Saturday, April 4, 2009

Grand Hotel needlepoint finished!

This week brought over 6” of snow to Good Hart. Putting the final touches on this canvas kept me from losing my sanity. It will be May before the trillium appear and the lilacs bloom, but I could imagine the beauty of Michigan summer while I stitched.

The detail on the Grand Hotel is such that most of the building was stitched in basketweave. I used Splendor for the gray areas. In classes this January I learned that I have been using too many ply of Splendor on 18 mesh canvas. I went down to three strands for all the gray areas except the small windows, where I used two strands. And yes, you do have to use a laying tool when you use more than one strand—it was especially important for full coverage with two strands. The flowers around the hotel were done in tent and French knots using Grandeur, Perle cotton #5, Burmilana (for the perfect mauve) and Pure and Simple. The horse bodies were stitched in interlocking Gobelin. I added manes to the horses’ necks.

The sky is stitched using one strand of Impressions in a darning stitch. When you stitch darning stitches, it’s very important to anchor your thread at the beginning and the end of each row. The last thing you want is for the threads to come loose after the piece is finished. For the clouds, I first tried stitching the blue outline with Trebizond, planning to fill in with more Trebizond. I didn’t like the heavy look and ripped out all the outlines using my favorite curved scissors with the very sharp points. I then satin-stitched the clouds using white Flair. Much better.

The grass is one of my favorite sections--I turned the Parisian stitch on its side and used Boucle’ for the thread. It gave a different texture and depth to the “front” of the canvas.

The top of the Limoges box is stitched with a basketweave background and overdyed silk for the leaves. For the lilac blooms I played around with Splendor silk ribbon, using lazy daisy and padded satin with beaded centers. I will be stitching another one of these canvases and I am going to try French knots and variegated silk ribbon for the petals.

This canvas is a gift and will be embroidered inside to really personalize it.

With thoughts of Spring….Michele

Darning stitch

1 comment:

SuZy Murphy said...

Thanks for the memories. I spent several wonderful days at Grand Hotel when Homestead Needle Arts did a retreat there!
SuZy Murphy