Friday, May 29, 2015

No Flying Monkeys: Background Stitches Part Two

Auditioning Footstool Stitches

Now it's time to reveal the results of my footstool stitch auditions.  The stitches on the left were all stitched with the dark or medium blue Splendor silks, using 4-5 plies.  I normally use 2-3 plies on 18 count so I added another to get better coverage as No Flying Monkeys is on 13 count.   The stitches are (bottom to top)  Henderson Variant from Tony Minieri via the ANG website, one of the Alternate Mosaic Variations from Carolyn Hedge Baird's Needlepointing in My Nest,  Roof No. 6 from Stacey Tombros' Ins and Outs, one of the Oblique Stitches from Carole Lake's and Michael Boren's Desert Island Stitches, and a charted version of a flying monkey I created.

Now let's talk about each stitch, working from the bottom up this time, and why I choose it and why I either used it for my footstool or rejected it.

The Henderson Variant is the bottom stitch.  See how small it is in scale?  It seems too tiny to make a good statement on the footstool.  It would work for the wall, which needs to be smaller in scale.  I could make it larger than Tony designed it but I didn't. I moved on to the next stitch.  By the way, the Henderson Variant stitch is all in the darkest shade of blue.  The color variations you see are caused by the light falling on the stitches differently according to how they slant.

Next up is the Alternate Mosaic variation from Carolyn Hedge Baird, who charts lots of compound or complex stitches in her books.  I thought this was quite pretty but I discovered that if I choose this stitch the inner section will need one more ply to cover the background than the X shape does.  You probably have noticed that thread coverage is better in the diagonal stitches than in vertical or horizontal stitches.  I have plenty of thread (Lori at Waste Knot sent me two cards of each color, just to be safe since we had no idea what stitch I would choose) so this isn't a problem--just something to remember.  This stitch seems a little large to me but it is a much better choice than the first stitch I tried.

Roof No. 6 is similar to Carolyn's stitch but smaller.  I went with it to see how a smaller scale stitch worked.  I don't like it as much as the Alternate Mosaic one but the size is better.

By the way, I judge scale by judging how many repeats I can do of the stitch I'm considering.  You need to be able to fit 3-4 in a space in general for a stitch to look good.  If you are going to have a lot more repeats than that, the stitch (like Henderson Variant) is too small.  Too few and you'll still have a problem.  Using this rule, Alternate Mosaic will fit four repeats on one side of the footstool.  You can see it borders on being too big.

The Oblique Stitch variant looks like Xs and Os, doesn't it?  It is my favorite so far but as you can tell from the sample I stitched, there is a lot of open space in this stitch.  I am not certain I want that much white showing and I don't want to fill in with beads or tent stitches, either.

While I pondered all of the above, I charted a flying monkey shape with the vague idea of stitching rows of these across the footstool or putting one on each side of the lettering in the background. I'm not sure I like it, though.  It's a little too indistinct, something that didn't show up well in the diagram I created.  You don't really know how a design you make up will work until you stitch it, though.

Studying all my stitches I auditioned, I had a big ah-HA moment.  I suddenly realized what my theme to unify the footstool and wall backgrounds with the crossed legs and martini glass would be.  It's the letter X.  The legs make an X, the martini glass looks like the top of an X, the two background stitches I thought I'd use for the wall background use cross stitches (also an X).  Can't make it any plainer than that!

So what stitch did I choose?  Naturally, none of the above!

However, you'll have to wait until next time for the reveal.  (Sorry)

Remember, I am collecting the links as I blog stitch this Point of It All Designs piece and posting them in a tab on the CH Stitch Guides blog. You can catch up on what you missed by going there--just click on the flying carpet photo to magically be transported to my other blog and then back again.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 29, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

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