Monday, 19 January 2015

Love is in the air....

Before Christmas I had designed 5 new mini cushions and needed to decide which I would start stitching first.  I chose the one that is made up of a riot of colour and started stitching it through the Christmas/New Year break.  Then I suddenly realised Valentine's Day would be approaching in a couple of months and I hadn't designed a lovey-dovey mini cushion for it, so I've had to put my stitching to one side!  Each year I aim to design a new mini cushion for the events/special dates of the year such as Easter, Valentine's, Mother's and Father's days etc, and a design usually comes to mind just before the events so I end up having to stop everything to work on that new design!

Swan Lake
This year, for Valentine's Day I've chosen a pair of Swans to be the theme of my design, because I like the way they form a heart shape when bowing their heads together.  I filled this design with heart motifs and surrounded it with a frame of fiery orange and gold colours.  As my 'Love Never Dies' design has been one of my most popular with customers, I wanted to see if I could add a little 'goth' touch to this new design but using smokey greys and browns.  I tried to do this on the outside border and gave it an almost 'tattoo' feel, which I'm really pleased with.  And I really enjoyed stitching that part because it was like working on a colouring book - I stitched the darker outlines of the petals and leaves first then filled them in with the colours.  Here is the finished mini cushion which I've called 'Swan Lake' and it is my first cross stitch kit of 2015, availabe here: Swan Lake Cross Stitch Kit
Sweet Squirrels
I've produced a few designs lately which take on the same theme of a central 'picture' surrounded by a patterned frame, and Sweet Squirrels is one of those.  I had actually stitched the frame design almost 20 years ago but then put it away as I just couldn't figure what design should feature in the centre.  Re-visiting this piece of stitching helped the idea form.  I thought of the frame pattern and colours as appearing like Autumnal leaves from an oak tree, and then the idea of Squirrels just seemed to fit.

I know red and grey squirrels are supposedly enemies in the real world but I wanted to have both appearing in the design and somehow, the two squirrels appear to be playing 'rock, paper, scissors' to see which will win the acorn!  To stitch your own Squirrels, the kit is available here: Sweet Squirrels Cross Stitch Kit
I've enjoyed designing these 'picture and frame' mini cushions so there may be a few more appearing this year - I know I have an idea forming for a Camel design.

Cross Stitch Collection Pincushions
My series of 'Flowers of the Month' pincushion designs continues in Cross Stitch Collection magazine, with the February design being the latest.  Filled with Spring colours, the matching mini cushion kit is also available on my website.


  1. Those swans are so others are pretty as well, but I particulary love the swans :)

  2. Thank you Leonore, I enjoyed both designing and stitching my Swan Lake mini cushion - especially incorporating all the little heart motifs through the design.