Are you ready for this week’s destination on the Threadventure? Terrific! Hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and we’ll take our magical virtual vacation tour bus to our next stop, beautiful New Orleans! Wondering what we’ll be exploring? I’ll give you a hint…we’ll hit the ground running in the Garden District where we’ll explore some of the exquisite homes. Each one is a like a jewel box chock full of architectural delights.
Over inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group, I asked you to guess what we’ll be exploring in New Orleans.
If you guessed architectural details, then CONGRATULATIONS! You’re ever so clever. 😉
It can be a wee bit overwhelming when choosing stitches and threads for architectural details like porch railings, garden walls, wrought iron fences, patios, and rooftops, but I have lots of suggestions for you.
Originally, there were only a couple of houses per block, with each house surrounded by a large garden (hence the name Garden District), but in the late 1800s, some of those large lots were subdivided.
That’s when late Victorian era homes began popping up and today, you’ll see a unique pattern with any given block having a couple of mansions dating from the early 1800s surrounded by “gingerbread”- decorated abodes. And so, the “Garden District” is known more for its architectural treasures than for its gardens.
Not only is it a really good stitch to use for exterior walls, it’s also pretty terrific for window moldings and frames, door frames, and decorative accents like those you see over the windows and around the overhangs on that house in the picture above.☝️
Mosaic stitch is one of the simplest of all the decorative stitches to execute. And that makes it perfect for stitchers of all skill levels. Another reason it’s in my “go-to” repertoire is that it’s a small stitch, so it’ll fit just about anywhere on your needlepoint canvas.
Rainbow Persian is a relatively new thread for Rainbow Gallery – and it’s a “winner, winner, chicken dinner” in my book. It’s a single strand Persian wool that you can use on 10 – 18 mesh needlepoint canvas. Use a single strand on 18 mesh, 2 strands on 13 mesh, and 3 strands on 10 mesh. Use it “as is” directly off the card.
There are 75 amazing colors of Rainbow Persian and each card has a generous 20 yards. Because there are so many beautiful colors – and because the entire palette is so luscious – you could easily work an entire canvas in this thread. Since it’s 100% wool (and quite durable), it’s a particularly good choice for any project that will “live” in a place that gets a lot of use – like a pillow on the family room sofa.
Elongated Cashmere stitch is another great choice for exterior walls – and it’s incredibly versatile, too. It works equally well for window molding and frames, doors, door frames and door panels, columns, and shutters.
And, when you flip it on its side, it’s perfect for steps and wood or brick siding. It’s another simple stitch that’s easy to execute. Just follow the numbering system on the diagram below and you’ll be golden!
Capri is a “repeat performer”, making its first appearance on the beach at Seaside. I like its matte finish for working architectural details on houses, like columns, shutters, and door panels.
Gee, that was quick! 😉
The French Quarter is famous for its wrought iron balconies and walled courtyards, but it’s a splendid amalgamation of historic French, Spanish, Creole, and American architecture.
Let’s take a look at some charming stitch choices for courtyards and patios…
This stitch requires a good bit of space to establish a pattern, so it’s best to use it on medium to large size areas on your needlepoint canvases. It’s a combination stitch, which means that (multiple) stitches merge to create a brand new stitch. The two stitches are Gobelin (which you see in pink) and tent (which you see in blue). Pretty nifty, huh?
Both Overture and Rainbow Linen are reappearing this week – and both debuted on our trip to Seaside. You can read all about them here.
like the one in the picture below.
Short and long diagonal stitches combine to create Woven Trellis Variation. It’s an eye-catching pattern that adds texture – and it creates just the right amount of visual interest to keep the viewer of your work intrigued. Woven Trellis Variation is another medium size stitch, so use it for medium to large size design components on your needlepoint canvases.
