Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Washington Metro Map

The first of my volunteers with a problem canvas is Barbara with this Washington, D.C. Metro map canvas from Ruth Schmuff Classics.

Barbara has the 18 count version that is 7 1/2 inches square.  Here's what she says about this design--

I do not have many ideas for what to do with it. I had thought about jessicas and bead centers for the subway stops. I have some gloriana petit perle which I wanted to use for the subway lines but could use something else if a better idea came along. Other than that I have no idea and those ideas could easily be discarded.

I responded--

Have you thought about how you want to finish it?

I think Jessicas and beads for the subway stops is a great idea. Did you have a stitch in mind for the Gloriana petite perle lines?

When I looked at the piece I got a sort of Wizard of Oz fantasy feel, like this is not just a map of a real place but a guide to magical destinations. I get fanciful sometimes!

But following through on the fantasy land idea, I then noticed that there are two landmarks (the Capital and the Washington Monument) plus the compass in the right lower corner. If it were me, I'd try to make those areas very glitzy (as well as the letters of Washington, D.C. in the left border) by using beads, metallics, goldwork, etc. Then I'd do the black background in tent stitches using my favorite silk or silk/wool blend. It is not easy to make fancy stitches show up on black using black threads and I suppose the background really is just a sort of black velvet to show off the subway lines and the decorative elements, anyway.

I think I'd use various small textured stitches for some of the subway lines and perhaps toss in some metallic here and there. I'm thinking stitches like Nobuku, Dotted Swiss, Double Cross, etc. You are going to have to be careful where you put texture and metallics on the lines. Some of them seem to be in the background and others in the foreground, probably because of the color choices.  I am not that familiar with D.C. subway lines. Are the green lines part of the Green Line, so to speak?

I'm thinking you might want to solidly bead the black Capital silhouette, purple outline and all, and then fill in the gold background with some sort of fancy stitch, perhaps one that is more or less oval or perhaps cross-cross Hungarian, but putting touches of gold metallic in the stitch, whichever you choose.

I'm thinking goldwork for the compass, perhaps just the center padded to stand up to the Capital in greens and golds. Then we'll have to do something equally spectacular with the Washington Monument. I see the spire and the lettering as similar. Whatever you do with one, you'll need to do with the other. Beading would work but a lovely Burden stitch with the right flashy threads might look lovely on the spire with the same threads used in the lettering.

We have lots of thinking to do on this one but this is a start. I do think you will need tent stitches in the black background and possibly behind the letters on the left border. Probably the red, darker blue and orange lines will need tent stitches, too, as there are all those little boxes on top of them.

Tomorrow I'll post Barbara's response to my questions above and we'll continue to talk about the subway map and how to turn it into a fantasy world fit for politicians, lobbyists, government workers, tourists and lawyers!

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