Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Free American Flag Cross Stitch Pattern

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

It’s that green, black, and yellow time of year again. You know, the Fourth of July . . . Revolutionary War . . . Declaration of Independence . . . Old Glory. And you also know, around here it’s always the time of year for puzzles, illusions, cross stitch, and bookmarks. Naturally, we’re going to put them all together.

Oh, say, can you see two flags?

Free cross stitch pattern: American Flag Illusion, from Funk & Weber Designs

Stare at the black knot in the center for 30 - 60 seconds, then look at something white: a wall, a piece of paper, a blank screen. You should see an afterimage of this flag in red, white, and blue.

This is an afterimage optical illusion. When you stare at the tiny dot on the image, you exhaust (or bore) the photoreceptors in your eyes that detect green, black, and yellow. They say, “Yeah, yeah . . . we see it. Move along now.” When you don’t move along, because you’re counting slowly to 60 to make sure the experiment works, the bored photoreceptors kick back and take it easy. “Fool us for 5 seconds, shame on you; fool us for 60 seconds, shame on us.” Then, when you finally stop staring and look at a white surface, an afterimage remains, but because the green, black, and yellow receptors are ignoring you, only the attentive red, white, and blue ones respond.

That, of course, is a highly scientific explanation. If it’s over your head, you might check out this explanation of color aftereffects.

Would you like a copy of the pattern so you can make one? Read more


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Stitchy Doo-Dad Project: Plant Pokey

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

With buckets of herbs on my window sills and a vase of wildflowers on my dining room table, I am inspired to embellish my life and flower pots and vases with embroidery.

Embroidered Plant Pokies

If there’s a good standard name for such a thing, I don’t know it. I’ve seen them called “plant pot sticks” and “floral cardholders.” How boring is that? I like “plant pokey.” It sounds like a dance I used to do, the Hokey Pokey. I like a “plant pokey” even better when it’s embroidered.

Embroidered ornaments stuck into the soil of potted plants

Embroidered plant pokies: A kind of stitched doo-dad.

Want to see how to make them? Let’s do this! Read more

Stitchy Doo-Dads

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Silent Night, Let There Be Night Stitchling, by Funk & Weber Designs

Silent Night cross stitch from the Let There Be Night series. See Orion?

Years ago, when I was primarily creating cross stitch patterns to be sold in Indie needlework shops, shop owners advised me (over and over) to make smaller patterns. For example, publish four animal portraits rather than the twelve we had in Portraits of the Wild Life, or patterns similar in size to our Let There Be Night Stitchlings.

Being one who doesn’t do anything but overdoes everything, my projects kept shrinking and shrinking, and I embraced Stitchy Doo-Dads.

What’s a Stitchy Doo-Dad?

Stitchy Doo-Dads are small (or extra-small) embroidery projects, which in the stitching world are sometimes called “smalls.” If you’re a seasoned stitcher, that probably conjures images of needle books and rolls, pin cushions, scissor fobs and keepers, biscornus, and perhaps boxes and the like.

But those are already being done beautifully by other designers, so I don’t feel called to do them, and the term “smalls” doesn’t feel quite right because it suggests these kinds of projects.

Enter “Stitchy Doo-Dads.” Read more

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Stitch in Alaska

Friday, May 30th, 2014

What do you get when you combine mountains and glaciers, whales and bears, hiking and rafting, midnight sun and fresh-cooked meals, cozy cabins and fun companions . . . and needlework?
Answer: The trip of a lifetime!

Pederson Lagoon from Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge

Pederson Glacier and Pederson Lagoon. The view from Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. You could be here!

As many of you know, I originally came to Alaska to work as a Natural History Guide for Alaska Wildland Adventures (AWA), and I never left. Read more

Free Stitchinar: The Skinny on Embroidery Finishing

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

I asked, “What’s your biggest needlework-related problem?”

You said, “Finishing what I stitch.”

I asked, “What’s your 2014 Word of the Year?”

You said, “Finish,” “Focus,” “UFOs,” “End Zone,” and other things that mean “finally turn all this completed needlework into some sort of functional or displayable end product.”

All righty then, let’s do it!

Finish It in 2014

Step 1: Join the free stitchinar: Finish It! The Skinny on Embroidery Finishing

Assorted embroidery finishing supplies

Saturday, January 11, 2014
8:00 a.m., Alaska Time
12:00 noon, Eastern

We’ll put together a looooong list of finishing ideas and techniques, from framed pictures to accessories, from lacing to taping to sewing to edge stitching to decoupaging.

Sign up for this event even if you can’t attend live. We’ll post a replay after the event, and for a limited time, anyone registered will be able to watch it.

Win a Seat in a Finishing Class

A cross stitched piece that is stitched but not framed or otherwise finished.

Sure, it’s been sitting neglected for 22 years, but check it out: It wasn’t folded; it was protected from dust; and the edges are zigzagged. This piece is lu-uh-uh-cky!

Start digging through your stash and pulling out the unfinished embroideries.

Mike remembers me stitching this old New World Map design at Bristol Bay Lodge, our first caretaking gig. That’s from back before we started designing our own embroideries. That means it’s been rolled up in this plastic tube, stashed in an unheated storage space, moved to a heated storage space, carted here to the house, and stuck in a box in a crawl space for over twenty-two years!


All right. How old is your oldest unfinished embroidery? Post your shame in the comments here for a chance to win admission to one of this year’s finishing classes (value $39.97).

I’ll announce the winner at the stitchinar on January 11th. If you have a picture of your oldest unfinished embroidery, please send it to me at mail [AT] funkandweber [DOT] com.

Take the first step to finishing your embroidery in 2014: Register for Finish It! The Skinny on Embroidery Finishing.

Go. Now. Do it.

You know, it’s this putting-off-until-later habit that got you into this unfinished-embroidery mess to begin with.

And the winner is…


Congratulations, Barbara! I’ll be in touch via e-mail.


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