Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Festive Topiaries!!

At this point, the project is beginning to be exciting, as new "happy accidents" occur. I have the flat paper sketches and the cone appearance of these on the other blog, but wanted to show what I discovered late last night!

By moving the orientation of this tree on canvas, I can use either my diagonal laces and trims or the horizontal laces and jeweled chains, etc. to make the spiral around the topiary.

The first photo shows the paper cone I drew with the lines parallel to the straight lines of the pattern. Incredible, I think, how it looks like spirals - which gave me lots and lots of new ideas!

By putting the top of the tree this way on the canvas, the lines are at 45 degree angles, so will accomodate easily my diagonal laces and "jeweled" chains, etc.

By turning it so that the straight sides are on the threads of the canvas (it also takes less canvas this way), I can do the horizontal/vertical laces and trims - and some of my RIBBONS!! also candy canes. Strings of candy corn, etc. - lots and lots of things for decorating a table top for a special occassion.
(No matter which way the pattern is oriented on the canvas, it will still finish as spirals.)

The second picture shows an old project with my "cotton lace," which is a horizontal lace.

The leaves are on one of my very first pieces in crazy quilt long ago, where I worked out leaves as a seam treatment - they are worked on the horizontal or vertical, and are great with French knot "berries."

At this point, I'm just wishing I could stitch as rapidly as I think. However, there are days that I can't think at all, so am grateful for small, mindless pieces to stitch to keep me going.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Topiary Tree! (in needlepoint)

I have myself rather twisted and confused right now about what to put on which blog - but this is where the pattern should be, I think, and the actual stitching on the other one.. Anyway - this is how I went about arriving at it for now.

These drawing implements are very old, but I'm very attached to them - so please excuse their appearance. I used the triangle to make the 90 degree angle necessary for the top of the tree, and drew lines down each side with my black felt tip pen. This one is 7" tall.

I decided to make the foliage/background shaded by needle blending, so needed to mark off the five spaces required to use two shades of a color. I divided 7 by 5, and then made concentric marks with the compass for the pattern.

Next, I marked the exact center of the conical pattern, and made black marks on the side so that I can make sure they are in the same place on both sides on the canvas - things need to meet when the cone is closed to make the tree.
I was playing a bit with the white paper cone while it was on the stiff poster board model, and then opened it out - surprising how these things look! It's difficult to envision those curved lines becoming straight bands on the tree.

I decided to add three to the canvas I'm going to stitch, as I want to make swags or something there. Notice how the straight vertical lines look when the paper is opened out. The rest of the story for today is over on Possibilities, etc. - including a bit of the stitching.

This next scan is the pattern itself - I have sized it to about 7", but you can always print it out and make it smaller or larger. This is the drawing on canvas, and the arrows are pointing to show that the lines end on each side on the same thread - a fingernail may be run across the canvas to make sure they are where they need to be. I marked the needle blending lines in black, and the three horizontal decorative bands in blue. I didn't feel it necessary to stitch count these curved lines on this, but care must be taken to make them neat.

NOTE: The stitching, which I began last night and showed on the other blog, has a serious glitch in it. Therefore, better judgment ruling in the morning light has shown me that I needn't do the five section separation for needle blending, but should simply use the four sections made by the "swag" lines, which are shown in blue on this pattern. I would not do the five separations unless I were going to do basketweave on the background. As it's already drawn onto the canvas, and I have begun stitching, I will simply ignore the black concentric lines, and just use the blue ones as separation.

The bottom is stitch counted so that it will sit nicely and not wobble or be lopsided when finished. There is a little mark showing the center thread at the bottom. I'm showing this sideways because it wouldn't fit in my scanner with the top upright - the bottom is too wide.

This pattern must be drawn with the point at the top. It requires more canvas, but won't stitch well at all if placed as I did the original one with the holly leaves. It's very easy to draw the 90 degree angle by just finding the center thread on the canvas, and making dots 7 inches down on each side from the top point. The concentric curves may just be traced very carefully by putting the canvas over the pattern you made.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A New Project: Topiary Trees in Needlepoint!

I found an old photo in the bottom of a box, dated 1998! I had painted these things, conical topiary trees, for the cash/carry market in Phoenix in 1997 - and then discontinued them after about two years. (I do this when I'm tired of painting something.)

