More and more these days I start stitching the background before the rest of the canvas is finished.Usually I do this because I want the other stitching to be on top of the background, making it recede. Here there is another concern: Look along the edges of the tree, many of the silver balls hang on the edge.
The balls will be brads, as will the star. You can’t stitch around brads, so the background needs to be stitched as early as possible.
My other trees in this series are stand-ups, so I will draw that shape around the tree so it will be consistent. The other trees have white backgrounds, so I will stick with that as well and use JL Walsh silk/wool from my stash for it.
That’s the easy part. Picking a stitch will be difficult. In order for the patterns of a stitch to establish itself, there have to be three repeats. Because this will be finished as a stand-up a stitch will need to be small in order to fit three times.
There are plenty of small stitches out there, but the choices are narrowed because of the tree itself. Look at the edges, they are not neat. Branches stick out all along the sides. That means lots of compensation if the stitch covers more than one intersection.
The branches also go in all directions. That means that the tree on its own has a very strong texture even though it is stitched in Tent. Because they are stitched always to be solid lines, I use both Tent and Reverse Tent here.
Looking at all of these factors, the stitch for the background needs to be very small with little texture and able to work with Tent Stitches going in both directions. For me, this means a Tent Stitch variation where the stitches go in both directions is best.
Here are some worth considering:
Rain has oblique stitches in diagonal rows.
Little Oblique V is the same base stitch arranged in columns.
Oblique T substitutes oblique stitches in a similar pattern to T Stitch.
I love Blue grass, a pattern that nicely breaks up the grid.
My thinking right now favors Blue grass but I worry about an open stitch because it might not cover all the painted canvas that will show around the brads. I’m going to test it out.
Come back in two weeks to see how I have done!