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.

Lycette Collects Vintage Needlepointer Photos

Lycette Designs has a photo album on their Facebook page of celebrity needlepointers from the 1970s (mostly).  It's a fun trip down memory lane.

If you know of more photographs of stitchers that belong there, let Lycette Designs know.

Sadly, this famous pillow lover doesn't know about needlepoint pillows.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
and at
© Copyright August 17, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.