On the road this year

For those who follow me on Facebook, you’re aware of my computer woes. My computer took a hard crash – completely and utterly dead with no hope of revival – while in the midst of a presentation while I was teaching. I’m set up on a temporary computer while we see about getting mine fixed. And I thought I’d update a bit as to my teaching engagements this year.

First up is teaching Angles at Sandy’s Cross Stitch on the Go in Hendersonville, NC, April 18-20. No ghosts allowed, but never fear, I’m teaching Angles again.

Next up is Angles at Needle Orts in Altamonte Springs, FL, May 19-20. I don’t know about ghosts for this one, but if you’ll contact Debbie at the shop I’m sure she’ll be happy to discuss with you.

(A note of explanation: a ghost is a stitcher who pays all associated fees for the class but does not attend in person. The kit and instructions are mailed after the class.)

And then, Angles again at Mid-Eastern Region Seminar in Syracuse, NY, June 1-3. No ghosts for this class since it’s a seminar.

Time for something new, Adagio! I’ll be teaching Adagio July 7-8 for San Diego ANG. Ghosts will be permitted for this class; contact me and I’ll put you in touch with the class organizer. I can’t put up a picture because of the whole computer crash/on a temporary computer/can’t access my files thing, but I did post of picture on my Facebook page.

July 11-14 I’ll be teaching for the 14th Annual Needle Arts Mystery Retreat in Riverside, CA. Of course, I can’t show a picture of what I’m working on, but I’m so pleased with the way my design is turning out! The project is revealed at the opening reception for the first night. We have allowed ghosts, so visit the website, www.NeedleArtsMysteryRetreat.com for more info and to register. Wonderful time with great stitchers and some of my best teaching buddies, Linda Reinmiller, Patricia Hartman and Mary Knapp.

Then it’s on to American Needlepoint Guild National Seminar, Washington DC, August 22-27. I’ll be teaching two new classes, Cornered and Gilded Cabochons. Sorry I can’t put a picture up here, but you can go to the website, www.needlepoint.org, to see pictures and find out how to register. Hope to see you there! Annual seminar is always so much fun, and it’s so much more than taking classes.

There may be more classes later in the year, discussing with a couple of groups about adding dates, and I’ll put up that info when the details are ironed out. And next year is starting to fill up, with Canvas A Needlepoint Adventure in January, EGA South Central Region and Tennessee Valley Region in June, Needle Arts Mystery Retreat in July, ANG National in August, and who knows what else!


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A useful tool

Did you know I have a DebBee’s Designs YouTube channel? Yes! My very own, so now I can become famous!

My YouTube channel features video stitch demonstrations for several stitches. I’ll be adding more to it as I have videos ready to upload. These are strictly for educational purposes, to help you with some stitches you may have trouble visualizing from a stitch diagram and words.

And, I know a lot of people are doing video stitch demonstrations, but I hope you’ll find mine useful!

Here’s the link:


If the link doesn’t work, just go to YouTube, and search on DebBee’s Designs. I’ll continue to add more videos as I get them ready. If there’s something you’d like to see, just let me know and I’ll see if I can get one ready for you!

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Embracing the new

Recently my husband had to have an emergency pair of glasses made. The only frame that his lenses would fit was a style that was totally different from what he usually wore. And you know what? We both loved the change! It was a style he would never have tried otherwise, but we liked it so much that we ordered his new glasses in a frame style similar to the “emergency” glasses.

So what does that have to do with needlework or DebBee’s Designs? Sometimes we’re forced to try something new, out of our comfort zone, and discover that it’s a good fit. I remember when I first started stitching with other than cotton floss. It was a challenge! I had to learn how to manage the thread, how long a length to stitch with, how to get it to look the way I wanted. And now I’m completely fearless about trying new threads. I haven’t found a thread I haven’t liked! Ditto with new stitches and techniques – I love to take a class in a new technique or learn new stitches. Some I don’t like, some I do, some I love.

How this applies to DebBee’s Designs – we’ll be trying some new things in the next year specifically in regards to our website. We’ve already changed the web hosting, and our site should load faster. We’re going to be trying other new things, which I’ll explain as we have them ready to implement. All of this takes time, and the time has to come from moments that aren’t already devoted to teaching, designing, stitching models, travel, kitting, email – you get the picture!

But we’re embracing the new, and hope we all find that we like it!

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Class time!

Good morning! Today I’ll tell you about a new class being offered through Shining Needle Society and some of my teaching pieces in general.

Ablaze is pictured above. This is a new class, taught only once before at ANG National Seminar. Ablaze is a modified log cabin quilt layout, with a spectacular (if I do say so myself) corner motif. The bands surrounding the corner are laid out in an analogous color scheme from yellow to orange to magenta, with touches of red. Some of the stitches are layered crescents, Maltese interlacing, herringbone square, Jessicas, layered cross stitch, double herringbone, Bargello swirls and of course waffle stitches. There are other stitches as well, laid out in an 8 week course. You can order a complete kit or instructions only. A complete kit is $142 (includes canvas, threads, instruction book, teaching fee and postage) or $79 for instructions only (instruction book, teaching fee and postage).

