I Love it When the Blog Writes Itself

There is no better feeling than the blog writing itself. This one came to be as I assembled a recent store order. Stitched sample and diagram done without lifting a finger! Bam!

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 downside is the stitched sample is black on black. (I lightened it up a bit to help.) The stitched sample is from Debbie Mumm’s Mr. Owl and uses Petite Very Velvet (black lines) and Fyre Werks Soft Sheen (gray lines).

Other ideas for this stitch include water with Kreinik Metallic Fine Braid (#8) (black lines) and Petite Silk Lame (gray lines) on 13-mesh. (I love really lightweight threads on 13-mesh. It’s a great way to integrate beautiful painted shading.) Flip the diagram 90° and stitch the beetles in vertical columns for a tall coat or dress with Flair (black lines) and your favorite silk floss (gray lines).

I swapped the matte and metallic in the last example because of a cute variation you should absolutely consider. Add a straight stitch three rows wide across the center of the gray lines where the stitches are split. (It would be a horizontal line in the diagram and a vertical line in the clothing example). For the clothing, I would add a single strand metallic such as Kreinik, Entice, Japan Thread, or Petite Silk Lame (as thought starters). You could even add a bugle bead across that intersection!

Using this as a stitch for clothing or water are simply thought starters. I would love to see what you do with this stitch! 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!

Perfect Pink

Today’s stitch is a whole lot of pink…and some blue. But, really, a whole lot of pink.

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 Shell Table Stitch Guide, a beautiful still life by Melissa Shirley. The stitched sample uses DMC Floss, Neon Rays+, Flair, Sundance Box Beads, and Sundance seed beads. (Whew! That was a mouthful. But, let me tell you, box beads are fun!)

This stitch is full of drama and should be used as such. It would make a gorgeous dress for one of Melissa Shirley’s Treetop Angels. (One of the many examples is here). It would be gorgeous for a sampler, a large border, or even a frame. Consider changing the seed beads to a single diagonal stitch over five rows and stitching a vertical column (the width of a single diamond) with a few empty rows in between for a gorgeous background.

The thread combos are endless. I would stitch the angel’s dress in Soie D’Alger (black and gray lines), a Kreinik Metallic (turquoise lines), Swarovski 2mm crystals for the yellow circles, and Sundance Box Beads for the aqua squares.

For the columns in a background stitch, I would use Elegance (black lines), Splendor (turquoise lines in the Upright Tied Crosses), Petite Silk Lame (gray lines and for the diagonal stitch in lieu of the beads), and Sundance Box Beads for the aqua squares. For this stitch, I would eliminate the turquoise tent stitches surrounding the Upright Crosses in the center of the diamonds.

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!

Spark Joy

I’m fascinated with the Marie Kondo tidying routine. Things in my home that spark joy for me are my cookbooks, the four poster bed (from my great grandparents home), and my Melissa Shirley fruit needlepoint projects. Case in point is today’s stitch and stitch sample.

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 a Melissa Shirley fruit purse I did eons ago. (Note: the stitched purse in the link is not mine.) Yes, I love the diamonds but I love the multiple bead accents more. The stitched sample uses yellow Flair (black and aqua lines) and Sundance Beads for, well, the beads. :)

It would be a great stitch for a body of water that you want to draw attention to. I would use a lightweight Kreinik metallic (size 8 for 13-mesh and size 4 for 18-mesh) for the black and gray lines and seed beads. It would be beautiful for a glamorous dress, especially a tall narrow one. I recommend a rich Silk Floss (Soie D’Alger or Soie Cristale come to mind) for the black lines, combined with Silk Lame for the aqua lines, and seed beads. Consider a bugle bead in lieu of the seed beads for an even more dramatic look.

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 disagree with Marie on one topic. The books stay. And, the fruit needlepoint pillows stay.

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 Spring?

Today’s stitch is from a beautiful Mary Lake Thompson Autumn Leaves bouquet. This green thread combo leaves me aching for Spring.

