Supposedly Columns

I discovered today's stitch last summer while working on a paneled saying by &more.  I needed something with personality but subtle enough to not overpower the writing.

This stitch came from a book on layered stitches.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, layered stitches are among the most adaptable stitches because you do not have to do every layer or every stitch.

Originally designed as a border four rows wide, I simply filled the rectangular space with multiple columns, skipping a row in between to add definition to the rectangles.

Elongated Crosses.jpg

The sequence of the threads is important.  

Begin with the vertical aqua lines (numbered steps), followed by the horizontal aqua lines (lettered steps).  Add the yellow lines on top of the aqua lines and conclude with the accent threads (gray lines).

As with most diagrams, the colors are used for clarity.  The stitched sample on Instagram uses different fibers with similar color values.  In addition, the single stitches surrounding the center (the gray lines) alternate colors by columns. 

Whether you use multiple colors or similar color values, there is a great deal you can do with this stitch.  It can be a 4-row wide border, as originally designed, a background (today's example), a wallpaper, chair or couch, ground cover, or an elegant coat.  Have fun with it!

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.