Sunday, October 5, 2014
When you start stitching a painted canvas, how the piece will be finished is always foremost in your mind--it affects your choice of stitches and how much stitching you'll actually be doing. Fleece Fairy was no exception: the legs of the lamb, not to mention its wooly coat, would create a nightmare for a finisher trying to contour the outline for an ornament.
While I really wanted this piece to be an ornament, I considered other alternatives. Sue Dulle (www.sudukc.wordpress.com) had suggested stitching a background for the figure and finishing it as a stand-up or as an easel, but the narrow margins around the design area made those alternatives prohibitive. There are only eight canvas threads from the tail of the lamb to the tape on the right edge of the canvas and even less at the top above the fairy's wings.
While working away at the rest of the canvas, I finally arrived at a solution: stitch a small area of background behind the lamb so the finisher wouldn't need to wrestle with its legs or the French knots that will create most of its body. I carefully outlined the area, extending it on the left side as well to balance the design, and stitched it in basketweave with Watercolours "Emerald," a thread just heavy enough to cover unpainted canvas. The background stitching will also make the finisher's job easier at the uneven edge of the hem on the fairy's dress, which I had worked in DMC cotton floss. The head and legs of the lamb were stitched with vintage DMC Medici wool and the hooves with black Petite Very Velvet.