Thanks very much to you all for your input on the Return of Stitchy News!!! :) Your support and enthusiasm are much appreciated. Some really BIG news from DMC this week, some lovely free patterns and tutorials, and some very creative embroideries!
New DMC Colours Coming in October!!!
I'm so very excited to share that, for the first time in over a decade (!), DMC will be releasing a new 16-colour collection of regular floss this Fall! You can visit the post to see the package picture, and read about the aptly-named "New Colors" collection!
The site states that the colours were chosen from designer input, and the collection is an interesting mix of very dull tones (greys, greens, brown - for primitives maybe?) with much more vibrant colours, including bright orange and lime green!
The highlight for me is the group of beautiful aqua blues in dark, medium and light tones. The buttery yellow is pretty too, and is a nice compliment colour to the blues.
The floss pack comes with three patterns, which are very flat, one-dimensional retro botanical designs of leaves and flowers. It's not mentioned when the floss colours will be available for purchase individually, but based on my memories of the last major release in 2001 it may take a year or two. Something to look forward to at least!
As I mentioned in my comment on the article, I very much hope that there are more new additions in the works :) I also think it would be really neat if there were a "By Popular Choice" collection, where stitchers could vote for their favourite new hues!
Attention JCS Collectors: New CD Compilation Released
Thanks to Jo at Serendipitous Stitching, I recently learned that past issues of the excellent Just Cross Stitch magazine have been gathered together in digital format!
The CD archive contains 60 issues from 2001-2010 along with a "bonus" 10 years of Ornament Issues! I'm not sure why the publishers chose to make only nine years of the regular issues available instead of the full decade, perhaps it has something to do with the annual volume numbering ending with the Christmas issue or something?
Anyway, this is amazing news for anyone who tries to collect past issues. Personally, I've been trying to collect the JCS Christmas editions for a while, but haven't had much luck (I have four, LOL, and two are recent!). Zeb, at the great new blog Keep Calm and Cross Stitch, has a wonderful review where you can read all about it! She lists her Pros and Cons, and notes that while the CD set is a substantial investment, there is a LOT of content. As Jo mentioned to me, this would make a great gift idea!
Sew4Home Introduces FREE Sewing Basics Resource Guide
Although intended for beginning machine sewists, this professional-quality e-book has some great info for hand-sewists in the Sewing Tools and Notions section, including a handy guide to the five major needle types needed for sewing by hand.
Versatile FREE Blackwork Pattern, with Stitched Inspiration!
The ever-amazing and generous Jeanne Dansby, of WyrdByrd Designs, has shared a very unique diamond design meant to be filled in with coloured stitches on her blog, Byrd's Nest! Jeanne has stitched a beautiful version called "Peacock Feathers" too!
Stitch a FREE Redwork Biscornu or Ornament
In more free cross-stitch pattern news, Agi (of The World According to Agi) has posted a lovely redwork biscornu pattern inspired by traditional folk motifs. The charts for both sides are given, but just the front alone would make a great ornament!
Make a Beautiful Pansy Bookmark & A Great Giveaway!
Over at Cross Stitch Cottage, Meggie recently shared her very lovely finish - with a gorgeous beaded marker - of a pretty FREE pansy design. Visit her post for the link!
Meggie is also having a 300 Followers Giveaway, but it ends on August 31st, 2013, so hurry over to enter! The prize is a cute crocheted bear and stitchy surprises :)
Two Fantastic Cross-Stitch Finishing Tutorials!
Anne, over at Doll's Musings, recently shared two great tutorials - one for an elegant box-top finish, and another for an absolutely stunning twisted ribbon edging!
Go Baroque, Cross-Stitch Style...
The DMC Threads blog recently posted an an elaborate freebie, meant for a cushion but adaptable, with reversible patterns for regular cross-stitch and Assisi work.
...Or Go Baroque, Embroidery Style!
And the ever-imaginative Imaginesque recently shared two incredibly regal-looking baroque-style embroidery freebies: this amazing square, and this awesome diamond!
Bringing a 17th Century Embroidery Design to Life
Over on Flickr, I've been following the intricate needlework of Suetortoise - who also blogs at Tortoise Loft - for quite a while. Recently, she undertook a remarkable project - embroidering a bat from (in Sue's own words) "Richard Shorleyker’s 1632 pattern book, A Schole-House for the Needle" with a contemporary approach.
The seed-stitch filling she used for the sky (in variegated thread) is really amazing!
You can read all about the idea and project start here, and her incredible finish here. Lest you shie away from the very mention of a bat, as I am wont to do, let me assure you that he is a very cute little fellow! He seems very happy to have winged his way straight out of the past, LOL :) This project was also featured on DMC Threads.
An Amazing Finish: Blackwork Solar System!
Another one of my favourite stitchers on Flickr is pardalote flits, who also blogs at Pardalote Makes. She just finished a big project that I have been anxiously watching progress, from the initial idea and sketch through to its awesome completion :)
This is one of the most impressive textile artworks I've ever seen. It's that good!!! Pardalote rendered the conventional ringed model of the solar system - with all the planets in their current orbital positions - in blackwork fillings, with a goldwork sun, and couched orbital lines! And she stitched deepest, darkest space entirely in colour: cheerful tones of bright blues, greens and yellows! It's indescrible; just go and see!
On a related note, her Jupiter Embroidery, which reimagines the topography of the planet - including its infamous Red Eye - in stitches, is also astounding work!
Tutorial: Embroider a Constellation Around Your Wrist
Also on the topic of celestial matters, the blog Onelmon has a really neat project tutorial for a Constellation Wristband. Stitched on blue felt with simple backstitches and French knots in white floss, the bracelet is a charming way to wear your star sign!
The bracelet is reversible and uses all 12 astrological constellations, but a pattern for the positions isn't given. You could just stitch one constellation and fill in the rest of the stars randomly, or stitch entirely at random. Or imagine your own star clusters!
Inspiration: An Embroiderer's Travel Journal
Susan Elliott, of Plays With Needles, is embarking on a trip to Scotland and has made herself a wonderful sort of stitchy sketchbook to take along on her journey! She embellished the fabric pages with bits of lace and scraps, and left lots of room for adding little motifs and doodles while in the Highlands! A very unique and beautiful memento, that is a unique combination of workbook and souvenir album in one :)
Scottish Cross-Stitching Freebies!
Speaking of Scotland, a new needlework company Fearn Alley Needleworks, has started a freebie series. The first design, Scottish Thistle, is simple but pretty, and the second - Highland Heather - is more complex, with a lot of confetti stitches. A third design, which will feature two cute little lambkins, will soon be posted.
&Stitches Tutorials: Learn Chicken Scratch
The &Stitches blog recently shared two great tutorials for this very old form of embroidery from the US South, as part of their great Summer Stitching, Summer Bloggin' series. The Chicken Scratch Introduction post shows how to work block lettering and two pretty border ideas, while New to Chicken Scratch demonstrates a very modern take on the traditional filling stitches. Simple to stitch but striking!
Quick Crochet: Mile-A-Minute Lace!
And finally, in fine crochet news, Olga (at the Lacy Crochet blog) has posted a simple but lovely lace trim pattern, shown as a vase wrapper, napkin ring and bookmark!
And that's it for this edition! I'm hoping to do a SN post about once a month or so, if the mood strikes LOL! If you have an item to share - your own work or a tip about someone else's project or just general stitchy goodness - please e-mail me :)
Thanks Very Much For Reading!