Now I’m caught up. Since my DS gave me Pushing Daisies on DVD as a birthday present, we’ve been watching to get ready for the new season. And House was on last night, So for a change, I’ve had some time to stitch these past couple of days.
I finished the second E block on the Celebrate Sampler and I am really loving the way it is coming together. I want to take a minute to talk about the thread selection as a whole. It was inspired by some beads in my stash which combine pink and just a bit of gold. Since pink is one of my favorite colors, I have tons of it in my stash, especially orangish pinks and corals, so I pulled them first. I made sure if I picked overdyes that they were primarily these colors. Then I added metallics in dark gold, copper, and pinkish golds. Finally I needed some accents. These would be buttery yellows and a bit of green. My first choice is that grand overdyed silk for the first E. But I have a couple of others in there as well. Most of these colors won’t make it into the sampler, but I have in my project bag, a wonderful selection from which to choose
The hard part is picking the threads. The choice for the blocks should look random. This means you never have things line up horizontally or vertically. So I won’t have another green block or overdyed block immediately under the green E. I also won’t have a pale block under a pale block. Threads which attract attention (accent colors, metallics, or overdyes) are never adjacent. This way you eye travels over the entire piece and doesn’t get stopped in one place.
The E is Glasgow 25 from Tink’s Alphabets Elegant and Unusual (available in the Needlepoint Bookstore), The alphabet recalls Charles Rennie Macintosh and his Arts & Crafts period designs. He’s one of my favorites and this is probably my all-time favorite alphabet Tink has done. It’s quite striking because of the exaggerated shape. It’s a great alphabet for initial capitals, monograms of for bold, short saying.
The backgrounds is a versatile needlepoint stitch called Double Straight Cross. It’s easy to do. You make an Upright Cross over four intersections and cross the middle with a Cross Stitch over two intersections. The stitches fit together to make a pretty pattern.
This stitch is also easy to vary with threads. You could make one layer one thread and the second layer a different thread. If you made the Upright Cross an overdyed thread, the upper layer could be one of the colors of the overdye, emphasizing that color. You could cross those stitches with metallic, making the color peek through the gold.
You can read about more ways to vary this stitch in this outstanding article about it by Ann Caswell on the Caron Collection site.This stitch is some much fun!
Here’s a rundown of the sampler so far: