Unpacking the final four threads and stitches from the 2018 Threadventure!
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Well, hello there lovely…

It’s great to see you again! I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it’s pretty doggone hot here in Alabama. In fact, it’s hard to believe that Saturday marks the first day of fall! Maybe today’s stitches and threads will put a nip in the air. Whaddya’ say we dive in and unpack the last four threads (and stitches!) from the 2018 Threadventure: Parisian stripe, double Parisian, snowflake darning pattern, and couching?

Oh – and if, perchance, you’re new to the Serendipity family and don’t know what I’m talking about, click here to get the low-down on the 2018 Threadventure.

First up is the Parisian Stripe stitch.

There are all kinds of uses for this fun little stitch. It’s a combination stitch – Parisian stitch paired with upright Gobelin – and it’ll fit in some pretty small spaces, so it’s a good choice for both small and large canvases. It’s easy to compensate, too. Just remember to establish your pattern first and work as many complete repeats as you can in the space you’re covering.

Parisian stripe is a particularly good option for snow, grass, fields, hedges, trees, beaches, water, fields, animal fur, and clothing. Thread choice definitely makes a difference in the way the stitch looks. Use two different blues – perhaps a beautiful over-dyed Bravo! and a sparkly Petite Frosty Rays – to stitch a water design component on your canvas.

Or how about green Fuzzy Stuff and Very Velvet for Christmas trees like those in that canvas down below?????

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Just let your imagination run wild! Use Winter and Petite Very Velvet to work the snowy areas on this lovely holiday design by Melissa ShirleyParisian stripe will also work as a background stitch, but I recommend using a single type of thread since it has a stripe effect when you use different colors or textures.

Remember to use thicker thread than the canvas calls for, or use a strand-able thread so you can create the thickness you want for the look you’re trying to achieve. Why? Because the canvas tends to show through a wee bit more on straight stitches than it does on slanted stitches.

Pay close attention to the numbers on the diagram when working the Parisian stripe. Start in the top left corner of the area you want to cover and work back and forth in horizontal rows. Work the Parisian portion of the stitch first, then come back and fill in with the upright Gobelin stitches.

Parisian Stripe is a terrific choice if you’re just trying your hand at using decorative stitches – or if you’ve been away from needlepoint for a while.


Parisian stripe is a terrific option for snow, water, grassy fields, animal fur, and more!


I’m using Winter and Petite Very Velvet to work this stitch.

Winter is a synthetic blend thread – 66% metallic polyester/34% polyester. It only comes in one color (white) and the iridescent twinkle really does look like snow! It’s available in both 10-yard and 40-yard cards.

You can use it to work the wintry areas on your canvases in basketweave on 18 mesh. Or you can use it for decorative stitches when you want light coverage so the artist’s beautiful shading will show through. It’s also a good option for cross stitch on 7 – 11 count fabric.

Use the stabbing method when using Winter and use it “as is” off the card. Your pieces should be no longer than 16″ – 18″ since it has a definite tendency to unravel. And you may want to treat the ends with Fray Check (or a Thread Zap) to help protect against fraying.

Click here to read more about Petite Very Velvet.

Use a sparkly thread to work the water design component on this canvas by Sharon G.
Moving right along, our second stitch is the Double Parisian stitch.

If the Double Parisian stitch looks familiar, that’s because it’s similar to the double Hungarian stitch. I absolutely L-O-V-E this stitch! It’s super fun – and easy – to work because once you establish the pattern your fingers will take flight and you’ll be done in no time.

Double Parisian is another terrific stitch for water, sky, grass, and other largish areas on a needlepoint canvas. And that includes backgrounds! It’s a medium size stitch, so you’ll need a fair amount of space to establish the pattern.

Again, thread choice plays a big role in the final look of this stitch. Use Bravo! to stitch grassy areas like those you see on the canvas above. ????And remember – since this is a straight stitch, you’ll need to use a strand-able thread if you want to achieve full coverage.

Begin on the left side of your canvas and work the Double Parisian stitch in horizontal rows following the numbers on the diagram below.


Double Parisian is super easy to execute and it makes a terrific background stitch for your needlepoint projects.


I’m using Treasure Chest to work the Double Parisian stitch.

Treasure Chest is a synthetic blend metallic thread – 67% polyester/33% metallic polyester. It comes in 10 variegated colors and each card holds 10 yards.

