Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Tia Mar » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 04:10:11



Hi Guys,
    So, I posted in another thread that -- IMNSHO -- the **mechanics**
of stitching plain, unadorned XS (no special fibers, no beads, no fancy
stuff) doesn't really take a lot of skill.  I'm talking the whole "lower
left to upper right and then lower right to upper left" part of XS.  BUT
-- if you compare the same plain, unadorned XS design stitched by
several dozen different people, there WILL be some noticeable
"something" that makes one piece look much better than another.
    Assuming that all of the stitches in each piece are crossed in the
same direction, WHAT do you think it is that makes one piece look like
it was stitched with more skill than another?  NO LOOKING AT THE BACK
either :-)!
    I think thread tension has a lot to do with this.  Keeping tension
even throughout an entire design does take skill and it isn't usually
something that is learned quickly.  Whatever it is, it is subtle but it
IS there!
    So -- what else do some of you think might be the subtelties of
producing a piece of skillfully stitched, really nice looking plain,
unadorned XS?   CiaoMeow >^;;^<

PAX, Tia Mary >^;;^<   (RCTQ Queen of Kitties)
Angels can't show their wings on earth but nothing was ever said about
their whiskers!
Visit my Photo albums at  http://community.webshots.com/user/tiamary

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by lewme » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 04:43:12


Actually hitting the holes correctly - I think a lot of people are
slightly off and catch a thread or two, which pulls the X out of
shape.

I've also wondered why some of my satin stitch/long-short looks better
on parts than others.  I notice it on pieces I am doing myself that I
don't remember doing anything different from one part to the next.  I
do know that two threads generally do better than three and a few
years down the line I usually don't notice as much.

Linda

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Karen C - Californi » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 05:35:08


Quote:

>    Assuming that all of the stitches in each piece are crossed in the
> same direction, WHAT do you think it is that makes one piece look like
> it was stitched with more skill than another?

Tension.

Precision of stitch placement -- half of "Gloria & Pat" spoke at HOXS
and commented that she could "always" tell when a piece was stitched on
Aida because of the telltale white lines.  What she meant was that she
could tell when it was badly stitched on Aida, because a bad stitcher
will just put the needle in anywhere, and may have the occasional spot
where she's covered only 3 of the 4 threads in a bundle/square and left
one uncovered.  Obviously, those of us who take care with where we put
our needles and split the squares only when we're doing fractionals are
not going to have those telltale white spots.

--

Karen C - California
Editor/Proofreader www.IntlProofingConsortium.com

Finished 7/7/08 - Christmas Music Bellpull

WIP: MLI Christmas Visit, Oriental Kimono (Janlynn),
MLI The Teacher (gift to the library), Bethany Angel,
Flowers of Hawaii (Jeanette Crews) for ME!!!
Retrieved from UFO pile: Marbek's Snow Angel

CFSfacts -- where we give you the facts and dispel the myths
Myths, with research cites: http://www.aacfs.org/images/pdfs/myths.pdf
Newest research blog: http://journals.aol.com/kmc528/Lifeasweknowit/

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by ellic » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 05:58:53



Quote:
> Hi Guys,
>     So, I posted in another thread that -- IMNSHO -- the **mechanics**
> of stitching plain, unadorned XS (no special fibers, no beads, no fancy
> stuff) doesn't really take a lot of skill.  I'm talking the whole "lower
> left to upper right and then lower right to upper left" part of XS.  BUT
> -- if you compare the same plain, unadorned XS design stitched by
> several dozen different people, there WILL be some noticeable
> "something" that makes one piece look much better than another.
>     Assuming that all of the stitches in each piece are crossed in the
> same direction, WHAT do you think it is that makes one piece look like
> it was stitched with more skill than another?  NO LOOKING AT THE BACK
> either :-)!
>     I think thread tension has a lot to do with this.  Keeping tension
> even throughout an entire design does take skill and it isn't usually
> something that is learned quickly.  Whatever it is, it is subtle but it
> IS there!
>     So -- what else do some of you think might be the subtelties of
> producing a piece of skillfully stitched, really nice looking plain,
> unadorned XS?   CiaoMeow >^;;^<

Thread coverage - was the thread stripped and put back together or not?
Do the stitches look consistent ?
Sometimes you need 2 plies, sometimes 3 - can be a function of thread
brand/darkness - especially with overdyes, type.
Fabric tension - was the fabric pulled very taut, then the stitched areas
pulled so when the piece is finished, the unstitched area relaxes and the
framer has a problem - either ripples or pull the unstitched area -
resulting in seeing through the fabric to the backing
Cleanliness
Thread fuzziness or thinning- are you stitthing with really long lengths
that wear as you get to the end?  Is the thread kept with the same place
thru the eye for a long time - so it wears?
Right needle size (especially important with metallics or on canvas)?
Stitches laid?  (Rarely done for XS- but you do want them to look full, not
twisted)

OK - that's my thoughts for now.