Anyway, I decided it would be fun to resurrect them and stitch a few for myself - and make a tutorial on how to do your own! I have learned and developed so many skills, stitches, and techniques, and become acquainted with zillions of fine novelty threads over this span of years, so think it would really be fun - and not just for Christmas!

I will show some stitching on Possibilities, where I have just now posted a tutorial on how to make a pattern - but will do the canvas preparation in detail here on this blog - so stay tuned in to both if the project interests you - it might be fun!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A New Month already!! (again)

I cannot believe another month has gone, and I have produced so little for this blog - another very stressful change of address was in the middle of this one, but as soon as I find my drawing equipment and paint brushes, I'll be back working.

Anyway, this is "December" from my Birthday Crazy Quilt series - and probably my favorite besides April and August. It has lots of symbolism in the mistletoe, holly, narcissus, and the birthstone turquoise. (Tanzanite or blue zircon is the alternative used now, I think). I also like the effect of the blue patch with "rain drops," and the white with glittery snow.

I started these almost three years ago, but still haven't produced January, February, or July. Incidentally, these are now available as e-patterns on my web page, Elegant Whimsies, so you can put your own onto canvas.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Drawing Trees to Enhance and Embellish

This is a project that I have played with many times over the years I've stitched and designed needlepoint. It's a very very simple thing that anyone could do - skill at art and drawing isn't necessary, and with a knowledge of lots of fun decorative stitches, amazing affects can be achieved.

One of my favorites a few years ago was a little grouping of three to five trees of different sizes, heights, and widths to sit on the mantel at Christmas time. I had little stands made with a base and a dowel to fit into a pocket on the back of the tree so that they would stand upright. I wish I had one to show, but I gave them all away.

Anyway - all you have to do is decide how tall you want your tree, and approximately how wide - so the tree will be tall and skinny or short and fat or whatever.

I first drew a straight line across the bottom, and then, using the triangle, drew a vertical line to designate the center. It's marked at 7 1/2" high.

In the second picture, the arrow points to the left side, which is a sketch to show me the shape my tree will be. Then, the bottom is marked at 2" each side of the center, and a straight line is drawn from top to bottom on the right side, using the triangle as a straight edge. (because it was convenient). I added the little trunk freehand.

The next picture is the 5 1/2" tree I drew, using the same center line and base line, but cutting the center off at 5 1/2" high, - and drawing the line down to the 2" on each side, just as I did for the taller one.

At the bottom, you can see where I played with sketches for changing the shape, and then traced them onto tracing paper to use for my trees if I wish.

Drawing the tree onto the canvas is a simple thing - and you may use whatever mesh size you please for this project. Just place the canvas over the drawing with the center line exactly on a canvas thread so it will be symmetric.
The easiest way, if you aren't a perfectionist, is to use a straight edge and draw the line from top to bottom on each side. I've given several tutorials on this blog about drawing with a pen on canvas - a simple thing.
On this picture, I've begun to stitch draw the side, as I insist on symmetry. You can see where I started to copy on the left side what I've done on the right. I keep a little bottle of white acrylic paint on my table, and a trolley needle to dot out mistakes and re-draw them.
These little trees make a great small, bright project that one can do quickly, and they are a wonderful way to use up stash threads and practice stitches and new techniques and effects. You might just make horizontal bands of decorative stitches (I've actually seen these sold as painted canvas with stitch guides), or fill the whole tree with a multi-colored stitch.

I hope to find time to get a few ready to embellish with surface treatments and embroidered effects I've been wanting to try out! If you wish, just print out these drawings for yourself, and then enlarge or reduce them as you want them - an easy thing. I do recommend a coat of acrylic paint if you intend to use stitches that might allow the white canvas to show through - the "dandruff" effect.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beads for Sugar Sprinkles! (decorating a cookie)

Be sure to check Possibilities, Etc. fairly often, as the decorating continues on the Shamrock cookies. At the present time, the sugar sprinkle icing (made with beads worked "solid") is showing!

Also, for right now, the Beads! E-Booklet is offered at half price!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

November in a Few Hours!!

This year has flown fast, and it will be November in a few hours when I wake up! This is the November Birthday Crazy Quilt heart. Now I need to get busy and finish "January," as I put it down two years ago and never got it back out to do the silk ribbon carnations. Ouch.

