Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

Designed by Tisha Kuntz and Carolyn Hotchkiss of Too Sisters Designs

Tulip Trio

Tisha Kuntz and Carolyn Hotchkiss began their venture, Too Sisters Designs, in early 1998, after searching without success for designs featuring vibrant colors and whimsical themes. An added incentive was provided when their submission, "North by Loch Ness" won the Caron Collection's nautically themed contest last July. Kernels from their previous contest entries were reworked to create the design, "Czarina's Treasure" and a forthcoming one, "Symphony of Spring." By combining vibrant hues with a touch of capriciousness, Tisha and Carolyn endeavor to create a sense of drama and energy within each piece. All new designs are rigorously put to the ultimate test: they must be fun to stitch! We are proud to have served as an inspiration to them and, hopefully, to many others burgeoning designers.

In celebration of our mutual good fortune, we present an Online Class showcasing a spring theme by this very talented pair ."Tulip Trio" is a design exclusive for visitors to our website. Its bold combination of colors is an excellent example of their design line. Inspired by stained glass and executed in an art deco genre, this design highlights three striking tulips, reaching through a stylized framework, their stunning green leaves in sharp contrast to the angular outer motif. The stained glass window effect is further enhanced by the pronounced full-thickness backstitching, which connotes the look of "leading" between the pieces of simulated colored glass. Four delicate dragonflies dance at the edges, while a beaded ladybug adds a sparkling touch of whimsy to complete this scenic seasonal vignette.

Carolyn and Tisha believe that needlework is a gift to be shared and that it both entails and attracts much more than handiwork with needle and thread. Their experience speaks for itself: "Through stitching, we've been gifted with friendships that are more valuable to us than anything of monetary value could ever bring. On those days when we wonder, `Will anyone like our work? Will these designs really sell?', it's these friendships that remind us that the meaning and satisfaction in our work emanates from the people we meet. It's all about being able to do something that brings pleasure or gives comfort to others."

If you would like to see Too Sisters Designs in your local needlework store see the information at the bottom of this page.

"Tulip Trio"A Design for Cross Stitch

Stitch Count: 70x99

Model Information:
The model was stitched (over two) on 28-count Mint Green Jubilee (#3232-621) by Zweigart, using Wildflowers hand-dyed cotton and Impressions wool/silk blend fibers. "Tulip Trio" also includes Snow and Antica, both from The Caron Collection. This design also features Mill Hill Seed Beads (#2014 and #0165) and Mill Hill Frosted Seed Beads (#60168).

The stitched area measures approximately 5 x 7 1/8 inches, stitched over two on 28-count Jubilee. If you prefer to try this design on 14-count Aida, the dimensions are the same. Our model is featured in a beautiful Wall Mirror (#2209G) graciously provided by Sudberry House.

Materials Required:

Fabric: A 9x11-inch piece of 28-count Mint Green Jubilee by Zweigart
(This allows 2-inches on all sides of the piece. You may allow more
if you desire, depending on how you choose to finish the stitched work.)

Wildflowers from The Caron Collection:
Pine Forest
Blue Lavender
Cherry Cordial*
(*These are among the newest colors added to The Caron Collection)

Impression from The Caron Collection
0020 -- Black
2075 -- Coral
2046 -- Raspberry
6010 -- Red Purple

Antica (AT2) from The Caron Collection

Snow from The Caron Collection

Mill Hill Seed Beads:

Mill Hill Frosted Seed Beads:

Thread for attaching beads (DMC ecru and #310, as needed)

Stitching Materials:
A #20 and #24 chenille needles
Beading Needle
Laying Tool, if desired
Your choice of a hoop, Q-Snaps or stretcher bars

Special Note:
Because of the nature of Snow and Antica, working in hand is not recommended.



COPYRIGHT NOTICE: None of these designs or instructions can be reproduced or distributed in any form (including electronic) without the prior written permission of Tisha Kuntz and Carolyn Hotchkiss.

Preparing to Stitch

1). You may choose to lightly iron the fabric, to ensure it is as wrinkle-free as possible.

2). Secure the fabric in the method of your choice (hoop, stretcher bars, Q-Snaps)

3). All threads (Wildflowers, Impressions, Snow and Antica) are worked "as is" -- please do not try to separate or "strand out" these fibers.