Ellice

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Marg » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 06:07:33


Quote:

> Hi Guys,

<SNIP>

Quote:
>    So -- what else do some of you think might be the subtelties of
> producing a piece of skillfully stitched, really nice looking plain,
> unadorned XS?   CiaoMeow >^;;^<

I've found in my own work that tension is important, and hitting the
holes exactly.  It's surprising that even on aida, the length of one
part of the stitch can actually be minutely longer, and that will affect
the evenness of the stitching.

I've also found that my stitching tends to be more even if I do
out-and-back, rather than one at a time.  Railroading also helps keep
the piece looking more even since threads don't get as twisted and
coverage is more even.

MargW

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by anne » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 07:49:13


Tia Mary says...

Quote:
>     So -- what else do some of you think might be the subtelties of
> producing a piece of skillfully stitched, really nice looking plain,
> unadorned XS?

IMNSHO, the best looking xs pieces are the ones where the stitcher took
a little leeway with the design and gave herself/himself permission to
smooth out stair step jaggies. IOW, they used partial stitches that
weren't part of the original.

The finishing also plays a big part in how one perceives the end result.
Is too much? too little? the right color values?

--
another anne, add ingers to reply

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Karen C - Californi » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 10:50:30


Quote:

> The finishing also plays a big part in how one perceives the end result.
> Is too much? too little? the right color values?

Yessssss!  I've seen so many pieces where the stitchery was overwhelmed
by the framing.  I know MLI is partial to the wide gold Baroque frames,
but that simply draws your eye away from the beauty of the angel.

We had a judge come to EGA a few years ago with some PhotoShopped
samples, the same design in different frames, with different mats, and
show us what a big difference it made in having the frame/mat meld into
the picture versus screaming for attention in their own right.

And, the all-time classic, which she said was inspired by a piece she
had actually judged ... about 2x2 stitchery in the middle of an
extra-wide mat in the middle of the biggest widest Baroque-est frame.
And, sure enough, the whole room chirps in unison, "you mean there's a
stitchery in there somewhere?"

--

Karen C - California
Editor/Proofreader www.IntlProofingConsortium.com

Finished 7/7/08 - Christmas Music Bellpull

WIP: MLI Christmas Visit, Oriental Kimono (Janlynn),
MLI The Teacher (gift to the library), Bethany Angel,
Flowers of Hawaii (Jeanette Crews) for ME!!!
Retrieved from UFO pile: Marbek's Snow Angel

CFSfacts -- where we give you the facts and dispel the myths
Myths, with research cites: http://www.aacfs.org/images/pdfs/myths.pdf
Newest research blog: http://journals.aol.com/kmc528/Lifeasweknowit/

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by mir.. » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 12:51:34


I read all the opinions with great interest ,, But since i usualy
embroider, see, evaluate and hear from my collegues works that aren`t
tottaly covered by the xst , it seems to me that i don`t look at
`quality` of each stitich or if it all are the same tighteness ,,
i look more at The General look , The message of the work. The
technique is more a tool for the work , like another color on the
artist`s Pallete. Some of my colleagues do look for the things
mentioned above ,,, The one thing that i don`t like is when using more
than one thread and noting that at certain points there are little
loops that show that threads wasn`t straightened .
mirjam
 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Dr. Bra » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 20:19:46



Quote:

>> The finishing also plays a big part in how one perceives the end
>> result. Is too much? too little? the right color values?

> Yessssss!  I've seen so many pieces where the stitchery was overwhelmed
> by the framing.  I know MLI is partial to the wide gold Baroque frames,
> but that simply draws your eye away from the beauty of the angel.

Wow.  I so disagree with this.  An MLI or Mirabilia or the like is so
large and complex that it needs a substantial frame to set it off.  The
mistake is often in the matting.  Mats should pick up and emphasize some
important color in the design and so often people neglect to do that.

I agree that smaller pieces should be simply framed, but the larger ones
  are poorly served by simple frames IMO.

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by ellic » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 20:48:32



Quote:


>>> The finishing also plays a big part in how one perceives the end
>>> result. Is too much? too little? the right color values?

>> Yessssss!  I've seen so many pieces where the stitchery was overwhelmed
>> by the framing.  I know MLI is partial to the wide gold Baroque frames,
>> but that simply draws your eye away from the beauty of the angel.

