I have been stitching away on my latest project, which I started way back on 8th January. There are three pieces to this project as it is planned to fit into a three aperture frame from IKEA. Each piece is identical in layout and colour scheme, though the stitches are different. Here is what the middle panel looks like.
The idea for this project came from two sources. The basic design or layout of each panel is my attempt at recreating a formal Japanese style calligraphy painting. On our last visit to Zurich we saw an exhibition of Japanese calligraphy and ink drawings at the Ethnographic Museum – Völkerkunde Museum. Beautiful works of art based on a delicacy of touch, but within a formal structure. Unfortunately the taking of photos was strictly verboten. So I resorted to trying to draw in my notebook the layouts of some of the works. One which particularly intrigued me forms the basis for my current project. In the original one of the larger squares contains a line drawing, in colour I think, while the other square and the two rectangles were left plain. The square was painted in a light grey, while the rectangles were painted in a darker grey. This was the overall design I wanted to, not exactly replicate, but use as the basis for a needlework design. I didn’t feel confident enough to just use a single shade of grey for each section in a needlework project. So I decided to use three shades of pewter grey for the rectangles and two shades of delft blue for the square. To add some variety and texture, which seemed important in a needlework piece, I have used a different stitch pattern in each panel. The rectangles are all stitched in a simple Bargello pattern and the one above is taken from a pattern called Baubles in The Bargello Book by Frances Salter. For the squares I decided to use three diagonal stitches and the one above is filled with Milanese stitch. The other square in the panel was for a drawing of some kind and here I returned to the work of Chales Rennie Mackintosh for inspiration. Each square is filled with my attempt at a Mackintosh style stained glass drawing. I have used a simple diagonal stitch for this section and to add some bright colour to the panels I have stitched these in various shades of plum with a dark blue violet for a bit of contrast and a link to the other square in blue. All the threads are DMC cotton and I used two strands on the Aida 18ct fabric in pale grey. Once I have finished the final panel I will have to straightened everything out and somehow try and fit each panel into the frame. That will be the hard part.