Stitch of the Month
January 2006: Framed Pavilion

by Kathy Fenchel

There is an old adage that "there is nothing new under the sun." I suppose that it is true, but fortunately there are always variations on the old standard. This holds true for needlepoint. Most of the stitches that we use have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Fortunately the passage of time has brought us a larger variety of ground materials as well as an incredible number of new threads to work with. As a result, we can take the basic stitches, combine them with new and improved materials, and create wonderful variations with the old standards!

I hope to present you with some new, sometimes unorthodox and quirky, ways to use the old standards. Needlepoint should be fun, creative, and beautiful. To use another, much overused adage, the sky's the limit!

Framed Pavilion

The pavilion stitch is familiar to most of us. It makes a quick and elegant background. It is usually stitched in horizontal rows as diagramed below.

Diagram 1

Once you have stitched the standard pavilion stitch you are free to add some embellishment to this basic stitch simply by framing each of the diamonds as diagramed below.

Diagram 2
(Click on the image for a larger picture)

When you make the decision to frame your pavilion stitch, you must decide upon the effect you are looking for and where you plan to use it.

On the sample below, the framed pavilion has been used to create the illusion of shading on a cat. The cat began as a simple outline. It was decided that the cat should be the colors of a calico cat, which are generally gray/black, copper and white. The copper and white areas of this particular cat are stitched in an inverted leaf stitch. The major portion of the body is stitched with a very dark charcoal gray silk in the standard pavilion stitch. The stitches were then framed with dark gray, white or copper depending on the location of the white and copper spots. Only one strand of thread was used to do the framing.

Figure 1
(Click on the image for a larger picture)

Using this same technique, you can experiment with a wide range of results. Try stitching the fur of an animal in the standard pavilion using an overdyed thread. Then frame it with Rainbow Gallery Fuzzy Stuff! It creates a great, unexpected effect!

Pavilion stitch the petals of a flower in two or three shades of Neon Rays and then frame the area in a complimentary overdyed or thin metallic thread. Experiment!

Surprise! Surprise! There is also a variation to the framed pavilion. It has been diagramed below.

Diagram 3
(Click on the image for a larger picture)

As you can see in the diagram above, the variation shows up in the center stitch of each diamond. Instead of covering six canvas threads, only four are covered. The center stitch of the diamond is then completed by adding a stitch that covers the remaining two threads. Make this stitch using the same thread that you are going to use to frame each diamond.

The photo below illustrates this variation by using black Neon Rays for the diamonds and bright blue Sparkle! Braid to complete the center stitch in the diamond and to frame the entire area. It creates a very elegant effect. Experiment with different threads and color combinations. It is amazing to see what can happen on your canvas!

Figure 2

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