It's a Cluster

But in the best possible way.

Today's stitch is another base pattern from Ann Strite Kurz's book, "The Potpourri of Pattern" by Ann Strite Kurz.  The base pattern begins with a Hungarian stitch, or over 2-3-2 rows.  You may recognize the sequence from the more well known Criss Cross or Woven Hungarian stitch.

As with the Explosion stitch of last week, the fun begins with what stitch to put in the intersection.  Five 2X2 alternatives are provided.  Yet, if you want to fill more space with dramatic effect, I suggest either of the larger crosses at the bottom of the image.  Both fit in the exact center.  For both over four alternatives, the yellow cross on top would be exactly where the yellow alternating tent stitches are in the main diagram.  That will help you visualize the position of the gray lines.

This would make a fantastic background for a seasonal piece, whether it is Halloween, Christmas, or Spring.  You can select colors from the main area of interest from the canvas to bring it all together.  It also works well in a sampler.

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My preferred thread combination is matte threads, such as Pepper Pot Silk or DMC Pearl for the clusters and a contrasting metallic for the yellow centers.  The stitched sample on Instagram is a tone on tone version of this stitch, using a Smyrna Cross in the intersections.

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.  22 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.