Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Under the radar screen

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been stitching on another canvas between projects. And yes, Virginia, it's another ornament for the 2010 Christmas dining room!

When Judy Harper showed some of her shell designs on her blog (www.fairy-crafts.blogspot.com) a month or so ago, I decided one of these would be ideal for the DR collection. A stitched shell on Cape Cod might sound a little like bringing coals to Newcastle, but adding a different shape to what I've stitched so far appealed to me.

When the canvas arrived and I took a better look at it, I came to the conclusion that the only way I could do justice to the design was to basketweave the whole thing. The trick, however, would be to keep it from looking flat and lifeless--and here's where having different pastel threads already in my stash came in handy!

The five main "ribs" of the shell were stitched with DMC cotton floss #819, with DMC floss #818 on either side and at the bottom. The darker "ribs" were stitched with Fleur de Paris fine mesh velour to add some texture, while the "bling" factor was added with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #092.

Dressing up the shell are "pearls" outlined in Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V. The large "pearls" were worked in a Leviathan stitch variation and the smaller ones in Smyrna crosses, both using Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #032.

This canvas makes a good case for the "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold "em" aspect of needlepoint: there are times when basketweave is the only game in town. I'm as big a fan of decorative stitches as the next person, but in this instance, "fancy stuff" would have ruined the lines of the design.


Possibilities, Etc. said...

VERY nice job you did on this. Using different fibers on the pattern elements really puts them where they need to be - and I love the velour! I hadn't a clue what to do with this shell, myself - I knew you would.

Cool City Stitcher said...

Beautiful stitching! I love the colors and design.