Often you’ll find canvases with backgrounds that have small motifs on them. Examples of these could be dots, stars, crosses, or snowflakes. These can pose a problem if you don’t have enough of a single dyelot to finish the motifs. I faced just this problem with the vintage Jefferson Memorial canvas pictured above.
As you can see there are plenty of gold crosses making up the background. But my gold threads were clearly different dyelots when I held the cards next to each other.
It’s important when you have this situation that you stitch the rest of the area completely. This is because scatter stitching the motifs makes a messy background. If you scatter stitch first, you will see traveling threads. By stitching the rest of the background first, the traveling threads are held away from the canvas and can’t be seen as easily.
I stitched the motifs in two passes. In the first pass, I used the thread where I had less. I stitched complete motifs but left unstitched motifs between them. You can see the canvas after the first pass below.
For the second pass, I took the second card and stitched the remaining motifs. The result mingles the two dye lots so they can’t be easily distinguished It’s very effective. The picture at the top of the article shows the result.
If you want to have neat backs, this is not a great technique. You will have traveling threads that can be seen. My thought is that you’ll see traveling threads even if you use the scatter method.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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