Sunday, May 30, 2010

Putting a Small Canvas Into a Larger Space

Whenever I have a canvas that is too small for the place where it should go, I automatically think about adding a border -- or three!

This was the case with the little mermaid who needs to fill a larger space on the purse pocket.  I simply took the wave pattern from the painted blue-green sea behind her, turned it into a bargello wave pattern, and stitched the waves  beyond the sea into the empty space I needed to fill, except in a different color.  Presto! A border!

The bargello wave is very simple.  It is four threads high with a pattern of three stitches in a row, following by a stitch that goes up a thread, a stitch that goes up another thread, then a stitch that drops down a thread.  Repeat these two groups endlessly across the line.

My bargello wave is done in a beautiful Gloriana silk called Deep Blue Sea.  Because it is an upright stitch, I had to use six plies of my overdyed silk.  The highlighted waves (which don't match precisely the highlights Ms. Shirley painted but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do) are in Silk Lame Braid #SL14.  I used the same blue Silk Lame Braid for the letter H in the monogram I put in the upper left corner of the border.

Once the sea waves were done, I did the border waves in solid pink Impressions #2075 (2 strands) alternating with Sparkle Rays in SR31.  Sparkle Rays is a flat ribbon-like thread with iridescent green and gold sparkles woven in with the flat pink thread color.  It is perfect for this piece even though it isn't the same pink as the Impressions because both pinks are in the mermaid's skin and features.  If you are adding a border, pick colors that already occur in the central part of the design and the border will look like it was created by the original designer, not you the stitcher.

I did some random rows in the pink Sparkle Rays to add bling and to help insure I had enough Impressions to do the entire background.  I had a little less than a full skein in my stash and I have to double it in my needle so I have to be cautious with the amount of Impressions I use or I'll run out.

The other two letters in the monogram are in threads I plan to use on the mermaid and her little goldfish but haven't stitched with yet. The green is Sparkle! Braid SK25, which is a thin, strong metallic about the size of #12 perle (I had to double it and do a cross stitch creating the letter R so it would look as thick as the other letters).  The peach and gold is Silk Lame Braid #SL29.  I'll use that on the goldfish later.

I need to finish the pink border next, bringing up my bargello waves to the letters, then doing basketweave around them.  After that I'll probably do the sky behind the mermaid all in tent stitches with a sparkling metallic blue if I have one in the right pale shade in my stash.  I want a lot of Bling in this piece but I think doing a sky in bargello wave as I originally planned is going to be a bit much, so basketweave it is.

Wish me luck finding the right blue in The Stash!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at