A Wing & A Prayer

You have no clue a. what a great pun that is and b. how lucky I am for students who stitch fast and well.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

It’s a great pun because today’s stitch is from an outrageous orange bird on Este MacLeod’s Summer Birds (distributed through Melissa Shirley Designs). In addition, if I hadn’t had this photo (from said student who stitches fast and well), we may not have had a blog post today. I have a guardian angel who stitches! (Truth be told, I have a few. And I am very grateful).

The stitched sample uses Petite Very Velvet (light gray lines), Trebizond Silk (black lines), Gloriana Floss (aqua lines), and Bead Dazzle Beads (turquoise circles). It’s a purposefully dramatic stitch to draw attention to this gorgeous bird in the left corner of the canvas.

Consider this stitch for a dramatic coat, bag, or blanket with a Kreinik 1/16” ribbon for the gray lines, Vineyard Silk or silk floss for the black lines, and a contrasting metallic in a smaller size (like a Petite Silk Lame or size 8 Kreinik) for the aqua lines. Finish it off with a bead and, voila!, perfection. I would love to see this with contrasting colors in any combination. I have another version of this diagram without the bead that I’ll share in the upcoming weeks. It’s a slightly more modest version of this that illustrates the interest that even more layering adds. (Ooooh, I hope that builds some sort of intrigue).

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 and Stitch Concepts for Melissa Shirley Designs, Zecca DesignsSandra Gilmore, Purple Palm, Maggie, and Patience Brewster, and many more. Click here to see the newest guides and click here to see the entire collection.

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Please enjoy!  

A Note about Diagrams
I use color in diagrams to make them as clear as possible.  The primary function of different colored lines is to illustrate a stitch sequence.  For example, layering of colors demonstrates you add them in that order.  They can also provide ideas on how to integrate additional threads (one line for each color).  Or, you can use the same thread for all color lines.  That's where I encourage you to use your imagination for the space you are stitching!

Decisions, Decisions

A club I’m stitching up was a great chance to experiment with new stitches. As it played out, I realized it was an opportunity to illustrate how I land on a stitch, which isn’t always what the diagram shows you. All are great stitches but it’s all about finding the right one for the spot and for you.

My objective was to find a medium-sized stitch (3-5 rows tall or wide) that integrated the exquisite shading of the canvas, so it needed to be an open stitch. And it needed to complement an adjacent stitch that included diamonds.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

I found the original inspiration, the Square Diamond Scotch (diagram on far left), in Ruth Schmuff’s latest book Stitches Volume 5. The squares and diamonds were a great partner with the adjacent diamond stitch. But five rows was too tall for the area and the Scotch squares in the center were too much. I removed the squares and made the sides of the squares four rows wide/tall and created the Square Diamonds (center diagram).

This stitch was too open for the area and it was tough to distinguish the squares versus the diamonds, so I altered the diamonds to be overlapping, hence the Square Layered Diamonds (diagram on far right). This added unnecessary texture and height to the area, so it went bye bye.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

My obsession with diamonds covering the corners wasn’t helping. Walking away really helped. When I returned to the piece, I took the diagonal stitches and moved them to cover the open area where the corners meet. Voila! This is what worked for me for the area. The stitched sample uses Elegance (black lines) and Petite Silk Lame (gray lines) on 18-mesh.

I feel the need to reiterate that I liked every single one of the stitches I discarded. It’s all about what works for the unique space you are stitching. All four stitches would make excellent architectural stitches for floors, walls, or roofs. I would love to see the Square Diamond Scotch for a dramatic coat or dress with Petite Very Velvet (black lines) and a size 12 or size 16 Kreinik Metallic. The Square Diamonds will make a beautiful water stitch with Petite Silk Lame (black lines) and Kreinik Metallic (gray lines). Consider the Square Layered Diamonds for a tree with Elegance (black lines) and Silk ‘N Colors (gray lines). You could also glam up any of those stitches by adding a single in the center hole of the intersection where the four corners meet.

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 and Stitch Concepts for Melissa Shirley Designs, Zecca DesignsSandra Gilmore, Purple Palm, Maggie, and Patience Brewster, and many more. Click here to see the newest guides and click here to see the entire collection.

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Please enjoy!  

A Note about Diagrams
I use color in diagrams to make them as clear as possible.  The primary function of different colored lines is to illustrate a stitch sequence.  For example, layering of colors demonstrates you add them in that order.  They can also provide ideas on how to integrate additional threads (one line for each color).  Or, you can use the same thread for all color lines.  That's where I encourage you to use your imagination for the space you are stitching!

