Monday, September 21, 2009

Outlining the Cross and Choosing Threads

I decided to go ahead and start stitching on the first of the new Talavera mini-crosses - I might even finish one or two, as they're small and bright, so I'm not likely to get bored or distracted.

Anyway, my dilemma with these things has been that they are so lively in color and pattern, they can't take a lot of glitz, sparkle, and beads, but definitely need something to jazz them up for use as ornaments. I very rarely paint anything of mine that I'm going to stitch, as it not only takes time, but I enjoy the process of seeing the piece come alive by adding color. (painting with a needle and thread).

Incidentally, I have some tutorials going on at Freebies, Etc. (the other blog) on the canvas preparation process - beginning with the pens, so don't miss it if you want to try it on your own.

On one of them I am explaining why I used a light blue drawing pen for the fret at the top, which I have now covered with Kreinik 032 metallic white - so nothing of the line shows through. You can see it coming alive with the blue background started around it.

On the Talavera ceramics, as on the Japanese Imari porcelains, most of the design motifs are outlined in dark navy - so I used the Kreinik navy #018HL, as it has just the right amount of sparkle. Speaking of outlining, a friend wrote me this morning to say she had seen someone on a blog advise against outlining, "as it is continental stitch." I'm afraid I was ROTFLOL at this, as my first and immediate thought was those gorgeous designs of Mindy's I was working on - all three of them have lots and lots of outlining on them. The beautiful flowers, especially, as well as the leaves on the Asian design.

Outlining is not continental stitch, as that stitch travels horizontally in a straight line. Outlining is simply tent stitch, and there is no reason not to outline on a canvas where the design requires it. As I said, the majority of the antique Oriental porcelains I have designed from for almost 40 years, have the pattern motifs outlined. (Another reason for outlining is to confine an area of pattern that's to be worked in a textured stitch, as this prevents ragged, unsightly edges against the background.)

Now back to the subject: My intent on this little canvas is to use Kreinik metallics, blending filament included for a very subtle sparkle, and cotton and Satin floss. I used a red drawing pen to mark where the flower petals will be stitched in red so I won't have to figure it out as I go. Looks much nicer than black ink would have, and is less likely to show through the thread, as I'm not painting it.

I also started, a few days ago, when I was a bit bored, one of my "jeweled" napkin rings. This is an example of how a painted canvas really comes to life with threads. I'm using one of my favorite combinations here - the Petite Very Velvet with Kreinik 002V metallic braid and the addition of glittering beads. (haven't gotten to those yet.)

The edge stitch (so it'll roll over neatly in the finishing) is long-armed cross stitch. Very easy to do, and sooooo effective here. This thing, once the beads are placed on the diamonds and emeralds, looks like an elegant bracelet - but this one is only the length of a napkin ring (5 1/2") Notice that the jewels are also outlined - had to do it here!


NCPat said...

Very the navy!

Cyn said...

Hi Judy,

Very pretty!

And of course I love the navy. :-)

Sigh, some of the stuff that is posted as needlework wisdom these days is "frustrating". There is nothing wrong with tent stitch or outlining as it can and should be used when appropriate to accentuate a design as you are doing here.

I haven't had a chance to catch up on your Freebies blog. I'll have to do that soon to see what you have been up to. :-)

Windy Meadow