Hi there! It’s a gloriously beautiful spring day here in Alabama…there’s a cool breeze blowing, the sun is shining, the birdies are chirping, and big puffy white clouds are drifting across the bluest sky you ever saw. It makes my heart sing just to look out the window. In fact, I think I’ll take my project out on the porch in a little while and stitch. 🙂
Remember last week, when we chatted about the design elements on my Tuscaloosa canvas and identified the focal point (and subordinate focal points)? Then, we brainstormed about some descriptive words that could be used to help in exploring different thread options. If you missed that blog post, you can click here to read it.
Hello lovelies! I’m so happy to be back with you here today. I had a wee bit of a life hiccup these past three weeks…my sweet Mama had to have unexpected open heart surgery (5 bypasses – yikes!) and I’ve been on Mommy Duty. 😉
Now that she’s back in Tuscaloosa, things are starting to settle down some and…
Last time, we chatted about how there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for choosing stitches and threads for your needlepoint projects. Instead, you really need to examine and evaluate each canvas individually. If you missed that blog post, you can click here to read it.
Are you ready to dive in? Great!
Remember, a design component is an item that is painted on your canvas.
Here’s a list of the design components on the Tuscaloosa canvas for you:
The focal point of the design is the word “Tuscaloosa” and the subordinate focal points are Denny Chimes and the riverboat. Since those are the most important design components on the canvas – and what I want people to notice first – let’s begin by jotting down some notes about the different textures each of those items might have.
and when I think about bricks, there are several descriptive words that come to mind: rough, mottled colors, hard, and straight.
The bricks used to build Denny Chimes are rusty red in color and their texture is rough. There is also a bit of white limestone at the base and at the crown of the tower. Limestone is smooth and has a matte finish. So, when I start to look for threads, I need to keep all of these things in mind.
it’s made of wood and has been painted glossy white, so it’s shiny. The double paddle wheels are bright red – and they’re shiny, too. The black smoke stacks are made of metal, but they have a slightly matte finish – and they’re topped with gold decorative crowns. Again, I’ll keep all of these textures in mind when I go stash diving for threads (or head to my local needlework shop if I don’t already have what I need!).
the focal point of the design! This is what I want people to notice first when they look at my finished ornament hanging on the Christmas tree. How can I ensure that it really stands out? There are a couple of viable options: red metallic thread or red beads. Either would work quite well and, since that is actually one of the last things I’ll stitch, I have plenty of time to make my decision.
The river sparkles when the sunshine glints off the surface. It usually flows very calmly toward its juncture with the Tombigbee River, but it ripples and has foamy waves when boats and barges make their way up and downstream.
There’s a mixture of pine and hardwood trees along the shoreline. The pine trees are very dark evergreen and their needles are long and slender. The hardwood trees have broad bright green leaves.
The grassy area beside the river feels soft under your bare feet – and the grass is emerald green
The park benches, the railing, and the lamp posts are made of cast iron, so they’re hard; they have a bit of a sheen to them because they’ve been painted with glossy black paint. (The lights on the lamp posts have frosted white globes and they glow with a soft light in the evening.)
The sidewalk is rough and hard – it’s made of concrete and it’s very pale gray in color.
The sky is different every day, so I have a lot of leeway in how I choose to stitch it. Summer is my favorite season, so I’m leaning toward a “bluebird” sky with puffy white clouds.
Now, it’s time to take my list of descriptive words and go stash diving for thread options!
Next time, I’ll show you the threads I find and we’ll take a look at some different stitches that can be used to embellish this little canvas to make it really shine.
Until then, what’s your favorite needlepoint thread? Tell me in the comments box below – and why you like it so much – and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a “Spring Fling” thread bouquet from our friends at Rainbow Gallery. (The drawing will be held on April 30, 2018.)
PS: Are you a member of the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group? That’s where we share ideas and cheer each other on and I’d love to have you join us, so click here to request an invite. I’ll see you on the inside! 😉
Hi there! I’ve had soooo much fun reading your comments about your favorite kind of embroidery – and who taught you to stitch! Thank you for sharing with me. 🙂
It’s amazing how much you can get done in as little as 30 minutes.
I’m helping with a needlepoint project at my church right now. Our nave was recently updated – we’re getting a new organ and the choir got new chairs, so we’re stitching cushions for them.
