Sunday, July 30, 2017

Stitch Beading with Robin

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Regular scheduled blogging does take some prep work. Mainly, to come up with something to say each week. I put this question out to my Facebook friends...
Trying to stay on my weekly Sunday blogging schedule on Needlepoint Study Hall. Any needlepoint topics, ideas, concepts, themes you'd like to me cover? Since I'm hoping to maintain a consistent schedule, the more suggestions the merrier. I will send my needlepoint stitch collection PDF to the topic winner(s). You will get your name listed in the blog, too. Many thanks in advance! 
I had some wonderful responses and many asked about Beading.

As it turns out, I do have some specific steps I use when Beading which I often share with my classes. And since we are in Needlepoint Study Hall, I'd like to share them with you, too.

So today's topic is Stitch Beading... Robin King style.

First of all, let it be said that if you are already an excellent Beader and/or already have a technique which works for you, please stick with the one who brought you to the dance. I am not wanting to change anyone's techniques which are working for them.

I'm offering some helpful hints for those who haven't Beaded or those who do Bead but can't get the Beads to line up or stay straight in place.

Generally speaking when we add Beads to our needlepoint, we will want them to be in the same direction as the Basketweave stitch which leans to the right (/).

In order to accomplish that feat, your Beading thread will go in the direction of Florida to Seattle. Here are some helpful diagrams for those of us who are visual learners.

Geography and a Beading lesson?
Who knew!!

Your beading travel path goes
from Florida to Seattle.

We want the Bead to lean in (/) direction.

You will want to use 2 ply Beading Thread. I like to use the size 10 Beading Needles. I use one long strand Beading Thread to go thru the eye of the needle. Then I pull the 2 ends together and tie one knot. This gives me the Thread Doubled in the Needle effect.

You will want to tug on your Beading Thread to help get the "stretch" out of it prior to using. You can also use Beeswax on your Beading Thread. There are many options of Beading Threads. You can use the colorful Superlon Nylon Beading Thread and/or the Crystal Fireline Beading Thread (great when working with Swarovski Crystals). Again, I'm not trying to change your dance partner... just showing what works good for me.

Colorful Superlon Beading Thread

Crystal Fireline Beading Thread

Now we are ready to start Beading. Gulp! (It's OK. I'm here with you.)

Stitch Beading places the Bead
across each intersection.

I tried many different beading pathways (some without much success), and finally went line by line; working my stitches across in rows going from the right side to the left side of the canvas. Each time going from Florida to Seattle. 

It all went great... until the last Bead in the row was added. He turned into the drunken sailor who didn't follow the others; the wonkiest in the line of well-behaved Beads!

😬 What was happening? Why me!! Oh, I'll never bead again. Yes. Those words filled my head and made me run away from future Beading opportunities. But then, I became a Teacher. 😊  I needed to solve my problem so I could help others. 

πŸ’‘enter The Pinhead stitch... or you might know it as the Pin Stitch.

Pinhead Stitch,
your needlepoint BFF

The Pinhead Stitch is something every Needlepointer needs to know. If you don't know about it, that's OK. I'm the See One, Do One, Teach One gal, and will bring you into the Club. We will do a quick introduction about the Pinhead Stitch today and I will continue on its merits next week. (Sweet! We have another blog topic.)

The Pinhead Stitch can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal and it goes across 1 canvas thread/intersection.

How does the Pinhead Stitch help me get my drunken sailor inline with the other Beads? A well-behaved Bead is all about not having extra rope (aka Beading Thread). Loose tension is the demise of all Beading; we want to avoid floppy and wonky.

Remember, I said I did my Beading from Right to Left. The mojo was working and I needed to stick with the sequence. 

Here we go...
But the distance traveled from Left back to Right gave the Beading Thread a chance to get loose.

Danger, Will Robinson!
So after each "end" Bead, I did a vertical Pinhead Stitch directly below the Bead. 

Keeping the end Bead on a short leash.
Then I did more vertical Pinhead Stitches along the same line working towards my next starting point. 

Travel with the Pinhead Stitch.
Ready to begin the next row.

Pinhead Stitch is your BFF.

Travel with the Pinhead Stitch.

Are we already on row 3? Sweet.

Look how nice they are behaving.

Pinhead Stitch.

Work it back to the beginning.

Beading is fun!

