Stitch of the Month
December 2005: Dragonfly and Fireflies Kimono

by Sharon G

Editor's Note: ANG would like to thank Sharon G for providing all of us with such a terrific and varied group of stitches for the Stitch of the Month for 2005. Sharon has donated a tremendous amount of time and talent to ANG for the sheer joy of sharing a love of needlepoint. Throughout the year, Sharon has encouraged us to venture out of our comfortable canvas grids and explore all sorts of creative approaches to needlepoint. This year-end project, Dragonfly and Fireflies Kimono, promises to be great fun to stitch. If you would like to join us in thanking Sharon for her contribution, we invite you to send e-mail to her at

Sharon's instructions for Dragonfly and Fireflies Kimono include information on several ways to transfer the design to canvas, using any of several printable drawings. These drawings are part of the free, online instructions for this piece. Some stitchers may prefer the convenience of a hand-painted canvas. Sometime early in 2006, Sharon G will add this kimono design to her retail line of hand-painted needlepoint canvases. The design will be available painted on white or black 13-count or 18-count mono canvas, and on red 18-count mono canvas. Sharon does not sell her designs directly to consumers. To find a retailer in your area, try an online search for the words "Sharon G needlepoint" using your favorite search engine.

(Click on the image for a more detailed picture)
Photo of finished project

Dragonfly and Fireflies Kimono is filled with personal symbolism.

The River symbolizes the flow of knowledge among needlepointers.

The Dragonfly symbolizes a soaring imagination.

The Fireflies symbolize the bright spot in our lives that needlepoint creates.

The Fans symbolize all of us who love needlepoint.

It was in this spirit that I wanted to create a very special project as my last contribution to the Stitch of the Month program.

Dragonfly and Fireflies Kimono has many of my favorite threads, techniques and colors. You can make it your own by substituting color schemes of your choice, and I encourage you to do that.

The best part is that you can reshape this design into many other projects. In the directions you will find the dragonfly and the three fan sections charted separately. This will make it easier it you want to use any of these elements in separate projects.

You might like to do just the center rectangular panel of the kimono by omitting the side panels and sleeves. Surround it with one of the 2005 Stitch of the Month borders, and you have a beautiful work of art to frame or finish in any number of ways.

For example, consider the dragonfly by itself. You could stitch that dragonfly as the center of an ornament in a diamond, oval or round shape. It could be finished as a pendant or pin. You could add some background stitching, if you wish, and mount it in a box lid. Think about placing metallic fabric under the canvas when mounting it. Glam and glitz! You can add a border from the March, June or October 2005 Stitch of the Month segments to make it even more dramatic.

You could do several dragonflies in different positions across a larger canvas to use as a purse flap, or as a larger framed piece, box top or pillow insert. It would be stunning on black canvas with a background stitched in a contrasting color of thread.

The dragonflies can easily be enlarged or made smaller, and repositioned in a random pattern. You can ground them by adding extra blades of grass.

The three fans are dramatic alone and would make an elegant box top or handbag flap. Add a border and they'd look perfect in a frame or as a pillow insert.

You can place the elements to make a square if that shape pleases you.

I do hope my year-end project stretches your imagination, and that my year of stitches introduced you to a few new techniques.

Amended Materials list for Dragonfly and Fireflies Kimono
(Note: Thread F was added to the original list, which appeared on this page early in December 2005 before these directions were uploaded. The original list's alphabetical thread designations for all threads listed below Thread F have new alphabetic designations here.)

Thread A: Metallic Braid size 4, #001 silver 
Thread B: Metallic Braid size 4, #002 gold 
Thread C: Metallic Braid size 4, #005 black 
Thread D: Metallic Braid size 12, #002 gold 
Thread E: Blending Filament, #002 gold 
Thread F: 1/16" Metallic Ribbon, #002 gold

Rainbow Gallery 
Thread G: Splendor Silk, #801 Black

Pearsall's Filoselle Embroidery Silk 
Thread H: #89A black 
Thread I: #85 rose

Access Commodities 
Thread J: Bijoux #481, Crown Jewels

Sundance beads 
Bead A: size 14, #465 gold-plated 
Bead B: size 14, #455 Black Opal

Black beading thread 
Padding thread or cotton string for cuffs, hem and collar 
18-count mono canvas, allowing for at least 2.5" margins: 13" x 14" 
Stretcher bars to fit your cut canvas 
Tapestry needles and beading needles

The threads and beads in the list above are the colors and types I chose to use. You may prefer different colors, and even different threads. Anything that you like that is about the same size as my choices will be fine. Experiment! Have fun!

Let's start stitching! 

Portions of this Website presenting information on this project may be printed or electronically reproduced by individual stitchers for their personal use and by ANG Chapters for use in their newsletters and Chapter activities. ANG Chapter republication of these pages should give credit to Stitch of the Month and ANG, Inc.