by Tisha Kuntz and Carolyn Hotchkiss of Too Sisters Designs
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
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
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
if you desire, depending on how you choose to finish the stitched
Wildflowers from The Caron Collection:
(*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)
A #20 and #24 chenille needles
Laying Tool, if desired
Your choice of a hoop, Q-Snaps or stretcher bars
Because of the nature of Snow and Antica, working in hand is
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.