Saturday, September 11, 2010

Picking Stitches for the Pirate Cat: Part Two

I have three ideas for the background of the pirate cat:  use box shaped stitches to echo the rectangle of the sign, use diagonal stitches to subtly point toward the cat and his sign, or use darning stitches to write out either words of Halloween symbols.  Once I reach this point, I need to pull out my stitch dictionaries and start looking for stitches that meet the criteria.

Most stitchers have books with stitches diagrammed in them in their library.  I think two series are particularly useful for folks who are going to be choosing stitches for their canvases.

One is the Needlepoint 101 and Needlepoint 202 Guide to Painted Canvas series by Ruth Dilts.  These two small books walk you through a series of canvases Ruth stitched, with diagrams of the stitches she choose and some information on why she picked what she did.  There is information about how to pick a canvas to embellish with your own stitches and help with threads.  The canvases are usually small but they are varied so you can see examples of all sorts of designs you might like to stitch.  These are useful books, especially for the novice.

However, when I start looking for a variety of stitches, the first place I go is my three Stitches for Effect books.  These were written by Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren.  (There are four books in the series, but Stitches to Go is intended as a portable book with just the diagrams from the Stitches for Effect series.  Ignore it for now.)  You want Stitches for Effect, More Stitches for Effect and/or Even More Stitches for Effect.  These three books have a huge number of stitches diagrammed and they are organized by effect.  Want to look at stitches for snowflakes?  Refer to the index in each book and look at the stitches that make great snowflakes.  Need something for fur?  Look it up in the index, then browse the recommended stitches.  For beginners in canvas embellishment, these are great books!

I also pulled out SuZy Murphy's SuZy's Darn Stitches as it has pages of darning patterns.  I might find a pumpkin or skull diagrammed there for the background.  (See link above for info on this book, too.)

I browsed SuZy's Darn Stitches first, but didn't find a pumpkin stitch that really grabbed me and there were no skull stitches.  I reluctantly decided that I didn't want to go to the trouble of graphing out the words Feed Me, either, so we are back to just two ideas for the background:  a rectangular or box shape that resembles the sign or a diagonal stitch that will subtly point toward the Pirate Cat.

So I browsed my stitch dictionaries and did a little test stitching on scrap canvas (you can always use the wide margins of your current canvas if you want) before I came up with a stitch I liked.  But that is another Blog entry for another day!

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