Thursday, June 25, 2009

Drawing on Canvas 202: A Mexican Tile

I'm a day late posting this, as I had a computer disasater requiring my son and son-in-law's attention, as I am a dummy on this machine. (I had to threaten total meltdown/running away to Florida to get their immediate attention). Anyway, I have this showing, with complete explanation and some other tiles also, on the other blog, Possibilities, Etc.!

I have only stitch drawn the parts of it that I feel necessary, both for symmetry and for matching up where the tiles meet to form the bigger pattern. It is, after all, a totally handpainted ceramic, and making the entire piece stitch painted would make it to nearly "perfect."

The individual tile itself is 4 1/2" square, but I like to add two threads between the tiles to resemble grout. Also, drawing 3 threads around the entire piece looks rather nice, which adds to the dimension for a total of about 5" for one tile. When you cut canvas, be sure to have enough room for margins for whatever format you want to use.

The easiest way to begin is in the lower right corner. Where you see the arrow, I counted up 27 diagonal stitches, marking them in blue so you can see. You can dot these marks out later with white acrylic paint so they won't show through when stitching a white background.

On the 28th stitch make the first dot for the dividing element. Again, the arrows point to significant features. You can pretty well just follow the dots to start the drawing. Blue is used again to show how many spaces to leave between the corners of the element. (6) At the arrow at the top right, you can see where, if you have counted and dotted correctly, the last dot should match up with the side of the tile you started with.

BE SURE to have a little bottle of white acrylic paint handy - one does make mistakes, especially when trying to do this at night and tired. I ruined two canvases before I got it right. If it were just for me, I would just dot out the mistakes in white, but it showed too much to use it here.

The next illustration is showing ending the count correctly at the top, where you can then go ahead and draw the entire square - as I did at the lower left. I thought I could do this count in reverse after stitch counting the first half, but kept going the wrong way and making a mess - so I finally had to just make a mirror image copy to work from. You can work from this one without having to do that.

The flowers are stitch drawn, as is the element you see at the top left because these need to be on the same thread in order to match up when the tiles are side by side on the canvas - no matter what format you use to "set" them. It just looks nicer for needlepoint.

The completed drawing on canvas has orange on it, (The Sharpie ultra-fine Paint Pen) to show me, if I decide to stitch this one, where the orange is. The other parts of the tile are flat color. I rarely paint anything I'm going to stitch myself.

This tracing (on tracing paper) looks a little rough, as I did it directly from the canvas.

You might need to go over it with a black felt tip pen to make it easier to see through your canvas when you're ready to draw it. Just count the design parts that need to be done first, and then trace the leaves and the yellow flower from the picture.

Enjoy! and maybe with a bit of confidence and know-how now you can design your own tiles. There are detailed instructions for drawing on canvas (canvas preparation) on this blog - so do refer to them if you need to.

Friday, June 12, 2009

More "Jeweled Critters": Bees!!

I don't have the stitched models I did of these - they were on black canvas, and quite "jeweled" and glittery. I don't remember what I did with them or where they are, as it's been a number of years ago that the antique jewelry binge occurred with my needlepoint.

This little bee is 2 1/4" high x 2 7/8" from wing tip to wing tip on 18 mesh canvas. I do remember that I used Renaissance Shimmer and Sprinkles for the colored jewels and the enamel on the body.

The gold and silver were done with Kreinik #12 braid in the HL finish. The wings were stitched with something kind of iridescent, in white, but I don't remember what it was. Of course, any color jewels could be done, according to the stitcher's taste.

The chart for this one is simple - and remember, it's not any more difficult to count the little dots and put them onto canvas than doing counted X-stitch. I drew this in color to make it easier to see (and actually less confusing for me.

The second bee is a bit more complicated - apparently, because I miscounted several times, and had to dot out mistakes with white acrylic paint and the end of a paint brush.

The entire body where the jewels are, was done with "bump" stitches - Smyrna cross and Leviathan on the big red ruby on the abdomen. Incidentally, I am aware of proper insect anatomy, but used the antique pieces as they were - the first bee, I will pretend, has the second set of legs under the wings. The second one is a mutant, with the legs coming out from the lower abdomen. Oh well - for the sake of art........

