V I V A Z I V A ! n e w s l e t t e r

▪volume number: 0902▪ F R E E P I C T U R E F R A M E D E S I G N

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I’ll be issuing a newsletter every three months, with a new free design each time... exclusively created for the newsletter.


  • New Designs & Updates
  • Your Stitch to Try
  • FREE Design
  • Ask the ZIVA DIVA!
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I’ve had such wonderful response with my TABRIZ piano bench seat cover, that I decided to create another one for the site!

This exquisite design started as a small needlepoint area rug that I had already adapted from one of William Morris’ Hammersmith designs.

Its graceful proportions and colours are perfectly suited to creating an elegant needlepoint tapestry for a standard size piano bench.

Click here to have a look if you missed it!



Since the last newsletter, I’ve finished adding the shopping pages for all the current ZIVA needlepoint designs!

On these pages, you’ll find:

  • What’s included in each ZIVA kit
  • An individual description of each design, including size, colour options , price and photograph
  • The secure payment steps with PayPal

For more detail, you can go to our Terms and Conditions page to learn more about the services we offer.

2. Small Cases Added

In the last newsletter, I gave you a sampling of my new cell phone case and change purse designs.
I’ve now added them to the site!

I hope you'll check them out!

They’re ideal small projects for beginners: the designs aren’t overly complicated.


I’ve chosen the 2-4-6-8 stitch for Your Stitch to Try this time.

I love the name of this stitch! It basically tells you how to do it just by its name!

It consists of large diamond shapes formed by working vertical stitches over 2,4,6,8,6,4, and 2 threads of canvas. (see left photo below)

I love its Art Deco look!

  • Work the diamonds in horizontal rows, leaving 2 threads of canvas between each group.
  • On the second and subsequent rows, the diamonds fit in the gap left by the first row-the stitch over 2 threads sharing a hole with the stitch over 6 threads of the previous row and so on.
  • Get out a scrap of canvas and some left-over yarn, and use the above grid at right as your guide, starting at A .
  • Use 2 colour yarns to alternate the rows to make it easy to see the pattern developing like the above photo at left.

Now it’s time to try it as I designed it for the DECO Diamonds picture frame… this newsletter’s free design.


The photo at right is what you want this new stitch to look like when you’ve finished practicing it.

Don’t worry what colours you use at this stage, but make sure you alternate the colours in each small diamond, so you can see the effect.

  • Again take a piece of scrap canvas to practice with., and refer to the diagram at right.
  • Practice the stitch with left-over wool yarn.

    (The final design is in wool, so you’ll have a better ‘feel’ for the final effect this way)

  • Start at A with your first colour (grey-blue in the diagram) and stitch over 2 ,6, 6 and 2 threads, leaving a gap of one row for the second colour.
  • With your second colour (taupe in the diagram), stitch over 4,8,and 4 threads in the rows between the first colour
  • Turn the canvas 45° to create another small diamond shape at right angles to the first and repeat the above steps, making sure that you share the holes with the first diamond. (see diagram)
  • Keep turning the canvas 45° to create each small diamond, until you’re back where you started!
  • Note that the next diamond shape you start below the one you just created shares the same hole at the “tip” of the diamond.

Keep practicing until you feel confident that you’ve got it! Then you are ready to stitch the free design!

Another stitch to learn!

I added a thin black line to the picture frame design to give it a more Deco look. It also goes well with the black metallic frame I wanted to use.

This effect can be created with a stitch known as the Back stitch, which you do after you’ve finished stitching the picture frame. It’s strictly optional.

If you like it, practice it by following the diagram at right stitching over two threads to create a straight stitched line.

As the name implies, you stitch back on yourself, to finish the stitch, and then come up two threads ahead to create the next stitch (see diagram)



This subtle picture frame design with its neutral-coloured textures, serves as soft background to your favourite family photos.

As a background, it doesn’t distract from your photo, yet has interesting depth, which the texture provides.

