New Year, new goals!

Usually for my first post of the new year I outline my stitching goals for the year. This year I’m approaching it a little differently. I’d like to be able to stitch some every day. That may seem like an odd goal for a professional designer/teacher! But since I didn’t get to stitch every day last year for various reasons, I think it’s good goal for the coming year.

If I can stitch some every day I should be able to complete several projects, which would be great! I have something in mind that I’d like to start this year, and will share more about it when I get it going. Stitching every day will help me realize that project.

Stitching every day is good for my mental well being as well. For close to three decades now stitching has been my way to relax, to slow things down, to take a breather from the world. So if I can stitch every day, I should be in a better mental state!

The thing about goals is, to let them be goals. A goal is something you aim for, to give you purpose and direction. If I don’t meet my simple goal for this year, I won’t be beating myself up over it. I’ll just try again the next day. It’s been said that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. So I’m going to aim at something!

In the meantime, on my way to my goal for 2019, here’s what I’ve been working on, a new color way for an existing teaching project. Hopefully the new color way will garner some love, since the old one hasn’t!

This is Symphony:

This color way is rich coffee and chocolate colors, with a little pumpkin and eggplant thrown in (yes, I started dieting, hence the food fixation). If I can continue stitching some every day I should have this finished in 2 or 3 days, since the remaining areas are mostly large motif stitches that go very fast.

Here’s the original color way:

Hoping the more muted earth tones will make this project more attractive to faculty selection committees!

For those who are setting goals for the new year, best of luck in achieving them!

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New teaching pieces!

I can now post pictures, since ANG National Seminar 2019 has shown the pictures and I finally have great pictures to share.

Allegro is the 3 day class I’ll be teaching. Design size is 8″ x 8″ on 18 ct. sandstone canvas, and I love the colors in this one! I also love the stitches in this one, and loaded it up with some of my favorite ones – Kitty’s double fan doubled, sprat’s heads, Amadeus, several shapes and sizes of Jessicas, plus some other stitches to round out the design.

Rondo is my 2 day class, and is filled with swirly stitches and beads. Kelly green and royal blue are one of my favorite color combinations, and in fact were the colors for my wedding. I like the touches of yellow here (although you all know I don’t like yellow!). I think it’s an intriguing design and should be lots of fun to stitch, 8″ x 8″ on 18 ct. white canvas.

There are better descriptions at the ANG website, Hope to see some of you in Houston next year!

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A contrast in color experiences

Have I mentioned how much color plays a part in what I’m stitching? Just kidding, I know I write about it a lot!

Today I want to show you how two different projects and the colors I was using affected my stitching. Both are from the “Mostly” series, and are in the two final color ways (first was grayscale with red accents, second was beiges and browns).

Since color brings out a visceral response in people, I thought to offset the neutrals and grayscale color choices I’d offer a bold palette and a pastel palette. All of the projects will be available in all four color ways, but I needed at least one model stitched in each palette.

So I tackled the bold palette in Mostly Jessicas.

Normally I love turquoise, and purple, orange not so much but at least it isn’t yellow! But I had the hardest time finding motivation to stitch with these colors all together. They all go together, they’re effective together, I just couldn’t bring myself to stitch with them. But I pressed on and got the model finished. I like the Jessicas, all the shapes and different sizes, just had trouble getting past the colors.

Then I tackled Mostly Walnetos in a pastel color way.

Wow, what a difference in the stitching experience! Start to finish, it took me about a week. I couldn’t wait to see what the colors were going to do. Soft blue, pink, lilac and even yellow – they all work together and just pop off of the antique blue canvas! I loved every minute of it.

So, my conclusion is if you find a project you like, but the colors aren’t singing to you, change them! If there’s one you don’t like, but you like the rest of them, change the one. One of my first encounters with Jean Hilton’s designs, I loved all of the colors but wanted to change out the peach to a pink (getting away from the yellow tones again). And Jean Hilton herself encouraged stitchers to change things they didn’t like. The whole story of the encounter I’ll share another time, because it’s funny and has stayed with me for close to 20 years!

The point is, stitch with colors you love, and you’ll be more pleased with the stitching experience and the end result.

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Stitching happily!

I’ve posted before about how much the colors I’m working with affect my ability to motivate myself to stitch. Well, instead of having to motivate myself to stitch with colors I don’t like, I’m now stitching a project with colors I love! And I keep admiring them while I’m stitching, and looking forward to the next motif.

I’ve been designing and stitching a suite of designs based on single Jean Hilton stitches. The first one was Mostly Amadeus.

This is a color scheme I’ve used before, and really enjoy. By the way, all of the designs in this series will be available in ALL of the color ways.

The next one was Mostly Crescents.

This is not the beauty shot we’ll get later, just enough to show. As you can see, this color way is beiges, ecrus and browns. And, I’m showing it horizontally rather than vertically. Someone once told me a good design works in any direction, and hopefully that’s true with this series.

Next I stitched Mostly Jessicas.

This one is at the framers now. I selected a bold color way as well as the grayscale with red, and monochromatic beiges. Not everyone responds to color the same way, and I’m hoping to find something that appeals to everyone.

Now I’m stitching Mostly Walnetos. This is in progress; it will be the same size as the others, 4″ x 12″ on 18 ct. canvas.

I chose a pastel color scheme this time, all pale yellows, blues, pinks and purples, on a dark antique blue canvas. And I’m loving it! Walnetos have always been favorite stitches of mine, and to do a whole project that’s mostly Walnetos is divine.

I’ll post more pictures as I get this one stitched. The last one in the planned series is Fandango – can you guess what will be in that one?

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Big announcement – class kits/books for sale!

OK, here’s the deal: I have some class kits left over, that I don’t need to keep. So I’m going to make them available for sale!

These are the terms of the sale:

  • What is available is what is listed. I will not be making up more kits or printing more books
  • Kits include instruction book, canvas and all threads for the project. The book is just the book of instructions
  • I will accept only PayPal for this sale. I will send you a PayPal invoice after you let me know which kit or book you want
  • You may buy more than one
  • Prices do not include shipping. I will ship overseas. Before I send the PayPal invoice I will figure shipping so you will have an accurate invoice

Here’s what I have available:

Ablaze – 2 Blue Blazes kits – $95 each; 4 Embers kits – $95 each; 6 books – $30 each

Blue Blazes color way


Embers color way:

Building Blocks 4 Coral kits, $55 each (cottons, Kreinik); 3 Mardi Gras kits (Treenway and Dinky Dyes silks, Kreinik), $100 each; 4 books, $25 each

Coral color way

Mardi Gras color way

Criss Cross 5 Aqua/Black, $68 each; 3 each Blue/Yellow, Green/Yellow, Purple/Yellow, $64 each; 3 Books, $30 each

Aqua/Black color way

Purple/Yellow color way

Double Crossed 3 each Ecru/Blue and Ecru/Green, 2 each Ecru/Pink, $90 each; 6 Books, $30 each

Shell Game 2 – 1 Kit, Turquoise color way, $50

(Blue color way pictured, Turquoise color way does not have blue threads but turquoise threads in the DMC 3845-46 range)

Email me if you have any questions about what is included in the kits, and I’ll be happy to let you know. DO NOT REPLY IN THE COMMENTS HERE! Please email me, Please do not put any personal information on the website! We’ll handle all the transactions privately.

Remember that when what is available is gone, it’s gone. I will not be making more kits or printing more charts.

Thanks so much for your support – hopefully all these kits can find good homes!

Oh, and one more thing – I will send you the video links for the classes. Not every class has videos, but for the ones that I’ve got I’ll send you the links so you see how to do the more complex stitches.


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