The first mini cushion of February to be released as a kit is my William Shakespeare design. I loved the challenge of designing this one, as I wanted to put a lot of detail into the mini cushion and feature lots of recognisable scenes/characters/places relating to the Bard. It was while doing some research for my next series of designs based on Patron Saints that I came across lots of important date milestones and one of those was related to Shakespeare, being that April will be the 450th Anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. So that put the idea in my head to create this mini cushion.
I used quite an earthy colour palette and used the same swirly background pattern that appears in my Henry VIII mini cushion design so that the two compliment each other. I have built up a nice little Tudor collection of designs now so I think I'll have to put them all together for a group photograph.
This mini cushion has been getting rather a lot of publicity lately! After designing it specifically for my mini exhibition at The Beaney museum in Canterbury it has now been featured in both Cross Stitch Crazy and The World of Cross Stitching magazines. The article in The World of Cross Stitching also mentions that there will be a full-page feature interview from me in the next issue (on sale 27th Feb 2014 - UK) about my inspiration for Butterfly Study and the story behind the mini exhibition.
I'm now working on a series of 4 mini cushions (though they are slightly larger than my usual 6" square ones) which are of the Patron Saints of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All four have been designed in a 'stained-glass' style as that was something I enjoyed using when creating my Nativity set.
I'm also working on a Van Gogh mini cushion which is EXTREMELY challenging as I'm trying to fit in my version of some of his most famous paintings into such small areas of the design! Here is my version of his Starry Night painting which I think has worked OK. I want to put the Sunflowers, his self-portrait and the Irises in there too.
There will be some other mini cushions being produced inbetween these too, but I shall leave those as surprises!
OK, I've left the best till last! A new series of 13 of my designs, based on my Flowers of the Month mini cushions, are going to published in one of the cross stitching magazines later in the year. My lips are sealed about which magazine it is for now but I am busy stitching up the designs and writing the instructions. I shall of course provide more details about these in a few months time, nearer the publication date of the first piece.