It’s another WIP, as (once more!) I have run out of the thread I need to complete the border… I am also still at the mercy of a temperamental printer/scanner but I’m trying to work around it!
This design posed some interesting challenges for me, although I had learned from ‘Marble Waves’. I was careful to stretch the bobbin ‘thread’ to fill the first triangular quadrant of the design, so that there would be fewer issues where the mitred corners of the 4-way design meet. It is still by no means a smooth transition but I think the ‘swooping’ nature of the curves disguises the inconsistency reasonably well, and (by default) actually creates a nice, almost overlapping 4-way pattern when viewed from a slight distance.
Stitching this design prompted various ideas for variations, which I will hopefully have time to explore at a another time. I like the way a ‘sheet’ of bargello appears to drop behind another bargello wave that crosses in front of it, a result of the ‘thread’ twisting over and around itself. I think this effect would be emphasised if I worked it on a bigger cut of canvas, increasing the size of the ‘thread’ swirls. I think it would also be interesting, if working the piece to a larger scale, to make the bargello following the contours of the ‘thread’ into a ribbon of bargello, rather than continuing downwards o fill the quadrant, as it currently does. This would leave more of the plain, geometrically striped background visible, and add emphasis to the curves contrasting against it.
I also wondered about using a different colour scheme either for the bargello or the plain background. Again, I think this would only really work if the piece were larger, and more of the background visible. But the bargello could be in shades of pink-to-plum, to match the bobbin ‘thread’, against a background of contrasting moss-green shades. I think this would work best combined with the bargello-as-ribbon idea.
Stitching this design has also kick-started the idea for my next design project. I added the whipped backstitch ‘thread’ in pink as the last step of the central panels, so before it was added, I could just see the green curves against green curves. Perhaps largely because they were in green (!) this made me think of rolling hills, which prompted me in the direction of a bargello landscape. This is not exactly a new idea – one of my very first bargello projects was ‘High Desert Stars’ by Iona Dettelbach (shown right), a chart distributed by Rainbow Gallery (click here for my review of Iona Dettelbach’s latest bargello book) – but it set me to thinking about it, and I have something semi-visualised in my head that I am looking forward to realising in stitch. I’m not sure yet if it will be a 4-way design, like the others (so far) in this series of freeform bargello experimentation. I’m considering a panelled piece. But we’ll see how it develops… Watch this space!