I just started working on this ornament…NCS stands for National Cathedral School, my high school. I wanted to jazz up the canvas so I outlined the letters in gold. (The school colors are purple and gold.)
Then I had what I thought was a brainstorm: “I will do a decorative stitch in the background so I can finish this ornament before I ship to the finishers on Monday.” I did the hesitation stitch. I was so pleased with my speed. After I had stitched a section, I held the canvas up and took a good, long look at it. Wow, the whole thing looks like a giant golf ball! Rats, guess that stitching will have to come out.
So, what’s the take-way message? Always evaluate your stitching. Stitch a little and then hold your canvas at arm’s length and really cast a critical eye. Does the decorative stitch work with the piece as a whole? Is the stitch an enhancement? It’s easier to rip out a test patch than a whole background.
I think continental/basketweave is the way to go for this ornament. The piece won’t be finished for today’s UPS shipment but I know I’ll be happier in the long run.
I think stranding is the pits! For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, stranding is the process of pulling apart a “clump” of fibers into its smallest pieces. For example, Splendor by Rainbow Gallery is a 12 ply fiber. It easily splits into 3 sections of 4 strands each. On 18 mesh, you need to use 1 section, or 4 strands. Are you still with me???
I like to stitch fast and sometimes, just sometimes, I sacrifice perfection in favor of time. That means I typically use 1 section of Splendor and don’t bother to pull all 12 strands apart and then mate up 4 to stitch. The Point of It All’s decorative stitch teacher, Regina, has a cow when I don’t strand. She absolutely insists that stitches look better and lay better when you strand. She’s right of course but honestly a girl can’t be perfect!
Puffin and Co. makes a fantastic thread separator which makes stranding a breeze. I’ve done a post on this marvelous invention. But what to do when you’re in a pinch?
One of my favorite customers, Sarah Linton, improvised and came up with a terrific idea! See the picture above. She pre-stranded all of her fibers at home and then cut slits in a piece of paper and anchored all of the already-stranded fibers in the slits. Now when she’s traveling she can just grab a set of Splendor and begin stitching. I love it!
Try it! Maybe this invention will get me to strand!
Halloween is just around the corner…get stitching! To get you in the mood, The Point of It All is having a hot deal on Halloween canvases. Buy any canvas (floral, animal, Christmas, anything) and get 15% off a Halloween canvas for the whole month of August!
Here’s a picture of the Halloween wall at the shop…I hope you see a canvas you like!
I’m working on “Witch Way?” by Patti Mann. Lots of fun fibers. I haven’t yet decided on a background stitch. It has to be something easy to compensate–that’s for sure!
I’ve had a wonderful long weekend of stitching! Chris and I took off for the open road and headed to Pittsburgh to stay in a delightful bed and breakfast–The Parador Inn. I stitched the whole drive up and most of the way back. Thank you, sweetie, for doing all the driving!
I had been working on the portrait of my parents’ house but it’s on fine, 18 mesh with lots of color changes and delicate shading. So I thought I would switch over to a 13 mesh Old Bay pillow–solid blocks of color and EASY for the car ride.
That just goes to show you that you MUST have at least two projects going at all times and for all stitching situations. As if any of us needed a justification for the number of canvases in our stash…
FYI, both canvases were painted by our super duper custom artist–she’s fantastic! I particularly love the house portrait! More on that later…