Monday, August 30, 2010

Help Me Choose A Patt & Lee Design

As you know, needlepointers work from charts, on painted or printed canvases, or work an outlined project. So-called painted canvases come in many flavors: there are hand painted canvases that are done by human beings, there are “stitch painted” canvases where special trouble is taken to make sure that the design is painted on so that there is never any question as to what color goes where, and there are printed designs put on by machine. The printed designs used to be either silk screened or stamped but there are digital printing processes available these days that put the old silk screened canvases to shame.

Because printed canvases are done by machine, they are usually cheaper than a painted canvas done by a person due to the labor savings. These designs have a bad reputation because in the past the quality was poor. Many of the printed designs I saw twenty years ago were askew and on poor quality canvas. There was nothing to tempt a stitcher to spend his or her precious free time working these things. More recently eBay sellers began to offer iron transferred designs on interlock canvas but often didn’t understand which designs will stitch well. Buyers ended up with a lovely canvas that it is impossible to stitch.

Of course times change and so does the equipment that transfers a design onto needlepoint canvas. Designers like In Good Company use something called giclee painting to produce canvases that are excellent quality at a good price.

I’ve been talking back and forth with Patt of Patt and Lee Designs about painted canvases, the image problem giclee painted canvases have, her company, and the technical difficulties of printing a design on needlepoint canvas which is not always straight.

Patt tells me she started out designing her own work because the kits she bought drove her crazy with their registration problems. She switched to working from charts, then bought a software program that would create her own designs in needlepoint and cross stitch. She wondered if her designs would sell and started doing iron transfers of her designs onto interlock canvas. They sold and she built up a following of repeat customers. However, the iron transfer canvases weren’t really up to her quality standards, so she kept looking and discovered giclee painted designs. A local shop bought some of Patt’s work, and well, the rest is history!

Patt and Lee Designs offers both beautiful giclee' painted as well as hand painted designs. Her line of hand painted designs are stitch painted. I will be focusing and blogging about one of her giclee' painted designs.  But which one?

Patt graciously offered to send a canvas for me to stitch publicly to show off the high standard giclee painted designs today. When I was charmed by several, she laughed and sent both of them to me. You, Blog readers, are going to choose which I stitch. Here are the candidates.

Asian Inspiration
Asian Inspiration Sampler - The number of this canvas is Ai-16 and it is one of Patt’s earlier designs. It is on 18 count Zweigart mono canvas and is 6 1/4 inches long by 5 inches high. I love the Asian feel of this design, especially the lovely variety of borders and the iris variety I know as "purple flag." The kanji symbol stands for love. Pat says the iris bring a message of friendship and appreciation, making this a perfect present for someone you treasure.

Pirate Cat
Pirate Cat Wants Candy - This is one of Patt’s most recent designs which debuted at the TNNA trade show last June.  The official name is Hi-55.   Patt has a wonderful series of dressed up cat canvases which have a slightly old-fashioned feel lightened by their humor. This is just one of a group of Halloween cats she's done, many of which have their own stitch guides.  I wouldn’t dare not hand out the fish-flavored treats if this cat showed up on my doorstep next Halloween! Pirate Cat is on 18 count Zweigart mono canvas. He’s 6 inches long and 3 3/4 inches high.

The colors on both canvases are strong and true and I can’t see any areas where the painted lines don’t match up to the canvas threads. Neither design has fine lines or curves that will be impossible to translate into NP stitches. So now we choose!  Or rather, you choose.

I’ve posted a poll above where Blog readers can vote for Pirate Cat or Asian Inspiration Sampler. Whichever canvas gets the most votes, that’s the canvas I will stitch! So think it over. Do you want to see flowers and koi and fancy borders? Or do you want to watch me dress the Pirate Cat in all his fancy duds?

Note that the poll will stay up for several days at least. I want to give Blog readers who only show up every 3-4 days a chance to make their preference known. Vote early but not often! LOL

May the most popular canvas win.

By the way, if you can't vote in the poll, just email me your choice at chilly hollow at hotmail dotcom and I'll add your vote to the poll.

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