On a brighter note - I decided, after using up a great deal of my stash - at least what is not packed away in boxes, that I needed to go shopping for a new color scheme to inspire me. This is what I found at the LNS. I have no restraint where pretty colors are displayed. This is a big batch of the gorgeous Caron Soie Cristale that I enjoy using on my crazy quilt renditions in needlepoint. I selected a few, intending to use them on one piece - and also added some ribbon floss in the same color ranges that I had in my "leftovers."
These fibers and colors are super for the part of the CQ I enjoy most - replicating the background fabrics! Allie's new quilt has zillions of silk tie things in it, and I have studied them closely (my new colors also were inspired by this). I made an enlargement of one little patch to show how it was then translated to needlepoint - Hungarian Criss-Cross in the two colors, with little pearl beads for the white spots. Too often I see designers making patches with very colorful and busy textured stitches - but this isn't conducive to the embellishment, and is a different thing altogether. My pieces are small, so the background patches must be subdued but interesting. I do use the textured stitches, but as a means to an end and not the total focus.This is what I will do for the first one!
I have made the little dots with a pen on the weft stitches, and intend to insert beads where the same pattern is showing on the sample swatch (also an enlargement from one of Allison's ties that I saw on her quilt.) If by any chance anyone hasn't seen this gorgeous thing - look at this link.
The squarish markings at the top are to indicate placement of tone on tone stripes from another patch. The rest of the piece will be stitched with just beautiful fibers in pretty colors - textured stitches, but subtle - as background for the silk ribbon flowers and other intended embellishment. I'm never quite sure what will happen, as I don't dare plan these things in the beginning - just build as I go with the selected threads.