Most of us who write stitch guides spend lots of time looking at canvases and stitching them in our minds. Yes, we stitch but you can never stitch even 1% of the canvases out there. So we stitch in our minds.
The process begins by looking at the canvas and thinking about what thread and stitch should go where. For me, it’s a habit I learned when my fibro acted up and I couldn’t stitch. It’s still something I use whenever I look at a canvas.
By stitching my mind my mind I think about constructing the canvas which I will later stitch.
When I do the fuller stitch guide class (held in the spring) I like people to have canvases in mind as they do the class. Having a canvas you are thinking about helps you to apply the lessons. So, for example, when the lesson talks about backgrounds, you look at your canvas and think about what the background should be.
I decided for this class a great way to show the process would be to use the stocking as an example and apply the ideas in each step to the canvas. I picked one where there were plenty of things to look at and discuss, things you can apply to your canvases. Need stitches for a landscape background, night sky or angel’s wings — you can find them here. Struggling to define small areas? We’ll deal with that? Looking fir ways to use embellishments or stumpwork? They will be considered as well. Although you may not love Southwest design or nativities, you’ll see how the process works in real time and be able to apply it to your own work.
When the lesson talks about backgrounds, we’ll consider what backgrounds would work here. From analyzing the canvas in lesson one to creating a balanced stitch guide, you’ll see it as the class unfolds.
I don’t spend too much time saying “use this stitch here” in the class except when I’m talking about specific effects. Instead I talk about principles, such as direction of the design. Then you apply the principle to your knowledge of stitches to pick the stitch that works.
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