Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Gift of the Stitch

Designed and stitched by Nandra Hotchkiss

Cassie and I just returned from a fabulous weekend in Scottsdale, AZ. We were invited to teach our canvas "Harmony" at Old Town Needlework. Our trip started in Tucson and we drove to Scottsdale. We had the best mother-daughter time! Cassie and I have such a fun and easy relationship. In the car we laughed, listened to our favorite pod casts, caught up on the happenings of friends and family and we even sang a few bars of a great song.

Janice, of Old Town Needlework, was a fabulous host and we had awesome stitchers in our class. The class moved along in pace as we all shared stores, tips on how to exact stitches, and our favorite threads.

As class drew to the end we had some time to visit with a special student who is batteling some very serious and long term health challenges. She expressed to us how important her stitching is to her. Not just the completion of the canvas, but the whole process--from choosing the right canvas, threads, and stitches. To the act of blending all the components together along with the most important ingredients of --"friendship", "comradery" and the love of a "common thread."

Cassie and I reflecte on just how blessed we are to have such a love of stitching to share not only with each other, but also with our kindred spirits--our sister stitchers.

May you all have a Peaceful Easy Day, A Happy Easter and Passover,


Old Town Needlework

Nandra, Janice, and Cassie

Harmony is available at your local retail shop from Sundance Designs. The handpainted canvas comes with a stitch guide. Some of the materials used are: River Silks for the center flower and sun's rays; Sundance Beads for the sun, snowflakes, tree leaves, and buds; Sundance Sequins for the flower center*, and Sundance Sparkles Embellishment Thread for the apples in the Summer square.

*Note: A tutorial for doing the ribbon flower with bead and sequin center is in our September 2012 Blog!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day from Sundance Designs

Happy Valentine's Day

"A day for lovers everywhere
and especially for those who love needle art!"

Here are a few Sundance Hearts from our line of 
fine handpainted needlepoint canvases

A Time for Love
Original design for Sundance Designs by Gale Tuoti
Stitched by Sandra Arthur

This hand painted needlepoint design was taught by Sandy Arthur at our Winter trade show in Long Beach, CA and is available with a very extensive stitch guide. Some of the unique techniques used are pulled work, padding, shirring, and gathering. Today's "hot" threads--silks, metallics, overdyed cottons and ribbons were used as well as our Sundance beads, sequins and Sparkles Embellishment thread which was ironed flat and attached with sequins and beads for the mint green border.

Love is Kind
Original design by Sally Huss
Stitched by Nandra Hotchkiss

Beaded Heart
Original design for Sundance Designs by Terry Medaris
Stitched by Alice Borge

Heart Design from our Greeting Card Line
Designed by Annie Get Your Fun

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Silk Ribbon and Sequin Flower Tutorial

How to make a Silk Ribbon
& Sequin Flower
We thought you'd like to know how we created the charming flower in the center of our Harmony canvas design. Here's a tutorial which can be adapted to a round flower on most canvases. Please enjoy.

· The first step is to create the base of the flower using Sundance Sequins #127c Cobalt Shimmer tacked into place with a size 11° Sundance Bead #587 Ocean Reef.
a. Come up from the back of the canvas at the outer edge of the painted blue center, add one sequin and one bead, cross over the edge of the sequin and go down through the canvas hole. The sequins need to slightly overlap each other. I found the best way to keep the ring of sequins symmetrical is to rotate the canvas with each stitch so you are always stitching from bottom to top (or from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock) as you work your way around the circle. Continue around the circle until the area is filled.

b. The second row of sequins is added in a similar fashion as the base row with the exception of the beads, you will use three beads to tack these sequins down.
c. Position the second row so they sit up on the base bead and again they need to overlap each other. See photo below. Continue to rotate the canvas with each stitch.
 Now we move on to the pink petals. The silk petals are added with a Straight Stitch using River Silks 7mm#S56 Cactus Flower. Come up from the back of the canvas just under the edge of the base row of sequins, cross over the “spacer” and go down through the canvas at the outer edge of the painted flower. I used our smallest bead tube as a spacer to ensure gentle and even tension of the petals. You may choose to use a laying tool, dowel, or pen/pencil to achieve the look you desire. Again, turn the canvas with each stitch for pleasing flow of your stitches.
· The final step is to add the metallic detail— with a single stitch and a strand of matching metallic thread, come up through the sequin hole (base ring) and down into the silk ribbon.  You must be gentle as to not distort the ribbon petal.
 Lastly add the little flower sequin in the center and tack down with a single bead.

