Monday, July 21, 2008

Garden Party, Anyone?

I have an unquenchable fascination with variegated threads. I simply NEVER get tired of playing around with them....mixing and matching colors, metallics, ribbons and endless variations of stitches to create interesting ways to show off the variegated threads.

One of the things I love to do is: 1) pick out a variegated thread; 2) select matching solid colors and metallics and/or ribbons; and 3) design some interesting composite stitch patterns and THEN.... see how they look together!

One of my favorite challenges is to work the same patterns in different sections of a symetrical geometric - BUT SWITCH THE VARIEGATED AND SOLID COLORS IN ALTERNATING SECTIONS. And the fun is seeing how my "Switcheroo Effect" alters the overall look of the piece.

My recent GARDEN PARTY piece, shown above, shows off this magical effect to perfection. (This 6.5" x 6.5" design was stitched on 24 ct. mocha Congress Cloth; if it were stitched on 18 ct. it would be 8.5" x 8.5". And the variegated thread I used in this design is Waterlilies 112 - "Fir", with #8 pearl cotton 367.)

Here's a closeup of the lighter, left-hand side (which has the primary patterns worked with the variegated thread, and the accent stitches done in the lavender color). You can count the five different patterns within this main block. And see how the variegated colors look with the lavender accents? Much lighter and brighter, isn't it? It also shows off the soft, lovely colors of the variegated thread.

Now look at the right side, which switches the the solid lavender color makes up the primary patterns, with the variegated thread in the accent position. Here the solid color lavender makes up the bulk of the block, so the section feels much darker and heavier...and the variegated colors have faded into the background. (Also note that the sparkly lavender metallic thread is used in the same places for BOTH versions.)

I've also swapped the threads in the woven border accent areas - using the lavender thread in the outer borders (to create darkness and heaviness), and using the variegated thread for the inner sashes (to create a lighter, softer feel).

The overall design, with it's hedge green borders, reminded me of an abstract knot garden...hence the title, "GARDEN PARTY."

I designed this pattern to be a fun color challenge for all those stitchers who enjoy changing the colors and making their own unique version. So, Stitchers.... care to try creating your own Garden Party??


The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...


I like the solid colors as accents. Wonder what that says about me and my color choices?

As always, thanks!
Jane, pondering color in CH

Coni said...

Darn it all! Just when I think I have found my favorite, you come out with another design that I simply must have! I love the "play" of color in all of your charts and I sit for hours with threads and "play" with the variations too! I can't wait to stitch this one!

Margaret said...

That is lovely, Laura! Oh I wish there were more stitching hours available during the day!

Ruth M. said...

OMG!!!! I think i have diead and gone to heaven. I just went to you main site and was completely captivated by your designs. WOW!!

I know whats going on my Christmas list =)

Ruth m