The 2-4-6-8 Stitch is the ideal stitch to give the subtle textures I was looking for.
Click here if you want more background about this delicate picture frame design.

The rest of the picture frame is stitched in the Basketweave Tentstitch.

The 45° angles of the 2-4-6-8 stitch, and the Basketweave Stitch, create geometric shapes reminiscent of the chevron designs from the 1930’s… so the name ‘DECO DIAMONDS!”

The size of the finished needlepoint picture frame is approx. 7” x 8 ½” (17.5 x 21.5 cm)… which will take photos up to 3 ½” x 5” (9 x 12.5 cm)

Because the picture frame design is symmetrical, it will work with both horizontal and vertical photographs.


I’m including two coloured charts for your reference at different gauges, so you’ll have no trouble getting the canvas in your area.

The colours for this tapestry are very soft and delicate. However, for visual clarity when stitching, the colours are shown much stronger on charts.

Please note: the back stitch, which is optional, is shown on the 12 gauge chart and not on the 13 gauge, so you can see the difference.

This first chart above is for canvas at 12 holes per inch

This second one above is for canvas at 13 holes per inch.


All the wool yarn colours as stitched are from the Appleton Tapestry Colour Range, which are readily available at your local needlepoint shop or online.

The codes shown on the 12 gauge Coloured chart refer to the yarn colours listed below.

You will need one hank of each of the colours.

I’m including DMC Laine Colbert wool yarn colours as well, if you have problem finding Appleton. They’re as close as possible to the Appleton colours.

Colours as stitched:

Colours from light to dark :

  • A: Wheat Colour = # 691 Honeysuckle Yellow
  • B : Taupe Colour = #972 Elephant Grey
  • C : Blue-Grey Colour = #922 Dull China Blue



  • A: Wheat Colour = # 7501
  • B : Taupe Colour = # 7390
  • C : Blue-Grey Colour = #7285


You will also need :

  • mono interlock canvas at 12 or 13 gauge,
    approx. 10” x 12” (approx. 25 x 30 cm )
    Note: Interlock canvas is recommended in order to trim the canvas for framing without any risk of it unravelling. (See Making Up section below.)
  • Needlepoint Needle:
    • For 13-canvas, use size 20 needle
    • For 12-mesh canvas, use size 18 needle
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • Two-way tape
  • Art Board : Recommended colour of pearl grey or taupe
  • Purchased Picture Frame : Note: The black metallic frame I bought is approx. 8” x 10” (20 x 25 cm) : See Making Up Section for other options.

  • Go to the ZIVA site for more detail info on the materials required.


    As usual, start by putting masking tape on the canvas edges to protect the yarns from getting frayed.

    Then please study the above photo and note the following:

    • Just as you practiced it, start up with the FIVE 2-4-6-8 diamond shapes for one side of the frame.
    • The first code shown on the above 12 grid coloured chart designates the colour of yarn to use for the 4-8-4 stitches.
    • The second code designates the colour of yarn to use for the 2-6-6-2 stitches.
    • e.g. Look at the centre diamond. The codes A + C on the colour chart indicate that you stitch it with the wheat colour (A) with 4-8-4 stitches and the blue–grey colour (C) with the 2-6-6-2 stitches.
    • Do all the diamonds first, and then add the Basketweave tent stitch around them.
    • The canvas holes are shared with the tent stitch and the 2-4-6-8 stitch. The white canvas will show otherwise.
    • The fine black back stitch line is added after you finish the entire tapestry and is optional.


    • Once you’ve finished one side as above, you can complete the ends in the basketweave stitch. Note that the ends are not ‘mirrored’ so please refer to the chart.
    • You’ll see from the Coloured chart above that I’ve added the 2-4-6-8 stitch at the two ends but it’s only in one colour (A). It adds a subtle textured detail to the ends.
    • Then stitch the other (and last) side as shown in the photograph at right. The two sides are identical
    • The back stitch is added after you’re finished stitching the entire tapestry.
    • Once you’ve finished, you can block it if it’s become twisted.


