Friday, March 08, 2013

Midnight Star, My Needlepoint Geometric

At E-Week last October I sold a geometric design of mine called 'Midnight Star'.  It is a design on dark blue canvas, in blue, silver and white threads, and I think it looks very much like its name.

It is a simple design with a lot of overstitching, and I think it would lend itself well to a lot of improvisation.

So this spring in my general classroom at Shining Needle Society I have issued a 'Midnight Start' challenge. I would love for people to play with the design and see what they come up with. The improv could be as simple as an easy color change, from, say blue to red or green. It could be a more complex color change also, and with all this in mind, I have begun a new series morphing Midnight Star on Queendom Website's home page.

The series has just begun and so far you will find what Midnight Star might look like in the aforementioned red and green, and also all white and silver on a black canvas, and then an inverted version of all black and white on a pinkish taupe canvas.

I plan to continue the series hopefully throughout March on Queendom Website. I've taken to posting a new color, leaving it as the 'headline' for a day or two and then moving it to a slideshow. When I finish, I should have a huge slideshow.

So far the color diddlings have been fairly  tame, but in the next bit of time they will grow wilder, in fact quite wild indeed!

So how have MacSoph and I diddled with the colors of Midnight Star? In PhotoShop of course. Not long ago my Apple tutor Andy taught me about an adjustment layer I'd not tried before; he also had quite a few work flow suggestions for using it. So when MacSoph and I sat down and spent a bit of time diddling with Midnight Star, the results grew quite wild and very inspiring to me. Made me want to pick up my needle pronto and start trying some of them!

Is it possible to stitch a PhotoShopped creation? Not stitch by stitch, but certainly by inspiration. I have often colorized designs of mine and then gone down to the needlepoint shop and picked out threads and colors inspired by my colorizations. They don't ever come out just like the colorizations, but the colorizations are such a great starting point. In my design life, I have always found it much easier to start with an inspiring idea than simply stare at a blank piece of canvas.

Here's the best part: often the results come out so much better than the colorizations because threads and canvas are ever so much more wonderful than pictures of threads and canvas. That's the magic of needlework: we all know that the pieces is always better than the picture.

The difficult thing about needlepoint is that so many of us are in the habit of 'stitching everything exactly the way the designer did it'. That's OK, that's the way our field goes, but I do promise this: life is ever so much more exciting if you branch out a bit and try even small changes. Since Midnight Star is basically a simple pattern, it is a great place to start.

Gay Ann

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