Testing, 1, 2, 3. Testing, 1, 2, 3.

Is this thing on?

::tapping the mike::

Is anybody out there?

Let's see if we can make this thing work.

It's been a long time, nearly two years since my last post. Sounds sort of like the beginning of a confession, doesn't it?

I'm back! Did you miss me? You might wonder whether I've been stitching. The short answer: Yes! And now for a longer answer.

I've been stitching a lot, just not finishing a lot. Those things that I've finished, I've generally given away. I've been stitching counted canvas almost exclusively, though I've done the random counted thread piece here and there. Lately, I've been doing more painted canvas, something I thought I'd never get into. But as I've learned more different stitches and techniques, I've found I rather like it.

Here's some of what I'm working on right now:

Nearly finished is a painted canvas piece I started as a shop model when I still had Scarlet Thread, the store, Chilis Small by Terri Medaris, distributed by Sundance Designs and available through your LNS. For years, it's been languishing off in a corner, waiting for me to rip out the basketweave I'd started doing for the background and decide what to do instead. I finally realized that I now know enough different stitches to tackle it, so I spent an evening frogging. This was one time I didn't say, "How hard can it be." I hate ripping out backstitch! Takes way too long. Anywhere, that brought me to this:

Ahhh. I decided to stitch the yellow and orange background with a thin thread, Pure Palette's Soy Luster, using a light-coverage stitch. I had found the perfect one in Father B's 21st Century Book of Stitches, by The Rev. Robert E. Blackburn, Jr. (which was distributed by Rainbow Gallery when I had the store and should be available through your LNS). It's called the Background Stitch and is similar to the Diagonal Tent Stitch Variation. I loved the way it allowed the background painting to show through and added an element of texture.

The next step? How to do that ribbon-like border.

I started browsing my books as well as Stitchplay Design's Building Blocks for Needlepoint, a wonderful notebook series by Carole Lake and Michael Boren that lets you play with a variety of threads while learning wonderful stitches to increase your stitch vocabulary. After my comprehensive search and conferring with a friend while we were at her chemo session, I decided on. Wait for it. Cross stitch. Yes, you read that right. The other basic, a cross stitch. I think it's working wonderfully, using one ply of Caron Collection's Watercolours, stitching each cross stitch as I go, and cutting out whatever I don't like of the overdye.

What do you think? (Funny what different lighting conditions can do to the colors. This is pretty accurate.)

So I hope to finish this very soon.

In the meantime, I have a lot of WIPs! I have three counted canvas class pieces, a couple more painted canvas pieces (maybe more), and a new counted thread piece. That's correct, a new counted thread piece. Have I got my linen groove back? We'll see. I did get it on a scroll frame and stitched a bit to be sure I could handle what I bought yesterday. I have had the pattern since I opened the shop and finally decided to get the fabric and thread. What did I select? Oh, just a piece of 40-ct linen and a skein of overdyed silk floss. Stitching one ply over two threads, using a magnifier and light. Yeah.

I'll try to be more regular in my blog posts to let you know what I'm doing on my other WIPs, including more pictures. I'll also try not to start anything new. But I make no promises. I've got a lot of new things lurking in the corners, looking at me reproachfully.



  1. Nice to see you back, we waited for you xxx

  2. Thanks! It's nice to know you waited. I plan on this being more regular from now on.

  3. Nice!! Love the chilis, love the return to blogging!

  4. You've prodded me into an update, too. Only on Tuesday as I don't have any photos right now.

  5. Welcome back! I enjoyed your post.

  6. I'm still here, and you are still in my blog reader! It's great to have you back. I love the bargello chilis.

  7. I missed this! Nice read and like what you did with the background. Love open with shading showing.

  8. I've missed your blog - heck, I've missed your store!