Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Cat, The Bat and the Pumpkin

The above design is what I've been working on during the last month.  This is Debbie Mumm's "Cat and Bat."  It's on 18 count and the ornament is three inches in diameter.  

I choose it as Halloween and autumn are in the air here in Chilly Hollow and I wanted something to try various stumpwork techniques on.  Can you tell how raised the cat's face and leg are?

Stumpwork techniques are becoming more popular in needlepoint.  Kimberly's "Dragon and Son" design is a great example.

So is what Kelly Clark is doing with her canvases.  Click on Stumpwork to see closeups.

These techniques can be used on any type of canvas whither it is painted, line drawn or charted.  All you need is a little imagination and some idea how to go about it.  You have to supply the imagination but I can tell you how I did this, to help you get started.

Using several raised elements on one design is always a challenge because some things need to be more prominent than others.  The first thing you have to decide is what is most prominent, what is less so, and what is receding into the background?  For me, the cat is the most prominent thing, then the bat, and finally the pumpkin.  Not every canvas has such obvious focal points, though.  

The first item I want to talk about is Mr. Pumpkin.  I decided to bead him.  I like brick stitch beading for solid areas.  It's fast and easy and works well for size 11 beads.  Luckily I had just the right shade of orange beads in my stash.  Unluckily, I only had black in size 14.  So the eyes and nose and mouth of Mr. Pumpkin were also brick stitch beaded with black beads, then I added beads here and there in the somewhat empty black spaces to fill in.  It's easy to just add a bead with a tent stitch if necessary.   I suggest if you have to mix sizes like I did, that you check after each new bead to see what you think.  It's easy to remove a bead if it's not working after each stitch.  The pumpkin stem is stem stitch using Straw Silk, by the way.  

I like the subtle sparkle of the pumpkin.  He doesn't overwhelm but you won't overlook him, either.

Next time, I'll talk about creating Mr. Bat.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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