New Halloween designs – the end!

Today I’m going to focus on the last two designs in the leaflet, No Tricks and All Treats.


Is that a spooky looking jack o’ lantern? I didn’t want him to look too spooky! My Jack goes with the second part, All Treats:


Several years ago I saw a t-shirt that said “no tricks, all treats” and that sums up my Halloween philosophy. I don’t really go in for the scary stuff like witches, ghosts and skeletons, but I do like the treats! So this little design features candy corn, wrapped candy and suckers (no chocolates, didn’t want to infringe on trademarks!).

How can you dress up these two little designs? Well, how about overstitching the candy with a shiny thread like Kreinik #4 032 or blending filament 032? That would add a little shine to the candy to make it look like candy wrapped in cellophane. You could even do a little padding on the candy if you wanted, to make it more rounded. Here’s how – lay threads in straight lines within the shape of the candy before stitching. This will give you a little bit of padding. You could even lay some felt or a tiny bit of fiberfill under the long threads before cross stitching, but you’ll need to have a pretty loose tension as you cross stitch so you don’t lose the padding effect, so the cross stitches lay on top of the padding and don’t sink into it. Or, put some fiberfill under the candy before you finish it, making a “bump” under the candy. You’ll need to be careful that the bumps don’t shift when you’re finishing it, but I think it would probably be effective.

Have fun with these little designs. You still have plenty of time to stitch and finish to add to your Halloween decor!

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New Halloween designs continued

My last post I shared some new Halloween designs. Today I’m going to zoom in on the designs and give you close ups!

First up is Boo! I had fun with this one. After stitching it I decided to add some glow in the dark googly eyes from the craft store and I think it turned out great!

BooBooNightSomeone asked if it could be stitched using glow in the dark thread – of course! I didn’t use any metallics or specialty threads on any of the designs, but I think they can certainly be added if desired.

I used 8mm glow in the dark eyes and glued them in place after I had mounted the fabric for the flat finish. I figured it would be easier to place the eyes if I had a stable surface, since I had to use fabric glue to set the eyes in place.

A word about the finishing: I did a flat finish, such as is usually used for ornaments. To flat finish, first iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles from stitching or hoops. (Note: I didn’t wash the fabric after stitching; I usually don’t wash my pieces after stitching. The fabric I used was a hand-dyed fabric and I didn’t want any alterations in the finish. I used DMC floss which should be color fast, but things happen and I didn’t want to chance it. Plus, I seldom wash my finished pieces because I’m usually on canvas and you don’t wash canvas.) I had 2 pieces of mat board, 4″ x 5″, so just larger than the stitched design. I put the design on one piece of mat board, folding the edges to the back and mitering the corners, then glued in place. I finished the edges with grosgrain ribbon, laying the pieces of ribbon along each edge; leave about 1″-2″ overhanging the edges. Fold the ribbon edges to the back and glue in place. Then take the other piece of mat board and cover the back of the first piece, glueing in place; this covers the edges of the fabric and ribbon and gives a neat finish. I used hot glue to glue a dowel stick to the back of the finished piece, then tied multiple ribbons at the bottom edge.

Wow, that’s enough for today – next I’ll highlight the other two designs. But here’s the take away for today – use glow in the dark threads!

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Getting back to it!

I have finally stopped traveling this year and have had a chance to catch my breath. Now is the time to get things ready to publish, create new designs, work out some intriguing stitches, and breathe!

First up is a new release in time for Halloween, Halloween Stake Outs. This is a leaflet of 3 small designs, all cross stitch and back stitch (no specialty stitches), over 2 on 28 ct. Picture This Plus Oaken.

Halloween Stake Out

I flat finished them then put them on a dowel, tied with lots of ribbons. My original intent was to decorate house plants with them, but I don’t have any houseplants due to my eternally black thumb. But you could certainly add them to your house plants for your Halloween decor, or finish them as ornaments.

Each one is small, about 3″ x 4″, and stitch up very quickly. Tomorrow I’ll tell you a little more about each one, but that’s enough for today!

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Feeling overwhelmed

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I hope I’m not the only one! Anyway, for the last few weeks I’ve been feeling completely crushed by deadlines, things I HAVE to do, forest fires that need to be put out…are you with me? All of this is compounded by some unresolved health issues that leave me exhausted most days, so it’s even harder to get things done (and it’s not depression, have had that checked out).

So, keeping up with the blog has been something out of reach. But I have been inspired to keep plugging, so I’ll make this short.

I have been stitching and I’ll share pictures when I can. I’m been working on the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat model for this year – all finished and to the framer – with instructions and diagrams completed. Printing next, fingers crossed the printer behaves long enough to get it done.

I’ve also been working on my models for the 2018 American Needlepoint Guild National Seminar in Washington, D.C. One is finished and framed, the other one is in process. I can’t show pictures until after they are announced at this year’s seminar, but as soon as I can I’ll post the pictures.

And I’ve been thinking about new designs. I have a design coming out in the Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue, and I’ve created 3 companion pieces which I’ll be releasing probably in August. I also have a design in the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue, and I’ll be releasing 3 companion pieces for that. And, I’ve stitched 4 cuff bracelets on DMC’s cuffs, which I’ll be releasing soon as well. Love the way these turned out!

I’m planning a new series of designs featuring Jean Hilton stitches. The first one is designed, Mostly Amadeus, and I’m thinking about the next 2, Mostly Jessicas and Mostly Walnetos. I’ll keep you posted on these!

Whew! Can you see why I’m feeling overwhelmed?

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More Classes!

Yesterday I posted about the first few classes on my calendar, today I’ll continue that.

In July I’ll be teaching for the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat, July 19-22 in Warrensville, a suburb of Chicago. I can’t show a picture, because the project is a mystery! But we always have a great time. This is our 12th year, and we’d love for all of you to join us. We do allow ghosts, so check it out.

In August I’m back at American Needlepoint Guild National Seminar, Aug. 25-Sep. 1, in Anaheim, CA. I’m scheduled to teach a 4 day class, Divisions, and a 2 day class, Ablaze.


Divisions is available in 2 color ways, and features a lot of different stitching areas with several different textures.


Ablaze is a little twist on a band sampler, with a corner motif featuring a herringbone square and a maltese interlace. Lots of fun and bright colors, perfect for Anaheim!

I’ll be in Detroit in September, teaching Sonata for the Monguagan EGA chapter September 15-16. 


I’ll finish 2017 teaching assignments in October for Stitch N Play at Mandalay, CA, Oct. 19-22. I’ll be teaching Explorations as a 4 day class, always lots of fun!


Tomorrow I’ll list what I have on the calendar for 2018. Let me know if you need the contact info for any of the class coordinators, and I’ll get you in touch.



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