Claude Monet once said, “I must have flowers, always, and always.”
Visiting his home and his gardens is something I’ll never forget – and I’ll even go so far as to say that it’s one of the highlights of my life. 🥰
It still seems surreal that I was actually there two weeks ago…
Admittedly, I’m smitten with the whole place and I’d love to try my hand at re-creating a small section of his garden in my back yard. The arrangement of the plants is a sight to behold – the likes of which I’ve never seen anywhere else. It’ll take a while for me to plan it all out, so whaddya say we take a peek at this month’s blog theme in the meanwhile?
Can you guess what it is?
Why, flowers, of course! (It is May, after all.😉)
Before we dive into the stitch I’m gonna share with you today, I thought it might be fun to share a few pictures from Giverny. Sound good? Terrific!
See that bright pink spot of color on the left side of the picture? It’s an azalea! That familiar sight – along with the wisteria – made me feel right at home.
The pond isn’t as large as you might imagine – and there are two Japanese bridges. If you’d like to take a virtual stroll around the water garden, click here.
Wouldn’t it be fun to stitch? My mind is reeling with the possibilities!
From small splotches of color like those you see on “Lydia Lane” by Sandra Gilmore…
to large blocks of hue on Jean Smith’s design. 👇
And everything in between – like this lovely piece called “Fleurs de Paris” by Once in a Blue Moon Designs…
Here’s a decorative stitch that you might consider using for clusters of flowers…
The Paris stitch is easy to execute. Just follow the diagram below and you’ll be golden!
Begin at the top left edge of the area that you want to cover and work to the right. Then, stitch back across the canvas from right to left. The blue row on the stitch diagram represents row number one and the pink row represents row number two. Repeat those two rows until you’ve covered the desired area.
The subtle shifts of color in the thread will do all the shading for you. Some of my favorites from Threadworx include:
Week’s Dye Works also has some luscious tonal cotton embroidery threads that would be lovely choices.
What’s your “go-to” thread for stitching flowers? Tell me in the comments box below. I’d love to hear from you and I read every single one of your notes.
Well, it’s time to whip up something for dinner, so I’ll close for now. Have a lovely day and I’ll see you here again next week!
Hello there! Can you believe that we’re already to the end of our Winter Threadventure? I know – neither can I! The ultimate in coziness awaits you at our final destination, so hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and let’s take our magical virtual vacation train to the last stop on our 2019 Winter Threadventure…
Copenhagen, Denmark (And here we are… that sure was quick! 😉)
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) means creating a warm, cozy atmosphere and enjoying good things with good people. It’s a way of life in Denmark. That’s why we’re exploring the essence of “hygge” here in Copenhagen. You see, the Danes are the happiest people in the world, according to the World Happiness Report, and I’ll bet we can uncover some of their secrets while we’re visiting.
So, what exactly is hygge? It could be the cheerful glow of candlelight, snuggling under a squishy blanket by the fire, or wearing a soft fuzzy sweater while enjoying a steaming cup of gløgg.
Ready to try your hand at adding a wee bit of hygge to your needlepoint projects?
Candles provide natural light and natural light makes us feel better than an electric light. The Danes call candles “levende lys” which means living light. And that makes perfect sense, don’t you think? The flickering flame of a candle really does look like it’s alive!
So, how can you stitch the candles on your needlepoint canvases, like this one from Tapestry Fair, so they look real? Great question!
It’s super easy to execute – and it’s also easy to compensate. It’s one of those stitches that you can always count on and it’s a terrific choice for beginning stitchers or if you’re new to using decorative stitches on your canvases.
The upright Gobelin stitch is truly a workhorse stitch that you’ll find yourself using over and over again. In fact, it almost always works when nothing else will. 😉
Execute this stitch from top to bottom – back and forth in horizontal rows – in an area, following the numbers on the stitch diagram above.
Upright Gobelin is a straight stitch, so be sure and use a thick enough thread if you’re trying to achieve full coverage on your canvas. You can work it over 2 – 6 canvas threads, but I prefer working it over 2, 3, or 4 threads. It’s a smallish stitch so it’ll fit in just about any space.
Water n’ Ice is a loosely braided translucent ribbon-type thread. It is 100% nylon and is available in 18 colors. Each card holds 10 yards. I recommend using it for long stitches on 13 – 18 mesh canvas.
While Water n’ Ice can be a little finicky to work with, it’s well worth the effort – especially on painted canvases where you want the color to show through. It has a tendency to fray, so use Fray Check or a Thread Zap to treat the ends and use short pieces (no longer than 15″).
You have two options when using Water n’ Ice to stitch a candle flame. You can work the Gobelin stitch in the clear color (WT12) and allow the paint to show through. Or you can use different colors of Water n’ Ice to add more depth of hue.
Use the stabbing method to stitch – come straight up through the canvas and take your needle to the back straight down through the canvas – being careful not to drag your thread along the surface or pull it at an angle. And be sure to use a laying tool.
