Thursday, July 15, 2010

Drawing the Cross onto Canvas

I'm having to plagiarize my own canvas, as all I had for reproducing it was an old photograph, which I enlarged on my color copy machine.

The first thing to be done was to figure out the size of the thing. I managed that by counting the little "jewel" things across the top (11 of them) and then down the side. I drew it out on scrap canvas and measured it - the cross is 6 1/4" high on 18 mesh canvas without the little 3 thread border.

Of course you could do it proportionately larger by putting it onto 13 mesh instead of 18. Having determined the height and width, I could cut canvas the right size. I like to leave at least 1 1/2" all around - 2" if I'm doing it commercially so that people will have the option of putting a background for use as a Bible cover or framing.

You can see that this is on an EVEN count, as the jewel is four stitches square - perfect for a little Smyrna cross "pearl." So - one must mark the center of the canvas at the top for guidance by drawing a line in the GROOVE between the threads. If the count had been odd - one would make the mark ON THE THREAD.

Incidentally, you might play with this format, and make a larger, very interesting cross by making the jewels 3 x 3 stitches in stead of the 2 x 2 I used here. There are all kinds of possibiilties for stitching and decorating!! Next, just go around the cross from the first little jewel.

I find it very very easy just to "eyeball" draw without having to count stitches by only making two marks - you can see where the arrows point. Then when finished, you can go back and fill in the missing spaces. This way you can concentrate on counting the jewels and not the stitches.

I marked the corners just to show where the border will be. Be sure from time to time to check yourself - run your thumbnail down a thread and make sure everything lines up. This one is so simple, but one can get "off count" if not paying at least a little attention.

The third picture shows the outside drawing complete.

At this point, you might figure out something of your own to do with the shape instead of doing it like mine. I have charted for people things like "With Faith all Things are Possible" - simple things. OR a wonderful interesting background with lots of silk ribbon flowers on it.
I only sketched in the stripes with two different blue drawing pens (sharpies). I left them incomplete, as I'm not sure what I'll do with the center - probably go ahead and show you how to trace the flowers onto it for stitching - but you could also just leave the center with no painted flowers and do the silk ribbon variety instead. I'll give you the tracing next time for the flowers.

Setting up these stripes originally was easy, - as, again, it's on an even count, so making the three dark blue stripes 2 threads wide, and two wider light blue stripes (4 threads wide) was logical. Try also making a much smaller cross by using maybe only 5 or 7 "jewels" across the top - and proportionate on the rest of the shape.

Be imaginative, and enjoy the process!! The color picture of the painted cross is on a post just previous to this one in case you missed it!

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