Sunday, April 4, 2010

What I am Working On

I have been working on and off recently on my current needlepoint projects. I got a fair amount accomplished on my travel project when Russell and I went to Tucson for his birthday. This project, which I started in January, is a set of coasters from Susan Roberts that have an Imari-inspired design. Imari, for those of you who don't know, is a Japanese porcelain that was created mostly I believe for European export.

The color scheme of Imari porcelain is normally blue, white and oxblood red which happen to be some of the colors in our apartment. So, I was attracted to this project because of its utility and also because of its portability.

Coasters are a great travel project because you can cut the canvas up into four separate smaller projects. These are great for plane travel and inconspicuous stitching in public. I have completed the third coaster in Tucson and have a good start on the fourth one.

The Imari coaster project is however 18 mesh which means that I have to use magnification when I work on it. So, I have another project that I have been working on that is 13 mesh. This is a project I bought a couple of year's ago (before Rittenhouse Needlepoint).

I realize now that the canvas was intended to be a tallis bag. I however purchased it with the idea of making it into a pillow. I had the shop add my initials to the canvas thinking that I would perhaps do a second with Russell's initials. I started the project -- completing just a small section in the upper right hand corner and then put it away.

A month ago I found it in the closet and decided to start working on it again. It seemed just the right thing at the time -- a good relaxing needlepoint project. I think I was actually trying to avoid working on the more difficult canvases frog and Christmas stocking canvases that I also have going right now (more about them later).

Lastly, I had Alicia, one of our painters, paint me a canvas insert for my stitching bag with the logo of Rittenhouse Needlepoint. I figure that I will bring this to the next trade show in Ohio and I will be the envy of everyone there!

I wasn't sure how far to go with the glitz on the shop's name. I settled on a medium-glitz course with the choice of Caron's Snow. The background will be done in Vineyard Silk.

I think that I will use a subtle stitch for the background. It has to be fairly easy to compensate (because of all the letters) and I don't want it to be too noticeable but at the same time it has to be sophisticated because the intended audience is a tough crowd. Any suggestions?


  1. i would basket weave around the letters to within a 1/4" rectangle (or do a Rittenhouse SQUARE?) all around the letters for ease and so the eye rests around the lettering instead of funky compensation that will encroach on the delicate lettering and draw the eye away from it or confuse the eye. Outside of the basketweave, like a framing mat, i would then pick a fancy stitch that i would stitch as a mitered look diagonally up to each corner - maybe a bargello or a stair-step style stitch - that utilized graduated shades of whites (via silk, satin, metallic mixes) as it moved outward to give it movement and shadow and pizazz - one can never have enough glitz! just ask Ruth Schmuff! :-)

  2. I like your idea about basketweaving around the letters -- too much to compensate. I had also thought about a stairstep stitch such as a Byzantine pattern of some sort. And of course I love doing different threads -- maybe just two though because I want the "Rittenhouse Needlepoint" bit to shine. Of course as you say Ruth Schmuff ... well, who knows? Thanks for commenting. Stephen

  3. Thought 1: I like the Heart Darning Pattern from "Stitches To Go". I've compensated around lettering with that pattern - you just have to pay attention. Then, the piece says, "I love Rittenhouse Needlepoint" in a subtle way. Thought 2: I just bought "A Background Stitch Reference Book" from the Golden Gate Canvas Workers Chapter, ANG. This was a good reason to sit down & look through it. I see an interesting stitch pattern #57 Oblique Bars Framed With Tent. It's different looking. A note says some compenstion might be needed. Since they recommend working the tent stitch rectangles first, you should be able to work around the lettering & then fill in the oblique bars easily - even around the lettering.

  4. I will definitely check the patterns you suggested. Thanks for the input Melita. I am glad that you bought the Background Reference Book -- that's one of my favorites.