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!

Five Easy Steps For Finding More Time To Needlepoint

by , on
Mar 5, 2019
Finding time to stitch can sometimes be a challenge.

Do you struggle with finding enough time to stitch? And even more – do you wonder where all your time goes? If you’re tired of never having enough time to work on your needlepoint projects, you’re gonna L-O-V-E this blog post! Ready to dive in?

Alrighty – let’s get started…

You know you can’t quit your job. (At least, not yet.😉) And you can’t ignore family commitments and responsibilities. If you want to find time to work on your needlepoint projects, it’s up to you to make that happen.

So, how do you do it?

"Time to Stitch" by Cheryl Schaeffer Designs

Here are five simple – and proven – steps you can take…

1. Decide you really want to spend an hour of your time (or whatever suits you) on your needlepoint project every day.

Everybody knows that the first step to financial success is committing to a budget. And that budget is often influenced by your goals. Maybe you want to pay off your mortgage within five years. Or maybe you just want that new canvas you saw at your local needlework shop.

Now, whaddya say we transfer that analogy to your needlepoint hobby – what are your goals? Do you want to finish some of your UFOs? Stitch a stocking for your new grandchild? Learn 10 new decorative stitches you can use on your canvases?

Write these down, and put them somewhere you can see them every single day. And get ready for “Resistance” to rear its head. You know – it comes in the form of those excuses that sneak up on you. And life – well, it sometimes gets in the way, too.

But if you’re excited about spending time with your favorite hobby, that’s the first step.

2. Be realistic.

That may sound like a “no-brainer”, but it’s the #1 thing that can stop you in your tracks. Let’s put that into perspective with another money metaphor…

You wouldn’t set a $100 budget for eating out if you only had $25 in extra cash each week. Likewise, you need to be realistic about the time you can commit to stitching. If you’re juggling a busy schedule, a fifteen-minute stitching session every day may be all you can find time for right now.

Pencil your stitching session in on your calendar or put a reminder on your smartphone because, as the saying goes, “if it ain’t written, it ain’t real”. If you don’t put it on your calendar, you won’t do it. Trust me on this one…

3. Add these time-saving tricks to your toolbox.

If you’re really good at budgeting your money, you probably know lots of little tricks. You wait for terrific deals, clip coupons, keep an eye out for discount codes, etc.  And there are little tricks you can use when it comes to budgeting your time, too.

If you take a really close look at your schedule, you may find that you have extra time in your day that you can use for stitching. Of course, that may mean cutting back on the time you spend browsing Facebook and Instagram.😉

I’ll bet you were expecting that advice, weren’t you?

But hey – here are some more time-saving tips you can try…

  • Make a weekly menu – and include lots of slow cooker recipes. Let your Crock Pot do the work, leaving you more time to stitch.
  • Take advantage of your lunch hour. If your employer allows it, consider brown bagging from home and stitch during your lunch break. If you prefer to get out of the office, take your needlepoint to a coffee shop or some other public space. (And in the warm weather months, head to the park.😊)
  • Set the alarm clock for earlier. Getting up just one hour earlier can give you that extra time you’ve been craving. Curl up in your favorite stitching chair with a warm cuppa before everybody else starts their day – and stitch to your heart’s content (or until your hour is up).
  • Take advantage of commuting (or waiting room) time. It’s amazing how many stitches you can make in a short period – even as little as 15 minutes!
  • Join a local stitching group (or the Serendipity Needleworks Stitcher’s Club!). Having stitch-y friends to share your successes with (and to learn from or bounce ideas off of) is incredibly motivating.

4. Adjust as needed.

Budgets ebb and flow — unplanned bills show up and “can’t-miss” opportunities arise. The best financial advice is to be flexible and review your budget frequently. And sometimes the time you’ve budgeted doesn’t go as planned. I know – life can get reeaaalllly busy. But don’t beat yourself up if you need to re-schedule a stitching session or two.

Keep a positive attitude – and fit in however much time you can! Just get back on track as soon as possible.

5. Take care of yourself.

One of the best financial tips out there is to pay yourself first. And just what does that mean? When it comes to your finances, it means setting aside money for your future self before anything else. (Think emergency funds, retirement accounts, etc.)

So, how does that apply to your needlepoint hobby? Well, you can use the same strategy to plan how you want to spend your free time.

Wanna finish some of those UFOs? Completing projects that have been lingering for far too long not only cleans out your stash drawer, it clears your head – and it just makes you feel a whole lot better in general.

Wanna become a more confident stitcher? It takes practice to develop your needlepoint skills and when you get those extra hours of stitching in every week, your confidence is sure to soar.

Or maybe you just wanna relax. I’ve stitched oodles of projects entirely in basketweave because I thoroughly enjoy the rhythmic motion of tent stitch.

It brings me joy – and who can ever have enough of that?! So the question is… do you want to invest in yourself?

When you think of it that way, making time for stitching seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it.

"You Have As Many Hours In A Day As Beyonce" by Tricia Heaton Designs

Now that you have some guidelines to help you find more time to stitch, I’m curious. Which one(s) are you gonna try first? Tell me in the comments box below. You know I ❤️hearing from you and I read every single note.

This Thursday, we’ll chat some more about time-saving tips in the new weekly Serendipi-TV broadcast from the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page. I hope you’ll join me at 1:00 p.m. Central!

Until next time, happy stitching!

XOXO!!! ❤️
Stitch with a smile!

 

 

 

PS: Have you signed up for the Needlepoint Success Challenge? Click here to learn more about it.

 

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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