A Terrific Needlepoint Stitch For Trees…

by , on
Apr 9, 2019

Spring has sprung in Alabama…

The trees are sporting bright green leaves, the azaleas are in full bloom, and the birds are singing, so let’s have some more fun with springtime stitches and threads! Whaddya say we take a peek at a stitch that you can use for the trees on your needlepoint canvases, like this one by Maggie and Company. 👇

Lavender Fields needlepoint canvas by Cathy Horvach-Buchanan for Maggie & Co.

There are oodles of canvas embroidery stitches you can use for trees on your needlepoint projects…

but the woven plait stitch is one of my all-time faves because it allows the artist’s beautiful shading show through – especially when you use a lightweight thread.

The woven plait stitch is super simple, so it’s a terrific option if you’re new to using decorative stitches on your needlepoint canvases. It’s a smallish stitch, so it’ll fit just about anywhere and it’s particularly effective when you use a multi-color thread.

And speaking of multi-color thread, I ❤️Watercolors by The Caron Collection, Threadworx Overdyed Floss, and Weeks Dye Works Perle Cotton for stitching the tops of trees. (There are also some deep rich browns for stitching tree trunks in those thread lines.😉)

A single strand of Watercolours on 13 mesh canvas would work quite well. Or you could use 2 strands of Threadworx Overdyed Floss on 18 mesh. (Remember to use a laying tool if you stitch with multiple strands of thread.)

The diagram below is your road map for working the woven plait stitch…

Woven plait stitch is a terrific option for stitching tree tops on your needlepoint canvases.

 

Start at the top right edge of the area you wish to cover and work the first blue horizontal row.

All of the stitches in the woven plait stitch pattern are true diagonal stitches. That means they cover the same number of vertical canvas threads as horizontal canvas threads.

When working the woven plait stitch pattern, each individual stitch lays over two canvas intersections.

What the heck does that mean? Great question… let’s take a closer look at the stitch diagram.

Woven plait stitch is a true diagonal stitch.

First, your needle should come to the front of the canvas at number one on the stitch diagram.

Then count over to the left two canvas threads (those little white grid lines) and up two canvas threads to get to number two on the stitch diagram. See how the stitch straddles two canvas intersections?  Whenever your vertical and horizontal thread count is across the same number of canvas threads (e.g., over 3 and up 3, over 4 and down 4, etc.), you have a true diagonal stitch.

When you get to the end of the first row, turn around and work your way back across the pink (second) row. Notice how the stitches on the second row are offset from the stitches on the first row? That’s what gives the woven plait stitch pattern its texture.

Now, let’s take a peek at some more threads you can use for the woven plait stitch.

You already know that a multi-color thread works very well to add extra depth and dimension to your canvas. And if you want to use a solid color thread, there are oodles and oodles from which to choose.

Some of my favorite solid color threads for stitching trees are…

  • Splendor
  • DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss
  • Impressions
  • Planet Earth 6-Ply Silk
  • Soie Cristale
  • DMC Perle Cotton

If you’d like to watch me demonstrate the woven plait stitch, be sure and tune in to this week’s episode of Serendipi-TV on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. CDT. I’ll be broadcasting live from the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page.

And if you can’t join me live, you can always watch on the Serendipity Needleworks YouTube Channel. (Be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you get the latest updates when new videos are added.)

Well, my friend, that’s all for now…

Until next time, happy stitching!

XOXO!!!❤️
Stitch with a smile!

 

 

 

PS: Click here for more stitches and threads you can use for trees on your painted needlepoint canvases.

A Superb Stitch For Grass On Your Painted Canvases

by , on
Mar 12, 2019

Well hello there, lovely! It’s so nice to have you here with me today. 😊

Can you believe that next Wednesday is the first day of spring?

I’m so, sooo glad, too! I just love it when everything starts to bloom and grow. The trees in my yard are beginning to sprout tiny little leaves and that sparked an idea. Whaddya’ say we have some fun with stitches and threads for the season? You know – colorful flowers, bright green grass, and sparkling blue skies, just to name a few. 🌷

Azaleas are blooming at Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama.

