Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lydia Progresses & Happy New Year

I'm working on the last three bands of Lydia and wanted to share how it is looking. I'm happy with the floss and fabric choices for this one. As always, Vikki Clayton's Hand-Dyed Fibers silk floss is a joy to use and gives a rich quality to the piece.

I'm working on the next design and hope to introduce it early in January.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Design - Lydia, Seller of Purple

I have always been intrigued by the mention in the book of Acts of a woman called Lydia. She is described as being from Thyatira and as a seller of purple. She was a successful businesswoman and not afraid to open her home to the Apostle Paul and his companions after their release from prison. She was one of Paul's first converts to Christianity and evidently put her money where her mouth was :)

As a 'seller of purple' she traded in dyes, so this lady travelled and was savvy enough to become a woman of property and some note. I think I would have loved to know her. And this design is my tribute to her.

The DMC colors and the conversion to the HDF silks I'm using for the model are -
DMC 327 Violet-dk to HDF Sue Purple 6115
DMC 208 Lavender-vy dk to HDF Sue Purple 6109
DMC 210 Lavender-md to HDF Sue Purple 6105
DMC 3854 Autumn Gold to HDF Umber 4355
DMC 3855 Autumn Gold-lt to HDF Umber 4353

I'm stitching it one strand of floss over one square of 18 count Platinum Aida cloth. The stitch count is 175x180

Lydia, Seller of Purple will be available for sale as soon as I finish the model, which is going rather quickly since I'm enjoying the stitching.

If you missed yesterday's post on the anniversary of the blog, I hope you'll take a moment to read it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One Year Anniversary

One year, hard for me to believe, but I began this blog a year ago this week. I had just finished stitching my first design, Northern Nights, and I had no idea that within a year I'd have more than ten more patterns designed and they'd be being sold in the US and Europe.

I began the blog for three reasons, to have a method to bring my designs to stitchers, to discover if anyone would even want to stitch them and mainly to show that if I can do this anyone can! LOL

I've discovered a lot during this year, but the best part has been meeting some wonderful people. So many kind individuals have contacted me, far more email than comment on the blog, and it has been a great pleasure to get to know so many of you. I appreciate your support and for taking the time to check in here from time to time.

One of my biggest pleasures has been the number of people who contacted me who had never cross stitched before but wanted to learn how to in order to stitch something I'd made. Now I consider that success.

I'm enjoying the designing more than ever. I began with the Greenoff Software and now am using the PC Stitch Pro and made the change mainly due to the difference in the type of images it exports and the charts that it produces.

In the actual process of design I've learned this, if something doesn't mean something to me personally I can't create anything. There are lots of 'formulas' people seem to use, but if something doesn't move me, inspire me, I can't make it work. Thankfully, so much does inspire me I don't see a time in the near future when I won't have designs crowding my brain!

I think I am also developing a style that hopefully people will look at a pattern and know that I made it, though with enough variety to still surprise you :)

So thank you for coming along on this journey with me, your company has been a joy and inspiration itself. Lord willing, I hope this new year I'll be able to bring more patterns you'll enjoy stitching. I am sorry I can no longer make them free, but they'll always be inexpensive and the amount of supplies they'll need won't break the bank either.

And check back tomorrow, when I plan on introducing the next design.
Thank you all again, Kathy

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Hope" Pattern Completed

Yea, another design brought to completion. I found it fun to stitch and I'm happy to have it done by Christmas. It's colors and message seem appropriate for the holiday :)

It will also be available with the message in French and will look like this

If anyone would like the pattern with the message in another language I'll be happy to try and make one.

This week I'll be working on a post for the one year anniversary and on preparing the next design for its introduction. So as they say, 'watch this site' :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Hope" Stitching & Colors for Upcoming Design

Late autumn days and early frosty nights are great for setting the mood for some good stitching. And I've been taking advantage of them so 'Hope' is progressing and I 'hope' to finish the model soon.

I've taken time out of stitching to follow that urgent compulsion that accompanies inspiration for a new design. Since December 14th is the one year anniversary of this blog and beginning this design journey - how is that possible, one year? - I thought I'd post some thoughts on it all that day along with an introduction to the next design.

