Claude Monet once said, “I must have flowers, always, and always.”
Visiting his home and his gardens is something I’ll never forget – and I’ll even go so far as to say that it’s one of the highlights of my life. ????
It still seems surreal that I was actually there two weeks ago…
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!
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