Friday, December 13, 2013

A New Holiday Pattern

I've been stitching as fast as I can to finish this new pattern in time for the holidays, so now I can finally share it with you!

It's called "HOLIDAY WREATH", and guess what?  It's a big ol' wreath made up of lots of sparkly wrapped packages.... and it looks like this:

It's a nice large design, 11" x 11" on 18 ct canvas (I used the eggshell with gold flecks, so the background is all sparkly and festive).  I had soooooo much fun stitching each of the packages - they're all done with simple stitches - and then getting them wrapped with whatever kinds of easy stitchy ribbons I could think of.  Here's a close-up of some of the packages:

I've used just two #5 pearl cottons: a Christmas red and a Christmas green, mixed with a handful of metallic ribbon threads for the packages and the ribbons.  And that big red bow?

It's done in long stitches, using the very yummy Very Velvet threads. (I've added just a few padding stitches under the bow areas, so that's what's making it look puckery on the scanned image, but in reality the bow is Very Rich looking and will "poof up" a bit when it's finally framed!)

After I stitched all the packages, I went ahead and added lots of irregularly stitched evergreen boughs peeking out behind the packages.  And there's a bit of tent stitching between the packages using the same variegated green ThreadworX Overdyed #5 pearl cotton.  I've added a sprinkling of round gold beads on some of the packages.... but you know, I'm thinking that a few fun buttons or embellishments (like tiny candy canes, bells, stars, snowflakes or gingerbread men) might be very appropriate to add to the packages - that's something you might like to do on YOUR wreath!!   All in all, it's a very fun and festive piece to stitch....

So, if you want to stitch up a new holiday piece that will surely become a family favorite, please visit my website: Laura J. Perin Designs for all the ordering information.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Join the Club!

I've been meaning to tell you about a special project I designed for NORDIC NEEDLE, in Fargo, North Dakota.  You all know about Nordic Needle, right?  About their fan-tas-tic  store, website, and catalog??   If you haven't visited them, go hop, jump, skip over to see their amazing range of stitching merchandise -- virtually everything that the stitcher or embroiderer could ever wish for!!

Well, a few months ago, they asked me to design something really special: an exclusive project that they could use for their first-ever CANVASWORK CLUB!  They've got a Hardanger Club and a Cross Stitch Club, and they wanted to start a canvaswork club too.   So I did some super-marathon stitching and worked up a really fun 10-month project that uses fresh, festive "Nordic" colors of red, blue and green.  Here it is, and it's called NORDIC PANEL:

It's a long piece, about 7" wide by 18" long, and each section has a different and very fun stitch pattern to work up.  I specifically used different canvaswork techniques, such as bargello and blackwork, so the stitcher would get a taste of lots of interesting stitch patterns, and have the fun of trying new techniques in small sections.  Additionally, each separating border pattern uses different stitch elements, so there's a nice variety of unusual stitches to experience within this panel piece.  Here's an up-close look at part of the bargello section and below it, the blackwork section:

I focused on using traditional Nordic elements, like the classic star and floral motifs, combined with a happy checked border.  And the colors I chose remind me of those bright Nordic sweaters you see in the winter months... Happy, happy, happy, don't you agree??   (Although I think this project can be displayed equally well in spring, summer, fall and winter!)

 Because I wanted to create a project that would appeal to beginning stitchers as well as intermediate stitchers, I kept the stitches simple.... Really, it's just the way that they are combined (and with the use of a variegated thread and a handful of metallics) that makes this piece LOOK complex!

When you sign up for the Nordic Needle Canvaswork Club, you'll initially get the full thread kit (it's only available in this one red/blue/green colorway), which also includes the first lesson. (You'll be using scroll bars on this long piece, so if you don't have a set, you can purchase those from Nordic Needle as well.)  After that, you'll need to sign up for the monthly lessons, so you can work on your panel month by month.  In addition, as a special club bonus you'll receive four small ornament designs that will come throughout the remainder of the stitching year.  The ornaments can be stitched up as separate pieces with threads from your stash, so you have the added pleasure of a few more fun projects to enjoy throughout the year. 
What more can I say, except: This is fun, fun, fun to stitch, I gotta tell you!  So if you're looking for a fantastic new project to inspire you in 2014, please visit Nordic Needle's website and find out all about their new Canvaswork Club.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Just a Quick Follow-Up...