Until then I'll give a sneak peek and show you the colors I've chosen for it :) Everyone enjoy your stitching time whether frosty or hot!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gracewood Stitches on Creative Poppy

I'm very happy to be associated with Creative Poppy, today they introduced my designs which may be downloaded in either English or French versions of pdf charts. Working with them has been a pleasure! This is their introduction of Gracewood Stitches

The pdf chart pages click here for English version and here for French

'Hope' is stitching rather quickly, I hope to post a photo in the next day or two.

Today, I'll share a photo of one of our 'neighbors'.
When the snow gets deep and it becomes harder for the wildlife to get food we put out a bale of alfalfa hay for the deer. This little yearling doe decided it would be a good place to bed down too.

Hope everyone is having a good Thanksgiving holiday, ours was most blessed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hope Model, & Old DMC Cards

I was so happy to find an out of print DMC color card for sale on ebay. This one has actual floss for reference and it has already helped my color selections in designs.

There is a seller in China that is supposedly selling these same cards, but their feedback wasn't the greatest so I waited and found a seller in the US and happily, it soon appeared and I snagged it :)

The model for Hope is coming along and these are the colors and the conversion to HDF silk floss I'm using for it - DMC 725, Topaz to HDF Gold Rush 4229, DMC 726, Topaz-lt to HDF Gold Rush 4227. DMC 798 Delft Blue-dk to HDF Mermaid Blue 2329, DMC 799 - Delft Blue-md to HDF Faded Denim 2233 and DMC 800 - Delft Blue-pl to HDF Mermaid Blue 2317

I'm stitching it on an 18 count off white Aida.

We've had two winter storms dump about a foot of snow on us in the last 24 hours, hopefully, I'll probably have plenty of stitching time in front of the woodstove for some time to come. As you can see, our Zoe, knows a good place to be in winter.

Our bird feeders are full of suet and seed and our usual birds and some migratory thrush are camped out nearby and rush in during breaks of wind and snow and some like this thrush couldn't wait!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Harvest Hum Model Finished

Hope you like, Harvest Hum. It was fun to stitch and I think captured how this time of year feels to me. I'm still finding the box style enjoyable to work with and I am happy with the 'rickrack' style of border in the two shades of copper.

I hope to start 'Hope', LOL by the end of the day. I've chosen the dmc conversions to silk floss and will list them soon.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Harvest Hums Along

Stitching weather has arrived and I'm so happy it has. The business of harvesting fruit and getting things ready for their winter sleep is past, the nights are icy, the morning fields are heavy with hoar frost and the foggy mists are thick and enclosing. Definitely my time of year :)

Now it is time for making things with the apples and pears we've stored and making big pots of steaming things for warming the inside. And definitely time when you can cozy up with an afghan and your stitching with a sense of quiet satisfaction.

So Harvest Hum is definitely progressing. Here are a few pics.

This is also a time of inspiration, so I hope to be bringing a few more designs to you. Off to stitch and dream :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hope, a New Design

As promised, here is a new design. It is called 'Hope' and is inspired by the poem, Light Shining in Darkness, by William Cowper. Cowper experienced many dark days in his life, and yet he also knew that '..... Sometimes a Light Surprises...' Stitch count 195 x 189.

I designed it in colors of blue and yellow combining both flowing florals and geometric motifs to reflect how emotions can change from dark to light and from hard edges to soft curves.

I'll post my floss choices for the model soon.

It is available as a pdf download on the Patterns for Sale tab above and is now available as leaflets through ICG. It will soon be available through Creative Poppy as pdf chart downloads.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trust Finish and a New Step in the Design Journey

I finished Trust yesterday and took a quick photo before taking it off the frame and putting Harvest Hum on. I am happy with the choices made in this piece and glad so many of you liked it too. The Tarts Knickers HDF floss in the bittersweet berries is just stellar. I'm going to have to make something else to use it in.

And I have a new step in this design journey to share with you. I had posted that ICG will be selling the leaflets both through their website and wholesale to retailers here in the US, and now I've also signed a contract with Creative Co. in Paris for distribution of my charts in pdf format in Europe. They can also be purchased through their website Creative Poppy.

However, this does mean that I can no longer offer the patterns I list with them for free to readers here on the blog. I will be adding more free patterns in the next few weeks and I hope you'll like the others well enough to purchase them. I will still be able to sell them here and on my website.

