Well hello there, lovely! It’s so nice to have you here with me today. 😊
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. 🌷
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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?
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.
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…
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?
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.
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.
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!
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…
Copenhagen, Denmark (And here we are… that sure was quick! 😉)
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?
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
And now, here we are back at our beautiful Hotel d’Angleterre.
Let’s have a nice warm cup of tea by the fire…
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. 😊
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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