Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bling Your Problems Away

My Background Hates Me

After I finished my latest Top Secret project for Leigh Designs to preview at the St. Charles trade show, I turned my attention back to my Dr Who canvas.   When you last saw this canvas, I had finally decided on a background.

Things went downhill from there.  First, I ran out of the tan Trebizond.  A friend came to my rescue with two more spools, but they were slightly lighter than the dyelot I had been using.    I also noticed that the Trebizond in brick stitches allowed some white canvas to peek through.  Then I had trouble at the join between the background and the face of the Doctor.  Then I couldn't find a color to put in the left side background between the rows of blue waves where you see the white canvas peeking through.

Sigh. Sometimes a canvas just hates you.  Fortunately, that's when I get the most creative--when I have a problem child canvas.  Let's tackle the problems in reverse order, ok?

I could not find a color that seemed to work well as tent stitches between the blue wavy background stitch on the left side of the Doctor.  I finally decided I liked the white area that shows so I left it as is.  Please don't tell anyone I have naked canvas here!  LOL

As you can see if you look closely at the photo above, I took out the brick stitches near the left side of the Doctor's face and used tent stitches instead.  I also outlined the jawline a bit with the darkest skin color to help differentiate between the face and the background.  The tan background and pink skin colors are not the same but they are similar in value and sometimes that is enough to make it hard to distinguish between colors.  Did I ever tell you about the time I stitched a background in pale green and pale violet and the two colors disappeared?  This sort of color magic can work against you sometimes but a little outlining solved this issue when I used tent stitches next to the tan and pink areas.  Yes, occasionally you solve one problem and create another.  Told you this background hates me!

The brick stitches not always covering well in Trebizond was an issue.  Also having a distinct line between two dyelots was a problem.  I could have solved both issues by ripping out the entire brick stitch area and restitching it with another thread in brick stitch.  If I'd had a similar shade of tan in Impressions, I would have done just this.  I love the tan color which is perfect for this design but not having a shop near me is certainly a problem.  I finally decided to just live with the canvas "dandruff" which isn't too noticeable except to experienced stitchers.

I am going to hide the dyelot change by applying lots and lots of beads and crystals to the area where one dyelot of Trebizond meets another.

Did you think adding beads to your canvas was just because we are all magpies at heart?!  NO!!  Bling hides a multitude of problems.  Is your stitch a little awkward in places?  Toss beads on top and no one will ever know.  My problem is a little worse that that so I added both beads and some of those new 3mm flat back Swarovski crystal sequins.

Add Bling and What's a Dyelot Between Friends?
Here's how Dr. Who Eleven looks right now.  With the right finishing on the edges of the canvas only you and I will ever know that the background gave me such fits!

Of course I am not advocating stitching less than your best but sometimes we lack the threads, energy, well, or whatever to make a problem area the best it can be.  In those instances, get creative and it is amazing what you can achieve.

Now I am going to turn my attention back to Luna.  Remember Luna?

About Time You Finished ME!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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  1. Thank you for writing about how you solved the challenges in this project. Using "bling" to hide the dye lot change is perfect. Will add this to my list of solutions.

  2. Excellent solutions! Funny how that bling makes the difference disappear!

  3. After reading of your adventures & misadventures with The Doctor, I feel better about my recent struggles with a canvas. I didn't like it from the beginning, but it's for The Boy, and *he* will like it. I believe I chose the right stitch for the main element, but woefully underestimated how much compensation would be involved. Beads hid errors that I just couldn't quite fix. I now know I should have painted a background at the start. The fiber didn't cover as well as hoped in places, and painting after the fact would have likely resulted in paint on the stitching, so I decided to live with "dandruff" as a design element. It was a learning experience, if not a pleasant one, and the screaming all-caps YELLOW thing made the early finishing deadline.

  4. Ladies, thanks for the compliments. I can't say that I won't always know that the dye lot change is there but I've made it a lot less noticeable. Ever wondered just why the "duty" canvases we never really liked are always the ones that give us fits? This is my least favorite of the Dr. Who series from Rogue Needlepoint and it really drove me crazy! I sympathize, Cindy, but my niece and your Boy will love these, so the pain will be worth it. Time to reward ourselves with something FUN!

  5. I love reading about your stitching adventures and mis-adventures! The Doctor looks amazing, problems and all! I can't wait to read about Luna.

  6. I'm waiting on Luna - I have her in my stash and have loved what you've done so far. She won't see the light of day for while yet as I have other commitments, like the Dragon that still isn't done :( But at some point I can stitch something for me :) and Luna is one of those projects!!

    I like what you did with the bling, it sets off the canvas as well as hiding the dye lot problem. You are great!


  7. We remember Luna - but does anyone remember Stars?

    1. I do! But other commitments keep Stars hidden away in the closet, waiting for more hours to magically appear in the day. Sorry, Glenis. I knew you would be disappointed.