It’s always interesting to me to see how designers pick up ideas from other areas, from their lives, or from trends in other areas of design to create their newest canvases. And you’ll find when you start looking at the newest canvases this way, that trends can be seen.
Today’s column picks out four of them, all of which will be more prevalent in the future. Tomorrow I finish up coverage of the Summer Needlearts Market with information about more new canvases.
For the last several years a color palette inspired by Lily Pulitzer prints has been prominent. You saw these preppy colors in canvases from many designers. While these colors continue to be popular, the palette is expanding to a wider range of colors in bright tropical hues.
You’ll see added to the pink and lime of the past, bright orange, yellow, and blue turquoise. These colors are more saturated (i.e. brighter) and slightly darker than the preppy colors. This is a palette that is slightly warm in temperature because it includes all three warm colors (pink, orange, and yellow), plus warmer shades of blue and green.
Another color trend I’m seeing in the quilting world that’s just starting in needlepoint is blue. At the recent Quilt Market fabrics in all values of blue were seen. Needlepoint designers such as Kelly Clark and Patty Paints have come out with canvases that are blue and white. A few years ago these designs would have been multi-colored.
Blue and white is one of those timeless combinations for home decor. While it never goes away completely, at times it is more fashionable. We’re moving into one of those times now. That’s great for us as stitchers because blue-&-white canvases work well in all types of decor and make great heirloom needlepoint.
The cocktail culture has become a big thing, with new books, bars and cocktails becoming more important in restaurants, and drinks becoming a popular motif and meme in pop culture. Needlepoint is reflecting this too.
Several companies have been making canvases that reflect this trend (think of The Point of It All’s bottles).Other companies are beginning to bring cocktail culture to needlepoint. In this market I can think of Leigh’s very sophisticated Summer Sips that look like the drinks at the swankest bar in town. Gayla’s canvas with four tropical drinks plays into both this trend and the tropical colors discussed above.
Because there are so many drinks and they can be done in so many styles, I think you’ll see lots of cocktails in our stitching future.
After the January Market I pointed out that nostalgia was a big trend in needlepoint and it continues to be popular. This trend has also expanded some. In new canvase we are not just seeing designs that harken back to the Hippie Culture of the late sixties (think of Kate Dickerson’s cannibis canvases) but even further back to the kind of images in books an elementary school bulletin boards of the Sixties. Some examples of this are the wonderful mandrill by Charley Harper that is straight from his illustrations from The Golden Book of Biology (I got my copy in 1966) and Kate Dickerson’s Lincoln silhouette (I remember it from February bulletin boards).
Nostalgia is something that can appeal to a broad range of stitchers. Older stitchers will buy the canvases because they remind her of her past. Younger stitchers will buy them for their vintage-look homes and to use them as winks to the past.
There is so much great vintage stuff out there, this will continue to grow in importance even as the quoting gets less direct.
Say It with Needlepoint
Stitched sayings are not anything new bit it seems hat so many designers are now making quotable quotes canvases. Some companies, such as A Poor Girl Paints Needlepoint, specialize in it, while others have it as one of many themes.
What’s different about these sayings is that they tend to be humorous, ironic, or even a bit snarky. Often they have images in the design that speak to the saying.
I’m excited about this trend because it’s a great one for all stitchers. Sayings can make great canvases for beginners to use for first projects. For more experienced stitchers they are wonderful for stressless needlepoint.
I expect this kind of needlepoint to continue to be popular and to be seen in more creative ways.