Rainbow Gallery suggests that you use 2 strands for 14 mesh needlepoint canvas and 1 strand for 18 mesh needlepoint canvas. It’s also suitable for cross stitch (7 – 11 count fabric).

Use it “as is” directly off the card and cut your pieces no longer than 16″ – 18″ since it has a tendency to unravel. (You’ll probably want to use Fray Check or a Thread Zap to treat the ends.)

Use the stabbing method (i.e., inserting the needle into the canvas from above, pulling it through, and then pushing it back up from the backside of the canvas) when working with Treasure Chest

Our next stitch, the Snowflake Darning Pattern, should brrr-ing about a shiver or two. ????

The snowflake darning pattern is super-easy to execute, but it does require that you pay close attention to your work. As long as you follow the diagram below, you’ll be golden!

It’s a large stitch pattern, so you’ll need a big space to establish it. That makes the snowflake darning pattern the perfect choice for a background, like on this cutie-pie Charley Harper canvas.

Use sparkly threads to work the snowflake darning pattern for the background of this cutie-pie Charley Harper design.

Start on the left side of your canvas and work your way (to the right) across the horizontal row. When you get to the end of the row, drop down a canvas thread and work your way back to the left. Continue stitching back and forth, left to right and right to left until you cover the desired area.

Since this stitch is a thread hog, you might want to consider cutting your pieces a little longer than usual. And remember to secure the ends of your threads in the margins of your canvas so your anchoring stitches don’t show.


The snowflake darning pattern is terrific for backgrounds on a wintry needlepoint canvas.

I’m using Treasure Braid Petite to work the Snowflake Darning Pattern.

Treasure Braid Petite is a synthetic blend thread – 65% rayon/35% metallic polyester. It comes in 100 glittering colors and each card has a generous 25 yards.

Rainbow Gallery suggests that it’s best for very fine work, or that you combine it with other threads for a touch of sparkle. It also works well for light coverage on 18 mesh needlepoint canvas and is terrific for cross stitch.

Use the stabbing method when using Treasure Braid Petite and use it “as is” off the card. You may want to treat the ends with Fray Check or a Thread Zap to help keep fraying at a minimum, since this thread has a wee bit of a tendency to unravel.

Our fourth -and final – stitch is actually a repeat performer…


You might remember, from our earlier conversation, that couching is a technique in which thread (or other material) is laid across the surface of the canvas and secured in place with small stitches of the same or a complementary thread.

It’s terrific for adding texture with threads and materials that can’t be easily stitched into the canvas.

Look, for example, at the “Sheep in Fall’s Clothing” canvas below…

Couching a highly textured thread onto the sheep’s body would add lots of depth and dimension to the design, don’t you think?
Whaddya’ say we take a look at the thread I’m using, so I can show you how couching can be done along straight or curved lines, as well as in a spiral shape?

Couching is a terrific way to use highly textured threads on your needlepoint projects without having to actually stitch them into your canvas.

I’m couching the Fluffy Fleece in a spiral shape to mimic a sheep’s real fleece.

Fluffy Fleece is a natural blend thread with a touch of synthetic– 65% superfine alpaca/32% wool/3% nylon. It comes in 3 natural colors and each card holds 3 yards. It’s a bouclé type thread, which means that it’s uneven and has loops at intervals along its length.

Fluffy Fleece is a terrific option for animal fur, fuzzy garments, and wild and curly hair and beards. Match your couching thread to the color of Fluffy Fleece you’re using, so your couching stitches disappear.

And here’s a little tip for you…

you might try dyeing the natural/white Fluffy Fleece to create your own custom colors for your needlepoint projects!

WOW! That brings us to the end of our 2018 Threadventure!

I’ve had soooo much fun sharing all of these threads and stitches with you. I’m already working on our next Threadventure and I can hardly wait to share it with you.

Our bon voyage party will be in January 2019, but I’ll give you some sneak peeks between now and then. 

In the meanwhile, I’ll see you again here same time next week, for more fun-filled stitch-y goodness!

But before I go, I’d love to know what’s been your most favorite part of our 2018 Threadventure. Please don’t be shy – remember, I love, Love, L-O-V-E hearing from you! ❤️

Ooooh – I just had an idea! My birthday is right around the corner and I’m feeling pretty festive, sooo… I think I’ll do a drawing! Sound good?

