Friday, September 22, 2017

Needle in a Haystack Reports on Destination Dallas

Needle in a Haystack has news from Destination Dallas, including a mini report on the show with new products they have brought back to Alamadea.
http://archive.mailermailer.com/view/52455628a-c9158bbc%2a1254854t-1ad7bceb

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 21, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

A Brief Light Coverage Tutorial, Part Two

Melissa Shirley's "Red Geisha"

Once you understand a bit about how to create light coverage stitches by picking a stitch and a thread that won't cover the intricately painted areas, then you need to understand the problem that using light coverage stitches mixed with regular coverage stitches can cause on a canvas.

For illustration I'm using Melissa Shirley's "Red Geisha" which has areas of light coverage (the face) mixed with areas that are covered in solid stitches (everything else).  Often you will see a light coverage background with solid coverage everywhere else.  That makes logical sense because light coverage stitches recede while full coverage stitches look as if they are closer to the viewer.  So how come I used light coverage for a face?  Because faces tend to be focal points and often you can get away with light coverage on a focal point.   In this case the expression of the face, particularly the more heavily stitched lips, eyes and eyebrows mask the fact that I used light coverage stitches on the bulk of the face.

You can also get away with light coverage in foreground areas if you intend to draw the eye by using beads or sequins or metallics or other heavy textures.  Ruth Schmuff used a light coverage for her background AND flowers AND birds but the birds have beads and the flowers have very textural stitches, even though they do not complete cover the painted canvas.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2016/02/sparkling-birdies-and-pink-flowers.html

If you use light coverage everywhere, as in Kirk and Hamilton's "Magnolias," stitched by Pat Miller you don't have to worry about heavy coverage areas overwhelming the light coverage ones.  (She has a stitch guide for this, by the way.)  In this case all the petals and leaves and the background were stitched with light coverage stitches.  Obviously if you plan to work the entire canvas in light coverage stitches, you don't have to worry about a mix of light coverage and regular coverage stitches.
http://needleartnut.blogspot.com/2016/10/magnolia-finish.html

To help you figure out what areas besides backgrounds can handle light coverage, I thought I'd use Melissa Prince's new small travel coaster canvases as examples.  These are all on 18 count, by the way.
https://www.melissaprincedesigns.com/travel-coasters.html

Look at the pink flamingo for Florida in the second row.  You could use light coverage stitches for the martini glass because in real life glasses are transparent.  Just make sure the leaves sticking out of the drink aren't too dimensional and don't use stitches that stick up really high over the glass area for the flamingo float. That will look odd.  You could add sparkle to the glass with the use of beads, metallics or crystals to draw the eye and help the glass compete with the flamingo, though.

Look at Washington, D.C. in the third row.  You can use light coverage stitches for the buildings as long as you don't make the pink cherry blossoms or the blue sky too prominent.  The cherry blossoms are the focal point so it's ok for them to be dimensional. In fact, don't use light coverage for them.  That would look odd.  But don't have too heavy a hand here if the buildings and sky are both light coverage.  Balance is everything here.

The NYC skyline in the fourth row is a good design for light coverage stitches for the background and buildings and a heavier coverage for Miss Liberty's arm and torch.  That emphasizes the importance of Liberty over the ephemeral buildings of Manhattan that come and go as the city morphs and changes over time.

Make sense?  Use light coverage for focal points only when you can add emphasis in some other way.     If you have questions, post them in the Comments or email me at chilly hollow at hotmaildotcom.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Brief Light Coverage Tutorial, Part One UPDATED

One of today's needlepoint style trends is to not completely cover very detailed and shaded parts of a canvas with thread, but to choose open stitches that allow the shading to show through.   I've noticed people are curious about the technique so I thought I'd give some general  information on light coverage if you want to try it.


Melissa Shirley's "Red Geisha" Close Up

First of all, any stitch can be used for light coverage, even tent stitches.  Just use a lighter weight thread than normal.  Think about basketweave on a face—on 18 count one would normally use 3-4 plies of a cotton floss to cover.  Try using 1-2 plies instead.  Often the features (nose lines especially) will show through the thread and you can easily skip stitching those.  In the example pictured above, this discontinued Melissa Shirley 13 count design had the face stitched with one strand of Impressions, which allowed the expressive facial feature lines to shine through.  The nose, ear and neck lines were not stitched in gray.  You simply see the gray paint showing past the white Impressions.

When you use lighter coverage stitches, you are going to have to use different techniques to start or end threads since often there is no good place to tie off your stitches unless a heavier stitched area is next door.  (Red Geisha's face threads could be buried behind the robe area or her wig since those areas were full coverage.  Here is an older Blog article about starting and ending threads for light coverage stitches.
https://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2010/06/anchoring-ends-when-stitching-light.html

Here's another, more technical explanation from Joni Stevenson.
http://creative-stitch.blogspot.com/2012/10/those-pesky-ending-threads.html


Useful Books for Light Coverage Stitches

There are a whole series of books that talk about light coverage stitches. (See above.)  All three of Brenda Hart's books Favorite Stitches, Favorite Stitches II and Stitches for the Millennium (in the back row) feature stitches that work well in light coverage.  dede Odgen calls light coverage stitches Shadow Stitching and she has two books on the topic.  I own More Shadow Stitching but not Shadow Stitching.  The final book I recommend SuZy Murphy's Lite Stitches.  However, you can use any stitch as a light coverage stitch.  If you like darning stitches, the Finger Step Designs books has one you might be interested in.
http://store.apneedlearts.com/045485.html

UPDATE:  SharonG's "It's About Darn Time" is also a great reference for darning stitches.
http://nimbleneedlenj.com/product/its-about-darn-time/

Plus Amy Bunger's "Barely There" DVD is very useful as it is all about light coverage.
https://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2009/02/review-amy-bungers-barely-there-dvd.html

If you just want a few stitch ideas, read what Mary Legallet has to say about light coverage stitches, which she calls Open Work.
http://www.whimsicalstitch.com/whimsicalwednesdays/2015/8/19/open-sesame

Tomorrow I'll talk about the problems of mixing light and regular coverage stitches on a canvas.  See you then!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

iOS 11 ALERT

As Jan at Thread Medley reminds us, the newest version of the Apple mobile device operating system is now available for download. But you should be aware that of all the stitch book apps for Apple devices, Stitch Landscape from Little Shoppe Canvas Company will no longer open once you upgrade.  I don't know if they plan an update to a 64 bit version of their book.
https://threadmedley.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/iphone-ios-11-advice/

You can follow Jan's advice and take photos of the stitches you use a lot, or pick up a hard back version.  This is the best price I found.
http://www.cabbagerow.com/little-shoppe-canvas-book-stitch-landscape.html

Personally I have an old iPod Touch that I cannot upgrade so I'll use the copy of this lovely little book there instead of buying a hard copy.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright September 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Circular Ornament Finishing Tutorials

This cross stitch tutorial shows how to finish a round ornament that is slightly puffy. Ovals are discussed also.  Although the piece finished is on Aida, not needlepoint canvas, the process is the same, even if the needlepoint canvas is stiffer, thus harder to cut, fold and manipulate.
http://pinwheelponders.blogspot.com/2008/12/some-thoughts-on-circular-and-oval.html?m=1

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 12, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.