Don’t like the hot colors? I’m offering two additional color ways, Blue Blazes and Embers.

I don’t have models stitched for the other two color ways, but you can see the threads we’ll be using for them.

One feature of my cyber classes is video stitch demonstrations of the stitches. That’s right, you’ll be able to see me stitching the various stitches, which you can watch as many times as you need to in order to stitch to perfection. I do have a YouTube channel with some other videos, but the video stitch demonstrations for this class aren’t on it – private, as a value added for those taking the class.

To sign up just send me an email, debbie@DebBeesDesigns.com, and I’ll take you through the registration process. We’ll take registrations until March 19, then close the registrations so I can order supplies and get kits together and mailed out. Class will begin May 7 and run through June 30. Don’t worry if you can’t actually stitch the project during that time frame; the files, videos and diagrams will remain available to class members indefinitely.

I’ve been working on teaching projects lately and not designs for release to shops because this time of year is proposal time. I have to get the proposals in to the various venues in order to be considered for the faculty, for 2019! But for the most part proposals are behind us and I’m ready to begin work on other things. I do have more models to stitch for teaching pieces, but my mind is turning to other designs. If only I had more time to stitch!

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Waffles for breakfast

Well, not really, but I do like waffles for breakfast! And for dinner! Today’s post is about that wonderful waffle stitch. This is one of my favorite stitches of all time. I love the way it looks finished, I love its versatility and I love the way it can be varied.

First let’s address a terminology issue: what’s the different between a waffle stitch and a Norwich stitch? To be frank, none that I can tell, other than a difference in the name. So with that out of the way, let’s get into the basics of a waffle stitch.

A waffle stitch begins with a base stitch that defines the outer points of the finished stitch. For a square waffle, that’s a large cross stitch. For an upright waffle or diamond waffle or waffle on point, it’s a large upright cross stitch.

Base stitch of a square waffle. The finished stitch will cover 8 canvas threads in a square shape.

Base stitch of a diamond waffle. The finished stitch will cover 8 canvas threads in a diamond shape.

With the base stitches established, it’s time to fill in the square or diamond. The interesting thing about a waffle stitch is that all of the thread carries form an open shape on the back. The needle travels in a straight line, without crossing any threads on the back, from where one stitch ended to where the next stitch begins.

Take a look at the finished waffle stitch:

You will see that following the numbers, the thread carries will form an open square on the back. From the end of the second stitch, at 4, the needle travels in a straight line to 5 to begin the next stitch. From the end of that stitch, 6, the needle travels in a straight line to begin the next stitch, 7. From the end of that stitch, 8, the needle travels in a straight line to begin the next stitch, 9. From the end of that stitch, 10, the needle travels in a straight line to begin the next stitch, 11. The thread on top of the canvas lays next to the base threads, with each round expanding out.

Now let’s look at the diamond waffle:

The thread carries here are forming an open diamond shape on the back. From the end of the second stitch, at 4, the needle travels diagonally to 5. From the end of that stitch, 6, the needle travels diagonally to 7. From the end of that stitch, 8, the needle travels diagonally to 9. From the end of that stitch, 10, the needle travels diagonally to 11. The stitches all lay on top of the canvas next to the base threads that formed the upright cross.

Because of this nature of the stitch, with the thread carries forming an open shape on the back of the canvas, this is the perfect stitch for overdyed threads because most of the color changes will be on top of the canvas. It’s also wonderful for expensive threads like silk or specialty threads, because most of it is on top of the canvas. And because most of the stitch is on top of the canvas, it’s a very flat textured stitch, which makes it a wonderful border stitch for more highly textured areas.

One little thing needs to be mentioned to make your waffle stitches perfect. The last stitch of the waffle stitch slides between the canvas and the first stitch of that round before ending. This puts one thread on top of every thread all the way around, giving the waffle stitch a more complete and finished look. In the example of the square waffle stitch, the last stitch is 27. It slides under the first stitch of that round, 21, before ending at 28. For the diamond waffle, the last stitch is 11, and it slides under the first stitch of that round, 5, before ending at 12.

The waffle stitch is stitched in rounds, which makes it perfectly easy to stitch it with multiple colors or threads by alternating the threads used in the rounds:

In this example, yellow was used for the base stitches and the first round. White was used for the second round, and turquoise was used for the last round. Bigger waffles mean more options!

On a final note, a reverse waffle is also very interesting. It is stitched in reverse, beginning with the base stitches:

The rule still applies that the needle travels in a straight line from the end of one stitch to the beginning of the next stitch, but it ends with the large cross stitch that would have been the beginning of a regular waffle:

For a reverse waffle, you don’t slide the last stitch under the first stitch of that round, just let it lay on top. I like this stitch with a single strand of cotton or silk floss, or a very fine metallic braid, to show the structure of the stitch through the threads.

I hope you found this tutorial on waffle stitches instructive, and that it will help you stitch faster because you understand the structure of the stitch!


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