All aboard for Hawaii!
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Hi there!

I’m so happy to have you here with me again. ???? Can you believe that this is the last stop on our 2018 summer Threadventure? I have some captivating stitches and threads to share with you this week, but we have to trade our magical virtual vacation tour bus in for a jet because we’re crossing the big water to the enchanting islands of Hawaii! Are you ready? Terrific! Let’s GO! 


All aboard for Hawaii!

And here we are… gee, that was quick!

Welcome to Hawaii - last stop on the Serendipity Needleworks 2018 Threadventure!


Have you ever been to Hawaii? It’s the youngest state in the USA; it’s the only state in Oceania – and it’s the only one made up entirely of islands. 

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, bar none! The crystal clear water that surrounds each island is chock full of brilliant tropical fish and coral reefs.

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

If you guessed water – including waves and waterfalls then CONGRATULATIONS! You’re exactly right! ????????????

You can find just about any kind of water feature on a needlepoint canvas – from placid coves to crashing waves and cascading waterfalls.

And you’ll find all three kinds of water here in heavenly Hawaii. Ready to dive in? (Tee hee! I couldn’t resist. ????)

Let’s take a look at some terrific stitches for calm water and gentle waves first…

Sunrise over the water in Hawaii.


The oceanic coastline of Hawaii stretches out over approximately 750 miles, giving it the distinction of having the fourth longest coastline of any state. (Alaska, Florida, and California are the only states that have longer coastlines.)

You’ll find quiet coves tucked into that coastline – where the water swirls gently around volcanic rocks and up onto pristine beaches.

Our first stitch is the Double Brick stitch. 

It’s a really good option for stitching gentle waves when you want to show the movement of water on your canvas. Double brick stitch is very much like brick stitch, so you’ll find it easy to execute, as long as you follow the diagram carefully. 

A word of warning – my diagram may be a little confusing to you if you’re not accustomed to working double brick stitch as a two-step stitch pattern.

Don’t fret, though. It’s really quite easy to get the hang of after you stitch a couple of rows. (And if you prefer to work it the other way – where you alternate your stitches up and down across the row – that’s fine, too.????Just be consistent.)

Double brick stitch is a terrific choice if you’re just trying your hand at using decorative stitches – or if you’ve been away from needlepoint for a while.

It’s a relatively small stitch and it doesn’t take a lot of space to establish the pattern, so it’s good for both small design areas and small canvases.


The double brick stitch is great for stitching ocean waves and water on your needlepoint projects.


I’m using Petite Sparkle Rays to work this stitch.

Petite Sparkle Rays is a synthetic blend ribbon type thread – 96% polyester/4% nylon. It comes in 61 happy colors and each card holds 10 yards. Rainbow Gallery suggests that it works best on 18 mesh needlepoint canvas and I agree. 

Since it’s a ribbon type thread, you’ll need to use a laying tool to ensure that your stitches lay smoothly on the surface of your canvas. 

Use the stabbing method when using Petite Sparkle Rays and use it “as is” off the card. It doesn’t really have a tendency to unravel, but you can definitely treat the ends of it with Fray Check if you want. 

Sparkle Rays, the “big sister” thread to Petite Sparkle Rays, would be an excellent alternative for 13/14 mesh canvas.

Surf's up!

Moving right along, our second stitch is the Upright Oriental.

The Upright Oriental stitch is a splendid selection for stitching really big waves, like those in the picture above. Work it in two different textures or colors of thread for added oomph!

It’s a largish stitch, so you’ll need ample space to establish the pattern. Use the upright oriental stitch in medium to large size areas on your needlepoint projects.

Pay close attention to the numbering/lettering on this stitch.

Upright Oriental is a combination stitch – oriental stitch + upright Gobelin. It’s waaaay easier to work the oriental portion first, then come back and fill in with the upright Gobelin stitches. Oh – and notice, too, how the direction of the oriental stitch changes every other row.

The upright oriental stitch is great for stitching ocean waves and water on your needlepoint projects.


I’m using Encore and Treasure Braid 8 to work the Upright Oriental stitch. 

