Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Pocket full of wishes

Merry Christmas.  I enjoyed some time today stitching up this little project and I thought I'd share the "How To" with you. It only took a few hours, and is going to actually be one of the more useful things I've made. I have a wonderful barn coat that I wear often, but am always wishing it had an inside pocket. So I added one made from scraps of silk, linen, and lined with flannel.
The design I chose is "Holiday Magick" with a few extra snowflakes from "Square Dance" below it. The little reindeer's antlers have an antique protection charm woven into them, and was found with instructions to make the (original) charm stitched in red silk and worn near the heart. I think this is perfectly fitting. Obviously you can use any design you like.

Using a garment with a good pocket size and shape, make a pattern template out of paper. My linen was a bit small, so I added a flannel strip on the top. It works well as a decorative element too. Press the linen and the flannel and place right sides together. If you like, you can use interfacing behind the stitching.

Pin the paper pattern so that the stitching comes out straight and centered. Leaving a 2" gap on one of the long sides, stitch the rest of the way around at the outline of the paper.
Trim the excess fabric and turn this assembly inside out, so the right sides are now out. Fold the sides of the opening so they match up. Use a chopstick or something blunt but pokey to crispen up the corners. Hand whip stitch the opening so that it now resembles a pillow with no stuffing. At this point (pocket is not attached yet), Sew a row of stitching evenly around the perimeter. This helps to stabilize the raw edges inside the pillow pocket. I used one of the decorative stitching patterns my sewing machine has built in.  
Put the garment on, to decide where the best pocket placement is and pin the pocket in that place. Using a double length of sewing thread the same color as the linen (and beeswaxed) hand whip stitch the pocket sides and bottoms to the lining of the coat.

Ta Da!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nashville 2017

Next week I head to annual Nashville Needlework Market to release my newest charts. Shops that attend market will be the first ones to bring them to their shelves. They'll arrive later at other shops and distributors, then eventually in a few months to my website for direct sales.

Chalkboard Mandala: GAST on Slate Hand Dyed fabric by Stephanie,
1 over 2 on 36

Green Damsel: Classic Colorworks Belle Soie on Doubloon byPTP 32

Dog Pile: DMC on Simplicity Stitching Band

Dragons of Sumatra: Gloriana Silk in Poinsettia on 36 Ancient by PTP, 1 x 2

Dark Shards: DMC on Vintage Smokey White Belfast 

Arranging the Sewing Kit: GAST on WDW 30 count Parchment

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year - New Charts

Happy New Year to all of my stitching friends. If you're like me, you've made some sort of resolution that says something to the effect of stitch more and stress less. I look forward to being a part of that and hope to see you sharing finishes from your stash, and perhaps to tempt you with new offerings.

To kick off the new year, I introduce to you three charts that are available to shops starting January 9th. I think I said the 2nd at some earlier point, but I'm taking my own advice to not stress and am giving myself another week.

These three are all part of the continuing "Arrangements" series.

Arranging Tools

Arranging Birdhouses

Arranging Lures

Happy stitching, and my best wishes in the coming year!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fall Lineup

Things are always quiet in the new release arena after returning from Nashville in the spring. It's a time to take a breather and prepare for the coming months. I'm happy to share a number of new releases now as we go into the next "show season."

Norden is one of the major US distributors for cross stitch charts and supplies. They are hosting a fall show opens August 8th where shops will be able to order new charts and limited edition kits exclusively through them.

Ink Circles is releasing two new charts for the Norden Fall Show. If you'd like to get copies, ask your favorite shop to tune in to the Norden Show.
Dreidel, Dreidel cross stitch chart by Ink Circles
Dreidel, Dreidel

Arranging Vegetables cross stitch chart by Ink Circles
Arranging Vegetables
Here are two more that I released earlier this month. They should be available through just about every shop, as they've been sent to all of the major distributors.

Reflections of New York City cross stitch chart by Ink Circles
Reflections of New York City

Reflections of Scotland cross stitch chart by Ink Circles
Reflections of Scotland
And stay tuned, because I'll have yet TWO more charts coming for the Fall Harvest Market Hop in September.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Picking Colors

I showed photos of two new releases this week, and it's gotten me thinking about picking colors. Monochromes vs. fully dictated palettes.

