Gay Ann Rogers  Needlework

From Hollyhock House my smallest ever face: one stitch less than half the width of Tree Top Angel.

Years after Tree Top Angel,

I had started to manipulate the space for more expression.

This is the smallest I've ever made.

From Constellation

Not too many years ago I stitched this face, just 10 stitches wide and it was a step forward for me: I had learned to use overstitching, and it helped add some distinct expressing to the face.

If I were to do all three faces again, I would add the suggestion of a nose with a single stitch.

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For Reference, here is Tree Top Angel again. I counted the threads: 16 across.

I did smaller a few times. Here's one, from my large sampler Hollyhock House.

From a Berlinwork Sampler

I graphed the figure as it was on the 19th century sampler. I did change the colors, but not the actual line.

So what's wrong? Simple answer: given that the face is stitched in Cross Stitch over 2 Meshes, 8 meshes, or 4 stitches, at its widest is not a sufficient number of meshes for a face.

This is just the sort of face that gave needlepoint faces their ugly attribution. So what to do about it?

Would it work better in Cross Stitch over 1 Mesh? Better in Tent Stitch, with some overstitchings, but overall still too few stitches.

It simply takes more stitches.

My Favorite.

Eleanor. Did I know she would be be my favorite?  Did I have control over what I was stitching? Noo, 90% is accidental, serendipity.

This is true of all my needlework, but most so of faces. A drawing is a different medium and the translation doesn't work. I learned years ago,  I have to think in stitches.


How about this as a face? Solves the problem, doesn't it: no face at all.

Jane Wood sent this to me, a detail from Leigh Designs' Water Babies series and stitched by Sue of West Coast Finishing using Jane's stitch guide.  Thanks, Jane.

A different idea, a different presentation, a nice contrast and a good reminder that there are as many different styles as there are people who stitch.

Over time consensus about my four queens seems to be that Elizabeth is the most difficult to stitch, while Victoria by far the easiest.

It always makes me chuckle because hands down the most difficult for me was Victoria.

Her face was the most difficult because I had to try and make her look a bit like the real Victoria, except that she had to be very pretty, all in about 28 stitches across.

It was a struggle, but it wasn't the end of my struggles with Victoria. I also had the problem of a brunette wearing a white dress.

Comments about stitching Deco Lady's profile.

Early on I was opposed to outlining a profile, but over time I like the effect as it smoothes out an otherwise jagged line  created by the tent stitch and also gives it a bit of depth.

As a rule, I don't like outlining areas, but in this case I think it helps.

In the (relatively near) future, I want to work on profiles again and hope to do some experiments and watch what happens.

At its widest, Deco Lady's face is a small 18 stitches wide on congress cloth. That's about 3/4" inch. Could I do smaller? We'll see.