Thursday, May 03, 2012

Notes on Needlepoint

needlepoint.with.velvet.2 

Today, needlepoint is on my sewing list.  I am working on some bag patterns that will include needlepoint panels in their design which has me incredibly giddy.  If you are familiar with how to sew a needlepoint into a pillow front, then sewing one into any other sewn good is not much different.  And even if you're not quite sure, it really works out in the most logical way, keeping your machine sewing seam line right into the last stitched row around the perimeter of the work.  This is easiest when you have the wrong side of the needlepoint facing you as you sew it to a pillow back, bag back, etc.  Just pretend like you're sewing with really thick fabric, which is really all it is... so use a bigger needle, take your time, and all those things.  I also think that velveteen is the perfect pairing with a needlepoint as a pillow back or otherwise.  The weight and textures are perfect together.

  needlepoint.with.velvet 

So if you needed any suggestions about my favorite pairings, here you go.  And please don't allow yourself to believe that I have single-handedly stitched up these two tapestries in the time since their release in April.  No, dearies.  Anchor was kind enough to send along some finished samples.  (Phew.)  Though I have to say, I am about 1/3 of the way through that Polka Dot Rose, because I couldn't hold out longer that about 5 minutes once the kit samples arrived late last fall.  I am so patient.

On the note of the actual stitching, I wanted to clarify something for those of you who might be using the kits in conjunction with the Needlepoint Know-how pdf that is available on my Make page.  The "tent stitch" which is used to complete these needlepoint designs can be made with 3 different methods, which the pdf illustrates.  Each method takes a different amount of wool to complete, so many use the simple half-cross stitch because it uses the least amount of wool.  However, I asked Anchor to include enough wool in the kits to be able to perform at least the continental stitch method which uses a little more wool, so that stitchers could have their choice of at least two methods.  While they did include this amount of wool in the kits they did not amend their kit instructions to note this, but rather they suggest using the half-cross method.  I was thrown off at first until I got confirmation form Anchor that there is indeed enough wool to do the continental method.  So this is why even our descriptions of the kits mention the same because I didn't want my descriptions to be in conflict with Anchor's.  Okay?  Okay.  Anyway, I think that they will amend the instructions on the next printing so that it reflects this fact.

Back to it,
stitches & kisses, Anna

31 comments:

  1. I totally thought you whipped up all those samples yourself. I really did. I was like, "Seriously? HOW DOES SHE DO IT?" And I thought it to myself in all caps just like that. Still, though, I never ceased to be amazed at how much you get accomplished especially with a large family. You are superwoman. There it is. :D

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  2. Love the needlepoint tips you provided. I was fortunate enough to be in Lindon when the Ehrman Tapestry store was going out of business. I have enough needlepoint kits to keep me going until I'm 5. Just hope my eyesight hold out that long :)! God luck at market.

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  3. Absolutely gorgeous....I cant wait to be able to give these a go:)

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  4. Beautiful. And what's that gorgeous velvet???

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  5. Wow thats a relief it hadnt even occurred to me, I'm not sure of the term for the way I do it but I do know it uses more wool. Could you also ask anchor for a colour code chart, I think I mixed up my pinks because yes Im 50 and my eyesight is challenged!

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  6. Anonymous6:10 PM

    I'll check with my broker if I can just wire money directly into your account and consider it an investment, cuz..... man, I'm gonna want all the needlepoint projects now. I wonder if he can also add a few hours to my day to get them all done.

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  7. oooh, I would love a needlepoint bag.
    How wonderful.

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  8. What a good lad!
    So glad you are having fun - those colours of yarn are just amazing!

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  9. So gorgeous! I've been dreaming of a bag with a needlepoint butterfly for the longest time, maybe this will be it! Your work is a pleasure to watch.

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  10. Love, love, love this and the colours have really brightened my day (another wet, miserable rainy one!)

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  11. Anna, I'm soooo excited to see your examples of needlepoint in bags. I have a piece of needlepoint completed (not yours [sigh]--stitched it long before yours came out)that is begging to be part of a bag!

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  12. It's been a long time since I did any needlepoint and haven't been inspired to do any until I saw yours. Waiting on pins and needles to see your bags!

