Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I can't believe August is already almost over. Where did the summer go? Not that I'm complaining, it's been a hot, humid, horrible summer. The past few days are the nicest it's been since May or June! And honestly, I cannot wait for autumn, it's my favourite time of year. :)

I've been working away on stitching sampler of seasons, and I was hit with brainwave. Since I was planning on releasing the ornament "A Northern Christmas Expression" as a standalone chart for Christmas at the Fall Online Needlework Show, why not make it a worthwhile project. Instead of one ornament, why not several? And a sampler too, using all those motifs? So I've been trying to come up with something. Will I be able to get the materials, stitch and release it in time? Who knows. I'm going to try though. Today's project is to figure out what materials I'm going to need and get them ordered, that way when I DO finish designing this thing, I won't have to wait to start stitching it! PLUS, this is a great opportunity to use the awesome Petite Silk Lame braid for a project. Thinking Petite Treasure braid too. And beads! And crystals! Yeah, I'm thinking lots of sparkly bling for Christmas. :)

Speaking of A Sampler of Seasons, I've finished Spring and Summer. Spring went lightning quick, Summer was a labour of love - I made a mistake early on and had to frog and restitch a fair bit of it. The second time around wasn't near as fun and I kept putting it off. I got a start on Autumn, hopefully I'm a little more careful with my counting this time. :) These aren't due out until Nashville Market, but I'm trying something new - preparing projects WELL ahead of schedule instead of racing around at the last minute.  These are stitched with Valdani's silk floss on 34ct Wren Wing from Legacy Linen and I must say I really love this floss. The colours are just lovely and it stitches like an absolute dream. Plus it's really affordable - these are HUGE skeins, 23 yards of six strand floss for $6. Awesome, no?

I would LOVE to get people's opinions on something. I'm having a bit of a dilemma with regards to how I should release these. Because of the enormous amount of specialty stitches involved, releasing them as one design will be rather expensive for printing - probably more than 40 pages. So if someone just wanted to buy it for ONE of the seasons it would be really expensive. I was thinking they would each get released as a standalone design. But what about the instructions for putting them together as one sampler? Release it as a freebie? Include it with each design (which then drives up the price of each)? Release a "combo pack" with all the seasons and the additional instructions? Release them in stages, season by season and release the instructions with the last part? I really don't know what I want to do. Problems arise no matter which way I think about it. Releasing them individually AND as a package deal presents a problem for shops - which do they purchase? It also poses a dilemma for Valdani - do they do threadpacks for each (which is redundant for stitchers since some colours are repeated and one skein would be enough for all four seasons) or a combo pack for the whole thing? And if I do it as one design, what if a stitcher only wants ONE season? I'm leaning towards one design. It's less work for me because I only have to stitch one model rather than five, less involved for shops since I can't see them buying both individual seasons AND a compilation, less involved for suppliers and it's just easier all round. And from the feedback I've gotten, it seems like most people would want to do the whole thing rather than parts, but I would love to know what everyone thinks.

And now to guzzle lots of coffee and set myself to work on the sampler for A Northern Christmas Expression - the ideas are there, but my brain doesn't seem to want to process right now. UGH!

ETA: I almost forgot to mention earlier - another project I am working on. I got news from a fellow stitcher recently that Hand-Dyed Fibers would be discontinuing silk floss in the near future. I've used these threads in several of my designs and while I always include a DMC conversion in all of my charts, I will be working on updating all future printings of these designs with conversions to other brands of silk floss. I will also post these conversions here on my site for anyone who already has the charts. Best wishes to Vikki in all her future endeavours.


  1. Oh Nicole, I just love your passion, which is one of the reasons that your designs are so much fun to stitch, they are not just a beautiful work of art but I can always feel your love for the design as well.
    Your Sampler of Seasons is gorgeous, I love the fabric color and the floss..I am such a huge fan of Valdani as it is a dream to stitch with, not to mention the best bargain in town for the high quality.
    OK, now, for my answer to your question..I like your idea of releasing them as a seasonal, individual design and the stitcher just purchases the floss for each chart on their own, and have the instructions for stitching it as a sampler on the first chart in the series, as that would allow each person to know and decide at the start that it could be either individual or sampler style. When each season arrives at their LNS they can look at the floss left from the previous chart and figure out how much of each skein of floss they will need to continue, which is how it would be whether they stitch one or all. I have turned many stand alones into samplers, as I know you have too and it is so much fun to see it progress, especially the wait for the next one's release. I for one cannot wait, and will be stitching them as a sampler :)
    Already had my coffee...can you tell? LOL

  2. First to answer your question. I would release the info about doing them together as a freebie via the web.

    Second of all, I think news of HDF stopping the floss business is a bit premature. You might want to get talk to her directly to get the facts. This news is sort of like telling my family I am going to die. Well yes, but not tomorrow! (Smile!)

    Love your designs and I enjoy reading your blog.

  3. I'll echo bits and pieces of the above! Release each as an individual design but include the floss requirements for the entire series. Valdani can issue the floss used for the whole set, which is likely what most people will do. Anyone wishing to do only parts of the set can order and purchase just what they need, or buy the whole Valdani set and add to their stash. Then, post the finishing instructions for the entire series as a freebie. Knowing you'll get the finishing instructions for free may entice some to buy the whole series!