Friday, May 29, 2015

Finishing Friday: The Framed Mindy Clock

Ridgewood shows off one of Mindy's clock canvases, which their customer had framed. It makes a lovely working picture.  I never would have thought to frame it.  Clever!
http://ridgewoodneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2015/05/clock-finishing.html

Mindy has a whole range of clock designs, many of which also come with buttons.  And since she also owns a needlepoint shop, you can buy directly from her.
http://www.mindysneedlepoint.com/clocks/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 7, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

No Flying Monkeys: Background Stitches Part Two

Auditioning Footstool Stitches

Now it's time to reveal the results of my footstool stitch auditions.  The stitches on the left were all stitched with the dark or medium blue Splendor silks, using 4-5 plies.  I normally use 2-3 plies on 18 count so I added another to get better coverage as No Flying Monkeys is on 13 count.   The stitches are (bottom to top)  Henderson Variant from Tony Minieri via the ANG website, one of the Alternate Mosaic Variations from Carolyn Hedge Baird's Needlepointing in My Nest,  Roof No. 6 from Stacey Tombros' Ins and Outs, one of the Oblique Stitches from Carole Lake's and Michael Boren's Desert Island Stitches, and a charted version of a flying monkey I created.

Now let's talk about each stitch, working from the bottom up this time, and why I choose it and why I either used it for my footstool or rejected it.

The Henderson Variant is the bottom stitch.  See how small it is in scale?  It seems too tiny to make a good statement on the footstool.  It would work for the wall, which needs to be smaller in scale.  I could make it larger than Tony designed it but I didn't. I moved on to the next stitch.  By the way, the Henderson Variant stitch is all in the darkest shade of blue.  The color variations you see are caused by the light falling on the stitches differently according to how they slant.

Next up is the Alternate Mosaic variation from Carolyn Hedge Baird, who charts lots of compound or complex stitches in her books.  I thought this was quite pretty but I discovered that if I choose this stitch the inner section will need one more ply to cover the background than the X shape does.  You probably have noticed that thread coverage is better in the diagonal stitches than in vertical or horizontal stitches.  I have plenty of thread (Lori at Waste Knot sent me two cards of each color, just to be safe since we had no idea what stitch I would choose) so this isn't a problem--just something to remember.  This stitch seems a little large to me but it is a much better choice than the first stitch I tried.

Roof No. 6 is similar to Carolyn's stitch but smaller.  I went with it to see how a smaller scale stitch worked.  I don't like it as much as the Alternate Mosaic one but the size is better.

By the way, I judge scale by judging how many repeats I can do of the stitch I'm considering.  You need to be able to fit 3-4 in a space in general for a stitch to look good.  If you are going to have a lot more repeats than that, the stitch (like Henderson Variant) is too small.  Too few and you'll still have a problem.  Using this rule, Alternate Mosaic will fit four repeats on one side of the footstool.  You can see it borders on being too big.

The Oblique Stitch variant looks like Xs and Os, doesn't it?  It is my favorite so far but as you can tell from the sample I stitched, there is a lot of open space in this stitch.  I am not certain I want that much white showing and I don't want to fill in with beads or tent stitches, either.

While I pondered all of the above, I charted a flying monkey shape with the vague idea of stitching rows of these across the footstool or putting one on each side of the lettering in the background. I'm not sure I like it, though.  It's a little too indistinct, something that didn't show up well in the diagram I created.  You don't really know how a design you make up will work until you stitch it, though.

Studying all my stitches I auditioned, I had a big ah-HA moment.  I suddenly realized what my theme to unify the footstool and wall backgrounds with the crossed legs and martini glass would be.  It's the letter X.  The legs make an X, the martini glass looks like the top of an X, the two background stitches I thought I'd use for the wall background use cross stitches (also an X).  Can't make it any plainer than that!

So what stitch did I choose?  Naturally, none of the above!

However, you'll have to wait until next time for the reveal.  (Sorry)

Remember, I am collecting the links as I blog stitch this Point of It All Designs piece and posting them in a tab on the CH Stitch Guides blog. You can catch up on what you missed by going there--just click on the flying carpet photo to magically be transported to my other blog and then back again.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 29, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Columbus Show Gossip (May 2015)

The upcoming TNNA trade show in Columbus, Ohio has some really interesting things going on. First of all, fans of Mary Engelbreit designs will be thrilled to hear Painted Pony has licensed some of her art for painted canvases.  Mary Engelbreit needlepoint designs will be available again starting Fall 2015.

Secondly, Amazon.com has signed up to attend the show as a retailer.  This means like your local shop, they'll be browsing the designer booths and trying to arrange orders.    The brick and mortar stores are worried about this new online competitor although I personally think that ordering hand painted canvases from Amazon instead of a real shop is a greater danger to us stitchers than the shops' bottom line.

If Amazon runs our local needlepoint shops out of business by undercutting them on price, we won't have classes, stitch guides, help kitting threads, anyone to match dye lots for us when we run out of thread, assistance with color changes, places to see designs and threads in person while chatting to other stitchers, or any of the other one thousand and one things the shops do for us now.  It will destroy needlepoint as an art form.

Think about that the next time you start shopping for online bargains.  You get what you pay for, after all.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 21, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thread and Needle Clutches

Ridgewood Needlepoint posted photos of what they call thread and needle clutches. These resemble jewelry rollups for travel. I've seen these in large sizes for knitting needles but I can't tell from the photo just how wide or long these are or what will fit comfortably in them. Still, if you are going to a class or on vacation and want your stitching supplies well organized for the trip, this might be just the thing. 
http://ridgewoodneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2015/05/new-thread-and-needle-clutchs.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 20, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tony Minieri Class Alert

The Needle Works has updated their class page with photos of Tony Minieri's "Austin Patch" which he designed for the shop and will be teaching July 21-22, 2015.  Class details are on their website as are photographs of the threads used in the four color ways.  I know fans of his designs will want to see his latest.
http://theneedleworks.com/austin-patch-by-anthony-minieri/

Note that this is a teaching piece only.  I am not certain it is exclusive to the shop but it may be.  I don't know if Tony will allow ghosts in the class but Needle Works will be able to advise you.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 27, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.