Thank you Stitch Guide writers

I just spent the most relaxing week. I was house sitting my niece’s dogs….it’s a tough job but someone has to do it and I’m so glad it’s me.

This is my view and if I’m lucky a deer or two will stop by to see me…

15-03-24 deer

15-03-24 bunny unstitchedUsually I take a have computer project to finish, but this time I took nothing but a painted canvas, threads and a stitch guide.

But that I want to thank all those people out there who take the time to figure out stitches for painted canvases. It is so relaxing (like stitching a piece of basketweave). All you have to do is pick up the thread, look at the diagram and stitch. I’m not saying that if Sally Stitchguider has suggested Bulllion Stitches using  Marlitt thread (so glad this thread is gone) for hair that you  must follow her suggestion…I personally think Sally Stitchguider was having a bad day and I would use loose French Knots with floss first.

BUT for the most part these fine people have a working knowledge of what they are doing and are usually right on the money.  They keep abreast of all the new and exciting threads on the market and try to incorporate them in their guides.  They know what stitch works best with what thread and they don’t have to experiment around.

Keep in mind there are several types of stitch guides. And not all stitch guides are created equal. Some stitch guides are written for a canvas and the shop that sells it. This means that all the Blue Dog canvases that Shoppe Around the Corner sells will have the same stitch guide for Blue Dog. The stitch guide writer knows the threads that Shoppe Around the Corner stocks and will use them in the stitch guide.

Some designers pay stitch guide writers to write stitch guides for their canvases. Some will sell these at an additional cost to the canvas, some other designers will include them in the price of the canvas.  This means that Debby Designer’s  Pink Cat canvas will have the same stitch guide no matter where you purchase the canvas.

And then there are the canvasses that you ask to have a stitch guide written for you. Depending on what you expect you can plan on paying from $0 to $600 (highest I have heard so far). Some shops will give you free thread and stitch selections if you have purchased your canvas at their shop, but don’t expect a big written out booklet…remember you get what you pay for.  Keep in mind, you are asking someone to spend time writing a guide for you and so if you do get a booklet complete with threads and stitches, Sally Stitchguider  has a business too.

My stitch guide came with the painted canvas and threads (the threads were extra but could be purchased as a kit too. )  I seldom stitch a painted canvas with a stitch guide and threads already chosen for me, but I picked this up at a guild sale and decided to stitch it. I usually like the challenge of choosing my own stitches and threads and usually make it up as I go. I approached it like a class project and so I first read the stitch guide and checked the threads to make sure I had what I needed. There were a couple thread substitutions (but that happens), so I made the notation in the instructions and then I started stitching.

15-03-24 bunny headI started with area #1 and picked the thread out of my thread packet and began stitching. The guide suggested Encroaching Gobelin over 2 threads and I tried it but didn’t like the look. I thought the bunny to large for such a small stitch so I “frog” stitched the area. But in keeping with the stitch guide my adjustment was an Encroaching Gobelin over 4 and encroached 2 threads.

15-03-24 bunny stichedThis was so relaxing and then I realized was not looking at other areas of the canvas to decide what stitch I might want to place in various areas. It was so mind relaxing. As I was stitching the mouth area in basketweave I realized that if I stitched the tooth n basketweave also it would recede into his mouth to far to please me so another stitcher’s  choice to wait and use straight stitches for the tooth and I stitched the tooth area twice to make it padded. I also have decided his cheeks need to stand up some and so instead of basketweave here too I will make padded satin stitches…I did the same with his nose.

I started stitching his ears in a  4 by 6 Byzantine…not sure where it came from but it was not the Diagonal Mosaic that was suggested.

I realized without thinking I was stitching without checking the stitch guide and so I got back on track with his vest.  Even though the canvas was painted with a smaller check I followed the pattern in the stitch guide. I’m not sure I like the metallic I don’t think it covered as well as it should but I tried another copper silk and wool but I didn’t think it had the sparkle that was needed.