It's been lovely to read the comments coming in about the Little House books, and how they touched our childhood lives and I just wanted to say:

I'm sure all of you will really enjoy reading the story behind these beloved books!  After reading Susan Albert's A WILDER ROSE, I was profoundly moved by the quiet drama (and heartache) that was involved in getting these books published.  Susan's descriptions of life during the Depression were particularly moving and brought home to me how HARD life was during those years.  And yet, and yet.... people survived and were grateful for what they had; a valuable lesson, no matter when or where you live.

Finding out about Rose Wilder has made me think so much about the books themselves (I even went to the library and checked out a few of my favorites to reread)...but mostly I found myself thinking about Rose Wilder A LOT, and how she struggled to take care of her parents, yet forge ahead with her own art (writing) and try to build her own independent life at a time when the publishing industry had virtually crashed to a halt, and no one had money to buy books.  And I think wistfully how nice it would have been to sit and stitch with her, and talk about all the places she traveled during her life.

And another thing I found interesting: the Little House books came along JUST at the time when the publishing world was beginning to create separate children book lists, and editors were on the look out for material that would appeal specially to children.  The timing was nothing short of providential, I think, and ultimately added to the unique success of those special Little House books.

So, if you want a special treat for yourself or perhaps for a reader on your Christmas list, please visit Susan Albert's website:  www.A Wilder  You'll also be able to see photos of Rose Wilder and read more about her life.....

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Flowers: Another Type of Rose

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that a lot of you stitchers out there are also readers. If so, did you grow up reading and loving the LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE books? I know I did.

This summer I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of a book by Susan Wittig Albert called A WILDER ROSE, that tells the fascinating story of HOW those wonderful Little House books actually got written and published. You may think you know all about Laura Ingalls Wilder and how, as an older woman, she sat down and wrote all those charming books about her early pioneer life. Well, come to find out, there's an entirely different story about the writing of those books that has been hidden from readers all these years.

In A WILDER ROSE, Susan Albert has meticulously researched and written about Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, the behind-the-scenes author and editor of all her mother's famous books. Rose Wilder Lane was a well-known writer whose books and stories were widely published during the 1930s and '40s and on into the 1960s. [And here's an interesting fact for us stitchers: being an accomplished needlewoman herself, Rose Wilder wrote the Woman's Day Book of American Needlework in 1963. Who Knew?!?] 

But back to the Little House books.... Throughout the 1930s and '40s, Rose took on the challenge of editing and shaping her mother's stories so that they could get published, and never asked for or received any public recognition of her work. A WILDER ROSE reads like a fictional novel, with lots of wonderful details about life in those Depression years; yet there's also the building drama of Rose's struggle to shape her mother's books and still be true to her own needs and visions as an artist and writer.  I found the book to be an absolutely riveting story of a relationship between a strong-willed mother and an independent but dutiful daughter.

I have to tell you, I am a great fan of all of Susan Albert's books; I love her Beatrix Potter Cottage series, her Darling Dahlia series, her China Bayles mysteries.... the list goes on and on.  But what really impresses me in ALL of her books is how respectfully she treats her characters.  The same thing applies in A WILDER ROSE; she treats mother Laura and daughter Rose with the greatest respect and dignity, and above all, truthfulness.  Reading about Rose Wilder Lane made me a little sad, to realize how her contributions to the Little House books were unknown for so many years. Yet now that I've read Susan's book, I'm glad to know the real story behind the Little House books, and happy that Rose's part in those classic books has finally being revealed. I'm exceedingly grateful to Susan for telling us this very important story.

So, if you're a fan of those Little House books, or just love a good true story about an independent woman trying to make her way during those hard Depression years, you really must read this book...

