Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tree-topper angel: The finale

Looks like I'll have a tree-topper for an angel tree this year after all--my "back" for Judy Harper's "front" is finished!

There really wasn't that much stitching to do since my last post. I got the DMC floss I needed to finish the skirt, then worked the holly sprig on the left with the Fleur de Paris fine mesh velour. Holly berries were added with French knots of DMC floss #816.

Finally I popped in the date with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V.

Off she'll go to the finisher this week, with time to spare before she'll be needed for the holidays. I promise to show her in 3-D splendor when she comes home!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Almost, but not quite

No, you're not seeing things--I changed the bottom of the skirt a bit! I decided that a sprig of holly on one side only was too plain, so I painted another in mirror image and popped in the date in the middle.

When I totally exhausted my supply of DMC floss to complete the skirt, I moved on to the hair. Using one strand of Silk & Ivory "Coffee Bean," I worked the main portion in a satin stitch, turning the canvas 90 degrees to angle the stitches for the left side. I then added French knot curls at the nape of her neck.

Her belt was worked in tent stitches and Smyrna crosses with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V and #014.

The sprig of holly on the right was stitched in basketweave with two shades of green Fleur de Paris fine mesh velour. Discontinued several years ago by the manufacturer, this thread is equivalent to Rainbow Gallery's Petite Very Velvet and provides some dimension to the holly against the floss of the skirt.

Off to my LNS for some floss, and I'll be able to finish this angel!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fenway Park at 100--An update

What happens when a needlepoint designer, designer/stitcher and needlepoint finisher collaborate for charity? Good things!

The radio-telethon held at Fenway Park this past August to support the Jimmy Fund raised more than $3.4 million for patient care and cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The 100th birthday commemorative pillow designed by Cape resident Melinda McAra, finished by Marcia Brown, also from the Cape, and stitched by me brought in $410.99 for the cause! Pretty cool, don't you think?

Monday, September 10, 2012

No more cold shoulder

Working on the back of the December angel tree-topper, I've been raiding my stash for threads. I've lucked out on some of the specialty threads, since I evidently haven't touched them since I stitched the front of the angel two years ago.

Still waiting for me were the burgundy Petite Very Velvet and the Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #080HL for the trim on the angel's shawl. And I had plenty of DMC floss #902 for the rest of the shawl, too.

I resumed stitching the skirt in basketweave--I'll definitely need more DMC floss #3726 to finish it. Then I took a break and worked the angel's halo with the same Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V that I'd used for the wings. The outside edge and radii were worked in tent stitches with the inside worked in satin stitches.

One thing that's been bothering me as I've worked on the skirt is the trim at the bottom--it's looking a little too plain. Now's the time to make any changes, before I get too far along with the skirt. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pardon my back

Work on the back of the angel tree-topper began with the wings, using Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V in the Nobuko stitch. So far, so good!

The front of December angel's dress was needle-blended, so I needed to continue as I began. Using four plies of DMC floss, I progressed through four values of one color family: DMC floss #778, 3727, 316 and 3726. This photo was taken when I'd made my way to four full plies of DMC floss #3726.

I don't think I'll have enough of this thread to finish the skirt, so I'll move on to other areas and check thread quantities before making a trip to my LNS for reinforcements.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Already half-way there

I was quite disappointed when the tree-topper angel canvas I'd been working on turned out to be poorly painted. The stitch count for the front didn't match the back, which would have produced a cock-eyed mess for a finisher had I gone ahead with the tree-topper idea. I finished stitching Emily as a one-sided ornament--pretty, but one-sided.

Then it hit me: I already had the front of an angel that I dearly loved, tucked away safely in a drawer for more than two years. It was the December angel, painted by Judy Harper for me as December is my birth month. I stitched it for her Nov/Dec 2010 column in Needlepoint Now, blog-stitching it with her permission in August of that year. She insisted that I keep it, but I hadn't decided how to finish it. Now I know!

I got out my graph paper, carefully counted the stitches from the finished canvas, and then painted the outline on canvas in mirror image. I decided to simplify the flowers on the angel's skirt, adding just a sprig of holly at the bottom. I'll be stitching this back as my next project--just for me, a one-of-a-kind angel that will have much more meaning for me than any canvas I could have purchased.