Friday, July 24, 2009

On the border

As I started stitching Mindy's Country Christmas canvas, there were two things I hoped to accomplish. First, I wanted to stay as true to the colors and feeling of the canvas itself. After all, her choice of colors was one of the attractions of the canvas for me, so why change them? I also hoped to keep the Country in the canvas--the design strikes me a bit like a patchwork quilt, and I'm counting on being able to use a variety of different threads from my stash.

And because it's a purely decorative, rather than utilitarian piece, I plan to deviate from my basketweave-only principle of stitching pillows. Alas, it will only be on display for perhaps five weeks a year, and I doubt anyone would lean against a pillow with nine ceramic buttons attached!

I've been reading quite a bit lately about the pros and cons of stitch guides for painted canvases. This canvas is the type that provides a built-in stitch guide for many areas. Looking at the black and white checkerboard outer border, choosing a series of mosaic stitches was a no-brainer. I worked these in Brown Paper Packages "Trio," the three-ply strandable version of Silk & Ivory. The tan thread at the outside edge of the checkerboard is Felicity's Garden "Peanut Butter;" the inside red thread is Trio "Bordeaux."

Moving inward to the black matte shot with stylized stars, I chose black Petite Very Velvet in basketweave as the perfect foil for Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V. Since the canvas was already painted black in this area, I placed a red Christmas napkin--how appropriate!--in my lap to help me see the holes better. Stitching black-on-black is never easy, but putting a contrasting color such as white or red underneath the canvas really helps, especially when you're stitching at night.

The border inside the Petite Very Velvet was worked in gobelin stitch over two threads with Vineyard Silk Classic "Deep Peacock." I'd bought a skein of this thread purely on impulse this past spring while visiting my LNS. It was such a pretty color, I couldn't resist buying it although I wasn't sure at the time what I'd use it for. Sometimes impulse purchases are serendipitous!

When I've stitched a little bit more of the border--I'm about one-quarter of the way finished--I'll treat myself and start stitching some of the little squares!


Possibilities, Etc. said...

What fun this canvas is!!! It's whimsical and classic all at the same time, and while "country" it isn't cutesy. I love your thread choices, and look forward to the development of the pillow.

Love to Stitch 99 said...


That will be interesting to see how this design will look when all stitched.

Pierrette =^..^=

Anonymous said...

When you did the first post on this canvas, I too thought immediately of Mosaic for the checkered border! Your thread choices are perfect and I can't wait to see what you use for the little design squares. This should stitch up quickly, so I won't have to wait very long.