An exploration

I’ve had this piece of forest green canvas for so long, I can’t remember where it came from, and since my instinct with canvas is always to cover it completely, I’ve been at rather a loss as to what to do with it. Then I realised that a rather nice pair of sunglasses lack a case, and decided to Explore.

The recent ebay purchase of the much-recommended “The Needlepoint Book” by Jo Ipplolito Christensen (which gave me the river below Tynemouth Priory) has given me a starting point. This is Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch, and the single crossing thread is intentionally left unstitched, which has given me my next theme: each section will involve leaving void some portion of the pattern. After all, that dark green makes a lovely foil for all the coral, doesn’t it!

The second block is named “Wild Goose Chase”, and there are a variety of ways I could have chosen to alternate stitching and voiding on this one. I think the one I chose in the end allows for a slightly smaller pattern block, and that, in turn, should protect the canvas. I am assuming that the stitch is named for, and inspired by, a quilting pattern.

I’m using a variety of elderly stranded cotton which came from a great aunt, so although I am going to try to keep to one shade per section, I’m not going to lose sleep over it if it becomes a bit of a hotchpotch!

Which is just as well, because the very next row ended up in a slightly darker shade of coral than the previous one!

I’m also separating each band of stitching with a row of satin stitch, but an effort to even out the different coverage of the various threads, it is satin stitch padded with an unseparated stranded cotton.

There’s something very pleasing about the coral against the green. I’m enjoying this!


  1. Carolyn Foley says:

    You keep tempting me with this canvas work. I keep resisting. Then when I’m researching for a new design all I see is canvas work. Is the universe trying to tell me something? I do like that Criss Cross Hungarian stitch.

  2. Sue Jones says:

    Treating canvas as a rather un-giving evenweave opens up lots of pattern possibilities. The Victorians did quite a lot of counted work on single-weave canvas. The green is rather a nice, subtle shade. Back with a toning or contrast colour of fabric for added effect.

  3. You are enjoying stitching and we are enjoying looking! I think the void makes the stitches really stand out and shine. That little void in the Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch makes us believe it is a woven piece – where the threads ‘cross’ the thread tapers. Great effect.
    Like Carolyn, I feel as if your work is calling out to me: Try me!

  4. Lin says:

    Enjoying following this on Instagram. I love the green and coral. xx

  5. The colours work well together and the stitching looks so neat.

  6. Amanda says:

    Great complimentary colours. 😃

  7. Alex Hall says:

    The colour combination is gorgeous and I like the subtle differences in these vintage beauties much more than a single shade.