Grandeur is a tightly twisted 100% spun silk thread. It’s approximately the same weight as DMC pearl cotton #5. There are 83 gleaming colors of Grandeur and each card has 10 yards. The colors of Grandeur match the colors of Splendor, Elegance, and Subtlety which means you have a nice assortment of silk threads from which to choose when you begin selecting threads for your needlepoint projects.
Did you catch that I said Grandeur is spun silk? Wanna’ know why I made the distinction? Okey dokey…I’ll tell you. 🙂
First, there’s filament silk thread. Filament silk is very glossy – and very strong. It’s made from the longest and highest quality fibers of the silkworm cocoon. Since it naturally occurs as long continuous strands, it doesn’t have to be spun. In fact, multiple strands of filament silk can be plied together to create varying sizes of thread. Because it’s of such high quality, it’s more expensive than spun silk.
Then, there’s spun silk thread. Spun silk thread also has a beautiful luster or sheen, but it’s made from broken cocoons and leftover bits and pieces that are spun into thread in much the same way as cotton and wool. Spun silk isn’t as strong as filament silk and it’s slightly softer than cotton thread, so it’s more prone to fuzzing. Use shorter lengths when working with spun silk to maintain the sheen. (Remember, the more passes a thread makes through the canvas, the more wear there is on its surface – and that may ultimately result in damage to the thread.)
And here’s a helpful hint: spun silk is the perfect introduction to using silk thread if you’ve never tried it.
Wrought iron balconies, like the one in the picture below, are a classic architectural detail that you frequently see on buildings and houses in the French Quarter. I think this one is particularly pretty, don’t you?
And it’s a stylish stitch for wrought iron balconies like those on so many New Orleans homes. It’s really fun to work and it’s best to work it in three steps, as depicted through the use of three colors in the diagram below.
Be sure and follow the numbers on the diagram for proper stitch placement.
Splendor is Rainbow Gallery’s staple divisible 100% silk embroidery thread. You can read more about it here since this is not its first appearance on our Threadventure.
Subtlety, the itty bitty baby sister of both Elegance and Grandeur, is another tightly twisted silk pearl thread. It’s also 100% spun silk and is about the same size as DMC pearl cotton size 12. There are 15 colors of Subtlety and each card has a generous 30 yards.
Subtlety is particularly useful for working fine details or for extremely light coverage when you want the artist’s beautiful painting to show through your stitching.
It works best on 18 – 22 mesh needlepoint canvas since it’s such a fine thread. Use it “as is” directly off the card and cut shorter lengths (16″) for the best results.
What’s lagniappe? You can click that link (👈) to read more, but, in a nutshell, it’s “a little something extra” – a “treat” – and I just couldn’t resist, since gifting lagniappe is such a charming New Orleans custom.
So, here ya’ go… lagniappe for the rooftops (and a few other architectural details like fancy brickwork and fences) on the houses on your needlepoint canvases.
Rainbow Tweed is another thread that’s making an encore performance. It’s a 4-ply divisible cotton thread that debuted on our visit to Seaside. Click here to learn more about Rainbow Tweed.
It’s been so much fun to share stitches for beautiful architectural details with you!
Before you go, be sure and tell me what you think we’ll be exploring at The Grand Canyon. (Please don’t be shy…I really do ❤️ hearing from you and I read every single comment. Pinky promise!!!)
Leave your thoughts down below in the comments box and I’ll enter your name into a drawing for a FREE 6 month membership in The Stitcher’s Club, too. Not sure what The Stitcher’s Club is? Click here to find out more. 🙂
Until next time, happy stitching!
Would you like to be able to pick up any needlepoint canvas
and run with it?
You know - choose your own stitches and threads and have your project turn out just like you imagined...
Well, I can help! I'll write to you each week with my latest tutorials, tips, and tools to help you develop your needlework skills + I'll send you my
FREE Quick Start Needlepoint Guide.
Just enter your best email address below now and I'll see you on the other side.
©2018. Serendipity Needleworks. All rights reserved.