Sunday, May 9, 2010

Flowers for Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there in blogdom! This year I treated myself to a little stitching diversion that I just had to share!

Last week, Australian fibre artist Sharon Boggon posted an interesting entry to her part of her TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) challenge. She demonstrated a stitch she called "cloud filling," with a step-by-step tutorial on how she executed the stitch on an evenweave fabric (look for it on May 4). I began to think of ways in which this stitch could be used in needlepoint as a surface embellishment to canvas work, and decided to try it out for myself.

After practicing the stitch on doodle canvas and figuring out how much of an area I would need, I painted a rectangle 36 threads wide by 42 threads high. Since I knew there would be a lot of threads placed on top of one another, I wanted to keep the "ground" stitching as thin as possible. So I switched from my usual four plies of DMC cotton floss to three plies to basketweave the rectangle. It turns out I really didn't need to paint the area ahead of time, as the three plies covered beautifully with no dandruff!

Then I began the first step of the cloud filling stitch, using DMC #5 perle cotton B5200, to make upright stitches over two threads across the stitched area at five-hole intervals. The first photo here shows this step completed. Using the same perle cotton, I began "lacing" the thread through the anchoring stitches--the thread slipped through the anchors rather than piercing the canvas itself (photo #2). What a pretty lattice I'd just created!

Using one strand of Impressions #5061, I started weaving vines through the lattice, taking small stitches to form leaves which also served to anchor the vines. Finally came the French knot flowers, which I scattered randomly using DMC cotton floss #602. Voila!--a flower garden!

I can see endless opportunities for using this stitch, not just for a small piece such as this, suitable for a nametag, maybe. Imagine a Christmas ornament, with a ground of red or green and a lattice of metallic thread, possibly even popping a bead inside the diamonds. It would also be great for embellishing the top of a box lid insert. No need to purchase an expensive painted canvas here--just a piece of blank canvas cut to suit your project and some threads raided from your stash! Do check out Sharon's blog and try this stitch for yourself!


Possibilities, Etc. said...

This is awfully pretty!! Well done! It's interesting how we see different uses for Sharon B's stitches - You saw roses on a trellis, and I saw something different - I'm eager to try some of these too. I visit Pintangle every morning with my coffee, and finding surface embellishment really fascinating.

LIZ said...

What a charming Mother's Day surprise! Really lovely!

Cool City Stitcher said...

I like this! And I like your idea for using different threads. Some metallics and some beads for sparkle and let the imagination take over. Thank you for the flowers!

Anonymous said...

This is great! I saw this too and filed it in my to do list. I love Pintangle, I think she is so challenging to the imagination.
Did you have a Happy Mother's Day? I hope so.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Pin Tangle inspired you to create this beautiful little floral arrangement in time for Mother's Day. Unusual stitch, but certainly makes a wonderful background for flowers.