I also have a new design that I'll be announcing this weekend. I hope you'll like it and will continue to follow the blog and send me your wonderful emails, even though the large patterns will no longer be free.

Now off to Harvest Hum!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Coromandel Framed and Floss Selections for Harvest Hum

The Frame Guys, see links, have once again provided what I think is just the right frame for a piece. Here is Coromandel in its bronzed wood frame and it gives just the effect I was after. I do like this design a lot, I'm sure there will be similar ones to follow :)

Since Trust is going very fast, I've chosen the floss and fabric for Harvest Hum, since I hate that stitching frame to be empty!

I had a rather good selection of silk floss on hand and happily was able to choose from my stock so nothing has to be ordered. I'll be using an 18 count ivory Aida and the floss will be a combination of silks from Carrie's Creations and Vikki Clayton's HDF.

The conversions are as follows -

DMC 920 Copper md - HDF's Terra Potta 4325
DMC 922 Copper lt - HDF's Terra Potta 4321
DMC 728 Golden Yellow - HDF's Liquid Gold 4177
DMC 3821 Straw - HDF's Yellow Spice 4163
DMC 3362 Pine Green dk - Carrie's Valley Green
DMC 3363 Pine Green Lt - Carrie's Garden Green
DMC 504 Blue Green Lt - HDF's Jadeite 2461
DMC 368 Pistachio Lt - HDF's Yerba Mate 3135
DMC 718 Plum - Carrie's Plum Passion
DMC 154 Grape - Carrie's Purple
DMC 552 Violet med - Carrie's Violet
DMC 781 Topaz - HDF's Rum Scullion
DMC 434 Brown Lt - HDF's Bird Feathers 4107
DMC 869 Hazel Nut Brown vy lt - HDF's Jackalope
DMC 3820 Straw Dk - HDF's Carveza 45

I think the DMC I chose while charting will work well, as would the conversions to Anchor. I just love working with silk floss and that is why it is what I choose for stitching the pieces myself.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Harvest Hum, New Design

Gracewood's orchard is ripe unto harvest and the apples and pears are so heavy on the braches some are about to break. The local beekeepers are also harvesting their first gallons of honey and bringing them to the local farmers markets. In honor of this beautiful time of year I bring you another box sampler titled Harvest Hum.

I will be listing this design with ICG soon, so if you are interested in a free pdf chart, please email me soon.

contact me with your request in the next few days.

I've also added a new permanently free pattern called Home By the Range, I hope you'll enjoy the latest additions!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Trust Pattern & Tips on Creating Covers for Publication

Here are two photos of Trust, one camera setting shows it very true to the royal blue fabric I'm using, and the other setting made the fabric more purple but since some may like it with that background I thought I'd share both.

When I was contemplating creating leaflets of my patterns for ICG to publish I knew it was time to find software to create something professional looking for the covers.

Image editing software, with the exception of simple things like Irfanview or Paint, are just too complicated for me to enjoy using and after doing some extensive research I went with Microsoft Publisher 2010. Since I'd not used anything like it before, I also signed up for a month's worth of online classes at and I highly recommend this site for all sorts of practical instructions for many types of programs.

If you page down a bit you can see how the new leaflets look. I'm slowly transferring my designs to the PCStitch Pro 9 software and as I finish each I'm creating the new leaflets and listing them with ICG.

Since I know that there are no corrections for Trust's pattern I'll be moving it to the for sale section in a few days. If you want a free copy please contact me soon.

I'll be introducing a new fall themed design in a few days as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Coromandel Finish

I'm going to finish the Coromandel model with four squares for a number of reasons. First, I think it looks good at four and lends itself to whatever number of squares you want to stich for your project.

Another reason I'm only stitching four is that I am listing my designs with the Independent Creative Group so that they will be available as leaflets for purchase and sale by retailers. So you can now ask your local shop to carry Gracewood Stitches designs :)

Coromandel will be one of those I'm listing with ICG and so it will be moving to the for sale section this weekend.

It has been a challenge finding the right software simple enough for a non computer savvy gal like me to be able to make some professional looking leaflets. I'll tell you more about that journey, next post!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coromandel Part 2

Coromandel progresses and I love seeing the sense of motion the circle brings to it.