And psssssst: following in the footsteps of all her independent women characters, Susan Albert is herself traveling into uncharted territory by self-publishing this book.  You can find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or better yet, go visit Susan's website dedicated to Rose Wilder Lane, called

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Enjoy The Day

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the long weekend!
(And don't forget to do a bit of stitching, too...)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Next in the Series: A New November Design!

So often, after I create what I think will be a single one-of-a-kind design, it will become so popular, someone will ask if it's going to be part of a series and will I be creating more?  And then I get busy designing more pieces for the newly created "series".   That's what happened with my very popular INDIAN SUMMER and INDIAN AUTUMN pieces from my American Quilt Collection (shown above and below).

When I got to thinking about what to do for an INDIAN WINTER design, I wanted to use a different color scheme -- with colors that evoked winter on the plains, snow-covered golden fields and brilliant blue skies, something like this:

(winter photos from
because, ahem, we don't normally get scenery like this in Sonoma County!)

And I pulled a Watercolours thread 279 called "Martinique" for my variegated foundation, and then created a blue and gold palette for this brand new piece called TA DA -- INDIAN WINTER:

I really enjoyed working this geometric quilt design.  It was very relaxing, with easy stitches, yet challenging enough with all the elements changing directions to create interesting light effects. Here's a close-up:

I like it so much, I'm hoping I can stitch it again sometime, using another color scheme.  Although for this model I specifically wanted a variegated thread that could support four separate accent colors.... but you could also use a variegated thread that just had TWO main colors, and then you'd alternate the colored blocks!  Fun, fun, fun....

So if you're in the mood to hunker down in front of a November fire, with a design that captures that special autumn-into-winter feel, please visit my website for all the INDIAN WINTER details and ordering information!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Changing Colors

 Are the trees in your area changing colors?

Do the leaves look like they are being hand-painted by nightime elves?

Does this time of year inspire you to work on projects with autumn colors of red & gold? 
 If so, here are a few of my favorite fall designs:

 FALLING LEAVES, from my American Quilt Collection

and CHEROKEE STAR, which has the same red and gold colors 
(also from the American Quilt Collection)

  a more elaborate TURNING LEAVES, from my Impressionist Collection

and a blackwork version of AUTUMN LEAVES, from my Sampler Collection

As the weather gets cooler, don't you think it's nice to work on a project that reflects 
the colors of the season?  I certainly do...

so Happy Friday, Stitchers....and enjoy your lovely long Veterans Day Weekend!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tonight's the Night!

  Have you got all your candy?

 Found your tall pointy hat?

Cut holes in your sheets?

Fed your familiar?

Let the bats out of the belfry?

Lit up the jack-o-lantern?

Then you're definitely ready....
 Hope you have a fun-filled Halloween!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Is Your House Decorated for Halloween?

Time to gather the pumpkins....

Decorate your entry....

Stock up on your favorite candy..... and get ready for the spookiest holiday of the year!

Pssst:  That's my HARVEST MOON HOUSE, stitched last year and still a favorite with counted canvas stitchers!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bargello & Butterfly Stitchers!

Hey, all you BARGELLO AND BUTTERFLY Stitchers!  I just want to alert you to a boo-boo in the Butterfly Graph....  The DMC numbers are reversed on the teal and blue symbols, so here's how they SHOULD be:

In other words, the BLUE thread - DMC 791 - should be the LOZENGE symbol; and the TEAL thread - DMC 991 - should be the FLOWER symbol.  And you can see where the teal stitches are if you look at the butterfly photo at the top of this post. 

And if you purchased one of the first patterns, you might not have DMC #5 791 listed on your back Materials Page.  You can stitch with DMC 791.... or if you have DMC 792 or 797 in your stash they also match the royal blue metallic ribbon that is used on most of the butterfly wing -- any one of those blues is equally electric!

So very sorry for the charting mistake and hope this doesn't cause you too much of a stitching inconvenience.....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Month's Trunk Show

Well, this month my trunk show is up in the California Gold Country -- at Kelsey's Needle Krafts in Placerville, California (530-622-6205).  

I've sent my newest models - including the new HALLOWEEN BARGELLO piece - and lots & lots of patterns.

