Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunflower and Berries (ND 309) - part two

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

March Madness is right upon us. No, I am not taking about the NCAA Basketball Tournament... I am talking about my needlepoint projects and their looming deadlines.

With tonight's immanent time change ... before we spring forward, I thought we could step back in time (together) to see how I came to this wonderful conclusion.

Sunflower & Berries
NeedleDeeva • ND 309
Stitch Guide by Robin King

The canvas is from NeedleDeeva and it is called Sunflower & Berries (ND 309). I will be teaching it at Nashville Needleworks on April 21, 2012 as well as at In Stitches Atlanta on April 27 & 28, 2012. I am so excited/honored to visit both shops; I have never been to either. Give Lisa Rusche or Bam Coleman a call and join me in the fun. Can't make it in person? I am sure they can pack the kit up in a wonderful to-go box... plus, the canvas comes with my stitch guide.

When I first saw Sunflower & Berries hanging on the NeedleDeeva wall in her TNNA booth, I thought the Strawberries would make awesome features in Stumpwork. My opinion is still true, and we can check that box as being a done deal.  I also wanted to do ribbon work to the Sunflower... as inspired by Wendy Harwood from Aristeia. OK, let's check off another box. The last thing I knew was a "must-do": use the new Sequins from The Collection for the small Orange Dots. Check that box, too. ☑ ☑ ☑

My next plan of discovery was to work on the background. Judee/NeedleDeeva told me the white background doesn't have to be white... she was just keeping it white so others could add their own color. (I went with a pale lilac thread.) Any of you who saw me work on this canvas at TNNA Phoenix in January knew I was all over the place looking for inspiration. I had an idea in my mind, and that's where it stayed. I did a lot of stitch/take it out/stitch again/take it out/stitch/take it out/ponder/stitch/take it out/pondered again... until I could get back in front of my computer.

My first thought was to look for or design a Trellis pattern. After all, a Strawberry or a Sunflower might be attached to a Trellis, right? Here are some previews I worked on with the help from Photoshop:

ZigZag Diamonds
I liked it but wasn't in love with it. Guess it felt too rigid.

I tried Crazy Rain, too. After all, both Strawberries and Sunflowers need a good rain to grow, right?

Crazy Rain

I was getting close... but I wasn't playing Horse Shoes. I still had a ways to go.

It was the curling vines which continued to call my name.

Remember the Mirrored Confetti Ribbons stitch I did for the wallpaper behind the Cake (Associated Talents/DMC)? Inspired by Julia Snyder's book, Darn Fillings, I began with her original Confetti Ribbons.

Confetti Ribbons
But, placing them side by side was too regimented.

eureka... the background stitch for Sunflower & Berries
So, I shifted them, and voilĂ ... I found my background stitch; it did remind me of the curling vines. My quest was over. I was at peace. (I love it when a background stitch relates to the theme of the canvas.)

I am very comfortable with the concept of "open" canvas for the background stitch. I used Kreinik Braid size 8 057F... it was a nice pale lilac color... easy to use, too.  It gave a texture, and didn't get in the way. Bonus: it glows in the dark... who knew? Certainly made this "Halloween" kid happy.

I need a fun name for my background stitch. Add your suggestions in the comment box.

Next time, I will share with you more details of the Sunflower & Berries. Its design size is 8x8 on 18 mesh canvas. You will really have a fun time with this one!

Until then... happy stitching.  Robin


  1. That little peek at the stumpwork strawberry on the right side of your canvas looks great - can't wait to see the finished ones on the canvas.

  2. Very nice, Robin! I'll have to check my calendar to see if I can get to Atlanta when you are at In Stitches. Love all the wonderful elements in this canvas!

  3. Life is just too short for needlepointers. This is a beautiful canvas and I sure when you are finished with it, it will be ready for the Smithsonian. Between, pear banner, 30"nutcracker and the log cabin pattern Christmas tree that you wrote the stitch guide for me, this is just a distant dream. I can't wait to see it finished. This canvas made me feel springy and smile when I saw it.

  4. Very nice.....what about "Askew Curlicues"? : )

  5. Thank you for choosing River Silks, 100% silk ribbon! I can't wait to see the finished piece!

    Jill K Dutcher
    Marketing/Web Development
    River Silks Ltd


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