Second thoughts on designs

Carousel got a rather more drastic make-over than most, but a little change here and there is not unusual. Quite often, these happen as I am stitching the designs for the first time. For example, it may suddenly become very clear that my original choice of colours looks washed out or faded, or on the contrary that it looks garish; in one case I realised as I was getting the threads together that I had charted the design using a non-existent shade of DMC perle #8! Often this can be resolved quite easily. Because I was aiming for a "medieval" sort of look Canterbury started out with a much darker blue and green, but as the golden yellow framework grew I realised that in their surroundings they would look almost black, rather than the jewel-like and bright shades I was looking for. So off to my thread box to see if there were any brighter shades that would fit in – and fortunately there were so that I didn’t have to order anything in but could continue stitching right away.


Sometimes changes are suggested by threads or fabrics I acquire after a design has already been charted for other materials. Frozen Flower was originally meant to be stitched on white using white and two shades of grey or blue – and I’ll probably still stitch one of them in that colour scheme. But then I got some lovely dark hand-dyed fabric from Sparklies (a shade called Ink) and realised it would look really interesting in white and ice blue on that dark, stormy background. In cases like these, both variations will be included in the chart pack, so that every stitcher can decide for herself which she would prefer.

Occasionally I will find as I am stitching that I have charted something on paper which is simply impossible to do on fabric. The central motif in Sunken Treasures originally had stitches in perle #5 over one fabric thread where purple, blue and green meet, and it simply became one blobby mess. Back to the drawing board, making sure the smallest stitches went over two fabric threads, and the crisis was resolved. A smaller crisis in the same design involved some multi-coloured squares I had originally placed in the corners of the central motif, at the base of the "seaweed" shapes. They were possible, but they looked wrong. Getting three colours into such a small square made it difficult to keep them neat, and in spite of the colours (the same as the seaweed) they simply didn’t gel with the rest of the design. So eventually they got transformed into an additional light green leaf for the seaweed, and all was well.

Sunken Treasures Sunken Treasures

And of course sometimes designs get changed simply because I can! The piece I’m stitching at the moment was designed while I was listening a lot to The Corries, and one song that really stuck in my mind begins "Green is Flodgarry, blue is the sea". The design was quite abstract so I decided that Flodgarry was as good a name as any, and that I’d keep it in shades of blue and green. Which was fortunate as I had just bought the most marvellous deep blue green fabric from Sparklies, which went perfectly with one of my favourite Caron shades. But Flodgarry consists of two designs, and I wanted to ring the changes, so for the other one I chose the very bright turquoise/navy/green Caron thread which I had used in one of my A-B-C models. It seemed a good choice. It would look nice and startling on bright white fabric. And so as I got the materials together to start stitching it, I picked antique white fabric, and the much more muted Caron shade I used in Percival.

Oh well. They do say woman is fickle …

Alphabet Percival

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