Welcome to the last A to Z Blogging Challenge post for this week. In case you haven't heard of this yet, the idea is to blog (almost) every day in April, taking one day for each letter of the alphabet. Since Sundays are exempt from posts, I won't be back with another one of these until Monday.
J is for Joan Elliott
Joan is hands down one of my favorite designers. So this might end up being a long and picture heavy post. It was seeing her designs that brought me to discover some of the British cross stitch magazines (which I am now additced to) and helped re-spark my interest in cross stitch last year.
Joan's patterns are usually large and fairly detailed, although they seem to stitch up pretty fast despite that. She loves using beads and metallics, although you can always substitute these for regular DMC if they're not you're think. If you'd like to try Joan's designs for free to give them a try, I've posted about three of them in my Free Pattern Friday Posts: Stardust Fairy, Dragon Dreams, and a Thanksgiving napkin design. She also has two free SALs (that's Stitch-A-Long) going on on Facebook right now: a pair of fantasy patterns, and a "faces" SAL featuring 8 different faces from her designs.
The patterns of Joan's I gravitate towards tend to be either cutesy, fantasy, historical, or Oriental themed. Although she does have many other beautiful designs on many other themes. And like I said, I have many of her patterns in my stash. In the interest of time and space, I will share just a few of them here (okay, maybe more than a few) right now.
On the cutesy front, I was able to get my hands on a copy of the 2015 calendar she did for World of Cross Stitching at the beginning of the year. There are a ton of cute patterns in this (12 to be specific), but I am especially excited to do the two cat patterns, one in October for Halloween, and one in the summer (don't remember the specific month) that is a beach kitty.
One of Joan's most recent designs was a gardening themed rabbit for World of Cross Stitching (the May 2015 issue I believe?). I just got this one in my PocketMags app on my Kindle and I LOVE it. It's definitely going on my to-stitch-soon list.
Joan has tons of fantasy patterns, including many fairies, mermaids, angels, goddesses, and more. One of my favorite fairy patterns in my stash is this Christmas Fairy, which is one of the harder to find patterns since it's not available to order from Joan directly as a chartpack. I really liked that this one was a fairy as opposed to an angel. For religious reasons, we don't have any angels with wings in our house (long story) and sometimes it's hard to modify angel patterns to exclude the wings. But I don't have anything against fairies, so this is perfect.
I also have a copy of this beautiful pattern, called Snow Princess. I love the medieval feel and colors of the dress, and I think I was also drawn to her because I think she looks kind of like me (well, we both have curly brownish-red hair anyway). I've seen two conversions of this pattern on Facebook; one was with a ruby red dress, and one with a dark amethyst purple dress. Both were fantastic and looked just as good as the original.
On the historical side, there are a series of four patterns called the Historical Ladies series, originally published in Cross Stitch Collection magazine. Although I love all 4 patterns, my favorite is the Edwardian lady, I think because it reminds me of the earlier Downton Abbey episodes for some reason.
Joan also has a series of three fashion ladies patterns featuring women in famous fashion cities dressed in 1920/1930s clothing. My favorite of these patterns is the one featuring New York. Again, I think I like this because it reminds me of Downton Abbey. At least the more recent episodes.
Finally that brings us to Oriental patterns. Joan does a lot of geisha style patterns. I love the patterns and colors of the obis in these patterns! (I happen to like a lot of Lesley Teare's geisha patterns too, but that's for another day.) I have three of her geisha kits, Grace, Wisdom, and Beauty, although I think I like the colors of Grace the best.
Another Oriental pattern I am dying to stitch is the Chinese Phoenix. This is another one that's a little harder to track down. I found it in an old issue of CrossStitcher I bought off eBay, but I believe it was also published in one of her books. I just love, love, love the colors on this one. But it also features a lot of backstitching in metallic thread, so that will definitely be a challenge...
So that's it for Joan Elliott today. But you might just see her pop up again once or twice before April is over!
One of the other A to Z blogs I've been reading had the excellent idea of adding links to previous posts at the end of a particular day, so I think I will start doing that when I can. So if you'd like to see my previous A to Z entries:
A is for Alphabet
B is for Britty Kitty
C is for Carousel
D is for Debbie Mumm
E is for Eat
F is for Frogs
G is for Garden Cat
H is for Hats
I is for Ice