Be sure to go see Possibilities, Etc., as I have started another cookie with "icing" - this time solid sugar sprinkles in the form of clear beads!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stitching the Shamrocks

I have started the stitching on the Shamrock cookies on Possibilities, etc., so you can take a look and follow along if you wish - and do something creative and original of your own!! Experiment!

Also, I'm offering for the duration of the cookies, my E-booklet (at half price) with lots of different cookie cutter shapes that I have used for many years for playing with new threads, stitches, and techniques - and have also added a mini-stocking. Lots of stitches diagrammed, and color pictures as guidance and inspiration.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cookie Cutter Needlepoint

That title could have double meaning - and I had to remind myself of just that when I was fooling around with the drawing. I had to remember that these are to be "cookies" shaped like Shamrocks, and that I probably would only have one cutter in the drawer. Decorating them is the fun and imaginative part that will make each one different.

Anyway - I started this odyssey on the other blog (Possibilities, Etc.), so you can go there to see what's happening. This pattern is about 4 1/4" across at the widest part, but you could always play around with the size and suit yourself. I used 18 mesh canvas, but 13 would work as well.

The idea is to replicate icing and do such things as you would do with a pastry tube/cake decorator type thing, using lots of fun things and great stitches. It's really a good way to try out new stitches too, and new fibers in your stash. I'm showing the drawing on canvas to illustrate the orientation of the tracing. Use the orange line as a reference.
Please refer to other posts about canvas preparation and drawing for instructions for doing this. I've pointed to places where one must be sure to draw on the THREAD and not slip down between them into the groove - makes it much easier to stitch.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October Again Already!!

The "Birthday Crazy Quilt Heart" for October was finished in 2008, with its opals and calendulas and glorious Fall colors. You can see the other months (some not done yet, though) on the other blog under the label Birthday Crazy Quilts.

There are lots of freebies on this site from last year for Halloween, so don't miss the napkin rings and other small, fun things.

I've never designed a lot of needlepoint for Halloween, as there seems to already be more than enough "out there," and it's also not really my interest for designing painted canvas or for stitching - I leave that to others who excel.

However, I have recently found a web site while cruising on ebay, that has just about sent me over the edge to be stitching on Halloween things!. These pieces are so much fun and so full of originality and personality, they are quite different from any I've seen. I've shown these on the other blog, but to be sure you don't miss it, I'll give you a link here for her Halloween page: Nenah's Needlepoint.

I won't show any canvases here, as that would spoil the surprise. Also, these aren't Freebies, of course, but the prices are so much less than they would be if offered in a retail store!! I love finding these wonderful things that I didn't know were available.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

More for a Halloween Table!

Last year I drew several Halloween napkin rings, but didn't stitch any of them myself - these you can find under the label "napkin rings." There were two I didn't finish drawing, but now have at least put enough on canvas to be able to do a complete one of each, and also pass them along for you to do your own.

The first is a simple one - a bat! I picture a black one stitched in basketweave with Petite Very Velvet, and glittering metallic eyes (Kreinik braid). Usually I make these 1 1/2" wide, which is the same width used for bracelets and belts - but this one, to accomodate the "moon," is 1 3/4" wide.

I have left the images for these a bit large so that when you print them out, you can clearly see where to put the dots onto your canvas when you draw them. Where I put the arrow, just ignore the long, curved line - I drew these things late one night when I was too tired to count, and kept making a mess of it - so gave up and called this a "scrap" and just left the line there. Again - IGNORE it.

As for stitching the bat, I visualize a moon against a navy sky - maybe with metallic stars on it - either silver or Kreinik 032 white, which is very sparkly.

The next is a witch on her broomstick - again, against a moon! My son said this is a self portrait I painted. I put a red scarf on it simply to separate the dotted elements of the drawing.

You could put color on this lady, or just make her a black silhouette - whatever suits you!! Just have fun, and enjoy these for table settings - very festive!

