Summer Cross Stitching charts are Here!

After stitching these patterns many times using different fabrics and beads until they felt just right, these patterns just came home from their birthplace at the printers. These babies are ready to go to their new homes all over the world.

These patterns, colors inspired by Leigh McCloskey’s library (see February 23 blog for a reasonable explanation), will get you ready for summer.

Pictured are several different versions of the patterns. When I stitch I get fabric envy and want to know what the piece looks like stitched on other backgrounds. Each piece is stitched five times, using different fabric to get exactly the look that feels right. (And one more time by my mother-in-law so she can proof the patterns.)

The difficult part is “product testing”, which means asking unsuspecting victims which stitchery they like best. Here are some of the responses.

Lee and her faithful stitchers at Uniquely Yours in Grants Pass: Evenly split about which fabrics they preferred.
Jeannine from Acorns and Threads in Portland: She slightly preferred the brighter colors.
My science friends: Don’t care about the fabric but like the Entropy blog.
Everyone else: That blog was incomprehensible.
Me: I love the stitching on Granite perforated paper with beads.
Neighbor: Who are you? How did you get in my house?

Easter Wine Glass Tags

If you are hosting an Easter celebration, and if your guests may imbibe fermented juice of the grape, and if there is a chance the glasses may get mixed up and you contract hoof and mouth disease or mono, and if you want a cross stitch project that you can finish before the next ice age, then this project is for you.

These stitched pieces are from the Easter Egg charts. You just stitch one of the components of the chart on your leftover perforated paper. You can either use the colors on the chart or use up the renegade threads that lurk in the bottom of your stitching bag and refuse to return to their home country.

I also recommend laminating the finished pieces since the wise guy who invented wine glasses was either a prankster or wanted to sell more wine due to spillage. Why would a concoction that makes you lose your coordination as you drink it be served in a cup on top of a long, skinny stick on a tiny inverted saucer that is as unstable as a banana republic?

The tags are made with cutouts using die cuts from Lifestyle Crafts and Spellbinders. Also, don’t forget to use acid free paper and glue to put together your project because you do want your tiny works of art to last until the next ice age.

Springtime flowers and stitches

Now that you have eaten all those chocolates in that heart shaped box, it’s time to work off all those calories by cross stitching. And it is time to stitch your St. Patrick’s Day and Easter pieces.

I will share with you some stitching ideas, as well as the newest show offs strutting their stuff in my garden. That does not mean the snails. The snails and I are fighting a dual to the death. One or the other of us has to go. (Yes I know those were Oscar Wilde’s last words about his curtains, but I believe I shall have slightly better luck than he did with his curtains with my snail battle.)

For you decorative painters, I have added a free design to my website, www.fronyritterdesigns.com under painting. It is a tiny pouch necklace, just large enough for you to store your fortune in. Also shown is the egg stitched on a tea towel. And, of course, the two eggs are pictured with both the stitched and the stitched and beaded versions.

Here is a pink version of the Tulip Egg chart. While I was product testing (which means asking my 7 traveling companions whether they like the pink or the lavender egg), they vetoed the pink and chose lavender. They vetoed a lot of other things I liked as in my choice of restaurants, entertainment and music. I was in the mood for some Eastern European Russian Jewish music and felt they should expand their repertoire. You can veto my choice of color also, and change the color to pink or yellow or peach. On the website I also stitched one onto perforated paper and stitched the year at the bottom. I stitched the Lily Egg on 40 count mesh and found a cameo made by Martha Stewart to put it in.

Finally, in my wildly passionate love affair with beads, I have converted the Shamrock to Mill Hill Magnifica beads. Conversion is on the website. I used a blanket stitch and sewed it onto a muslin bag available from Stampin’ Up. It’s funny to me that people look at the cross stitch, but they touch the beaded pieces. It’s like they are Braille and to really see these they must be touched. I have heard a strange chorus behind me all my life that goes something like this, “don’t touch”. ( Someone around me must touch stuff a lot). I didn’t like that song, so my new one is “do touch”. I hope you sing it with me.

Happy Stitching!

Kiss Me I’m Irish

Frony Ritter Designs has another design for you to stitch for your loved ones. You can also at the same time brag about being Irish, even if you are not, since the saying goes, “Everyone is Irish for a day”.

Since there was not room in the chart for a wee bit of history, here it is. Most historians think that the origin of the saying, “Kiss me I’m Irish” goes back to the Blarney Stone, which is a block of bluestone built into the wall at Blarney castle in Ireland. Kissing the Blarney Stone is supposed to endow the kisser with eloquence, although since millions of people have kissed it, I think it merely endows one with a nasty mouth fungus. I tried it anyway, just to see if there was any magic in that old stone after all. An even better idea was to go to the bottom of the castle under the stone to see how much loose change falls out of the pockets of unsuspecting stone kissers since there is a scary gap between the wall and the floor. Before they had safety rails and charming Irishmen to hold onto you while you kissed (they also periodically sterilize the stone which was what I waited for before I kissed anything), you risked your life to get the gift of eloquence as not just your money, but you could fall down the gap.

