The Morning After

Hi Everyone! 

I just got back from market in Phoenix and let me tell you, you are all in for a treat with all the new “stuff” that will be coming your way in your local needlework shops. Out brilliant and talented canvas artists have once again given us new and wonderful designs to stitch and bring to life with all the techniques, stitches, threads, beads, and ribbons available to us. The very talented thread manufacturers and dyers have given us new threads and colors to enjoy. Look for a new thread from Rainbow Gallery called “Entice”. It is a sparkly blend thread that stitches beautifully and comes in a stunning range of color.

Elizabeth Turner has a new set of “BIG BLING”  that is just wonderful (as always) plus a gorgeous array of canvases of dresses, fans, Asian vases, and a stunning geisha.

Lani, Leigh, Melissa Shirley, and all our wonderful artists have given us incredible new canvases and subject matter to ponder, stitch and “WOW” us.

Pam and I worked our way up and down the aisles trying to drink in (and buy) as much as we could. If you have never been to a trade show it is truly like being a kid in a candy store, and for yours truly, it never gets old.  I am always recharged and inspired within minutes of getting on the showroom floor.

As most of you know I travel a lot teaching at many wonderful stores, and I am always amazed at how many of my students have not stitched with or used ribbon in their canvas work. It is so much fun and brings a new dimension to your work. River Silks, Planet Earth, Treenway, Dinky Dyes, Gloriana,  and Thread Gatherer have 4mm, 7mm and 13mm width ribbons in both solids and overdyes. You need to try them. 

You can satin stitch with them, execute some tacked loops to create smaller petals, work Japanese Ribbon stitch for leaves and petals. Whipped spiders, rosette wraps and woven ribbon roses are also possible as are Gathered Ribbon flowers, ruched ribbon flowers and Twisted Knot flowers. There is a myriad of new techniques for you, if you have not tried stitching with ribbon. 

Here you can see a few different techniques that I've included in some of my stitch guides:

Ruche ribbon: Use a single strand of thread and stitch a running stitch about ⅛" from the edge of the ribbon. Gently pull it to create the effect you want. Tack it to the canvas.

Ruche ribbon: Use a single strand of thread and stitch a running stitch about ⅛" from the edge of the ribbon. Gently pull it to create the effect you want. Tack it to the canvas.

Ruffled Ribbon: After stitching the running stitch, manipulate the ribbon back and forth to create a ruffle. Attach to your canvas.

Ruffled Ribbon: After stitching the running stitch, manipulate the ribbon back and forth to create a ruffle. Attach to your canvas.

One very important thing to remember when working with ribbon is a gentle touch. Ribbon should always look like it is floating on the surface and never look like it has been jammed down onto the canvas.

Ribbon Loops: Be gentle! Don't pull too tightly!

Ribbon Loops: Be gentle! Don't pull too tightly!

Japanese Ribbon Stitch: The diagram shows how you pierce the ribbon with your needle (chenille) and go back through the canvas. A very gentle touch will create lovely folds at the top of the ribbon.

Japanese Ribbon Stitch: The diagram shows how you pierce the ribbon with your needle (chenille) and go back through the canvas. A very gentle touch will create lovely folds at the top of the ribbon.

SO much to remember to tell you about market but one last item I must share with you is that the very talented Don Lynch has started using the 3MM bugle beads to stitch patterns. Each bead goes comfortably over 2 canvas threads diagonally on 14 count canvas and over 3 threads vertically and horizontally on 18 count canvas. An incredible look.

Aren’t you excited by all this? 

I sure am!!!!

Happy Stitching!

Love,

Tony

PS - Have you visited Kazoo's Store? It's open! So far, we have my DVD series and about 175 Stitch & Thread Guides available as well as Lou's incredibly stunning chatelaines. Be sure and visit Kazoo's Store! We are adding more every week!

PSS - Here's a lovely example of ribbon use. Beth Cartwright has executed gorgeous flowers in the hair of the Geisha Choko, Leigh Designs #5003. Photo courtesy of Beth. 

