Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Taking a Different Path

Leigh Designs' Trinidad 6272

Now that the excitement of the Columbus trade show is over and things are calmer, I wanted to post a bit about the model I stitched for Leigh Designs for this trade show. Lots of folks ask for more articles about my own stitching and the story about this piece is quite a tale, so I'm going to go into some detail about this piece, how it evolved and how the technique I used can be used on other similar designs.  I should warn you, though.  The subtitle for this article should be Jane Has Lost Her Mind....

When Leigh asked me to stitch one of the smaller 6x6 "coaster" sizes from her new Caribe' series last spring, I picked out the charming small version of Trinidad. All these canvases are named after Caribbean islands and are created from motifs specific to a certain place. We think of the Caribbean as a single tropical paradise but each island has it's own singular history and geography. The Caribe' series celebrates their uniqueness.

Here are the large Caribe' canvases.


The second link is to the smaller versions.  I have done a stitch guide for both the large Bermuda and for the coaster sized Bermuda.  There are also stitch guides available for the large versions of Barbadoes (Pat Miller),  Jamacia (Sandy Arthur), and Martinque (Sharon Quick).  Sandy Arthur has also done a small coaster version of Montego with a guide.  You have lots of choices if you want to visit the Caribbean in your stitching with a stitch guide in hand.

Back to how I came up with a plan for stitching tiny Trinidad--
For a very long time I've been thinking about how Brenda Hart occasionally completely covers a canvas with one stitch in gold metallic. Like this--

I wanted to try this but with my own twist. Then I happened across this painting by Grant Leier at the same time Leigh asked me to stitch a smaller Caribe. It all came together in my mind.  After all, Trinidad has similar parallel lines on the left between the jagged shutter edges and the orchids.

I should mention that last fall I did a lot of shopping for sheers for my windows. I bought plain ones but I saw a lot of fancy sheers covered in embroidery that were magnificent.  So the elements that made up the recipe for this canvas were Brenda Hart's technique plus Grant Leier's art plus looking at window sheers online.   That is how my version of Trinidad was born.  (Yes, my subconscious is a frightening thing!)  Here's Trinidad completely stitched.

I covered the entire canvas with plum tulle. Then I stitched a grid over the tulle using Petite Silk Lame Braid. The grid was secured with metallic Sulky (Sulky's a machine sewing thread but Kreinik's blending filament will work just as well) and I put Swarovski's new flat back crystal sequins, beads and regular bicone crystals on top.   This is a very fast technique.  It took me only two weeks of working 2 hours a day to stitch Trinidad and write the stitch guide.  Here's how it ended up.

Jane's Trinidad 6272

Nothing is stitched on the canvas underneath. All the stitching is on top of the tulle. I wanted the effect of looking out a window at a tropical scene through expensive sheers that are covered in metallic thread and embellishments.  In person there is a lot of sparkle which you can't see in the photo above. Cameras are blind to bling.

Of course the final touch is in the finishing. West Coast Finishing took my idea and made something beautiful! Think a shady Southern veranda with big wicker chairs and lots of ferns and palms and orchids in pots, with a pitcher of lemonade on the table along with a good book.  Add the perfume of flowers in bloom and a beach view in the distance and you have Trinidad.

West Coast Finishing's Pillow Version

This tulle with embroidery on top technique will work for quite a few canvases that are landscapes of some sort.  If you have a canvas that might be a view out a window, pick up my guide (it's only $5 retail) and try it. 

Please join me in toasting Leigh and Robert Richardson who trusted me to stitch this in a totally untraditional way and Sue Parsons of West Coast Finishing who came up with the pillow concept and found just the right fabrics and crystal drop trim to make Trinidad wonderful.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
@ Copyright 2013 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Lap Stands

Most of the time we stitchers obsess over choosing the right floor stand as they really work well for a lot of us. However, there are other options--such as the lap stand. This sits on a table or in your lap for stitching.  Personally I like sitting at my dining room table to stitch although I don't do that much any more as most of my stitching is at night in front of the TV.  I am not sure if I could use a lap stand for a large piece such as my current 15x15 inch project, either.  But if you are curious or think a lap stand might be the perfect tool for your stitching situation, read Mary Corbet's review of the System Four version.  Note that there are links (including a video) to the floor stand where you can see how the clamp works.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
@ Copyright 2013 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Frames and Fobs

If you are a fan of the Maggie canvases that have matching frames, you'll want to see the matching frame/canvas sets from Robbyn's Nest.

You can see many more frames starting on page 44 of the 2012 online catalogue from Robbyn's Nest.

If you are in the market for a new scissors fob, you will want to read this rave review of the ones from Paprika Pi.

There are always opportunities to go shopping online, so it's important to know what the product is really like and what new things are available.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
@ Copyright 2013 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.