Mr & Mrs canvas designed by Raymond Crawford

Today is March 30 National Stitching-In Day so what a better way than to talk about my last big needlepoint project. I started this project last spring March 2017 but could not share because it was a present for my grandson and his bride on their first anniversary. I had seen this Raymond Crawford ( canvas before they were married and with my new love of beading I knew I would have to bead this project. I would guess it took me six months to completely finish this canvas. Beading needlepoint is a long process and why I chose 18 count when 13 count was available I’ll never know.

First I had to find the right beads and I first purchased 11/0 beads for the project but they were too big so back to square one and size 15/0.


I stitched every bead twice in Basketweave style. Why Basketweave? I did not want to stitch Continental and have the canvas warp; I knew blocking would have been impossible. So I took the extra time to stitch Basketweave beading. I used a double strand of beading thread that I had stretched and waxed. If you don’t stretch your beading thread over time it can become loose and your beads will droop; also strech thread before waxing. I stitched every bead twice to secure each bead in place (see diagram). I also started every letter on the right side so my basketweave was always being stitched into a previously work hole. I did this for two reasons: I wanted all the beads to slant same direction and  I was very careful not to pierce thread from previous row. Here are two or more days of stitching on the &, some days I only got in 10 to 15 beads. Beading is a long arduous process for me;  it was tiring on the eyes and also just a slow, labor intensive process.





When I went to stitch the border I noticed on the left there was one empty thread between the M in Mrs and the start of the border, but on the right the & was right next to the border (no empty thread.) This bothered me so I just decided to I stitched the border one thread further out. It wouldn’t show because I planned on stitching all the background with silk. I also changed the direction of the border stitches at the center of the design area; this allowed me to stitch around the corner without compensation. As I recall, it was not an even count divide , so I always try and make the

odd count to the right of center and/or lower of center. I don’t remember if both counts were off or just the left –right borders (top & bottom)   I used Kreinik #12 braid in 3 colors: 221, 202HL and 102 and the stitch was a Diagonal Gobelin over 2 threads.

I stitched the background last in basketweave with 4 ply Rainbow Gallery Splendor S800.

It seemed like it took me forever to stitch, but I love they way it looks finished. I had a mat made and   framed it myself and it now is safely residing in Michigan.

When I gather up another project I did for my guild I will share the different methods of beading needlepoint with you.

After I finished this project, I thought I would swear off beading forever…but forever is a long long time. 😉

Have a blessed Passover or Happy Easter.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.





Sharing 1st finish of 2014

Life is hectic and cold in the Midwest right now. We have been 12 days in subzero temperatures…Alaska has sometimes been warmer. BUT today we are supposed to reach a whopping 32 degrees…a heat wave is coming!

Yesterday I received my first finish of 2014…my Raymond Crawford Acorns pillow. I can hardly wait for this year to pass so I can put it out on display. (Oh I just didn’t write that did I? …time flies by for me and I’m wishing it to pass quickly…I must be nuts.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI sent the canvas last fall to Chaparral Needlepoint ( to have them finish into a pillow using ribbons…I just love the way they incorporate ribbons into their finishing…And it was worth the wait. The finishing is absolutely OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstunning…and it makes my stitching look even better.

I incorporated padded acorns with 7 or 8 different stitches and using Vineyard silk, Rainbow Gallery Splendor, Elegance and Neon Ray, Kreinik braid, and floss and pearl cotton threads. I have a four page stitch guide to go with this if anyone is interested; email me for the details. (Email address is located on upper right column of this blog) I know I am sounding like a broken record but I hope know that I have three things to put on the web site and husband is retired this is my year for a website otherwise may just have to add a page to WordPress and go for it myself.

I am still working on Shades of Gray. I have given it to a friend to look over and give me some feedback. And I still have a few things I like to do in this area but the study of color and design is an ongoing thing and so you may hear about it for some time. I’m also thinking about an online course where we could share out ideas…any suggestions?

