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Natalia's Fine Needlework

Proudly obsessed with details and crave a challenge

I've heard so many times from different designers/artists that a reason why they endeavored their own artistic path of expressing themselves was a fact that they couldn't find what they were looking for. It comes not only to a Needle Art, but also to Dance, Painting, Writing, Cooking... We are constantly challenging our artistic boundaries, mastering our skills, searching for the answers. 

You buy a pattern or a kit you like, but are not happy about the colors and decide to change some, or all of them... Is it you? 
Then this challenge is calling your name, because it allows you to express yourself and be your own artist. 

I would like to invite you into a fun of creating your own carpet and "paint" it with the colorful threads YOU chose. Each finished rug will be as original and unique as you are, as your vision, your imagination, your perspective of life.

CONTEST COLORFUL AMALGAM 2020

To register please e-mail to scarletsails@live.com

Our mission is to spread a word about wonderful Art of Petit Point on silk gauze, to reveal your skills and creativity, to  expand new boundaries and challenge an artist within yourself. 

Taking to the consideration all your comments, advises and suggestions, some rules of the contests were changed. During 10 months each signed participant will receive a partial section of the design that needs to be finished monthly to complete stitching of the entire rug in timely manner. 


A first place winner, that will be chosen by anonymous public vote, will receive a main prize of $200.  
A second place winner, that will be chosen by anonymous public vote, will receive a prize of $100.
A third place winner, that will be chosen by anonymous public vote, will receive a prize of $50.


The rules of the contest:


1. All carpets should be stitched on silk gauze. You chose the count of silk gauze and thread (cotton or silk) you are comfortable to work with.

2. The stitches should be used are: tent continental or basket weave, NO cross stitches.

3. Each participant is obligated to sign up with a closed group on Facebook Colorful Amalgam (please, click to join the group).

4. At the end of each month a participant needs to upload a picture of stitching progress. An image must be in black and white color. If you don't have a possibility to convert your color images into black and white, you'll need to e-mail the pictures to scarletsails@live.com and it will be done for you.

5. NO changes in design should be done to the entire pattern.

6. NO pictures of your stitching process are allowed to be shared anywhere on the social media, including your personal pages, FB page Colorful Amalgam and other groups and forums you are signed up with. 
Violators will be removed from the contest.

You will be allowed to share a picture of the finished carpet only after the public anonymous judging is over. If it happens so that you feel you won't be able to finish the carpet in time and be eligible to enter the public anonymous judging, you are still required not to post the images of stitching process of your rug based on the provided pattern for the Colorful Amalgam Contest 2020 till the contest and judging is over. 

In this case you might want to ask: Why then do we need to subscribe with the Facebook page Colorful Amalgam?
The FB page Colorful Amalgam was created for the participants of the contests to ask questions you might have during the preparation for the contest and during stitching, and receive the answers from other stitchers, for instance, how to frame silk gauze, what needles to use, how to finish the rug, etc... More than that, you'll receive a huge support and motivation from other like-minded people. 

7. Only finished miniature rugs based on the provided pattern, designed specially for the Colorful Amalgam Contest 2020, will be illegible to enter the public anonymous judging that will be held at the beginning of December, 2020 (TBD). A whole month of November is given on blocking the rug and finishing the edges, making up a nice presentation of it. For the public anonymous judging you will need to present a high quality pictures of your carpet, name of the carpet and its story, but we'll talk about it later. While working on the rug, think about the name, take the stitching process pictures (but don't share them anywhere), think about a story behind your rug (what inspired you to chose the particular colors, for example). In one word, build up a portfolio for your miniature carpet that will help you to make a nice presentation of your work when it is finished and time to enter the judging. 

8. Be creative! The pattern is drawn with outlines in black color. You don't need to use black color for all elements of the design, more than that, you don't need to use black color at all!

I like an idea to make all finished rugs look individual and original. That is why there will be surprises while working on the rugs where you can express your creativity.  


P.S.: According to the
Cambridge Dictionary a word "Amalgam" means "a combination of parts that create a complete whole".  

CONTEST COLORFUL AMALGAM 2019

At the beginning there were 36 entrees for the Colorful Amalgam Contest 2019. Only 5 reached the finish line and there are only 5 finished carpets to compete for the main prize! Thank you everyone so much for voting!

Congratulations to a winner of the main prize - Angela Kinnunen!

Carpet # 1 - Angela Kinnunen

It was a huge learning curve for me. I have not done anything like it before, that is, choosing the colours and no key/symbols.

The story behind the colours ...

I chose pinks and blues and creams, a rather traditional kind of colour scheme. My daughter, who is 9, came in and said ‘mummy, really?’... I asked what she meant ‘you really need to up your game’ (I did mention she’s 9) ‘let me show you’...

