Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Red Geisha's Basketweave Challenge

Melissa Shirley's Red Geisha Underway
When I first sat and studied Red Geisha before I started stitching her, I knew that there needed to be a ton of tent stitches on this canvas.  First of all, nothing does faces like basketweave, and secondly, because this will be a purse, it needs the durability of tent stitches.  So how did I introduce interest into a piece that has to be mostly basketweave?

I scattered fancy stitches among the tent stitches, of course!  Look at the right side of the canvas in the photo above.  Naturally the flower petals are stitched in embroidery-type stitches.  The petals are all small and the stitches not very long.  Hopefully they will be hard to snag when the purse is carried.  I then added cashmere stitches over the pink blocks in the background and then added a few more in the same color as the tent stitches to fancy up the area some.  The bulk of the upper left corner of the design is in basketweave but there are fancier elements mixed in so that the design isn't all Boring Basketweave.

Closeup of the first row of flower stitch
You can see how I continued adding fancier elements among the basketweave in the lower left corner of the design.  I did two rows of a fancy floral stitch, then basketweaved inside and around the flowers.  For this effect I used a slightly raspberry shade of red floss for the flowers and a more red shade of a silk/wool mix for the basketweave.  Look again at the larger photograph.  Bet you missed the two rows of flowers between the cheek and apple blossoms when you first looked!  The colors are very close but as the canvas is tilted the flowers become more or less visible.  Since a purse is carried, I am hoping the same "now you see flowers, now you don't" effect will make this an interesting canvas to watch without totally sacrificing durability.

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