Friday, October 24, 2008

Mystery Border Revealed!

Have you heard about the Shining Needle Society? Have you joined yet? A stitching friend told me to check it out and after I saw all the luscious designs they were offering, I joined too. It's a society of stitchers (it's free to join) that enjoy talking about their stitching obsession. And best of all, they offer special cyber classes by wonderful designers who will certainly inspire you to great creative heights!

One of those designers is Gay Ann Rogers. I got a look at her recent cyber class, MYSTERY IN A CORNER, and was totally smitten. I had to stitch this project and was as excited as anybody to see where this project was going. The really fun part was deciding on the colors of your project. Everyone was encouraged to try their own combinations - in fact, that was one of the primary missions of the project. There was plenty of discussion (and I'm sure a lot of angst) about what colors to choose...

But I was in one of my springtime green-and-purple moods, and chose to work the MYSTERY in this color combination:

This is the completed project. Isn't it a stunning geometric design? And Gay Ann even gave us stitchers several stitch options so that we could mix and match our own side elements and motifs.... The idea being that we could create our own unique design in the process.

Well, after I finished stitching this MYSTERY, I left it on its stretcher bars and hung it on my office wall, where I've been staring at it for many weeks. To my border-obsessed eye, I realized I REALLY, REALLY wanted to put a border around this design, but wasn't sure what KIND of border it should have. I spent a lot of time staring at this piece, trying to visualize what kind of border it should have.

And here's what I finally came up with:

Instead of having triple mats cut in unusual (and extremely expensive) shapes, I decided to stitch my mat lines (remember those simple Dutch pieces I showed you earlier?) - similar to quilting lines - and by so doing, echo the rather Art Deco (or maybe opulent Edwardian) look of this piece. Using radiating lines around any geometric design is a good trick to remember, if you want to finish it off in an unusual way.

The thin radiating lines are done with a fine metallic thread. The green border is really just parts of the main design that I enjoyed stitching and thought I would repeat along the outside. I've never done a telescoping border (where it varies width) so that was a fun learning experience for me.

Does this border go to far? Is it too ornate? Maybe... Maybe not. I just wasn't happy putting a simple border on a visually complex piece such as this, so I opted to try a much more intricate border. But, ultimately, my border-obsessed eye is now satisfied. My version of the MYSTERY IN A CORNER is finished. I'm happy. (And that means I can start something new! Woo Hoo!)


Cyn said...

Hi Laura,

I love the border!

I don't think it looks too fussy as it really adds to the design.

What a wonderful idea to stitch the mats instead of having them cut!

Love this idea!!!

Windy Meadow

Theresa said...

Hello Laura,

I love the way you finished up this design!!! It looked like it was always meant to be that way. Just love it!!!


The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

It is a beautliful border and mat and very creative. I love it!

I'm enjoying the various "stitch your border and mat" postings a lot, Laura. They are both awe-inspiring and inspirational. Thank you.


Stitch Wizard said...

The border is just beautiful and really perfect! I would never have been able to just design that! It is gorgeous as is the whole project! I love the colors of this as well!

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Laura, I hope you don't mind, but I linked to this from my blog and used the photo of the stitched triple mats and frame around MIAC there. I will of course remove the photo if you prefer. I normally post and then ask permission so that my victims (uh, my subjects) can truthfully say they didn't pay me to promote them--it happened out of the blue.

Hope you don't mind. Thanks for considering this.

Jane/Chilly Hollow and mirror blog at

lewmew said...

I have to admit I wasn't crazy about this piece when I saw the first picture. They you added the border and NOW it pops! Love it - it really completes the design.


Margaret said...

That is LOVELY!

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh pretty! I love Art Deco....and the border is fabulous for that. Nice color way too.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Who would have thought that such a border would enhance this design so completely! It is inspired! I'd say this qualifies for "borderline genius." 'Scuse the pun.


Love to Stitch 99 said...

For the fun of it, I called my husband, who always love the framing part of any of my projects as he always puts his two cents in it and actually more than that, as I wanted him to have a good look at what you have done here with your mystery in a corner.

I gave him plenty of time to really look at both (the one without your border and then the one with your stitched border) and he said that he really loves what you have done with it and so do I. It is not overdone, it is just, should I use the word "perfect"?

Now our only regrets is that mine has been framed before I saw yours.

I will keep all your wonderful ideas for other projects.

You are making us all think outside the box, which is great. I certainly need to do more of that myself :-)

Thanks a lot for inspiring us all to do just that.

Pierrette =^..^=

Coni said...

Of fer cryin' out loud. What will you do next? As always, I am just in AWE of you! Laura, this border is absolutely fabulous and stunningly beautiful. My God, how I wish my brain could come up with such delights....

Diane said...

I have to agree with everyone else -- the border is just perfect. It borders it but looks like part of the whole, too. And perfectly echos what is going on in the main part. (And for the "borderline genius" comment? Hilarious and right on!!!)


Babs said...

You are amazing. This is the perfect fit to this project. Now I wished I had signed up for it. Your color scheme is amazing.

bea said...

Hi Laura!

I love your work. I love your Mystery piece. I haven't done mine yet, but you have really inspired me.

I was thinking of green, purple & pink as well!!!

I love reading your blog and drool over your pieces!

Your framing idea is fab-u-lous!



Anonymous said...

Absolutely Stunning!!! I saw your original first part photo in Gay Ann's classroom and have been waiting to see it finished. i did not participate but have bought Glistering Diamonds on the her sale. I also bought one of youe designs Starry Nights when I was at ANG Seminar in Baltimore. Love your designs as well!!

Odette in South Africa.

tintocktap said...

WOW - I love the way you've finished your Mystery in a Corner! When I get round to finishing mine, I might have a go at something similar, if you don't mind me copying!

NCPat said...

This is just amazing! This truly makes the design pop and your choice of colors is spring! Thanks for all the thought provoking finishing ideas!

geeky Heather said...

That's beautiful and I LOVE the border! Congrats on the finish!!!