Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Winterberry Stitchscape

I'll be honest, I'm not so sure about this stitchscape.
It had to happen and will probably happen again, but as there is no forward planning with these stitchscapes, no designing or composition sketches, each 'scape is a bit of a whim and a prayer. The general theme is something I will probably be inspired to do beforehand, and I do keep a list of keywords as they pop in to my brain with things like; blue hills, green trees, dark woodland, purple mist, sand(?).... Fabrics are chosen based on the theme and roughly cut and tacked down, I like to keep things fresh and not too overworked- or at least, I try to.

I'm not quite sure what it is that doesn't gel for me here, as there are many parts about it that I think have really worked well. I love the little french knots in the bark, and the tiny straight stitch fir leaves with the satin stitch berries. My thought is that perhaps there are too many patterns at the bottom of the piece which are crowding for attention, or that the tree is the wrong shape... I could speculate on and on, but it all boils down to something not working for me- not that I'm saying it can't work for you.

I am very much enjoying the red beads nestled amongst the giant french knots. As in previous stitchscapes, I have used some leftover Stylecraft Special DK acrylic yarn from my stash. These create such lovely, chunky knots but are devils to pull through the fabric due to the bulk at the eye of the needle. There is a lot of focus on french knots in this piece, but, as I'm being so honest in this post, I did consider giving up halfway through the top white layer which is made up of hundreds of single twist knots. The idea behind these, aside from the interesting texture, is that I think they look like snow! Do you think so? Just the thing for a seasonal winter themed 'scape. They took for-ever though!

The other part I really like, and will probably do again is the detached chain stitches grouped together with the french knots and red beads. It adds to the green of the piece and makes the tree appear more like an evergreen I think. Oooh, perhaps I could do an autumnal tree and overlay lots of these little detached chain stitches in various shades of orange and yellow!!! That could look fab!

There are three layers of thread edging the tree trunks; a pale one at the bottom with two strands, then a four stranded golden layer and a two strand dark layer over the top. You can create a corded effect if you whip stitch in different directions. So to create this look, the first two layers are whip stitched with the needle going under the original back stitch line from the direction of the trunk, outwards. The dark layer is then whipped around the threads from the outside of the trunk, towards the centre.

It does look very festive, and the colours look great together with the golden brown (like pine cones), red, green and white. Moda are very good at putting together a charm pack, which is what this stitchscape is named after. Gosh I love fabric patterns, and fabric, and colour, and DMC threads, and stitches!! Can you tell? The stitch list in this embroidery is; straight stitch, satin stitch, back stitch, whip stitch, seed stitch, detached chain, french knots, star stitch, bullion knots, running stitch, fly stitch and cross stitch.
So the question is, is it worth my looking into turning it into, dare I say it, Christmas cards? Or do you feel the same way as me with the slightly underwhelmed feeling? It would be interesting to know.

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