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Needlepoint Stitch of the Week

The Slanted Victorian Step stitch produces a strong, directional flow on your needlepoint canvas,  and works beautifully for hills and mountains, clothing (especially on a reclining figure), and,  lends itself well to the use of overdyed threads such as Gloriana Silk, Silk ‘n Colors,  Waterlilies, and Poppies, just to name a few.  In teaching a canvas embellishment class for members of our local ANG group, I suggested this stitch  for the distant mountains in Sharon G’s gorgeous Tuscan Spring canvas – blending thread colors, alternating with Double Cross, it was just divine!   Here it is, diagrammed slanting both ways:

Don’t forget to consider perspective when you have a canvas such as the Tuscan Spring.  Working the areas farthest from front first will allow you to better control the “weight” of each area.  Another trick to make an area seem to recede is to “gray” down the thread, rather than simply darkening the hue.  Try adding a gray thread,  or a shade of your main color with gray already in it to alter perspective – you’ll be amazed what a difference it makes – and keep on stitching!  NPQ

Progress on my Amy Bunger Class Project

Well, finally, a bit of time to work on my project from the recent class at Amy’s in Memphis.  Honestly, don’t cha just hate when life gets in the way of your needlepoint fun?  Anyway,  have accomplished enough to deserve some stitching time, and couldn’t resist that hat – it’s been calling to me.  So,  on this perfect-for-stitching-day (it’s been cloudy, rainy, and stormy all day, so Missy is happily ensconced on her little bed at my feet, in no mood to do anything but sleep, leaving me with the freedom to stitch away).

The threads for this canvas are pure eye candy – especially the Gloriana Overdyed Silk Ribbons for the flowers.  If the ribbons alone aren’t enough to delight you, check the color names – Peach Blossom, Rose Flame, Narcissus, and more.  Then there are the stranded silks, velvet – you know the drill.  Suffice to say,  just pawing through all of it is fun!  The hat uses Rainbow Galleries Neon Rays rayon ribbon and a Kreinik #8 metallic.

As is typical of my class projects,  the first stages suffer more “reverse” stitching (i.e., ripping out) than anything else.  After any number of attempts, I have resigned myself to the knowledge that no matter how carefully the Rainbow Galleries Neon Rays is stitched, there is unavoidable damage when adding the Kreinik #8 braid.  Alas, perfection continues to elude me……..

Having said that, the overall look of the black hat thrills me – it’s oooh sooooooo very Coco Chanel.  Note the single silk ribbon flower on top – since the flowers are the most fun of everything in the piece, I am trying desperately to save them as rewards for completion of other aspects…………but, there was no way to resist stitching at least one.  Will post other pix as the work goes along……….keep on stitching!  NPQ

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Needlepoint Stitch of the Week

This week, have a look at Alternating Mosaic.  This stitch is great for small areas, has a fairly quilted appearance, and is non-directional.   It is lovely stitched in stranded silk because you get such good light play.  Rainbow Galleries Petite Very Velvet looks grand, too. In the diagrams below, the upper has arrows indicating the path in which to stitch the diagonal rows, and two colors are used to more clearly show the individual Mosaic three stitch squares.  The lower diagram shows all stitches in one color.  Now, for variations:   You could lay a foundation thread where each of the directional arrows are shown in the upper diagram, to be stitched over with your Mosaic Stitches.  You could stitch all the Mosaics in one color, or, you could use two colors as shown in the diagram (which would produce a checked pattern), or even two different threads.  You could also add a bead or French Knot where the arrows intersect.

Your choice of threads will make (as always) a huge difference in the appearance.  I used this stitch for a red coat on a bunny, hovering over a Christmas Tree adding garland…………used three plies of Medium Red Splendor trimmed with fur made from piles of French Knots in white Arctic Rays – it was just yummy!

Next week we’ll add Alternating Scotch – a perfect companion to this stitch (just increases the number of stitches in the “square”).  It is helpful to have stitches that look approximately the same but are sized differently.  You can use them together in something like draperies or pleated bed skirts, etc. – the Mosaic (smaller) stitches seem to recede.  Try some variations on your doodle canvas – bet you’ll find lots of places to use this stitch.  Keep on stitching!  NPQ

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