Monday, June 18, 2012


Last week was busy but productive: I signed off on the proof for the next issue of Needlepoint Now on Wednesday and submitted the copy and photos for the following issue on Thursday. The subjects for both pieces were original, and my brains were broken!--I needed some soothing stitching to help me decompress.

So I pulled out what probably is my favorite canvas of all time: Nellie's Imari by Judy Harper. The name of the piece is derived from a friend of Judy's mother who owned an antique Imari plate. The design area of the canvas is a whopping 16-1/2 by 16-1/2 inches on 18 ct. canvas. I began stitching it on Sept. 1, 2009, and at first spent quite a bit of time working on it. When my life became more complicated, I'd pick it up and put it down from time to time, last showing it here on the blog when it was about one-quarter finished. As of today, it's about two-thirds completed.

I'm stitching the piece exclusively in Vineyard Silk Classic and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V--all in basketweave. Two and one-half of the side borders and almost all of the center square are finished--I keep adding a little more white background, then switch to another color for some variety. I'm getting close enough to see an end in sight, and would love to have it finished by Sept. 1 of this year. Time will tell!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A quick stitch

This little ornament certainly didn't take long to finish!

Since my last post, I finished filling in the zig-zags of the jacquard pattern with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 in tent stitch. I then worked the background of the center circle in basketweave, using four plies of DMC floss #422.

To add a little depth, I worked the holly leaves in a satin stitch with dark green Petite Very Velvet. The berries were formed with French knots, using a full six plies of
DMC floss #321.

Now I have two ornaments ready for the finisher, so they'll be back in time to deck the red and gold tree for the Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary's Holly Berry Bazaar!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Zipping right along

It's amazing how quickly the stitching on a piece can progress when the particular stitch you're using has already been painted on the canvas!

With the tent stitch zig-zags painted ahead of time, I made quick work of filling in the slanted gobelin portions of the jacquard stitch background. I used four plies of DMC floss #321 for this section.

I've started to fill in the tent stitches with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 in the top right corner. When the gold section is completed, I'll move in to the center to finish up this ornament!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Same color scheme, different shape

Here's the next ornament I'll be stitching for the Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary's fund-raiser this fall. Like the egg-shaped design I just finished, this, too, is destined for the red and gold tree. But I've added a touch of green at the center to liven things a little. After all, the name of the fund-raiser is the Holly Berry Bazaar!

I've "borrowed" the shape of this ornament from two of the Nutcracker Suite series designs--Coffee and the Sugar Plum Fairy--because it's the one of which I'm most fond. Like the Coffee design, this piece will feature as the background a jacquard stitch--a composite of slanted gobelin stitches framed by tent stitches.

Of all the composite stitches in my "repertoire," the jacquard stitch is the only one that I like to "paint to the stitch" when I know ahead of time that I'm going to use it. I find it easier to count "up six, over six" as I paint the tent stitch framework. Once it's painted, I can just sit back and enjoy my stitching!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What a difference color makes!

The little red and gold ornament is finished, and --oh, my--how different it is from the original design!

The intensity of the red in the ovals was sapping the energy out of the Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 that I'd used thus far, so I wanted to use another metallic to fill in the connecting diamonds. My choice: Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #203, which the folks at Kreinik call Flame. It's the metallic equivalent of an overdye, combining both #002 gold and #003 red. Adding the Flame gave more depth to the canvas and made the pure gold metallic really pop.

The photo at right is of my model for the original design, Berries in Snow. Like its counterpart, it was stitched with Petite Very Velvet, DMC floss, and two shades of Kreinik metallic thread. Line for line, both designs are the same. But what a difference can be achieved by changing the colorway!

I'll be back next week with another red and gold ornament to stitch--with an entirely different look.