*The handpainted canvas, Harmony, is the exclusive design of Sundance Designs and is available through your local needlework store as are the beads and sequins. If you don't have a shop in your city, you may visit our website at www.sundancedesignsonline.com or contact us by email at  sundancenw@aol.com for information.

Information about River Silks may be obtained at www.riversilks.com

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sundance "Sparkles"

An adventure into new stitching territory

"Sparkles" is an embellishment trim from Sundance Designs that was introduced at TNNA (The National NeedleArts Assoc.) in January. It’s a tubular woven rope like product that can be stretched thin, scrunched big, and pressed flat. It can be couched, stitched, stuffed, shredded, twisted, and turned. It's about the size of a pencil and available in twelve colors and packaged in two yard lengths. The rich metallic luster combined with simple techniques will amaze even the most advanced needlepointer.

Sparkles display


 For some excellent examples using Sparkles, go to Barbara Elmore's Blog, Stitchpography. Here's the link: http://stitchpography.blogspot.com/2012/01/all-that-glitters-is-not-gold.html


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Teaching Oaxaca at The Needle Works in Austin, TX

Another Sundance Teaching Opportunity

Oaxaca, Tree of Life

Individual design elements from Oaxaca

         Stitching Oaxaca was one of my most rewarding and happy needlepoint journeys. I'm so pleased to be teaching it once again, because it's also a happy class project. I'll be at The Needle Works in Austin, TX for a two day class, April 21 and 22.
For information, please contact Colleen at: http://www.theneedleworks.com/ 
 800-851-6931 or 512-451-6931

Oaxaca is full of wonderful techniques using the latest and greatest threads and embellishments. Once started, it's difficult to put down and when finished, 
it becomes a true work of original art.

To learn more about this design, go to my October 2010 blog.

Oaxaca is adapted for needlepoint from the original art of Jane LaFazio.
Visit her website at http://www.janelafazio.com/  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Class at The West in Tucson

Arizona Wild Flower
I'm excited!  I've just made my reservations to go to Tucson to teach "Arizona Wild Flower" at The West. The class date is Friday, March 2, 2012. Our Sundance Designs' Trunk Show is currently on display at the shop. Additional information can be found by clicking on this link to go their website. The West 

This Arizona Wildflower design, also called Mexican Hat, is a fun project that can be completed quickly. It's one of those beautiful pieces that looks complicated but really isn't. The clever use of beads, open stitching, a uniquely padded stem, a dramatic border, and the final touch of a Bumble Bee bead make this a perfect stitching adventure.

See you there, Cassie

Monday, August 1, 2011

San Antonio Needlepoint Project

It's been so long since I've made a blog entry that I forgot my password! Let me share with you what I've been stitching: I was asked by Lisa at the Yarn Barn in San Antonio, TX to come up with something special for her shop during the national ANG Seminar which is being held in her city this year. This was something new for me and I said, "Why not!" So, Lisa sent various advertising pieces with pictures of local sites and our artists put together the above design which I stitched! It was really fun and something different for a change. I used Sundance Beads in the lettering, Sundance Sequins on the umbrella tops, DMC Memory Thread for the Texas flag pole and top. My favorite part is the life preserver on the boat, I covered a round plastic stitch counter for knitting with pearl cotton and attached it with floss. If you go to the seminar, plan a visit to the Yarn Barn to see the finished piece which is available with a stitch guide, and also check out our SundanceTrunk Show.