Sunday, July 11, 2010

Needlepoint Shading: More "Flowers on Crosses"

It's unbelievablel what I'm finding when going through boxes long stored in the garage - things I thought I had lost or trashed.

This first picture is a cross on 18 mesh canvas that was painted probably 14 years ago, when I decided to do floral crosses for Spring - but they were a favorite all year, to my surprise. I have loved the calla lilies in colors, in addition to the plain white ones.

If you enlarge this, you will see how the shading is painted in very distinct areas - it "reads" as shading, but the separations in shades are distinct enough to make the stitchng easy in basketweave, as textured stitches have no place on this design..
The next one features blue irises (Dutch, I believe) and others that were blooming in my neighborhood that spring. I chose this one to stitch for myself, as these are my favorites!

On the painted canvas I sold to shops, I left the background and border without paint, so that people could choose their own color. The separating outline is metallic gold.
I chose the purplish light blue for background, as it enhanced the flowers, and brought them visually forward in the composition. The navy outline contained the whole pattern.

Again, this is too busy to accomodate textured stitches - and was delightful to work in just basketweave with silk threads. I didn't finish it, and have no idea where it is at the present time. Maybe it will surface.

When you are shopping for painted canvases, this "canvas preparation" is a very important thing to understand - as it must be easy to know exactly where to put your needle for the next stitch. A well painted canvas leaves no doubt!!

It isn't showing in my cropped photos, but I always make a little square of paint on the side in a vertical row, every time I change colors in my paint brush - this makes it easy for a shop owner to pull threads without missing anything.

The next flowered cross is just a very busy one - As I remember, my inspiration for these was the "flowering of the cross" the little ones do at Easter- When I was a child, we went up the aisle to the front of the church, and put a little bouquet of our own flowers onto a beautiful white cross. It was a very significant ceremony at Easter for children, and I enjoyed watching my own little ones in later years doing this.
The last picture is, again, a very busy pattern. This one, however, will accomodate, and actually needs, a bit of enhancement.
The arrows at the top point to little "fill-in" things, which I would stitch first in basketweave in the light greet dots - and then put the darker green French Knots on top of that for emphasis. In this case, just doing the French knots on bare canvas would look messy.
The lower right arrows point to little five pointed leaves - and, again, I would do these ON TOP of the background basketweave in long, smooth stitches in cotton or silk - not adding a lot of different kinds of fibers, which would be too distracting.
Tiny little 2 ply, one wrap French knots would also be great, I think, on the iris "beards" and where the brown dots around the centers of the red flowers show. Again, I would stitch the background first - then add the French knots on top, as they seem to lie flatter that way, and also add some extra dimension.
A carefully drawn and painted canvas is easy and relaxing to stitch! However, some might look at this and be frightened of it, as it looks daunting to anyone expecting to have to put a zillion fancy stitches on it with 25 different threads. YUK. I believe it might be why some are so afraid of stitching on a painted canvas - a whole new concept to me! It's being told to have to turn it to "goop" or an eye shattering mess that is the fearsome thing.


threadmedley said...

These are just gorgeous! I love Spring flowers but I have a brown thumb. Stitching flowers would be ideal. Lots of pretty colors to brighten up a room. And I agree, that with a colorful canvas, basketweave and a few French knots would be the ideal stitches to use.

Rachel said...

These are delightful - cheerful, colourful, and in silk they must look fabulous!