Sunflower and Berries is a NeedleDeeva canvas that has been beautifully brought to life by Robin King. This photo is of Robin's framed piece that was our inspiration for the weekend. Robin brought all of her skills to this piece with lots of interesting stitches, techniques, and threads. We started Friday morning learning about stump work and creating a strawberry that adds so much dimension to the canvas. I'll probably make another strawberry to replace the first one I made. I have two smaller strawberries to make as well. There is definitely a learning curve involved but nothing that can't be overcome with a little practice.
We moved on to the petals of the sunflower using a Giant Double Brick stitch and just two threads of a golden Splendor. These stitches are basically covered by the ribbon petals on top but they are quite pretty on their own as the light coverage of the threads lets the shading of the painted canvas show through.
Our next area involved the dark brown center of the sunflower. This is a fun part of the canvas and I can't wait to get back to it. First we laid down a grid of 4-way Continental in a Kreinik. Then Robin showed us how to stack dark brown and golden beads to give the sunflower center such a nice vertical dimension. Do you see in the photo taken in this morning's sun how the bead stack actually casts a shadow? This technique really had all of us thinking of how we can use this with great effect on other canvases in our stashes.
From there we worked on the deep purple border using Splendor and Kreinik in a Slanted Burden and Slanted Brick. This stitch combination presents some challenges especially since you're working the dark purple threads on a dark purple painted area of canvas. Working it in an outer area of the canvas that was white was still challenging. Good lighting is definitely a requirement for working this part of the canvas.
That was what we did just on Friday! On Saturday we concentrated on the leaves, ribbon techniques, the ribbon petals on the sunflower, and the background. The background is so pretty and delicate. It is a version of Julia Snyder's Confetti ribbons which Robin has adapted for this canvas. The ribbons are stitched in a very pale lavendar Kreinik which Robin discovered is a glow-in-the-dark thread. It is now discontinued but for those of us in the class, we'll have a background that glows in the dark! This stitch definitely requires that you work in nice quiet place with few distractions.
One of the most wonderful parts of the weekend was meeting some women in person I have only "met" on Facebook and through my blog or theirs. What fun it was to finally connect with Robin, Vicky, Elizabeth, and Margaret. I have followed Robin and Vicky DeAngelis on their blogs. It was quite a surprise to see Vicky drive up with Bam and Robin on Friday morning! Vicky won the prize for travelling the farthest for this class - all the way from San Diego! Elizabeth and Margaret I have met through the blog and on Facebook.
That's Vicky in the foreground and Robin in the background.
Here are Elizabeth (left) and Margaret (right) with Barbara in the background. We had a very compatible stitching group at our table. Each of our tables had a cheerful vase of sunflowers - how appropriate!
While we stayed busy in class, there were always a few minutes here and there to do some shopping. Bam at In Stitches really has one of the most well-stocked stores I have ever visited. Her thread selection in incredible. I added two small canvases to my collection. I love my new Mindy Christmas cupcake canvas and a Kelly Clark pear candy cane. I also picked up a new supply of needles and some cute magnets.
Well, now it's time to get back to reality. I've got to head to the grocery store and there's work waiting for me at my desk this afternoon. But, there will be some time for stitching, too.
Have a great week ahead!