As for drawing them onto canvas, there are a number of blot posts here to instruct you - mostly under "canvas preparation."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

'Tis the Season! (thinking about stitching)

Lest you think I've lost my mind (I probably have, and don't know it yet) - I decided I'm tired of looking at crazy quilts, so "retired" the September heart as a header, as I've used it two years in a row. (See these at my other blog, Possibilities, etc., under "Birthday Crazy Quilts")

I finished this piece last night as a napkin ring, as one of my "tartan adaptability and uses" experiments, and thought it might be suitable to point out that even tho' it's still horrendously hot (at least here in Austin), it's time to think about starting gifts, ornaments, table decorations, etc. for the upcoming gaiety of the seasons of fall into Christmas! (and don't forget Hanukkah!)
My next blog post here will be a new napkin ring motif or two, as these were fun last year, fast to stitch, and great for decorating a table. I'll probably change the header too, and show candy corn or something more appropriate! Meanwhile, there are lots of napkin ring patterns right here on this blog - just click on the label for them.
The illustrated napkin ring is adapted from the Alpine Meadlows tartan, and I have a more complete description on the other blog.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Planning Ahead! (It's August already)

It only occurred to me last night that it's August, and time to change the header here, and also to get busy (or busier). It's time to be thinking of things to start stitching for "the seasons." My year is kind of turned around, as I was doing coral reefs and seashells and fish in the middle of the coldest winter I can remember having in Austin.

Right now, I'm working on my article for the November/December issue of Needlepoint Now, as the deadline is in three weeks - and it's beastly horrible hot in Austin. Oh well, it's a good time to stay indoors and think and stitch. Anyway, I've neglected Freebies this last year or so, and not offering new things often enough - I'll try to do better starting soon - and definitely by September.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Drawing and Designing Crosses: another tutorial

I had intended to post the drawing of the flowers for the cross in the previous post, but found these - and thought it might be fine to encourage you to draw your own sizes and shapes - and then put the flowers on them if you wish.

I have put pictures on the other blog of two I made long ago when I was practicing silk ribbon embroidery - and started making crosses for gifts for Godparents and ornaments and Christenings - all kinds of fine uses! When trying out new techniques and learning new things, I decided to put them to good use while I practiced!

Anyway, to draw your own, this is how it begins: These are sketched onto tracing paper - kind of squiggly and rough, but O.K. to determine size, etc. Just ideas that pop into the head from time to time. These are very simple Latin crosses, so easy to draw onto canvas when you get the size right. Actually, any piece of white paper is fine for doodling. I have saved copy paper I was going to discard just for this purpose.
When you have done this, and have a size that suits you, simple make a good tracing with tracing paper and a black felt tip pen (I use the Paper Mate for this, but NEVER use it to draw on canvas). I also use a plastic drawing triangle, utilizing the 90 degree side. Then, fold the tracing in half and mark the center fold with a pencil - this gives you guidance for placing the pattern elements - as the jewels, etc.

I found this scan of a drawing I had made on canvas - to use as a model. I had marked the lines and diagonal intersections where I intended to put a bead. These things must be worked out first, as it's a mathematical thing of being centered and symmetric - very very simple.

Just mark the center of the canvas - on the thread unless you have something in mind that is even numbered (as the cross in previous posts), and work from there. It's always good to make a scan of the drawn canvas for future reference. This one is 6" high on 18 mesh canvas.

The next one is very small - made as an ornament. It's 5 1/4" high on 18 mesh canvas. It's on an even count, as the little "gold beadwork" border is Smyrna crosses with Kreinik gold braid (#12). Very easy to draw!! Also, it has many many possibilities for jewels and color schemes.

On this one, if designing your own, it's good to start with the jewels first - and then work outward to make a nice arrangement of the borders. I worked these in simple slanted gobelin.
The next scan shows how the canvas looked when drawn. I had to do some juggling at the corners, as the Smyrna cross bumps wouldn't fit there. This is O.K. I had to do this, as to make them fit would have messed up the shape so that the jewels wouldn't fit like I wanted them to.

The second of these is on an odd count, and the arrows are pointing to the corners, where the 2 x 3 stitch "jewel" wouldn't fit, so I simply placed a "Smyrna cross" size there.

This one, again, could be worked in many different colors, etc. I started with exactly the same tracing as I worked with when doing the little one with the round jewels.

I have posted two pictures on Possibilities, etc. of crosses I made years ago when first working with silk ribbon embroidery and beads. I got tired of wasting little pieces of canvas - and my time and threads, so started doing small crosses. At least these were useful at gift giving occassions when such things were appropriate and appreciated!

