Design update – The Home Samplers


And now for something a little different! Of course DebBee’s Designs is noted for counted canvas work, but did you know I also design other things? Many are surprised to discover that, but I have always done counted cross stitch designs, specialty stitch designs on fabric and Hardanger. I’ve even dabbled in punch needle!

Last summer my daughter and son-in-law went to India on a mission trip. My daughter brought back a tea towel with the sentiment “Home is Where Mom Is”. I thought it was absolutely lovely of her to bring me the towel, but I also thought, what a great thing to put on a sampler!

I picked a few, easy specialty stitches – Rhodes, Smyrna cross, queen stitch and satin stitch – for dividing bands in the sampler. Cross stitch vines and flowers with back stitch leaves form the border. I included 2 alphabets, one large and one smaller, for those who want to change the sentiment (for instance, Home Is Where Nana Is). And the sampler is offered in 2 sizes (in the same leaflet), one oblong, one square. I’m showing the square one in a box from Patches n’ Planks.

I stitched the models on 32 ct. Lakeside Linens Exemplar over 2. The Belfast 32 ct. was new for me; I usually use 28 ct. And, it was the first time I’d used Lakeside Linens. I stitched the models with Gentle Arts Sampler Threads, and included DMC alternates on the charts.

I hope you like my venture into sampler land! It probably won’t be the last time you see something like this, I’m already working on new designs on fabric.

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Design update – Glitz & Glamour Silver

Glitz & Glamour Silver

Glitz & Glamour Silver

Next in our design updates is another counted canvas piece, Glitz & Glamour Silver. Can you believer this is #19 in the series?! I’m astounded! I always intended to do the precious metals in addition to precious and semi-precious stones. I did Glitz & Glamour Gold a couple of years ago, and am now thinking about Glitz & Glamour Copper. But I digress – let’s talk about Silver!

My stitch samplers are really popular (Tahiti Triangles, Twinkling Gems), so I though why not use that as a basis for this design. I didn’t want it to be just a grid of stitches, so I altered the arrangment a tad. Each square is 1″ x 1″, and the entire piece is 6″ square. There are 35 different stitches (I repeated one of the stitches in the center). All of the threads are silk and metallic in various shades of silver. It’s really easy to do one or two squares per stitching session. There’s no border stitch between the squares.

Of course, it’s entirely possible to completely change all the colors if you want to stitch it to match something particular, or if there’s a color you really love (or two or three!).  That’s what I love about the Glitz & Glamour series; because the color palette is monochromatic, it’s easy to change the colors by finding the textures of threads in the color you want to use.

I hope you enjoy the latest Glitz & Glamour!



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Design update – Kaleidoscope



As promised, the next few posts will be a little bit about the new designs we released at Nashville. I’m busy working on other things, but wanted to catch up a bit.

Kaleidoscope came about because I have always been fascinated by kaleidoscopes and the ever changing view through them. When we lived in Oklahoma City, we used to visit Arts in the Park every spring, and there was a vendor who had beautiful hand-made wooden kaleidoscopes. Oh, how I wanted one! But they were far too expensive for a frivolity, so I had to pass. We haven’t lived in Oklahoma for 19 years – I wonder if that artisan still goes to Arts in the Park? I’ll have to plan a visit to find out; maybe now that we no longer have to devote every dollar to raising children I just might be able to get a small one.

Anyway, since I’ve always been intrigued by Kaleidoscopes, I researched online for kaleidoscope pictures, found several, and attempted to create a pattern that called to mind a kaleidoscope. Do you know how hard it is to make rounded shapes in counted canvas? I abandoned the first few attempts, and decided to go with diagonal and triangular shapes instead.

All of the stitches in Kaleidoscope are diagonal or triangular stitches. Believe it or not, I think this is a “suitable for beginners” piece, because none of the stitches are very complicated. The delight in this piece is the way the colors change, so I included a full color graph to indicate where to change colors.

I also did most of the piece with cotton floss and pearl cotton, with touches of Rainbow Gallery Silk Lame’ Braid and Neon Rays, and of course Kreinik (have I every done a counted canvas piece without Kreinik?). There’s no shading in this piece; all the color changes are pretty abrupt, just like a kaleidoscope. I went with bright jewel colors, to make a strong visual statement.

I hope you like my Kaleidoscope, and visit your local needlework shop to pick up the design, the canvas and needed threads. And, of course, I’d love to see your own color interpretations!

