Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Taking the first bite
Where do you begin stitching on a painted canvas? In the case of "Cape Cod Summer," the answer was easy. Most experienced needlepointers advocate stitching the lightest areas first, and there's a lot of white in this canvas.
I like using DMC #5 perle cotton to stitch wood: it gives a "raised" look to these areas that will contrast nicely with other threads when I fill in later. I started with the horizontal board at the top of the canvas, working it in slanted gobelin stitches over two threads. The pediment over the door was stitched the same way, with a row of tent stitches beneath. The door casing was worked in a vertical slanted gobelin stitch over two threads.
I framed the window with more slanted gobelin stitches, adding mullions with tent stitches, and filled in the window box with a satin stitch.
On to the fence! Once again using the white perle cotton, I worked the posts in a slanted gobelin stitch over five threads. The balls at the top of the posts were first padded with white cotton floss in basketweave, then satin stitched with the perle cotton to provide additional dimension. The slats of the fence were worked in a slanted gobelin stitch over two threads, with the horizontal supports in tent and mosaic stitch.
When these areas were done, I treated myself by adding the roof, again with slanted gobelin stitches, using one ply of Trio "Caviar" which provides textural contrast against the perle cotton.
Not too shabby for two nights of work! By stitching these white areas first, I've broken down the rest of the canvas into more distinct and manageable areas--"bites," if you will--which I'll work on over subsequent evenings.