Our last Mindy Mini is a floral design that’s typical of many tile designs of the Arts & Crafts Period (late 19th – early 20th Century). Decorative tiles were very popular in this period and there were hundreds of companies making them. This style of tile remains popular today with many companies making them.
You might think that these tiles only work in Bungalow-style homes, but think of using them as trivets or hanging some on the wall.
Before we get to the stitch guide, let’s take a moment to talk about some of the elements in the design.
Curving Lines: Typical of this period are the curving lines of stems and leaves. Plant life was one of the most common subjects of these tiles, although their resemblance to identifiable plants was often slight. This focus as well as the curved lines was also a large part of another art movement of the time, Art Nouveau. I think it reflected both a renewed curiosity about the natural world in this period and, because of photography, a way to abstract from real life to create original designs.
Muted Colors: The soft greens in this canvas are very typical of the period. Greens were very popular, but were rarely true greens. Instead they were slightly greyed versions of yellow- or blue -green. Although you will see bright colors from time to time, they are almost always accents.
The use of these muted colors and often analogous or monochromatic color palettes means that it can be very easy to put together a wealth of these tiles to make the facing of a fireplace for example. Think of it as a tile version of a patchwork quilt and you’ll have an idea of how it works.
Outlines: Outlines are something we tend to avoid in our work. We tend to see them as the “lines” we color inside of or outside of. But for some techniques, stained glass for example, and for some periods, the outlines themselves are a decorative element.
In tiles they are both useful and ornamental. By outlining areas, such as the darkest green here with raised lines of clay, you can then pour the glaze into the outlined areas, making the process of decorating easier.
This does pose a problem in needlepoint because although the outlines need to be there, they also need to be thinner than the elements they outline. I accomplished this here by using a much thinner thread for the outline. It makes the outlines thinner. TYo show how this works only a portion of the outline is stitched.
To Make this canvas you will need:
- Mindy Mini canvas 12J
- Kreinik Tapestry (#12) metallic 084 (blue-green)
- Kreinik Tapestry (#12) metallic 622 (dark blue-green)
- Watercolours 141 Alpine Moss (light green)Baroque Silk 1302 guacamole (medium green)
- Planet Earth Silk 177 Thyme (dark green)
- Valdani Au Ver a Soie Silk Perle S49 (cream)
Stitch the flower in Tent Stitch using the two colors of metallic. Don’t make the edge between the colors even but leave out stitches with the first color to stitch them in the second color. Doing this creates the effect of shading when using single-stranded threads.
Stitch the outside border in Padded Gobelin, below, using Planet Earth Silk. The padding goes in the middle hole but stops one hole before the corner, below.
Stitch the leaf in the upper left corner in Reverse Tent. Stitch the leaf in the upper right in Tent. Stitch the straight part of the dark green stems in Straight Gobelin using Planet Earth Silk. The remainder of the stems are stitched in Reverse Tent or Tent depending on the slant of the line. If the line slants up and to the left, use Reverse Tent. Otherwise use Tent. This creates solid lines.
Stitch the stems and leaves before you stitch the outline. After they are completed, stitch the outlines in the same manner using the Valdani Silk. In many places the outline can be hard to see, when this happens just remember that you are creating solid outlines.
Stitch the light green background in Continental Stripe, below, using one strand of Watercolurs. You will be skipping every other column.
Stitch the medium green areas in below, using one strand of Baroque Silk.
Watch for new free stitch guides after the New Year!