Just a few more things to mention. I tug with force as I bring my Beading Thread up to the front of the canvas (as well as down to the back of the canvas) to make sure it didn't get knotted or jumbled on the hidden side. Nothing worse than turning your canvas over and seeing a hitch in your get-along. I don't let go of the Beading Thread: I keep tension on the Beading Thread as I pass from above to below the canvas. Also, I "flick" the Bead onto the top of the canvas intersection to put it in its place. 

Understand, I've dissected these actions into mili seconds. Beading is rhythmic and very zen. 

Well, that's all for now. I hope this has been helpful for those needing an assist. Like I said, I'm here for you.

Many thanks to Michelle H., Ada H., Patricia W., and Ellen D. who all asked about Beading. I hope this helps.

Until the next time... HUGS, Robin

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Instant Pot means more time for Needlepoint

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

When I'm on deadlines, the domestic goddess within me takes a break. All hands on deck to get the stitch guides done and me on the airplane... dusting and vacuuming can wait for another day.

Cooking is another time interrupter. Turkey Sandwiches are the quick fix. Chinese take out or Whole Foods hot bar are my go-to when I have entered the "not cooking" zone.

We've all faced this same dilemma: lose track of time while in our Needlepoint world, and then someone asks..."What's for dinner?"

I have discovered a wonderful kitchen helper... the Instant Pot. My sister Kathy has one and she showed me its merits when I was visiting the family last year.

The Instant Pot is a duo 7-in-1 multi-use programmable Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker. I have the 6-Quart, but it also comes in 8-Quart capacity. I got mine from Amazon. Here's the Instant Pot link.

Instant Pot
Programmable touch pads

There's no need to fear the Instant Pot. Yes, it's a pressure cooker, but those hissing-spinning-jiggly-valve stove top pressure cookers from our youth are long gone. We've entered the 21st century and speed is our trusty companion.   

There are cookbooks to help you thru the learning curve as well as an Instant Pot Community on Facebook. Quite a few foodie bloggers are now incorporating Instant Pot recipes.

There's even an App for that! I use this App on my iPad. There is an Android App, too. 
Instant Pot App on iTunes
Download iOS App here
Instant Pot App on Google Play
Download Android App here

Here are some links to the recipes I have used with great results and fanfare...

So with all that newly found time... I was able to chart more stitches. Lucky me... lucky you. 😊

MSD  Trellis
inspired by the one and only Melissa Shirley

Framed Diamonds with Bead Center
a diamond pattern with some extra pizzazz

Well, that's all for now. Going to make some Spaghetti sauce in the IP. Dinner will be ready in an Instant!

Until the next time... HUGS!  Robin

Sunday, July 16, 2017

a new Patriotic Club from The Nimble Needle-Atlanta

Hi Everybody... Robin here...

Have you seen the new Needlepoint Club beginning this month from The Nimble Needle in Sandy Springs, GA? Here's their current ad in Needlepoint Now.

"From Sea to Shining Sea" Club •  The Nimble Needle-Atlanta
featuring patriotic designs from Labors of Love Needlepoint

It's called "From Sea to Shining Sea"... a patriotic club featuring 8 ornaments from Labors of Love Needlepoint.

Display these on Flag Day, Memorial Day, July 4th,
Veterans Day... or every day!

Each ornament is on 18 mesh featuring 1776 Shield, Flag, George Washington, Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross, Uncle Sam, Liberty Torch, and Eagle. Each canvas, stitch guide, threads, beads & baubles will be shipped monthly.

1776 Shield
July 2017
3.5" x 4.25" on 18 mesh

August 2017
4.7.5" x 4.25" on 18 mesh

George Washington
September 2017
2.25" x 4.75" on 18 mesh

Liberty Bell
October 2017
3.75" x 4.25" on 18 mesh

Betsy Ross
November 2017
3" x 5.25" on 18 mesh

Uncle Sam
December 2017
2" x 5.25" on 18 mesh

Liberty Torch
January 2018
4.5" round on 18 mesh

February 2018
5.25" x 3.5" on 18 mesh

You can see more about this and other monthly clubs from The Nimble Needle-Atlanta using this link...

Side note: I enjoyed creating this magazine ad; just one of many feathers in my cap behind this computer!

Well, that's all for now. Hopefully the neighbors will run out of fireworks soon!