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 ThreadWorx Floss (black lines), Silk Lame (yellow lines), and Kreinik Metallics Fine Braid (#8) (turquoise lines) on 13-mesh. It’s a wildly open stitch, which means I love it. (Oh, and the stitch on the gold leaf can be found here.)

Clearly (no pun intended), this stitch is great for a beautifully shaded area or a solid area that you want to add interest to, but not overwhelm with pattern. It would be great for a large tree, a beautiful dress, or a solid background. You could use the same threads for the tree or use a single strand silk such as Vineyard Silk or Pepper Pot Silk (black lines), Very Velvet (turquoise lines), and Silk Lame (yellow lines). A beautiful thread combo for a dress stitch would be Soie D’Alger (black lines), Trebizond Silk (turquoise lines), and Entice (yellow lines). 

Consider adding a cluster of Brick Beading in place of the Upright Cross (yellow lines). You could add diagonal stitches over one or two lines coming from the four corners to the shared center where the diamonds meet. Consider leaving the diamond empty for a more open stitch. Have fun with it and let us know what you did with it. It could be a future #stitchingsunday.

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!

Beyond Bling

Who says you have to use threads to create a pattern?

That darn Melissa Shirley combined threads and beads to create a beautiful pattern on a vase recently.  What was so striking about this combo is that the beads did virtually all of the heavy lifting.  Take a look.

Here's a diagram I mapped out based on the above.  It's a tiny bit different as I didn't want the Herringbone effect with the single thread.

You could also eliminate the thread altogether and still create a pattern.  That said, for this example, it is best you are not a member of #teamfullcoverage.

You could absolutely fill the open space with vertical straight stitches or even a tied Upright Cross.  That said, I just love the idea of an open diamond pattern with nothing but beads.  It would be perfect for a vase, medium to small body of water, or even a flower.  

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

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

One of the First Stitches I Learned

The Byzantine is one of the first stitches I learned.  This, of course, means I shunned it in for several years as I found stitches I considered more fun or more intriguing.  Frankly, it just meant this was one of the first stitches taught to me and I always thought there had to be something better.  Sometimes, there is nothing better.  The Byzantine can be manipulated in so many ways as it is a fantastic, all-purpose, go-to stitch.  I need to use it more often.

It is a great way to mix thread finishes and colors.  The stitched sample uses good old DMC Floss (4-ply) with Kreinik Metallics Tapestry Braid (#12) on 18-mesh.  

This stitch works for countless spaces, including trees and shrubs, clothing, floors, water, samplers...the list is endless, which also means the threads are endless.  

This stitch diagram, along with all other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can 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 available, including the newest Tea by the Sea, and more are in the pipeline.

Enjoy!

Old Glass

If you are looking for a more vintage window, look no further.  The pattern is a series of small bursts giving the area a slightly pinched look, similar to antique glass.

The pattern is a tiny 2X2 square with four single stitches.  The diagram provides two alternatives.  The first is square shaped and the second is diamond shaped.

The heart of this stitch is very simple and straightforward.  Canvas is left exposed to highlight the content of the windows.  If this is too much open space for you, consider adding an accent.

The accent is in a different color to make the diagram easier to understand.  

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

Enjoy!

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 whimsicalstitch.com 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 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.  20 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

Enjoy!

3X3

3X3 squares can be frustrating because they are just on the cusp of being something significant.  If you could just do one or two more rows, there are lots of fun options.

Alas, you are so wrong!  (Okay, I'm wrong, but work with me on this.)  Since it is still a small space (and this is #smallspacesunday) don't forget that combining threads (whether color or finish) is always a great start.  Here are four straightforward 3X3 stitches.  The first is the classic Scotch square.  The remaining three all have a little extra something due to the addition of a second thread.

As I was playing with 3X3 stitches for this post, I wanted to add a tied stitch, but realized I covered that in the 4X4 post with the Tied 4X4 Square.  (You could also "tie" 3X3 Alternating Scotch Squares.)  I started to play with this idea and ended up with what I call Whimsy Squares. 

