Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stitch Painted Canvases

There are a few different types of needlepoint canvases. There are charted, printed, painted, and stitch painted. A charted canvas gives you a chart with the colors and stitches mapped out. It is similar to cross-stitch in that you are looking at the chart and stitching from that, rather than having a painted canvas in front of you to stitch on. Printed canvases are printed using a machine that prints the image onto the canvas. The difference between a regularly painted canvas and a stitch painted canvas is that when a canvas is stitch painted, each thread intersection is painted so that the stitcher knows exactly where each stitch is going. They know what color will be used, and where. If a canvas is just painted, a stitcher will have to use judgement as to when they are going to change colors. An example would be if you were stitching a portrait of a person. In a painted canvas, the blending is just done straight on the canvas. As the stitcher, you will have to use your judgement about when you're going to switch from one shade to another, and also if you're going to blend fibers to create a more seamless effect. If you like stitching because you like the relaxing effect it has, and don't really want to pay attention to shading and deciding where to put certain stitches, a stitch painted canvas is for you. They are also very helpful for when you are beginning to learn needlepoint because you are already paying enough attention to how to actually stitch the canvas. It is much better to have it all mapped out for you at this stage than to have to handle too much at once. Of course, everybody is different. You may be ambitious and feel like you wouldn't mind this extra challenge. That is fine, and there are a lot of canvases that are just regularly painted.

Today I'm going to discuss some designers that focus primarily on stitch painting. The Caron Collection is one of our most popular designers. They have a lot of wonderful canvases, especially geometric patterns that are great for upholstery and rugs. If you love color and abstract shapes that draw on Middle Eastern and Mexican design aspects, the Caron Collection is for you! This canvas, called Khamseh #1, is a beautiful pattern that is the perfect size for a pillow on your couch. It is very helpful that these canvases are stitch painted because with a geometric canvas like this, it's very important that all the lines and squares match up. If you are ambitious, you can take a note from one of our customers! She found a canvas she liked, and decided to buy four copies of it and stitch them all. Now she is having them all sewn together into a rug! It should be arriving in the store finished in the next couple weeks, and we're all very excited to see how it turned out!

Needle Crossings is another designer that has a lot of beautiful canvases. One canvas, which would be good for a beginner, is this canvas, called "White Cat." It's an adorable ornament! There are a number of other cats they have painted that are equally cute. Because this cat is stitch painted, you won't have to decide where the stitches will go. The effect of the fur is already painted out for you, which is very helpful!

Cooper Oaks and JP Needlepoint are two more designers that make fun, quirky canvases that are also stitch painted. Cooper Oaks has this fun floral canvas called "Garden Bouquet." I like the bright colors and the whimsical design. Besides being stitch painted, this is a great canvas to try out new threads on. You'd really be able to come up with some fabulous effects, especially in the flowers. JP Needlepoint has this fun brick cover that's depicts a Leopard's eyes and pattern! This canvas is a lot of fun, and the great thing is that there aren't a lot of colors, so you can focus on the pattern without getting overwhelmed with many colors at the same time!

Sandra Gilmore is one of my favorites. All of her designs are really beautiful, and there's so much to be interested in in her canvases. The majority of her canvases are perfect for advanced stitchers because there ARE so many different colors and parts to the canvas. Once you've really gotten to understand the techniques behind needlepoint, you'll really be able to handle and have a lot of fun with her canvases. This canvas, called La Cuisine, shows a charming French kitchen. This canvas really benefits from being stitch painted because all of your decisions are made for you. With so many little details, it would be really time consuming to decide where certain stitches go, rather than just following the pattern that's been painted for you. Another fun interior that she's done is called "Stitching Haven." It shows a stitcher's room. This is another charming canvas, and it really captures the feeling of a cozy room where you could really sit down and stitch. Perfect for a dedicated stitcher!

All of these canvases are really fun and really exemplify how stitch painted canvases are really great to stitch. All of these canvases are in stock, so if you're interested in checking out how stitch painted canvases look vs non-stitch painted canvases, come on in and check them out!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Needlepoint purses are a lot of fun. They give you the chance to stitch a really fun piece that could potentially incorporate some great stitches, unique fibers, and give you a final product that is really tailored to you! You definitely won't find another person who has the same purse as you!

One fun little project that would be a great introduction to making bags and purses would be this adorable little coin purse. This purse would be an excellent choice as a little purse for a little girl, or if you had one painted by our painter in a more mature pattern, you could use it yourself as a coin purse! When we asked our in house stitcher to stitch one of these as an example, we were all enthralled with the result! As you can see, this pattern is adorable, and the finishing just makes it perfect! Whether you choose to have a chain or not, this tiny little purse is wonderful. We have about seven coin purses design in stock right now, and they each have different patterns. One of them is this bubblegum pink one, which is extra adorable with its little hearts!

Another great option, which would be for a more experienced and adventurous stitcher, would be this lovely vintage inspired purse. It is very pretty! One side, shown here, has this charming blue flower. The other side of the purse has a sweet butterfly! This canvas, from Sew Much Fun, has a stitch guide which you can also purchase, which gives you great ideas on different stitches and threads you can use to really make this purse shine!

