Monday, April 18, 2011

Alexa Trunk Show

AP Needle Arts is having an Alexa trunk show.  The in stock and trunk show designs they have are 20% off and if you buy all the threads at the same time, they are 20% off, too.  If you have considered stitching a stocking this year, this is a trunk show worth browsing.  (I think the stockings without a sale price are sold out, though, so hurry.)

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at

Needlepoint Purse Considerations

Needlepoint of Back Bay's Cape Cod Dogs
Remember the Elizabeth Mumford painting adopted to needlepoint canvas (by Needlepoint of Back Bay) I stitched and put on the front of a purse?  I've been carrying this purse for almost 8 months straight now.  Before I start stitching another canvas meant to decorate a pocketbook, I wanted to take a good look at the wear and tear on Cape Cod Dogs.

The Padded Satin Stitch Outer Border Being created
Overall, the canvas is in good shape.  The little starfish charms at the corners keep cutting through the thread that holds them on so I have to occasionally restitch them into position.  In other words, heavy trim can rub through threads, even thread coated with beeswax.  I used three plies of DMC cotton treated with beeswax to attach the charms.  Beaded trim or attachments with charms are probably not a good idea.  If I want to use a charm or large bead, I might attach it to a zipper to use as a pull next time.  I think beads or charms as trim around a canvas aren't going to hold up well based on my experience with this canvas and purse (although they are perfect for this design).

Long Stitches Under Window Right Side
This canvas was stitched with a variety of threads:  silks, cotton, speciality threads, metallics and wool/synthetic mixes.  I only see wear in two places--the long stitches (over three threads so they aren't terribly long) of the satin stitch border are snagged in one place and the long stitch that defines the wood paneling under the window broke at one end quite early on.

Dog's Ear and Long Metallic Stitches on Bottles
Interestingly enough, the Water N Ice that completely covers the window (brick stitch) and the largest dog's 3-D needle lace ear are untouched by wear.  I don't see any wear on the mermaids or the sailor or the bookcase with bottles behind the bar.  Most of these stitches are fairly small and don't cover more than three thread intersections just like the padded satin stitch border. I am surprised the dog's ear isn't rubbed.  Everything else seems intact, even the metallics on the bottles and the beads on the mermaids' tails.

I have been very careful with this purse.  When I go somewhere in the car, it sits on the passenger seat with the NP facing out.  I often hold it by the handle instead of putting it over my shoulder where an arm might rub the canvas.  I don't put it on the floor anywhere, but put it in my lap or on a chair when I am at a doctor's office or a restaurant.  But you do forget occasionally, and that's when a snag happens.

The Cape Cod Dogs purse has taught me that I don't have to be as careful about the types of threads I use for a purse canvas as much as I need to avoid long stitches, especially near the perimeter of a piece.  Long stitches (like the satin stitch border or the long window paneling stitches) snag more than long stitches that are more towards the center of the piece (the metallic bottle stitches).  Beads scattered in the center of a canvas (the mermaid tails) hold up ok as long as they are secured with doubled and waxed thread.  Heavy trims with sharp edges are not a good idea. Of course I'm not thinking about carrying this purse for years.  If I were, I think I would avoid all beads, stitches that cover more than 2 threads,  and any thread because wool or silk, just because these have held up for centuries in museums.   With these things in mind, I am ready to start my first purse canvas.

Anyone curious about "Cape Cod Dogs" can use the search function in the upper left hand corner box to read about how it was stitched.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at