That’s French for let the good times roll, if you didn’t know. And that was my theme for this week’s stitch challenge.
The stitch for TAST 2012 Week Four was the Cretan stitch–open or closed. Or even knotted, if you like! I like the Cretan stitch. It layers well. And it can be embellished in so many ways. Two of my favorite books show some possibilities. I bought Judith Baker Montano’s Elegant Stitches and Linda Causee’s An Encyclopedia of Crazy Quilt Stitches and Motifs some 15 years ago when I started dabbling in crazy quilting. Other sources of inspiration and education include, to mention just a few:
- Victorian Embroidery and Crafts
- Needle ‘N Thread (video)
- Crazy Quilt Lessons
- SMockery SmArt (check out her “TASTy bits” link, too)
But back to my Cretan stitch sample. As I said in an earlier post, I’m letting the passing year’s events dictate color and how I will use the stitches in the challenge. Right now I am in Mississippi, about 30 minutes from New Orleans. Carnival has began on Twelfth Night or the Feast of the Epiphany. It will end at the close of the Tuesday before Lent, called Fat Tuesday or “Mardi Gras.” It is important to know this is not a New Orleans thing, but a cultural thing tied into the Catholic and other Christian calendars, linked back to when the French ruled this part of the US. Truth be told it goes back way beyond that, too!
There are three colors associated with Mardi Gras: Gold (or yellow), Purple, and Green. The gold stands for wealth, purple stands for justice, and green stands for health. The fleur de lis is a popular symbol which basically represents a lily.
So, I used these colors to create a Mardi Gras or Carnival band on my TAST sampler. I used an layered and stacked cretan stitch in DMC cotton #552 and #561 for the cretan stitches. I filled the center area with a row of double knot stitches (aka Palestrina stitch) in The Gentle Art overdyed cotton # 0580 (Orange Marmalade, my favorite orange/yellow).
I used the purple DMC to make mini fleurs des lis on the top of the banner with a lazy daisy stitch (aka detached chain) and straight stitches. Then I used amethyst, green, and gold 11° seed beads on the bottom of the banner to give the effect of swag.
So, what do you think? Do you want this graphed out for you? You have but to ask!