Until then... Hugs, Robin

Sunday, July 9, 2017

new pastel Painters Threads

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Today's topic is the new pastel colors of Painters Threads. Have you seen them? Did you already know about the original colors of Painters Threads?

Let's start from the beginning... or at least, my knowledge about Painters Threads.

Once upon a time, there was (and still is) a company called YLI Corp. They made the RibbonFloss threads, a soft braided rayon. Originally, they were on a cardboard spool and later they were on a plastic paddle. You might think of them as "cousins" to the Neon Rays threads from Rainbow Gallery.

RibbonFloss color chart

Then the ShimmerBlend RibbonFloss came along; the original RibbonFloss with a touch of Metallic. Again, you might think of them as "cousins" to the Neon Rays Plus threads from Rainbow Gallery.

ShimmerBlend RibbonFloss color chart

Well,  the Painters Threads were born in Germany from the ShimmerBlend RibbonFloss base thread;  hand-painted in wonderful rich colors. Each color way was named for a famous painter whose painting inspired the choice of blended colors. For example... Klimt, Picasso, GrandmaMoses, and Chagall. How about that! You get to stitch with a beautiful thread and get some art history at the same time!!

original Painters Threads
ShimmerBlend Ribbon Floss

I have been a fan of the Painters Threads collection for a very long time. They've expanded their line to also include #4 and #8 Metallic Braid, Soie d'Alger 7 strand Silk Floss, Perle Cotton, Silk Ribbons, Gimp, and Ric Rac. Your local/favorite needlepoint shop can show you all what's available in the Painters Thread line of products.

This round-about introduction now brings me to today's topic: Pastel Painters Threads. πŸ˜€  Introducing 10 new colors in pastel shades made with the ShimmerBlend RibbonFloss base.

pastel Painters Threads
ShimmerBlend Ribbon Floss

Row 1
Island - P001, Aruba - P002, Riesling - P003, Pomelo - P004, Suricata - P005

Row 2
Peony - P006, Agave - P007, Koala - P008, Longan - P009, Syringa - P010

Aren't they pretty! I can't wait to use them... and to also include them in upcoming stitch guides!

I would still use my flat iron on these Painters Threads prior to stitching for a nice smooth effect.

For those new to the Needlepoint Study Hall blog, here's a link to my previous discussion on Straightening Neon Rays using a flat iron. Wow! Has it really been 6 years since that posting?!!

Well, that's all for now. Wanted to share with you what's new with me.

Until the next time... Hugs, Robin

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Happy July 4th

Hello, hello!

It's me... Robin... your absent blogger. I'm back and boy, have I missed you!

Where has the time gone?

Well, for me, I've been here all the time; in front of the computer writing stitch guides and traveling to/teaching at wonderful Needlepoint stores across this country. Often when I'm under deadlines (translation the plane is leaving in ____ days) I tend to hunker down and forgo life's responsibilities including blogging.

Facebook has been my go-to platform for updates. But, seriously, absent for almost 2 years?!! I apologize.

So... I'm back.

The July 4th holiday is upon us. BBQ, picnics, family reunions, potato salad... fond memories!

I've also had the pleasure of writing several July 4th/Americana themed stitch guides.

The Fourth
Fleur • artist, Sandra Gilmore
Stitch Guide by Robin King

American Eagle Flag
Amanda Lawford
AL 26006
Stitch Guide by Robin King

American Bald Eagle
The Meredith Collection • artist, Charley Harper
Stitch Guide by Robin King

July 4th Picnic Baskets
Melissa Shirley Designs
artist, Mary Lake-Thompson
MLT 213
Stitch Guide by Robin King

Here's the stitch guide I am currently writing... It's called "God Bless America" by Cooper Oaks Design (artist, Melissa McLeod • MML 921). 

God Bless America
Cooper Oaks Design • artist, Melissa McLeod
MML 921

This is for my next Canvas Enhancement class in September 2017... at North Shore Needleworks in the Chicago area. This will be my first time teaching there and I am looking forward to meeting everyone. I will be sure to bring you along with me on my journey.

As I've mentioned before, all of my stitch guides are available from me. Just email me your request and I will get back with you the details. You can reach me at

Well, that's all for now. Have a safe and enjoyable July 4th holiday. Hope you get to do some stitching. Here's a Stars chart for you. I'm a giver! 😊

Until the next time... HUGS, Robin

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