The Serendipity Needleworks Threadventure - a virtual vacation for stitchers!
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Hello there, lovely!

I’m soooo happy to see you. Are you ready for the Threadventure? Great! Hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and we’ll take our magical virtual vacation tour bus to beautiful Seaside, Florida where there’s plenty of sun, sand, and surf…


Hop on board the Serendipity Express for Threadventure 2018!

And here we are! (Gee, that was quick.)

Sun, surf, and sand at Seaside, Florida - stop number one on the Serendipity Needleworks Threadventure.


Have you ever been to Seaside? It’s a charming resort town nestled on the Emerald Coast of Florida. (One look at that gorgeous water and you can see why they call it the Emerald Coast!)

Over inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group, I asked you to guess what we’ll be exploring in Seaside.

If you guessed sandy beaches and sand dunes, then CONGRATULATIONS! You’re ever so clever. 😉

Sand and sandy beaches (and sand dunes!) can pose quite a challenge when it comes to choosing the best stitches and threads for your needlepoint projects.

Whaddaya say we dive in and take a look at some terrific stitches for sand?

Threadventure 2018: stitches for sand, beaches, and sand dunes.

Sandy beaches and sand dunes have a variety of textures. Sometimes, sand is smooth – like at the water’s edge. Sometimes it’s wavy and windswept as if nobody’s been on the beach in a hundred years. And then, there are those times when it looks all lumpy and bumpy – like millions of people have been on the beach all at the same time!

Let’s start by taking a look at smooth sand…

Our first stitch, Encroached Slanted Gobelin, is a terrific choice for smooth sandy areas. 

It’s super easy to execute – and it’s also easy peasy to compensate; a great jumping-off place. It’s one of those stitches that you can always count on and it’s a terrific choice for beginning stitchers (or if you’ve been away from needlepoint for a while).

Encroached Slanted Gobelin stitch is great for stitching sand and sandy areas on your needlepoint projects.


Encroached Slanted Gobelin is a slightly directional stitch, depending upon which way you slant your stitches and it suggests a wee bit of movement.

I’m using Rainbow Tweed to work this stitch.

Rainbow Tweed is a four-ply divisible thread; a blend of cotton (44%), wool (39%), and acrylic (17%). It absorbs dye rather unevenly and that contributes to its heathery look, adding subtle depth to your stitches.

Rainbow Tweed has 59 lovely colors and each card has a generous 10 yards. I recommend using 2 plies of Rainbow Tweed on 18 mesh and all four plies (or “as-is”, directly off the card) on 13/14 mesh.

Moving right along, our second stitch is Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin.

Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin is also slightly directional – and it’s easy to execute just like its cousin, Encroached Slanted Gobelin. Since it’s a small stitch, it doesn’t require a large area to establish your pattern, either. Reverse the slant of your stitches to mimic movement in the opposite direction.


Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin stitch is great for stitching sand and sandy areas on your needlepoint projects.

I’m using Overture to work the Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin stitch.

Overture is also a four-ply divisible thread, but it’s 100% Pima cotton. Each of the four plies is about the same size as Perle Cotton #5.

Overture has 41 exquisite over-dyed colors and each card has a generous 10 yards. I recommend using 1 ply of Overture on 18 mesh and 2 plies on 13/14 mesh.

I also recommend stranding Overture so that it lays smoothly on your canvas.

What is stranding?

Terrific question! Stranding means to separate the plies of a divisible thread, and then put them back together again.

And when you’re working with an over-dyed thread, like Overture, match up the ends in the same order that you separated them so that the colors line up appropriately.

Here’s another tip for you, too – and it applies to all over-dyed threads…

When you prepare to stitch with each subsequent length of thread that you cut, thread your needle on the opposite end of the cut you just made so the color runs remain in sequence. Be careful to avoid leaving long tails when starting or ending a thread, too, since that also affects the color repeat.

Next, let’s take a look at sand dunes and windswept sand…


Sand dunes stand guard at the gateway to the beach.


Sand dunes are hills or ridges of sand that lie behind the part of the beach affected by tides. Dune grasses, like the sea oats in the picture above, anchor the dunes with their roots, holding them temporarily in place.

Whenever I think of windswept sand, my mind conjures up images of deserted beaches like the one in the picture below.

Nobuko stitch is perfect for creating windswept ripples of sand on your needlepoint projects.

Our third stitch – and one that is super effective for stitching both sand dunes and windswept sand – is Nobuko stitch.

You may reverse the slant of the stitches to alter the direction of implied movement with Nobuko stitch, just like you can with Encroached Slanted Gobelin and Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin.


Nobuko stitch is great for stitching sand and sandy areas on your needlepoint projects.