The belief is if you can’t get to the Blarney Stone to kiss it, kiss the next best thing, an Irish person. But if you are not into kissing, the back of the chart has the piece stitched without the border. This version is a combination of cross stitch and beading. Instructions for specific fabrics and finishing is on the website, fronyritterdesigns.com. Did the stone confer on me eloquence? I think I didn’t kiss it long enough.

Make your own Valentine

If you want to make sure your sweetheart doesn’t throw away the Valentine you make her or him, stitch it and frame it, or put it on an easel. Here is the perfect pattern for it. If you want to tell someone that you love them, but are too shy, say it in stitches. You will have about fifteen hours of stitching to either chicken out or get up the courage to give it to them.

You can make this as a wedding present. You can stitch it and replace “I love you” with the couple’s names, and the wedding date. You can also personalize the bottom line for someone, making it impossible to re-gift the stitchery, unless of course, they find someone else with the same name and they happen to love them.

You can stitch this piece in 28 or 30 or a smaller count and make a necklace. As with all the Celtic pieces, there are instructions for both cross stitch and a combination of stitching and beading on the charts.

So show your love in stitches!

Snowflake Variations

I said I was going to stitch the snowflakes and omit the background. Shortly after I made that threat I received some new fabric. This was the catalyst to stitch the flakes. It was so exciting I spent every spare second stitching–in the dentist chair, in the passenger seat, while eating breakfast, and I even snuck a few stitches at a party while no one was looking. For Halloween I even dressed as a cross stitcher. It was an amazingly radical costume.

Here are the results of my stitching frenzy.

On the left is the mint snowflake stitched in DMC 14 ct. Stardust Aida Silver Dusted. Working with this fabric feels a little like the fairy tale where moonlight and silk are combined to make a magical fabric. (Or is this a story I imagined?) The results are subtle and beautiful.

The middle piece was stitched with my favorite fabric, which I am currently rationing until it is gone. It is Peoria Purple by Weeks Dye Works. I used a 3 ¾ circle die cut by Sizzix using the Acid free mounting board by Savage.

Wichelt just released this stunning new fabric called Riviera Coral, 14 count. When I saw it I knew it was the perfect marriage with the sunset snowflake design. I also tilted the design to see what it would look like. For the details about the supplies for each piece see fronyritterdesigns.com.

Today was my zinnias’ last day of life. Here are their final gifts to the world. They had to make room for winter flowers.

Speaking of snowflakes, as a kid did you mix snow and vanilla to make “ice cream”? I am trying to remember who conned me into that non-delicious idea. I think it was the same person who claimed that a stick is the most versatile toy in the world.

Making jewelry from the cross stitch designs

Have you ever lamented the fact that you put so many hours into creating beautiful cross stitches and can only put them out for a holiday season and just a few people can see and appreciate your work? If you turn your work into jewelry then you can share your cross stitch masterpieces everywhere you go.

Here is what I used to make the purple necklace:
Fabric-Peoria Purple 30 ct. Linen from Weeks Dye Works
(I got this from The Finishing Touch in Louisville) 1 over 1
Metal frame from Spellbinders, Media Mixage MB2-0055
Beads are from my ancient bead box which include beads collected over my entire life. The lavender stones are amethyst.

To make the pink necklace:
Fabric-28 ct. Pink linen, 1 over 1
I changed the mauve colors to lighten them 814 to 3685, 3685 to 3687, 3687 to 3688
Chain-The Metal Gallery
Metal frame-Spellbinders Media Mixage, MB1-002
Lock, little key-Explorer by Traditions
Bigger keys-my charm box of things I have collected from various places.
I used two strands of DMC 814 to make cording that I lined the metal piece with as well as made a bow with it.

Think of wearing counted cross stitch as a public service. You can give others eye candy and promote the wonderful, relaxing and fun art of cross stitch at the same time.

They are here!

We are happy to announce the arrival of the first 11 designs from Frony Ritter Designs. Notice who slept late and missed the above photo, the two wine designs. Check out the website to see these sleeping beauties. These charts actually have two photos and two different instructions for stitching (except for the wine charts).

On the front is the stitched version. On the back the stitched and beaded version is shown. Inside are instructions for both. Also, for those of who who cannot get enough history, and for those of you who did not get enough history (you know who you are, speaking of oversleeping), I have included A Wee bit of History in the Celtic Series so not only will you stitch something beautiful, you can also annoy your friends with irrelevant facts.

The beads I use are seed beads and a few bugle beads from Mill Hill Beads. In addition to the standard issue happiest days of my life (marrying my husband, giving birth to children, the release of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure), I have forever treasured the day I received my first shipment of Mill Hill Beads. They are sparkly, come in amazing colors, and add depth and texture to stitched pieces. I actually like the beads added to these pieces better than the plain stitching, although both are fun and pretty. You have to see them in person to get the full effect.

If your local cross stitch store does not yet have these charts politely, but repeatedly ask them until they get them for you. Stitch away!