These first few photos are a bit dark, but they get lighter so never fear. This stitchscape actually sparkles! It is full of little reflective parts, tiny beads in the snow on top of the walls, reflective silky DMC thread in the long stitch feather layer, pearl beads lining the top of the bottom layer, and a metallic DMC thread making the bullion knot flowers sing out from their chilly bed of snow. It is one of the reasons I have called it Frost Fields, as it really reminds me of those frozen mornings where the pale sun makes the landscape sparkle.
I have discovered that one of the hardest things to do with these stitchscapes is to name them. There is a constant worry that the name you have come up with is too twee or too corny, is too much of a mouthful or doesn't fit the theme. Some 'scapes get a name halfway through stitching it as there is one so perfect it cannot be named anything but that; this little one wasn't like that and I'm still not entirely sure on the name, but it has a pleasing alliteration.
The inspiration came about during a regular flick through Pinterest (a fabulous site, if you haven't got a Pinterest account, you should definitely get one- you will not regret it!). An image of some snowy walls popped up and brought immediately to mind my wall pattern fabric, which I have used before in the Dry Stone Meadow stitchscape, covered in little french knots and encrusted with beads.
As before, I have outlined each individual brick with rows of back stitch. To get a variation in the thread colour for this, I have twisted together two strands of embroidery thread, one in a dark navy (yes navy!) colour, and one in a more wall-like brown. The top of the wall has then been covered in large french knots and off-white beads, with smaller french knots building up snow drifts down the wall where you can imagine the stones sticking out and catching little flakes.
One of my favourite parts of this stitchscape is the lighter shading in the green flower pattern fabric. It was looking a little too dark for such a bright, wintry piece, but adding such a pale green really brightens it up and I think looks lovely. I also love the feather fabric with the shiny white thread creating feathers that subtly glisten. There is a very chunky whip stitch hiding the top of this fabric layer, which used all six strands of the embroidery floss, whipped in both directions on a line of back stitch.
I have also used a very thin whip stitch in one of the sky layers, behind the birds, which has used a single strand of embroidery thread for both the back stitch and the whip stitch. It's amazing how different stitches can look when you use different weights of thread.
I don't know if you can tell, but the little tiny dots on the bottom layer are colonial knots. These are made differently to french knots which are wrapped around the needle as many times as you need. Colonial knots are made with almost a figure of eight movement around the needle, winding underneath from left to right and then a sort of right to left- it's a bit difficult to explain but if you click HERE I've linked it to a 46 second silent video on Youtube, put up by UniqueHomemadeGifts (who wears super snazzy nail polish!) which shows you how the knot is made. It's a nice little alternative to french knots if you are struggling to get the hang of them.
I really enjoy running my fingers over this piece as there are so many different textures! The snow on the tops of the walls is actually really built up and prominent from the base cloth, which gives a nice depth to the piece.
So, my stitch rundown for this piece includes: cross stitch, bullion knots, french knots, back stitch, whip stitch, pistil stitch, running stitch, seed stitch, beading, straight stitch, long stitch, fly stitch and colonial knots. Lots going on in there!
I'm looking forwards to seeing this one framed in time for Crimbo.