Friday, August 18, 2017

It's Harvest Time!



Just this morning when I was walking my dog Katie, I stopped to look at the first tree in the neighborhood that is starting to turn color -- wow, is Autumn already sneaking up on us?

Which got me thinking about which project I would offer as my next cyber class.  One of my class stitchers recently asked me about HARVEST TIME, and I was shocked to discover that I hadn't offered it in several years!  (My, how the time keeps flying by, huh??)

Anyway, I decided that HARVEST TIME is a terrific class piece to offer right now, so here it is:


It's a small (7.5" x 7.5" on 18 ct. canvas), elegant piece in green and burgundy, with LOTS of grapes - small, medium and large!  Here's a peek at the various sizes of grape clusters:


It's another one of my "tapestry" designs, since I seem to keep finding fun flowers and such to fill into the sweet lattice that forms the tapestry of this layout.  I am endlessly fascinated by how various variegated threads look when you work the heavier #5 pearl cottons against the finer stranded cottons, and how it creates an illusion of depth and complexity.

This design uses a favorite Watercolours thread of mine - 047 - "Camouflage" with a handful of #5 pearl cottons, as well as two metallic threads.   The stitches aren't difficult; I would rate this project as a "beginner-to-intermediate" piece, but you definitely need experience in working from a graph!

So, if you're a lover of grapes, vineyards, wine, or all things autumn, you might like to join this fun Fall class!  Please visit my website and see the particular details of this next HARVEST TIME cyber class....

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  With their rich, deep jewel colors, Amish quilts never fail to please and never seem to be outdated....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....

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time to Hit the Stitchin' Trail!



This past year I've worked on such a variety of painted canvases, complex geometrics and composite stitch collages that I've started to crave the simplicity of a good ol' stitched quilt! So I sat down and designed a new quilt called "CALIFORNIA TRAILS" which uses Watercolours 244 - "Olive Garden" as its base, with a handful of blue and green #5 pearl cottons and a splash of gold metallic Ribbon Floss for good measure.

How blissful it is to work up simple geometric shapes using diagonal satin stitches and straight stitches - and that's it - no fancy stitches here!!  Yeah, I could add Rhodes Stitches, Waffle Stitches, beads and buttons, but I truly think of these as miniature quilts.... so I design them as if they were flat pieced quilts with traditional blocks and motifs.
 

 In CALIFORNIA TRAILS, the central block definitely has a traditional feel, but adding the multi-colored diamond border kicks it into an art quilt look, I think.  So this design is equally traditional AND modern/contemporary at the same time.  Also, I've wanted to use the blue/green combo of Watercolours' "Olive Garden" for a long time now, and this quilt certainly seemed like the best way to show it off.  And the colors remind me so much of the colors of the rugged Pacific coastline or the mountains of the High Sierra:


I like the rather masculine look of this piece and could see it as a pillow for a comfy leather chair - can't you?   And just the other day I had a query from a stitcher asking for a good design for a pillow for a church bench and this design sang out as a good choice....

So if you're hankering for a simple but satisfying new project, please consider my new CALIFORNIA TRAILS pattern, which you can read more about over on my website: www.laurajperindesigns.net.   Happy Stitchin' Trails, everyone!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Do You Love Stitching Ribbons?

I do!
And recently, I realized I hadn't offered my sweet RIBBONS & MONOGRAM class for several years, so it seems like a good time to offer it now as the next cyber class:
 

It's definitely a fun project!  And the perfect size, too: just 7.5" by 8" on 18 ct. brown canvas (which creates a vintage feel that shows off the yummy colors).  You get to create three different ribbons (stitching just enough of the patterns to be fun, but not overwhelming), plus you have a central initial to tent stitch as a focal point - which makes this piece a terrific small project for yourself or as a gift for a friend.   I originally stitched up the pink model for myself, and now I'm working on a purple version for a purple-lovin' friend of mine.  I'm hoping to make them into pillow insets sometime this year.


And this class offers several color options, so the stitcher gets to choose between these springy color palettes:


Pretty sweet, huh??

So if you'd like to stitch up this sweet RIBBONS & MONOGRAM piece for an easy springtime project, please skip on over to my website and check out the class details! 

Pssst, just so you know: I'm offering this encore class now, so I can finish up a few new cyber class designs I'll be offering later this year - stay tuned for more stitching adventures!!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Just a Reminder....



