Mosaic Needlepoint Rug – Progress 13

There has been some progress, but first I want to talk about how I design and stitch my rugs, using this one as an example. If you don’t design needlepoint designs, you probably don’t realize how much is involved in developing a good design. You have to think about the size of the rug, the canvas to use, the threads that will make the design really shine and draw someone’s attention. You have to think about what the focus of the piece is and how to balance all the other elements so the focal point stands out and the rest doesn’t compete with it.

First – focal point. What do I want people to notice first when they look at this rug?

  • The orange/rust bands – color draws your attention, especially bright colors or warm colors like red, orange, and yellow.
  • The motifs – they are very large, which draws attention.
  • I could also use textured stitches and metallics and shiny threads to draw attention to the focal point, but I don’t want to overdo it.

So I didn’t use texture or metallics (this is a rug after all and they aren’t normally metallic). I’ve used textured stitches in some of my rug but for this one I just used color and size. And you DO notice the orange/rust bands, don’t you?

Continuity – There are lots of individual elements in all my rugs, so there needs to be a way to unite them, to establish some continuity for the overall design. I’ve done this in several ways. Not big gestures, but subtle little things that add up.

  • I’m using only the Mosaic Stitch for the entire design. It gives the entire rug a smooth, woven look. The colors stand out, not the stitches.
  • The same shade of brown is used between and around all the various bands.
  • I’m using four shades of green and using them in all the bands.
  • All the motifs are outlined in dark colors to help them stand out as your eyes move around the rug.
  • Repetition – there are 3 motifs that are used in the two outer bands, but the colors change each time they are stitched. There are 2 motifs that are repeated in the middle band with the colors changing.

Each time you come to my blog, you know what to expect – a tile or a rug that slowly develops into a finished product. Each one has a different personality, but in their own way I hope they display a little simple elegance.

I won’t use metallic threads if it doesn’t enhance the design. I love a lot of the fancy, complicated stitches that are used today, but many of them just wouldn’t fit the personality of the pieces I design. I will use some in the new Zellig tile in a few weeks because shiny works for a tile.

Okay, let’s get to the rug progress. I’ve added another motif to the middle band and started one in the lower band. I’ve added more background to the finished section of the large motif and started the center.

I had planned on using Tiger for the design in the middle of the motif, but changed my mind. You know from reading my other blog posts that I make decisions about colors in smaller areas until I get to them so I can balance the overall design. I used Tiger in the center of the medium motif and it looked good, but this section has a darker background and I felt I should make the design colors in the center a little darker to go with it. So I have used Tiger to outline the center and will Giraffe from the medium background to do the design in the center. I used the light and medium greens in the smaller section, so I used the next darker shade for the green in the center. This creates a balance across the larger bands – lighter background and colors for the motifs at the ends and darker colors for the center background and motif.  Here’s a closer look at the center motif.

It’s coming along nicely I think. I’ve decided to continue stitching down this side of the rug until I reach the end of the rug. Then I’ll turn it around and do the other half. So the rug will be L-shaped for a while.

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6 responses to “Mosaic Needlepoint Rug – Progress 13

  1. Well done! I think “continuity” is the key word here – and you use it so well. The BIG mistake I see so many stitchers make is in treating each little pattern element as something separate, so the whole doesn’t work together as it should. You already know how beautiful I think this rug is!! I look forward to seeing it grow more – and then another one started.

  2. What an interesting post….I love reading about others’ methods and ways of working things out.

    The piece is coming along beautifully….

    …and threads were posted Thursday, so, hopefully, you should receive them this week 🙂

  3. This is a very clear description of the reasoning behind the design and planning choices you made – very helpful for new designers in particular!

  4. Thanks for this great explanation of how you plan your rugs. You have a real talent for placing the designs to form a pattern and choosing colors and stitches. Very nice!

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