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Here’s what’s been happening at DebBee’s Designs



Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post! I have been super busy, and here’s what I’ve been doing.

I got back from EGA National Seminar ready to start the procedure to propose classes. That meant I had to have some classes to propose! So I started designing and stitching, and proposed several classes for ANG National Seminar 2016 in New Orleans. Three classes were accepted, so I’ll be teaching 7 days at ANG National! Super excited that the hard work, endless days and sleepness nights paid off!

In the midst of developing new classes, I was reminded of a commitment for a project for ANG Needlepointers magazine. Ooops! Completely slipped off my radar. So I hustled around and designed, stitched and wrote instructions for the magazine. Be watching for “Baskets, Blooms and Butterflies” in the May issue. I stitched it with all Treenway Silks, and Susan at Treenway put together a thread pack for the project.

Then, I had to get ready for the Nashville market. I had one large design already completed, with threads pulled, but it wasn’t stitched so more sleepless nights. I had one of a pair of samplers stitched, and got a model stitcher to complete the other one. I had 1/3 of a cross stitch series stitched, but had to stitch and finish the models for the other 2/3. Then, literally the week before market, I decided I needed another counted canvas piece, so I designed and stitched Glitz & Glamour Silver.

I am doing a class with Shining Needle Society, so I had to finalize details for that, take registrations, place a huge supply order for the kits, and all this while getting ready for market!

Of course we had Thanksgiving and Christmas in the midst of all this. Plus, our new Sheltie puppy had to go to puppy class one night a week. My husband’s grandmother died and we had to travel for the funeral. I got sick over the holidays, recovered, then we both got the flu – mild cases for both of us, thanks to Tamiflu.

We made it to market with our 4 new releases, and I’ve been designing and stitching, filling orders, and just generally doing business since we got back. It’s been a terribly busy four months, but the mad dash (is it a dash if it’s for that long?) is basically over. Now it’s just work every day, like the rest of you! Some people think designers get to stitch all day – I wish that were true! I’m itching to stitch but haven’t had time due to everything else that HAS TO BE DONE TODAY.

I’ll post more about each of our new releases later, but in the meantime, enjoy the picture of Kaleidoscope, my new large counted canvas piece. Details in the next post!

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Wrapping Up Our Ukrainian Trip

I could write for several weeks about our trip to Ukraine, but it’s time to move on. I have a few final things to share, and have saved the best for last!

At one of our early stops, we were greeted with the traditional gift of bread on an embroidered bread cloth, but our director was absent having a last minute rehearsal with the soloists and we were a smaller group being welcomed. I took advantage of the smaller group to ask one of our interpreters if I could have a closer look at the bread cloth, with his assistance for the conversation.

He escorted me to the smiling young woman in her Ukrainian costume, also heavily embroidered, introduced me and asked if I could look at the bread cloth. She was puzzled, but said yes. So as I was looking at it, I explained to the interpreter that I was an embroidery designer and teacher in the US, and thus very interested in the Ukrainian embroideries. He spoke to the young woman for a bit, then she gave me the bread cloth! I tried to refuse it, but they insisted that I take it! I was completely overwhelmed, and accepted the gift.

My Ukrainian bread cloth gift!

My Ukrainian bread cloth gift!

The cloth I was given was a bit different from the others that I saw, in that it is not cross stitch, but a long stitch with some withdrawn thread work. This is one end; the other end is identical. The thread used appears to be a wool or wool blend, on an evenweave fabric that I haven’t counted to determine count. The thread is a single strand, similar in weight to Caron Collection’s Impressions, solidly dyed.

What really impressed me was the back:

Ukrainian bread cloth back

Ukrainian bread cloth back

It’s very difficult to see where the threads start and stop. The stitch used is not a satin stitch, because there is not as much on the back as on the front. The back is almost as beautiful as the front!

The withdrawn thread work is simple withdrawing of the horizontal threads, and lacing of the vertical threads, but it is a beautiful pattern and very effective. And the sides are a simple turned hem, with a fringed finish at the bottom. My bread cloth is not as elaborate as some of the ones I saw, but I treasure it because it was a gift and because it is a bit different.

I regret that I never saw a shop that sold supplies the whole time we were in Ukraine; I would have loved being in a needlework shop! Perhaps if I get to go back I can make that a priority. When our trip was planned I did not know if I would get to see any Ukrainian embroidery, but I was overjoyed to see it from the time we landed until we left.

Ukraine is a lovely country, with lovely people. It was the experience of a lifetime for Rod and me, one we will treasure forever.

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