I’m using two threads
 to work the Nobuko stitch: Capri and Glisten.

Capri is one of Rainbow Gallery’s newer threads and it’s available in two sizes: Capri 13 for 13 mesh canvas and Capri 18 for 18 mesh canvas. I’m using Capri 18 for the long stitches in the Nobuko stitch pattern. 

Capri 13 and 18 are 100% polyester matte finish threads and are available in 46 colors. Capri 13 has 15 yards per card, while Capri 18 has 20 yards per card. I recommend using it “as-is”, directly off the card. There’s no need to use a laying tool, but you do need to apply Fray Check to the ends (or use a Thread Zap) since it’s prone to unraveling. 

Glisten, another new thread by Rainbow Gallery, is one of my absolute favorites! I’m using it for the short stitches in the Nobuko stitch pattern – to add just a hint of sparkle.

Glisten is a synthetic blend thread – 65% Merino wool/35% polyester metallic. It’s available in 60 gorgeous colors and each card holds 12 yards. You can use Glisten “as is”, too, but you need to treat the ends for fraying – just like Capri – before you begin stitching.

Finally, let’s look at that lumpy bumpy sand – where lots of happy feet scamper along the beach.

Our fourth stitch, Woven Plait, is a superb choice for highly textured sand…

like that in the picture below. The alternating direction of the stitches implies just the right amount of movement, too.


Lots of happy feet have been on this beach.

Woven Plait is easy to execute – and it’s relatively simple to compensate. Just be sure and work as many full repeats of the pattern as possible first.

Woven Plait stitch is great for stitching sand and sandy areas on your needlepoint projects.

I’m using
Rainbow Linen to work the Woven Plait stitch.

Rainbow Linen is a 16/2 weight 100% linen thread. What does “16/2” mean? Great question! The “16” refers to the weight of the thread and the “2” tells you how many plies the thread has. 

Rainbow Linen has 40 earthy colors and each card has a generous 20 yards. Use shorter lengths (approximately 15″) to prevent dulling the thread. You may use multiple strands of Rainbow Linen threaded in your needle to adjust for the amount of coverage you wish to achieve. (Note: I recommend using this thread on 18 mesh canvas.) 

Our fifth (and final) Seaside stitch is T-Stitch. 

It’s another terrific option for lumpy bumpy sand and, since it’s a “small” stitch, it’ll fit just about anywhere. T-Stitch is simple to work and compensate – and it’s another one of my favorite “go-to” stitches.


T-Stitch is great for stitching sand and sandy areas on your needlepoint projects.


There are actually a couple of thread options for this versatile stitch.

Use either Capri 18 or Glisten to work T-Stitch for light coverage on a painted canvas, allowing the artist’s beautiful shading to show through. (Use Capri for a matte finish and use Glisten if you want a little bit of sparkle.)

Or, use both threads for full coverage. How? Work the diagrammed stitch in Capri 18, and then go back and fill in the gaps with Glisten.

And that, my friend, brings us to the end of our stay in lovely Seaside.

It’s been so much fun sharing “sand-y” stitches with you.

Threadventure 2018 - on to our next destination!

Now, let’s hop on board the Serendipity Express and hit the road to our next Threadventure destination…

beautiful Asheville, North Carolina!

Before you go, be sure and tell me what you think we’ll be exploring in Asheville. (Don’t be shy…I  ❤️ hearing from you and I read every single comment!)

When you leave your thoughts down below in the comments box, your name will be entered 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!
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. 😉


  1. Elizabeth

    June 7, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Thank you! Very helpful! Love Seaside!

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Thank you for your note, Elizabeth. 🙂 I’m so glad you found our stop in Seaside helpful. Have a happy day!
      Ellen 🙂

  2. Linda Merrill

    June 7, 2018 at 7:35 am

    I am going to Asheville this month! I am going for a view of the mountains and of course, the Biltmore Estate. It has been about 15 years since I was in Asheville and I remember it was beautiful. Looking forward to the adventure.

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Hi Linda! What a lucky lady you are! 🙂 Asheville is such a lovely place – and Biltmore…oh my! It’s absolutely incredible. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and I hope you have a wonderful trip. 🙂

  3. Amy F

    June 7, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Thank you for these stitch pattern ideas!

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

      My pleasure, Amy. 🙂

  4. Kendal

    June 7, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Hi Ellen,
    I think we will be exploring hills & mountains in Asheville. Looking forward to it.

