Friday, December 28, 2012

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”

*quote from Claude Monet

In the middle of winter it's nice to have a beautiful bouquet of flowers to remind you of spring. There are so many gorgeous floral canvases to be stitched that would remind you of spring year round!

 This Orange Hibiscus canvas by HP Designs is gorgeous. I can just imagine how beautiful it looks stitched. It's a 5 x 5 canvas, so you could either have it framed, made into a small pillow, or have it mounted in one of HP's lovely lacquered boxes. This canvas is perfect for an advanced stitcher who does not necessarily need a stitch painted design. Blend threads together to create seamless shading in the petals. Soie Dalger would be lovely.

This isn't necessarily a spring setup, but these Sunflowers by Melissa Shirley are really beautiful. Melissa Shirley has such a reputation for having truly great painted canvases. This is no exception. Try some beading on the "center/seeds" of the sunflowers and some ribbon work with Flair on the petals. Also, a woven stitch would look beautiful on the border.

This adorable canvas called "West Porch August" is by Maggie & Co. I love its whimsical flair. The colors are really bright and cheerful. Try some special stitches in the stripes on the watering can. Also, a fun shiny thread like Kreinik (perhaps this color) would look nice for the polka dots. This piece is just 4 x 4, so it would be great as a coaster or a small framed piece. This piece would be a very nice pick me up during the long cold months of winter and would be a quick fun stitching project.

This gorgeous Lenten Rose canvas by Barbara Russell is really stunning. Barbara Russell does a great job with stitch painting, so this canvas would be great for someone who likes doing larger projects but does not like shading or deciding where one color starts and another stops. Try some silks to really make the different flower parts pop out. I'm sure some special stitches would also look nice, but because there is so much going on in the design of this piece, you don't necessarily need to have special stitches to make this project special.
Flowers are a great way to make a dreary winter day feel bright and cheerful. Perhaps a flower canvas would help enliven the mood of the day!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dig in!

We love food here at Rittenhouse Needlepoint. Some of our customers think all we do is eat because we sit at the table to eat together at lunch, and they often come in when it's our lunch time! So, when it comes to needlepoint that celebrates food, we love a lot of them!

This Popcorn canvas by Studio 2 Ltd is a lot of fun. It would be great for a tv room, especially if you love vintage posters and designs. Try out some new stitches with it. An open background stitch would look great over the yellow. Also, you could try some Flair and do a ribbon stitch over the word Popcorn.

This Persimmon piece by Shore Bird Studio is really lovely. I love the Asian design in the background. This piece would look really beautiful with some Pepper Pot Silk for the Persimmon. Also a nice idea would be to do an open stitch over the fruit with some stranded thread like Soie Dalger. Use a laying tool, and it will lay really flat. Something with a little less sparkle might be nice in the background. It would really make the Persimmon pop. I suggest trying Burmilana. A variegated thread would look very nice, but if you want something solid, they have a beautiful solid line.

This Sushi Plate was painted by our in-house painter. It's a great little canvas that you can really do a lot of things with. Whether it's using specialty threads, special stitches, or even just sticking to the tried and true favorites of Silk & Ivory or Pearl cotton.  

This Piece, Love, Joy oven mit canvas by Sew Much Fun is adorable. It would be perfect as a decoration in your kitchen! The great thing about this canvas (besides its adorable design!) is that it  comes with a stitch guide, so if you don't know what stitches to use to really compliment the quaint feel of it, they're already laid out for you. If you click on the link above, you'll be directed to our website where there's a picture of the stitch guide. You can get an idea from the cover picture of what it looks like all stitched up.
If you like food as much as we do, perhaps one of these canvases will appeal to you. Check out our website. We have a few different food inspired categories, whether it's a general food category, or fruit or vegetables. There are many to choose from and lots of different opportunities to have fun stitching something that will look great in your kitchen or dining room!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Scissor Cases

Last week we covered Eyeglass Cases as good gift ideas. Another great idea would be a scissor case! There are so many great designs, and there are some really unique shapes too, from flowers, to the standard "scissor" shape shown below, to sea shells and more. 

This Clown Fish Scissor Case by Amanda Lawford Artworks is a lot of fun. I love the bright colors, and I love that it is double sided. Both sides are really visually interesting, and would be fun to stitch. It is painted on 13m canvas, so you would need a thicker thread. Silk and Ivory is one of our go-to threads that we recommend very often. It comes in a wide range of colors and each color is really vibrant. If you haven't tried it, give it a try!

This Chinese Ming Vase Scissor case by The Studio Midewest is so pretty! It's a really classic design, and would be great for someone who is more conservative. Pepper Pot Silk would be a great choice to stitch with for this project. 

For your fashionable friend, this plaid case by Associate Talents is really chic. Vineyard Merino is a great choice to stitch this project with. It's strong and durable, so it will stand the test of time, and it comes in a great selection of colors.

This Pansies Scissor Case by Whimsy and Grace is really beautiful. It comes with a tassel to attach when it's being finished, and the colors are so bright and eye-catching. Try Splendor, Soie D'alger, or Impressions when stitching this canvas. Either of them will give a nice shine and will emphasize the saturated colors of the flowers.

Scissor cases are great little gifts. Some stitchers may not think to stitch a special case for themselves (although they're a great way to store your scissors in a personalized and pretty case!), so if you stitch and finish one for them, I'm sure they will really appreciate it. Check out our Scissor cases for some more ideas. There's lots to choose from!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Eyeglass Cases!

A great gift idea are Eyeglass cases! They're small projects that don't necessarily take a lot of time to complete, and they're relatively simple to finish! There are so many different motifs you can choose too.

This Heart Geometric Eyeglass Case by Elizabeth Turner is really bright and colorful. It would be great for someone who enjoys girlier canvases. It would also be fun to stitch because you could definitly try special threads or stitches. Some possible thread choices could be Threadworx Overdyed Floss, Mandarine Floss, Silk Opal, or Pepper Pot Silk.

For someone who's a little more conservative this Apple Blossom case by Silver Needle would be a perfect pick. Impressions is a lovely thread to use on 18 mesh canvases and comes in a wide array of lush colors. If you don't mind stranding your thread, Planet Earth's 6 ply silk is really pretty too.

For a vintage look, this Anemones Eyeglass Case by Whimsy and Grace is a funky choice. Vineyard Silk has a huge line, and the colors are all really saturated. Soie D'alger is a similar thread, except that it is strandable. Combined with the shiny quality of silk both of these threads would be a nice choice to stitch this eyeglass case with.

One of my favorite Eyeglass cases is this Cat case by Barbara Russell. Barbara has painted the cat really well, and it has just enough detail in the cat and the sofa to really keep a stitcher interested while stitching, not to mention how nice it will look when finished. Try using something a little fuzzy for the fur. Petite Peluche would work really nicely, and it doesn't have a big nap, so it won't get caught on anything or rub too much when it's in your bag. For the couch, Impressions, Vineyard Silk Classic, or Pepper Pot Silk would look really stunning.

If you're wondering what to get a friend or loved one (or even yourself) perhaps an Eyeglass Case would be a good choice! Check out the Eyeglass Cases category on our website. There's lots to choose from!

Happy Stitching!