At Least I Admit I Stole It

A stitching friend walked in with this stitch on a Charley Harper toucan and I gasped.  I love, love, love this 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.

I love the slender columns.  I love the mix of matte and metallics.  It's perfect for so many tall, or wide, spaces.

Add the oblique crosses (gray lines on diagram over two rows and up four) first.  Tie them down with the vertical stitch over the center (aqua lines).  Finally, add the bead over two rows on the vertical in between the oblique crosses.  And voila!  Tall magic!

With a similar combination of matte and metallic threads, this stitch would make a great Santa bag (on the horizontal).  I'm playing with the idea of using it as paneling on the side of a house.  It's really quite spectacular. 

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

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

Surprisingly Small

Truth be told, I don't consider today's stitch a true small space stitch*.  However, as I was examining my needlepoint pieces for #smallspacesunday inspiration, I found this stitch in a small space on one of my (ahem, many) fruit pillows.  And, much to my surprise, I haven't covered this exact stitch yet (variations of, yes...this stitch, no).  So, win win!

I give you Upright Tied Crosses in its purest form.

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 is a raspberry from a retired Melissa Shirley fruit pillow.  It used DMC Perle Cotton with Frosty Rays as the X on top.  The use of two threads was a perfect way to make this stitch pop in a small space.

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

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

* I acknowledge this is not what I consider a pattern stitch.  I consider #smallspacesunday a theme unto itself.  :)

Never Too Early

It's never too early to work on holiday projects, especially since we in the needlepoint world have done an excellent job of creating and sustaining the need for ornaments for every season.  I would argue we created seasons for ornaments.  (I'm looking at you St. Patrick's Day.)

The next two weeks will focus on cute stitches on a holiday project from a stitching friend of mine.  Today's stitch is a variation of what I consider a classic, the Tied Upright Cross.  By leaving a row in between the crosses on all sides, you have an opportunity for a cute accent.

The diagram includes two possibilities, a bead over two rows on the vertical or a small upright cross.  The stitched sample illustrates the bead in all the intersections.  You can use one or both accents.  It's completely up to you.

Speaking of the stitched sample, it uses Planet Earth Silk, Kreinik Metallics, and Sundance Beads.  

The thread combinations are kinda countless as it completely depends on how sparkly (or not) you want it to be.  A matte variation could include Very Velvet (gray lines) tied down with Rainbow Linen (black lines) with a matte Delica bead as the accent.  I think that would make an adorable whimsical basket.

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, Zecca Designs, and Patience Brewster.  35 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

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

Pot-Pourri

Today's stitch is a hybrid of all good things...a tied stitch, a Scotch stitch, and a Hungarian stitch.  

I love this stitch largely because it challenges even my own pre-conceived notions about stitches.  I'm a traditionalist at heart, yet here I am using a stitch combining three distinct stitch types (Hungarian, Scotch, and Crosses) and loving every second of it.  Last month, we cobbled together small stitches to create a large, open pattern.  Here we are combining stitches to create a full coverage stitch.  My point is to not be afraid to combine and add stitches.   The end result is often spectacular.

This is certainly not a stitch for anything and everything.  It would make a great coat or dress, basket or bag, eye catching section of a sampler or, as the stitched sample illustrates, a flower pot.  This is a stitch that commands attention and you want to use it in an area where you want to draw attention to.

For the stitched sample, I combined complementary colors and finishes to create a bold statement for the pot, including Fyre Werks, Impressions, and Planet Earth Silk Floss.

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, Zecca Designs, and Patience Brewster.  32 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

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

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Our last open stitch for the month is from a single subject canvas.  I mention this because the space this stitch covered was huge.  It is so huge, in fact, today's diagram is a smaller scale than the actual stitch.

The piece is a retired Melissa Shirley canvas with a single apple.  (As a side note, this is the canvas that started me down my path of fruit canvas obsession.)  Truth in advertising dictates I share Wendy Harwood of Aristeia helped me craft this stitch for the apple.

It was the perfect stitch to show off the shading.

Honestly, I recommend adding the dark gray lines first.  Tie them down (dark aqua lines) at the intersection.  Add the light aqua lines last.  

You will see the stitched sample is on an even larger scale.  The diagram illustrates the center element (light aqua lines) as over 2-2-2-6-6-6-2-2-2 rows.  The center element on the stitched sample is over 4-4-4-8-8-8-4-4-4 rows with the diamond grid moved accordingly.  It still grazes the far right and far left stitches at the same points, regardless of the size of the center element.  

The gray lines are DMC Pearl #5.  Both aqua lines (light and dark) are Kreinik Metallics Tapestry Braid (#12).  

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, Zecca Designs, and Patience Brewster.  31 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

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

Pretty as a Peach

Today's stitch is a denser variation of the Elongated X's I shared with you last September.   

Just as the original post, this stitch is up six rows and over two.  Tying down the X's with three horizontal stitches over two rows is a way to brighten it up for the peach that inspired this post.

