While much of the time the backgrounds of painted canvases are simple, sometimes they are more complex and patterned. That’s the case with the vintage Cheryl Schaeffer canvas that is designed to go inside and old alarm clock. The striped background is interesting but poses difficulties in stitching.
In posts today, Monday, and next Thursday I’ll be covering what I’m doing to make this piece work. Each of these ideas can be applied to other canvases.
Striped patterns where one color is very thin are called “pinstripes” because often the stripe is the width of a pin. In needlepoint these pinstripes are one thread wide. They can be spaced widely or narrowly, as is the case here.
When I have a single-thread line I like to give it a subtle accent. My favorite stitch to do this is Oblique Continental below. It goes ver two threads in one direction and one thread in the other.
Because the stitches are oblique it creates a line that is just slightly higher than Tent Stitch. When you use threads such as Pearl Cotton to make this stitch, it creates a lovely roped effect that makes it great for accents.
Here it’s stitched with wool, so the effect is smoother but still textured.
In terms of this canvas, it highlights the pinstripes in this background. That would be great and nothing else would be needed if this wasn’t background. But. because it is in the background, other choices will need to be made to keep the design balanced. These will be the topics of the next two articles.