Thursday, November 26, 2015

Stitch and Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Now that dinner is over (mercifully; I love eating it, but I don't much enjoy preparation or clean-up), it's time to turn our thoughts to stitching, especially since I'd much rather stitch than venture out on Black Friday. In between basting the bird and whipping up a pomegranate/cranberry sauce, I was poring over some of my unfinished projects, some of which I'll show you at the end of this post. The blog banner photo is one: I started it about four weeks ago: it's by Cross Eyed Cricket, called "Rest and Be Thankful." At the time I said I wasn't sure if it is available, and I have since found out that we can order it for you if you'd like to have one of your very own. It's about half done at this point--but it has a very Thanksgiving look to it.

Here's a project I'm anxious to do, either on silk gauze or fabric. "Home Unto Thee" by Erica Michaels.

"Autumn Gifts" by Plum Street.

"Goodness and Plenty" by Plum Street.

"Gratitude Inspirational Boxer" by Lizzie Kate:

"November" by Cross Eyed Cricket.

"Patchwork Pumpkin" by Blackbird Designs.
"Gathering Acorns" by Lila's Studio.
"Peacock in the Pumpkin Patch," by Stacy Nash Primitives.
Hard to believe it's already almost "December," by Cross Eyed Cricket.
"Wee Santa 2015" by Heart in Hand Needleworks.
"A Christmas Cupboard Pocket," by With Thy Needle and Thread.
Blackberry Lane Designs' "Let it Snow."
"A Sweet Christmas" by Lilli Violette.
Two needlepoint designs I love, from Pippin Studios: "9 Witches' Hats" I'm picturing these stitched with sparkly fiber accents.
Also by Pippin, "12 Sailboats."
This is going to be a Christmas Day start for me: Barbara Ana Designs: "All Creatures Great and Small." It is charted for DMC or Anchor, both of which we sell.
People ask me about my WIPs--how many do I have? The answer: I don't know. I'll show you some of them from time to time. I recently got out "Christmastide at Holly House," by Scarlett House. I'm doing it on 40 count Lakeside mystery color fabric (can't remember), using the charted NPI and Classic Colorworks (Belle Soie) silks.
And I've taken out Mirabilia's "Santa." I'm stitching it on 32 count white linen, using the called-for DMC and Mill Hill beads. It's a lot of fun to stitch this.  (For extra sparkle, I added Kreinik blending filament to his hat brim.)
We will be open normal hours on Friday and Saturday this week. Remember that Saturday is Small Business Saturday. We are grateful for all our wonderful customers, fabulous designers, and awesome vendors. This small business depends on you all!

For questions or to order, please call at 703-360-4600. We are located at 8800 F Pear Tree Village in the Mt. Vernon section of Alexandria.

Our hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12:30 to 4:30 on the first Sunday of each month. Stitch Nights are the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Don't be shy--come join us!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Kitting Up

Greetings, all! I know you're just dying to see what I've kitted up for myself lately, so you've just hit the jackpot today (hah!) I spent a very satisfying couple of hours at the shop last Saturday and came home with an armloand of new projects. The upcoming holidays seem to ignite some of this behavior; I can't account for the rest of it.

First off, I am trying my hand at needlepoint. Counted cross stitch will always be my first love, but there's room in my stitching basket(s) for lots of different projects. This is a smallish project called "Nine Seagulls," by Pippin Studio, a Canadian designer. I love everything she does--the nines, the fives, the dozens. So fresh and appealing. Click on the link, and see what she has to offer; we can order it for you if you want something!  Note:  I'm enough of a newbie that I didn't know quite which fibers to use, so Linda, one of our fabulous needlepoint shop ladies, did it for me.  What wonderful choices she made!

Next up, I'll bet you've spotted this With Thy Needle and Thread's "One Starry Christmas Eve" on the 'net. I love this design, and I purchased the fabric (which you see to the left of my photo), Weeks Dye Works' Aztec Red. I got the 30 count, although it's charted for 36 count. I love the bricky red color--and I very seldom stitch on colored fabric, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I also got the luscious set of Classic Colorworks silks that are called for. We can do a close conversion to overdyed cottons if you prefer.  It reminds me a little of a Russian icon.
I have owned this chart, called "Rest and Be Thankful," by the Cricket Collection, for many years, and I finally got around to kitting it up. Full disclosure so you're not disappointed: it may or may not be out of print, so if you want it, we can try to order it for you, but we can't guarantee that we can get it. I love the colors used by Cricket Designs. This is charted mostly for DMC, but it does call for 4 skeins of Silk n Colors, shown.  I suspect that this project will move along quickly, also.  I am using 32 count Light Examplar by Lakeside, 2 over 2.
Thanks to Maude & Mozart, who photographed this finished sampler on her blog, I had to have it, and In Stitches didn't disappoint. I grabbed it off the spinner and kitted it up with 40 count Vintage Light Examplar from Lakeside and the called-for DMC.
From Art to Heart, "Ho Ho Ho." It comes with the adorable buttons, it's charted for WDW and Gast cotton overdyeds, and of course, the shop had the called-for linen--30 count Dove linen from Weeks Dye Works. Note the color difference between the chart photo and the actual linen to the left of the chart.  It's far more blue-green than gray, and I hesitated, but after doing the floss toss, I decided I'd stick with it as I was smitten.
"Simply Autumn" by The Drawn Thread, which I'm stitching on a scrap of 32 count (I think) Weeks Dye Works Wren linen, using the called-for Gentle Art fibers.  Such a small design.  I love buying the packaged "scraps"--quite generous pieces of leftover linen--generally 9x27 or 13x18.  In stitches has lots of these, so it's possible to have a large "wardrobe" of different counts and colors of beautiful linens without a huge outlay of money.
Aside from what I kitted up, there were plenty of other new, fun designs in the shop. The newest stocking from Shepherd's Bush!
Two lovelies from the Scarlett House, including "Be of Good Cheer," which I'm itching to turn into an ornament.
"And Heaven and Nature Sing," by Kathy Barrick.
By Sue Hillis, "My Favorite Things."
"Hollow Eve's Tree" by Blackberry Lane Designs. Remind me to show you a photo of the progress on my "Frosty Weather" ornament, also by Blackberry Lane Designs!
They were unpacking frame mouldings while I was in the shop. Oh, my--I can think of so many things to frame with these glittery frames.