I also promised to re-write my instructions on how to use my graphics and layout program, Canvas from ADSee ( I wrote the first one in 1991 using Canvas version 3. So much has changed over the years and even though I do not use all the capabilities of the program I am comfortable in the program and get the job done.  I have obtained permission to capture screen images and so I am researching Canvas 15 to write again. I know there will be a limited market for these instructions but I feel like it is important to share my limited knowledge with others who want to do this.

Sharing our knowledge and love of something is so important…our legacy; if we don’t share what we know, our knowledge will die. There are several examples of this…look at the art of Temari…up until 5 years ago few people had ever heard of this old oriental art form. Barbara Suess ( and Ginny Thompson ( have been very instrumental in spreading the word and knowledge of this old art form and it is gaining importance again in the needlearts.

A couple weeks ago in  Plays with Needles Blog, (, Susan wrote about another almost lost needleart…bead weaving. These are beautiful works of art and we should preserve and pass on the art form.

The American Needlepoint Guild ( in its purpose states: ANG is an educational, non-profit organization whose purpose is educational and cultural development through participation in and encouragement of interest in the art of needlepoint. We can only do this if we share.

When I started this entry for my blog I was just going to share my first finish of the year but as I started to write this entry a theme started to develop and I realized that this is my goal for the year…sharing. Sharing through writing this blog… sharing my limited knowledge with my friends at guild meetings and stitch-ins… and yes, maybe even teaching someone younger about needlepoint or at least some form of needleart.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today and share something with someone else! ttfn…sue

A 2fer: Raymond Crawford Acorn piece and local guide needs help

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI just finished Raymond Crawford’s Acorn piece it was fun to stitch. I had a slow start with it but then all of a sudden the stitches and threads just spoke to me and I was off and stitching,  I felt padded the lower part of the acorns and stitch padded the tops. I really like the curly things and I thought it was fun to experiment doing Shaped Crescent stitches. I got my inspiration for these stitches from Jean Hilton’s book, Stimulating Stitches. I think you can still get it from Stitcher’s Paradise ( I think the hardest things on the piece were the green border areas and that was because I used Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays and laid both front and back…pain in the backside but oh so beautiful. Now it off to the finisher and then I’ll post a picture even though it is next years fall decoration.

I sent a copy of the stitch guide to Raymond and was thrilled that he posted a picture on his Facebook page ( .

But now it is back to reality…my desk is a mess and I did something I don’t ever think I’ve done before….I sent a designer back her finished instructions and they were not completed. She had given me another design to do and I went for it; just completely blocked out the fact that the other was not finished. I hope to finish this new one today and send it to her and get the other to complete.

And yes I am still working on My Value of Gray book. Since it is technically a color/design book there is more than just stitching to this, but I wanted some stitching to be included because I think stitchers like stitching…I know I do. I’ve been trying to keep the projects small so anyone wanting to try these could have ornaments or small projects to just take along.

13-10-30 elephant parts 1And before I forget this too…a lovely lady, Norma Gamble from my local guild downsized her stash and trust me it was a substantial down-size and I’m sure she still has plenty to keep her fingers busy. Anyway in this stash reduction were about 5 to 6 good sized canvases for a 3 dimensional piece. Our local finisher, Pat concluded that she thought this was a 3D circus elephant but we are not sure who painted it; it’s only 13-10-30 elephant parts 2identifying mark is the 309 on one of the canvases. The GKCNG has decided to use it as one of our philanthropic projects. We will stitch it, finish it, have a case made to donate as an art display piece to either to a local Ronald McDonald home or one of the two children’s hospitals here. The guild would like to know the designer and maybe there is a picture available for finishing…Does anyone recognize any of these 13-10-30 elephant parts 3pieces and if so who do you think was the designer. The GKCNG thanks you for your assistance.