This is the last weekend to sign up for my new DAFFODIL TIME cyber class.

So if you want to hang some cherry daffodils in your home, this is definitely a project you want to stitch.


Skip on over to my website for all the class registration particulars.... and HAPPY WEEKEND!!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Time for a New Wreath!

Are you itchin' to do some fun spring stitchin'?
How about creating a new wreath to display in your home?
Recently, I had a hankering to design and stitch a wreath
 that displays lots of different birdhouses,
because I thought it would be a fun one to stitch, 
as well as have hanging in my house all through the spring and summer seasons....

So, TA DA -- here's the brand-new BIRDHOUSE WREATH


I had a blast thinking up unique birdhouses that would fit snugly inside a circular wreath space.  And of course, I had to include a pair of birds and their own "natural" nest!  (I made my birds sparrow brown, but you could make them bluebirds or goldfinches, if you prefer.)   Here's a peek at a corner of the wreath (and I'm rather smitten with the tiny log cabin house!):


One of my favorite birdhouses is the little red barn:


Too cute, huh?!?
Anyway, the order in which I stitched this design was: first, the velvet bow; then all the birdhouses; then the birds and their nest; then the assorted flowers; and finally, the wreath's variegated greenery.   On this wreath, I stitched pretty much everything with #5 pearl cottons, but not until I was finished did it occur to me that I COULD have stitched all the flowers with silk or cotton ribbons - DUH, how fresh and springy would that look??  Anyway, that's just one of many ideas you can play around with on this wreath.  Adding cute bird, bee, flower buttons and charms is another way to personalize this wreath.  So I offer it up to you, and hope you will enjoy building your own BIRDHOUSE WREATH!

Please flutter on over to my website to see all the particulars about purchasing this fun new BIRDHOUSE WREATH design.  And Happy Springtime Stitching!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Got Your Springtime Wreath??



Springtime is marching right along, isn't it?

Have you been decorating your house in delicious pastel colors?


Put a floral wreath on your front door?

How about a wreath inside your house with lots of springtime treats?


If you need a festive wreath to stitch up for inside your house, sashay on over to
my website and checkout my SPRINGTIME WREATH!  It's very fun 
to stitch and then sit back and enjoy....

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Springy New Cyber Class!

Have I got a treat for all you stitchers that have taken my cyber classes in the past: 
a brand new, Springy cyber class piece that make you smile every time you look at it.... 
And it's called DAFFODIL TIME:


The idea for this fun design came as a surprise to me.  For all the years I've been teaching
FLEUR-DE-LIS with it's bright blue iris, it never occurred to me to design a companion
piece - until I was posting the iris photo on Instagram, and something about
the angle of the photo made me do a double-take and say to myself, "Hey, wouldn't
it be fun to create a daffodil design in the same layout?"

So I did!  And I had a lot of fun figuring out four different floral patterns 
that I could highlight around the center daffodil, creating little flowers
that sorta had a daffodil look to them.  And working with the bright Springtime colors
was definitely another perk - and much appreciated during the cold grey winter months!
Here's a close-up look at a few of the stitch patterns used in this piece:


DAFFODIL TIME is worked on my fav Santa Fe Sage Green 18 ct. canvas,
and it's finished size is a managable 8" x 8".  The thread palette is built around
Watercolours 297 - " Goldenrod" which has a cheerful mix of yellows, greens,
and a dash of blue.
 
So, if you LOVE daffodils (and honestly, who doesn't?),
  you might want to try your hand at stitching up this new Springtime piece.
(And I promise you that this is one daffodil that WON'T wilt, fall over in the rain,
or get eaten by bugs - and you'll enjoy looking at it all year long...)

Skip on over to my website and check out all the cyber class information....
Registration runs from now until April 30th, and the class starts in late May.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A New Spring Design


Last month I went looking for some red cyclamen to cheer up my house and when I couldn't find a nice enough plant to bring home, I decided to stitch one up instead! I pulled out an old illustration I did many years ago, and converted the pink flowers to red ones.  I was thinking that I'd like to turn the piece into a pillow for my sofa, so I wanted something easy to stitch up and not too elaborate.

