Winter projects got you feeling Weighed Down? Well, that’s good!

Winter Projects got you feeling Weighed Down? Well, that’s Good! – written by Beth Huth

 

Any needle pointer I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet will openly and at times without any prompt share with me the perfect and most efficient way to labor over and complete their individual needle point masterpieces.  Some share that they sit in a chair and work off their lap, some even demonstrate where on their bodies they place the edge of the canvas frame – so it’s somewhat suspended in the air for easier stitching (you can picture it), some demand that good stitching can only be done using a standing frame, some declare that they never use a frame, some will only work at a well lit and very clean table and some just roll their canvas up and work on it wherever and whenever it strikes their fancy!  I’ve learned, in a very short amount a time that the techniques, positions and placements are vast – that there is NO right way or wrong way to stitch – it’s very personal.  The truth is that we all learn from one another and no matter the process, stitching is therapeutic, the method is genuinely miraculous and always ultimately emerges as a unique and beautiful piece of art. 

Now I’d like to weigh in with my own unprompted stitching observation… Regardless of where or when or even how your artistry takes place one common thread amongst all of us fabulous crafters is a frame weight.  A frame weight can be used on the lap, tabletop, standing frame or even a bar top!  And a beautiful frame weight is, of course, even better!

So my curious reader, I hear you asking….what exactly is a frame weight?  Where can I find one?  Does it have to be a certain size or weight?  All great questions – and today is your lucky day because we have the answers! 

A frame weight is typically a square or rectangular sandbag that helps stabilize the canvas and keep it stationary while it is being worked on.  For those that like to work with their canvas on a frame and at a table, a frame weight placed on the far corner of the canvas frame frees both of the stitchers hands and therefore aides in quicker more even stitching.  Before I used a frame weight I would find myself hunched over the tabletop with one hand or even elbow on the canvas while the other hand managed the needle and thread…not ideal! 

Basic frame weights can be purchased at most needlepoint or crafting stores.  I have seen them in various sizes such as 7.5” x 2.75” rectangles or 3.25” x 3.25” squares, both approx 2 lbs each.  These basic weights are made out of cotton fabric and filled with sand or fine rock as you want the frame to have the ability to drape over the edge of your frame or canvas to keep it secure.

My question to you is: Why would you want a basic square or rectangular sandbag on your masterpiece?  Why not have a bit of fun, practice your stitches and even throw in some beading and make your own custom frame weight?  You will have a ball with is and it’s something that will travel along with you throughout your needle pointing escapades.  I ‘ve always loved frogs, and since moving to South Carolina and seeing so many of them, I decided to a frog frame weight was the perfect piece for me!  Selecting the threads, beads and stitches was just the beginning of my great frog fun!  Sitting down to create has been a blast and the least weighty project I’ve worked so far this year!

frog 1

                                                         Frog Frame weight & supplies galore!

 

The time is now to shake off any weight winter project and start to think about your own personal frame weight – I promise, you’ll never regret it!

 frog 2

Frog Frame weight close up!

In January NeedlePoint Junction will release frame weight kits complete with stitch patterns, threads, beads and a hand painted canvas for purchase on-line or in the store.  Some of our shape ideas are a lighthouse, dolphin, shell, fish etc…. (sticking with the beach and island theme around here of course).  If you have any other ideas or want us to help you with a custom and one-of-a-kind work of art, give us a call and we’ll start designing!!

What does the canvas say to you?

I  tell people that have not done needlepoint before that the chosen canvas needs to speak to them in a sense. It should evoke an emotion.  Size – not too small, not too large.  If it doesn’t evoke emotion you will give up on it and shove it to the back of your closet. In addition, it may become more of a labor than of love.  When something is new and we do not see progress we get discouraged. Out of sorts. You spent all the time and money and for what, nothing.  When a canvas speaks to you and time and time you keep going back to it, you know its right in so many ways. Instant gratification is so important when starting something new and its not always realistic.   If you choose a huge canvas that has so much going on your head  is likely to portray that of Linda Blair in the “Exorcist” (you know when her head turns around.).

Needlepoint is relatively new to me. And the first project given to me when I bought the store is in the back of a closet as I write. Eventually after time, I found something that was interesting to me and started to learn how to stitch. Over the past year and a half, I have completed a number of canvases.  I love florals with all the shading. More than that though needlepoint has become relaxing. Once I felt comfortable enough to try new stitches everything just clicked.  It is a joy, a meditation of sorts and I tend to pick things that spark something in me.

Taking the speaking to me to another level….while checking in a trunk show two of the ladies that work where checking out Loira Manne’s really fun canvases. There is a series of dog canvases (see below). It is the same three dogs doing different activities. Somehow these dogs came to life even before stitching. Personalities were built about which dog is what and who and why. The conversation was one of humor and delight. It was lighthearted and fun. And to hear them talk was hilarious to say the least. What I am getting at is that each dog has a story. Each one of the canvases spoke to us. It evoked laughter and joy. The canvases are delightful and whimsical.  They told us a story in our own twisted way.  So what does your canvas say to you? I would love to know…

 

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