The last two days of February are upon us and we are in the middle of a blizzard. I think Mother Nature is reminding us that although Spring is around the corner, there is still Winter weather to contend with. Yesterday, I shoveled my driveway 3 times to keep up with the snow!
Now, on to more interesting things. Here is the latest photo of the Sonja rug, taken this morning. I haven't been able to get too much more done than what you saw in my post last week, but still, it is something. I am enjoying stitching the white background and seeing the design pop out at me. Finishing each little section gives me quite a thrill. I try to view each section between the larger motifs as a milestone instead of looking at the project as a whole. This makes it easier for me to finish each section and feel good about what I have accomplished instead of looking at how much still needs to be done.
Filling in the background of the middle border is progressing well at the moment. As stated in my previous post, I am using Basketweave stitch to fill it in. To see a very good description of basketweave stitch, check this link: www.needlepointteacher.com/stitches/numbered-a-b/basketweave/
I found this website to be very good for explaining the many types of stitches found in needlepoint. Petitpoint (which I am doing) is often made up of the same stitches but primarily Tent (sometimes referred to as Continental) and Basketweave. One of the other petitpoint stitchers I know sometimes uses a full cross stitch to highlight single stitches of a color, which I may do for the single stitches of dark blue that you can see in the inner and outer borders. I haven't fully decided yet what I will do.
For now, I will continue to fill in the background...
Slowly but surely, the design emerges. It has been a couple of weeks since I posted last but they have not been idle. I now have all of the middle border outlined and the colors filled into the motifs. Now, I need to stitch the white background around each motif. It will be difficult to see if I photograph it on a white piece of paper again the way this photo is so I will choose a colored piece of paper for the next photo so that you can see the stitched background easier.
Stitching the colors in each motif was a bit fiddly because there are four different blues in some of them, but very satisfying in the end to see the various colors blending and working together to give each motif some depth.
I will be using basketweave stitch to fill in the background as opposed to the tent stitch I have used so far. Basketweave is done in a diagonal direction and I often like to use that for backgrounds unless I am using an overdyed floss for the background. Overdyes must be done with half cross stitch or tent stitch so that the lines are horizontal and match the "abrash" look that you see in many old rugs. Next week I hope to have quite a bit of the white filled in for you to see...
I have been able to make some great progress this past week and was able to finish the inner and outer border. I am now working my way around the middle border by doing the outline of the motifs first. It is progressing well towards the finish and now I only have the right side to complete before I begin filling in the motifs.
So far, it has been fairly easy to do the outlines and not get off track but I must confess, I did have some difficulty doing the top left corner motif. For some reason, I kept mis-counting my stitches and it didn't line up with the corner. I must have been tired when stitching it because I had to re-do it three times! Once I was able to stitch it correctly, I put it aside and went to do something else for awhile so that I didn't make any other mistakes. I have found it is never a good idea to stitch when you are tired!!
I wanted to take a little bit of time tonight to show you how I have been stitching the outlines of my motifs on the Sonja rug. This rug has a white background so I can't have any dark colors cross under the light colors. Therefore, when I am stitching my outlines and lines of the patterns in this rug, I have been running my thread back under the stitches of the same color when I come to the end of a swirl and still have more to stitch somewhere else. The photo below shows me running the thread under the stitches to get to the next area I have to stitch. The next area I have to stitch is starting about halfway down the small vertical section of the swirl. The only places I have allowed the thread to travel over an un-stitched area is when I know the color going there is darker. This is the back of the rug.
This past week I focused on the border of my rug and have managed to get the outline of the borders done. As you can see from the picture, I have the inner and outer borders in place and just have to fill them in. Once that is done, I get to have fun doing the rest of the fancy, middle border. I am looking forward to continuing it but want to finish the inner and outer one first.
I used the outlines of the middle border to work my way up the left-hand side of the rug and therefore was able to place the corner of the inner border correctly. After that, it was easy to continue across the top and up the right-hand side to join them together. I did the same with the outer border and everything lined up perfectly.
I am always surprised (but shouldn't be) at the length of time it takes to stitch a petitpoint project. I started this rug on November 27th, 2019 so it is almost 2 months so far. Here is my progress picture as of yesterday. I have been spending quite a bit of time working up the left side of the rug. I wanted to get to the top corner so that I could rough in the top of the border. I like to make sure all of my edges match, so I often work from corner to corner and leave sections open until I reach an easier area to count. The worst thing to do (which I have done) is to work a row around the entire border then find out you mis-counted by one stitch! After having done that once, I now work towards the end of the border a bit at a time.
Some people like to work from the center outwards and I used to do that all the time. For some reason, I have switched and now like to work from one corner to another. I just measure on the frame and put a little pencil mark where the edges should go. This way, I know I will have enough fabric to stitch the rug without running out. If I am off center by a stitch (or few), it doesn't matter since I make sure the pattern will fit within the area I am using.
For the most part, I am now caught up with my last year of stitching and designing so I won't be putting up posts as often, but plan on posting at least once a week to show my progress on each design as I stitch it and will post anytime I have a new rug design to show you. I hope you will continue along this journey with me and will enjoy reading along as I journal about my fun with stitching. If you purchase one of my designs and would like to post a picture of your project when you finish it, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to post a picture in our Gallery along with credit to you for stitching it.
Work is progressing nicely on my Sonja rug. I have been able to get a nice amount of the bottom edge done and am working the border up the sides. I love the way the blues are blending and am very pleased with the way this rug is turning out. I think it will look great in my Beachfront Mansion when it is done.
For this rug, I am using a combination of Tent stitch and Basketweave stitch. I have to be very careful that no dark threads cross under light ones as they will show through so after I lay the foundation of the dark outline, I have been working from light to dark when filling in the color. That way I can't accidentally cross a dark under the light color. Since the white is the background, I have been stitching it in basketweave stitch rather than tent stitch. I work around the larger motifs rather than bring my thread across them. This helps the back not be too thick once finished.
In December of 2019, I began stitching one of my blue and white rug patterns. This one is the Sonja rug and though it comes with several different shades included in the pattern, I wanted to do the blue and white one to eventually go into my Beachfront Mansion that I am in the process of building. This photo was taken on December 10th about 2 days after I started stitching it. There are 5 shades of blue and a winter white in this pattern.
As you can see, there is no pencil grid on this pattern either. I have become confident enough that I don't need the grid anymore. Although the grid was very useful, I wasn't very pleased having to wash it all out and stretch the rug back into shape. It was very time consuming and not something I wish to repeat. This time I only marked the bottom of the rug on the foam core by measuring the distance from the center along the bottom edge and along the sides. This gave me a rough idea where to start stitching. I knew I had plenty of room around the sides in case I was a stitch or so of center.
This rug will be 5" x 7" when it is finished and I have left lots of room for a fringe. I am stitching it on 40 count silk gauze.
My name is Yvette, and I will be writing this blog to tell you about the creative process that has gone into the creation of my Petitpoint patterns along with showing the stitching I have done of some of the rugs.
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