I chose a cheerful ribbon border, then added a sweet inner border of a modified blackwork pattern - all done in #5 pearl cottons with some metallic Ribbon Floss for sparkly accents.  Inside, the basket of cyclamen is tent stitched with a handful DMC floss.  Here's how my RED CYCLAMEN design turned out:


It's a nice 9.5" x 9.5" size on eggshell 18 ct. canvas - perfect for a pillow inset!  My next task is to figure out what kind of fabric I want to use on the pillow....  And here's a closer look at the border elements:


If you're a cyclamen lover, as I am, you may want to stitch this sweet piece for your very own.  And, I've included thread suggestions to make a PINK or PURPLE version of the design, so you can stitch up your basket of cyclamen in your favorite color.

I've just added this new RED CYCLAMEN design to my website, so if you're interested, please skip on over and see all the ordering information!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Sweet Spring Project


Are you starting to get a little bit of spring fever? 
 Ready for the end of cold grey winter, 
and eager for the warmth and color of Spring?

How about signing up for my next cyber class, the ever-popular FLEUR-DE-LIS:


It's a nice compact project - just 8.5" x 8.5" on the sage green 18 ct. canvas - with
a lovely palette of interesting threads to play with.  AND, each stitcher gets to
pick their color palette: BLUE or PURPLE.  Either version is vibrant and spring-like.


I like this design because it gives the stitcher a chance to work up fun composite patterns
 in small boxes, has an interesting border, an easy but elegant background to fill, and
 to top it off, has a lovely flower as its focal point.

If you're looking for a enjoyable new project to get you in the mood for Spring,
please consider FLEUR-DE-LIS, and if you're interested, you can flutter on over 
to my website to see all the ordering information. 
 P.S.: class registration is only open for another week or so...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Brand New Panel!!

Are you looking for a fun new winter project that has lots of happy colors and patterns and just plain boosts your spirits during these dreary winter months?  Why not consider my newest panel design, called SNOWMAN PANEL:



I wanted to create something fun and colorful; something that evokes the chill of a winter's day, but also has lots of happy colors -- in this case, I chose the variegated Watercolours 236 - "Appalachia" with its vibrant blues, greens and purples for my foundation thread, then found the #5 pearl cottons and metallic ribbons to match.  It's happy, happy, happy stitchin', I tell ya....

I had so much fun thinking up the different snowflake-like patterns to stitch in the main boxes, and then I definitely wanted the picture box to have a snowman.... and wait, I also had to add two cute bunnies!  Plus a few small pine trees give the vignette an extra wintery feel.  A smattering of crystal beads add a bit of sparkle as well.  Here's a peek up-close:


Working on the leventeen blue canvas was another perk for this project. (Or you could also use the slightly darker antique blue canvas, if that's available to you instead.)

So if you love snowmen.... or bunnies.... or anything with snowflakes.... you might want to add this cheerful pattern to your winter stash.  Please ski on over to my website to see all the other ordering information for this fun, new SNOWMAN PANEL!

Friday, January 13, 2017

CLARA is Going to TNNA

 

Recently I finished the stitch guide for Sandra Gilmore's lovely canvas called CLARA, a piece I've been in love with for a while now.  This canvas is definitely a stitcher's showcase for all sorts of textures and threads: I used soft Bella Lusso merino wool mixed with fuzzy Wisper for the knit cap, coat and collar; slightly shiny rayon Neon Rays for the hair; #5 pearl cottons for the holly; and Very Velvet for the corsage ribbon.  Here's a detail photo:


CLARA's face was tent stitched in DMC floss colors, specifically chosen by Sandra for her designs. (Did you know your stitchery store can order a set of DMC floss threads called "Sandra's Skin Colors" from FLEUR DE PARIS, Sandra's distributor?  If you have a lot of Sandra's canvases in your stash, you might want to check it out...)

I love, love, love looking at CLARA, and am so glad I finally stitched her up this Christmas, so she matches the other canvas in the series called NUTCRACKER (which I created a stitch guide for a few years ago).  Remember him?


Both use the same colors and stitch patterns in the background and around the borders.

I've sent my CLARA model off to FLEUR DE PARIS, so they can show her off in their booth at the 2017 TNNA show in San Jose, CA next weekend.  If you're going to the show, please stop by and visit with CLARA and the fun folks at FLEUR!

Stitchers:  If you are interested in the stitch guide as well as the canvas, please contact your local stitchery store so they can order them for you.  If you just would like a stitch guide, I have them available on my website.