Unpacking more canvas work embroidery stitches!
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Well, hello there!

I’m so happy to have you here with me today! Are you ready to dive into 4 more decorative canvas work stitches and threads from the Threadventure thread kit? Yippee! Me, too!!!

What’s that? You don’t have a Threadventure thread kit. Well, that’s okay. You’ll still get lots of terrific info to help you stitch with more confidence than ever!

Oh – and if you don’t know what the heck the Threadventure is, click here to learn more about it.

Ready to dive into those new threads and stitches?

Our first stitch is the Scotch checkerboard.

A really fun and easy to work stitch, the Scotch checkerboard – or Scotch checker – is a terrific option for adding texture to clothing, sky, fields, home interiors, and backgrounds.

Work the tent stitch portion in white, then use a different color for the Scotch portion to create a cute gingham effect that’s particularly effective on children’s clothing and cozy home decor, like that blue and white pillow on the canvas pictured below.

Scotch checker stitch would be a terrific option for stitching the gingham pillow on this canvas by Sandra Gilmore.

Or use the same color for both parts of the stitch to create monochromatic texture. Start on the right side of the area you’re covering and work the Scotch checkerboard stitch in horizontal rows. Follow the numbers on the diagram and you’ll be golden!


I’m using Ribbon Rays to work this stitch.

Ribbon Rays is a synthetic blend ribbon-type thread – 62% metallic polyester/38% nylon. It comes in 12 colors and each card holds 10 yards.

Rainbow Gallery suggests that it works best on 10 – 14 mesh needlepoint canvas, but it’s also suitable for long stitches on 12 – 18 mesh canvas.

Use the stabbing method when using Ribbon Rays and use it “as is” off the card. Your pieces should be no longer than 16″ – 18″ since it has a tendency to unravel. In fact, I recommend treating the ends with Fray Check (or a Thread Zap) to help keep fraying to a minimum.

Since Ribbon Rays is a ribbon-type thread, you’ll need to use a laying tool to ensure that your stitches lay smoothly on the canvas.

Moving right along, our second stitch is the Smyrna cross stitch.

The Smyrna cross stitch is one of my “go-to” stitches. When you work it as a single unit, it’s the perfect choice for stars and flowers – or for design components like those little upright crosses on the canvas in the picture below.

But when you use it in rows (as you see it on the diagram), it’s splendid for lacy garments and home decor accessories. The Smyrna cross stitch is very much like its “cousin”, the alternating Smyrna cross stitch


Use the Smyrna cross stitch to work the upright cross stitches on this canvas by Machelle Somerville.

Begin on the left side of the area that you want to cover and work each Smyrna cross stitch as a unit, following the numbers on the diagram below. Work in horizontal rows and use threads with a tight twist – like Perle cotton – or braids, like Sparkle! Braid. Fine, or light-weight, threads allow the individual elements of the stitch to show more prominently.


I’m using Sparkle! Braid to work the Smyrna cross stitch.

Sparkle! Braid is a 100% polyester fine metallic braid. It comes in 46 bright colors and each card holds 20 yards.

Rainbow Gallery suggests that it’s much easier to use than blending filament and they recommend that you use it with both cotton and silk. One strand of Sparkle! Braid is equivalent to two strands of blending filament which is why it’s easier to manage.

If you want to use it alone, instead of as a blending filament, you’ll need to use two strands on 18 mesh canvas. You may also use Sparkle! Braid on cross stitch (11 – 32 count fabric).

Sparkle! Braid is really too lightweight to use on canvas mesh smaller than 18 unless you want to use it to topstitch a few fine details on 13 – 16 mesh canvas. Keep in mind that metallic threads can be a little finicky when you use them for topstitching, though. Use them sparingly in that application.

Additionally, Sparkle! Braid makes fantabulous French knots and you can use it to make exquisite twisted cording for the edges of your ornaments.

Use Sparkle! Braid “as is” directly off the card and cut shorter pieces (16″) so the finish on the thread maintains its luster. Oh – and be sure that you use the stabbing method when working with Sparkle! Braid, too. 

Ready to try another fun stitch for your canvas?

If you’ve never tried working a lazy daisy stitch on your needlepoint canvas, you’re in for a treat!

