Saturday, October 22, 2016

Quite an earful

The boy bunny's head is now stitched, using a combination of threads from my stash.

The primary brown thread is Burmilana, as is the pink on the inside of his ears.  The darker brown and cream-colored threads are Impressions.  Except for the nose, worked in a padded satin stitch, and the mouth, worked in basketweave/tent, the rest of the head used an encroaching Gobelin stitch.  DMC cotton floss in tent stitches formed the eyes.

White DMC floss in basketweave created his short, with a placket formed by encroaching oblong cross stitches.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Stitching out of season

Every other year, the Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary sponsors a Holly Berry Bazaar fund-raiser, to be held November 12.  A treasure-trove of painted needlepoint canvases was donated for sale at the bazaar, and one of the auxiliary members asked me to help her price the canvases for sale. What fun it was to see such a variety of designs and designers represented!

 I helped the sale get started by purchasing a pair of darling two-sided Melissa Shirley bunnies circa 1989 and wasted no time getting the little boy bunny mounted on stretcher bars.  Finally I have a non-magazine canvas to work on and show my stitching progress here.  Who cares if I stitch an Easter canvas as we creep closer to Halloween?  Certainly not needlepointers!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy Birthday, America!

Independence Hall, Philadelphia--the birthplace of The United States of America 240 years ago tomorrow with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

I designed and stitched this piece four years ago for the July/August 2016 issue of Needlepoint Now to mark the 40th anniversary of the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG).  ANG's anniversary celebration took place during its annual seminar in Philadelphia. 

The sky behind Independence Hall is definitely the largest area I've ever needle-blended!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ivory Angel - The finale!

Folks who follow this blog will probably be as relieved as I am to see this day arrive:  the Ivory Angel stocking is finished!

The area behind the name was stitched in basketweave with Vineyard Silk Classic Natural, with the name stitched with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V.  On top of the basketweave, another border of slanted Gobelin stitches, braided knitting and slanted Gobelin stitches was added to mirror the border at the edge of the cuff.

When I marked the area for the cuff, I had added three additional rows to give the finisher more flexibility turning the top over.  I checked with Mary Agnes Rhudy Cussen at Needle Nicely in Vero Beach, Florida, to see how those last few rows shoulld be stitched.  She advised a row of tent stitches abutting the last row to maintain the integrity of the outside slanted Gobelin stitches, so that's what I did.

This is my fourth stocking finish in 18 months--not a feat I care to repeat anytime soon!  But to paraphrase Kermit the Frog in the song The Rainbow Connection, "I did just what I set out to do!"

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Ivory Angel - Crawling to the finish line

Creative Avoidance is a term I learned from designer Judy Harper.  As it relates to needlepoint, it involves working on absolutely anything and everything except for the project you're supposed to be stitching.  While I've continued to put in a few stitches a day on Ivory Angel, I've also finished two other canvases--smaller and much more colorful than the stocking.

It's partially my own fault--leaving nothing else to be done but filling in the gold of the vine and working on the ivory cuff.  I'd also been dragging my feet about stitching the angel's hair, one of my least favorite things to do.  But she's now completely coiffed, worked with two strands of Burmilana in long/short and satin stitches.  Some "highlights" were added with one strand of vintage DMC Medici wool on top of the previously stitched areas.

The edge of the cuff has been started with the same Vineyard Silk Classic Natural that had been used for the angel's dress.  A row of slanted Gobelin stitches over three threads abuts the tan Petite Very Velvet, followed by a row of encroaching oblong cross stitches and another row of slanted Gobelin stitches.

I'll finish filling in the vine with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V, then move the canvas on stretcher bars for the final task of working the cuff.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ivory Angel - Still plugging away

Work along the top of the stocking below the cuff has reached the half-way mark.  The vines are filled with Vineyard Silk Classic Bark and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V in tent stitches and basketweave.  The tassel in the center uses the same threads in an encroaching Gobelin stitch.

One bird has been stitched so far, using the same white and gray Silk Lame Braid for 18 ct. and in the same encroaching Gobelin stitch used for the angel's wings.  I'll add the bird's eye and beak later when the other bird is finished.

I'll need to get more Kreinik thread to finish this section as well as some thread to work the angel's hair.  Then the canvas will move one more time on the stretcher bars so I can work on the cuff.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ivory Angel - So close and yet so far

There hasn't been a lot of time to stitch this stocking lately:  other commitments and yard work seem to be getting in the way.  But the background for the top of the stocking is now completed with Petite Very Velvet V604.

I've started to fill in the vines with Vineyard Silk Classic Bark and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V, worked all in basketweave so progress is slow.  At this point, I just need to keep chipping away!