To get the best effect with this thread, it should lay flat against the canvas on both the front and the back. It takes a little practice to get the hang of laying ribbon-type threads flat on the backside of your work without having to flip your canvas over with every single stitch you take. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get it right away. Just keep at it and your persistence will pay off. Trust me. 😉
I’m using one strand of Water n’ Ice (WT12) in a #22 tapestry needle to work my stitch sample on a piece of 13 mesh needlepoint canvas.
Oh – and you can also use this stitch/thread combo to stitch blazing fires on your needlepoint projects – like the one you see in this canvas by Sandra Gilmore.
And now, here we are back at our beautiful Hotel d’Angleterre.
Let’s have a nice warm cup of tea by the fire…
I’ve had oodles of fun on our trek through Scandinavia and I hope you have, too! Thank you ever so much for joining me and I’ll see you again back here next week for more needlepoint fun. 😊
PS: If you’re new to the Serendipity Needleworks family – or just discovered my blog, click here for more info on what a Threadventure actually is. And click here to read about the other destinations on our 2019 Winter Threadventure through Scandinavia.
Well hello there, lovely! The snowflakes are swirling round and round and it’s great to be back with you this week as we continue our trek through the Nordic countries. We’re gonna have oodles of F-U-N at our next stop, so hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and let’s take our magical virtual vacation train to a place I’m sure you’ve heard of…
(Gee, that was quick.) 😉
Lillehammer is in the heart of Norway and it overlooks the northern part of Lake Mjøsa and the Lågen River – both of which are frozen right now. Snowy mountains surround this picturesque city that’s home to fewer than 30,000 people.
Wondering what we’re gonna explore here in Lillehammer? I thought you might be.
That picture below is your first clue. 👇
Yep – this week’s destination is all about snow, too! Our Scandinavian friends are surrounded by snow in the wintertime, so I thought we’d take a deeper dive into that pristine white fluffy stuff. (Click here if you didn’t see last week’s destination – it’s a “winner, winner chicken dinner”, too!)
Whaddya’ say we take a look at a terrific stitch for…
Did you know that the shape of a snowflake largely depends upon the temperature and humidity at which it forms? As the flake moves through different zones in the atmosphere, well – that’s when the complex structure develops.
Snowflakes usually have six arms (or dendrites, as scientists call them) and that’s because ice has a hexagonal crystalline structure.
As a snowflake falls through the atmosphere, each arm grows independently from each of the corners of the hexagon, while either side of each arm grows independently. And snowflakes usually aren’t completely symmetrical, so you can rest easy if your needlepoint snowflakes aren’t perfect either. 😉
It’s super easy to execute – work the stitches just like you see in the diagram below and you’ll be golden!
One thing you’ll notice is that there are no even numbers on this stitch diagram. That’s because each stitch “ends” in the center hole. Counting by odd numbers, beginning at 1 and ending at 31, will ensure that you don’t miss any stitches. 😊
Now, back to the daisy stitch…
It’s terrific for individual snowflakes that you might find on holiday canvases like “Candy Cane Snowman” by Pepperberry Designs. In fact, I’d stitch all of those little white dots with the daisy stitch.
The daisy stitch is quite small and that means you can use it on just about any size canvas. It’s a really good choice for beginning stitchers – or if you’ve been away from needlepoint for a while. And it’s just so darn fun to make that I’ll bet you find yourself using it for all sorts of other design components, too. (Tee hee!)
Nordic Gold is a 52% metallic polyester/48% nylon chain construction thread. It’s stronger than blending filament and is one of the more pleasant metallic threads to work with. And speaking of blending filament, Nordic Gold is a very fine weight thread that is equivalent to 2 – 3 strands of blending filament.
It’s available in 10 colors and each card holds a generous 25 yards. Rainbow Gallery suggests that it’s good for needlepoint up to 24 mesh canvas, which means that it’s a super versatile thread to have you in your stash. 😉
I recommend using Nordic Gold “as is” off the card. It’s not as prone to unraveling as some of the other metallic threads we’re using, but you’ll still probably want to treat the ends for fraying. Oh – and use pieces no longer than 18″.
You could also use Petite Silk Lamé Braid for the daisy stitch.
I’m using one strand of Nordic Gold (ND17) in a #22 tapestry needle to work my stitch sample on a piece of 18 mesh needlepoint canvas. If you want to practice the Daisy stitch with Petite Silk Lamé Braid (SP02) on a piece of 18 mesh canvas, thread one strand in your needle.
It’s been so much fun sharing this fun stitch/thread combo with you.
I’m ready for some stitching time by the fire. How about you? Let’s check into our cozy little cabin for the night and brew ourselves a nice warm cuppa. 😊
PS: There are oodles of needlepoint canvases that feature snow and it can be hard to narrow down which stitches will look best. You can rest assured that all of the snowy stitches from weeks 5 and 6 will work on a variety of projects, but you might want to be able to choose your own stitch/thread combinations. Inside The Stitcher’s Club, I help you learn how to do just that! Enrollment will be opening soon, so if you’d like to learn more about it just click here.
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