I’ve been working on the outline diamonds for this rug upstairs so I could get it completed a little faster. All 124 diamonds are now done and all the Sprat’s Heads are completed as well. Love those little half Sprat’s Heads at the four corners!
As you can see, the diamonds got lighter and lighter as I worked toward the outer edges. I used five different shades from one color family of Pepper Pot silk. Now that the diamonds are done, it’s time to play with stitches I will use to fill in those 124 diamonds. Below is my practice stitch canvas. It’s long and narrow and as I try out various stitches, I can move the canvas up a little at a time until it’s completely filled. I’m keeping track of the stitch names on a sheet of paper so I can tell you the names as I work on the rug. The practice stitch canvas is being stitched with a handful of floss and will NOT be the colors that I’m using for the actual rug. (I’m trying to use up my stash of Anchor floss.)
I have a list of about 40 stitches I’m going to try out before I start on the actual rug. I’ll be busy over the next week trying them out. Then I’ll start on the rug itself. Let the fun begin!
I’ve been stitching each day but not making enough progress on things to show you. Finally got the center finished and started the next step so I could show it to you.
Around the center from last time, I stitched 8 points stars in pale gray Elegance and then did a Ray stitch over them with red Marlitt. The four corners were padded with Grandeur and satin stitched over that with red Splendor. The last step in the middle was to do Four Way Continental in the space between the center and the stars with Kreinik silver braid #8.
I have just started the next step – 48 Jessicas done in #8 Kreinik braid in dark red. Next will be to fill in the open areas between the Jessicas and the completed center with Sprats Heads. I haven’t looked ahead to see what comes next. I only pull out about 5 pages at a time. There’s quite a ways to go still.
I didn’t get the dome and minarets finished. I haven’t had as much time to stitch upstairs. I finished the dark blue Woven stitch above the front panels, added rows of gold and turquoise cross stitches, and completed the dark teal Rhodes stitches above that. The top of the dome goes quickly. I only have the very top left to do and then add a dark gold around the edges of the dome.
It won’t take long to get the dome finished, maybe an hour or so. The minarets have a LOT of color changes and that takes time. I’m trying to do the little bits of minaret as I finish using each color on the dome. I should still be done in just a few more days. Then I can start working on the buildings on the right side of the mosque.
I now have the rug on the larger stretcher bars and am working on the last border I can reach before I have to turn it on its side to make my life easier. Here is the motif for Band 4.
Simple stitches that are moving along quickly – mostly straight stitches and Gobelin. The burgundy is the same shade as the border around the outside of the rug. Here’s the rug so far. The photo looks a little fuzzy – sorry about that.
I’ll finish this band and then turn it on its side and work on the outer border on the right side for at least two repeats of the pattern. Then I’ll turn in around and do the same for the outer border on the left side of the rug. To give you an idea of how much I still have to do, here is a photo of the entire canvas. The stretcher bars are 24″ wide and 34″ tall. The canvas is actually 36″ long to make sure I have 2″ on all sides when it is done. I fold the extra inch at each end down over the stretcher bar so it will fit inside the knuckle of the Twin Tower floor stand. This is the reason I have the 36″ bars on the Tower now instead of the 24″ bars – so my rugs will fit tightly and make it easier for me to stitch them.
The little mess of threads on the right side are leftover threads of different colors. Most of the time I use a half length of thread at a time, so the extra half goes in the pile along with any threads that are 10″ or more in length. You never know when they will come in handy.
I still have a small border, a medium border, and a large border in the center of the rug to go – before I start repeating all the bands in reverse order. A looooong way to go.
I want to show you the final three areas before I show the whole piece. I love the little Theresicas in medium turquoise Impressions with a small X in Kreinik braid. This stitch is from Suzie’s Stitches volume 2. The Rhodes stitches in the diamonds were stitched with two shades of turquoise Impressions, a signature stitch of mine. The last set of hexagons around the outside of the piece are Ray stitches that meet in the middle done in Vineyard Silk, Jessicas stitched with Elegance and a copper bead inside each Jessica. I can’t believe how fast this stitched up – and how much fun I had choosing the stitches and getting it all finished up! I’ll get started on stitching instructions right away and hope to have them ready for purchase in a week or so. My only regret on this design is that the overdye only had two colors. I love the way it turned out since I love rust and turquoise! But I wonder if it would be better with an overdye that had 3 colors – more variations in colors to use. Also – if you are a person who wants everything to be exact and balanced, this design might not make you happy. The hexagons are not exactly “true.” They appear to be correct, but can be off a little. The stitches I chose for the hexagons help to keep the illusion of being exact. Just to let you know ahead of time. Update – I had promised that I would show you the two versions (cross stitch and needlepoint) side by side. Here they are.
Nain Diamond Cross Stitch – 2014
Now that the borders are all complete, it’s time to start filling in all those diamonds and hexagons. Like the cross stitch one, I started in the center area.
The diamonds that cross the middle from left to right and to to bottom were stitched with Jessicas. They were small ones and just didn’t look right. I ripped them out and stitched a larger version that looks better. I started to add a Smyrna stitch in the middle of each Jessica (see the bottom two diamonds) and they are too small, so they got ripped out too. The centers now have a Wheat stitch inside the Jessicas. The diamond in the middle is rust Impressions, the next ones going out from the middle are medium turquoise Impressions and the outer ones are a darker turquoise Impressions. The area around the center diamond was stitched with dark turquoise Shimmer for the grid lines and rust Impressions for the cross stitch tie downs.
For the next round of diamonds, I used both shades of turquoise Impressions to stitch the long crosses and small crosses to hold the threads together. The hexagons at the middle level are stitched with the rust using a Vault stitch from Shapes of Needlepoint. The small Smyrna stitches and the tie down for the Vaults were stitched with medium turquoise Impressions.
Now to decide on stitches for the rest of the design. I hope to have it done in another week.
It’s been a while since I showed the rug to you. I’ve been packing things away and cleaning up the needlepoint room. But I have now completed the 3rd band on the rug.
After I finished stitching the first motif, I was unsure of the colors. When I stitched the second repeat of the motif, I switched two of the colors. Still not sure of the colors. That’s where I was when I stopped stitching to pack away my stash and calm things down a little. Going back to the rug last week, I decided that I would keep both versions that I had stitched and alternate them across the row. The solid colored square between them is Nobuko stitch, so it worked up quickly. Here is the band all stitched up.
Before I start on the next band, I have something else I need to do. I’ve been working on this using 24″ and 20″ stretcher bars. Since the project is getting longer now, it will soon become more difficult to reach the areas to be stitched. So it’s time to get out the longer stretcher bars – 34″. With the rug canvas mounted on 24″ X 34″ stretcher bars, I can turn it around and work along the longer sides and get half of each band completed and then turn the rug around and stitch the other half. It’s easier on my arms and shoulders this way. So I’ll do that over the next day or two.
Then I need to work on the next band. I’m doing the practice stitching just one band at a time. So when I have the stitches figured out and the spacing across the row done, I’ll start the next row. I’m going back to posting this every two weeks, so I should have at least half of the next band done by the next post.