4). Please use the #24 needle for Wildflowers and Impressions.

5). Please use the #20 needle for Antica and Snow.

And now, let's begin our class...

"Tulip Trio" is a counted cross stitch design, worked from the chart found on this website. As with other counted cross stitch pieces you have stitched, each symbol on the chart represents a different color of thread by The Caron Collection.

This work was designed to be easy and fun to stitch, while providing an introduction (or quick refresher course) in working with variegated fibers.

These fibers are always beautiful to look at, but occasionally stitchers are a bit hesitant when it actually comes to using these threads in a stitched project. In this design, we showcase different ways to utilize each thread's variegations to best advantage.

At times, people may be reluctant to stitch large areas with a multiple-colored thread because of the striping that can occur. We have a nice technique for you, to help avoid large noticeable streaks of color. We chose to work long horizontal areas by stitching each row vertically. This same trick can be used on long vertical areas, in which we chose to stitch each row horizontally. You'll see an example of this in both the outer blue frame of the 'window' (please look at the finished design as a reference), as well as the tulip stems.

As you look at the tulip stems especially, please notice the gradual changes in color from one shade to the other. Each stitch was completed as an individual cross stitch (X) as we went. This is often referred to as the "English Method" of cross stitching.

There is another method often used to prevent striping in areas which are equally large horizontally and vertically. That is to stitch the large area in half cross stitches (/) and then return across the same area, crossing the other way (\) to complete the stitches. This is often referred to as the "Danish Method" of cross stitch. When done with a variegated fiber, this will cause each completed cross stitch to have different shades on the lower and upper crossed fibers. It gives a very pleasing 'tweeded' appearance. We have used this method in the leaves of the tulips, for a different effect.

On of the most exciting aspects of using variegated fibers, is that they can be used for more dramatic shading effects in a cross stitched piece. We tried to show how a variegated thread can be used to stunning effect in the tulip flowers themselves. We looked at the shape and form of each flower and tried to visualize how we wanted the colors to fall. Parts of the flower would be darker, parts would be lighter, just as tulips naturally grow and bloom in the garden.

Once we decided where we wanted the different shadings to fall, we looked at each cut piece of fiber individually, as one would look at a flower's petal. Was this strand mostly light, mostly dark, where did the shadings fall? Once we had a feel for what result the strand would give, we started stitching. We tried to keep the darkest shadings of each piece of thread to the base of each petal, letting a few streaks work upward as they would in nature.

Remember that your thread is your palette. We feel there are no rules when it comes to needle art, especially no rule which says that you must stitch in rigid rows back and forth. It's delightfully up to your sense of creativity, because it's your artwork in thread and fabric. We encourage you to let your sense of color and creativity take flight, and to put the colors where you feel they will have the best effect!

The only thing we insist upon is that you enjoy yourself and have fun!

Beading Instructions

Please attach the beads for both the ladybug and the corner accents, as shown on the chart. All beads were attached with one strand of ecru-colored thread. (You may use DMC #310 to attach the black beads, as desired.) The tiny antennae for the ladybug were two partial stitches of DMC #310.


"Tulip Trio" was designed for the utmost ease in finishing or framing. It is easily framed in a pre-made 8x10 inch frame. Or perhaps you may prefer to do as we did and feature your stitching in a delightful Wall Mirror (#2209G) by Sudberry House.


Our Thanks

To Lois Caron and The Caron Collection, for always encouraging and inspiring needleworkers worldwide.

To Rita and Nika for their work in consistently producing the best needlework site on the Web!

If you'd like to see Too Sisters Designs in your local needlework store, please have them e-mail TooSisters@aol.com or write for information: (Booklet sample shown on left.)

Tisha Kuntz & Carolyn Hotchkiss
Too Sisters Designs
Post Office Box 10843
Burbank, CA 91510

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: One time reproduction privileges is provided to our web site visitors and is limited to personal use only. Any other use, whether it be electronic or otherwise, requires the express written permission of Tisha A. Kuntz, Carolyn A. Hotchkiss and Too Sisters Designs.

© Copyright 1999 Too Sisters Designs. All rights reserved.



© 1997 The Caron Collection Ltd./ Voice: (203) 381-9999, Fax: 203 381-9003

CARON email: mail@caron-net.com