Hello Wednesday

Hello Wednesday. (You snuck up on me there.) Little did I know that last Sunday’s post was going to provide more inspiration for this week.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Today's stitch comes from the same Melissa Shirley tree skirt as this week’s #smallspacesunday. The stitched sample uses Vineyard Silk (black lines), Kreinik Metallics Tapestry Braid (#12), and Kreinik Metallics Medium Braid (#16) (turquoise lines). It’s the coat from one of the Santas.

The sequence is important here. Start with the black lines, follow with the gray lines (from edge to edge) and end by tying down the gray lines with the turquoise lines. There are two schools of thought here. The first is as diagrammed, leaving one intersection empty during the first step. This intersection is covered by the final step. (In the stitched sample, it is covered by the green metallic.) The other idea to consider is to stitch that intersection with the same thread as the black lines. Proceed with the rest of the stitch as diagrammed. The difference is the turquoise lines (or green metallic in the stitched sample) has a small bit of elevation and texture.

This full coverage stitch makes wonderful clothing (as illustrated). Change the finish of the thread for the gray line and you could have a very interesting ground cover or tree. For ground cover, I would love to see the thread combo of Bella Lusso Merino Wool (black lines), Gloriana Princess Perle (gray line), and Vineyard Silk (turquoise lines).

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 and Stitch Concepts for Melissa Shirley Designs, Zecca DesignsSandra Gilmore, Purple Palm, Maggie, and Patience Brewster, and many more. Click here to see the newest guides and click here to see the entire collection.

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Please enjoy!  

A Note about Diagrams
I use color in diagrams to make them as clear as possible.  The primary function of different colored lines is to illustrate a stitch sequence.  For example, layering of colors demonstrates you add them in that order.  They can also provide ideas on how to integrate additional threads (one line for each color).  Or, you can use the same thread for all color lines.  That's where I encourage you to use your imagination for the space you are stitching!

Lovely Layers

I love everything about today’s stitch…the four threads, the perfect balance, and the final elegance. It also happens to fill a beautiful space on a beautiful canvas.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Today's stitch comes from my Stitch Guide for Melissa Shirley’s Lemons canvas. Sequence is critical. Begin with the black lines, followed by the aqua, light gray, and end with the dark gray Upright Crosses. The stitched sample uses Petite Very Velvet (black lines), Fyre Werks Soft Sheen (aqua lines), Elegance (light gray lines), and Silk Lame (dark gray lines).

This stitch is perfect for a medium to large area you want to draw attention to, such as clothing, large pieces of fruit, bowls, baskets. I hope you get the idea. If you want to add even more bling, consider filling the open spaces with straight stitches over two rows (essentially extending the Upright Tied Cross in the center). Or fill those spaces with a single seed bead over two rows.

The thread possibilities are endless. I prefer more durable, single strand threads for the base thread (black lines). It helps define the shapes and adds a bit of texture. I recommend a perle cotton, Very Velvet, or a size 16 Kreinik Metallic for that role. Once you’ve established the base thread, have a blast. You could go wild with all metallics in contrasting colors, say purples, oranges, and (lime) greens for Halloween fun, or mix threads from the same color family for a sampler.

In all honesty, I would love to see this as a pumpkin with Vineyard Silk (black lines), Kreinik Metallic 1/16” Ribbon (aqua lines), Elegance (light gray lines), and ThreadWorx Metallic (gray lines). If you want a slightly less pronounced version, consider using a strand-able silk, such as Splendor or Soie D’Alger, for the base thread. Use a laying tool to keep to smooth and flat. Add the remaining layers. This will bring more attention to the centers of the diamonds for another pretty perspective.

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 and Stitch Concepts for Melissa Shirley Designs, Zecca DesignsSandra Gilmore, and Patience Brewster, and many more. Click here to see the newest guides and click here to see the entire collection.

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Please enjoy!  

A Note about Diagrams
I use color in diagrams to make them as clear as possible.  The primary function of different colored lines is to illustrate a stitch sequence.  For example, layering of colors demonstrates you add them in that order.  They can also provide ideas on how to integrate additional threads (one line for each color).  Or, you can use the same thread for all color lines.  That's where I encourage you to use your imagination for the space you are stitching!

