Sunday Stitch-in: We’re Painting the Barn Red

Hi, and welcome to my stitching party! I had a busy last week trying to get Painted Pony caught back up after devoting most of my August life to putting on the Destination Dallas Needlework Market. I’ll be back on market planning soon enough, but right now I’ve got a couple of months free and clear to hang out with my stitching gal pals.

So, I’ve pulled on some PJs after coming home from church followed afterwards with a trip to Walmart to only pick up two boxes of Atkins m&ms, which ended up costing me $185.00, so let’s grab our stitching projects and get started!

While we’re hanging out, we’re finishing up my West Wing marathon on Netflix. I intended to watch PBS all day, but I couldn’t pull myself away from finding out whether Rep Santos was going to win the Presidency for the third time I’ve binged on this series. In a few minutes, we’re going to listen in to the Fiber Talk podcast. This week’s interview is with stitch guide author, Mary Legalett. Next week is me! Keep your fingers crossed I don’t say anything too goofy! Ugh!

I’m stitching on the barn on this Mary Charles Patriotic Barn canvas (#MC-BN07).


I started with the barn itself. I chose a simple 2×2 Slanted Gobelin to mimic wood slats. I wanted a simple stitch because I’m planning  some busy stitches in other areas.  One of my early instructors preached having  some ‘quiet’ areas on your canvas. Your eye needs resting spots, otherwise, you will overwhelm the canvas design.

I’m wondering if I should have made up and down rows to better portray vertical barn wood. Yep, that’s probably what I should have done, but I don’t have enough thread, so I’m going to live with it. You may want to go with vertical slats on yours. I Basketweaved the windows and doors because I’m going to come in over it with a big cross-stitch for a classic barn window and door look…which is why I’m not worried about the white paint showing through the stitching.


Note that I reversed the BW on the left door. I tend to do mirror images on areas that have a defined center, like I’ve done on the vest on this Petei rabbit:


I was really hoping to do all the trim on the barn, but the Silk and Ivory thread is just too heavy to make the cross-stitches I want to do. I’ve ordered a flatter thread from The Needle Works in Austin and I’ll stitch this area sometime this week.

A couple of notes about the Needle Works: I worked at the original 38th Street location back in the middle ’80s. Two owners later, the store was moved to a new custom built space. This is probably one of the most beautiful needlepoint shops in the country.


Back in the ’80s, Austin probably had five places to buy Needlepoint. Today, only the Needle Works remains,  but current owner, Colleen Church has built Austin’s only LNS into a mega-store, a virtual Needlepoint Wonderland! When I called, the phone was answered by Ginger Edwards, who used to own a nice cross stitch and quilting shop that closed a few years back. Colleen snapped her up and that makes me happy: I’m glad to see her knowledge and skills live on at NWKs. You know this is a big time operation when she passed me on to the ‘Thread Expert” employee, who helped with a couple of thread selections, and then she passed me on to their resident “Bead Expert”, when I asked about bugle beads!


I was hoping to get the package in time for this post, but it didn’t make it, so now I’ve got my subject lined up for next week. Do note: if you order from the Needle Works, there’s a $10.00 minimum. Here’s their phone # (512) 451-6931. (I still remember it 30 years later!)

Back to my barn:

I went through several stitch books for the roof until I landed on this Flemish Bond stitch out of More Stitches for Effect by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson. I like the way it looks like shingles. I’m using the Threadworx thread with all 6 plies. Because it’s made up of straight stitches, the canvas may show through, which I like because the painted shading may come through.


Funny story: Beth and Suzanne used to stop by my booth when they attended our National Trade Shows. One year I was showing them my newest angels, saying something along the lines of “Here’s a new dance angel, here’s a beach theme, etc”, when Beth suddenly asks “And, is this your new follicly-challenged angel?” and delightfully pointed out a new angel that I had forgotten to paint hair on. That angel had been hanging bald on my wall for two days! They gave me trouble about that for years.

Back to the roof: I love books like the Stitching for Effects series that make suggestions like “good for roofs” or “perfect for tree bark”, and they are even better when they pair the stitch with a thread suggestion. I think the perfect stitch book would include two more pieces of info: how to anchor the start and tail threads with long stitches like Flemish Bond, and, secondly, compensating the stitch.


After I photographed my roof stitch, I realized I had it off center. This would keep me up all night if I don’t fix that, so I’m going to sign off here and rip out my roof. Sigh.

And, I’m still rethinking those horizontal red boards.

I’m off to the kitchen for some chocolate therapy, first.




About debbieppd

Painted Pony Designs is a handpainted needlepoint company that was created in 1989. We are known for our stitch-painted ornament designs, including our "Little Charmer" angels featuring over 350 angel designs with attached brass charms. We distribute for these hand-painted lines: Petei, Mary Engelbreit, Inc., Diane Ulmer Pedersen, Diane Kater, Lynne Andrews, Mary Charles, Two Bananas Art, Sally Swannell, Deb Strain, Betsy B. Originals, LoriLynn Simms, Lori Siebert, Suzanne Nicoll and Nicole Tamarin. To learn more about how we got started and the actual horse involved in the story, as well as to view our many needlepoint designs, please visit our web-site at and see our Facebook page Painted Pony Designs Needlepoint for the latest new canvases and PPD news.
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6 Responses to Sunday Stitch-in: We’re Painting the Barn Red

  1. Joan Lohr says:

    Hey Debbie, Had a thought on your flag. If you stitched the whole area white, you could use your color copy…you have one of those, right?…to place the red stripes using chain stitch, or an outline stitch if chain is too heavy…just a thought. Have fun.

    • debbieppd says:

      That’s a great idea! I was just looking through my stitch books and wasn’t finding anything, so I’ll try your idea. BTW, I don’t need a color copy – I’ve got them in inventory!

  2. chillyhollowneedlepointadventure says:

    Nice roof! I don’t care that it isn’t centered personally but I know it was bothering you so I guess it was a good idea to rip and restitch. I like the look of the barn boards myself. That’s what they look like in the barns around here. It’s neat to hear the history of Needle Works. I didn’t know the shop had been around so long. Hope it lasts and lasts for the next generation of stitchers to enjoy.

  3. debbieppd says:

    Thanks, Jane! And, now I’m even more confused about the boards!

    • chillyhollowneedlepointadventure says:

      Then just leave them alone and stitch other places. You may grow to like them once more of the stitching is in place. I never rush to rip out since sometimes the stitch I hated turns out to be ok later.

  4. Ginger Edwards says:

    HI Debbie! Just listened to your Fiber Talk podcast “appearance” and it was wonderful! Thanks for The Needle Works heads up, photos and personal mention in your blog post here! You do a great job as a needlework promoter!

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