I’ve actually finished stitching the project but got a little behind on posting updates. So here’s what happened with the crescents:
There are crescent pairs in each corner. At first I thought I’d stitch them in Rainbow Gallery Flair. I love crescents stitched in Flair. Anyone familiar with Jean Hilton’s designs has seen Flair crescents.
Flair is a fabulous thread. I love that it adds a little bit of bulk, a little bit of shimmer, and you can’t see the edges of the ribbon after it’s stitched. So when I can, I use Flair if I think it’s appropriate.
Alas, in this case, Flair wasn’t appropriate. I thought it made the crescents appear too fat, and they didn’t match the character of the piece. So I decided to make a change.
I like the look of the crescents much better in pearl cotton. It seems to better match some of the other elements in the design, also stitched with pearl cotton. They aren’t as fat or puffy, and you can see the development of the stitches.
I had planned to do a filling stitch for the center of the crescents, and in fact stitched the centers all the way around before I started with the crescents. In Flair, the filling stitches didn’t show, so I ripped them all out. Then I stitched with pearl cotton, and the hole is much more pronounced. But I decided to leave the centers unstitched, allowing the canvas to show through. Plus, I didn’t want to do all the counting again – it was quite the chore!
So with the crescents stitched all the way around, just a little more to go.
With the Amadeus stitches sorted out, I worked on some background stitches.
I really loved the Bargello as I was stitching it, and was very tempted to leave parts of the pattern unstitched since I loved the shape it was creating. But I went ahead and evened it out. I think I’ll make the suggestion when I teach it that parts of it can be left unstitched if the students like the shapes as much as I did.
I also added some Victorian step pattern between the Amadeus stitches. This is one of my favorite background stitches, because it conveys movement with straight stitches. I used floss and satin floss for the background, to add texture without adding too much color.
It’s coming along, the end is in sight!
I’m making steady progress on Sonata. I’ve added the Amadeus stitches around the filling stitch I came up with.
I loved these Amadeus stitches! I’ve stitched other Amadeus shapes before. This is the first time I’ve used this shape, with an opening in the center, and I love the way it looks!
I stitched these with pearl cotton as a contrast to the shiny metallic filling stitch, and because I like using pearl cotton for the stitches that use a lot of thread like these.
We’re progressing steadily, on to some background stitches next.
Back to work on Sonata. In my original thoughts for the design I had several stitches that left open holes, like an Amadeus and crescents, and I decided to fill the holes with stitches to avoid open canvas. My first thought on filling the holes in the Amadeus stitches was a tear drop crescent, but that has a hole in it too. I modified the crescent to overstitch the hole, but decided I didn’t like the texture – too raised on the edges, and it just looked weird to me. I’ll probably further develop what I was working on for that stitch for later projects because I think there may have been promise for the stitch, it just didn’t suit what I wanted for this project.
So I kept the outside shape that I developed, but reworked the stitch. This is the result:
The outside shape nicely fills the hole in the Amadeus, but is still fairly flat.
This is what it looks like stitched:
I’ll show you what it looks like with the Amadeus around it later. For now, here’s a little bit about how I developed the stitch.
Working out a new stitch isn’t just about finding the shape and texture you want, you also have to make sense of the stitching of it. I like stitches that don’t require constantly looking back and forth at the diagram, so that stitching is easier. For this stitch, I had to make a couple of stabs at it before I worked out a reasonable stitching order, that would have the look I wanted.
For now I’m calling it a honeycomb stitch, but I’m not sure that’s the final name for it. It looks like lattice, but there are other lattice stitches and I want to avoid confusion in the naming of it. I’ll continue to give it some thought, to see what makes sense and is descriptive of the stitch.
Continuing on with Sonata. More stitches, this time sprat’s heads between the double fan doubleds and the waffle stitches.
And that leads to a wish for a different thread. I wanted to use a ribbon for the sprat’s heads. My go to is Neon Rays, but since these were right up against other stitches with Neon Rays I wanted to use a different texture. That left sparkly ribbons like FyreWerks or Neon Rays Plus, or nylon ribbons like Flair. I didn’t want to use Flair because I needed the ribbons to be more contained, not spread out like Flair sometimes does. And I didn’t really want to use sparkly ribbons because I didn’t want that texture. That left me wondering what other ribbons are available.
Silk ribbons are quite common in needlework, in various widths. For this application I thought the silk ribbons wouldn’t suit either. For one, it would have to be 2mm ribbons, and I don’t have access to a good selection of 2mm silk ribbons. Plus the texture is still shiny.
That left me wanting something that I don’t think exists, a woven cotton ribbon in widths like Neon Rays and Neon Rays Plus. Does anyone make any? And are they available in a wide range of colors? So far as I know, such a woven cotton ribbon doesn’t exist, something that would give the right color and texture without adding shine.
So I decided to use FyreWerks, since I had it in the colors I wanted to use. Not the most ideal choice but I think it will do.