Hello stitching friends,
Last month we asked if anyone had experience removing nicotine stains from needlework. A big thank you to everyone who took the trouble to reply - it's much appreciated. We've added the information to the Tips: washing section, but just to recap - by far the most common suggestion was Oxiclean. The most surprising was an item made by Proctor & Gamble called Orvus Paste Soap. It's usually sold in feed and tack stores but is also sometimes sold as Orvus Paste Quilt Soap in needlework shops. Despite the name, it isn't soap, it's very mild detergent. The people who wrote us about it say it really works well.
Our improved search will be here soon! You'll be able to search the entire site for information or pattern descriptions. We're excited about it and think you will be too.
A few notes about these patterns: The Castle is taken from one of the Unicorn tapestries. We've always loved the unusual "perspective" with the big people looking out of the little castle.
Many, many of you have requested The Last Supper. It seems that da Vinci used it as the occasion to experiment with a new painting technique (instead of the tried-and-true fresco). The experiment was a failure as the paint began flaking off almost immediately, and even after restoration the painting looks terrible. Fortunately, as we discovered recently, an unknown artist made a copy of the painting shortly after it was completed and we have based our patten on this copy. As we've warned most of the people who suggested it, it makes a big pattern. However, you can reduce the size, and eliminate most of the darkest part, by simply omitting the top row of pages (regular print version. If you buy the large print version, skip 80 rows, which puts your starting point about halfway down the second row of pages).
Christmas Greetings was based on an antique German Christmas card. The background is not stitched so you have time to finish it before Christmas (this year!). In the original, the background was tinsel but you can get something of the same effect by spraying your fabric with Krylon spray glitter, available in craft stores. (Practice on a scrap first and make sure you like the effect before you go ahead.)