So, my daughter Jessica chose the colour scheme and I added the peach to give it more depth. to edit text

The story behind the colours ...

I chose pinks and blues and creams, a rather traditional kind of colour scheme. My daughter, who is 9, came in and said ‘mummy, really?’... I asked what she meant ‘you really need to up your game’ (I did mention she’s 9) ‘let me show you’...

So, my daughter chose the colour scheme and I added the peach to give it more depth.

Carpet # 2 - Kathryn Farrago

I call the piece PINKLE, for the two primary colors in the stitching, pink and purple.  PINKLE is stitched on 40-count silk gauze with Rainbow Gallery Splendor and Gloriana silk floss.  Along with blue-violet (background, outlines, some flowers) and red-violet (center motifs and some flowers), I chose tints of royal blue and dark pine green as accent colors.  I studied several examples of Persian rugs online to choose the value layout, including using two lighter colors for the heavier outer borders.  I thoroughly enjoyed stitching PINKLE.   


As a longtime needlepointer, I frame and hang almost all of my finished pieces.  As I worked on this, I considered finishing it as a rug, but my skills at finishing leave quite a bit to be desired, and so I mounted and hung it in the end.

Carpet # 3 - Maryse Cuypers

I called my rug Mariposa, which is the Spanish word for butterfly.

Entering this contest was a real challenge for me as I'm not an expert on silk gauze at all. It is my first petit point rug on 40 count silk gauze. I wanted to give myself a try and not being alone was encouraging me to finish it.
I had enough silk gauze and some DMC in my drawers. So I picked up the 4 colors I had just enough for the backgrounds and for the branches and started with these.
And when it was done on half of the rug, like a butterfly would go from one flower to another, I picked up color after color.
Not knowing how it would really look like at the end. A bit risky but I kept confidence.
I used a total of 29 colors.
I never imagined I would spend so many hours stitching my rug (I guess I'm slow). Often I was thinking: how is everybody else doing? Does it take that long for them as well ?





But I'm so proud I could make it!
After it was all stitched I could not decide to add fringes or not.
At 1st it was made to go in my big dollhouse. But I changed my mind and tried it in my gypsy wagon and I was much more satisfied to see it there.  So a gypsy rug needed fringes!
What I have learned stitching this rug is that nothing is impossible.
Step by step with a lot of patience made it possible.
Now I can't wait to see what others have made. This is so much fun!

Carpet # 4 - Liliane DM

I called my rug "Jardin des 4 saisons".



  • This is the first time I participate in a contest. My "curious / go-getter / unconscious" side pushed me to accept the invitation of a friend who introduced me to Natalia Frank's work. I was seduced ... without realizing the difficulty of this challenge! 
I have been making miniatures for several years but I have not done particularly embroidery even if I have already done small things. Embroidered on 40-point silk gauze, I used 13 colors. Once finished, I looked for where to pose for the final photo and here it is in a small scene of "Pink Christmas" in progress.

Carpet # 5 - Margaret Lew

I called my rug "Monet's Garden in Isfahan".


My carpet is inspired by a visit some years ago to Claude Monet's house and gardens at Giverny, where I spent hours admiring the colors of the wonderful flowers in bloom. This year at our art museum I revisited the flowers and pond at an exhibition of Monet's paintings of his garden. The Isfahan carpet designs are sometimes inspired by gardens and the carpet pattern for this project is definitely floral with its vines, leaves and fantastic flowers. I designed a lily-like form for the border space left for us to fill. The background of the fields and border are shades of blue which represent pools of water and gold for sunlight. I have put the colors of Monet's vibrant gardens into this carpet from Persia.


The setting for the carpet is temporary but may reappear in a future room box. The “walls” used for a background are the photograph used for the endpapers of “Monet's Passion” by Elizabeth Murray a book of her beautiful photographs of the Giverny gardens. The furniture is from my collection, the wooden planter by Domino Miniatures, the parlor palm and watering can were made by me.

This is my second petit point project.

Free Petit Point pattern of a miniature Persian rug, 193 x 273 stitches


It measures:

4.02" x 5.69" (10,21 x 14,45 cm), if stitched on 48 count 

4.83" x 6.83" (12,26 x 17,34 cm), if stitched on 40 count

HAPPY PETIT POINTING!

CONTEST 2018-2019

Colorful Amalgam Contest is ended. 

Congratulations to Yvette, the winner of the contest!  

Only 8 stitchers reached the finish line presenting an amazing  array of incredible carpets that are based on one design, excluding the center of the rug. 
The center of each rug was designed by each participant and makes each carpet look individual. 

The pattern is available for personal use only. You can download it by pushing the button below. 