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  13. I've just in recent months really started to learn needlepoint, although I have for many years done quilting, cross stitch and crochet. I have finally mastered the basketweave! I was very proud because the instructions are usually confusing, and it wasn't until I saw a picture of how it is supposed to look on the back that I figured it out. Now, two questions: Does it take a *lot* more wool to do basketweave vs continental, or could I possibly squeeze out basketweave on your kits where appropriate? Also, is there any good reason to choose basketweave over continental? I've just read that "stability" is improved, but I don't know what the practical value of that is in the finished product. Thank you in advance for patience with a newbie. :)

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  14. Susanna- I think there are some references that will actually tell you the yardage of wool used for a given square inch of basketweave versus other styles.... I would think it might use up to 75% more than the half cross- that is just me guessing. Versus continental, I am not sure.....But think about how much coverage there is on the back... with basketweave there is actually more wool on the back than there is on the front.

    And I am with you, once I got it down pat, I love performing the basketweave stitch.... it is just entirely satisfying. It is more stable for two reasons: (1) the extra wool coverage on the back essentially has you making a thicker more durable piece (2) and the process of making the stitch does not bias (warp) the canvas as you work. This means that it is the most suitable method if you choose to go frame-free, which I do. Thats not to say that if you have some experience and keep your favorite stitch method in check that you could have good results without a frame.

    And then there is always blocking to fix all that :)

    To answer your question, I think that certainly there are some wool colors in each kit that offer more than you need, so you can likely eek out some basket weave.... and you can always purchase extra skeins color by color should you run out....

    Hope that helps. I am covering this in greater detail in my upcoming book!

    xo, Anna

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  15. Oh Susanna, also! The extra stability of the piece would be desirable especially if you are hoping to upholster with the piece, or possibly if you are sewing it into a cushion (though I think with a cushion or a framed piece, you'd really be fine with any type stitch)

    I just typed OH SUSANNA. that was fun.
    ;-P
    xo,AM

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  16. I Love that you are human! I enjoy your honesty and wit!
    Others would have let us believe.
    The saturated colors are exquisite!

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  17. Anna what about my pinks - I've ripped it out twice because I can't convince myself I've got the right pink in the right place! ( this is the beautiful bolster we are talking about)

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  18. Merran, you should have gotten an email from me by now, but the pink that goes at the red/pink floral end of the bolster is the 8396.

    Hope this helps! xoxo, Anna

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  19. Where has needlepoint been... and Irish Setters for that matter- two prominent players from my childhood. My favorite keepsakes are my Mom's framed needlepoint works. I remember her working on them when we were little. Thanks for bringing needlepoint back in vogue! Might hook rugs be next?

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  20. from the daughter of a champion needlepointer, this makes me so happy ... and a little sad too. wish I'd paid more attention. xo

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  21. Very pretty needlework. I love the colors. :)

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  22. thrilled to see that you're adding needlepoint! your info on the difference in stitches is "spot-on". basketweave doesn't warp the canvas nearly as much as continental. half-cross is most often used for pix, as the coverage on the back is painfully sparse. here's a tip before you begin (especially for everyone with sewing machines): i bind the edges of my canvas with strips of muslin instead of wrapping them with masking tape. you don't have to worry about a sticky residue when removing, and it will stay until you take it off (instead of when the stickiness wears off). also, when making up into pillows, i first stitch cotton muslin to the back to provide stability and keep the stuffing inside. just saying!

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  23. Jenny1:50 PM

    AM, this has nothing to do with needlepoint...but I saw this image and thought of you! http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/bye-bye-basics-adding-unusual-color-in-the-bathroom-170759.

    Isn't that bathrobe lovely? They seem like such AMH fabrics to me. I want you to do the fabric experimentation to figure out what weight of lovely cottons quilted together feels just right on the skin, and then publish a pattern for a robe like this...what an indulgence that would be in some of your lovely voiles! Please please?

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  24. i bind the edges of my canvas with strips of muslin instead of wrapping them with masking tape.

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  25. There's a lot that I can do with this needlepoint. I can use this as pillow front and back. This can be put in a frame to and hang into the wall as wall decor.

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  26. Off topic but, Happy Mother's Day! Hope you have a restful day with all the sweet ones who call you momma. Can't tell who's luckier, you or you kids.

    Blessings, Martha

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  27. Hello! I just wanted to leave you a comment and say you have a beautiful blog :0) I've been on the look out for nice sewing blogs recently to inspire me to get my machine out again, so I'll be sticking around here and reading more. You have some lovely photos on here too!

    Have a nice day
    Faye

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  28. That needlepoint design is lovely! I don't seem to have the patience for it anymore, but I so admire those that do! :)

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  29. I found you today through the fat quarter blog, and decided to visit your blog
    I like it a lot, will keep coming
    hi from argentina

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  30. Pretty! Are these going to be in your new book? (I am sooo excited for its release!)

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  31. I love the design of the butterfly. I like how the sky is yellow instead of blue. It's just something different.

    -Zane of ontario honey

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