The tiniest changes make a huge difference. For example, take the Satin Stitch. The generally accepted form is over two or more rows on the diagonal, going from lower left intersection to upper right intersection. If you want to go a little wild, try alternating directions in the columns. It's the perfect stitch standard for so many areas, especially leaves, furniture, walls, backgrounds, or clothing, to name just a few.
Yet, you can take this wonderfully straightforward stitch and make it something that really pops by doing one thing. Add a contrasting row.
The gray lines in the diagram are a high contrast color or thread finish. A color example is City Needlework Silk red for the aqua lines with a blue silk for the gray lines. A thread finish example is using a lighter weight thread for the green lines and a heavier Very Velvet, in the same color values, adding interesting texture to an area. You can also combine contrasting color and finish.
You can also play with it by adding more rows in between the gray rows, or fewer rows. It's up to your imagination and what the space requires.
The first stitched sample on Instagram is a leaf on a Melissa Shirley bird houses canvas and is a highly contrasting color version of the stitch and has two rows in between the contrasting row. The second sample on Instagram is an example of using contrasting finishes (stranded silk and shiny Fyre Werks).
This stitch diagram, along with other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on www.pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday.
If you like what you see on this blog, want to learn some very creative decorative stitches, and how to put them all together, whimsicalstitch.com sells stitch guides for seasonal Melissa Shirley designs. 18 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.