More about the cuff bracelets


I had so much fun working on these little cuffs. I think this one may be my favorite!

But first a word about graphing and stitching. As a counted canvas designer, I count threads; on the graphs, that’s the lines on the graph. But since there aren’t any lines or threads on these cuffs, it took me a little time to switch gears to count holes. And that made for a little problem with graphing, since I use needlepoint lines on my graphs.

This design is mostly straight stitches like back stitches, and I hate trying to count from a graph where the stitching line is on a line. So, I had to stitch first, then graph, which is not my usual stitching/designing method. After some trial and error I figured it out.

I used Kreinik #4 braid for the gold lines, and used that same thread to stitch the glass pearls and gold glass seed beads in place. I stitched them as I came to them instead of stitching all the lines first, then the beads. But if it makes more sense when you are stitching to stitch the lines first then the beads, that will work too.

I also love the look of this cuff when finished. To me it looks the most like a cuff bracelet you could buy, and I love the chunky nature of the pearls on the cuff.

Of course, any beads would work, and any thread, I just liked the elegance of the black, gold and pearls.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss the others – it may take more than a couple of posts to get it all in!

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DMC Cuff Bracelets

Have you seen the DMC cuff bracelets in the shops? These are marvelous! Here’s a link to see what they look like:

The cuffs are faux leather, with 2 snaps so they’re somewhat adjustable. The cuffs come in four colors – black, navy, fuchsia and white. I got one of each color because I couldn’t decide how I wanted to stitch these. DMC recommends #5 pearl cotton for these cuffs and it was the perfect size.

BraceletCompositAs I was playing with these it occurred to me that beads, cabochons and pearls were perfect embellishments; after all, cuff bracelets are jewelry!

I did find it a little difficult to graph out the designs. I’m used to graphing with needlepoint lines, where the graph shows the end points of stitches in holes. I started out trying to graph these as cross stitch, using blocks. But that didn’t really work either. So I went back to the needlepoint lines and have managed to present these in a stitchable (I think) format.

I began the process as I usually do, graphing out what I was planning to stitch, then stitching. When I came to the actual stitching process, what I had graphed didn’t work, so I had to design on the fly as I was stitching. That’s not the most comfortable process for me, so there was a little trial and error that involved ripping. But in the end I’m pleased with the stitchability of these little cuffs and the end result.

I think these are perfect for gifting, especially for teen agers. Teens love jewelry, and who wouldn’t love something custom made that doesn’t look like what anyone else is wearing. And just a hint, I’ve seen boys wearing cuffs too, so don’t think they’re only for girls. The key is to stitch a design that the boys want to wear.

Each of these design took me less than 3 hours to stitch, so a single evening’s work. That includes the trial and error part! And when the stitching is finished, the project is finished – no need for framing or finding a way to turn it into something wearable.

I’ll discuss each design in the next few days, some tips and some of the little errors I made while stitching. In the meantime, start thinking about who needs a cuff!

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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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