Kurdy

I started stitching when I was about 8. Every year my parents would go to Williamsburg, VA and would bring me back one of those stamped cross-stitch samplers of the historic buildings. I used to wait with eager anticipation for them to return, so I could see and touch the colors I received that year and get started stitching.

After a few years of this, I stepped up to the large samplers that had embroidery at the bottom section, and I was off. I think I embroidered on anything I could in my teens; my jeans, my shirts, and some very large samplers. I did some counted cross-stitch, embroidery and traditional needlepoint over the years. Then, somewhere in the 1990's, I ran across Susan Portra and Jean Hilton, and I was hooked on counted canvas. I had a history of creating Christmas ornaments as ‘bows’ on presents to family and friends, and this evolved into my own counted cross stitch and needlepoint designs as ornaments. There were very few times when there wasn't an active project being worked on in my home, or traveling with me.

Basically two things led me to starting to do my own designs. The first factor was that I was having trouble finding something that was interesting to me to stitch. The second factor was that after relocating to Colorado in 2009, I needed to either restart my previous business or try something new. So with the encouragement of family and friends, I decided to try designing needlepoint, and now I am having a great time enjoying both the designing the stitching and the feedback people are giving me about how they are enjoying these new designs.

My first design was Seasonal Rays. It is very traditional, and it was a cut your teeth type of project. My husband taught me rudimentary Microsoft VisioTM skills and I stitched the four color ways. Of course there were numerous intervals I found I had done a frog stitch (rip-it, rip-it), before I found the right selection of colors for each of the canvas colors I had chosen. Armed with the Visio drawings that I worked from, I got a lesson in document production from my husband, and after spending more time than I would have liked, we had a document that we felt was workable containing all the colorways, thread selection, stitch patterns (in color), text, images of the finished works, and instruction that I felt dealt with all the shortcomings of the prior designs I had worked from.

My husband and I collect kaleidoscopes, especially the dichroic glass, oil filled ones. When looking at the imagery they create we often discussed if and how we could incorporate such patterns into counted canvas work. With that inspiration I started my second design ultimately titled Looking Glass. After what felt like a hundred hours working with Visio, I worked up my first tentative design and began stitching. If you have ever created something from nothing you know that projects such as this evolve. After stitching three separate colorways I had settled on a set of stitches I liked for the pattern and then used my visio drawings in the published designs. Of course in the process of creating the first design, I saw things I wanted to try in a brand new design.

My third design is Cat's Eyes. One evening while I was stitching one of the colorways, my husband looked over at what I had just completed and announced that I should call it "Cleopatra's Cat". His rational is that one portion of the design looks oddly like cat's eyes staring out at you, and the colorway I was working on had the pastel colors that he felt gave it an  Egyptian look. In the end the design is called Cat's Eyes, and the colorways got named after powerful women from history, and mythology. The name Pandora was scrapped, it elicited the wrong ideas about the level of difficulty of the design. This design should be approached one step at a time. Don't let the scale overwhelm you. Each stitch is straightforward, and I believe the instructions can walk anyone through getting this project completed. And, of course, if you find yourself tiring of working on the project, there are numerous stopping points along the way. Your framer may be a bit frustrated if they try to match the mat that my framer cut for me, but it certainly adds a nice visual element to the end result. Be aware that each length will vary because the canvas will stretch different amounts along each finished edge.

My fourth design is a result of my husband and I playing around with a picture of one of the designs (you figure out which one). I wanted to create design that was more of an intermediate level project since someone had indicated that Cat's Eyes was "too complex" for them to ever approach. I wanted to show how a few stitches could be combined to form what appeared to be a more involved piece, but yet under close examination was relatively simple to learn to stitch and complete. We 'cut' out a portion of one existing design and re-arranged it to create Mirror, Mirror.

A Different View, is another idea that came from re-arranging sub-sections of previous works, however in this case instead of re-using the entire set of stitches, I created new sets of stitches for the interior panels. Since, just creating a duplicate of someone else's pattern/design ultimately began to tire my interest in counted needlework, for this design I have created six interior designs that the stitcher can choose from to create their finished project. This also allows you to stitch more than one colorway and wind up with different end projects.

A question I get asked fairly often is how I choose my colors for my colorways. I start with the canvas. With that basis, I would go into my local needlework shop or this one (fortunately we still have some in our area), and start pulling out drawers of threads and laying them on the canvas looking for things I think will work. If there isn't an obvious clear winner, I buy them all. At the end of a hour or two I 'think' I have the thread colors and actual fabric textures that I want to use in the design. Of course in the process, I run across some threads I like that just don't fit the motif I seem to be building out (but I tend to buy them anyway).  If I am doing multiple colorways, I pull out the next canvas and start over. At the end of what must seem like forever to the owner, I pull out my credit card, settle my debt and take my new threads home and start stitching. If something isn't working, you will find me back in the shop with the partially completed project with drawers of threads open, laying the threads alongside the work piece asking for opinions from other stitchers in the shop as to what they think works best. My colorway choices are appealing to me... not everyone. If there is something in a design that isn't working for you, pull out your threads (we all have boxes or bags of them) or head off to your needlework shop (hopefully you have one left in your area) and see if you can find something that 'works' for your eye.

This same activity repeats when I am beading and placing crystals. I go to my bead store, and start placing them on the completely stitched project. Sometimes I can not choose between two or more choices at this stage as well. So I buy them all, and stitch them on and step back and look at how it looks... did I say I have a very good seam ripper?

Threedles released its first commercial designs in the fall of 2010.  Oh! Where did the name Threedles come from? Well, Threads + Needles, but I suspect you figured that out already.