This month's Canvas of the Month is from Lee and it was chosen by Bonnie (we take turns picking a design for this Blog feature). It's one of Lee's fan canvases, the Wisteria Fan F743. We don't know the size of this canvas or what count it's on, but I will assume it is an 18 count piece for the purposes of choosing threads and stitches.
There is a matching wisteria kimono canvas, which Ruth Dilts has done an amazing job stitching. You can buy the kimono canvas and Ruth's stitch guide (written with Joan Lohr) via your shop. Here's a photo of the matching kimono canvas.
Jane's Wisteria Fan:
I decided I wanted to stitch this beautiful piece without using Silk Ribbon Embroidery. That's going to be hard as SRE is the natural choice for such a lovely piece, but Blog is all about exploring painted canvases, so I decided to try to come up with something totally different. I hope I succeeded.
This canvas has four distinct areas: the wistera flowers, the stems and leaves, the background, the black stick and the brown handle at the base of the fan. Starting at the bottom with the brown handle, I think I would use a thin wool thread like Burmilana, Appleton crewel or Gloriana's Lorikeet (or J. L. Walsh's silk/wool blend if you can get it at your local shop) to work Baby Blanket stitches in the brown handle triangles.
Baby Blanket can be found on page 23 of Julia Key H. Snyder's book, Backgrounds and Such. It is just a row of long diagonal stitches tied down at each thread intersection with a tent stitch followed by a diagonal row of reverse tent stitch. Fill the entire area with these two diagonal rows, alternating them. You can use more plies of the thin wools for the long stitches and fewer plies to tie them down. You'll get texture in this area which is appropriate for something that is likely to be rougher than the paper fan itself. Skip the gold lines until the brown stitches are in, then couch a line of antique gold colored metallic (I would use Kreinik's #16 braid in Vintage Gold 002V couched down with #4 braid in the same color). Use the same thread to stitch the gold brads on the black stick once you have it stitched.
For the shiny black lacquered stick, we need a shiny thread. I think I'd choose Sparkle Rays in black and stitch the stick with tent stitches, then add the gold brads on top with the Kreinik used for the fan handle lines. I am not sure what shape the brads are from the photo, but they need to be raised a bit, so perhaps a Smyrna Cross would work.
For the background I would carefully choose three shades of lime green in silk or cotton floss to match the canvas and tent stitch the whole thing, making a careful transition in colors. If you use 4 plies for your tent stitches, you could work from 4 plies of the dark lime to 3 plies of dark lime plus one ply of medium lime, to 2 plies of dark lime plus 2 of medium lime, etc. to introduce beautiful gradual shading to this piece.
Once the background is finished, I'd choose Mandarin Floss in darker greens and browns for the stems, curly vine and the leaves of the wisteria. (Don't forget to stitch the stems of the flower clusters.) I love the natural looking greens and browns in the Mandarin Floss line. Packed stem stitch would make lovely bark, then you could use slanted stitches for the leaves and couch a line of black or very dark green perle cotton for the tiny twining vines.
Only the wisteria blossoms themselves are left to be stitched. These come in lovely shades of blue, of pink and white, and of purple. This is the perfect place to use a silk or a silk/wool blend. Stitch the small buds at the bottom of the flower sprays in all tent stitch. To create dimension in the larger flowers, I think I would stitch the bigger back petals in brick stitch (over two threads) and the front smaller areas in tent.
Then I'd go back and put a lazy daisy stitch around the perimeter of the larger petal areas to make them stand out. Position the base of the lazy daisy at the base of the petal and the tie down stitch at the tip to make a sharp point. Shape your lazy daisy stitches to fit the shape of each petal. Use the same thread whether you are doing a tent stitch, a brick stitch or a lazy daisy stitch. Or you can go fancy and use a metallic thread like Silk Lame Braid for the lazy daisys to add a bit of gleam to the canvas. It's a fancy fan, after all!
Hope you enjoyed this lovely Lee design. It's a classic!
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow