Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Totally Cool Classics

I always find that on hot summer days working on projects that have lots of blues, greens and purples are especially pleasing.  Here are a few of the coolest American Quilt Collection patterns that are truly classics, in that they are my versions of traditional Amish quilt designs.  With their rich, deep jewel colors, Amish quilts never fail to please and never seem to be outdated....

Here's one of my absolute favorites, SHINING STAR, because the complex variegated thread palette makes this look difficult but really, the stitching is quite easy once you work the rows of diamonds and set up one quarter of the design, then use that first section as a reference to work the other three sections:


Another cool classic is SNAIL'S TRAIL, which is more of a stitching optical illusion where you really have to focus on which color of whirling "snail" you're stitching on, because of the confusing interlocking arms.  I used a variegated #5 pearl cotton for the background color, which further complicates things, but you could definitely stitch a pale solid color background so your main swirly snails would stand out!


You can change the color palette on this one by first picking out a variegated Watercolours thread you love; then use it to pick out four different solid colors of #5 pearl cotton that coordinate.  The tricky part is finding a variegated thread that actually has four different colors in it -- sometimes that's the most challenging part of pulling/changing threads in a design!

Another classic quilt pattern called Tumbling Blocks prompted me many years ago to create a small wall quilt in an assortment of jewel-tone colors.  After staring at the small quilt (which looks exactly like the pattern below) it occurred to me that it would make a terrific geometric design as well, so I designed and stitched up this TUMBLING BLOCKS beauty:


I just recently revamped the pattern a bit (enlarging the color graph so you can see it better) and then added it to my website, under the American Quilt Collection (scroll down the sidebar on the left).  I originally stitched it on light blue canvas with the darkest navy blue thread I could find, and alas, you can see the canvas peeking through a bit.... but working it on a darker canvas with dark blue (or even black, if you're a purist) pearl cotton would eliminate the canvas "dandruff" you see in the photo.

So if you're in the mood to create your own American classic, please put on your bonnet, hitch up your buggy, and trot on over to my website to see these traditional quilt beauties!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Time for a New Cyber Class!

When I decide which projects to offer for cyber classes, I try to alternate a new class with an old/encore class.  Since the last RIBBONS & MONOGRAM class was an encore presentation, I thought I'd bring out a new design that I haven't shared with you before, "CALIFORNIA GOLD":


I actually taught this as a class 'way back in 2008 up in the Gold Country at Kelsey's Needle Krafts in Placerville, California.  Since then I've MEANT to offer it as a cyber class for other stitchers, but other projects and other classes took up most of my time while the piece languished away in my closet, and the years have just galloped along.  So now, finally, I'm offering it as a class, and you can have the fun of working on a bunch of really bright flowers that bring a smile to your face just looking at them!


What gave me the most pleasure in designing this piece was creating small, medium and large poppies that frankly, were a blast to stitch!  And the large, center poppies are slightly padded for additional texture and surprise... (and yeah, those are bullion knots in the poppy centers!)
Here's a close-up of the different sizes of flowers so you can see how cute those mini poppies are:




This brilliant tapestry piece measures 7.5" x 7.5" on 18 ct. canvas in my favorite Santa Fe Sage green -- which I love to use for floral pieces so the colors really "pop"-- which is certainly the case with this piece and those bright yellows and golds.  The thread palette of this piece uses Watercolours & Waterlilies 076, "Woodlands" another of my favorite green/gold/yellow variegated thread combinations.  A handful of #5 pearl cottons and two metallic threads (one a thick coppery ribbon and one a fine gold braid) make up the rest of the threads. 

So if California poppies are a favorite flower of yours (as they are mine) and you want a fun new project for late summer/early fall, please sashay on over to my website and see the cyber class information.... Happy Weekend Stitching, Folks!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Cool Summertime Quilt

Aloha, Summertime Stitchers!
During our California heat wave this summer I was really craving something cool and breezy to stitch.  Not too hard or too complicated. Something fun and bright and tropical....


And I decided to play around with the traditional "pineapple" quilt block and see if I could create a modern looking design using more contemporary colors.  Here's what I came up with - the TROPICAL PINEAPPLE QUILT, using happy turquoise and tangerine colors:



Boy, was this fun to stitch!!
I've stitched a zillion quilts with traditional colors and ecru backgrounds, but it struck me recently that I have never worked a quilt pattern on white 18 ct. canvas with a WHITE background - Sheesh!! So this summer seemed the perfect time to try something new.... and the pineapple block is a perfect way to play with these tropical colors.  I used two variegated threads for the quilt blocks - Watercolours 208, "Tangerine" for the oranges, and Watercolours 331, "Summer Fields" for the tropical mix; then I added a few cool solid color #5 pearls, with two metallic ribbons in blue and orange for a sassy bit of stitchy bling!   Here's another view of those fun and easy pineapple blocks, showing how the interlocking blocks create a dazzling graphic look that's surprisingly modern, especially with the white background:


And as I was stitching with these happy beachy colors, I also was imagining how gorgeous this would look in other colors. Doing it all in reds and whites would be wonderful for a Christmas pillow.  Or how about all in beachy blues, for yet another summertime look?  Lime green and sky blue?  Purple and green??  The possibilities are endless with this cutie, and if you're interested in picking out your own colors, I recommend finding a variegated thread (or two) that you love, then building your thread palette around them.

So, Stitchers, if you're sweltering in your own heat wave summer, and looking for something to keep you cool, please splash on over to my website and see the ordering information on this refreshing new TROPICAL PINEAPPLE QUILT

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Grand & Glorious Fourth!

Hooray for the red, white and blue today!
I hope you're celebrating Independence Day with a little stitchin  -- mixed in with 
parade-watching, good-food eating,
not to mention just plain lazing, laughing, and fireworks oogling. 

Here are some of my favorite Fourth of July pieces that I bring out every year
 to celebrate our nation's illustrious birthday:

 Sandra Gilmore's LIBERTY

 INDEPENDENCE DAY 

  RED, WHITE & BLUE PANEL

  Sandra Gilmore's PATRIOTIC

 LIBERTY STAR

INDEPENDENCE INN

And this year I'll add the new PATRIOT'S WREATH to the collection:


Enjoy your Fouth of July celebrations, everyone!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

A Little Red, White & Blue Ornament!

WOO HOO....
I whipped up a little U.S.A. ornament as a free Independence Day treat for you:


Yessiree.... It's fast and fun and
you can use ANY red, white, blue and gold threads
you have available in your stash.... beads, too,
if you are a beading fan.

CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE!!

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Festive New Wreath!!

Are you getting in the mood to hang out some flags and CELEBRATE with lots of
Red, White & Blue?  Then you need to see my new PATRIOT'S WREATH:


Boy, is it fun to stitch, with a whole lotta red, white and blue things to create!!
There are flags, and stars, and hearts, and medallions, and snazzy fireworks, too.  The pattern includes gold beads, gold star sequins, and three acrylic stars to place in your larger stars.
Here's a section of it up-close:


So, ATTENTION, STITCHERS: do you wanna start a new wreath for July?  
Well then, jump up and march on over to my website and see all the ordering particulars 
for my new PATRIOT'S WREATH.... 
And of course, have a Happy, Stitch-Filled Weekend, too.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sneak Peek: Fireworks are Coming....

Can you guess what I've been working on lately, based on the sneak peek below?


(Hint: it's a new piece that celebrates our nation's birthday next month...)
 
And this week is especially timely to stitch something red, white and blue
while watching all the goings on in Washington D.C.
 So grab a project to stitch and get comfortable watching
history unfold before our eyes....