Here's the canvas I'm playing with...It's a photo my sister Diane took of a Gerbera Daisy. (See more of her macro photos on her blog, Going to Pieces)
She gave me permission to copy it onto 18 ct needlepoint canvas, because I was fascinated with the image and wondered if I could replicate & interpret the flower using different types of threads and stitches.
I wanted to see if I could create the look and feel of velvety petals using different thread textures. I started out using Ribbon Floss satin stitches on all the petals, but with a very limited color palette and way too much shine, the effect was over the top - so I ripped out the satin stitched petals....but left the basketweave stitches in the darkest orange (I'm really not crazy about ripping out that tight basketweave stitch - yucko - so I'll just work around it).
Anyway, I recently bought some DMC Floche thread and decided to work the stem and greenery with it. Boy, is that Floche yummy to work with! So I decided to order more Floche in yellows and oranges and see what it will look like in the petal areas....(I'm eagerly awaiting a UPS thread delivery so I can continue working on the petals.)
In the meantime, I've moved on to the border - which I added to the photo to give it a finished look. I decided to create the look of a triple mat....using #5 pearl cotton. And here's a very simple but VERY ELEGANT way to create a border for any canvas: PAD IT!!
Here's what it looks like up close:
I've layed a few long threads first, then started stitching a simple Diagonal Satin Stitch over the top of those long threads. It creates a solid but raised border that also has a soft sheen, thanks to the pearl cotton. This effect can be used with all sorts of threads....stranded silks or cottons, as well. Give it a try, if you haven't already!
(And the little orange squares in the border corners are worked with Ribbon Floss, but stitched twice - so they also have a nice little pillowy poof to them!
As for the space between the two border rows, I haven't quite decided what's going in there...I'm thinking alternating yellow, orange and maybe pink bars, but I won't really know if that works until I try it...and I can't try it until I get the Floche thread! (Maybe just one color would look better, and not compete with the flower, so maybe a simple satin stitch row will be the best option.) But I'll worry about that later.....