Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Drumroll, please....

Amazing!--I actually finished two projects in a week's time. But the most recent finish is a doozie and a long time in the making!

Yesterday I put in the final stitches on the Nellie's Imari canvas designed by Judy Harper. The finish came ten days shy of three years since I began the project. It usually doesn't take me that long to stitch a canvas, but other projects would take precedence and I'd put Nellie aside.

It's stitched entirely in Vineyard Silk Classic and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V, and is destined to take pride of place on our living room sofa. I promise to show a photo when it's made into a pillow!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A star-studded finale

In my last post, I mentioned that while Emily the Angel's skirt had been stitched, it seemed a little plain. Some embellishment was needed, but what form would it take?

I considered some French knot flowers on her skirt--but flowers generally have leaves, and I didn't want to add any green to the canvas. So I thought long and hard about what I could add, taking my cue from one of the colors I'd already used.

With the Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #2094HL that I'd used at her neckline and belt, I started randomly stitching stars and individual tent stitches on top of the basketweave background. The top-stitching doesn't obscure the needle-blending but does provide a little more visual interest.

Despite the fact that Emily has just a one-sided personality, instead of being the tree-topper she was originally destined to be, I'm happy with the way she turned out. She certainly was an economical little angel, since all the threads I used came from my stash. A tree-topper angel will have to wait for another day!

Friday, August 17, 2012

At it again!

I finished stitching the background of Emily's skirt--needle-blending again!

If you choose the right color family of floss, the effect of needle-blending is quite subtle. So subtle, in fact, that you won't see very much difference at all between the first few combinations of thread color.

In the photo at left, I'd started with four plies of DMC floss #3753 in basketweave, staggering the bottom stitch every other canvas thread so a line wouldn't be formed across the skirt. I moved on to three plies of DMC floss #3753 and one ply of DMC floss #3752, stitching five canvas threads deep. Continuing to subtract one ply of lighter floss and adding one ply of darker floss, I snapped the photo when I'd finished three plies of DMC floss #3752 and one ply of DMC floss #3753. As you can see, it takes awhile before the skirt starts to darken.

The photo on the right shows the finished skirt background. I stitched four plies of DMC floss #3752 across the canvas, then started cutting in DMC floss #932 in a 3-1, 2-2. and 1-3 ply combination. By the time I reached the bottom of the shirt, I was using four plies of DMC floss #932. I then used this same floss to stitch the fold lines that I'd previously skipped.

Is Emily finished? Not yet! While pretty, her skirt looks a little plain to me--I'll be back with some final touches soon!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A dress for Emily

I've started work on the last section of this angel canvas--Emily's dress. Blue is my favorite color, so despite the fact that I've changed the other colors in her costume, I've retained the blue for her dress.

Beginning with the bodice and sleeve, I worked alternating rows of vertical slanted gobelin and stem stitches using four plies of DMC cotton floss #3753. This stitch combination provides a bit of visual interest to a fairly small area. The shadow of her arm was added with tent stitches using four plies of DMC floss #932.

Moving down to the skirt, I continued with the DMC floss #3753, stitching each panel in basketweave to a level I'd previously determined. I skipped over the shadows of the folds, as I'll add those in when I reach the bottom of the skirt.

Regular blog readers can probably guess where I'm going here with the skirt--the irregular bottom line of the basketweave is a not-so-subtle hint!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

An apron and a hairdo

Returning to Emily the angel, I finished her apron using Vineyard Silk Classic "Peppermint" in a framed mosaic stitch. This is a great little stitch to provide texture in small areas where compensating can be tricky.

In my stash, I found some Silk & Ivory "Chocolate" for her hair. I worked this in a satin stitch with one strand, angling my stitches away from her face. The right side of the hair was stitched with the canvas upright, and the rest was worked with the canvas turned 90 degrees. The loft provided by the Silk & Ivory thread gives the hair a higher profile against the wings.

Wish my hair were as sleek as Emily's--the humidity here on the Cape is starting to make my naturally wavy hair look like a mushroom cloud!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

From sea to shining sea

Today is National Lighthouse Day! To mark the occasion, I'm highlighting lighthouses of the Cape and Islands from my collection.

Top row, from left to right: Brant Point on Nantucket; Race Point, Provincetown; Nobska, Wood's Hole; Nauset, Eastham; and Gay Head (Aquinnah), Martha's Vineyard.

Second row, left to right: Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard; East Chop, Martha's Vineyard; Chatham; and Cape Cod (Highland), Truro.

Three cheers for all of our country's aids to navigation!