Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ribbon embroidery on canvas

My usual gripe about blogger is that I opened this draft blog and started to add information to it.  Then I hit something (who knows what?) and the whole damn thing disappeared.  You would think that the draft posting would be a saved entry.  Not so.  So here I go into the mists to try to reconstruct that entry.  Sadly, not the first time this has happened to me.  Do you think I would have learned?

Several years ago at a TNNA market, I took a class from Laura Taylor.  She started as a teacher for Aristeaia, a needlepoint shop in LA.  She is quite talented.  After the class, which I enjoyed, I went ho-hum ; because the majority of my customer-base is really traditional.  They don't work on frames; and only kicking and dragging do they use fibers other than Paternayan or DMC perle cotton. But I am pecking away at them.  And this year, I took another class from Laura, among several I took at Dallas. I'm determined to show my customers silk ribbon needlepoint and other techniques,

At Destination Dallas this September, I decided that I would take classes.  The first, as I have mentioned, was social media (facebook and instagram).  Next I took a class from Gretchen Janasek, the owner of Threads in Charlottesville, VA,  of a rabbit Easter basket.  This is the canvas.  It is realistically a canvas I could stitch for a model in my shop.  I am going to try to finish the canvas to have a shop model, she says hopefully!

Then, I attended Laura Taylor's ribbon class where she demonstrated 3 of the basic stitches utilized in ribbon embroidery on canvas.  And they seemed so easy!  So, the next day I went out and purchased several kits so I could practice and perhaps find a kit that I could teach to my customers.  This is a photograph of my class progress.  I must confess that I usually do not do much stitching in market classes because the lighting isn't right, the chair isn't the right height, ya da, ya da.  You get the picture.  I stitch better and faster at the shop or at home.  I've had to realize that is the reality.

That needle on the right is there intentionally, not as a laying tool, but to keep that tie-down of the stitch from disappearing when the tension of the next stitch occurs.  Otherwise the "lift" of the tie-down would disappear and the stitch would look totally different.

 My last class was taught by Tony Minieri.  It encompassed 4 stitches, only 1 of which I plan to utilize.  The first (and my favorite) was repousse.  The other 3 were intricate woven stitches from Italian embroidery, I think, that I don't have the patience to execute on a canvas--or try to teach to others to put on their canvases.

Tony has such incredible knowledge about the history of needlework.  I enjoyed the experience of taking a class from him and I understand the power of his charisma, but many of his stitches are just beyond my customer base.  I have to be realistic about this.  While I managed to achieve the stitches in class, only the repousse is one that I could envision ever trying on a canvas.
 To the extreme left of the canvas you can see my repousse example where I stitched 6 threads over one thread and  made them equal  lengths.  Then I wrapped 4 strands of a silk fiber around them; and after I determined the length I wanted on the surface of the canvas, I plunged the remaining lengths to the back.  Here you can see where I knotted the group and use a thead to keep them out of my stitching area.  The theory is that after you have stitched the surrounding area, then you end the individual strands into the back of the stitched areas.  Of course, if you aren't a purist, you can just leave this bunch of strands behind your work.  You can be the judge!
EDIT:  I notice that some of the labels for this entry were  cut off.  I have fixed that since the people who teach needlepoint classes at wholesale markets deserve credit for their contribution to the whole market experience.

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