More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Monday, November 12, 2007

Its All About the Fabbie

In the last twenty four hours have had quite a few questions about the fabric I'm using for Teresa Wentzler's The Castle. Its amazing what a fabric can do to a design, it can make it or break it... it can also make each person's piece look completely different.

When I was selecting my fabric for The Castle, right away I knew I wanted sparklie fabric! This is a fantasy design and it needs that shimmer of the other world. Another effect I wanted was of a stormy/cloudy day, I wanted to give it a bit of a brooding feel... I also thought this would make the colours in the wings just pop. Because the castle is on an island I wanted the look of water. I surfed high and low, trying to find just the right fabric for me. This was one of those times where it HAD to be hand dyed. I finally came across Heavenly Sky by Sugar Maple Fabrics.

Once the colour was chosen it was time to pick exactly what fabric to stitch it on. Now linen takes dyes much heavier than the evenweave fabrics so I decided to go with an evenweave. I didn't want the colours too powerful, then the eye would of been drawn to the fabric and not the design (this is a peril all of us hand dyed fabric lovers must watch for at all times. Sometimes you really are better off going with a standard fabric.). I wanted to stitch my draggie on 32ct so that ruled out my favourite fabric, Jubilee (as it only comes in 28ct). Therefore I ended up with 32ct Lugana which also is available in opalescent... just perfect! So the colour was chosen, the fabric type selected.

Now my final challenge... starting the project! My long-time blog readers will know (or you can easily tell) I'm a big fan of the top left start. If there isn't an obvious top left I'll start top center and work my way down. This wasn't going to work for The Castle, because I wanted the mountains in the background (which are to either side of the island) to sit right on the colour change from water (aqua blue) to the sky (greys/purples). Which also led to a constant worry of mine until I actually got my fabric and started... where was the colour change going to be on the fabric and would there be enough room to place the design where I wanted it. For this project I had to start in a totally odd spot for me and that was with the mountains off to the side in the distance. To be able to do this I first had to locate where the colour change was so that the mountains could sit on that line. Next I folded my fabric in half vertically to find center. Finally and the most frustrating part was counting from the center to the start of the right hand mountain. From that point onward I've been working on the design one page at a time, I'm currently on page 3 and the page I'm sending for the end has not as much stitching.... I hope ... except for that big honkin' wing!

Tomorrow night I should be able to finish off the rest of the head/neck and move onto the castle of my current page. I'm really into this piece right now and it'll be a shame when I have to put it down for an RR or something with a deadline!

Sorry there's no photo tonight but Blogger is being mean and won't let me upload one!


Chiloe said...

I love the fabric you chose. YOu're right: the fabric is very important. I hate when blogger has a life on his own and don't let us upload pictures. Sometimes if you log off and log in again , it will do the trick ;-) (but not always !!!)

Can't wait to see the picture of this beautiful project of yours !!!

Barbara said...

Blogger was being weird last night - I couldn't leave comments on a couple of blogs.

I love you fabric-background story. I've been trying to only stitch from my stash for awhile now, but a project like this one really does deserve a custom cut!

Vonna said...

I love to see and hear and listen about how other's start, choose and place thier design on fabric. Thanks for sharing it!
I've just recently stitched on Lugana, and I believe that it is my new favorite fabby!

Zeb said...

Thankyou so much for sharing that. It always fascinates me how people choose their fabric, thread and so forth. All these cross stitch designs are much the same, what makes each stitchedpiece different imho, is how the stitcher depicts the work, and what changes he or she makes to it.
Thumbs up! I one day hope to be as brave and creative :)

Beatrice said...

Your choice is beautiful and good for you to go the trouble of making it perfect!!!

Old Yankee Stitcher said...

You made a great fabric choice and I am happy to hear you talk about the selection process. Breaking it down into logical steps is so much better than trying to select it randomly. Sunday's post showed how well the design looks on this fabric. I will watch for more updates on this one.

Miokka said...

Thanks for posting over at my place! Love the fabric for your dragon. I'm looking forward to watching your progress! It's going to be sooo kewl!

Hannah said...

Wow! You put a lot into your fabric. I've only purchased over-dyed fabric once... and it didn't go with the pattern that I wanted to stitch on it whatsoever! I am the world's worst when it comes to choosing fabric and fibers. I usually just stick to what is recommended.

stitcherw said...

Castle looks wonderful. I really enjoyed your write up on how you selected your fabric, what all you had to consider as to type, count, and color, and the complications of having to consider how to place the pattern to pick a starting point. This is going to be so awesome when finished, well worth all the work.

Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing how you picked your fabric. I always like to hear how others go about picking theirs. Sometimes you hear some interesting tips to watch out for. I agree that sometimes a hand-dyed just doesn't work and you should stick to a solid colour.
I can't imagine all that counting to find your starting point. I'm always afraid I'll be off somewhere.

Needlearts Kelly said...

Your fabric is such a perfect choice! It really adds to the design - and, as you pointed out, hand-dyed fabbies don't always work out. Great job on yours.

Christine said...

I think the fabric choice was a great one, but I can't believe it's the same fabric that's shown in the pic from SMF.

I thought those ones were the ones that were hand painted... and that's why the clouds look so real in the pic... but your fabby doesn't have the same look to it.

It still looks great with it, just not the same as the pic is all.

Lisa said...

Love your choice of fabric. I recently discovered Sugar Maple for my Companions (on my rotation). I'll be ordering from them for Tanglewood and The Castle - I think I'm going with Eye of the Storm for The Castle and I like your idea of opalescent too; I haven't decided on that yet.