Friday, September 22, 2017

Needle in a Haystack Reports on Destination Dallas

Needle in a Haystack has news from Destination Dallas, including a mini report on the show with new products they have brought back to Alamadea.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
and at
© Copyright September 21, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

A Brief Light Coverage Tutorial, Part Two UPDATED

Melissa Shirley's "Red Geisha"

Once you understand a bit about how to create light coverage stitches by picking a stitch and a thread that won't cover the intricately painted areas, then you need to understand the problem that using light coverage stitches mixed with regular coverage stitches can cause on a canvas.

For illustration I'm using Melissa Shirley's "Red Geisha" which has areas of light coverage (the face) mixed with areas that are covered in solid stitches (everything else).  Often you will see a light coverage background with solid coverage everywhere else.  That makes logical sense because light coverage stitches recede while full coverage stitches look as if they are closer to the viewer.  So how come I used light coverage for a face?  Because faces tend to be focal points and often you can get away with light coverage on a focal point.   In this case the expression of the face, particularly the more heavily stitched lips, eyes and eyebrows mask the fact that I used light coverage stitches on the bulk of the face.

You can also get away with light coverage in foreground areas if you intend to draw the eye by using beads or sequins or metallics or other heavy textures.  Ruth Schmuff used a light coverage for her background AND flowers AND birds but the birds have beads and the flowers have very textural stitches, even though they do not complete cover the painted canvas.

If you use light coverage everywhere, as in Kirk and Hamilton's "Magnolias," stitched by Pat Miller you don't have to worry about heavy coverage areas overwhelming the light coverage ones.  (She has a stitch guide for this, by the way.)  In this case all the petals and leaves and the background were stitched with light coverage stitches.  Obviously if you plan to work the entire canvas in light coverage stitches, you don't have to worry about a mix of light coverage and regular coverage stitches.

To help you figure out what areas besides backgrounds can handle light coverage, I thought I'd use Melissa Prince's new small travel coaster canvases as examples.  These are all on 18 count, by the way.

Look at the pink flamingo for Florida in the second row.  You could use light coverage stitches for the martini glass because in real life glasses are transparent.  Just make sure the leaves sticking out of the drink aren't too dimensional and don't use stitches that stick up really high over the glass area for the flamingo float. That will look odd.  You could add sparkle to the glass with the use of beads, metallics or crystals to draw the eye and help the glass compete with the flamingo, though.

Look at Washington, D.C. in the third row.  You can use light coverage stitches for the buildings as long as you don't make the pink cherry blossoms or the blue sky too prominent.  The cherry blossoms are the focal point so it's ok for them to be dimensional. In fact, don't use light coverage for them.  That would look odd.  But don't have too heavy a hand here if the buildings and sky are both light coverage.  Balance is everything here.

The NYC skyline in the fourth row is a good design for light coverage stitches for the background and buildings and a heavier coverage for Miss Liberty's arm and torch.  That emphasizes the importance of Liberty over the ephemeral buildings of Manhattan that come and go as the city morphs and changes over time.

Make sense?  Use light coverage for focal points only when you can add emphasis in some other way.     If you have questions, post them in the Comments or email me at chilly hollow at hotmaildotcom.

By the way, here's the link to Part One of this light coverage tutorial, in case you missed it.

UPDATE:  It occurred to me that some sort of mention of what color to use on a beautifully shaded area is in order.  Light coverage stitches often are put on top of a multi-colored area like a flower petal or a skirt that is rippling in the wind.  In those instances I probably will choose either the most prominent color or a medium shade from the colors painted.  That's a starting point, though.  What color works best can sometimes only be discovered through trial and error.  Lay the end of the various skeins you are considering on top of the area and see which looks best to you.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
and at
© Copyright September 20, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.