Some have emailed telling me they are going to use a four block of this to make a cushion and another is going to be stitching this design on black linen with soft gold tone floss. I think these are fabulous ideas and I just hope these ladies will send photos of their completed projects!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Design Software

First, since I'm talking about software and don't have a picture of it to post, I thought I'd share a pic of Terry's latest painting. This is 'Archie' and I love it. He did it in acrylics and it is about 18"x12".

Now to design software. As I've mentioned many times in the past I've been using the Jane Greenoff software that I purchased through Needleprint and it really has been terrific for a beginner designer, because it is very intuitive and easy to use. However I am going to be submitting my designs to a publisher who wants to carry them - so you'll be able to request them in your local needle shop soon :) - and the Greenoff just doesn't export the quality of charts and image of the design at a level for publishing.

So I've spent several days researching other design software and I'm giving the PCStitch Pro 9 program a try. So far I'm pretty happy with it, as always there are some new things to get used to in a new program, and while I wish it had a few minor things the Greenoff had, overall it is also pretty easy to use and it does have better printing/exporting abilities.

When you go from one of these programs to another they lack the ability to import your files from another design software, so I'm going to have to spend a bit of time 'redrawing' the designs into the new program. But happily, I found yesterday that isn't going to be as difficult as I thought it might be.

Next I have to put the charts into the format I want for the leaflets so I'm also learning Microsoft Publisher 2010. I hope these efforts are going to produce the quality leaflets I want to present. All this is MUCH harder than designing, ack! I'll be very happy to have gotten through this transition and get back to having some time for new designs.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Coromandel Part 1


Coromandel is proving to be a pretty easy stitcher. I really like having a defined area to try to accomplish.

When I get tired saying 'oh, I only have this much more to go and one whole box will be done' has proven to be an excellent incentive :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Flutter On By, Done!

Flutter on By is finished and hopefully I'll have it framed this week. It was simply fun to stitch and I do like the 'box' style that lets me add colors and shapes that might not work as well right next to each other.

I can't help it, I have to start Coromandel next, the fabric and floss are ready to go and it is calling to me :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Trust" A New Design

Like One May Night, Trust is inspired by a particular scene from an opera.

One of the finest productions it has been my pleasure to see is the Tchaikovsky opera Eugene Onegin produced by the Met starring Renee Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Not only is the music and singing superb but the sets are a feast of color in a minimalist design.

The story is a tale of unrequited love and the risk a young girl takes in sending a letter of love to a worldly young man she's just met. Tatyana is 17 and lives on a Russian country estate with her mother and sister. Her sister's fiance brings his handsome but heartless friend to visit and for Tatyana it is love at first sight.

In a beautiful set of cobalt blue background and a stage covered in autumn leaves, Tatyana writes her letter telling him of her love and impulsively sends it. It is a beautiful aria, sorry I can't find a clip with English subtitles, in which she pours out her heart and all its innocent love. She trusts him with her heart and her life and I hope you'll get a copy of the dvd and see what happens :)

117 x 117 stitch count, the words are framed by a border of bittersweet and an outer border of old lace. I plan on stitching it on royal blue aida and will post the floss I'll be using as soon as I choose them. The dmc is listed in the key to the chart.

email if you'd like a free copy of the charts for Trust

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Flutter on By Progresses

This design is stitching very quickly and I'm truly enjoying seeing it grow. I'm pleased with the colors, the greens all have a slight blue cast to them that is working well with the butterflies.

I think you'll be seeing more 'box' samplers like this. Another feature that was new to my designs was the 'wallpaper' background of dots behind some of the motifs. I like the depth it gives.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Glorious Spring! Framed

Glorious Spring! is done and framed and I love this strawflower colored frame for it. The Frame Guys
on ebay never let me down and their prices are unbelievably low.

And as I'm stitching Flutter on By I found another error in the chart. It just doesn't seem possible for me to 'see' some of the errors until I am stitching the piece. I've sent corrected charts to those who had requested the charts initially for Flutter on By, but I am just as liable to make mistakes in my doing that! So please, if you haven't gotten corrected charts and you need one do let me know. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Design! Coromandel

Last week I promised to introduce a new design and had one I intended to post.

