How to Match Threads with Stitches

by , on
Apr 18, 2018
April in Alabama

Hi there! It’s a gloriously beautiful spring day here in Alabama…there’s a cool breeze blowing, the sun is shining, the birdies are chirping, and big puffy white clouds are drifting across the bluest sky you ever saw. It makes my heart sing just to look out the window. In fact, I think I’ll take my project out on the porch in a little while and stitch. 🙂

But before I do…

Remember last week, when we chatted about the design elements on my Tuscaloosa canvas and identified the focal point (and subordinate focal points)? Then, we brainstormed about some descriptive words that could be used to help in exploring different thread options. If you missed that blog post, you can click here to read it.

Well, this week’s post is all about…

How to Choose Threads that Get Noticed

by , on
Apr 11, 2018
How to Choose Threads that Get Noticed

Hello lovelies! I’m so happy to be back with you here today. I had a wee bit of a life hiccup these past three weeks…my sweet Mama had to have unexpected open heart surgery (5 bypasses – yikes!) and I’ve been on Mommy Duty. 😉

Now that she’s back in Tuscaloosa, things are starting to settle down some and…

I’m ready to talk needlepoint! How about you?!

Last time, we chatted about how there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for choosing stitches and threads for your needlepoint projects. Instead, you really need to examine and evaluate each canvas individually. If you missed that blog post, you can click here to read it.

Now, we’re going to examine the design components on my Tuscaloosa needlepoint canvas.

Are you ready to dive in? Great!

Tuscaloosa needlepoint canvas

Remember, a design component is an item that is painted on your canvas.

Here’s a list of the design components on the Tuscaloosa canvas for you:

  • the river
  • the trees
  • the grassy area
  • the park benches
  • the sidewalk
  • the railing
  • the lamp posts
  • the riverboat
  • Denny Chimes (the bell tower behind the trees)
  • the word “Tuscaloosa”
  • the sky

The focal point of the design is the word “Tuscaloosa” and the subordinate focal points are Denny Chimes and the riverboat. Since those are the most important design components on the canvas – and what I want people to notice first – let’s begin by jotting down some notes about the different textures each of those items might have.

Denny Chimes is a brick bell tower…

and when I think about bricks, there are several descriptive words that come to mind: rough, mottled colors, hard, and straight.

The bricks used to build Denny Chimes are rusty red in color and their texture is rough. There is also a bit of white limestone at the base and at the crown of the tower. Limestone is smooth and has a matte finish. So, when I start to look for threads, I need to keep all of these things in mind.

Moving along to the riverboat…

it’s made of wood and has been painted glossy white, so it’s shiny. The double paddle wheels are bright red – and they’re shiny, too. The black smoke stacks are made of metal, but they have a slightly matte finish – and they’re topped with gold decorative crowns. Again, I’ll keep all of these textures in mind when I go stash diving for threads (or head to my local needlework shop if I don’t already have what I need!).

And, finally, the word “Tuscaloosa”…

the focal point of the design! This is what I want people to notice first when they look at my finished ornament hanging on the Christmas tree. How can I ensure that it really stands out?  There are a couple of viable options: red metallic thread or red beads. Either would work quite well and, since that is actually one of the last things I’ll stitch, I have plenty of time to make my decision.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the other design components.

The river sparkles when the sunshine glints off the surface. It usually flows very calmly toward its juncture with the Tombigbee River, but it ripples and has foamy waves when boats and barges make their way up and downstream.

There’s a mixture of pine and hardwood trees along the shoreline. The pine trees are very dark evergreen and their needles are long and slender. The hardwood trees have broad bright green leaves.

The grassy area beside the river feels soft under your bare feet – and the grass is emerald green

The park benches, the railing, and the lamp posts are made of cast iron, so they’re hard; they have a bit of a sheen to them because they’ve been painted with glossy black paint. (The lights on the lamp posts have frosted white globes and they glow with a soft light in the evening.)

The sidewalk is rough and hard – it’s made of concrete and it’s very pale gray in color.