15-03-24 bunny overdyeThe pants are stitched with the thread and stitch that is suggested in the stitch guide. You are supposed to use four ply of the strand to stitch the diagonal rows. I think you were given more than enough thread to do this; there are three skeins of overdyed floss in the kit.  I think you could stitch the pants without combining any of the leftover two ply, but it seems like such a waste of thread. And so the Scotsman in me made yet another executive decision, I would stitch the reversed diagonal rows using a random 4 ply of the leftover two plies. To ensure I had a random pull I pulled separated 3 strands and randomly put them all together before I stated stitching the reverse diagonals.  It seems to have worked out so far and I like the effect it gives. We will see how frugal I was when I complete this area, if I have less than 6 ply I will have figured accurately.

I’m almost done with the bunny and so for this Easter may just set him up on the stretcher bars for everyone to enjoy.  I plan on giving bunny a background stitch and then I have an idea for finishing but then I have another year before Easter rolls around again.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

Mom and Me: Bunny stitching

I worked all last week on the bunnies. I knew I wanted the stitches to be related but I also knew I wanted them to stitch quickly. I also knew that I wanted a stitch that I could offset and yet by offsetting would not draw attention to the offset areas nor create compensating areas that would draw attention away from the piece.

First I stitched the outlines of both the bunnies in a gray continental stitch and I filled in the eyes; then I started on the bunnies. I started with the baby bunny. I knew I wanted to use related stitches and the baby bunny should be the smaller of the two stitch choices.

14-03-12 bunny line draw If you look at the line drawing I have divided the areas up into offsetting areas. The lightest pink of the baby bunny was stitched first to establish the stitch. I started immediately above the gray outline for the back leg & foot so I could establish a base line across the widest portion of this area. Then I stitched up to but not across the gray outlines; I compensated as I stitched but sometimes if it is difficult to see you can wait and compensate after all the full stitches are placed. I finished stitching one area before I began another.  I also left the bottom 4 to 5 rows unstitched until I establish the flowers on the bottom.

14-03-12 stitch diagramsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love the Nobuko stitch and it does work up fast so I used this for the baby bunny. And I decided that a Double Nobuko would work for Mom bunny. The diagrams of the  shows the plan for offsetting both the Nobuko and the Double Nobuko, but like I said I tried to figure out where to place the stitches so I had theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA least compensation so this may not be the exact placement I used.

When I moved to another area (let’s say the med pink of the face) I offset the stitch by one thread and stitched a full row across the area and then filled in as necessary above and below this base line I established. I continued in this manner for the nose/upper head and ear areas of the baby bunny. In the smaller areas I tried to figure out where I could place the most whole stitches so that compensation was kept to a minimum.

14-03-12 small & lg stitchesI could have used any number of stitches and I have shown you a few in the diagrams here. Not only can you expand a stitch but you can also create similar pattern stitches to use in your needlepoint. Ann Strite-Kurz has written some excellent books (any of her books are good)  on this subject: Potpourri of Pattern; The Science of Canvas Embroidery; and Stitch Variations and Mutations; Diaper Patterns. You can see her books and kits here (http://www.needleartworks.com/dsgnr/ask/askimages.htm), but I think you order directly from her. She also writes a column in Needlepoint Now (http://www.needlepointnow.com/), Using Common Stitches in Uncommon Ways.” You will get more ideas for stitch patterns to use here too.

But back to Mom & Me… I finished stitching Mom and baby bunny but left the bottom several rows unstitched until I figure out the flower design which I am working out on the computer first. I know the width I have to work with and I also have an approximate height so I am hoping this won’t be a big deal. I have an idea in my head and I hope it works out. I am stitching the pink of the bunnies ears in padded Gobelin…baby is Straight Gobelin Mom will be Diagonal Gobelin. Noses for both are Basketweave.

Again, this week the weather is spring like but by Wednesday the killjoy weather people are predicting white stuff…I’m hoping they are off their rockers. But whatever the day brings I know that spring is coming and I can hardly wait!

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch everyday! ttfn…sue