Encore is making an (ahem!) encore appearance here in Hawaii. If you want to learn more about this workhorse thread, click here

Treasure Braid 8 is a member of the Treasure Braid family, which also includes Petite Treasure Braid, Treasure Braid 4, Treasure Braid 12, and Treasure Braid 16

Treasure Braid 8 comes in 45 amazing colors. It’s a synthetic blend metallic thread – 60% rayon/40% metallic polyester – and it’s equivalent in size to Kreinik Braid size 8. Each card holds 10 yards.

Rainbow Gallery suggests that it’s best for 18 – 24 mesh needlepoint canvas, but you can definitely use it on larger mesh canvas as an accent thread.

Use it “as is” directly off the card and cut short pieces since it can be a little finicky to work with. You’ll also want to use the stabbing method (i.e., inserting the needle into the canvas from above, pulling it through, and then pushing it back up from the backside of the canvas) when working with Treasure Braid 8.

Beautiful water is everywhere in Hawaii!

Ocean waves crashing on the shores of Hawaii.

When you’re working on a canvas that features a large body of water, you can use a bigger stitch, like our next stitch…

Giant Diagonal Scotch

This large stitch requires enough space to establish your pattern in order to get the best effect, so save it for bigger areas and bigger canvases. Work Giant Diagonal Scotch in diagonal rows, just like you see on the diagram below.

It’s another really good option if you’re new to using decorative stitches. You’ll find yourself “gettin’ in the groove” with your stitching once you’ve worked the first row – and it’s super-easy to compensate, too. ????

The giant diagonal Scotch stitch is great for stitching ocean waves and water on your needlepoint projects.

You have several thread options for working the Giant Diagonal Scotch stitch.

First, there’s Frosty Rays and Petite Frosty Rays. They’re both frothy looking with a hint of sparkle and you can choose the one that best suits the look you’re trying to achieve: Frosty Rays for more razzle dazzle and Petite Frosty Rays for just a wee bit of shimmer.


You could opt to use an over-dyed thread like Bravo! if you want your water to appear shaded. (Let the thread do the work for you! ????)

Threads from the Silk Lamè Braid family would also be a glittering choice. Click here to read more about Silk Lamè Braid.

Finally, there’s Flair when you want just a hint of subtle shine.

Our fourth stitch, Plaited Gobelin, is a splendid selection…

for rapidly moving water – like the waterfall you see in the picture below. 

A beautiful Hawaiian waterfall.

Plaited Gobelin looks a lot harder than it really is. Don’t let all those lines crisscrossing every which way on the diagram below scare you. Once you establish the first row, the others are easy peasy to fill in. 

It’s a medium size stitch, so it’s a good choice for medium to large size areas on your canvas.

You should work it in horizontal rows, but it’s up to you as to which direction your first row slants. Choose what looks best on your project.

Just follow the diagram and you’ll be golden! ????

The plaited Gobelin stitch is great for stitching ocean waves and waterfalls on your needlepoint projects.

I’m using Crystal Braid to work the Plaited Gobelin stitch

Crystal Braid has a very unique pearly look that truly shimmers. There are 17 icy colors (which means this thread is also good for frosty features on your needlepoint projects!) and each card holds 10 yards. 

Crystal Braid is a size 12 braid, so it’s equivalent in size to both Treasure Braid 12 and Kreinik Braid size 12. It’s a very sturdy thread and it won’t unravel or fray easily. I recommend using short pieces, though – no longer than 16″. And use the stabbing method when working with this – or any – braid type threads.

Our fifth (and final) “wonderful, wonderful water” stitch is Twill stitch... 

Rainbow Falls is a beautiful waterfall in Hilo, Hawaii. 

Did you notice how all of the stitches we’re exploring today evoke a sense of movement? Anytime I’m stitching a design component that would move in real life, I like to find a stitch that mimics that movement.

And I think twill stitch is a perfect example, don’t you? Look at that picture above…
Notice how the water rushes over the edge of the cliff and down into the pool below? Now, look at the stitch diagram. It creates the same kind of movement, doesn’t it?

Twill stitch is a small stitch, too, so you can use it in all kinds of spaces. It’s a terrific choice for you if you’re just trying your hand at using decorative stitches to embellish your painted canvases, too! 

