Well, here's the finished design, and it's called SPRING BOUQUET SAMPLER:
I stitched the 9.25" x 9.25" model on 24 ct. Congress Cloth, so it has a much more delicate look than my usual 18 ct. creations, but it can also be worked on 18 ct. canvas by increasing the plies of silk used (and then on 18 ct. canvas the size of the piece would be 12.25" x 12.25").
And speaking of the threads, this is the soft pastel palette I selected:
Because I was in a springy mood, I wanted to use one of my very favorite variegated threads - Waterlilies 110, "Hyacinth". This particularly yummy colorway of periwinkle blues, orchids and soft greens is not available in the thicker #5 Watercolours, so I had to adapt the piece so it could be done in stranded silk instead of pearl cotton.
While I stitched the rest of the piece, I left the center block empty. Originally I was going to fill it with a tent-stitched image of a basket of spring flowers. But as I got ready to stitch the center area, I had a flash of inspiration and decided to do something a bit more unexpected, and try a rather freeform bouquet of flowers.
Here's a close-up of the central area:
It's not really difficult, and to get you started I've included a graph of just the center box, that indicates where to stitch the stem lines, which gives you something to work off of as you create your own bouquet of french knots and lazy daisy stitches. I really like the lightness and delicacy of this simple bouquet, and find it compliments the airy stitch patterns that surround it. [And psssst: you know what?...if you'd rather fill the space with another type of image, try looking through that pile of cross stitch patterns I know you have, and I bet you can find just the right image of flowers or birds or bunnies to tent stitch in your center box...hey, it's just another idea to consider...]
So, if you happen to be in a springy stitchy mood like I am, please visit my website, Laura J. Perin Designs and you'll find more information for ordering this fresh new SPRING BOUQUET SAMPLER.