Big Red

I can't decide if today's column is about a stitch (it is) or about threads (it is).  Because, frankly, the diagram is kinda boring.  The stitched sample is far from boring.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

The stitched sample uses DMC Perle #5 (light gray lines), Neon Rays (black lines), and Fyre Werks (turquoise lines).  The layering for this stitch is very important. Start with the light gray (vertical) lines, followed by the black (horizontal) lines, and end with the X's on top (aqua lines). The stitched sample is from the retired Linda Carter Holman piece I've featured in a few posts recently (here and here). 

More often than not, I use the same threads for the straight stitches in a layered stitch.  Today's sample is an exception to my typical pattern...and I like it. Two distinct threads for the straight stitches add contrast, especially the Neon Rays. The two rows of Neon Rays merge together to look like a wide ribbon, a fun contrast to the distinct shape of the DMC Perle. Clearly, a laying tool played a role here. 

This stitch would be so much fun with different colors.  Imagine it as a coat for a Santa with Very Velvet (vertical lines), Vineyard Silk (horizontal lines), and an oversized Kreinik in a contrasting color, such as gold, for the X.  Consider using two colors for the stripes, say blue for the vertical and green for the horizontal, tied down with a third color for a bedspread or decorative pillow.  Combine some really unique textures, such as Rainbow Linen and Impressions for the straight lines, and tie it down with Wisper or Fuzzy Stuff for a very au natural roof.

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 and Stitch Concepts for Melissa Shirley Designs, Zecca Designs, and Patience Brewster. Click here to see the 20 newest guides and click here to see the entire collection.

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Please enjoy!

A Note about Diagrams
I use color in diagrams to make them as clear as possible.  The primary function of different colored lines is to illustrate a stitch sequence.  For example, layering of colors demonstrates you add them in that order.  They can also provide ideas on how to integrate additional threads (one line for each color).  Or, you can use the same thread for all color lines.  That's where I encourage you to use your imagination for the space you are stitching!

Layered Loveliness

Today's stitch is another background from a sweet small piece.  I love how the Flair expanded to fill the space so it looks like a full coverage stitch.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

The stitched sample uses Flair (gray lines) and Elegance (yellow lines) on 18-mesh.  Using Flair as the base thread is an atypical choice for me.  In most cases, I use two stronger threads.

A semi-brief tangent on base threads (the gray lines in the diagram).  My go-to base threads for layered (and tramme) stitches are Very Velvet, Perle Cotton (size 3 for 13-mesh and size 5 for 18-mesh), Grandeur (for 13-mesh), Elegance (for 18-mesh), and Kreinik Metallics (size 16 for 13-mesh and size 12 for 18-mesh).  Each of those threads is well-defined and strong.  Strong is important because, in most cases, the base thread adds height and definition to the accent threads (the threads on top).  With any of these threads, the stitch is fairly open.  I say most cases because there are times I throw all of this out the window and use surprisingly light threads for layered and tramme stitches, like I did today.

So, back to today's stitch.  Since this is a typically open stitch, it would work really well for many architectural elements that can handle the texture (of the layered threads)...think roof, floor, ground covering, rug.  For these stitches, consider using any of the base threads I mentioned above and cover them with something a little different, as stitch combos are not all matte and metallic. Don't be afraid to incorporate threads with a less than smooth finish.  Ideas for accent threads include overdyed floss (or wool), Rainbow Linen (one of my favorite threads for a roof), or a subdued metallic such as Silk Lame or Petite Silk Lame.   

Traditional matte and metallic combinations would make great clothing, sampler, or large flower petals.  I love Elegance and Flair (as illustrated above).  I love the idea of Very Velvet and Fyre Werks (or Neon Rays).  Another idea is to add a bead to the single open intersections between the pairs of yellow lines.  That would up the glamour level quite a bit, especially for a flower petal.  

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 and stitch concepts for Melissa Shirley Designs, Zecca Designs, and Patience Brewster. Click here to see the 20 newest guides and click here to see the entire collection.

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Please enjoy!

A Note about Diagrams
I use color in diagrams to make them as clear as possible.  The primary function of different colored lines is to illustrate a stitch sequence.  For example, layering of colors demonstrates you add them in that order.  They can also provide ideas on how to integrate additional threads (one line for each color).  Or, you can use the same thread for all color lines.  That's where I encourage you to use your imagination for the space you are stitching!

Confession Time

Today is a blog in two parts.  First, I'm offering up a fun Scallop Stitch with four(!) different and fun options for filling.  The second part spends a little extra time on one of the fillings.  