This is what participants shared:

"I have enjoyed doing this. At the start I never thought I would finish but I am quite pleased with the outcome. Not sure I will be in a hurry to do anything this big very soon but maybe after I've had a bit of that break and finished some of my other projects that have been on hold for many months. Thanks Natalia Frank!"  Alicia Sledge

"I think everyone has done wonderful things, seeing so many different interpretations of the same thing. It's been really inspiring seeing the stitching from everyone. I had wanted to have a go, and was hoping to start post-surgery, but I just couldn't manage to do it, because of the posture I had while trying to stitch. Thanks to Natalia for the inception and the hard work of plotting the chart and to everyone who showed their hard work, it's been lovely to see while I've been getting over my surgery". Julie Binney

"I just wanted to say to everyone that I enjoyed stitching the rug and we have all created something beautiful that we can display and treasure for years to come. It has been a pleasure seeing everyone's progress photos each month. Good luck to everyone." 
"I truly enjoyed stitching the rug and choosing colors for it.  I had never chosen such bold colors before and always tend to go with pastels any time I am working on something.  The colors were outside my comfort zone but that made it so enjoyable when everything blended together so well.
I did not find the design too difficult but then I have done a lot of Cross Stitching in the past so am used to working with complex designs.  I found the segments were manageable each month and weren't so large that I couldn't do other projects I was working on at the time.
I would definitely be interested in participating in a contest again". Yvette Money

ALICIA


"I used a single strand of DMC in tent stitch on 40 count silk gauze. My finished carpet measures 6.5" x 8.25" (16.5cm x 21cm approx) - excluding the fringe.




I haven't given it a name but I did take the colour inspiration from North and South American Native designs".

CAROLYN


58 count silk gauze, 1 strand fine pure silk thread (given to me by a friend so I don't know the brand)


Compass Carpet, named for the Compass Rose design in the middle of the carpet, which represents the different parts of the world where the participants of Colorful Amalgam live.


Finished size of rug is 14 cm x 10 cm (5.5 inches x 4 inches)

MARIANNE


"My rug is 19,5 x 15 centimeters. When I include the fringes it is 20,5 x 15 cm.

The rug is made on 40 count silk gauze.

For the embroidery I used yarn called Marathon.

It is very thin yarn used for embroidery on sewing machines. 



The lines of my rug were made in cross stitch and I used tent stitch for filling up the figures.

I enjoyed the stitching very much.

Greetings from a rainy, but almost spring Holland"


LIA


"My middle section of the carpet is based on eternal love ( Celtic motif), my late husband was a talented piper. That’s why I choose that motif. 




The chest with pipes and uniform in it belong to a room I am making to honor my husband.
I used 40 count silk gauze and  Gutermann 100% silk for the rug and the size is 20 X 15 cm".

YVETTE


"I stitched the rug using DMC floss on 40 count silk gauze.  It is 6" x 8".  

I haven't named the rug but this rug was truly a "family" endeavor.  This was only the second rug I have stitched in Petit point and I wanted to choose some really vibrant colors.  I looked in my box and found a blue I really liked then chose colors to compliment the blue.  I put all 13 colors together and sent a picture of them off to my daughter who is an artist to find out if they went together as well as I thought and didn't clash.  She gave me her seal of approval and I felt confident enough to continue. 

As each section was released each month, I would graph it out several different ways using various color combinations and have my family vote on which one they liked the best.  I would stitch the combination that had the majority vote.  Therefore, this rug was designed by my whole family with respect to color and stitched by myself.   The center Sun/Moon combination was designed by myself using a Mexican Tile as my inspiration.  To me, the rug had a Mexican feel to it and this little Tile kept calling my name and asking to be included in the rug.  The colors were so close to the ones I was already using and my family loved it once I had finished designing it. 

I stitched the rug using DMC floss on 40 count silk gauze.  It is 6" x 8" ".  

KAREN


"40-count silk gauze

Brands: DMC cotton perle, Gutermann silk, Planet Earth silk

6.5 x 8.5 inches


The colors were basically leftover threads - there was no particular logic to choosing them. With the exception of the very lower-left section. Those colors belonged to Keats.

Keats was my Alexandrine parrot - an Asian/Indian parrot. He was 31-years old and I’d had him since he was a baby. He died in early January of heart failure. 31 is a good, long life. But still, I miss his soft, sweet whispers". 





"This was my first attempt at miniature work and silk gauze, and my 3rd needlepoint piece".

CHERYL


"Rug is 40 count, stitched with DMC floss and Soie d Alger.  

It measures approximately 6 1/4 x 8 1/4".  

PATRICIA


First attempt on  silk gauze, 40 count.

It measures  15,5 cm by 20,5 cm.