And since the grass is starting to turn green here…

we’ll start with a stitch for grass on your painted canvases. The Bellingrath grass stitch is really simple, but it’s a medium size stitch so you’ll need plenty of space to establish the pattern. It’s also a straight stitch, so you’ll need to use thicker thread (or more strands) than you normally would use if you want full coverage.

The Bellingrath Grass stitch is a terrific medium size needlepoint stitch for the grassy areas on your painted canvases.

For example, a single strand of Silk and Ivory on 18 mesh canvas would work quite well. Or you could use 6 – 8 strands of Splendor on 13 mesh. If you plan to use multiple strands of thread, be sure and use a laying tool. Straight stitches like this one are much prettier when all of the strands of your thread lay smoothly on the surface of your canvas.

The diagram above shows the order in which you should execute the steps of this superb stitch for grass.

Start at the top right edge of the area you wish to cover and work the first blue vertical row. Three short stitches pair with one long stitch to create the repeat for the row. When you get to the bottom of the area you’re covering, it’s time to work your way back up the pink row. This time, though, you’ll work three long stitches and one short stitch.

Notice how the short stitches share holes with long stitches so that every time you make a short stitch, it sits right next to a long stitch – and vice versa. Use that little visual clue to help you keep the pattern straight in your head – and once you get the first two rows in place, you can fly with the Bellingrath Grass stitch.

Now, back to the different threads you can use on this stitch for grass.

You already know that you need to use thicker thread (or more strands of thread) if you want to achieve full coverage on your canvas. And if you want to let some of the artist’s shading peek through your stitches, you can use just about any type of thread you want.

Some of my favorite threads for stitching grass are…

  • Splendor
  • Watercolours
  • Waterlilies
  • Rainbow Linen
  • DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss
  • Impressions
  • Planet Earth Silk
  • Pepper Pot Silk
  • Soie Cristale
  • Threadworx Overdyed Floss

If you’d like to watch me demonstrate the Bellingrath Grass stitch, be sure and tune in to this week’s episode of Serendipi-TV on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CDT. I’ll be broadcasting live from the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page.

And if you’d like to be able to choose the best stitches and threads for your projects, you might want to join me for the Needlepoint Success Challenge. I’ll share my step-by-step Needlepoint Success System with you and help you create your very own stitch guide for a painted canvas. Click here to join. (It’s FREE, so you don’t have anything to lose, right?! 😉)

Before you go, I’d like to ask you a question…

What’s your favorite stitch for stitching the grassy areas on your needlepoint canvases? I’d really like to know – and I’ll enter your name into the drawing for a fun prize (on March 31) if you share it with me in the comments box below. Sound good? Terrific! I can’t wait to hear from you.

Until next time, happy stitching!

XOXO!!!❤️
Stitch with a smile!

Five Easy Steps For Finding More Time To Needlepoint

by , on
Mar 5, 2019
Finding time to stitch can sometimes be a challenge.

Do you struggle with finding enough time to stitch? And even more – do you wonder where all your time goes? If you’re tired of never having enough time to work on your needlepoint projects, you’re gonna L-O-V-E this blog post! Ready to dive in?

Alrighty – let’s get started…

You know you can’t quit your job. (At least, not yet.😉) And you can’t ignore family commitments and responsibilities. If you want to find time to work on your needlepoint projects, it’s up to you to make that happen.

So, how do you do it?

"Time to Stitch" by Cheryl Schaeffer Designs

Here are five simple – and proven – steps you can take…

1. Decide you really want to spend an hour of your time (or whatever suits you) on your needlepoint project every day.

Everybody knows that the first step to financial success is committing to a budget. And that budget is often influenced by your goals. Maybe you want to pay off your mortgage within five years. Or maybe you just want that new canvas you saw at your local needlework shop.

Now, whaddya say we transfer that analogy to your needlepoint hobby – what are your goals? Do you want to finish some of your UFOs? Stitch a stocking for your new grandchild? Learn 10 new decorative stitches you can use on your canvases?

Write these down, and put them somewhere you can see them every single day. And get ready for “Resistance” to rear its head. You know – it comes in the form of those excuses that sneak up on you. And life – well, it sometimes gets in the way, too.

