Sweet Small Sky

Today's stitch comes from a piece Laura Taylor is working on with a student.  And it's absolutely charming.  It's almost nothing but it's also almost perfect.

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 diagram includes two versions of the stitch and illustrates the stitch's scalability.  The diagram on the left includes stitches over three rows and one row.  The other version includes stitches over four and two rows.  The stitched sample on the right reflects the first diagram (over three and one row).  It's sweet and simple and I love it.

The stitched sample is from a sky.  It would make wonderful water with two different blue metallics, or even two metallics of different sizes.  It would also serve well as a sky or mountain stitch.  The key is to use a lightweight thread.  For example, consider using Elegance on 13-mesh or Petite Silk Lame on 18-mesh. .  

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

I hope you have the perfect spot for this stitch!  Enjoy!  (And, thank you again, Laura, for letting me "steal" this from you!)

It's a Brick...House!

Today's #smallspacesunday features the Brick Stitch.  It is, quite possibly, the easiest stitch ever.  It can be done on the vertical or horizontal. 

Brick Stitch.jpg

It is also scalable.  The only caveat is to go over an even number of rows (to keep the bricks centered on each other).  The above example is over two rows; it is over four rows in the example below.  I wouldn't necessarily consider an over-4 brick stitch a small stitch, but wanted to demonstrate the adaptability of the stitch.

Brick Stitch Over 4.jpg

You can also skip rows if you would like to show the shading on the canvas or to make the stitching a little less dense.

Brick Stitch Skip.jpg

The last example is the trifecta!  It doubles up on the bricks, skips rows, and adds a small accent.

Brick Stitch Trifecta.jpg

As for use, this is a great stitch for bushes (especially in the background), ground cover, small area clothing, small area backgrounds, buildings.  

I am a big fan of plied cotton and silks.  I like using 4-ply on 18-mesh and 6-ply on 13-mesh for this stitch, along with my trusted laying tool.  There is something about the softness of the plies that make the final finish soft and gentle.  It also works well with stranded silks, such as Vineyard Silk or Pepper Pot Silk. 

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

Be creative and enjoy!

You Will Be(ad) the Death of Me

Beading.  I love it yet I hate it.

There are certain canvases I gravitate towards and my first thought is, "Oh!  That (whatever element on the canvas) will be so very perfect with beads.  As painted.  I don't care how big the space is.  It will be perfect with beads.  I must have beads."

And then I buy ten tubes of beads for the shading, of course, and curse at myself the entire way home.

Somehow, I know how to power through with beads.  I have two tricks that help me do so.  Not everyone agrees with my tricks.  But, I've been doing it this way for close to 20 years and it works.

The first is transparent thread.  Transparent thread eliminates the need for multiple needles (with different color threads) or the time-consuming chore of changing threads on the needle. I can shade to my heart's delight.  

I used to find transparent thread at the local drug store in the now rapidly disappearing sewing section.  I've seen transparent thread  at local needlepoint shops, but find it is very expensive.  I now buy it at my local fabric store.

The second trick is to align the individual rows of beads by returning the needle through the entire row after it is complete.  

Traditional Beading.jpg

This is a tried and true method for me to bead.

Don't get me wrong.  There are occasions when I buy colored beading thread.  I use it to reinforce a color in an area, especially if it is a small space or brick beading.  More often than not, if I am adding a single bead to an already open space area, I will use colored beading thread.

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

I hope this post helps you reconnect with beading.  Thank you for stopping by! 

 

 

Reverse #smallspacesunday

This week's #smallspacesunday post shares the Reverse Basketweave stitch.  

Reverse Basketweave.jpg

What I love about this stitch is it adds texture and some dimension to a small space, all the while keeping it very neat and clean.  Consider it for a small basket, hat, gloves, ground cover, bushes (in the background), lamp base, side table, small fruits or vegetables...you get the idea. 

Like other small space stitches, this stitch works well with overdyed threads as it merges the various hues of the thread well and doesn't overpower a piece.  

It is a great stitch to use if you want the shading to show through.  To accomplish that, use a very light thread weight based on the canvas mesh you are using.  For example, use Elegance on a 13-mesh canvas or Kreinik Metallics Very Fine Braid (#4) on 18-mesh.  

As an example, I use this stitch frequently for window glass, especially with a Kreinik Metallic. I use Kreinik Metallics color 032 (Pearl) in a Very Fine Braid (#4) on 18-mesh and Fine Braid (#8) on 13-mesh.  It provides the shiny look of glass all the while allowing the colors of the window as painted to show through.  

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

I hope you enjoy the Reverse Basketweave stitch.  Let us know where you use it so we can learn together!

Thank you for stopping by!

How Do I Love Thee

Let me count the ways.

Beetle Stitch, you are fantastic.  You are a wildly versatile stitch in both use and pattern.  Let's start with the base pattern.

Bubble Stitch.jpg

A simple pattern to follow...over 2-2-2-4-6-6-6-4 and repeat.  The diagram shows the horizontal version, resulting in columns.  The two's always match the sixes and the fours always match the fours in subsequent columns.  You don't have to skip a row between columns, or you can skip multiple rows.

It's a great dressed down stitch, but it dresses up really well when you skip multiple rows.

Bubble Alt.jpg

In this example, I combine threads to get a more elegant effect.  The gray lines are a matte thread and the aqua lines are a soft sheen metallic such as Kreinik Metallics #8 (or #12) braid or Rainbow Galleries Flair or Fyre Werks.  I like to use those metallics, regardless of canvas mesh size, as they lay well on the canvas and don't overpower the space.  You can use the same color family for a more subtle elegance or complementary colors to make the area stand out a little more.

