Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A stitched Christmas parade

I had a pleasant surprise this morning when Janis, a "young" customer from St Louis, stopped by the shop.  I was shocked to realize that it had been about 14 years since I had seen her.  Her oldest child is 15 and was a toddler the last time I saw them.  Janis used to come in when our shop was in The Village Shops and she was a college student.  It was so good to catch up on what had been happening over the years.  It's nice to know she's still stitching and that she's happy in her life.  Also, she's a regular reader of the world's most fabulous blog!!!

I still haven't finished my scallop shell, but I have something even better to show you.  This is the Christmas parade designed by Ashley Dillon and distributed by Susan Roberts Needlepoint.  Ashley has done five of these parades (4th of July, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter and Christmas).  Debbie, a customer of mine, saw this canvas when another customer, Dottie from DC, was visiting the shop last year and asking for assistance with some of the stitches in the stitch guide she had purchased. 

Debbie hasn't done many pattern stitches during her stitching life and didn't want to commit to such a complicated stitch guide so I came up with some less intimidating stitches for her to do.  Yesterday she brought in the finished canvas and I only wish we had had some champagne in house to celebrate such a momentous occasion! 

First, a panoramic view of the finished canvas:

In this photograph, you get a closer view of the Fluffy Fleece that Debbie couched to form a mouton-like trim on Santa's hat and suit.  She did Very Velvet for the suit using the mosaic stitch.  She did the beard in long/short split stitch using kit kin (whisper).  And you can see the pom-pom that my friend Rose shamed me into stitching for Debbie.  I rarely stitch anything on a student/customer's canvas, so this was really a red-letter occurrence. 

 The polar bear has been stitched using kit kin in the long/short split stitch.  The cap is done in the Kalem stitch, stitched using DMC perle 5.

Just as an editing aside, I have no idea how I managed to get that photograph up semi-beside the previous photograph, but I like it.  Now if I can repeat it on another occasion! 

This snowman is done in gold rush 18 in what I call the Byzantine mosaic stitch.  The hat is done in the woven stitch so it looks like a real raffia hat.   The tree is primarily stitched in the diagonal mosaic.
Some of the ornaments are the smyrna cross and the star on top is just a 5-pointed star. 

The moon is a bargello pattern stitched in silk lame braid.  In person it has such a wonderful luminescence. 


  1. For someone with little experience doing patterned stitches, your customer did a bang-up job!

  2. The whole thing is great but that bear is freakin' awesome!

  3. Thank you, Karen. I must now admit that Debbie agonized over the bear and felt that it wasn't "furry" enough. I reassured her and how you have validated that decision. Thank you, thank you--and I can't wait to tell Debbie!!

  4. This is gorgeous, Mary Alice! You are a wonderful stitch guide designer and I think the bear is plenty fuzzy. When I think of polar bears I think of them to be much more sleek than a brown bear so this stitch and thread choice is perfect.

    Do you mind explaining what the long/short split stitch is?