Sunday, May 28, 2017

Choosing A Stitch Path for Angel with Tree

Inspired by Orna Willis' essay yesterday on the types of stitches one can choose, I thought I'd walk through my stitch choices on this darling Christmas angel. This is Angel with Tree, one of Melissa Shirley's angel series from a year or so back.  This design is 7 inches high by 4 1/2 wide on 18 count canvas.  She is one of a series of six angels which are also available as round ornaments and small stockings.

As Orna Willis made clear in her essay yesterday, there are a variety of paths one can take when picking stitches on a canvas that will be embellished in various ways.

I rarely know exactly where my path will take me when I start a canvas.  I tend to like realistic pieces (if you can call a portrait of an angel "realistic") and this one appealed because the angel reminds me of my godmother and a good friend.  I also liked the little white dots in the background which remind me of the tiny snow balls we often get here in the wintertime instead of lacy snowflakes.  So already I know two things:  I want pearls in the background instead of snowflake sequins to resemble the snow we get and I want a hairstyle and color that looks like my godmother and my friend's hair.  See?  Two choices have been made already!  If you simply look at the canvas you bought and think about what you liked about it, that will give you stitching ideas.

Of course knowing I want hard little balls for snowflakes is an easy choice—beads, specifically white pearls.  My godmother had lovely brown hair that she wore in soft curves and curls.  I happen to really like wool and wool-like threads for hair so now I know I want to look through my stash for wool appearing threads that I will use in French knots and Colonial knots.  See?  Making these choices is easy.

I like tent stitches for faces so that's another choice down.  The white outfit the angel wears I want in something that looks lacy.  So that narrows down my stitch choices to something rather lace-like, perhaps eyelets?  I like leaf stitches for trees, so there's another narrowing of the path forward.

So far we have something for the hair, skirt and jacket, skin, and snowflakes.  That's enough to get started.  You'll discover as you experiment with embellishing painted canvases that each choice you make narrows down the following choices.  One you are set for a hair stitch, you probably will use the same thread for eyebrows, for example.

Next time I'll talk about where I started stitching, what choices I made, what worked and what didn't, and how I altered my path as I worked on this design.

Today's Stitch Guide Moral:  Make a few choices and the path starts to unfold before you.

Many thanks to Melissa Shirley for allowing me to stitch this for you!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright May 3, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.