To order or for questions, please call us at 703-360-4600. Our address is 8800 F Pear Tree Village in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria. Our hours are 10 to 5, Monday through Saturday, 12:30-4:30 the first Monday of the month, and 5 p.m.-8 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Today is the first Wednesday of the month, so hopefully we'll see you there.

I have brought a bag of new projects to kit up and I have my eye on a few other things for tonight, so I'll post photos of those next time.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Needlepoint...and more

Greetings, all! Ellen ventured off to the Dallas Needlepoint show and brought us back some absolutely amazing canvases--if you're not a needlepointer now, you will soon be plotting how and where to start. I have suggestions! (And more suggestions next time as well):

These canvases are works of art. Just feast your eyes on the next seven pics, all painted by Leigh. How can you resist?  Look closely at the detail.  I'm picturing these all stitched, framed and hanging in my dining room.  Or finished as cushions and lined up on my boring sofa.  Not boring then!  We have all the beautiful fibers to enhance these designs.  Call the shop, order one of these, and ask one of our clever needlepoint shop ladies to pull the fibers for you, then slide it into a package and ship it directly to your eager hands.
This is my very favorite.
Two more Halloween canvases, beautifully rendered (by a different artist).

And of course, lots of Christmas canvases, in different styles and sizes. This little guy:

Something simply and sparkly:
Something more ornate--perhaps a stocking for a treasured grandchild. A family heirloom, passed lovingly from generation to generation.

More canvases and some new counted cross stitch next time! Wait 'til I show you what Ellen ordered for me!

Will we see you on Stitch Night? (October 21 5-8 p.m.)

To order or for questions, please call 703-360-4600. We are located at 8800 F Pear Tree Village, in the Mt. Vernon section of Alexandria. Our hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12:30-4:30 the first Sunday of the month. Stitch Nights are the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Happy October!

Greetings, all! Fall seems to finally be making itself known here--we've gone from temps in the 80s to temps in the 50s during the day, which has me rooting through my drawers for a warmer wardrobe, and considering fall stitches as well. What captured my fickle attention in the summer doesn't interest in quite the same way; I'm thinking of stitching bright leaves and squirrels and acorns, and most of all, Halloween items!

Here are some of my favorite things in the shop for fall: Cutest little witch stitch on perforated paper (or, if you prefer, on linen or Aida)--"Drive a Stick" by Lizzie Kate.
I'd love to stitch this: "October," by Cross Eyed Cricket.
"Away We Ride" by Blackbird Designs. Love the acorn-and-leaf border.
By Pineberry Lane, "Merrie Halloween."
Glendon Place's "Castle le Creep." I love Glendon Place's detailed designs. Note that it's new to me (we have lots of Halloween designs from years past), but it may not be brand new.
I am going to stitch this and finish it as a cupboard hanger--such fun, and a small, small stitch. Annalee Waite Designs' "Witch on Broom."
With Thy Needle and Thread's "Witches' Night Out."
A lovely shop model, which will be inserted into the box lid of the box shown (yes, we have all sizes of these beautiful shaker style boxes): "Autumn Bird Pincushion," by From the Heart.
"Spook Hill" by the Needles Notion.
"Stir with the Big Girls," by Waxing Moon Designs.
Lots of new stitching magazines! (And some oldies as well--again, Halloween magazines from years past with lots of projects, large and small).

Fall needlepoint. I'm itching to do some needlepoint. Ellen just got back from the Dallas needlepoint show, and wait 'til I show you what she got, and in particular what I got! (Lots of new needlepoint next blog post.)
Two adorable fall/Halloween projects by Erica Michaels. To do on silk gauze, or larger, if you wish, on fabric.

More fall and Halloween next time! To order or for questions, please call us at 703-360-4600. Our address is 8800 F Pear Tree Village, Alexandria, VA. Our hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 12:30-4:30 the first Sunday of each month. Stitch Nights are the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 5-8:00 p.m. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Happy stitching!