint?
I stitched my first piece while studying Canvaswork at the Royal School of Needlework. It was a folk art rendition of my childhood home worked in cotton and wools. Out of all the needlework I’ve created it’s still my favorite piece.
How did you end up designing needlepoint canvases, and what is your process like?
A fellow student at the RSN painted canvases and ever since then I wanted to try painting one myself. When I finally got around to it, I had no idea what I was doing. Amazingly, my next door neighbor Valerie McAleenan also attended the RSN, used to own a needlepoint store, and is an incredibly talented and knowledgeable teacher and stitcher. I showed her my first canvas, she corrected my mistakes, and then mentored me through building my first collection.
I’ve found that creativity begets more creativity, so I usually have an idea lurking in the back of my mind. I’ll start with a loose sketch to get an idea of the composition. Then I’ll make detailed drawings (typically keeping elements separate), scan them into Adobe Illustrator, and arrange and resize until I’m happy with the final design.
Next I’ll create the color scheme. I use craft acrylics when painting a canvas and have a chip for each color. I’ll play with the chips until I find a scheme I like. Usually I’ll work with some kind of color inspiration (such as a piece of stationary, illustration, or work of art). Painting a canvas is time consuming, but it can be relaxing, too! I’ll listen to an audiobook or podcast while I work.
What inspires you?
I’m very inspired by historic needlework and design. It can be so beautiful, even though created hundreds of years ago. Most (though not all) of my work is rooted in that history–especially the history of folk art and Jacobean crewelwork. But I’m twenty five, so I’m also very aware of trends in color and theme. Since I draw inspiration from both the historic and the modern, I hope my designs appeal to modern women and millennials. At the same time I hope they are truly beautiful and have longevity.
When you’re not painting and designing embroidery patterns, how do you like to spend your time?
I used to sew and quilt a lot, but I’ve been trying to get away from hobbies that involve even more stitching! I love to cook, especially Mediterranean food. It’s creative but in a completely different way from needlework. I also love to read. Though you can’t tell from my blog or social media, I really enjoy camping, folk and bluegrass concerts, and general adventuring with my family.
When our sister company Elizabeth Bradley Designs was invited to exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show, we knew that Kirk & Bradley would have to paint something special to commemorate the event! This special canvas was designed as a result, and is modeled after the Chelsea Eccentric Garden by Harrods from the 2016 show, and was released at January Market earlier this year. Isn’t it pretty? I love the way Vernon gave it a sampler feel, while still keeping the main design of the garden in the center. Just perfect for any gardening enthusiasts out there! Needlepoint.Com has it available as the Chelsea Eccentric Garden Kit and it’s on sale right now.
I was so excited to get this canvas to work on, and was even more excited when it came back in the mail from the finisher! I think the trim definitely pulls the whole piece together.
Being on 13 count, the whole piece really moved right along. The majority of the piece is worked in silk, and there is a little bit of ribbonwork on there as well! I think it really helps to bring the flowers to life.
The kit is on sale right now for 20% off, (along with lots of other fun goodies!) and can be found on the Needlepoint.Com website here. Call the shop at 919-828-5538 for more information!