As you can see, thread weights play a huge role in the openness of this denser stitch.  I used size 8 DMC Pearl Cotton and size 8 Kreinik Metallics, resulting in an almost full coverage stitch looking barely there.  And, for certain artists, this is the way to stitch.  There is some beautiful shading out there.  There are times I feel guilty covering it up.  

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, Zecca Designs, and Patience Brewster.  31 guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

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

Skipping Rows

About a month ago, I talked about skipping rows.  Today's stitch is another riff on that theme and builds on this month's (unintentional) tramme theme.

So, a funny thing happened on the way to these diagrams.  I planned for one diagram this week.  I charted the diagram below from (I now know) an incorrect memory as it is not a perfect match to the stitched sample.  Technically, it's still correct because it's just one of the many ways you can play with this stitch. So, voila!, you have three diagrams.

The first version of this "skipping a row" stitch includes Tramme.  

Layered column sequence: 1. Gray lines 2. Yellow lines 3. Aqua lines

Layered column sequence: 1. Gray lines 2. Yellow lines 3. Aqua lines

Pay attention to the empty rows in between the vertical black lines and the oblique yellow lines.  It adds a crisp edge to the columns on either side.

The next version of this stitch eliminates the Tramme effect (by removing the gray lines), yet fills in that area with a small vertical stitch.  It's a subtle difference but makes the stitch a little less pronounced (by removing the thread underneath the crosses).

The graph above matches the stitched sample on Instagram.

As a reminder, I use multiple colors for clarity in the graphs.  As you can see in the stitched sample, I used Elegance for the black and yellow lines and Kreinik Metallics Fine Braid (#8) for the accent stitches (the turquoise lines) on 13-mesh. 

The last diagram leaves the Extended Crosses with the horizontal accent stitches as standalone stitches, with no tramme nor vertical accents in between.  I must admit I like the simplicity of this stitch.

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 and Zecca Designs.  28 guides are currently available, including the newest Tea by the Sea, and more are in the pipeline.

I hope you have the perfect spot for any one of these stitches!  Enjoy!

Nothing Like a Fur Coat in August

I'm sure all of our beloved four-legged friends would love to not have fur coats right about now, so let's honor them by talking about stitches that are perfect for animals!  The month of August is dedicated to stitches for animals.  

Before I share today's stitch, I have a confession.  While I agree there are no true rules for needlepoint, I admit I have a very strong opinion about stitches for anything with a face.  I truly believe Plain Needlepoint is the way to go with all faces, whether they are human or animal.  I can and do fun body stitches, but I believe the face needs to represent the animal's (or person's) face, with all the shading that conveys its personality and expression.

The best examples are Vicky Sawyer's animals.  She has back stories for all of her paintings and she is very particular about what personality or emotion her animals are expressing.  You can see exasperation, joy, shyness, and many other emotions in the animals' faces.  Take a look next time before you begin stitching.  It may make you reconsider how you approach their faces.

Okay, with that aside, let's get to the good stuff. Today's stitch offers two versions of a tied Gobelin stitch.   These stitches are great for chests, wings, or legs, especially when you want to add a directional element.

The first is a narrow version.

And the second is a wider version. 

For animals, my instinct is to use two matte threads with similar color values.  A few plies of Lorikeet (a gently overdyed stranded wool) with a solid colored single ply thread would make a great combination.  For certain areas, such as bird wings, the yellow line could be a lightweight metallic.  This is where Kreinik stands out, as they offer (at least) four different weights.  The Kreinik metallics also add a small textures and the thread retains its "round" shape.  

This stitch also makes great greenery.  The stitched sample on Instagram is a bush from a soon to be released Melissa Shirley piece.

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 seasonal Melissa Shirley designs.  27 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! 

 

  

 

 

Cross My Heart...Again!

Today's stitch is Tied Oblong Crosses.  As I diagrammed this stitch, I quickly realized I could have added an indefinite number of variations, so please consider these nothing more than thought starters!

Scalability and versatility define this stitch.  The three possibilities illustrated below include oblong crosses five rows high and two rows wide.  You can make it as small as three rows high and literally as tall as he space.  

The chart on the left includes three base patterns that differ based on their accent stitches (the gray lines).  You can center the accents on the vertical, horizontal, or both.  To make the vertical accent work, the underlying cross (the aqua lines) needs to be at least two rows wide (as illustrated).  The diagram on the right illustrates how a base pattern is put together to create the overall look.   

Generally speaking, I prefer a matte thread for the crosses and a metallic thread for the accent stitches.  If you use the bottom pattern with two accent threads, be sure to use threads with enough color contrast between them to distinguish the look.

The stitched sample on Instagram is from a roof on piece I'm currently stitching.  It would make a great border stitch, especially on clothing.  There is so much you can do with this...let your imagination go wild!

On a separate but related subject, I would love to receive feedback on whimsicalstitch.com.  Please visit this link to fill out a short survey.  Thank you!

This stitch diagram, 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!