Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Woodlawn Exhibit Opens

The 2011 Woodlawn Plantation Exhibit opens today, March 2nd.  It runs through the end of March with the exception of Tuesdays.

Woodlawn is NOT open on Tuesdays so don't go there then hoping to see the needlework exhibit.

Last year Woodlawn put photos of the award winners in an online photo album.  I don't know if this will happen again this year but here is the link to last year's pieces in case you missed them.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at

Stitching the Gold Fish

Lillian Chermor's Gold Fish
I’ve been really busy with other things and Carol’s also been busy collecting supplies for her Gold Fish, so I’ve not really talked about stitches she might want to use for the fish itself.   Let's start that now.

The Swirl stitch Carol is going to use in the background is pretty large-scale, so I think the fish will stand out more if we go with a small scale stitch on its sections. Those sections are pretty narrow, so a small scale stitch has the advantage of being easier to compensate.   Look at this example to see what I mean.

The fish has red, orange, yellow, harvest gold, brown and purple sections. If you look at the photo, you see than many of these sections are set off from each other by lines that resemble the black lead that divides stained glass windows. Personally, I’d ignore all these lines except for the mid-line that divides the fish’s upper body from his lower body.   These areas are busy enough with all the small sections in different colors.  Carol may have other ideas, though.

Going back to the six colors of the fish, Carol could use the same stitch for all six colors or she could pick six different stitches, or she could choose one stitch for the fish’s body and another stitch (or two) for the fins and tail. All of these possibilities would work.

However, given that the fish has all those yellow polka dots that Carol will cover with crystal sequins, I think I would limit the number of stitches used to 2-3. I would also choose stitches that have spaces where beads could nestle so that Carol could add beads to the fish’s body or the upper fin to match the sequins on the tail and lower fins. I think this fish will look good with a lot of sparkle. Carol and I already talked about using contrasting colors on the fish sections (i.e., putting purple beads on the yellow sections and red beads on the orange sections, etc.) but again that might be too busy. If it were me, I think I would choose beads that were similar in color to the crystal sequins Carol will use to cover the polka dots on the fish. Using topaz sequins and topaz beads ties the various colorful sections together somewhat.

Now that I’ve given you way too much to think about, let’s talk potential stitches. I used the list of online thread diagram sources listed at the bottom of Blog to start browsing stitches.

I started with the Needlepoint Guide site and immediately found a stitch that looks like fish scales to me. It’s called Tressed Stitch.

This stitch has the virtue of not covering entirely, which adds depth to a design but those little empty spaces could be filled by beads or a tent stitch or cross stitch in topaz metallic.

I also liked Oblique Slav, which covers better but doesn’t have empty spaces for beads or cross stitches. However, one could use Oblique Slav for the tail and fins and use Tressed Stitch for the fish’s body. These two stitches are enough alike that they would blend convincingly. If you use two stitches on the fish, they should not look too different.

Note that if Tressed Stitch was used for the fish’s body, Carol could see the wavy lines on the fish’s body through the light coverage stitches and stem stitch or couch a dark line on top of Tressed Stitch to create the wavy lines again.

Another way to stitch the fish is to give him a pebbly textured skin like the blanket worn by the lady on the left. Stitches like these have the virtue of fitting well into small spaces. 

Dotted Swiss is a similar stitch. Essentially it is skip tent stitch with cross stitches (or beads!) done on the empty spots. Here’s a diagram. But perhaps Carol will think she’d rather have the subtle texture of cross stitches in Cire rather than all those beads? Again, this is a good stitch for small spots and easy to compensate.

My final idea today is to try doing something totally different. Smyrnas are harder to compensate and may not fit well in the tail and fin sections but look very nice on the fish’s body. They will also show off the shine of the Cire thread Carol is using on the fish well. 

I’ve given Carol a lot to think about. She may love or hate these ideas or have some of her own so I’ll give her time to react.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Revisiting the January TNNA Show

Silly me--I totally forgot that TNNA has a needlepoint-only website. It's got great photographs from the January trade show in Long Beach, too!  Have fun browsing.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at