Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Background Lesson.

This past weekend, I received a request to write an article for our "Ask a Teacher". I decided to write about backgrounds, which everyone knows can make or break a piece.

Ironically, I was working on this little name sign and using a wonderful piece of wool from Christine Little's dye book 'SkyBluePink with a Green Smell'. The intent was to create a Monet type garden around the letters and do some proddy flowers in the corners. But, wasn't working as a background behind the lettering - for all the reasons I wrote in my article.

The wool had too much of the same colour as the lettering - and even when I put in a dark line next to the lettering, the background wool was just too busy. I realized that this was not only a background lesson, but also a spot dye lesson. With a strong spot dye, you need to use it sparingly and in the right place. I realized that it would be much better behind the leaves in the outside border.

So I ripped out both backgrounds and switched them. It's amazing how quickly you can undo several hours of hooking, isn't it? But the moment I put a few strands into their new positions, I knew I had made the right decision.

Here's the before.

And here's the after.

Quite the difference, isn't it?

I am much, much happier with the result. The lettering is so visible and the little splash of Monet garden behind the leaves is perfect!

I will keep these pictures as a demonstration to go with my Background article in the future.
They really are worth a thousand words, that's for sure.

And a lesson well learned. 


Orange Sink said...

That demonstration is just tremendous! I have just started hooking with spot dyes so this is timed perfectly. What a difference that made in that rug....which btw is pretty darling!
Just wanted to add I loved your comment on my blog about my personality showing in my gardens! I shall bask in that all day long as I liberate weeds and extricate dirt!! Bless your heart Wendie! Cathy G

Julie said...


Like Cathy, your tips came at a good time. The tea mat I am doing, the background is just wrong and I couldn't put my finger on what the problem was, until your post on background.

Thanks so much!

moosecraft said...

You definitely made the right decision! The monet behind the leaves is perfect! :-)

Judith Dallegret said...

Great examples Wendy!Seeing is believing for sure! Lucky Ava! Judith

Big Bird is Coming Along Nicely

First of all, welcome to another "theme" for my blog. The last one was just too hard to navigate - as an author or a visitor. This...