Here's another current Work In Progress:
It's the next design in my flower collage series. Remember, I showed you the palette of pink and green threads a week or two ago? Well, I spent some time this week working in tandem with my laptop on one side, and this canvas on my other side -graphing, then stitching, graphing, then stitching...I usually try to use my computer to graph out the various boxes and get each design centered within each box - before stitching them - so I don't have to do any ripping out on the canvas.
The whole design is worked in #5 pearl cottons - with the exception of the fine background thread (shown in the top upper right corner), which in this case is a single ply cotton of Wildflowers (in the same color as the main Watercolours thread - 141, "Alpine Moss".)
These colors are very soft and pastel. Just right for a delicate springtime flower. Can you guess what it will be?? (You'll just have to wait and see, won't you?)
Although, as this pattern develops on the canvas, I'm suddenly thinking that this would make a great wedding sampler! Instead of a flower in the center box, how about stitching the couple's name and wedding date? Wouldn't that look lovely?
Here's an up-close look at some of the patterns. They are created from very simple stitches, but combined in unusual ways to create new patterns. Notice the way the variegated thread looks when you create a diagonal grid foundation (lower right box). The colors flow softly - like a watercolor painting - across the box, creating a very subtle flow of colors upon which you can add the primary design elements inside the boxes. The use of a variegated thread for the grid - instead of a flat solid color - immediately creates more depth and dimension in the space. Doesn't it look like a shadowy lattice flickering in dappled sunlight? ...Also, note the empty 2x2 space at the grid intersections; here I'll add a small smyrna cross, probably in a metallic thread, which will create a bit of sparkle in the overall grid pattern.
Here's a up-close look at the patterns on the left: a simple ribbon pattern, a small cluster of bell flowers, and another box pattern created from composite stitches. Note the large pink rice stitches (over 8x8 threads) in the bottom pattern. Using these large rice stitches creates a lovely lacy design. These are alternated with a quartet of elongated & tied crosses (very easy to do, but they create a satisfyingly dense pattern...and using the variegated thread gives a soft watercolor flow across the whole pattern).
And here's the small ribbon pattern on the right side. It's so lovely - and fun to stitch as well. There's a slightly scalloped edge; two long laid stitches of the metallic Ribbon Floss tied down with simple crosses; and inside, composite stitches that create a raised ribbon look. Here, the variegated thread is used in tied bundles that march along the ribbon center - another way to effectively use variegated thread to move the soft colors across the ribbon's length.
Anyway, I'm having fun working these delicate patterns. Every time I think up a new ribbon pattern, or a new box pattern, I think, "Ohhh, I like THIS one best!" and then I stitch up the next one and think the same thing. ...That's what is so fun about designing - you can indulge your creative playfulness and explore all sorts of stitch, color, and thread combinations!