And now I need to straighten up my desk before it swallows me up computer and all.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

You play you pay

You know the saying you play you pay…I do, all too well this last two weeks. I worked, played, rested, played and now am paying….

A week ago I ran out of thread for the Value of Gray pieces I am stitching and so I had to order more. I was dead in the water with the project until I got them…so I ordered them.

And wasn’t too worried because I knew he threads would be here the following Monday and they were and in the meantime DH and I went to PSU: Pittsburg State College; Pittsburg KS ( for homecoming and a reunion at the Newman Club (; it was also the 100 anniversary of the Newman Club (second oldest organization on campus…school newspaper is older). We have many fond memories of Pittsburg Ks when life was simpler and we were younger.

13-10-15 PSU gusOn our way back to Gorilla country, we laughed about our housing…out first home if you let a package of marbles loose on the floor they would have picked up momentum and if they hit you would have probably killed you. It was a fun apartment with all its idiosyncrasies: our only closets were in the living area…the bathroom was the biggest room in the apartment and our kitchen barely held one person(my kind of kitchen).But it was our first home together.  We knew this place would be gone…someone had surly bought it up and replaced it with a six-plex or maybe the college had even annexed it to expand.

But we knew our second apartment would still be there, it was college housing on the far east side of campus and we were going to stop by and give the occupants a surprise gift $40 for a dinner out. WELL, what a surprise awaited us! The first house was still standing (by the grace of God only) and had six mailboxes on the front porch…we had two families there when we were there. And our married dorms had been torn down and were being replaced by a performing arts center…progress.  What a shock…it left us kinda wondering what other surprises the week-end would bring.

This did not to spoil our week end … We stopped by the Newman Center (renamed St Pius X Catholic Student Center)  and we pleasantly surprised to see activity…DH had stopped by a few times in the last 40 years and there was little or no activity. The place was alive with young people scurrying around to make this reunion one of the best. Father Adam Keiter is the chaplain and relates so well to the kids. We introduced ourselves and looked around and then headed to our hotel.

We ate dinner at Jim’s Steak House…couldn’t have afforded this when we were in school, but the steak was terrific…you could cut it with a fork. Saturday brought a drizzle but did not stop the parade…but today’s college people need a class on what constitutes a parade float… it is not a pick-up truck with chairs! There were probably two good floats in the entire parade but lots of great high school bands and fire departments from every town around.

13-10-15 PSU football

And the game, well it could not have been better! Is always fun to be at a college football game, especially when you win; there is so much spirit. Go Gorillas!

13-10-11 PSU yearbk aAfter the game was the reunion at the Newman Center; mass followed by a dinner and lots of reminiscing. We saw old friends we hadn’t seen in years and poured over the year books like we were 13-10-15 PSU yearbk bstill there. It was a fun time and lasted well past my bedtime.

Mike and I were up early Sunday and did some sight-seeing and had breakfast at Harry’s diner…home of the cinnamon roll. We wanted to bring a Gus home with us but the garden center was not open Sunday…(oh well, I see a road trip and another dinner at Jim’s in my future)

And believe it or not, I took no stitching with me to homecoming…so by Sunday afternoon, back home, I had to get my stitch fix. I had started one of my OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARaymond Crawford pieces but was not happy with it so I “Frog stitched” first and then re-stitched starting with the leaves…And well, one thing lead to another, the stitches just seemed to fall onto the canvas. I like canvases like this that just seem to fall into stitches…and this week have completed the center portion. And I have the threads and stiches in my mind for the rest of this piece…I just love it when canvas, threads and stitches fall onto the canvas.

Values of Gray has fallen behind and I will have to work like crazy to catch up…although this is impossible…like recovering lost sleep, never happens. I let all my work slide and just played… sometimes you just gotta do what feels right. Now I am torn between work and fun…guess you’ll just have to wait until next week to see how I sort our this dilemma …How do you sort out your dilemmas of work or fun?

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! (I have plenty work and fun)