> Wow.  I so disagree with this.  An MLI or Mirabilia or the like is so
> large and complex that it needs a substantial frame to set it off.  The
> mistake is often in the matting.  Mats should pick up and emphasize some
> important color in the design and so often people neglect to do that.

> I agree that smaller pieces should be simply framed, but the larger ones
>   are poorly served by simple frames IMO.

> Elizabeth

I think what sometimes happens is the framing can become the focus, rather
than the art.  Even taken as a whole.  You want the framing (matting) to
draw you into the piece - get your attention in a pleasing way, and then
draw your focus to the feature.  I've seen a couple of things happen that
can work against this:

1- the framer themselves - or the stitcher - or both - are really enamoured
with some "cute" idea - like a laser dye-cutter - and go overboard
customizing a mat.  So, while the finishing is cute - it can totally take
the focus from the piece

2 - if 1 or 2 mats is good, then 4 are better - again - does this overwhelm
the piece - too much color (even if it's the "right" colors)?

3 - the frame is toooo small for the piece - honestly - from my working in a
framers - this is likely to happen more than the other way.  Narrower
molding = cheaper - and people will start to scrimp suddenly - saving $20,
but the framing will not balance the piece properly.  Personally - I'd
rather suggest an appropriate molding, and leave off the "fancy" extras -
like a mat

4 - the frame is tooooo big - not so often.  But, one of the things in
framing/gallery style now is a large molding with a small piece.  And it can
look stunning.  We just did a piece for the shop (and a stitcher) - kind of
primitive "queen of hearts" - lovely - not large - but framed it in a really
nice, carved (not gold) with hints of reds in the finish - molding - and
it's stunning.  No mat.  The frame picks up the type of stitching (carving
design working well) and the size actually pulls you into the piece.  OTOH,
I've seen some where there is way too much matting with decorations.

5 - frame style is just at odds with the piece. This is hard - there are a
lot of moldings out there that suit needlework well, from the simple, to
finding something where the motif in the molding will echo, be in style with
some part of the stitching.  And sometimes the details will really pop a
piece - such as inserting a fillet (the inner fine lining of wood, usually
some gilt), or indeed doing a double mat, spacing.

It's all so much a matter of taste.  And patience in picking, and having a
good framing advisor/professional or resource - even for do it yourself
folks.  Sometimes something that seems wrong when you look at it is fine -
I've done a series for someone that framed the Mirabilia queens/mermaids in
huge, big double curved kind of art deco silver gilt on wood moldings.  Not
carved - very clean - but moldings that have a big upper level, and lower.
At first you think - YUCK - but it was a stunning look - not my taste - but
I could see how it worked.

My least favorite framing - one of the framers we use regularly - does a
good job - but he can go overboard with the extras and the stitcher has to
be firm.  One piece - a small (3" x 4" at most) IIRC Just Nan butterfly.
Framed with double mat, the upper with in each corner some kind of
decorative colored butterfly applied (maybe a 5" mat all around), and to top
this a very intricately carved white and gilt double height molding.  YUCK.
All you see is the framing, nad it's kind of hideous, IMOSHO.

Anyhow, the point is framing/finishing to me shouldn't detract.  But, you
are presenting an entire picture - not just the stitching or the frame, and
that bears some thought - as to how your eye will travel and be drawn in,
that the finishing complements the art - be it stitching or a painting.

Personally, I'm a fan of some large mats depending, and a little asymmetry
(mostly with photos - not stitching).

Ellice

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Cheryl Isaa » Sun, 20 Jul 2008 07:41:29



Quote:



>>> The finishing also plays a big part in how one perceives the end
>>> result. Is too much? too little? the right color values?

>> Yessssss!  I've seen so many pieces where the stitchery was overwhelmed
>> by the framing.  I know MLI is partial to the wide gold Baroque frames,
>> but that simply draws your eye away from the beauty of the angel.

> Wow.  I so disagree with this.  An MLI or Mirabilia or the like is so
> large and complex that it needs a substantial frame to set it off.  The
> mistake is often in the matting.  Mats should pick up and emphasize some
> important color in the design and so often people neglect to do that.

> I agree that smaller pieces should be simply framed, but the larger ones
> are poorly served by simple frames IMO.

> Elizabeth

I don't know that I agree 100%.  The frame and the mats (if used) need to
work with the piece. I've seen some pretty horrid combinations - more often
a too ornate frame with a simple piece.