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Hi Kendal! Thank you for your note. I’m looking forward to it, too…and thanks for taking the time to share your prediction. 😉

  5. Christa

    June 7, 2018 at 11:08 am

    I was already excited about Thread venture & now I’m positively ecstatic. As a self-taught stitched, this is exactly the type of information I was missing. Due to health considerations trips to actual brick & mortar stores and/or retreats are not really an option for me. Threadventure summer rocks! Thanks you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Hi Christa! Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂 You just made my day!!!
      Ellen ❤️

  6. Patricia Redford

    June 7, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Ellen… I was wondering if you could list the color on the threads you are using in the samples. I did not get the thread kit and need to purchase the threads from my LNS. Thanks!!

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Patricia! Thank you for your note. I’ll be happy to add that info. One thing to note, though, is that the Threadventure kits include random colors that weren’t chosen for the stitches I’ve paired them with. (I hope that makes sense!) Rainbow Gallery assembled the kits for me and I didn’t have input into the colors they included. The colors I use for my stitched samples likely won’t be the colors I’d choose for a real project. Please reach out if you need further clarification. I’ll be happy to help.
      All my best,
      Ellen 🙂

      • Patricia Redford

        June 7, 2018 at 9:28 pm

        Thanks Ellen… I though the colors to chosen for the project. In that case, I’ll check my stash!!

        • Ellen Johnson

          June 8, 2018 at 10:11 am

          Okey dokey, Patricia. 🙂

  7. Ellie

    June 7, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Love these stitches .This is going to be a lot of fun ! I agree with Linda, I think the next will be mountains .I can see that I am going to be a much smarter stitcher when we are done. Thanks for sharing so much of your needlepoint knowledge with us !

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Thank you for your note – and your kind words, Ellie! 🙂 I’m so glad you’re having fun with the Threadventure. And thank you for sharing your “guess” with everyone. 😉

  8. Christa Kendrick

    June 7, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Asheville, NC
    My two possible guesses-
    1) The breath-taking fall foliage
    2) Christmas at the Biltmore

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Great “guesses”, Christa! Thank you for weighing in. 😉

  9. Malia Hassmann

    June 7, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Thank you for such a beautiful gesture of this Needlepoint service. Threadventure is wonderful to have at my fingertips. I live on an Island and have a difficult time getting to classes on the Mainland (even though my BFF and I frequent a new Needlepoint store or 2 every year). Thank you for the inspiration!!

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Malia!
      Thank you for taking the time to write – and for your kind words. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the Threadventure…that makes me smile. 🙂
      Have a wonderful day and please reach out if you have any questions along the way.

  10. El Mathias

    June 7, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Asheville, NC is in the Blue Ridge Mountains. So I would guess stitches to use for mountains, hills, grasses and wildflowers.

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 7, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      Hi El!
      Thank you for sharing your ideas. 🙂 Great guesses! 😉
      Have a happy weekend…

  11. Anne Ballard

    June 8, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I’ve enjoyed our first stop! I lived in Florida for several years – Tallahassee, St. Petersburg, and Pensacola. Never heard of the “Emerald Coast” or Seaside. LOL – never think you know all that much! Great selection of stitches for our start. Now to find some time to stitch!

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 9, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Hi Anne!
      Thank you for your note- and for your kind words about my stitch choices to kick things off. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed our first destination. ???? And I can’t wait to start seeing #threadventure2018 pictures popping up. 🙂 Be sure and keep an eye out for the next issue of NeedleNotes – coming on Tuesday – for a recipe that’s sure to free up some time for you to stitch. 😉
      Have a great day and happy stitching!

  12. patmarie nedelka

    June 11, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you for the tips for stitches, threads and suggested uses – I’m really enjoying moving beyond basketweave – but am still hesitant to try more than one stitch per canvas (ok, so I have several canvases in process!) I can see the nobuko stitch being a favorite and the t-stitch was fun to use! Looking forward to the next stop on your trip!

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 11, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      Hi Patmarie!
      Thank you for taking the time to write. 🙂
      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Threadventure! Just take your time and move along at your own pace. With your positive attitude, I have no doubt that you’ll be more confident in no time. 😉
      And you’re not alone in having more than one canvas going…(I’m right there with you – tee hee!)
      T-stitch is one of my absolute all-time favorite stitches. It’s soooo versatile and it’ll fit in small spaces very easily, making it one of my “go-to” stitches for Christmas ornaments and other small round designs.
      See you in Asheville!
      Ellen 🙂

  13. Carolyn Johnson

    June 19, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Hi, this may not be the place to ask this but I would like some information on your Threadvemture kit.I can’t find it

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Carolyn!
      Thank you for your note. I’ll send you an email that includes details about the thread kit. 🙂
      And no worries about asking here…I’m happy to help.
      Have a happy Tuesday!


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