So if you happen to be driving through the Gold Country this month to see the glorious fall colors up there, please stop by and say "Howdy" to Sue and the other nice ladies who run the store. They are a super-friendly bunch of stitchers and are always ready to make you feel at home!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Love Those Ribbons!

It's been ages since I've created a ribbon project, so I thought it was time to introduce a new cyber class that has a few fun ribbons in it.  Oooh La La!  I'm calling it "Ribbons & Monogram" and it looks like this:

It's a small project, 7" x 8.5", done on the old-fashioned brown mono canvas, just to give it an antique look.
There are just three ribbons, but each one is different and equally fun to stitch.  I've also designed a special alphabet that is a little bit Victorian, a little bit French, n'est pas?

And because I couldn't narrow it down to just one colorway, I thought I'd offer the stitcher several color options (each one equally yummy):

The cyber class registration runs from now until the end of November, and the class will start in January 2014, after the hectic holiday season winds down.  So if you're looking for a special treat for yourself, or a fun project to kick off  the new year, why not visit my website and see more of the particulars regarding this new "Ribbons & Monogram" cyber class -- including the specific Watercolours threads and #5 pearl cottons used in each of the colorways.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

I finished a new design last week, and was able to get the patterns shipped out to my distributors on Friday -- which means I can share it with you now.  And I think you're really gonna love this one...

So, are you feeling a little BATTY?

Yearning for a bright smiling face?

Starting to crave some purple and orange??

Well then, this is the next canvaswork project for YOU:

It's my new HALLOWEEN BARGELLO design -- just in time for the upcoming Halloween season!

I've stitched this 10.5" x 10.5" piece on brown 18 ct. canvas, but you can also do it on the lighter sandstone color as well. (But I think the darker canvas really makes the oranges and purples POP!) 

I've stitched the model in the Purple & Orange version - which uses Watercolours 231 - "Ethiopia" - but I also give thread options for a Green & Orange version (if you prefer more traditional fall colors) that uses Watercolours 285 -"Sherwood Forest" and a handful of green threads instead of purple ones.  And it uses a bunch of different types of metallic threads, which you can't ever see in photos, but trust me, this piece shimmers with metallics, including the pumpkin face which is stitched with a black metallic ribbon with confetti flecks of gold/green/red, so it looks very happy and sparkly!

Go fly over to my website and check out the details on this new HALLOWEEN BARGELLO design.  You'll have a great time whipping up this fun four-way bargello design!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Southwest Style

 If any of you stitchers happen to be in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, please mosey over to OLD TOWN NEEDLEWORK (, 480-990-2270) and visit my trunk show, which will be there through the month of September. 

I've sent a bunch of my latest models, as well as oodles of all types of patterns.  If you're in the mood for something Southwesty... or just want to look for a new counted canvas design, please stop by and view all the delicious goodies at Old Town Needlework.  And please say "Hi" to Janice for me!

P.S.:  The boot pattern on top is called "FANCY BOOTS" and the second design can be found in my Impressionist Collection, titled "TURQUOISE TRAIL."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Warm Winds Are Blowing

Brilliant blue skies, and warm breezy days -- that's what September is like around here. 

And it brings to mind another quilt design that is similar to the WYOMING STAR I showed you last week, but this time the colors are definitely from an autumn palette.  It's called COLOR STUDY: FOUR WINDS, which is suggested by the four directional arms of this large lone star motif:

The color palette is built around Watercolours 010 - "Fiesta", which is a very versatile color, because it contains browns, rusts, greens, blues and golds -- something for every taste!  Anyway, I stitched the model with a green border, but the pattern also offers threads for a dark blue border and blue central star, with a lighter blue background accent as well.... because blue, rust and brown is such a rich, westerny color combination it would look equally stunning in this piece. 

The quilt body has lots of fun and easy stitches, as shown in this up-close photo:

The stitching is not difficult... but just fun enough to create a bit of a challenge!  And creating the arrow borders is very fast and fun and adds such a rustic touch to this design.  So if you're in the mood for a September project that definitely has an autumn feel to it, please consider my COLOR STUDY: FOUR WINDS!