The stitch is a scallop stitch over three rows.  The topmost points of the scallops in subsequent rows are centered along the lowest point of the row above, creating small shell-shaped spaces in between the horizontal columns of scallops. 

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Pinterest account. Visit pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday for a library of all #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

Click on image to see on whimsicalstitch.com's Instagram account. Visit instagram.com/whimsicalstitch to see a library of stitched samples for select #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams.

There are four ideas to fill the empty space (from top to bottom):  Eyelet Stitch (turquoise lines on diagram, purple thread in diagram), Traditional Leaf Stitch (light gray lines on diagram, blue thread in diagram), Shell Stitch (yellow lines on diagram, white thread in diagram), Oblique Tied Stitch (aqua lines on diagram, purple thread in diagram).  Feel free to mix and match the scallops and filling stitch to your heart's desire.  The stitched sample uses Gloriana Florimell (yellow thread), Kreinik 1/16" ribbon, Kreinik Medium Braid (#16) (purple thread), and Gloriana Princess Perle (white thread). 

Personally, I like the idea of the Eyelet or Oblique Tied Stitch as a single filling.  Each offers a smidge of open work and lightness to the overall stitch.  Conversely, I like the combination of the Traditional Leaf and Shell Stitch on alternating horizontal rows.  They are very similar in shape (but not exactly the same!) and I like the alternating directions the two fillings offer.  This is all a matter of personal taste!  Mix and match to your delight.

Now it's time for my confession.  This is the first time I've included an eyelet stitch on my blog.  My confession is they make me nervous.  Today, this changes.

Eyelet stitches are adorable and I appreciate what they can add to a piece, as the added element of a larger hole draws the eye in a unique way.  And therein lies my fear...that the larger holes I create will not be identical sizes and chaos reigns.  (I have enough chaos with my new kitten.)

Here's how I navigated this for the eyelet stitch above.  A tapered laying tool is critical, as it provides more control over the size of the final hole.

Use a tapered laying tool as a guide for consistent eyelet hole sizes.  Final knotted ribbon on laying tool.  Just make sure it's tight!

Use a tapered laying tool as a guide for consistent eyelet hole sizes.  Final knotted ribbon on laying tool.  Just make sure it's tight!

Insert the laying tool in the hole from the front of the canvas and gently push it down until the hole is the desired size.  Don't remove the laying tool yet.  Tie a wide piece of a stash thread (e.g., silk ribbon) where the laying tool meets the canvas on the front, creating a guide for future holes.   

Tie the thread tight, pull the laying tool out of the hole, and complete the knot by tying it again, making sure is tight.  Move across the canvas, creating holes as needed.  Revisit any outlier holes and repeat the process if required to make the hole larger. (I recommend silk ribbon because it is not a slippery thread and will, if tied tightly, stay still on the laying tool.) 

Sometimes, you might make a hole a little too large (compared to other eyelet holes).  To make that hole smaller, use the eye end of a size 22 needle to push the canvas threads back into place.  Put the needle in the immediately adjacent hole, and gently push the needle against the canvas thread, helping nudge the thread back into place.  You may need to do this on all four sides of the hole.  It may take a couple pushes, so be patient.  You can push them back and start over again or just push in a bit to get it to the desired size.  Use your judgment.

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 and stitch concepts for Melissa Shirley Designs, Zecca Designs, and Patience Brewster.  60 guides are currently available, with 12 new Stitch Concepts just added! Click here to see the newest guides and click here to see the entire collection.

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Please enjoy!

My Favorite Technique

#teamopenstitches

February focuses on open stitches from pillows on display in my front window for 15+ years as well as a stitch I accidentally created by not transferring a diagram correctly.  (Seriously.)

A little background.  When I returned to the world of needlepoint, I was #teamfullcoverage for several years. I could not get my head around what I called "naked canvas."  Oh, how wrong I was.  Without a doubt, it took some coaxing and hand-holding.  Here I am, twenty-some years later, I can't imagine a single piece of needlepoint I've stitched, or am stitching, without the dreaded...I mean gorgeous...naked canvas.  It's about balance, focus areas, and symmetry.  

I begin with the Pomegranate Stitch.  I have no other name for it.  This is because the stitch is comprised of several small stitches that create a gorgeous pattern and I used it on a pomegranate.  Makes sense, right?

The first diagram is the first group of stitches that would be fine just as they are, especially with a piece with gorgeous shading.

