Nine Nirvana

January's month of squares concludes with 9X9 squares. 

The first 9X9 square is a classic for any square, as small as 7X7 and as large as you need.  It's a square in a square with a border two rows wide.  

It's scalable and works best for any square at least seven rows wide.  (While it technically works for 5X5 and 6X6 squares, the center square is diminished and the effect is lost.)

The next two diagrams focus on columns for the square.  The first diagram combines good old fashioned Cashmere columns AND one of my favorite 3X3 square stitches.  Honestly, utilize any of your favorite 3X3 stitches in the center column.

9X9 with three threes.jpg

Using the three columns as the base, I added bursts of color in the center column.

Yes, it's Plain Needlepoint but the addition of color is a great accent for the center column of the larger square. Depending on how much texture or bling you need the square to convey, consider doing a row of French Knots or beads for the yellow lines.

And, finally, it is fun to utilize smaller shapes to create a larger square.  The next series of diagrams integrate some of the 3X3 squares we discussed earlier this month.  First, let's begin with a starter library of 3X3's.  

9X9 with 3X3 library.jpg

I mixed and matched some of my favorite 3X3's to create a larger 9X9 square.  

The above square, along with the Enclosed Square (first diagram in this post), are the featured stitched samples on Instagram.  The next diagrams are two more variations of mixing 3X3 squares from the 3X3 library.

9X9 with 3X3 Squares 2.jpg

There is absolutely no right or wrong on what combos to use.  In addition, the diagrams are created with multiple colors for clarity.  The stitched sample on Instagram demonstrates you can use multiple threads with the same color value to create a textured and compelling square.  Feel free to mix finishes and/or colors to add increasing levels of effect to the space.

These stitch diagrams, 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.  20 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.