Limp on a Limb by Teresa Frank

Honorable Mention, Professional Non-Original with Instructions

I purchased this canvas about four years ago.

When 2018 Assembly again offered Interpreting the Painted Canvas with Debbie Stiehler, I saw this as an opportunity to bring life to this canvas.

In her initial e-mail communication, Debbie sent suggestions for stitches and threads. Never wanting to leave the “possible” at home though, I brought a huge thread stash to class. Debbie helped me whittle this stash collection down to a manageable number of threads and, using some of her stitch suggestions, I began stitching on “Limp” in our four-day class.

Upon returning home, this canvas begged to be finished. I continued to stitch on it, changing out some threads and stitches as I found some did not work as expected for the effect I was looking for, particularly on the kitty.

This turned out to be a great design for using stash threads, including a Twedie #18 and Medici for the tree branch and limbs. One stitch that surprised me was using the star octagon stitch for the white fur on the kitty. I wasn’t sure if this stitch was going to provide the effect I was looking for, but upon further thought, it would be fun to do the entire kitty in this stitch, changing thread colors in the appropriate areas and the end result, I think, would be very much like a curly-haired Cornish Rex kitty; just a thought for a future project.

I made one somewhat significant deviation from the canvas itself. The entire background of the painted canvas is green. The leaves are green and the areas in between the leaves are green. I stitched the entire background in green and found it to be very flat and lifeless, even with the different textures and value changes in the leaves. To add some dimension, I cut out spots of the green in between the leaves and changed these areas to sky by using an old Needle Necessities overdyed thread. I am happier with this result, though it did entail quite a bit of reverse stitching.

You will note the kitty is a bit fuzzy. I purposely brushed out the body, just a bit, to provide the illusion of fur. This softened the lines between the orange, black and white.

My thanks to Debbie for her always great tips and a very fun class. Limp on a limb now hangs near Bird Watcher, which was my selection for her 2017 class.