How to Match Threads with Stitches

by , on
Apr 18, 2018
April in Alabama

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. 🙂

But before I do…

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.

Well, this week’s post is all about…

How to Choose Threads that Get Noticed

by , on
Apr 11, 2018
How to Choose Threads that Get Noticed

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…

I’m ready to talk needlepoint! How about you?!

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.

Now, we’re going to examine the design components on my Tuscaloosa needlepoint canvas.

Are you ready to dive in? Great!

Tuscaloosa needlepoint canvas

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 river
  • the trees
  • the grassy area
  • the park benches
  • the sidewalk
  • the railing
  • the lamp posts
  • the riverboat
  • Denny Chimes (the bell tower behind the trees)
  • the word “Tuscaloosa”
  • the sky

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.

Denny Chimes is a brick bell tower…

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.

Moving along to the riverboat…

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!).

And, finally, the word “Tuscaloosa”…

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.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the other design components.

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.)

Happy Stitching!
XOXO!!!
Stitch with a smile!

 

 

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! 😉

4 Needlepoint Myths and How to Avoid Them

by , on
Nov 13, 2017
Decorative stitches and threads bring your needlepoint to life!

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!

So why does the idea of actually picking your own stitches and threads have you quaking in your boots?

So Many Threads!

by , on
Jul 6, 2017

So, now that you know how important it is to buy the best quality supplies you can afford, let’s chat about choosing the best threads for your needlepoint projects.

If you’re looking for tips on choosing yarns for knitting and crochet projects, check out this post. I divided the information into two posts, so it would be more convenient for you to read.

Why don’t you pour yourself a cuppa and let’s talk thread?!

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