Thursday, 19 June 2014

It's A Small World, The World of Petit Point

When I lived and worked in the far north,  I had a friend who worked only in petit point, a kind of needlepoint, though actually quite different.   I don't know if you have ever seen such pieces; the stitches are minute with yarn or floss worked over one thread of a canvas or cloth.  The resulting pictures formed have the detail and clarity of photographs.  She would often have people think her pieces were photos.  She loved working on dogs and was especially skilled at stitching eyes that looked alive and real.  I bought a kit to try my hand at petit point but didn't finish it.  It had dark colours on a dark canvas, unfortunately, and I found it really hard on my eyes to tell where to lay the stitches. I have a lot of admiration for those talented people who can persevere to finish what amounts to tiny masterpieces with needle and thread.
I credit this friend with starting my interest in needlepoint (which is so often the way).  Up to that time, I was basically unfamiliar with that branch of stitching.  For a time in my life I worked a lot of regular needlepoint kits.  They usually had a picture painted on the canvas and I just had to fill it in with tapestry yarn using continental stitch. I worked several kits from Laura Ashley that were of florals (naturally) and quite pretty.  I remember the relaxation I felt working my simple stitches in the evenings after a stressed or busy day.
There is a wonderful site online that is well worth checking out if you are interested in needlepoint.  The teacher has provided videos of how to make the stitches, plus several free patterns with instructions to make your own pictures. It is well organized and easy to navigate.
If you are interested in checking out petit point, there are several good sites for that as well.  A woman who is well known in the field for many decades now is Jean McIntosh.  Her web site is and her many kits and canvases are available to purchase online.  Her florals and birds are wonderful and I like checking it out for inspiration.  Another great site linked to Jean's is and several other artists' works are featured, also wonderful, some amazingly detailed.

What a wonderful world it is, the world of fabric, needle and thread meeting!