Choko5003Leigh1

Stitching Season!

 

Hi Everyone!!!

 

As the Midwest is being hit with some very wicked early wintry weather, the Mid-Atlantic States are bracing for their first dipping temps toward the freezing mark. This is good stitching weather…but you know what…every kind of weather is good stitching weather as far as I am concerned.

 

I, fortunately, after spending 4 great days at Creative Stitches and Gifts in Dallas with Cindy, Val and the wonderful gals who work there plus an amazing group of students, am on my way to the warmer climes of southern California. I will be at the Needle Nook of La Jolla for 4 days teaching an embellishment class with Fay, Roseann and the lovely ladies who work there plus another set of amazing students.

 

While I was in Dallas, Ka-Tzu happened to be there and I went to dinner with Ka-Tzu and a new friend, Betsy, a wonderful polymer artist who is a member of the Meraki Artists group. If you don’t know them or are not aware of them, please look them up on line (facebook.com/merakiartists). Their work is just beautiful.

 

I am almost done teaching all my classes for this year and deep in prep for the first couple of months of classes for next year. Many embellishment classes and several project classes are on the calendar this upcoming year with some new shops to teach at. It is all so exciting.

 

Lou and I and my oldest and dearest friend, Joe Nassaney will be spending a well-deserved week of vacation at Joe’s Florida home. I can’t wait!!!!

 

Dinner is almost on the table (Mr. Nunez is a fabulous cook) but I want to leave you with one more thought on tracking patterns when stitching in Satin style. 

The orientation of the row of stitches is always opposite to the orientation of the stitch ie: a vertical stitch is stitched in horizontal rows, a horizontal stitch is worked in vertical columns, a diagonal stitch that slants from SW-NE is stitched in rows that slant form SE-NW. By stitching in this fashion, all threads wrap around the back properly and give clarity to both ends of the stitch so that the stitch patterns are well defined.

 

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels for you or those who are visiting you and as always……Happy Stitching !!!!!

 

Love

Tony

Odds and Ends


Hi Everyone!


Just got back from a terrific teaching trip in Minnesota hosted by Debbie Clark, the owner of Stitchville USA. This class was a Fab Four Class that ended up being taught by the Terrific Two, Suzanne Howren and yours truly. We were blessed with a great group of students who kept their minds open so we could get inside, challenge them and help them grow as stitchers. As you all know, the single most important thing to bring to any class of any type is an open mind, coupled with the desire to learn and a positive attitude.


I am prepping 5 more Canvas Embellishment classes coming up later this month in Denver at Diversions, next month at The Edwardian needle and Needle Nook of La Jolla and two classes at The Edwardian Needle in December plus some other classes featuring class projects at Creative Stitches and Gifts in Dallas.


In my first blog I mentioned stitching in the opposite direction than you are moving to your next row of stitching. Add to that: If the first stitch of your new row - be it vertical, horizontal, diagonal or oblique - is directly in line with the last stitch of your previous row, then that can’t be your first stitch. You will need to stitch the second stitch in the row first, come back to the first stitch and then continue with the rest of the row of stitches. Doing this will keep the perforation between these two stitches clean like all the rest of the stitches in the previous row and subsequent stitches in the new row.

Note stitch 13-14 is the first stitch on the second row, but it's not directly above the last stitch on the first row! Do you see the first stitch on the third row? Using this method will give you crisp stitches every time!


Have been designing Mini-Mystery designs as 3-hour classes for Edwardian Needle and for The Needle Works in Austin. So much fun to hand out the directions piecemeal and watch the design blossom.


Have you all tried Silken Straw from Alchemy: Yarns of Transformation? It is a Silk ribbon type thread in gorgeous colors that you can use for raised work, flat satin work and many different effects. If you haven’t tried it, you should. You will be in for a treat.


Until next time

Happy Stitching

Tony