“I Must Have Flowers…”

by , on
May 14, 2019
The flower garden in front of Claude Monet's home in Giverny.

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…

The home of Claude Monet in Giverny, France.

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!

Here’s the Water Garden…

The water garden at Monet's home in Giverny.

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.

Below is one of Monsieur Monet’s paintings…

The Japanese footbridge in the water garden at Giverny.

Wouldn’t it be fun to stitch? My mind is reeling with the possibilities!

There are oodles of ways that flowers show up on needlepoint canvases.

From small splotches of color like those you see on “Lydia Lane” by Sandra Gilmore…

"Lydia Lane" by Sandra Gilmore/Once in a Blue Moon Designs features a lovely flower garden.

to large blocks of hue on Jean Smith’s design. 👇

This Jean Smith Designs needlepoint canvas features brightly colored flowers.

And everything in between – like this lovely piece called “Fleurs de Paris” by Once in a Blue Moon Designs…

"Fleurs de Paris", a needlepoint canvas by Once in a Blue Moon Designs, depicts a Parisian flower shop.

Here’s a decorative stitch that you might consider using for clusters of flowers…

The Paris stitch!

The Paris stitch is easy to execute. Just follow the diagram below and you’ll be golden!

The Paris stitch is a terrific option for clusters of flowers on your needlepoint canvases.

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.

Use tonal over-dyed threads to create especially striking flowers.

The subtle shifts of color in the thread will do all the shading for you. Some of my favorites from Threadworx include:

  • Wine Castle (10051)
  • Cherries (1005)
  • Grapes (10241)
  • Fine Wine (10382)
  • Coral Renaissance (10960)
  • Lemon Ice (1109)
  • Legacy (1128)

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!

XOXO!!! ❤️

Stitch with a smile!




PS: Check out my stitch suggestions for other “springtime” design components like grass, trees, and clouds. 😊


A Charming Needlepoint Stitch for Clouds

by , on
Apr 16, 2019
Beautiful blue sky with white wispy clouds.

Bluebird skies with wispy white clouds…

that’s what we’re gonna take a peek at this week. Well, actually, it’s the clouds that we’ll be shining the spotlight on here. I just love wispy white clouds, don’t you? Especially when they’re floating up there in a bright blue sky like the one you see in the picture below. 👇

Wispy white clouds against a bluebird sky in the springtime.


I first saw this week’s stitch in a book called Stitch Landscape by Little Shoppe Canvas Company. I use it all the time for clouds. It doesn’t have a name, but it’s very similar to the twill stitch when you turn it on its side, so I’m calling it the horizontal twill variation.

The horizontal twill variation is a terrific needlepoint stitch for the clouds on your painted canvases.


I think it’s particularly good for stitching clouds like those on this canvas by Melissa Shirley Designs…

The horizontal twill variation stitch is really simple. It’s a smallish size stitch but it requires a fair amount of space to establish the pattern repeat. (Remember, if you can’t fit three repeats of the pattern in an area, the stitch is too large.)

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.

For example, 5 – 6 strands of Splendor on 18 mesh canvas would work very well. Or you could use all three strands of Watercolours on 13 mesh. Always use a laying tool when using multiple strands of thread. Straight stitches like this one are much prettier when all of the strands of your thread lay smoothly on the surface of your canvas.

Use the diagram above as your roadmap for executing the horizontal twill variation.

Start at the bottom right edge of the area you wish to cover and work the first blue vertical row. Work each straight stitch over two canvas threads. When you get to the top of the area you’re covering, it’s time to work your way back down the pink row. This time, though, you’ll work the stitches over three canvas threads.

Oh – and did you notice that there’s a canvas thread between the vertical rows of stitches? That allows the artist’s beautiful shading to show through. And if you want even more of the painted canvas to be visible beneath your stitches, use a lighter weight thread than what you’d typically use on that size mesh canvas.

Now, whaddya say we take a peek at some threads…

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 clouds are…

  • Wisper
  • Splendor
  • Watercolours
  • DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss
  • Vineyard Silk
  • Threadworx Overdyed Floss
  • Bella Lusso + Wisper

If you’d like to watch me demonstrate the horizontal twill variation, 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.

What’s your favorite stitch for stitching the clouds on your needlepoint canvases?

I’d love to hear from you – and I’ll enter your name into the drawing for a fun prize if you share it with me in the comments box below.

Sound good? Terrific! I can’t wait to hear from you. (I’ll announce the winner on May 7th. 😉)

Until next time, happy stitching!

Stitch with a smile!




PS: I have a couple of spots left in my retreat that’s happening this July. Click here to learn more about it.

And if you have any questions, please reach out. I’ll be happy to hop on the phone and chat with you about it.

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!

Stitch with a smile!




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

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