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! 

 

 

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!

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.

 

 

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!