C

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Lucill » Sun, 20 Jul 2008 08:27:21



Quote:
> On 7/18/08 7:19 AM, in article




>>>> The finishing also plays a big part in how one perceives the end
>>>> result. Is too much? too little? the right color values?

>>> Yessssss!  I've seen so many pieces where the stitchery was overwhelmed
>>> by the framing.  I know MLI is partial to the wide gold Baroque frames,
>>> but that simply draws your eye away from the beauty of the angel.

>> Wow.  I so disagree with this.  An MLI or Mirabilia or the like is so
>> large and complex that it needs a substantial frame to set it off.  The
>> mistake is often in the matting.  Mats should pick up and emphasize some
>> important color in the design and so often people neglect to do that.

>> I agree that smaller pieces should be simply framed, but the larger ones
>> are poorly served by simple frames IMO.

>> Elizabeth

> I don't know that I agree 100%.  The frame and the mats (if used) need to
> work with the piece. I've seen some pretty horrid combinations - more
> often
> a too ornate frame with a simple piece.

> C

I generally tend toward very simple framing and rarely much matting.   I
always feel that elaborate frames often become the focus for the eye instead
of the needlework.

Lucille

- Show quoted text -

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Lucill » Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:16:17



Quote:

> comcast..net> opined:

>>I generally tend toward very simple framing and rarely much matting.   I
>>always feel that elaborate frames often become the focus for the eye
>>instead
>>of the needlework.

>>Lucille

> Plus, if you are bringing it home to places like yours and mine, big,
> ornate frames are going to look dreadful.  Nothing in my home leans
> that way.

Mostly true, except for one enormous artwork in my living room.  It measures
at least 4 x 6, with an oriental styled picture of cranes done in different
paper cuts in the center and skatey eight mats going in different directions
all around it.  It's nearly all white on white with a little metallic and
red heads on the cranes.

That's really the most ornate thing in my house and it really is all
straight lines.

L

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Dr. Bra » Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:44:58


Quote:





>>>>The finishing also plays a big part in how one perceives the end
>>>>result. Is too much? too little? the right color values?

>>>Yessssss!  I've seen so many pieces where the stitchery was overwhelmed
>>>by the framing.  I know MLI is partial to the wide gold Baroque frames,
>>>but that simply draws your eye away from the beauty of the angel.

>>Wow.  I so disagree with this.  An MLI or Mirabilia or the like is so
>>large and complex that it needs a substantial frame to set it off.  The
>>mistake is often in the matting.  Mats should pick up and emphasize some
>>important color in the design and so often people neglect to do that.

>>I agree that smaller pieces should be simply framed, but the larger ones
>>are poorly served by simple frames IMO.

>>Elizabeth

> I don't know that I agree 100%.  The frame and the mats (if used) need to
> work with the piece. I've seen some pretty horrid combinations - more often
> a too ornate frame with a simple piece.

I'm really not sure what you're disagreeing with.  I said complex pieces
deserve complex frames, so I wouldn't put an ornate frame with a simple
piece, only with a complex one, which most MLIs and Mirabilias are.

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 
 
 

Skilled XS vs. Not-So-Skilled XS

Post by Lucill » Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:56:32



Quote:

>> On 7/18/08 7:19 AM, in article




>>>>>The finishing also plays a big part in how one perceives the end
>>>>>result. Is too much? too little? the right color values?

>>>>Yessssss!  I've seen so many pieces where the stitchery was overwhelmed
>>>>by the framing.  I know MLI is partial to the wide gold Baroque frames,
>>>>but that simply draws your eye away from the beauty of the angel.

>>>Wow.  I so disagree with this.  An MLI or Mirabilia or the like is so
>>>large and complex that it needs a substantial frame to set it off.  The
>>>mistake is often in the matting.  Mats should pick up and emphasize some
>>>important color in the design and so often people neglect to do that.

>>>I agree that smaller pieces should be simply framed, but the larger ones
>>>are poorly served by simple frames IMO.

>>>Elizabeth

>> I don't know that I agree 100%.  The frame and the mats (if used) need to
>> work with the piece. I've seen some pretty horrid combinations - more
>> often
>> a too ornate frame with a simple piece.

> I'm really not sure what you're disagreeing with.  I said complex pieces
> deserve complex frames, so I wouldn't put an ornate frame with a simple
> piece, only with a complex one, which most MLIs and Mirabilias are.

> Elizabeth
> --
> *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
> The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate and
> expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
> *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I don't think I'm disagreeing.  What I think is happening for me is that
It's hard for me to picture because I  don't generally like the style of
MLIs and Mirabilias.  They mostly seem  too ornate for my taste and a wide,
carved, gilt frame just adds to that.