Tapestry - in 13 colors of Gentle Arts Threads.
I absolutely love how this came out, and judging from your comments on Facebook you do, too. However, this is probably the only coloration most of us are going to see for this design. There might be a few of us who swap around colors for something else, but most people who stitch it are likely to pick up the Gentle Arts thread pack or grab the DMC or other substitutes. The gold will likely stay gold. The two blues will likely stay two blues. (See below for the color list.)

Flower Power - a monochrome
Flower Power, on the other hand, is presented to you in a monochrome. When you start stitching, we are going to see this on a wide range of hand-dyed fabrics. You are going to choose all sorts of different threads. Many of you will use multiple different threads - making different colored flowers, or even multicolored flowers. And because I didn't specifically tell you what color to put in what spot, you will be creative and you will make awesome things from this. And they will be unique; and they will be special.

When I tell you all the colors, I take this creativity away from you, or at least make it more unlikely that you reach for it. Will it blow your mind if I tell you that all of these mandalas started out as monochromes, and that you can add as much color as you like? I don't add color until the end. Make a photocopy of your chart and break out some colored pencils. Add as much color as you like. Or, pick one nice color and go to town, enjoying the shapes as the stitched take form. There is no right answer - just do what you like to do.

Tapestry before I added the colors
BTW - don't you love Moire patterns (the weird lines artifact)
You can choose from many ways. Unfortunately, I usually only get to show you one way on the cover. That is why we all get so excited when photos of different versions are shared on the social media. Let me know what you come up with. 

To make Tapestry with the colors I've shown, you will need these Gentle Arts Thread (5 yard skeins). A few were so close to the 1 skein mark, I've rounded up. The fabric used was Weeks Dye Works Parchment linen in 30 count. Size is 199 x 199.
Pine (2)
Mulberry (1)
Grecian Gold (2)
Cinnamon (2)
Soot (1)
Wood Smoke (1)
Dark Chocolate (1)
Barn Grey (2)
Brethren Blue (2)
Briar Rose (2)
Apple Cider (1)
Garden Gate (2)
Piney Woods (3)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's not just for cross stitch any more

My biggest announcement of the year! I love coloring mandalas, and now YOU can color my mandalas too. I've been working on a coloring book, and now it is ready. It's got 20 different mandalas ready for you sit back, relax, and color.

Ink Circles is publishing a coloring book. This is what the cover looks like.
It's called Peace of Art, a little pun because you will be creating a piece of art and you will be enjoying the peace of this relaxing art form.  If you've been watching at all, you'll have noticed a stream of interviews/programs/studies in the social media that tout the benefits of coloring as an adult hobby.

In what may be either a brilliant or a foolish move, I have chosen to distribute through Amazon as my primary fulfilment vehicle. You'll get Prime 2-day shipping; you'll get their price breaks (if they discount it); you'll be able to write and read reviews; I'll get a huge potential audience.

If you're not seeing the link directly above because of Adblock or your firewall, you'll need to go to Amazon and search the old fashioned way. It says order, but technically it is "pre-order" until Nov 10th.

Some of the choices I made in putting this together that might set my book apart from others:

  • Single-sided (8.5 x 11"), so you can cut out pages and frame (or hang on your fridge) without losing a second page.
  • Cardstock pages, so you can use colored pencils OR marker, or maybe even watercolor pencils without the page bleeding through or rippling.
  • Spiral wire binding, it folds back flat to whatever page you choose. No coloring in the binding area.
  • Spiral at the top: both my kids are southpaws. That side spiral gets in the way, so this works great for right or left handed colorists.
  • A color test area on each page so you can check if your shading works or that pink is as bright as you hoped. It's designed such that it can be cut out to make a bookmark afterwards.
One of the 20 pages. You can see the binding and the bookmark in this photo.

Pick the colors that make you smile. Relax, there is no wrong way to do it.

Complete with a real ISBN: 978-0-9969675-0-1
I feel so official!
I'll be adding this to the Ink Circles site for ordering, as well as my Etsy shop, in the interest of complete marketing options, but don't feel bad getting it from your cheapest easiest source. (Only feel bad if you are getting it illegally from a scanned pirated posted copy.)