Monday, December 03, 2007
Bargello and 4-way Florentine
Looking back at things I stitched several years ago always seems to be a process of "evolutions," as one thing tends to lead to another - or in this case, recall things we did almost 40 years ago, before we had the wonderful novelty fibers for needlepoint - the shiny, sparkly, bright colored stuff. Starting with a small project for a friend who wanted something inexpensive to hand out as promotional "freebies" for her new shop, the ornament with the small heart in the center ( done in Caron Watercolours overdyed cotton and solid DMC perle cotton) led me to return to investigating the 4-way Bargello I used to enjoy. The Bargello was one of the first things I learned in the early 70's, in which a color pattern was stitched onto bare, white canvas - enchanting, as it was almost literally "painting with a needle." These small ornaments are stitched onto canvas with only a few marks for guidance, as I am lazy and don't like counting, and won't stitch from charts. Very very simple to do - and also inexpensive, as they don't involve painted canvases. ( I know several women who made these ornaments two-sided.) The blue and white one is mine, and the multi-color rendition was stitched by Janet Perry of Napa Needlepoint - wonderful and unusual colors she used on her version - and I am delighted to see someone use her own creativity and color choices on the designs. The threads I used were mostly things already in my stash - and if they weren't, it was a fine excuse to go shopping for more. As this work progressed, I added beads to a few, of course - and there were even some with silk ribbon flowers in the center. The white areas of the red one as well as the blue, could have been done also in bargello, but I like the look of basketweave incorporating glittering seed beads - the Sundance color 250H, which are clear crystal hexagonal beads for extra sparkle and iridescence.