The sky is different every day, so I have a lot of leeway in how I choose to stitch it. Summer is my favorite season, so I’m leaning toward a “bluebird” sky with puffy white clouds.

Now, it’s time to take my list of descriptive words and go stash diving for thread options!

Next time, I’ll show you the threads I find and we’ll take a look at some different stitches that can be used to embellish this little canvas to make it really shine.

Until then, what’s your favorite needlepoint thread? Tell me in the comments box below – and why you like it so much – and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a “Spring Fling” thread bouquet from our friends at Rainbow Gallery. (The drawing will be held on April 30, 2018.)

Happy Stitching!
XOXO!!!
Stitch with a smile!

 

 

PS: Are you a member of the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group? That’s where we share ideas and cheer each other on and I’d love to have you join us, so click here to request an invite. I’ll see you on the inside! 😉

Stitching a Needlepoint Sky

by , on
Mar 21, 2018
Tuscaloosa needlepoint canvas

Just the other day, someone asked me about which stitches might be good to use for the sky on a needlepoint canvas. And that’s a really great question, but you know what? It doesn’t have a “one-size-fits-all” answer.

Learn a New Stitch Every Day!

by , on
Feb 7, 2018
French knots are fun to make!

Hi there! I’ve had soooo much fun reading your comments about your favorite kind of embroidery – and who taught you to stitch! Thank you for sharing with me. 🙂

Did you take some time every day this past week to work on one of your projects?

It’s amazing how much you can get done in as little as 30 minutes.

I’m helping with a needlepoint project at my church right now. Our nave was recently updated – we’re getting a new organ and the choir got new chairs, so we’re stitching cushions for them.

Here’s a picture of one in progress…

 

Stitching cushions for the new chairs at Christ Church

 

Anyway, I’ve been trying to get at least a few threads in every day – along with my other projects.

That one small action keeps me moving toward my goal of finishing on schedule.

How about you? What are you working on right now?

(Be sure and tell me in the comments box below. Remember, every time you comment on one of my posts during National Embroidery Month 2018, your name will be entered to win a Rainbow Gallery “Happy Hearts” thread bouquet.)

I’ve been working on new “how-to” stitch videos for The Stitcher’s Club and one of them is all about French knots.

I absolutely adore French knots!

I could sit and make them for hours on end, but some people get tripped up by them. Are you one of those folks?

I shot a short video last week while I was working on samples for those Stitcher’s Club videos and I posted it over on Instagram. Did you see it? It’s also on the Serendipity Facebook page.

After I’d posted that little stitch video, I got this idea…

Since it’s National Embroidery Month, what if I posted a quickie “how-to” stitch video on social media every day for a week? They won’t be like the detailed ones inside The Stitcher’s Club, but they’ll be good enough to help you with a stitch that might be stumping you.

Sound good? YAY!!! Ooooh…this is gonna be oodles of F-U-N!!!

Now, what would you like to see demonstrated? Tell me in the comments box below or …

send me an email. (And, yes – this will be another chance for you to have your name entered into the drawing for the thread bouquet from Rainbow Gallery, so be sure and share your ideas.)

I’ll start things off by re-shooting the video for how to make a French knot.

I’ll include sound this time, so you can follow along with me as I stitch.

Then…

I’ll post a new Stitch Snippet “how-to” video every day this week over on the Serendipity Facebook page, based on what you request.

And in one short week, you can learn (or brush up on) seven embroidery stitches!

Use those stitches on your needlepoint or knitting projects, then snap a picture and share it on social media. Be sure and use our special National Embroidery Month hashtag – #serendipitystitcher, so it’s easy to find your photos. I can’t share any details yet, but trust me – it’ll be worth it to post a pic or two. 😉 

Join the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group, if you want to be sure you don’t miss out on any of the really good stuff, either.

Just click here to request an invitation now (and be sure to answer those two quick questions), then I’ll take care of the rest for you. We have a terrific bunch of folks over there and I’d love to have you join us. The more the merrier!

Well, I guess I’d better get busy on that new French knot video for you.

Until next time, happy stitching!

XOXO!!!
Stitch with a smile!