    The metallic picture frame that I purchased to frame the needlepoint and my favourite family photo is approx. 8” x 10” (20 x 25 cm). You could go larger if you wish (but not smaller).

    The first thing I had to do was prepare the other materials.

    The above photo composite shows you the next steps.

    • Left photo:
      • Trim the outside edge of needlepoint canvas to the dimension of the picture frame you purchased.(minimum width of approx. ¾’ or 2 cm) Don’t cut too closely to the stitches: you’ll need the width for attaching the art board mat after.
      • Cut out the interior section of the canvas, leaving again enough canvas to attach the art board mat.

    • Right Photo:
      • Cut the art board for the outside mat to the dimensions of the purchased frame and at a width to cover the canvas so it’s not visible.
      • Attach the mat with two-way tape to the canvas
      • Cut the art board for the inside mat to cover the canvas and also to slightly overlap the edge of the photo you want to use.
      • Attach the photo to the mat, and attach both of them to the canvas, all with two-way tape.
      • Insert the assembled piece into your purchased frame.


      For a softer look, leave off the black backstitch and use a gold or brass frame. This would work well in a more traditional setting.

      For a more contemporary look, why not use a clear acrylic box picture frame? There are several sources online, to fit the dimensions of the ‘Deco Diamonds’ Picture Frame.

      Use your imagination and make it your own creation!

      Send me a photo of what you’ve done. I’d love to see it and put it on the site!


      That’s still me! With my interior designer hat on this time!


      My husband and I have inherited a lot of traditional furniture from his family. Most of the pieces are beautiful, but I would really like our home to look more contemporary, and show our taste as well. What can we do? Thanks, Claudia

      First of all, please send me a few photos of some of the pieces, and the rooms they’re in, and I can help you personally.

      But I thought I’d include this question in this newsletter, because it’s a common situation.

      So here are some general tips that could help anyone with this interior design dilemma.

      I’m also including some photos at right, which illustrate how you could approach the décor of your home.
      Note how they mixed the periods.


      • You’ll find in most traditional interiors that there is a great deal of pattern; with the carpeting, wall fabrics, draperies, upholstery, etc.
      • This is not the case in contemporary interiors. So you could still use your existing furniture, and select materials for the above furnishings with a simple subtle pattern or no pattern at all. These will immediately ‘de-clutter’ you rooms and appear more contemporary.


      • It’s not uncommon to see deep colours used in traditional interiors, particularly on the walls, with hand-painted wall fabrics, etc.
      • In contemporary interiors, you’ll find bold colours (generally speaking) as feature walls only or just on the furniture
      • Or all the walls are painted white or off- white, which has an amazing impact on modernizing a space.
      • You could also put a strong plain colour on the upholstery of just one or two pieces of furniture to up-date them.


      • Adding large abstract or semi-abstract paintings or modern sculpture to the above ideas will very definitely give it the contemporary look you want.
      • You could also use large abstract needlepoint cushions or wall tapestries to tie in the old and new. (I had to get needlepoint in there somewhere!)

      I hope this gives you a taste of what is possible!

      WHAT NEXT?

      New designs in the works!

      Over the winter months (2009-2010)I’ll be developing needlepoint designs from handbag patterns which are readily available on the internet. I’m still working on new belt and seat cover designs! And some new cushion designs!

      The next VIVA ZIVA! Newsletter #0904 will be issued in January 2010 .

      I’ll be including:

      I’ll be including:

      • New Design & Updates
      • A new Stitch to Try with a
      • Free needlepoint design of 2 napkin rings . One traditional, and one more contemporary… to suit any dinner or lunch party!
      • And lots of other features!
      • Please contact me if there is a particular stitch you’d like me to use for a free design in a future newsletter!

        Share this newsletter with friends and relatives.
        They can also go to my subscription page on the site to get on the mailing list for the next VIVA ZIVA! Newsletter

        Looking forward to sending you the next newsletter!

        Best wishes,

        Sylvia McLeod