Now that I've finished the PATRIOTIC canvas and stitch guide, I can go back to working on Sandra Gilmore's SHELLSCAPE canvas, which is a new design in her line this year. I always start a new canvas by staring at it for quiet some time, decided where I want to start stitching. It seemed easiest for me to start at the top (and begin a
driftwood-looking border using a variegated #8 pearl from ThreadworX) and work downwards, to all the items in the
This canvas has lots of areas for tranquil "filling in" that
don't require complex stitches -- or complex thinking -- which is
perfect for nighttime stitching while watching tv, or afternoon
stitching, when you don't want to do anything too taxing! Because I wanted to add many soft, subtle colors, this piece has lots of "blended" threads -- where I mix a solid thread with a variegated thread for more visual interest. As I began stitching I decided instead of working the sky, water, and beach all in tent stitch, I would use three different small scale stitches, to break up the canvas, and also to make it more interesting to stitch.
I've done the sky in a simple 4-way stitch, using 2 ply of a Splendor silk, so the aqua canvas shows through. The clouds are diagonal satin stitches, broken up in cloud shapes, with
the smaller colored sections done in a pale variegated ThreadworX in
creams, apricots and lavenders. (I decided to let the variegated thread
create the color changes, instead of stopping and starting several
different solid colors.)
The sea is done in rows of elongated tent stitches (to mimic the horizontal lines of an ocean view), using shimmery
Ribbon Floss and a variegated blue ThreadworX cotton blended with 1 strand of a sparkly blending filament - to add some subtle color changes and create a metallic sparkle over the whole sea:
The beach/dune area is done in plain old tent/basketweave stitch, again using a subtle variegated ThreadworX color. But instead of doing ALL basketweave, I alternated my stitching directions randomly: doing rows of horizontal tent stitches, then switching to a patch of vertical tent stitches, then doing chunks of diagonal basketweave -- all to avoid creating those dreaded diagonal stripes that happen when you do a strict basketweave stitch with a variegated thread. Below you can see how the patches of colors look very much like shadows on the beach dunes:
When I moved down to the lower level of the canvas, in the table/ledge area I chose a large blackwork pattern, using the same #8 pearl cotton variegated ThreadworX I used for the outer border and window sashes:
Again, there's more tent stitching (or basketweave) to be done on the RELAX sign and the terra cotta pot; lots more areas to fill up before moving on to the textural items: the shells, starfish, coral and flowers. Bit by bit, this canvas is filling up... and I must say, I'm enjoying working on every part of this piece. It's been very relaxing stitching. I hope to get the rest of this piece done over the weekend, so I'll share the rest of my beachy adventure with you next week!