If you like clutches, this beautiful floral clutch is a great choice! I think the contrast of the black background, which makes this clutch be a perfect choice for a more formal bag, really makes the saturated pinks, reds, and greens really pop. Here is a picture of a similar pattern in this same style, finished. It really comes out to be a stunning bag when it's all stitched and sewn. Like most other bags, this one would be a fun one to experiment with different fibers to really make it unique. A little sparkly and/or shiny thread would go a long way to make this bag even more stunning!

All of these bags are fun and have differences which make each one special in their own way. Whether you want a little purse for a child, or you want a casual or really fancy bag, you can definitely find one! These help combine your love for purses with needlepoint!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quick Projects Part Two

This is the second half of our earlier post about accessories and quick projects. Like I mentioned previously some of my favorite projects are ones that I can use in a day to day basis.

A Kindle Cover is a very good example of a project where you would stitch an insert that can be interchanged depending on your mood! This Kindle cover is a nice neutral color, and depending on your mood, gender or
personal taste, you can really do anything! A great insert that would fit in this book cover would be this geometric print to the right. It is in the BD style by Colonial Needle. If you look through Colonial Needle's canvases on our websites, you can check the item descriptions and double check that a particular insert fits your book cover. This e-book cover is by Lee and also comes in a few other colors.

A pretty little kit that comes almost complete is this coin purse. The design is lovely, and although it does not come with threads, the backing fabric is micro- suede, which makes up for it! Many of the threads we've received in the last couple months would look excellent in this kit. The different lines from Rainbow Gallery that we've received, including Petite Peluce and Neon Rays Plus would look beautiful. The silks also have many different gorgeous colors and would make this coin purse really special. Princely Collections is the designer, and we carry more of these coin purses as well as eye glass cases, scissor cases, and more from them. They are all unique and high quality!

Another great example of a quick project would be an insert for a credit card holder. These credit card holders by Colonial Needle are really nicely constructed, and the coordinating inserts are really great. A great insert, that would be perfect for either male or females, is this golf themed canvas. There aren't that many colors, which makes it a cinch to pick colors for, and would also be a quick stitch. All of the inserts that Lee by Colonial Needle produces are really classy and fit many different
people's tastes. Your likely to find something for anyone!

Of course, like mentioned in the previous post, if you don't find an insert that you absolutely love, you can always have one custom made by our painter! I hope these posts have shown you some of the great smaller projects we have available and have stirred your interest! If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned, don't hesitate to get in touch! We'll be happy to help!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Accessories and Fun Quick Projects

I think some of the most fun projects are the ones that are the smallest and least time consuming. While completing a big piece gives me satisfaction, I think finishing a little project, which can even be used on a daily basis, is great! We carry a lot of different accessories which you can stitch inserts for, but Colonial Needle's Lee line really has the most variety of styles and types. There's something for everyone!

A great small project that you can use after it's finished is an ID/Luggage tag.
I love that these tags are so colorful, and you can interchange the insert if you want to, depending on your mood, or even where you're going! This bright yellow luggage tag is one of my favorites in the line. You certainly wouldn't ever mistake your suitcase for someone else's again in an airport! Also, it looks so stylish, with the animal skin print and the eye-catching color. A perfect insert for this tag would be this monogrammed canvas, which comes in every letter, so it's perfect for personalizing your own luggage tag! You can see this and the other Monogramed canvases on our website. These luggage tags fit the "BJ" canvases in the Lee line. You can double check whether a canvas will fit or not on our website in the product description. All of the Lee inserts should have an indication of the style and the corresponding bags will also indicate in their description which canvases to use.

Another project that is a lot of fun are the mini leather gift boxes. They all come in fun, bright colors and also correspond with "BJ" canvases. This piece is a project a customer recently brought in to have finished into the gift box. I love it! The color choices are perfect, and the stitches and beads just really add so much dimension and really make this piece extra quirky and fun. This customer chose the red gift box, which goes perfectly with her color scheme, but this lime green box is really eye catching as well. A great choice for an insert would be this Lotus flower print. It has some beautiful vibrant colors, and the bright green of the gift box would really bring them out and highlight them. By using special stitches and fibers, you can really make a canvas pop. For a gift box, I think that's even more impressive and would really leave a lasting impression on anybody you were giving the box to!

A charming little item we just received is this little heart shaped music box by Amanda Lawford. When the box opens, it plays a dainty little song, and would be a lovely gift. A canvas we received that fits this box perfectly is of a pretty little butterfly, also in a heart shape. This would be fun to stitch and would be a perfect canvas to try out some of the new fibers we've
received in the last couple months. We got some beautiful silks and metallic fibers which would really make this butterfly shine in this little box. This would be a special gift for any little girl.

All of these projects are great little projects that would be a fun diversion from a large piece. Of course they're great regardless of their size just because they'll be great pieces for gifts or as decorations and accessories! If you check out our website and can't find an insert that you love, you can always have our painter, Jim, do a custom piece specially for you.

Keep an eye on our blog for future posts about fun smaller projects and inserts!