Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Stitching Despite Eye Problems

Sundance's Barbara Elmore has been having eye problems and this is impacting her stitching.  She's still stitching, though, and wrote an essay she posted to Facebook about how she's getting around the problem that is both interesting and inspirational.  With her permission, I'm reposting it here along with the photos of her current piece to show what she means by color contrasts.

Now, here's Barbara!

"Learning to stitch with vision difficulties:

1.  Accept that you need to learn new ways to do things, and figure them out by trial and error.

2.  Be patient with yourself, but do not give up on quality or consistency of work.

3.  Have good light.  If nothing else..this is crucial. I  recently had my Dazor on/off switch replaced after a lot of effort to find a new one.  Dazor Company would replace it, but the cost to ship the lamp part to them was exorbitant.  Instead, I took the thing apart, saw a name brand on the switch, and found one like it on eBay for $19.00!  You know I snatched it right up!  And then, a friend's husband kindly put it back together for me.

The next issue I had was that the new bulb I had purchases was too warm. Meaning..visually too warm.  I needed brighter "Daylight" lighting, so this time, Amazon came to my rescue, and with overnight shipping!  Back in business with a daylight bulb!  YAY!

4.  I am struggling because my thread color is very close to the painted color I am stitching over, so my progress is very slow.  I guess this circles back to 'patience.'  

Someone asked me why I didn't fill in all the background on this piece first, before stitching all the embellishment type flowers.  Normally, I would have, but this painted canvas was so detailed, and the designs were not created with colors that contracts very much, except for the white and reds.

I did fill in first along the bottom part of the canvas, and then, it became difficult for me to see the wispy painted leaves and stems.  So, now, after all that fun of creating the flowers with ribbons and beads, I am, once again tackling the basketweave/tent stitched background.  And I guess this is where I circle back to 'having good light,' and 'learning to do things in new ways.'

Were I to start this background from scratch, I would stitch it in all colors the contrasted more with the painted background color.  Perhaps I would even choose a light teal instead of the 'colonial blue.' When one's eyes have trouble distinguishing color values, one has to learn new ways.

This project has inspired me to stitch my next piece with radical color changes from what the painted canvas may dictate.  What is that expression…?  Necessity is the mother of invention!  Why not!"

As Barbara says, why not?  Don't give up your stitching, folks.  Maybe your eyesight is no longer 20-20 but your brain will find ways around that.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright July 19, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Quaker Stitch

Mary Corbet's latest tutorial is for Quaker Stitch.  It's perfect for thin lines!

Many painted canvases have black outlines or details that generally we use back stitch, stem or outline stitch or couch to cover.  But Quaker Stitch offers another option for when you really want that line to stand out.  Thanks, Mary!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright July 29, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Using a Laying Tool: The Movie

Want to watch a short demonstration of how to use a laying tool? has a video just for you.

Yes, it really is just that simple.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright July 28, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Needlepointer Talks Beginning to Needlepoint

A great many folks are teaching themselves to needlepoint since they are stuck at home. The Needlepointer in Washington State has a nice explanation of how to get started on their website.

Of course I have plenty of online resources to teach yourself to needlepoint, with links to kits with beginners in mind as well.  Just check the tabs above to go to that section of Blog.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright July 27 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pharoah's Feather Fan

Fan Feathers Done

Once I finished the feathers on the fancy fan behind Leigh's Pharaoh, it was time to stitch the rest of the fan.  Above is the fan with all the feathers stitched so you can see how it doesn't overwhelm the statue of Ramses II.

If you look carefully at the fan you'll see I've done a lot of tent stitching on the head of the fan.  The red area is stitched and at this point I've also added gold tent stitches with Kreinik around the head's central area.  I ended up tent stitching the golden yellow areas, too.  With all that out of the way, I could bead the rest of the head section.  But first, I needed to rummage in my stash for beads in the right colors.  

Here's what I selected, all from Sundance Needlepoint.

Gemstone Beads from Sundance

Color Inspirations Collections from Sundance

The Gemstone beads are 3mm in diameter, roughly, which makes them larger than size 11 beads.  The little round beads from the Color Inspiration Collections: Shell are smooth and much smaller, probably close to a size 14 bead.  They are also more even.  The gemstone beads have been tumbled to shape I think and they are not smooth.  I like all of them.  The colors are right and I think they will add to the feather fan without drawing too much attention from Pharaoh.

When I laid them on the canvas, though, it was obvious that 3mm beads are too large.  I hope you can see the beads laid on the canvas.  One of the gemstone beads is at the bottom of the fan head and there is a smaller round bead below it and also one to the left.  

For me, scale is very important on a painted canvas.  Unless I'm stitching a portrait of Dolly Parton, I don't want one are to overwhelm another.  So although I might be able to use a few of the larger Gemstone beads, I will have to bead the fan head and shaft with mostly the smaller ones from the Shell Inspiration Collection.

However, before I can bead, I have something else to do.  Those who have sharp eyes can see the next step which I've already done but not described.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright July 15, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.