A Christmas Angel

Testing Canvaswork Patterns

Testing Canvaswork Patterns

While I am still trying to work out how to do the Chorus of Angels, I’ve decided to work a single Angel from the Chorus in an entirely different medium – needlepoint. The original idea was to have it done by Christmas, but I’m becoming aware that that isn’t very likely now.

Once I’d made that decision I had a lot of fun playing with bargello patterns and trying to choose something suitable. I’m using a fine canvas – 18 count, I think, although as it came, unlabeled, in among that collection of supplies that included several frames, I’m not sure. It’s full of size and is going to be rather a trial to stitch, I fear.

Gown Done

Gown Done

I’ve decided to use the gold pattern on the far left (slightly altered) for the background, to give an effect a little like the patterned gold background of an icon. The lines of this panel are so simple that I can afford to use some quite complicated patterns, I think.

In the end I settled on the green and red spots in the upper middle for the cape, although choosing the colours hasn’t been quite straightforward. The wings are still puzzling me.

Since I have decided on a gold background for the angel, I decided to paint the background canvas gold as well. That will help to boost any thin coverage.

I’ve worked the gown underneath the cape very simply, in cream brick stitch, and the face and hands using gold tent stitch. None of the variants of flesh colour seemed right, and the gold does at least belong in the design.


  1. elaine says:

    Lovely idea to stitch a canvas work Angel, I am really interested to see how this one will turn out

  2. Gosh! This is very interesting! All sounds good to me, and you’ve started your angel very nicely. The sample stitches are lovely, and that is something I rarely do, I’m too eager to finish quickly! I guess I’m learning all the time, and maybe my next project I’ll try sampling stitches first. I like all your sample stitches!

    Barbara xx

  3. Sue Jones says:

    This angel is going to be great, although I can see the canvas is probably going to be a bit harsh to work on. I like your gold bargello pattern – that will be pretty.

  4. jenclair says:

    I love the thought you give to your work, and the way you share your thought process. The angel will be a thing of beauty and an heirloom piece to be treasured and discussed each Christmas.

  5. coral-seas says:

    I like the gold pattern for the background. I think it will give the impression of underside couching.

  6. Penny says:

    Love this! Long, long ago I was a needlepoint ‘doer’ – in fact after embroidery that was my favorite work for a long time. I look forward to seeing your angel.

  7. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished angel!

  8. Dima says:

    That will make a lovely texture for your angel.

  9. I love the Icon idea, the design lends itself beautifully to panel painting. I’m intrigued about how you’ll create the wings.

  10. Carolyn says:

    I think the canvas stitch is a great idea for this piece or is it going to be pieces? I can see that choir all hanging in the window.

  11. Glenis says:

    The trick with “not going to get it finished by [insert date/event deadline]” is not to say which year. Then, unless it’s a wedding or similar one-off, the deadline comes around again next year for you 🙂

  12. wendy says:

    I think gold is a good choice of colour for angel skin. This looks like a really interesting project, I look forward to some progress pictures. I don’t know much about canvas work, are there any lacy stitches you could use for the wings?

  13. This is beautiful. I admire anyone too who can work on 18 count canvas, I find it a real trial!

  14. karen says:

    I adore the shape of your angel….she is all encompassing, could wrap her arms around all of us…beautiful.

  15. Lady Fi says:

    I can see it is going to be gorgeous.

  16. Oh that’s gorgeous! I can imagine the whole thing worked in a pale / golden palette that you have to be close to in order to see the intricacy and variation of the stitchery. I too love the shape of the angel.

  17. The stitching you’ve done so far is exquisite! I’m looking forward to seeing it as it progresses.

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week’s Stitchery Link Party. Aloha hugs!.

  18. Cathy Daniel says:

    Oh this will look stunning, and a whole chorus of them behind the little simple wooden crib figures sounds just the thing. Just beautiful! xCathy

  19. Terrie says:

    The angels are certainly the soul of the festive season. Must be a pretty one.

  20. Susan says:

    The design of the angel is gorgeous, before you stitch a thing, but I do like your design choices. I’ve never done needlepoint, but it looks like you do it beautifully!