But, no.  I needed more stitches, so I added an Upright Cross (the light gray lines) inside the small diamonds.

Was that the end?  Of course not.  More oblique layered crosses were added.  And some tiny Mosaic stitches.

The stitched sample on Instagram reflects the final diagram.  I included all three steps because I wanted to make a point.  Any of these three combinations work as a group of stitches.  Truth be told, if I re-stitched this piece today, I would stitch it with the middle diagram so I could have more naked canvas.

It's all a matter of taste and your desired coverage level.  What is universal, regardless of which diagram you prefer, is the threads.  When doing open work, it's important to integrate thread weight into the equation.  Generally speaking, I choose lighter weight threads as a secondary way to let the shading show through.  Case in point, I used size 5 pearl cotton and size 12 Kreinik Metallics Tapestry Braid on 13-mesh for the pomegranate.  I would even use size 8 pearl cotton and size 8 Kreinik Metallics on 13-mesh to make a point.  It works, I promise.  And, as with all things needlepoint, it is all a matter of taste.  So, experiment to find what works for you.

These stitch diagrams, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 Melissa Shirley Designs, Zecca Designs, and Patience Brewster.  30 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Enjoy!

You're a Square!

I choose to take that alleged insult as a compliment, thank you very much.

Today's post is really about utilizing complementary stitches in shared spaces.  My case study is a dress on an ice skater.  The shared space is the dress and I used two different square stitches for the bodice and the skirt.  I made that choice because of the tiny waist, blouse, and arms.  I also wanted something to stand out.  Once I landed on a standout stitch for the skirt, I selected a similar stitch on a smaller scale for the blouse.

The blouse is stitched in a simple Mosaic stitch and the skirt is a fun 5X5 layered square.

The stitched sample used Neon Rays on 13-mesh.  What I like about Neon Rays for this application is how smooth and flat it is.  It lays perfectly (with a little help from a laying tool).  

If you want a more pronounced lift with a metallic thread, use a more defined and substantial thread such as Kreinik Metallic (size 8 on 18-mesh and size 12 on 13-mesh).  For a flatter matte finish, use a stranded floss (silk or cotton) with a laying tool.   

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on a Pinterest board here.

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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 Melissa Shirley Designs and Zecca Designs.  28 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

Enjoy!

 

 

Layered Squares

Today's stitch is what I call Layered Squares, as the final look appears as squares with alternating corners tied down.  

Create the squares by laying the base threads in two adjacent rows, skipping two rows in between pairs.  In the diagram, I added the vertical pairs first, followed by the horizontal rows on top (creating the layers of the layered stitch).  Follow up with the 3X3 crosses on top of alternating intersections.  

The truth is the order you use to lay the base threads down doesn't matter.  Honestly, I didn't think about it when I stitched it.  In hindsight, I am very happy with the order I chose because the eye sees the horizontal lines more than the vertical.  And, for that space I used it in at the time (more about that soon), that is appropriate.

Thread choices are important for this stitch.  In my opinion, the base thread should be a single strand thread.  The single strand provides definition and texture for the base layer.  For a strong, well-defined base, good matte base thread choices are Very Velvet, Vineyard Silk, Pepper Pot Silk, or DMC or Anchor Pearl Cotton (especially size 3).  Good choices for a metallic base thread are Kreinik Metallics Medium Braid (size 16), Kreinik Metallics Tapestry Braid (size 12), Crystal Braid, or Silk Lame.  Plied threads will work, of course, but it will be a vastly different look than what you will see on the stitched sample on Instagram.

Conversely, have fun with the metallics!  As they are the top thread, their only responsibility is to be pretty!  The stitched sample on Instagram uses Shimmer Ribbon by YLI.

This stitch is ideal for areas requiring symmetry.  As an example, the Instagram sample is the front door of Melissa Shirley's Halloween House.  The symmetry, provided by evenly spaced threads on the horizontal and vertical axises, keep the appearance of the door as, well, a door.  In my opinion, an openly diagonal stitch (such as Diagonal Mosaic) would distract the eye and prompt the viewer to try to reconcile the actual use of the space versus the stitch chosen.  I would use this as a table top or floor covering (perhaps with lighter weight threads), a roof, or clothing areas with large spaces, to name a few.

This stitch diagrams, along with other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on www.pinterest.com/whimsicalstitch/whimsicalwednesday.  

Be sure to follow whimsicalstitch.com on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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

Enjoy!