Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A stitching and working weekend

The summer officially began for me this past weekend.  Not only was the weather fabulous, it was also our first weekend back up at my parents' cottage.  Although there is always work involved in  re-opening the cottage for the summer, I did find time to relax by the lake and stitch.

 And one of us was even gutsy enough to brave the still FREEZING lake (only 5 weeks ago it was still frozen in spots)

It was a very successful weekend.  My parents were pleased with all the work we accomplished and I completed the next designer square on the Designer of the Month Collaboration Sampler.  It's adorable, but I'll make you wait until next month to see it.

I also started a new needlepoint project.
I always have at least one needlepoint project on the go.   These are great for stitching in the car, because the canvas is a 10 or 11 count (easy on the eyes on bumpy roads), and the wool is a single ply.  I generally choose a painted canvas, but I was so taken with this pattern by Iryna Varabei, our "Designer of the Month"  for this month, I couldn't wait to get started.

Iryna has also stitched hers in the continental stitch (pattern available in the Spring 2012 ANPT magazine), but with DMC floss on a 24 count canvas. She then finished hers into a small rug, great for a doll house or mouse pad.  Obviously just by the difference in the canvas count, mine will be larger and I will finish mine into a needlepoint pillow.  While converting the cotton into wool, I also changed two of the colours: I changed her corals into golds.  Once finished this will look great in my family room, and with all the driving we will be doing this summer it shouldn't take too long.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mohter's Day

A little gift to all the mothers.

A stitching friend had found a rather interesting red napkin with a rose pattern on it printed in white x's.  With my interest in monochromatic design she naturally thought of me.  Although the napkain was square the pattern was not; so I tweaked it a little  to square it off. 
I think this pattern would look awesome in a variegated red silk thread.  
One that comes to mind is SNC 074 "In the Burgundy" by The Thread Gatherer.
Stitched in the continental stitch on Gitta's 40ct silk gauze
 it would even fit into a 1.5" pendant.

Enjoy your day!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stitch Night with Iryna Varabei

Iryna joined us Wednesday night for Stitch Night.  She introduced us to a stitching technique, Nizanka, from her home country of Belarus.  We followed a bookmark pattern she designed and one of us even managed to complete it.  I really enjoy such work, as it is a quick way to dress up almost anything.
                                                                             To finish the bookmark, all that remains is a 3 sided hem stitch and then to trim the fabric and fringe the ends.

If anyone was unable to drop by for Stitch Night, but would still like to see Iryna  and her unique designs, she will be in the shop this Saturday (May 11) for the afternoon.  She will also teach another Nizanka pattern on Saturday May 25th.  Click here for more information regarding the workshop.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Designer of the Month - Iryna Varabei

This month's designer is Iryna Varabei.  Born in Belarus Iryna immigrated to Canada in 1999 and is now sharing her very distinct design style with Canadian stitchers.     Her designs are reflective of her Belarusan traditions with ornamental motifs and Belarusan images.  She transforms traditional patterns into modern designs enriched with a diversity of stitching techniques such as cross stitch, canvas work, Open work, Needlepoint, Nizanka (a Belarusan Wicker Stitch), and String art.
She has had many of her designs published in A Needlepulling Thread Magazine, and also self publishes under "Spirit of Belarus".


For  stitch night on Wednesday May the 8th, Iryna will introduce us to one of her Belarusan techniques, Nizanka.  It is a reversible stitch; a great ornamental stitch for table runners, table cloths, pillows, sheers, and much more.  During stitch night we will make a Nizanka bookmark, shown on the left.  The kit charge for this bookmark, including 18ct linen, wool, and instructions is $15.00.  Please RSVP if you are planning on partaking.

Iryna will also be in the shop on May 11th, for a "Meet the Designer" day, and she will also hold a more formal Workshop on May 25th.   Shown on the right is Iryna's contribution to our Designer Collaboration Sampler now available in the shop.  In her Nizanka style, this motif is called  "Berahinia", the Guardian Lady.  Along with the runic symbols, on either side of her, she provides protection and well-being for you, your home, and your soul.
Here is a sneak peak at the sampler as it is progressing.  Carolyn Mitchell's is in the top middle, Brenda Franklin's is the beaded rose bud on the left (we still have bead kits available for $3.95), Iryna Varabei's "Berahinia" is the top right, and the bottom right is Maria Golleck, of Marnic Designs.  Maria will be our "Designer of the Month" for July.  

So, drop by the shop, see Iryna's designs up close 
and try your hand at a new technique.