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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A lesson in shading

I finally finished the first lesson (a.k.a. the first flower) on Judy Souliotis's Floral Rondel. I'm still really enjoying the Sha fabric. It's wonderful that the silk threads barely have any wear with this fabric, so longer lengths can be used.

The petals of the flower use a basic laid stitch, where metallic threads are laid across the area and silk threads are used to couch them down while providing the color to the petal. I can't remember incorporating shading into this technique before. It was an interesting learning experience, because in this technique, you can't compensate stitches when going from one shade to the next. The line between the shades becomes blurred because they interleave with each other.

I really need to try this idea more with painted canvases. I often use "tweeding" when shading, blending strands of two colors in the needle at the same time (as seen in the gray trees on Winds of Color). If I'm not doing that, I tend to have a hard line of compensation between shades (as seen in the green trees on the same piece).

This idea of simply changing colors from one complete stitch unit to the next isn't completely foreign to me, but I've never really noticed how effective it can be. It looks even better when you take a step back, which I often forget to do when working on the details of a project. It's a case of "not seeing the forest for the trees." I hope I'm not alone in doing this!

Ok, from the beginning, this blog has been almost entirely about stitching, but with our new addition, I hope you don't mind if I share a bit about Erin on occasion. All of you have been so incredibly supportive over the last several trying months, so maybe you want to hear a bit about her, too. And if you don't, I'll keep these bits at the ends of the posts, so you can skip them if desired!

Erin update: If we're not precisely on a schedule, at least we've found a bit of a rhythm to our days. Things have been getting easier because she's getting bigger and is finding it easier to nurse, so it doesn't take an hour and a half each time she's fed (warming a bottle, feeding, pumping for the next time, and cleaning all of the pump parts). Try that seven or eight times a day, and you'll know why I've only stitched one flower in the past two weeks!

Our visit to orthopaedics yesterday didn't go too well. An ultrasound revealed that Erin's hips are still dislocated despite almost three weeks in a harness. Now we've switched to a rigid brace that's put on over her clothing (which is a pain when it comes to diaper changing!) to try to realign everything. By the end of the afternoon, Erin had screamed all three of us into exhaustion due to her discomfort with removing the harness and going into this new contraption. I'm happy to say she's doing better today, and doesn't seem to mind when we take the brace on and off.

Unfortunately, while my camera takes fairly decent macro shots for stitching, it's not very good with indoor "people" shots, so I don't have a ton of pictures to share. I'll leave you with a couple of pictures from Valentine's Day, when MIL and FIL watched her for a couple of hours so DH and I could take a trip to Babies R Us. Romantic, huh?


The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

The flower is cute and the baby cuter.

I'm told it gets easier. Just remember to rest whenever baby rests!

Hugs from CH,

Carmen said...

your princess is so cute!!
i hope that she be better and better, and soon the harness could be a past thing.

take care,and rest when the baby sleep,,is the only way to survive the first mounths (i am still remeber thats days...)

toys´r us is a second home! :D

Love to Stitch 99 said...

Lovely stitching as always and that baby of yours is just so cute.

Pierrette =^..^=

MeganH said...

What a cutie!!!!

And what an interesting couching technique - carrying it over several colours. Do you know how old it is??

NCPat said...

The flower is truly beautiful! Erin is even more so....we all enjoy hearing about her so please do continue to share with us all!

Front Range Stitcher said...

Oh Erin is absolutely beautiful. A new little life to love, nurture and spoil. She is so sweet in all her pink glory. My heart goes out to you having to contend with that apparatus. And I don't mind if you share news about her on your blog at all.

I too think the flower is lovely and the colors very attractive. Your stitching is as beautiful as ever, we're just seeing less of it right now.

3anklebiters said...

Erin is a beautiful little girl, such bright eyes. our son was born with loose tendons on his hip joints and they would pop out all the time. not having the perfect scenario is stressful, worrying about your baby is more stressful.

your stitching is, as always, fanstastic. the new technique is intriguing.

Anonymous said...

Do you remember when that luscious Winds of Color was my "favourite lady"? Well, now I've got a new one, and her name is Erin!!!

Oh, and your stitching is good too.

Actually, it's a bit of a shame that Erin has stolen the limelight from your flower. The petals really are fantastic.

Kathy A. said...

Oh Jeanne - she is just gorgeous! What a beauty. I hope that things continue to progress well with her hips. Isn't it amazing how one's priorities change. I'll bet Babies R Us was a big treat

Anonymous said...

hi Jeanne!

I am also taking the floral rondel class, but I am behind the group. It's so nice to see your completed lesson #1, and if it makes you feel any better, you are way ahead of me. your stitching is beautiful!!

Your daughter is precious! Hang in there...

Karoline said...

Erin is just precious.

Your flower is gorgeous, great progress

Mary Corbet said...

I love the motif! Very nice -

but Erin - now SHE is something else! What a cutie!!!

Edy said...

BEAUTIFUL! Both Erin and your stitching. I look forward to both kinds of reports eagerly.

Susan said...

Erin is just gorgous and growing fast. Hope she recovers very quickly from the hip problems.
Love your stitching very interesting.