Work twill stitch going “downhill” like you see in the diagram below – or reverse the direction to convey upward movement.  


The twill stitch is great for stitching ocean waves, waterfalls, and water on your needlepoint projects.


I had a hard time choosing which thread to use for this stitch, so I’m compromising – and using two! (tee hee!)

Soft Sheen Fyre Werks and Petite Treasure Ribbon are both mesmerizing choices.

Rainbow Gallery makes two Fyre Werks threads – regular Fyre Werks and Soft Sheen Fyre Werks. Personally, I prefer Soft Sheen Fyre Werks because it’s not so “in your face”.

Both of the Fyre Werks threads are 1/16th” metallic ribbon threads and they’ll add oodles of sparkle to your work. Rainbow Gallery suggests that they’re best on 13 – 18 mesh needlepoint canvas; use them for long stitches on 18 – 22 mesh needlepoint canvas.

There are 16 colors of Fyre Werks and 87 colors of Soft Sheen Fyre Werks. Each card holds 10 yards and you’ll definitely want to treat the ends with Fray Check (or a Thread Zap) to prevent unraveling.

Cut short pieces (no longer than 16″) and use Soft Sheen Fyre Werks “as is” directly off the card. You’ll need to use a laying tool, too, since it’s a ribbon type thread.

Petite Treasure Ribbon is a new thread to me – and I ❤️ it!  Like its name suggests, it’s a ribbon type thread, so you’ll want to use a laying tool when stitching with it.

Petite Treasure Ribbon works best on 16 – 18 mesh needlepoint canvas. While there are 28 lovely colors of Petite Treasure Ribbon, there are only a handful that are appropriate for water. (But they’re reeaaalllly pretty!) Each card holds 8 yards and you may find it helpful to treat the ends with Fray Check or a Thread Zap, since it does have a wee bit of a tendency to unravel.

And that, my friend, brings us to the end of our stay in heavenly Hawaii – and our 2018 Threadventure.

It’s been so much fun to share these “splashing stitches” for water with you…

Sunset in Hawaii

Next time…

I’ll share some stitches you can use with the rest of the threads in the Threadventure thread kit. It’ll be a fun hodgepodge of ideas and a “can’t-miss” opportunity to grab even more stitches that you can use on your needlepoint projects!

So – I’ll see you again here, same time. ????

(That’s first thing every Thursday morning, in case you’re new to the Serendipity family.)

But before you go, please tell me which of our 12 destinations was your favorite!

Was it Seaside, Asheville, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Big Sur, Napa Valley – or this one, Hawaii?

Please don’t be shy… I love, Love, LOVE hearing from you and I read every single comment! ❤️

When you leave your thoughts down below in the comments box, I’ll enter your name 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.
Enrollment opens soon!

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. Angela Lepore

    August 23, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Hi! I think I enjoyed stitching New York. It was definitely interesting and of course I have to be partial!!

    • Ellen Johnson

      August 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

      Hi Angela!
      I’m so glad you enjoyed our stay in New York. The Big Apple has to be one of my all-time favorite places to visit. ???? Thank you for joining me on our summer virtual vacation – and stay tuned for some more terrific stitches (and fun adventures!) coming your way this week.????
      Have a happy day!
      Ellen ????

  2. Anne Ballard

    August 23, 2018 at 9:51 am

    I can’t say I had a favorite – I enjoyed all of our stops. Pity we couldn’t take in a bit more sight-seeing! Thank you for all of the information you provided along the way. ????

    • Ellen Johnson

      August 28, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Hi Anne!
      Thank you for joining me on the summer 2018 Threadventure! It was a joy traveling with you. ????????And I know what you mean about sightseeing! ???? I definitely see a retreat in the not-too-distant future. Then, we can stitch AND explore together – IN PERSON!
      It was truly a joy to gather all the info for our fun-filled virtual vacation and I’ve already got another one in the planning stages. In the meanwhile, keep an eye out for more stitches for the rest of those threads from the Threadventure kit. Oh – and I finally have the replacement threads for you. I’ll pop them in the mail this week.
      Have a wonderful day and happy stitching!
      Ellen ????


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