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 blog--www.pintangle.com--as 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!

5 comments:

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!

sudukc 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.

threadmedley 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.