Monday, May 4, 2009
Stitching architectural elements: Windows
I received an e-mail a week or so ago from a lovely lady who had the excellent taste (very big grin!) to purchase the "Candlelight Window" canvas from my "Eggs for All Seasons" series. She was returning to needlepoint after a hiatus of 15 years and looking forward to this ornament taking pride of place on her next Christmas tree. She sought my advice on how to "stitch it right" the first time! I had to laugh at this comment, as the photo here is my second attempt at stitching it!
My first piece of advice was: choose your comfort level. This ornament could easily be stitched completely in basketweave using DMC cotton floss. Those feeling a little more confident or adventurous could try for more realism, using a few decorative stitches and mixing different threads for added texture.
The wallpaper was a simple combination of DMC cotton floss in basketweave using four plies, with a simple cross stitch over one thread in two plies added at intervals. The swag and jabot window treatment was stitched in gobelin and individual stitches with Silk & Ivory. I used navy Petite Very Velvet and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #032 for the individual window panes.
One of my favorite threads for windows and doors is DMC #5 perle cotton, in this case #931. All the mullions--the strips of wood separating the panes--were stitched in single rows. Each sash in the double-hung window was outlined with a gobelin stitch over two threads. Notice that the bottom sash overlaps the top sash where the lock is located. The casing that frames the sashes falls just to the window sill. Below the sill, the apron was stitched in two consecutive rows of gobelin stitches over two threads.
The chair rail, a practical as well as decorative detail in many older homes, was stitched in a gobelin stitch over two threads, with a single row of stitches above and below it. The beadboard trim below the chair rail was created by vertical rows of gobelin stitches over four threads, intersected by single rows of stitches.
Amazing how easy it is to apply a little decorative molding with the combination of a few simple stitches!