 

 

PS: If you missed last week’s blog post, click here to read it now, so you can catch up on all the latest news about National Embroidery Month.

 

Ready, Set, Stitch with Confidence!

by , on
Jan 25, 2018
Ready, Set, Stitch with Confidence!

Last week we talked about making your needlework goals for 2018 S.M.A.R.T.E.R. – and this week, well – it’s time to wrap things up so we can actually start working on those goals and developing your needlework skills! 😉

Let’s recap what you’ve done, so far.

  1. You “Kon-Mari’d” your PIPs and prioritized them.
  2. You made a list of things you want to accomplish this year – and you turned them into goals.
  3. You made your goals S.M.A.R.T.E.R.

Congratulations!!!

You’re doing GREAT! I’m so proud of you for taking the initiative to develop your needlework skills. It’s one thing to say you’re gonna do something, but you’ve proven that you mean business.

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals for a Spectacular 2018

by , on
Jan 18, 2018
What's your biggest frustration when it comes to pursuing your needlework hobby?

Did you make a list of your most frustrating problems and challenges when it comes to pursuing your needlework hobby?

Great! What I’d like you to do now is look at that list and make some notes, so grab a pencil and a red pen – and let’s get started.

Last week, I asked you to rate your frustrations using a “star” system – beginning with 1 star for anything that’s mildly annoying, all the way up to 5 stars for those things that really, really drive you nuts. If you didn’t do that, now’s the time.

Go ahead…I’ll wait for you. 🙂

Now, let’s look and see if there are any items on your list that are out of your control.

Setting Yourself Up for Needlepoint Success

by , on
Jan 11, 2018
Set yourself up for success in 2018!

Last week, we talked about sorting through all your projects so you could set yourself up for success in 2018. Now, we’re in the second week of the year and I’m wondering…

Did you get your PIPs sorted?

If you did, that’s terrific and a great big CONGRATULATIONS! But, if you didn’t, that’s perfectly okay, too. I know this can be a pretty big undertaking, so, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of sorting through ALL of your PIPs, why don’t you just take a deep breath and choose one project that has you stumped.

There…feel better?

Great! Go ahead and set that project aside. We’ll come back to it again soon. As for all those other PIPs…

No More Resolutions For Me…

by , on
Jan 3, 2018
Cheers to 2018!

Have You Heard?

This year, I’m not making any New Year’s Resolutions. I’m D-O-N-E with that activity – and moving on to a much more rewarding one! Wanna’ join me? Great! Let’s get started…

Instead of Making Resolutions, I’m Challenging Myself!

First on my agenda is to make some serious headway on all my PIPs. (That’s shorthand for “Projects in Progress”.) And the best way to do that is to “Kon-Mari” them. What the heck does that mean? Let me explain…

4 Needlepoint Myths and How to Avoid Them

by , on
Nov 13, 2017
Decorative stitches and threads bring your needlepoint to life!

If you’ve ever worked a needlepoint canvas using a professional stitch guide, you know the difference that decorative stitches and fancy threads can make in your finished project. The added texture and sparkle bring a flat 2-dimensional design to life and transform a plain needlepoint canvas into a hand-stitched work of art.

Maybe you’ve even taken a class from a guest instructor at a needlepoint shop or guild meeting. You got all inspired to branch out and try new stitches and embellishments. You bought new canvases and threads – the works!

So why does the idea of actually picking your own stitches and threads have you quaking in your boots?

Needlepoint Canvas: A Closer Look

by , on
Oct 18, 2017
Zweigart Needlepoint Canvas

Bet you never thought about needlepoint canvas much…

But it can affect your needlepoint project more than you might think. Let’s take a peek at the 3 main types of needlepoint canvas that we use most: interlock mono canvas, mono canvas, and Penelope canvas.

Each kind has special features that make it uniquely appropriate for a variety of projects. I prefer cotton canvas from the folks at Zweigart. In my opinion, it’s the best. How can you tell the origin of your canvas? Well, if you’ve ever purchased a needlepoint canvas that has a thin orange thread running through the selvedge, you can count on it being Zweigart canvas.

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