The last one is a piece a drew for a friend who requested it. It's small- and I had to do some juggling to get the lettering and placement of the words to fall into the shape I needed to use - it worked well, and she was pleased.

Notice at the corners (where the arrows point) that the count didn't quite work out the way it should have, so I simply "rounded" them. The one stitch inside the gold "chain" was for insertion of a bead or a cross stitch with a sparkly thread (to make a bump) to resemble a jewel

This is such a very simple process - I hope you will be encouraged to try it for yourself - and be very imaginative!! I'll do the flower tracing in a few days, with also thread and stitch suggestions.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Drawing the Cross onto Canvas

I'm having to plagiarize my own canvas, as all I had for reproducing it was an old photograph, which I enlarged on my color copy machine.

The first thing to be done was to figure out the size of the thing. I managed that by counting the little "jewel" things across the top (11 of them) and then down the side. I drew it out on scrap canvas and measured it - the cross is 6 1/4" high on 18 mesh canvas without the little 3 thread border.

Of course you could do it proportionately larger by putting it onto 13 mesh instead of 18. Having determined the height and width, I could cut canvas the right size. I like to leave at least 1 1/2" all around - 2" if I'm doing it commercially so that people will have the option of putting a background for use as a Bible cover or framing.

You can see that this is on an EVEN count, as the jewel is four stitches square - perfect for a little Smyrna cross "pearl." So - one must mark the center of the canvas at the top for guidance by drawing a line in the GROOVE between the threads. If the count had been odd - one would make the mark ON THE THREAD.

Incidentally, you might play with this format, and make a larger, very interesting cross by making the jewels 3 x 3 stitches in stead of the 2 x 2 I used here. There are all kinds of possibiilties for stitching and decorating!! Next, just go around the cross from the first little jewel.

I find it very very easy just to "eyeball" draw without having to count stitches by only making two marks - you can see where the arrows point. Then when finished, you can go back and fill in the missing spaces. This way you can concentrate on counting the jewels and not the stitches.

I marked the corners just to show where the border will be. Be sure from time to time to check yourself - run your thumbnail down a thread and make sure everything lines up. This one is so simple, but one can get "off count" if not paying at least a little attention.

The third picture shows the outside drawing complete.

At this point, you might figure out something of your own to do with the shape instead of doing it like mine. I have charted for people things like "With Faith all Things are Possible" - simple things. OR a wonderful interesting background with lots of silk ribbon flowers on it.
I only sketched in the stripes with two different blue drawing pens (sharpies). I left them incomplete, as I'm not sure what I'll do with the center - probably go ahead and show you how to trace the flowers onto it for stitching - but you could also just leave the center with no painted flowers and do the silk ribbon variety instead. I'll give you the tracing next time for the flowers.

Setting up these stripes originally was easy, - as, again, it's on an even count, so making the three dark blue stripes 2 threads wide, and two wider light blue stripes (4 threads wide) was logical. Try also making a much smaller cross by using maybe only 5 or 7 "jewels" across the top - and proportionate on the rest of the shape.

Be imaginative, and enjoy the process!! The color picture of the painted cross is on a post just previous to this one in case you missed it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More "Paint Your Own Canvas": A Floral Cross

I found this photograph, as I have found so many long forgotten, while cleaning out boxes after a major move of residence. This one is a scan of a photograph, as I painted it long before I had a digital camera and computer - a VERY long time ago.

As I remember, I drew and painted this for a class I was teaching in trying out different techniques and canvas preparation. I think this is the one which led to my deciding to start using silk ribbon embroidery for flowers on crosses and then, later, crazy quilt adaptations.

Anyway, over the next week or so, I intend to give you here the instructions, starting with cutting the canvas, in detail for drawing it onto canvas yourself - and then suggestions for stitching.

There are plenty of tutorials on canvas preparation now here and on my other blog, Possibilities, etc., to help you know which pens and which paint to use, and how to use the paint brushes, etc. etc.

This is a more advanced Freebie, and I hope you put it to good use and enjoy it!! Just please remember that it's for your own entertainment and for giving as gifts either as a painted canvas for stitching friends or as a stitched and finished piece - but NOT for sale as a painted canvas.

