The idea for this design came while on the beach at Scheveningen during our recent holiday in the Netherlands. Parts of the beach was covered in small shells with delicate patterns and I devised the idea of trying to reproduce something similar on fabric. I played around with some of the shells on my return home and ended up with this a design using six half shells.
I didn’t try to make a realistic pattern, but rather use the outline shape for a more abstract design. I certainly couldn’t repeat the delicate lines on the shells, not in Bargello needlepoint anyway. For the shells I used a variation on a design for Bay Scallops from Bargello Magic by Pauline Fischer and Anabel Lasker. The overall composition is my own. Here is what the finished piece looks like.
As I had just augmented my collection of threads I decided to use some of these new threads for this project. Everything was stitched with two strands of thread. The outline of the shells was stitched with a DMC linen thread – L159, a steel grey. The inner lines were stitched with DMC satin threads – S995, a bright blue and S602, a bright pink. For the background I used a DMC cotton thread in bright chartreuse to provide a sharp contrast to the inner lines. The linen thread was quite easy to use, but the satin threads reminded me of the difficulties I have with silk threads. Very hard to get the right tension and to keep the stitched threads taut. Beautiful colours though.
I designed this pattern to fit into a mount and frame that I had bought second hand somewhere. I am not sure if it really fits into this frame. Nor am I sure which way to hang the thing, horizontally or vertically. Below is the finished piece in the frame, first horizontally and then vertically. Which do you prefer?