Saturday, August 27, 2011

Miko's Background CORRECTED

Miko's Background
So many people have asked about the simple but elegant background stitch for my Leigh pink geisha Fash Insert, that I decided to post about it.  The stitch is called Gobelin Bars with Tent Stitches.  I found it in Ruth Schmuff's Stitches CD Volume One.  (By the way, two of Ruth's three CD stitch collections are out in book form now.  Only the Background volume is only available as a CD at this point.  You can also find Ruth's Stitches Vol. One and Two as apps in the iTunes store.)  I've found the CDs to be a great resource for my stitch guides.  You can see the CDs and books on Ruth's website if your shop doesn't stock them.  For the downloads you have to go to Apple's iTunes store.

Ruth very kindly gave me permission to post the stitch diagram for Gobelin Bars with Tent Stitches here.  Thanks, Ruth!  You are a peach!

Gobelin Bars with Tent Stitches, from Stitches CD Volume One, used with Ruth Schmuff's permission
In the photo I have started step one--the straight stitches that make up the bars using two plies of a Gloriana silk floss.  I have not done step two and probably won't.  My thread isn't exactly the same shade of pink as the background, so omitting the tent stitches gives the bars added dimension.  I plan to add a step three later on by putting tiny jade beads around the corners of the bars.

Why did I pick this stitch?  There are two reasons.  First of all, many Asian-themed canvases have a woven pattern in the background to mimic traditional Japanese tatami mats.  So I looked for stitches that created woven patterns.  This particular pattern's bars are about the same size as one of Miko's eyes. That made the scale perfect for this piece.  If the bars were much longer and taller, the pattern would have been too big.  If the bars used fewer stitches and were only one thread high, the stitch might have been too busy.  But this stitch was just right.

Palma and Sharon, this article's for you.

CORRECTION:  Karen pointed out Ruth's Background CD is now a book.  Just in time for those who prefer real books to electronic versions!  Many thanks, Karen.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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Learn Needle Painting UPDATED

One of the easiest ways of creating realistic needlepoint flowers and animals is needle painting.  Lots of folks take one look at a needle painted piece and think they could never do that, but trust me, it is a lot easier than it looks, particularly if you have a good book that explains the stitches and techniques.  It is best done with DMC floss, too, which makes it a cheap technique to practice.  In the following article, Mary Corbet reviews Trish Burr's latest book which teaches amazing flower and bird techniques.  The book isn't out in the U.S. yet but this is worth putting on your wish list.  After all, Christmas is coming!

If you are curious about Trish's embroidery, her website and blog are here.

UPDATE:  Palma checked this morning and says the new book is available for pre-order at for $12.79 and will be released October 4Thanks so much for double-checking!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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and at