Saturday, December 12, 2009

Still Focusing ...

... this time it's on finishing the Teresa Wentzler Autumn Faerie. I don't know why it took me so long to recover my enthusiasm for this piece but now that I have ... well, I am remembering all the reasons I love Teresa Wentzler charts: the precision, the delicacy, the sheer breathtaking beauty of the designs. Even so, it is very slow going and not photo worthy as yet.

And, the TW piece is just too large to transport ... I have it on 18" scroll rods ... so I chose Sisters and Best Friends On The First Day of Christmas ornament from the JCS 2005 ornament issue as my current travel piece. I had hoped to finish this as a three-dimensional pear-shaped ornament, complete with twig "stem". I have been stitching it on 36ct Edinburgh linen from Silkweaver. The linen color is Days Gone By. I have used the GAST cotton overdyes called for in the chart and I have to say, now that the pear is completely stitched, that the designers are seriously lacking in color sense and/or common sense. My theory is that they challenged themselves to see just how many GAST colors they could squeeze into one tiny ornament design and came up with an even dozen. There are five colors in the pear, six in the unfinished leaf and I haven't even gotten to the partridge yet. This pear looks like it has the botanical equivalent of leprosy and fails to resemble any pear I have ever seen in my nigh onto 60 years. I kept stitching, hoping it would not look as ghastly as I suspected it would. I should have been clued in when I belatedly noticed that the photo of the model didn't match the chart ... the smart model stitcher must have made adjustments as she went along ... but I noticed the discrepancy between photo and chart only after I realized I was already in trouble. Now I have to decide if I want to go to the trouble of salvaging the piece by frogging at least 50% of the pink, replacing it with the two shades of gold and soldiering on to the end ... or simply to cut my losses and trim off the usable fabric. The only reasons I am even considering salvaging the piece are: 1] Silkweaver linen and GAST floss are relatively pricey and 2] I really wanted to try my hand at the 3D pear-shape finish. I suppose a third option would be to start over again after correcting the chart but I am not sure I really want to go to that much trouble. Reader's opinions are welcome ... just leave a suggestion in the comments.

Well, being totally disgusted with my partridge/pear ornament, I consoled myself by visiting the Caron site,, which has been redesigned and updated since my last visit several months ago. While there I printed out the chart for the Byzantine Christmas ornament [needlepoint on 18ct mono canvas] and promptly sat down to stitch it with Caron Watercolours Jewels. It's been awhile since I did any counted needlepoint but it must be like riding a bike ... you don't forget. I immediately fell into the rhythm of counting holes instead of threads and have been moving along nicely ever since. I am thinking of filling in the blank spaces with some VF braid from Kreinik either in gold or copper ... I need to do a floss toss to see which would work better and then stitch a small test patch to make sure the coverage is right. I'll stitch two of these and stitch them together back to back with a bit of quilt batting in between.
Once this is done, I'll shift to another December goal and focus on Brightneedle's Ghosts and Ghoulies Etui as my travel piece.


stitchinfiend said...

If I were you I would restart the pear instead of frogging. How disappointing for you though. I love your Byzantine ornament the colours are just so bright.

Nic said...

I'd be tempted to dye it in very strong coffee, to see if the colours then blend better and if that didn't work to ditch it - the colours are a bit yuk.

But how disappointing - and annoying!

Barbara said...

Love your canvas work so far!