For more detailed instructions for Painting Your Own Canvas, I have the book in two chapters now as an E-booklet on my web page, Elegant Whimsies. Under "our designs" just click on E-Books.

I think this has confused some people who have only seen the coil bound version. This is the downloadable, much less expensive version, as you receive it almost immediately upon purchase, and may download and print it out yourself. I revised it and added a lot more color, newer materials and techniques.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stitching Gingham/Plaid/Tartan on a Circle (How to)

I used all three names applied to this textile - stripes intersecting at right angles to form a delightful pattern (I explained the origin of the terms in a previous post back a while.)

This one is what we in this country call "Gingham," a woven fabric (replicated in needlepoint here) with even stripes on both warp and weft - and just one color plus white, creating a lighter shade of the color where it crosses.

The arrow is pointing to a place where one has to be careful when stitching on a rounded outline. It's necessary to pay attention!!

Feeling rather lazy the day I needed to start this, instead of cutting a new square of canvas, I Ipicked up a small piece of canvas that already had a 3 3/4" circle drawn on it, and decided it would be a great exercise anyway in stitching needlepoint plaid.
The circle is drawn on an odd count, which meant I couldn't make stripes of 4 threads. Three were too small for the scale of this piece, and 7 were too wide.

There is a lot more to using plaid for needlepoint than just "setting it up." One has to consider the intended use for a particular project, and make sure the scale is also attractive. The 5 threads I settled on look right for the circle.

The next consideration was where to start. On a rectangle, I would have started stitching the warp on the right side - however, on this circle, I began in the center, as I am a perfectionist about symmetry. (The circle is stich drawn for this reason) From the center, I simply worked out toward the right side.

The arrow pointing to the center shows where one could draw a well centered letter or monogram if desired (before stitching). Next, I started stitching the weft - again centering it. The arrows point to the center thread.

After this, it had to be marked for guidance, so I used the Sharpie extra fine Permanent MARKER - never the paint pen, as it's not really safe for needlepoint canvas. I counted backward from the center to reach the top where I began the stitching. The marks on this circle didn't go into the circle itself as I do on squares - it would have made the outline difficult to discern.

The arrows point to a place that looks rather strange - but it's just the white stitches making the "gap." This won't show when it's finished.
The last picture shows the progress toward looking like gingham!! Again, the arrows point to places where it appears that a little bite has been take out of the circle. The tendency would be to want to complete the blue square - but then it wouldn't be correct according to the circle drawing. A round piece this small could be a box top insert - but I think I would have started with a monogram before beginning the stitching!

ADDENDUM: I have several tutorials on the subject of stitching plaid in needlepoint, but for anyone who has missed it; the WARP (vertical) stripes are stitched first, and in basketweave, on every other row. Use the warp threads of the canvas - the thread is on top, forming a slight "bump." Then the weft is worked horizontally on the weft threads of the canvas - where the spaces are left. This is extremely simple, and there is minimal distortion of the canvas.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Using the Tartans

As I have been doing a number of posts about Plaid and Tartans (one and the same in the U.K.) on both blogs, I feel I need to do a disclaimer and explanation of my use of the Registered Tartans. (I've shown the Texas Bluebonnet first on January 3 on Possibilities, etc. and again recently, and the Alpine Meadows, as well as the Millenium Ribbon.)
I have contacted the Scottish Registry, and am told that it is definitely a copyright infringement, and therefore illegal, to make charts of these to sell.

It is O.K., however, to use them as I have on these blog posts to demonstrate how to interpret and set up a tartan/plaid for one's own use. The same method applies to other plaids one sees and wants to convert to needlepoint. I used the Tartans simply because I have loved them for many years.

The Bluebonnet plaid has gorgeous colors - and is also the state flower of my home state, Texas. Green is my favorite color - hence the Alpine Meadows, shown in the picture for progress!

I have shown my little canvas doodles where I worked out the counts, and you are welcome to use those for your own enjoyment - but NOT to make charts and sell. I also have planned tutorials on how to USE these plaids to create actual projects - I've managed to lay out a checkbook cover with this green one, as the pattern elements fit. (These will probably be on Possibilities, etc.)

My daughter says she would like the Burberry tartan for hers. Of course she would. Later. I offered to make also a dog collar for my SIL's big yellow lab, Godzilla, but it was declined, as was a belt for SIL - however, many many people are making plaid belts!! I'll show this process also.

