Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A warm wee lass

A week or so ago, I had rummaged through my stash in search of the perfect thread for Maureen's shawl. I wanted the color to be in keeping with the way Judy Harper had painted the canvas but not necessarily all one color. Three possibilities jumped out at me, and I stitched up some samples for Judy's consideration. Happily, her choice and mine were the same!

The winner was Sheep's Silk "Forest Berries," a crewel-weight silk-and-wool blend. The overdyed thread has a lovely combination of deep rose, magenta, plum and green. The stitch I used is diagonal vertical oblong cross--I call it the simple stitch with the complicated name! I began on Maureen's right side above her arm, following the customary stitching path from bottom right to top left.

Moving on to her left side, I wanted the diagonal of the overdye to go in the opposite direction. Normally I'd just turn my canvas 90 degrees and stitch away--but not with this stitch, which becomes diagonal horizontal oblong cross and looks entirely different from the other side. What to do? I began at the top right, near her shoulder, and worked downward toward her arm. This stitching path uses a little more thread and provides more padding on the back of the canvas but creates the desired direction. I continued stitching the shawl below her arms, again orienting the stitching path accordingly to indicate where the ends of the shawl cross over one another.

Time to add the fringe! With Judy's permission, I had painted out the fringe she had indicated before I stitched the apron to provide a smoother line of framed mosaic stitches. Back in the fringe went with some looped turkey work, using a collar stay to insure the loops would be even in length.

Maureen was a joy to stitch, and I thank Judy for the opportunity to pilot-stitch this canvas for her. Here's hoping more little ethnic dolls roll off her painting table soon!


Cool City Stitcher said...

She's so beautiful, and I love all the textures in her clothing. The shawl looks hand-made - woven, knitted or crocheted, and the touch of fringe is perfect. All in all, a beautifully designed and stitched Irish lass!

coral-seas said...

I actually gasped when I opened this post and saw the finished article. I've been watching Maureen develop and loved every step but the shawl is a touch of genious. It looks like tweed which is just perfect for the wee lass.

Bravo, a beautiful pilot stitch.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

You've done a perfectly beautiful job on this girl. Painting the shawl gave me trouble, as I couldn't get the color to suit me - this is really really fine!! Now I'm motivated to do another doll or two.

Rachel said...

She's absolutely charming! And the shawl is a perfect use of an overdyed thread.

threadmedley said...

So calm and demure - a delightful little lass. I think the shawl is sheer perfection. The overdye was the way to go.

Edy said...

Her shawl reminds me of the woven fabrics I saw at the Avoca Woolen Shops in Ireland! It is PERFECT!