How about this? Share your favorite thing about the entire 2018 Threadventure in the comments box below and your name will be entered into a drawing for a Mighty Bright Hammerhead clip on light.   SQUEEEEE!!!

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Until next time, happy stitching…
XOXO!!! ❤️
Stitch with a smile!



PS: Enrollment opens in The Stitcher’s Club on September 28th! Want to learn more about it – and how membership can help you develop your needlepoint skills so you can become a more confident stitcher? Click here for details! 


  1. Angela Lepore

    September 20, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Hi Ellen,

    I’ve been trying to figure out what my favorite part of Threadventure has been. Believe it or not there isn’t just one part or one stitch, I truly loved it all! If I had to pick one part it would be the excitement of waiting each week to see what stitches and threads we would use. Thank you again you’re a wonderful teacher. ????????



    • Ellen Johnson

      September 20, 2018 at 8:14 am

      Hi Angela!
      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.???? I appreciate your kind words and am tickled that you enjoyed our “trip”. I can hardly wait for our next Threadventure in January! It’s been soooo much fun being your “tour guide”.

      Have you signed up for my free workshop that’s going on right now? It’s delivered via email.

      Here’s the link, in case you missed it:

      I’d love to have you join me for that, too. ????
      Have a happy Thursday!
      Ellen ????

  2. Judi

    September 20, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I, too, loved everything about your Treadventure. The best part was looking forward t to see what you’d creatively and beautifully come up with next! I’m thrilled to see you’ll be doing another one in January. I’m a big fan!

    • Ellen Johnson

      September 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Judi!
      Thank you for writing – and for your kind words! ❤️
      I’m delighted that you enjoyed our summer Threadventure and am tickled to hear that you’ll be joining me in January. It’s going to be oodles of fun! Have a happy Thursday!

  3. Susan L. Westfall

    September 20, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    I liked how you paired stitches with suggestions on where they would be most effective. Learning how to do a stitch is one thing, learning where best to use it is another thing!

    • Ellen Johnson

      September 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Susan!
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I’m so glad you enjoyed our summer “vacation”. ????
      Have a happy Thursday!

  4. Laraine Croall

    September 20, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Not sure what would be my most favorite as I have throughly enjoyed all of them. Have not done needlepoint in 40 years but am getting myself ready to dive into it again. Just going to be hard to decide what stitches to use. Threads I can do but I want my stitches to make the canvas “pop” that is what I have to work on.

    The workshops are they included with the membership or is it another price. Do not remember. Looking forward to the next thread adventure and the new threads and stitches. Have made a binder with the blog posts of all the stitches we have seen

    • Ellen Johnson

      September 21, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Hi Laraine!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the Threadventure.????
      I hope I’m understanding your question about the workshop price… the Needlepoint Success System workshops that I’m doing right now are free. They’re just a little taste of what I’ll be unveiling as the new and improved Stitcher’s Club in early October. Please reach out if you have other questions. I’m here for you!
      Have a happy Friday!
      Ellen ????

  5. Patricia A Redford

    September 21, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Initially, I was overwhelmed by all the different threads, some of which I hadn’t seen. But then to see how to use them in a needlepoint canvas… awesome!!! Thanks for the journey!

    • Ellen Johnson

      September 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Patricia!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I’m delighted that you enjoyed your “trip” with me and I hope you’ve discovered some new “favorite” threads for your projects. It was super fun for me, too – and I can hardly wait to dive into our next Threadventure!
      Have a happy Sunday!

  6. El Mathias

    October 19, 2018 at 12:23 am

    Hi Ellen. I just enjoyed the whole Adventure. I loved how you combined stitches, threads, locations, objects, etc. I have learned so much about how and where to use these threads to maximize the pieces that I stitch. Thank you for sharing your very vast knowledge with us. I look forward to the next Threadventure!

    • Ellen Johnson

      October 24, 2018 at 9:31 am

      Hi El!
      Thank you so much for your kind note. I’m tickled to hear that you enjoyed the Threadventure. 🙂 I have soooo much planned for us for the rest of this year and in 2019… it’s going to be awesome!!! Please be sure and share pictures of your projects with us inside the Facebook group. It’s always such fun to see all the pretty stitching!


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