Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bitchy Backgrounds

As you probably know, I usually do my background stitching before I tackle the main parts of my design. This is a personal quirk, although sometimes there are good reasons to do a background in a certain order.  Often it doesn't matter, but sometimes it is just good sense to do the background first--or last.  In the case of my current project, I think it will be easier to do all the background stitching first so I can count across the lettering without any distractions.  I don't know about you, but counting seems harder to me when I have a stitched area in the way.

So I need a background stitch, which means time for Mad Scientist Testing Mode!  If you want to pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, I'll get out the white lab coat, the protective gloves and the goggles.  Meet you back here in a minute....

Ready?  Ok, here we go.

Pale Purple Test Stitches

I thought at first that the pale purple perle cotton (size 16) would look best as a background so I did a lot of test stitching in the margins with that thread.  As you can see, it's quite pale.  I decided that if I used pale purple thread on a cream background it would be even paler.  The photo above is greatly enhanced so you can see it, in fact.

Medium Dark Purple Test Stitches

Of all the stitches I like the Smooch lips and the darning circles the best so I did a second series of tests, using the medium dark perle cotton in size 16 again.  I started to feel like the porridge at the Three Bears' house--too light and then too dark!  I was afraid that the dark purple (and this wasn't the darkest shade of thread I had) was going to overwhelm the letters.  I did more stash-diving and came up with all the size 16 perle cottons I had--ecru, white and pale yellow.  White was too light and ecru looked dirty on the cream background.  I thought I was going to have to order more threads when I used pale yellow (Finca's 1211 pale yellow) on the cream.  PERFECT!

Who knew that a pale yellow thread would turn cream on a cream background?  It's color magic!

Pale Yellow Test Stitches
Here is the final test result.  Next time I'll show you the stitch I choose and how the background stitch is starting to look once I got quite a few rows in position.

But before I forget--here's Pat's progress on her version of this canvas.  She's powering along on her pretty darning heart background!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright September 5, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.


NCPat said...

I tested a few stitches but only two colors for the hearts! Lots of great ideas in those borders too!

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

I particularly liked the Smooch on a stick but not for this canvas. That's the problem with our bright ideas--they aren't always right for the canvas we are supposed to be stitching. Oh, well....

LIZ said...

Love the lips! Perfect background for this piece.

Unknown said...

loving the smoochies! i need to take your advice and try background first, i save it for the end and always languish over it!