Thursday, September 9, 2010

And the Winner of the Asian Inspiration Sampler Is...

Asian Inspiration Sampler from Patt & Lee

...Meg van den Berg!

[Loud cheers!]

Email your snail mail address to me as quickly as you can, Meg, and I'll pop the canvas in the mail to you tomorrow morning before I leave town for a big family party.  I'm at chillyhollow at hot maildotcom.

Many thanks to the seventeen folks who entered the drawing, but special thanks go to Patt of Patt and Lee Designs who graciously donated the canvas.

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

Analyzing the Canvas

Pirate Cat Canvas Unstitched
Once I have my copies, and my canvas is on stretcher bars, I put my canvas away where I can't see it and then draw a little sketch of what it looks like as best I remember.  It doesn't matter I can't draw or that I ended up with more a diagram than a photo.  The important thing is that I recreate my canvas on paper.  Here's my sketch.  [No snickering!]

Sketch of Pirate Cat Canvas

The reason I do a sketch is to tell myself what is important to me in the design.  It can be hard to decide what to emphasis if your canvas is pretty complicated so the sketch helps.  Pirate Cat has big eyes and a bigger hat in my drawing, and his paw holding the sign plus the fancy shawl collar on his coat are what I remember, so these are the things I'll want to emphasize.

It's ok to toss the sketch you did now.  I forgot to include the cat's blue scarf and matching headband, the writing on the sign, etc. but that's ok.  The sketch is just to give me an idea of the most important things about Pirate Cat.

Now let's just look at the bare canvas.  There are fold lines on his coat and what looks to be gold trim around the collar of the red coat.  His shirt and the cuff are gray as is the bulk of his fancy hat.  He has a black shoulder holster with part of the silver buckle showing.  He has a blue scarf tied around his neck and a matching scarf tied around his head under the fancy hat.  His face and paw are black and white.  His eyes are very green and this is the only touch of green on the design.  The sign is orange and dark orange with blue letters.  The background is very pale gray but there is nothing behind the cat.  No pirate flag, no trees, no pirate ship--nothing.  It's a blank slate.

Taking stock of your canvas tells you what colors you are going to need and gives you an idea of the sorts of threads you might use.  For example, the cat is black and white so something that looks like fur in black and in white will be needed.  Make a list (you can put it on the back side of your colored copy of the canvas if you like) of the colors you need and if you know you have something suitable in your stash, mark that on the list somehow.  You can take the color copy and list to your local shop to fill in threads you do not have already later on.

I like to give personality to the people and animals I stitch.  The cat looks like he's wearing clothes too large for him and he definitely is not going to be happy if he doesn't get any treats.  This is a mischievous kitten, not a mean grown up pirate.  Thinking of the personality of the Pirate Cat helps me narrow down thread choices. I really won't need fancy lace to trim his coat, so I can forget having to see if there's any put away in my fabrics.   This is a big-eyed kitten so I'll probably want green metallic thread to draw more attention to those eyes.

Things like this help me pick threads.  This is just a preliminary list, mind you.  I'll narrow down threads next time when I start to pick stitches.

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