This is a version of a Rice Stitch with the top stitches going over two rows instead of one.  (If there is a formal name for this stitch, I would love to hear it!  I could not find a name anywhere.)  The gray lines are added first, followed by the yellow or aqua lines.  Play with thread choices and have fun!  

The sequence of the yellow and aqua lines can be tricky.

The sequence is numbers followed by letters.  The only step to be mindful of is the last step of the diamond on the top.  Take a look at the "g-h" step.  You slide the final thread ("g-h") under the pre-existing thread ("a-b") to complete the stitch.

I consider the next stitch the classic 3X3 square, the Rhodes stitch.  

The Rhodes Stitch is an elegant, clean stitch.  It's great for borders or corners as its height gives it some stature.  It also makes a fantastic Christmas ornament or button, as it is a scalable stitch.  It is also adjustable to the space, whether it be a larger square or even a rectangle, as illustrated by the stitched sample on Instagram.  It is the same concept.  Starting in a corner, go to opposite corner, and continue to rotate around shape until it is full.

The last stitch for today is a stitch I call a Layered Diamond.  This is a beautiful accent, whether in a larger space, a border, or even as individual accent.   

I call it a Layered Diamond because the sequence of the four stitches creating the central diamond are all layered above and beneath each other.  The sequence for the diamond is the same as the sequence for the diamond in the Whimsy Square.  You insert it under the previously stitched thread, as illustrated in the "Whimsy Square Sequence" diagram above.

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

Enjoy! 

 

Silly Squares

A very happy New Year to you and yours!  

I'm trying something a little different for you this month. #whimsicalwednesdays and #smallspacesunday posts for January will focus on variations of a common stitch, specifically square stitches.

The collection of diagrams for this month were curated from my personal favorite stitches, stitched pieces that inspire me (from my circle of needlepoint friends), and my go-to books.  Each post focuses on a specific size square and includes a small sampling of the stitch possibilities for that size square. These are just thought starters and I hope they help you create something magical!

The month begins with 4X4 squares.  A simple and elegant way to dress up 4X4's is to alternate the directions of the squares AND add contrasting threads, in the opposite direction, on top of the square.

The stitched sample on Instagram illustrates a tone on tone with a bright accent with similarly weighted threads.  However, don't let that or the width of the gray line in the diagram restrict you.  This is a great stitch when you add a light thread across the top.  Think Vineyard Silk on 13-mesh with an overlay of Kreinik Metallics Fine Braid #8.  

By alternating the squares and setting the corner stitches apart with a contrasting thread (color or finish), you begin to see whole new patterns that don't even look like squares, but are squares.

4X4 Square Corners.jpg

I call it the Corner Stitch because the eye is drawn to the unique corners.  You can take this one step further and add open space and more pronounced accents.

This version removes the single stitch corners, creating two open spaces.  One is shaped like a square and one is shaped like a triangle.   You can fill one or both with the same or contrasting stitches.  Personally, I like to fill only one as it creates a smoother design pattern, but it is a matter of personal taste and what the space requires.  Alternate filling stitches include Plain Needlepoint, Smyrna Cross, Beads, or French Knots (select list).  Mix and match to your heart's delight.

The next diagram splits the widest stitch in half.  This is a personal favorite as I like the subtle texture it adds.  It is a technique that works better with lighter colored threads, so the split stitch is more clearly visible.

The next diagram provides an open alternative.  It is an exact square but looks much softer than other square alternatives.

The above diagram is scalable as well and works especially well with even numbered squares, allowing the gray Upright Cross to be in the exact center of the stitch.

The last two diagrams are related.  I call them "Forgetful" Squares.  By "forgetting" to add the single stitch in each corner, a world of possibilities opens up.

When you start expanding the color palette, as you do in the larger version of Forgetful Squares, it can be downright clever and beautiful.  

The color inspiration for the pattern in the larger diagram is drawn from the stitched photo in the lower right hand corner of this collage on flickr.  I absolutely love the colors in the sample.  

I hope these diagrams prompt a lot of creative ideas for your next square stitch!

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

Enjoy!