Do you ever notice that once somebody starts talking or writing about a subject, it seems like everybody starts talking about it? It could be cupcakes, or zombies, or even the color of the year, but suddenly you see it all around you. For needlepoint embellishment has been this thing. Now, thanks to two new books, the versatile and simple technique of Pattern Darning is poised to take off. Sharon G’s new book, It’s about DARN Time, premiered at the show and is appearing in shops right now. It has 125 darning patterns. Finger Step Designs also has a book called Side By Side – Pattern Darning for the 21st Century that came out for the show.
I love pattern darning and I’m so excited about these books. Look for reviews of them over the next two weeks.
One of my favorite needlepoint designers is GailVail. Her line included designs from Fanci Carole that included wonderful stitch-painted geometrics as well as designs from D. Hiller. She retired a few years ago, but now her line is back. Many of the canvases are repeating patterns inside simple shapes such as rounds, bells, or stars. There are also colorful cartoon animals from originally from Gimmies, I think, that include dragons, frogs and ducks along with lots more.
But that isn’t all in this great line. There are lots of patchwork designs that are perfect for showing off threads and stitches. There’s also a great group of mini-socks with animals. Lovers of Vail will also be delighted to find a few canvases showing this charming alpine village.
Little Shoppe has two cone Santas that are finished with dangling legs. They also have two-sided canvases that are designed to be stitched and finished as lollipops. the Collection has a new beading thread to go along with their new gold, silver, and white pearl beads.
Denise DeRusha has added some city postcards to her line. There is also a lovely USA design complete with a bald eagle. Hummingbird Designs has several patterned pumpkins that are a great ornament size. Heartstrings has a set of square sampler-style Christmas canvases that could be finished into blocks or ornaments.
Maggie Co. has a new series of snowmen that would coordinate well with the Pepperberry snowman squares. Speaking of Pepperberry, they have a lovely new series of round dog ornaments, each a different breed and all with Santa hats. They also have a few national flag hearts.
As always there is so much to love at Melissa Shirley. Continuing in her series of realistic sea creature pillows, she has a wonderful crab. Melissa also has new bunny silhouettes, including two patriotic ones. There are also many new baskets, including ones for several of her themes. My favorite is the Halloween basket with a very well-behaved black cat in it.
Did you like her botanical style canvases of pears and apples? There are two new ones, persimmons and more pears. I love the persimmon one since it so perfectly captures this fruit.
From Vicki Sawyer there are birds with shells for hats (I love the flamingo with the limpet shell). Another series features berries as the hat including canvases with a contented ox and a series of birds. Not in a series, there’s lots more of her inventive animal portraits including a set of three chipmunks with cactus hats.
For Christmas Melissa has a bunch of her Victorian children in white clothing, adding a lighter, more Romantic look to this line. Her color theme for Christmas is “sugar pink” and includes two kinds of round ornaments and a bunny silhouette.
Debbie Mumm has a great series of patriotic canvas, mainly in red, white, and blue. This series has charming crowned women including a fairy and an angel. She also has some charming Christmas canvases showing a penguin family.
New from Mary Lake Thompson is “Best Friend Christmas.” It includes rounds of several breeds of dogs dressed up for the holidays. She also has two full-size stockings with black labs in front of houses.
Be sure to come back Monday for the final post covering the show.