Lazy daisies are one of my favorite surface embroidery stitches – and I L-O-V-E using them on my needlepoint projects, too! They’re super-easy to do, but they’re a little different in needlepoint, so make sure you carefully follow the diagram below.

The lazy daisy stitch is second to none for stitching flower petals, leaves/greenery, bows on packages, details on garments, and hair (especially curly hair!). Use different textures and colors of thread to add extra depth and dimension.

Look, for example, at the “Spring Harvest” canvas below…

Stitching with assorted shades of green – and even using contrasting textures – for the leaves would really make the flowers in the wheelbarrow pop!

Use lazy daisy stitches to work the greenery on this fun canvas by Sandra Gilmore.


This diagram shows the lazy daisy stitch worked in only one direction,

but you can stitch it whichever way best suits your needs. Change directions, layer stitches on top of each other, make them longer or shorter – whatever works best for your design.

I’m using Splendor Silk Ribbon to work the Lazy Daisy stitch.

Splendor Silk Ribbon is 100% hand dyed Japanese silk ribbon. It can be used for surface embroidery and painted canvas embellishment. It’s dyed to match Splendor, Elegance, Grandeur, and Subtlety.

Splendor Silk Ribbon comes in two different widths – 2mm and 4mm. There are 16 solid colors in the 2mm width and 24 solid colors in the 4mm width. Each card holds 5 yards. The 4mm width also comes in 22 multi-colors. There are 4 yards on each card of multi-color silk ribbon.

Both widths are suitable for 13 – 18 mesh canvas, but you’ll probably find that you use the 2mm width more on smaller mesh canvas.

Use it “as is” off the card. You may want to lightly iron it with a small craft iron to remove the creases. Your pieces should be no longer than 16″ and you’ll need to use a laying tool when working with either width of Splendor Silk Ribbon.

Our fourth – and final – stitch, herringbone, is a great option for…

backgrounds, water, trees, shrubbery, animals, birds, fish, buildings, sidewalks, fields, paths, clothing, and baskets.

In fact, the herringbone stitch would be terrific for the background of that Leigh Designs water sprite below.

Use the herringbone stitch to work the background of this whimsical canvas by Leigh Designs.

The herringbone stitch is simple to work – just follow the numbers on the stitch diagram. Work each horizontal row from left to right, tying your thread off at the end of the row. (In other words, you’re not working left to right, then right to left.)

I’m using Treasure Braid 4 to work the herringbone stitch.

Treasure Braid 4 is a synthetic blend metallic braid – 60% rayon/40% metallic polyester. It comes in 8 sparkly holiday colors and each card holds 12 yards.

Use Treasure Braid 4 “as is” directly off the card. Rainbow Gallery suggests that it’s best for 18 – 26 mesh needlepoint canvas and that you can also use it for cross-stitch (14 – 22 count).

Cut short pieces, no longer than 16″, to prevent damaging the finish on the thread. There’s no need to use a laying tool with Treasure Braid 4, but you may want to treat the ends for fraying by applying a dot of Fray Check (or using a Thread Zap).

Next time…

I’ll share our last 4 threads (and stitches) for this year’s Threadventure. And then, I have another super-fun surprise up my sleeve for you!

I’m tickled to have you here with me every week. Thank you for showing up. It means the world to me!

So – I’ll see you again here, same time.

(That’s the first thing every Thursday morning, in case you’re new to the Serendipity family.)

Oh – and before you go, tell me which one of these stitches or threads you’re going to try first this week. You can share it in the comments box below. Don’t be shy… I love, Love, LOVE hearing from you and I read every single one of your notes! ❤️

When you leave your thoughts down below in the comments box, I’ll enter your name into a drawing for a free one-month membership in The Stitcher’s Club. Not sure what The Stitcher’s Club is? Click here to find out more.
Enrollment opens soon!

Until next time, happy stitching!
Stitch with a smile!



PS: I’ll share pictures of my stitched samples over on the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page, inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group and on Instagram, so be sure and follow me there.

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  1. Linda Breman

    September 13, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Hi I’m Linda – The Hippie Stitcher. Your diagrams and explanations are spot on. Love your recipes as well. Thank you for sharing

    • Ellen Johnson

      September 13, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Linda!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write. ????And thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them more than you’ll ever know!
      Happy stitching!
      Ellen ❤️


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