Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lettering 202: a Mini-alphabet

One of my sons has asked me not to use any more names of the ladies who pass through his life (he is young yet) for my little creations, as it seems to be a jinx. When stitching models of my mini-stockings, I have to have names, and have run through even the family cats - both deceased and still with us. Anyway, that isn't the subject here.

This little alphabet is one I've used for many years, and at this point, I don't remember if I made it up or saw it somewhere. It's ideal for names on cuffs of mini-stockings, as it's 9 stitches high, and average of 7 stitches wide - depending on the letter.

The last one I did with this font was "Angie," where it occurred to me to use a bead in the little holes that decorate each letter.

The "Amy" stocking is tiny, and I never finished the crazy quilt embellishment. The very small letters were perfect for it - a name with more than five letters wouldn't have worked even in this alphabet.The letters in this one are extremely easy to draw. (Be sure you have read lettering instructions on the other blog)
For vertical placement, as the letters are 9 stitches high, count to see how many threads are in the cuff from bottom to top. It's always best to leave more at the top than the bottom. (Amy has 6 above thename, and 4 below) If you center the name, it kind of floats away and looks awkward - and remember that part of the top is lost in the seam in finishing.
For horizontal placement, follow instructions on the other blog. You can see on this one the two names - one is even count, ("Marie" has 36 threads) and the other is odd count a("Marilyn" has 51 threads) - just to demonstrate the marking of every 10th thread, adding what's leftover at the end, and finding the center.
For writing out a quote, a poem, or whatever - first decide how many words will be on each line. At this point, I make a rough sketch on paper of the words, as I need to know how much space to leave between them and between the rows of words for good proportions.Then, using scrap canvas - or graph paper if you must - you can write out each line of words, and find the center as you did for a name. (Look at the daVinci cat quote) OR if you want them to line up on the left side as with a poem or whatever, just make sure your borders are the same number of threads on each side of the longest row of words.
I have lots and lots of alphabets I use for names on stockings, etc. - so stay tuned!! More later, but not today. I'm having a day off, which usually means wearing myself out doing nothing. (walking, doing laundry, digging in the flower beds, figuring out what to avoid with work, etc.)
ON STITCHING:Stocking cuffs should never be stitched with decorative, textured stitches, as these do not meet the stitches of the lettering evenly, and just look messy as the little fll-in stitches are used where you can't make a complete stitch. They also distract from the letters. Cuffs can be jazzed up with doing the names with beads or any number of different fiber effects. However, just doing them in plain basketweave in a nice color is best. The lettering STYLE should provide enough visual interest.
Also, don't start and stop when you meet the lettering - just continue basketweave, skipping the stitches of the letters. This makes a beautifully even and smooth surface instead of having the little "pin hole" effect around the letters.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beaded Giraffe for the Table!

This isn't finished, but I had to try it out anyway - so here it is. My daughter needs monogrammed napkins.
I may get motivated and go ahead and do the whole set for a Safari table, as this was fun and took very little time to accomplish.
I want to do a "seasonal" set next. Maybe flags and watermelons??

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Lettering Preview!

Having an intensely busy week - but while this is available, I thought I would show it - I intend to do another tutorial to follow the one I did on Possibilities on putting names on stockings. The same applies to putting lettering on quotes - so look at this and get motivated!!
I was preparing my next article (deadline is now) for Needlepoint Now, and it struck me that I use the same method.
As with so many things, I never quite finished this one, but did find some of the threads I used. I'm really bad about klepping threads from one project to start another, and then waiting years to get back to it - dye lot troubles then arise. Oh dear.
I intend to steam press and block this thing and take another picture before I send it. It has been in the Cretaceous layer in the big box in the garage.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Animal Skin: Giraffe!

Besides admiring this unusual and magnificent animal, I love his gorgeous patterned skin - and use it often in designing for different projects. It is simple and elegant.

When using the giraffe pattern, one must be careful to have the scale of it right for the project - that is, it would be rather strange looking on this mini-stocking if it were painted with smaller spots - or very large ones. It wouldn't "translate" as giraffe, and would not be attractive.

As with the other animal patterns, I trace the shape and size of the project onto tracing paper, and then move it around until I have it positioned as I want it - then put it onto canvas.

The pattern is very attractive for belts, as well - so of course bracelets and napkin rings. Another for the Safari set!! I'm showing this one in stages, as I decided to jazz it up a bit for the table with beads. You can see where I have prepared for the beading by simply using basketweave every other row (on the warp "bumps"), leaving the dips of the weft for the beads. The background will simply be basketweave, as I couldn't see beading this piece "solid."
The tracing will print out the exact size you need for 18 mesh canvas. It's 5 1/2" long x 1 1/2" high. Just ink the lines if they aren't dark enough, and trace it onto canvas, using previous instructions.
Also - you could make a bracelet, using the pattern and instructions on the previous post on animal skin napkin rings and bracelets. For bracelets, you will have to make a tracing, adding more giraffe patches to the length. Easily done!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bugs! ("Jeweled for Needlepoint")

As promised on the other blog, here are patterns for the "jeweled" bugs. The ladybug, as I remember, is inspired by one of the miniature Faberge' eggs, as I saw it on a charm bracelet in an art museum catalog. I didn't stitch it myself, but it was very popular as part of my wholesale line about ten years ago.

The red, of course, is enamel, and the diamonds could be stitched either with glittering beads (Sundance #250 hexagonal clear) or with something else sparkling from your stash. The yellow beetle with black dots was taken from a piece of jewelry I saw in a magazine several years ago - and would be a fun scissors fob, key ring, or just an ornament. The little bumps on the ends of the legs and antennae are smyrna crosses in metallic gold. This is where the new DMC Satin Floss could be well used, as the shine approximates the enamel of the original piece.

To draw your own onto canvas, use whichever canvas size you prefer - mine were on 18 mesh, and the ladybug was 3 1/4" high x 2 1/2" wide. (including the legs, which I added - they weren't on the original jeweled egg) Remember that instructions for drawing are somewhere else on this blog if you haven't seen them before.

This first drawing has the gold parts outlined with a gold pen to make it easier to see what goes where - but you also need the scan of just plain black ink drawing on canvas.

Next, the yellow beetle, which could be any color you wish - I did the background with beads, as you can see where I drew the dots for placement in the picture at the top. The oval itself is 3 1/2" x 2 1/2". This bug has lots of possibilities!!

I have done lots of bugs and butterflies and even spiders over the years - from antique jewelry, mostly. I hope to dig them out of the filing cabinet and boxes, and maybe even create some new ones, as one can do so many things with threads, etc. Besides, bugs are cute!!