That one small action keeps me moving toward my goal of finishing on schedule.
(Be sure and tell me in the comments box below. Remember, every time you comment on one of my posts during National Embroidery Month 2018, your name will be entered to win a Rainbow Gallery “Happy Hearts” thread bouquet.)
I’ve been working on new “how-to” stitch videos for The Stitcher’s Club and one of them is all about French knots.
I could sit and make them for hours on end, but some people get tripped up by them. Are you one of those folks?
Since it’s National Embroidery Month, what if I posted a quickie “how-to” stitch video on social media every day for a week? They won’t be like the detailed ones inside The Stitcher’s Club, but they’ll be good enough to help you with a stitch that might be stumping you.
Sound good? YAY!!! Ooooh…this is gonna be oodles of F-U-N!!!
send me an email. (And, yes – this will be another chance for you to have your name entered into the drawing for the thread bouquet from Rainbow Gallery, so be sure and share your ideas.)
I’ll include sound this time, so you can follow along with me as I stitch.
I’ll post a new Stitch Snippet “how-to” video every day this week over on the Serendipity Facebook page, based on what you request.
And in one short week, you can learn (or brush up on) seven embroidery stitches!
Use those stitches on your needlepoint or knitting projects, then snap a picture and share it on social media. Be sure and use our special National Embroidery Month hashtag – #serendipitystitcher, so it’s easy to find your photos. I can’t share any details yet, but trust me – it’ll be worth it to post a pic or two. 😉
Just click here to request an invitation now (and be sure to answer those two quick questions), then I’ll take care of the rest for you. We have a terrific bunch of folks over there and I’d love to have you join us. The more the merrier!
Well, I guess I’d better get busy on that new French knot video for you.
Until next time, happy stitching!
PS: If you missed last week’s blog post, click here to read it now, so you can catch up on all the latest news about National Embroidery Month.
You’re doing GREAT! I’m so proud of you for taking the initiative to develop your needlework skills. It’s one thing to say you’re gonna do something, but you’ve proven that you mean business.
Great! What I’d like you to do now is look at that list and make some notes, so grab a pencil and a red pen – and let’s get started.
Last week, I asked you to rate your frustrations using a “star” system – beginning with 1 star for anything that’s mildly annoying, all the way up to 5 stars for those things that really, really drive you nuts. If you didn’t do that, now’s the time.
Go ahead…I’ll wait for you. 🙂
Last week, we talked about sorting through all your projects so you could set yourself up for success in 2018. Now, we’re in the second week of the year and I’m wondering…
If you did, that’s terrific and a great big CONGRATULATIONS! But, if you didn’t, that’s perfectly okay, too. I know this can be a pretty big undertaking, so, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of sorting through ALL of your PIPs, why don’t you just take a deep breath and choose one project that has you stumped.
Great! Go ahead and set that project aside. We’ll come back to it again soon. As for all those other PIPs…
This year, I’m not making any New Year’s Resolutions. I’m D-O-N-E with that activity – and moving on to a much more rewarding one! Wanna’ join me? Great! Let’s get started…
First on my agenda is to make some serious headway on all my PIPs. (That’s shorthand for “Projects in Progress”.) And the best way to do that is to “Kon-Mari” them. What the heck does that mean? Let me explain…
If you’ve ever worked a needlepoint canvas using a professional stitch guide, you know the difference that decorative stitches and fancy threads can make in your finished project. The added texture and sparkle bring a flat 2-dimensional design to life and transform a plain needlepoint canvas into a hand-stitched work of art.
Maybe you’ve even taken a class from a guest instructor at a needlepoint shop or guild meeting. You got all inspired to branch out and try new stitches and embellishments. You bought new canvases and threads – the works!
But it can affect your needlepoint project more than you might think. Let’s take a peek at the 3 main types of needlepoint canvas that we use most: interlock mono canvas, mono canvas, and Penelope canvas.
Each kind has special features that make it uniquely appropriate for a variety of projects. I prefer cotton canvas from the folks at Zweigart. In my opinion, it’s the best. How can you tell the origin of your canvas? Well, if you’ve ever purchased a needlepoint canvas that has a thin orange thread running through the selvedge, you can count on it being Zweigart canvas.
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