Adding Texture

Maggie & Co. bumble bee canvas (completed)
Maggie & Co. bumble bee canvas
Maggie & Co. bumble bee canvas

 

Maggie & Co. bumble bee canvas (completed)
Maggie & Co. bumble bee canvas (completed)

 

It dawned on me on Friday afternoon that I really *needed* to have a needlepoint hanging on our Au Pair’s bedroom door when she arrives next week. (Selena is from South Africa and will be living with us for one year. She will be taking care of little Betsy while Chris and I are at work.)

I collect bee things so this Maggie & Co. canvas is right up my alley! The finishing won’t be done in time for Selena’s arrival but at least the stitching is. I had to work fast so I used an open work stitch (that means leaving some of the unstitched canvas exposed). Stitching with balger in a pale yellow, I used Skip Tent on the wings. Skip Tent means you do every other stitch…talk about easy. The yellow body–Silk & Ivory in Scrambled Egg–is called Woven stitch. The background–Silk & Ivory Pomegranate–is a modified Byzantine. It’s a lightning-fast stitch! I used Rainbow Gallery’s black Very Velvet for the stripes; the stitch is Hesitation.

On the green and black border I used Silk & Ivory Black and Margarita in a Mosaic Stitch. The rows were not a uniform height so I ignored the painted stripes and created my own, making the green ones three boxes high and the black ones two boxes high. You know you can ignore the painted canvas, right??!! It’s totally legal.

I did the same thing with the antennae: I completely covered them up with the background stitch and then used this really cool memory wire from DMC. We don’t currently carry it at TPOIA but I’m thinking we should. It wasn’t hard to work with actually. I just laid it over my stitching at the very end and tacked it down with a single strand of floss–this technique is called couching. I really love the antennae and it would have been way too much of a pain to compensate the modified Byzantine around those skinny black lines. It was a win-win!

All of the stitches are shown in Stitches to Go, which is a terrific resource book on decorative stitches. It’s available in The Point of It All’s webstore.

Do as I say and not as I did and PLAN AHEAD! I can’t believe I waited until the last minute to tackle this project!

Happy stitching,
Susan

PS You can double click on the photos above to see them enlarged.

Time to Stitch

Stitching with Betsy

 

Stitching with Betsy
Stitching with Betsy

It’s been a long time since my last blog post but a lot has happened! Chris and I welcomed Elizabeth Kenney Battle on October 12th! Betsy, as we call her, is doing well!

I’ve had very little time for stitching–a newborn requires constant attention (major understatement). The other day I found a few minutes to needlepoint while Betsy slept on my lap. Check out her zebra print swaddle; a future fashionista for sure.

I am finishing up a dancing monkey belt by Gayla Elliott. Click here to see the canvas in detail. It comes with a white background though I chose to stitch it in lime green. I’m using diagonal mosaic for the background though it’s a little tedious to compensate around the monkeys, bananas, and palm trees.

The bee pillow on my side is by JP Needlepoint and the other pillow is a custom-painted canvas of the Rose Window at the National Cathedral.

Happy stitching and I hope you are finding time to needlepoint!
Susan

Decorative Stitch Conundrum

So I am designing a purse with bees on it (I collect bee items). It’s a big purse so I wanted to cover the background quickly and add interest in the form of a decorative stitch. At first I tried doing the stitch right up against the bee but I thought things got a little crowded. It was hard to see the bee. Then I decided to add a basketweave border around the bee…I think it is MUCH more successful. Now the bee stands out and doesn’t get lost in the decorative stitch.

I used Byzantine in the final version (of course I didn’t take a picture of the final version…sorry, blonde moment)…but here’s a diagram:

Essentially you go over 3 intersections at a time…do that 4 times and then drop down a line and repeat. It’s fun!

I will keep you posted on the purse’s progress.

Happy stitching,
Susan

Giddy Up, Cowboy


Well, I made a Rookie Mistake…different dye lots; same project. I’ve never done this before: I mixed two dye lots of Silk & Ivory in the background of my cowboy piece. Blame it on inattention or blame it on Sauvignon Blanc. I can’t believe I did it! Can you see the two different colors in the green? What a bummer.

The overall effect is still great and I’m certainly not taking out half the stitching. Better to embrace imperfection, right? I love the background stitch…it’s called Woven and is in the Stitches to Go book. My absolute favorite book. It’s a must! If you don’t already have a copy, click here.

The stitch is really easy to compensate, which was great around the lasso parts. The canvas is by Patti Mann. Here’s a link to her website. This cowboy canvas comes with a white background but I made it snazzier with the intense lime green background…the color is called Grasshopper. I am stitching the silhouettes in black Balger 005. It’s tedious to do that much metallic but the result is awesome.

I am planning to frame the piece unless anyone has a great idea for a pillow…please share!

Happy stitching,
Susan

Compensation Techniques







All of my friends are having babies so I am busy making Baby Sleeping signs! I am working on this one (above) for my friend, Betsy, who is having a little girl.

It’s hard to see in a small picture but I had to stitch basketweave in the central white area. I tried doing a different stitch but the compensation was just too awkward. Compensation is what happens when you can only do part of a decorative stitch because you “run into” another color. When you compensate, you do as much of the stitch as you can in the confined space. Take Nobuko for example (diagram above).

The pattern calls for one regular stitch and then one stitch that crosses over 3 intersections of mesh. If I was doing Nobuko in the central white area of the Baby Is Sleeping canvas, I would have to compensate often. For instance, I would run into the blue letters and only be able to cross over 2 intersections at some points.

For this reason, I decided it would take more time to compensate Nobuko than just stitch basketweave. Some stitches are easy to compensate (Diagonal Mosaic for instance) and others are much harder. Until you are really comfortable with decorative stitches, only use them in big areas that need little compensation.

Have fun with these stitches…they can be really fun and they certainly enhance a canvas!

Now, I’m on to my next baby project for my friend, Katya!