Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Woven Leaf!!
Sometimes a little spark becomes a raging bonfire, and just won't quiet down or let go - or let me sleep. I had to do this last night, after Allie's and Ira's woven leaf tutorials got me thinking - and thinking and thinking. First was the delightful task of dumping out several boxes of "stash" and finding those glorious colors of Sharon B's for this month: I can "see" what I would do with the threads if only I had the time, but February is running out, and has been unusually busy for me. The sunset pictures that inspired me would be the starting point, and I would stitch some facsimile of layered colors BEFORE doing the "woven" designwork on top of the stitching - but no time for even a swatch right now, so it was worked on bare canvas. (not nearly as easy) Working on waste canvas made more sense, as it gave me more freedom of direction and firm guidance for placement of stitches - so, having received a nice package from a lovely shop in Portland, Oregon, The Playful Needle, I chose to use the 18 mesh, as this project is small. I keep small pieces of mono canvas ready for just such occassions - and already had this circle drawn. The first order of business was to sketch on tracing paper, and then ink the drawing, - a spray of leaves that would fit the space nicely, pretending that I had already stitched in the "sunset background." Next, using the Pilot Permanent extra fine point pen that I use for drawing on needlepoint canvas, (totally waterproof, as opposed to "water resistant" as some pens are) I traced the design from the paper onto the waste canvas, and then - after moving it around to get just the right position, I basted it to the mono-canvas. Then it was ready for stitching! The first thing to do, according to Ira, was to put in the "warp." I will say - do NOT use a stranded thread for this. I used the Splendor silk, which I really like, but it is stranded, and dealt me misery while putting in the weft. Whatever was I thinking? or maybe not thinking, as it was near midnight after a busy day. Anyway - next was to do the weft. I chose the Kreinik metallic ribbon, color #018HL, which is a lovely, vibrant navy - and the ribbon is flexible, whereas the braid in the HL is a bit stiff. (I did use the braid in the same color for the stem stitch outline). Ira suggested not going back down into the fabric at each turn of the weft, but on canvas, I got better results from going down and back up with each crossing - I had good control due to using the waste canvas for this. After finishing the weft weaving, the waste canvas was cut away fairly close to the leaf, and then the remaining threads pulled out easily with the help of my little needle nose pliers. To finish, a stem stitch outline!! The dimensional effect of this is amazing - and will be very pretty on TOP of a stitched background. Possibilities for color, design, and use are endless here - and thanks to Ira for bringing it to our attention, and for Allie's tutorial, which I found first - and which led me to Ira's delightful blog. (see links on the previous post). Good Job, ladies!! What's next?? I'm always waiting to be inspired by the beautiful work I see in blogland.