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!

XOXO!!!❤️
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 Superb Stitch For Grass On Your Painted Canvases

by , on
Mar 12, 2019

Well hello there, lovely! It’s so nice to have you here with me today. 😊

Can you believe that next Wednesday is the first day of spring?

I’m so, sooo glad, too! I just love it when everything starts to bloom and grow. The trees in my yard are beginning to sprout tiny little leaves and that sparked an idea. Whaddya’ say we have some fun with stitches and threads for the season? You know – colorful flowers, bright green grass, and sparkling blue skies, just to name a few. 🌷

Azaleas are blooming at Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama.

And since the grass is starting to turn green here…

we’ll start with a stitch for grass on your painted canvases. The Bellingrath grass stitch is really simple, but it’s a medium size stitch so you’ll need plenty of space to establish the pattern. 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.

The Bellingrath Grass stitch is a terrific medium size needlepoint stitch for the grassy areas on your painted canvases.

For example, a single strand of Silk and Ivory on 18 mesh canvas would work quite well. Or you could use 6 – 8 strands of Splendor on 13 mesh. If you plan to use multiple strands of thread, be sure and use a laying tool. Straight stitches like this one are much prettier when all of the strands of your thread lay smoothly on the surface of your canvas.

The diagram above shows the order in which you should execute the steps of this superb stitch for grass.

Start at the top right edge of the area you wish to cover and work the first blue vertical row. Three short stitches pair with one long stitch to create the repeat for the row. When you get to the bottom of the area you’re covering, it’s time to work your way back up the pink row. This time, though, you’ll work three long stitches and one short stitch.

Notice how the short stitches share holes with long stitches so that every time you make a short stitch, it sits right next to a long stitch – and vice versa. Use that little visual clue to help you keep the pattern straight in your head – and once you get the first two rows in place, you can fly with the Bellingrath Grass stitch.

Now, back to the different threads you can use on this stitch for grass.

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 stitching grass are…

  • Splendor
  • Watercolours
  • Waterlilies
  • Rainbow Linen
  • DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss
  • Impressions
  • Planet Earth Silk
  • Pepper Pot Silk
  • Soie Cristale
  • Threadworx Overdyed Floss

If you’d like to watch me demonstrate the Bellingrath Grass stitch, 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.

And if you’d like to be able to choose the best stitches and threads for your projects, you might want to join me for the Needlepoint Success Challenge. I’ll share my step-by-step Needlepoint Success System with you and help you create your very own stitch guide for a painted canvas. Click here to join. (It’s FREE, so you don’t have anything to lose, right?! 😉)

Before you go, I’d like to ask you a question…

What’s your favorite stitch for stitching the grassy areas on your needlepoint canvases? I’d really like to know – and I’ll enter your name into the drawing for a fun prize (on March 31) if you share it with me in the comments box below. Sound good? Terrific! I can’t wait to hear from you.

Until next time, happy stitching!

XOXO!!!❤️
Stitch with a smile!

Winter Threadventure Week 7: Hygge in Copenhagen

by , on
Feb 20, 2019
A cup of tea + a cozy blanket = hygge!

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

Hop on board the Serendipity Express and join me for the last stop on our 2019 Winter Threadventure where we'll explore hygge and the Gobelin stitch.
Copenhagen, Denmark (And here we are… that sure was quick! 😉)

Colorful row houses in the Nyhavn district of Copenhagen, Denmark.

It’s reeaaalllly cold here but the Danish have a way to combat the winter doldrums…

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?

Terrific! Let’s light some candles…

The Gobelin stitch works well for creating realistic looking candle flames on 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!

Use the Gobelin stitch to stitch the flickering candles on Tapestry Fair's beautiful "Menorah" canvas.

The upright Gobelin stitch creates truly realistic candle flames.

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 terrific for stitching realistic looking candle flames on your needlepoint projects.

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.

I’m using Water n’ Ice to work the Gobelin stitch.

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.

My favorite Water n’ Ice colors for stitching flames are…

  • WT 3 – Flame Yellow
  • WT4 – Flame Orange
  • WT5 – Flame Red
  • WT6 – Flame Dark Red

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.

Use the upright Gobelin stitch to stitch the crackling fire in Sandra Gilmore's "Ready for Santa".

And now, here we are back at our beautiful Hotel d’Angleterre.

Let’s have a nice warm cup of tea by the fire…

The Hotel d'Angleterre is an exquisite 5-star hotel that has been serving guests for more than 260 years.

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. 😊

XOXO!!! ❤️

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.

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