Anyway, the gist of this is that one may replicate a registered tartan for PERSONAL use, but not for commercial. That is to say, not for financial gain by selling charts and patterns.

I do have a book on creating and using Plaid, which also includes quite a number of plaids I've created myself - but these are totally original, and not registered tartans. The book is being revised (in my spare time) and updated, and will be offered as an e-book soon, I hope, on my web page.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Free "Create Your Own Tartan" Site!!

This is the Anderson tartan - officially registered (I like to show it, as it's my family tartan - a very old one, and the only one with 7 colors) I haven't tackled "adapting" it for my own use, as it's a bit complicated.

Anyway - If you haven't seen my other blog post about it, there is a really great and fun place to go to create a plaid/tartan of your own. It's as entertaining as the Jig-Zone puzzles I play with when taking a break. (creative avoidance).

You can see it at SCOTWEB. From the home page, just click on "tartans" and scroll down a bit - and you can go to the place to design your own.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"The Rule" once again!!

I honestly thought enough time had elapsed a while back that I could remove "The Rule" from my side bar. Apparently not so, as professional etiquette and blog etiquette has once again been abused.

My tutorials - how to's and patterns - are absolutely for your use and enjoyment - but they are NOT for using for your own purposes to put together and sell on the internet, represented as your own work. I have too many years of research and experience in developing these things to allow it. Besides- it isn't nice!

The last time this happened, I had to get my attorney involved to stop it, and was advised to take all the posts off so they could no longer be used. In this case, I have too much time involved, and still am wanting to share whatever I can of techniques and patterns with anyone who would enjoy them - but not for their own profit.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tutorial for Tartan/Plaid

If you haven't seen it, and like stitching (or want to learn how) plaid, I have a tutorial on the other blog, Possibilities, etc. It's explaining how to adapt a tartan plaid to needlepoint - Fun!! I have a second one ready to post this morning.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Needle Blended Shading: An Ornament Tutorial

I was looking through old picture files yesterday, hoping to find inspiration - and I did! I won't show the photo, as it's been so long, I don't remember who did the work. It's a block from an art crazy quilt that has four layers of shades of pink, embellished with embroidered seam treatments - which goes right along with what I'm doing these days in needlepoint.

As for the layers of shades of color, I decided it would be fine to do an ornament, but with needle blending, as Anne Stradal (The Cape Stitcher) taught me. She uses this technique for skies behind lighthouses and California missions. Charming!! I used it on my recent "Coral Reef" series to shade the sea water from light at the top to dark at the bottom of the ocean.

The first scan is one of the water droplets, where you can see the gradual shading from top to bottom. This is achieved (on 18 mesh canvas) by dividing the piece into equi-distant sections, using five if you're just using two shades of a color - which is quite enough!

Start on the first section with four plies of the lightest color. Then on the next one, three plies of the light, plus one of the dark. Next - two of each, then three of the dark and one light, and finish with four plies of the dark. Very easy! (using DMC cotton floss)

I worked on the red one first, but decided to make it larger for the pink one and use three shades of the pink. Be sure not to have the shades of color too far apart in value.

By using three shades, I had to use more divisions - and arrived at 8, so the little spaces are narrower. Also, I drew the ornament larger than the red one, which is from my collection of "traditional ornament shapes." (Available as E-Patterns on my web page.)

The ornament that is to be red is 4 1/8" wide. If you print this out, you may either just trace it onto canvas, or - better - go ahead and stitch draw it, following my drawing, as it's very easy - and much better to have it perfectly symmetric. On this one, I'm using Nobuko stitch for background.

The ornament that is to be shades of pink is 5" wide. By no means does it have to be divided into 8 segments for three shades - could also be worked beautifully with just the two shades on five segments. I had originally drawn these to do more of the Coral Reef things - using different shapes and salt water tropical fish. Will do that another time!!

ADDENDUM: It's Monday morning, and my mind seems to be coming back - I remembered where I saw the beautiful crazy quilt block which inspired the "layered" pink ornament! It was on the blog by Jo of New Zealand - No Matter Where I Go, I Always Meet Myself There - this is fun, informative, and very imaginative, as well as showing beautiful needlework.