As I had a bit of trouble marking the canvas for the chart, I am showing it in stages to make it easier.
These two bees could be used in the same ways as I suggested with the spider - and do
try it on black canvas! However, you have to find a white paint pen that will work - not an easy task, so I don't have one to recommend. Anyway - enjoy! Do them on clothing with waste canvas - whatever suits you.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Along Came a Spider! (a "jeweled" one)

Another little "jeweled" critter hiding in the filing cabinet! As I remember, this is also derived from my binge of reproducing antique jewelry in needlepoint a number of years ago. I didn't finish it , obviously, probably because the gold I used doesn't show up well and/or I got distracted by another project.

It was actually, as I remember, an exercise working out backgrounds in beads. (You can clearly see the dots made for bead placement.) Anyway - The spider itself without background is only 2 3/4" high on 18 mesh canvas, and has all kinds of possiblities for use.

I was looking at it last night, and thinking it would make a fun napkin ring for a Halloween party table, but with less vertical background, and maybe ruching with elastic on the back or something of that nature. I tried it out around a napkin, and the spider shows up well, considering the napkin rings are about 5 1/3" long before finishing.

I also used to use these small pieces as "plant stakes" for either gift plants or to decorate my own houseplants in pots. They can be finished like ornaments to hang, but with also a little pocket on the back for insertion of a skinny dowel. The body is made with just long, horizontal stitches in Black Frosty Rays with a gold thread inside that gives it a bit of sparkle. The green eyes are Kreinik #12 braid, as are the silver " bump" stitches (Smyrna Crosses).

Here is the chart for the spider - use your imagination and have fun with it!!

By the way, this chart will also work on waste canvas, as maybe on clothing or on a quilt block. Just stitch it as it is in needlepoint, then remove the canvas threads - OR you could also do it in counted X-Stitch by making the X's on your fabric where the dots are on this chart. I dealt with the "bump" stitch in a previous post on converting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lace and Crazy Quilt: Ornaments!

This is a shape that has been presented on earlier posts - but it's so versatile, I'm using it again for a crazy quilt ornament with lace. There are two, exactly the same size, but one with only straight seams, and one with curves. 5 1/2" high x 3 1/2" wide on 18 mesh canvas.

The illustrated hexagonal ornament has no lace, but you can see what might be done with it! This is actually a "copy" (or an adaptation) of a quilt block I saw on one of Allie Aller's quilts a while back - and was my inspiration to get the "look" in needlepoint. The flower was made with simple "ribbon stitch" in orange 4mm silk ribbon. The tiny buds are made with pearl cotton #5 in French knots.

There was also the challenge of the "zig-zag" chain stitch for seam treatment - and as I remember, the one at the top of the curve is a "closed herringbone" with beads at the points. The silk ribbon flower is very simple, and the lower patch was stitched with Caron's Watercolours in Nobuko - as it looks like Batik fabric.

And now the lace! I used pastels, as this was to be an egg, and I was still in my "white cotton crocheted lace" phase, but have now begun using metallics, overdyed cottons, whatever looks right - very exciting, it can be! The "lace" is worked with Smyrna crosses where the little squares are 2 x 2 stitches, and what I call a "modified" bump stitch over 3 x 3 stitches.

Here are more images to inspire you - this is why I look at the art quilters' blogs regularly - great images and inspiration! The challenge on these two was the wavy lines of chain stitch and the effect of the ric-rac, which on the quilt block, was a wide one with a narrow piece sewed on top.

Again, I used the Caron Watercolours to resemble Batik - this time in T-stitch. It needs to be horizontal, as trying to do basketweave with overdyed threads results in diagonal stripes. The colors on the hexagonal piece were the original ones, and the heart on the left has my chosen scheme. The seam treatment on the heart in purple has big, loose French Knots worked with Thread Gatherer overdyed silk ribbon.

To draw the hexagons onto canvas, you can either count the dots or just measure. Also, for future use, they may be easily lengthened, widened, narrowed, or whatever else you might want to do for decorating.

For use as they are, after you print them out, ink over the pattern lines, and trace them onto your canvas. I use a straight edge for this (except for the curved seam) so they won't have ugly wobbles. Draw the lace just as you see it - just make the little squares. Very easy - anyone who has worked counted X-stitch can do this! Just a tiny bit of counting - mostly visual.

I had not stitched the two ornaments with lace, as they are from my e-booklet on Diagonal Laces and Trims, (Elegant Whimsies) and intended as an exercise in creating "fabric" backgrounds for crazy quilt and embellishing with diagonal lace as a seam treatment.

Be sure to check the other blog (Possibilities, etc.), as I'm going to do another post this evening on color and silk ribbon embroidery.