Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing…
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Isn’t the world of needlework fabulous right now? You can stitch anything, on anything, with anything. With the internet, you can share what you make, discover what others are making, shop for supplies or learn a new technique 24/7. As they say, this ain’t your grandma’s needlework world, but we think she’d admire the creativity anyway.
Needlepoint is an embroidery technique that has evolved fabulously. No more flat-paneled nature scenes stitched in fuzzy wool and mounted in plain wood frames, or pillows that are just for show, or dining room chair covers you aren’t allowed to sit on. Needlepoint projects today are often finished as objects to use: shoes, belts, keychains, purses, wallets, and grown-up toys. No, no…I don’t mean that, I mean stuffed animals, stand-up characters, and other 3-dimensional designs.
You know you love crochet or knit amigurumi, so take a look at these images of needlepointed “toys.” They are all designs and models from Sew Much Fun, a Canadian needlepoint company known for 3-D animals, characters and bean-bag creatures. They use lots of sparkly Kreinik threads in their models, which adds to the fun, color, texture, and dimension of each design. I bet you can spot the Kreinik metallic threads in the photos.
The creative team behind Sew Much Fun is designer Randi Gelman and her sister Cindy Saltzman, who owns the needlework shop Cindy’s Needle Art. Cindy opened the store in Canada more than 18 years ago. She sells Randi’s needlepoint canvases, plus threads, other designs, giftware and more online and in the Richmond Hill (Ontario) location. The partnership has resulted in some of the most creative, dimensional needlepoint designs on the market.
Side note: Randi and many other talented needlepoint designers paint their images onto an open-hole canvas. This kind of needlepoint doesn’t have a chart to follow (you can find gorgeous counted needlepoint designs on the market as well). This type of needlepoint is good to stitch when you don’t feel like counting or traveling with charts. If you loved coloring books as a child, you’ll like these. With painted-canvas needlepoint designs, the image is already on the fabric (canvas), and you just fill in with the fun stuff (colored threads and textural stitches).
“My idea was to introduce needlepoint to the women of Toronto, and breakdown the stereotype that needlepoint was just for grandmas,” Cindy says. From Toronto to The National Needlework Association tradeshows and the world wide web, Cindy’s Needle Art and Sew Much Fun have reached stitchers internationally. “I am so happy to see how excited everyone gets from learning a new stitch, or using a new thread, and seeing their work finished,” Cindy adds.
And, my goodness, is it about the finishing…This is a tricky step, since it can often be the most expensive or architectural part of a painted-canvas needlepoint project. If you don’t have the sewing expertise—and most of us don’t—the key is to find a good finisher. Many needlework shops offer finishing services, or you can search online for needlework finishing companies. Cindy’s Needle Art offers finishing services, which is perfect for the animals and characters in the Sew Much Fun line.
I hope you enjoyed this little view into the colorful, creative, and contemporary dimensional needlepoint designs of Sew Much Fun. For more information on the designs shown here, visit http://www.cindysneedleart.com/Sewmuchfun.html
Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing Company, a family-owned, USA-based business that manufactures high-quality yarns and threads made of metallics, silks and real metals from their West Virginia factory. Dena’s monthly column, Kreinik Calling, sheds light on the fascinating fibres that we all use and love.