But if you’re excited about spending time with your favorite hobby, that’s the first step.

2. Be realistic.

That may sound like a “no-brainer”, but it’s the #1 thing that can stop you in your tracks. Let’s put that into perspective with another money metaphor…

You wouldn’t set a $100 budget for eating out if you only had $25 in extra cash each week. Likewise, you need to be realistic about the time you can commit to stitching. If you’re juggling a busy schedule, a fifteen-minute stitching session every day may be all you can find time for right now.

Pencil your stitching session in on your calendar or put a reminder on your smartphone because, as the saying goes, “if it ain’t written, it ain’t real”. If you don’t put it on your calendar, you won’t do it. Trust me on this one…

3. Add these time-saving tricks to your toolbox.

If you’re really good at budgeting your money, you probably know lots of little tricks. You wait for terrific deals, clip coupons, keep an eye out for discount codes, etc.  And there are little tricks you can use when it comes to budgeting your time, too.

If you take a really close look at your schedule, you may find that you have extra time in your day that you can use for stitching. Of course, that may mean cutting back on the time you spend browsing Facebook and Instagram.😉

I’ll bet you were expecting that advice, weren’t you?

But hey – here are some more time-saving tips you can try…

  • Make a weekly menu – and include lots of slow cooker recipes. Let your Crock Pot do the work, leaving you more time to stitch.
  • Take advantage of your lunch hour. If your employer allows it, consider brown bagging from home and stitch during your lunch break. If you prefer to get out of the office, take your needlepoint to a coffee shop or some other public space. (And in the warm weather months, head to the park.😊)
  • Set the alarm clock for earlier. Getting up just one hour earlier can give you that extra time you’ve been craving. Curl up in your favorite stitching chair with a warm cuppa before everybody else starts their day – and stitch to your heart’s content (or until your hour is up).
  • Take advantage of commuting (or waiting room) time. It’s amazing how many stitches you can make in a short period – even as little as 15 minutes!
  • Join a local stitching group (or the Serendipity Needleworks Stitcher’s Club!). Having stitch-y friends to share your successes with (and to learn from or bounce ideas off of) is incredibly motivating.

4. Adjust as needed.

Budgets ebb and flow — unplanned bills show up and “can’t-miss” opportunities arise. The best financial advice is to be flexible and review your budget frequently. And sometimes the time you’ve budgeted doesn’t go as planned. I know – life can get reeaaalllly busy. But don’t beat yourself up if you need to re-schedule a stitching session or two.

Keep a positive attitude – and fit in however much time you can! Just get back on track as soon as possible.

5. Take care of yourself.

One of the best financial tips out there is to pay yourself first. And just what does that mean? When it comes to your finances, it means setting aside money for your future self before anything else. (Think emergency funds, retirement accounts, etc.)

So, how does that apply to your needlepoint hobby? Well, you can use the same strategy to plan how you want to spend your free time.

Wanna finish some of those UFOs? Completing projects that have been lingering for far too long not only cleans out your stash drawer, it clears your head – and it just makes you feel a whole lot better in general.

Wanna become a more confident stitcher? It takes practice to develop your needlepoint skills and when you get those extra hours of stitching in every week, your confidence is sure to soar.

Or maybe you just wanna relax. I’ve stitched oodles of projects entirely in basketweave because I thoroughly enjoy the rhythmic motion of tent stitch.

It brings me joy – and who can ever have enough of that?! So the question is… do you want to invest in yourself?

When you think of it that way, making time for stitching seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it.

"You Have As Many Hours In A Day As Beyonce" by Tricia Heaton Designs

Now that you have some guidelines to help you find more time to stitch, I’m curious. Which one(s) are you gonna try first? Tell me in the comments box below. You know I ❤️hearing from you and I read every single note.

This Thursday, we’ll chat some more about time-saving tips in the new weekly Serendipi-TV broadcast from the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page. I hope you’ll join me at 1:00 p.m. Central!

Until next time, happy stitching!

XOXO!!! ❤️
Stitch with a smile!

 

 

 

PS: Have you signed up for the Needlepoint Success Challenge? Click here to learn more about it.

 

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