How Do I Love Thee

Let me count the ways.

Beetle Stitch, you are fantastic.  You are a wildly versatile stitch in both use and pattern.  Let's start with the base pattern.

Bubble Stitch.jpg

A simple pattern to follow...over 2-2-2-4-6-6-6-4 and repeat.  The diagram shows the horizontal version, resulting in columns.  The two's always match the sixes and the fours always match the fours in subsequent columns.  You don't have to skip a row between columns, or you can skip multiple rows.

It's a great dressed down stitch, but it dresses up really well when you skip multiple rows.

Bubble Alt.jpg

In this example, I combine threads to get a more elegant effect.  The gray lines are a matte thread and the aqua lines are a soft sheen metallic such as Kreinik Metallics #8 (or #12) braid or Rainbow Galleries Flair or Fyre Werks.  I like to use those metallics, regardless of canvas mesh size, as they lay well on the canvas and don't overpower the space.  You can use the same color family for a more subtle elegance or complementary colors to make the area stand out a little more.

The last scenario uses multiple hues.  This is a perfect strategy for those canvases without a painted background.  Melissa Shirley's Mary Lake-Thompson line of fruit bowls, teacups,  baskets, and fruit canvases are great examples of those canvases.  Use three complementary colors for the canvas and create a subtle but impactful background to the piece, tying the colors of the piece together.

Bubble Tres.jpg

The Beetle Stitch is great for a large background, sky, water, large space clothing (such as Santa's coat), bag, or floor covering, to name just a few.  This stitch is great as a full cover stitch but also a wonderful light option.  For example, the use of a lighter weight metallic (versus the canvas size) highlights the shading of the painting on the canvas.

This stitch diagram, along with other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on  

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If you like what you see on this blog, want to learn some very creative decorative stitches, and how to put them all together, sells stitch guides for seasonal Melissa Shirley designs.  Eight guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.