The last scenario uses multiple hues.  This is a perfect strategy for those canvases without a painted background.  Melissa Shirley's Mary Lake-Thompson line of fruit bowls, teacups,  baskets, and fruit canvases are great examples of those canvases.  Use three complementary colors for the canvas and create a subtle but impactful background to the piece, tying the colors of the piece together.

Bubble Tres.jpg

The Beetle Stitch is great for a large background, sky, water, large space clothing (such as Santa's coat), bag, or floor covering, to name just a few.  This stitch is great as a full cover stitch but also a wonderful light option.  For example, the use of a lighter weight metallic (versus the canvas size) highlights the shading of the painting on the canvas.

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 Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, 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.  Eight guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline. 

Enjoy!

The Cushion Stitch

#smallspacesunday found a new (to her) small space stitch.

I found this truly unique small space stitch while looking for a stitch to do a cushion.  It was a beautifully shaded cushion, and I was leaning towards stitching it as painted in plain needlepoint...until I found this stitch.

I named it the cushion stitch, as that was its inspiration.  However, it can serve many purposes.  It would make excellent tree bark, roof, ground covering, bush, coat or jacket.

For my cushion, I used three different threads of the same color family.  For the aqua lines, I used a pliable wool.  I used Neon Rays for the dark gray line and Frosty Rays for the light gray line.  I think it would be great fun to use this on a coat in three different colors as diagrammed.

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

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

I hope you enjoy this latest find as much as I do!  

There is Always an Exception

You may notice I am a big fan of symmetrical stitches.  There are not very many overtly diagonal stitches in my day to day repertoire.  There are always exceptions.

I rediscovered this stitch as I was admiring the array of completed needlepoint just back from the finisher at my local needlepoint store the other day.  It's called Diagonal Mosaic*.

It's a great way to fill a larger space, works well in either direction (whether I like that or not), and an excellent way to add contrast with fibers, either in complementary or contrasting colors.

My favorite combo for this is Pepper Pot silk and a soft sheen metallic such as Rainbow Galleries Fyre Werks.  It's a great stitch for a roof as it lends itself to the angle of the roof (if the canvas is painted that way).  I also use it on coats (in alternating directions), bags, baskets, and trees.

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 Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, 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.  Eight guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

Enjoy!

* One of the many names I found for this stitch.  As this is not unusual, you will find I describe a stitch in a widely known name (if it exists) or create my own name for it.

 

 

Small Space Sunday

I always smile when stitch books and blogs preach there are no rules in needlepoint.  Technically, they are correct.  I appreciated the guideposts provided by teachers and other resources over the years, especially as I relearned the craft in the 1990's as decorative stitches and fiber choices exploded.    

One of those guiding principles is plain needlepoint belongs in every piece.  It brings balance, helps define the focal area, enhances shading, and is a nod to tradition.  I always use plain needlepoint for human faces, hands, eyes, most animal faces, and most lettering.  If there is a beautifully shaded leaf in my project, I often use plain needlepoint to enhance that leaf, despite the fact there are fantastic leaf stitches out there.  Often, plain needlepoint is the first solution stitchers consider for small spaces.

The good news is plain needlepoint is not the only answer for small spaces as there are interesting small space stitches available.  Combine them with today's array of fibers and you have a wide palette to choose from for your smallest spaces.

I am thrilled to introduce #smallspacesunday where I will share my go-to small space stitches as well as new small space discoveries.  I can't promise it will be every Sunday.  But I promise they will be good.

My first #smallspacesunday stitch is Encroaching Gobelin.  This extremely simple stitch is virtually identical to plain needlepoint but you as you go across one row but up two rows.  

Compensation is also very easy as you don't compensate when you reach the top or bottom.  It is also one of the few stitches I don't cringe when doing in the opposite direction, especially on birds, as the alternating direction adds to the dimension this stitch provides.  (Personally, I am a stickler for needlepoint going from lower left corner to upper right corner in an intersection...but that's just me.)

In smaller spaces, this stitch is fantastic for Santa bags, birds, grass, clothing (such as sleeves or shoes), leaves, tree bark, hats.  The possibilities are endless.  Unlike other small space stitches, Encroaching Gobelin works well in larger areas such as grass, ground cover, and/or animal bodies (especially birds, dogs, and cats).  It helps balance a piece, aids in defining the focal point, and adds to the diversity of stitches in an understated way.  Generally speaking, I don't recommend using this stitch on a focal point as the stitch is too subtle.

This stitch is uniquely suited to overdyed threads, especially on grass and ground cover as the various hues work well together to give the space dimension while not overpowering it with a complicated decorative stitch.  Shading is enhanced with Encroaching Gobelin as the subsequent rows are embedded in rows above,  which translates to a subtle transition between colors.  

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

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

I hope you enjoy the first #smallspacesunday.  Thank you for stopping by! 




whimsicalstitch is here!

Welcome to the whimsicalstitch.com blog!

My hope is my blog will be a "go to" place for you to find needlepoint inspiration, a new stitch, a different way of looking at a canvas, or a reminder that plain needlepoint is the only perfect stitch for some spaces.

My style has been described as crisp, clean, and classic.  Melissa Shirley Designs are the inspiration for my style.  Melissa is my stitch muse.  If you are as crazy for Melissa's designs as I am and/or you want ideas for a crisp, clean, and classic style, I hope I can help with my guides and my blog.

My plan is to post 1-2 times per week.  #whimsicalwednesday posts will be my favorite stitch of the week.  I will also share fun stories and silly observations as we embark on this journey together.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you come again soon!