But another design would just not let me alone and now the struggling is done and it stands before me complete and demanding to be the next one I introduce to you. Knowing it is always wise to heed such promptings :) it is my pleasure to present Coromandel.

What is Coromandel and what inspired it?

Coromandel is the western name given to Asian lacquered screens. Coco Chanel had a set of such screens that she prized highly and one of my favorite fragrances, Chanel's Coromandel, is named for them. It is a patchouli dominant scent, not hippie but think along the lines of Victorian ladies whose beautiful paisley shawls were redolent of the patchouli leaves strewn threw the chests in which they were shipped from India.

My idea was to design something reminiscent of such a screen, but it was simmering on the back burner when one day I received a spool of Vikki Clayton's Exemplar Black Iris Bud N Bloom silk floss. This is drop dead gorgeous floss and I knew at once it would be what I'd use for the monochrome design I had envisioned for Coromandel. After that the design had a life of its own. The motifs are based on some I've found in Edwardian and earlier era pattern collections combined and reimagined to become something that gives me the image I'd had in mind.

I hope to stitch this on a light yellow/gold fabric and while I think it could easily translate to whatever color one prefers, to me it needs that Exemplar Black Iris Bud n Bloom to feel like that lacquered screen. Btw, I see reviews at Vikki's site that say it is brown but to me it is all a perfectly variegated black/purple/mauve.

As usual, the pattern is free till it has been stitched. I hope you'll enjoy my fragrant lacquered screen :)

The pattern I'd originally planned to introduce this week is cooling its heels for a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Special Thank You!

It is my pleasure to introduce you to a very talented artist and to give him my most sincere thanks.

My husband, Terry, created this portrait titled 'Augusta' in colored pencils a good many years ago. He entered it into a competition judged by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and it was selected to be on permanent display in the Spokane WA City Hall.

He didn't have much time for his art during the years he was making a living for us, but since he retired a year and a half ago he's, thankfully, been able to devote more time to his art and we hope to be opening a website and blog for him before too much time passes. Here is one of his most recent works, it is done in acrylics and is titled 'Hollowed Home'.

I owe him thanks for so many things that I'd never get done if I said thank you till the end of time.

But right now, specifically, I want to thank him for this last month when he's sweetly and patiently gotten up in the middle of the night to help me put a surgical boot on and wheeled me to the bathroom or wherever I needed to go. For doing the laundry, taking care of the pets and the house and making meals with such delectables as tomato cheese gallette, mushroom ragu and the best buttermilk biscuits anyone has ever wrapped their lips around.

Most of all thanks for his support, encouragement and love not only now but for the almost 43 years we've been married. I can't wait for the world to get to know him and his art!

Monday, July 25, 2011

One Done, One Begun

Glorious Spring was a lot of fun to stitch. I have a frame coming for it - I buy all of mine from the Frame Guys on ebay - and will hopefully have a photo of it framed soon.

Knowing I'd be incapacitated in this wheelchair for some weeks after surgery, I had Flutter on By's fabric and floss all ready to go and I'm so glad I did! Stitching has helped the time to pass quickly and pleasantly.

I did find that the gold background dots behind the butterflies was slightly off and I've corrected the charts. I sent corrected charts to everyone I had records of requesting the design, if you received a chart of Flutter on By prior to yesterday, July 24th and didn't get a correction from me please send an email and I'll get one right out to you

Glorious Spring will be free for another week, when I'll replace it in the free section with the next new design.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Glorious Spring! Last Band Completed

The bluebell band is complete and I hope to finish the remaining border stitching in the next few days.

This has been a happy piece to stitch and I'm glad it happened that I was working on it during some difficult times. It was a good piece to get lost in :)

I have a new design I've been working on and I'll be introducing it in a couple of weeks. It will, hopefully, put you in the mood for autumn and by August I'm always in the mood for autumn!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Glorious Spring's Progress

As I'm getting days past surgery and have thankfully been able to cut back on pain meds I'm happy to report I did actually get some stitching done :)

The photo just doesn't do justice to the teal green fabric and how nice the various greens look on it.

Now if I can continue to reduce those pain meds, I hope to get this one done!