Sunday, October 24, 2010

Color Theory Proved Successful

How many of you know what a true color really is? Do you know what constitutes a true blue or a true red for instance? Does it even really matter? Do you know the differences in the way a needlewoman should be looking at color while using her thread and fabric as compared to the person who dyed that fabric or thread? Does a painter/artist look at color differently than a stitcher? Do they handle colors differently? Do they share any common ways of looking at color?What do they share in common when it comes to the use of colors? You can find all of that out in the Stitchmap Color Theory Course.

Some people are lucky and the skill of being able to pick out colors that go together seems to come naturally to them. There are others out there that have no "sense of color". Where can these needle women go to learn about using colors in the way a needle worker needs to use them, not a painter, not a dyer, but a stitcher??? How many of you are even aware that threads and fabrics can work differently together than dyes and paints in some ways?

At MAP we believe that taking a Basic Color Theory Course is the best way for the color challenged to brush up on their skills! And we have one such course written just for MAP! It consists of 6 lessons and several short assignments that will help you unravel the mystery of color as it relates to thread and fabric. Learn how to make your colors choices so that they work for you, not against you. Learn how to choose frames and mats that make your projects more pleasing to the eye.

Recently we started another class of apprentices in the StitchMap Basic Color Theory Course. We have 8 wonderfully talented mentors helping their fellow member apprentices. The comments on our recent course evaluations showed that even those who thought that they knew about colors and how they work together got new insight on how to apply "color sense" to their stitching with information garnered from this course.

Here are some examples of a small exercise completed by members of a MAP Basic Color Theory Course. The exercise was regarding the recognition of and the use of Warm and Cool colors. The top photo is an exercise done by Gayle Morris. The bottom photo was an original stitched exercise done by Thelma Bradshaw, a Stitchmap Color Mentor.

The StitchMap Color Theory class is now one of the pre-requisite courses at MAP. Everyone who wants to take a class in Crazy Quilting, surface embroidery and other needlework courses, where color is very important to the success of the stitchery technique, will have to go through this class first or they must have had an equivalent course at some time in the past.

The ladies who have taken this class really seem to enjoy themselves while learning about color and how it works in the needle world! You can work in thread, paper, paint chips or even crayons, but you cannot use dyes, paints or other similar coloring agents.

How many of you say, "I wish I could do that. I wish I could make my colors 'POP', harmonize, or even, not stick out like a sore thumb"? Well actually you can. You just need to take the right course! We think we have the right course, for free, right here at Stitchmap.

Lyn Gaskill
AKA: Ms. Mischief

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Let's Talk shop!

On StitchMap we have a regular feature entitled the Thursday Talk Shop Segment! Nearly every Thursdays our list mom, Shari, posts a question to the group about some aspect of stitching and everyone gets to discuss it!! These segments are greatly informative for the beginner and experienced alike! Sometimes the discussion will go on for several days. The most helpful hints and advice comes out of the Thursday Talk Shop Segment (TTSS)! We all learn from each other new sources, ways of doing things and ways to get motivated, etc.

Here is an actual TTSS Post from Shari:

"Everyone should be getting their first Challenge Installment today (if they remembered to sign up with Ann). Part of the Challenge is finding a certain type of needlework pattern. This made me think ......... where do people go to get their patterns? Do you look on-line under certain topics? Do you check out coloring books, the commercial pattern transfers or something else?

I will share that one of my favorite (out of the ordinary) places to look is in my cake decorating books. They are especially handy if I am looking for simple embroidery or applique patterns. The shapes in cake decorating are usually very simple and lend themselves to being done with applique, needle punch or surface embroidery techniques like redwork and crewel.

I have other sources that I check but I am waiting to hear where you look for patterns. If it is on-line can you share the link? If you have a favorite transfer book or company please tell us which one and where can we find it ourselves? "

And here are acutal responses from some of our members:

"These are great ideas Shari, I have found a lot of patterns at antique stores and estate sales. I love the coloring book idea especially for children"..............Shelly R. UT


"I occasionally do an online search and actually find something worthwhile. My most recent find was on

There's a group call Hoop Love Vintage Transfers. Great source.

I have used coloring books. I collect vintage transfers and embroidery patterns whenever I can find them or afford them. Aunt Martha, The Workbasket, Vogart . I have Workbasket magazines and patterns mailed in an envelope marked The Workbasket and Modern Handicraft. I have used applique patterns for embroidery or punch needle. I use to go to a lot of auctions (estates) but now mostly what I buy is online with occasional finds at the thrift store or yard sale"......... Ruby


"Y'all, I buy my Aunt Martha's patterns from the source. and I've never been disapointed at all. They have patterns that are soon to be retired and some really great patterns that are new but look vintage. Someone was looking for peacocks earlier and they have 2 that I have seen"...... Eileene


So? Where do you find your stitching patterns? Is it an online source or from your local shop?

Lyn Gaskill
AKA: Ms Mischief

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Mystery Was In the Challenge

How many of you in the Land of Stitching have been so bored that you would do anything to relieve it? Well, let me tell you that the ladies of StitchMap are never bored! At Stitchmap inspiration and projects abound!One of the main priorities of StitchMap is that no matter what you are learning, you will be creating something that you can use after you are done.

This month we had a floral theme as a part of one of our regularly scheduled Challenges. We had nearly 1/3 of our membership sign up for this Challenge. Fun is being had by all! For this Challenge every lady first declared her specialty in needle work and/or one she wanted to brush up on. The fun of it was you had to use that declared type of needle work and finish certain steps in order to get the next part of the lesson! Did I mention that the final project was a mystery? We were given a theme in the first installment of the Challenge but we weren't told exactly what the finished project would be until the last installment. It was amazing to see how so many ladies could interpret the same theme given only a few clues as to the final mystery project.

We had some eager beavers and they finished their mystery project in a week! Here are some pictures of a few of the completed projects:

These Victorian Heart Pincushions were stitched by MAP members Ann Flowers, Shelly Rebol and Debbie Higgins (from top to botton). There was a lot of fun and hard work that went into making these wonderful Victorian Hearts Pincushions!

If you are interested in learning how to make such beautiful projects and participating in Challenges such as this you might consider joining Stitchmap right away. If you were a MAP member you would be able to check out our group photo album and see the other beautiful Victorian Heart Pincushions completed in this Challenge. In fact, you could arrange with our Challenge Coordinator to take this Challenge at any time and make one of these pincushions yourself! I will let y'all in on a little secret........We have many more delightful items like this just waiting in our files to challenge you!! Our creative needle work challenges are the best!

Lyn Gaskill

AKA: Ms. Mischief