I’ve talked about my process in designing and stitching these rugs many times (I think this is rug 15). But when I started on this new rug, I realized I had skipped a step (sort of).
I design my rugs with MacStitch, a cross stitch program from Ursa Software. They also make programs for Windows. They have quite a few thread brands available when you start a design. They added Vineyard Silk recently, but have not added Splendor yet. So I always choose DMC threads and try to get colors as close to the Splendor threads I’ll be using. But then I have to make a list of the Splendor numbers to match the symbols on the chart. This is the step I’ve never mentioned before.
Yesterday, in order to start stitching, I had to get all the threads I was going to use and go through the Key that MacStitch prints out to get more organized. When Michelle at Come to the Point gave me the threads I had ordered (multiples of the colors that will be used heavily in this design), she handed me a small, very pretty pink and white polka dot tote bag. I dumped out all the threads, sorted them, and wrote the Splendor numbers next to the DMC number on the Key. So far, so good.
Then I got out the bag with all the threads from my stash that I had pulled long ago to use in this rug – partial skeins, full skeins, other silks and cotton flosses left over from other projects, etc. Some of these were to be used for specific motifs or borders and I added their numbers to the Key. That’s when I noticed that I really didn’t have all the main colors that I needed. So Michelle got an email this morning for the 2 other Splendor colors I needed and they will be in the mail in the morning. I depend on her a lot for threads. She’s the closest store to me and I’m thrilled that she carries Pepper Pot Silk, which I’m using a LOT in my rugs, etc. But not this one being stitched on Congress Cloth.
But I finally got it together late yesterday morning and did a little stitching on the small border that forms the outer border of the rug. This border is a Needle Necessities brown overdye using the Slanted Gobelin stitch – over 4 threads. It has Tent stitches on each side in a very dark brown. A good start. Friday I’ll start working on the larger border and add a lot more colors. Then I’ll work on the rug Mon-Wed each week, saving Fri and Sat to work on the ASOW ship and Purple Heron. I’ll post this rug again in two weeks so you can see the progress.
I showed you my practice stitching for this project here. That was last August!!
It’s based on a Moroccan tile, but I’ve added green and some special stitches to make it more interesting. I finally have started the actual stitching.
The pillow will be about 11 inches square when it’s done. I’ve made it across the first row and will continue to work my way up the design. The light blue center squares are done in Brick stitch. The “wings” are stitched in Slanted Gobelin. All the threads are Pepper Pot Silk.
After I’ve completed a few more rows, I’ll start filling in the diamonds. I won’t do any of the design inside the green border until the rest of the pillow is completed. I hope to be well on my way before the end of the month. I’ll do an update on the project then.
This is my year to relax more and finish some WIPs. So what will I work on now that I’ve finished another rug? Usually, I get to work on another one right away, but I’m doing things a little different this year. I’m not going upstairs to stitch on a large project until next Monday. Taking some time to think about what I want to do. I have 4 needlepoint WIPs that need finishing:
- Purple Heron – I haven’t decided what to do for the background and plants behind the herons, so I’ll probably just work on the floral border for a while. This will be my Friday and Saturday project starting next week. Here’s where it is right now:
2. ASOW tall ship – I need to figure out all the rigging before I can continue with the sky. I’m down to the first cross beam so far:
3. Swans – This is on penelope canvas and I’ve changed the green colors a little, but I would like to get it finished. It’s going in the guest bathroom – someday.
4. Ghiradelli Square by Peter Ash – Love the colors and haven’t touched it in 3 years! Maybe this needs to be worked on next?
One of these will become the Mon-Wed project starting next week.
But while I’m sitting downstairs working on smaller projects, I’m taking some breaks to begin planning on the next rug! I said it would take a long time to design and I’m sure you’ll agree with me. This is a Persian Qum rug.
I saw this on Pinterest and grabbed a copy for my Design Ideas board. I’ve already decided that I will eliminate the large outer border and just do the vase of flowers and the two side panels backed with a rust color. I’ll be stitching it on Congress Cloth to try to keep the overall size smaller – so about 13″ X 17″ maybe. I spent an hour today pulling threads from my stash – solids and overdyes – for color inspiration. Now I’ll play with small borders, lots of flower stitches, etc. and try to create a new wall hanging. You probably won’t my plans for a couple months, but know it’s mulling around in my mind and will slowly find it’s way to the computer.
In the last post, I told you I was working on two new projects. This is the second one – a rug from Central Anatolia (the area just East of Ankara, Turkey). The center medallion has intrigued me for quite a while now since it is so different from any others I’ve seen. It’s a keyhole (or turret) medallion.
The design is about half done already! It’s just been sailing along. I’ve adapted a border from the same region already and I’ve started on the medallion. The outline for the medallion is done and I’ve started filling it in. As usual, I’m having to cut it down in size and make it a little simpler.
I’ll be using Pepper Pot Silk for this in red, gold, olive green, and black. I’m excited about the background too. I found out that Pepper Pot now has overdyes and I asked Michelle at Come to the Point about them. She didn’t have them, but ordered them to surprise me. (She is so great to work with!) I’ll be getting a skein of each color I want to use today along with the red overdye to use for the background. Since the border for the medallion lends itself so easily to using Milanese stitch, I’ll fill in the entire background in Milanese as well! Getting very excited about this project though I can’t start it just yet – I have stockings to finish first.
This week I haven’t done as much stitching as usual. My mind has been a-buzz with design ideas. One of them sent me searching the Internet and my rug books. How many cultures have rugs with a Tree of Life? I’ve seen many cross stitch projects and quilts with them, but they are all over the world.
Bakhtiari rug (I’d love to adapt this one!)
I’d love to do a whole series of Tree of Life rugs and maybe create one of my own too. But I’ll start with the one below from Bijar – an area in northwest Iran. This area has a large Kurdish population, many of whom are rug makers.
Kurd design – There are flowering bushes, willows and cypress tree. I know I want to stay with the same colors – nice and simple – and make it as a pillow. I’m playing with stitches right now and will start on the design soon. Lots of decisions to make before I get to start stitching ( create a border?).
Look for another post soon about another rug (from Anatolia) that I’ve already started designing and will be practice stitching with new threads that will arrive in a few days. I don’t know which one I’ll actually be stitching first. Now that I’ve gotten these two projects mapped out and started on the computer, hopefully my designing mind will take a rest and let me get back to stitching my current projects that need to be done.
Photos are from the Internet and the book Tribal & Village Rugs by Peter F. Stone
I started this rug January 10, 2015 and it’s still not completed after a whole year. But the center is completed.
I’m still working away on the rest of the piece. More background done, and a few more motifs filled in. It’s getting closer every week. I’m working on this 5 morning a week now until it is done. And I won’t show it again until it is finished. I’m still hoping to finish by the end of the month.
It actually looks like I made some progress this time. I added more motifs in the outer border along the right side, started filling in the corner motifs, and added all the outlines of the motifs across the bottom section in the photo. I’ve been working on the background in several areas as well. I just started to fill in the center medallion too. I’ll work a little on that each week as well. I’m getting there…
Monday, I’ll turn the rug so I can work on the top section. I want to outline the last pineapple and the last small flower motif. The two motifs with square corners need to have the circles added so I can continue to work the background around them.
I’m switching back to just 3 mornings a week again. I haven’t worked on the mandala in a month and I need to get back to it.